10/01/2012 Newsnight


With so many cuts elsewhere, why spend 33 billion pounds on a new train line? And how has Ed Miliband's new economy strategy gone down? With Gavin Esler.

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Tonight a truly British network. The Transport Secretary on high-


speed rail. HS2, no thank you.


Not everyone is rejoicing at plans to boost the economy by spending


�33 billion on a rail link from London to Birmingham and beyond.


The upset of having one's house taken away from one, without any


say so. How could you not care about that. We will debate whether


the money might be better spent elsewhere, as the transport


minister faces critics of the project. Also tonight: I'm very


confident they will make a decision in the best interests the future of


Scotland. Scotland's First Minister calls the timing of a referendum on


independence. We will ask the Scottish Secretary if he has other


ideas. Moon while, in Westminster: We are on the river for Ed


Milliband's new year, new speech. Just don't use the word "relaunch ".


Ed Milliband recognises there are difficult economic choices ahead, a


Shadow Cabinet minister explains whether this is leaderership or


followership. And who is going to be the man to challenge Barack


Obama. Bonjour, je m' appelle Mitt Romney. Many voters dislike Mitt


Romney, but he may emerge as the last man standing. We will hear


from one of his more surprising supporters.


From the time of the first Roman roads, major transportation


projects have had huge economic, political and social and economic


consequences. The going ahead with the HS2, the high-speed rail link


from London in order warts, the Government is putting taxpayer


billions to linking the south-east with the Midlands and eventually


the north. Talks with the Scottish Government are promiseded. Critics


say the money would be better spent on other things. We will explore


that argument in a moment. The project today was called by


some a white elephant, and by the Government, a truly British network.


When the first-ever railway lines were built in the 1820s, the


reaction of the people was described as fear and fascination.


Now the subject of a new exhibition in the National Railway You museum,


what was described then as the ruination of the countryside,


became a permanent part of Britain's landscape.


200 years later, as the Government finally enforces the country's


biggest-ever infrastructure endeavour. Still plenty of


fascination and plenty fear. could have gone for the short-term


option, rely on a patch and mend approach, loaf our railway networks


overstretch, overburdened -- leave our railway networks overstretch,


overburdened and overresilient. The price of that would have been paid


in lost business, lower growth, fewer jobs and more misery for


passengers on a network that could not cope with the capacity.


When built, high-speed 2 will depart from a beefed up Euston


Station in London, and then head to a newer station in Birmingham,


taking 45 minutes. All going to plan will be built in 2026. Phase


two will see trains heading to man chester, and cutting the journey to


one hour and eight minutes. Another spur will travel to Leeds, where a


journey to the capital could be cut to an hour-and-a-half. Phase two is


pencilled in for completion by 2033. HS2, no thank you. What is designed


by architects in London, has a real impact elsewhere, especially in the


illusion greenle valleys in the Chilterns, home to the safest Tory


seats in Christendom, and hope to the most vociferous opponents.


This is the leader of Chiltern district council, and a member of


the anti-HS2 movement, 51M. How much of that was negotiateded with


locals when route planning was happening? Nothing was negotiated


with locals, they decide what they want to do. This is the Department


of Transport? Yes, they don't negotiate, they say this is where


the route will be. You can make a protestation, and say we don't


think that is quite right. And sometimes they listen and sometimes


they don't. We understand from the map,


although it is not 100% clear, that it will now be 50 yards in that


direction. Alex Sheffield's 450- year-old home is right on the new


line. The house itself will be spared, but much her garden and


farm will be bulldozed, according to the latest plans. So when people


accuse you of being a nimby, Alex, what do you say? That I challenge


anyone, in had my position, not to be a nimby. If they had their house,


that was the upset of having one's house take be away from one,


without any say so. How could you not care about that.


A few hundred miles further up the line, the people set to benefit


from phase two of the project are much more enthusiastic. We initial


low asked our members about high- speed rail, and whether they wanted


to cover the region, 90% of members said they were in favour of it


coming to the Leeds city region. That is because it firms up their


investment plans, it gives them certaintyer for the future. Which


is very much what -- certainty for the future, which is very much what


business wants. It will also mean it will attract new business to the


area, because of the improved transport connections.


