04/10/2012 Question Time


04/10/2012

David Dimbleby chairs Question Time from Manchester. Panellists include Kenneth Clarke, Douglas Alexander, Liberal Democrat Baroness Kramer, Janet Street-Porter and Willie Walsh.


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Transcript


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Tonight, we are in Sale in Greater Manchester and welcome to Question

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And here with me on our panel, the Cabinet Minister, Kenneth Clarke,

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the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, the Liberal

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Democrat peer, Baroness Kramer, the broadcaster and columnist, Janet

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Street-Porter and the Chief Executive of the parent company

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British Airways and Iberia, Willie Walsh.

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Thank you very much, and our first question tonight from Jacqueline

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Hill, please? Is the Government right to

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scapegoat civil servants for the West Coast rail fiasco? Is the

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Government right to scapegoat the civil ser vans for the fiasco of

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the West Coast rail. Willie Walsh, you must have had dealings with

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civil servants over things like this. Do you think they are right,

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the Government? No, I think it's the responsibility of the ministers

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the civil servants, I don't think you can say it's one or the other,

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I think it's both. It's fortunate for the Conservative Party that the

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Prime Minister has moved both the Transport Ministers, Justine

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Greening and Theresa Villiers out o transport because I don't think

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their positions would be tenable if they were still in transport today.

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I think this is a mess of monumental scales and people have

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got to be held to account. I think that's both the politicians who're

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involved and the civil servants. Given the process was complex, how

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do you blame the ministers? wasn't that complex. The ministers

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take responsibility. The ministers will go on and take the praise when

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something good happens and will try and shift the blame to somebody

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else when something bad happens so I don't think they can say they

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weren't involved. They were the people who went on TV to announce

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it. Theresa Villiers was on TV making a big deal out of it saying

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how confident she was that it was done properly. I think Justine

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Greening did the same thing. I didn't see any civil servants on TV

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making the announcement. I think in a case like that, the questions

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should have been asked properly, the answers should have been

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challenged and we should not have found ourselfs in the mess that we

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find ourselves today. APPLAUSE

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Kenneth Clarke? We need to know a lot more about it. There will be an

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inquiry before we can say what went wrong. The explanations about the

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errors being made in the math, if anybody understands them b will --

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them, will they speak to me afterwards. Why have three civil

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servants been suspended? We don't know what's gone wrong? Whoever's

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suspended them thinks there's something about what they've done

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wrong. We'll see whether they were scapegoated. The person who

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suspended them, obviously thinks they should be suspended whilst the

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investigated. Just one caution on Willie's idea that in a tendering

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possess the whole thing should go to the minister. I've done

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tendering processes and have had procurement people in the

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Department of Justice, I did a tendering process for prison

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management, a very good process, you get prisons that cost less and

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get better regimes by having better competition. I didn't start taking

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over personally the decision over who won the tender, I think my

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lawyers would have told me to be very, very careful if these

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Transport Ministers would have said, in choosing who's won, we are not

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going to leave to it the officials or the procurement experts, I'm

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going to sit down and go through the figures and work out who's won,

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I would have cautioned either of the good laydis very strongly

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against doing that. Now, of course, you have to be vigilant to make

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sure the process is what you want it to be. Quiz them when they come

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in with the result. I have never gone in to the background judgments

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of who's delivered the best value for money. What's the point of the

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minister then? APPLAUSE

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The point of the minister... The point of the minister is to decide

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on the very controversial policy of going out to tender and inviting

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private sector competitors in to compete with the public sector and

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explaining why you do it. Political interference... That's not the

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political interference. It wouldn't necessarily be, but it would be

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easily interpreted and I think the legal advice would be, for heavens'

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sakes, the minister should not personally start saying, has this

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been won by the Prison Service or by Circo or G4S or whoever, you

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rely on and make sure you've got good professional procurement

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officials and you actually get them to do it. You haven't been a

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Transport Minister. I have. A long time ago. When it was nationalised,

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it was totally incompetent and we had a fiasco every week. The

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opening up to transport, the privatising of transport to a

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competitive situation led to sub Stan rblg improvement.

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substantial improvement. Douglas Alexander, you were at transport

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for a year, and you had the process going on while you were there.

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What's your take on it? My take is first of all that... Was the

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process good or right? Firstly, this is a frustrating fiasco for

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the whole of the public. In tefrpls of is it the same process, no, the

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Conservatives came to power promising to fundamentally redesign

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the Fran hiez system for the railways and that's what they've

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done. -- franchise. The fact is, this is what Theresa Villiers the

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signed in opposition, Philip Hammond, now implemented in

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Government, and then Justine Greening decided in Government. So

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it's not just wrong for the public that �40 million has been wasted,

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it will be a lot more than that. What I think is implausible and

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morally repugnant is the idea that you set up an inquiry that's

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chaired by a member of the board of the Department for Transport and

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then you start with the assumption that it's therefore not going to

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look at the leadership of the department and principally the

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ministers. The only rule in this Government seems to be A, B, C,

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anyone but Cameron, it's just not good enough.

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APPLAUSE These errors that were referred to

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in which inflation and passenger numbers were not taken into account

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properly, are you saying that was as a result of Government ministers

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framing a policy that didn't take account of inflation? Or a

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technical error that's been portrayed during the process?

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need to find out what officials were doing and ministers. Ken says

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it's very complex. The reason it's complex is that the Conservatives

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redesigned a franchise system which had a very long contract in terms

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of upwards of more than a decade, almost 0 years. Were you happy with

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it when you were there? No, the average was around seven years.

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Were you happy with it? You said it was good for people to go bust

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occasionally because it proved the process was working? Did you say

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that? The parent company Dreadful contract for the East Coast Main

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Line... It got into financial difficulties. That's difpt to a

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situation where a minister doesn't meet their obligation. -- that's

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different. You said the system of Fran cheese shows a system is

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working? The keys were handed back, compensation was paid and the

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railway kept running. So capital direct would have gone bust. You,

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Sir? There's been a lot of talk of brain drain in the Civil Service

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today, saying they messed it up. If it was clear that they didn't have

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the skills to be able to run the process, why was thant outsourced

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to someone more appropriate, then we would have saved a lot more

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money than the �40 million now having to be spent? Why did they

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get rid of the Director General in Rio for transport when they knew

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they were coming up to 20 franchises in the coming year.

