09/07/2012 Newsnight


Stories behind the headlines with Gavin Esler. Why are the Olympics sponsored by junk food sellers? Plus, the Bank of England and Libor, Lords reform and New Conservative thinking.

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Tonight, the Olympic symbol has always been five intersecting rings,


might a more appropriate thing be five fattening doughnuts. As the


athletes prepare to gather in London. An angry cardiologist asks


why some key sponsors are linked to obesity and unhealthy eating.


find is fascinating that the Olympics chooses to be associated


with sugary drinks, fast food, and alcohol. We speak to an olympian


and marketing man. Cuts in benefits and making work


pay, an ally of David Cameron wants to means test pensions and cut Sure


Start for children. What is the difference between a


cess pit and our banking system? Paul Mason knows.


A key official at the Bank of England testifies, somebody's


reputation is going to get flushed away.


And having failed with electoral reform, Nick Clegg is on the eve of


the first major Government defeat over House of Lords reform, at the


hands of Tory MPs. Good evening, the Olympic Moto is


Citius, Altius, Fortius, faster, higher, stronger. Why are some of


the key sponsors of the greatest sporting events in the worlds,


McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Heineken, likely to be associated with the


motto, fatter, et cetera. The logos of those associated with the


Olympic Games are responsible for some heart disease.


We turn to a cardiologist and see what he has to say.


Over the last 30 years, processed food has taken over the British


diet. And over the past 30 years, obesity


has more than doubled. Now, as London prepares to host a


global sporting celebration, processed food has taken over the


Olympics. It is a scandal the food and drink industry, are high-


profile sponsors of the Olympic Games. The Olympics are supposed to


be about fitness, and health, and to associate them with products,


which are damaging our health, particularly our children's health,


is quite wrong. A human heart is a thing of


simplicity and wonder. It is designed to pump blood around your


body, at 60 beats per minute, for close on 80 years. Unless, you live


on a diet of processed food. I work at the Heart Attack Centre


in London's Royal Free Hospital, where we have witnessed an


explosion of diet-related diseases. By 2050, 90% of Britain --


Britain's population will be overweight. And treating obesity


will cost the NHS �45 billion a year. The UK is on the verge of a


major public health disaster, the cost of which could dwarf that of


alcohol and tobacco, and even cripple the NHS. What is the most


important factor? Sugar and carbohydrates added to processed


food. I believe what we eat is killing us.


This is not the same old warning about junk food. I'm much more


concerned about all processed food. Processed foods contain few of the


natural nutrients we need to survive, yet are loaded with added


sugars and carbohydrates that the body does not need. So the body


converts them to fat. If you look at when the obesity


epidemic took off in the UK, late 1970 early 1980s, our consumption


of processed food has increased in parallel. It is not an add on to


real food, it is our entire diet. Zoe Harkumhas studied the rise of


processed food in our diet, she says we have it all wrong. Bodies


know how to process butter, meat and eggs, but it has no idea what


to do with all the added sugars appearing in processed foods.


is the only thing that humans digest that has no nutritional


value, no protein, vitamins or minerals, it is unique in that


respect. In terms of sugar, we eat it on top of what we should be


eating, in which case it can make us fat, or we eat it instead of


what we are eating, in which case it leaves us nutritionally


deficient, so we end up sick, so we are getting fat and sick at the


same time. Globally, diet-related diseases


kill 35 million every year. That is five-times more than tobacco.


Whilst big food companies continue to make huge profits, in Britain,


the bill is borne by the NHS and the taxpayer.


In the shadow of the Olympic stadium, doctors are facing an


epidemic of diabetes. Within the borrowing of Newham, we


are probably seeing -- borough of Newham, we are probably seeing


doubling of patients with type two diabetes in the last ten years. 40-


50% of the consultations in the practice are related to diabetes or


the complication. I have come to a GP's surgery, just two miles from


the Olympic Park. The doctor says the majority of his resources


already go towards fighting diet- related illness.


