17/05/2017 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics.


The Liberal Democrats release their manifesto today,


focusing on a pledge to give people a final say on the Brexit deal


in a referendum and a raft of policies for young people.


Theresa May and Philip Hammond went on the attack this morning,


claiming there's a vast black hole in Labour's manifesto plans.


But Labour insist they're fully costed.


Unite leader Len McCluskey insists he is "now full of optimism"


about Labour's general election hopes despite saying in an interview


yesterday he could not see the party winning.


And the Moodbox and I find ourselves in Dumfries in south west Scotland,


where we're asking whether Scottish independence is a crucial


issue for voters here at the coming election.


So all that in the next hour and with us for the duration


Conservative peer Michael Forsyth, who served in John Major's Cabinet


First today, manifestos are a bit like buses -


you wait for ages and then they all come along at once.


Labour were first out of the blocks with their manifesto yesterday,


called "For the Many, Not the Few", today it's the turn


of the Liberal Democrats and tomorrow, it's the Tories.


The Lib Dems published their manifesto in the last few minutes.


It is called "Change Britain's Future", and they say


it's aimed at giving young people a "brighter future".


Yes, the flagship policy in the Liberal Democrat manifesto


is their pledge to have a referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal


The Lib Dems want to give the British people the chance


to reject what they say is the "extreme and divisive Brexit"


Aside from Brexit, the Lib Dems are offering to spend more


In particular, they would give the NHS and social care an extra


They would get that ?6 billion by raising all rates


And all of that extra money from income tax would be ring-fenced


On education, they would give just under ?7 billion to schools


and colleges over the course of the next parliament.


That would pay for things like protecting per pupil funding


in real terms and tripling the early years pupil premium.


That's extra money given to nurseries educating three


and four-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds.


The Lib Dems would also build new rent-to-own homes


people taking part in the scheme would be able to gradually buy their


They would reverse some of the welfare cuts.


For example, they would restore housing benefit


They would end the current cap on public sector pay.


And the Lib Dems would create a new young person's bus pass


which would give 16 to 21-year-olds in England a two-thirds


Let's look at Ed Davey setting out the party's Brexit policy this


morning. We think people are very upset


about Brexit here in London. Many of them voted to Remain


and we want to say when the Brexit deal has been done in three or four


years time, then people should have the right to vote on that deal


and say whether they like it and if they don't like it,


they can vote to remain I think people are worried


that the Theresa May-Nigel Farage coupling, where they're backing


an extreme form of Brexit, is very damaging to people's futures


particularly young people's I think people do want


a chance to vote again. Dick Newby, the leader


of the Lib Dems in the House of Lords and chair of


the Manifesto Working Let me just clarify. Your party has


ruled out joining any kind of coalition after this election? Yes.


So you wouldn't be in any kind of Government? No, we would not, no.


We're in the sail position as the Labour Party. We know who the


Government is going to be after the next election and we're going more


honest. Who is going to be the Government? The Conservative


Government. If you're not going to join any coalition, what's the point


of going through the policies with you? Well, I think people want to


know when they're voting for us what kind of country they're living in.


But you're not going into Government, what's the point? People


vote for people who share their values and views about how the


country should go going forward and that's why you have a manifesto.


Yes, but if the values as you're claiming are going to be the values


of a May Government, I assume you're going to win by a landslide and you


would not get involved in a coalition that could stop that from


happening then I say, your policies, what you stand for is irrelevant?


No, they're not. The details are irrelevant? From the day Parliament


gets back, we're going to be debating the Government's policies


and we're going to be voting on them and the manifesto gives a guide to


people about how we're going to behave and what we're going to be


doing in the next Parliament. One of the policies you have is to have a


second referendum, a referendum on the deal if and when a deal for


Brexit is done? Yes, that's right right. . Who said a referendum was


disrespectful to the voters and counter productive and who said if


you're having two referendums you might as well have three? Well...


Who said that? It doesn't matter who said it. Vince Cable said it. Yes.


Of the Lib Dems who is on your frontbench team. Disrespectful? What


we're saying is that people voted for a departure. They have no idea


last year what they were going to get. So we say at the end of the


process, there are only two lots of people who can decide - what we do


about Brexit. Either, MPs, or the people. If MPs, if it was left to


MPs before the last referendum, they would have been, they were


completely out-of-touch with the people. So we think a process


started by the people should be completed by the people.