And 40 miles south of Leeds, is Sheffield, the Deputy Prime


Minister's constituency, though one wonders whether he will still be in


that post by 2033, when HS2 arrives. It it is really great news, it it


is great news for the whole country. I think especially for the great


cities of the north. Leeds, Sheffield, done caster, you name it.


For so long - Doncaster, you name it, for so long the Government has


spent time worrying about the south-east, and this is a big


investment in the future, linking north and south together. So


everybody, no matter where you live, particularly in the north of the


country, will share in prosperity in the future. There are plenty of


people who say the Government's motivation in pressing ahead with


HS2 are more political than economic. Certainly connecting the


West Midlands, where there are plenty of marginal seats, will play


well on the doorsteps in 2015. The Tories could legitimately say they


are not just focused on the south- east, but economically in the north.


If the high-speed rail service the economies of the North West and the


Midlands, and boosts them, the Conservatives will have made a huge


impact in the two regions that are amongst the killing grounds in the


general elections, where Governments are made and broken,


stuffed through on marginal seats, the Conservatives were 19 seats


short in the last elections, in the West Midlands alone there are 24


seats, where close to Labour F they get a benefit from it, it might


make a difference at the next election.


The think-tank of economic affairs, normally agrees with Conservative


Party politics, but not on this one. One of the reasons that people


think HS2 has gained support in the Conservative Party, is because that


party did so badly in the general election in areas like the West


Midlands and the north of England. This is a big carrot to would


voters in those regions. Voters -- woo voters in those regions. Voters


understand they will have to pay for it with their tax money, they


are not so easily fooled. Eventhough the Government may have


said full steam ahead,ed today might also start a number of ma --


ahead, today might also start a number of major legal challenges.


But things may have of moved on by then that we may be able to


teleport between cities. I'm joined by the transport


minister and three opponents of the scheme, Gillian Tett, a group of 18


local authorities opposed to the scheme. The head of the woodland


Trust, and the head of the city Group A M. Why is now a good time


to promise to spent �33 billion on shaving minutes off getting from


Birmingham to London? The objective of pursuing this ideal, shared by


all three parties in the parliament, is not to shave time off travel


between Birmingham and London, but to create economic prosperity in


the north, and to deal with the chronic overcrowding that we are


anticipating on the railways. The numbers on the railways have


doubled in the last ten years, and the West Coast Mainline, which we


have spent money on is almost full already. We will have people


priceded off the railise or standing for very long distance --


railways, or standing for very long distances. Why not get on with it,


why wait in until 2026? transport minister promised to


accelerate the timetable the we have a complicated process in


parliament, we have to listen to the inch by inch on the line


through parliament the bill won't be ready until 2015. We have to


look at it properly. When you lock at all these problems and you talk


overcrowding, you know commuter trains are seriously overcrowded.


All the possiblities you had, this is by far the best one, is it?


because that would be a fair question, if we were doing nothing


else. The reality is we have got, never mind HS2 apart from that we


have the biggest rail investment programme in this country since


Victorian times. CrossRail going you awe head, Thameslink. You have


chosen to give priority to this in terms of money, not a new airport


in the south-east or commuter trains? We are doing commuter


trains, Southern we authorised another �80 million for Southern


over the Christmas prd. We have a rail investment programme taking


place now. HS2 has a lead-in period. When CrossRail is completed that


budget it be transferred to HS2. Let's go to those yet to be


convince. The changes to the project, longer tunnels, more


tunnels, that kind of thing, does that hp you, because it means the


areas -- help you, because it means the areas will not be soed bad low


affected as you see it? It is not about woods and fields. As local


authorities remember used to the fact of taking strategic and


controversial decisions. The problem for the Government is when


you are spending �32 billion worth of your money and my money, every


viewer's money, you have to make sure you are spending on good value


for money and in the national interest. The problem they have is


virtually every independent observer, looking at this, thinks


this is a very poor business case, it it is poor value for money, and


the national interest isn't served. You are talking about national


interest, but you are thinking about Buckinghamshire and nimbyism?


