26/04/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Junior doctors in England have begun their first all-out strike


As doctors take to the picket lines, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says


he's not itching for a fight but won't be backing down.


We'll talk to former Health Secretary Ken Clarke.


Voters in Scotland head to the polls in just over a week's time -


we'll have the latest from the campaign trail and ask


if the SNP have delivered on their promises.


Jeremy Corbyn's support for the EU is backed by the vast


majority of his MPs - but one backbencher claims it


could cost the Labour Party swathes of votes.


And Big Ben is to fall silent while the famous clock


tower is repaired - the experts say it's suffering


from everything from subsidence to asbestos to rats.


Historian Dan Cruickshank will be here to tell us more.


Regular viewers will know that in recent months we've been joined


by the leaders of Scottish Labour, the Scottish Conservatives


Well today, last and by no means least, we're joined by a former


Scottish National Party leader - and now MP - Alex Salmond.


First today, jurors deciding what caused the deaths of 96


Liverpool fans in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster have


delivered their conclusions after an inquest lasting two years.


A crush in an overcrowded standing-only section


at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield at an FA Cup semifinal


match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest


Families celebrated after the inquest. It was the longest case


heard by a jury in British legal history.


It concluded that the Liverpool supporters were unlawfully killed.


The jurors also found that police error caused or contributed


to a dangerous situation at the match, while the behaviour


of fans did not contribute to the dangerous situation


We are looking at these pictures, the emotional scenes, as you would


expect, from the families. They have waited a long time for this day.


What are your thoughts? It is an extraordinarily emotional day. Just


imagine, these people have been campaigning for 27 years to get the


justice, the declaration that has been made today that their relatives


and loved ones were not responsible for their own deaths. What has made


that whole process quite disgraceful has been the systematic cover-up


that took place to try to disguise what really happened, the tendency


to lump the blame on the fans. Now, in that sense, those women and men


who have been studying this for two or three years have indicated the


campaign. That would mean a lot to the families over such a long


period, where there were indications that the fans might have contributed


in some way to the disaster. And also that jury has said that there


were various groups of people, bodies, that were responsible in


some way or may have contributed to that disaster. Will that be enough?


As I understand, English procedure, the verdict of unlawful death puts a


presumption on the Crown Prosecution Service to bring forward criminal


proceedings. It would be unlikely on that basis for this to be the end of


the process. However, I think it must mark a period, I would imagine


that these relatives are driving -- they're driving wish over this last


quarter of a century has been to clear the names and reputations of


loved ones who died. In that sense, this is a position of closure, but I


suspect that, given the vigour of the verdict, and we must accept it,


people had studied this for two years, they have gone into this in


very, very close detail, given the vigour of the verdict... I had to


say, I am really interested in an emphasis shifting to the cover-up.


We know that hundreds of police statements were falsified, we know


there are implications that this went right to the top of the


political process, there must now be a focal point on how that happened.


I cannot read the minds of the jury, that is inspect people studying bat


and knowing the extent of the misinformation that came out is one


of the reasons for the vigour of the verdict delivered. The Independent


Police Complaints Commission will investigate the claims that you have


spoken about, certainly, they cover-up, and there will be


political statements over the coming days?


Now, the first all-out doctors' strike in the history of the NHS


At 8am this morning thousands of junior doctors walked out of both


routine and emergency care in protest at the imposition


It's the first time services including A, maternity


and intensive care have been hit by the dispute,


although NHS bosses believe they have plans in place to ensure


patients needing emergency care are safe.


Nearly 13,000 routine operations and more than 100,000 appointments


have been postponed to free up other staff.


The stoppage ends at five o'clock this afternoon,


with further all-out strike action due tomorrow.


Well, to find out what's happening on one of the picket lines we can go


now to our correspondent Smitha Mundasad outside


We can see junior doctors and their supporters behind you, what has it


been like this morning? I was on this exact spot of three weeks ago,


and there are a lot more supporters today, a lot more junior doctors, it


is a lot more noisy. As you can hear, lots of cars beeping their


horns. The message from the junior doc as is the same, they do not


think this contract is fair, they have told me that they have walked


out in clear conscience because they know what they are doing, they say,


at least, is for the better good at the NHS, and there are senior staff


could bring their jobs today. Inside the hospital, the chief executive


told me that the accident and emergency is less busy than usual,


even though there are lots of senior staff who have been trained up to do


some of the junior jobs that they may have forgotten how to do. But he


also told me that he thinks that, perhaps, opinions are changing and


the mood is changing. 122 junior doctors could have gone on strike,


23 cross the picket line and went to work. That is a much higher


proportion than the previous strikes. He wonders whether perhaps


some junior doctors feel that this is a step too far.


