29/09/2014 Newsnight


29/09/2014

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the headlines with Kirsty Wark. Evan Davis talks to David Cameron at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.


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Transcript


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Party conferences in the run up to a general election usually lack edge,

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they are dull, stage managed affairs. But you know what? Times

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right now are far from usual. Here at the Conservative conference,

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the familiar fight against Labour is on. But David Cameron tells us that

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is not his only concern. I have a double battle on my hands, I have to

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win a blue-red fight against Labour, which is about growing with our

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economy and dealing with the deficit. But I also have to win back

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people who have left my party. We ask if rebellion is in the air and

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if we are seeing a slow decline of the old parties in Britain.

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We go to Hong Kong where maybe something similar is going on.

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Welcome to Birmingham, lots of Conservative blue this week, and

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early blues for the party this weekend, today it seems to have

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cheered up. 219 days until the next general

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election. But they will go by in a flash. Time for a self-respecting

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political party to rally round the leader and suppress any hint of

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self-doubt. The Conservatives, needless to say, are a

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self-respecting political party. I'm trying to get a grip on how the

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conference is going? Everyone is feeling enthusiastic for next year.

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Some really positive news coming out today, I hope the public are

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listening. I think we have more chance now than we have ever had

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before to put a good Conservative Government in next year. It was

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better than I was expecting. Really? Absolutely. What were you expecting?

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Slightly gloomy and I don't feel gloomy any more. I can't lie, there

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wasn't a single dissenter among those I spoke to on and off

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microphone. If success for a political party requires the members

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to have self-belief, even perhaps when the polling evidence is a bit

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ambiguous, then the Conservatives are obviously having a very

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successful event so far. But the truth is, this conference is

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occurring at a very strange time. Not only is a lot going on in the

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world, the country is at war, but the divisions within the right of

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politics in the UK are more intense than they have been for many years.

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Seasons observers of these events recognise that something is

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different this year. This is very, very unusual, it is basically a

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four-way run in which one of the parties probably won't win any seats

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but may influence 100 seats, you know. One of the parties will be

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trying to prop up the haemorrhage, namely the liberal party because of

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the post-tuition fees issue, and the other two parties trying to fight in

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the current. There are no linear routes to victory in this. Well, it

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really makes or breaks the mood, so really makes or breaks the mood, so

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here. We will hear what he has to say in a moment. First Allegra is

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with me. There is a sort of happy party out there, but anxious as

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well? It is jolly a febrile. It is not so much the hunt for the red

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under the bed it is the purple under the bed. You had Mark Reckless who

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defected on Saturday and there is the question of who is next. I don't

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think they are stupid enough to be here, they would be lynched. There

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are people looking towards the south coast, and the constituencies where

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there is large UKIP component. People have spoken to the MPs and

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said is it you that's next, they have sworn know. No. I have spoken

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to those people and their friends and they swear it is not them. When

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Mark Reckless defected he was denying to the last moment. Also

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UKIP are keen, the choreography is very important, the idea you would

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purpose announce it just before the Prime Minister's speech, so the

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maximum pain. I do think it is beginning to backfire, where you

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once upon a time might have had a Tory Party that this week was

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flirting with UKIP's ideas, I get the sense they are thinking we will

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fight you and hard. The by-election that Reckless has triggered in

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Rochester, the Tories will put everything into that. You might have

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a situation where they lose Clacton, and UKIP will be riding high, the

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Tories have loads of money, if they put everything into it and it is a

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different seat and Mark Reckless is very different from Douglas

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Carswell, he doesn't have as much personal follow, you can see a

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status where they keep that and stop the UKIP bandwagon. I sat down with

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the Prime Minister this morning to speak about the political divisions,

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but we started on the pressing foreign policy question,

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intervention in Iraq. Looking at the interventions of the last decade,

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Iraq, Sierra Leone, Libya, Afghanistan. What is the success

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rate, what sort of hit rate are we getting? You have what to look at

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each individual case. The ones where I have been particularly involved I

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am happy to defend. Afghanistan, not something I started but something I

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have been involved in finishing, we will leave that country in a better

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state than we found it. Where I think we will be drawing the wrong

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lesson is we thought that the difficulties with these

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interventions meant that Britain should some how turn entirely away

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from the world. The reason why we have sometimes to get involved is

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that otherwise these issues come and bite us here back at home. It was

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terrorism on the streets of Britain that caused us to be involved in

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Afghanistan. The same, I would say, applies in the case of Iraq today.

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One of the things I brought was the National Security Council that

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brings together the domestic concerns about security and

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terrorism with foreign policy. That is the prism through which we should

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see these things. The one that was purely, purely yours was Libya. Do

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you think, looking at Libya, that we left that country having ousted

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Gadaffi, we left in a better state than it was? We left it in a better

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state in that we enabled the Libyan people to do something they wanted

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to do, which was to get rid of Gadaffi. But you have to go back to

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why did we intervene? We were facing a situation where there was going to

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be a humanitarian catastrophe. Gadaffi was bearing down and

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threatening to kill the people like rats. We intervened and that led to

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the end of Gadaffi. The state of Libya today is not good, I accept

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that. Our responsibility was to help the Libyan people in their hour of

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need, we did that. We now need them to lead and sort out proper

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governance of their country. If you said to the population of Britain

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that the current effort in Iraq and the Syria and Iraq, if that is as

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successful as it was in Libya I would be a happy Prime Minister and

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say we were right to get involved? Of course not. These are two

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different situations. In Iraq and Syria today we see a terrorist

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organisation that has taken control effectively of a state that has huge

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amounts of munitions and oil, huge amounts of money, and it has already

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been carrying out terrorist plots and trying to carry out terrorist