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woman there? This is the latest attempt for the Government to blame

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the servants. Exactly. I also think it's astonishing because both

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Justine Greening and trez za Villiers have been promoted the

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spite the fact that they are woman -- Theresaville euros. They've been

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promoted despite the fact that they are women? Yes. Baroness Kramer?

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The whole thing was a balls up and shambles and we have to say that

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about it. But let me tell you, it's not the first one. I remember the

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public private partnership for the Tube under Labour, a complete and

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utter shambles. It's fallen apart now. That's lost billions to the

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taxpayer and caused Londoners to suffer a Tube system that could

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have been improved far faster. As far as I know, the civil servants

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and adviser involved with that all either got promotions or gongs. And

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we have to actually tackle incompetence. Now, how you can go

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and do an investigation if you don't suspend the people you think

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that have been mismanaging the numbers, I don't know. If ministers

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have been involved and are at fault, then they have to pay the price,

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but I also think the notion that we totally protect the Civil Service

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can't be one that continues. I don't mean to scapegoat people, but

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you can't have people doing jobs they are not competent to do.

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why suspend the civil servants and not the ministers, why do the

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ministers get promotes? This is a nonsense, Douglas. Do you agree?

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The ministers decided they would go for longer franchises so you get

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people who're successful to commit more investment. That's the

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ministerial decision. You go out to the competition. If the minister

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had gained advice from the civil servants that first whatever they

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are called had beat Virgin and the minister said no, I've checked the

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figures and I think Virgin... What's what you said to Parliament,

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why did they two to the Select Committee on transport and say it

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was a robust and competent process? They were confident in the process.

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All this argue about process of procedures shows you what's wrong

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with politics. The bottom line is that transport, like the National

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Health Service, is one of those things in this country that

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everybody uses. It should be a consensus issue. How the railways

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are run shouldn't be down which party is in power, it should be

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beyond that. I think it's wrong to scapegoat the civil servants, but I

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also think it's wrong that ministers, Transport Ministers are

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amateurs, they are not experts. It's an important part of

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everybody's life and this debacle is going to cost I think everybody

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who uses the rail a minimum of a �10 per year per passenger and �40

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million is the least and �100 million has been quoted in a lot of

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the papers today. Would you prefer a nationalised railway? I use them

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a lot and I know a lot about the East Coast line and about what

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happened with GNER and the awarding of that franchise and when it had

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to be handed back. After GNER, another company came in and they

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too the - they too stopped. I've been using the railway for years

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and by different companies and the fares have escalated because your

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Government and Ken's Government have just demanded more and more

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money from the franchise holders and the people who pay are the

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people in this room, the customers. APPLAUSE There was a time not so

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very long ago when ministerial responsibility was a matter of

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honour almost and it seems over the recent deck aitdz even that's been

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pushed to one side -- decades. In business and in Government,

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ministers literally will not leave, they will not fall on their sword,

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it's always the responsibility of their deputies when the G4S thing

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was another incidence where deputies got the push and the guy

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at the top stayed. That sense of honour that really I was the guy at

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the top, it was my responsibility and really I should go on this, we

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should see more of it because increasingly we see less and less.

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Do you agree with that? I think it's important that... I don't

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think Justine Greening is an amateur. What I remember her

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background is that it's economics. If somebody with that background

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can't understand inflation, you think we are in big trouble. Hang

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on, you know the point. It points to a problem in that in eight years

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we have had eight different Transport Ministers. That's what

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I'm arguing, transport's too important to have all this rapid

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turnover and people running it. man in the pink shirt We have heard

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some very strong language here tonight from one of the

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Conservative Party's flagship privatisation. We have heard from

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Mr Walsh who's Head of The BAE privatisation, he called it a

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fiasco, we've heard it's in a mess, we have heard it's balls or

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something from Miss Kramer. I don't think she said that! She did.

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said it was a balls up. Now, for this time of the night, that's very

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strong language, so obviously it's in a mess and I believe this is a

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golden opportunity now to take it back and I agree, prices are going

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up, they are going up again, let's get it back in the public sector.

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Let's be nationalised. The man up there? The idea of the golden age,

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the idea is absurd and nobody was held accountable for the shambolic

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way in which we ran an old- fashioned company. Willie, you are

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in a big company, you are the holding company of huge companies,

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vast amounts of procurement, you are always going out to tender, you

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have procurement experts. If you are telling me that every time a

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major contract is placed by BA, you personally take it over, you check

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all the arithmetic of all the people who work in the company and

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you personally decide who's won the court for widgets, I'm absolutely

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amazed and I would say that's not... Major contracts, yes, I do. Major

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I do not remember you resigning. think we must move on. I wonder

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whether this is symptomatic of a deeper malaise within government.

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I'm thinking of trying to get decisions out of government after

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government. I'm thinking of H S 2. If we cannot make a decision, what

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logo to put on a train, how will we make more important decisions?

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think we had better move on. Thank you for that. If you want to join

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this debate tonight or any other points raised guide to press the

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red button. You can text bass. You can follow BBC Question Time. A

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question now from Cecelia Walker. In the light of the recent death of

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two Greater Manchester Police officers, should British police be

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armed like their American counterparts? The funeral of Nicola

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Hughes and Fiona Bone yesterday in Manchester. I lived in the States

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for nearly 20 years. One of the things I just remember it so

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utterly clearly, I was in a car with my daughter. She was learning

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to drive. We were approaching some traffic lights that were read. I

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sought out of my right hand window that's there was a police officer

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with his gun drawn. -- that there was. I have lived in a society

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where there were armed police. The notion that makes people safe is

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just disproved by the realities and violence that people lived with. I

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far prefer, and feel far safer, in a community where the police have

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the confidence and strategies to police without arming themselves.