But if the European Union knows that there is going to be a referendum on


the outcome of the negotiations, that gives them a huge incentive to


give us the worst possible deal? No, I think you're pinning too much


faith on the powers of persuasion of the Lib Dems there. People in


Europe... I never made that mistake before? I didn't think you had, but


I think that people in Europe are negotiating on the basis of getting


a deal which they think is in the long-term interests of the EU on the


basis that we will leave. That's the only way they can do it, but it


doesn't mean that that rules out us having a final say on it. If I'm


negotiating for Brussels, and you're negotiating for Britain, and I know


that you have to put whatever you agree to the British people, I'm


going to try and give you a punishment beat soing that the


British will think we didn't real identities it was going to be as bad


as this, we're going to need visas to go there, we can't work anymore,


oh, let's vote against it. I'm not going to give you a Free Trade


Agreement and not going to give you tariff reason free trade, am I? But


why does that work for the British people and not Parliamentarians?


Somebody decides, Andrew, it isn't just the Prime Minister, you have


one body of people deciding in Parliament or a larger body of


people, the condition deciding, they're going to react in the same


sort of way to the attitude and the deal that comes out of Brussels


surely. When would the referendum be? Well, the Prime Minister says


she can complete the negotiations within the time frame. So you would


have it when she come back with a deal. Would there be enough time?


Well, she says there is. She has not been that explicit at when it can be


done? I think your contention if the country was to vote against the deal


we would stay in the EU? That would be the proposition. Who in Brussels


led you to believe that would be the case? Well, I think it's pretty


clear from all the lawyers, from someone like Lord Kerr who wrote


Article 50 that it is revocable, you can stop the process if you want to


do. Have you had any indication from Brussels that that is the case?


That's how they view it or have the European Court of Justice view it


that way? Senior officials in the EU have said that the article is


revocable. Who are they? Former advisors to the commission. Former


members of the European Court of Justice. Who are they? Well, I


haven't got a list of their names, but there is a long list of names


and John Kerr who wrote it. He is just an observer now. Yeah, but he


knew what was in people's minds when it was written because he had the


pen. I suggest he didn't because when he wrote it, he never thought


it would happen. He wrote it as entirely academic exercise? Well, he


is not a flippant sort of chap. I wouldn't say that. He just didn't


think it would happenment you didn't think it would happen. Well, nobody


thought it was going to happen, did they? No, some people did. A lot of


people didn'tment one of them was Nick Clegg. I want to run you this


clip of what he said. This is before the country gave its verdict on


Brexit and he was speaking at the Oxford Union, he was debating with


Nigel Farage, it was in December 2015, before we got to the


referendum. Sure. But what would happen if we had one. This is Mr


Clegg. There will be some voices and I hope it won't be Nigel or Sir


People and not all voting on Brexit in this general election for that


they are voting whether they think Jeremy Corbyn is said to be Prime


Minister. Your whole appeal in this campaign has been on Brexit. That is


your distinguishing thing. That's the one thing that does distinguish


you. Yes, that's what we're fighting. It is what makes you a


Japanese soldier in the jungle. It over, you lost, it's gone the come


on out, put your hands up, we will look after you. Somebody decides,


Andrew, the MP for them is that MPs or the people? We think it will be


the people. People were decided twice, in the referendum and in this


election. No, because we don't know the deal. We know what the Prime


Minister wants, which is a large measure of having the Government,


but we don't know what is going to get. Many things are definitely not


going to happen so who knows where we're going to be in the process.


Your election strategy has been based on the 48% who voted remain.


You want to pick as many of them but the latest polls suggest you miss


read the mood of the British people and it no longer exists, this 48%


force of the country now seems divided into 45% of hard levers, not


as much as the 52 who voted, and 23% are voting to remain but they accept


the outcome and have come out of the jungle, put their hands up and said,


we know it's over. And only 22% are hard remainders and you are


struggling even to get them. The strategy is flawed.


No, we fight elections on what we believe. We're also fighting as Jo


was explaining how do you fund the NHS on a sustainable basis? How do


you stop schools having cuts per pupil of in some cases of over 10%?


All these things that we're talking about on the doorstep. Some people


have Brexit at the top of their minds, a lot of people don't


frankly. A lot of people are more interested in whether they can get


to hospital quickly so we're setting out how you would deal with those


problems as well. Your manifesto would be a guide as to how you will


vote in Parliament, under the next Government? It is, absolutely. All


right. What would be a good result for you? Oh, a good result would be


a significant increase in votes and seats. What would significant be?


Well, significant means substantial. What does substantial mean? Well, it


is roughly the same as significant! LAUGHTER


I put a number on either of them, what would you think? Only a fool


would that. What's it like in the jungle? I'm enjoying it. Leave him


alone. Remember my former leader, Lord Ashdown was a jungle warrior.


He was indeed. Don't go down that line!