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plots in Britain. This is a direct threat to us. There isn't really a

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walk on by option, even if we want it to. Have we got a strategy in

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Syria? Yes, we do. A strategy that isn't we hope the Free Syrian Army

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will come back from nowhere and strike Assad? It starts with action

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at home, in terms of keeping our own people safe, stopping people from

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travelling, making sure our antiterrorism laws are as strong as

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they can be. It involves working with other countries and partners in

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the region, building up local forces so they can take on ISIL. Some

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people say it can't be a strategy if all you are doing in Iraq or Syria

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is air strikes, because where are the boots on the ground, which I

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would argue it is better, isn't it, if the boots on the ground are local

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boots on the ground, even though that may take more time. But there

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aren't local boots on the ground and not enough of them. If anything the

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Sunnis are uniting around ISIS? In Iraq there is the Iraqi security

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force. It is a joke, we spent years building them up and they fled at

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the first sign of fighting? At the end of the day the only way you can

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make these countries safe is by those countries themselves taking

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responsibility for their governance and security. As Ban Ki-Moon said a

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missile can kill a terrorist, in the end it is only good governance that

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can kill terrorism. Iraq and Syria need the same thing, which is

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functioning Government that backs the whole of the country, with

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functioning Armed Forces backed by the whole of the country. You may

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that is immpossibly difficult to deliver. What is the strategy for

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delivering that? I'm not sure it is in our power to deliver functioning

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Government to Syria and Iraq, any more than Libya? It is in our power

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to help train up Iraqi security forces and that needs to happen. It

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is in our power to help train up Kurdish forces and that is in our

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power, and in Syria we are, with the Americans, helping to build up the

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Syrian national opposition, who should provide a counter point to

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the unacceptable inlegitimate regime. In time I believe there will

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be a transition from that regime to one that can better represent the

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whole country. If you are saying this is difficult, yes, it will take

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time, yes, absolutely. There are lots of ways in which it can go

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wrong, of course. But the threat to our country as such, that actually

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even though it is complicated, difficult and needs a comprehensive

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plan is not a reason to walk away. Let's go on to domestic politics, it

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is an interesting time, I wonder whether you think that the greatest

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divisions in British politics at the moment are within the right between,

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if you like, anti-Europe, anti-immigration, sometimes rather

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anti-business, antiforeign intervention, anti-overseas aid,

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wing of the right, many in your party. One might think it is more

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the Financial Times right-wing, which is more pro-Europe and

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pro-business, it has a lot of Conservative values but nowhere

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near? I don't see it like that. I would say the divide is still on the

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centre right and right, you have parties and people who believe you

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grow an economy through free enterprise. You have to tackle

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problems like deficits. You do need to control immigration, our

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relationship with Europe needs to change. We need to a dress the

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things in the modern -- address the things in the modern world that

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leave people feeling uncertain in a globalised world. That is a centre

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right approach, when you compare it with the centre left approach which

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doesn't care much about the deficit and is very for Europe, and very

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poor in its support for free enterprise and business and making

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anti-business noises. I have a double battle on my hands. I have to

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win a double battle on my hands. I have to

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which is about growing our economy, dealing with our deficit, taking on

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the problems, but I also have to win back a people who have left my party

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the problems, but I also have to win who are concerned and worried about

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the pressures in our modern world. I have to reassure them. I absolutely

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do get the problems of uncontrolled immigration. I do want to change our

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relationship with Europe, I want to build a sense of national pride that

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this country can be a success again in this modern world. I think it is

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often about those divisions on the right, as you put t I would say a

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lot of them are about reassurance and understanding, and going back to

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your values about what makes you tick, rather than a fundamental

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division which is what we have with Labour. The basic dilemma facing you

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is a bit to the right to win the UKIP voters ore tack left to win the

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centre ground. The argument is move to the right you still don't win any

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UKIP voters, they will just ask for more, move to the left and you can

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win a lot of centrist voters, how do you see that dynamic, you don't

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recognise the dilemma? The left-right terms have had relevance

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in the past. I don't feel that at the moment. I feel it is much more

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about trying to get across our economic plan for Britain is not

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actually from the pages of the Financial Times, just dry and dusty

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economic, it is actually a plan to make sure people can feel if I work

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hard I can get a job and buy my own house, my kids will get decent

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schooling. The problem is people can feel disconnected from economic

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success and we have to reconnect them. That is not actually just

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about policies, it is about what is in here, it is about explaining we

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need your aspirations and we can deliver them. That is not a left or

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right thing. I think part of the potential problem you have then,

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trying if you like to ride both these horses on the wings of your

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party at the same time is that people are left a little bit

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confused as to whether the real David Cameron is one who was talking

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about green issues in opposition, and was trying to modernise the Tory

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Party, or the one who is now banging on about Europe having said he

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wasn't going to do that. There might be a lack of clarity to where you

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are heart is? I have been party leader for eight years, Prime

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Minister for four, people get a clear idea. I don't see the two

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things in contradiction. People are worried is this country going to

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deliver for me, is there a good job for my child, a good school place,

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and is there going to be a clean and safe environment? Are we going to be

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a country that keeps our promises to the poorest in the world does

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Britain mean something to the world. I think a modern and compassionate

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Conservative can appeal to all of those. People have had long enough

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to work out what I'm for. I had an argument that if I asked you

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specific questions about particular interesting litmus test about

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whether you are a moderniser or Conservative or socially

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Conservative person whether you would give a clear argument. Let me

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try. Children at school, should they primarily be taught when they are

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doing weight about kilograms or caught about pound and ounces and

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stones? I think I would still go for pounds and ounces. Would you? Yes I

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do. What about this one, you are in a public park. Rather like miles and

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pints. You are in a public park, two men, recently married are kissing

