23/02/2017 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Net migration to the UK fell very slightly in the 12


months to September - but the Government is still way


off its target of reducing it to below 100,000 -


did the EU referendum have any impact on the numbers?


They have more of the money, property, and now, apparently,


Are the older generation lauding it over the young?


Think a 5% increase in council tax is a lot?


We reveal the village and town councils that have hiked rates


MUSIC: Chained to the Rhythm by Katy Perry


A skeletal Theresa May and Donald Trump hold


hands at the Brits - why can't celebrities stop talking


about the US President they love to hate?


All that in the next hour and with us for the duration today


Why were they skeletons? Somebody else asked me that this morning and


I don't know why. That is why you watch The Daily Politics, because we


don't know what we are talking about!


The former universities and science minister who earned


the nickname "two brains" - though his colleagues may just have


Wheel was mention him when he comes on the programme.


Anyway, he's smarter than the average former minister -


David Willetts, welcome to the programme.


Now - there may be some developments on the Bill which will allow


Theresa May to trigger Article 50 and begin the process of the UK's


The Bill has been making its way through the House


Let's speak to our political Correspondent, Adam Fleming.


Adam, is there a concession in the offing from the Government here?


Good morning. The answer is maybe, we're not sure but Labour seem


confident. It's over the issue come to be known as the meaningful vote,


when at the Article 50 bill was in the Commons the government said


Parliament will have a vote on the final Brexit deal but it will be


take it or leave it, so either approving the deal that Theresa May


gets from Brussels, or the UK reading without a deal and falling


back, so-called, the World Trade Organisation rules, which some


people say would be much less generous. What has happened now the


Bill has reached the Lords, Labour Pires feel they are confident they


will get the Government to agree to an amendment that will write a vote


into the legislation and that will be better than the vote offered in


the Commons in that it will give Parliament the power to say to


Theresa may go back and negotiate a better deal. -- peers. Rather than


happening at the end of the process it would be just before the process.


Labour are confident they have got that but sources close to the Tory


party say they have not got a deal yet so we have to wait to the


Committee Stage. So at that point we will know what has happened to be


amendment if it is put down and put to the Lords next week? Yes, because


we have the Second Reading stage at the start of this week and that goes


through to the Committee Stage next week when peers can add and subtract


bits to the legislation. There is also talk of the compromise on UK


nationals living abroad and EU nationals in the UK and Liberal


Democrats and Labour peers are keen to push the government on that.


And we're joined now by the Shadow Leader


Welcome to The Daily Politics. Explain to us, what do you believe


the Government is promising you dumb or indicating to you? They haven't


indicated anything to us yet. I don't think it will be clear by next


week to be honest. There are press reports today saying the government


is concerned about this particular point of the Bill. On the meaningful


vote at the end we listen to what was said in the Commons, I don't


like take it or leave it, it is unacceptable, and we crafted a new


amendment in the Lords that I think will win because it has cross-party


support. What is interesting is in the debate, Lord Hope, a crossbench


independent peer, a former Supreme Court judge, says all this


legislation does is give a vote to start the process, there needs to be


a vote at the end of illegally to get parliamentary approval to


conclude the process. It's in statute, it is in law for the


European Parliament but not in law for the British Parliament which


seems to us to be wrong. The government conceded the point and


said they will, we think it should be in legislation but more than take


it or leave it. What is your amendment say? It basically says


there should be a vote at the end and should engage Parliament on the


outcomes there. And what happens next. Even if the government says we


have a bad deal and we want to look at it again, if it says we want to


negotiate, whatever it says, it must get parliamentary approval. The key


part is not just the vote, if the government knows it must get


parliamentary approval at the end it has got to engage with Parliament


throughout. I think it is an opportunity for the government. Has


the government not said that it will give a vote? If and when a deal is


done, has the government not said whatever the deal we will bring it


for Parliament either to vote for it or against it? It has indeed, it


said or leave it, we will bring it to Parliament but they also said to


Alf Dubs we would allow child refugees to come into this country


and on that basis and also on the basis of the European MPs have in


statutes, guarantee they will have a vote, we think it is right to be in


statute for MPs in this country as well. You want the government... The


government has made a promise and you want it to hold to that promise


by agreeing to an amendment that would put it into legislation? Yes.


I understand but what is your understanding of what that vote


would be. Two years down the track, deal has been done. It comes before


Parliament. What is Parliament's real choice? Is it to vote for the


deal or to vote against the deal but we leave anyway without a deal?