Thank you. Let me pick up on the last point of


Andrew made about domestic policies, the NHS. The Lib Dems have come


forward with a bold policy of raising all rates of income tax by


1%, and that money will go into funding the NHS. No, not at all. As


the headlines say today, living standards are under pressure and the


idea you can help them by putting a penny on income tax at all levels is


foolish and the lesson we have learned from the reductions in tax


made for example when we cut the top rate of tax, its revenues go up so


if you're going to put up tax, in the longer term you're going to get


less revenue and that's not a sensible policy and you will also


reduce people's living standards. You're expecting no tax rises in the


Conservative manifesto of any sort? I would be surprised if there's any


income tax rises. You would like to see the lock David Cameron put on,


not raising income tax? No, I'm against making gimmicks and foolish


promises in manifestos because they come back to bite you. You say


because of the squeeze on living standards you wouldn't want to seek


increases in living tax but actually, if you look at spending on


health, the ISS, which actually, once you take into the age of the


population, the amount of money we're spending on health per person


will be lower in 2019-21 it was in 2009-10. People may not want to pay


more income tax but I don't think they also want their standards of


health care to be going down either. Know, and the way we get more


spending on the health service is by increasing the tax base, not by


increasing the rates, and we do that by getting growth in the economy,


investing in the economy and perceiving the kind of policies...


We've had growth in the economy, admittedly lower than expected in


the last quarter, but we've had growth in the economy and the IDF as


state spending per person on health will be low in 2019-20 than 2009.


The spending commitments made by the present Government are considerably


in excess of those that were promised by the Labour Party when


they stood in the last general election. I'm asking about the


comparison between what the Conservatives that they were going


to do and what the Lib Dems are offering to do in terms of boosting


health spending. If you look at education, the schools budget now we


know was facing real terms cuts of ?3 billion or 8% by 2019-20, and you


have to take into account the rise in pupil numbers. In the


Conservative manifesto you pledged as the number of pupils increased,


so will the aunt of money in schools, a real terms increase in


schools budgets in the next Parliament for that you've broken


that pledge for the blue could be honest like the Lib Dems who say


they will put more money into schools by raising income tax. We


have put more money into schools. The criticism would be the


expenditure per head has not increased. But the total


expenditure... A real terms increase, even if pupil numbers go


up, and that, you're not going to do by 2019-20. We have increased the


schools budget. But not in real terms. You are on the wrong argument


in my opinion. Hang on, second, it's a political argument and the


political argument is you shouldn't measure success in education by the


amount you're spending. If you look at what has happened for example in


England, where education is in school 's performance has soared


ahead of Scotland, where they spent 20% more, there is no direct


relationship between the performance of schools and the amount you spend.


But it was a promise he made on the 2015 manifesto and, in terms of


rising pupil numbers, real terms, they will be cuts in pupil spending.


You may claim there is no relationship between spending and


outcomes, and that's perfectly credible, but it's about pledges


which are made in manifestos. Well, that's why I hope our manifesto will


be short on firm commitments and sat out the broad approach which we will


take towards running the economy and that includes living within our


means. Listening to talking about health and education spending, you


would think we were not actually living beyond our means of more than


?50 billion a year. And our national debt has grown to, if Labour had


their way, it would be ?2 trillion. Although the Tories have been


underpowered and the coalition and in their own. And we have been


criticised for not spending enough. We believe that there. Thank you.


-- we believe that there. -- we will leave that there.


The question for today is which book series did Theresa May


reveal she was a fan of on the campaign trail yesterday?


At the end of the show Michael will give us the correct answer.


So, the day after Labour's manifesto and perhaps not surprisingly,


the Conservatives have spent the morning on the attack.


Speaking in London at a joint news conference with the Chancellor,


Philip Hammond, Theresa May has dismissed Labour's election


manifesto as a "fantasy wish list of easy promises".


While Jeremy Corbyn and Labour retreat into an ideological comfort


zone, ducking the difficult challenges which lie ahead,


I won't shy away from facing the challenges of our time.


Rather I will set out how we will tackle them


head-on because that is what leadership is about.


One of Jeremy Corbyn's key allies, Unite leader Len McCluskey,


insists he is "now full of optimism" about Labour's general election


hopes despite saying in an interview yesterday he could not see


The union boss told Politico magazine a Labour victory would be


"extraordinary" and suggested winning just 200 seats would be


But this morning, he did a massive U-turn after an "incredible"


The response has been like something we've never seen before,


If I was having that interview today I wouldn't be making those comments.


I think also the Labour campaign has been brilliant.


Jeremy Corbyn has come across as a real man


Len McCluskey. What a difference 24 hours makes. We used to say a week


is a long time and now it's 24 hours.


