08/01/2016 Daily Politics


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The Government has denied exaggerating a warning


from the medical director of NHS England about the impact


of a possible strike by junior doctors.


We'll hear from the former health minister Norman Lamb.


After the City watchdog drops an investigation into the culture


and practices of banks, have we moved beyond


The United States claims 2,500 Islamic State fighter were killed


in December by coalition air-strikes.


We'll discuss the campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria.


And in the first of a new series of films, we talk to former Home


I always felt as Home Secretary there was some person who worked in


the department whose name you did not know, whose responsibilities you


had no idea of, who was going to destroy your career.


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


of the programme today I'm joined by the Times columnist


Rachel Sylvester, and the Independent's Middle East


First, let's talk about a report in this morning's Independent that


officials working for Jeremy Hunt intervened in the writing


of a warning from NHS England's medical director Bruce Keogh


to the British Medical Association about the risks to patient care


in the event of a major terrorist attack during


Staff from the Department of Health urged Bruce Keogh


to make his warning as "hard-edged" as possible.


"Given it is the Government's ultimate responsibility to do


everything it can to ensure public safety, it is completely right


that the Department expressed a view on communication with the BMA".


Let's talk now to the former health minister, the Liberal Democrat


Norman Lamb, he's in our Norwich studio.


What is wrong with the medical director and the government wanting


to make sure that we'd be covered jawing a strike in the event of a


terrorist attack? I don't have any difficulty with liaison, discussion.


Indeed, when I was in the department there was constant discussion with


NHS England. But one of the principles of the Andrew Lansley


reforms was to create this independent body. And I suspect


you'd probably agree that it does look rather as if an independent


official within NHS England is being leaned on by the government on


something that ultimately very politically sensitive. But he


doesn't say that, he says it was entirely appropriate that the NHS


should coordinate the operational response to the strike threat. Well,


as I say, I have no difficulty with discussion between the department


and NHS England. But what concerns me most about all of this is that it


will probably damage trust further between the government and the


junior doctors. And what's in the interest of everyone is that


actually we get this dispute settled and settled very quickly. That's a


different matter. I understand that but it is a different matter.


There's been a brouhaha about this letter and trying to work out


exactly what's with it. Let me quote the letter, because the relevant


part is the following: "Will the BMA NCO that members will be available


to respond to a major incident whether this is declared because of


a single event or an unprecedented surge in activity? Will junior


doctors who would otherwise have been rostered for duty make


themselves available to respond in a timely way within an hour of a major


incident being declared?" What timely way within an hour of a major


wrong with the medical director request in that information? So if


you remember back to when this was released, it caused an enormous


furore among young doctors, they made clear at that time that of


course they would respond, it is part of their duty as doctors to


respond in the event of an emergency of that sort. And I suppose the


critical thing, Andrew, and you will understand this absolutely, is was


this politics getting involved? Was it actually to just six it up a bit


in order to put pressure on the BMA at a moment of intense pressure in


this dispute? What I'm interested in is finding ways of ratcheting down


the battle tween government and junior doctors to find a settlement


to this dispute rather than making it more difficult. All right, Norman


Lamb, thanks for joining us. Rachel, is there a story in this? We've been


there before with sexed up dossiers and the problem for the government


is that if it looks like they are playing politics with the NHS. It


looked as though they were exploiting the Paris terror attacks.


Surely it is the duty of the government, if it faces a junior


doctors strike, not talking about the ROMs or rights of that, but


facing a strike, is not the of the government to establish that these


junior doctors will, as they almost certainly would, make themselves


available in the event of a terrorist attack? Absolutely, but


the point was whether the letter was really written to be leaked. I think


it is about the politics, playing politics with the NHS, which applies


equally to the BMA. Patients and voters will not forgive politicians


or doctors who look as though they are playing politics. The government


could, or the Department of Health, could just have left Bruce Keogh to


write the letter in his own words in his own way? Yes, I mean this is


presented as being independent and it obviously isn't independent. It


also seems to be exploiting the massacre in Paris in a way, you


know, people were criticised for exploiting 9/11. But if you were the


government you exploiting 9/11. But if you were the


sure that these junior doctors were available in the event of a


terrorist attack given the atmosphere of the time, all talk was


Britain could just as easily be under threat, it was the duty of the


government to make sure that the doctors will turn up. I have no


reason to believe that they wouldn't. My guess is they would


break their strike and they would of course come into the hospitals, but


the government had to establish that. But that does not seem to have


been the purpose of this letter and the publicity given to this letter.


This was to put pressure on the junior doctors. It does not seem to


have been a perfectly reasonable administrative instruction. It seems


to have had a very direct political intent. Just to ratchet things up?