Another thing he told me is that he wonders about the consultant


support. It has been very good so far, they have been willing to do


all the jobs that juniors have not done today, but he will how long the


goodwill will last. And ultimately, he says, the fact that juniors are


routed to date, they have walked out of emergency care, out of the most


pressurised areas of the hospital, like intensive care, maternity care


and crash teams, suggests that most sites have not done quite enough to


stop this dispute. He is urging them to go back around the table, because


patients are coming to him saying, I took the day off work to get my


planned operation that has now been postponed. Saying all this, he says


that at his hospital things are going as planned, very few


operations, around 40, have been postponed. Actor you in the studio.


Thank you, Smitha. Well, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt


is showing no signs of backing down in the dispute with junior doctors


in England - here he is No union, however powerful,


however good they are at eliciting public sympathy, has the right


to stop an elected government implementing the promises


that we made in our manifesto. And we know, and the public know,


that you can't choose which day of the week you get ill,


and that is why it's incredibly important that we do


have a seven-day NHS, that we have even, high-quality


care across all days. That is what we want to do,


and frankly I think it's what most doctors want to do as well,


which is why the right thing for the BMA leadership


would be to sit down, to negotiate, talk sensibly,


and not to have these wholly unprecedented


and unnecessary strikes. And for more information


and analysis of the issues in this dispute, go to the BBC News


website at We did ask to speak to someone


from the Department of Health However, fear not -


because we're joined by the next best thing,


former Health Secretary Ken Clarke. Wellcome to the programme. Fear and


trembling in the heart of the viewers! I am sure. Last night, one


Government sores compared this to the miners' strike, saying it is a


political strike, like the miners' strike, it has to be defeated. Does


that help a situation like this? The God I don't know who said that. I


don't see it in that way. It is a disaster and a tragedy that the


health service is being faced by this. I don't understand why however


many junior doctors taking part are taking part, they are all nice,


intelligent young people... They can't all have been misled by the


BMA. The only thing on the table is a pay claim. The BMA has never


actually had a strike like this ever. Every previous Health


Secretary has had battles with them. I had great battles, they did not


threaten me with a strike. They are striking over a pay claim which they


want waited to make it more expensive at the weekends, so most


NHS trusts will not be able to afford to go toward seven-day


working. How do you withdraw urgent care in support of that? All those


other stuff about supporting the NHS and so one, you can talk about that


with them, but it is nothing to do with this strike. We will talk about


that in a moment, but we're in a position, as you say, it is


historical to have junior doctors on strike, it never happens in your


time, and certainly not an all-out strike. Is that the fault of the


Government? Doctors would not have withdrawn, only a handful would have


contemplated withdrawing urgent treatment in my day. They held names


that Nye Bevan, they held names at me, they said I would not take


medical advice, they never threatened ordinary strike action.


It has been escalated by the sort of language that the Government has


used. It is a source, we cannot say who it is, accusing the BMA and


junior doctors of blackmailing the Government and trying to bring it


down will only fuel the anger. It is a language that I don't think Jeremy


Hunt users, he never has, and I don't use it. What we cannot do is


put money into paying a pay claim back into militant action when the


patient services need money and the service needs to be developed to go


to a seven day basis. This strike is about more money and many paid in a


way that means not many of them will have to work at weekends. You


clearly disagree, but there is a strong argument saying that the


junior doctors have moved the central argument of this dispute


from their perspective. They said it was about compensating pay on a


Saturday if they were going to move to a seven-day week, now it seems to


be a much broader issue but, in their mind, saving the NHS. The


Government cannot back down about? Kennel Club, a hugely controversial


Health Secretary, never had a strike, but Jeremy Hunt said this is


about who governs. That macro Kenneth Clarke, a hugely


controversial Health Secretary. This is about whether a Health Secretary


can achieve consensus with health service staff. In Scotland we are


moving to a seven-day health service by consensus, without tearing up the


junior doctors' contract is. If it is possible for the Scottish Health


Secretary to do but, why is it not possible for Jeremy Hunt to do it


without talking like it is a huge constitutional crisis. The only


crisis is in his department and his management bid. Isn't that the key,


it is the imposition element that has forced these doctors onto the


street? In Scotland they have more money, they pay everyone more for


weekend working, the service delivered to patients is not as good


as in England. That is not true. They and the Welsh have resisted


reform over the years. Here, they have been negotiating for three


years. It is a filibuster. They have no intention of settling. They made


it quite clear, they are now at the last point. Unless we can to workers


made so expensive that the demands upon junior doctors to do it will be


fewer and further between -- unless weekend work is made so expensive.


The service needs a seven-day work, it needs money spent on services.


But it is trying to get people on site, trying to get consensus. Did


you think using the language of imposition, we will force this


contract on you, before there was willingness to negotiate, was wise?