To discuss all this is Barry Gardiner, the Shadow Secretary


Welcome back to the programme. You say the current spending plans you


have will be balanced by increases in tax. But is there any limit on


the amount you would borrow for public investment? Yes, there is a


limit on what we would borrow for public investment because we have


set out clearly that we would put in place a transformation programme,


which is going to borrow 25 billion a year for a 10-year period. That's


what we have set out. So the borrowing that we are taking into


account is in that capital programme. But you would borrow more


than 25 million because he would inherit as the rest of the decade


went on, existing capital spending, about 50 billion a year by the end


of the decade. You would add 25 billion a year onto that. There's


also the national investment bank to consider and the cost of


nationalisation as well, so you would be borrowing at least 75


billion by the end of the decade and maybe more than 100 billion or more.


I think if you look at the tax which has come this morning from the


Conservatives, what they have done is they have actually put into


capital many things which are actually revenue spending. I'm not


using the Conservative figures. I don't know which figures you are


using. The figures from the OBR and the red book. You are going to try


and balance the current budget and borrow to invest. So you will


inherit about 50 billion a year and added 25 billion to that and there


are other things which could fall under cap ex which you would borrow


to finance as well. So what I'm saying is, by the end of the decade,


you could be borrowing almost twice as much as we are borrowing at the


moment on these figures. What is wrong with that analysis? Let me say


what borders that analysis and constrains it because of course what


we have said is, by the end of the Parliament, we would have the debt


reduced from where it stands today. Now, that therefore puts a


constraint on what we would do. Define reduce. Very easy. The debt


in 2010 was ?979 billion, immediately after the financial


crisis. Today it is 1700 and ?31 billion. It has gone up by ?750


billion under the Conservatives. We have said at the end of the


parliament it will be lower than it is today. Using what metric? It's


not going to be lower in absolute terms. You are going to add to the


debt every year. What we are doing is we're going to certainly reduce


the trend rate of growth of the debt by the end of that. No, watch


manifesto says that you're going to reduce debt as a percentage of trend


GDP, that's what it says. What is trend GDP? The GDP is a measure of


product... I know why GDP is so what is trend GDP? It is how GDP is


growing declining in the economy. Said he would not measured against


the GDP for a year but on your estimate of what you think the trend


is going forward? My understanding of the figures that the Treasury


team have produced is that we would be measuring it in the same way as


the Government has set out. But as a trend, so you can be quite flexible


but the trend? The GDP is the GDP but we can all have different views


on the trend, and you could have the ability to take the highest trend


and say, as a percentage of GDP, debt has gone down. There is a


simple answer to this, though, and that is that the Office for Budget


Responsibility should be able to look at both the Labour Party


manifesto's promises and our spending commitments as we have


requested the Government to doom and to have the Conservative manifesto


vetted in exactly the same way. If we do that, then we have an


independent body that can look at both manifestos and say, which one


actually stacks up? I understand that. We have given the clearest


indication of where all our spending commitments are coming from and how


they are going to be funded and that is in the document we have. I'm


talking about the Capital One, because that's big and vague. Can I


pick you up on one thing you mentioned. I think it was mistaken.


Where you talked about the nationalisation programme. That's


what I wanted to ask you so let me ask you this, will the money for


nationalisation, the cost of nationalisation, come out of the 25


billion a year of what to call the National transformation fund? I


think there's a mistake in which the way the nationalisation programme is


going to work. Example, if you look at the way in which the proposals


are put forward for the National Grid, it's not too by the National


Grid as such, what it does is it alters licensing conditions. Now,


under the 89 electricity acts, and the 2006 utilities act, the way in


which the licensing is set up at the moment means that the capital assets


and the licence to operate for the district network operations are


combined and there's no end to that licensing process. What we are


proposing is to introduce a termination to those licenses so you


would actually separate the capital and the licensing. So you are not


going to nationalise the National Grid? It may happen at the end of


the process. The grid itself, the assets, could be purchased, but it's


rather like saying, the analogy of the railways. It's like saying you


have the network, the Railtrack itself, and you have a licence to


operate on its. At the moment, they are combined. If I can just make a


financial point... Will the network be state owned? At the moment, the


value that National Grid has as a company, it comes from the


integration of the licence and the capital assets. If you separate


them, it radically affects the value. Wilner State take over the


grade? It would still only assets. If you look at the way the National


Grid talks about its own future, it's very much on a regional grid


basis, looking at the district and regional network operators as being


able to... I'm lost. Is the National Grid going to be state owned or not?


There will be far greater public accountability... It's not the same.


So you're going to toughen up the regulations? This option for us to


do that. The change to the licence is exactly in the manifesto. Let me


show you. So you're going to put a new regulation in, not going to


actually buy the assets? No, I haven't said we won't buy the


assets, but I have said there is an option to do that but the valuations


would be substantially different. There would still be a tonne of


money. Its body got a market capital of 40 billion. And a big chunk of


that... What I'm trying to establish is, regardless of this, when it


comes to the nationalisation is you are proposing, does the cost, and


there will be some cost, you cut nationalise everything, does it come


from the 250 billion over ten years or a separate cost?


