15/12/2015 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


The Prime Minister's EU Referendum Bill has passed its final


hurdle in Parliament, paving the way


for a vote that could see Britain leave the European Union.


We'll be looking at what obstacles remain.


Plenty of people have talked before of an electoral pact between Labour


Could that be their only chance of defeating the Conservatives?


Everyone's getting rather excited about the new Star Wars film,


but does one of the most successful franchises of all time really carry


And Christmas is coming and with it a crop of politicians


We'll have a look at some of the best.


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


of the programme today is the former Labour MP Chris Mullin.


He's also a diarist and wrote the novel A Very British Coup


about a left-wing Labour leader who unexpectedly defies his critics


Apparently it's been selling very well.


And not all of the extra copies were bought by Jeremy Corbyn.


First today let's talk about plans for a referendum on Britain's EU


membership, which have moved one step closer after a Government


victory in the House of Lords last night.


Peers rejected a Labour Party proposal designed to give 16


and 17-year-olds a vote in the referendum, ending


the parliamentary back-and-forth over the EU Referendum Bill.


The Government now hopes it will receive Royal Assent and be


So with that hurdle out of the way, what are the other big milestones


The vote itself will have to take place no later than 31st


Anyone aged 18 or over by the date of the referendum will be eligible


to vote, but citizens from other EU countries will not.


The question on the ballot paper will be, "Should the UK remain


The campaign period for the referendum must be at least


ten weeks long, during which the lead campaign groups -


still to be officially designated by the Electoral Commission -


will have to abide by strict regulations.


The Government was defeated in an attempt to scrap the so-called


purdah period, meaning that for the 28 days before polling day


ministers won't be able to make any announcements which could influence


the result of the referendum question.


On Thursday, David Cameron will travel to Brussels


to make his case to other EU leaders at a summit of the European Council.


On Thursday David Cameron will travel to Brussels


to make his case to other EU leaders at a summit of the European Council.


The sticking point continues to be the Prime Minister's desire


to prevent EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits in the UK


for the first four years of their stay.


No agreement is likely to be reached this week,


but European Council President Donald Tusk has said he hopes


the summit will pave the way for an agreement by February.


But last night the European Scrutiny Committee, chaired by Conservative


MP Bill Cash, said that fundamental reform of the sort David Cameron had


envisaged would not be possible without treaty change,


itself not possible in time for the referendum.


Well Bill Cash joins us now, and our guest of the day


Your report is a reminder that it is a straight appeal to waivers to vote


to leave. It is a warning to voters across the board. Because in order


for David Cameron to achieve his objectives, it is essential if it is


to be binding that there is treaty change. That means an amendment to


the treaty or a protocol, so it is essential that the people who are


being asked to vote on this historic occasion, that they know that it is


meaningful and capable of delivery. The question before the voters will


be whether to remain or leave the EU. There will be those with fixed


views one way or another, irrespective of the renegotiation


and that is you, no matter what David Cameron brings back, you will


vote to leave? I have personally come to the conclusion having voted


yes in 1975 and for the single European act that the Maastrict


treaty and the treaties since then have evolved into a situation where


we have lost control over the most important parts of how we are


governed and the issues that are so fundamental to our democracy that


there is no alternative but to leave. So everything you say is


tarnished by your thoughts whatever happens you would vote to get out.


So saying the Prime Minister cannot get meaningful change, you will


always say that. Well this is a committee from all parts of the


House and we agreed the rrt and that report -- report and that report was


with some tweaks was agreed within the committee. So it this is an


all-party committee and it is important that people should know it


was not just from one point of view, it was actually across the board.


Chris Mullin, he is right, without treaty change they cannot be a


fundamental renegotiation and No 10 knows that treaty change is not


going to happen before the referendum takes place. Well I think


that is right. I don't think David Cameron ever intended to get into


any of this. He decided to have a referendum for short-term reasons to


get Bill and his mates off his back and in doing so lit a very long


fuse. As a result we are destined to spend the next two or three years


discussing this and maybe beyond that, discussing the consequences of


this. I come at it from a different view, I'm in favour of staying in.


At any cost? Well I'm in favour of staying in, I don't mind renegotiate


shup taking place. -- renegotiation taking place. I asked a business in


Sunderland what would be the consequences of withdrawal, and he


said an immediate collapse of inward investment. That is a wake up call.


Nissan said they didn't think it would make that much difference only


a couple of months ago. But basically Chris and I agree about


the inevengtiveness of -- ineffectiveness of a lot of what has


been going on. The report says the renegotiation strategy is reactive


and opaque. What is opaque about it? We do know, you may not think they


amount to much, but we no what the Prime Minister is demanding, it was


set out in the manifesto and it has been repeated in various letters.


