28/02/2013 Question Time


28/02/2013

David Dimbleby chairs Question Time from Eastleigh, the former seat of disgraced ex-MP Chris Huhne and now the site of a fierce by-election battle between the coalition partners.


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Transcript


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Tonight we were live in Eastleigh with the polls close in the by-

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election that set the two coalition parties set against each other and

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saw UKIP apparently coming up on the rails. Welcome to Question Time.

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Good evening to you at home. Good evening to our audience here.

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Welcome to our panel. On our panel the Liberal Democrat Home Office

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Minister brown brown Brown, lab's shadow leader of the Commons,

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Angela Eagle, the Conservative MP, adviser to David Cameron, Claire

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Perry, the former Tory MP, Neil Hamilton, who lost his seat over

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accusations he took cash for asking questions if in the House of

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Commons, a charge he denies. And he now sits on UKIP's National

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Executive. And the radical left- wing film maker, Ken Loach.

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APPLAUSE I should just say, obviously if we

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get any news from the by-election, we'll bring it to you, and Andrew

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Neil's programme follows Question Time and it will stay on air until

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the result is announced. Our first question, from Jon Senior, please.

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What lessons does the bruising election campaign in Eastleigh have

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for the parties at the general election in 2015?

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The election is over, so you can all speak your minds. I hope there

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are people here who voted in the election. What lesson does this

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election hold for the parties in the general election. Do you think

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your party has beaten the stpwirs third place? I think Eastleigh --

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Has beaten the Torys into third place? I think Eastleigh, there is

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everything to play for for UKIP. Get used to UKIP, because we'll be

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providing the real choice in 2015. Labour, Liberals and the

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Conservatives are all led by euro fanatic leaders and are wholly

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committed to membership of the EU, which stops us from doing so much

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that we want to do - stopping open- door immigration and cutting taxes

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and so forth. So you don't think we'll have a referendum on Europe?

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The last time he reneged on the Lisbon Treaty. I'm personally sorry

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for the amount of rubbish I have put through your doors and

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contributed to your recycling. You must be happy that the caravan is

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moving on. Apologies from all of us. You bored the electorate did you?

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We welled the electorate. There are leaflets yesterdayisation, I've

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made my mind up, just go away. That was good. Immigration, which is

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down 30% year on year, but people are busy, they have busy lives.

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They are not all tuning in to watch political programmes. We need to be

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talking about the things that matter to people, the cost of

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living and local issues. The lesson we should take away if we are

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trying to talk about the big, important stuff like fixing Britain,

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we have to keep making it relevant. No-one here tonight is going to go

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home and say, hooray, the deficit is down. You are going to think

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about filling your car. We should get into our constituencies and be

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normal. Are you saying fuel duty is coming down? We've frozen it every

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time... Sit coming down? Well, we've spent �5 billion helping

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motorists, I would love it to come down. You think you have come third

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to UKIP? I would love to see some fantastic, more fantastic women in

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Parliament, across all parties. If we don't get Maria in we are

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missing a chance to get in a really great candidate. If she hasn't won?

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If she hasn't won. Do you think the Liberal Democrats have won, Jeremy

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Browne? I don't know. Do you think? I hope we have. That's obvious too.

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As everybody here will testify, the parties have fought themselves to a

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bit of a standstill. I think the big message, you look at the

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opinion polls, you look at the difficulties the parties in

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Government have trying to get our country back on its feet in

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extremely difficult times. You look at the circumstances, let's be

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blunt about it, under Which? By- election was called. I don't think

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anybody would think the Liberal Democrats have had a good week in

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terms of national media coverage. Against that backdrop the big story

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for me is not that the Liberal Democrats are crumbling away but

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the resilience. We had the best candidate, I think that was

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accepted by people who didn't even vote for him. We are here year on

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year and day in and day out, not just flying the flag at election

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time. I think people have appreciated that level of service

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and the care we've shown to the people of that community. I hope

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that is a winning combination and we'll show people tonight that the

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Liberal Democrats are alive and kicking. I have one comment on the

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literature that came round to. My mind it was lots of pretty pictures

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mainly of candidates and sometimes of green fields. It said very

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little. There was lots of paper with not a lot of information on it.

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But vote today? Yes I did. Were you torn between the 14 parties?

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didn't vote for any of the minor contenders. Although some of them

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had very interesting points they clearly weren't going to get in and

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it would've been a wasted vote. Personally I regret that Chris

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Huhne is not still standing. I think he was a politician of great

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significance, with what I felt was a very strong view which I agreed

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with on climate change and energy policy. I think we've lost a

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considerable personality there. APPLAUSE Angela Eagle? Well, I

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don't think anyone could say that this is our biggest ever prospect

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in the country. I think we would have a majority of 362 if we had

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taken Eastleigh, but what we've done is fought a vigorous campaign,

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gone around and talked to a lot of people about the things that matter

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to them. There is no doubt that immigration's been a big issue in

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the campaign here. We've had discussions about what we can do to

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deal with that, to bring it down, to ensure that no foreign worker

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should take a job at less than minimum wage and be exploitsed and

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forced down people's wages, that we can deal with exploitative agencies

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who only employ foreign people and bring them in. What lessons does

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this campaign... To get out on the doorstep, to talk, listen and react.

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Clare wants Maria to win but I think that it is a lot more

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important than that for the Conservative Party. This is they

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are 16th target Lib Dem seat. They need to win this seat, so they can

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win the next election. I think it's 258 on our list, so if the

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Conservatives tonight fail to take the seat and the circumstances that

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Jeremy's alluded to, the difficult times they've been having, that

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would be a worrying result for them. I also think... Hold on a second

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Angela. If the Conservatives come third they've got a right to be

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very worried. This is only informal but the latest tweeting from a

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Liberal Democrat councillor is the Liberal Democrats have held the

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seat and UKIP is second. Last time the Conservatives won an an overall

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majority, last time they came second and now they are fourth.

