Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Robert Halfon and Labour MP Jess Phillips to discuss the next stage of the Brexit negotiations starting in Brussels.
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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.
The Chancellor says he's being briefed against by Cabinet
colleagues unhappy about his approach to Brexit.
How destructive are the leaks to the workings of Government?
The second round of Brexit negotiations are taking
Will they make progress on the divorce settlement
Teachers, parents and pupils descend on Westminster to protest
Will standards suffer as head teachers try
As far as I remember, it went like this.
# There was I, waiting at the church.
Can quoting from songs help politicians stay in tune?
With us today are two plain-speaking MPs
who you would never catch breaking into song.
and the former Conservative Education Minister and newly-elected
chairman of the Education Select Committee, Robert Halfon.
Cabinet Ministers are not supposed to be candid,
certainly not about what goes on around the Cabinet table.
But if you've been reading the front pages in recent days, you'll have
noticed it's not a tight ship as it's meant to be,
with Chancellor Philip Hammond the target of negative briefings.
Last week, Phillip Hammond was accused of sexism after allegedly
telling Cabinet that driving trains had become so easy
In another leaked Cabinet conversation, the Sunday Times
reported yesterday that the Chancellor
described public-sector workers as "overpaid",
after pensions were taken into account.
Philip Hammond, who campaigned for Remain in the EU referendum,
was on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday, and addressed
If you want my opinion, some of the noise is generated
by people who are not happy with the agenda that I have,
over the last few weeks, tried to advance, of ensuring
that we achieve a Brexit which is focused on protecting our economy,
protecting our jobs, and making sure that we can have
continued rising living standards in the future.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox,
who was a Leave campaigner, told Andrew on the Sunday Politics this.
"I absolutely deplore leaks from the Cabinet."
Urging his colleagues to "stick to their departmental duties".
And Iain Duncan Smith criticised those leaking private Cabinet
conversations and briefing against the Prime Minister
He had some choice words for Conservative colleagues.
"Just for once, shut up, for God's sake, and let everybody else get
For more on this, we're joined by Isabel Hardman of the Spectator,
Sunny morning fare outside Parliament. Welcome to both of you.
Shock, horror, there's a difference of opinion within ministers in the
Cabinet. What's difficult is when that becomes publicly aired. How'd
you stop it? Cabinet ministers did stay quiet for the crucial period of
the government working out how it could exist in its negotiations with
the DUP, but they are now letting it out all over the front pages and
broadcast interviews, and in an pleasant conversations with one
another at Westminster parties. There is an appetite amongst senior
Tory backbenchers for Theresa May to give her Cabinet
ministers a bit of a slap down, to say that this behaviour is
unacceptable, and these open divisions are not helping. It's
partly because Conservative MPs do not want another election, and
anything that destabilises the government further, they do not
want. Theresa May's authority is shot to pieces, as is her
self-confidence, and you need both of those things to be able to give a
Cabinet Minister a dressing down in public. They may be calling for her
to rein in some of the briefing. We've been told she is expected to
remind Cabinet colleagues of the importance of keeping discussions
private when Cabinet meets tomorrow. That may be ignored. Jack Blanchard,
can she reign in this negative briefing? It doesn't feel like it at
the moment. Her spokesman said this morning she's going to talk to the
Cabinet tomorrow, but it might not be effective. The Prime Minister's
authority has completely ebbed away in a few short months. You don't get
the sort of briefings we've seen in the Sunday and Saturday papers come
from very detailed discussions of what was said in the Cabinet, unless
you have a Prime Minister with no authority. Otherwise, ministers
would be too afraid to give these sorts of briefings, cos it could
cost them their jobs. We have seen the chaos we've got in government
this morning. Is this all about Brexit? That is what Philip Hammond
was saying in his defence, that these are Brexiteer Cabinet
ministers who've got it in for him because he different type of Brexit.
Tim Shipman of the Sunday Times who wrote a key piece about this over
the weekend has point out that a lot of his sources were remainers and
Brexiteers alike, so he didn't recognise the dynamic that Hammond
was alleging. Hammond is under a great deal of pressure to relax
austerity, particularly on public sector pay, and there's a lot of
resentment about the hostility the Treasury is showing towards number
ten on this matter. The leadership is a dynamic as well. The confusion
over Brexit is more of a problem. Each Cabinet Minister has their own
position, for instance on how long the transitional period should last.