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Can I pay tribute to those incredibly brave members of the

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police and the families of those who died? They do put themselves on

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the line. The police themselves say the answer is not to arm themselves.

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I believe in this, the police are absolutely right.

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I have been a police officer for over a quarter of a century. I do

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not believe that British police should be armed. I want the public

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to respect the fact they are turning in day-in and day-out,

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totally unsure of what they will face. When things go wrong, tried

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to give us more support. As soon as something goes a tiny bit wrong,

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the whole nation turns on police officers. I am in charge of a team

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of police officers. A bit more support way you can, please.

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Do you think death like this are the price you paid for not having

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an armed police - for having a different relationship between the

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police and public? I do not think whether or not they were armed

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would have made any difference because of the nature of the attack.

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I am a serving police officer as well. I agree with that gentleman.

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If we were walking around with guns, it would take away the element of

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policing by consent for a lot of people. Do you agree with that?

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Completely. In any confrontation, dialogue must be the starting point

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and not force. If you can store up to - as a bid talk to people and

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start from -- if you can talk to people and start with negotiation,

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that is the best idea. Look what has happened in America! Arming

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police has not stopped serial killers. It has not stopped the

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dread for mass murders. They are to do with the gun laws. -- the

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dreadful mass murders. The same thing would happen here. What

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happened in Manchester two weeks ago was tragic. Putting firearms in

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the pockets of police officers will not change that. It is not a one-

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way street. Ian Tomlinson have the right to walk the streets in London.

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He should never have been a police officer. It is not a one-way street.

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We have to support the police absolutely but sometimes they get

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it wrong. You, in the blue shirt. The police are here to serve our

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communities. We have so many deprived inner-city areas where it

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is a status symbol to have weapons, including guns. Why should we

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expect police officers to going to win Bradman's side that cannot

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protect themselves? Deep in the penalty for murdering a police

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officer would be different? Not a death penalty but I think police

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should have the option of being able to protect themselves. I agree

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with the majority view. We have community policing in this country.

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We keep reinventing it. It goes back to Robert Peel. The approach

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we have of policing by consent as to the sense of respect of

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gratitude we have for the police. It does introduce a slight casual

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nature. We do try to exercise care and control, very rigorously

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actually. Mistakes are sometimes made by the police. It is a danger

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situation when you do not know how dangerous someone is that you are

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approaching. Our approach avoids the casualness about carrying guns

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that you see in some parts of the States. These two women could not

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have saved themselves by firing first and beating them to the draw.

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It was not like that. The sense of tragedy is redoubled by the fact

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our policemen and women police in the way they do. I would just like

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to associate myself with this general disagreement about arming

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the police. That is the right thing to do. Arming them would be a

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disaster. It would change whole public attitudes towards the police.

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We would see a huge exodus of police officers from the force.

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Just replied that to the gentleman over there, yes, there are inner-

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city areas with lots of problems. There are specialist firearms units

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and specialist police officers to deal with those particular problems.

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I do not think arming the whole police force is the right thing to

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do battle. Lord Tebbit said, I think it is time we thought again

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about the deterrent effect of the shadow of the gallows. Does anyone

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here believe that? They should bring back hanging for killing a

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police officer. Does anyone else agree with that? Anyone else want

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to agree with that? Not at all. want to see how much support there

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is for the idea. I think that hanging should come back. It is

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more of a deterrent. They go to prison, serve half a sentence and

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then come out. I do not agree with hanging. I do not agree with arming

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police. If they were armed, the first people who should be asked

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are the police themselves. We should not determine whether they

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are armed. I do not agree with hanging. What happens when you make

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a mistake? You cannot argue that mistakes have never been made. If

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you look at the case of the Birmingham Six, they were tried and

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found guilty. Lord Denning said, we should not have all of this

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campaigning about the Birmingham Six. If they had been hanged, bid

:24:41.:24:46.

would have been forgotten about and the community would have been

:24:46.:24:50.

satisfied. How can you correct a wrong like that? The risks of

:24:50.:24:55.

getting things wrong are far too great. I would not agree with

:24:55.:25:03.

reintroducing hanging. I am in agreement with that. I do not

:25:03.:25:08.

support the reintroduction of hanging. There has been the second

:25:08.:25:13.

funeral today of the officers who were slain. Our hearts go out to

:25:13.:25:16.

them. I cannot agree that the argument that says we should arm

:25:16.:25:22.

the police. The circumstances of a tragedy are bad circumstances in

:25:22.:25:27.

which to make immediate policy changes. Many of us feel a genuine

:25:27.:25:32.

pride we have a police force that overwhelmingly is not armed. It is

:25:32.:25:37.

sensible to have armed response units if they are required. I have

:25:37.:25:41.

seen no evidence from the United States or elsewhere that having

:25:41.:25:45.

armed officers actually makes the population safer. If there are

:25:46.:25:49.

issues in terms of gun crime and gang culture, the way to tackle

:25:49.:25:54.

that is not by arming the police but making sure there is effective

:25:54.:25:57.

enforcement of laws against criminals and making sure that

:25:57.:26:01.

young people define themselves by what they can contribute to society

:26:01.:26:11.
:26:11.:26:11.

rather than seeking status through carrying a gun. Spencer Akio Dom

:26:11.:26:21.
:26:21.:26:26.

has Ed Miliband ever found his boys -- found his voice? I have been

:26:26.:26:33.

described as a one-nation Conservative for 40 years. Of

:26:33.:26:40.

course it is jargon. It is a phrase we have used for a long time. Most

:26:40.:26:46.

of the time that time commit you knew what kind of conservative that

:26:46.:26:51.

was. The Labour Party keeps pinching slogans. We have had New

:26:51.:26:57.