Leaving without a deal, this thing about the government saying deal or


no deal is unacceptable, then no deal scenario is a nightmare


scenario for this country, it really is. Wouldn't that be the vote in the


end? No because by having a vote at the end Parliament must be engaged


in the process better than the government indicated now. What sort


of engagement could you have? You cannot just have a vote and say take


it or leave it, it must say this is where we're heading, what do you


think is the right thing to do? Should we look for extra time and go


back? There is a range of things the government could even if they say we


want you to work with us to look at this again and work with the 27


other countries. The key on this... In the end you may still end up with


a deal and if it comes before Parliament and the choice for


Parliament is to either vote for this deal even if you are unhappy


with a lot of it, or vote against it in which case we come out anyway


with no deal and what is widely called WTO terms... Isn't that


right? It could be but I hope it isn't, there are other alternatives


as we proceed along the process. You could not do without the support of


the 27th. No. The government cannot do this on its own and Parliament


needs to be involved early on and what worries me is the attitude. If


the government accepts this amendment, or if they come forward


with something similar, you have some good faith from the government


and it shows not this attitude we will not amend it under any


circumstances, we are listening and want to work with Parliament. Let me


get David Willets's reaction and I will come back to you. Theresa May


has said there will be a vote so I'm not sure how much this is just


putting into law what she has already committed to all goes beyond


that. The Shadow Leader of the Lords said if the government means it why


wouldn't you put it into legislation? Exactly and I do not


know where we are heading on this but if it isn't too putting into the


text what is already an insurance from the government that is


different from trying to change the whole process. In terms of


scrutinising Brexit we are going to have a big, complicated Repeal Bill


with all of these European measures brought into British law. That is


not to do with the deal and free trade agreement that the government


wants. There is a lot of Brexit assessment and debate over the next


two years. We will not be short of opportunity. They are two separate


things, there is negotiations and UK law that comes from EU law. It is in


The Daily Politics constitution that we can't speak to you on these


matters without saying the word ping-pong. If you ping it back and


get your amendment through and you ping it back to the Commons, and the


Commons pongs it back to you haven't taken the amendment out of what do


you do? I don't see any extended ping-pong. The timetable to the end


of March is not in doubt but there is an opportunity for the


government, if they want to talk to us about it seriously we are open to


discussions and it would be in the Government's interest in having a


good relationship with us forward saying we can do this. Do want to be


conciliatory and you want them to be conciliatory? Absolutely. Let's see


that and how it goes. The question for today


is which dance move did Labour's Tom Watson appear to do


during Prime Minister's Questions I know the answer to that! I'm might


ask you to do the dance at the end. If I do it will give it away. At the


end you can do it. At the end of the show, David


will give us the correct answer. And Andrew will do the move.


CHUCKLES Better than the other way around.


That is not in The Daily Politics contract!


Now, seven years after it was introduced, the Government remains


committed to its target of getting net migration down to


With Brexit, ministers believe they stand more of a chance.


Today the Office For National Statistics has published its


latest migration figures, taking in the period


And up to the year ending at the end of last September.


Net migration to the UK - the difference between the number


of people coming to live in Britain and those leaving -


has fallen but is still well above the Government's target


In the 12 months to September, net migration


This is down 49,000 from the previous year,


which the ONS says is not statistically significant.


Immigration to the UK was estimated to be 596,000.


This is down very slightly, by 23,000 on last year's figures.


Again the ONS say such a small fall is not significant.


268,000 of these people were EU citizens.


Including 74,000 Romanians and Bulgarians, the highest


Earlier the Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill said it


shows the government can control immigration.


Well these statistics are actually very encouraging and, indeed,


it's just one quarter, so we don't want to read too much


into them, but certainly, I think a combination of factors


have contributed to this, particularly measures we've taken


We're joined now by Alp Mehmet, Vice Chairman of Migration Watch.


David Willetts is with us too. Let me come to you first. Is there any


significance in these figures? I would hesitate before saying there


is significance, there may be, but it is very early to tell. If we have


the next two, three quarters showing the trend continuing, then perhaps


we are heading in the right direction. It is a step in the right


direction but we have a long way to go. It's quite a complicated picture


because the net migration figure from the EU eight has come down, the


eight who joined from Eastern Europe over a decade ago, but has gone up


from among Bulgarians and Romanians. So overall there are now more EU


people coming here on the net figures band non-EU people, was that


what was meant to happen? Only 100,000. Overall it is even Stevens.


Absolutely. But overall it is going up from Eastern Europe anywhere,


20,000 from the eight, those who joined in 2004 and significantly


higher from the Romanian and Bulgarian members who joined later.