That's another example of bad discipline, and it's a problem for
Philip Hammond because he is pushing for a less hard Brexit, and that
frustrates some of his colleagues. Has the Chancellor got a tin ear
when it comes to discussions on public sector pay? He is a
Chancellor who says what he thinks. We saw it at the budget a few months
ago when he tried to increase national insurance payments, without
apparently thinking about the political implications and how
damaging it could be for him personally. We've seen it again with
his idea that public sector servants are somehow overpaid. Whether you
think that or not, it's a strong thing to be saying when these people
have had a pay freeze for seven years, and we all know that they are
thousands of pounds worse off than they were when the Tories came to
power. This is not the sort of message his colleagues want to hear
him putting across. The election was a pretty bad result for them, and
part of this was put down to the issue of public sector pay. Theresa
May said there was no magic money tree, and that's the kind of
attitude that people don't want to hear. Robert Halfon, our public
sector workers overpaid? Lower paid public sector workers have
particularly suffered. I do think they need a minimum inflationary pay
rise. Maybe very senior members of the council have been benefiting,
but in my constituency of Harlow, these people have struggled. The
time has come to do something about it. So you think that Philip Hammond
should act and be briefing in the opposite direction, saying it's time
to lift the 1% pay cut? Particularly for lower paid public sector
workers, yes. Many have struggled over the past few years because of
the difficult decisions of the economy economy. Philip Hammond did
not deny he was involved in a conversation, when he said, taking
into account pensions, public sector workers... He may have been talking
about senior public sector workers, who may be on much higher wages than
most people, public or private. We have to show public sector workers
they are valued. I've suggested a couple of ways in which this might
be done. Are the briefings against him fair? Whoever is doing these
briefings, they need to get in a cold bath or a cold shower. Not
together! And literally come out of it and have a warm pint afterwards
with one another. It's not just the Prime Minister who leads us.
Ministers lead us, and we need a strong party, we need to be unified.
All this stuff only helps Jess Phillips and her friends in the
Labour Party. If the Prime Minister has lost authority, because of the
election result and being in a hung parliament, without that strong
leadership, it's going to be very difficult to stop. The Prime
Minister has shown commanding performances in the House of
Commons, particularly at Prime Minister's Questions. We've got a
choice. Either we back the Prime Minister and have a united party, or
we let the Labour Party, who are not that far away, potentially, from
getting into Downing Street. The party has a choice. Is it coming
from a particular part of the Cabinet, the briefing? I don't know.
I'm not in the Cabinet. As has been said by Isabel Hardman, allegedly,
it's from all kinds of people. Philip Hammond thinks it comes from
Brexiteers. I've no idea. We rely on the Prime Minister and the Cabinet
ministers to lead the party and make sure we are unified and strong. Who
is winning the argument over the type of Brexit the government should
be pursuing? I think we should remain, because I think we should
belong to an alliance of democracies. But because of the
public voting the way they did, that Brexit has got to be Brexit, and
that means we get out of the governing under the EU's Court of
Justice and we don't have freedom of movement. That argument is very
prevalent in the Conservative Party, and there would be significant
consequences if we were to only half leave the EU. What would they be? We
could have a rise of a new Ukip. I think you would give a lot of
opportunity to extremist groups like the English Defence League, or what
ever it may be. I think the public would feel that democracy has been
denied, because they voted for it. Even though I voted the other way,
the public voted for it. They voted to leave the European Union, with
all the consequences. We have to leave the EU, get out of the court
of Justice, get out of the freedom of movement, and make sure we do
what the public voted for. What about Philip Hammond's news, about
putting jobs and the economy at the heart of the Brexit negotiations,
rather than immigration? I think all of us want jobs, economy and
immigration to be at the heart of the negotiations of leaving the EU.
You can have agreements with other countries in terms of making sure
jobs are protected. In terms of the Labour Party and the EU, you have
some divisions there. Do you have some sympathy? I have very little
sympathy, ever, for the Tory Cabinet. I think they've made their
bed at the moment, and they are enjoying lying in it. Do you think
Philip Hammond is sexist? Yes. Not because what he said in that
meeting. It wouldn't surprise me that he said that, but he apparently
denies it. I've seen his industrial strategy, and I saw that people like
me don't feature very heavily in it. I've seen who pays the money out
when budget cuts are made, and 86% of them fall on the poorest women. I
have seen their strategies for women, and they are decidedly
wanting. As the Chancellor, he is sexist, and it is a surprise that he
thinks a woman could even drive a train, all beat Doctor Who! The
industrial strategy, the government is putting in ?2.5 million into
apprenticeships by 2020. And many apprentices are women. Women get ?1
less pay as apprentices. That's not the case. Paid to! The service that
I saw suggested that women get paid more, as apprentices.
So - Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels this
morning for the second round of Brexit negotiations.
He met with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Here's what they had to say as they went into those talks.
Our negotiating groups will work on citizens' rights, and a financial
settlement, and also separation issues.
Our co-ordinators will engage in a political dialogue on
We made a good start last month but, as Michel says, we are now getting
And, as you have heard, it is four categories,
really, the issue of citizens' rights, the issue
of finance, the issue of separation, and of course, separately,
Let's talk to our correspondent, Kevin Connolly, who is in Brussels.
No sooner had they started that it seemed David Davies had left, had it
gone badly? It has been emphasised this wasn't a
walk-out or dramatic gesture, it was preplanned he would turn up, exhort
people to get down to business, point out the time is now for
serious work, and leave shortly afterwards for a Cabinet meeting
tomorrow in London. He will be back here on Thursday when he and Michel
Barnier will give some sort of public tone to have the talks have
gone this week. It was always the plan he would come along and exalt
others for that hard work. And would then leave them to it. We
are not sure if in those circumstances it is possible in
terms of protocol four Michel Barnier to stage but there are
plenty of negotiators and the general sense the time is now for
detail and as the European side keeps reminding us the clock started
ticking quite a while back. They have a lot to do, divorce
settlement, status of UK citizens and EU citizens, and the border of
Northern Ireland and the Republic, how much can we hope will
realistically in how productive it will be?
It is an interesting point. The Europeans have said there will be no
talks about the UK's future relationship with the EU unless and
until there is sufficient progress on those three core issues and it
will be the EU who decides when progress is sufficient.
But you don't have to fix those problems before you move onto the
trade relationship, just show there is enough agreement in principle,
and each of them in themselves is enormously problematic. Citizens
rights as an example, the UK feels it has made a fair offer on the
rights of EU citizens who will live in the UK after Brexit. Lots of
people in Brussels say this is about keeping the European Court of
Justice to oversee the rights of those European citizens. If you
leave it to British courts they will administer British laws and a future
British Government might change British law and changed the lives of
those people forever. They need the ECJ. For the UK, the involvement of
the ECJ is a red line. Even if you are talking in principle about
rights you quickly get down to something fundamental. We do not
know whether those officials who are doing the heavy lifting have agreed
a way to avoid that sort of very fundamental issue at this very early
stage. Let us talk about another
contentious point, this transitional arrangement after Britain leaves the
EU, it could potentially last if you years says Philip Hammond. Others
like Liam Fox say they see it as lasting if you months and he wanted
a time limit on it. How do politicians in Brussels view that?
Lots of people in Brussels feel they understand British politics very
well although their confidence might have been shaken by the events of
the last year. Generally it is all followed pretty closely. There is an
awareness in the British Cabinet and Parliament there is a divide between
people who are ideologues and people who are pragmatic.
I would not overestimate the extent to which there is an appetite in
Brussels to get involved in that or see it as part of negotiations.
The big fear here is that ongoing division in British politics will
produce a paralysis and inability to take a decision when push finally
comes to shove as it will before March 20 19.
The debate in Britain is watched in Brussels not in this sense it
presents the EU side with some opportunity but rather with a fear
at some point it might make it very difficult for a British Government
to take clear, decisive steps on issues like the European Court of
Justice for example when the moment comes.
Thank you. And we're joined now
from Worcester by former Labour MP Gisela Stuart who co-chaired
the Vote Leave campaign. Welcome back to the Daily Politics.
On that point, the ongoing division is being played out in British
politics in the Cabinet over the type of Brexit which should be
pursued, some politicians in Brussels are worried it may lead to
paralysis in negotiations, do you agree?
I thought it was a very fair assessment, we tend to forget when
we view this from the British perspective is it is as much in the
EU's interest to reach an agreement as in hours.
They have some problems because it isn't just Brussels and the chief
negotiator, they are also capital cities which have a say in this and
the German elections don't happen until September with political
arguments. Here in the UK, we should be aware
people listen to what is being said. If we go down the road of trying to
rerun the referendum rather than actually implementing it and finding
ways of getting the best deal for both sides, then I think we are
complicating matters and we went to the right thing by our voters.
Is there an attempt to rerun the referendum? Kevin described it as
ideologues and pragmatists. Could that lead to a stake in negotiations
if the splits continue within Cabinet where people cannot make a
decision on important issues like the role of the ECJ?
There is an expectation that Cabinet does make a decision.
You have a deadline by which you have to have agreed the broad
principles and what shape that is, whether it is a clear memorandum of
understanding, the principles of how we leave have to be established.
