13/10/2011 Question Time


From London, David Dimbleby is joined by Andrew Lansley, Ken Livingstone, Sarah Sands, Dr Phil Hammond and Mark Littlewood from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 13/10/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



We're in the Queen Mary University of London. Welcome to Question Time.


And with me on our panel tonight, the Health Secretary, Andrew


Lansley, the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who is hoping to


win that post back. Dr Phil Hammond, a GP, a stand-up comedian and who


writes for Private Eye. Mark Littlewood, director a free market


think-tank and the deputy editor of the Evening Standard, Sarah Sands.


APPLAUSE Our first question from Peter


Mammato, please. Is it appropriate for the Defence


Secretary to bring a friend to work?


Andrew Lansley? I hope all have friends at work and friends who


visit us at work. The purpose of your question is to say, where are


the boundaries? Liam himself, I saw him at the House of Commons and say


to the Commons he had made mistakes and apologised for those because he


allowed the distinction between his private life and his public


responsibilities to be blurred. He accepted that and apologised for it.


Ynd that there are investigations being con-- beyond that there are


investigations being conducted. I will not judge anything beyond that.


Do you think, as one of his friends said today, it would turn the Prime


Minister into John Major if he bowed to pressure and got rid of


Fox? No, I don't think there is any comparison. I don't know what that


is supposed to imply. From my point of view, I work with Liam, I have


known him for a long time. I think he's been an excellent Defence


Secretary. He's had a terrible legacy from Labour. He had to go


through a tough process of dealing those and doing a strategic


security and Defence Review. I think he's given leadership and


support to the armed services in Afghanistan and libyafplt over this


year-and-a-half they have -- Libya. Over this year-and-a-half they have


performed magnificently. I think if you look from the public interest


point of view, is he a good Defence Secretary? Absolutely, I think he


is. You would like him to stay? I think Liam Fox has got every


right to bring someone in to give him advice. The root is you appoint


them as a special adviser. They are paid about �60,000 a year. I think,


given the track record of civil servants in the Ministry of Defence


and senior military officials who have almost bankrupted one


Government after another with dire advice I am pleased to see a sharp


mind brought in from the outside. Why was it not made a legitimate


appointment. As it hasn't been, I think we need to know what rules


the finances around here. What was he earning and who was he getting


the money from. If they answer that the issue will go away. You had


special advisers, paid a lot more. �120 how thousand. Brought in, they


ran everything. They had to go.... They ran everything, not you?


no. It is different. The American model of politics is what Tony


Blair brought to London. The advisers were running the system.


We didn't have all those civil servant types. I found it easier to


get things done. I would like to see a lot more clearing out of


senior civil servants and people brought in to make sure Governments


can get their policies through an often resistant Civil Service. They


should say, who was paying what and was there any undue influence?


Until he does say that.... What would you call "Undue influence?"


commercial interest? If a commercial firm was paying that


adviser and that adviser was influencing the contract that is a


huge problem. We need to be told and the issue can go away. I can't


understand why it's being allowed to drag on and on and more


speculation around it all. Sarah Sands? Well he is becoming less a


friend by the day. By yesterday he was an imagine farry friend. He was


described as a Walter Mitty figure. By the end of the week he may have


no relationship at all with Mr Fox. I think it is Dr Fox. Obviously, it


looks odd to have best man on a business card, so adviser was the


option. I mean, you say... You mean, According to Ken if you want


someone in because you cannot trust your civil servants he seemed to


get a good deal. Mr Werritty didn't seem to make much money out of this


at all, or he was sponsored. Whether he can survive I think is


an interesting question. We did see all the cavalry brought out in the


House of Commons to protect him. It has slightly become a press verses


the Government, which I think is what Dr Fox is now playing on. Or


his friends, more friends telling Cameron, the Prime Minister, that


he would be looking weak to dismiss. The man there? Isn't this half of


the problem that it has become acceptable by Ken and Andrew and


Government generally in a democracy that it is OK to bring in your


buddys and pay them �120,000 as special advisers? It is ridiculous!


I think that is an excellent point. Actually Cameron did promise to


sort out lobbyingch he said it was the next big -- lobbying was the


next big problem. This chap seems to lobby and he's not in the box.


We are playing the next Where's Wally? It's called where's Werritty.


