19/05/2016 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Walsall. Panellists include Amber Rudd, Yvette Cooper, Tim Farron, Paul Nuttall and broadcaster Paul Mason.

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We are in the town Hall of Walsall in the West Midlands tonight, and of


course, this is Question Time. Good evening and welcome to you,


television, radio, everybody in the studio and our panel. The


Conservative Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd. Labour's Yvette Cooper, who


lost out to Jeremy Corbyn in last year's leadership election. Leader


of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron. A pity leader of Ukip, Paul


Nuttall. And the broadcaster who left Channel 4 News to be free to


campaign for radical left policies, Paul Mason.


Thanks very much. Just a reminder before our first question, if you


want to get involved in the debate, Facebook, Twitter and text. Push the


red button if you want to see what others are saying. Daniel Robertson


has the first question. Is it racist to want to leave the European Union?


This is in the light, is it not, of Pat Glass, Labour's shadow Europe


minister who was recorded saying of somebody who wanted Brexit and said


that the Polish were scroungers, that he was a horrible racist. That


happened today. Is it racist to want to leave the EU? Paul Nuttall. Not


at all. This is a window into the heart of the Labour Party, that this


was said. At the general election in 2010, Gordon Brown said something


very similar about Gillian Duffy, when he called her a bigoted woman.


And look, what we are saying, those of us who want to leave the European


Union, is that we want to enter the globe again, because at the moment


we are tied to the slowest growing economic bloc on the planet. It is


not racist to be concerned about immigration because we are talking


about numbers. The figures released today in terms of employment are


frightening. The fact that five out of six new jobs went to people who


were not born here, would seem to be putting British people at the back


of the queue. And we know from the ONS report last week that 800,000


people came from the European Union last year, even though Government


statistics tell us it was only 250 7000. We are basically under a


deluge of people coming to this country and we need to control our


own borders. It is not racist to say you want to control your borders,


but the only way we will do that is by leaving the European Union on


June 23. That figure of five out of six new jobs in fact does include


half of them are people who live here already and they are British


citizens, just happen to be born outside Britain. So why give the


wrong figure? There are 5.2 million foreign workers in Britain, one in


six in the workforce. 2.2 million have come from within the European


Union. The problem with immigration is not just economic. We are finding


wages are being driven down in working-class communities, and the


Bank of England have admitted that is the case. But it is also the


social problem. When we can control immigration and numbers, people can


integrate sensibly. The problem is too many people are coming and


people are not integrating into communities.


APPLAUSE Let's come back to your shadow


Europe minister saying this man was a horrible racist because he said


the Polish were scroungers, a particular family. He has apologised


and it is not racist to want to leave the European Union. It is not


racist to be worried about immigration. Our concern is


particularly about dodgy employers who undercut wages and jobs. I think


something should be done about that. Where it is racist is some of the


things we have seen, for example, in the Conservative campaign against


Sadiq Khan, for being Muslim. I think you should always call out


racism and you can do so at the same time as having a sensible debate


about things like immigration. The trouble with what Paul has said is


that there is actually a bit of a con going on. It is playing on


people's fears and it is a con because what Paul has actually said,


if Britain pulls out of Europe, is that he would want it to be the


Norway model. I have not. Never in my life. You have said that. What


Norway means is that you would have free movement. If you have the Swiss


model you would also have free movement. There is a lot of false


promise that it would change policies of statuary if we pull out.


What I think is a serious problem is that you have had in the last few


days, you have had Nigel Farage talking about there will somehow be


violence on the streets, which is not dissimilar to what Enoch Powell


said years ago. We also had Boris Johnson attacking President Obama


for his half Kenyan heritage. And we have had Michael Gove saying that


somehow the country will be overrun by Albanian criminals. I think that


is playing on division. We know that the Leave campaign want to divide


Britain from Europe. Why, if you say that... Just a minute. We should not


be trying to divide communities from each other. That is wrong. Why did


the Labour campaign, then, in a leaked document, say that if the


question of immigration came up, you should move away from it, if it came


up on the doorstep? I have always done the opposite. You think that is


wrong? I think you may have asked me that before the last election. So


what? You didn't answer it then and you are not answering now. I have


always said you should be prepared to talk about immigration. I don't


think you should switch the subject. I don't think it is wrong to talk


about it. Whether it is about dodgy employers and exploitation, we


should take stronger action on that. That should mean stronger laws in


Britain against exploitation, because some of it, frankly, is


modern slave. It also means we should work with other European


countries to protect the rights of workers, defend them, rather than


getting wood of them and dismissing them as red tape, as some in Ukip


want to do, because that would make things worse. -- getting rid of


them. I want to go back to the point about it not being racist to talk


about immigration. We do need to acknowledge there are right-wing


political parties like Britain first and the BNP that are exploiting this


immigration debate to the point that it is fuelling horrific


Islamophobia, to their benefit, by saying we have so many immigrants


coming here from different countries. It even echoes the Enoch


Powell rivers of blood speech, or Margaret Thatcher talking about


aliens on our own street. It is alienating Muslims and people that


come here from other countries. With a climate where we need to be united


in the face of terror attacks, we are alienating people and making


them feel unwelcome, and the BNP are exploiting this.