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do think it is much more serious than this. The Westminster tittle-

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tattle we are listening to is what puts people off politics. APPLAUSE

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I think there's a lot of people in this country who share a lot of

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thoughts. They hate the break-up of the NHS. They hate the

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privatisations and the outsources and the labour agencies and the low

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wages. They hate the mass unemployment. They hate the casual

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destruction of the environment that we see, and the gentleman referred

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to. And there isn't a broad movement, a broad party that they

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can vote for. People spend a lot of time saying, who are we going to

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hold our nose and vote for? We need a broad movement on the left the

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one thing I have in common with Neil is UKIP have done it for the

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right. I disagree with everything that UKIP stands for... APPLAUSE

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But, we need a broad movement of the left. It is now time it came

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together. How would you get that? Every time the party moves to the

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left, historically it seems to have lost votes. Well, I think there are

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a number of things that should happen. The unions should stop

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paying money to a party that's going to kick it in the teeth. The

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Labour Party is a market economy party. It won't look after the

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interests of working people, so I think the Labour Party should cut

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off that tap and we should start again like they started over a

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century again and form a new Labour Party. There'll be a problem,

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because there was an a protecting the NHS candidate here, who I'm

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sure said good things, and a good trade union canned day. But they

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get no presentation. Every time I turned on the BBC or ITV to see the

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election discussed, you never saw that point of view. There's got to

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be a determination that the left has its voice, because it is

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has its voice, because it is excluded at the moment. APPLAUSE

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The gentleman alluded to the surprising number of independent

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and minority parties that stood in this election. We've heard there's

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a possibility that UKIP may have surprisingly come second - sorry

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Neil. I love you too! Is that a simpton of perhaps the electorate

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being sick of the big three parties? That so many people stand?

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Absolutely is. There a certain frustration. There is a huge degree

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of voter alienation in this country. I entirely agree with Ken. The vast

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majority of the people of this country have lost faith in our

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political system. When I was young, 85% of the country voted in the

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general election. Last time it was down to 60%. The lifeblood of

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political parties has been sucked out. They no longer represent real

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people. Ken was right this, Westminster tittle-tattle, they are

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all Westminster politicians, not all, Clare wasn't, but there is so

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much careerism in politics today, you don't have the trade unions in

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Parliament. Yes you do. Not so much as in the 1960s. The big lesson of

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what lesson are we going to learn is that politicians have got to be

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real again and not be in this bubble in Westminster wholly remote

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from real people. We get your point. Third is what we are told

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Conservatives are going to be. What will the effect of that be on the

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Tory Party and on the Prime Minister? The last time the

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governing party won a by-election was during the Falklands war, when

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10, you talk about mass unemployment, unemployment is

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coming down. Whereas the apology from Labour for the appalling

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things that happen under Labour's what? I accept that politics is

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broken. These people have been in Parliament a longer time than me.

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We need people to come in who are committed to transparency and want

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to fix Britain. If we look at what is happening between our two

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parties who came together in the national interest, things are

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improving. It is tough medicine. is not working. Growth is

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increasing and employment -- unemployment is coming down. Growth

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is not increasing. Wait, we will come to the economy in a moment.

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Let me hear from a couple more members of the public. The problem

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is that there is no alternative, is there? Pick Aberdyfi UKIP because

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it is different. Batman people have voted for UKIP because it is

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different. But Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats are just

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different colours. There is no real choice.

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In a similar vein, getting to their election campaign, all the three

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main parties did sound very scripted. On the campaign trail,

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they all sounded similar. I would like to congratulate the Labour

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candidate. I did not vote for him, but at least he came across as

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fallible, funny, interesting and willing to talk about his own

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agenda. And a loser at! I will take one more point and then go to

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another question. Actually, the Labour Party candidate, I thought

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the quote in his book about Margaret Thatcher was the most vile

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thing I have ever heard. How anyone could put that is beyond me. Then

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we had the Conservative candidate, who gave us a potted history of

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Roman Eastleach, which made the Eastleigh residents laugh with

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gusto, because it was just a field. Who did you go for? Lib Dem. Well,

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I would have done. I am actually a Lib Dem councillor. A planted

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audience! If we get any more news from the by election fund, I will

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let you know. Let's have this question from Michael Fitzgerald.

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Following the loss of the triple A rating, isn't it time we stepped

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down the austerity and concentrate into on growing the economy? Let's

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stick to the Ohuruogu about whether the Government should change its

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policy with the loss of the trouble a rating. Was not trade too many

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statistics that are incomprehensible to anyone except

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the person who using them. Claire Perry? Well, nobody is celebrating

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that we have lost a measure of Britain's responsibility. But the

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question I constantly wrestle with and one of the reasons I came into

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politics is, we know we had a borrowing crisis. We can either

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borrow more, and I would love to hear Angela explain how borrowing

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more means you borrow less, all we can tackle this deficit so our

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children don't have to. Since the election, the global growth

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forecasts have been downgraded. We have had a head wind of slow growth

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across the world that has hit Britain's ability to grow. But the

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government is trying to stop spending money on things that don't

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deliver value and focus forensically on investment in

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infrastructure. We are seeing it here and in the south-west. We are

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spending half a billion quid in terms of new rail links to the

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south-west. We are spending an enormous rail in -- an enormous

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amount on CrossRail and high-speed rail. And we have created a million

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jobs in the private sector since the election. It is slow and

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difficult, but it is working. did you lose your trouble a rating

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if it is working? If you read the small print, it says that if we did

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not have this commitment to sorting out Britain's problems, the rating

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would go down even further. If you want to join in this debate, get in

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touch. We have a put a panellist tonight, the blogger Mark Wallace.

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His day job is head off the Media Institute of Directors. You can

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text commenced to us. Press the red button to see what others are

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saying. Claire Perry says we are losing a measure of our credit

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rating. But it is a measure that her party said it was important.

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Surely this is a complete failure of the government's policy?