You don't go on 44 trips for no reason. You could have won him in a


raffle. He could be doing something unusual. We won't know until the


tests are back! With all these things you have to investigate them


independently. My experience of health service investigations f you


do them house and do them in secret you don't get to the truth of the


matter. You need someone independent, putting out the


answers in the public domain. don't count the Cabinet Secretary


as somebody like that? No. You need somebody with the appearance of


being independent. APPLAUSE


Yes? I want to ask Mr Lansley, you say Liam Fox has apologised N this


situation it is a clear miss judgment. Is an apology enough?


you make mistakes it is good to apologise. That is what he did at


the first opportunity. Can you apologise for anything that you


have done wrong? If you make a mistake would you not apologise.


Nobody knows what you're doing with that! I see the point you're making.


Actually, you know, he, not only did he apologise, but he had taken


the step of instigating an investigation, which the Prime


Minister said, I would like the Cabinet Secretary to do it. That is


fine. I'm surprised Ken says it is dragging on. It's only been about


six days. I mean are we not capable of realising if you're going to


have a welter of accusations, allegations against people, which


include, much of which may not prove to be true, it's better


actually to have a proper investigation and not to prejudge


it. So long as the... As long as the NHS reforms take! My brother's


in the Armed Forces. I don't think a sorry, a simple sorry for


somebody who just follows the Ministry of Defence around is


correct. What about the security of the country where he was following


him around - the information he was partial to? It's just wrong. My


brother, he serves in Afghanistan. He had two terms there. He's


serving now and you can't get a word out of him for where he's been,


where he's going. He takes it serious and serves Queen and


Country. You can't just, "Oh, let me take my friend around." He has


duty to this country. There are failings there for recognising what


his duties are. APPLAUSE


The original question was this, wasn't it: Is it OK to have friends


visiting you at the office? No it is OK for the Defence Secretary to


bring a friend to work? I wish our politicians listened a lot more to


experts and their friends rather than following what the civil


servants advise them. In Liam Fox's case it is straightforward. Look,


on the face of it looks like odd behaviour. I don't know many people


who take their best man with them on 18 trips to Dubai. It looks odd


behaviour. Something which looks like odd behaviour is not a firing


offence for the Secretary of State for defence. There are two things


we need to discover. I think the Cabinet Secretary will get to the


bottom. Was there any impropriety? If there was a suggestion that


defence contracts were being skiched up, that is a firing --


stitched up, that is a firing offence. Was security breached? If


yes, Fox has to go. But for God's sake n a mature democracy, let's


take a few days, at least, to sort this out. These are serious charges.


We only need the patience of a few more days to get to the bottom of


them. Does Liam Fox's own statement, on Sunday, answer one of those


points, when he said, I do accept that given Mr Werritty's defence-


related business interests my frequent contacts may have given an


impression of wrong doing? Because the code covers the impression of...


He says Werritty has defence- related business interests.


don't know what they are. Is there real impropriety here? If it turns


out he is a Walter Mitty character, that is odd, but relatively


harmless. If it turns out worse than that, then he has to leave the


Cabinet. Do you not think that the British taxpayer is sick and tired


of seeing their money get wasted? APPLAUSE. It's not taxpayers' money.


We don't think he's paid by the taxpayer. He seems to be able to


travel around the world on little money. We don't know how he's


funded this, he probably can sort out the economy by the money he


makes by doing relatively little. Who is funding all this?


Echoing the previous comments from the middle of the audience, Liam


Fox is a public servant, and you know, if this was the head of an


NHS Trust, who may have a friend, a best man who may be the head of a


pharmaceutical company, or something like that, if they were


allowed confidential meetings there would be an outcry and his position


would be in question. So, there's no question that Fox has given this


guy too much access. OK, let's go on. Chandrika Chopra?


How wise it is to persist with the NHS reforms when health


professionals oppose them so strongly? All right, Andrew


Lansley? But not the whole sorry, but jaust the answer to that


question, if you would -- just the answer to that question, if you


would. The premise is that health professions are against this. Take


one central principal here, which is that doctors and nurses should


take greater responsibility for designing services on behalf of


their patients. Actually, across the NHS that is supported. The


Royal College of General Practitioners and the BMA and the


Royal College of Nursing have supported that principal. The


principal of the legislation that there should be greater democratic


credibility. People by and large support that. Now, I know there are


a lot of things people say they don't like. Half the time they are


saying there are things in the bill which are not there that they don't


like. Things they imagine the bill is introducing competition to the


NHS. Actually it does not change the scope of competition at all. If


you construct a different argument and base it on a miss


representation of what is in the bill, it is easy then to get people


to say, I am against the bill. We've had a lot of miss reputation.