We are spending too much time on arguing whether it will be six
months or nine. We need to get down to the real
practicalities. As David Davis is negotiating with
Michel Barnier to have these broad outlines and has to come back to
London, Michel Barnier has to go back to the capital cities.
Let us talk about substance, the divorce Bill, will Britain probably
have to pay something in the region of 60 billion euros?, and this
payment would form the basis of the UK's access to the single market?
They cannot go automatically beyond our date of leaving, that will be
part of it. This is jumping the game if we fix on a figure. Let us
establish what our legal obligations of which have to be met.
Do you agree there will have to be not just the money that is paid as
part of legal obligations, some people feel we shouldn't pay at all,
but there should be a payment that would give us the sort of access we
want to the EU single market? Yes, it is a divorce and to help
people understand it the best is to understand what that divorce
settlement might be. What British politicians have to
decide what is the opportunity cost of not paying? Is that hampered
access to the single market? What is it we can afford and what could we
afford not to do? If you listen to Rebecca
Long-Bailey, she said the Labour position was to have our cake and
eat it and maintain the benefits we have within the customs union.
John MacDonald said the party wanted to quit the single market.
Which is it? You had to ask them, they have meetings together when
they come up with these lines. The truth is everyone wants to have
our cake and eat it, I want to be a size ten! We all want the very best
but what none of us including the Cabinet which is why Liam Fox says
we're not paying any money and David Davies says we might, the problem
is, we all want the very best, but no one was to take any of the
downside. The British public made this
decision. There will be some downside and the politicians have to
sell that as an opportunity cost of what the British public might
perceive to be a good thing. Do you accept that, what positions
should be doing is being honest with people?
Politicians should, and our negotiators, should put their
energies into seeing how we can get the best deal.
Let us and raffle this terminology, single market means we continue to
accept the supremacy of the ECJ. And free movement of Labour.
Not according to Tony Blair, he thinks we can get in reform deal,
and so did Barry Gardiner, current Labour politician on the shadow
front bench. Is that a possibility?
Given we tried to reform it 15 years ago, and Tony Blair could not find
anyone who said they agreed with him, David Cameron couldn't get
these reforms. If I read the continental papers today, there is
no appetite certainly in the German press of saying we can negotiate
that. The fundamental principle of the
single market is it contains free movement of Labour.
Do you agree that that is of the table as far as you're concerned in
terms of any single market membership?
The Prime Minister came back with a deal. David Cameron. The public
voted against it, they voted to the VE you. That means leaving the
single market and the ECJ. Let us talk about the repeal, that
is being cited by opposition as the area where they will try and change
the shape of Brexit, what you say? The Prime Minister has said all
European law will be incorporated into British law. I genuinely can't
see what the big problem is and the big upset is.
Then it will be decided which of those laws we don't need.
That is a perfectly fair process. Who decides which once we do and
obeyed. Parliament will.
Answer about these Henry VIII palace where there is a fear the active
will make decisions, amend some of the legislation that has come from
EU law into domestic law here, and they will do that without the say-so
of Parliament. Given the ingenuity of Parliament
and people like Jess in Parliament, I doubt things will be done in the
way you describe. The people who are saying they don't
want the Repeal Bill are those who actually want to subvert the will of
the British people. The agenda is they want to remain in
the EU. Are you trying to subvert the will
of the British people? Absolutely not, I voted to trigger
Article 50 which is what my constituents voted for. When I
Krsticic is worth asked to vote again they decided they did not this
only want your lot willy-nilly making the laws, they wanted a
decent opposition. The reason we have a hung on it is because they
did not like the arrogance of Theresa May calling an election. We
are there to represent our constituents.
Then you have nothing to worry about because there will be proper
scrutiny. Finally, since we mention Tony
Blair, he said he made a mistake about Jeremy Corbyn and believes he
could become Prime Minister on a left-wing ticket in terms of the
economy, did you also make a mistake about him?
I have given up predictions given what I saw in the last election.
You predicted the referendum. I fought on one side. Can I come
back to what you said about the great repeal act, it is astonishing
here is an opportunity for Parliament to shape its own laws
rather than having them shipped by institutions in Brussels and we
should fully embrace that, take the ones which we have got, and we will
have the final say rather than another institution. I would think
Parliament should regard that as immensely empowering.