Well first, as far as the letter is concerned, that was the letter that


was sent to Mr Tusk. That was only published because of an exchange I


had with a journalist during the course of the press conference, it


wouldn't have been made available to the public or to Parliament at all.


But it was the reprint of the what was promised in the manifesto? No,


it wasn't, it contained a lot of important questions, which had not


been advanced before. And actually was not going to be published. The


other thing is regarding this question of the refusal of the


government through the minister for Europe and the Foreign Secretary to


give us a full explanation of where they were on the benefits issue. We


did ask them to send us a copy of what they had in minuted and they


didn't -- mind and they didn't do it. That I regard as opaque. The


House of Lords have also been critical in their reports about the


extent to which the Government has been sufficiently transparent. So it


is opaque. Is it opaque, have you not known what the Prime Minister is


negotiating on? Well, I would hesitate to challenge Bill on the


details. You would be. Yes I think broadly speaking we know what he is


asking. I don't think it dawned on David Cameron until creptly that --


recently that it could lead to withdrawal. I asked Vince Cable, who


is a very thoughtful man, how, what the chances of withdrawal were. He


said if you asked me a year ago I would say 5%. Now I would stay about


40%. That is quite a change. David Cameron is in favour of staying in.


He has threatened exit. Do you think he would campaign for out. There is


a point, at which when you realise that the things you have been


seeking are simply not going to be accepted by the other member states,


and this business of getting accepted by the other member states,


treaty change is fundamental to that, if you can't get it through,


before the referendum, and the only thing you can offer the voter is the


fact that you have had an international agreement which itself


according to the former legal advisor to the European council


wouldn't be sufficient. Do you think bearing in mind there has been


resistance on inward benefit do you think he would drop that idea. It


looks like it in some shape or form. It is very much in the air at the


moment. But one thing is certain, it has not just legal implications but


it is political. The other member states, those countries in central


and eastern Europe, they have called it a red line and that is where they


are. They have no intention of allowing anything to get through.


That is what people say in negotiation. Do you think the Prime


Minister's gamble about saying he could in a certain circumstances


campaign for out is going to pay off in terms of pressure on the other


states. First, I don't believe him. I think he is in favour. I don't


think it dawned on him when he lit the fuse that is how it would end


up. The consequences are far reaches if we did vote to come out, the


Scots would demand another referendum and probably would vote


to go. The Prime Minister may go down as the Prime Minister who pr


presided over the break up of the United Kingdom I am sure is not what


he wants. Thank you. Now, it's nearly two weeks


since the House of Commons voted to extend British air strikes


targeting the so-called Islamic State group


from Iraq into Syria. But after the huge attention


on the parliamentary debate, what action has the RAF actually


been taking in the region? Well, once or twice a week


the Ministry of Defence provides Here's what had happened


up till last Friday. On the 2nd, 4th and 6th December,


British Tornados flying from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus launched bombing


raids against IS positions in Syria. The target on every occasion


was infrastructure in the extensive The oil field is one of the key


sources of revenue for IS. So far, there has been no RAF


bombing of the IS stronghold of Raqqa or any other position


in Syria, but RAF planes do fly routine reconnaissance


missions in Syrian airspace. Last week the focus shifted back


to Iraq, where British forces have been bombing IS targets


for over a year. On 7th December a pair of RAF


Tornados provided air support to Iraqi military operations


against IS in western Ramadi. A day later, Tornados launched two


Brimstone missile attacks on militants west of the city


of Kayaruh with three IS machine gun positions bombed later


that day north-east On 9th, support was provided


to Kurdish soldiers fighting A guided bomb destroyed an IS mortar


position near the settlement And three IS vehicles were destroyed


in a Hellfire missile attack The RAF saw further action


south-west of that town the following day,


with IS-occupied buildings and vehicles destroyed,


a mortar position eliminated, and a sniper killed


with a guided bomb. Well we can talk now to the BBC's


defence correspondent Even after all the debate, the media


focus on Raqqa and such places, the bombings have been confined to one


oil field. Yes, they have targeted the Omar oil field, they say it is


essential, because it is the essential source of finning for the


Islamic State -- funding for the Islamic State group and we have seen


US planes doing a similar thing. They have updated their air strikes


again today, the RAF, and they have been hitting again targets in


northern Iraq and the fact is it is easier at the moment to go after


targets in northern Iraq and Iraq itself, because there are security


forces, there are clear boundaries between what are the friendly


forces, the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga. The picture in