APPLAUSE Being against immigration is not


racist at all. The problem is that the immigrants when they come, they


don't go and live in Islington or Morningside in Edinburgh, Saint


Davidsson Wales. They come to Walsall, to Wolverhampton, to


Toxteth. The schools are ready over crowded. You can't get a place at


the doctor. We are too full. Put up the shot signs. Paul Mason. I don't


think it is racist to want to leave Europe, because I want to leave


Europe and I count myself as somebody who has fought against


racism or iLife. The reason I want to leave Europe is because it is


impossible for the European to be a democracy. Simple as that.


APPLAUSE I don't care how much it costs. If


it was doing its job, it would be worth paying. I think we are going


to need more migrants. I also think we have educated take refugees. But


let's put this to one side and think about this European choice. -- we


have a duty to take refugees. I am very unlikely to vote for Brexit on


the day because I do not want to hand power to a bunch of crazed,


right-wing Conservatives. APPLAUSE


I do not include you in this. You are a non-crazed right-wing


Conservative. So this once-in-a-lifetime chance... I think


there will be another chance because the European Union is


disintegrating. Half of the governments of East Europe are


racist. Eastern European governments are coming forward with people who


want coalitions with the far right. How can this persist? For us to go


forward, I do not want Michael Gove and Boris Johnson given the chance


to shape written's Constitution in future with no election, no promise


of election, no further referendum on what deal we do. I will be


looking carefully at what the position is as I go into that ballot


box. So you might vote Remain? I might. There are things that Remain


can do to convince me. One would be to promise a -- an election within


six months of the referendum, so we can all decide on the future


relationship with Europe. That is democracy. The short answer is, no,


I don't think it is racist. I thought the point the lady brought


up is interesting, because she highlighted the real difficulty of


language in this particular debate. Because this is an incredibly


important, historic choice everybody will be making on June 23. So all


sorts of groups are piling in. There are racist groups piling in and


certainly they will vote to leave, and it does destabilise some of the


language taking place. It is important not necessarily to think


about who or which party will be in charge. This is a historic chance to


change or stay in the EU for the UK. It is not about individuals. If we


move away from individuals, perhaps there will be a few less insults


flying around. Would you promise an election within six months of the


vote? It is important to concentrate on the facts. This is another issue


I would take issue with Paul on. When he trots out these facts, I do


not think they are facts. Nine out of ten people employed in the UK are


British-born. His facts are different to mine. One of the things


we must be careful of is tabloid newspapers putting out headlines


that are not facts. I would urge you to check them yourself, particularly


on immigration. What do you say to the man at the top on the left, who


said that people come here, to Toxteth, not to Islington and


Morningside in Edinburgh. In other words, it is here that the schools


are overcrowded, the NHS is under pressure. His concern, I believe, is


that people come here without jobs to come to hand without


contributing, and that is one of the changes the Prime Minister has made,


so we can in courage people to come here only if they have jobs to come


to. They cannot collect benefits for four years. Is that an answer, sir?


It is not enough. According to the latest statistics come immigrants


contributed over 2.5 billion tax for 2013-14. Do you know why there are


so many immigrants and black people in Toxteth, because that is where


they were taken as slaves, when Liverpool was a slave port. No, it


wasn't. You are from Liverpool. Do you object to all the black people?


Many of your supporters do. I don't. They came after 1945 when we had


sensible immigration numbers. Between 45 and 97, up to 50,000


people came every year, a sensible number so that people can


assimilate. You cannot do that with 800,000 people coming. Tim Farron's


turn, I think. Thank you. Daniel, your question, is it racist to want


to leave the European Union and to talk about immigration? No, it


isn't. I disagree with Paul, but I like him. I think he is sincere and


believes what he believes. I believe he is wrong, but not a racist. What


I think that Pat Glass and her remarks betray is that there are too


many folks on the Remain side who are running away from the issue of


immigration and migration. I will not do that. I will absolutely


categorically say that immigration to this country is by far much more


a blessing and a curse. APPLAUSE


-- a blessing than a curse. Figures today say there are 2.1 million


European citizens living and working and paying taxes in the United


Kingdom. A figure of close to 2 million British people living and


working or being retired elsewhere in the European Union. It is pretty


much give-and-take. We have this rhetoric about the damage that


migration has done to our country. Go to any A award and see who


makes you better, who is looking after elderly parents in care homes,


looking after our children. Migration is helpful and it


strengthens this country, and being in the European Union allows us to


move to other countries and others to come here. The fact that there


are so many people in this country working and from other areas


demonstrates the work ethic so many of these folks have and we should be


proud they choose Britain as their home.