That is the slur from the Labour champions, this is Gordon Brown's


scheme initially. The argument for this and the Transport Select


Committee looked at it in great detail, they said don't throw the


acronym nimby around, this is about justifying a business expenditure


of �32 billion around in a time of maer jor austerity. The �32 --


Major austerity. The �32 billion kicks in 20 26, when CrossRail ends,


the budget will transfer to HS2 we are carrying on with investment in


the railways now, in the way they have don advocated to do in terms


of expenditure. I don't accept that case. The transport select commity


said there was a good case for the line. In the business case, you


have to spend back every pound you spend �2 paying back. Those figures


have gone down. You accept that? don't accept that. It is �1.76 to


�1 for the first phase and less for the second. How much extra have you


had to spend on longer tunnels in the hope of buying off local


opposition? It it is not a question buying off local opposition, but


listening to people's consultation responses. How much did that cost?


If you take one of the tunnels questioned in the Commons today.


Because we are avoiding certain things we are saving money. So the


net cost of building more tunnels? There is a net cost, but it is not


significant, particularly, in terms of the overall scheme. The overall


top. Nothing is significant concerned to that? The top line


figure has not changed significantly from today's


announcement. It is worth saying there is a 60% cushion to allow for


overspend in that �33 million. Martin said it was not about


woodlands, however important they are. What is your anxiety the


woodlands? It is about the woodlands from the Woodland Trust


pr pective. It is important to weigh up -- perspective, it is


important to weigh up the economic case, we think the cost will be too


great. There will be 19 ancient woods destroyed by the route, and a


further 27 damage. They are a rainforest, irreplacable, and the


richest wildlife habitats, we believe that level loss is


unacceptable. -- level of loss is unacceptable. Aren't some going to


be relocateded? It is impossible to relocate something that has been


there hundreds of years. It is a unique habitat, not disturbed for


about 400 years, you can't just lift it up and move it. Why are you


promising to relocate some of the ancient woodlands, that sounds like


a nonsensical statement, if it is ancient it is ancient? We are


planting millions of trees along the line. They won't be ancient


woodland? We are listening carefully to what people have say.


There is 22 miles tunnelment compared to 14 in the consultation.


56 miles will be in deep cutting. Half the line will be unseen. And


then the Chilterns AONB, we accept is a sensitive area, two miles will


be on the surfacement we have taken great steps to protect the


environment consequences. We will see a shift of four-and-a-half


million flights, nine million car journies each year on to the


railways, that will have a carbon benefit. It is not as simple to say


the tunnels will mitigate the loss of ancient woodland, cutting and


covering will destroy the habitat. It is not a valid mitigation.


Planting trees, we accept it is great a lot trees will be plant in


the corridor, but destroying ancient woodland needs replacement.


You are against the overall economic cautious you think there


is a better use of the money? is right -- economic case, you


think there is a better use of the money? I think so. These public


sector probgtjs always end up spending -- projects always end up


spending more than the politicians think. The benefits will be smaller,


the numbers don't make any sense. If you want to spend the money,


spend it on something else, airports, more motorways, other


places in rail. The minister is making the point that other things


are being done? They are spending �32 billion, it is a huge sum of


money and misallocation of resources, you could renovate much


more of thek cysting rail structure. You would get more benefits --


existing railway structure, you would get more benefits for Britain,


and commuter lines. I don't buy we should spend �32 billion, a


thousand pounds per income taxpayer, it is a white elephant. Plenty of


business people will disagree and are enthusiastic, those in


Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds are hugely enthusiastic because


they see the economic benefits to the areas? There is huge economic


benefits but the costs are muchp higher. You could help these


businesses and these parts of the UK in other, cheaper, more


efficient and more effective ways. We are helping them, we are


spending huge amounts of money on transport since the general


election, despite the difficult economic circumstances because we


recognise investment in transport is very good for the economy.


Perpouring ahead with road and rail in a way that has -- we are pouring


ahead with road and rail in had a way that hasn't been done before.


There is a 60% cushion in there Because we recognise that projects


from the public sector have a tendency to overshoot. We have


allowed that by an overestimate in the cost. Did you see anything in


the argument being made in the film that perhaps some this is about


politics, helping out the north economically, but showing the


Government cares about the north, because that is where the votes


are? I think all Governments fall for the idea that some big pros


teenagous project is like a silver bull -- prestigious project is like


a silver bullet. We all care about the country and want economic


growth, the fact that one scheme will do that is something all


Governments fall forment I remember Concorde, the Channel Tunnel, the


Dome, they are delusions. What brings growth is investment in the


infrastructure. This is infrastructure investment?


important point in the road and rail infrastructure around the


entire country that people used to. They are the unsexy, unglamorous


schemes that bring the growth. There was an announcement from the


Chancellor late last year of a whole lot of road and rail schemes.