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other side of the coalition, take up the cudgel? Like every Western

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economy, we have a huge fight on our hands. The question is, are we

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up for that fight as a country, or are we running away from it? Do we

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lose our nerve? I think we have to be up for that fight, because all

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of these countries across the western world have a pretty dire

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economic outlook. Unless governments show the resolve to get

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to grips with that and balance the books, the situation will get worse

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rather than better. When this coalition government was formed in

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2010, almost three years ago, for every �3 the Government was raising

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in tax, it was spending �4. That is completely unsustainable. Whether

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it is your household, your business or your country, you can't live

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beyond your means indefinitely, so we are having to turn that round,

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and we are making progress. The deficit is down by a quarter. About

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a million jobs have been created in the private sector. We have low

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interest rates. But will this be achieved overnight? No., and nor is

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it being over -- achieved overnight in other countries across Europe.

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There is a general election in Italy this week. I don't think they

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will be able to form a coherent coalition government that can get

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to grips with their problems. We have in this country. But for all

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the rhetoric, it was George Osborne who made this the first of his

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eight conditions for the economy. It was he who said the triple-A

:20:27.:20:37.
:20:37.:20:42.

rating was what he would be judged by. The two major economies that

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have the top rating are Germany and Canada, and there are other two

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countries that have got to grips with their deficit. Angela Eagle?

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We now have two governments boat people talking about this, but the

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loss of the trouble -- the triple-A rating is a total humiliation for

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the Chancellor. He has failed the test he set himself as the number

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one priority in the Tory manifesto, and that is because his economic

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policy is failing. He has flatlined the economy, there is no growth

:21:14.:21:18.

because he sucked the life out of the economy. What would you do?

:21:18.:21:28.
:21:28.:21:30.

Borrow more? Stop interrupting me. The issue here is that the

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government's policy is failing. Claire, you say there have been a

:21:36.:21:42.

million jobs new created, but you have sacked 520,000 people from the

:21:42.:21:48.

public sector. You have reclassified 200,000 people from

:21:48.:21:53.

the education sector into the private sector. So one-in-five of

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the half million extra jobs there are are actually fiddled. But there

:21:58.:22:03.

are more jobs. And there are over a million people who want more powers

:22:03.:22:06.

and are under-employed. They are suffering from squeezed living

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standards. What would you do? have no policy. Claire, let me

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check this. -- let me chair this. You may get on very well with the

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Speaker, he will get on less well with me if he did accept my

:22:25.:22:30.

chairmanship. You can't talk over of the body. She is doing a pretty

:22:30.:22:38.

good job so far. We have to have a fiscal stimulus. We need to try to

:22:38.:22:45.

get people back to work. We have to cancel the tax cut for millionaires

:22:45.:22:52.

that is coming in in April. And we have to introduce a 10 pence tax

:22:52.:23:01.

rate. Do you borrow more, or not? There is good borrowing and bad

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borrowing. If you borrow to invest in infrastructure, to build houses,

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to put unemployed construction workers back to work, to create a

:23:09.:23:13.

place where homeless people can live, that is good borrowing. If

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you borrow �212 billion extra because your economic policies are

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failing and the economy has ground to a halt, that is bad borrowing.

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So your response would be to borrow more. You have to borrow more in

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the short term, to put people back to work, to create infrastructure.

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Claire Perry said they were investing in rail. All of that

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investment is in the next Parliament. High Speed 2 will not

:23:39.:23:44.

happen until the mid- 2020s, and not finish and which the North

:23:44.:23:49.

until 2035. That investment will not get us out of the difficulty we

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are in now. She alight introduce an air of reality into this

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discussion? The reason why the Government has lost its triple-A

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rating is because the ratings agency think they have not got to

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grips with the deficit. And they are right. You would think there

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would have been massive cuts from the way this discussion has gone.

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Actually, government spending has increased since the last general

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election. It was 670 billion in 2010. It is 730 billion this year.

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This year, the deficit will still be �130 billion. These are colossal

:24:29.:24:34.

sums of money. We can't go on burning money in this way. Hard

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decisions have to be taken. Angela Eagle's policy is preposterous, to

:24:38.:24:45.

borrow our way out of debt. That is not what I said. I said there is

:24:45.:24:48.

some good borrowing for investment. If we had a Labour government

:24:48.:24:53.

committed that, you would not have a double A rating, you would have a

:24:53.:24:59.

double Z rating from the ratings agency. And that would make it more

:24:59.:25:03.

expensive for everybody to borrow. It would be the kiss of death for

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the economy. Jeremy was right in pointing out that Canada and

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Germany have got the triple-A rating because they have got to

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grips with their financial problems. They have got surpluses. Let's hear

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from some members of our audience. The lady said we need to get more

:25:24.:25:30.

construction jobs in this country. But I am unemployed, and I look on

:25:30.:25:34.

the JobCentre website for jobs, and I would say almost half of the jobs

:25:34.:25:43.

are for construction and places. The most available jobs are for

:25:43.:25:50.

construction and nurses. So there are obviously places for people to

:25:50.:25:55.

work. If you are building the high- speed railways and things like that,

:25:55.:25:58.

you are not making jobs, you are just moving people off from some

:25:58.:26:05.

two others. But non-jobs suitable for you? No. I could not go and

:26:05.:26:14.

start bricklaying. Let me go back to Angela's point

:26:14.:26:19.

about good borrowing and by a boring. What was the past Labour

:26:19.:26:24.

government's boring, good or bad? Well, the issue here is that if you

:26:24.:26:28.

are going to borrow money to do things that helped the country in

:26:28.:26:31.

the future like build infrastructure projects at very low

:26:31.:26:38.

interest rates, capital expenditure, that is a good thing. So the Brown

:26:38.:26:44.

borrowing was good borrowing, was it? It re-equip the economy. We did

:26:44.:26:49.

not have a recession and a banking crisis in 38 countries because we

:26:49.:26:55.

spent too much on schools and hospitals. It is a massive failure.

:26:55.:27:02.