Labour and now it is one nation Labour. I thought the content was a

:26:57.:27:03.

brilliant speech. To do that without notes and the rest of it,

:27:03.:27:10.

it was very good. I thought the content was vacuous. 46 repetitions

:27:10.:27:16.

of One nation does not make a new political philosophy. That is

:27:16.:27:20.

really a rather shameless attempt to steal what is becoming a

:27:20.:27:27.

slightly old-fashioned slogan. The equivalent in modern Conservatism,

:27:27.:27:35.

call themselves modernisers. Disraeli invented One nation

:27:35.:27:45.

Conservatism. Ed Miliband, you are not a One nation politician. They

:27:45.:27:52.

are people like Macmillan and Butler. We actually did introduce

:27:52.:27:57.

free-market economics into this country. We did. We tried to

:27:57.:28:04.

modernise the welfare state and reform public services. A concern

:28:04.:28:08.

for opportunity and aspiration. Those things held us together. I'm

:28:08.:28:14.

trying to give the general philosophy that has grilled the

:28:14.:28:20.

Conservative Party from most of the time I have been inept. He gave no

:28:20.:28:30.
:28:30.:28:36.

Margaret Thatcher had a One nation government. She had a one-woman

:28:36.:28:41.

government. By the time she lost office, the Cabinet had the same

:28:41.:28:49.

number of wets outnumbering tries and One nation Conservatives in it

:28:49.:28:55.

as it had when she started. Until he has a policy, particularly on

:28:55.:29:05.
:29:05.:29:15.

the economy, he is not going to I think his point about the NHS was

:29:15.:29:20.

a good point. The only thing that surprises me

:29:20.:29:26.

and I've no political afilliation and I've been critical of

:29:26.:29:29.

politicians left, right and centre. He's take an long time to do it but

:29:29.:29:32.

it was a good performance. His standing has to improve as a result

:29:32.:29:36.

of that. I hope he follows it up because we need some strong

:29:36.:29:43.

politicians today to hold the Government to account.

:29:43.:29:46.

Douglas Alexander, he said an interesting thing in this speech

:29:46.:29:54.

which is he said, I want to talk to those who voted for David Cameron

:29:54.:29:57.

directly. Do you understand why? have been in power for 13 years,

:29:57.:30:02.

there was a growing appetite in the country for change after the worst

:30:02.:30:06.

economic crisis in 60 years. We didn't regulate the banking system

:30:06.:30:09.

strongly enough. The main criticism at the time of the Conservative

:30:09.:30:12.

opposition is that we were regulating the banks too much

:30:12.:30:14.

incidentally. On the other hand, we are not denying the fact that the

:30:15.:30:18.

British people made their choice and denieded to throw us out in

:30:18.:30:23.

2010, but to answer the audience's question, yes, he did find his

:30:23.:30:26.

voice this week. I think it was both a very personal speech, he

:30:26.:30:30.

wanted to offer what's quite an unfashionable view that actually he

:30:30.:30:37.

thinks politics does matter and can make a difference and he chose

:30:37.:30:40.

politics as his life's work. He talked about the country he wants

:30:40.:30:43.

to live in. Ken comes from a tradition of One nation

:30:43.:30:46.

conservatism, but the problem is, Ken is pretty much the lone

:30:46.:30:51.

survivor of that tradition in the Conservative Party. I think the

:30:51.:30:54.

authentic face of the Conservative Party today is Andrew Mitchell,

:30:54.:30:57.

it's not Ken Clarke incidentally. If he talks about Butler and

:30:57.:31:00.

Macmillan, they didn't say that competition was at tt heart of the

:31:00.:31:03.

National Health Service, even they accepted it was cooperation that

:31:03.:31:07.

was the basis of the National Health Service. I can understand

:31:07.:31:10.

the sound and fury and the worry that Ed Miliband has very clearly

:31:10.:31:15.

said he wants to speak for the whole country, he wants to see a

:31:15.:31:18.

National Health Service base on the cooperation, rather than

:31:18.:31:22.

competition. He wants to make sure we have a genuine future for the

:31:22.:31:25.

more than one million young people out of work and he wants banks that

:31:25.:31:29.

don't just work for themselves but banks that work for the whole to

:31:29.:31:31.

have economy. There was real substance in this speech. My sense

:31:31.:31:35.

is it was a speech not only that he wanted to make but that the country

:31:35.:31:37.

wanted to hear. APPLAUSE

:31:37.:31:42.

You, Sir, second row from the back? Ken, when you say, you know, Ed's

:31:42.:31:46.

speech was vacuous, that's laughable, when you hear David

:31:46.:31:51.

Cameron talk about we are all in it together, the bankers are not in it

:31:51.:31:57.

with working there has people -- working class people. What I would

:31:57.:32:04.

say to Danny... Douglas. Sorry, Douglas. Danny was here last week.

:32:04.:32:07.

The working class people are really suffering under this coalition, he

:32:07.:32:11.

did appeal to some of them and what he said was, if the banks don't

:32:11.:32:15.

sort themselves out, we'll sort them out. I want the Labour

:32:15.:32:18.

Government to do that. If it said it's going to sort the banks out,

:32:18.:32:23.

it needs to sort them out. Did you feel he found his voice? I thought

:32:23.:32:26.

he was beginning to sound and beginning to appeal too the

:32:26.:32:29.

millions of working class people who didn't vote last time which

:32:29.:32:33.

allowed this coalition to get in. If he speaks increasingly like that

:32:33.:32:38.

and says what we need in the public sector and hospitals is to bring

:32:38.:32:43.

things back from like FPI companies under the public umbrella, that's

:32:43.:32:45.

when people will vote for him. That's what will get a Labour

:32:46.:32:49.

Government in. The man with the purple T-shirt?

:32:49.:32:52.

Miliband may have found his voice, but with the next election probably

:32:52.:32:57.

going to be over the economy, how can Labour be credible when we have

:32:57.:33:04.

Ed Balls who's going to be Chancellor?

:33:04.:33:08.