Diabetes is a multiorgan, multisystem disease, leading to


heart attacks, strokes and amputation, treating it early is


vital. We are seeing patients present with other conditions, like


high blood pressure-related to the diabetes, high levels of


cholesterol, some long-term complication of diabetes, which is


affect the eyes, the kidneys, with chronic kidney disease. Every day


the NHS has to battle the effects of sugary foods, and the marketing


campaigns used to push them. Surely the Olympics should be sorting this


out. I find is obscene that the Olympics


is associated itself with sugary drinks, fast food and alcohol, and


fast food. The sponsors can't be held accountable for Britain's


health, but they send a dreadful message being associated with the


games. I'm not the only one who thinks so? I think it is shocking


that companies like McDonalds's, Coca-Cola, Cadbury's and Heineken


are the main food sponsors. These are products which are all very


well as a treat. But what Olympic sponsorship allows them to do is


promote their brand, and insinuate their way into people's Dail yiey


day yet. Whether you are looking at obesity -- daily diet. Whether you


are looking at obesity, or people's dental problems, whether you are


even looking at the rising youth alcohol issue, these companies are


the culprits. They shouldn't be such prominent sponsors of the


Olympics. Diane Abbott is not only shadow


public Health Minister, she's also an East End MP.


In the 19th century, the poor faced illnesses like cholera, and typhoid,


today, with inner city areas, effectively fresh food deserts, and


childhood obesity levels rocketing, the health of Britain's poor is


still determined by class. Obesity is now a disease of poverty.


When you look at the statistics, as I have done, what you find is


obesity is a bigger problem for people on lower incomes. For


instance, just recently we found out that the largest number, and


the rising number, of gastric band operations, for people who are


heavily obese, are amongst the people with the lowest income. Once


upon a time, poor people couldn't get enough to eat, nowadays poor


people's health is threatened by obesity.


In Newham, the largest McDonald's in the world has been built, in the


Olympic Park. It is 30,000-square feet inside, and will seat over


1500 people. That the London Olympics allows this kind of food


such prominence, is, in my opinion, disastrous for public health.


I avoided excess sugars and sugary products, I try to keep to fairly


normal, mother would tell you, fresh vegtables rules that kind of


thing. Athletes don't base their diet on processed food. One of the


Olympic greats tells me even 30 years ago he was avoiding it.


the Olympic Games people would take a lot of sugary products and it was


free, and you see athletes pump on the weight in the games. I noticed


that and avoided it. Weaning ourselves off fast food and sugary


drifrpbgs, appears to be a problem for the International Olympic


Committee too. We know the negative health impact, obesity, of


processed foods and sugars, I suppose the IOC, now, have a really


challenging situation. Yes, they need the money from the sponsors,


and that money has come in, and really helped. But more than that,


they have benefited for many years of the reach these sponsors had


into new market places. To children, and others. It isth has really


helped. Now their challenge -- and it has really helped. Now their


challenge is how to deal with the health impact of that. But there


seems little sign that the Olympic movement will move away from its


current sponsors. Indeed, when challenged, the London organisers


talk of the financial black hole their absence would cai. -- create.


But obesity will open up a much bigger black hole in the NHS's


budget. It may not be a priority for the London Olympics, but the


costs of obesity are foremost in the mind of all of us who work to


improve public health. Obviously we asked to speak to


someone from the London organising committee, and the IOC, as well as


the sponsors mentioned in that report, but no-one was made


available. There is plenty of statements from all of them on our


website, broadly saying that all is well, and the Olympics would not


happen without their support. We can speak to the cardiologist you


saw in that report, Michael Payne, former director of marketing for


the international Olympic Committee, and CRACKING, the rower, who twice


won Olympic -- James Cracknell, who won gold twice for Britain.


Surely there is other manufacturers? It is a broader


lifestyle agenda of people getting active, to do with obesity.


Associating the epitomy of health with foods that make people obese,


there is a mixed message there? McDonald's from when they started


to become a sponsor of the Olympics sake how do you broaden the agenda.


They introduced salads, and the testing of salads and the


broodening of the menu started at the Olympics. Same with Coca-Cola,


sports drinks, and sugar-free drinks, started with the Olympics.


It is not just kies of the revenue and funding these companies bring,


not just to the games but the TV and sport. But the programmes, in


Germans of Go-active that they run. You wouldn't accept cigarette money,


would you? The IOC was the first to drop that. Or weapons manufacturers.