There was further announcements from the Transport Secretary about


local authority schemes, we are doing that month on month. You are


spending �32 billion on this mass you have why you, untested project,


which is -- massive unrested project, which is unlikely to bring


in the benefits the smaller projects could bring. There you


could have the private sector involved, less money spent from the


tax-payers. Let's not forget the higher taxes and national debt that


will be needed to pay for this project will hit the economy.


of all, we are doing both, the smaller projects and the large


projects, not all the eggs in one basket. As I have explained the


money from CrossRail we are spending will be transferred to HS


on the budget line. We are not diverting money from anything else?


You could transfer this money to something else. There is other ways


of creating regeneration. Do you think there is any way of stopping


this project? Absolutely. Legalle challenges? You picked up the point


Earl -- Legal challenges? picked up the point earlier, the


cost benefit ratio of this has gone down. It has progressively gone


down every time the numbers are rework. Half of that benefit acues


on the vacuous assumption that no businessman ever works on a trin.


Clearly we can win the economic -- train, clearly we can win the


economic argument because the with business case doesn't stand up.


the political argument, prominent members of this Government in your


area, they can't be very happy it, presumably, although they are loyal


members of the Government? I can't talk for them. Riot along the route,


those of us who have -- right along the route, those of us who have


studied the route, know this is a really poor value for money, we can


win that argument. These are very prominent members of the Government,


we know some have been very vocal? If you were in the Commons today


you will have seen a broad level of support from all three parties,


four if you include the nationalists as well. Of course


there were comments and criticisms and suggestions for improvements.


It was a positive debate and people understand it. The concept has been


bought by parliament as a whole. If the Scottish Government get


their way, in autumn of 2014, a few weeks after the 700th anniversary


of the Battle of Bannockburn, Scottish voters will decide whether


the 300-year-old union should end, and two independent states should


co-exist instead of the UK. Ours Scottish political editor joins me


-- our Scottish political editor joins me from outside the Scottish


Parliament. Is this August 14th date set in stone? As far as the


Scottish Government is concerned it is. During the run up to the


Scottish elections last year, it was thought a referendum would take


place in the latter half of the current Holyrood term. He has


announced tonightle following consultation with cabinet


colleagues he has said autumn 2014. There is a consultation process to


be launch very shortly on the nature of the referendum, the


procedure of the referendum, then a bill to bring it about. And then


there would be a breathing space to allow the voters to digest the


concept and then you have the referendum itself. Course this are


other issues to be borne in mind. First of all, why is he delaying


the referendum at all. Believes the Scots will go for independence when


they feel self-of confident and the current economic circumstances


aren't there. Secondly, there is the issue Mr Salmond is not


referring to atle all, which is the UK Government says his plans are


illegal, but he is exceeding the devolved powers, he is simply


dismissings that would a wave disDane. Whatever the legal


position, -- wave of disDane. Whatever the legal position this is


fraughter for the Government? they are seen to be interfering


rather than inter veening, aglesive -- intervening, aggressively rather


than in a constructive fashion, there is a danger are from the UK


perspective of a backlash into Scotland. Would be seen as unwanted


interference, since the Government here has an SNP ma rt Jo, which


they won on the -- majority, which they won on the promise of a


referendum for independent. You can say, at the very least, the people


Scotland were not deterred from the SNP's perspective. First of all, on


this date, autumn 2014, is that fine with you? We want to have the


referendum decideded and get on with it as soon as possible.


I think the longer we delay, the greater the economic uncertain toe


and the risk that those -- uncertainty and the risk it poses


to jobs. What I said today in the House of Commons Scotland faces the


biggest, hissorle kal political decision we will ever take as a


country -- historical, political decision we will ever take as a


country.Le Alex Salmond has said the debate is we will have it in


autumn 2014? He has said he would like to do. Our first problem is


the Scottish Parliament, as things currently stand, doesn't have the


power to do this. We need to give them the legal basis for the


referendum. What we're offering to do. You now have plenty of time to


do that? What we are offering to do is work with them, so the Scottish


people can have of confidence about the legal arrangements for the


referendum. We want it to be a fair referendum. The way in which it is


support by the Electoral Commission, the rules of it, are clear, and


then we will get a clear outcome. Do you have red lines, things like


you want a yes/no vot on independence, if there was a third


-- vote on independence, if there was a third option would you not


negotiate in the same way as you are suggesting? We have started a


process of consulting with people across Scotland. As huge decision


and we need to get it right and don't fall out about the process.


