14/06/2011 Newsnight


14/06/2011

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.


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A year ago they knew exactly how to mend the health service, today they

:00:10.:00:14.

accepted a better idea. Their photocall got up the nose of

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one part of the medical profession. Why are we told to walk about like

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this, I'm not having it, get out. Today Cameron and Clegg each

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claimed credit for listening and backing off. I have been asking the

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Health Secretary whether he hasn't made an awful mess of the

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legislation. We get a second opinion or several from our

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political panel. Following a postal ballot, the unions vote for the

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biggest national teachers' strike in 25 years. Is this the opening

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engagement in a protracted war in the public services. Citizen Smith

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wakes up in a country without a Government. Welcome to Belgium. But

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what's the President of Europe doing with a Rubik's cube. I hope

:00:57.:01:07.
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you enjoy your cube, many hours of private fiddling there.

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Shrugering the pill, watering down the dose, choose your own metaphor

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to describe what the Government did to its plans to reform the health

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service in England today. The Health Secretary, of course,

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maintains that the course of treatment he prescribed, remains

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largely unchanged, but it is certainly a new approach to

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introduce a bill in parliament and then rewrite it when you see how

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much opposition there is. Labour called it a humiliation, and the

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Liberal Democrats immediately took credit, they said, for improving

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the bill. # The road is long

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# With many a winding turn It has been quite a journey, since

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these three ministers first agreed the health wide paper almost a year

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ago. Andrew Lansley's NHS reforms were stress tested twice within

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Whitehall, then presented to parliament. Then suddenly put on

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hold last April. When Mr Cameron's coalition brothers, the Liberal

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Democrats, publicly, and George Osborne privately, expressed strong

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doubts. Today, after the wide ranging Field

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Review, ministers announced big reforms to their reforms.

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You wanted us to make clear that competition is not there for its

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own sake, but to make life better for patients, done. You wanted us

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to get specialists and nurse, not just GPs, on to commissioning

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groups, done. You wanted us to join up the different parts of the NHS,

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to put integration right at the heart of our reforms, again, done.

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The first big change is that GPs will no longer be solely in charge

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of the new groups that will commission most NHS health care.

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The renamed Clinical Commissioning Groups, will now include other

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experts, such as hospital doctors and nurses and lay people. Though

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GPs will still dominate their make up. The significance of clinical

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commissioning is the Government's response to the concern by hospital

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doctors and nurses that they were being excluded and GPs were having

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their place in the sunlight at the expense of other medical groups.

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That has changed and also there will be patient and public

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involvement, so a real move towards proper governance of the

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arrangements. Will it make a huge amount of difference in practice?

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It won't, devolution of budgets away from the Primary Care Trusts

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to clinicians at the frontline of care. The second big change is in

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the speed of the reforms. The new commissioning groups will now

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assume their role, when they are ready, instead of the original

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deadline of April 2013. Also relaxed, is the April 2014 deadline

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for all hospitals to achieve greater independence as foundation

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Trusts. That is a good thing in many ways, we don't want to see

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that rushed or bad decisions taken, at the moment we have the problem

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of Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities,

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tending to almost implode, and we don't want a vacuum there, we don't

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want to lose all the good-quality managers we will still need to help

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run the NHS in the future. Perhaps the most controversial change

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concerns competition. Competition will still be extended, but firmly

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on quality, not price, and not as an end in itself. There will be

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stricter rules against a market free-for-all, and cherry-picking by

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private providers. And the new health regulator, Monitor, won't be

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able to push competition so much. Such as compelling hospitals to

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make operating theatres available to private firms. We need to be a

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little more robust in arguing the case for competition, I think it is

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a respectable case, and it is about providing more choice and more

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effective use of resources. I think we do need to be a less on the

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fence, competition is not a disease. There will be more competition as a

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result of this bill amended? Eventually, yes. Significantly

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there were hardly any complaints from the coalition benches in the

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Commons today. Frankly, the politics of this bill now,

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reasonably settled, the big question is whether it will make a

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difference. Perhaps the only real note of dissent from the

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Conservative side came from Edward Leigh, who asked how watering down

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competition would help the NHS deliver efficiency savings of 4% a

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year, in order to stick within its budget and cope with growing

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demands. We would be surprised if it is possible to achieve a - an

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improvement in the health service and financial control over a

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difficult period, and implement the reforms at the same time. That is

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massive ask when the organisation has been turned upside down and

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management costs are being put back, the health service will do

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incredibly well to get anywhere near that.

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So now ministers and Treasury ministers especially, will be

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waiting anxiously to see if this bill makes any difference. Whether

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it achieves the substantial gains which Cameron, Clegg and Lansley

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originally trumpets. Earlier I went to the Department of Health to

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speak to its Secretary of State. Andrew Lansley, after these changes

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take effect, will there be more or less competition in the NHS than

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previously? The decision about that essentially will be for the NHS

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commissioners, the local commissioning groups and so on.

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What drives it is, in order to deliver the best care for patients,

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how much patient choice they want. That is the essence of this. The

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competition, the extent of competition is directly the result

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of how much patient choice you want to give in the service. That's an

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opaque answer to a pretty straight forward question. You said

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previously that competition was the way to improve efficiency, correct?

