15/12/2015 Daily Politics


15/12/2015

Jo Coburn has the latest news on the UK's attempts to renegotiate with Europe, Chris Mullin and Vince Cable discuss political pacts and we interrogate the politics of Star Wars!


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:39.:00:40.

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

:00:41.:00:42.

hurdle in Parliament, paving the way

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

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We'll be looking at what obstacles remain.

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

:00:51.:00:53.

Could that be their only chance of defeating the Conservatives?

:00:54.:01:00.

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

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

:01:04.:01:06.

And Christmas is coming and with it a crop of politicians

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

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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 former Labour MP Chris Mullin.

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

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

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Apparently it's been selling very well.

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

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

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membership, which have moved one step closer after a Government

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victory in the House of Lords last night.

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Peers rejected a Labour Party proposal designed to give 16

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

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

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The Government now hopes it will receive Royal Assent and be

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

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

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

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

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

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The campaign period for the referendum must be at least

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ten weeks long, during which the lead campaign groups -

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still to be officially designated by the Electoral Commission -

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will have to abide by strict regulations.

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

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

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

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the result of the referendum question.

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On Thursday, David Cameron will travel to Brussels

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

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On Thursday David Cameron will travel to Brussels

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

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

:03:21.:03:22.

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

:03:23.:03:25.

for the first four years of their stay.

:03:26.:03:28.

No agreement is likely to be reached this week,

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but European Council President Donald Tusk has said he hopes

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

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But last night the European Scrutiny Committee, chaired by Conservative

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

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envisaged would not be possible without treaty change,

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itself not possible in time for the referendum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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views one way or another, irrespective of the renegotiation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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fundamental renegotiation and No 10 knows that treaty change is not

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

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

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

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

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

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discussing this and maybe beyond that, discussing the consequences of

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

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

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

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Sunderland what would be the consequences of withdrawal, and he

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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other thing is regarding this question of the refusal of the

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government through the minister for Europe and the Foreign Secretary to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:09:59.:10:01.

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

:10:02.:10:05.

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

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fact that you have had an international agreement which itself

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according to the former legal advisor to the European council

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

:10:21.:10:25.

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

:10:26.:10:29.

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

:10:30.:10:33.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Scots would demand another referendum and probably would vote

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

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

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

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since the House of Commons voted to extend British air strikes

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targeting the so-called Islamic State group

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from Iraq into Syria. But after the huge attention

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on the parliamentary debate, what action has the RAF actually

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

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the Ministry of Defence provides Here's what had happened

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

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British Tornados flying from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus launched bombing

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

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

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

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bombing of the IS stronghold of Raqqa or any other position

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in Syria, but RAF planes do fly routine reconnaissance

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missions in Syrian airspace. Last week the focus shifted back

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to Iraq, where British forces have been bombing IS targets

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

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Tornados provided air support to Iraqi military operations

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

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Brimstone missile attacks on militants west of the city

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of Kayaruh with three IS machine gun positions bombed later

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

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to Kurdish soldiers fighting A guided bomb destroyed an IS mortar

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position near the settlement And three IS vehicles were destroyed

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in a Hellfire missile attack The RAF saw further action

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south-west of that town the following day,

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with IS-occupied buildings and vehicles destroyed,

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a mortar position eliminated, and a sniper killed

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

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defence correspondent Even after all the debate, the media

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

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

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

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

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

:13:59.:14:03.

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

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

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

:14:14.:14:19.

forces, there are clear boundaries between what are the friendly

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

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

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

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

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

:14:45.:14:51.

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

:14:52.:14:54.

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

:14:55.:15:05.

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

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

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

:15:14.:15:17.

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

:15:18.:15:20.

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

:15:21.:15:23.

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

:15:24.:15:28.

difficult to target. A lot was mentioned about the Brimstone

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

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

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

:15:42.:15:45.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:16:23.:16:25.

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

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

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

:16:35.:16:38.