There would be nothing worse getting to the end and deciding


this in court rather than the ballot box. For each us in Scotland


we need to consider that. I wo you say, from today, let's debate how


we carry out the referendum. are not ruling anything out now?


what we have said. Whatever your position legally, politically, as


you know, Mr Salmond can make the running on this, it is very


difficult for you actually to stop him? We recognise that he had had a


very important electoral victory last year. He had had a significant


pledge to ensure that there was a referendum on independence. We want


to ensure, working with the Scottish Government that referendum


can take place, without legal challenge, that the way in which it


is carried out is fair, so the rules are clear, so the franchise


is clear, and then at the end, we have a simple question that


clarifies, is Scotland going to continue as part of the most


successful partnership of nations in history, or go it alone. Indeed,


all that said, still has you over a barrel. Even if this were a


consultative referendum, even if you said it was not legally binding,


politically it is profoundly important for all the reasons you


have. Therefore, the Scottish First Minister, will, in the end, set the


terms of? What I think the First Minister recognises, that we need


to talk about this, we need to work together. What people will not for


give politician, regardless of which parliament they long --


forgive politicians, regardless of which parliament or parties they


support, they will not for -- forgive us if the bickering and


squabbling gets in the way of the future. I want to work with him to


make sure it is done appropriately. Let's have a fair referendum with a


clear set of rules. Let's have a straight forward debate about


England in the UK or going it alone. Within, everything is pretty much


much up for grabs there are no absolute noes in your position


about the question. You are not going to say there can't be a third


choice, you will not rule out autumn 2014, you are not actually


going to lay down the law at all? What we have said today is we want


a process that gets on with the referendum. I want that as soon as


possible. The First Minister argues for to be in two-and-a-half years


time. I think the longer we leave it, the greater the effect on jobs


and people's livelihoods, that is not good for any of us in Scotland.


We have said we want a referendum played by a fair set rules, that


the Electoral Commission can superadvise and we can get on with


the debate -- supervise, and we can get on with the debate without


anyone having an advantage over anyone else. We have to be able to


do it, at the present time the legal power doesn't exist, let's


work together and establish that. To make sure in Scotland we have


this decision which will be the biggest political decision of our


lives in Scotland. It is important we get it right.


It is not a relaunch, apparently, although it may look like one.


After weeks of bad newspaper headlines and dismal personal


approval ratings in the opinion polls, Ed Milliband tried to


toughen up and reshape his image today, talking with difficult


economic choices for Labour, and challenging the Prime Minister to


bring on the battle about crony capitalism, but is anyone listening


to the Labour leader. We look at the hard facts of opposition.


The time until the next election, the time Ed Milliband has left to


connect with and convince voters is ticking locally away. There is


still a long time left, to be sure, but, by his own admission, there is


a lot of ground to of cover. His first speech of the new year,


at times, felt more like the first speech of a new leader, rather than


one who has been in the job for over a year. I want to explain the


principles, which will guide my leadership. I want to set out a new


approach. Labour, said, had had to change are the party that ran


Britain for 13 years. Sometimes in Government, it felt like, instead


of building the new economy, we were patching up the unfairness of


the old economy. Fairness wasn't hard wired into our economy and


society. So that, as well as the necessity of the deficit we will


face, means Labour needs a new approach. There were new policies


today, like compelling the energy companies to you have the elderly


their cheapest tarrifs. Buter for the most part, Mr Miliband was


expanding on themes that we have heard before. Themes he said that


David Cameron was now trying to steal. I say to the Prime Minister,


who are you trying to kid? Nobody is going to be believe you came


into politics to end crony capitalism. No-one will believe


that is what gets you out bed in the morning. Now that he has


accepted this is the battleground of politics, I say, bring on.