Syria is more confusing and if you're talking about Raqqa and if


you're going to go after what David Cameron calls the snake's head, that


is more difficult, because that is to be with civilians living next


door and possibly used as human shields. Is that it fear of civilian


casualties or the lack of a moderate force on the ground stopping that


extension to air strikes? The RAF claim they've not caused any


civilian casualties so far. I think that's going to be difficult as the


campaign... There are undoubtedly going to be civilian casualties to


some extent. The definite Secretary has acknowledged that. Also if you


haven't a clear army on the ground, a unified group fighting who can


call in these air strikes, can tell you what's begun going on f you


haven't your own forces on the ground in some way it's more


difficult to target. A lot was mentioned about the Brimstone


missile and why America wanted the RAF and Britain involvement in Syria


because of the Brimstone, actually it hasn't been used at all so far in


Syria. But in Iraq. Do we have reliable intelligence then that IS


have actually felt the squeeze, they are feeling the pain from the


bombing of their oil resources? I think the expectation is that this


is one of the funding streams for Islamic State, the oil, it's not the


only one, they extort money. They've money from various financial pots,


including raiding banks and the likes. But it's not the only way you


are going to defeat IS. In Iraq, of course, the key difference is the


fact that there are forces on the ground who are working with the


US-led coalition who may have individuals from that US-led


coalition helping them on the ground, calling in these air strikes


and you have not got that to such an extent in Syria. So that is the


clear difference at the moment. Right. As you have explained, and


outlined, northern Iraq is still the main theatre of operations for


British air strikes. Has the campaign there over the last year


had success? Yeah, we heard President Obama saying yesterday


that he believed there was success in taking away territory from


Islamic State, they've lost thousands of square miles in


territory, we can see what's happening in Ramadi at the moment,


IS is being pushed, they've been holding that city for a long time,


but they are being strangleholds. The noose is tightening there at the


moment. The key strategy, has been according to President Obama and


David Cameron, going after the leadership of Islamic State and


they've carried out targeted air strikes against individuals, they've


taken out high-profile names. But, we haven't seen that by the RAF in


Raqqa, for example, so far. These, of course early days, two weeks,


less than two weeks since the vote was approved in parliament. You


talked about the complications in Syria, it's a more complicated


situation. That's because the skies are very crowded with lots of air


forces operating. How is the relationship, if you can call it


that, with Russia? Has relationship, if you can call it


operational understanding at least f not a political one? Yeah, they have


that horrible word deconflicted, they have talked to each other to


make sure there are not going to be mid-air collisions, the sort of


incident which was essentially about crossing a boundary, the Turks


shooting down a Russian warplane, that's the kind of thing they're


desperate to avoid. There is a clear understanding, I think. That's not


their biggest worry. I think the hardest thing is targeting, getting


clear targets in Syria at the moment. The numbers at the moment


are stacked in much more targeting going on in Iraq than in Syria. And


you have to remember also that the British contribution is, even though


it's been doubled in the number of warplanes that have been sent since


that vote, the British County Councils is small. For example, the


RAF totally has carried out about 400 air strikes. -- contribution.


The US has carried conducted about nearly 9,000 air strikes. A lot of


these missions, they are flying over Iraq or Syria, carrying out


surveillance, are not using their weapons at all. Essentially in the


past year for the RAF we have seen about one in four missions have been


resulting in an air strike. That's a small proportion. Thank you very


much. We bid for someone from the MoD to


come on to the programme but none were available.


Now let's talk about the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn.


My guest of the day, Chris Mullin, is a former colleague of Mr Corbyn,


shares a lot of his politics and is altogether something


Here he is talking about Mr Corbyn when he was elected,


If you run into him on a train as I have done, he will immediately get


out of his box of sandwiches which are verying tearian, of course and


cut them in half. He is a good man. The serious point is this, do you


think if he does become leader of the opposition, do you see him as


electable, as a Prime Minister? It's unlikely, frankly.


Do you still feel that? Well, I think we are on - Jeremy is


certainly on a learning curve. We are all on a learning curve here. We


are in unknown territory. I feel that electing Jeremy was a high risk


strategy on the part of the Labour Party. But I think he needs to be


given a reasonable period to show what he can do and I don't think the


short time he has had so far and some of the misbehaviour that's


occurred amounts to a reasonable period. We are more than four years


away from a general election, in two years' time perhaps that will be a


time to assess. But it was only a few months ago you didn't think he


would be electable as Prime Minister. What makes you think now


he might be? He must be given a chance that's all I am saying. I am


not going to go around slagging him off as some people have done. He has


in some respects done better than expected, at Prime Minister's


questions he often holds his own. I think what the Labour Party as a


whole has to do, if he wants to stand a chance of winning the next


election, is address the nation and not each other. They're still at the


stage of addressing each other at the moment and they shouldn't,


individual MPs have been collaborating with the Murdoch press


and they shouldn't be. Who is misbehaving along those sort of


lines? Well, you can pay your money, take your choice. But I saw one


today, I think, in a newspaper saying she would stab Jeremy not in


the back but in the front, should the need arise. I think that's a


very foolish thing to say. They really need to start pointing their


guns outward at the enemy. The public do not vote for divided


parties. Jeremy is sa saintly decent man who has led a life that reflects


his principles and deserves to be given a chance. He ares rebelled. He


was a serious rebel and that makes it difficult to demand it now. He is


entitled however, to be taken seriously for and given a chance.