Going back to the 1980s, I have had disputes with practically every


union known to man... Is that a badge of honour for you? The


politics of the 70s and 80s was about industrial relations. The


reality... I never had a situation like this. That is exactly the


point. If you had been Health Secretary you would have had the


sense to see the cross-party of their earlier this week as a


potential way to have a pilot study. You out of date about the Scottish


health service in every respect. Let's take the four a la target in


accident and emergency, the Scottish health service performs better than


England. You missed your own targets. Because they are more


exacting. On the former -- on the four our target, the Scottish health


service is performing substantially better than the English, which is


one of the key aspects at the heart of it. Perhaps this is because the


junior doctors and other stuff are more motivated in Scotland because


they do not have a Government trying to claim the arrow gauged in a


campaign to bring down the Government.


Is it appropriate that the Scottish Government has been trying to


recruit English doctors to work during the disagreement? I'm just


off the picket line at Saint Thomas Hospital, and there were a number of


junior doctors on that picket line talking about, well, if this Health


Secretary does not see sense, get around the table and come to an


agreement, they will be looking to go to Scotland or Australia or


elsewhere. That should be an example to the people of England, who are


firmly behind the junior doctors at the present moment, that you can do


things in a better, more consensual way, and if we can do it in


Scotland, they can do it in England as well. It is entirely reasonable,


if junior doctors are being treated in that way by Jeremy Hunt, that


they will look elsewhere. Or they are just resisting the reform that


Ken Clarke is talking about. Is there a feeling in government, I


know you are not in the government, but fingers being crossed that


public opinion will turn against the doctors? It is still in favour in


terms of the majority of people polled, but fewer than before the


all-out strike. Is that what you are banking on? I think it will happen,


and the majority of junior doctors will not take part in the strike,


not withdraw urgent and emergency care. I do not think that is


necessarily a helpful development, because Jeremy and the Government


are trying to take the militancy and bitterness out of this. Come on,


Ken! By making clear there are concessions, by making clear that


they will attack the wider things that are being talked about on the


picket lines, their working conditions, reducing hours, no-one


is getting a pay reduction, 75% getting a pay rise. But one is faced


with this rather baffling believe that they are saving the NHS.


Because both sides have hardened their lines, and everybody seems to


be entrenched. The junior doctors and the public will be low weight if


they make it so hard. I am putting the question, it would be difficult


to prove this, if somebody loses their life today, that it was down


to the strike, but public opinion could well slide away from junior


doctors. I and I come in today from the BBC health correspondent, who


must know something about it, there is an argument that things will be


safer because the emergency situation is being covered by more


senior doctors. As of today, a majority of junior doctors are on


strike and a majority of the public in England are supporting their


case. I will tell you why it is, because the public know the first


all-out strike in history, the first strike for 30 years in the National


Health Service, there must be some really important reason that has


driven these people, who have committed their lives to the welfare


of others, to engage in this sort of activity, as opposed to a fly by


night Health Secretary who was causing chaos. He says he is going


to stay. He says it is his last big job in government, let's hope so!


They are taking a firm stand on something that is pricking


consciences on the picket line, but where does it end? If there was the


idea of an in Devon and strike, and it has been touted, surely the


Government could not survive that? -- indefinite. The idea that


militancy keeps rising, talking about a permanent withdrawal, it is


not clear that it would be a permanent withdrawal, continuous


withdrawal of emergency and urgent care. The idea that this will not


damage patients, patients will not mind having operations cancelled,


those members of the public who say they support the junior doctors, as


in most strikes, and in the days we used to have strikes all the time,


they just want the Government and the health service to run normally.


Why can't the Government sort it out? The idea that you give away to


strike with a pay claim, then half the other staff. -- staff will


threaten militant action for the same generous terms that the junior


doctors are trying to demand. You cannot wait until the public finally


realised that this money is being, you know, taken away from patient


services to buy off militant industrial action. They are nice


people, junior doctors, they should be prepared to sit down and talk


about what they actually think is better for the National Health


Service and patients. Meanwhile, the strike is going head and will resume


tomorrow. Thank you very much, Ken Clarke.


And it's all about the SNP's latest election billboard.


"Don't just hope for a better Scotland, vote for one."


But several people have pointed out that the slogan is almost identical


to the one used by another famous political figure.


Was it Donald Trump, George Galloway,


Margaret Thatcher or Lyndon B Johnson?


Alex Salmond will give us the correct answer.


Now, in recent weeks in Scotland, we've seen one party leader


riding a buffalo, another on a children's slide,


It can only mean one thing - yes, the elections


to the Scottish Parliament are just around the corner,


and our Adam's been on the campaign trail to find out more.


The Scottish Parliament now has powers to vary the rate


and threshold for income tax, and so tax has become a massive


issue in the election campaign being fought


The SNP is running a presidential-style campaign


I've just been handed a Nicola Sturgeon stress ball.


It doesn't look much like her, though, does it?


