05/06/2014 Question Time


05/06/2014

David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Llandudno in Wales. With David Jones, Liz Kendall, Hywel Williams, Isabel Hardman and Nev Wilshire.


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Transcript


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Welcome to you at home, to our audience here

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and to our panel - who, as ever, don?t know the questions.

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They are Conservative Secretary of State for Wales David Jones,

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Labour?s Shadow Health Minister, Liz Kendall,

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The Spectator and Daily Telegraph columnist Isabel Hardman,

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star of the BBC?s documentary The Call Centre.

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is from Helen Garner, please. Given that we have a national health

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service, why are patients in Wales being subjected to a second-class

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service compared to those in England? Is that true, David Jones?

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It is not as good as it is in England. This is one of the major

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complaint is that all Welsh politicians get. That they are

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paying the same rate of income tax, they are paying the

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politicians get. That they are paying the same rate of income same

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rate of national insurance contributions as everybody else, and

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yet, if they want to go for a hip replacement operation, to the

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nearest hospital in England, they have a waiting time of 26 weeks. The

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English patient in the bed next door has only been waiting for 18 weeks.

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There is really no use for it. Is there an explanation? Yes, that the

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Labour Party runs the National health service in Wales.

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The NHS in Wales is supported at a better rate than the NHS in England

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because of the Barnett formula. Nevertheless, we are seeing an

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increasing decline in the Health Service in Wales. One of the most

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important messages will be trying to deliver over the next 12 months is

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if you want to see what the Labour Party would do to the Health Service

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in England, just look at what is happening in Wales. I don't think

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you would want that. Liz Kendall? Helen, I think there are examples

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where people wait too long and where people have poor standard of care.

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That happened in Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. I

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think any examples of poor care, where health suffers, has got to be

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rigourously exposed, investigated and action taken. Is it a

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second-class service compared with England? I don't believe that. There

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will be statistics flying around but, for example, cancer survival

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rates, in Wales they have improved faster than any other part of the

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country. Your wait times for cancer treatment, you have more people

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being seen within two months. In fact, this year, for the first time,

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this week, for the first time in England, the English NHS missed a

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cancer target. What I think is a problem is when this issue becomes a

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political football. The Health Service is so important to us all,

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all of our families. It was important to my grandma and grandpa,

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they used the Health Service here. All health services need to improve.

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What I'm worried about is the approach the Tories are taking by

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trying to attack the Health Service in Wales without having a balanced

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approach, because it is the English NHS that is going backwards. We have

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have the worst A in aid decade in England. We have a delayed

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discharges from hospital for very elderly people going up in England,

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when they are coming down in Wales. So Wales is better than England? You

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might not believe me on a thing because I am a politician, but an

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independent organisation did the first-ever study into the four

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nations, what was happening in the Health Service, they said in on of

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them were massively ahead or behind. Sir Bruce Keogh, England's medical

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director, writing to his Welsh counterpart, saying he is worried

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about persistently high death rates, which warrant investigating in six

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Welsh hospitals. Right or wrong to say that? Those hospitals are

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rightly being looked into. Actually the Welsh Gutmann was the crew had

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refused the inquiry. If they were concerned, they would listen to Sir

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Bruce Keogh and instigated inquiry here. Do you think it is right for a

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British prime is to come and say the border is the line between life and

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death? I think he is highlighting the fact that the NHS in Wales is

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not... Waiting times... Of course, spending is high in Wales, but we

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have a higher demand. If you look at what the Labour government has done

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over the last few years, they have prioritised spending on important

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things like education and the economy. But spending on health has

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not been prioritised. That is one of the reasons why we are where we are

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today. One thing that disappointed me is that a Labour MP offered to

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give evidence to the assembly committee looking into the Health

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Service and they refused to listen. I can't understand why politicians

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would refuse to listen to evidence, especially from someone from their

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own party. I thought that was a disgrace.

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I appreciate this is maybe something that affected your family in the

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past. It is something that is affecting my

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family right now. When you are the director of the National Ambulance

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Service, would you think it was acceptable that, consistently,

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ambulance waiting times and hand over times are not being met? In

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some cases, people are waiting several hours in ambulances because

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there are not the resources in hospitals because there is not the

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spending in Welsh hospitals. Do you think that is acceptable? Indirect

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answer to that, I don't think it is acceptable that people are stuck in

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ambulances outside hospitals. I actually have the same problem,

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often with the East Midlands and billing service. I think any of

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those issues must be tackled head-on. -- Ambulance Service. We

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should not accept poor standards of care anywhere in the NHS in this

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country. I will speak from personal experience. The Welsh NHS is

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appalling. My son waited seven hours in A in

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Morriston with a broken arm. No care whatsoever. My mother and father

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have recently been in Morriston Hospital. My mother with a hip

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operation, she caught an infection. She wanted a nurse to lift her up,

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no, I haven't been trained. It's pathetic. I think we must

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differentiate between the people that work in the NHS, dedicated

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people who give the care that people need and work very long hours, and

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the people that run it and decide the political direction that it's

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going to be taking. We have to be clear we are not attacking NHS staff

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and the people that are delivering a fine service, in many cases.

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When my father was in hospital, he was nearest by foreign nurses that I

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could not conversed with. If we want jobs in Wales, and we need jobs in

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Wales, why can we not train proper Welsh people to nurse? Why do nurses

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have to go to university... The man here, in blue. Sunni the NHS in

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Wales is appalling, I completely agree. I have been at the end of

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what people would describe as being appalling. Ambulances were not

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available when I broke my leg. They sent a paramedic car and then the

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Welsh air ambulance, which costs money for them and then, when I get

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into the air, they realise they cannot go to the hospital because

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there are three hour waiting times being stuck outside in ambulances.

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You were saying about targets not being met for the first year. The

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Welsh NHS has being met for the first year. The

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Welsh NHS not met targets since 2009.

