11/07/2017 Daily Politics


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Good morning, and welcome to The Daily Politics.


Theresa May visited Donald Trump back in January, and invited him


for a state visit to Britain - today, we understand it will go


The Prime Minister has been launching a government review


into working practices - so, what will it mean for those


at the bottom end of the labour market, and does it go far enough?


MPs say they're facing increasing levels of abuse and intimidation -


some say they're now living in "genuine fear".


And how long do most prime ministers stay behind that famous black door?


We'll be taking a look at some of the shortest and the longest


All that in the next 45 minutes of end-to-end political action


to whet your appetite for the tennis.


And with me to discuss all of it is the anti-poverty


campaigner, crossbench peer and Big Issue founder John Bird.


First today, Donald Trump could be coming to Britain next year,


The US president accepted the Queen's invitation for him


to come on a state visit when Theresa May visited


Washington in January, but there's since been little public


discussion about the trip, leading to speculation it


The two met at the G20 gathering of world leaders


Mr Trump said he and the Prime Minister had developed a "very


special relationship", and he expected a post-Brexit trade


deal to happen between the two countries very quickly.


Mrs May said that dates for his visit were still being looked at.


So, we now expect it to be sometime next year,


and it will be a huge event when it happens.


Let's talk now to the BBC's deputy political editor, John Pienaar.


Have you got a date in your diary for 2018? I have got 2018 in the


diary, but even that is in pencil! You never quite know. Normally you


would know about a big state visit like this well in a dance, but you


do not often see the words Donald Trump and normal in the same


sentence. Indeed you don't. It was going to be this autumn, and now it


has been pushed back to next year - will it happen at all? We know that


there probably would be major protests, something he did not want,


and also, 2 million people signing a petition calling for his invites to


be rescinded. I think the protests would be an absolute certainty. The


visit you could scarcely imagine would be put off indefinitely.


Although the Prime Minister first announced to visit back in January,


and she was very keen to keep on the right side of Donald Trump, and that


remains the case. Lots of reasons for that. Major partner in a


post-Brexit world, in particular a trade deal, is a very high priority.


She wants to stay on the right side of Donald Trump. And this is part of


that. But there are those complications. And what about things


like policing you were at the G20, what was the reaction there? Well,


the reaction was, as you saw on the news, and heard on the radio,


running skirmishes between police and demonstrators through the entire


G20. You would hope that Donald Trump, when he comes, will not be


accompanied by precisely that kind of scene, but it will be enormously


controversial, and clearly you could imagine a reticence on his part to


face all of that, although the White House denies that that is the reason


for the postponement. He has been invited, he should come? This is


diplomatic, it is nothing to do with politics, it is nothing to do with


anything, other than the fact that Theresa May wants to make the most


of her premiership. And she needs the old Alliance, the people who


saved us in the Second World War, and we shouldn't forget that, even


though this man is from ugly the most peculiar person who has ever


held that office. They have had some pretty strange and some horrible


presidents, you know, Kings in fact, because they're monarchs. People


like Andrew Jackson was an absolute scumbag. You look at all of the kind


of things, Ronald Reagan wasn't exactly playing the full hand. This


guy almost seems to be all the worst things that you could put into one


hand. But they have a special relationship, according to the White


House and probably according to No 10? When the UK lost America, we had


a king who was losing the plot, and in many senses, the war still went


on, the separation still went on. Things happen in politics sometimes


with the most god-awful people, and this man is probably one of them.


You mentioned the trade deal between the two of them, that is going to be


crucial, this is going to happen after we have left the EU, but that


will be part of cementing that special relationship? Enormous


priority. Andrew Jackson, by the way, was a general who confronted


the British, and he was given to pointing his pistol at people. We


haven't had that from Donald Trump so far! Donald Trump has said there


will be a trade deal very, very quickly, which was exactly what


Theresa May was hoping to hear. Just how quickly that actually means, we


don't know. These trade deals, on the best day, can take years to


conclude. This will be bilateral... Hamsik he is in favour of bilateral


deals? Of course, America first is the motto of Donald Trump, so you


would not think it would be easy for Britain. Will you be welcoming him?