I think certainly some of it would come from the ?25 billion a year.


You're not sure? I can't give you the exact figures per year, no, I


can't. But money that you have said will be a national transformation


which is to build new assets, build new roads, new railwayses, new


hospitals, new schools, things which we create assets, some of that could


be used simply to buy existing assets? If it were, then what it


would be doing is it would be reducing the amount that bill payers


at the moment are paying to subsidise the profits that the


companies take out. The element of their bills that is going into


shareholders pockets rather than coming back into the public purse.


So in fact, money would then be generated, revenue would be


generated in a different way. So I think one has to take account of the


fact that if that capital were used to procure those assets, it would


also generate more revenue for the public purse because that revenue


would not be... It wouldn't generate it for the public purse, you're


promising to cut water rates and cut electricity rates. There wouldn't be


money for the public purse, it would go on the cuts? If people are not


spending money on water water littles or energy bills, they are


spending, most people in the economy will be spend it in other ways and


therefore, no, but it does as you will understand generate further


revenues for the public purse. Because they're creating tax and


wealth in other ways. Michael Forsyth, ma carry, an Australian


bank, it owned Thames Water for ten years, during that ten years it paid


itself or paid its shareholders ?1.6 billion in dividends, ?1.6 billion,


it wracked up ?10.6 billion in debt, it had a ?360 million pension


deficit and it paid no corporation tax. There is surely a case for


doing something about that? Well, there maybe a case for the


regulators and for doing something about that, but there is no case for


spending scarce capital resources on buying assets which are not a


priority or shouldn't be a priority for any Government. I mean, I'm just


listening to what, I don't really understand what is being said about


the National Grid, but I mean it sounds to me as if what is being


said they want to find a way of making sure that the shareholders


don't get proper value. As the shareholders are the pension funds


and people's pensions that doesn't make any sense at all. All right,


we'll unpick this further in the days to come.


Let's get a round-up of all the other election campaign news.


I am indeed. Jo, yes another beautiful day here in Westminster.


But we've had our eye on what the candidates have been up to around


the country and there is a few treats for you. So, Diane Abbott has


been taking on a tough crowd at the Police Federation. The Green Party


have an offer especially for women, but starting off this round-up for


any retro gaming fans out there, well, someone has created a Super


Mario-style campaign game. Take a look.


Let's play Super Tory Party versus The Coalition of Chaos.


Select your player and level - easy, hard or Brexit.


So back in the real world on the campaign trail today,


the Green Party is promising free sanitary products for those


The party has pledged to end period poverty by providing free tampons


The Conservatives will scrap the Severn Bridge tolls if they win


the general election, predicting it would bring


Are you a whingeing liberal elitist snowflake?


This Labour voter in Brighton was proud to be so.


The Conservative's Ruth Davidson got her bake on in Dumfries.


Let me try that again. Good afternoon.


The Police Federation were lacking a little enthusiasm


as they were addressed by Diane Abbott.


She faced a backlash over her opposition


And someone with way too much time on their hands made this.


# Strong and stable, strong and stable, strong


and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable #.


I'm not sure I imagined Theresa May ever dancing like that, but on a


Friday night, who knows? That's your lot. I'm back tomorrow.


Figures out this morning show the UK unemployment


rate has fallen to 4.6%, its lowest in 42 years.


To discuss this and the manifestos are two seasoned political


journalists, the Mirror's Kevin Maguire and Caroline Wheeler


Kevin Maguire, you've written that the Labour manifesto has lots of


smart ideas. Which ones were you attracted to? I think the ones that


the country, people are attracted to like ?10 Living Wage, more money in


the NHS, free school meals for primary pupils, rail


renationalisation, those policies are popular, but as you also know, I


believe unless Jeremy Corbyn becomes popular Labour will be in trouble.