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You, madam? I don't think that we can generalise about the whole of

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the NHS. The NHS covers from accident and emergency until

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end-stage illness. Personally, I am retired from the NHS, five years

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ago. I have had to call on the services of the NHS during those

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five years. Two of them were, as, you would say, emergency. One was

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for cancer treatment, where I could not hold my treatment. I was treated

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within the time scales, professionally, etc. My second

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engagement was with an injury in my eye. I am still been treated for

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that, I could not fault it. Where there are pressures in the NHS are

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things like trauma and orthopaedic, hip replacement, knee replacement.

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Unfortunately, I have waited, I was put on the waiting list for a total

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knee replacement on the 31st of May last year. I now have a date for

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surgery, I go in on the 29th of this month and the 30th. You were in the

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NHS? I was. What do you make of what the Prime Minister said about

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between Wales and England, life and death? Is the NHS in England so much

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better? I would not say so. With the big issues they have had in England,

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with some of the horrors that have happened in England, I think we have

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a good health service in Wales. The point that you make about hip and

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knee replacements is absolutely bang on. Elective surgery is the biggest

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problem. The waiting time in Wales is 189 days, in England, about 86

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days. That is not right. If you are paying your national insurance

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contributions, your taxes, you are entitled to a conference or service,

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wherever you live. I do feel for Liz. She's having to

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defend decisions made by colleagues across the border, when she is an

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English Labour MP. It is very difficult when you have a party that

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may be taking a different direction to yours. That said, I can

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understand why the Tories are going after Labour on this. Next year's

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general election will be about the NHS. The Tories desperately want to

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steal the crown of the party of the NHS from Labour, after Mid-Staffs,

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after what is happening in Wales. But I don't think Labour's response

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should be as offensive as it is. Our institutions always improve when

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they are under Scuderia. The Royal family have a dreadful time in the

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1990s, came out on top after scrutiny. The NHS will come out on

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top after scrutiny. The areas that don't do well are often the areas

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that don't have scrutiny. Geriatric care in England is terrible because

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people do not scrutinise it. It is only that spotlight that will

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improve services. I agree, I don't like the NHS being used as a

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political football. You can't really compare Wales with England. It is a

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much poorer country. Look at the demographics, we have a lot more

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elderly people, high rates of diabetes, depression. We live in a

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post-industrial society. Going back to what this gentleman said, it is

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not just about the ambulances getting there. We need decent rail

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links and roads. Where I am from, I am no defender of Welsh Labour, but

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they are going to centralise everything to the hospital, so

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people from Aberystwyth, Haverfordwest, they have to travel

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such a long way. There is not a rail link. What are we doing about that?

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I am not convinced of the premise in my neighbour's question, that the

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Health Service in Wales is in anyway second-class. I have had the

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misfortune to make use of the NHS, in various parts of North Wales

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recently, and I can say that, on balance, the service is good. There

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is anecdotal evidence, people tell tales of how long they have waited,

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but the same sort of tales IKEA in England as well. I really do not --

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high here in England as well. I am really not convinced. I went to the

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trouble of looking at the Nuffield report, mentioned by a panel

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member, and there is no second-class service in Wales.

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I agree with what the panel said, a lot of people working in the service

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on the ground, nurses and doctors, they can in a difficult situation.

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My father had a heart attack and it took 45 minutes for an ambulance to

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get to him. I think that is a total disgrace. In terms of cardiac care,

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this week there has been information about hospitals in South Wales,

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where people are literally dying on waiting lists before they can get I

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pass surgery. -- bypass surgery. For you it is a second class service. If

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you have you it is a second class service. If

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you a kidney problem you have to go to Bristol. Cardiac patients have to

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go to Green Green from here. You have to travel to the care. We must

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leave it there. We've had quarter of an hour on that topic.

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You can join via text or Twitter. Last week when Joey Barton was on we

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had the biggest traffic ever. 150,000 Tweets during the programme.

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We, boy, did we trend! We move on to another question. From

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Stephen Clear, please. This week the European Commission

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criticised Britain's council taxes. Is this thaefd the EU is too big,

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too bossy and too interfering? Nev Wilshire?

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Yes. I think the vote was so strongly in

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favour of UKIP, for the Prime Minister to stand up and say, we

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need to put a strong voice into Europe, suggesting we do things in a

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different way, I think the vote has got to be in or out.

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It's as simple as that. You are not going to change Europe. Are we in or

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out? I believe - I can remember when Tony Blair and John Major were vying

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for the election and the Referendum Party that were gathering a lot of

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votes were put to bed because they both agreed that whoever got in was

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going to have a referendum. What was that? 18 years ago? Where is it?

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Let's have a referendum! Get on with it!

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APPLAUSE Do you think it is right for the

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European Commission to say we ought to reform taxation of land and

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property and other advice, or is that being bossy? I don't think they

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should. What Europe needs to be focussing on is creating jobs and

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growth. That's what people want. And one of

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the things I found frustrating this week and I have probably a different

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view, I am pro-Europe. It is really important for jobs in Wales and

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across the country n my constituency a lot of jobs rest on trade with

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Europe. I think all of the discussion we've heard this week is

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about who will get the commission presidency. I don't think they

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should be talking about jobs for the boys. They should be talking about

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jobs for people in this country. Unless we get that growth in Europe,

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it will not work for us and not work for people across that continent.

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So, I don't think they should be telling us anything about council

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tax. They should focus on what matters to people, which is getting

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good jobs, growing the economy, so we can properly compete in the

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world. APPLAUSE

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So when the Prime Minister says Brussels has got too big, too bossy,

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too interfering, for once you agree? Europe needs to change. I think it

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is unambitious to say that we cannot, together, with other

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countries, reform Europe. It is not just about our relationship with

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Europe. Europe... APPLAUSE

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Given the fact there's a thread of negativity about the EU I am not

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sure this is the appropriate time for the EU to be introducing things

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which frankly may not matter. If you put me in a ballot-box right now and

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I had to vote whether we stayed in or out, I would be honest with you,

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I do not know what to vote. I regard myself as being fairly well

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informed. I would not know of any independent body. If somebody from

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UKIP suggested I listen to what they say. I am not aware at the moment of

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any independent body that could give me information from that side,

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information from the other side and information from the mid-. So, I

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would not -- from the middle. I so I would not know what to vote, yes or

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no! This woman here. My understanding is

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the reason the EU wanted to interfere was because our council

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tax has not been, levels have not been revisited since 1991 and the

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value of property has changed dramatically since then. And we are

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paying disproportionately more council tax or lower value

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properties than on higher value properties. Frankly I think that is

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a good reason for having some kind of...