Thank you, on that positive note. Yesterday, campaigners descended
on Westminster to call In their manifesto,
the Conservatives pledged an extra ?4 billion for the schools
budget in England. But campaigners say
that is still a real-terms cut in funding per pupil of 7%
between 2015 and 2022. The Fair Funding For All Schools
campaign is calling for those And Jo Yurky, who helped organise
that protest, joins us now. The Conservatives pledged an extra
?4 billion for schools in the manifesto, in real terms increase,
is that not enough? No, the Institute for Fiscal Studies
says that represents a funding cut of 7% for the end of this
Parliament. Over ?2 billion has come out of our schools already. Parents
are unhappy on the impact over our children, class sizes increasing,
subjects cut, staff being let go, teaching assistants, support staff
that parents value, they are being let go.
Extracurricular activities being cut, the arts club, science club,
increasingly, parents being asked to make payments by direct debit to
prop up the school budget. This is not acceptable.
We are unhappy about it. What are you asking for, how much would the
budget need to increase to protect that per-pupil funding?
We are asking for the government to listen to the educational
professionals who have been saying that there is a funding problem in
our schools for some time. We are asking for purpose pupil funding to
be protected during this Parliament, and to listen to parents.
Headteachers are trusted by their parents. Why isn't the government
listening to them? Do you also want a reassessment on how the money is
spent? There was a lot of debate about the funding formula that went
to schools. We support the principle of the funding formula, but what we
think is that they have not abided any funds to be able to deliver it,
so it seems obvious that if the amount of money is shrinking, and we
already know that it isn't enough to sustain our schools, that it doesn't
matter how you share it out. There isn't enough money in our system to
support our schools. Thank you very much.
Well, Robert Halfon was a minister in the Department For Education
until last month, and was elected to be the chair of the Education
You have just heard Joe Root Yankee. Why are you not listening to
educational professionals and teachers? In my new role as chair of
the committee, I genuinely want to work with MPs on the committee and
look at the question of resources, and find out exactly how much is
needed. How much is needed for schools, what is going on in terms
of the problems that have just been set out. Having said that, whilst I
will look at resources, it is worth mentioning that there are more good
students, more students in good or outstanding schools, sorry, than
ever before, despite the very difficult situation in the economy.
The core budget was protected. You highlighted the manifesto commitment
of an extra ?4 billion, which is important. So even with the
difficulties the government faced with the economy, they have put
money into schools. My committee will look at the question of
resources. She said that we have to protect per-pupil funding. Of
course, but I would like to find out the sum that is needed, and to speak
to all independent people as part of the committee. Just to be clear, you
want to see per-pupil funding protected as it stands, so reverse
the cuts that are being made between 2015 and 2020, which would result in
something like a 7% cut in per-pupil funding? I want to find out what the
exact figure is. That is the true figure, if you believe the Institute
of fiscal 's to. I'm not saying I don't believe them, but the purpose
of the committee is to look at evidence from teachers and other
groups, find out the resources that schools need, and then, with a
figure that the committee believes schools need, rather than making a
pledge on TV today. In principle, you want to see per-pupil funding
protected, do you? Of course. Because it isn't at a moment. It's a
very difficult economic situation. We have more students in good or
outstanding schools. That's because we have more students overall. The
government did protect core funding of schools. Overall funding in cash
terms has gone up, but because of the increase of students in our
schools... Could that be to do with previous funding levels? That's why
the government announced an extra 4 billion in the manifesto. Let's look
at the evidence from a range of sources. Have you told the schools
where you are going to get your research from? We will talk to
practitioners, to teachers, to other institutes. Parents? Both my sons
have 32 children in their class now for the first time ever since they
started going to school. There are more children in my kids' class at
an outstanding school, because there are more children in each class.
Labour pledged to spend more on funding for education. How would
that be funded? Well, not being a frontbencher, I assume it's from
different choices that are made, different choices about who we give
tax relief to, and smaller tax takes from those at the top is always the
thing that was floated during the election. So you are talking about
different choices being made to the Conservatives in terms of taxes. Are
you also talking about removing the 1% pay cap so that teachers can be
paid more, and increasing the budget for education and schools in England
overall, so that per-pupil funding could be protected as it was? Of
course. Surely that's what everybody would want to see. Everybody wants
to see that, but you are not convinced yet until you say you've
seen all the figures from different sources, although I am still not
quite sure where they would come from. Lift the 1% cap and increase
per-pupil funding? I think it's important the committee looks at all
the evidence. The government has said there will be an extra ?4
billion and the per-pupil funding will be protected. The committee
will look at all these issues and see what resources are needed for
schools. One of the issues you can look at is stopping the expansion of
free schools. Is that something you would support in terms of releasing
more money? Not necessarily, no. From what I understand, free schools
have been successful. Not in my constituency. I don't see why
parents should not be able to set up free schools if they want to.