I would like to get him, and grab him and take him someplace real,


rather than a golf course. I do think that we seem to have more and


more people who are just so, so outside of reality, and this man


takes a lot of beating. Time now for our daily quiz, and it


might cheer up the Prime Minister. She's reached something


of a milestone today, equalling the term in office of one


of her predecessors. Is it a) Gordon Brown,


b) William Pitt the Younger, c) Alec Douglas-Home,


or d) fictional prime Later on in the show,


John will hopefully give us John Birt, that is, not John


Pienaar. Although he may know it, too.


Last October the Prime Minister commissioned the former Labour


adviser Matthew Taylor to report on modern working practices -


specifically, how to ensure a rapidly changing economy doesn't


disadvantage certain kinds of workers.


Well, this morning, Theresa May has joined Matthew Taylor


He says the UK has a "great record on creating jobs" but hasn't paid


enough attention to the "quality" of those jobs.


Mr Taylor says it's time for an end to the "cash in hand" economy,


which is worth up to ?6 billion a year - much of it untaxed.


He says payment for traditional cash jobs like window cleaning should now


be made digitally. He's also recommending that people


who work in the gig economy - that's certain kinds of freelance


or short-term contract work - be classed as workers


and not self-employed. That change in classification


for more than one million people would mean some firms could have


to pay millions of pounds in national insurance


contributions every year. However, he doesn't call -


as some unions wanted - for the banning of zero-hours


contracts. Nor does he argue fees that workers


pay to take employers The Government, of course,


does not have to accept all of the recommendations


in the review, but Theresa May says reforming work practices involves


finding "the right balance Meanwhile, the Government has


reached a settlement on teachers' pay in England and Wales,


which will mean a real-terms cut for most teachers as they're limited


to a 1% pay rise over the next year, although those at the bottom


of the scale can receive a 2% rise. by Labour's Chi Onwurah -


she's the Shadow Minister For Industrial Strategy -


and by the Conservative What can you confidently expect to


change in your working conditions? I think you can expect the Government


to look carefully at this report. We commissioned it because we recognise


that people working in the so-called gig economy do not have the rights


that other people do. The flexible book economy is a good thing because


it creates jobs but we need to make sure people are looked after. Things


like having them paid national insurance but also get benefits like


sick pay and holiday pay I think is a really interesting idea. He also


says that people working for, say, Uber, are definitely getting the


minimum wage. The minimum wager has gone up by 26% under the


Conservatives. I am proud of that but I am keen to make sure that


everybody, including people in the gig economy, benefit from that


enormous increase in the minimum wage. But they will not necessarily


accept all of these recommendations, the Government? That's right. We are


hoping, by the way, that there will be constructive engagement from the


Labour side as well. And I hope many of these ideas will get taken


forward. But you have got to be very careful to make sure the balance is


struck between giving extra rights to low paid workers but not


destroying jobs at the same time. Over the summer, I think the


Government will be making sure that it strikes the right balance. Most


workers in the gig economy, as independent contractors, have no


protection against unfair dismissal, no right to redundancy payments, no


right to receive the minimum wage, you used the example of Uber, no


right to paid holiday and no bite to sickness pay. If their status is


reclassified, as Matthew Taylor suggests, will they get all those


things? That is what the Government is going to look at. What do you


think? If somebody is in paid employment with one employer who


directs their activity, to all intents and purposes, they are that


person's boss, then in my view, yes, they should get those rights. We


have to draw the line be somebody who is essentially an employee


versus someone who is a genuine freelance tractor working for lots


of different people. We have got to draw the line in exactly the right


place. Which part of the report, Chi Onwurah, would a Labour government


implement? The fundamental principle is that everyone is entitled to a


fair and decent, who is that they should be treated as human beings


and not as cogs in a machine. That is the fundamentals. The problem is


that, regardless of what Chris has been saying, for the last seven