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That is an extremely good point. If we are talking about Governments

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interfering in the way council tax is run. People in this room will

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know that people at home in England will know that council tax in Wales

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was changed a few years ago. We have new bands in Wales. Everybody here

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was affected by it, I think. When the Government saw the effect on

:20:16.:20:19.

Wales, they decided not to do it in England. If we are talking about

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interfering in council tax, it has happened here already.

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APPLAUSE Yes, Sir.

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The man in the green shirt. Yes. I am 82 years and I come to this at a

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different angle after recent elections. I was delighted this

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country thrashed the far right, the British National Front. What did

:20:45.:20:48.

concern me and does concern me is the rise of the far right in Europe

:20:49.:20:52.

as a whole, with increased anti-Semitism there, we had the

:20:53.:20:59.

recent massacre in Belgium. I am concerned that we are getting an

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increased... It is a good reason for me why I would vote out. This

:21:10.:21:14.

country has shown, we don't want to know anything about Nazis and far

:21:15.:21:18.

right. We are receptive to be friendly to everybody. You think

:21:19.:21:22.

that rather than reform of the EU itself, which would change people's

:21:23.:21:25.

view? I don't think it would. I think the far right has got too big

:21:26.:21:32.

a hold now. Think of Le Pen and how she walked through France. I am

:21:33.:21:35.

concerned because I am young enough to know what happened in the last

:21:36.:21:39.

war. I don't want a repeat of that. We don't give up against the far

:21:40.:21:43.

right. That is the point. We work together.

:21:44.:21:48.

I think the rise of the far right makes this report which could have

:21:49.:21:53.

been comal in its timing after the results serious. It shows the

:21:54.:21:57.

European elite don't want to listen to the electorate. Only a few days

:21:58.:22:01.

after the National Front had done so well in France, across Europe,

:22:02.:22:06.

parties which were showing voters' discontent with the EU. They

:22:07.:22:10.

published a report advising Governments what to do. Some advice

:22:11.:22:15.

was sound and something which many have raised. A revaluation of

:22:16.:22:20.

council tax bands is something we debate. However, that is an issue

:22:21.:22:26.

for national Parliaments to discuss. It is not a job to tell us how to

:22:27.:22:30.

run our economy. APPLAUSE

:22:31.:22:37.

I just want to disagree with the last speaker, in the sense that not

:22:38.:22:42.

being in the European Union did not protect us in 1939 from the rise of

:22:43.:22:47.

the far right. We need tone gauge, take them on and make sure we are

:22:48.:22:51.

working with people in Europe and across the world.

:22:52.:23:01.

Liz said they talk about jobs for the boys rather thanes for

:23:02.:23:08.

everybody. The important -- rather than jobs for everybody. The

:23:09.:23:11.

important thing is the person who wants to take the job will cause

:23:12.:23:15.

more problems for this country because he is such a Europhile.

:23:16.:23:21.

If politicians are not listening to what happened two weeks ago with the

:23:22.:23:27.

strong vote for populist parties across Europe, they do need to think

:23:28.:23:31.

where they are coming from. The fact is that the European

:23:32.:23:36.

Commission, making pronouncements about issues such as council tax,

:23:37.:23:41.

only a few days after the people of Europe had shown they did not want

:23:42.:23:45.

micromanagement of their economies, that they wanted the EU to do the

:23:46.:23:50.

things that the EU was there for. Which is thicks which are -- things

:23:51.:23:55.

which are done better at a super national level. We need to

:23:56.:23:59.

renegotiate our position with Europe. Europe has become too

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medalsome it is too far top-down. It is far too dictatorial. There are

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things at a national level that are better done at a national level.

:24:10.:24:13.

That is why we need to have that renegotiation and at the end of that

:24:14.:24:17.

period, to lance the boil, because there is certainly a desire in this

:24:18.:24:21.

country that there should be a referendum on whether or not we

:24:22.:24:25.

remain part of the EU. Then we must hold that referendum so, that the

:24:26.:24:28.

people of this country can have a say on their future in Europe. A

:24:29.:24:35.

couple of things... Michael Gove said if there was no renegotiation,

:24:36.:24:41.

if he was asked now if he would stay or go, he would leave. Would you?

:24:42.:24:50.

The question doesn't arise. I am not going to be tempted down

:24:51.:24:56.

that route. I actually believe there are tremendous benefits to being in

:24:57.:25:02.

Europe - Princefully free trade. That I see no reason why the EU

:25:03.:25:14.

should tell me about the shape of a banana. That is not what it is there

:25:15.:25:19.

for. We need to get the best deal in that negotiation and put it to the

:25:20.:25:23.

people of Europe. Who would you like to see as President of the

:25:24.:25:26.

commission? It is clear David Cameron and your party don't want...

:25:27.:25:32.

Who would you like to see? I would like to see someone. A woman!

:25:33.:25:37.

I would like to see someone who recognises that the sentiment in

:25:38.:25:40.

Europe is changing. I would like to see somebody... A

:25:41.:25:46.

name please. Tony Blair? Well Tony Blair of course is at

:25:47.:25:50.

great pains to deny he wants the job, so probably does. Of Why don't

:25:51.:25:55.

you suggest a woman? I actually think that we need

:25:56.:26:00.

something who is a -- somebody who is a 21st century politician.

:26:01.:26:08.