She's stressing that she won't pass on the tax cut for people


on the 40p rate that George Osborne is doing down south.


I'm going to get my photo with you, though.


How come in the general election you said you wanted a 50p rate


of tax, but you're not going to introduce one now,


and I argued that across the UK in the general election.


We don't have powers in Scotland over tax avoidance on income tax,


so if we introduce it just in Scotland, there is a danger


that we end up losing money from it, because people will perhaps


take their income out of Scotland or transfer it into,


Labour's Kezia Dugdale has shaken things up with a radical range


of tax pledges designed to outflank the SNP from the left.


Firstly, we will reintroduce our top rate of tax, a 50p rate,


which will ask those people who earn over ?150,000 a year


But that alone is not enough to stop the cuts.


So that's why we're advocating using the basic rate of income tax,


putting that up by 1p, 1p higher than George Osborne and the Tories.


And when he's not manhandling people's pets,


the Lib Dems' Scottish leader is eyeing a tax rise, too.


What you get with the Liberal Democrats is a big investment


in education, with a penny on income tax.


But what is terribly disappointing in this campaign


is the timidity and caution of the SNP.


They've been banging on about more powers for decades,


and what do they do when they get those more powers?


To make things a little bit more confusing,


the Scottish Greens are suggesting a new 60p rate,


and they want to split the basic rate in two.


It's not enough just to say the basic rate


would go up or down a bit - we want to break it into two,


an upper and a lower band, so that people on a below full-time


average annual salary save money from their tax bill,


and those who can afford to pay more do so.


Keeping it simple, that lover of comedy photo ops -


the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson,


who wants taxes to stay the same across the UK.


Except her opposite number in Cardiff


The Welsh Conservatives can take their own decisions


about what they do, in the same way that we do here.


We would love to, over the medium-term -


and I have made that plain - aspire to a tax cut for Scots


But what we're seeing at this election is that has


to be earned, those sorts of tax cuts have to be earned.


We saw just yesterday from the labour market statistics


that we have higher unemployment in Scotland, you've got lower growth


in Scotland, we need to be able to grow our economy,


the amount of money that's coming into the pot,


and then we can look at tax cuts for people.


They know all about comparing Scotland and England


at this shopping centre, because it's right on the border.


We're British, I know we're Scottish,


that we should pay British taxes, there shouldn't be a difference.


Because people will go from Scotland down to England,


I'm thinking of moving back to England if it happens.


Are you? Yeah.


I don't know, it's just like we're paying more tax


I don't mind the taxes being higher, the 1p or whatever it is,


because we need it for the schools. We need to invest in the NHS.


If you put the rates up, or taxes up, if the money


is going to good places like NHS, schools etc, I don't mind,


because they're desperately needing it, you know?


You're happy to pay more? I would.


where income tax could end up being really quite different.


Unless the SNP win, and then it'll only be a little bit different.


That was Adam, and we're joined now from Glasgow


by the BBC's Scotland editor, Sarah Smith.


Sarah Beck, income tax, is that the central battle ground? It certainly


is, because it is the first time the Scottish Parliament will have the


ability to vary interest rates and can make them different from the


rest of the United Kingdom, and there is a clear difference between


the political parties, as you heard, about the policies of what they


would do with income tax. The one thing that seems certain is that


there will be different rates being paid by people here than in the rest


of Britain. What about the battle for second place, if you like, if we


look at Labour and the Conservatives? How is it playing


out? Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, takes an


interesting line. She says vote for her for a stronger opposition, she


is not claiming she will be the First Minister, she wants to come


second and will be a stronger opposition if she is the Leader of


the Opposition to the SNP. She is taking it for granted that the SNP


will win. We would never do that, because although the polls can get


the margin of error on, the SNP are 30 points shared in the election. It


seems likely they might form the next government, which is a problem


for Kezia Dugdale of Scottish Labour. She has to say she is


fighting to become First Minister, that there will be a Labour


government, but it does not seem entirely credible. Ruth Davidson may


be onto something, saying vote for a strong opposition, rather than


saying you can and sit Nicola Sturgeon. There must be some cracks


in the SNP campaign. They are being put aside for being too timid on a


income tax policy. They have fought for decades for more powers in the


Scottish Parliament, and now they have the power to vary income tax


is, they are just talking about not passing on a tax cut for higher


earners. Labour are saying they would put 1p on basic rate, they say


they want to grasp the new powers of the Scottish Parliament and put them


into effect. Well done, Sarah Smith, for withstanding the wind! You're


being too timid, Alex Salmond, you have never used the powers you have


a nine years, why not? Well, it was progressive, because we did not have


the power to vary the income tax of the better off without changing the


income tax of the lower paid. The SNP divided the House of Commons


over the tax cut for the better off, one half of why Ian Duncan is it


resigned. The Labour Party abstained on that boat on the 22nd of March,


and it is quite right and very exciting that Nicola Sturgeon will


now have the power not to pass on that tax cut to the better off so


was that money can be invested in public services. It would be


ludicrous to take the position that we are going to tax the lowest paid


in the country with an extra penny on the income tax, that is not an


alternative to austerity - that is austerity. Let's just go through


some of the key policy areas, the SNP launched their manifesto in


Edinburgh last week with Nicola Sturgeon, calling at her job


application for the post of First Minister.