You accept beer money, but not whiskey money? Not spirits, you can


go after every industry. Before you know it you will say not cars


because they impact the environment, not airlines, and sports clothing


made in India. Do you think athletes care about this, the IOC


President said in the FT today, that there is a question mark over


whether to continue with McDonald's? As within athlete there


is people in society, and they will always fall down the gap. I don't


think people who watch the Olympics will assume that as a fast food


chain and a drinks chain sponsoring them, that those are the products


the athletes live on. When you are training, you wouldn't have much of


that in your diet? Athletes need to have self-discipline, but also, in


the 20 years I was an athlete, I consumed a lifetime of food. I had


6,000 calories a, as opposed to 2,000. I had 60 years of food in 20


years. Not processed food? No, but you also have to live. Everything


in moderation is good. The most important thing an athlete can do


is when they stop competing, is that they don't change shape, they


don't balloon in weight. So they don't eat this stuff? They keep


moving, you know, as long as you burn off more calories than you put


in, and you do eat the sensible things. You don't want to show you


are just healthy and fit because that's what you needed to do in


order to win. You need to have that as a guiding principle in life to


make the most of it. Would you accept that if you don't companies


to sponsor the Olympics, there might not be an Olympics, and it


helps people and encourages people to take part in sport, which is


part of a healthy lifestyle, it is good, in other words? Firstly, I


would like to say that I don't believe we need to rely purely on


food companies that promote unhealthy foods for the Olympics.


Secondly, I want to pick up this point about physical activity, it


is an interesting one. From my perspective, I think it is


something that is used quite well by the food industry, almost to


deflect from their own culpability and marketing to children, if you


look at the data and evidence, over the last 30 years the physical


activity levels have increased slightly. That may sound odd, but


all the data, when we have looked at this, suggests that our


overconsumption of cheap sugary and cheap junk foods is the main thing


to contribute to obesity. To put it in context for you vooers, if I was


to have a barf chocolate, a pact of crisps and a burger and chips


washed down with a fizzy drink, I would have to run for five hours to


run off the calories. To talk about physical activity isn't there.


Clearly there is a benefit to these companies in associating themselves


with the healthy living of athletes, that is why they do it. But it is


phoney, isn't it? In a way the Olympics is saying this is OK, you


are endorsing it? It is not phoney at all. I think the whole issue is


whether you take any of these products in some moderation. The


programmes that these sponsors are running, without it, in terms of


not just from the funding of the game, but the programmes around the


world, in getting kids active. The Government's are cutting back, they


are not putting the funding in. just heard the doctor saying, the


question of exercise, you would have to exercise and run for five


hours to burn off those calories? Would we be better off saying let's


not have the Olympics. That is not what we are saying, it is we would


be better off if the sponsors were other people? Where is the queue of


people to sponsor the games, they don't exist. Each company, every


time the Olympics come along, you get a call saying you can't have


this company and that company. If the IOC took that position and


walked away from all the companies, game over, no Olympics, no support


for support. The challenge -- sport. The challenge is to make sure these


companies understand their responsibility and the way the IOC


has told them. Are you literally a spoil sport, if you had your way


there might be no Olympics? I don't agree with that. Let's look at the


statistics, in 204, the World Health Organisation announced that


obesity was a global epidemic, yet eight years later we have the


Olympics, on our own turf, and the statistics tell us that we have now


one in three children, by the age of nine, who are overweight or


obese. So, these called intervention about physical


activity, as far as I'm concerned, the most effective intervention


needs to be a public health strategy that targets the


population as a whole. You have to remember, the Olympic Games is the


most effective international marketing platform in the world.


This will go out to over 200 countries, reaching billions of


people. We have the main sponsors associated with unhealthy foods. In


particular, I'm most concerned about the children.


James, there is comments from the head of the IOC, suggesting there


may be some reconsidering here. Most people have not heard of him,


they have heard of you and other athletes, don't you think you have


a responsibility, not just not to get fat in your old age because you


are not training so much, but to set some example while you are


training, because you are a role model? There is a responsibility.


And there is also a responsibility that we have as a society. Because


the hugely complex issues here, just to say it is the sporting


event every four years and the sponsors cause the obesity children.