If you're not sure about the messenger, you won't buy your


message. I know Len McCluskey, I know he has done a U-turn. He said


just 24 hours that he couldn't see Labour winning. He said he thought


it would be difficult. Was that sensible even 24 hours ago? Well, I


think it sounded the way a lot of people are and it was a rare moment


of honesty. Somebody breaking free from a script where everybody seems


to have to pretend they're going to win. You look at the opinion polls,


you talk to Labour MPs defending seats, you speak to Labour


candidates who, if they haven't got a seat, don't really expect to get a


seat. So Len McCluskey really was telling a truth. The other argument,


of course, is whether, if Labour went down from 229 seats to 200


whether that would be a reasonable result and that's about who defines


what a defeat is, how heavy it is and then owns what happens after


that. Well, that, of course, will be crucial as as far as the Labour


Party is concerned. Caroline Wheeler, how easy would it be stand


on the manifesto for the Labour candidates who have been hostile to


Jeremy Corbyn? Well, that's the interesting thing really, we have


seen lots of copy written about it in our newspapers, but we're not


hearing very much from those MPs that are going to be standing on


that ticket at all. Len McCluskey is the only person that's come out and


endorsed it which I think speaks volumes. I think at the moment the


notion is they want to keep their head down and not say too much about


it. There has been discussion that they're not mentioning Jeremy


Corbyn, some are suggesting he might be removed fairly soon after the


general election and inn a sort of last-ditch bid to persuade voters


that they might be voting for something different which paints a


kind of picture of sort of disarray really for the party and doesn't


bode well really post the general election. Kevin Maguire, we have


interviewed one of the frontbench spokes people for the Labour Party


about the plans for nationalising industries and nationalising the


National Grid and he seemed to imply that it wouldn't be a


straightforward take over into state ownership, that there would be some


sort of reregulation. Are we clear exactly what Labour is proposing and


costings for their planned nationalisation? Not entirely


because I looked at those figures for what they proposed to raise in


taxes and what they proposed to spend and I think they came to ?48.6


billion in a wonderful beautiful symmetry in those two tables and I


didn't see any figures for spending on renationalisation, but the


argument from Labour is public control, public accountability,


public ownership can take many forms. For instance on the railways,


as franchises come up for renewal they would be taken back so that


wouldn't cost anything, but some are long and it would take a long time


for that to happen. Water they seem to want to buy something. On the


National Grid we thought they wanted it take ownership of it, it sounds


like not now. The regional energy companies they would set-up would be


alternatives so they wouldn't be taking the big six which most of us


buy our electricity from at the moment. There is a range of answers,


but it sounds confusing because it is. Right. Thank you for that, for


clearing it up. Caroline Wheeler, unemployment is at its lowest level


since 1975, but real wages are being squeezed due to rising inflation now


at its four year high of 2. # %, how does that affect the story the


Government wants to tell ahead of the election? They want to tell a


story of the finances looking like they are in good hands particularly


under the Conservative Party as we head towards Brexit and we're almost


two years away from that. The problem they are going to have is


about, the age old story which is pounds and pence in your pocket and


that's where the notion of tax comes in. We heard the Labour Party's


plans on tax, to protect 95% of people from tax rises, but that does


impact on those that earn over ?80,000. Tomorrow will be the time


of the Conservative Party to tell us what they are intend to do and of


course, if they are going to abandon David Cameron's tax lock pledge then


that is going to mean that the real prospect of raising taxes, which is


going to hit people in the pockets, which if they're feeling the squeeze


maybe something that they will consider when they go into the


polling booth. Well, with the squeezes as perhaps the backdrop


today, Kevin Maguire, on the Liberal Democrats manifesto, will voters be


persuaded by a penny on income tax to pay for more money going into


health and schools? I suspect not. I have been somewhat surprised by the


lack of impact of the Liberal Democrats in this election. They bet


most of the ranch on it being a Brexit election which it hasn't


really felt that way. I don't think looking at that manifesto it's going


to be the game changer they want and it's very difficult to see them


winning all the seats they were talking about earlier on and I think


in some areas they will be struggling to hold what they've got.


Thank you both very much. Enjoy the campaign!


Just referring back to our interview with Barry Gardiner, this is what


the Labour manifesto says. It says, "Regain control of energy supply


networks through the opposition of licence conditions." I think that's


what Mr Gardiner was talking about and says transition to a publicly


owned decentralised energy system. So, it would seem that in the end


the idea is still whether it is anymore the National Grid or lots of


regional grids, it would be, it would nevertheless be publicly


owned. Doesn't that mean we'll make regulation so tough that the value


of the shares will fall and we'll buy them on the cheap. I have no


idea really what it means. I will have to do some more homework.


Throughout the campaign we're taking the Daily Politics Moodbox around


the country to test the mood of the public.


Hello, Andrew. Let me start by quoting a local. We two paddled in


this strael. The Moodbox and I didn't, it's chilly. Dumfries was


the home of Robbie Burns in the final years of his life and it is


where the SNP cleaned up at the last general election. Relegating Labour


into third. It's now the Tories who have got it in their sights. It's


also a place that rather convincingly voted no in the


Scottish independence referendum so we have been asking voters whether


they think that issue of Scottish independence will be a crucial issue


to them in the coming general election.