APPLAUSE Ed Miliband might have found his voice but who is he

:33:08.:33:14.

talking to?! Because that speech took place in a conference to the

:33:14.:33:18.

faithful, to the adoring. OK, it was transmitted on television, but

:33:18.:33:23.

most of the people in this country don't connect with the Labour Party

:33:23.:33:27.

or any of the main political parties because the standing of

:33:27.:33:33.

politicians, how the politic regard them, is at the lowest point ever.

:33:33.:33:37.

APPLAUSE So who is he talking to? When he says he wants cooperation

:33:37.:33:40.

rather than competition, I just laugh because the whole point of a

:33:40.:33:43.

political party is that you don't agree with the other two, but what

:33:43.:33:49.

the public seem to want is more consensus politics. Yes, the public

:33:49.:33:53.

have the appetite for cooperation because we've realised competition

:33:53.:33:59.

costs us a packet and it doesn't necessarily get results. I find Ed

:33:59.:34:02.

Miliband a curious character because he talks about One nation

:34:03.:34:07.

but he's never done anything except politics, so what's he done? Has he

:34:07.:34:11.

worked in a factory or shop? I've probably done more manual labour

:34:11.:34:15.

myself than Ed Miliband. I probably travel on more public transport, do

:34:15.:34:19.

more normal things and I'm a journalist and television presenter.

:34:19.:34:24.

I just don't think he connects with ordinary people. I'm sorry, I just

:34:24.:34:28.

don't think he does. The other thing I would say about all the

:34:28.:34:31.

party political conferences, they are still going through the motions

:34:31.:34:39.

getting the wives up to kiss them at the end of it.

:34:39.:34:45.

APPLAUSE Baroness Kramer? You have to give

:34:45.:34:50.

him credit for a really good speech and it's put a string in his step.

:34:50.:34:53.

I'll tell you what I think was clever about that speech is that

:34:53.:34:56.

people are writing on to it what they want to hear because I've

:34:56.:35:00.

heard people in this audience sort of say, and he said this about the

:35:00.:35:04.

banks, so he's going to fix the banks. Even he knows that the

:35:04.:35:06.

legislation to change the structure of the banks is due to come to

:35:06.:35:12.

Parliament in the next three weeks. Now, that's what he talked about.

:35:12.:35:15.

He talked about the NHS, I remember competition many the NHS under

:35:15.:35:21.

Labour. My God, that was price competition and it was fierce. Now

:35:21.:35:25.

he's facing a situation - and Labour didn't achieve this within

:35:25.:35:29.

the Bill. The Liberal Democrats did. Competition is on the basis of

:35:29.:35:32.

quality and I'll bet you there's nobody in this room who, if they

:35:32.:35:38.

were ill, would like to be in a situation where they were told, you

:35:38.:35:42.

can't go to that guy who's going to do the treatment better because

:35:42.:35:48.

he's a private or he's a charity. You have to go to the NHS entity

:35:48.:35:53.

which we have, you know, looked at and does this worse. People deserve

:35:53.:35:57.

and need to get the best treatment and getting competition on the

:35:57.:36:02.

basis of quality, no price competition at all, just on quality

:36:02.:36:06.

changes the lives of those of us when we get ill. So there is a lot

:36:06.:36:09.

he didn't say and people are now writing tonnes of stuff on to it.

:36:09.:36:15.

That is a very clever speech. briefly; would you answer the man's

:36:15.:36:20.

point, what about Ed Balls, all very well having Ed Miliband?

:36:20.:36:26.

Balls made a speech also in the week which actually was quite

:36:26.:36:30.

interesting. It actually was Janet talked about consent sis, he came

:36:30.:36:36.

up with a banking policy that basically is the Vickers report

:36:36.:36:40.

that is in the middle of being implementing, he talked about

:36:40.:36:44.

apprenticeships never being worked towards, but now a huge programme

:36:44.:36:48.

like that being trifen forward by Vince Cable, 450,000 apprentices

:36:48.:36:53.

last year, more this year -- being driven. So he's adopted your

:36:53.:36:57.

policy? Ed Balls is starting to follow it on, we might have

:36:57.:37:00.

consensus politics, it would be rather good. The man on the gangway.

:37:00.:37:06.

I want to know what voice he's found. Is it his Adrian Mole

:37:06.:37:09.

comprehensive voice, Oxbridge voice, American Harvard voice or his

:37:09.:37:18.

millionaire voice?! Because he is a millionaire. What did you detect?

:37:18.:37:21.

could hear him because he just spouted rubbish for an hour. Who

:37:21.:37:28.

stands up there for an hour and ten minutes and says nothing?! Hear,

:37:28.:37:32.

hear... Listen, people will make their own

:37:32.:37:35.

judgment on the speech. Let me answer Susan and then the je map.

:37:35.:37:41.

You say that you are introducing the Vickers recommendations, -- and

:37:41.:37:44.

then the gentleman. Look at what Vickers himself is saying in terms

:37:44.:37:49.

of this report. You talk about apprentices but the majority of

:37:49.:37:54.

them being offered by this Government are not available or are

:37:54.:38:01.

taken up by those less than the age of 25. Why does your own department

:38:01.:38:05.

offer one apprenticeship? How can we say to business, we want you to

:38:05.:38:07.

offer apprenticeships when the business department itself is

:38:07.:38:10.

offering but one apprenticeship? The truth is, we do need a new

:38:11.:38:13.

approach to vocational training, that's what Ed talked about, how do

:38:13.:38:17.

we make sure not just those kids who go to university but those who

:38:17.:38:20.

aren't academic want to learn a skill and get an apprenticeship

:38:20.:38:24.

have a reasonable chance, not just of a job but in a career in a

:38:24.:38:29.

changing economy. So you are going to cancel the apprenticeships.

:38:29.:38:33.

have massive numbers of real apprenticeships actually. How many

:38:33.:38:39.

in the business department? One. odd... I want to leave the stats

:38:39.:38:48.

and come back to Ed Miliband. The man in the yellow jacket, then you?

:38:48.:38:55.

Is he not just keeping the seat warm for the return of his brother

:38:56.:39:03.