If the children under nine are obese, they will have had maximum


two Olympic Games in that period. It is something as a society we


need to make sure that there aren't people falling through the gaps,


the same we support them in every other way. But it is absolutely


crucial to change the way that we lead sedintary lives. There are


other sponsors. The Olympics plays a part in that by encouraging you


to get involved in sport? There are other sponsors other than the food


and drink products. Whether it is the technology, whether it is the


television company. There is so many other sponsors, but they are


the ones with the money to fund it. Our Olympic warm-up continues


tomorrow night with the first black power olympian, Tommy Smith, and to


great fanfare, we will unveil our plans on how Newsnight will cover


the games this summer. Throughout the year Newsnight is


looking at the increasing cost of living in hard times, tonight we


have a radical piece of thinking about what might be done. It comes


from the Conservative thinker, Nick Boles, a close ally of David


Cameron. He's suggesting something that many of his Conservative


colleagues will regard as politically pose sonous, the


scrapping of universal benefits, to better off pensioners, a deeper


overhaul of housing benefits, and possible cuts to the Sure Start


programme for young children. All with the aim, he says, of making


Britain more productive and competitive, and in the end,


increasing wages. We will debate it in a moment, first Allegra Stratton.


It has been called the great stagnation, but you could call it


the incredibly shrinking family budget. We just keep getting poorer.


Disposable income for low-to-middle income homes will fall 8% by 2015


then where do we go from there. For optimists it will take to the end


of this decade to get back to where we were before the 2008 crash. For


the gloomy among us, we go into 2020 earning what we earned in 2001.


It is a mark of the size of the problem, that the Resolution


Foundation, an independent think- tank, is kept busy by its scale,


and what can be done about it. are saying a deterioration in some


countries, a breakdown, in the relationship between overall


economic growth, even in the good years, and the benefits flowing


through to ordinary workers on middle or below middle pay. That is


happening not just here in the UK, that is happening in a number of


countries, particularly Anglo-Saxon countries, not just them, where in


the past you would have seen quite a tight relationship where GDP went


up, ordinary wages tended to go up with it, that has dissipated


significantly, wherein some countries you see almost no


relationship over the last 10-20 years, between economic growth on


the one hand, and the benefits felt by someone on an ordinary pay pact.


That is a massive change in an ordinary economy.


The way to deal with it in the past is you would try to get a pay rise


or work longer hours. A pay rise is difficult to imagine when you have


real wage increases not due on the horizon until 2013, 14, working


long hours is a diminished possibility. The people who want to


work longer hours is running at its highest level since 1992. Then


there are historical trends. The reason we have rising living


standards over the last 40 years in large part due to women entering


the work force. In the last ten years rising living standards have


also been affected by tax credits. Neither of those things are due to


be replicated. Now, a close ally of the Prime Minister, Nick Boles,


also a parliamentary aide, has been doing some work on this, and in a


speech tomorrow, but given to Newsnight, he issues this morning.


Of the historic roots to increased earning, either a partner entering


work, or one or other of a couple working more hours, Nick Boles says


neither of the trends are sustainable, and if they were, we


shouldn't want them to be. What will it do for our health and


happiness if the only way to achieve a growing income is to work


longer hours. His prescription could be described


as an intense workout. Nick Boles wants to improve people's chances


of earning a better wage through improving their skills. He wants to


make us more competitive and productive.


What does it mean? Nick Boles is saying that any policies that don't


have a discernable impact on our productivity or competitiveness,


they should go. For him it means that pensioner benefits for the


very well off should go they next election, and Sure Start, and


policies he doesn't think have a proven ability to keep us in work


or better us at work, they should go through. You may just be


digesting the last round of cuts, this is the taste of the next round


to come. Nick Boles believes there should be


growth in public spending, only where the productivity and


competitiveness of the British people is improved. He believes


there should be further cuts elsewhere, to ensure as a total,


spending falls. He suggests the Chancellor should come up with


policies that augment this thinking, and bin those that don't. It leads


He also proposes re-examining Sure Start children's centres. He says


they have no measurable impact. Improving competitiveness is


clearly desirable, but analysts point out, that wages may not have


gone up as GDP has, because companies have chosen to make


larger profits. There are a number of different factors behind it, one


of these is we have seen a large scale increase for wage


inequalities. The top half of earners, are seeing an ever-larger


slice of the cake going to them. That is part of T we have also seen,


particularly over recent years, a growth in the share of GDP going to


business, in the form of profits. That happened in the UK in the 200


0s, there is another squeeze on the pay pact bit of GDP. What of Boles'