Osborne said there was a test. He failed. The structural deficit has

:27:02.:27:09.

also gone down the pan, but only through creative -- the deficit has

:27:09.:27:13.

gone down a bit, but only through creative accounting. They are

:27:13.:27:18.

failing on every front. But the economy lives in people, not just

:27:18.:27:23.

in statistics and people's speeches. It lives in people. We have an

:27:23.:27:29.

economy in a terrible state. There are 2.5 million people out of work.

:27:29.:27:32.

1 million of them are young people. What future are we given to them?

:27:32.:27:41.

And of course, there are all these cuts. The 1000 richest people since

:27:42.:27:50.

the crisis began, their wealth has increased by �155 billion. The

:27:50.:27:54.

range of inequality is massive. And meanwhile, the bottom 10%, the

:27:54.:27:59.

poorest families, through these cuts, their average income has been

:27:59.:28:06.

cut by 30%. This is 30% of nothing. People are living on air. So yes,

:28:06.:28:14.

we have to change. We need a whole new economic strategy that gives

:28:14.:28:19.

people a decent way of life. We are not doing it at the moment. And the

:28:19.:28:23.

free market will not do it. It cannot do it. You never hear

:28:23.:28:27.

politicians talking about full employment now. Never, because they

:28:27.:28:32.

know they can't provide it. And if we can't give our kids the prospect

:28:32.:28:42.
:28:42.:28:49.

of a secure life with work, then Ken, I think it is an interesting

:28:49.:28:53.

concept, but what is it we want people to do? Do we want to grow

:28:53.:28:58.

our way out of this recession? By the way, the right thing to do,

:28:58.:29:04.

Angela, would be to put something aside when the times were good.

:29:04.:29:09.

you answer Ken Loach's point? your market economic system, will

:29:09.:29:14.

you ever see full employment again? Are we going keep training kids in

:29:14.:29:19.

the right things, getting manufacturing, you are talking down

:29:19.:29:25.

the British chi. We are exporting more British cars now. Do you want

:29:25.:29:30.

to employ nerve the state? We've tried that, under Labour in the

:29:30.:29:37.

state, we have to have private sector growth daging us out of the

:29:37.:29:43.

recession. -- dragging us out of the recession. If AAA is not bad at

:29:43.:29:51.

what point is the rating bad that the Government would worry about

:29:51.:29:59.

that, an A or a B? I take that question was rhetorical. You don't

:29:59.:30:04.

seem the realise that the practical results of losing the AAA rating at

:30:04.:30:11.

the moment is that in the local area we are losing 800 jobs at Ford,

:30:11.:30:16.

which no politician fought for... APPLAUSE Not a single one of you

:30:16.:30:21.

fought for that, the unemployment ratings in the cities have gone up,

:30:21.:30:28.

so that unemployment rating sucks as well. APPLAUSE Straight away on

:30:28.:30:35.

the back of that credit rate dropping, we lost was it 26, 26 out

:30:35.:30:39.

of 28 housing associations had their credit rating dropped the

:30:39.:30:44.

other day, so they are not a good investment. There is not going be

:30:44.:30:51.

no more social housing built. the BBC had its credit rating

:30:51.:30:55.

dropped, the properties in London and Salford have had their credit

:30:55.:31:00.

rating reduced because they didn't know what's going to happen to the

:31:00.:31:06.

BBC. I want to go on to another question. This is from Anjelica

:31:07.:31:10.

Finnegan, please. Is the British political system a safe place for

:31:10.:31:20.
:31:20.:31:23.

women to work? APPLAUSE

:31:23.:31:25.

The allegations against Lord Rennard, the former chief executive

:31:25.:31:30.

of the Liberal Democrats, that led to this allegation, that he

:31:30.:31:33.

absolutely denies. Jeremy, Brown, is the political system a safe

:31:33.:31:37.

place in the light of everything we've been hearing? The question is

:31:37.:31:41.

clearly aimed, as you just say David, at the revelation which have

:31:42.:31:45.

been extensively covered in the media this week. Let me put it like

:31:45.:31:50.

this. When I joined the Liberal Democrats I joined the Lib Dems,

:31:50.:31:54.

this makes me a career politician, when I was 18 years old. I joined

:31:54.:31:58.

the Lib Dems because I believed in the values of the party. I believed

:31:58.:32:03.

in liberalism. I believed that you could combine being responsible

:32:03.:32:08.

with the economy with having an enlightened, compassionate,

:32:09.:32:11.

generous-spirited society where people could be free but also

:32:11.:32:16.

realise their full potential. I want people who share those

:32:16.:32:19.

instinctive Liberal values, regardless of whether they are men

:32:19.:32:25.

or women, or their ethnicity, their age or whatever else it might be,

:32:25.:32:33.

to feel they can join the Lib Dems, be a Lib Dem councilor or stand for

:32:33.:32:39.

Parliament, and if there are people in this case, women, who feel they

:32:39.:32:43.

couldn't pursue their Liberal instincts within the Liberal

:32:43.:32:47.

Democrat party that is profoundly wrong and at source of great regret

:32:47.:32:52.

to me and the party as a whole. We are now going to have two inquiries.

:32:52.:32:57.

One into the specific allegations and one into our internal

:32:57.:33:02.

complaints procedures. In a way there is no more I can say about it

:33:02.:33:08.

at this stage. Those inquiries have to run their courses. Lord Rennard

:33:08.:33:11.

has denied the allegations that have been made. Obviously it is

:33:11.:33:14.

only reasonable that everybody concern should have a fair hearing

:33:14.:33:18.

as part of that process. We are very committed to making sure that

:33:19.:33:24.

people who share our Liberal values and instincts should have a home in

:33:24.:33:29.

the Liberal Democrats. Do you think Nick Clegg handled it well? He

:33:29.:33:34.

seemed to be all over the place, saying one thing and then another.

:33:34.:33:39.