But the SNP have been in power in Holyrood for nine years now.


So what is their record in government?


On education, the SNP have protected free university tuition


But critics point to cuts to further-education colleges


as evidence that their record on education isn't all rosy.


On healthcare, the SNP have scrapped prescription charges and protected


free personal care for those aged 65 and over who need it.


But they have regularly failed to meet


their own A target on waiting times.


The SNP government have frozen council tax rates


But they originally planned to replace this with local income tax -


those hardest hit by unfair Tory welfare cuts.


But the Scottish Labour Party and Scottish Lib Dems say


they could give public services a boost


Writer, well, let's get back to that issue. Why don't you do what people,


even in that film, were demanding, which is to raise income tax. You


said we have protected free education, we introduced free


education in Scotland. We scrapped the backend Jewish and fees. I was


First Minister at the time, I remember. -- we scrapped the


backends tuition fees. But these are not the target set by the Scottish


Government. The original target was 95%, as we were improving things we


set the target of 98%, so the only reason we have not met the target is


we increased it. It was too ambitious and you have not held to


it. We have increased performance by 8%. The reason the Scottish


Government is popular, and that Nicola Sturgeon is outstandingly


popular, is that people know about. Just say we have not met its target


is to ignore the fact that A times are eight cent better than when we


came to target. If you state a target, that is what we will judge


you against. Bad is perhaps the BBC judgment, I am more interested in


the judgment of the Scottish people. The SNP has a positive approval


rating. Which other government do you know of, nine years into office?


About it is not factually wrong, I accept that you have improved the


target, but you improved it, you missed it, we have judged you on


that. I will come to education. The


statement about free education was slightly misleading, by normal BBC


standards. Which we uphold to the highest level! Except during the


referendum. You could not resist it. In terms of


tuition fees, has the focus on not charging for tuition fees damaged


other areas of education in Scotland? Lots of the statistics


show that people from poorest backgrounds have suffered because of


closure of further education colleges, reduction in teaching


grants. I will say why this is wrong. The focus is on the number of


places, but the way you measure students in colleges in Scotland is


not by places, it is by full-time equivalent teaching, like-for-like.


If you were to change four two our courses are weak into one full-time


course, that is not four courses going into one course, it is more


teaching. The SNP has upheld the full-time equivalent teaching time.


Let's look at the numbers of students. You are looking at the


number of students, we are looking at courses, this is a different


thing. These figures are from the Educational Institute Of Scotland,,


since you came to power in 2007 and wanted to increase the number of


students, the number of students in Scottish colleges has fallen by 152


-- 150 2000. -- 150 2000. 92% of schoolchildren in Scotland go onto


higher educational work. We have a higher level of achieving that than


the rest of the UK. And a larger number of students in higher


education. And the high ever number of students in certified and degree


level courses. These are the statistics that matter. People in


Scotland no... It is not an interpretation. These are respected


institute 's judging you. Families in Scotland know the difference it


makes to have free education based on ability as opposed to paying


?9,000 a year and labelling future generations with this huge burden.