view that tax credits haven't work to get us into work. When it comes


to social security, the tax credit system, I think two things are


rather important here, first of all, the tax credit system for people in


work, of course it is redistribute today poor families, but it is also


helping to move them into work. It is good for productivity, it is


worth being clear that whilst this Government has taken some money out


of those budgets, they are still more generous than they were back


in 1997, before the last Labour Government really started putting


significant amounts of extra money into the tax credit system.


Families running up the down escalator to build living standards


back up. Leading politicians are now lending a hand, it sounds a


simple task, but it is actually as ideolgical as it gets.


Nick Boles is with us, as is the former Labour minister, Lord Adonis,


and the editor of a sister organisation for mums net.


How much of this will feature in the next Conservative manifesto?


don't know, I'm thinking out loud. We live in an age where we face


uncomfortable choices. Politicians have to be straight with people.


None of us want to do any of the stuff I talked about, we would all


love the ship to go rolling on as it has, people get better off and


the state providing lots of stuff. It is not possible, it is not


honest, and I'm hoping others will pitch in with their ideas. David


Cameron, and Iain Duncan Smith and George Osborne and others are not


being honest with us? We have done a lot, nobody has accused the


coalition of not having taken radical and difficult steps with


educational maintenance allowance. Are they listening when you are


transmitting? I don't know, I haven't given the speech yet.


you see some merit in this, the stagnation of living standards, or


wages not keeping up with prices, is causing real problems to just


about everybody. This may be, in the long-term, a way of tackling


it? I'm not exactly sure what Nick is proposing. But the general theme


of improving the productivity of the economy is vital. The root


problem is high levels of unemployment. The I can't remember


I have been paying close attention to recently youth unemployment,


youth unemployment of a million, 24% of under-24-year-olds


unemployed. We have to give a kick start to the youth market. So not


giving benefits to very well off pensioners, Mick Jagger doesn't


need it, does he? We should be providing subsidised jobs for the


long-term youth unemployment. It is quality of spending, education


standards aren't high enough and not a proper apprenticeship route.


He's pointing out that politicians are great at spending money, but


finding money, he has found some money, and it is a hard choice?


is the old politics that Nick is talking about, the hard bit is


simply about finding money. The hard bit is producing programmes


that work. Where are the apprenticeship programmes for those


not going to university. Where are the subsidises jobs, which the


Government says it is providing, it won't provide figures forks the


long-term youth unemployment. You have to have a Government machine


that works and it doesn't work well enough. What do you think people


joining Mumsnet and Gransnet, what will they think, that the better


off pensioners et cetera? I think it is hard to argue that Mick


Jagger needs pensions, people on the websites would accept that


those on pensions of �60,000 plus shouldn't get universal benefits.


The problem then comes where the cut-off comes. Only 10% of


pensioners have an become of over �30,000. So you are talking about


people probably with incomes of between �11,000-�30,000, you have


to decide where you you are going to make that cut. We know that


whenever you have means testing, you get a cliff edge, and very


often the wrong people fall off the cliff. Do you think there is some


merit in universal benefits because they are for everybody, there is no


stigma and that is the traditional argument? We know the take-up is


better, they are cheaper to run and they are efficient. The politics


are pretty poisonous. The Tory plans here are to axe pensioners


benefits on the front page, it is the granny tax all over again.