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each other. Is that sweet or is that mildly inappropriate? That's fine. I

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have been very clear about this, this is where I do, as it were,

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marry traditional and modern values. I believe in the family and

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marriage. It is such great institution I think men should be

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able to marry each other and women marry each other. And kiss each

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other in public if they want? I kiss my wife in public I don't see why

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you can't kiss your husband in public. We are get to go the heart

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of it. You are a pharmaceutical company, based in Britain, competing

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on the world stage, you have two candidates for a mid-level job, one

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is a British one who is OK, the other is Latvian, graduate who is

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really, really good, which one would you like that pharmacompany to

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employ? I want to make sure the pharmaceutical company has good

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British people to employ. In the end they have to chose. This is where I

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think the answer to immigration is education and welfare as well as

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border controls. I will summarise, you have given us one Conservative

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answer, pounds and ounces, one modernising answer, gays kissing in

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public, and the other sitting on the fence? Not really, I would rather a

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pharmaceutical company. I'm no clearer about which side of the

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fence you are on. The Carswelles and Recklesses don't believe you are one

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of them, you will never deliver? I'm not sure, there are lots of things I

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disagree with about Douglas Carswell. I want the company to

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employ British people that is a clear answer. If they had the chance

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between an OK Brit and good Latvian you would say take the British

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candidate? It is up to them what they would do. I want them to employ

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British people, and I want British people adequately trained, with a

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welfare system that supports them into work to take the jobs. We are

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having great success with this, 1. 8 million more jobs in Britain, the

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majority going to British people. It is only when we fix education and

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welfare we will have the problem cracked. I wonder if you are in

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danger. It is a problem for you? That was a pretty clear set of

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answers, if you love each other get married, when I bake a cake I do it

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in pounds and ounces, I want British people employed. I said you would

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give straight answers, but you were on both sides of the argument? I was

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explaining myself, the politics is about definition. People don't quite

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know if you are Mr Moderniser, Mr Centrist, going for the Labour

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voters? They have had four years of modern, compassionate Conservatism,

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that is how I describe it. No-one would agree with every bit. Some

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people say I like what you say about cutting tax, but I don't agree with

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you about gay marriage, and some people say I love HS 2, I think it

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is absolutely brilliant, but you shouldn't be changing the planning

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system. You have to present what you believe in and say to people come

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with me and I can deliver these things. No-one will like the whole

:18:37.:18:39.

package but you should be consistent. I know you don't see it

:18:40.:18:43.

this way, when you are trying to hold the party together, and there

:18:44.:18:48.

are disparate wings in your party, quite a long way apart. Does the

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fact that you have that situation and you are managing a Government, a

:18:52.:18:56.

bit like John Major had to, does it make it very difficult to be

:18:57.:19:00.

strategic and to think things through? Because unone of -- one of

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the criticisms of your style of Government is you are shooting from

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the hip, and you are great at putting out fires but there are a

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lot of fires? I would say party and political management is important,

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and parties are broad church, it is a team, you try and take with you.

:19:21.:19:25.

That is an important part of politics. I would challenge the idea

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this Government hasn't been strategic. When it comes to getting

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the deficit down, long-term strategic decision, reforming the

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pensions system, reforming welfare and our schools. Often things that

:19:36.:19:39.

have been quite unpopular in the short-term, long-term strategic

:19:40.:19:45.

changes for our country. I mentioned HS 2, fabulously unpopular with some

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in our country, but I think undoubtedly the right thing to have

:19:49.:19:53.

modern infrastructure. In politics you have to make decision, sometimes

:19:54.:19:56.

you can't go ahead in the way you want to and all the rest of it. I

:19:57.:20:00.

would say this Government has been very long-term and strategic. Rachel

:20:01.:20:07.

Sylvester, the Times columnists describes how Theresa May was going

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to make a statement in the Commons but told to make it on the Radio 4

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programme because otherwise we would lose the next three hours, as an

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awful way of doing Government. I don't know if it is the real

:20:20.:20:22.

description? It doesn't ring any bells. It would be terrible if

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someone said that? It is if you are saying every day in modern politics

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you are fighting battle of handling the media and answering questions.

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Yes you are. I said I wanted to run a country not a 24-hour television

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channel. You are trying to handle that tough but keeping your eye on

:20:43.:20:45.

the long-term horizon, I would argue when it comes to the big decisions

:20:46.:20:49.

about the future of the country that is what we have done. I often walk

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into the Cabinet Room and I look at the chair where Churchill said in

:20:55.:20:58.

May 1940, and the famous five days in May when Britain had to decide to

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fight on or give in, today it wouldn't be five minutes before you

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were outside wanting the interim decision from the cabinet. Life in

:21:11.:21:15.

modern politics with a news cycle that does last half an hour puts

:21:16.:21:18.

additional pressure on it, you have to deal with those things but keep

:21:19.:21:22.

your eyes on the prize. Thank you very much Prime Minister. Thank you.

:21:23.:21:26.

Some debate over whether the Prime Minister was wearing a purple

:21:27.:21:32.

UKIP-coloured tie, it might have been taken as a blue. A quote that

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Cameron says his economics doesn't come from the FT, and the phone is

:21:41.:21:45.

abuzz with insulted reader. In Hong Kong the business of

:21:46.:21:49.

politics is handled different, it is not much politics in public, more

:21:50.:21:55.

place for business. The leader of Hong Kong is called a chief

:21:56.:21:59.

executive. Since the British left in 1997 the chief executive is elected

:22:00.:22:02.

by a committee of a few hundred people. There has long been a

:22:03.:22:11.

promise that change will come, but Beijing will pick the candidates. It

:22:12.:22:15.

is like you can have any colour you like as long as it is black. The

:22:16.:22:24.

protests resulting from the decisions could be the greatest

:22:25.:22:30.

since Tiananmen Square. The occupation of central Hong Kong

:22:31.:22:34.

is growing. Early this evening there was talk of 100,000, as work finshes

:22:35.:22:41.

the numbers swell each night. With two days public holiday coming up

:22:42.:22:44.

later this week, concerns are building about a possible

:22:45.:22:49.

confrontation. There is definitely a big, big worry, the last thing

:22:50.:22:53.