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Competition is way to increase quality. I think there are various

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ways of delivering greater efficiency, through redesign of

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services and developing the pricing system in the NHS. There may be

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more competition after this rewrite? It is fair to say that we

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are clear that patients, over time, will get access to more choice than

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they have at the moment, for example choice for when they go for

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planned surgery. We are looking for that. It will be phased over time.

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By comparison in the draft of the legislation, will there be more or

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less choice? The result of the changes we are making will actually

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mean that competition and choice will be extended, but will be

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extended probably over a more phased timetable. What about the

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involvement of the private sector, it is about what one pound in

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twenty NHS money spent in the private sector. What do you think

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it ought to be in ten years time? have no plan for that. What about

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an ambition? I have no ambition. Would you like it above a pound?

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ambition is to deliver the best possible care for patients. If that

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involves the NHS having an opportunity to provide services

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rather than the private sector, that is fine too. You really

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literally, honestly do not have a view? I have no plan. It could be

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less than one pound in twenty? or more. It won't be decisions made

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by me. Why would I want to have an ambition of a kind like that, if

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I'm not intending to make the decisions that will result in that

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outcome. Because you presumably have a vision for how the NHS can

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be made to work better? Absolutely, it is not about transfering

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services to the private sector, it is about giving everybody in the

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NHS, through reform, the opportunity to deliver improving

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services for patients. What about these commissioning groups of GPs,

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they were supposed to be formed by 2013, by when do you hope

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commissioning groups now to be formed? They will be established in

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2013, but they will only take on the commissioning responsibility,

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the actual bugetry responsibility when they are ready to do so.

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is that? Some may want to do so before then, we will help and

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support them to do. That many will be ready in 2013, if they are not

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ready and not willing and able to do that job at that point. The NHS

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comiinging board will step in and take the - Commissiong Board will

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step in and take the responsibility. Why did you previously have a

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deadline? We had deadline on the basis we knew we had to transfer

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the responsibility into the hands of clinicians. We were always clear

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if they weren't actually able to do so we wouldn't authorise them to do

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so. Why didn't you ask them before the White Paper? We did. The

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messages that came back is they did want to set up the GP commissioning

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groups, but one of the message that is came back, once the Pathfinders

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started to establish themselves this year, one of the message some

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of them sent was we want to do this, but we don't think we will be ready

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in 2013. Is this pat rn of producing White Papers and

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legislations and then withdrawing and rewriting it one you will

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continue with? I personally don't intend to. Of course you're not

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really the one who counts in this, this is David Cameron who says he

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can be held personally responsible, where does that leave you?

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issue is, you asked the question, setting out in the White Paper what

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the principles are, is what you do in a White Paper, the vision and

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principle also support it. When we have introduced the legislation

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this year, when you actually produce the legislation t actually

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brings forward a lot of questions and concerns. What would you do,

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would you say under those circumstances, well, look, the

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implementation of this, people have concerns about this, we will just

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ignore those, or do you say, well, OK f people have concerns, let's

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stop, let's listen, and if we k let as improve. Some people might say,

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if the rewriting, the redrafting, the recommendation, the

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consultation can be accomplished in two months, what on earth were you

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doing during the seven years you have held this brief? I have been

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actually arriving at the point where we know we can reform the NHS

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and make it much better. brought this duff piece of

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legislation? To be fair the NHS Future Forum didn't say that, they

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said they can improve it. didn't get it right first time, you

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had seven years? Even you Jeremy are capable of improvement. We are

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all capable of improvement? Legislation is capable of

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improvement. The improvement takes place before you introduce it into

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parliament? It doesn't actually there are many, most pieces of

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legislation are improved in the process of scrutiny in parliament.

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What I think was particularly important here, however, is it

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wasn't parliamentarians that simply should engage, many of them did

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with the legislation. There was an awful lot in the legislation that I

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know, to be frank, was to basically to create a permissive structure,

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saying to the GP Consortia, you will have to set out how you will

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structure your patient-public involvement, and how you will

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structure your relationship with other professionals locally, how

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you will do these things A lot of people said we don't want to leave

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it until then but want it set out now. Are you saying you took a

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piece of legislation through parliament that you knew to be

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defective? I'm not saying that. Thank heaven force the Liberal

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Democrats then? I'm not saying that. I'm saying, what is clear is people

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had concerns, some of them were on the basis of people who were makes

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misrepresentations or misunderstanding. Some of them were

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genuine. People who were come together, Pathfinder consortia,

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around the country, local authorities, people who in

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foundation trusts saying actually we think we can improve the

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legislation, and put more clarity into how we will do these things in

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future, if you engage with us now and spoened respond to this, and we

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did. - and respond to this, and we did. If there was this was a

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majority Conservative Government this would not have been changed?

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We are not in that position. This was a good process Government. I

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happen to think good Government is about listening to people and

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coming together. When Paddy Ashdown says this is an occasion for the

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Liberal Democrats to celebrate, an achievement in getting this

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legislation rewritten, he's right, isn't he? It is not about anybody

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winning or losing or celebrating or otherwise, it is about the

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Government, the coalition Government, getting plans for the

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NHS, modernisation of the NHS that delivers improving services for

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patients. It is all about delivering quality for patients.