Whenever you argue this you are the nasty party? This is what has got


us into this mess, where we have the biggest budget deficit of any


OECD country, and yet we have all the social problems that Andrew has


been referring to and everything else. The fact is, it is because we


have had a series of Governments, and I am afraid the last Labour


Government was good at making choices about spending money and


badly about getting the money. Maybe it is true of your Government,


it is not practical politics? Government has been more radical


and been willing to court unpopularity, through a series of


decisions to begin to get the deficit under control.


reversing, not implementing the 3p extra on fuel. This is not a


Government that immediately you say this is going to take courageous


decisions of the type you said? completely overhauled tuition fees


so students now have to pay �9,000 a year, and scrapped educational


maintenance allowances. These were all things people valued and mostly


young people who were paid those. It is not fair to say we weren't


brave. And more bravery is needed. Hopefully people will come up with


an idea more palatable. More bravery is needed, and perhaps the


headlines fail to understand the sophistication of the argument?


is the absence of growth causing the pressure on the welfare date,


the absence of growth since the 2008 crisis. I agree we have to


make the economy more productive, we have to get more people into


jobs, and get them sustainably into jobs, earning higher wages. So, of


course, the economy is in a much healthier state. Could you defend


all the universal benefits for some that don't need them, could you


defend them, all of them? Obviously there needs to be continuing debate.


This shouldn't be cast in aspic. These aren't easy decisions to be


made, nor are they simplistic. of the things people like to see


the occasions where politicians might agree and form consensus on


things, is that at all possible? there is going to be a consensus,


it requires a Government that is prepared to seek to promote


consensus. We have been debating long-term care over the last two


years now there still hasn't been a consensus generated by that. A lot


further to go. People are now more resistant to any cuts in living


standards, if you are told in a few years time younger people will have


higher wages, and you have to pay the electricity bill this week, it


is difficult? One of the things worrying about this, and worries a


lot of our members. Is there seems to be an underlying resentment of


older people. And a sense that older people are some how selfish


or greedy and not productive. One in three working families relies on


grandparents for childcare. We know that grandparents and older people,


contribute, net, more than �4 billion a year to the economy. It


is ridiculous to say that older people are not a productive part of


the economy. I agree we need big thinking. A huge issue about older


people's contribution to society, we know social care is a big issue,


and the Government is not addressing the problem. The debate


is what does it mean to age well in the 21st century, there is no


answer to that. There is a debate about where older people among us


fit in and what it means to be old in 291st century? Agree with that,


-- I agree with that, there are no debates about a lot of important


questions in this country. Most people at work have been stagnant


for over ten years, through the period of growth. And unless we


make Government spending focus on those things that actually supports


people to gain skills, supports people to make investments in


infrastructure and in research. Unless we do that, we are going to


fail the next 100 years, not just the next two or three. The trouble


with that it is jam tomorrow? their kids and grand kids, they


want their lives to be better than the lives they had. It is jam


tomorrow and cuts today. That is the world we are in.


The deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Paul Tucker, effectively


exonerated the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, and other former Labour


ministers, from charges that they had asked him to lean on Barclays


Bank in the rate-fixing skam scandal. He shot holes in the


allegations made by George Osborne last week in a heated Commons


debate. We have been dipping a toe into what Mr Tucker described as a


cesspit. This is Barclays.


This is a cesspit. Today the second in command at the Bank of England


poured a bit dollop of approbium on to Barclays and the entire LIBOR


market. You can't be confident of anything about learning about this


cesspit. For those not used to Central Bank terminology, the word


"cesspit", is not normally used to describe a major bank, or financial


market. This was Mr Tucker fighting back furiously against a PR


offensive, by Barclays, that it sought to put him, and senior


Labour politicians, in the frame. When Barclays boss, Bob Diamond,


resigned last week, the bank released a note of his conversation


with Paul Tucker. At issue, why did this man, Jerry Del Missier, end up


thinking, he had been instructed to manipulate LIBOR by Paul Tucker.


Does that file note of 29th of October, 2008, accurately reflect


the conversation with him that you had? Not completely. It would help


to explain...Why Don't we do it in stages. Is there anything in that,


that is wrong? The last sentence gives the wrong impression, yes.