David. That's a real conspiracy? Ed is keeping the seat warm? The one

:39:03.:39:09.

party with any certainty who can say who will lead us into the next

:39:09.:39:16.

election, it might be vins, it might be Boris -- be Vince, it

:39:16.:39:21.

might be Ed. The Conservative Party are really worried about having

:39:21.:39:28.

Boris Johnson as the next leader. Do you think Boris would do better?

:39:28.:39:33.

Yes. Not you! If Boris Johnson come as a Conservative Party leader, I

:39:33.:39:40.

think Labour has a letter chance of winning. Another quick question,

:39:40.:39:45.

you talk about apprenticeships and how many apprenticeships that are

:39:45.:39:48.

available. That's a fantastic news story, but if you are doing so well,

:39:48.:39:56.

why are so many young people unemployed? I've worked with young

:39:56.:39:59.

people as a personal adviser and the policy that you have in place,

:40:00.:40:06.

it's not working. Please, after that, someone talk to people on the

:40:06.:40:11.

ground and see how we can have a policy in place so we can help and

:40:11.:40:14.

support our young people to get into education, employment and

:40:14.:40:17.

training and those are the people who'll help and support us to get

:40:17.:40:20.

out of this recession. Thank you very much.

:40:20.:40:23.

We go on because we have more questions to get through. Thank you

:40:23.:40:27.

very much for that. Sheldon Cassidy, please?

:40:27.:40:33.

Is it rights to investigate Jimmy Savile's past now he's dead? Is it

:40:33.:40:37.

right to investigate Jimmy Savile's past now he's dead? Janet Street-

:40:37.:40:43.

Porter? Well, I started in television in 1975 and I worked

:40:43.:40:46.

first of all in commercial television as a presenter. There

:40:46.:40:50.

was definitely a culture where there was inappropriate sexual

:40:50.:40:59.

behaviour, not necessarily with under age boys and girls but there

:40:59.:41:04.

was a culture that made me feel uncomfortable. I was in my late 20s

:41:04.:41:07.

and there was nothing I could say or do about it but I was aware of

:41:07.:41:12.

things going on in dressing rooms. It's not just a BBC thing. I think

:41:12.:41:15.

you will find it's across commercial television as well.

:41:15.:41:20.

under age girls? No, I'm not saying with under age girls, but I'm

:41:20.:41:23.

saying inappropriate sexual behaviour with quite young people.

:41:23.:41:29.

They might not have been under age. When I went to the BBC as an

:41:29.:41:36.

executive in the late '80s, 1987, I was aware of the rumours about

:41:36.:41:39.

Jimmy Savile and rumours about other people too. There was a

:41:39.:41:46.

culture and it was a generational thing, in areas of luegt

:41:46.:41:50.

entertainment, behaviour was tolerated -- light entertainment,

:41:50.:41:53.

behaviour was tolerated. I feel the women never came forward before

:41:53.:41:57.

because nobody would have believed them because Jimmy Savile raised so

:41:57.:42:00.

much money for charity and he used the money that he raised for

:42:00.:42:06.

charity as a bargaining power to buy silence from national

:42:06.:42:09.

newspapers and if ever there was a time when someone might have blown

:42:09.:42:15.

the whistle on him, he would threaten those newspapers and those

:42:15.:42:22.

reporters that that charity money would not go to those hospitals. I

:42:22.:42:28.

know a female journalist that went to interview him that said

:42:28.:42:35.

straightaway, "I was really uncomfortable, his behaviour was

:42:35.:42:40.

totally inappropriate", but we are going back, you know, to the late

:42:40.:42:46.

'80s, even then, entertainment on television is a very male-dominated

:42:46.:42:52.

area. You just wouldn't have had a voice. I feel the women have come

:42:52.:42:58.

forward now because he's dead, and it's just shocking, but there's no

:42:58.:43:01.

doubt in my mind that it happened, no doubt at all. Is it right that

:43:01.:43:05.

it should be investigated now? Absolutely. The question is because

:43:05.:43:08.

he's dead, now that he's dead? don't want to talk about people

:43:08.:43:13.

who're around now, but we want to send out a really clear message

:43:13.:43:17.

that if you're under age and if someone's in a position of power

:43:17.:43:23.

because they're a well-known TV presenter or producer or director

:43:23.:43:27.

who can hand out fame to a young person, you must not abuse your

:43:27.:43:30.

position. Man up there on the right, you,

:43:30.:43:33.

Sir? We have to have an investigation so that if that

:43:33.:43:37.

happens in the future, more momentum will be gained by those

:43:37.:43:40.

who find themselvess in difficulty and in trouble, needing to come

:43:40.:43:45.

forward to explain to people and be taken seriously. Sexual crimes in

:43:45.:43:50.

this country, as is true across the whole world, are very rarely taken

:43:50.:43:56.

seriously by authorities. We have seen this in the Rochdale incidents

:43:56.:44:01.

where the authorities didn't take the girls seriously. The culture

:44:01.:44:08.

needs to come in where we have people given an opportunity to come

:44:08.:44:14.

forward secretly, quietly, gently at first so that the evidence can

:44:14.:44:19.

be amassed on a gentle basis, treated with respect, dignity and

:44:19.:44:22.

trust so that if there is something there to investigate further, it

:44:22.:44:26.

can then be brought out. This must be investigated thoroughly and if

:44:26.:44:30.

there are any other people who've been complicit in this, as is

:44:30.:44:34.

seeming more and more to be the case, then they need to be brought

:44:34.:44:39.

to account as well. Rest assured, a lot of people knew about it at

:44:39.:44:42.

Television Centre, a lot of people at the BBC knew what was going on.?

:44:42.:44:46.

When you say knew, because a lot of people talk about I'd heard rumours

:44:46.:44:51.

that, and this and that... It was certainly more than rumours because

:44:51.:44:57.

it was something that went on on a regular basis. But, you know, women,

:44:57.:45:04.

the women involved were just girls and some of these girls were in

:45:04.:45:08.

very vulnerable situations, coming from special schools and the places

:45:08.:45:10.

that Jimmy was supposed to be helping. Who would have believed

:45:10.:45:15.

them? Some of the women have said that when they did say something,

:45:15.:45:25.
:45:25.:45:36.