I would like to address Paul and the gentleman about Walsall and


immigration and blaming social care. It is a farce. Social care in this


area is struggling because we are one of the biggest hit local


government councils for cuts. Next year, we've got to find ?19 million.


It's atrocious. Metropolitan councils have been kicked a hell of


a lot more than any of the others. Birmingham is the largest authority


in Europe and it has had massive cuts. We can't blame immigration.


We've got to blame the Conservative government and the cuts that are


hitting the most vulnerable and leaving people in crisis. Hold on.


Let's hear some more points. I'd like to completely disagree with the


remarks made by the gentleman at the top left. The US has been described


as a great melting pot where everybody is fused together to make


something better. Shouldn't we encourage immigration from the EU to


evade a demographic crisis? On the top right. Iron I'd like to take


issue with Paul Mason's comments about right wing Conservatives.


Millions of people voted Conservative in the last election.


It was clear there was going to be a referendum on the manifesto. Jo


Brand Conservatives generally, about 10 million people, as crazed


right-wingers is appalling. -- Jo Brand Conservatives. It is


appalling, the things you say. -- to brand. We now know what a ?35,000


per year education at Eton buys you. It's the ability to stand up, to


insult your opponents, if you are not winning the argument to raise


ridiculous point about the EU banning banana bunches more than


three. If that doesn't work, you tussle your hair and green inanely.


If I paid ?35,000 a year and sent somebody to Eton and they came at


doing that, I'd be disgusted. We could do with less personal insults.


I'm talking about Boris Johnson, who has the based... I'm sorry, he is


debasing the rationality of this debate and you should be worried


that this guy could be leading your party if he wins the referendum. I'm


not worried about that. I am worried about the personal insults. A art, a


brilliant man, and you are focusing on somebody's education, rather than


the arguments. John Major was saying that the Tory right was adopting the


Ukip argument. This is what the Tories will become if the right-wing


faction get their way. It is this that frightened me above everything


else, less than Ukip. We don't know what these guys will do if they take


control of your party. It must be appalling for you, Paul. You long


for Brexit and you don't dare vote for it. We will get another chance.