years, we have not seen that, we have seen the greatest undermining


of working rights for decades. Which rights have been undermined? For


example, no access to tribunal fees, meaning that so many people can't


establish what their rights are, they can't get access to justice, if


you like. That was really a very underhand move by the Government in


order to prevent workers from establishing their rights. So,


that's one right which Matthew Taylor has recommended should be


reinstated. In terms of jobs that you mentioned, do you accept that


there has been a massive move in job creation over the last seven years,


it's not the Government, it is business, but you could say


government created the conditions, that is a good thing? It's good to


have jobs, but jobs should be a route out of poverty. What this


government has done is changing that, so it is no longer at route


out of poverty, because there are so many low-paid jobs. We see people,


nurses who are working but who are having to use food banks. I have


constituents having to have two low-paid jobs to make ends meet and


at the same time, not having the protection that you spoke about. I


have got to put the facts on record. We have created 2 million new jobs,


unemployment is at a 40-year low... People are poor. The minimum wage


has gone up by a staggering 26% under the Conservatives. And the


poorest paid 6 million have been lifted out of income tax entirely.


Basic rate taxpayers, including nurses and teachers and fireman, are


all paying ?1000 a year less in tax. You have got to put all of that


together. Given the mess we inherited, and given what is


happening in the rest of Europe, that is a fantastic achievement on


jobs, in very difficult circumstances. People are on average


?2600 a year poorer because of what you have done, tax increases, VAT,


you increased that, and also the absence of any wage rises amongst


both the public and the private sector. We have said that we will


put in place a ?10 minimum wage, you can't match that because you're


actually not even going to meet the promises that you have made. So,


people need to share this prosperity that you're talking about - and they


don't. Let's talk about another aspect of


protections and rights. There has been a lot of debate between the two


main parties about zero-hours contracts. Do you think there are a


good thing and should stay? 75% of the new jobs are full-time job. Only


3% are zero-hours contracts. There was a survey recently amongst


McDonald's employees, who are many of them on these flexible contract,


an 80% found it suited their lifestyle. What was wrong was when


their work so-called exclusive contracts where someone was tied to


a job, couldn't get employment elsewhere despite being guaranteed


no work, and we legislated to ban those, and it was the right thing to


do. Do you accept that many workers want that flexibility? Very strong


position it will evidence that says that with the right protections


people like that. -- strong statistical evidence. We want to


retain flexibility. Can't zero-hours contracts work if you have the right


protection? Zero-hours contracts give the flexibility and the control


of that flexibility to the employer. We look at the New Zealand model


that allows for flexibility and gives money hours. Is possible. --


minimum hours. Jobs are the best way of lifting people out of poverty but


only have the right protections? Jobs can take you places and leave


you there, and that is why at The Big Issue, we are always trying to


move people on. You really have to see jobs as a stage up. Where I'd


agree with most of the ugly, left and right, is if someone said to me,


I want a job, and I'm waiting around, can you give me a job? And


applied for the job. I would probably put them with the rest of


the pile, but if they said to me, I'm working in Poundland, I don't


like the hours or what I'm doing, but I'm doing it because I have got


to do something to keep myself hail and hearty. I would pick that person


because that is someone who is going to make the most of it. Most of the


Poundland jobs are for people who are stuck, and we have to do


something about that. The people who are stuck, and for people who want


to grow and progress, is it right that gig economy companies are the


ones that should be paying National Insurance contributions, and will


the Government make that change? If someone is an employee, and people


who work for Uber more than 20 or 30 hours a week are, we need to look at


that. We need to make sure that national insurance is paid. We have


a massive deficit we need to close, and it is only fair that those


workers get the kinds of rights you mentioned, such as sick pay and


holiday pay. We need to make sure the workers have those protections.