Do you accept that further education colleges have suffered? It has


benefited certain students, I will put this to you... Effie colleges,


we have colleges in Scotland with degree courses, which benefits


colleges as well as universities -- FE colleges. They say that the


priority of the Scottish Government to prioritise full-time FE causes


has had impact on the part-time courses. Children from disadvantaged


backgrounds have lost out, the figures are there. I don't accept


that, the point of full-time and degree level courses, higher


education courses, pursued in colleges as well as universities, it


gets people into full-time employment. That is why the record


of full-time employment for young people in Scotland is so good in


comparison with the rest of the UK. Do you access there are fewer


college places than they used to be? -- do you accept? Everybody watching


this will understand that two four or five hour courses is entirely


different from the degree level course. That is one course, but it


might be far more valuable for people to get recognised


qualifications to get into work as opposed to having limited two or


three hour courses. The Scottish Funding Council says that your


record on poorer students at University, despite having free


Jewish and the Scottish students, -- despite having free tuition for


Scottish students... We are committing to new legislation which


is going to make sure that universities respond to the need to


have people from deprived backgrounds. Which is something you


have not managed to do. The number of students from deprived


backgrounds is improving in Scotland, but not at the rate that


we would like it to happen. Let's return to taxes. You and many of


your colleagues have said you want to protect Scottish public services


from Tory cuts at Westminster, why not give public services like


schools and hospitals, as the lady said in that film, they need more


money, use your tax-raising powers? The proposals put forward will raise


an additional 2000 million pounds over the course of the next


parliament, which will go into public services. But you do not


tackle austerity I taxi the lowest paid in the country, as Labour


propose. If you are introducing taxation, you need to make sure it


is fire, you do not give tax cuts to the better off. Tax avoidance sounds


like an excuse, Alex Hammond. The report suggested that if we did that


in Scotland without the powers that Nicola identified and demonstrated,


we would end up with less money. Nobody imposes a higher tax to end


up with less revenue. You will not do it at the top, you say you do not


want to do it at the bottom... We are doing it at the top end by not


giving the tax cut that George Osborne introduced in the Budget,


which the SNP voted against and the Labour Party sat on my hands. Let's


look at other potential areas for raising money to boost public


services, which people seem to want. This idea of replacing the council


tax with a local income tax, it was in both your 2007 and 2011


manifestos, why has it not happened? The 2011 manifesto committed us to a


study. You are right about the 2007 manifesto. In 2007 we found we could


not get it introduced with the powers that be had. Nicola has


followed through on the 2011 manifesto. She has proposed to


change the nature of council tax to increase the number of bands, so


that higher paid people in better off properties pay more than people


across the spectrum. The -- you have frozen the council tax. Every single


penny of that, perhaps to an over degree, has been dampened sated by


central government. Local authorities in Scotland, who are


hard-pressed, have done in comparably better than local


authorities in England and Wales. They also say they have been starved


of cash and have had to struggle. The garden let's accept that it is a


tight spending regime imposed by Tory and coalition governments, and


Labour before them, but local authorities in Scotland have been


much better funded than their counterparts in England and Wales.


You said that the referendum was a once in a generation boat, will you


rule out another referendum in the next five years? It is not up to me,


it isn't too Nicola and the Scottish people. Nicola has identified that


if we were dragged out of the EU against the will of the Scottish


people, that would be a change in the tube and circumstances


justifying another pole. -- a change in circumstances justifying another


poll. Our position in Europe is being jeopardised by London


decisions. In the general election last year, Nicola said explicitly,


again on the BBC, and the people of Scotland, hearing that commitment,


returned 56 out of 59 Scottish constituencies as SNP members. What


happened to the other three? More on that when we get there!


Now, as we've been discussing, next week on the 5th of May,


voters will be going to the polls all over the UK, including at 125


Councils and councillors can come in all shapes and sizes,


and today we're going to have a look at some of the most remarkable.


West Somerset has the smallest local council by population,


Birmingham has the largest council population,


Of the 10,399 candidates standing for election, 66%,


The average age of a councillor is over 60 years old,


The youngest councillor in England is Liberal Democrat Isabelle Murray,


who was just 18 years old when elected to Seaford Town


So that was the youngest, but let's now speak


He is, we believe, the longest-serving borough


He's called Godfrey Olson, he's standing down


after 61 years of service on Eastleigh Borough Council,


and he joins us now from our Southampton studio.


Welcome to the programme. As we said, godly Olsen, you have sat on


Eastleigh Borough Council since 1955. How much has local and changed


since you were elected? Dramatically. When I first joined


Eastleigh Borough Council it was a relatively small area just


comprising of three towns, chance that, Eastleigh and Bishopstown in


the 1974 reorganisation it expanded to more than double its size and now


has a population of over 100,000. You are not standing for real action


next week, why are you stepping down now? I decided that I had as to the


electorate of the war but I represent -- I had asked the


electorate of the water that I represented throughout that time


enough to support me, now it was time for me to take a rest and give


Cindy at the opportunity. You have clearly enjoyed it, otherwise you


would not have done it for all this time. You have been a councillor,


mayor three times, you also worked as an estate agent. How did you


manage it all? With difficulty. I have always lived by a council


diary. It was imported to me to always be at the council meetings,


and I managed to fulfil that, fortunately, and I enjoyed


representing the people that had the confidence to elect me. You were


awarded an OBE in 1990 for your work within the community. What did you


think has been your greatest achievement, all the thing you


remember most? A number of things, but I suppose when taking my mayoral


years, my second mayoral year, I decided I would try to raise money


to help people with special needs. The next year was the Queen's Silver


Jubilee. So we decided to set up a committee to raise money to build an


activity centre for people with special needs. We managed to succeed


and have it open, Princess Margaret came to open it just before the end


of the Queen's Silver Jubilee year. That still exists and caters for


many hundreds of people with special needs who can go and enjoy


activities in the open air, sailing or canoeing, using the country park


in which the centre is situated. Let me ask Alan Salmond, do you think


you could serve the 61 years? -- Alex Hammond? It is 22 years since


Godfrey was recognised for his work and he has done another couple of


decades since. Whatever medals they have for local councillors, he


should get a platinum medal. An amazing record, well done. Enjoy


your retirement, you have owned it and deserved it. Did you want to say


something, it sounded like he wanted to say something? I was just going


to tell you about the restoration of an Eastleigh local building. We will


have to say that for another day, but thank you.