We've had a lot of occasions when frankly from my point of view we've


had to explain. There have been occasions when people wanted


reassurance. We went to enormous lengths to make certain when we


were listening to people and pausing the bill, to take the NHS


Future Forum, a team of experts and professionals from across the


service, go out across the country, hundreds of meetings, thousands of


contributions, to arrive at a place where the forum told us what the


professionals across the service, as well as the patients and the


public needed. We accepted every This depends on trust. APPLAUSE


difficulty with this is it is 353 pages - it is impossible to


understand it. It is unreadable. What did you say? It is wonk. This


is unreadable. There is no narrative. You would think if you


would read that you would hear words like transparency, openness,


accountability. They are not in there. How many times does the word


"competition" appears? 86. Co- operation? Nought. Integration.


appears. There is a duty... Collaboration? There is a duty in


the legislation for integration of services. 86 competitions, four co-


operations, no integration, no collaboration. The point is the


reason... There is no reason to argue about it. Andrew, I let you


speak. Let me speak, please. What is your impression about the


reaction of the NHS professionals? Does it matter? Yes, it does.


the professionals always against reform? It is not just the


professionals, it is probably the vast majority of patients. Nobody


has managed to read this thing. The thing they... You clearly have. You


have done a word count on it! thing that worries people most is


this element of competition. The NHS needs to rediscover its


humanity. If you look at Mid-Staffs, there is a real problem. If you


look at competition - and Labour did this - the competition cherry


picked the easy cases. In the NHS20% of patients take up 80% of


resources. I can see patients here, you are fairly fit, I will cherry


pick you. You have five or six diseases, you are a bit expensive,


I'm not interested in you. The only way to focus the NHS is to


integrate it. Although Andrew will say there has been a change in here


- it has never happened yet. What they want is collaboration and keep


as many patients out of hospital as they can. It doesn't change...


says it, but will it do it? You are not trusting the doctors and nurses


themselves. We designed the service around the needs of patients. We


give the doctors and nurses the ability to commission the services


that they need for their patients. Then we make certain that it is


democratically accountable... right. There are five people around


- hang on. We have five people on this panel and a lot of hands up.


Mark Littlewood? We need a bit of a reality check. I know the National


Health Service is thought of very fondly by a majority of people. It


saved my live seven years ago. Let's not kid ourselves. Let's not


fall for a myth. Let's not believe it is the envy of the world - it


isn't any more. Better health provision is being given in much of


Europe, many other OECD countries and we have a substantial financial


problem. NHS spending has trebled in the last 30 years. Life


expectancy amongst the poorest elements of society has not


improved as much as life expectancy of the richest elements of society.


So it is not even helping the people at the lower end. We need a


reality check. The NHS model, if it is the envy of the world, has been


copied by no-one. It isn't the envy of the world. I would like to say I


welcome Andrew Lansley trying to tackle some of these problems about


efficiency. I would like to see something which gives patients


control and power, you, the guys in the audience, not the doctors, or


the Commissioners - patients. One of the problems we have got is that


it is not responsive enough to patients who need care. There are a


lot we can learn from other systems in the world that produce better


results at much lower costs. APPLAUSE The person there in the


fourth row? I think you are completely wrong. The NHS...


APPLAUSE When the NHS was established in 1948, whatever it


was, all the OECD countries followed suit. There was Japan,


Australia and Canada, they all used the same system. Everything you


have just said is wrong. It has one of the highest rates of


satisfaction in Europe. It has one of the greatest levels of outcomes


that there are and it has a lower percentage of GDP use than any


other countries. Let's be careful. Please not just... Are you saying


they have better healthcare policies? Yes. Your chance of


survival if you are diagnosed with cancer in the US... You are


completely wrong. Let's not fall for this nonsense that the only two


available healthcare systems on the planet are the National Health


Service or the USA. I don't think the USA is a good system at all. We


can learn a lot from Singapore. They don't spend as much. It is not


just what we have got or America. We can do better than that. The


European systems use insurance models, a more market-based


approach. Which have lower satisfaction rates and longer


waiting times. We really think we are the only people who have


cracked this? It is nonsense. woman in green? Ultimately, this is


a time sensitive issue. There are people's lives at stake. How would


the panel answer the Shadow Health Minister's point that while we are


having these protracted debates, it is stopping us from fixing the NHS


we have got now. We are not making those reforms because we are having


this debate. He says drop the bill and we will help you reform NHS


commissioning, the new - Andy Burnham. Ken Livingstone?


simple reality is that we, according to the Commonwealth


Institute, have the most cost- effective healthcare in the world.