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wonder why you didn't plan like that in the first place? If I can

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do anything to deliver better care for patients I will do it. I will

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take on my shoulders Mr Were things we could have done and changed

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earlier. - there were things we could have done and changed earlier.

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But what is important is getting the strategy ready for

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implementation for the NHS. That moves us from the place where the

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NHS was at risk for the future. Everyone knows the pressure ones

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the NHS, to do nothing was not an option. To modernise the NHS in

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this way, by engaging the staff and increasing the effectiveness of

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their work, and putting them at the heart of the decision making, that

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is critical to make that happen. Thank you.

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This appetite for getting the Government to change its mind,

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seems to be growing. Many of the men and women who teach our

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children in England and Wales, won't be turning up for work in a

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couple of weeks time. They are angry, or most of the minority of

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them who bothered to vote in the ballot are angry about changes to

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their pensions. Remarkably the normally easy going Association of

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Teachers and Lecturers are striking for the first time in their history.

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Other union leaders say it presses a summer of discontent. Why are

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they striking? It is, as you say, all about pensions. The

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Government's plans to reform public sector pensions generally, means

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that teachers specifically argue that they are going to be seeing a

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huge rise in, or drop in their retirement income. They will need

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to work an awful lot longer to get t they say they will have to pay

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for more the privilege. Teachers already in the second year of a pay

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freeze, they say that higher contributions are not affordable,

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and the Government is about to announce what those increases are.

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I think what you are seeing is the teachers, if you like, get anything

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their retaliation early. One leader says it is a shot across the

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Government bough, they say they have already got a pension

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agreement that insurance them against greater longevity, what the

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Government's proposing amounts to nothing more than a tax on teachers.

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What happened in the ballot? It was interesting, it involved the NUT,

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and the normal low, moderate, mild- mannered ATL, who have never ever

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voted for a strike before. They balloted between them 300,000

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people, the overwhelming majority of those voted to strike, but, and

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the Government will make something of this, on a very low turnout.

:16:45.:16:55.
:16:55.:17:03.

The strikes are pencilled in for June 30th. They are going to

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involve independent schools as well. As things stand, if they go ahead,

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thousands of schools will be hit across England and Wales, endless

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parents as well. The Government tonight, someone in the education

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department told me there is no silver bullet, they do not have

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contingency plans to keep schools open, it will all come down to

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individual head teachers on the day, thinking have they got enough staff

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to teach the kids. Is the feeling this is an outrider

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for a series of public sector strikes? It has all come about

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because of the review by Lord Hutton, already reported,

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recommending sweeping changes to public sector pension arrangements

:17:45.:17:49.

to make them more affordable going forward. Talks are on going between

:17:49.:17:53.

the Cabinet Office, the Treasury and public sector unions. Even

:17:53.:17:56.

before they resume later on this month, just before the teachers go

:17:56.:18:01.

on strike, already unions are talking about further ballots, more

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strike action possibly affecting much of the six million members of

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the public sector work force. the Government doesn't change

:18:09.:18:13.

course the risk is that the whole of the public sector, all of the

:18:13.:18:19.

unions in the public sector, will be engaged in co-ordinated strike

:18:20.:18:24.

action. Which nobody wants, and which really won't do anybody any

:18:24.:18:31.

good in the short-term. What's the Government planning?

:18:31.:18:34.

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister says the strike by

:18:34.:18:36.

teachers is completely irresponsible, given that talks in

:18:37.:18:40.

theory are still in play. But you can expect to hear a lot more about

:18:40.:18:43.

legislation to stop the country grind to go a halt.

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With us now, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and

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Lecturers, who you have just heard voted to strike today, Bousted bou,

:18:53.:18:57.

the Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, Graham

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Stuart. How does harming children's education do any good for your

:19:01.:19:04.

members? I have met hundreds of members up and down the country

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over the last four week, and they don't want to strike, the last

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thing they want to do is take this action. They believe, and I have

:19:11.:19:14.

heard this from teachers who have been in the profession for years

:19:14.:19:18.

and years. Who joined ATL because they didn't want a strike. They

:19:18.:19:21.

believe the current proposals will be so damaging to the profession,

:19:21.:19:25.

that they are far more damage to go children's education than a one-day

:19:25.:19:31.

strike. So children's education will be damaged if they don't

:19:31.:19:37.

strike? Absolutely. It will be less damaged if they do strike? We have

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tried everything to get our case across to the Government without a

:19:40.:19:44.

strike. Yes, what our members are saying, yes, if if we don't strike

:19:44.:19:47.

there will be more damage. This has nothing to do with education, it is

:19:47.:19:51.

all about money? Money is important to teachers. What this is about is

:19:51.:19:57.

the future of the profession. Let's just go three years in advance. We

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have new teachers starting to teach, who have debts of �40,000 or over,

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who will be expected pay 10% of their salary into a pension, they

:20:07.:20:12.