Because Labour are the people that can show that we can deliver


fairness in tough times, and we are the only party that can deliver


fairness in tough times. But there is an uncomfortable


question for the Labour leader. the polling seems to suggest that


your messages on things like fairness, on the squeezed middle,


on vested interests, on responsible capitalism, on the riots on Rupert


Murdoch, are all chiming very well. Keep going. Chiming very well with


the public, that same polling doesn't seem to suggest that your


party or yourself are cutting through on the issues, why do you


think that is? We had a terrible result in the 2010 general election.


I think people sometimes forget about this, we got 29% of the vote.


That is the second-lowest vote since universal suffrage was


introduce. That is pretty bad, right I don't think anybody is


saying we are at that position in the opinion polls. This is a party


embark on a process of recovery, but it is hard, of course it is.


The polling doesn't lock all that great for Mr Miliband, if you lock


at the approval rates of other leaders of the opposition at a


simple later point during their tenure, only -- similar point


during their tenure, only Michael Foot and one other does worse than


Mr Miliband. Political leaders need to do more than find popular


policies. It is not that simple. It is not about the policies, it it is


about the belief in the leadership of a political party and the leader


themselves, increasingly, and their ability to make those thingsp


happen. That is where Ed Milliband has a problem, in the same way as


Neil Kinnock, people believed in many of the policies he was


espousing in 1992, but he didn't become Prime Minister, because


people didn't believe he would effectively put them into practice.


In contrast, people thought many of the same things the policies Tony


Blair proposed in 1997, but they did believe that Tony Blair would


make them work. The danger for the Labour leader is


that a media narrative develops, small Tories magnified into a


crisis of leadership -- small stories magnified into a crisis of


leadership. We have to buy shares in Miliband


ban, at the moment people think are thinking -- Ed Milliband, at the


moment people are thinking is it worth it, down the road will he


leave me better off in the future. At the moment people don't have a


clear idea of what Ed Milliband is about. That had come, it would have


been foolish to flesh out the ideas in the first 12 months. Now we are


in the second year of the full year of the Ed Milliband leadership it


can't come quick enough for me. Leader of the opposition is one the


hardest job in politics. Even so, would be very helpful, in silencing


his critics, if Ed Milliband could show a bit more progress on the


journey back to power. Rachel Reeves, saw on the end of


the report, is the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Can you


help us out as to what your party for, in this age of no of-money


politics. In terms of the Government's tax rises, and the


Government's spending cuts, what could you guarantee to reverse, if


you get back into power? That is the thing, we can't guarantee to


reverse in of the cuts, or any of the tax increases, that the


Government have put through. And that's because we now know, because


the Chancellor got up and said it in his Autumn Statement. That after


the next election. There is nothing the Government is doing that is bad


enough that you could say we have to reverse that, not a single


thing? We don't know what the economic situation would be in the


next election the after the last election, the Conservative and


Liberal Democrats said they would eliminate the deficit by theen the


parliament. We know -- by the end of the next parliament, we know


will be well into the next parliament. It would be


irresponsible in the economic environment we face to reverse any


of the cuts. Your party, Alistair Darling said you would cut it in


half by the end of the part, you have abandon that? We haven't


abandoned that. You know how to cut the deficit then? What we said at


the last election, and it was said, we would half the deficit during


the course this parliament. That is a �40 billion difference between


what the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were doing, compared to


us. Let's remember, at the Autumn Statement, Osbourne born had to


admit this country -- George Osborne had to admit this country


would be borrowing more than they plan, not because they haven't


increased taxes or cut hard enough, but unemployment is rising and


there is not enough taxes. interesting for people watching is


you were very clear in the last 18 months, this Government is reckless,


cutting too far, too fast, you are very clear on that, but you are not


clear on what you would do? They are cutting too far and fast. The


result of their decisions means the economic recovery, which was under


way a year of-and-a-half ago, has been choc off. The result is rising


unemployment, more than a million young people out of work, growth


flatlining. You can't say what you would reverse, if you are right,


you must be able to say and give us some idea what you would change?