We spent 8% of our wealth on the NHS. In America it is 16%. France


and Germany, it is 10%. I think what the reason the Government is


doing this is it can't go to the American system in one big step,


they couldn't get it through. It is starting to push down the road of


more and more privatisation, more and more profit and when you are


adding profit to the cost of an operation, there will be less


operations done at the end of the day. When you think that this


Government promised not just that there would be no top-down


reorganisation of the NHS, they promised, Cameron promised to


increase spending on the NHS in real terms and a moratorium on


hospital closures. I have never seen such a deliberate pattern of


lies in an election... APPLAUSE Ken, Labour's line was to say it is


irresponsible to increase NHS spending? Not just Labour's line,


Andy Burnham's view. That is Labour. Exactly. Sorry, I don't get your


point. And he is still their Shadow Health Secretary. He has been


reappointed in circumstances where he was telling us that we ought to


be cutting the NHS budget and we are not. We are increasing the NHS


budget by �12.5 billion. I don't know where you have been around all


my life. I'm not here simply to parrot the Labour Party line. I am


broadly in agreement with the vast majority of Labour's policies. I


was profoundly unhappy with the partial privatisation measures Tony


Blair's Government introduced which has helped land us in this mess. It


should all be free at the point of delivery. There should be no profit


motive at all. It will be. The man there? If you keep your remarks


brief, I would be grateful. Yes? was wondering when 60 senior


medical officials have sent off a letter describing the health


reforms as "unpopular and undemocratic" surely it would be


reprehensible to follow through with them? APPLAUSE Sarah Sands?


Talking earlier about the issue of trust and the public trust doctors,


they don't trust politicians. It doesn't mean the doctors are always


going to be right. I think there is a problem and we have seen from the


protests outside that people feel very strongly about this. The


National Health Service is the religion of the British people. The


trouble is then you say anything must happen to it and any


efficiencies are a back door privatisation. It means we can


never talk about it in a rational way. That does worry me. Very


important, I want old people treated with dignity, I want


children treated in medical emergencies. We have had feelings


of a powerless in the face of a monolithic bureaucracy. If you can


find a better way of ordering paper for the National Health Service and


do it a bit cheaper, I think the fact we can't look at it because


this is an attack on the NHS and I know your motives are impure, that


puts us in a difficult position. APPLAUSE OK. There are still many


people with their hands up. You have a clipboard in front of you. I


beg you to speak briefly if you would? A few pressing points.


you mean you will speak briefly? Absolutely. 80 to 100 billion will


be handed to United Health America. It has been called the derevolution


of the National Health Service. Let's talk about the 120 billion


uncollected through tax avoidance. Let's talk about the 1% of tax


breaks that the richest, the ten billion... All right. You are now


reading it. Dr Hammond? Do you want to answer his point? I think it is


an interesting point. If you involve private providers they are


there to make a profit motive. I have no objection to them coming in


on occasion if the NHS can't deliver. Every single model are


moving towards integrated care. It is patients who fall between the


bits of the NHS, particularly the elderly. You must do everything you


can to keep them in their homes. The NHS are a bit like the French


rugby team. While we have had headless management, some really


good things have been happening on the ground. There have been falls


in emergency admission. There is a wonderful organisation in North


West London where they are working, they are sorting out their chronic


diseases and stopping people going into hospital. All of this has been


done without the Health Bill going through. The bit of legislation -


you can't win over the hearts and minds. If people don't believe in


competition, it will never work. Integration is the way forward.


me reassure you. It is whether they trust you. Of course. I am looking


for trust, particularly because I have spent now nearly eight years


as Shadow Health Secretary. My responsibility in all that time has


been to arrive at a place where people do believe the NHS will


improve continuously under a Conservative administration. My


commitment - and I made it to the Conservative Party - was that while


I am Secretary of State the NHS will not be privatised, it will not


be fragmented. The reason why there are general practitioners is


because they are getting the opportunity as doctors and nurses


to design services themselves. is happening now. If it is


happening now, why? We have arrived at a point where the Primary Care


Trusts and the Strategic Health Authorities know that they are


going to be abolished when the Bill goes through. There is an argument


that has been put that you needn't have brought up this Bill. You have


had eight years to think about it. You could simply have built on what


Labour was already doing and... That is the point about legislation.


Difficult though it is to go through that process... You need it.


You do. You can't abolish Primary Care Trusts without doing it. In


the year before the election, Labour increased the management


costs in the NHS by �350 million. All right. We reduced it by �329


million. All right. No. Wait, please. This is a programme. I know


there are a lot of important points and you have made many. I must stop


you. We have to hear what the audience say as well. The woman in


the striped shirt? There seems to be a myth that the NHS reforms are


a future act but as someone that works in the NHS the impact is


already being felt and the lack of confidence is having an impact now.