I think people have a problem with those who knew something about it

:45:36.:45:42.

and did nothing about it. It is very sad. Everyone feels a sense of

:45:43.:45:47.

sadness and disillusion. It needs to be investigated so we can firmly

:45:47.:45:52.

get rid of the culture which Janet has very graphically described,

:45:52.:45:58.

which has got to be got rid of. I think Rochdale is even more serious.

:45:58.:46:04.

What is going wrong with the culture? These things need to be

:46:04.:46:09.

investigated. I hope it will not be looking for scapegoats and people

:46:09.:46:15.

to blame, trying to identify people unless they have seriously behaved

:46:15.:46:19.

wrongly. I think investigation about this will help to ensure that

:46:19.:46:25.

no one will tolerate this kind of behaviour again. Janet has very

:46:25.:46:28.

pointedly reinforce the fact we need to insure the sort of thing

:46:28.:46:34.

does not come back. The man in the pink jacket. My wife was abused

:46:34.:46:39.

when she was a young girl. I'm now -- I know how appalling and

:46:39.:46:44.

difficult it is for these women to talk about it. First of all, I

:46:44.:46:48.

would like to pay tribute to those women for having the bravery to

:46:48.:46:55.

come forward now and save it -- say it. What we must do is listen to

:46:55.:47:01.

the children. Also, what has clearly gone on here is, loads of

:47:01.:47:06.

people have had suspicions and they have said nothing. Something should

:47:06.:47:11.

have been done and this man should have been stopped. I do not care

:47:11.:47:16.

how much he made for charities. The papers were wrong. If someone is

:47:16.:47:26.
:47:26.:47:29.

abusing a child... One child, that man should be stopped and put away.

:47:30.:47:35.

We have had a discussion about accountability. I think it is quite

:47:35.:47:38.

interesting as a powerful female figure in the media, if you were

:47:38.:47:43.

aware of those rumours, what prevented you from blowing the

:47:43.:47:50.

whistle? I heard the rumours. I was working in an environment that was

:47:51.:47:55.

totally male. When I was 10 years old, a mother took me to a

:47:55.:48:00.

hairdresser, she left me there, he molested me, I went home and told

:48:00.:48:06.

my mother and she hit me. You're talking about how women react in

:48:06.:48:12.

situations like that. To really think if I had said something to

:48:12.:48:17.

someone in the BBC higher up, at no one would have taken any notice -

:48:17.:48:25.

none whatsoever. Do you know what at the dismays me? I am more

:48:25.:48:30.

horrified that Janice has added to the picture. As an establishment,

:48:30.:48:36.

we say to people, when there has been a terrible crime, please, it

:48:36.:48:43.

is your duty to come forward. When the establishment has something

:48:43.:48:46.

happening within the Establishment, people lack the courage they spend

:48:46.:48:51.

all this time calling on other people to have. It really disturbs

:48:51.:48:57.

me. I do think, within every institution, the BBC must go back

:48:57.:49:02.

and work out what its child- protection policies were. The media

:49:02.:49:08.

frequently run these stories, criticising the CBR checks and what

:49:08.:49:12.

is this modern mollycoddling? We have this lovely author who goes

:49:12.:49:18.

into a school. Why should they have to be CBR checked? Why should and

:49:18.:49:24.

your neighbour be able to pick up a child from school? Why do they need

:49:24.:49:29.

to be verified? This really underscores the fact we cannot make

:49:29.:49:33.

our children 100% safe but we owe it to them to do virtually

:49:33.:49:43.
:49:43.:49:45.

everything we can to make them safe. Douglas Alexander... These issues

:49:45.:49:49.

do need to be investigated. All of us should resist the argument that

:49:49.:49:53.

somehow there was a different culture, it was a long time ago.

:49:53.:49:59.

Therefore it does not matter. Jimmy Saville is now dead. There were not

:49:59.:50:03.

be a criminal trial. These women have had the courage to come

:50:03.:50:08.

forward. It is not just about the suffering they have endured. They

:50:08.:50:14.

deserve some kind of closure, if it can be achieved. There are people

:50:14.:50:18.

watching this programme who have suffered abuse who have not come

:50:18.:50:22.

forward. What message would it say to those people of these

:50:22.:50:27.

allegations were swept under the carpet? We have to create a culture

:50:27.:50:34.

in this country where, pull girls, boys, women and men, it is

:50:34.:50:37.

appropriate and safe to accept the fact and for everyone to understand

:50:38.:50:44.

that it is your body and nobody has a right to abuse it. That relies on,

:50:44.:50:49.

when someone has the courage to come forward, we need to listen and

:50:49.:50:53.

takes seriously the allegations. We need to make sure the person making

:50:53.:50:59.

the allegation is not judged. That is one thing we have got wrong as a

:50:59.:51:03.

society before. When someone has come forward, all too often the

:51:03.:51:09.

victim has been blamed. The BBC must accept its responsibility. A

:51:09.:51:14.

welcome the fact the Metropolitan Police will look at these matters.

:51:14.:51:19.

Look at Rochdale. Look at the experience of the Catholic Church

:51:19.:51:23.

in terms of child abuse. We need to make sure that everyone suffering

:51:23.:51:27.

this kind of abuse is confident they will be taken seriously,

:51:27.:51:37.

listened to it and helped. I think it is absolutely right this is

:51:37.:51:41.

investigated. It would be a scandal if it was not investigated. As we

:51:41.:51:46.

have heard from the gentleman at the back, the recent events in much

:51:46.:51:52.

doubt tell us it is not something that went down years and years ago.

:51:52.:51:58.

-- in Rochdale. The fact that women have come forward gives us an

:51:58.:52:02.

opportunity to address this. The BBC clearly, based on the

:52:02.:52:07.

allegations that have been made, have serious questions to answer.