He has impuned my insteingity. there was more, last week the


Chancellor, George Osborne, provoked fury in the Commons, with


an interview in the Spectator, in which he said Ed Balls was clearly


involved in pressuring the bank to manipulate LIBOR, with other


accusations at aides of Gordon Brown. These assertions seemed to


be swept away. Did anyone urge you to. Absolutely not. Did Shriti


Vadera ever ask you to lean on Barclays or any bank to lure the


LIBOR submissions? No. What's more, I don't think I spoke to Shriti


Vadera throughout this whole period at all. Did Ed Balls ever ask you


to lean on Barclays or any other bank? No. Or any other Government


minister? No. Labour tonight demanded an apology and restrax


from George Osborne. It is just a shame that -- Retraction from


George Osborne. It is a shame the Chancellor doesn't have the biggest


of character to come forward and admit he was misleading in those


allegations. Sources close to the Chancellor said they were


dismissing Labour's call, there would be no apology, and those


close to Gordon Brown still had questions to answer. And Paul


Tucker too came in for a hard time, confronted with minutes, that


showed a committee he had chaired had seemed to recognise that


somebody was doing something wrong with LIBOR, he said it didn't


really mean that? This doesn't look good, Mr Tucker. I have to tell you.


It doesn't look good. We have in the minutes, and in the


15th of November 2007, what appears, to any reasonable person, to be a


clear indication of low-balling, about what nothing was done.


thought was a malfunking market, not a dishonest market. Today was


just another step on the road to finding out the truth about LIBOR.


At the end of it, we still don't know whose representation is going


down the pan. When you wake up in the morning and


contemplate the day ahead, in the middle of a horrible wet come here,


an economic crisis and the defeat of Andy Murray, it is unlikely the


future of the House of Lords will come to mind, except if you are a


parliamentarian. The other place debated the issue among stress in


the coalition. 70 Tories threatening to vote against t and


tomorrow, this plan so dear to the Liberal Democrats, could turn into


the first major defeat for the coalition. Is it doomed? I don't


think the Government expect to win the vote. I don't think that the


Liberal Democrats even expect to win it now, it is the scale of the


extent to which they lose it. Political journalism, hyperbole, I


think we would be in a new phase for the coalition. So far you had


have things -- have had things in the coalition put through, they


have gone through with it and tried to enact it. This is now, many


Liberal Democrats are saying, the first instance of things not going


into action. That means game on for them, in terms of, in future, they


don't know quite over what, but in future they will say, you didn't


support us on this, we won't support you on. That we haven't had


it that clearly so far. With us is the Conservative MP, Nadine Dorries,


and the Lib Dem minister, Jeremy brown, who supports it. This is a


Conservative bill, piloted by a Conservative minister. Why are you


not supporting it? It was not in the manifesto, a commitment to look


not go ahead of the bill was in there. It wasn't in the bol


coalition agreement to come forward with a bill to reform the House of


Lords. Ultimately it is damaging to the constitution, and damaging


long-term to the Conservative Party. Which is why many Conservatives are


opposed to this. It is almost inconceivable we would have a House


of Lords that would become a Senate, elected by PR, with a greater


political mandate than any MP in the House of Commons, and the


Commons would remain "first past the post". It is a way of getting


PR in through the back door. What would be the sanctions or


consequences for the coalition, and for the Government, if this fails


tomorrow, because of a major rebellion, which David Cameron


can't control? There are consequences. The worst types of


coalitions nobody agreeing on anything, so you agree to do


nothing. The best type of coalitions, and this one has


achieved this, is when you are more than the sum of your parts, and you


have a mutual trust and faith in each other. There is a reciprocol


nature to that relationship. There is a contract, if you like. The


coalition agreement is be a agreement between the parties -- is


an agreement between the two parties. What will be the


consequences? You have to act in good faith to your partner. We know


the consequences. Let's see what happens tomorrow. Because, what has


been striking, I think, in the two years of the coalition so far, is


the Liberal Democrats have behaved with, if you like, let me, a


maturity. What would you actually do? I think parties in Government


have to have maturity and discipline, and act with good faith


to their coalition parties. Richard Reeves has said what they would do.