How dare the Government have their hands on our public service before


going after the money at the top. Close the loopholes. Don't even


think about abolishing the 50% tax rate. Let's get the money back from


the top and then we can work down. Hands off our public service - all


of it! The man at the top right there.


was mentioned earlier, when we arrived today we were met by a


lively demonstration against the Health Secretary's proposals. They


even burst into our pre-Question Time coffee and cakes. This shows


how passionate they are to protect their's and our National Health


Service. Are they right? They are. Is there any vested interest?


Everybody in the world has some vested interest. They don't trust


the meddling of bureaucrats and politicians. We've heard a lot of


complaints here. Anybody coming to the support of what the Government


is trying to to? I think there is actually a misconception about the


NHS being perfect, considering the fact that on the policy of life


index, published this year, the UK had a massive dip in its health


care section. Whereas other countries, such as France, scored


near perfect in that area. I don't necessarily think we can get


benefits from the system being implemented now, the privatisation


of it. We can learn from other countries, such as France, in this


area and improve the NHS rather than keep it as it is. The person


there? How do you make sure that you micromanage this reform,


especially at the GP, primary care level, to make sure the


consequences don't actually happen? The intention may be good. How do


you make sure that the unintended consequences don't happen. What


kind? Abuses, I mean at the moment, GP power. You give them so much


money. Who is going to make sure that the money is well spent? The


GPs don't clog up time and claim money which can happen at the


moment. Rip off their clients? have to have somebody making the


decision about how and where the money is spent. Shall we buy this


service from this company or that from that company? Somebody has to


make the decisions. I prefer Andrew Lansley's view that those decisions


are better made by medical professionals than bureaucrats.


They won't necessarily get everything right, all of the time.


They won't. Errors will be made. The question is whether you put in


place a system more likely to produce better results. The thing


people like about the NHS is the equal access to all. That, I think


everybody is agreed with. It won't be the question of if you are rich


you get good care and if you are poor you get none. How you deliver


it, to deliver it in the most efficient way possible. You don't


micro-manage it. I don't want Andrew Lansley doing that. I want


to work it myself with medical advice on the ground. It won't be


perfect, but that is a better system than the creeping


bureaucracys. If you have comment on this at home and you are


on this at home and you are tweeting, you can join our debate D.


Is it acceptable for MPs to tweet while in a parliamentary debate?


They decided that tweeting was allowed. The procedures are often


so tedious I would sit out of line and I notice a lot of


correspondents do it. Should they tweet? From the point of view of


the journalists the more that tweet the better. It is all stories for


us. Are you in favour of your colleagues tweeting? I think I


wouldn't do it myself. If you're in the House of Commons, you're there


in order to participate in the debate. I think it is a good idea


to concentrate in the debate if you are in there for that purpose. The


truth of the matter is people do it everywhere now. I suspect they will


in the House of Commons. That is the way the world is going. You can


use any hand-held electric device, providing it is silent and used in


a way that does not impair decorum. You can take papers into the House


of Commons with you. I suppose that technically means we are getting to


a place where people could be providing prompts on iPad screens


or something. Instead of being whispered to.


If anybody can reduce this to 146 characters I will give them a


medal! 146 characters. I would say this,


the House of Commons is a stuffy old place. Its ability to connect


with the public in any meaningful way is zero. The protocols are


absurd. It is stuck in the past in a lot of procedures. You don't have


to rip that up to embrace some modern ways of MPs communicating,


not just to journalists but to their constituents. We will be


living in a very, very old fashioned democracy if we start to


say that MPs cannot use mobile devices to say what they are


thinking. You be the judge about whether they are concentrating in


the debate or whether they are passing comment on to you as the


constituent. A brief comment. Are we in fear of


allowing our MPs to become celebrities almost rather than


catering for society? Trying to trend. The person up


there on the far left. If they are tweeting it shows they are awake in


the chamber for a change! APPLAUSE


And you, Sir? Maybe it will allow them to communicate with their


unofficial advisers. OK! Let's go on. Anita Chin, please.


Should we be encouraging the nation's youth to follow their


Irish counter parts and emigrate around the globe to look for work?