So there is a lot still coming in. Most of those are coming into going


to lower skilled work and that's where we believe we can tackle


numbers and bring them down. How would you do that? Work permit


system. A work permit system that applies and is confined to those


with the highest skills would actually reduce numbers, we reckon,


by around 100,000 without any damage. Who would do those lower


paid jobs? Those who are already here are not suddenly going to


disappear. The evidence is that they come here, they remain. What if


there is a demand for more lower paid jobs? Our unemployment rate is


below 5%, the claimant count is historically low now. So, who would


do these lower paid jobs if lower paid jobs are on the rise? We still


have 1.6 million unemployed. We still have 1.1 million people who


are in fact in part-time work. There is a lot of scope. You have to


divide the part-time between those who are happy to be working


part-time, which is a fair number, but those who are working part time


that want to work more hours, that's the one that matters. There are


still significant numbers I would argue who would like to work full


time if they can. That is where I think paying a little bit more,


changing the conditions of work would actually be a huge help in


attracting people into the lower paid work.


control we have a problem in this country which is that wages for most


workers in real terms have barely moved. Not the living standards


because of tax and other changes that may have changed, but actually


the cache U-turn after tax, sorry, before tax, has barely moved -- the


cash that you earn. I think this will put pressure on pay because of


the go down this route, we have to find people born in Britain who want


to do these kinds of jobs, I think we are going to have to pay them


more and trained them more because otherwise how will we find care


assistance and will have to pay them more and offer them better


promotions becoming a nurse whatever? Not necessarily all of


Britain, those who are already here, are not suddenly going to take


flight. I suppose the wider overall picture for people watching this is


that net migration is down but the ONS, the official body that says


it's not statistically significant, partly because the way the figures


are calculated are very suspect, so it's not reliable, but take the net


273/5000 come into the country over 200,000 leaving, we get 273 net a


year, that is equivalent to adding a Newcastle to Britain every year. And


many people watching this think overall immigration is a good thing,


they don't want to stop it altogether, but how can we add


Newcastle every year? It is a big figure and that's why it has to be


managed. But our economy has been growing. We have had, one of the


reasons the government is committed to holding more houses is we need


to... You say the economy has been growing but the politicians have


allowed this to happen on both parties, but the politicians have


not built their homes, but required, so home ownership amongst young


people is now at record low levels in modern times, waiting lists for


hospitals and particularly in A, is rising, and a lot of people will


think you have allowed these huge numbers to come in and that may be


good for the economy, that you're not build the homes and provided the


hospital beds and the doctors that a Newcastle every year would demand. I


think there is a lot in that and that's why this process needs to be


managed. Some of these workers are coming in to fill gaps and work,


most of them do come into work. That was not my argument. A lot of them


are coming into work in the NHS so we have two be not so dependent on


recruitment from abroad. You have had years to do this. The huge


immigration started 17 years ago. You had all that time, your party


has been in power for six years, labour, 13. The housing shortage


gets worse every year. The NHS is now in the middle of a winter which


is really stretching it. I'm not arguing for a moment the NHS's


policies are all caused by immigration, but there is a huge


demand for hospital services. This is the kind of shake-up we will have


to have post Brexit. This is a time when reader far more radical


approach to train more people, recruit more people and ensure they


can move up in the British labour market. It has been a British policy


failure I agree with you. Do you expect now, with figures coming


down, the net figure is hugely misleading, including students as


well, I may ask you about that in a moment, do you expect, having come


down from over 300,000 down to 273, is this a trend? Will the net figure


come down further? It can do. And in two years' time, if we are serious


about reducing migration from the EU particularly for the low skill


unskilled workers, coming here, then, yes, we can certainly bring it


down. Various and impact on non-EU migrants coming here as well.


Particularly with students, where some of them have been bogus,


colleges are being closed down. That is a significant impact on numbers.