We're here, and I hope Labour are as well, to stand up for those people


and make sure they are protected. If we push too far, the jobs miracle


may be put at risk. Mathieu Taylor also said we should end the cash in


hand economy. A lot of people do that - do you think it should stop?


The cash economy has been much exaggerated. I think people will


continue to use cash. The issue is when taxes and pensions


contributions are paid. Some of the points that Mathieu Taylor is making


around using technology to empower workers so that when you pay people,


there is a pension contribution. Technology has been about taking


power away from working people, but Labour will make sure that


technology works to empower people. Some of this is based on the working


practices of companies such as Uber. One of your colleagues today said


that it wasn't morally acceptable - do you agree? She says their working


practices are not morally acceptable. It is really important


to look at what the companies are doing and how they are treating


their working people. I say that Uber and other companies deliver


real benefits, and particularly if you're a woman on her own... Summit


is not morally unacceptable? You want the services, but you want to


make sure that their working practices are the right ones. You


need to talk to the drivers. If you do, probably 50% think it is good.


We have got to lift the Uber economy up. That is a fair point, John, and


that is hopefully what this will do. 100% of Uber drivers have chosen to


do that. We could do the whole programme on this, and we will at


some point! But with MPs now regularly reporting


cases of serious abuse, has the normal rough and tumble


of political life turned Well, that's the subject


of a debate to be held in the Commons later this week,


but here's the Conservative MP Sheryl Murray asking about it


at Prime Minister's Questions last Over the past months, I've had


swastikas carved into posters, social media posts like "burn


the witch" and "stab the C", people putting Labour Party posters


on my home, photographing them and pushing them


through my letterbox, and someone even urinated


on my office door - Can my right honourable friend


suggest what can be done to stop these things, which,


Mr Speaker, may well be putting off good people


from And at the weekend, the Labour MP


Yvette Cooper gave a speech about the "vitriolic abuse"


being dished out to many We're joined now by the MP who's


called this week's debate - he's Simon Hart -


and by Tulip Siddiq, who has said female MPs need


training to deal with what are known We've heard a lot about this over


the last few years. Simon, you have this abuse on Wednesday about abuse


faced by candidates in elections - how is this different from previous


campaigns? Between 2015 and 2017, 2015 was a civilised election. You


had a passionate debate, shook hands and went to the pub. It has become


more personal. The purpose of this is not to provide an MP and


opportunity to whinge... It might be genuine. Possibly, but it is members


of the public - people who want to put a poster up or make a donation -


they are being abused, getting broken windows and they are being


driven away from politics at a time when we need them. Who is doing it?


You say it was civilised in 2015, so what changed in two years? There is


a partisan element. There is quite a lot of anti-Semitism, homophobia,


sexism. It is not just left versus right. In my experience, it has been


typified by people feeling they have been given permission by the silence


from political leaders to engage in this without repercussions. Is there


a sense that Momentum, this grassroots organisation backed by


Jeremy Corbyn, feels it has a licence to be abusive to people who


don't agree with their view? I think that is absolutely ridiculous, and I


think it's an easy way to cover up the fact that things are getting


worse. I have been abused since 2010 online, long before most people knew


who Jeremy Corbyn was, and it was directed at me, mostly because I was


a female politician. In the last two years, it has gotten worse, but it


tends to get worse around major events. Around Brexit, it got worse,


around Donald Trump's election, and during the general election. There


are people who are tweeting saying things like, you can't be a mother


and an MP, and then a string of swear words. Sorry, don't blame that


on Momentum. There was our online internet trolls. Yvette


Cooper had someone tweet about her about being in a first-class


carriage on a train. Who is that, in your mind, and what are they trying


to say? I don't know. I could give you an example of someone who


tweeted me yesterday, saying, go back to where you belong, Bongo-


Bongo - land. I don't blame Theresa May for one tweet sent by someone


who vote Conservative. It is easy to blame leaders for what people are


doing in their name. Are left-wingers getting it from the


right as much as the converse? I think it has played a significant


part, but it is not exclusive. Political leaders have a unique


platform to stand up and say, not in my name, not in my party's name.