Right. You mentioned the Labour MP Jess Phillips, I think we can hear


what she had to say using the words that you just mentioned there. I


would do anything that I felt was going to make the Labour Party win


the next election because if I don't have that attitude all I am doing is


colluding with the Tories. That's making Jeremy better, I will roll my


sleeves up, if that's not going to happen, and I have said that to him


and to his staff, the day that it becomes that you are hurting us more


than you are helping us, I won't knife new the back, I will knife you


in the front. You didn't like her words there but actually put into


context what she's saying, being honest about her view there. The


great difficulty is our free press does not put things into context and


what will be quoted is that last couple of sentences. You learn after


a while, I mean, it took me a while to learn this, but you really have


to point your guns outwards and address the nation and not each


other. Are both sides guilty of that? As you know, both sides have


been briefing furiously about abuse being flung at Jeremy Corbyn and


abuse being flung at people that would describe themselves as


moderate Labour MPs rightly or wrongly? I am sure there have been


offenders on both sides, not Jeremy himself who maintain as great deal


of equimity in provocation I would say. Do you think he should have


reached out more across the parliamentary party when formulating


his shadow Cabinet? He has to some extent, but he could have done more.


All the talk about reshuffling the Shadow Cabinet so that he can mould


the Shadow Cabinet in his image more, do you think that's going to


alienate or bring people together? It can only work with those who are


willing to work with him. One of the first things that happened was a


number of people who were potential Shadow Cabinet material took their


ball away and said they weren't going to play. Then some of the same


people protesting that the balance in the Shadow Cabinet was unfair.


You can't have it both say -- both ways. My advice to anyone is to pull


together, you are all in the same team. That's what the electorate


expect. Do you think it was provocative to have Ken Livingstone


as co-convener of the defense review when there was a Shadow Defence


Secretary? Well, I am sure that both Ken and the Shadow Defence Secretary


are mature enough to work out a modus, the triedent issue is


difficult in the world of politics, I think only the Tory Party could


get rid of a nuclear missile system, it is bonkers spending ?30 billion


on this redundant missile system. In the world of practical politics I


don't think Labour could get away with it. What it will have to do


when the vote comes is allow another free vote. Should Ken Livingstone be


made a peer? Oh, God, that's not in my... That's way above my pay grade.


That was the talk so he could put in the Shadow Cabinet. It has been


dismissed. As you say, if there isn't a big pull for Jeremy Corbyn


to pick his team come in the future that's what he might have do to do.