To ratchet things up, and rather naive, knowing that if this got out


they would get a lot of egg on their face, which is what has happened.


The question for today is all about radio phone-ins.


Who is the latest politician to decide to join the likes


of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson and host a regular show on LBC


Is it a) William Hague, b) Alex Salmond,


I guess he wouldn't have to come to the country coming he could do it


down the line. and Patrick will give us


the correct answer. It's pretty easy this week, isn't


it? I'm giving nothing away. That's what we like.


Are the Government and the regulators going soft on banks?


That's the fear among some MPs after the City watchdog announced


that it was shelving a review into banking culture.


The culture many people thought helped create the crisis in 2008.


MPs on the Treasury Select Committee have summoned the bosses


of the Financial Conduct Authority to give evidence later this month


George Osborne says he had no prior knowledge of the decision.


But, more broadly, is the Government shifting its tone


In June shortly after the general election George Osborne made


a speech to top bankers at the Mansion house in London.


In July, in his emergency budget, the Chancellor took further action


by reducing the bank levy and replacing it with a less onerous


Before the election HSBC declared that the bank levy was a factor


in its ongoing deliberation over whether to move its headquarters out


Later that month Martin Wheatley, the chief executive of the City


watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority -


Mr Wheatley was unpopular with city bosses.


For example, in 2014-15, the watchdog raised ?1.4 billion


in fines on banks and other financial companies,


more than in the previous four years combined.


And just last month the FCA revealed that it had shelved plans


for an inquiry into the culture, pay and behaviour of staff in banking.


The chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee,


Andrew Tyrie, said recent decisions by the FCA were giving


the impression of a "weakening of resolve".


George Osborne was asked about that yesterday on the BBC.


That was a completely independent decision that I had no foreknowledge


of. What did you think of it? It's got to be an independent decision


for our banking regulator. But you are the Chancellor and you must have


a view as to whether there should be that sort of investigation into the


way the banks have been behaving? I would say that we did have that


investigation, it was a cross-party parliamentary commission that


included people like the Archbishop of Canterbury on the.


We've been joined from Sheffield by the Labour MP John Mann,


who is a member of the Treasury Select Committee.


And in the studio is the stock broker and market commentator,


And I should just say that we did ask the Treasury for an interview


with a government minister on this, but none was available.


David Buik, is the government changing its attitude to the banking


industry? I don't think so. We have come a long way since John McFall's


committee after the financial crisis. He was the labour on Peter


chaired it under the last Labour government. Yes, keep late a leading


Andrew Svoboda versus role -- he played a leading and


it was a shambles and the government did not seem to know what was going


on. An awful lot of water has passed under the bridge, a lot of changing


personalities. I believe the situation now that Andrew Bailey is


responsible for Prudential banking, he has the great response of the


entire industry, he is a very good communicator. The regulations have


changed. We will not know if they are the right regulations until we


hit the next crisis, we never do. But are we really sure that the


culture has changed all that much? Are we really sure that a lot of the


kind of culture that created the crisis in 2007 and 2008 is still not


there? I absolutely think the changes have been implemented.