Now, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is backing a vote to stay


in the EU at the referendum on the 23rd of June.


But one of his MPs, the former Welfare Minister Frank Field,


has used a speech this morning to accuse him of writing the second


longest suicide note in Labour's history.


He said traditional Labour voters


had suffered most from Britain's EU membership:


They have been on the receiving end of the numbers, 5.3 million people,


newcomers to this country since Tony Blair and Gordon Brown


They are the ones that have actually suffered with pressure on their


wages declining, they have been the ones who find the queues


for housing have become longer, and they are the ones


who feel most acutely that they cannot choose schools


And he's with us now to tell us more.


Frank Field, since Jake Cole won the leadership, there has been a lot of


disunity, or at least reported disunity in the Labour Party, but


Europe is an issue where you could say there is unity, really, bar a


few MPs. So why are you trying to create this unity when it is a


necessary? I think his position is secure, I think this talk from some


members of the Parliamentary Labour Party about overthrowing is absurd,


and he will remain secure until those who wish to have him replaced


find an alternative leader. The reason why I spoke today was that if


you look at, leaving out what has happened to our vote in Scotland! In


England, since the heyday of Tony Blair, we have lost well over four


million votes, well over 3 million people have moved to a distension,


and Ukip has had, equally, an increasing vote of 3 million. --


moved to add -- abstention. They crossed over because they felt they


had a Labour Party that did not represent in public debate their


real interests. But the settled view in Labour that Remain is the one to


back, and the Conservative Party is a classic example of a party that is


split on this key issue, and voters do not like divided parties. So why


highlight something that, in Parliamentary terms you do not


represent any more? You can have unanimity in the graveyard. It is


crucially important, if we are going to be successful in winning power


next time, that we do not have another tranche of Labour voters


feeling that they are so unrepresented by the Parliamentary


leadership that they are voting to leave and voting for Ukip


candidates. I want them to go into the polling booth to express that


40% of our supporters support leaving, as proud Labour voters, not


potential renegade Ukip voters. Why would leaving the EU be good for


working people? We would be able to control our borders. I have heard


people argue that we already do, David Miliband, but we have no


control, since the accession countries joined, we have had 5.3


million people coming into this country. That was Labour's fault.


And you had me on this programme saying we should not do that,


criticising the Labour government for doing so, and it was not then


about the Labour Party being united on that issue. What do you say to


that, in terms of working people being best represented by parties


wanting to leave? Because their fortunes would improve. Well, I


don't access that, and I rather like the tone, as it happens, and it is


perhaps ridiculous for me to beat defending Jeremy Corbyn and Frank


attacking him, but I think the tone that he said in his speech of not


being uncritical towards Europe, but a balance there is a good track


record in said in terms, but the SNP is a pro-European party, not


uncritical but still pro-European, and we have been massively


successful at the ballot box. The idea that being pro-European will


damage electoral fortunes is not upheld by the evidence in Scotland.


I know there are other factors, Frank, but nonetheless it is an


accurate you have to answer. Indeed, I think Scotland is another country.


I think you will move to a position of independence, and I hope we will


push for parliaments of all the countries, with England having a


parliament, like you have, Wales and Northern Ireland. People in Scotland


are voting for bigger issues than what they have to face, which is key


for our future, the referendum. You have rather disarmed me with that


proposal! Just briefly, to go back to the workers and working people in


terms of which way they might go in this election, Alan Johnson has said


that the reason why politicians like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove want