This is in the light of the figures that nearly one million young


people are unemployed. Should we encourage them to follow the Irish


example? Sarah Sands? I think it is a global market now. It is


something that probably they have to think about. I am surprised and


so impressed just by the ingenuity and resilience of the young


graduates now. We have seen in universities themselves they are


starting to look abroad. We have to look at job creation. It is the


most important thing. Given the state we're in, that has


to come from the private sector. So, how we do that - we have to


look at it in a hard-headed way of where the jobs are. That may mean


going abroad. I have known relatives of mine who have gone to


be doctors abroad because there were opportunities or where the


skills market is. I was talking to someone from Cisco technology firm


who said there are tonnes of jobs but they don't have the people


trained for it. In Britain? technology. There are jobs. There


are thousands of jobs in technology. They were so wareed about the --


worried about the lack of skills that I are talking about setting up


their own academies to educate people from the start. I think


people will have to think much more creatively about jobs in this tough


environment. Well, I mean there may be some young people, very talented,


who speak fluently a foreign language with go and work in China


or Brazil. The majority of our young people don't have a fluent


second language. We have a duty to provide a range of jobs for kids


coming through our education system, whether they are the 45% who have


been to university or the ones who have not. That means rebuilding and


reviving our economy. We should be seeing something like a cut in VAT.


We should be encouraging with tax breaks, firms to hire and take on


more people. We should be looking at, say areas where there are huge


housing problem. Here in London and other parts of Britain. Putting


people back to work. Building the homes people need. There is a vast


amount we need to do. You will not be able to while the Government is


cutting its own spending. At a time like this, in an economic downturn


the state should be helping to gear up the economy, put people back to


work so they are coming off benefit and paying tax. That is how you pay


back the debt. Some of what Ken said I agree with.


Which bit? The Government can do things to actually help young


people get back to work. Mainly it's getting out of the way. We


live in a country now in which the tax code, the rule book for tax is


about 14,000 pages long. This is Fife or six times as long as the


complete works of Sheikh. What about cutting tax?


-- of cutting Shakespeare. What about cutting the tax? I would


slash tax. And VAT? I think VAT is probably too high. You may even


raise more money by cutting it. think you can get growth back in


the economy for the one million or so unemployed youth? It doesn't


happen overnight. If you had a serious plan to deregulate now and


start to reduce tax now, you could see the results in the next year or


so. The coalition doesn't have that plan. And Osborne's plan is wrong n


other words? Osborne is right to get spending under control. That is


a... The Government's plan for growth seems to be to pray that it


happens. There's very, very small steps in some areas of labour


market reform. I would like to see de-regulation, that helps small and


medium-sized enterprises who tend to pick up those who are not as


well qualified. This war on red tape to get Government out of the


way would do an enormous amount to help these young people find work.


If I may, I would like to go back to the question. I think, yes,


we're in a global market, but actually our young people are our


future. I want them to see their future here with us. Actually when


I look around the world, I and when I think about, for example, the


pressures in terms of immigration to this country in order to do jobs


here, I think actually we are a good place to come and work. Lots


of people believe we're a good place to come and work. Yes, we


have tough times. They are extremely difficult. We have a


legacy and an international set of economic circumstances which make


it incredibly difficult. We have got to have growth and growth is


not going to come through abandoning the reduction of the


deficit, because actually the entire.... He agrees with you on


that. He says there are things you are not doing like cutting VAT.


are doing things. We are cutting tax for people on low incomes so


they will have more money in their pockets. We are putting for


business, we're taking corporation tax to the.... About de-regulation?


We have been, net we have reduced regulation since the election. That


is turning a tide, because there has been a tide of new regulation.


We were promised a bonfire, not a trim.


How does a bonfire of regulation help when the banks are not lending


to small businesses and everybody is crying out for money they cannot


get hold of? APPLAUSE It helps enormously. I will tell


you why it helps. By rowing back on red tape you don't get a boom in


the economy, you don't convert microbusinesses into massive


multinational companies. The amount of time and effort that small


businesses have to go through to comply with the rules, let's say


you have your bank loan sorted, just to comply with the rules is so


intensive that you are making the businesses.... George Osborne, at


the budget, put forward a moratorium until 2015 on impact on


the small businesses. That is where the jobs are coming


from. The question is whether young people are right to travel. Not to


travel? To emigrate. I think, yes, they are. They are


not going on holiday. Going abroad to get a job. It was said, life


without work goes rotten. It is true. We talked about inequality in


this country. They have got wider under Labour. If you have no house,


no future to life you are unlikely to go to Waitrose for the oily fish


and sun dried tomatoes and all the stuff that will keep you healthy.