Because a lot of this stuff that has come up, the PPI stuff, you will see


a lot of court cases with people serving long prison sentences which


they deserve. Every time I'm told that by somebody in the city,


another scandal erupts. Yes but many of them, with great respect, our


historical, and it takes a long time to bring these people to book. As


far as I'm concerned Tracy McDermott has done a fantastic job. And she


is? She is basically the temporary head of the FCA until somebody is


appointed. She won't mind me saying this, she is around five, and she is


a brilliant Rottweilers. So why doesn't the government give her the


job? She doesn't want it. Maybe she knows something we don't. John Mann,


the Treasury Select Committee is going to bring in the bosses of the


FCA to find out why this enquiry was shelved. What do you think, at the


moment, is going on? Well we know what is going on. In August the FCA


had a huge amount of work ongoing into culture within banks and how to


ensure that the culture was appropriate. In September Martin


Wheatley left and instantly all that work was changed. Not just one piece


of work, but lots of pieces of work that have been going on for some


years. Every single bit of it dropped. In essence the FCA will


have no point for existing. But since the FCA is, we are told, in


independent regular tree authority, why would it dropped this enquiry


into culture, even if the government wanted it? The government has no


part in stopping it. It is my belief the government has interfered. I


think the enquiry will prove that, and hopefully prove precisely how


they have interfered. The FCA has not reached its own conclusions. Its


been told what to do. It's been told by the Treasury. And it's a bit


weaselly for George Osborne to say "I had no prior knowledge". We can


define that as saying, I personally wasn't informed, because the way I


operate is that they don't inform us of those, with a nod and a wink. His


officials knew what was going on and I predict that he wants one of his


senior officials to in fact run the FCA to complete the job for him,


which is to neuter it. So you believe that contrary to what


Mr Osborne told the BBC this week that the government was involved on,


if I put it this way, Leeming, pressuring, the FCA not to proceed


with this inquiry? Directly and specifically, not just generally but


specifically. I think that the Treasury committee inquiry will


uncover how that happened and it is a huge scandal in terms of the


approach of the government, not least because they're saying one


thing publicly, as Osborne did, but doing something else privately. But


also the motives for doing it. And in my view, George Osborne's motive


is to maximise the income he gets back in from selling of shares in


RBS and Lloyds bank. That's what this is about because the economy


isn't going as well as he wants and his projections, which he gets


independently from the OBR, are not going to be that good in his March


budget and later this year. He wants to compensate for that. It is


obviously a very important and serious accusation, that you are


saying the government did lean on this, and it would be fascinating to


see the evidence because the Treasury are saying that isn't what


happened. I'm saying it very specifically. Let me ask you this


question. Given that your inquiry hasn't yet started, your inquiry


into the lack of an inquiry, which is a what you're about to do, how do


you know all this? Because when we've had the FCA in front of us


before we are aware of what their work programme has been and their


priorities and it is not just this one inquiry that they were doing


into culture and the work on that, it's a series of things that they've


dropped. Some things have been announced. I believe there are other


pieces of work that have been dropped that were very important


internally in the FCA that have disappeared, stopped, ended. This is


a huge change in regulation and in essence, what has happened is that


the Prudential RideLondon to, the PR eight, and Mr Bailey, which looks at


the grand picture, is continuing its work but the precise regulation of


individual banks and individual bankers has come to an end. It is


self-regulation now for individual banks. That is a huge approach that


has not been agreed by Parliament and I don't believe there's a


consensus in the that it is right to do that. Let me put that. What is


your response? Obviously, he is privileged information but I don't


get but I think Andrew baby at the Prudential banking authority has a


very close relationship with the FCA and banks have transgressed. Nobody


is trying to get away from that. But they have been rubbished to a degree


where it is care to productive to recovery and I think Andrew Bailey


and his meetings with the FCA have probably decided that the work in


terms of dealing with the behavioural factor should be done


individually by each bank. John Mann can summon whoever he likes, or the


chairman, to ask an investigation and they are highly entitled to do


so but I believe that you deal with one individual bank, each one in


this country, on an individual basis and you will get a much better


result in the long term. Would it not be fair to surmise that the


government has taken fright at the prospect of HSBC moving its


headquarters from London? It is by far the biggest bank even though


most of its operations are not in this country. And indeed we learn


that the FCA is shelving, is not pursuing, action against HSBC over


its Swiss private banking arm, which was such a scandal last year. Again,


that was HSBC. You could put together a case to say that the


Government is kind of in retreat from the banks. You could and it


doesn't look terribly good but what I'm saying to you is that I believe


that within the importance of the Bank of England and all the


regulatory authorities, they have a duty of care to make sure that the


banking fraternity works as well as it possibly can. It is a matter of


wholesale indifference to Douglas and to Stuart Gulliver, the chairman


to the Executive of HSBC, whether they have their head office in


London or not because they can go pretty much anywhere. But it would


be huge reputational damage to the government if it was to lose HSBC.


It is more than that. It would be huge rotation or damage to the city


and on and the City of London Police financial sector contributes about


50% of GDP. I believe this is a pragmatic approach. John Mann and


his Treasury select committee have every right to have the drains up to


see why they've come around to these decisions but I haven't think it has


been done with the best interests of everybody, in the full knowledge


that the FCA will bring transgressors to book in a very


serious manner and we will find this out in the next three to six months


when loads of people are going to go to jail. Unless you are in HSBC's


Swiss banking arm. John Mann, I will give you the final word. David was


exactly right that watch it happen is that each bank is properly


regulated individually. That is exactly the change that is taking


place. That is the regulation that is not going to happen. It is all


going to be generalised - risks to the whole system. Mr Bailey's role


in it and the PRA. The regulator will in essence have no effective


role whatsoever in the future. This is a huge change. We need to expose


that and have a proper debate about whether that decision, inspired by


Osborne and the Treasury, is the right one. Obviously, I don't make


it is. I understand. Very briefly, Wendy you expect to have the FCA in


front of the select committee? It is this month. I also hope and think we


will have Mr Osborne and perhaps other Treasury officials as well.