For me the rolling media story about who said what to whom at what

:33:39.:33:44.

point isn't the central feature. To me, the central feature is that the

:33:44.:33:50.

women who make these allegations, understandably feel upset. They

:33:50.:33:54.

feel aggrieved. They are allegations that we take seriously.

:33:54.:33:56.

That's why Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have set up these

:33:56.:34:01.

two inquiries. They will be full, thorough inquiries and we will get

:34:01.:34:06.

to the bottom of the truth. Obviously we want to make sure the

:34:06.:34:10.

Liberal Democrats is a party that is appealing to women as well as

:34:10.:34:14.

male members. I hope and believe that will also help the political

:34:14.:34:19.

culture right across the board. I'm not just saying this to deflect

:34:19.:34:23.

attention, but I don't think this is a situation that's unique to one

:34:23.:34:27.

particular party. I hope it leads the wider cultural change. I don't

:34:27.:34:32.

believe you are taking it seriously actually. I don't think the way

:34:32.:34:35.

obviously with Nick Clegg trying to avoid it was taking it seriously. I

:34:35.:34:42.

don't think this is just going to be a problem in the Lib Dems. I'm

:34:42.:34:46.

doing a PhD in politics and teach a lot of students parliamentary and

:34:46.:34:49.

constitutional politics in Britain. I don't know what to tell some of

:34:49.:34:54.

the girls in my class, because I don't think they are going to have

:34:54.:34:57.

the right opportunities to pursue a career this politics and I don't

:34:57.:35:02.

think I would encourage them either. Angela Eagle? I think it is

:35:02.:35:05.

unacceptable that women are put in this position and it shouldn't be

:35:05.:35:09.

tolerated in any political party in any workplace and in our society

:35:09.:35:13.

more generally. This is an issue that's often not talked about. It

:35:13.:35:17.

needs to come to the surface and be dealt with. Women who are victims

:35:17.:35:22.

of this need to be taken seriously and treated with respect. All too

:35:22.:35:27.

often in many workplaces and in many instances we know that women

:35:27.:35:31.

are basically pressurised into not saying anything, because they know

:35:31.:35:36.

the consequences for them will be worse than the consequences for the

:35:36.:35:39.

perpetrator. This is about the behaviour of men. In many ways men

:35:39.:35:44.

need to stop and think about that and see that's unacceptable. We

:35:44.:35:49.

need to develop different norms in our society. If this issue and the

:35:49.:35:53.

way that it has come out helps us do, that all the better, but there

:35:53.:35:59.

are too many places in our society that are male dominate, where the

:35:59.:36:03.

power structures are male dominated and where this unacceptable

:36:04.:36:09.

behaviour to women goes on and is tolerated. We need to put an end to

:36:09.:36:18.

it. APPLAUSE And do you include the Labour Party in those strictures?

:36:18.:36:23.

I've just said it happens everywhere. We've all got to ensure

:36:23.:36:27.

that we've got the right processes in place to put a stop to it. I

:36:27.:36:33.

think that it's far less tolerated in some places than others.

:36:33.:36:37.

Feminism, that word, we have made progress in some places more than

:36:37.:36:41.

others The Labour Party we have women-only short-lists. We've had

:36:41.:36:48.

some big instances about women's advancement and equality in the

:36:48.:36:52.

Labour Party. I think we are further along than many places. We

:36:52.:36:56.

are often derided for it though. Harriet Harman has been a doughty

:36:56.:37:02.

fighter for women's rights. In all her years in Parliament and she is

:37:03.:37:08.

derided as Harriet "Harperson". We were all called Blair's Babes,

:37:09.:37:12.

Cameron's Cuties. The way that politics is covered is not

:37:12.:37:17.

respectable. Women need to be treated with respect for their own

:37:17.:37:21.

political ideas. Until we change our culture it is very hard to get

:37:21.:37:25.

51% of people in this country who've a right to be many politics

:37:25.:37:28.

and change the culture of our politics, which is what we all need

:37:28.:37:34.

to do. If we can do that, we can change our country far faster and

:37:34.:37:41.

in a far more profound way than we have today, so let's get to it,

:37:41.:37:49.

women, and sort this out. APPLAUSE I would like to ask, how do you

:37:49.:37:54.

actually, how do you propose that you go about doing that? I believe

:37:54.:37:59.

a few years ago you tried that and you were hit by a legal pursuit I

:37:59.:38:03.

believe in trying... The women-only short-list. Yes. We changed the law

:38:03.:38:09.

and we are now legal. I think the fascinating thing, if this had been

:38:09.:38:12.

a female of any note there would have been lots of commentary about

:38:12.:38:19.

her meerns, her age. This chap is not a looker, -- about her

:38:19.:38:24.

appearance, her age, this chap is not a looker. I agree with ang lamb.

:38:24.:38:30.

I think this is an endemic problem in all institutions that don't have

:38:30.:38:34.

enough women in it. Ladies, I don't care what political party you are

:38:34.:38:39.

part of, just get involved. If our voices aren't there, nobody else is

:38:39.:38:46.

speaking up for us. That is the only way it changes. I think 50-50

:38:46.:38:50.

is the system I was selected under. I think that's fair. We don't have

:38:50.:38:53.

enough women coming through the political system of all ages, of

:38:53.:38:57.

all types. That's what we have to change. Back to your original

:38:57.:39:01.

question, yes it is safe to go into politics. I would rather be a

:39:01.:39:06.

female MP in Britain than in Italy or Afghanistan. But we can do a lot

:39:06.:39:11.

better than we are doing now, so please, ladies, get involved and

:39:11.:39:18.

get your voices heard. Men have to change too. The Liberal Democrats

:39:18.:39:23.

turned a blind eye to this didn't they? Nick Clegg's recollection is

:39:23.:39:28.

just the fact that he turned a blind eye to it, and did the senior

:39:28.:39:32.

Lib Dems. That will be true in the Savile case as well. There is

:39:32.:39:37.

something else, it is not just the treatment of women but people

:39:37.:39:41.

aren't owning up to it or seeing it in the workplace and doing

:39:41.:39:46.

something about it. Ken Loach? The only thing I would add to what

:39:46.:39:51.