Anyone who does this in the name of me and my party has no place on the


political stage. At the moment, there has been silence on this


topic. Tomorrow and the debate this week is about rectifying that and


forcing leaders to say, this will not be accepted. Jeremy Corbyn


tweeted in 2016, I completely condemn abuse of MPs of any kind. He


said on Question Time, there should be no online abuse, no abuse in


political debate. I don't make personal attacks on anyone. Yvette


Cooper has stipulated the left versus Right campaign, and how


Labour if it wanted to be credible needed to address this. What is


Jeremy Corbyn doing about it? What is he doing about it? He spoke up


during the election very strongly. He personally tweeted when I was


getting abuse saying it was unacceptable and that we should be


forcing women are flying, and he stood in solidarity. I think a


deafening silence is absolutely the wrong phrase to use. Is he giving


enough? Theresa May said yesterday that she was surprised by Jeremy


Corbyn's fell year to condemn vandalism. There are examples of


swastikas being drawn on Conservative posters. Should he do


more? I think he has done plenty. He rang me personally after the abuse.


I sort of feel we are missing the point by blaming leaders of


political parties. The fact is, Twitter and Facebook have to take


responsibility. If they want us to use their networks, they should take


responsibility. Facebook was very quick to get rid of a picture of a


woman breast-feeding, but when I reported a fake account set up in my


name, two weeks later I got a response. They should be acting


faster. Therefore, and we have had a lot of female MPs who have long had


vitriolic abuse against them, so a missed origin this -- a misogynist


strain. You can't change a culture that has happened for years. Is


absolutely not. We need to measure the extent of this and the impact it


is having. Rain-mac isn't it to do with the fact that ten years ago you


didn't have these means where every little person in every little


corner, every little freak and weirdo, as well as the general


public, having the chance to actually grabbed the debate and to


do things against people like yourself? And we really need to be


thinking about this kind of freedom - is it a freedom to be used


properly or improperly? There is existing legislation. If you want to


take someone to task, it is expensive and risky, so people are


disinclined to do it. I agree about social media, because this extends


beyond the bullying of MPs. It is about online bullying in general.


There will come a time when we will look back at this because we will


have invented the means of controlling this horrible, horrible


manifestation of ugliness. The laws exist, they have just not been


implemented as much. And you are calling for training? Training, but


also Twitter and Facebook need to take responsibility. If there is a


need for a change in legislation, perhaps this is one point on which


Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn can be in the same voting lobby.


Cross-party consensus after all! Now, over the last 50 years,


Britain has become a richer place. But even in one of the wealthiest


countries in the world, one in five of us is classed


as living in poverty. It's the sort of thing you might


expect from the Victorians, a map of London, colour-coded by area


according to wealth or poverty. The black colour was what would you


define as the worst colour back then, and that was describe as


vicious. Although apparently, vicious did not mean that they would


attack you, it just meant they were prone to vice, drinking, gambling,


that kind of stuff. Lunesdale the wealthy shipping magnate Charles


Booz commissioned the maps in the 1880s, updating them ten years


later. They revised them by accompanying bobbies on the beat,


walking the area, so again, more experts. People who would walk


around the area on a regular basis and they knew what a street was


like, if it had woken windows, if the children had mud on their faces.