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

:16:39.:16:44.

had success? Yeah, we heard President Obama saying yesterday

:16:45.:16:47.

that he believed there was success in taking away territory from

:16:48.:16:50.

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

:16:51.:16:55.

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

:16:56.:16:59.

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

:17:00.:17:06.

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

:17:07.:17:11.

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

:17:12.:17:14.

David Cameron, going after the leadership of Islamic State and

:17:15.:17:17.

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

:17:18.:17:21.

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

:17:22.:17:28.

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

:17:29.:17:31.

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

:17:32.:17:36.

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

:17:37.:17:42.

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

:17:43.:17:47.

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

:17:48.:17:49.

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

:17:50.:17:54.

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

:17:55.:17:59.

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

:18:00.:18:05.

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

:18:06.:18:08.

incident which was essentially about crossing a boundary, the Turks

:18:09.:18:12.

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

:18:13.:18:16.

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

:18:17.:18:21.

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

:18:22.:18:24.

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

:18:25.:18:29.

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

:18:30.:18:35.

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

:18:36.:18:39.

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

:18:40.:18:44.

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

:18:45.:18:49.

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

:18:50.:18:56.

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

:18:57.:19:01.

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

:19:02.:19:04.

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

:19:05.:19:08.

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

:19:09.:19:12.

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

:19:13.:19:16.

much. We bid for someone from the MoD to

:19:17.:19:20.

come on to the programme but none were available.

:19:21.:19:23.

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

:19:24.:19:25.

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

:19:26.:19:29.

shares a lot of his politics and is altogether something

:19:30.:19:31.

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

:19:32.:19:37.

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

:19:38.:19:47.

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

:19:48.:19:50.

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

:19:51.:19:54.

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

:19:55.:20:01.

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

:20:02.:20:07.

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

:20:08.:20:11.

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

:20:12.:20:16.

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

:20:17.:20:19.

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

:20:20.:20:24.

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

:20:25.:20:27.

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

:20:28.:20:31.

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

:20:32.:20:35.

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

:20:36.:20:39.

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

:20:40.:20:43.

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

:20:44.:20:47.

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

:20:48.:20:51.

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

:20:52.:20:56.

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

:20:57.:20:59.

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

:21:00.:21:02.

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

:21:03.:21:05.

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

:21:06.:21:10.

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

:21:11.:21:14.

individual MPs have been collaborating with the Murdoch press

:21:15.:21:18.

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

:21:19.:21:22.

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

:21:23.:21:28.

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

:21:29.:21:32.

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

:21:33.:21:38.

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

:21:39.:21:42.

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

:21:43.:21:47.

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

:21:48.:21:52.

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

:21:53.:21:58.

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

:21:59.:22:04.

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

:22:05.:22:10.

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

:22:11.:22:13.

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

:22:14.:22:19.

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

:22:20.:22:23.

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

:22:24.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:30.

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

:22:31.:22:36.

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

:22:37.:22:39.

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

:22:40.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:46.

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

:22:47.:22:50.

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

:22:51.:22:56.

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

:22:57.:23:01.

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

:23:02.:23:05.

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

:23:06.:23:09.

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

:23:10.:23:16.

been briefing furiously about abuse being flung at Jeremy Corbyn and

:23:17.:23:20.

abuse being flung at people that would describe themselves as

:23:21.:23:24.

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

:23:25.:23:31.

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

:23:32.:23:36.

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

:23:37.:23:41.

reached out more across the parliamentary party when formulating

:23:42.:23:45.

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

:23:46.:23:50.

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

:23:51.:23:53.

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

:23:54.:23:58.

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

:23:59.:24:03.

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

:24:04.:24:09.

number of people who were potential Shadow Cabinet material took their

:24:10.:24:13.

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

:24:14.:24:16.

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

:24:17.:24:22.

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

:24:23.:24:27.

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

:24:28.:24:34.