We are running out of time. The government has made a big deal from


its early years as a coalition government, it says it closed down a


lot of the bogus language colleges and so on, students were coming to


this country are now coming to do proper courses and proper


institutions of higher education. Why not take the students out of a


migration figures then? You can measure them as part of the


definition but I agree with your fundamental point. Trying to


restrict the number of people coming to study, helping to fund


universities, friends of Britain, when they are back in their home


country, this is a great fish exported industry. Our second


biggest export to China after motorcars is Chinese students coming


to study in Britain. If it is legitimate, and there are genuine


students and they leave afterwards, we should welcome them with open


arms. These applications have gone up by 17% since 2010. University


applications have gone up, they are not and there's never been any


restrictions or constraint on students coming in, only bogus


students. The third biggest exporter China, do you know what it is? Box


sets of the Daily Politics. Your television programme, Andrew. Thank


you for joining us. Now, since our guest of the day


David Willetts retired as an MP, he's been busy blaming Britain's


woes on the retired. According to his Resolution


Foundation, they've taken all the houses, the money and now,


in a report out today, they are suggesting the over 50s


are taking all the jobs. We sent Jenny out with her moodbox


to settle the matter of who's doing better in today's Britain -


the young or the old? Some pensioners' incomes are ?20


a week higher than those in work So I've come to this windy


south-west London market to ask shoppers who is better off


in today's Britain. I got a good pension


out of the post office. If you want to pop it


into the under 40s. There's less disposable income


if you're under 40 because you've got families and that sort of stuff


and house prices going up. I think it's a bit of


a struggle at the moment. We are part of the lucky ones


who have retired and have lived through better times


than they are now. I see a lot of older people


struggling, even struggling to maybe get enough to like even


feed themselves properly. A couple of people I know,


they can't eat properly and they're actually really hungry


because they can't like get themselves enough supplies,


get enough food on their pensions. It's getting wet and most people


seem to think that the pensioners are better off and it's raining


on the parade of the under 40s. Most people think that


pensioners are better off. I'm off to join


the queue for a kebab! We're joined now by Dr Jennie


Bristow from Canterbury Our mood box, unscientific as it is,


seems to back your broad theme but successive generations have always


end more than a generation before them in general but no longer so


those born in the 1980s are currently earning no more than those


born 15 years earlier were earning at the same age, so why'd you think


that is? This report today at the Resolution Foundation tried to look


at that. One thing is the frequency of moving jobs, young people used to


move on and move up and it looks as if country to the population, they


are stuck in a job for longer and there's less chance of your income


rising and it looks as though the expansion of education which


happened for generation after generation, the growth of skills


relating to what we talked about earlier, people going to university,


the expansion is not so rapid and they have to put a lot of their


earnings generated by companies into plugging pension deficits rather


than receiving it in pay. Pension schemes, they're not even members


of. And you blame the baby boomer generation, those born between 1945


and 1965. You say they took their children's future and should give it


back. Why is their fault? I should declare I am a baby boomer myself. I


don't think it was a deliberate plot that we hate young people. We did a


lot of things without realising the consequences for the children and


grandchildren, things like opposing new house-building, when we need


more houses. Regulating pension schemes so they are so generous for


us, the companies are closed for future generations, and in the jobs


market there is evidence Britons are not training their younger workers


as much as they used to. Do you accept things these days are skewed


to the older generation at the expense of the young? No, I don't,


it's problematic and divisive to look at the problems we have today.


I accept there numbers of problems and I think the resolution


foundation 's report does indicate those and there's a problem with


wages, with the overinflated cost of housing, with inequality and all of


these things and issues plague our society today. But these are not


generational, these are big issues to do with problems with social


policy, problems with the economy and I think to point the finger at


the older generation and say, give it back, that's granny muddying the.


It's not a positive approach to how we solve the problems of our


society. If you look at the devices of society, we are so familiar with


those arguments, there is a divide of ethnicity, social class, gender,


but no one was thinking about the differences between different


generations and the evidence is overwhelming that that is a very


powerful one. I don't want it, I want is to bridge the divide, but


we've got to recognise there is a problem. The baby boomers have got a


lot of wealth and it's hard to see how the kids are going to get a


decent pension and get started on the housing ladder. If you look at


housing, it is true that people like David Willetts, people like my


parents, did extremely well as a result of their homes. They had free


education, even at higher education levels, albeit fewer went to


university than the current generation and now they have the


trouble lock on their pensions. It's expensive. Are they not actually


doing better at the expense of the young? You have to break it down a


bit. First of all to use the category generation, it's very wide,


not all old people are well not all told people are healthy. I accept


that. There is a stereotype of a pension on a final salary scheme who


owns a house, a middle-class wealthy pensioner, whose public board about


1947. The 20 cohort David talks about when he talks about the baby


boomers spans a wide range of ages, and this issues to do with people's


lives. Is David saying the younger generation, none of them will have


those opportunities that even the wealthier pensioner had? He might be


saying that, by don't think that's true either. I think if you look at


issues stratified by social class, and if you look at the discussion


about housing for example, and this ongoing discussion about the bank of


mum and dad, children of middle-class parents will be helped


by their parents to get on the housing ladder and all of those


things. I don't think that's a problem, I just think we have to do


not conflate everybody within these broad categories of generation. Of


course there are poor pensioners and I should make that clear. But the


good news is there are many fewer poor pensioners than they used to


be. That a great success of British social policy. We should now be


focusing on poverty amongst working age families and the difficulties


younger people have in jobs, because that is where the pressure is now


and on average it's clear your programme just showed absolutely a


view of the people out there which reflects reality. On the data, are


you saying that today's millennial generation born in the 1980s, they


are earning less in real terms than the previous generation? We are


saying people who are now in their 30s can go back 15 years, are


earning less, if you go back ten years, it's about the same, and


that... That's not what the figures show and what the ISS has found


either, which looked at that. The ISS fan, looking at those born in


the 80s, found they have higher real household income than those who were


born 20 years before. If you are looking to compare different


generations, on incomes, the picture is very clear. Millennials have


higher real incomes as young adults than their parents did the same age.