Yes, or no? MUSIC: I Get Around


by The Beach Boys. # Round round get around,


I get around # Yeah, get around round round I get


around, ooh-ooh #. Certain things, school, education,


NHS, things like that. I'm a staunch campaigner


for the union so definitely I'll be voting Conservative to remain


as part of that. Because I'm voting independence,


I've always voted yes and if the election included


a question for yes or no about independence,


I would vote that way. No, it's not about


independence for me. It's about who would be best


running this country. I'm a believer in Scottish


independence all my life, I'm not going to vote for anything


else but SNP. The issue of independence


will influence the way you vote? I don't think anyone


in Scotland should either. # And we've never missed yet


with the girls we meet # None of the guys go steady cos it


wouldn't be right # To leave their best girl home now on Saturday


night # I get around, get around round


round I get around #. Nicola Sturgeon is just


hellbent on independence. So you want to vote to make sure


she can't have that? What's most important issue


at this election for you? In this election for me


it would be Brexit. So Scottish independence, is it


the burning issue at this election? Well, I think this might be


a first in Moodbox history. A verified dead heat between those


who think that Scottish independence is the most crucial issue for them


at this election Thank you, Dumfries Galloway,


and thank you, Robbie Burns. Joining us now from Aberdeen


is Callum McCaig from the SNP. And Michael Forsyth,


the former Scotland Secretary, Welcome to the Daily Politics. Is


their selection for you primarily about a second independence


referendum, yes or no? I think this election is about who is the best


people to represent Scotland in Westminster and we have the choice,


the battle ground has been drawn between the Tories and SNP and it's


a battle I am confident about. I have been speaking to many voters


and I ask people what is important to them and to some people


independence is important but the vast majority, it's not, it's about


who's the best place in Westminster question of why suddenly a change of


heart? It's no longer a priority in an election campaign. I think we've


done that service are quite irony in terms of the Tories fought both the


last Scottish Parliament elections, the council elections and saying no


to it. I'm of the belief the Scottish Parliament should be the


place to decide whether Scotland has another independence referendum. It


is decided. It is the clear vote on a Scottish Parliament that there


should be another referendum once the terms of Brexit are known.


Nobody is running away from independent but there are other


issues around what type of Brexit we are going to have, what the state


pension is going to be and people in Scotland are not daft. It's just


interesting that the SNP in all the years I've interviewed them are


reluctant to talk about independence now. I wonder if you are playing


down the issue in this election because the issue of independence,


the UK has voted to leave the EU, has not shifted the balance towards


Scottish independence in the way you had hoped for? No, I disagree. But


it hasn't shifted, has it? The SNP has said the only way Scotland will


become an independent country is if people vote for it in a referendum.


That's how we decide. That referendum has been voted for by the


Scottish Parliament and therefore it should happen. That's democracy for


them when we're talking about other issues in an election and we are not


an independent country yet, so the issues are about how we are governed


whilst we are part of the UK, it's important, so we are not a one trick


pony. We believe independence is the correct future for Scotland but


whilst we are not independent, we have to shape the way the UK is to


the benefit of Scotland. If other parties don't want to do that, they


have to accept that. Do you accept the dial has not moved towards


independence since the Brexit about? There's been a significant change in


how these things happen. People who voted yes, who would now vote no.


But has the dial shifted dramatically? Not really but with


not a campaign on independence and referendum campaign is where we


would shift that. If we started in 2012 when it was announced, it went


from 30% up to 45%. In this election, not just speaking to yes


voters but everyone. I'm not going to write off anybody because how


they voted in 2014 or 2015. I'm confident we can gauge with people


on the issues of this general election. When it comes to the


referendum we will engage on the issues of referendum. Just finally,


on Brexit, you obviously against it, and your request for Scotland to


stay in the single market have been written off by the Government as


unworkable. So how will the SNP actually be able to achieve giving


Scotland a place at the top table during Brexit negotiations? I think


that battle has not entirely been lost. We have an election that could


shape what happens I'm not going to take advantage how people vote in


the UK. I would assume the Government will stay as it is, that


would be unfair in terms of the electoral process. Let's try to


shape the attitudes in Scotland and elsewhere through the debate which


suggests" operation with our friends and neighbours in Europe is a good


thing. Not just for Scotland but for the UK as a whole. Let's get the


softest Brexit and make sure Scottish industries are given


priority. Island gas in Aberdeen is very important to the local economy.


It was a low priority in terms of the Tories are Brexit talks but I


would like to be high priority. It would cost 500 million quid to the


industry. Michael, looking at recent polling, I electoral calculus, it


indicates the Tories could take ten seats from the SNP coming from a


very low base as you know. But this would be an improvement. Is there


evidence to show Scottish voters are suddenly become Conservative again?


Isn't it really just about Brexit and therefore it could be short-term


lived if this surge turns out to be true? I think what has happened is a


lot of tactical voting in Scotland, four party system. When we lost our


seeds in 1997, we had 17.5% of the vote and the Liberals got ten seats.