Angela says, which I agree, with it is about power. It is a form of

:39:51.:39:59.

bullying. It is the abuse of power by people who are no in a superior

:39:59.:40:03.

position against people in an inferior position in the hierarchy.

:40:03.:40:08.

They fear for their jobs. They fear for their careers. They feel that -

:40:08.:40:11.

- they fear that something bad will happen to them in the organisation,

:40:12.:40:15.

and that's wrong. It's the abuse of power. I think there are cases

:40:15.:40:22.

where women have been involved. I don't think it is... Mainly men, I

:40:22.:40:28.

grant you. Whether the guy was good looking or not isn't the point. Was

:40:28.:40:35.

a cheap shot. APPLAUSE We've got to be much more serious than that. It

:40:35.:40:39.

is an absolute evil in big organisations and we've all seen it

:40:39.:40:44.

at different times. Angela is right. Everyone has to stand up and say

:40:44.:40:50.

this is not on. I agree, there has been a bit of a cover-up. We can't

:40:50.:40:57.

lump all sex scandals together. This is not ped fillia. It is not

:40:57.:41:02.

the Savile -- this is not paedophilia. It is not the Savile

:41:02.:41:09.

issue. Plainly they are not. Ken, do you think something's happened

:41:09.:41:14.

as a result of the Savile exposures, which is that has been followed by

:41:14.:41:19.

more and more allegations of various kinds of sexual harassment

:41:19.:41:24.

which we had never heard before. could well be that. The danger of

:41:24.:41:28.

that of course is that there is then a witch-hunt. That's also a

:41:28.:41:32.

danger, because people are innocent until they've been proved guilty.

:41:32.:41:42.
:41:42.:41:42.

We must not forget that as well. APPLAUSE You Sir. I think the issue

:41:42.:41:46.

about a "zero tolerance" towards sexual discrimination isn't really

:41:46.:41:50.

contentious. It's a very important point, I don't want to dismiss it,

:41:50.:41:55.

but I don't want to use it as an excuse to ignore that feg lied. I

:41:55.:42:01.

think in this age when the trust between the trust and the

:42:01.:42:06.

politicians at an all-time low. Chris Huhne was a liar, despite

:42:06.:42:09.

what the gentleman said earlier. Nick Clegg lied and we shouldn't

:42:09.:42:14.

ignore that. What was his lie? said he didn't know anything about

:42:14.:42:19.

it and it has emerged that he does. That's unforgivable and people need

:42:19.:42:26.

to say, that's wrong. After his I'm sorry video, it doesn't really feel

:42:26.:42:32.

like he is. APPLAUSE Jeremy Browne, you can answer that specific point,

:42:33.:42:39.

that he lied. My understanding is not that. My understanding is that

:42:39.:42:44.

the differentiation that Nick Clegg made was between understanding

:42:44.:42:49.

broad rumours that were within an organisation or hearing those

:42:49.:42:52.

rumours and knowing about specific allegations that he could act on.

:42:52.:42:56.

There's a distinction between those two. But I've already said that any

:42:56.:43:04.

person who feels that they have Liberal values and wants to pursue

:43:04.:43:07.

that through the Liberal Democrats but doesn't feel able to for

:43:07.:43:10.

whatever reason, including this reason, that's wrong and that's why

:43:10.:43:14.

we are having these inquiries and we want to change that culture if

:43:14.:43:18.

it economists. I'm up front about that. We need to learn from what's

:43:18.:43:24.

happened. Neil Hamilton? I have a rather Newcastle sideline to this.

:43:24.:43:31.

I think I may be the only member on the panel who was arrested on

:43:31.:43:40.

suspicion of rape. True. It was a false allegation. One thing you can

:43:40.:43:47.

never say about the Hamilton household, it is not dull. The girl

:43:47.:43:55.

ended up serving a prison sentence for perjury and perverting the

:43:55.:44:02.

course of justice. I believe that the anti-dleevian attitudes which

:44:02.:44:10.

have been -- antediluvian attitudes which have been exposed. It raise

:44:10.:44:15.

as few eyebrows. And you get extraordinary responses to these

:44:15.:44:20.

allegation, such as the one reported in this evening's Evening

:44:20.:44:24.

Standard, a Liberal peer, said apparently if this sort of

:44:24.:44:28.

behaviour was really found to be a resignation matter about half the

:44:28.:44:32.

male members over 50 would not be seen. Well, that doesn't seem to be

:44:32.:44:36.

to be the appropriate response to what are very serious and

:44:36.:44:41.

distressing allegations. It is that kind of attitude which should be

:44:41.:44:51.
:44:51.:44:59.

Exeter patiented in this country. Are there any women here who fear

:44:59.:45:03.

they have been harassed in the professions in this way? I have

:45:03.:45:10.

been harassed, and I worked as a social worker. It was a colleague

:45:10.:45:15.

who was inappropriate. As I was getting into my car, and I wound

:45:15.:45:20.

his head in the window. Then I reported it to my female line

:45:20.:45:23.

manager, and something was done about it. But it was sad to find

:45:23.:45:29.

out I was not his first victim. But what I would like to say to Jeremy

:45:29.:45:32.

is, I am surprised you have not been watching the news. If you had

:45:32.:45:39.

been, you would have seen this playing out. What Nick Clegg said

:45:39.:45:45.

was a lie. He said, I know nothing about it. But yes, he did. So I can

:45:45.:45:53.

only say to you, if I believe you, we would both be wrong. What I mean

:45:53.:46:02.

by that is, I am right, you are wrong. I watched it. Let me go back

:46:02.:46:07.

to the gentleman's point. I don't want us to focus on the political.

:46:07.:46:10.

The BBC got itself into a huge turmoil over the Jimmy Savile

:46:10.:46:15.

affair. There are victims here. We have to sort out the problem. We

:46:15.:46:19.

should not get galloping down a political who said what to think.