If you go back ten or 15 years... I've gone back 20 years. The reason


you picked 20 years is that is slightly different from the picture


15 years but there is another 425 years but if you average that out it


is clear that compared with progress we used to see generation after


generation, going back 15 years we have a ?40 a week gap and going back


ten years we have we have virtually no... The IFS is wrong? Her gum at


the IFS is very similar, they are working with us and they are on our


technical panel and it shows that compared with the kind of growth we


were used to generation after generation it has basically come to


a halt and on some comparisons it is actually worse. That is on income,


not the whole package, looking in the round, you are saying just on


incomes alone they are. There is another issue about assets, about


pensions. Housing and pensions is clear. Our report today using the


figures is about pay and labour market and we have not just shown


again there is a problem, we have died down and showed what is going


on, it is things like jobs. On the things like the pensions issue do


you accept the triple lock is a generous guaranteed to pensioners


hit at a time when the government argues there isn't that much money


around? I think the discussion around the triple lock is a bit of a


red herring. Which explain what the triple lock is but that's the


increase of state pensions by 2% or the Consumer Prices Index whichever


is higher. I do not have the knee jerk reaction that any pension


reform is wrong because pensions and pension reforms should take into


account changes in the labour market, increases in longevity and


those things. I think how that is done is a question for policymakers.