Beijing and Hong Kong wants. But there is a fear that some activists

:22:54.:22:59.

may well like to push the situation to that extent, in order to get

:23:00.:23:05.

through their objectives. That is the danger, because that's the whole

:23:06.:23:10.

stability of Hong Kong. The whole image of Hong Kong and China at

:23:11.:23:15.

stake. So I think that Beijing is really worried about that. And

:23:16.:23:20.

that's the last thing that the Beijing leadership wants. The

:23:21.:23:24.

authorities are in a corner, faced with protests, many of which

:23:25.:23:26.

unauthorised, they have little choice but to deploy. When they

:23:27.:23:43.

dowsed activists with teargas yesterday it escalated things, and

:23:44.:23:47.

the umbrellas they used to shield themselves was a symbol of the

:23:48.:23:50.

movement. The danger of this, and there is a good probability of this

:23:51.:23:58.

is the Chinese leader, who is a very muscular leader, he asserts himself

:23:59.:24:01.

very strongly, he will see what happened at the weekend as a threat

:24:02.:24:06.

to the first of the two systems, the Chinese system. We can't allow this

:24:07.:24:12.

to happen on Chinese sovereign territory because it might give

:24:13.:24:16.

other people ideas within mainland China, the Hong Kong disease as it

:24:17.:24:20.

is called would spread, therefore you would get a toughening of the

:24:21.:24:24.

official line in Hong Kong, that will mean even more polarisation and

:24:25.:24:28.

things will not get any better. What this boils down to is a trial of

:24:29.:24:33.

strength over how Hong Kong's new chief executive or leader will be

:24:34.:24:36.

elected. Beijing has agreed that everyone will get a vote on that in

:24:37.:24:42.

2017. But from a list of candidates chosen by a committee, something the

:24:43.:24:48.

protesters oppose. Some people have criticised Beijing and said it has

:24:49.:24:53.

gone back on its word. I'm not so sure about that. I think what the

:24:54.:24:58.

central Government or technically the legislature in Beijing has come

:24:59.:25:03.

out with on various occasions since 1990 has been consistent with the

:25:04.:25:08.

original intention. This was the President's idea in the 1980s, you

:25:09.:25:11.

need someone you can trust running Hong Kong and that involves some

:25:12.:25:17.

sort of screening process for the position of chief executive. China

:25:18.:25:23.

ever sensitive about its image in the world must now deal with a

:25:24.:25:27.

fiercesome problem. These protests are assuming a mass character, but

:25:28.:25:35.

among the demonstrators are activists with hardened views

:25:36.:25:38.

likened to the type of power exercised in Beijing. It brings to

:25:39.:25:43.

mind Tiananmen Square, but also the protests that brought down the

:25:44.:25:46.

Government of Ukraine. Tonight the police are largely absent from the

:25:47.:25:50.

centre of Hong Kong, and protesters control swathes of the financial

:25:51.:25:54.

district. The atmosphere is peaceful and even public transport has come

:25:55.:26:01.

to a halt. But this will alarm party leaders in Beijing, for it is a

:26:02.:26:09.

brazen challenge to their system. It is coming up to 6.00am in Hong Kong,

:26:10.:26:14.

we can briefly chat to Johnson Yeung, one of the organisers behind

:26:15.:26:18.

the Occupy Central movement. Thank you very much for joining us. Tell

:26:19.:26:21.

us what level of support do you think your group has, your movement

:26:22.:26:25.

has among the population in Hong Kong? Well, I believe that there are

:26:26.:26:35.

more than 15,000, I mean 500,000 people who marched on the streets

:26:36.:26:40.

and they still stand firm on their stronghold. I believe it creates

:26:41.:26:46.

great pressure on the Government and Beijing. They have to decide to

:26:47.:26:52.

withdraw their rifle police from the streets and reorganise their own

:26:53.:26:59.

strategies. So this movement is stunning for me now. I never

:27:00.:27:05.

believed or anticipated Hong Kong people are so firm on fighting for

:27:06.:27:11.

democracy, even when the police shoot teargas or pepper spray or

:27:12.:27:17.

even use weapons to hurt them. So I believe this will create a huge

:27:18.:27:22.

political tension to the Government to decide whether they should listen

:27:23.:27:33.

to the people fighting for democracies. Where does this end?

:27:34.:27:40.

Because of course they are not going to give in very easily, how long do

:27:41.:27:49.

you go on with the protests? Well, I believe the supporting force of the

:27:50.:27:53.

Hong Kong people to this movement is still growing. On Saturday there

:27:54.:28:06.

were about 50,000 people on the street, there are more than 150,000

:28:07.:28:12.

people on the streets. Also the movement has spread. On Saturday

:28:13.:28:21.

there was only Occupy Central in the commercial centre in Hong Kong, but

:28:22.:28:27.

right now they expanded to the bay and even across the harbour to

:28:28.:28:34.

another urban area. So the force is expanding and I believe this will

:28:35.:28:41.

create more pressure on them so we have hoped that there is hope for

:28:42.:28:46.

the Government to compromise and listen to the demands of the people.

:28:47.:28:51.

Thank you very much, we will try to stay in touch with you to keep

:28:52.:28:56.

abreast of the story. Back to events here at the

:28:57.:29:00.