won't be able to afford to do so. You accept the public finances are

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in a real mess? Yes they are. Clearly it is as plain as a pike

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staff, what are you suggesting, teachers lose jobs? This isn't

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about the public finances. It is? The Teachers' Pension Scheme, at

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the last valuation was not in deficit. And in 2007, we negotiated

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changes which meant that new teachers worked longer and we paid

:20:36.:20:39.

more. If the teachers' scheme was in deficit, the only people who

:20:39.:20:44.

would pay would be the teachers. These reforms are not about the

:20:44.:20:48.

public deficit. The reason that unions like this are emboldened,

:20:48.:20:51.

because they have seen the Government bend the knee already to

:20:51.:20:55.

the BMA and other vests interests in the health service, that was a

:20:55.:21:00.

mistake, wasn't it? I wouldn't necessarily say that. The key point

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here is the one you put to Mary at first, who will we look after, the

:21:05.:21:09.

interests of teachers and their pensions, or the children. I think

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many of your viewers tonight will wonder why formerly moderate unions,

:21:15.:21:19.

why the negotiations are still going on, it hasn't ended. Why

:21:19.:21:23.

aren't they sitting down with Government looking for solution,

:21:23.:21:28.

not putting shots across the Government's bough in this

:21:28.:21:34.

situation. I know Mary and my goals are to do the best for the children

:21:34.:21:38.

of this country, do you set the example of throwing your toys out

:21:38.:21:44.

of the pram and march out of the classroom for stay and sort this

:21:44.:21:50.

out. People know the Government is in a mess because of what we have

:21:50.:21:53.

inherited. Is public opinion on their side? I think the public will

:21:53.:21:59.

have a lot of sympathy. People are being asked to pay for more less

:21:59.:22:03.

for longer. That is pretty tough, except the big picture is a quarter

:22:03.:22:08.

of us will live to be 100, most of us will live into our 80s. The

:22:08.:22:14.

numbers don't add up. Mary knows that. We negotiated in 2007, as a

:22:14.:22:19.

result of those negotiations teachers will work to 65, our

:22:19.:22:22.

pension contributions increased, if there is any more to pay for

:22:22.:22:28.

longevity, we have agreed to pay it, not the employers, out of teachers'

:22:28.:22:31.

salaries, the Government hasn't done an evaluation of the scheme,

:22:31.:22:35.

it is overdue by a year. This business of walking out of

:22:35.:22:37.

negotiations. We have been in negotiations with the Treasury

:22:37.:22:41.

since February, it took five months to cup up with a paper. We have

:22:41.:22:47.

asked eight questions about the paper and how they have done the

:22:47.:22:50.

calculations and they can't tell us that. The reason is it is badly

:22:50.:22:56.

written and worked out. Any expert will tell you that. We want actual

:22:56.:23:02.

figure about where the fund is, in deficit. You sound angry? We have

:23:02.:23:07.

never voted for strike action in 127 years, with 83% yes in state

:23:07.:23:11.

sector and 83% in the independent sector. Remind us what proportion

:23:12.:23:17.

of your members voted at all? voted. Many MPs will be glad for

:23:17.:23:21.

the 36%. They are not that angry? Many of those didn't vote really

:23:21.:23:26.

don't want to take action, but they are angry. 64%, two-thirds of them,

:23:26.:23:30.

effectively, didn't even bother to vote? The ballot laws in this

:23:30.:23:34.

country say it is a majority, it is a big majority, many Members of

:23:34.:23:38.

Parliament will be very glad stkwhr. It is a big majority of a maul

:23:38.:23:42.

amount of your numbers? For ATL that is a significant result.

:23:42.:23:46.

is an obvious solution to this, change the law as proposed by some

:23:46.:23:51.

of your own members? I hope we don't go down that line. I believe

:23:51.:23:55.

in the professionalism of teachers. I believe it is a fantastic

:23:55.:24:01.

profession, the impact of teaching has reprecussions on the lives of

:24:01.:24:04.

children. You don't see doctors, lawyers and professionals going out

:24:04.:24:08.

on strike, and Mary's union has never done it before, to do it now

:24:08.:24:13.

when we are in the state we are, rather than sitting down, as

:24:13.:24:18.

passionately as Mary does, with the Government, arguing the points, in

:24:18.:24:22.

the studio like this. We have either got to put the pensions of

:24:22.:24:26.

teachers first or the education of children, I hope Mary would join me

:24:26.:24:33.

in always putting the education of children first, not the individual

:24:33.:24:37.

pensioner. I have offered Michael Gove any time. This can be solved

:24:37.:24:42.

simply, take the 3% pensions' tax, which won't be going into the

:24:42.:24:46.

pension. It is a tax on public sector workers, beyond a two-year

:24:46.:24:50.

pay freeze, at a time when the wages haven't gone up at all. Take

:24:50.:24:55.

it off the table and we will go to the proper negotiations Ts not our

:24:55.:24:58.

position there needs to be no changes. We want to know is the

:24:58.:25:02.

scheme in deficit, and a paper about the rational of the changes.

:25:02.:25:06.