The knock-on effect for the health service when people become anxious,


depressed T number of NHS managers you have made profoundly anxious


because you announced you would get rid of their jobs at the time we


are trying to make savings. If you put job insecurity into people's


mind it profoundly affects their mental health. The answer to Anita


Chin's question? If they are competing, yes, I think they should


go abroad to get a job. I will go to other members of the audience.


Isn't it a shame that our youth have to go abroad to get jobs when


investment should be in this country making sure that they get


the right, investment to get jobs here? Isn't it a shame they have to


go abroad? Do you think people should go


abroad, like the Irish? It is rhetorical. The global market is


shrinking. Skills are needed around the world. Many of us in this room


have parents who have come from abroad. Why shouldn't our children


go abroad again to make a living for themselves if it's not possible


here. There are many people who come here to do exactly that.


The Government pumped in �75 billion recently. What seems to be


happening is that it is stagnating in the banks. What is the


Government doing with that money that's going into the economy? What


are they doing to create jobs? will the �75 billion do? That's


right, in order to create jobs. Does anyone know? It will increase


inflation, a year or two down the road. A large amount of it will go


abroad. Instead of spending �75 billion printing money, I would


rather see them spend �20 billion putting people back to work on


works programmes, building houses. APPLAUSE The woman in the striped


shirt? Surely it would be better to encourage British unemployed people


or young people graduating to take jobs in this country rather than


allowing EU migrants to take them? APPLAUSE A quick point - the NHS


would only exist because of workers from overseas. They have propped up


the NHS for over 60 years and we should be grateful. APPLAUSE Andrew


Lansley, would you answer that woman's point? Make your point


again. Surely we should have the right people in this country to run


our NHS? What do you mean by that? Not having people come from abroad?


Yes. We should have the right skills here. 500,000 nurses I think


are from abroad. The NHS has depended over a generation from


people coming to work in the NHS... Why can't you train people in this


country to do it? We are training people to do it. You have 300,000


people in the NHS who have come from abroad? In years past, we


weren't training enough doctors, dentists or nurses. We are training


more. We are ensuring that we can meet our needs. If you are a medic,


a doctor, with the levels of skill we are talking about you are


working in an international - I know I was at... Dubai?!


LAUGHTER I was at one of our leading Children's Hospitals and I


was talking to somebody who was describing his career to me. He had


worked in California, Cairo and he was working in Britain. He was a


very, a leading paediatric surgeon. That is what you have got to expect.


My point is when you look at people from around the world wanting to


work in this country, yes, they do want to work here. So we shouldn't


be so pessimistic about ourselves. If other people around the world


with skills want to be here, we should realise that we are a good


place for people with skills to be here. The man on the gangway there?


Part of the issue that is being discussed here is there's youth


that feel disengaged with the workplace at the moment. Sarah


Sands makes this point of Cisco who are going to the lengths of putting


in place a training programme for the youth. The problem exists that


we need to have qualifications on the same level, academic and


vocational. Instead of these companies going to the lengths of


saying we might have to put in place our own work programme. It


should be encouraged by the Government to do that. APPLAUSE


Yes? You talk all about these apprenticeships, so many hundreds


out there. Where are they? Three people in my family can't get an


apprenticeship. Where are they? What were you saying about your


family? I have three people in my family trying to get


apprenticeships. Not one of them can get one. Explain a bit more.


They get kicked from pillar to post. What apprenticeships are they


looking for? Motor and two in electrical. They go to companies


and say have you got any apprenticeship posts open? They are


given a phone number for a body to go to. They get kicked from pillar


to post. We are pushing as a Government forward... You are not


pushing hard enough! Then we will do more. APPLAUSE We have increased


the number of apprenticeships... Why can't they get one? When Phil


talks about the problems of people not being in work and the


implications that has, the largest part of that is people on


incapacity benefit, that is where the work programme is tremendously


important. In the course of this Parliament we will see 2.5 million


people go through the work programme. It could have the impact


of increasing employment by up to 300,000. One more point, the man


with the beard? I work in the higher education sector. I teach in


it. Let me tell you with the abolition of EMA and the trebling


of tuition fees combined with university cutbacks, I tell you


young people are terrified about what is going to happen to them,


even more so... APPLAUSE Even more so when I graduated in 2006, before


the crash, when the market was flooded with graduates which was


largely caused by Labour's ridiculous 50% target of everyone


going through higher education which isn't workable. Some people


simply are not suited to higher education. That is not saying they


are stupid. We need to get these skills back into the country.