What I'm comfortable with is with all the ordinance against the triple


lock is that again it seems to imply that if you scapegoat old people and


say they have got this very, very generous amount of money, which


doesn't seem that generous, they've got this generous amount of money,


let's claw it back. Guaranteed increases, though. That would not


solve the problems. Today's Resolution Foundation report points


to wages for young people. It is to do with the economy and society and


how far we are moving forward, not what people are getting towards the


end of their lives. It is not just saying wages or openings, pensions


go up by prices or owning scored two and a half percent whichever is


higher, so it is a guarantee they will do better than people's


earnings will do. If earnings are low it will be 2.5%. That tells me


when you have limited resources, and politics is about priorities, you


cannot do everything. Given there has been the success with


pensioners, it is time to turn our attention to the younger generation


and I think it is what a lot of pensioners worry about, they care


about their children and grandchildren. We will have to end


it there but thank you. Now, while the rest of the world


is transfixed like a rabbit in the headlines by global affairs -


Trump, Brexit, - the BBC has its eyes on what really matters -


town and parish councils. A BBC investigation has found a hike


in town and parish council precepts across England -


in one case by as much as 3,000%. Our political reporter


Fergus Hewison has more Fergus, welcome. Tell us what is


going on here. 3000%. Is that true, or is it fake news? It is absolutely


not fake news, Andrew, no. It is absolutely right. This was a parish,


a town council in Northamptonshire, desperate town council which


increased its precept by 3400% over four years. We have had other


examples of that, for instance a town council in Lancashire increased


its precept by 872%. Another town council in Cornwall increased its


precept by 763% so there are really big increases here across the board,


across the country of these kinds of figures by hundreds of percent, in


some cases by thousands. If you were living in one of these parish


councils, where the Bill is going up by 3000%, what does that mean in


terms of the money that you will now have to shell out? In some cases


these are percentage increases, so in some cases it may be going from


paying a few pounds to a few pounds more, but for instance in Peterlee


in County Durham in the north-east of England the band night average


council tax Bill is ?300 on top of your council tax Bill on top of the


other things you are paying for, so in some cases people are shelling


out a lot of money for their town or parish council and these increases


are adding to that. Why are they doing this? Town and parish councils


say they are doing more and taking on more services so have to charge


more money for it. In many cases they are taking over things like


libraries, parks, play parks, all of these sorts of things, community


centres, once paid for by a larger councils but as those larger


councils are experiencing budget cuts they are passing on the costs


and the responsibility to this layer of local government, to the town and


parish councils, therefore these town and parish councils are putting


a precept on and putting up precept very steeply in some cases to pay


for those services. Fascinating, Fergus Hewison, thank you for


joining us from Newcastle. Elections are always won


from the centre ground, right? Well, that was the conventional


political wisdom, but has it been shattered, like so much expert


opinion, by Donald Trump's victory, the rise of Marine Le Pen


in France and even Brexit? You don't have to be


Sherlock to work out a few things about the political


centre ground. There are a lot of people


occupying it, probably about Most people in it


prefer a drink with their mates rather than


watching political telly. And because of the rapidly


changing political and economic landscape


we find ourselves in its and economic landscape


we find ourselves in it's It's not really an ideological


position, the centre ground, nor is it splitting the difference


between the major parties' policy platforms, it's more of a sort of,


more of a kind of, I guess, outlook where you'll basically vote


for the person who's But as one senior political adviser


put it to me, hitting the Or sweet spot, as he called


it, is crucial for politicians looking


to win elections. By occupying the centre ground,


by modernising, by reaching out beyond our activists, we helped


to turn the Tories, well, into a Our mission is anchoring Britain


to the centre ground. The real centre ground


of British politics right now is, who has got the answers


to making sure Britain competes and But now the Labour Party


has been accused by some of ignoring the centre ground


alongside others shaking up the old political order like Ukip,


the Greens and the SNP. So which political party


is getting closest Elements of the centre ground


are certainly being occupied by the right of the Labour Party and by


some of the Liberal Democrats. But unfortunately


for various reasons those two parties at


the moment are not in that, whereas Theresa is occupying


it in a very fully-fledged fashion. I want to set our party and our


country on the path towards the new But at his last party conference


in Liverpool Jeremy Corbyn made no There is no doubt


that my election as Labour leader a year ago


and re-election this month grew out of a thirst for a new kind


of politics running the economy


and the country isn't delivering One academic doubts his


approach, along with the EU referendum result, will change


the politics of the centre. Where people thought


the centre ground was before the referendum was in a kind


of liberal consensus But the centre ground isn't


necessarily where the battle ground And I think that there


are sort of a set been well reflected in mainstream


debate. A lot of them are around


immigration, but it's also about attitudes to civil disobedience,


to the death penalty, and quite traditional values have


not been a feature If politics is being fought


rather off centre right now, what could help


MPs who want to regain You're already seeing it cross-party


in Parliament with pro-Europeans like me who want a


sensible European deal, not one that's going to destroy our economy,


working with our sensible Conservatives, Liberal Democrats,


Greens and others to try to hold Perhaps a General Election


will focus minds back on cultivating that


centre ground vote. Or, perhaps, it's not actually


where people think it is any more. Mark Lobel there. We are joined by


political commentator and Jeremy Corbyn supporter, welcome to the


programme. Is what we have traditionally thought of as the


centre ground now not the place to be? It depends what questions we are


asking about what this means of the Centre. If it means reflecting the


values of the population and solving problems that resonate the centre


has moved and I think we need to have a conversation about what that


looks like. Where has it moved? Right on Brexit and right on


immigration but left on economic issues, low pay, public services,


utilities, nationalisation of rail. That is where the centre ground is


and the big conversation about Jeremy Corbyn is, can he capture


that vote? Can he capture that, I would say actually, 35% of the


voting public would go for that although he's not doing that. Lots


of the discussion around centrist politics by mainstream media


generally looks as it is relational, between the far left and far right


and I don't think that makes sense any more. As Labour left the centre


ground? I think dramatically so but that's because where it was


previously wasn't reflecting the values of people, it wasn't trying


to address the major issues. So, if the centre ground is not the right


place to be and Labour has left the centre ground because that's the


sensible thing to do, why is it doing so badly in the polls? Well, I


could invert the question and say why are the Tories doing so well?


They have picked up Ukip votes. Let's stick with my question, why


are they doing so badly in the polls if leaving the centre ground is the


place to be? Three reasons, the first 3-6 months of the Corbyn


leadership were weak and first depressions count, the media has


been tough on him, particularly print media, and the Parliamentary


Labour Party, the infighting. All of that explains an 80 point


Conservative lead? A lot of that comes from Ukip voters, going back


to the Tories, which does not reflect centrist policies, it is


Theresa May going very right on Brexit and that is an electoral


winner for her right now which compounds my point. May be the point


is if you want to leave the centre ground, and that is a big if for any


political party, there are more votes leaving by going to the right


than to the left. Some of Jeremy Corbyn's critics from the left would


say he has done that on Trident and Brexit. He has made big difficult


calls and they are the correct call. What call has he made on Trident? It


looks like Labour would renew it. Really? But he doesn't want to. He


is talking about a different kind of leadership where he reflects the


majority of opinion in the membership and amongst the


Parliamentary Labour Party and he said he is quite open to renewal of


Trident, I think. Really? I think he is open to it. Has he told you that?