We don't want to wait five months for it. We want the figures and

:25:06.:25:11.

facts, if you won't give them to us. She's arguing sympathetically,

:25:11.:25:14.

these are reasonable requests? are, and they need to be made over

:25:14.:25:18.

the table and publicly. We don't want to see professionals going out

:25:19.:25:23.

on strike and putting at risk the welfare of our children.

:25:23.:25:26.

To forecast how heavy the political weather is going to be after

:25:26.:25:32.

today's news of strikes, and desperate NHS reassurances, we turn

:25:32.:25:42.

to our sun lit panel of Danny "wrap up warm" Finkelstein of the Times.

:25:42.:25:49.

And Peter Hyman. Time for what the anyoney's in the Met Office call a

:25:49.:25:59.
:25:59.:25:59.

significant weather moment. It almost dig fis to say the

:25:59.:26:03.

Liberal Democrats stepped in. Both parties were involved in reversing

:26:03.:26:07.

it in the House of Commons. It was a good thing to do. There is a

:26:07.:26:11.

general view never do a u-turn, because that is what Margaret

:26:11.:26:19.

Thatcher said. That is she didn't want to turn from a bad policy to a

:26:19.:26:24.

worse one. This is a good policy. You are saying come back the way

:26:24.:26:28.

you came, a slight deviation as from Lansley later? To put

:26:28.:26:32.

legislation to the House of Commons and then realise you have to change

:26:32.:26:36.

it is inevitably a u-turn and not dignified. It is still the right

:26:36.:26:43.

thing to do. The Tories have come into line with your policy.

:26:43.:26:49.

neutralised the NHS to have a "hug a nurse" policy. I think this is a

:26:49.:26:54.

question of Cameron's judgment, why did Cameron let Lansley run away

:26:54.:26:59.

with a policy that no-one thought was the correct strategy. What has

:26:59.:27:02.

happened now, which I think is very damaging for the health service, is

:27:02.:27:08.

the politics have caught up with the policy. People have realise

:27:08.:27:15.

thasd no-win policy, and have - realised that it is a no-win policy.

:27:15.:27:21.

The commissioning idea they have doesn't work. Before we go on with

:27:21.:27:25.

the legacy, Olly Grender, marvellous achievement for the

:27:25.:27:29.

Liberal Democrats you would say! That is the line you would like me

:27:29.:27:32.

to pursue. That is the line of Paddy Ashdown and various other

:27:32.:27:37.

Liberal Democrats. Bearing in mind they voted for this legislation?

:27:37.:27:42.

And kicked up a big force in March. Why did they do, that didn't they

:27:42.:27:46.

know what they were doing? As you know a lot of people tend to go

:27:46.:27:50.

through the lobbies not having seen the detail. They agreed with the

:27:50.:27:55.

broad principle but didn't read the detail. They vote for things they

:27:55.:27:59.

don't know about about? They agreed with the principle of what it was

:27:59.:28:05.

about, when it came to the detail, particularly about competition in

:28:05.:28:10.

the NHS they listened to the party conference in March. The biggest

:28:10.:28:13.

problem we have not discussed, there is �20 billion of savings in

:28:13.:28:16.

the National Health Service, and now that these have been so

:28:16.:28:23.

publicly discussed, the reforms so publicly discussed, people will

:28:23.:28:27.

attribute closure that is will happen, happening for savings

:28:27.:28:34.

reasons for these reforms. That is really bad news for the coalition

:28:34.:28:38.

Government. The NHS is a serious problem for the Government.

:28:38.:28:42.

Certainly for the Conservative Party, because it is linked so much

:28:42.:28:51.

to the changed image. There is more political fall-out, I thought he

:28:51.:28:54.

was broken, nah an unsustainable position? A golden opportunity for

:28:54.:28:57.

the Labour Party. It should be a golden opportunity for the Labour

:28:57.:29:02.

Party. I fear as yet they haven't been in the health service debate

:29:02.:29:05.

at the moment? It has been an extraordinary week, last week the

:29:05.:29:09.

Conservative Party, they did fear what would happen when they did

:29:10.:29:13.

this pause. Really the Labour Party managed to drown it out with a

:29:13.:29:20.

story about Ed Balls's new box and Ed Miliband's speech, it was an

:29:20.:29:22.

extraordinary performance. I agree. They have had a lot of open goals

:29:22.:29:27.

this week. It does back to the sense of Ed's strategy and

:29:27.:29:31.

performance. I think they are the fundamental question is what is

:29:31.:29:35.

this leadership for. At the moment we can say he's not hitting hard

:29:36.:29:39.

enough as opposition leader. He would be on the front foot for if

:29:39.:29:44.

he was on the other stuff as well. To be fair for Ed Miliband,

:29:44.:29:48.

allowing him a certain period of being leader, it is typical of the

:29:48.:29:54.

Labour Party, to kick so quickly after they have elected. No-one is

:29:54.:29:58.

kicking, they are asking what he's doing. They have set an exemplary

:29:58.:30:03.

record in looking after useless leaders? The difficulty is there is

:30:03.:30:06.

an expectation of him. Being the third party in terms of interest to

:30:07.:30:11.

people is a very difficult position to be in. What is your reading

:30:11.:30:15.

collectively, we were talking earlier about teachers' strikes.