This is the chance. One of the things that Boris Johnson actually


said before of this -- before this all started was that he would like a


referendum on the result of the negotiation. That would be something


that those of us who are worried about an uncontrolled right-wing


Brexit would like to see. You could deliver it, you are in the council


-- you are a Privy Council. People want to know the facts. There is a


reason you are straying away from Boris Johnson as an individual,


because he might be Lorne leader in six weeks' time. -- he might be your


leader. You might be leading a party, within six months' time. I


understand why Amber Rudd is saying she doesn't want it to be personal,


because it does feel it has become personal in the Tory party. I think


too much of this debate has been Tory politicians having a go at each


other. That is probably why we haven't heard enough about things


like workers' right in Europe. That is why, as well, we haven't heard


enough about them is like jobs in manufacturing in our industrial


towns. I have some sympathy with Paul. In the end, I don't really


care if two old Etonians want to have a slug out against the future


of the Tory party but I care if they are putting people's livelihood at


risk over a political game. We've got another EU question which arises


from this. Have you all had this booklet? It comes from this, and the


question is from Dominic. This is the electoral commission voting


guide for the referendum. The Remain campaign says that we... Who is


right? The Remain, every count that we put in, we get ?10 back. Leave,


put ?3 50 in and you only get half back. Somebody isn't telling the


truth. What Remain is doing is focusing on the benefits to the


economy, the fact that we get investment into the UK, because we


are part of the platform access to the EU. It is working out the


benefit, 10-1, of having that investment and access to the single


market. Leave are comparing it to how much it costs because they are


simply looking at the bill for being a member of this club, then netting


off the rebate and any other money that is the cost of what we get


back. They are not looking at the enormous benefits that we get from


the single market. And you think it can be costed ?10 for every pound


you put in? I have put -- spent 20 years covering economics and I have


learned not to take account of these figures. They are pulled out of


abstract thinking, equations that don't add up. In the end, people


have to take this decision on the basis, not of this mirage of facts


that we keep getting the media is bombarding us with facts and, the


more we get, the less we understand. You've got take a decision on the


basis of, do you believe in the institutions? Do you believe it can


be reformed and it can deliver what you want as British people on the


day, and then what the concrete consequences on the day of the


particular political leadership? If it cost us double what it says, if


it worked, it would be worth paying. My concern is... One of the reasons


the Tory right is so annoyed is because they are now getting the


treatment the Scots got during the independence referendum. They are


getting the whole of the official state apparatus, the Bank of


England, the Treasury, pumping out propaganda for Remain that has no


ability to be challenged. Those of us who have would like to see a


different outcome have no ability to challenge what the Bank of England


and the Treasury are modelling. Red everybody keeps asking for the


facts. All mason says that they don't mean anything anyway. -- Paul


Mason. Probably the only thing more depressing than the referendum and


the fistfight between two old schoolmates is the concentrating of


facts and figures. It doesn't mean they are not important. We've got to


make a judgment as to what is in the best interest of our country, as


individuals and families. Some things do stack up. The single


market is worth ?78 billion per year to the UK. We are net contributors


to the EU, to the tune of about 6.5 billion per year. You've got to work


out whether that is a good deal. I think it is. What I am desperate for


is something a bit more uplifting in this debate. The reason I will vote


to remain on June 23 isn't just the economy, it's about a statement of


what kind of country I belong to, what kind of country is Britain. Are


we outward looking? Or do we want to stand on the white cliffs of Dover,


glowering across the English Channel? I want Britain to be the


kind of country that is engaged with the outside world. We have built


piece over the past 75 years ago. There were nuclear weapons on their


soil pointed at the West Midlands and the rest of the UK. Today, we


work together. That is the kind of Europe I want my children to grow


into. A reminder that Dominic's question was about who we believe on


the money. I think we need to get back to the basics of the discussion


and get understanding what this is about. It isn't about personality.


It is about two basic things. Can we manage the country ourselves or will


we continue to be told from a group of 27 other countries what we can do


and can't do and how we should do it, but we've got to foot the bill?


Surely we could take the money back ourselves and make better use of it?


So you don't believe the figures? It's a lot of nonsense. Independent


is a perfectly fair question, but I think ignores the reality of the


modern world. The EU isn't the only way in which we pool our


sovereignty. Nato, the world trade organisation, the most democratic if


the EU. Talking about these leaflets, I am depressed by


politics. The EU referendum has shown how broken the system is.


Within parties, you've got infighting. One set of parties


saying one lot of figures. We are being lied to and there isn't a


genuine debate. The EU referendum has shown the ugliest side of where


politics is. It is the same people on either side of the chamber, to be


honest. To answer the original question... You are good at


answering questions. We are getting all sorts of facts and figures in


the ground. One economist will say one thing and then somebody else


will say the alternative. The ex-head of MI6 said we would be more


secure if we were out, others saying the opposite. This will go on until


the day. It will be up to you guys to make the decision of whether you


want Britain to be stuck within the slowest growing economic bloc on the


planet. He is saying it is a disreputable campaign in which


people are attacking each other in the way you have been describing and


experts saying opposite things. How do you restore confidence? I want to


get away from personalities and campaign on the real facts and


figures. It is costing us ?55 million every single day to be


members of the European Union. That is the gross figure. Hold on. Then


we get the rebate back. And then they give us a portion of money back


and then they tell us how to spend our own money. If you walk round


Wolverhampton or Birmingham, you will see signed up saying, thank the


European Union, this project was built with EU money. There is no


such thing, it's your money, your taxation, and that money should


stayed here to be spent on our schools, hospitals and transport


network. What is the economic cost of a disenfranchised population, as


expressed by the chat at the front? We are losing interest in Europe. We


got no influence over it. That will have an economic cost down the line.


Could you ask your question again, please? What is the economic cost of


having a disenfranchised population. The man at the front expressed it


well. I think people are feeling quite alienated from this whole


debate and everything being thrown around to and fro. If you go through


the facts, Paul did go further than a lot of the Leave campaigners by


conceding that actually they figured they use, this ?350 million, is


wrong. The statistics authority has said it is misleading and dodgy to


use it. Yeah, there is a contribution, and in return what we


get is access to the single market, and that makes it so much easier for


our businesses to trade. What you get on the other side is different


estimates, and they are estimates by economist based on a whole load of


evidence and analysis about what it would cost if we pull out of the


single market and how much trade we would lose. Is this right what it


says on the Remain site, for every ?1 we put in we get ?10 back? It is


an estimate by economists... One of the estimates. You were chief


secretary of the Treasury. Do you think they've got it right? I think


it is as accurate as any other. It is important, because it is


official. No body knows until you know what the trade deal is that is


done. Why put it in? People want facts so we do our best to give them


facts. Ultimately, it is a judgment. You don't say it is a judgment here.