Richard Reeves has said. Richard Reeves, head of strategy for the


Liberal Democrats, until days a has said, quite clearly, that if this


does not go through, the Liberal Democrats will not support the


boundary changes. That is almost blackmail. The Liberal Democrats


were given, it is political blackmail, Jeremy, they were told


there was a deal, there was a coalition agreement. And the


agreement was this, that in replacement, in exchange for AV


referendum, for the Liberal Democrats, they would support


boundary changes. The public said no the AV referendum. Is that


blackmail? Of course it is not. And I have read this in newspaper, I


think it is ridiculous. Richard Reeves said it, he was Nick Clegg's


righthandman. If I had a contract with you, and I discharge my


contractural obligations to me and I to you, I can't be accused of


blackmailing, the person who has acted in bad faith is you not me in


that situation. We did not have an agreement that in exchange for


Lords reform there would be boundary reforms. It is a package


as a whole. You lost AV, now you want Lords reform. I will give you


an example. Will you support them on bound radio changes? Will you,


will you support bound wry changes if you lose Lords reform in the


Commons tomorrow? I'm answering the question, there is a package of


measures, on the NHS, on health, on police, that constitutes the


coalition agreement. You can't go along, and an a la carte menu


taking the ones you like. Is this an answer? Just stick to boundary


issues? This is crucial. You don't know what I'm going to say. Will


you or will you not support them on boundary changes? I support the


Government proposals as a whole. that a no then? Is that a yes or a


no? Let me finish the sentence, I support, I'm a Government minister,


I support the package, which is the coalition agreement. If one of the


parties, within that agreement, reneges on their commitment to the


package, that, of course. Lords reform is not in the package.


have to look afresh. I'm committed to the coalition, I think it is


essential to tackle the sorts of issues you have been discussing


with Nick Boles, and the deficit this country faces. All the parties


and people in the coalition have to act in good faith. This is not


happy Government relationship, is it? That was an answer constructed


out of nonsense. Lords reform is not in the coalition agreement.


Everything you said was based on the substance of nothing. You were


asked a very simple question, if tomorrow, the Lords reform bill is


voted down, in the House of Commons, will you still support the


Conservative Party on boundary changes. That is a yes or no. It is


a ficticious? I have answered that. You support the package, one bit of


it goes, you can't support the other? Give me a chance to explain.


I will give you an example, directly elected police


commissioners, constitutional change, not in the Lib Dem


manifesto, but in the Conservative manifesto, it went into the


coalition agreement, the Liberal Democrats supported it because we


were honourable and disciplined about the coalition agreement and


the Government as a whole. We hope that the Conservatives will be


honourable and disciplined tomorrow as well. We will have to see. I'm


not responsible for discipline in the Conservative Party. I want the


coalition to be a success. Do you vote for some things that you


weren't entirely for. There is something simple here, the police


commissioners agreement was in the agreement for Lords reform. I don't


know how long you can continue to say Lords reform is in the


coalition agreement, it was not. I will be rebelling tomorrow, as will


many of my colleagues, because we think it is bad for the


Conservative Party, bad for the country. And David Cameron doesn't


get that? It is bad for the parties interested. I have no idea, but I


don't know why we are spending time discussing this when we have so


many other problems. Would you like the coalition Government to end?


won't end t will stay until 2015 there is nowhere to go. It will put


it under extreme stress over the next few months.


That's all tonight. We wanted to leave but news that NASA has


released pictures of the Martian landscape taken by their Mars


exploration Rover, which they described as the next best thing to


being there, or, by the look of it, # The chances of anything coming


from Mars # Are a million to one


Simply put, there is more rain to come this week overnight, outbreaks


of rain across many parts of the UK, heavy rain developing and targeting


parts of the Midlands going into the morning. The north and East


Midlands in particular becoming heavy and thundery downsupport r


pours into the afternoon. -- downpours The afternoon. An amber


warning for the Midlands. Further south, scattered heavy


showers, maybe with rumbles of thunder. To end the afternoon


across much of south-west England and Wales, although there is a lot


of cloud around. Maybe with hints of brightness, it is mainly dry.


There will be outbreaks of mainly light rain affecting North West


England and for Northern Ireland showers here. Not a complete


washout, there will be dry spells inbetween the showers. Dry weather


for western fringes of Scotland. A lot of rain to come down the


eastern side, persistent rain here that continues into Wednesday. The


rain falling in Edinburgh, disappointingly cool for the time


of year. The persistence of the rain may cause problems. Rainfall


totals adding up. South on Wednesday in England and Wales,


Why are the Olympics sponsored by junk food sellers? Plus, the Bank of England on Libor, Lords reform and New Conservative thinking on cuts. With Gavin Esler.

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