:30:15.:30:19.

There is a whole wave of public sector strikes, threatened, in one

:30:19.:30:26.

way or another. What is your reading of the public mood on these.

:30:26.:30:30.

Teachers do vote, and those being asked to pay more money into the

:30:30.:30:35.

pensions won't be very happy. You start losing, however people are

:30:35.:30:39.

not very sympathetic to other people's pension rights to start

:30:39.:30:44.

off with. Particularly when they are paid through tax-payers' money

:30:44.:30:48.

and they don't like strikes. I suspect the politics won't work out

:30:48.:30:53.

for the public sector unions who go on strike. We will work out

:30:53.:30:58.

actually, Governments are always lucky if they get to fight fights

:30:58.:31:06.

rather than the other side. It is not a fight the Government want at

:31:06.:31:10.

the moment but it could end up better. What goes on in some

:31:10.:31:16.

aspects of the private rather than public sector, I'm sympathetic

:31:16.:31:20.

enough as a teacher saying we didn't cause the financial mess,

:31:20.:31:24.

why are the public sector taking the pain of that. It was left to

:31:24.:31:29.

this Government when they came into office. It is the fault of the

:31:29.:31:34.

banking industry and then the crash. It is obviously ridiculous to say

:31:34.:31:37.

public servants created the mess, it is certainly the case that

:31:37.:31:41.

increased public spending on things we ultimately turned out not to be

:31:41.:31:49.

able to afford. Something has to be done about it. It is a bit of a red

:31:49.:31:53.

herring to links this to the long- term deficit. Lord Hutton was

:31:53.:31:58.

brought in to solve it, it was identified as a problem by Labour

:31:58.:32:03.

well before the structural deficit. Your reading of the public mood is

:32:03.:32:06.

what? Of course this will be issues, particularly when you look at

:32:06.:32:12.

inflation and cost of living for key workers, thats where it comes

:32:12.:32:17.

into play. That is why it is critically important that the

:32:17.:32:25.

coalition Government looks at ways of taxing people looking at tax

:32:25.:32:28.

threshold. Solving long-term public sector pensions is something that

:32:28.:32:32.

the last Government was attempting to do. It has to be done, doesn't

:32:32.:32:37.

it. Which way do you think Labour will go on the strikes, Lord Hutton

:32:37.:32:44.

is proet moing the reforms, Labour can't really oppose promoting the

:32:44.:32:48.

reforms, Labour didn't oppose them or support them. Again I go back to

:32:48.:32:54.

the big picture, the trouble is there is a picking at overall

:32:54.:32:58.

rather than a specific strategy. Labour's credibility on the economy

:32:58.:33:02.

is the fundamental task over the next four or five years. The Tories

:33:02.:33:06.

have successfully rubbished them, they have to rebuild. That isn't

:33:06.:33:11.

having individual policies. It was the fact that is rubbished them, to

:33:12.:33:16.

be honest. We can debate that, they haven't a strategy on this. We saw

:33:16.:33:21.

in the David Miliband's speech, the beginnings of a strategy emerging,

:33:21.:33:25.

which I think Ed Balls would do well to learn from. If you have

:33:25.:33:28.

that overarching framework, then these other things fit into it,

:33:28.:33:32.

otherwise you don't have the credibility. I think from

:33:32.:33:35.

yesterday's speech, you get a sense that Ed Miliband has the potential

:33:35.:33:42.

to recognise that, but held to hostage by Ed Balls. He's still

:33:42.:33:48.

carrying a torch over there! Are we in for a summer of

:33:49.:33:52.

discontent? When you are reducing real incomes of real people, there

:33:52.:33:57.

will be industrial action I don't think the Government can win that

:33:57.:34:02.

battle, and I think they - I think the Government can win the battle

:34:02.:34:06.

and win the argument, people see the need for reform for pensions.

:34:06.:34:09.

Prior to the general election, all three of us said, very tough times

:34:09.:34:13.

ahead, for whoever gets into power. That would have involved industrial

:34:13.:34:17.

action, and I think that would have been the case whether it had been

:34:17.:34:22.

Labour, majority, Conservative majority whatever. I would make a

:34:22.:34:25.

different point, there is a whole series of issues where the quality

:34:25.:34:30.

of policy making and decision making in this Government is under

:34:30.:34:33.

question. Cameron, partly because of the weakness of the opposition

:34:33.:34:37.

is getting away with murder, he's floating above the Government,

:34:37.:34:41.

letting others like Lansley and Ken Clarke get into trouble with this.

:34:41.:34:45.

Cameron isn't abreast with the detail. Law and order and

:34:45.:34:48.

immigration they are running into trouble on that? They need to get a

:34:48.:34:53.

grip on how policies are made and Cameron's involvement. A lot of the

:34:53.:34:56.

u-turns are having got a grip realising they didn't have a strong

:34:56.:35:00.

enough centre and getting a stronger centre. These produce u

:35:00.:35:05.

turns, but better outcomes. I like a scenario, where even mistakes are

:35:05.:35:09.

made and people are left in their job to put those mistakes right. I

:35:10.:35:13.

think that is very different, that is good thing, that is something we

:35:13.:35:17.

would do in normal working practice, we would make somebody put it right.