Come back and taught was after you have these meetings? Will do. --


come back and talk to us. Thank you very much. A developing story that


we will be continuing to cover. The UK continues to fly intensive


armed reconnaissance missions across Syria and Iraq,


but missions in the last few days over northern Iraq, attacking


targets in Mosul and Ramadi. On the 30th of December,


Tornados returned to Ramadi, bombing two machine-gun positions


and assisting coalition aircraft in strikes on IS militants,


as Typhoons assisted the Peshmerga with an attack on a terrorist rocket


launcher team near Sinjar Typhoons and Tornados


continued to patrol the Sinjar area on the last day


of 2015, using Paveways against machine-gun positions


and a group of militants. On New Year's Day, an RAF Reaper


drone supported coalition air strikes in Ramadi,


and on the following day another Reaper used Hellfire missile


near the city of Fallujah. A city of certain iconic status in


whole story. At the beginning of this year,


Typhoons delivered a number of successful attacks in Ramadi


and Tornados and a Reaper drone attacked nine other targets


across northern Iraq. While the RAF continue to fly


surveillance missions over Syria, the last time a British aircraft


struck the country when an RAF Reaper hit a checkpoint


south of IS stronghold We can speak to the BBC's


defence correspondent Before we come onto the British, how


much credence is the defence community giving the American claims


that IS is now suffering real casualties from the air war? I think


there is credence and I think there is also evidence that IS are losing


ground. For example, Ron Mahdi is now in the hands of Iraqi security


forces, albeit there are pockets of resistance. The town has been


booby-trapped and is still difficult to move around but there is no doubt


that the territory it has has shrunk by 40% in Iraq, Tampa sent in Syria.


But on that point of casualties, it is interesting. In December, the


Coalition, the Pentagon essentially, said that 2500 IS fighters had been


killed. Overall, 5000 have been killed in the past year plus a few


months yet they still say that there are still about 30,000 IS fighters


so there are lots of people who aren't sure that this strategy of


killing them is going to work because other people pop up, as


we've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. You take out high-value targets and


mid-level targets and the resort was somebody else who takes their place.


And on the British contribution, in Syria itself, are we right to be


quizzical about what would seem to be the lack of activity of the dish


forces over Syria? I don't think you'd be right to say the RAF has


been doing nothing because they have been very busy carrying out strikes


six days out of seven in Iraq, pretty much every day for the past


month. They have been supporting that operation and fast jets like


tornadoes and typhoons are like the cavalry, helping troops to the


ground. They are helping in a way they are not in Syria. You can ask


the question legitimately when the Prime Minister said ahead of that


quote, just over a month ago, that Britain would make a meaningful


difference, has Britain made a meaningful difference in Syria, and


the answer at the moment does not appear to be yes. I understand that


RAF Reaper is - and we saw an RAF Reaper doing a strike on Christmas


Day - have been looking out for high-value targets. They have seen


high-value targets, I'm told, but they haven't carried out attacks,


they haven't carried a out a Hellfire Missiles fire because there


hasn't been the right time. They do not want to cause a billion


casualties. There has to be the right time when they get those


individuals. -- cause civilian casualties. I think you can say that


reapers have been doing surveillance missions over Iraq. They are looking


out for individuals but they haven't made a difference yet. Thank you


very much for that. Let's discuss this campaign against


Islamic State with my two guests. You have a new book out called Chaos


and Caliphate. You briefed Labour MPs on air strikes in Syria before


the vote in parliament. What did you tell them? Well, I said that I was


all in favour of Islamic State being weakened or eliminated but what was


proposed really wouldn't have much effect. Already, before Britain


became involved, there were far more American air emissions than there


are actual attacks. In other words, there are more aircraft in the sky


looking for targets and they can find targets, so this was never


going to have much military impact. There are successes, like Ramadi, in


a sense. The Iraqi army moves in. But first of all, Ramadi is now in


ruins so we used to have a population of 600000 and these


people are now internally displaced. Some of them will be refugees


abroad. But as inevitable as part of a wall. But particularly this type


of war. It is presented as a victory for the Iraqi army but they have


been, in many cases, a mopping up force after the other side has been


eliminated or weakened by heavy air attack. So air attacks in Iraq have


played a role? Yes, but in very specific circumstances. Also in


Syria. If so-called Islamic State fighters, and they are very well


trained, dig in and fight to the last bullet in fixed positions that


you can identify with ground forces, they are going to suffer heavy


losses. They did this in the siege of Kobane which went on for four


months. And they did lose in the end. But in Ramadi, they haven't


really done that again. They leave 250 350 men behind, they don't fight


the last bullet. They are sort of reverting to being a gorilla force


so it becomes more difficult to target them. Let me ask you this.


Unlike a year ago, or even less, Islamic State is losing ground in


Iraq now. It has lost several cities or towns. The Pentagon, though I


would put a big question mark over their 25,000 figure - I remember the


Vietnam figures, which were fantastical as well do- but even so


we know they have been suffering casualties. There are also


increasing reports that they're suffering increasing defections as


well. Would it not be possible to argue, or at least consider, but


Islamic State is now passed its peak?