Conservative Party Conference. In terms of policy the big topic of the

:29:01.:29:04.

day has been welfare and how to cut it. We look at what George Osborne

:29:05.:29:11.

had to say. It is the last Conservative

:29:12.:29:13.

conference before the general election next year. The Tories need

:29:14.:29:19.

to propose some big cash-saving measures, so they have turned to a

:29:20.:29:27.

rather familiar stories of savings. Working age benefits in Britain will

:29:28.:29:31.

have to be frozen for two years. This is the choice Britain needs to

:29:32.:29:35.

take to protect our economic stability and to secure a better

:29:36.:29:41.

future. The fairest way to reduce welfare bills is to make sure that

:29:42.:29:45.

benefits are not rising faster than the wages of the tax-payers who are

:29:46.:29:53.

paying for them. I can't recall him saying anything about freezing the

:29:54.:29:57.

cost of living for two years. So that's going to have a real knock-on

:29:58.:30:01.

effect, because obviously if the cost of living carries on rising.

:30:02.:30:06.

And the benefits have been frozen. Then the majority of the country

:30:07.:30:11.

will end up in a worse position than they are, so in reality I don't

:30:12.:30:15.

think he will be helping them at all. The starting point is the

:30:16.:30:19.

coalition have set themselves a target of cutting the definite by

:30:20.:30:25.

?37 billion by 2018/19. It told us it wants to cut the first ?12

:30:26.:30:30.

billion by cutting spending on benefits. They got the detail today.

:30:31.:30:35.

The freeze will take ?3 billion off the benefit bill, but it comes after

:30:36.:30:39.

other benefit cuts have been implemented. In to 10 the coalition

:30:40.:30:45.

decided that working age benefits should not move at retail price

:30:46.:30:48.

inflation but the lower consumer price inflation rate. In 2012 they

:30:49.:30:52.

overrode the decision and squeezed the growth rate for benefits down to

:30:53.:30:57.

1% a year for three years. Why have the Conservatives gone for the

:30:58.:31:02.

working age benefits bill again? One of the most important reasons is the

:31:03.:31:07.

party would have calculated it is not a popular form of spending. When

:31:08.:31:12.

people think of benefits they think of unemployment, media depictions

:31:13.:31:15.

like Shameness and Benefits Street, filmed on this street in Birmingham.

:31:16.:31:20.

In truth, most people affected by the cuts don't live in places like

:31:21.:31:23.

this. If I was looking for people who would be affected by the working

:31:24.:31:28.

age benefits squeeze I would come somewhere like here, anywhere with a

:31:29.:31:31.

lot of people. Back in 2012 last time there was a big squeeze in a

:31:32.:31:38.

similar way, the IFS estimated 9. 5 million families would be affected

:31:39.:31:42.

by the change. Seven million with people in work, and 2. 5 million

:31:43.:31:48.

where no-one was employed. There is a perception that there is one group

:31:49.:31:51.

that funds the been fits and another who lives off it. It is much more

:31:52.:31:55.

complicated. There is a growing number of people in work receiving

:31:56.:31:59.

state support, primarily driven by low pay and getting stuck there, and

:32:00.:32:03.

high-cost housing. The state is bailing these people out all the

:32:04.:32:05.

time. We have to deal with those root causes rather than seeking to

:32:06.:32:10.

cut, cut, cut from the working age population. A wide swathe of

:32:11.:32:13.

households is being affected, but there is one group that isn't. What

:32:14.:32:19.

we have heard today is consistent with what has been done over the

:32:20.:32:23.

last five years in particularly in terms of benefit changes and tax

:32:24.:32:27.

changes. The old have been fully protected whilst the young, those of

:32:28.:32:30.

working age, particularly young people of working age have continued

:32:31.:32:37.

to lose significantly. Why aren't incomes for working age families

:32:38.:32:44.

falling in the period up to 2012, but for retired households they

:32:45.:32:49.

rose. They are pursuing a policy of we are all in it together and you

:32:50.:32:53.

cannot exclude the pensioners who are so far protected. Why do they do

:32:54.:32:59.

it? There are votes in this, and we are months away from a general

:33:00.:33:03.

election. Benefit cuts aren't so much about unemployed and employed,

:33:04.:33:08.

the bigger divide is between the young and old. Our economics

:33:09.:33:16.

correspondent is with me, Duncan Weldon, put all the welfare cuts

:33:17.:33:20.

into the context of the fiscal challenge facing the next

:33:21.:33:22.

Government, particularly a Conservative Government? George

:33:23.:33:25.

Osborne was speaking about the budget deficit, the fiscal situation

:33:26.:33:28.

today, and he had good news and bad news. The good news, half the

:33:29.:33:34.

deficit has been eliminate, and the bad news the other half has to be

:33:35.:33:37.

eliminated in the next parliament. To put numbers on it, George Osborne

:33:38.:33:42.

is looking at a ?25 billion hole to plug under his parts. ?25 billion,

:33:43.:33:51.

welfare cuts is ?3 billion, he wants to ?12 billion of welfare cuts, ?3

:33:52.:33:56.

billion, only a quarter, all that pain and only a quarter he's looking

:33:57.:34:01.

for next parliament. Can he hope that economic growth, it has taken

:34:02.:34:05.

off to some very substantial degree, can he hope that will release him

:34:06.:34:10.

from the constraints? That is always the hope. As the growth comes back

:34:11.:34:15.

the budget deficit looks after itself. Growth is strong and

:34:16.:34:17.

employment is strong. Inflation is low, what is missing is wage growth.

:34:18.:34:24.