:52:07.:52:12.

If those questions are not asked and answered, the credibility of

:52:12.:52:17.

the BBC will be seriously undermined as a result. This has to

:52:17.:52:22.

be investigated. It goes way beyond the actions of one individual man.

:52:22.:52:30.

It has to be looked at. Thank you very much. We have five minutes

:52:30.:52:37.

left. I must take this question. Of Army risking economic catastrophe

:52:37.:52:44.

by delaying airport expansion in the east of England? -- are we

:52:44.:52:54.
:52:54.:52:56.

risking? Douglas Alexander Dom I will come to you in a while. We

:52:56.:53:01.

only have five minutes. On this issue, there has been a great deal

:53:01.:53:05.

of dithering. The Labour Party called for an independent

:53:05.:53:12.

commission to look at this issue more than a year ago. That has been

:53:12.:53:17.

established. One other point made by Boris Johnson today was the

:53:17.:53:23.

timetable. It will take up to three years - after the next general

:53:23.:53:28.

election. I do not understand why, given the issues are well

:53:28.:53:33.

understood, we should have this inquiry - and this Commission - but

:53:33.:53:37.

it should bring forward its recommendations before the election

:53:37.:53:43.

so everyone knows where the party stands. I suspect he will be able

:53:43.:53:47.

to confirm that at Heathrow we have the capacity for an extra 20

:53:48.:53:54.

million passengers a year. It is designed for 90 million. It Tony

:53:54.:54:02.

has 70 million. -- it only has. Many of the flights are competing

:54:02.:54:08.

with Manchester Airport. That could have real flight across the globe

:54:08.:54:17.

to build up economy in the area. At Heathrow, I am happy there is a

:54:18.:54:22.

group to look at the capacity issues but we need to look at the

:54:22.:54:27.

whole thing. The airline industry has told us that Terminal Four was

:54:27.:54:34.

going to be the last. We never need a third runway. Are you in favour

:54:34.:54:44.
:54:44.:54:44.

of Boris Johnson's proposal for a third runway and an estuary

:54:44.:54:49.

airport? I cannot see where you would put an estuary airport

:54:49.:54:55.

without disaster. Also that bird's flight into engines. I have a post

:54:55.:55:01.

the third runway. It is the noise and the environment. -- I have a

:55:01.:55:06.

post. We need to look at the whole motion that virtually every flight

:55:06.:55:11.

needs to run through Heathrow. Other parts of the country need the

:55:11.:55:17.

opportunity to have a good airport. There are 150 million passengers

:55:17.:55:21.

that to not go through Heathrow in this country for some it is not all

:55:21.:55:27.

about Heathrow. I do not think we are risking economic catastrophe.

:55:27.:55:30.

The future of the economy of the UK is being damaged as a result of the

:55:30.:55:37.

lack of hub capacity at Heathrow. It is not a capacity -- a

:55:37.:55:42.

catastrophe. In 20 years' time, we will suffer as a result of it.

:55:42.:55:48.

want the third runway? I do not. I argued for a third runway and it

:55:48.:55:53.

was approved by the Labour government in 2009. The opportunity

:55:53.:55:59.

to build it existed at that stage. We were never see a third runway at

:55:59.:56:04.

Heathrow. We will not see Boris Ireland. In 30 years' time, people

:56:04.:56:09.

will talk about Commission that took three years. That is similar

:56:09.:56:15.

to commission that took place between 1968 and 1971 which said we

:56:15.:56:19.

should do something about it. Nothing will happen because there

:56:19.:56:22.

is no cross-party consensus to do with the issue and no political

:56:22.:56:28.

will to tackle difficult issues. I run my business out of Heathrow. I

:56:29.:56:34.

run it as best I can. I will be very happy. We were tried to do

:56:34.:56:40.

what we can to maximise the benefits that they exist at

:56:40.:56:45.

Heathrow. Janet Street-Porter can you do 30 seconds? I do not want a

:56:45.:56:50.

third runway. I do not want an estuary airport. In 50 years' time,

:56:50.:56:56.

we are not all be travelling around by plane. The idea of jet travel

:56:56.:57:01.

was seem arcane and redundant. Were we have something like video

:57:01.:57:05.

conferencing and whatever. We will not go through the horror of

:57:05.:57:15.
:57:15.:57:16.

getting on a plane. The joy of getting on a plane! We need more

:57:16.:57:20.

capacity in the south-east. We needed to be a modern economy. We

:57:20.:57:26.

have to avoid fears this will go on for ever. Every way you propose is

:57:26.:57:30.

ferociously opposed by the locals are less to put it in the middle of

:57:30.:57:35.

the North Sea, where it is useless. The idea of having a commission

:57:35.:57:42.

that reports, if only they would agree to sign up to the conclusions

:57:42.:57:46.

of the Commission and said it would accept the outcome if it properly

:57:46.:57:52.

examined the evidence. Before the election, the coalition should

:57:52.:57:56.

declare where wants to put airport capacity. The Labour Party will go

:57:56.:58:00.

to the locality and fight it and oppose it and when will a seats in

:58:00.:58:06.

the area. We have to get around that problem. We have to respect

:58:06.:58:09.

the commission which needs to study it objectively and come up with a

:58:09.:58:15.

commanding conclusion. We should all signed up in advance to take it.

:58:16.:58:21.

That will be in your new job in Cabinet. That can be a special

:58:21.:58:31.
:58:31.:58:32.

project. I am not responsible directly for either Airways - as a

:58:32.:58:40.

Airlines or railways. -- Airlines or railways. We will be in Glasgow

:58:40.:58:45.

and Birmingham for the next two weeks. If you want to come to those

:58:45.:58:50.

programmes to engage with the panel, coat the website to apply.

:58:50.:58:56.

David Dimbleby chairs Question Time from Manchester. On the panel - cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke MP, shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander MP, Liberal Democrat Baroness Kramer, the broadcaster and columnist Janet Street-Porter and Willie Walsh, chief executive of the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.


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