APPLAUSE These are the facts that I believe


to be true but Paul believes different ones. There is one bottom


line. Your question was, what is the economic cost of a disenfranchised


population. We who are involved in public life should take that


seriously. I want to save the steel industry. I drive past Port Talbot


steelworks. It is a brilliant bit of structural asset for this country.


The European Union rules say we can't. That is basically what it


says. In addition, the European Commission itself has refused to


fight for the whole European Union steel industry in the world market.


If I could deselect the European Commission, believe me, I would. If


we could elect it and bring it under democratic control, that would be


good. But the treaty prevents us doing so and it prevents a future


Labour government from saving steel, it prevents them from nationalising


the railways, and this to me is the bread and butter as to why we have


to look critically at the European Union. And you will still vote to


remain? I am saying that the economic case for Brexit is strong,


as is the political, but the Brexit people don't need to be dictated to


by a Tory right about when and under what conditions we do so.


I think there is a lot of nonsense said about how the EU stops us doing


a lot of things. Often, the Tory government will use the EU as an


excuse not to take action on steel when it could have done. We have the


same issue around the coal industry in my constituency when the last pit


closed. EU said they would be able to help and the Tory government


said, we can't. Too often it is used as an excuse not to take action when


we can. When it comes back to the point about the facts, people will


throw different numbers at you but the bottom line in the end is that


the cost of trade will be higher. If we are outside the single market,


the cost of trade will be higher. They will give us a worse steel than


we have now. Why would they let us be in the club and give us a worse


deal? We deal with this subject every week. We have spent half the


programme on it. You can have one sentence, Tim, and then I will move


on. Not a long sentence. What we have seen in the steel industry is


the consequence of Chinese government actions and Indian


business decisions, proving that we are interconnected as a global and


we are far better off together with our neighbours standing up to those


economic threats than on our own. I am going to move on because we have


taken half an hour and I don't think it is fair if every programme is


entirely about the EU because we have a long way to go and a lot of


debate before we reach that date in June when Paul Mason has to decide


how to cast his vote. And millions of other people. We are going to be


in Ipswich next week and Cardiff the week after that. On screen, you can


see how to apply. Let's move on for a question from


Kevin Wilkes. After the junior doctors debacle, isn't it time for


the NHS to be run independently, rather than continually being a


political football? Tim Farron. It is certainly time for it to stop


being used as a political football, to answer your question


specifically. If Beveridge, the Liberal, who wrote the blueprint for


the National Health Service in the 1940s, if in his day we had been


living to the ages we are now, there is no question whatsoever that he


would have included social care in with the National Health Service.


The fact that it is disconnected from the National Health Service has


to be addressed, as does the relegation of mental health services


behind physical health services. We should be massively proud of the


National Health Service but let's not kid ourselves that we are


spending enough on it. We are not. We spend less as a percentage of GDP


on our health service than most other European countries. It is time


for a new Beveridge deal for all parties, to put aside the


politicking over the National Health Service and recognise we need that


new deal to protect it for the future. It is no good putting the


emphasis on junior doctors, as has happened, to try and stretch out the


resource so the government can meet a commitment it could never meet. It


is time for a new resource, a new deal for the National Health


Service, including mental health and social care.


APPLAUSE You are talking about finding more


money for the NHS. In the end, that is necessary. The question is about


whether it can be taken out of politics. Is that what you meant? I


agree with everything said about bringing in social care and mental


health, but for as long as I can a member, Labour have obviously thrown


accusations at the Tories about looking to privatise and cut


everywhere. It has been gone back the other way, Labour being accused


of wasting money and spending on middle management. It is something


both sides of the quite heart always fighting each other over. What


should really be happening is people who know how to run the NHS and how


to run these things should be in place. They should be given whatever


money they need and allowed to run it.


APPLAUSE I work in the NHS. When I joined,


the first thing I was told was that every time a new political party


joins it will change and it will go around in circles and we will waste


a lot of money, and when the Primary Care Trusts went down, the e-mail


address is changed and it was the same people. Incredible waste of


money. Jeremy Hunt should resign for his treatment of junior doctors. It


is appalling. They are hard workers and do not deserve what the


Conservatives have done to them. Shame. He should resign.


APPLAUSE Amber Rudd. Jeremy Hunt should go.