Because free schools cannot be set up on the whim, the desires of a
group of people, when the need is an important thing. In my area, there
are not enough school places, and no schools are being set up because the
local authority is not allowed to set up new school places. But in
another area, where it was unnecessary, a school was opened,
and that affected the other schools in the area. It has to be done on
need, not desire. We have to have some sort of standard, those who are
in charge of everybody's kids, has to have some sort of standard based
on need. Labour said they were going to scrap university tuition fees in
their manifesto. Jeremy Corbyn also said he wanted to get rid of student
debt. Angela Rayner said that would cost up to ?100 billion. John
McDonnell said yesterday it was an ambition. Has it been kicked into
the long grass? It seems that way. I have definitely got an ambition to
make education free for all, right up to the end of our lives. However,
I did think it was a bit of a push to suggest that people like me, who
paid fees, might get it back. What about student debt? Should that be
dropped by Labour? I don't know how big an issue it is. It's more than
just saying drop it. Drop it may be for those who are already in jobs.
The clear impression was given by Labour at the general election that
they were going to scrap and wipe out student fees. That was the clear
impression given. Do you think people voted on that basis? Of
course. People would have voted because Labour said there were going
to scrap it, and now they are saying they would not necessarily do that.
We need to say to students that they have the choice to go to university,
but they also have a choice of doing an apprenticeship, or even a degree
apprenticeship. You earn while you learn. You earn a minimum wage. How
many people in the Cabinet's children are doing that? And you are
virtually guaranteed to get a job afterwards, because 90% of
apprentices get a job straightaway. Thank you. We will leave it there.
Livestock contribute significantly towards global warming,
generating 14.5% of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions,
Simon Fairlie is editor of The Land Magazine,
and runs a microdairy of Jersey cows in Dorset.
He maintains that one of the best ways of tackling climate change
and feeding the growing world population would be by taxing
Meat is a luxury, and it's time we started taxing it as such.
Firstly, feeding cereals to animals is an inefficient way
As grazing land becomes more scarce, it will soon be difficult to supply
a predicted population of 9 billion people with a diet as rich in meat
as we in the industrialised world currently enjoy.
Also, eating the amount of meat we currently do causes
Livestock contributes significantly towards global warming,
through methane emissions and other greenhouse gases.
What's more, eating a lot of meat isn't a healthy diet anyway.
So how can we reduce meat eating to sustainable levels?
The sensible way would be to tax fossil fuels, or otherwise
reduce their consumption, because we have to do that anyway
Meat production would decline because grazing land would be needed
for timber and biomass production, and artificial fertilisers used
for growing animal feed would become more expensive.
Tragically, there is not much prospect of this
The alternative is to tax meat directly, and the easiest way
of doing this is to apply VAT at 20%.
There is already a mechanism for doing this, and consumers
are used to paying VAT on luxury items such as ice cream.
While VAT would apply to factory farms and supermarkets,
small farms with a turnover of less than ?85,000 could remain exempt,
along with small shops, farmers' markets, food clubs and so on.
This would help to make meat production more sustainable,
and it would keep consumers in touch with the source of their food.
Taxing meat may not be the ideal solution,
And Simon Fairlie joins us now from Exeter.
A gorgeous farm you've got there. Do you think people might feel your
idea for taxing meat, or putting VAT on meat at 20%, would be a bit nanny
state? I don't think it's any more nanny state than taxing anything
else, really. We tax things for different reasons, and there are
reasons for taxing meat. Could you convince people that meat is a
luxury item in that sense? Not me personally, but I think society is
gradually moving in that direction. A bit more than gradually. Quite
quickly. Should people be penalised for being meat eaters? I wouldn't
call attacks are penalised age. It's simply paying the costs of what it
takes to produce something. The environmental costs associated with
meat productions are such, and they are not factored in at the moment,
and they should be, as they are with other goods. Let's get our guests'
reaction. IU persuaded by this idea? It could kill a lot of with one
stone. I wasn't convinced, but I found what was being said very
compelling. I think we need a cultural change where we think that
meat is a luxury, because it is not right at the moment that I can buy
two chickens to feed 20 people for ?8. That just doesn't seem right,
and there is a huge environmental cost to us all keeping eating meat.
Nanny state or otherwise, we have got to wake up to the fact that
cereal fed animals, we will not be able to carry on very much longer.