Yes, they are being attacked by different forces at different


points. But losing ground? One thing to bear in mind is that the


battlefield is about the size of Great Britain and a lot of this


ground is desert or semi desert. 40% of Syria is step land or does it.


All of this stuff that comes out of the Pentagon, saying 14% lost to


Islamic State territory, it is pretty meaningless. The population


is very concentrated along the rivers and in the cities. So yes,


they are under pressure, yes, they have suffered losses, but all these


very precise figures like 2500 dead, obviously amiss. Take with a big


inch of salt. They have tunnels underground, they do not appear


outside, they do not publish casualties figures. They are an


attempt to produce finite figures that Isis, Islamic State, is not


only passed its peak, but going down, and there really isn't any


evidence for that at the moment. But less than a year ago Islamic State


looked like it was unstoppable. There were even stories it was going


to get to Baghdad at one stage. It doesn't have that situation now,


does it? No. Well there are two things, aren't there? Islamic State


the military force and Islamic State the ideology. The more thing is that


the ideologies shows no signs of being defeated and that seems to be


spreading around the world. So this isn't just about troops on the


ground, winning or who's losing a ground war in or Syria, it's also


about the spread of an awful and dreadful, wicked ideology to Britain


and other countries. And it's being exported and spreading. And you are


seeing young girls being radicalised in their bedrooms in the east of


London. The chief henchman wielding his sword is a British man. And


that's the battle. It is a battle of ideas. At least, if not more than a


battle of guns, I'd say. Rachel talks about the ideology of Islamic


State spreading into other parts of the world, into the Maghreb. How


significant is the Islamic State presents now in Libya? Well, it's


pretty significant. You have seen that they blew up a police academy


yesterday with a vehicle packed with explosives. They killed 65, 100


people. They have spread along the coast from the city of Sirte. That


is now one of their strongholds. They have tried to take over two of


the big oil ports, there. So they have taken over a huge chunk of


territory. Just a slightly different view from Rachel, it is important to


Islamic State that they actually have a functioning state. It may be


under pressure. Because they want the caliphate. And that was not a


name of Al-Qaeda, they did not run a state. They also have an


administration, they conscript locals for soldiers. I do not


believe this 30,000 figure, I think it is far more. From the Western


European point of view, these are terrorist attacks, but what makes


them so different from the old al-Qaeda, this is backed by a state


with money, with resources. Revenue raising powers and so on. If it


fails five times it can try another five times. That is what it is


trying to do in Libya and Yemen, set up ministates. You cover all this in


your book? I do. In good book shops now. Good and bad.


Here at the Daily Politics, we like to spoil our loyal viewers


So sit back, get comfy, and enjoy the first of a new series


where Giles Dilnot has been talking to former home secretaries


about leading one of the great offices of state.


Whitehall, the heart of government.


But do you think you could handle the police, the security services,


counterterrorism and, once upon a time, prisons?


Very little good news crosses the Home Secretary's


Not many people come out of the Home Office with their


It's extremely hard work, which isn't often


You go to bed at night thinking everything is calm


You're woken up at two in the morning and some


It has nothing to do with you but in the


morning, everyone is going to be out for your blood, saying


Jill Rutter was a senior civil servant and is now at the Institute


for Government, and of all Whitehall jobs she thinks this one's


The Home Office used to be a real political graveyard.


That was particularly when it had responsibility for prisons,


which it's lost, but it's still in charge


of things - counterterrorism, police, immigration -


where the big question is, what will go wrong?


So the Home Secretary knows that something will go wrong somewhere


They don't know what and they don't know when.


So one of the key attributes of being Home


Secretary is to be able to manage those risks,


react calmly and not be panicked by headlines into bad


That level of responsibility can be daunting when offered the job.


Even the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, when he asked me to do


the job, started the conversation by saying, "Jacqui, I expect this


And I managed to avoid the F word that Margaret Beckett


used when asked to be Foreign Secretary but I think


something unguarded came out of my mouth at that particular moment.


I'd actually asked him, if at all possible,


It's surprising that one of the things that makes the job


a challenge is the department itself.


Kenneth Baker, who was one of my predecessors and a friend,


he said to me, shortly before the 1997


election, "Listen, Jack,", he said, "Good luck as Home Secretary.


One always felt as Home Secretary there was some


person who worked under a discreet department,


whose name you didn't know, whose responsibilities you had


no idea of, and as you put your head on your pillow at night,


And I think that's probably pretty accurate because in any big


organisation, things go wrong and you don't necessarily know


about them until they go wrong and then


the buck stops with the Secretary of State.