Let's deal with Ken Livingstone. He is the most, without exception,


successful left-wing politician possibly in the history of the


Labour Party. He governed London one way or another for 16 years in


power, in office. And quite a lot of the things, I said left-wing, I


don't think Tony Blair would claim to be particularly left-wing. I


don't mean to disparage him. Of the left-wing politicians most have


never had office of any sort. But Ken has been in office for 16 years


one way or another actually quite a lot of the things he did on gays,


talking to Sinn Fein, and introducing a decent public


transport system in London, he demonstrated he can deliver. I think


it will be wise of Jeremy, Ken can be a loose cannon, we all know that


too and preferable if he wasn't too much of a loose cannon, but I think


he has something to contribute and don't blame Jeremy at all, if it's


from the House of Lords or wherever, I have no strong feelings within way


or another about that. Right. Now our guest of the day here,


Chris Mullin, has a suggestion for how Labour can win


the next general election. He's recently told


the New Statesman magazine: There's one thing I think Labour


are going to have to do if we are to stand any chance


of defeating the Tories next time. We are going to need


all the non-Tory voters we can find. Labour urgently needs


a Lib Dem revival. The Lib Dems can win seats in parts


of the country we can't. Jeremy needs to be thinking


about an electoral pact In a list of key marginals,


there needs to be just Well, one politician who'd long


talked of a left-leaning pact is the former Lib Dem MP


and coalition Minister Vince Cable. Do you agree with that thesis? Well,


with qualifications, if there is going to be a breakthrough as


happened in 19197 and the subsequent elections, it will be on the basis


that there is some common understanding by the Tory opponents,


we are in danger of getting a one-party state. But the


qualifications are very important. The opposition parties have to make


a common offer to the public. The public have to agree with them. One


thing we shouldn't forget is at the last election the Tories got in with


37% of the vote but a Tory splinter group, which is Ukip, also did well


and between them they got a majority. So we did have a


right-wing majority. You can't change that. Tactical manoeuvring


doesn't solve that problem. Where is your evidence, either of you, that


even if Jeremy Corbyn won over your evidence, either of you, that


the left-wing votes, for example, or if there was a sort of shared


platform with Greens and Lib Dems, that it would be enough to win a


general election? It wouldn't, for the reasons I have given. What Chris


said earlier, which is important, is we have to address the public. The


tragedy of what's happening in the Labour Party is that it's a sort of


inward looking conversation. Until they resolve that issue with their


own leader and people accept him or change him, there isn't an outward


looking proposition that people can rally to. Would you be in favour of


that sort of left-wing coalition with Jeremy Corbyn at the head or


would it be better without him? I think it would be easier with


someone else, given his history. As you know, in my own seat I lost


because a lot of what we used to call soft Tory voters were so


alarmed by the prospect of Ed Miliband and the SNP they went to


the Tories. Jeremy Corbyn would be even less appealing to that


particular group. So your thesis falls down at that point if people


like Vince Cable couldn't see themselves part of a left-wing


coalition under someone like Jeremy. Vince's first point is the right


one, the parties would have to make a common offer. Aspiring to be in


Government involves compromise and compromises would have to be made on


all sides. The Lib Dems recently emerged from a coalition with the


Conservatives and they had to make compromises there. That was because


they felt they could work together. They weren't sure about Gordon


Brown. They had to swallow quite hard and this will be a compromise,


I think it's one that should be more appealing to potential Lib Dem


voters. Is History is getting wonky here. We would have worked with


Gordon Brown, it wasn't a preference for the Tories that got us into the


coalition, it was political reality. Both sides did say that there would


be a better working relationship, they felt with Nick Clegg and David


Cameron. In terms of history, if you were to take the left-wing coalition


as you both broadly outlined wouldn't it just result in Labour


increasing its vote and share of the seats it already holds?


We are getting ahead of ourselves. You've to build. You have to start


by getting the public to accept that continued Conservative dominance is


doing harm to the country. That is the first negative story and you


have got to have something positive to offer instead and then you look


for common ground. And you have got to involve your act vifss on the --


act ivists on the ground. The piece you have written seems to concede


that Labour can't win an election on its own. I think that is right for


the foreseeable future, because of the loss of Scotland. I don't see it


coming back. Do you think it is just because of the loss of Scotland. I


wouldn't call this a left-wing coalition, I would call it a


non-Tory coalition. What about Ukip being part of it, in some of the


seats you need to win, the Ukip voters are the ones you want to win


back. Ukip is a bit of a one man band and we find it fades. They have


got a lot of votes. They did, but personally they're not a force I


feel we could be aligned to. You talked about Scotland being the


problem, the losses in Scotland, you still haven't addressed or given me


evidence to show that the sort of thing you're talking about would win


over Tory seats, which is what you need to do if you're going to win


the general election. The liberals used to hold three seats in


Cornwall. There was never a slightest chance of Labour ever


holding those. They are at a low base and I would expect them to go


up. There is a fundamental problem with that too, again a non-Tory


coalition of one you are outlining, how are Liberal Democrats going to


win back those former marginals on that basis? In 97 when the big


political break through occurred of last generation, it was because of


tactical voting. There was no formal pact, but an understanding that the


era of Tory government had gone and we wanted something knew and it was


assumed Blair would be Prime Minister. A lot seats voted for us


comfortable with the fact that a Labour or Labour/Liberal Democrat


Government would emerge. Until we can re-create that political


environment and that means winning the political debate we are not


going to progress. The present Tory government is laying waste to public


sector. Eventually the public will notice and that will pay some


dividends in terms of votes. Is this the start of political pact between


you two? What needs to happen we need to talk to each other. There


has been vicious tribal argument on what I would call the left from my


party through Labour and other groups. We need to talk to each


other and co-operate on particular issues. You're both welcome any time


to chat. Thank you. Now at May's general election


the Conservatives had their best results in Wales for more than 30


years, and the party will be under pressure to repeat its success


at next year's elections But it's Labour that is still


Wales's dominant party, controlling the Assembly in Cardiff


and getting the biggest share The Tories are hoping that an offer


of lower income taxes in Wales, using powers that are set to be


devolved, could give them a boost. Here's George Osborne making


the announcement in last For years Wales has asked for a


funding floor to protect spending there and now within months of


coming to office, this Conservative Government is answering that call


and providing that historic funding guarantee for Wales. I can announce


we will introduce the new funding floor and sit it at 115%. The Welsh


Secretary and I will legislate so the devolution of income tax can


take place without a referendum. George Osborne there.


Well, we're joined now by the leader of the Welsh Conservatives,


You want to take 5% off the higher rate of tax. That could cost ?255


million in Welsh revenue. How would you pay for it It is not taking it


off. The tax base would grow and bring entrepreneurs into Wales. Two


things we have identified so far that we wouldn't do what Labour are


doing, is free prescriptions. 40% taxpayers pay for free prescriptions


that would save ?40 million. Also tuition fees, Welsh students are


subsidised to a tune of ?3,6 hundred and they can take the grant and go


anywhere in the United Kingdom. That is a loss of ?7 ?70 million.