we were in power today, we would implement a five-point plan for


jobs and growth, to get the economy back on track, to get unemployment


down, to help small businesses with a national insurance holiday, to


help those young people. Also, crucially, by getting jobs and


growth back on track now, that will help reduce the deficit, because


more people in work paying taxes, more businesses succeeding, means


less out in benefits and more in tax. Isn't a fundamental problem


for the Labour Party, for years, going back to the Second World War,


is you are fine for good times, but when the times are really tough, as


they are now, you cannot handle austerity, you don't know what to


to? Which is why the speech today was so important. What Ed set out


is under the last Labour Government, under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown,


we had had rising prosperity and economic growth. You could use that


process of growth to invest in the schools and hospitals and implement


policies like taxed credits. That will be very difficult and


difference after the last election. How did it take 18 months to figure


that out. Liam Byrne left a note when he left, saying, I'm afraid


there is no money. Everybody got it. We set out plans for halfing the


deficit in the parliament. Ed Milliband set out today what Labour


would do in building a fairer, more responsible capitalism, that


delivers for ordinary working families. You are going to reform


capitalism, but you can't tell us how much you would do in tax rises


and cuts? We can't say that because we don't know the economic


situation at the last -- to the next election. But you can reform


capitalism? The Chancellor said he would get rid of the deficit in


this parliament and now says in the next parliament. It would be


irresponsible to is the out economic policies for the next


election. On the police we said we would cut the police spending by


12% compared to the Government's 20%. We have plans to reduce the


deficit. But we can't, three years ahead of the general election, give


you a detailed spending commitment. What does the reform of capitalism


mean and what does it look like? you look at what is happening at


the moment. Ordinary families seeing bus and train fares


increase,en gee prices increase, VAT going up, the biggest squeeze


in living standards for a gin racial. People on the boards of our


biggest country got a 49% pay increase. You will legislate to


change all this? First of all you have to give shareholders more


power, that is what David Cameron is saying as well the but two


things in addition it that, to make this really work, to put on the


remuneration committee of the companies, a person from the work


force. And also to have transparency, everybody is who is


paid over �1 million has the pay publish, and you pub the ratio


between top and lowest paid -- put the ratio between top and lowest


paid. We will have a something for something culture, not just rewards


for failure at the top, rather than everyone else facing the squeeze.


Right now, in fact, in Newham shur, the polls are still open as


Republicans choose who their candidate will be to beat President


Obama in the presidential election. The favourite is, undoubtedly, Mitt


Romney, from Massachusetts, who narrowly won in Iowa. For all his


money, a quarter of a billion of personal fortune. He failed to get


the nomination in 2008, and's struggling to seal the deal with


voters. The question is -- and he's struggling to seal the deal with


voters. The question is why. In a vital New Hampshire contest,


the view voters in dixville Notch, went to the polls last night. In


the coming weeks, Mitt Romney has to convince, not just the folk from


New England, where he feels atm ho, but Republicans in South Carolina,


Florida and other more difficult states. It will not be easy.


The former Governor of Massachusetts, who eliminated a $3


billion deficit, Romney was a successful business leading a


private equity firm. He made billions of dollars in what is


called "restructuring companies", opponents call him a greedy asset


stripper. A group of corporate raiders, led by Mitt Romney, more


ruthless than Wall Street. For tens of thousands of Americans, the


suffering began, when Mitt Romney came to town.


Mitt Romney compounded his own problems with outbreak of foot-and-


mouth disease. I like to fire people who provide service it is me.


I know what it is like to worry about fired, there were a cop of


times I wondered would I get a pink slip. The simple truth is, after


looking him over for some years, some Republicans don't like him,


his career, his personality, or misMorman faith. Plus Mitt Romney's


hault care plan was very similar to that of Barack Obama. Something


that is toxic for many Americans. Beyond that, there was the rather


weird matter of governor Romney strapping the family dog on to the


roof of his car for a 12-hour drive to Canada.


Bill Clinton once told New Hampshire voters he would be with


them until the last dog died. Mitt Romney you may be the last


Republican standing, but will his party ever learn to love him the


The former Governor of Minnesota and one-time Republican


presidential hopeful, has joined me from New Hampshire. What was it


that Republicans don't get or like about Mitt Romney? I think that is


really a false premise, if you look at what happened, Mitt Romney


unexpectedly on Iowa, that was a tremendous accomplishment. No


Republican nominee has won Iowa and New Hampshire, in the modern


history of the country. In the holes he's ahead in South Carolina


and to say he's not getting support from Republicans is inaccurate. It


is hard to break-away from the field when you have six or seven


candidates, his message of private seceror leadership. Somebody not


embracing the notion that America is in decline, is resonating, you


will see that in the results in New Hampshire tonight. What made you


change your mind about him. You talked about a year ago about


Obamnicare, as if his healthcare plan was the same as Obama, that is


toxic from some voters' point of view? On the issue of healthcare, I


spent some time talking to him about this. He's committeded to


repealing Obamacare, he said in his first few days of office he would


issue executive orders to repeal it. He doesn't believe what he did in


Massachusetts should be visited upon the nation at a federal level.