People vote tactically for the a lot of Tories have voted in the


north-east tactically for the SNP to stop Labour. It is now completely


clear there's not going to be a Labour Government and people are


very, very upset by the SNP's campaign to refuse to accept the


result of a Scottish referendum and to imply that those people who voted


Brexit are somehow in favour of independence. You're picking up


those votes but has not been a wholesale conversion to a


Conservative loss. You've just been to Dumfries Galloway. On the local


election results, we would have won that seat. If you look at the local


election results where I live, the SNP council long-standing has been


replaced by a Tory one. There is a swing because people resent the fact


that they are being told we have to have another referendum and one of


the ironies of this election campaign is the two parties, the SNP


and liberals, who want more referendums, are the ones who don't


accept the results of. Let's look at some of the issues. You don't want


to be a one trick pony in the SNP so let's look at education. Scottish


Government statistics. They are pretty damning after a decade of SNP


rule, fewer than half of 13 and 14-year-olds in Scotland are able to


write properly. With a proportion of those functionally illiterate more


than doubling for the battered dreadful legacy. I think you can


pick statistics. Some are not good. You have not picked the ones which


say... Which ones say numerous the and literacy have improved under the


SNP? You can pick some would say things are not great and some things


which are improving and you have picked some statistics and you have


denied that. People are passing higher exams in record numbers, we


have the lowest youth unemployment in the UK, so there are some things


that need to be improved, nobody is denying that, but to suggest that


somehow the education system is failing an entire generation of


people in Scotland is incorrect. Just tell me on literacy and


numerous E, can you give me some positive numbers? To be clear, I'm


not denying those figures but I'm suggesting, if you look at certain


figures in isolation, and ignore other figures would suggest things


are not quite as bad as the picture you like to paint, then things, when


you look them in the round are not as bad. Does the SNP accept there


are issues which need to be addressed with education? Yes, and


that's why we are increasing money going into schools to close the gap


and yes, we are aware of these issues and addressing them. That's


not just look at certain things in isolation without accepting the


bigger picture which is not as dark as the picture you are painting.


Thank you very much for joining us. The Washington post is reporting


President Putin is ready to hand over records of President Trump's


talks with the Russian Foreign Minister to US lawmakers if the


White House approves. And they will show he did not hand over any secret


intelligence, says the Kremlin. Curiouser and curiouser. Shutting


down the story well, isn't it? No way this story will shut down.


Now, in the run up to the general election we've been taking a look


at some of the smaller parties hoping to win seats.


Today it's the turn of the Alliance for Green Socialism


and they are putting up three candidates.


The Alliance for Green Socialism was founded in 2003.


It wants to get rid of capitalism in favour of the environment.


It doesn't have a Twitter account and, as one of the smallest parties,


Its policies include putting a stop to global warming


with investment in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure.


It wants to abandon what it calls endless economic growth.


And it seeks public ownership of utilities, big business


The Alliance for Green Socialism also wants to abolish the monarchy


and put an elected presidency in its place.


And the leader Mike Davies joins me now.


Welcome to the programme. Thanks for the invite. You have three


candidates. What are you hoping to achieve? We want to make our


policies and our views clear to as many people as possible. And since


those policies are not being put forward by any of the larger


parties, we are putting forward. What's the difference between the


Alliance for Green Socialism and the Green party? In the British


political spectrum, the Green party is to the left. That's a very


dubious statement. Really? The Green party, firstly, doesn't understand


the relationship between capitalism and environmental problems like


global warming. The Green party's attitude, and I'm quoting Caroline


Lucas, an archetypal supposedly left Green party member, she will sort


out the environment and then think about capitalism. They don't realise


you can't sort out the environment without thinking about capitalism at


the same time. You sound, if I may say so, a bit like the People's


Judaean front. You did use that analogy two years ago. Isn't that


the reason why you never make that much progress, because you're so


bitty differentiating yourself from each other, but on a number of


things you are on a broad agreement, so what you achieve more by being


together? Are you talking about the Labour Party or the Green party?


Both, actually. If you look at the Labour Party, basically it has no


interest in the environment. If you listen to Jeremy Corbyn speech, he


won't say a word about the environment. If you look at the


Labour Party manifesto, nothing in Jeremy's forward about the


environment. It has got 12 headings, none of which concern the


environment for the PS, if you dig down deep to word number 573 you


will find a dozen words on it, but basically they don't care and the


Green party, as I say, they don't appreciate that you cannot solve the


environmental problems, particularly global warming, when you've got an


economic system which pursues endless growth and immediate profit.


All right. How well do you think are going to do? I think we will come


close to form an excrement. LAUGHTER


On that realistic note... I want the first interview. Done.


There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.


The question was which book series did Theresa May reveal she was a fan


So, Michael, what's the correct answer?


Harry to is the correct answer. Thank you very much.


TEACHER: And I know you like reading those books.


She has read all of them. She's thinking, is there a trap?


The One O'Clock News is starting over on BBC One now.


I'll be here at noon tomorrow with all the big


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