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

:24:35.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:44.

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

:24:45.:24:54.

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

:24:55.:24:57.

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

:24:58.:25:03.

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

:25:04.:25:08.

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

:25:09.:25:11.

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

:25:12.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:21.

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

:25:22.:25:26.

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

:25:27.:25:31.

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

:25:32.:25:35.

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

:25:36.:25:39.

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

:25:40.:25:42.

successful left-wing politician possibly in the history of the

:25:43.:25:46.

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

:25:47.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:25:57.

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

:25:58.:26:02.

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

:26:03.:26:05.

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

:26:06.:26:10.

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

:26:11.:26:16.

talking to Sinn Fein, and introducing a decent public

:26:17.:26:19.

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

:26:20.:26:24.

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

:26:25.:26:27.

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

:26:28.:26:32.

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

:26:33.:26:35.

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

:26:36.:26:37.

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

:26:38.:26:45.

Chris Mullin, has a suggestion for how Labour can win

:26:46.:26:48.

the next general election. He's recently told

:26:49.:26:50.

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

:26:51.:26:51.

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

:26:52.:26:54.

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

:26:55.:26:57.

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

:26:58.:27:00.

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

:27:01.:27:03.

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

:27:04.:27:06.

about an electoral pact In a list of key marginals,

:27:07.:27:12.

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

:27:13.:27:18.

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

:27:19.:27:22.

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

:27:23.:27:32.

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

:27:33.:27:36.

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

:27:37.:27:40.

that there is some common understanding by the Tory opponents,

:27:41.:27:43.

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

:27:44.:27:47.

qualifications are very important. The opposition parties have to make

:27:48.:27:51.

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

:27:52.:27:56.

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

:27:57.:28:01.

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

:28:02.:28:05.

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

:28:06.:28:08.

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

:28:09.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:14.

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

:28:15.:28:18.

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

:28:19.:28:22.

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

:28:23.:28:26.

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

:28:27.:28:31.

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

:28:32.:28:33.

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

:28:34.:28:37.

inward looking conversation. Until they resolve that issue with their

:28:38.:28:42.

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

:28:43.:28:46.

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

:28:47.:28:51.

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

:28:52.:28:54.

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

:28:55.:28:59.

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

:29:00.:29:03.

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

:29:04.:29:06.

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

:29:07.:29:11.

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

:29:12.:29:15.

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

:29:16.:29:19.

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

:29:20.:29:24.

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

:29:25.:29:28.

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

:29:29.:29:34.

Government involves compromise and compromises would have to be made on

:29:35.:29:37.

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

:29:38.:29:41.

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

:29:42.:29:47.

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

:29:48.:29:51.

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

:29:52.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:30:03.

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

:30:04.:30:07.

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

:30:08.:30:12.

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

:30:13.:30:16.

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

:30:17.:30:20.

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

:30:21.:30:25.

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

:30:26.:30:31.

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

:30:32.:30:35.

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

:30:36.:30:44.

by getting the public to accept that continued Conservative dominance is

:30:45.:30:48.

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

:30:49.:30:52.

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

:30:53.:30:56.

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

:30:57.:31:06.

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

:31:07.:31:10.

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

:31:11.:31:14.

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

:31:15.:31:19.

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

:31:20.:31:24.

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

:31:25.:31:30.

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

:31:31.:31:39.

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

:31:40.:31:45.

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

:31:46.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:57.

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

:31:58.:32:02.

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

:32:03.:32:05.

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

:32:06.:32:08.

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

:32:09.:32:12.

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

:32:13.:32:17.

Cornwall. There was never a slightest chance of Labour ever

:32:18.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:28.

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

:32:29.:32:34.

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

:32:35.:32:39.

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

:32:40.:32:44.

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

:32:45.:32:50.

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

:32:51.:32:53.

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

:32:54.:32:59.

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

:33:00.:33:08.

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

:33:09.:33:12.