to leave the EU is because they want to get rid of workers' rights comedy


and think that is their main motivation? If you put your sticky


fingers into their souls, you should have them here to answer that. The


fallacy of that argument is that many of the social rights ones which


we actually took into Europe, not in fact that somehow workers in this


country were bereft of until the European, until we joined the


European Union. I'll so think Alan Johnson's other comments today,


believing that membership of the EU is more important to the country and


to Labour voters that the act of settlement in 1945, if he thinks


that... What we need to do is get a really good representation of Labour


votes who wish to leave, to do so with their heads high, and not


feeling this is a pro-lead to them crossing over to Ukip, because they


feel they are not represented by the Labour Party. -- a prelude. We have


heard perhaps that the economics from the Leave side is not the


overriding issue for people. They are making that I come and because


they are getting soundly beaten on the economics. But Stuart Rose said


the wages of low skilled workers would rise if we left the EU, and he


is on the Remain side. He could not member the name of the campaign! He


has been taken off the shelf of the supermarket. It is antennae be the


case that one of the reasons the progressive side of politics, by and


large, with the exception of Frank and a few others, moved in favour of


Europe in the 1990s, was the realisation that Europe was


protecting social rights and workers per' rights. That was one of the


reasons for the shift on the progressive side of politics. I


think most people in the Labour Party would reflect on that. The


problem with the European referendum to date is that voice is like Frank,


Jeremy Corbyn, myself and the SNP, for understandable reasons, because


by and large we are focusing on the local elections, have not had a real


luck in, and we have had this argument within a fractious


Conservative Party. No, don't worry, it's not


quite one o'clock yet. But that was, of course,


the sound of the famous It sounds every hour,


but for how much longer? The Commons authorities have


announced this morning plans to carry out a ?30m restoration


project on the clock tower, and it could involve the bells


being silenced for months. Adam, who's earning his pay today,


has been finding out more. This is behind one of


the Palace of Westminster's you realise the Elizabeth


Tower is falling apart. The big enemy is water


and condensation, which gets in everywhere,


making the ironwork rust. On the outside, every single bit


of stonework will be examined, which means the Elizabeth


Tower will be sheathed in scaffolding for up


to three years. The experts say the mechanism


on the inside is like a car that has run every day for more


than a century without a service. are also getting a loo, a lift,


and somewhere to make a cuppa. And as somebody


who looks after this clock, Well, it's massive,


the clock is 150 years old, It's an incredible privilege


to be involved, it's the most iconic clock


in the world, and I'm thrilled


to be part of the team responsible for securing its future


for others to enjoy. Do you think people


will get confused, not having the bongs


and not having the time? I think they'll be sympathetic,


we're going to keep the impact to an absolute minimum,


so at all times there will be at least one dial


displaying the time, to keep it chiming and striking


for as long as possible. And in case you've got a pub quiz


coming up, remember - And to discuss the restoration


of Big Ben, and in fact the whole


of the Houses of Parliament, I'm joined by the historian


Dan Cruickshank. Welcome to the show. Why start on


Big Ben? The whole place is falling down. It is falling down a bit more!


It is about nine inches out of plumb, but it always has been, of


course. The fascinating thing about the Palace of Westminster is that it


had troubles from the start. In 1849, the stone was falling off, so


it is part of the history, making do and amending. But this is where it


is more visible, so why not start there? So you think that is


worthwhile, but silencing the bells, can we imagine it? It happened


before, of course, they have stopped in the past, during the bombing of


1941. But it is worded to keep the whole machine up and running for the


future. -- worth it. How long were they have to be silenced for? I


understand it will stop and start, they will not be silent all the


time, maybe a month or so. Of course, it is a tremendous machine,


many people have not been up. Give as the image of it. It is escaping


into a vast and wonderful world, it is made of iron, cast-iron, the


material of the age, and the mechanism is sensational, huge, made


by a very strange character. He was an architectural fantasist, but the


bell, Big Ben, made in Whitechapel, and there is this gigantic mechanism


balanced, when I was there, by old penny coins. They moved them a


little bit to make the pendulum swing. It is magical. In terms of


the broader repair of the Houses of Parliament, should it be done at any


cost? Of course, it is the mother of Parliaments, the symbol of


democratic government and so on. But in the end, it is a listed building,


a great heritage site, what a fantastically bad example it would


be for the government to give up its own listed building. It was on the


cards for a year or two. It is inescapable. So you would be Joe Ham


in your pocket, metaphorically speaking. -- you would put your


hand. It would be deeply humiliating of Big Ben were not functioning. The


leaning tower of Pisa managed to survive leaning for a while, but I


am in favour of Big Ben. But I am suspicious, they are announcing the


restoration of Big Ben, the closing of the tower, and that is being


taken away from the overall restoration budget of the


parliament, to make it look less. You see, I think the best thing to


do with the Palace of Westminster, which after all is a Victorian fake


of a restoration Palace, that is what it is. Is trying to provoke our


guest?! Turn it into a tourist attraction. It cannot be a


functioning parliament. So the substantial, provoking the market


question... It is not a fake anything, it is a Victorian


evocation... Of the Restoration, it is Restoration artwork. The


alternative would be to abandon this vast and wonderful parliament. It


should be a tourist attraction, the last thing you want is a burgeoning


parliament in a building which is clearly unsuited to the 21st


century. -- a bunch and ink parliament. Last word! We have got


enough museums in this country some wonderful museums, it does a vital


job. We are going to do the quiz, do you remember the question? Where did


you steal the slogan from? I am hoping that it is LBJ, but I am


suspecting it is not. It is Margaret Thatcher. That is why I said LBJ! It


is the wrong answer! Thank you very much, Dan Cruickshank, I am sorry


for rushing into that, that is it for today, thank you to our guests.


The one o'clock news is starting on BBC One. Bye-bye.


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