Christine Lagarde. She is a very capable woman. It is a European

:26:09.:26:16.

super state. We have four levels of Government. We used to have two.

:26:17.:26:23.

You, Sir and then any other women? You, Sir? Unless I am missing

:26:24.:26:29.

something I don't understand this UKIP. They have more now MEPs than

:26:30.:26:34.

ever before. They want out of Europe. Is that like turkeys voting

:26:35.:26:45.

for Christmas? And you Sir? What I don't understand

:26:46.:26:50.

about pro-European people, why can't we trade with Europe? We will not

:26:51.:26:55.

get the same deal if we are on the outside. I am sorry...

:26:56.:27:00.

As far as I am concerned we are being told by Europe what to do. We

:27:01.:27:05.

should be, I am quite proud living on an island 22 miles from one coast

:27:06.:27:12.

to the other. Why can't we trade with each country individually?

:27:13.:27:16.

Because we'll get penalties. We will not get the same deal and we will

:27:17.:27:21.

not want to have companies investing in this Europe because they see we

:27:22.:27:26.

are a gateway to a wider Europe. APPLAUSE

:27:27.:27:30.

Am I right in saying... We would not get the same deal on regional policy

:27:31.:27:35.

as well. People here know how much money goes... This is the Plaid

:27:36.:27:39.

Cymru mantra, that overlooks the fact we are net contributors to

:27:40.:27:44.

Europe. All we do is get our own money back.

:27:45.:27:49.

Wales is a beneficialry from Europe and we should not forget that. ?55

:27:50.:27:57.

million is what we pay Europe every day. That comes from the taxpayers.

:27:58.:28:02.

Now another question. I am so many here. I think I will try this one

:28:03.:28:10.

from Chandra Dodgson, please. Given the allegations of corruption

:28:11.:28:16.

in relation to the 2022 bid should Qatar be allowed to host the

:28:17.:28:22.

competition? Isabel Hardman? I am not a massive

:28:23.:28:28.

of football fan. I am more of a cricket girl. I think this is

:28:29.:28:32.

another example of an international Governing body which is hugely

:28:33.:28:41.

unaccountable. What are our options? The only option is to pull out of

:28:42.:28:45.

the World Cup. I don't think we would want to do that on our own.

:28:46.:28:50.

Why? I don't think we have enough might to bring the competition

:28:51.:28:53.

falling down around us. We would have to act with other countries: If

:28:54.:28:58.

we were able to do and that find others who wanted to do that,

:28:59.:29:01.

perhaps that would rock FIFA enough to realise it is accountable. This

:29:02.:29:08.

is going back to ins tugsss which think -- institutions which think

:29:09.:29:10.

they cannot being scrutinised. looking forward to the World Cup.

:29:11.:29:30.

It's no surprise, is it? Qatar getting the World Cup, and we find

:29:31.:29:37.

that it is corrupt. At the time, when it was offered, a lot of people

:29:38.:29:44.

said it was corrupt. Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini called us

:29:45.:29:54.

whingeing poms, basically. So it's no surprise it was corrupt. I would

:29:55.:29:58.

forward the suggestion that the Russian World Cup would have gone

:29:59.:30:02.

the same way. When is that? The one before? What do you think, wearing a

:30:03.:30:09.

football shirt? Personally, I think that FIFA must be absolutely loving

:30:10.:30:12.

this. It's going to Russia, take country that is anti-gay, racist and

:30:13.:30:19.

we are completely ignoring that and looking eight years in the future.

:30:20.:30:23.

This season, is anything Petersburg signed a black, non-Russian player.

:30:24.:30:27.

All of their fans rioted outside the stadium because that happened. You

:30:28.:30:33.

cannot walk down the street and kiss somebody of the same sex as you, you

:30:34.:30:37.

can get arrested. A World Cup has been given there? I think FIFA as

:30:38.:30:42.

belonging that we are ignoring up and talking eight years in the

:30:43.:30:44.

future. That is a massive mistake, to give it to a country like that.

:30:45.:30:59.

I was thinking if we were part of some broader European Union, we

:31:00.:31:04.

might have some cloud in pulling out. I'm not a huge football fan...

:31:05.:31:18.

You don't have to say that, it's an issue of principle and bribery,

:31:19.:31:21.

corruption. Looking from the outside, it seems that the process

:31:22.:31:26.

that decided on Qatar stank to high heaven, as far as I could see. I'm

:31:27.:31:30.

not aware what happened behind closed doors at FIFA. It seems to me

:31:31.:31:34.

to be an organisation which is ripe for reform. Certainly, my only take

:31:35.:31:43.

on it, to the front, as a Welsh Nationalist, is that I wish that

:31:44.:31:52.

Wales had got into the World Cup. I think if those allegations are true,

:31:53.:31:56.

it should definitely be completely rerun. I think it stinks. Money can

:31:57.:32:06.

buy anything. It has just become overwhelmed with money, this sport.

:32:07.:32:13.

I am an MP in Leicester, our fans love the game. To feel it can be

:32:14.:32:17.

bought and sold, just like that, it seems awful. I think it is even

:32:18.:32:26.

worse than that. Jim Murphy, our Shadow International Development

:32:27.:32:28.

Secretary, he went to Qatar to see what was happening with the building

:32:29.:32:35.

work. He found appalling conditions. This is happening with no

:32:36.:32:39.

oversight, no control. What is FIFA erring about those people, and those

:32:40.:32:43.

appalling conditions? This is a disgrace. What are our countries,

:32:44.:32:50.

our clubs, doing? We got to sort this out. People are passionate.

:32:51.:32:54.

People care more than they care about politics and politicians. They

:32:55.:33:03.

feel passionately about football. We've got to make it work. I totally

:33:04.:33:08.

agree with you. If corruption is found, it's got to go for a revote.

:33:09.:33:13.

It's not just the FIFA setup the league of Wales matches have been

:33:14.:33:19.

fixed, allegedly. There is a spot fixing in cricket. It is going

:33:20.:33:22.

across sport. It's because there is so much money. That is the bottom

:33:23.:33:26.

line, there is so much money invested. You, sir? As with the

:33:27.:33:32.