Importantly this can aprabgt entrepreneurs -- attract


entrepreneurs to Wales. This would only reduce bills by up to ?400, is


that enough to attract people to Wales? It could start the process of


showing Wales is open for business and sends a positive message that


you have a Welsh Conservative Government that believes the best


people to spend the money are the people themselves and we are more


competitive than other parts of United Kingdom. What we don't have


are enough entrepreneurs developing a large private sector to create


quality take home pay. You think that would shift business investment


in Wales, to justify your income tax changes. But how popular is the


policy, the Welsh political Politics Showed is support for income tax


devolution is weakest among Conservative supporters in Wales.


Because there is a fear what Labour and the others would do with the


powers, they have indicated they would increase taxation and we would


be opening up the political narrative. At the moment the


Assembly and the Government have no means to raise revenue. Now the


political debate and argument will move into game-changer mode and the


politicians you will eexpect will be delving into rour purses, for the


first time. You campaigned on improving public services, how do


you do that and cut taxes. You increase the tax base, because you


get more people earning more money. It is depends which part of the


political spectrum you come from. The left believe you take more of


people's income, the right believe you leave wit people to spend. Do


you think by cutting income tax you can still improve public services?


If I was Welsh I would be sceptical. It is dangerous to get into a


bidding war over income tax. When Margaret Thatcher left office the


basic rate of income tax and that is the fairest way to raise public


money, was 26 pence in the pound. After eleven years of Margaret


Thatcher. This gentleman is talking about putting down to 19 pence. If


you want to see a collapse of public services this is the way to do it.


Public services under Labour have been criticised, admittedly by the


Tory government, but they have been criticised and there is a lot of


evidence to support what the Conservatives have said,


particularly on health. I think under this government if they


continue down this road and may might not, you can expect all


nonstatutory public services to more or less collapse within the next


five or six years. That shows a lack of understanding of the devolution


settlement. And what is going on in Wales. Ultimately the government in


Wales, not just by political parties, but by independent think


tanks, this is a Labour Party that in power since 1999 and whether you


take independent analysis or political analysis, Labour have


failed to deliver for Wales. Except they still keep being voted back in.


On a smaller part of vote. Let's go back to income tax, because most


income tax in Wales is paid by the earners in the lower tax bands. You


will give a bigger reduction to those on higher incomes, that is how


it would work out, so they will benefit from the cut on the lore


band and the higher band and benefit twice. It is about the Welsh


Treasury being able to afford this. If you look at the 40% tax rate u


you're talking of a hit of about 12 to 15 million. If you talk of the


basic rate you have to find between 150 and 170 million. So we have


costed what we can do and invested in public services and delivering a


better state that gets the waiting list down and lifts education


standards to get better standards across the board. Thank you.


Theresa May is now the longest-serving Home Secretary


since Henry Matthews in 1892, overtaking Rab Butler's 2,007-day


She's survived what's meant to be one of the trickiest jobs


in the Cabinet, and is spoken of as a possible contender for next


Giles has been looking into the secret of her success.


Home Secretary Theresa May knows the drill. In the wake of the Paris


attacks, she was on the BBC, comfortable, reassuring the public.


It is the kind of confidence that comes with knowing the job and doing


it longer than anyone in modern politics. Inside the Home Office are


portraits of those who have been Home Secretary in the past and only


one has gone on to be Prime Minister. But the current incumbent


is the longest serving Home Secretary since the Second World


War. That is quite an achievement, given the job dents reputations


rather than makes them. Jack Straw said when he went into it he was


advised by a previous Conservative Home Secretary in the words, Jack,


somewhere in that department every day, in some corner is somebody


doing something that can ruin your whole career. I think that is...