Because wage growth is missing that means income tax receipts are

:34:25.:34:28.

missing too. Looking at the recent figures it is pretty much flat year

:34:29.:34:32.

on year, spending is in line with where they want it to be but tax

:34:33.:34:36.

revenues not so much. There is no money coming in even though they

:34:37.:34:40.

have growth that is the issue. Thank you very much indeed. For a

:34:41.:34:45.

while the Sunday mirror thought it was boss of Fleet Street taking a

:34:46.:34:52.

ministerial scalp at the start of the Conservative Party Conference.

:34:53.:34:57.

There was the issue of texting photos to what he thought was a

:34:58.:35:05.

young party worker. Many think the scandal is from the newspaper rather

:35:06.:35:09.

than the party itself. It is entrapment and the question that the

:35:10.:35:17.

public interest was nailed on. Thirdly the journalists used

:35:18.:35:21.

pictures of two women who had not given their permission for the

:35:22.:35:28.

pictures to be used in this way. Steve can tell us more in London.

:35:29.:35:31.

Give us the where we are on this story as of now? What we know as of

:35:32.:35:36.

this evening is that the story was initially offered as a complete

:35:37.:35:39.

package, in other words the investigation had been done, the

:35:40.:35:43.

subterfuge enacted and the wicked pictures of the MP, of the minister

:35:44.:35:49.

were found, it was initially offered to the Sun and the Mail on Sunday,

:35:50.:35:59.

both turning it down and the Mirror picked it up. Why did they do that?

:36:00.:36:12.

The Telegraph has been criticised in the past by. The Press Complaints

:36:13.:36:28.

Commission about similar issues. The likelihood is that IPSO, the new

:36:29.:36:31.

independent press standards organisation which has taken over,

:36:32.:36:36.

if you like from the PCC, will follow the similar line. As things

:36:37.:36:41.

stand it looks pretty likely unless their evidence is very strong that

:36:42.:36:44.

IPSO will fight against the Mirror for having done it. Steve, what can

:36:45.:36:51.

you tell us about who the reporter was, the freelance reporter? I can

:36:52.:36:59.

tell you that Sophie Whittams the Twitter character, the 20-something

:37:00.:37:10.

Tory PR girl, #team 2015. Was Alex whittam working for the website

:37:11.:37:19.

order, order. There was a comment that they were looking forward if

:37:20.:37:23.

Evan was wearing a tie on the first night on Newsnight. What that will

:37:24.:37:28.

mean to him I'm not sure. The Mirror have issued a statement saying they

:37:29.:37:33.

stand by the story, there was clearly public interest. They are

:37:34.:37:41.

acknowledging that some of the pictures used by Alex Wickham,

:37:42.:37:46.

belonged to real people and not posed by model, therefore they are

:37:47.:37:49.

doing something to fix that. If you want to see the story of one of the

:37:50.:37:55.

women whose pictures were used without their permission you can

:37:56.:37:59.

read it in the Sunday Mirror. Thank you very much indeed. I'm joined

:38:00.:38:06.

here in Birmingham by Jim Waterson the deputy editor of Buzzfeed in the

:38:07.:38:17.

UK, and John Whitingdale. Good evening, the role of Buzzfeed in

:38:18.:38:22.

uncovering what this journalist had done in terms of defusing various

:38:23.:38:27.

MPs or attempting to was pretty good. Tell us what you guys did?

:38:28.:38:31.

What it was is this story was out there and there were many defences

:38:32.:38:35.

for it. We looked back at the account that was used to uncover and

:38:36.:38:41.

to encourage the MPs to send pictures. It is worth noting the MPs

:38:42.:38:48.

didn't need that much encouragement, particularly the one who was caught

:38:49.:38:52.

out, he engaged willingly. We looked back at the account that had been

:38:53.:38:56.

deleted and tell how the story came out. You can trace deleted tweets?

:38:57.:39:04.

Yes, even though it had been deleted nothing on-line is delighted. Leted.

:39:05.:39:09.

We want to know the technique she was using to try to entrap these

:39:10.:39:17.

guys? Some were approached over pictures of a Jack Russell, they

:39:18.:39:21.

would say it was a beautiful picture and in the hopes that it would be

:39:22.:39:33.

taken in. So Brooks Newmark was flattered and that got him. Who sent

:39:34.:39:39.

the first saucy picture? My understanding is Brooks who said he

:39:40.:39:44.

has no-one to blame but himself, didn't much encouragement to start

:39:45.:39:47.

sending the pictures. Do you think he should have gone, in your view?

:39:48.:39:52.

He has no-one to blame, he takes responsibility and certainly he was

:39:53.:39:55.

sending pictures of things he shouldn't have been to people on

:39:56.:39:59.

Twitter. Do you think he should have gone? The problem would have been,

:40:00.:40:03.

you and I know the way politics operates. If he hadn't this entire

:40:04.:40:09.

conference would have been dominated by the with question about his

:40:10.:40:13.

survival. He probably put the interests of the Conservative Party

:40:14.:40:15.

first, recognising the story was as big as it was. Having said that

:40:16.:40:19.

there are very serious questions, which have been raised about the

:40:20.:40:24.

tactics used. Let's just, does somebody have to go for doing

:40:25.:40:29.

something that isn't illegal, she wasn't under age or she wasn't

:40:30.:40:34.

unwilling. He wasn't posting the pictures out to women who didn't

:40:35.:40:38.

want to. Apparently it is a guy who appears to be having an affair or

:40:39.:40:44.

trying to have an affair. Is that a resigning issue, that will exclude

:40:45.:40:48.

an awful lot of people? That is a matter for Brooks, and he has been

:40:49.:40:52.

very up front and said right from the start he has behaved like an

:40:53.:40:55.

idiot. I don't think any of us would disagree with that. I think he did

:40:56.:41:00.

decide that in the interests of the party he wanted us to have a good

:41:01.:41:03.

conference and it shouldn't be the issue. Let's talk about the paper

:41:04.:41:07.

what do you think about that? I think the Mirror have to justify why

:41:08.:41:12.

this was in the public interest. On the face of it they employed tactics

:41:13.:41:16.

in breach of the rules. Both the fact that it appears to have been a

:41:17.:41:20.

fishing exercise and a number of MPs were targeted. And secondly that it

:41:21.:41:25.

was clearly entrapment. The fact that two other newspapers, who have

:41:26.:41:29.

never previously shown much reticence in publishing stories of

:41:30.:41:33.

this kind, had decided not to run it, does I think raise serious

:41:34.:41:37.

questions. It is a matter for the new regulator. How how old is that

:41:38.:41:43.