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

:33:13.:33:16.

environment and that means winning the political debate we are not

:33:17.:33:22.

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

:33:23.:33:26.

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

:33:27.:33:32.

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

:33:33.:33:38.

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

:33:39.:33:43.

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

:33:44.:33:46.

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

:33:47.:33:50.

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

:33:51.:33:54.

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

:33:55.:33:57.

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

:33:58.:33:59.

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

:34:00.:34:03.

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

:34:04.:34:05.

Wales's dominant party, controlling the Assembly in Cardiff

:34:06.:34:08.

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

:34:09.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:16.

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

:34:17.:34:19.

the announcement in last For years Wales has asked for a

:34:20.:34:32.

funding floor to protect spending there and now within months of

:34:33.:34:37.

coming to office, this Conservative Government is answering that call

:34:38.:34:40.

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

:34:41.:34:48.

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

:34:49.:34:55.

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

:34:56.:34:59.

take place without a referendum. George Osborne there.

:35:00.:35:03.

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

:35:04.:35:05.

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

:35:06.:35:20.

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

:35:21.:35:26.

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

:35:27.:35:29.

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

:35:30.:35:35.

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

:35:36.:35:42.

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

:35:43.:35:49.

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

:35:50.:35:56.

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

:35:57.:36:11.

Importantly this can aprabgt entrepreneurs -- attract

:36:12.:36:16.

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

:36:17.:36:22.

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

:36:23.:36:27.

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

:36:28.:36:31.

you have a Welsh Conservative Government that believes the best

:36:32.:36:35.

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

:36:36.:36:37.

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

:36:38.:36:43.

are enough entrepreneurs developing a large private sector to create

:36:44.:36:48.

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

:36:49.:36:52.

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

:36:53.:37:05.

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

:37:06.:37:08.

devolution is weakest among Conservative supporters in Wales.

:37:09.:37:11.

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

:37:12.:37:15.

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

:37:16.:37:19.

be opening up the political narrative. At the moment the

:37:20.:37:26.

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

:37:27.:37:31.

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

:37:32.:37:39.

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

:37:40.:37:46.

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

:37:47.:37:51.

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

:37:52.:37:56.

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

:37:57.:38:00.

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

:38:01.:38:04.

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

:38:05.:38:10.

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

:38:11.:38:19.

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

:38:20.:38:23.

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

:38:24.:38:27.

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

:38:28.:38:34.

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

:38:35.:38:40.

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

:38:41.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:53.

Public services under Labour have been criticised, admittedly by the

:38:54.:38:56.

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

:38:57.:39:01.

evidence to support what the Conservatives have said,

:39:02.:39:04.

particularly on health. I think under this government if they

:39:05.:39:08.

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

:39:09.:39:14.

nonstatutory public services to more or less collapse within the next

:39:15.:39:22.

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

:39:23.:39:25.

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

:39:26.:39:31.

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

:39:32.:39:38.

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

:39:39.:39:42.

take independent analysis or political analysis, Labour have

:39:43.:39:47.

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

:39:48.:39:53.

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

:39:54.:39:57.

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

:39:58.:40:05.

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

:40:06.:40:08.

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

:40:09.:40:11.

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

:40:12.:40:17.

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

:40:18.:40:24.

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

:40:25.:40:28.

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

:40:29.:40:35.

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

:40:36.:40:41.

better state that gets the waiting list down and lifts education

:40:42.:40:47.

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

:40:48.:40:52.

Theresa May is now the longest-serving Home Secretary

:40:53.:40:54.

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

:40:55.:40:56.

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

:40:57.:41:03.

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

:41:04.:41:06.

Giles has been looking into the secret of her success.

:41:07.:41:13.

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

:41:14.:41:24.

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

:41:25.:41:26.

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

:41:27.:41:31.

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

:41:32.:41:36.

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

:41:37.:41:39.