Probably pretty accurate. Everybody makes mistakes. We are all fallible


human beings. If you're in another department, there is a reasonable


chance that the mistake you make will be in some dark hidden corner


when no one is looking. There are no dark hidden corners in the Home


Office. I would give you the powers... Theresa May is not perfect


and for some hasn't always got it right. Stand by your vision... She


upset the police federation and nearly didn't and couldn't depart


Abu Qatada. ImGriggs But he has endured. If you look at the list of


things she has done, it is actually liberal. You have modern slavery


bill and scrapped ID cards and she is the first Home Secretary that we


can do business can according to The Voice, a leader black newspaper. For


a Tory to have that reputation, her moves on stop and search, she is


very hard to pin point down. That is one of her quality and why she


survives, you can't put her in a box. It is either every day sexism


or a political truth that being the most senior woman in government may


have helped her secure her place in a cabinet with a Prime Minister


often accused of having a woman problem. The first woman to do the


job is generous in her appraisal. She is effective in the job that she


does. From everything I hear very hard working. It is a slight


function I think of the little double standards that happens at the


start of Parliament that she got away with some things, but good luck


to her. And I think you know I have every respect for the length of time


that she has done it and for some of changes she has made as well. There


seems no immediate threat of Theresa May leaving the Home Office. The


only question everyone are asking, is this a sight she might like us to


get used to in the future? We're joined now by


the Conservative MP Peter Bone. What do you think is the secret of


her success? She's extraordinarily good, to survive for that length of


time is remarkable. Success in staying that long, not necessarily


her record as Home Secretary. If you looked at what was said in the clip,


it's difficult to pin her down. I was involved in the modern slavery


bill, absolutely right thing to do, people will say that's from the


left. She's very tough on immigration. And I would argue the


EU Tough on immigration, but net migration figures have Soared. The


Tory Party has utterly failed on that. Absolutely the Government's


failed on it and it's... A lot of people believe if she was let free


from what she wants to do, she would solve the problem. You think she is


being hampered by the leadership on that particular issue, it's nothing


to do with her? They will say, that's your area and you have


failed. No, but you can't, for instance, say you want to reform the


European Court of Human Rights or you want to cut down the number of


immigrants without having collective support of the Government. She's


made so many hints and I think, you touched on it at the end, she's


clearly a very credible candidate to be the next Prime Minister when this


one has clearly said he will retire sometime before the end of this


parliament Rather than George Osborne? He is clearly a credible


candidate but if you ask me who attracts more, I would say perhaps


she does at the moment. They're both talented people and can be Prime


Minister, of course. You would rather it was Theresa May? I don't


think I said that. No, I am asking. I said she would, there is clearly a


number of Conservative colleagues who would be very good Prime


Ministers but Theresa May, someone who has held that office of state


for so long and done such a good job clearly has the right to be


considered as the next Prime Minister. Right. She certainly


succeeded where Labour Home Secretaries have failed and that's


to stay in the job for a substantial length of time. There were so many


of them. Clearly over a fairly long period of time. Jack Straw was there


four years and he was a successful Home Secretary. Yes, you are right.


If you go and see the Home Secretary as I have done from time to time,


there are pictures down the corridor and back up the other side...


They've run out of space! You have forgotten who they are.


Extraordinary list of people since the war. One of the sensible things


Cameron has done is not have reshuffles and that's the habit


Labour and I think the reshuffles and that's the habit


Government got into and that was destabilising for Government, you


can only make a difference if you are left somewhere, you make


mistakes at first, of course you do, if you are left somewhere long


enough to make a difference and she is a very formidable woman and yes,


she's done very well. Right. Done very well do you think from a policy


perspective too? Harry Coal in that film said his assessment is she's


quite liberal having wons been described as really hardline in many


ways, since liberal on things like stop and search, for example, and


there were too many white police forces in England and Wales. I don't


see her as a liberal Home Secretary, she did take on the Police


Federation and she faced them down and I have been waiting for a long


time for a Home Secretary to do that. Yes, on this immigration


business I bet she's been hinting that leave it to her and she could


solve the problem because she wants the votes of people like Peter Bone


and others. It's a huge change going on in the world in terms of


migration. It's difficult. Maybe that's one of the, I think that will


be one of the tests for candidates if we are talking about future


leadership, which way they go on the EU issue. I would think Theresa May


will maybe on the out campaign. You are a fortress Britain man? I am for


Britain in the world leading, not stuck in this European superstate of


backward looking countries. Would you like Theresa May to lead the out


campaign? The out campaign is a cross-party thing, there is going to


be no single leader. What about for the Tory side? You have just said


how strong she is. Doesn't have to continue. The person I would like to


lead from the Conservative is the Prime Minister when he realises he


can't get what he wants and he has hinted that's what he might do. I


want as many Secretary of States on the out campaign or leave side as


possible. I would have thought Theresa May is a possible one. Do


you see her as a future leader of the Conservative Party? Well, she is


certainly a candidate as Peter says. I think at the moment if the economy


continues to go in the way that it's going, it's likely to be George


Osborne. Well, you know, the economy can go either way at any time. You


can't rely - of course, we might have our second woman Prime Minister


again from the Conservatives. You know, it's a very interesting game.


But clearly she's done a very good job as Home Secretary. I think she's


got a lot of support, not only inside parliament but across the


country. Peter bone, thank you. Now there are two big galactic


events happening this week that have The first is the launch


of the the rocket carrying Briton Tim Peake on his landmark


flight to the International Space Everyone was watching,


including the Prime Minister. Here he is, watching the launch


on the TV at Number 10 about an hour ago, and he tweeted: It was great


to watch Tim Peake blast off But, of course, the big political


event of the week is on Thursday with the UK release


of the new Star Wars film. If you can't see the subtle


political messages in a story about an elite group of Jedi Knights


helping an idealistic Rebel Alliance fight against a totalitarian


Galactic Empire - then there's Let's have a look at what we can


expect from Star Wars: The force is strong in my family. My


father has it. I have it. My sister has it.