This is potentially going to be a tax that is regressive and hits the
poor more than it hits the rich, but I do feel that we've got to do
something. We can't just keep kicking the can down the road. What
do you think? The Chancellor might jump on the chance of more tax in
the coffers? As someone on the Atkins diet, I find that quite
interesting. I am wary of introducing new taxes to solve every
problem. It would hit the lowest paid. There are some important
nutrients in meat, and it can be a very healthy form of food. We've got
to stop thinking that every solution can be solved by taxing people. You
solve these things by education, as highlighted in your piece, rather
than taxation. Perhaps we need to do more to educate people about the
things that have just been described, rather than saying more
tax, that would hit the lowest paid the most. Simon, where have you
taken your campaign to, and what is the response to it? I wouldn't say
I'm campaigning on it. I'm simply observing it and talking about it.
The idea is moving forward. In Chatham House, the English think
tank, it's being put forward. The Danish government have been
proposing it. The idea is gradually gaining momentum, and I'm sticking
my oar in, really, and saying that if we are going to tax it, VAT is
probably the best and easiest way to do it. Thank you for joining us.
Now, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said at an event
at the Glastonbury Music Festival that the victims of the Grenfell
Tower fire were "murdered by political decisions".
It's a statement that he's been criticised for,
even by some in the Labour Party, and one he was asked to defend
I was extremely angry with what went on.
Political decisions were made which resulted in the deaths
Murder means a volition to kill another human being,
There is a long history in this country of the concept of social
murder, where decisions are made with no regard to the
And, as a result of that, people have suffered,
that is what has happened here, and I am angry about it.
I believe social murder has occurred in this instance.
The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, describing
the Grenfell Tower fire as "social murder".
Here to explain is the historian Giles Udy,
Welcome to the Daily Politics. The phrase comes from Engels, what did
he mean? When he was writing come he was
talking about a different Britain, of 1845, life expectancy for a
working-class woman was 41, and his analysis of what was going on in the
country at the time was such that conditions were leading to a shorter
life expectancy, a lowering of health.
The quote, it is fairly long, he does say, to prove society commits
social murder that it has placed the workers under conditions they can
neither retain health nor live long, that is not manslaughter but murder.
Did you agree with him then, Engels? What Engels saw and his analysis,
may be debatable at the time. Undoubtedly conditions were terrible
in the mid-Victorian era. Did they knowingly do it? 170 years
later we live in a very different country, life expectancy for a woman
in Manchester now, born today, would be 81 years old, 83.
It is a very big difference. Was John McDonnell right to use that
term, social murder? The initial statement, is because
there was such an uproar about him saying it was murder. To suggest it
was premeditated. The idea, I wish we were less bothered about John
McDonnell's language and more about the standards in Grenfell Tower.
However, I do think as politicians, especially at the moment when we are
all suffering such horrendous abuse, that politicians should pick their
words carefully. You can be passionate without the
potential to insight. One has to be very careful. There is
a very real issue that happened, we will find out, around Grenfell
Tower, that makes you feel as if this wouldn't have happened had the
people who lived in there been a different group of people. That is
why I think he is saying that. This is one of the most horrific
tragedies in this country for a long time but we still don't know yet
fully the reasons why this tragedy happened and who was responsible.
People do not make the distinction between social murder and murder,
they just hear the word, murder. At the time, it was really the wrong
word to use. It inflames things even further. Politicians have to be very
careful in responsibility about language especially we don't know
fully the reasons and who was responsible for what went on.
Language is very important in politics. Engels used social murder
as a term to describe dreadful living conditions, at that time.
Could it be extended to any modern life equivalent?
At that time when Engels was writing, if you accept his analysis,
you had to accept his prescription, he talked about the result of it
being the bloodiest war between the poor and rich that there had ever
been, he talked about a holy battle which would lead to 1000 years of
freedom. A comment place to John McDonnell's constituents, they will
be pleased because they recognise it. If you refer back to that, we
are trying to bring people together in our nation rather than divide
them on the basis of class and wealth.
Having a historical perspective and context is often used by
politicians, quite often World War II is used as an analogy, anger
makes people say things that are dramatic.
Using what you said, how would you describe inequality in today's's
society, there is great inequality. There is no doubt there is
inequality. My own view is politicians on both sides of the
House are equally committed to its eradication and fairness and
justice. The prescription you bring into that
is a very important one. Should politicians resist using
these sorts of claims, particularly on your side if we are talking in
this context about Grenfell Tower? Does it help the cause of trying to
get to the bottom of it? Not necessarily, we should be
careful about what we say. I have watched people, their expectations
being raised up by politicians, wrongly so. We have to make sure
credibility of the victim is and their voices is what we hear. And
like Brexit or anything, politicians hanging their ideological hat on
other people's expenses should be carefully done.