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

:41:40.:41:45.

is the longest serving Home Secretary since the Second World

:41:46.:41:50.

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

:41:51.:41:54.

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

:41:55.:42:01.

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

:42:02.:42:09.

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

:42:10.:42:14.

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

:42:15.:42:21.

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

:42:22.:42:27.

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

:42:28.:42:31.

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

:42:32.:42:37.

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

:42:38.:42:40.

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

:42:41.:42:45.

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

:42:46.:42:52.

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

:42:53.:43:01.

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

:43:02.:43:07.

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

:43:08.:43:14.

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

:43:15.:43:21.

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

:43:22.:43:27.

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

:43:28.:43:31.

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

:43:32.:43:35.

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

:43:36.:43:42.

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

:43:43.:43:46.

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

:43:47.:43:49.

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

:43:50.:43:54.

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

:43:55.:43:59.

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

:44:00.:44:05.

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

:44:06.:44:11.

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

:44:12.:44:18.

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

:44:19.:44:22.

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

:44:23.:44:27.

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

:44:28.:44:32.

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

:44:33.:44:35.

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

:44:36.:44:43.

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

:44:44.:44:52.

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

:44:53.:44:56.

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

:44:57.:44:59.

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

:45:00.:45:04.

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

:45:05.:45:07.

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

:45:08.:45:11.

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

:45:12.:45:16.

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

:45:17.:45:20.

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

:45:21.:45:28.

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

:45:29.:45:31.

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

:45:32.:45:36.

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

:45:37.:45:39.

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

:45:40.:45:46.

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

:45:47.:45:51.

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

:45:52.:45:55.

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

:45:56.:46:01.

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

:46:02.:46:06.

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

:46:07.:46:10.

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

:46:11.:46:13.

parliament Rather than George Osborne? He is clearly a credible

:46:14.:46:22.

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

:46:23.:46:26.

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

:46:27.:46:29.

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

:46:30.:46:34.

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

:46:35.:46:37.

number of Conservative colleagues who would be very good Prime

:46:38.:46:40.

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

:46:41.:46:45.

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

:46:46.:46:48.

considered as the next Prime Minister. Right. She certainly

:46:49.:46:51.

succeeded where Labour Home Secretaries have failed and that's

:46:52.:46:54.

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

:46:55.:46:58.

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

:46:59.:47:02.

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

:47:03.:47:06.

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

:47:07.:47:09.

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

:47:10.:47:13.

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

:47:14.:47:17.

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

:47:18.:47:24.

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

:47:25.:47:26.

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

:47:27.:47:30.

Government got into and that was destabilising for Government, you

:47:31.:47:32.

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

:47:33.:47:36.

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

:47:37.:47:39.

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

:47:40.:47:43.

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

:47:44.:47:47.

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

:47:48.:47:53.

quite liberal having wons been described as really hardline in many

:47:54.:47:59.

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

:48:00.:48:03.

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

:48:04.:48:11.

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

:48:12.:48:13.

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

:48:14.:48:18.

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

:48:19.:48:22.

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

:48:23.:48:27.

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

:48:28.:48:34.

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

:48:35.:48:39.

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

:48:40.:48:43.

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

:48:44.:48:47.

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

:48:48.:48:53.

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

:48:54.:48:57.

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

:48:58.:49:01.

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

:49:02.:49:07.

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

:49:08.:49:11.

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

:49:12.:49:15.

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

:49:16.:49:18.

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

:49:19.:49:21.

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

:49:22.:49:26.

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

:49:27.:49:29.

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

:49:30.:49:34.

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

:49:35.:49:38.

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

:49:39.:49:43.

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

:49:44.:49:49.

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

:49:50.:49:54.

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

:49:55.:49:58.

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

:49:59.:50:02.

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

:50:03.:50:06.

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

:50:07.:50:07.