European issue before, I don't think we should dismiss our negotiating

:33:33.:33:36.

position. The Premier League is widely admired. The biggest sport,

:33:37.:33:42.

followed all around the world. As with our European position, we can

:33:43.:33:45.

negotiate and take a leadership point of view. We have to wait for

:33:46.:33:49.

the legal decisions. But, you know what, FIFA is rotten to the core and

:33:50.:33:56.

it's got it coming. Do you agree, FIFA rotten to the core? I think it

:33:57.:34:01.

is an organisation in urgent need of reform. The fact is, it is

:34:02.:34:05.

unaccountable. I understand there is a New York lawyer called John

:34:06.:34:09.

Garcia, carrying out an inquiry into FIFA. Anybody who saw the

:34:10.:34:16.

allegations in the Sunday Times would be saying, extend your inquiry

:34:17.:34:21.

into what happened in Qatar. It was always very, very surprising that a

:34:22.:34:26.

country which has got temperatures in the summer of 40 degrees gets a

:34:27.:34:32.

summer competition. Frankly, suggestions you can air conditioned

:34:33.:34:38.

football stadiums, ludicrous! FIFA is an organisation that appears, to

:34:39.:34:41.

me, to become Pisi unaccountable. I hope that the glare of publicity

:34:42.:34:57.

they have will lead to an investigation. One brief thing? Are

:34:58.:35:04.

we strong enough to stand up to all this corruption? Match fixing,

:35:05.:35:16.

European whatnot... Aren't Britain's strong enough? You're talking about

:35:17.:35:21.

free trade, we can't deal with anybody. We are the best, or used to

:35:22.:35:26.

be. Someone fight for us! Someone fight for us. What we wanted someone

:35:27.:35:33.

to fight for us? A government strong enough. Stephen Jones. When

:35:34.:35:41.

considering the Welsh Assembly's poor track record, is it wise they

:35:42.:35:45.

may be offered further powers by Westminster? This goes to the very

:35:46.:35:49.

heart of devolution. Scotland is being offered, if they vote no, huge

:35:50.:35:57.

extra powers. This question is if the poor track record of the Welsh

:35:58.:36:00.

Assembly means it is wise to offer future powers. We have the Wales

:36:01.:36:06.

Bill going through Parliament at the moment. It will be giving the Welsh

:36:07.:36:10.

Assembly the power to hold a referendum on whether or not they

:36:11.:36:12.

should have income tax raising powers. I think that is a good

:36:13.:36:17.

thing. I think it's a good thing for several reasons. First, it will

:36:18.:36:20.

bring accountability into the Welsh Assembly for the first time. So far,

:36:21.:36:26.

the assembly government has just been the recipient of money from

:36:27.:36:29.

Westminster, which means it is in the wonderful position of

:36:30.:36:32.

complaining about not getting enough money from Westminster and, at the

:36:33.:36:36.

same time, not being accountable for the way the money is raised. For the

:36:37.:36:40.

first time, the party standing in assembly elections will have to say

:36:41.:36:44.

what they will do with the money that they raised directly from the

:36:45.:36:50.

taxpayers. I think that is a sign of maturity in government. I actually

:36:51.:36:53.

believe, also, it would be good for Wales. If they are wise, they will

:36:54.:36:59.

call that referendum on the basis that they will reduce the basic rate

:37:00.:37:06.

of tax. I think that, again, would show maturity on the part of the

:37:07.:37:09.

Welsh Assembly. It would show that they were willing to take a punt at

:37:10.:37:15.

making Wales a more competitive place. One of the big problems it

:37:16.:37:20.

has had is that is not being competitive. That would give Wales a

:37:21.:37:28.

little competitive edge. Stephen Jones's question started considering

:37:29.:37:31.

the Welsh Assembly's poor track record? I don't agree it has had a

:37:32.:37:37.

poor track record. Like any government you could do better. One

:37:38.:37:41.

thing I am jealous of, that I would like in my constituency, Jobs Growth

:37:42.:37:50.

Wales, it has been phenomenal and getting young people back to work.

:37:51.:37:54.

80% of young people in private-sector jobs have gone on to

:37:55.:37:58.

a proper job, and higher levels for graduates. We desperately need, I

:37:59.:38:02.

desperately want something in England and I want it in my

:38:03.:38:05.

constituency. So I don't agree it has got a poor track record. I have

:38:06.:38:13.

always believed in, you know, giving power back as close to people as

:38:14.:38:17.

possible. I think Labour is the party of devolution. We have

:38:18.:38:20.

delivered it, we want to go further. I think it needs to go down further

:38:21.:38:24.

as well, not just down to the different nation states, in England

:38:25.:38:32.

to city regions, but right down to communities. Do you think they

:38:33.:38:35.

should have tax-raising powers as well? We said there should be tax

:38:36.:38:40.

varying powers. You didn't initially, you didn't want

:38:41.:38:47.

devolution. We've been very clear. You been far from clear! We said

:38:48.:38:53.

that they should be subject to a referendum on tax varying powers. I

:38:54.:38:56.

don't want to see a race to the bottom, different countries

:38:57.:39:01.

undercutting each other. I believe that devolution and further

:39:02.:39:05.

devolution gives the best of both worlds. Do you agree with what the

:39:06.:39:08.

Conservative government is offering to Wales? No. You seem a bit

:39:09.:39:24.

doubtful. It was kind of nnn...yes. Ultimately, I think we are stronger

:39:25.:39:33.

together. Our policy has been that by the strength of our

:39:34.:39:34.

together. Our policy has been that by the common endeavour we achieve

:39:35.:39:37.

more together than alone. That is what I think a strong Welsh

:39:38.:39:41.

Assembly, backed up by security and strength, has been giving to the

:39:42.:39:47.