That would be a story. I just wonder. In my understanding he has


not moved on Trident at all because he has all the spin against it and


why would he change his mind? I would find this talk of the centre


ground and people defining the centre ground and then politicians


define themselves vis-a-vis it, I find it strange, because


transformational politics, and I would name two important ones,


Clement Attlee fought Labour and Thatcher for the Conservatives,


they've redefined the centre ground, Clement Attlee after the war


redefined and the Tories had to come to terms with the welfare state, the


NHS, you know the work that was done in the late 40s by the Conservative


research Department, as they redefined Tory acceptance of that,


moving the centre ground left, and Ben Thatcher redefined it with


privatisation, the sale of council houses, and Labour had to come to


terms with that. So rather than accommodating it, my rather


long-winded question, successful politicians should redefine it. You


are right that what Margaret Thatcher did and I worked for her


for a time. And you are right. It must be said that even Margaret


Thatcher when she was doing that she had in her mind that there were


voters out there that the previous Tory party had not appeal to, that


she could appeal to. And the brilliance of what she did in the


1980s was that she was getting Labour voters coming to her because


of policies like pride in your country and the way she handled the


Falklands, and also things like council house sales. Remember, it is


a good strategy to do things which win over voters from other parties


and she managed to do that whilst being radical. Your party was best


at that when it's travelled the centre ground, Iwan three elections


in a row. Putt moments you have talked about, Clement Attlee and


Thatcher, respond to the prices of the previous economic models, 1929


and 1971. We had a similar moment in 2008 and I don't think any political


party has responded to it appropriately. I'm not saying Corbyn


has all the answers to Clement Attlee or Thatcher Mark two in a


post-financial crisis world, but Labour's success before the global


crisis don't really stack up given that that has remade the Parramatta


is of what we need to do now. Isn't one of the most remarkable


phenomenon, since the financial crash of 2008 which was a clear


crisis of capitalism, it wasn't an industrial prices, it was a


capitalist financial crisis, it was an enormous opportunity for the


left, with a capital L NOI Haatheq succeeded in taking advantage of


that -- know where have they. It is a huge historic failure of the left.


Absolutely. I think that comes from, this is going back a long way. Not


too long for me! The failures of Stalinism meant clearly the modern


left was very frightened about talking about the state, talking


about solutions which meant being in power. There was a reversion to


social movements, bottom-up democracy, horizontal listen, and


that is all well and good but that is not a programme for a different


kind of globalisation, different kind of economy when the free-market


tanks and Lehman Brothers and AIG had a bailout by the US government.


Wave your hands and... Why haven't left-wing politics captured the


nation? There is an appeal out there but you haven't managed to get those


voters. It will take another five to ten years. The problem for Jeremy


Corbyn is he has come too early. That is the issue, the


infrastructure and think tanks and intellectuals are not there. Are you


being ageist? Just factual. Even friendly critics on the left would


say precisely that. We have run out of time but come back and we will


continue this because it is a great discussion. Meanwhile the Prime


Minister is taking these Labour voters, that is what she's doing. We


will find out about that, we're not sure yet, don't count your chickens


before they are hatched. 94 coming. Some businesses and even some


Conservative MPs are upset about the Government's current


revaluation of the business The country is a nation


of shopkeepers, Napoleon once said. And the Communities Secretary Sajid


Javid drew on his own retail experience to expess empathy,


while promising further help. Growing up above the family shop


I saw for myself the impact an increase in rates can have


on small businesses. A rise in costs lowered the mood


of the whole family. Even as a child


I knew that it wasn't good when I found a stack


of bright red final reminders hidden away


at the back of the draw


and my dad was never shy about sharing about


what he thought about out-of-town


retail parks and how from his shop in the high


street in Bedminster. If he were alive today I'm sure that


he'd be the first to phone me up and lobby me about


the business rates revaluation. In particular, I could


just imagine him telling me about the treatment of


large and online retailers and how that compares to more traditional


shops on our high street. I have always listened


to businesses and It's clear to me that


more needs to be done to level the playing field


and to make the system fairer. I'm working closely


with my Right Honourable determine how best to provide


further support to businesses facing We expect to be in


a position to make an announcement at the time of


the budget in just two weeks' time. That sounds like a desperate plea to


the Chancellor to help me out of a hole in this evaluation. It does.


Because of his increases for individual businesses are very


steep, even though overall it isn't an increase in the total amount as a


result of revaluation, but a dramatic redistribution between


different businesses. If you are having to compensate that much,


presumably there will be money found in the budget for those businesses,


hasn't been properly thought through? I don't know. The only


thing I'd do know is there's always a problem in government doing a


revaluation of property and there's always pressure to delay it because


it's going to be difficult. The longer you delay, when you finally


do it, the changes are far greater so we should do more frequent


smaller changes. You have some sympathy for Sajid Javid free? Yes,


and there's a danger people could never did do a revaluation every


game which would be the wrong lesson. Conservative MPs


interestingly seem to be more upset than Labour MPs and I've suppose


that because of business. It's a sad reflection on them because they


should care about businesses, particularly small businesses.


Now, speaking of the centre ground, Theresa May has apparently banned


civil servants using the word "JAMs" - the acronym used to describe


the "Just About Managing " voters she talked about as she entered


The PM wants them described as "Ordinary Working Families"


instead which Whitehall mandarins are no doubt already


Theresa May is not the first political leader to identify


a particular group of the electorate in that way.


Whilst deputy Prime Minister, Liberal Democrat Leader, Nick Clegg,


appealed to "alarm clock Britain" as opposed, no doubt,


to people who are woken up by their dog or their children.