I have my tickets already. So that was a snippet


of the new Star Wars film which had its world premiere


in America last night. It's due to have its premiere


here in London tomorrow before it goes on general release


across the UK and is tipped to break Well, fans of the franchise


will debate most things it seems, and that even extends to discussing


whether the Star Wars universe We're joined by Stephen Bush


from the New Statesman, who thinks that the film


is a confirmation of the left-wing values of solidarity


and collective action. And we're also joined


by the journalist James Delingpole, Surprise, surprise! Welcome to both


of you. So you can obviously see the political side of this. What is the


message behind Star Wars? Well, it depends on which set of the six


films you take. In the first of the three the Jedi are an elite group


who try and fail to prevent the rise of the dark side. In the original


you effectively have a cross-coalition, on the one hand the


elite Jedi, and then small traders and the Ewoks who rise up against


what is clearly a kind of quasi-fasistic empire. You look at


the Storm Troopers and I think see where people think that's a cult and


the heros are left-wing Everyone wants to claim Star Wars for


themselves, everyone wants to project their own ideology on the


film. Can I just say I concede Ja Ja, I think he is what would happen


if Jeremy Corbyn was in charge. He is sort of the person who would be


overpromoted in the Labour world. Generally, I think it's pretty


obvious that the rebels, I am not going to talk about the more recent


ones which I can't stand, but the in the early classic Star Wars I would


say you were right on one thing, Hans and Chewbacca would be voting


It's clear that the tyranny is the tyranny of the left, not the right.


There is no way two characters which can do be against the free movement


of Labour. Maybe they're Lib tearians but Ukip voters... Is that


the key? Every successful left-wing movement in British history has been


able to get swash-buckling heros over to their side. Let's think of


who the politicians might represent. Obi, could that be Jeremy Corbyn? I


think Jeremy Corbyn is more like, if you look at Pete are Curbing in the


first film, that would be Jeremy Corbyn. I think Jabba is probably


someone like Al Gore, making his money out of something like carbon


credits. In the end who are the villains in terms of politically?


Can you see the point that perhaps the Storm Troopers could be


left-wing communists, Stalinists wanting everyone to be the same? No,


because the Storm Troopers are cloned, which is a classic of the


typical right-ling inherited privilege. They're not... The Jedi


talk about inheritance, forces within families. This is something


they passed on through generations and that is inherited one would


associate with Conservatives or Tories. The classic Conservative


position would be you shouldn't judge somebody even if they're a


Princess or a poor farmer as Luke starts out. We don't judge people on


their back combround. We judge them on behaviour. Do you think this is


sad, this discussion about seeing politics in Star Wars? Well, I am


way out of my departmenths here, I have never seep a Star Wars. I live


in Northumberland and I notice it's coming to the Playhouse after


Christmas, it's possible the Mullins will take a trip down there and


after which I will be better informed. I can't promise we will do


this argument again. Thank you very much. Enjoy the film.


Now we may not have got the Daily Politics Christmas Tree up yet.


It's still in the cupboard under Andrew's stairs.


But that's not because we lack the festive spirit -


perish the thought - it's just that for us,


Christmas isn't marked by the start of Advent or mince pies appearing


No, of course it's when we start to get Christmas cards


Here's our traditional look through the best of this year's


I have just realised that was us. Are you feeling festive as an MP?


Did you start early on Christmas cards? I did. I start signing them


on the train about beginning of November, batches of 100. One of the


great joys of not being an MP any more is that I don't send so many as


I used to. Did you like any of those? Yeah, there were some good


ones there. Peter Bone's was good. Yes, with the grumpy face. I suspect


a bit of Scrooge there. I did like the Corbyn one. Bus of the --


because of the bikes. Yes. Should these cards reflect the politician


and that does. I would say that's an idealogically Christmas card. What


about David Cameron's? It looks as though it was taken in May, the day


he walked back into Number 10 Downing Street. It's not very


Christmassy. I don't blame him for sticking it up there but it isn't


Christmassy. Right. Favourite Christmas cards from politicians,


should they have families in, that used to be the trend, it's usually


from a local school. A lot of them organise competitions in primary


schools. Some very good ones. I am looking forward to getting mine from


the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn.


Thank you to Chris for being our guest of the day.


The 1.00pm news is starting over on BBC One now.


I'll be back at 11.30am tomorrow with Andrew for live coverage


of the last Prime Minister's Questions of 2015, and I promise


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