United Kingdom. With Labour's record with health and education in Wales,

:39:48.:39:53.

and the Coalition Government's record on the economy in England,

:39:54.:39:57.

should Labour be trusted with any money whatsoever? I would have grave

:39:58.:40:04.

concerns about the Welsh Assembly having tax-raising powers. Grave

:40:05.:40:12.

concerns. Maybe it is a lack of confidence in the ability of the

:40:13.:40:15.

people that are running it. I don't believe that we have first-rate

:40:16.:40:19.

politicians running the Welsh Assembly. If I was running for

:40:20.:40:27.

politics, I would want to be in Whitehall, not the Welsh Assembly. I

:40:28.:40:30.

think most of the better MPs would be there. We now have four levels of

:40:31.:40:36.

government. It's a fact, when I was growing up, you had Whitehall, you

:40:37.:40:40.

had local councils. Now we have the Welsh Assembly and we have Europe.

:40:41.:40:45.

It's no coincidence that our levels of taxation have gone up, up and up.

:40:46.:40:53.

More waste. It is more waste, thank you for that. I believe United we

:40:54.:40:57.

stand, divided we fall. It does concern me that Scotland looked like

:40:58.:41:00.

they are heading for independence. I think the Commonwealth games being

:41:01.:41:03.

held in Scotland, the Ryder Cup being held in Scotland, the 200th

:41:04.:41:08.

anniversary of Bannockburn, they will play Braveheart on the

:41:09.:41:11.

television the night before the vote and I think it is doomed.

:41:12.:41:21.

I do find it slightly strange that Welsh Labour boast about the number

:41:22.:41:27.

of jobs they have created for young people. Actually, a lot of those

:41:28.:41:30.

jobs have gone to young people who could have got a better job

:41:31.:41:34.

straightaway if they had better education. If you look at Welsh

:41:35.:41:40.

education, Wales and England have the same potential, yet they have

:41:41.:41:44.

vastly different public services. The amount of education that Nev has

:41:45.:41:49.

to give some of his employees just to get them to work, it is shopping

:41:50.:41:53.

they don't arrive at his call centre with better education from the

:41:54.:41:56.

schools they are given. I think it is a public tragedy. -- shocking.

:41:57.:42:01.

Again, that is an ardent for accountability. If the Welsh

:42:02.:42:06.

government are having to raise taxes, directly from the people of

:42:07.:42:09.

Wales, they are going to be answerable to the people of Wales

:42:10.:42:13.

for the money is spent. If they are policing poor education results,

:42:14.:42:17.

which they are, and declining education results, they will have to

:42:18.:42:22.

explain themselves. The woman up there, at the back. Wales is seen as

:42:23.:42:31.

the poor man in the UK. How, by raising taxes, if Wales has ability

:42:32.:42:36.

to raise taxes in Wales, how are we going to lose that stigma of being

:42:37.:42:44.

the poor man in the UK? You, sir. I am a GP, at the chalk face of the

:42:45.:42:49.

Health Service in North Wales. People at the Health Service are

:42:50.:42:54.

working extremely hard. I dread to have more devolution to Wales as it

:42:55.:42:59.

stands. You already have full power, autonomous control of the health

:43:00.:43:12.

economy. You spent 15 minutes slagging each other off. You want to

:43:13.:43:22.

increase taxes to Wales. We have a major recruitment programme. We are

:43:23.:43:27.

nearly in crisis bringing GPs to Wales. How are we going to bring

:43:28.:43:31.

them if we are paying more tax? Nobody is proposing more tax. Lets

:43:32.:43:37.

get real, we are not going to get lower taxes in Wales. The proposal

:43:38.:43:46.

in the Wales Bill is that the assembly takes responsible as he

:43:47.:43:49.

fought taxes, which are now going to London. It is not more tax, it is

:43:50.:43:55.

who takes the tax. Out of that, the Welsh Assembly will then be able to

:43:56.:44:01.

borrow some money and be able to improve the M4, the M5. You may

:44:02.:44:07.

borrow the tax, but you have to pay it back. You will increase tax if

:44:08.:44:14.

you get those powers. I think Labour are a bit iffy about this. Of

:44:15.:44:22.

course, Labour will then be the government that has to take

:44:23.:44:26.

responsibility for raising this tax and spending it, and for accounting

:44:27.:44:29.

to you and the other people in Wales as to what they have done with it. I

:44:30.:44:34.

think Labour feel quite comfortable with the situation they are in at

:44:35.:44:38.

the moment, where they get large lumps of money from London and don't

:44:39.:44:46.

have to account for it. One of the reasons that local Government in

:44:47.:44:50.

England has been stocked with some less than impressive councillors,

:44:51.:44:53.

not across the board, obviously, but in the same way you feel some of

:44:54.:44:59.

your Assembly representatives are unimpressive s so much power was

:45:00.:45:04.

taken away from them. By giving local representatives an opportunity

:45:05.:45:07.

to choose what decisions are made in their area, that is how you

:45:08.:45:11.

encourage people into Government. They will have a sense of power and

:45:12.:45:18.

not just about bins. Having witnessed the Welsh Assembly's

:45:19.:45:21.

ability to waste money, I think if they are given more, if they are

:45:22.:45:26.

given any tax-raising powers, all it will do is cost every person in

:45:27.:45:31.

Wales a lot more money. APPLAUSE

:45:32.:45:33.

We leave it there. A question now from Rob Maximus, please.

:45:34.:45:38.

Hello, everyone. Nice name. I like it too!

:45:39.:45:48.

Get on with it! ? Is it right to exchange prisoners with the Taliban

:45:49.:45:53.

or any terrorist group? Of course the American President has

:45:54.:45:59.

exchanged a Sergeant for five Taliban members.

:46:00.:46:02.

Isabel Hardman? Well, I think the mantra that you

:46:03.:46:07.

don't leave a soldier behind is clearly very important in this

:46:08.:46:12.

situation. I think also the problem is that there's a huge fear about

:46:13.:46:16.

who's being sent back as part of this exchange.