They knew it would not necessarily be that salubrious place. Booth


found more than 30% of Londoners were living in poverty at the end of


the 19th-century. The stats have changed since then, but so is the


way poverty is measured. Absolute poverty is the fraction of people


who have an income below a given line. A couple of hundred pounds a


week, for example. And that line goes up with inflation but doesn't


change other than that. A relative poverty line is a line which changes


depending on how rich the whole country is. So, it's 60% of the


middle income. As the country gets richer, the poverty line goes up,


and therefore, it is a measure of inequality between middle income and


low income people. Latest official figures suggest that after housing


costs, 20% of people in the UK live in absolute poverty, while 22% of


people live in relative poverty. Over the next few years, projections


show some increases in poverty. That's partly because employment


gains which have happened over the last few years are expected to peter


out. And cuts to working age benefits are really falling upon low


income families with children, and that suppresses their incomes as


well as. It was cuts to some benefits that led Iain Duncan Smith


to resign as Work and Pensions Secretary last year. But before


that, he changed the way child poverty was measured. The previous


Vale government having defined a child is being poor when it lives in


a household with an income below 60% of the UK average. My problem with


the 60% line was, it the only told me one thing, which is, you are


below it all you are above it. What I was trying to do was to say, look,


this is something where we need to say, what is the measure going to


be? Educational failure, dysfunctional family background,


family break down, find really good measurements, and then we can begin


to have a framework to say, now we know what we have to do, to get that


family, sort it, and moving out - that's the key, moving out. Dealing


with the causes of poverty might be more complicated than measuring it.


Even the Victorians realised there is more to it than just income. John


Bird, what does living in poverty in Britain in 2017 look like to you? To


me, it looks like people who are stuck on a very, very small amount


of money, who are not able to take advantage of some of the things,


like democracy. Poverty, if you're in poverty, you are not in


democracy, because democracy doesn't cover poverty. You are marginalised


in every way? Yeah, you're not involved in the debate, largely


because you are in some senses worn down, eroded, by what is happening


in life. You are living a stopgap life, you're living a life where


there is very little future and there's very little opportunity.


Your children are not preparing for higher education or further


education, so what happens is that you are stuck, and it seems that all


the cards are stacked against you. And is the way out of that trap, as


it seems, the way you have describe it, is money the answer? Money is


the answer, but it's not necessarily just to dump a couple of thousands


pounds a week on people. We have got to go back. What we have got is, we


have got a failing system of government which is largely


responsible for this almost institutional poverty. If you look


at the way that we respond to children and families in need and


children who were in abuse, we take them out, we put them into care, we


spend thousands of pounds, maybe ?3000 a week on them, we spend ?1


million on them... And stick and you put them back in that failing home?


At the age of 16, they come out with the reading age of 12-year-old. You


have schools system which fails 37% of the children... Even though there


have been improvements and there are more children in our schools? Yes,


these are Justine Greening scenes figures, I thought it was 30, she


says it is 37. But the point is, if you have a mechanism, a government


that cannot respond to that, that uses social security not as social


opportunity... Tax credits, for instance, were you a fan of those,


which Gordon Brown believed would help families who were just about


managing? I am a great believer in using social security for social


opportunity. I don't think there is enough given to get people out of


the quagmire of poverty, lack of education, lack of... If you go back


to the school, the failing 37%, they're the people who fill up our


prisons and our long-term unemployed, the people who fill up


the A department, who use it as a drop-in. How helpful are these


measures of poverty, absolute and relative poverty? The figures are


quite stark, 22% living in relative poverty. But is it, as the


contributor said in the film, more about inequality, as parts of the


population get richer, begging those at the bottom look even poorer, is


it a helpful measure? I'm not too happy on the way people measure


poverty. I think the way you measure poverty is, you measure it on the


basis of the individual, what can the individual do in their lives to


change their lives, to feed their children, to improve their children?


I don't think any of the devices that have been used, even those


which were mentioned, they were very broad brush. We tend to reduce


people to statistics. What we should be doing is, not creating all of


these ghettos, like we did at Grenfell Tower, pushing people into


social security, rather than using it as an opportunity, a way of


getting out of poverty. It was invented for that purpose. So, we


get this really, really weird world, a lot of the poverty could be


changed if the Government changed the way in which it dealt with


people in need and Hilton them so that they can get out of need and


instead of being rescued, they could themselves become rescuers. While we


have been on air, the Prime Minister has been speaking, as we said


earlier, at the launch of the review into working practices. Let's take a


look between the nature of employment is central both to our


national economic success, but also also to the lives we all lead. From


the end of our childhood, until the years of retirement, if we don't win


the National Lottery jackpot, the vast majority of us will expect to


devote at least half of our waking hours on most days of the week to


work. A good job can be a genuine vocation, providing intellectual and


personal fulfilment as well as economic security. With good work


can come dignity and a sense of self-worth. It can promote good


mental and physical health and emotional well-being. Theresa May,


responding to the report she commissioned into working practices.