Naturally, I don't agree with that and I would congratulate the


combination of Jeremy Hunt and a junior doctors and the BMA on coming


to an agreement today. The lies, the lies. Don't you welcome the fact


that the dispute is now, we have, over. The fact is, we made a


manifesto commitment to deliver a seven-day NHS. Through lies, misuse


of statistics. An agreement has been reached and it is a relief. Why has


he waited so many months to do it? APPLAUSE


There is a Chief Executive of the NHS and he was put in place in order


to take it out of being a political football so he could put together


the plan, which he did, under the last Government, to say how much


money was needed. He said how much was needed and that is why we have


put it up so it can be done. Can I say, the real difference between a


Conservative government and a Labour government is that we have a strong


economy that is enabling us to put in that 10 billion. The finances we


inherited from you in 2010 were such a disaster there would have been no


chance to be able to deliver on the strong NHS that we are now able to


finance because we have a stronger economy. Let's deal with the


original question which was, OK, you obviously need wealth to fund the


NHS, whichever party is in power. The question was why can it not be


run independently, in other words, give money to it independently? That


is why we put in place a Chief Executive. What happened when you


were in government, your party did this, the NHS act 2010, it made the


NHS into an independent body, so the idea was the Secretary of State


would have nothing to do with it. Jeremy Hunt spends every morning


biting his fingernails over the next A closure. He is micromanaging the


NHS from his own department because the act that you and the Tories put


into place did not work. What it did was shovel large parts of the NHS


into the hands of private companies, many of whom just happen to have


directors and owners who are in the Tory party. That is what has


happened. Which act are you talking about? I hope the junior doctors


throw that deal back in their face. I hope they do. What about the


patients. The patients support the junior doctors. Go and meet them. Go


to Walsall. First, I rebelled on the NHS bill. Secondly, the key point in


all of this, on the junior doctors debate, it is a reminder that


resource is the issue. If you keep pushing the ball down the road it


will never be solved. It does need to be an all-party thing. If we are


going to bring in social care, advance mental health, it will cost


more. It will never happen if one party is scoring points of the


other, only if there is a new Beveridge- style consensus. But how


do you achieve that? Is it achievable? I hope so, because it is


the thing that people believe in, probably the most treasured national


institution, with the second being the BBC which has also seen a lot of


attacks recently. Who was bullying? Booing? Amber did not answer my


question of why were these concessions not made months ago? Why


have we had people have appointments cancelled, stress on hospitals,


really undermining the morale of some of the most important assets to


the National Health Service, the people who work in it? That is what


he has put at risk. Would it be possible, together to the question,


to have some kind of institution, we have had this, therefore, some kind


of institution which was agreed between all parties should run the


National health? The Chancellor of the Exchequer would give the money,


but the detail would not be in the hands of party politicians, not the


hands of Jeremy Hunt or a Labour minister. I think you want as much


decision-making as possible taken by medical professionals, the experts


who should be running hospitals, primary care and running care in the


community as well. The only thing I would caution is that if what you


simply do is to say we are going to pass all the responsibility but it


is still going to be the government writing the check, and not writing a


big enough cheque and doing the things it needs to do, then you have


a problem. The second thing is, I think they should be accountable to


local communities. We would be better having more accountability


for the National Health Service and social care together in local


communities, rather than it be simply something that a Health


Secretary can way into whenever he wants to make a political point and


pick a fight. I am so glad we're having this discussion. I think it


should be taken out of the hands of politicians. I am on the board of


one of the local NHS Trusts and every five or six years you see this


pattern of change when the political cycle changes. You need it to be


taken out of the influence of political environments. The one


thing everyone needs to do is to level with the population in terms


of what is really going on. There is a humongous demand in the NHS and it


is nothing to do with immigrants. It is absolutely everything to do with


ageing demographics, the diseases we can cure now, which we could not


before, and the demands placed on resources available. You have to


level with the population. Does tax go up, does the service go down?


What are you promising? At the moment, you are trying to make


things add up and they will not. APPLAUSE


I think we already lies we are heading towards all of us have it


have a debate about the NHS. -- we all realise. We have an ageing


population, a growing population, drugs are becoming more expensive.


It is a debate we will have to have as grown-ups as we move into the


21st-century. What is your answer? My answer is that we will have to


spend more money in future and that will have to go to a general


election and a political party will have to put it to the electorate to


see whether they are willing to plough more into the NHS. So


taxation is your route? I thought your route was to get people to pay


individually? Our manifesto at the last general election shed -- said


we would plough an extra 3 billion each year into the NHS. The biggest


immediate threat to the NHS comes from the transatlantic trade


investment partnership, which the European Union is negotiating now


with the United States. There is an article in that called the investor


state dispute settlement which will allow American corporations to sue


the National Health Service if they do not get what they want. Example,


at the moment you have Philip Morris suing the Australian government


because the Australian government have harmed their profits by


bringing in plain packaging. That could happen in the NHS and the only


way we can protect the NHS is by voting to leave on June the 23rd.