:35:17.:35:22.

Come back again soon. In a better world, the clearing up

:35:22.:35:26.

of rubbish wouldn't be something we expected councils to do, because

:35:26.:35:31.

the citizens wouldn't leave rubbish lying about. In David Cameron's Big

:35:31.:35:37.

Society, we would all organise ourselves to such task. We have

:35:37.:35:43.

delegate the it to Stephen Smith, who is supposed to be investigating

:35:43.:35:49.

how other countries do it. To Belgium, if you can look at that

:35:49.:35:52.

country where they have managed well without a Government, they

:35:52.:35:58.

have just had volunteering day. Previously on Citizen Smith:

:35:58.:36:03.

In Gloucester we had a royal weteding street party, I helped

:36:03.:36:08.

arranged, or didn't prevent. Thanks to a course on organising in David

:36:08.:36:16.

Cameron's Big Society. What a swell party it was.

:36:16.:36:22.

I said there was too much eggnog in that punch. WTF, hang about, I know

:36:22.:36:32.
:36:32.:36:37.

where this is, I'm at mini-Europe in BEEP Belgium.

:36:37.:36:47.
:36:47.:37:21.

# We must all stick together It's a special day in Brussels. A

:37:21.:37:25.

day when people are encouraged to volunteer to cloon up their city.

:37:25.:37:31.

Now that sounds like the big "big society", some say - the Big

:37:31.:37:37.

Society, some say Grandad, I wanted to find out, - La Grande Societe, I

:37:37.:37:42.

wanted to find out are they on to something, and would a day like

:37:42.:37:49.

this work back home. The Mannequin Pis wears the proud uniform of the

:37:49.:37:53.

city sweepers, how do we know? There was a leak!

:37:53.:37:58.

Shiny new stop cocks are curtesy of the city fathers. Soiled frontages

:37:58.:38:03.

are a thing of the past. If you look at our pavement, we have

:38:03.:38:06.

cobble stones, they are very beautiful but not very smooth. They

:38:06.:38:10.

are difficult to clean just with the broom. You need to have water

:38:10.:38:16.

under pressure to make sure you can take the cigarette butts away.

:38:16.:38:24.

Unfortunately a lot of the dog owners let their dogs pee on the

:38:24.:38:27.

flower spots. Even human doss that from time to time. It is your own

:38:27.:38:31.

fault, you have a statue of a young boy relieving himself? That's right,

:38:31.:38:36.

that is what my Russian guests said yesterday. He said when he saw

:38:36.:38:43.

someone doing, that he said he must imitate your most famous site.

:38:43.:38:52.

Citizen Smith, moderate or good, becoming poor.

:38:52.:38:59.

On Volunteer Day in Brussels, all types take part. Lending a full

:38:59.:39:05.

majesty of the Belgian crown to the occasion is Princess Astrid, she's

:39:05.:39:10.

meeting charity workers at these stalls, but not meeting journalists.

:39:10.:39:17.

You probably thought like me they had bicycling royalty here or

:39:17.:39:21.

segwaying, but we can't interview Princess Astrid to get her views on

:39:21.:39:25.

litter collecting and that kind of thing, it is shame, I have been

:39:25.:39:32.

working hard on my conversational waloon. Would they have treated

:39:32.:39:36.

Belgium's favourite soon, Tintin in the same way, he was a reporter you

:39:36.:39:42.

know. There is plenty to see and do in Brussels, still.

:39:42.:39:50.

It also happens to be open day at the European Council building.

:39:50.:39:53.

Isn't that monsieur Monsieur Van Rompuy, do you like interesting

:39:53.:40:00.

facts about TV, he has never given an interview to Newsnight, up until

:40:00.:40:05.

now. What is your best time on that Mr President, your best time for

:40:05.:40:11.

the Rubik's cub? It is as complicated as the eurozone. It is,

:40:11.:40:16.

we're from BBC television. That's nice, lovely, could we have

:40:16.:40:21.

a quick word for the BBC? Not on the news. Not on the news, just

:40:21.:40:25.

about Volunteer Day, Volunteer Day here in Brussels? Yeah, yeah.

:40:25.:40:28.

is all I wanted to ask you about, is it a good thing, everybody

:40:28.:40:33.

voched in picking up litter, keep - involved in picking up litter and

:40:33.:40:39.

keeping the streets clear. can't have a society without

:40:39.:40:42.

volunteers, people depend only on the public authorities. The free

:40:42.:40:46.

choice and engagement and enthusiasm of people is key for

:40:46.:40:50.

having a sound society. Do you think you have the Big Society in

:40:50.:40:54.

Europe, I don't know if you have heard of the phrase of Mr

:40:54.:40:59.

Cameron's? It is a long-term project. I hope you enjoy your cube,

:40:59.:41:05.

many eyes of private fiddling there. Thank you.

:41:05.:41:15.