OK regulator? It is the first big test of them. This is a bigger

:41:44.:41:48.

issue, a bigger matter to determine than perhaps they would have chosen.

:41:49.:41:51.

But it will be a test. Are they ready to take it on? That is a

:41:52.:41:56.

question which you have to put to Alan Moses, he's doing a fringe

:41:57.:42:00.

meeting with me tomorrow morning. I hope so, they said they are in place

:42:01.:42:03.

and said they will be more independent, they will be tougher,

:42:04.:42:06.

we wait to see how they will determine the case. How did it go

:42:07.:42:10.

down with your readers? There is enormous global interest in the

:42:11.:42:13.

story. We have been getting traffic from all over the world. I think

:42:14.:42:19.

people both love the original story and as we are worrying about how it

:42:20.:42:23.

came about it is still the story of the conference and a story that

:42:24.:42:31.

people want to know more about. Over the decade and centuries, there

:42:32.:42:36.

have, just occasionally, been a few great realignments in British

:42:37.:42:40.

politics, moments when the coalition of supporters that make up the

:42:41.:42:44.

political parties shift and fracture, on an issue that becomes

:42:45.:42:52.

so divisive that it transforms the landscape of politics from then on.

:42:53.:42:57.

We offer then a new party, but a new approach to politics. Most recently

:42:58.:43:02.

the break-away SDP, led by the infamous gang of four, nearly beat

:43:03.:43:09.

Labour in the popular votes in 1983, there by guarnteeing a major victory

:43:10.:43:14.

for Margaret Thatcher. In the early 1900s, the rise of Labour helped

:43:15.:43:18.

drain support away from the old liberal party, and transformed

:43:19.:43:20.

politics for the rest of the century. In both of these cases the

:43:21.:43:25.

left's vote was split and the right's united. It can happen the

:43:26.:43:30.

other way. Joseph Chamberlain, the great son of Birmingham, where the

:43:31.:43:34.

Tories meet today, split the Conservatives over tarrif reform in

:43:35.:43:40.

the early part of the last century, and guaranteed his party's

:43:41.:43:47.

irrelevance for the next century. The Corn Laws split the

:43:48.:43:52.

Conservatives in half and helped consign them to opposition for a

:43:53.:43:57.

decade. Today the right vote is once again split, the issue is Europe.

:43:58.:44:01.

The question has to be whether the rise of UKIP is a mere flash in the

:44:02.:44:07.

pan, a blip soon forgotten, or another moment where party support

:44:08.:44:13.

does fracture irreconcilely, and in the ensuing mess British politics is

:44:14.:44:18.

transformed for a long time to come. We have the assistant editor of the

:44:19.:44:26.

Spectator, a former editor of the Telegraph, and a columnist for the

:44:27.:44:29.

Times. Charles, do you think the right in British politics at the

:44:30.:44:33.

moment is falling apart? I think the real history of what is happening

:44:34.:44:37.

now is the right has grown stronger, particularly on the issue of Europe.

:44:38.:44:40.

If you look over 30 years it is stronger and stronger, because it

:44:41.:44:44.

moves up from the bottom, it is a genuine popular movement. It is

:44:45.:44:48.

resisted by the establishment. This keeps coming to a head whenever

:44:49.:44:52.

there is an electoral or referendum question, because the establishment

:44:53.:44:56.

wishes to evade it and the wide opinion, which is to have the issue,

:44:57.:45:02.

I noticed Matthew's paper this morning said the question of Europe

:45:03.:45:05.

can wait. That is classic establishment view of the matter.

:45:06.:45:08.

That wouldn't be the view of the people who care about the subject.

:45:09.:45:12.

The reassignment and the event is simply the right asserting itself a

:45:13.:45:15.

bit more and saying what it really thinks and that is the end of it? It

:45:16.:45:20.

is not hard right or sectarian right, it is the Conservative Party

:45:21.:45:23.

as opposed to the leadership has become a euro-sceptic party. Now

:45:24.:45:30.

Matthew, you wrote a piece suggesting really that David Cameron

:45:31.:45:35.

could let those UKIP defectors go and the party would be better off

:45:36.:45:39.

without them. The departure of Mark Reckless the air in the room got a

:45:40.:45:44.

great deal fresher. There are two or three more who ought to go, I hope

:45:45.:45:48.

they will, they should be pushed if they don't go. I don't agree with

:45:49.:45:52.

Charles, it is true that the right is flexing its muscle, but the

:45:53.:45:55.

Conservative Party always had a hard right. On the whole in the past it

:45:56.:45:59.

has learned to resist them, it needs to do that this time. What is the

:46:00.:46:05.

view in the hierarchy of the Conservative Party about where this

:46:06.:46:10.

is all going? I think within the hierarchy there is a desire to shut

:46:11.:46:14.

it down, to tell those people perhaps your views aren't welcome in

:46:15.:46:19.

the party and maybe you would be more comfortable in UKIP and good

:46:20.:46:25.

rid dense. They don't want any more defections because it is hugely

:46:26.:46:30.

important to them. Some of those backbenchers feel pushed by the

:46:31.:46:32.

establishment ignoring, which is what Charles was saying. David

:46:33.:46:39.