That is rubbish. Amber Rudd, you clear this up. This was in the


Queens speech and I thought there was an amendment to exclude the NHS


from this agreement. That is correct. The government already


takes the view that... Not takes the view, legislates. The first position


is that we take the view that the NHS is excluded. And you are right,


Mr Chairman, we have agreed that additional legislation will be in


place to reassure everybody so they can be absolutely clear the NHS will


not be included. While I have the floor, may I say that I think you


are absolutely right on your point that there are expectations that we


have to manage. We have to decide whether we are going to carry on


with what we believe and hope can be a first-class service, with


additional problems, and if we are going to pay for them. That debate


has to take place. In terms of the independence of the NHS, part of


that has been given to the new Chief Executive. He puts together the plan


and it goes to the Chancellor and he says, this is what we need to


deliver on it. So maybe that system needs to be beefed up, but the


principles of doing that, we have put in place.


The funds he asked for were taken down a bit. That's correct, but the


junior doctors issue, did go back to that, in any organisation,


leadership is so immensely important, and Jeremy Hunt, whether


right or not, have a leadership important in this, and how we have


managed this dispute... He took a leaf out of how Michael Gove managed


teachers. If you have a group of people to move towards a certain


end, the last thing you do is demoralise them. I am concerned


about all those young people out there who might become doctors and


medics in the future and think, that isn't for me. He has turned off a


generation of people who might otherwise have gone into the health


service. Hold on. Just for the people who are never quite sure what


TTIP is, what exactly is the implication, as an economist, of


TTIP on the NHS? In layman's language? It is a binding treaty


that says, look, we, Britain, and Europe, have to open up our markets


to American companies and that, if they are unfairly discriminated


against, so you can't own the NHS, they can sue us in a court. You have


to exempt the NHS. I would exempt a lot of other things. I would say


that we should veto TTIP in Europe. It is likely to happen. I wouldn't


see this as a leading or staying in issue for Europe. While I've got the


floor, I will do what you lot haven't done. There is a $28 billion


pounds tax cap in this country. It could be 128. That money should be


collected from the tax dodging rich and used to pay for the NHS. You


have made your point. Somebody mentioned Michael Gove on the other


side of the table, let's have a question that might touch on him.


Conrad, please. Prison reform includes suggestions that some


prisoners will only go to prison at weekends and be given iPads. Are we


being soft on crime? These are the suggestions from Michael Gove for


reforms, and you may have seen the pictures of the chaos in Wandsworth


prison and others, drugs being brought in by drones. Probably


arranged by the department so that their position should be understood.


The suggestion is, work at home during the week and more weekends,


in prison. Are we being soft? Yvette Cooper. It depends what the crime is


that has been committed. If people have committed violent, serious


crimes, abuse, there has to be a proper sentence and the public has


to be protected, but also vegans need to feel that actually justice


is being done. -- victims. But with other crimes you could have very


different sentencing where you don't end up having to have overcrowded


prisons. It's sensible to look at that kind of reform, educational


reform and rehabilitation, but a real problem I have with what they


have announced this week is actually what they were really talking about


was just six prisons out of 130 would get some flexibility to do


other things but nothing to tackle the major overcrowding problems, you


really shocking images that we saw on the news last night of some of


the things going on in Wandsworth, an increase of about a third in riot


attacks on staff, an increase of about a quarter in a tax on


prisoners, suicide rates are up, and it is a consequence of having cut


staff numbers by a third. You've got prisoners locked in their cells for


23 hours at a time because there are not enough staff to supervise them.


Unless this is sorted out, all of the reforms will just be a con.


Conrad, you were a police officer, I think? Do you think we are being


soft on crime? I think if you do the crime, you should do the time.


APPLAUSE I don't believe that sending


prisoners at weekends only and having the week off to work, I don't


think it will work. They have enough cushy time in prison. Giving them


iPads, I think, well... How much is an iPad? Paul Nuttall. The cynic in


me thought that this announcement by Michael Gove was a publicity stunt


but I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt because, if you


look at the statistics, only one in four prisoners who are released go


on and find employment, so if you keep them in employment, you will


integrate them into back into society. When they do come out, 46%


of them go on to commit crime within a year. Those on shorter sentences,


that jumps up to 60%, so there is a correlation between how long you


spend in prison and the likelihood of you coming out and reoffending. I


want sentences to mean what you say. I don't want you to go down for six


years and come out in three. If you go down for six, you should stay in


the six years. In the end, we can have rehabilitation but I think


deterrence are as important. Do you believe in the death penalty? Yes,


like the majority of people in this country, I believed in the death


penalties for people who go out and kill harmless children, and I make


no apologies. One other point, the real issue we have got with prisons


is that the budgets have been cut massively. In 2000, for everyone


prison officer, there were three prisoners. Now, in 2015, there are


six reserve officers -- six prisoners for every officer. My


cousin is a prison officer and he tells me all of the time that they


have lost control. Between now and 2020, there will be another 15% cut


on the Ministry of Justice budget. We need to spend money on our


prisons, we need people to come out educated, rehabilitated and then


integrated back into society. The man in the striped T-shirt. I think


that rehabilitation is really important, but where does the


deterrent start? If these people are out in general society midweek, we


are acting as the prison officers, almost, in the fact that we are the


people in front of these prisoners. They should be behind bars if they


have done something wrong for a certain amount of time, where proper


rehabilitation and take effect. So it should be done inside rather than


out. Paul Mason. I am in favour of enforcing the criminal justice


system fairly. How many constituencies are being


investigated at the moment for Conservative election fraud?