APPLAUSE We will leave it there. We will go on to a final question from


Jon Fawbert. Will overregulating the press put democracy itself in


peril as Paul Dacre asserted yesterday? This is the conversation


going on at the Leveson Inquiry in the press in the light of the phone


hacking and what you can do to regulate. Paul Dacre of the Daily


Mail was against the regulations that were being proposed. Ken


Livingstone, what do you make of what he said? I don't want to see


any stit regulation of the media in that sense. -- any state regulation


of the media in that sense. I don't like the idea that someone like


Rupert Murdoch can decide what we read and what we see. Or Paul Dacre,


so a real free press would be one that wasn't owned by multi-


billionaires. APPLAUSE So what Dacre says is British's


commercially viable free press is the only really free media? It is


in hock to the people who own it. What chance have I got of getting


the Daily Mail, or the Daily Telegraph, or the Times endorsing


me for Mayor next year because their owners won't let them? What


will the London Evening Standard do, Sarah Sands? We will do what's best


for London. We are open-minded. am relaxed immediately(!) You will


have the Guardian behind you. The important thick is it is a


competitive and it is a vibrant press. -- important thing is it is


a competitive and it is a vibrant press. We are an industry that is


on our knees at the moment. Everyone agrees that the News of


the World behaved horribly. I went last week to a police station to


look at a notebook that had all my numbers on, the number of my


numbers on, the number of my husband. It's a horrible feeling. I


think there is a danger that this is going to be used because there


are a lot of other interests in a muzzled press. Powerful people


would like to control the press. I don't think Paul Dacre was


exaggerating when he said what you end up with is Zimbabwe. You may


not love the press. It can be boisterous and vulgar and sometimes


unfair. I take all that. I still believe it is better there than not


there. It has to self-regulate. What have you done? They are


getting desperate. Phil Hammond? would be wary if regulations


stifled good journalism. It is the closest thing, the Private Eye, we


have to a free press. It's patients and parents raising concerns who


then get journalists on their side who hold these institutions to


account. So really good investigative journalism is vital.


You have to invest in it. It is the one thing that holds people to


account. The man up there? APPLAUSE Could the panel please address the


myth that we have of free press? British libel laws are some of the


worst in the world. You need only publish something in Heathrow for


someone to come here and sue you about it? I agree they are


restrictive. You need a good lawyer! I have been writing for


Private Eye for almost 20 years now. I broke the Bristol heart scandal.


I thought my career was on the line. Nothing happened. I guess because


the story was true. If you get your story true, you have an editor who


backs you up, generally, you are protected. Private Eye has never


won a libel action. They have... Never lost! They always lose.


are they still going? Who is funding it?! I agree with much of


what has been said. A free press is extremely important. You have to


bear in mind that that will mean there are a lot of press vehicles,


media outlets that you don't personally like because there will


be a diversity of choice. The BBC has a colossally bigger share of


the TV market than Ru purt Murdoch could ever dream of. Thank God.


Let's have choice. I hope that Ken wouldn't be worried about Fox News


existing in the United Kingdom. It adds to the spread of choice.


you think the Government is gunning for the press? We have got into an


unfortunate situation which is where you want the press and


politicians to be daggers drawn, it has now got to a dangerously


hostile relationship. The press are crucial at holding people to


account. We can be quite confident about it now. The internet, blog


sites, we have a plethora of people who by putting down ten quid and


buying a URL, they can become their own investigative journalists. That


is a very exciting time. OK. OK. Andrew Lansley, let me put a quote


from Paul Dacre to you. "Am I alone in detecting the rank smells of


hypocrisy and revenge in the political classes current moral


indignation over a British press that dared to expose their greed


and corruption." I don't think that is justified. It wasn't politicians


who encouraged the News of the World to go out phone hacking,


trying to get into people's... expenses. It was all before then.


You are getting your own back. indignation is not just amongst


politicians. There is public indignation. There is a sense that


newspapers, the press seriously overreach themselves. I don't think


it was about getting the story right. If it was, there wouldn't


have been any problem. It was going into people's private lives and


often making things up. Is there a move for licensing the press in the


way that... What I think everybody is looking for is to move to a


place where the press are not simply able to be judges and


prosecutors and juries, that there has to be independence and


standards have to be pursued independently. There is a place for


regulation. Mark makes the point about getting a range of voices in


the media. That is why several years ago, when I was a backbencher


with David Putnam, we worked together on putting the public


interest test into media mergers which is the test that was applied


when the News International were trying to take over BSkyB because


regulation for competition and for choice and for plurality has its


place. We can't go any further. Our hour is up. We have to stop


Question Time. We will be in Glasgow next week and Winchester


the week after that. If you want to come to either of those programmes,


Download Subtitles