"Hard working families" has to be one of the most


well-worn phrases, promoted by Gordon Brown, amongst others.


But when will a politician stand up for lazy single people?


Political strategists working for Labour are credited


with identifying "Mondeo Man" who apparently contributed to


If that phrase excluded half of the electorate,


then welcome "Worcester Woman", a working class woman in her 30s


apparently with two children who worries about quality of life


issues, as opposed to men and those living outside Worcester who don't


American Politics, of course, has its "Soccer Moms" and in Alaska


where they use sticks to hit balls, tough talking vice presidential


candidate Sarah Palin asked what the difference between a hockey


We can welcome our guest, who used to work for Harriet Harman. Let's


talk about those particular phrases. Was it right for Theresa May to drop


JAMs? I think it was weird, something to do with sugar,


diabetes, sugar tax coming in sort of things. Not a good look. As you


kind of said earlier, every political party tries to find


something to capture hard-working families. Who play by the rules.


That was our thing in labour. Every new political strategy team comes in


and says these other people to chase. The squeezed middle with Ed


Miliband. Was that successful? It was an ultimately successful because


we lost the election. As a slogan? It was an interesting diagnosis and


analysis about what was going on in the country. In a sense he was ahead


of his time because the squeezed middle then became squeezed. Yes,


bless, Ed. It seems to be on the squeezed middle, it worked better


than just about managing. Is that because it's more than eight double


two "Just About Managing"? It's a definition problem about how to the


finest. The squeezed middle was better from that point but we always


tried to chase these people. Recall people normal people, what is


normal? Ordinary people. It's a minefield politically. You do need


phrases if you want to target particular groups of people. Mondeo


man. It's risky I would have thought at the time when trying to pick a


phrase that would attract people. Yes, at the resolution foundation we


talk about 2-5, which is... That's very catchy! That actually does get


to the reality which means we're not talking about the poorest 10% of


people, but the next 40%, up to the middle point, you do find a lot of


people there who incomes have not gone up since the crash and that's


the crucial thing where politics comes in. It has to be based on a


real problem. The pay in the middle is not rising. And later bought. You


can't trust the Tories were the NHS and don't give the keys back to the


people who crash the car, talking about labour after the crash, do


those work? The Tory attack on the Labour Party I think was very


effective and something David Cameron, who was regularly at PMQ


's, it became a defining thing, so sometimes you have those phrases


which do stay in people's minds. Take back control was a highly


effective yet simple and also quite emotional things. Very general. You


can read into it what you wanted. One nation, having been used by all


sides probably. It seems to encapsulate whatever you would like


it to be. It can be what you wanted to be. It goes back to the 1920s,


and a very specific rhetoric falls it says it not two nations, but one


nation. It's a very important stage in Tory thinking. Who knows that


apart from you and a few others? It can also mean to most people one


nation, and one... All of these have the reach promotions. That's why


Brexit means Brexit didn't quite strike that cord. OK.


Don't go away, Ayesha, because with awards season in full


flow, it seems that there's barely a celebrity who's not having


Last night it was the turn of Katy Perry at the BRIT Awards.


# It goes on and on and on


# It goes on and on and on


That was the Brit awards. We've had the BAFTAs, we have got


the Oscars, the Tony's, have we had the BAFTAs yet? Yes, the Perrier


awards, I mean, people are going to get fed up if they'll turn into a


party but will broadcast for the anti-trump party. I think there will


be a bit of fatigue. Trump fatigue. I think it's a very trendy for


celebrities to be political. It is invoked to be political at the


moment. I was at the Brit awards last night and I've is confused and


we were all a bit confused because we had been drinking at that point


but we thought, we are making a particle statement. What was the


point of that houses? Maybe the housing crisis? We couldn't work it


out, but one of the houses fell off the stage. That is symbolic. I hope


the person is OK. The media and a lot of these stars, it's quite


hypocritical. They're making a fortune out of Donald Trump. The New


York Times added 274,000 subscriptions in the last quarter of


last year, and trump has totally reinvigorated a rather dead


formulaic late-night American television. Absolutely, for somebody


who does stand-up comedy, he does provide a great lot of material.


He's very good for business. There was always the criticism that if you


are a celebrity you shouldn't talk about politics but you can't silence


people. Of course, that's the last thing we want to do. Let's see what


the result was. There's just time before we go


to find out the answer to our quiz. The question was which dance move


did Labour's Tom Watson appear to do during Prime Minister's Questions


in the House of Commons. The Dab. Andrew, over to do. I think


it is like that. Invest in our NHS! Blink and you would miss it.


I'll be back tonight at 11.45pm with a This Week


by-election special, so we'll be on into the wee small


hours to give you the results of today's by-elections


I've searched the world to find these extraordinary people.


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