Innocent until proven guilty, of course. It is 29. As a Conservative


minister and Privy Council, you will be the first to say that, if anybody


worked out to have conspired to link those constituencies together so


that somebody knew that the Conservative Party was overspending


at local level, that person should be prosecuted, shouldn't they? What


does this have to do with the question? A lot of young


working-class men get criminalised by poverty and living a terrible


life that we should rehabilitate them, but we should be investigating


the crimes of the rich and privileged with just the same amount


of vigour. Starting with the people who keep their money in Panama.


People are in prison for a reason. I go to school in Walsall and we can't


even afford iPads. Working-class girls like me and my friends can't


learn of iPads at school. Our school can't afford it. Why do prisoners


deserve iPads but hard-working girls like me and Ellie don't? The purpose


of this reform is a centrepiece of the Prime Minister's desire to give


people life chances. What we are doing is investing money and totally


reforming the prison service and the prisons themselves, the biggest


reform since the Victorian age, to make them fit for purpose so we


don't have the sort of numbers Paul quoted, about recidivism, people


coming out of jail and committing crimes. We want to make sure people


get a second chance. It isn't just that. Is she going to get an iPad?


How am I supposed to learn at school without technology? We don't have


the funding for computers at work. Hard-working pupils deserve that


funding, not prisoners. I have to say, maybe your school... There has


to be a quality in the system. A lot of schools now provide iPads for


their children as they go through. I hope the education system can help


people access iPads. If they can't get their own once, to have good


access to shared ones. There is no question of all prisoners of iPads.


Some of the elements have been highlighted as if the government is


going to be soft on crime, we are not. We want to make sure people


come out educated, they can get jobs and make a useful contribution and


not go back to crime. We have to remember that not all crimes are


violent crimes. You talk about these people being a risk to us. Not


everyone is in prison is a risk to the population. And violent crimes,


of course, should be treated inside. In terms of rehabilitation and


allowing people to become a functioning part of society, it


simply can't be done when they are being locked away for 23 hours per


day in a cell. Are we being soft on crime? I don't think so. We are


being very ineffective on crime, though. Let's look at what prison is


for. Three things, to punish people who have done wrong, to make sure


there is justice and the victim gets some reparation. Second, to protect


society from people who will be endangered to it. Third, it's about


rehabilitation, so that those people come out improved and able to


function. Just about half of the 85,000 people who are currently in


prison will reoffend within 12 months, so many of them are not


violent crimes at all. What do we do to make sure we make our country


safer? Revalidation is right and just, morally correct to give people


a second chance. -- rehabilitation. We as a country will be safer as a


result. You, sir, quickly. I am reserving prison officer. I am all


for rehabilitation but the things you are asking for cannot be done in


custody. They need to be done outside, before release. By the time


people get into custody and they are on to the longer sentences, you just


need staff. What did you think of the suggestions put forward by the


government for people spending five days at home and spending two days


in prison? It won't work because you are incentivising people not to come


to Britain at weekends. It's a punishment system. One more. Isn't


this just a publicity stunt? It is one of the few occupations that


doesn't get filled in post. Isn't it politicians looking for the general


public to do their job? She can't answer because our time is up. We'll


have to try again later. I'm sorry. It really is. Our power has


finished. Nick Clegg, we will be in Ipswich. -- next week, we will be in


Ipswich. Ed Miliband will be back for the first time since he stopped


being leader of the Labour Party. Caroline Lucas for the Greens, David


Davis for the Conservatives, and Steve Hilton will be on the panel.


You do look surprised. The 17 years, he was David Cameron's strategy


adviser. We will be in Cardiff the week after that. An exciting


programme in Ipswich and another in Cardiff. Go to the website if you


would like to come. If you are listening on five live, don't go


away. Here, my thanks to our panel, to all of you who came to Walsall to


take part. Until next Thursday, good night.


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Walsall. Panellists include Conservative energy secretary Amber Rudd, Labour former cabinet minister Yvette Cooper, leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron, deputy leader of UKIP Paul Nuttall and broadcaster Paul Mason.

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