:46:19.:46:22.

The problem is that crimes have potentially been committed. There

:46:22.:46:27.

is a culture that is not healthy, and that is the issue to deal with,

:46:27.:46:32.

not the political nonsense that goes around it. Is it right for

:46:32.:46:37.

Brussels to cap bankers' bonuses? This is the attempt to announce

:46:37.:46:43.

today that they will try to cap bankers' bonuses, unless

:46:43.:46:47.

shareholders decide they can have twice their salary. Is it right for

:46:47.:46:53.

Brussels to do this? Neil Hamilton, you have strong views about Europe.

:46:53.:46:57.

Thus the reality of the European Union. If David Cameron thinks he

:46:57.:47:01.

can renegotiate all sorts of powers back from Europe, here is an issue

:47:01.:47:05.

which goes to the heart of the City of London's interests, which the

:47:06.:47:10.

Government has concentrated she strongly on defending and got

:47:10.:47:16.

nowhere in the negotiations. It will not achieve its purpose,

:47:16.:47:20.

because the trouble with the laws of this kind is that people will

:47:20.:47:25.

always find their way around them. We may be able to cap bankers'

:47:25.:47:29.

bonuses, but a likely consequence of this will be that they will push

:47:29.:47:33.

up their basic salaries, which will make life more difficult for the

:47:33.:47:37.

banks, because their fixed costs will increase significantly. And it

:47:37.:47:42.

will be difficult for them to get flexibility to iron out the impact

:47:42.:47:47.

of changes in the economic cycle. They like paying by bonuses,

:47:47.:47:54.

because that is a performance- related element of pay. Looking at

:47:54.:47:59.

it from the bank's point of view, if the choice is between increasing

:47:59.:48:03.

people's salaries by a colossal amount and only paying them when

:48:03.:48:06.

the banks make profits, it is sensible for the banks to choose

:48:06.:48:10.

the latter rather than the formal. You also have a peculiar situation

:48:10.:48:15.

where banking is a highly competitive global business. So it

:48:15.:48:19.

is very footloose and fancy-free. With internet trading, these things

:48:19.:48:22.

can be done from anywhere. You have global banks with people doing

:48:23.:48:28.

exactly the same job in Tokyo, New York, Singapore, London. And people

:48:28.:48:32.

in London uniquely are having their salaries capped, so where are these

:48:32.:48:36.

people going to go? Away from London, and that means we are all

:48:36.:48:41.

poorer. Paying these bonuses has seemed preposterous at times, but

:48:41.:48:44.

the Treasury has been the biggest beneficiary in the tax which is

:48:44.:48:49.

charged upon them. If we lose all that, we as individuals will be

:48:49.:48:55.

poorer. This is yet another example of politicians in Europe, none of

:48:55.:48:59.

whom have the slightest experience of what they are doing, who are

:48:59.:49:05.

legislating in a way which will cost the earth for us. Their only

:49:05.:49:09.

qualification is that they support the euro, the biggest financial

:49:09.:49:18.

calamity in the entire Continent. Calm down! Jeremy Browne, as a pro

:49:18.:49:24.

European, can you throw light on this? If this is under the Social

:49:24.:49:28.

Policy, article 151, there is a provision that nothing should apply

:49:28.:49:33.

to pay. In other words, is it permissible for Europe to say that

:49:33.:49:39.

they will control the pay of bankers? My understanding is that

:49:39.:49:43.

they say this is not pay, this is extra to pay, so it is within their

:49:43.:49:50.

remit. It is not pay? I am not here to answer on behalf of the European

:49:50.:49:56.

Commission. But money that I hand to you in return for your work, I

:49:56.:50:00.

wonder what that is? I agree. I am in the strange position of agreeing

:50:00.:50:05.

with a lot of what Neill said. It might look superficially attractive

:50:05.:50:08.

to a lot of people who are understandably angry about the

:50:08.:50:13.

behaviour of bankers and their seeming contempt for wider society.

:50:13.:50:17.

But I am not sure it will achieve the objectives that some people

:50:17.:50:23.

hope it will. At the moment, somebody who is paid �1 million for

:50:23.:50:27.

the �2 million bonus, does that mean their bonus will go down to �1

:50:27.:50:34.

million? No, it means they will get the overall same take-home pay they

:50:34.:50:39.

did before. There is an ideological distinction between nationalised

:50:39.:50:44.

banks and none-nationalised banks. Nationalised banks should behave

:50:44.:50:48.

much more like public servants and be much more respectful towards the

:50:48.:50:52.

taxpayers who pay their salaries. But I don't think the government,

:50:52.:50:56.

whether in Brussels or London, has the business of telling private

:50:56.:50:58.

companies that do not rely on the state how much they should pay

:50:59.:51:04.

their employees, as long as they pay them over the minimum wage. And

:51:04.:51:09.

a Euro centric point - within a generation, Europe will have 5% of

:51:09.:51:12.

the world population and 10% of the world economy. There is a big world

:51:12.:51:18.

out there in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York. London is one

:51:18.:51:21.

of the most important cities in the world. It is important that we

:51:21.:51:25.

understand that we are competing in a global environment. I don't want

:51:25.:51:29.

to drive away wealth creators who contribute to our economy. It is

:51:29.:51:39.
:51:39.:51:39.

not just the richest, it is people on lower pay, to our detriment.

:51:39.:51:46.

it more that RBS, who have made a colossal loss of 500 bn because of

:51:46.:51:54.

its PPI misselling, pays �250 million for bonuses? That is a very

:51:54.:51:58.

good point, but it is a different point. I want to stick with the

:51:58.:52:06.

idea of capping bonuses. The man at the bank? Thank you, Neil, for your

:52:06.:52:10.

original point. If Chris Huhne had taken your advice on speeding

:52:10.:52:13.

points, we would not be having this by-election. The scary thing is,

:52:14.:52:18.

you mentioned Mr Cameron negotiating in Europe. The last

:52:18.:52:22.

time we negotiated there, we ended up paying more from the EU budget,

:52:22.:52:28.

while Germany paid less. I am pro- European. But if I work as a car

:52:28.:52:34.

dealer and I sell 10 cars and my colleague cells two cars, I expect

:52:34.:52:37.

to earn more than my colleagues. As long as it is performance related,

:52:37.:52:40.