There is even a build-your-own- scare crow competition. We toured

:41:15.:41:22.

the tattered termillions with MP Emma McClarkin. Are Belgians better

:41:22.:41:26.

at being citizens than we are, or the same? It is not for me to cast

:41:26.:41:30.

about saying who is the best citizen in the European Union,

:41:30.:41:36.

whether Belgian or Britain. We as British people like to take

:41:36.:41:41.

responsibility for our actions and we foster that spirit. We are

:41:41.:41:44.

better? I would say we are fantastic. There is nothing we can

:41:44.:41:48.

learn from our friends over here? There is lots we can learn in lots

:41:48.:41:52.

of different areas, the Big Society is one of those areas to grow and

:41:52.:41:56.

learn from other people. They have a secret weapon here, reserved for

:41:56.:42:00.

people who make a mess of the place, or allow their pets to. Here he

:42:00.:42:07.

comes now. Any second now. # Like a bat out of hell

:42:07.:42:14.

# When the morning comesle It is a motorbike with a vacuum

:42:14.:42:18.

cleaner attached. This baby can go from nought to slurry in the blink

:42:18.:42:26.

of an eye. Have you any special power can you use a Taser on dog

:42:26.:42:32.

owners if they foul the streets? TRANSLATION: Absolutely no power.

:42:32.:42:34.

People are sometimes gobsmacked, some of them think about what they

:42:34.:42:44.

are doing. Others not at all. But I have no power to apprehend people.

:42:44.:42:49.

You're like the Mad Max of dog poo in this country, there is no other

:42:49.:42:55.

way of putling it? Not really, in a certain way I suppose so. My

:42:55.:43:05.
:43:05.:43:07.

friends respect me too much to give me a nickname.

:43:07.:43:12.

It's all very well laying on an anti-litter train, what if people

:43:12.:43:16.

don't want to get on board. I can't say I have seen too many volunteers

:43:16.:43:21.

cleaning the streets today. I expected to see people picking up

:43:21.:43:27.

rubbish, but I haven't seen that much? TRANSLATION: In some parts of

:43:27.:43:34.

town, there were locals, along with 300 of our cleanliness ambassadors

:43:34.:43:37.

cleaning pavements. Not so much in the centre of town, but lots of

:43:37.:43:41.

shopkeepers joined in, it was a success. Do you think people in

:43:41.:43:46.

this country are more interested in helping the society than perhaps

:43:46.:43:54.

British people? No. I don't think so. Really? TRANSLATION: It is very

:43:54.:43:58.

difficult to change people's mentalties, Belgians and people

:43:58.:44:02.

living in Brussels often have anti- social reflexes, what we are trying

:44:02.:44:06.

to do with this day is change people's mentalties to respect

:44:06.:44:15.

their environment. David Cameron may be tempted to try

:44:15.:44:20.

a Volunteer Day at home, if so he might also like to borrow an old

:44:20.:44:30.
:44:30.:44:36.

Belgian adage about making a A movie by Newsnight.

:44:36.:44:46.
:44:46.:45:17.

The end. That's all tonight. We have had

:45:17.:45:21.

enough cautionary tales about the perils of who you can trust in

:45:21.:45:24.

cyberspace. But now the Ministry of Defence is warning its servicemen

:45:24.:45:27.

and women to be careful what they disclose to their friends and

:45:27.:45:31.

family when they whroing or tweet. In the war on terror d when they

:45:32.:45:38.

blog or tweet, in the war on terror, careless talk can cost lives.

:45:38.:45:48.
:45:48.:46:15.

careless talk can cost lives. we are.

:46:15.:46:19.

I hope you enjoy Tuesday's sunshine, the weather is on the slide. A

:46:19.:46:23.

scattering of showers moving in from the west during the course of

:46:23.:46:27.

the day. Pretty hit and miss, brighter spells inbetween. The

:46:27.:46:30.

ever-present risk of the odd shower. A lot of cloud around, certainly

:46:30.:46:34.

more than there was on Tuesday. Any brighter spells, temperatures doing

:46:34.:46:38.

pretty well. High teens, possibly low 20s, to be aware that the rain

:46:39.:46:43.

will never be too far away. A few brighter glimpses, difficult to

:46:43.:46:47.

nail down exactly where, the hope that most of us will see as useful

:46:47.:46:50.

dryer and brighter spells, the cloud will thicken again and bring

:46:50.:46:53.

the threat of further showers. For Northern Ireland, after a rather

:46:53.:46:57.

cloudy start, things should improve here, with some of the best of the

:46:57.:47:01.

sunshine through the afternoon, lifting those temperatures up to 16

:47:01.:47:04.

or 17. For Scotland most of the showers staying to the west of the

:47:04.:47:09.

hills have had a chance of saying largely dry further east. Looking

:47:09.:47:13.

into Thursday, more of the same, a scattering of showers, decent

:47:13.:47:17.

brighter spells across the more northern parts of the UK, perhaps

:47:17.:47:21.

some heavier showers for a time further south. Temperatures easing

:47:21.:47:24.

down, that is trend continuing through to the end of the week.

:47:24.:47:29.

Thursday's picture again is a messy one, isn't it, one area of shower

:47:29.:47:33.

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