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

:50:08.:50:12.

events happening this week that have The first is the launch

:50:13.:50:15.

of the the rocket carrying Briton Tim Peake on his landmark

:50:16.:50:18.

flight to the International Space Everyone was watching,

:50:19.:50:21.

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

:50:22.:50:24.

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

:50:25.:50:29.

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

:50:30.:50:32.

event of the week is on Thursday with the UK release

:50:33.:50:40.

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

:50:41.:50:42.

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

:50:43.:50:46.

helping an idealistic Rebel Alliance fight against a totalitarian

:50:47.:50:49.

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

:50:50.:50:51.

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

:50:52.:50:56.

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

:50:57.:51:18.

I have my tickets already. So that was a snippet

:51:19.:51:29.

of the new Star Wars film which had its world premiere

:51:30.:51:32.

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

:51:33.:51:34.

here in London tomorrow before it goes on general release

:51:35.:51:37.

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

:51:38.:51:39.

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

:51:40.:51:44.

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

:51:45.:51:48.

from the New Statesman, who thinks that the film

:51:49.:51:54.

is a confirmation of the left-wing values of solidarity

:51:55.:51:57.

and collective action. And we're also joined

:51:58.:51:58.

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

:51:59.:52:07.

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

:52:08.:52:11.

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

:52:12.:52:16.

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

:52:17.:52:20.

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

:52:21.:52:24.

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

:52:25.:52:34.

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

:52:35.:52:40.

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

:52:41.:52:46.

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

:52:47.:52:49.

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

:52:50.:52:53.

themselves, everyone wants to project their own ideology on the

:52:54.:53:02.

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

:53:03.:53:06.

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

:53:07.:53:12.

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

:53:13.:53:15.

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

:53:16.:53:22.

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

:53:23.:53:32.

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

:53:33.:53:37.

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

:53:38.:53:45.

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

:53:46.:53:52.

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

:53:53.:53:59.

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

:54:00.:54:02.

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

:54:03.:54:07.

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

:54:08.:54:13.

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

:54:14.:54:19.

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

:54:20.:54:25.

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

:54:26.:54:33.

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

:54:34.:54:37.

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

:54:38.:54:41.

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

:54:42.:54:48.

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

:54:49.:54:54.

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

:54:55.:54:58.

talk about inheritance, forces within families. This is something

:54:59.:55:03.

they passed on through generations and that is inherited one would

:55:04.:55:06.

associate with Conservatives or Tories. The classic Conservative

:55:07.:55:10.

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

:55:11.:55:15.

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

:55:16.:55:20.

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

:55:21.:55:23.

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

:55:24.:55:30.

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

:55:31.:55:35.

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

:55:36.:55:40.

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

:55:41.:55:43.

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

:55:44.:55:46.

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

:55:47.:55:51.

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

:55:52.:55:54.

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

:55:55.:55:56.

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

:55:57.:55:58.

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

:55:59.:56:00.

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

:56:01.:56:03.

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

:56:04.:56:07.

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

:56:08.:56:10.

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

:56:11.:57:21.

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

:57:22.:57:26.

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

:57:27.:57:30.

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

:57:31.:57:34.

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

:57:35.:57:41.

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

:57:42.:57:50.

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

:57:51.:57:57.

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

:57:58.:58:06.

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

:58:07.:58:10.

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

:58:11.:58:15.

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

:58:16.:58:19.

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

:58:20.:58:24.

Christmassy. Right. Favourite Christmas cards from politicians,

:58:25.:58:28.

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

:58:29.:58:33.

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

:58:34.:58:37.

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

:58:38.:58:39.

the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn.

:58:40.:58:46.

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

:58:47.:58:49.

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

:58:50.:58:53.

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

:58:54.:58:56.

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

:58:57.:58:59.

Jo Coburn with the latest news on the UK's attempts to renegotiate with Europe. Also on the programme, guest of the day Chris Mullin and Vince Cable discuss political pacts and we interrogate the politics of Star Wars!


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