:46:17.:46:20.

And also about the circumstances in which this soldier who is being

:46:21.:46:24.

brought back actually disappeared. There are allegations he deserted.

:46:25.:46:29.

Do you mean he could have been left there? Not at all. The point

:46:30.:46:33.

President Obama made was you don't leave a soldier behind even if he

:46:34.:46:37.

has deserted. The point about whether his return should be

:46:38.:46:42.

celebrated in his home State. He is still someone's son who should come

:46:43.:46:45.

home. What do you think about the rightness of exchanging? I think it

:46:46.:46:49.

is a hugely difficult choice, but then choices in foreign policy

:46:50.:46:52.

always are very difficult. There's no, I don't want to say there's no

:46:53.:46:57.

purity in foreign policy, but you cannot make these simple purist

:46:58.:47:01.

decisions that you have to be able to negotiate with different groups.

:47:02.:47:04.

Were the Republicans right to say he had broken an agreement, that the

:47:05.:47:09.

White House would consult Congress before doing deals like this? I'll

:47:10.:47:13.

be honest, I don't know enough about the situation. I will not pass

:47:14.:47:16.

judgment. I'll have some humility here and say I don't know enough.

:47:17.:47:25.

OK, Liz Kendall? I think overall, there are rightful concerns about

:47:26.:47:28.

doing deals with terrorists because you don't know who you will be

:47:29.:47:33.

letting free. I know that if I was in the soldier's family though, I

:47:34.:47:38.

would be thanking the Lord and thanking President Obama that my

:47:39.:47:42.

son, my husband, my brother, was coming home. I don't know the

:47:43.:47:46.

background of who the people were who were returned, who danger r

:47:47.:47:52.

threat they posed. We -- danger or threat they posed. On issues like

:47:53.:47:57.

that, the security of your country and not putting your countrymen at

:47:58.:48:02.

risk by terrorists would be the overwhelmling thing. I think

:48:03.:48:06.

anything to get our boys and girls home. We would have had a lot of

:48:07.:48:10.

intelligence from these people. We will put them back. Put them under

:48:11.:48:15.

surveillance. Technology these days. We can see where they are going. Get

:48:16.:48:19.

our boys and girls back while we can.

:48:20.:48:22.

OK and you, Sir. I think that ultimately we'll have

:48:23.:48:26.

to discuss issues with the Taliban, anyway. They will not go away. They

:48:27.:48:31.

are going to, the Americans, as far as I understand, are already talking

:48:32.:48:35.

to the Taliban. They have opened an embassy in Qatar. So, you can't just

:48:36.:48:42.

make a decision like that and separate it out.

:48:43.:48:47.

Every conflict is going to be resolved in discussion and dialogue,

:48:48.:48:52.

otherwise you carry on killing each other. It is a difficult moral

:48:53.:48:57.

issue. Liz says if it was my son, then I would certainly be concerned

:48:58.:49:02.

to get him back. The problem is when you start to negotiate with

:49:03.:49:05.

terrorists, frequently the result can be that you encourage further

:49:06.:49:10.

terrorism. If the terrorist group know they can swam swap some of

:49:11.:49:14.

their own members for an American or British soldier, that will encourage

:49:15.:49:19.

them to kidnap another British or American soldier. So, it is an

:49:20.:49:22.

extremely difficult, moral, decision. My own feeling is it

:49:23.:49:27.

extremely dangerous to negotiate with terrorists. I would start the

:49:28.:49:35.

whole consideration with, whose other life

:49:36.:49:36.

whole consideration with, whose other am I imperilling as a re--

:49:37.:49:43.

imperilling as a result of that. The White House had broke an pledge and

:49:44.:49:47.

shouldn't have done it? I think the White House should certainly have

:49:48.:49:49.

further discussions. It is a hard decision. One

:49:50.:49:55.

understands from, at a human level why one wants that prisoner

:49:56.:50:02.

released. Maybe you should think again.

:50:03.:50:11.

Hywel. Robin Cook said he wanted a moral fld policy. I think that was

:50:12.:50:15.

attractive at the time. Rather unrealistic. That is how it proved

:50:16.:50:20.

to be. The reality is that Government talks the other side the

:50:21.:50:24.

other time. The Thatcher Government when they were swearing they were

:50:25.:50:27.

not talking to the IRA of course were talking to them through back

:50:28.:50:33.

channels. That is the reality of relations like that. I think in that

:50:34.:50:37.

situation we must make sure that our hands are as clean as possible and I

:50:38.:50:42.

am afraid that our intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan means that we

:50:43.:50:46.

don't have very clean hands. APPLAUSE

:50:47.:50:57.

I agree if it was my son I would want him home under any

:50:58.:51:01.

circumstances. As a businessman, 5-1 is not a very good deal. I think it

:51:02.:51:06.

is also worth remembering, maybe because I am old I remember these

:51:07.:51:11.

things, but the first bill that President Obama passed when he first

:51:12.:51:17.

got in was, he released lots of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

:51:18.:51:21.

And there was nobody coming back this way.

:51:22.:51:29.

Or America's way. He must like releasing prisoners. I don't

:51:30.:51:33.

understand everything, but that one baffled me.

:51:34.:51:40.

Say again. You say 5-1 for a soldier. Israel paid 1,000-1 for one

:51:41.:51:47.

of theirs. They have the same attitude, we must

:51:48.:51:51.

get our boys back. It is a very difficult answer. Your wider point,

:51:52.:51:56.

that in the end it is always a political settlement that solves

:51:57.:52:00.

these problems. It is never ultimately a military, it is a

:52:01.:52:03.

political settlement that is required, is absolutely spot-on.

:52:04.:52:10.

Alan Morgan, please. Should it be the telephone provider

:52:11.:52:17.

that blocks unwanted calls from sales organisations?

:52:18.:52:23.