He thinks each state should decide. I'm comfortable with the repeal


Obamacare. If you look at the debate, the most steady person in


the debate, the strongest position to take on Barack Obama. One of the


most pressing issues for the country is growing the economy. The


private sector economy, Mitt Romney can do that, Barack Obama has no


clue. One of the problems, however, is a former Republican candidate


put his fringeer on a couplele of years ago, -- finger on a couple of


years ago. Mitt Romney doesn't look like the type of guy you would


socialise with, but the type of guy who would close your factory. That


is a problem for him? I grew up in a meat packing town, my dad was a


truck driver for a long time, my mom died when I was young, we saw


the shut down of many factories. We need somebody in office who knows


how to get it this private economy moving again. That is not Barack


Obama, the country has seen that. They know that Mitt Romney can do


that. It is one of his strengths, actually. We shouldn't have this


class warfare discussion, that is what democrats do, we should be


about growing the pie overall, not have people fight over shrinking


slices of the pie. You may be right, and your own personal story is very


compelling, but Mitt Romney's is very different. He's one of the


richest guys who has ever run for the presidency in recent years, for


a major earth a, some people just don't like that? We don't have


class warfare, that is what Barack Obama says. Newt Gingrich seems to


disagree with you, I have been look at the Newt Gingrich ads, he seems


to think you have class warfare? Very disappointing that Newt


Gingrich or other Republicans would be criticising private enterprise.


Criticising private investment. We should have a debate on the facts.


They are taking the comment that Mit made, and the clip you played


out context. You didn't play the whole clip. It was about Mitt


Romney arguing being able to choose between healthcare companies, the


question was asked in that context and he answered in that context,


didn't say he just wanted to fire po. He was talking about people


having a choice to choose health insurance companies. The clip you


played and others played it are taking it out context. You are


right the context. His rivals and Rick Perry is another one, says the


only pink slips Mitt Romney worries about is having enough to hand


out,s the kind tone of this campaign. Within the Republican


party, which will be pick the up been I -- will be picked up by the


Democrats in the autumn? You think in the light of day, when people


see the facts, that he was talking about health insurance companies,


will be fair about it. We have people exploiting it in this moment,


in the end facts matter, the truth matters, the truth is he was


talking about health insurance companies. Look at some of the


other candidates as well. They all have their own challenge, Mitt


Romney will be a great candidate and great President, he's not


perfect. Beau but all the other candidates have concerns that


people have expressed as well. will need a great vice-president,


will you be that person? Your audio is cutting out on me a bit. If you


are asking me about the vice- president position, that is


something I won't consider, I have been down that road before with


John McCain, I was honoured to be considered then, my job here is to


help Mitt Romney as ale volume toorment


Now a quick look -- as a volume toor.


Now a quick -- volunteer. Now a That's all topt, I'm back tomorrow.


Until then, -- tonight, I'm back Ap colder end to the week, a mild


day on Wednesday. Mild, windy in the far north, and wet and dampness


in the north England and Wales. Head down across the Midland, parts


of north-east England. East Anglia and southern England, another


lovely day. Broken cloud, rather more sunshine than on Tuesday


across the south. Light winds shooting up into double figures.


Ridiculous for the time of year, I'm sure you will agree. Across


parts of England, elsewhere, cloudier, with dampness across snow


downia throughout the day. Across the Irish see, some dry weather, a


lot of cloud, drizzle from time to time. For Scotland, after a


brightish start, will turn increasingly cloud kwhree, windy


and wet. Particular -- wind cloudy, windy and wet. Particularly in


association with a wet front. Introducing brighter conditions


from the north, but chillier conditions as well. Bright, crisp,


sunny end to the week for man places. Temperatures will take a


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

With so many cuts elsewhere, why spend 33 billion pounds on a new train line?

And how has Ed Miliband's new economy strategy gone down?

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