Cameron isn't particularly go at listening to backbenchers, and he

:46:40.:46:43.

gives the impression they are I idiots. I'm puzzled by Matthew on

:46:44.:46:49.

this subject, surely it is a major issue of policy on the future of the

:46:50.:46:52.

country, it is a European issue that really matters. It is not weird

:46:53.:46:59.

sectarian matters, it is of first importance. Obviously people get

:47:00.:47:04.

frustrated if their leadership is reluctant to talk about T We were at

:47:05.:47:11.

a point in the 1980s, the SDP came along and you had Margaret Thatcher

:47:12.:47:15.

for a decade. She was electorally getting 45% of the vote. Are we at

:47:16.:47:21.

the point that we have the danger that the right splits and you get a

:47:22.:47:27.

left-wing Government. The left seems very united, the claps of the Lib

:47:28.:47:32.

Dems means the left has one party? It would be a splinter rather than a

:47:33.:47:37.

split. The greater danger is the Conservative Party moves sharply to

:47:38.:47:42.

the right in order to stop the splinter and ends up losing a lot of

:47:43.:47:48.

votes from those who might otherwise see themselves as Conservatives. It

:47:49.:47:51.

will lead to a split in the Conservative Party. I noticed in

:47:52.:47:55.

conversations I have been having with euro-sceptic ministers who

:47:56.:47:59.

started to say after 2015 if the hard write in the parties starts to

:48:00.:48:03.

agitate and we have lost the election, they don't want to be part

:48:04.:48:07.

of that group any more. They want to move away either to send the guys

:48:08.:48:11.

out of the party or form their own, not liberal

:48:12.:48:13.

out of the party or form their own, view as a more sensible party. There

:48:14.:48:17.

is a sense of frustration on both sides, there is

:48:18.:48:21.

is a sense of frustration on both opening up, not in the next few

:48:22.:48:24.

months but possibly the next few years, with more voices calling for

:48:25.:48:29.

a bigger split. Charles you would like a coalition or pact between

:48:30.:48:33.

UKIP and the Conservative Party? It doesn't look at all probable. Some

:48:34.:48:39.

people in the Conservative Party are more distant from UKIP than the

:48:40.:48:42.

Labour Party? With Keneth Clarke heaving are the Government, there is

:48:43.:48:46.

no strong Europhile at the top of the Government. The shift over the

:48:47.:48:49.

years. You are bringing it back to Europe? I do think fundamentally, it

:48:50.:48:55.

is two things, Europe and the feeling of disaffection of people

:48:56.:48:58.

who don't see themselves at the top of society. That is why UKIP has an

:48:59.:49:03.

appeal to Labour voters as well. You haven't mentioned immigration? It is

:49:04.:49:15.

related to the immigration question. A lot of UKIP people are very

:49:16.:49:18.

unreasonable, but the fundamental issues are very important issues.

:49:19.:49:22.

The sense they are being suppressed is extremely damaging for politics.

:49:23.:49:28.

It would be a sad day for the Tory Party if Keneth Clarke couldn't

:49:29.:49:31.

really be thought of as any more a Conservative. Wouldn't it? They

:49:32.:49:36.

would be losing a very large chunk of their centrist support, if Keneth

:49:37.:49:39.

Clarke is told he's not welcome where does it leave the Conservative

:49:40.:49:44.

Party? It is the case on both sides of the party, the important thing if

:49:45.:49:50.

they want to continue to win votes rather than splitting into fragments

:49:51.:49:54.

so the left always wins. They need to unite and find out how to do

:49:55.:49:58.

that. There is a party management issue, both sides don't feel they

:49:59.:50:02.

are getting on but don't feel united by the leadership. What was the

:50:03.:50:06.

advice to sensible people to the Labour Party when it looked in

:50:07.:50:12.

danger of lurching to the left. There was a sense of the hard right

:50:13.:50:18.

of the Labour Party going in there. The advice was to take no notice and

:50:19.:50:22.

stay in the centre. I would give the same advice to the Conservative

:50:23.:50:28.

Party now? There is an issue of bad faith here people are told by the

:50:29.:50:32.

Conservative leadership there are answers on Europe and the

:50:33.:50:36.

Conservatives are a euro-sceptic party. But when people try to put

:50:37.:50:42.

flesh on the bones they are accused of being bad people. There will be a

:50:43.:50:50.

reign dumb? Reverend come. Referendum. There is, but it is not

:50:51.:50:57.

a good idea to go in and not say where you stand on things. There is

:50:58.:51:03.

an odd neutrality. The debate hasn't been resolved here, we look forward

:51:04.:51:06.

to it continuing and maybe it will be resolved before long. Gentleman

:51:07.:51:11.

thank you. That is it for tonight. Last week in his conference speech

:51:12.:51:16.

Ed Miliband used the word "together" 51 times. Today George Osborne

:51:17.:51:22.

unveiled his political philosophy in one word, see if you can spot it.

:51:23.:51:28.

Good night. Choose life. Choose jobs. Choose a career. Choose a

:51:29.:51:35.

family. Choose prosperity. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc

:51:36.:51:40.

players and electrical tin openers. Choose security, choose prosperity.

:51:41.:51:44.

Choose good health. Choose David Cameron, choose the Conservatives.

:51:45.:51:50.

Choose fixed interest mortgage repayment, choose a starter home,

:51:51.:51:51.

choose your friends.

:51:52.:51:59.

Evan Davis talks to David Cameron at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.


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