This personal responsibility combines with the seriousness


of the issue into quite a bruising mix.


If you're in another department, there's quite a reasonable chance


that the mistake you make will be in some dark,


hidden corner, where no-one's looking.


There are no dark, hidden corners in the Home Office.


When I was told that I had to release a prisoner


because he was convicted of an offence which didn't exist,


because I had failed to have that offence renewed in the Prevention


of Terrorism Temporary Provisions Order, and what had happened


was an official had left off a little D


from the list, and so of course I go to the House of Commons and explain


that Chummy, who is plainly guilty, is going to be


It is complete incompetence by J Straw.


You just have to accept these things.


Managing the internal structure and culture of the Home Office


There were obvious times when what I wanted to do was a shock


to the system within the department, which


was used to saying, "I don't think, Home Secretary, we really can do


This is outside the purview or the scope of what is possible".


And I never accepted that for a minute.


There were occasions when press officers would phone...


When journalists would phone the press office to ask


what the Home Office line was on whatever


it was and they would be told, "Well, the Home Office line is A,


And on top of trying to push your own agenda,


there is the constant intrusion of crises.


The day I arrived, it was a beautiful, clear,


sunlit day and the permanent secretary, Richard Wilson,


said to me, "Jack, what can you see out in the sky?"


At any moment an Exocet, which you can't see,


will come through the sky and it will land right there and it


will explode unless you're very careful".


Jacqui Smith had to handle a terrorist attack on Glasgow


Airport and be judged on how she coped.


There was a certain element of that which was, "Good grief,


she didn't come running screaming out of Downing Street -


Well, I always knew I was going to hold it together


because I was a well-briefed, confident,


experienced politician at that point.


But that probably did some good in overcoming people's


apprehensions at whether I was going to be able to manage it.


For me, I suppose the thing that came out of the blue


was the advisory council on the misuse of drugs


If anyone remembers anything about my time in office,


they remember that, and I still get not exactly fan mail -


the opposite of fan mail - about that.


But that came out of a clear blue sky.


But Charles Clarke didn't believe in the department


I thought that just about all crises - perhaps not the intruder


in the Queen's bedroom but just about every other crisis -


is, broadly speaking, predictable in general,


And so the job of the Home Office, I thought, was to be


able to predict what might happen, to understand what the risks


were and put preventative strategies in place,


Trying to focus on your political agenda on the one hand and fend off


If you were to describe it graphically,


it's like being in a ship, knowing your destination and having


it vaguely in sight but in the middle of


a tempest, in a storm, and winds which are buffeting


you one way and the other every day, and trying to deal with


them while at the same time reaching your destination.


The only caveat I would put on that is that the destination


Being such an all-consuming job is perhaps


why so few Home Secretaries go on to be Prime Minister.


You ignore the skills and nuances you'd need


You ignore the skills and nuances you'd need to move upwards.


Probably obsessed is not far off the mark with changing things


that I probably didn't devote enough time and energy to the presentation.


It is often a frustration at Number Ten that they feel


the people who are the departmental heads in their words "go native"


and stop thinking about the broader politics and start


thinking about the actual job itself.


And I think that was probably a criticism that could be


And certainly that aspect of what I had to do


as Home Secretary was always with me.


The politics of the moment not always and in some ways,


Isn't it an irony of one of Whitehall's toughest jobs that


for the sake of keeping us all safe, the Home Secretary is worst


Giles Dilnot, with the first instalment of his new series,


So You Want To Be A Secretary Of State.


Rachel, when you listen to all these former Home Secretary 's talking


about the difficulties of the dangers, you go to sleep at night,


who knows what is going to happen when you wake up? Isn't it all the


more remarkable, at least in terms of longevity, that Mrs May,


appointed in 2010, is still Home Secretary in 2015? And still


considered a potential leader of the Tory party. It hasn't destroyed her


career. Absolutely. It is the Department for things that go wrong.


Crime, Law and order, drugs. Things that matter directly to voters, too.


And also safety and security. John Reid one said it is a bit like a


five-year-old football match, everybody chasing after the ball and


everybody forgets another disaster is unfolding on the other side of


the pitch. Everything going wrong on all sides. It is extraordinary that


she has not only survived but is still considered a potential future


prime ministers. What the Home Office covers, it is less than it


used to, it used to include justice as well, there is now a separate


department. It has domestic security, police, security services,


counterterrorism, prisons... I think they come under justice now. But is


the Home Office right to have one department for all of this, do you


think, Patrick, in this sophisticated age? Yes, why not? I


thought they were all looking for a sympathy vote that wasn't quite as


deserved as they imagine. And people do not blame people long term for


any of these disasters, they know that whoever is Home Secretary is


not responsible for them. At the time, yes, there is a great sort of


media coverage, who is to blame and so on. But I don't think that lasts


which is why so many of these people, they've might not become a


Prime Minister, but then most people don't. But long-term there are not


people that live in the imagination of British people as being demonic


or appalling, because I think people are more sensible than that.