This strikes home here! I will not come to you first. We will point out

:52:24.:52:29.

that yours is the business that makes cold calls to people and they

:52:30.:52:33.

have to go to their telephone and it is not somebody they want to speak

:52:34.:52:38.

to. It is a recorded message from somebody or somebody they have never

:52:39.:52:43.

heard of. David Jones, the do you think it would be good if it could

:52:44.:52:48.

be banned and telephone providers could block these type of calls? I

:52:49.:52:54.

have spent a bit of time this week telephone canvassing for a

:52:55.:52:57.

by-election. I can say I know how Nev feels. Everybody is delighted to

:52:58.:53:01.

get the telephone call. I think people can make their own decisions

:53:02.:53:06.

if they wish to do so, then they can sign up to the Telephone Preference

:53:07.:53:10.

Service. I know a lot of people actually like

:53:11.:53:15.

having cold calls, believe it or not. Nev told me earlier on how

:53:16.:53:22.

delighted they are. He would say, that wouldn't he!

:53:23.:53:28.

What do you think? I obviously have a vested interest in this one.

:53:29.:53:33.

Perhaps you don't want to answer it. It was quite a shock to find out

:53:34.:53:42.

from David earlier on that, with the by-election how much telly

:53:43.:53:46.

canvassing they do, when there are certain politicians trying to nobble

:53:47.:53:49.

our industry totally. That was, I thought a little bit hypercritical.

:53:50.:53:54.

But the industry employs over one million people. What do you want to

:53:55.:53:59.

do? Do you want to put them out of work? Do you want to export more

:54:00.:54:03.

jobs. Our factories have gone. Do you want to export these as well?

:54:04.:54:12.

APPLAUSE Were you fined once for call cold

:54:13.:54:22.

gssing? Yes -- call colding? Yes. Are you in favour of being called?

:54:23.:54:28.

Personally I hate being cold called. I agree with David Jones, I have a

:54:29.:54:33.

brain. I can tell people I am not interested. The problem I have is

:54:34.:54:38.

the cleverness of the electronics of these companies, that I have had, I

:54:39.:54:46.

don't know, 60/70 texts, phone calls and e-mails about a loan I have

:54:47.:54:49.

applied for, that I have never applied for. I have to go through

:54:50.:54:52.

and the number changes every time, so that every single timevy to reply

:54:53.:54:59.

to the text -- time, I have to reply to the text to say, "Stop." It is

:55:00.:55:06.

fine if I talk to one company and say, no thanks. But the fact it is

:55:07.:55:11.

60-70 different numbers coming through, I have to keep blocking

:55:12.:55:17.

them. It is the pizza leaflets through my door... This is not a

:55:18.:55:23.

question about pizza leaflets. I wonder what the hit rate is. I am

:55:24.:55:29.

amazed you manage to make a profit for this. It is not so bad. I have

:55:30.:55:35.

never bought a pizza from one of those leaflets. This is telephone

:55:36.:55:40.

calls! Nev Wilshire, what do you think? --

:55:41.:55:49.

Hywel Williams, what do you think? When they phone me up and say about

:55:50.:55:54.

some windows, I say, put them in. What about a kitchen. We like toast

:55:55.:55:59.

in our house. Life insurance, insured up to my ears. The calls

:56:00.:56:04.

tail off because they know I am not a good mark. Actually, I have got

:56:05.:56:09.

nothing against people trying to go out and sell, make money, run their

:56:10.:56:13.

businesses, a lot of our economy is built on the back of good sales

:56:14.:56:19.

people. I get annoyed. I would never of course shout and swear and leave

:56:20.:56:24.

a message or anything like. That I am more irritated by US e-mail spam.

:56:25.:56:29.

I can not bear that. They are of try... Does your telephone ring in

:56:30.:56:33.

the house just as you are getting a cup of coffee and the dog is in the

:56:34.:56:39.

way and you have not shaved yet... No, you probably don't shave every

:56:40.:56:43.

morning, like I do! You are in the middle of do other

:56:44.:56:49.

things. -- doing other things. The only

:56:50.:56:54.

people who have my land line is my mum and my friend, Sam. They know

:56:55.:56:59.

not to ring unless it is on a Sunday. If I don't know who it is on

:57:00.:57:05.

my phone, I don't pick it up. Yes, you have spoken already. I want

:57:06.:57:09.

to go to somebody who has not spoken. Yes, the woman over there on

:57:10.:57:14.

the right. Isn't it true the TPS only works in the UK. It does not

:57:15.:57:18.

screen out calls from other countries. You can ask this one and

:57:19.:57:24.

then we can stop. To be honest, I don't know.

:57:25.:57:28.

If the Government made it illegal for us to cold call in this country

:57:29.:57:32.

then it would not be illegal from me to call you from South Africa or

:57:33.:57:37.

inds ya. We have to -- India. We have to stop.

:57:38.:57:39.

inds ya. We have to -- India. We have We'll be in King's Lynn next

:57:40.:57:42.

week. We have Iain Duncan Smith for the Tories. We have Ian Hislop for

:57:43.:57:46.

Private Eye. And the week after that, we are giving Away, by public

:57:47.:57:53.

demand for a football match, between Japan and Greece.

:57:54.:57:58.

Unmissable. But we are back the week after that,

:57:59.:58:03.

in Wolverhampton. So, if you would like to take part in either

:58:04.:58:10.

programme, apply on our website, the site is on the screen there or call

:58:11.:58:16.

us: We will cold call you back and see

:58:17.:58:21.

if you can come. If you are listening on 5 Live there is more on

:58:22.:58:25.

Question Time Extra Time. My thanks to our panel. To all of you who came

:58:26.:58:30.

here tonight to take part in this programme. Until next Thursday, from

:58:31.:58:32.

all of us, good night.

:58:33.:58:39.

David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Llandudno in Wales, with Conservative secretary of state for Wales David Jones MP, Labour's shadow minister for care and older people Liz Kendall MP, Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams MP, assistant editor of The Spectator Isabel Hardman and the businessman Nev Wilshire, star of BBC3's The Call Centre.


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