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


And today the Prime Minister has reached something of a milestone,


equalling the term in office of one of her predecessors.


A) Gordon Brown, b) William Pitt the Younger c) Alec Douglas-Home,


or d) fictional prime minister Jim Hacker?


But unlike Theresa May, he never won an election. Well, it is right to!


Yes, Theresa May has today clocked up 363 days in office,


meaning she draws level with Alec Douglas-Home.


I wonder if they've had a whip-round and got her a cake.


Let's have a look at some of the shortest and longest


The shortest serving Prime Minister ever was George Canning,


who lasted a total of 119 day before his death in August 1827,


although his successor, the Viscount Goderich,


Unable to hold Canning's coalition of Tories and Whigs together,


In the 20th century, while Sir Alec Douglas-Home lasted


just 363 days in Downing Street before losing the 1964


In fact, there was a shorter residency of No 10.


Bonar Law managed only 211 days in office because of ill health,


despite winning a clear majority in the 1922 election.


Winston Churchill was resident in Downing Street for eight


years and 239 days, although that was split


He was surpassed by Tony Blair, who lasted for a grand total of 10


years and 56 days before he decided to hand over to Gordon Brown.


Yet even he did not manage to overtake Margaret Thatcher's term


She is still only the seventh longest-serving Prime Minister,


as the record is still held by the first official resident


of No 10 Downing Street, Robert Walpole.


He served for a total of 20 years and 314 days until -


at the great age of 65 - he was considered too


old by his opponents to carry on in office.


Well, we're joined now by Catherine Haddon,


who is the resident historian at the Institute for Government.


Is longevity a sign of success for a Prime Minister? Not necessarily. I


think there are several ways of characterising success. It is really


the modern premierships, it is things like party management, public


persona, the policies which are well remembered, and then finally,


intellectual matters. So, you would automatically think, they must have


been successful if they keep winning elections? Absolutely, and for that


reason, staying in office for a long period of time, but there's many


factors coming into that. Some very well remembered Prime ministers who


lasted only a short period, they might be well remembered for


failings. With talking almost a year of Theresa May's premiership. And a


lot has happened! It has. But you look back two years, and we had


David Cameron on the first Conservative majority since John


Major. He looked in a very commanding position, he had a strong


Chancellor. The Conservative Party were very grateful for the wind that


they had. He had managed to coalition government, and he seemed


to be developing his own arsenal premiership. And then... It was all


over, after the referendum! The idea of having a Prime Minister for 20


years seems alien to us, do you think that could happen again? I


would never rule anything out. As your graphic showed, if you look


back to the 19th century, the 18th-century, we had a lot of


premierships could last a year, maybe a bit longer and a lot of


turnover. Then you have periods where you do have one which lasts


for a period of time, perhaps because there is something which is


going on, a war or some big policy area, or a lack of contenders. That


is the other thing, the other contenders. Do you think longevity


is a good thing? If you are in for a long time, you can affect real


change? My problem is this, as we witnessed earlier over the Taylor


report, that there are these entrenched as Asians, and often, the


truth is in the middle. So I'm much more interested in looking at


coalitions. I think we need a coalition now, I think we need a


cabinet of talents, because I think we are in the greatest place oddly


we have been in since the Second World War. And you would like to see


a grand coalition? I would like to see a grand coalition. A grand


coalition we three are! Thank you very much for coming in today.


Thanks to all our guests, especially John Bird.


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


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