What we have with the Home Office now, it is like a ministry of the


interior on continental Europe now. It used to be overarching. Yes, and


the more liberal aspects of law and order, whether it is prisons and


rehabilitation or legal, have gone to the Ministry of Justice so it is


a much more crime, Law and order apartment. Giles will be back with


another report shortly. In five months, people in Scotland will vote


in fresh elections to the Scottish Parliament. The SNP leader and First


Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has pledged she won't make


the campaign all about independence for Scotland. The new party launched


this week is determined to make the relationship between Scotland and


the rest of the UK a central issue in this election. It is called A


Better Britain Unionist Party and one of its founding members is


Stephen Gordon, who joins us from Glasgow. There are already three


Unionists parties in Scotland, the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats,


among them, why do you need another one? I would consider there to be no


particularly Unionist party in Scotland at the moment. We believe


the other parties are nominally Unionist because they purport to


support the union but what we have seen is a development of a range of


policies through the Smith commission and in the latest interim


report, which showed that a lot of concessions have been made in as


much as what we are heading for is devolution max, for which there is


no mandate from the people of Scotland to develop these policies


and we believe that these policies ultimately lead to what has been


called independence light and do not benefit Scotland or the United


Kingdom and, indeed, are further danger to the UK. So none of these


existing Unionist parties, we believe, actually do want to forward


the union. They seem to be courting the SNP agenda. They are part of a


5-part group that developed these policies and the reason we want to


get into politics in Hollywood now is that we don't see anybody


following web of filling that gap and providing a truly Unionist


perspective. Am I right in thinking that you would like to see some


powers that Edinburgh, Holyrood, currently has, returned to


Westminster? No, that is not the case at all. When they had the


initial vote on whether we should have a Scottish Parliament, whether


it should have tax-raising powers, almost a third of the electorate in


Scotland voted against those tax-raising powers. Almost a quarter


voted not to have a Scottish Parliament at all. Since these


things have come in, we've seen that the Scottish Parliament can do great


things and introduce good policies that are good for the people of


Scotland. We would like to see it using what is essentially a budget


surplus to be able to introduce policies in Scotland that I believe


could be leading to good practice across the UK. It could provide


synergies for the UK and to date we have been able to do that. The


problem is that what we have from the Smith commission, based on...


Ultimately, to tell you how the party started, we were all working


for the better together campaign and we could see that the way that the


politicians were heading was actually to take us further down the


road to independence without actually winning the vote and that


is a thing that we had a particular concern about because we didn't


believe that the existing so-called Unionist parties were promoting the


policies that would help us be better together that were actually


promoting policies which actually almost amounted to independence,


which is something that the Scottish people... Can I just clarify,


because I'm not exactly sure what it is you stand for. I know you stand


for the union but I'm not sure... Is it your position that the status


quo, the current division of power between Westminster and Holyrood,


should remain? That, I believe, can deliver the kind of synergies, best


practice and benefits for Scotland that we have currently seen. What we


believe is that the further powers outlined in the Smith commission


report, which is in development, will lead to something that is far


greater than that and could lead to problems within the United Kingdom


because of the lack of uniformity in the way of doing things. We have


seen some powers, we believe, abused by the current Scottish Government


in terms of setting things up like Police Scotland in a way that is


different from the rest of the UK and using those powerless to do


things that take us out of step with the UK in as much as it facilitates


independence. How many seats are you going to win? We have been very


realistic for stock we would be very happy with one list MSP. Ultimately


that would be under the proportional representation system. One is


modest. It is modest but then again... Yes. Thank you.


We've had talk of cauliflowers in the corridors of power -


and warnings of dangerous economic cocktails.


Here's Ellie with the political week in just 60 seconds.


The PM's new year's resolution got off to a flying start with trips


He still wants to ban EU workers from


claiming benefits for four years but says he is open to suggestions.


He also gave his Euro-sceptic Cabinet


They will be allowed to campaign to vote to leave.


Jeremy Corbyn had a January detox with a reshuffle


It took days but in the end he sacked two


frontbenchers, prompting another three to walk out in protest.


By Wednesday, he wanted to talk about


something else, like flood defences, but at PMQs, David Cameron


was determined to have his pound of flesh.


It was a revenge reshuffle so it was going to be


Speaking at PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn revealed why


he's so good at that geography teacher side-eye thing.


It's because he used to be a geography teacher.