I have no problem with it. In and it's surprising how the rich have

:52:40.:52:45.

to be tempted to work with salaries of millions, and the poor have to

:52:45.:52:55.
:52:55.:52:57.

be driven to work for nothing, or else their benefits will be cut?

:52:57.:53:03.

Neil gave a very long explanation of why banking is an unsatisfactory

:53:03.:53:07.

way off organising the way we decide what we produce, how we are

:53:07.:53:12.

paid and how the world is run. This casino banking is actually just

:53:12.:53:16.

gambling by a very rich people, with your lives and my life. That

:53:16.:53:21.

is why we need a new system. The banks should be taken into public

:53:21.:53:29.

ownership. Then we direct what we should produce, and we do it in a

:53:30.:53:33.

fair way and protect the environment and live properly. RBS

:53:33.:53:41.

is mainly owned by the people. As the gentleman says, it is behaving

:53:41.:53:47.

very inappropriately, to use the current term for bad behaviour.

:53:48.:53:55.

They are paying vast sums to their employees. So is the EU doing right

:53:55.:53:59.

by try to cut the bonuses? You, the EU is absolutely doing right. The

:53:59.:54:07.

EU is wrong in many respects, but in this respect, support it. Angela

:54:07.:54:11.

Eagle, do you support this? First league, it should not have taken

:54:11.:54:14.

the EU to be doing this, we should have been sorting out the bonus

:54:14.:54:17.

culture with our banks more effectively than this Government

:54:17.:54:22.

have done so far. Do you approve of what Brussels are doing? It is an

:54:22.:54:27.

interesting idea. Do you approve of it? We have got to get a handle on

:54:27.:54:36.

this bloated bonus culture. When Neil Hamilton says it is all

:54:36.:54:40.

performance-related and we have got RBS making a �5 billion loss last

:54:40.:54:44.

year and paying themselves 600 million in bonuses, it is a funny

:54:44.:54:54.
:54:54.:55:00.

definition of performance. Is it Labour policy to support this?

:55:00.:55:03.

want the government here to sort it out. They should have been doing

:55:03.:55:10.

this earlier. We have a very large financial sector in the City. What

:55:10.:55:15.

we do here will be far more effective than what the EU can do.

:55:15.:55:18.

We need to get international agreements to kill the bonus

:55:18.:55:23.

culture, and we need to deal with casino banking. It is not in this

:55:23.:55:29.

country's interest to have banks that are so bloated, gambling with

:55:29.:55:37.

money and our futures. We have to bring banking back to Kerrin about

:55:37.:55:42.

its customers. Let me bring you back to the question. The Prime

:55:43.:55:46.

Minister says he is worried about this proposal to cap bonuses

:55:46.:55:50.

because of its effect on the banking industry here. Are you

:55:50.:56:00.
:56:00.:56:00.

worried by it? He has to ensure that he can do a deal in Europe

:56:00.:56:05.

that deals with the bloated banking culture and ensures that this

:56:05.:56:11.

country can be properly looked after. He has no allies in Europe.

:56:11.:56:17.

He was in a minority of one. He should be demonstrating that we can

:56:18.:56:22.

put a stop to the bonus culture here, and they have failed. Today

:56:22.:56:28.

we had Boris Johnson defending bonuses. I must stop you. Claire

:56:28.:56:33.

Perry? I sit here, and I am absolutely gobsmacked by some of

:56:34.:56:39.

the things you say. Bonuses tripled under your government. The British

:56:39.:56:42.

banking industry was one of the most lightly regulated industries

:56:42.:56:46.

in the world. I worked in financial services. A bid to get good

:56:46.:56:52.

bonuses? No. Never has so much been paid to so many for doing so little

:56:52.:57:02.
:57:02.:57:04.

on your watch. We have to regulate it properly, which we are doing, to

:57:04.:57:09.

ring-fence the casino banking from the commercial banking. You have

:57:09.:57:17.

made virtually no progress in three years. Please stop interrupting.

:57:17.:57:22.

They are not lending. This is an industry that employs 1 million

:57:22.:57:26.

people and generates �100 billion a year in taxes, which funds the

:57:26.:57:34.

public services we all want. Is it right or wrong for Brussels to do

:57:34.:57:38.

this? Brussels does not have a financial services industry.

:57:38.:57:42.

Britain has the biggest financial services industry in Europe, and we

:57:42.:57:46.

need to regulate it properly. It is not up to Brussels. They are just

:57:46.:57:54.

trying to grab the British powers. It was the bankers who got us into

:57:54.:57:59.

this mess, so if dropping their bonuses makes them go abroad, I say,

:57:59.:58:07.

good. Our time is up, so we must end there. Andrew Neil is on your

:58:07.:58:11.

next with a special election edition of This Week. They will

:58:11.:58:14.

have the results of this by- election, which we have been trying

:58:14.:58:18.

to guess at. They will be on to the early hours until the results come

:58:18.:58:23.

through. Next time, Question Time will be in Dover. We will have

:58:23.:58:26.

Melanie Phillips and Bob Crowe among our panellists. The week

:58:26.:58:30.

after that, we will be in Cardiff. To come to either programme, apply

:58:30.:58:39.

David Dimbleby chairs Question Time from Eastleigh, the former seat of disgraced ex-MP Chris Huhne and now the site of a fierce by-election battle between the coalition partners. The panel includes minister for crime prevention Jeremy Browne, Labour's shadow leader of the House Angela Eagle, Conservative MP for Devizes Claire Perry, former Conservative MP and now a member of UKIP's national executive committee, Neil Hamilton and the film director Ken Loach.


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