Should he retract it? -- Experiences. He should have
retracted the murder bit, that is what he has tried to do but I doubt
he will retract it completely. The Grenfell Tower residents
Association reportedly repeatedly warned about dangerous living
conditions, in 2016, they wrote, a serious fire is the most likely
reason those at Kensington Council will be brought to justice.
We need to find out exactly what had happened, why, and who was
responsible. Afterwards, then describe, prescribe
things. To use that term at this stage, I
think it is really an awful term to use.
You shouldn't have done it. On issues like health and safety
legislation where Boris Johnson in 2009 said -- Made a comment, David
Cameron called it an albatross. We need to make sure, as I
understand it, there was legislation in place but it wasn't followed. We
need to be sensitive about that. There is a big difference to that
and describing something as murder. Thanking you for bringing Engels to
the programme. Philosophy on the Daily Politics.
There's nothing like dropping in a few good song lyrics
And that's a tactic many politicans have used over the years.
So, Emma Vardy has some of the best ones for us.
From gangsta rap to Rick Astley anthems, politicians have often
looked to the world of pop to inspire their prose.
take anyone for granted. anything, it is that we cannot
As Croydon's Stormzy put so well in one of his songs,
Labour MP Sarah Jones going all street in her maiden speech.
# You're getting way too big for your boots.
# You're never too big for the boot #.
At this Conservative Party Conference in 1992,
Peter Lilley took on benefit cheats with a song from The Mikado.
I've got a little list of benefit offenders who I'll soon be rooting
Meanwhile, in 1978, the Labour politician James Callaghan decided
that what the TUC Annual Congress needed was a bit of Julie Andrews.
As far as I remember, it went like this.
# Waiting at the church, waiting at the church.
# All at once, he sent me round a note.
# Here's the very note, this is what he wrote.
As far as the Labour Party is concerned, there is a light
Labour's Kerry McCarthy clashed with David Cameron over The Smiths.
I was interested that the Labour Party's favourite Smiths song
is There s I A Light That Never Goes Out.
Because it involves a double suicide.
The lyrics are, "If a double-decker bus crashes into us,
there is no finer way than by your side."
I'm not sure that is wholly reassuring to the front bench.
But really taking the crown is this group of legislators
in Oregon, USA, who teamed up at the House Of Representatives
# I just want to tell you how I'm feeling.
# We're not gonna to run around and desert you.
# Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye.
# Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you #.
Forget Engels, we have Rick Astley. And I want you to finish the rest of
the song! I'm joking. Have you ever used song
lyrics in your speeches? I am a terrible singer.
I do have Rocky songs. During the election campaign. Until
you couldn't stand to hear it any longer.
They still voted me in. What about you?
I quoted Katy Perry, if you stand for nothing, you will fall for
everything. In what context?
All politics. Would you say that encapsulates your political beliefs?
I actually believe in something so I don't fall for everything.
Are there lyrics that encapsulates everything you believe in?
If I think of one song which is on my phone, it is the Bob Dylan song,
the Lonesome death of Hattie Carroll. A grim song about a
chambermaid who is beaten by a rich man, the rich man gets off,...
A barrel of laughs. A beautiful song. The lyrics are incredible.
What about, oh, Jeremy Corbyn... It fits, doesn't it?
We're using for me? I don't think so. What about you, a
song for Theresa May? I will have to think about that one.
You want the Tory Party to be a bit more grassroots.
Yes, we need an anthem to transform our party. We need a benign version
of what you have got. You may remember at the beginning of
the show, we had an argument over the respective pay of male and
female workers. We have looked into it. There is
nothing to support your claim that women apprentices earn more, the
figure Jess Creighton, ?5 85 the men. That is from a young women's
trust report which suggests women apprentices are paid ?2000 a year
less, but not necessarily in the same apprenticeship roles, it is to
do with sectors, men and women tend to go into.
Let me find where I thought I had seen this and I will send it on to
you. Send it into us and we will get you
want to talk about it again. I totally vindicated.
Except for the bit about the same roles.
There is a sectoral problem which was lacking in the industrial
strategy. Save it for the next...
The One O'Clock News is starting over on BBC One now.
I'll be here at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories
You've been weird ever since we came down here. There's something.
Why don't you see what's staring you straight in the face?
Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Robert Halfon and Labour MP Jess Phillips to discuss the next stage of the Brexit negotiations starting in Brussels, funding for schools and whether MPs are wise to quote song lyrics in Parliament.