And finally, George Osborne warned the UK faces a cocktail of serious


I think the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle is over. You can correct me if I'm


wrong. Where do we go from here with Mr Corbyn and his team? I just


thought watching that, each party has done its worst this week. The


Tories' Europe divisions are up there in lights and Labour is back


to questions on whether it can handle national security and be


trusted to protect the nation, and most basic fundamental issue that


voters care about. I thought the sacking of Pat McFadden was just an


extraordinary way of demonstrating, by Jeremy Corbyn, that he's not


going to win credibility on that. And we have Mr Livingstone on this


programme, slaps down quite quickly by Labour headquarters, but raising


the issue of whether we should remain members of native or stop in


the last election Labour work not trusted on leadership and stop they


have now added the economy and security into that mix. Where do you


see Mr Corbyn? It seems to me that he has strengthened his position in


the party. He sat some people. There were a lot of people I had never


heard of being replaced by a lot of other people I had not heard of. But


maybe that is my mistake. Maybe he has strengthened his position there.


Clearly it is a mess but I thought that the coverage of it, of "This is


a mess of messes", I don't think people really care how long it


takes. Did he set out to fire Hilary Benn? I'm sure he did and he wasn't


able to because he would have lost too many other members of the Shadow


Cabinet and I think Patrick is absolutely right - he may have


strengthened his position in his party, or asserted some kind of


authority, but he has weakened his position with the electorate, which


is, in the end, what matters with political parties and it was totemic


of whether or not Labour is really there to win power or as a protest


group and I think Jeremy Corbyn really is showing he's on the


protest group side of really is showing he's on the


rather than the potential government side. We shall take it from there.


If there are any more Shadow ministers or government ministers


who would like to resign, you know where we are.


Now it's time to find out the answer to our quiz.


The question was, which politician has decided to join the likes


of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson and host their own radio phone-in?


I think we can count at Donald Trump but who is it? It is Alex Salmond.


Absolutely right. Yes, the former first minister


of Scotland Alex Salmond is the latest politician


to willingly put himself in front of the microphone and take


on the callers at LBC. That is a London talk station but


can be heard throughout the country via satellite.


He says he's going to stop biting his tongue and start shooting


from the hip, which is a surprise to those of us who've been listening


Let's have a look at him promoting the new show, reading out some


Mr Paul Robinson says, "Alex Salmond has Fuzzy Felt eyebrows".


"Wish I had a device that instantly zaps all


sound from the radio whenever Alex Salmond's irritating


"If Alex Salmond was chocolate, it'd be dark and bitter".


I actually like plain chocolate Bounty, myself.


That was Alex Salmond promoting his new slot on LBC.


It'll be taking place during Iain Dale's drivetime show,


Do you have any idea what you have unleashed tear? I think we do,


actually. He is loving the commercials. I think is going to be


natural. He has done a lot of phone-ins. Boris Johnson and Nigel


Farage are doing at the moment. Nick Clegg was the first but probably is


the most famous. We are hoping to do for Alex Salmond what we did for


Nick Clegg, reduce the party from 57 to eight seats. But he's a natural


broadcaster. He is a natural broadcaster and he is going to have


a view on anything. He shoots from the hip and I think he is going to


be quite entertaining. He kind of gives the impression that he is now


off the leash. He is free of the reins. But he is actually the


party's foreign affairs spokesman in the House of Commons so he could


have a view hostages to fortune. He is but he also asks more questions


in the House of Commons than I think any other MP on a whole range of


issues so he is going to have an opinion on any thing. He says he is


going to take the caller Matt Busby is back to the House of Commons,


rather like Jeremy Corbyn does,. -- the callers' views.


Somebody said on Twitter the other day that LBC's Monica is leading


Briton's conversation because we are a national station now, not just


London. But I think we are going to change it for this half-hour and be


caught leaving Briton's conversation. You might confuse


people about the European Union. Are you going to tune in? Certainly. I


think it will be great fun. It is a really interesting way for


politicians to reach out to ordinary voters and somehow bypass all of us


mainstream media, as Jeremy Corbyn likes to call us. But I think it can


work quite well for them. I thought Nick Clegg and Boris Johnson had


both benefited from doing it. In the end, the so-called gaffes don't


matter if people look like human beings. We like to think we know


what questions should be asked of politicians but the general public


often have a much better view of what should be asked.


You going to find a few minutes? There's a sort of menacing gravitas


that he has. You always feel like he is about to lash out. When does it


start? Wednesday at 4pm on LBC. We will look forward to it.


Thanks to Rachel, Patrick and all my guests.


I'll be back on BBC One at 11am on Sunday with the Sunday Politics,


When I will be joined by the shadow education secretary, Lucy power.


Jo will be here on BBC Two on Monday with more


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