12/01/2017 Question Time


12/01/2017

David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Solihull. On the panel are David Lidington, Gisela Stuart, Arron Banks, Paul Mason and space scientist Monica Grady.


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Transcript


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Welcome to this first Question Time of 2017.

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Conservative Leader of the House of Commons, David Lidington.

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The Labour MP who chaired the Vote Leave campaign, Gisela Stuart.

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Guardian columnist and broadcaster, Paul Mason.

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Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences

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at the Open University, Monica Grady.

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And the businessman and Brexit campaigner

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who was a major Ukip donor, Arron Banks.

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As ever, you can join the debate on Facebook,

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Our first question from Inderveer Kang. Is Donald Trump fit to be

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leader of the free world? Arron Banks? I think he absolutely is. He

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won the election fair and square. A lot of people question his methods,

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maybe. But our experience of dealing with him, we had quite a lot of

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interaction between the Brexit campaign and Trump. I think he is

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pretty rational, actually. Certainly, in our meetings with him

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he was very calm and reflective and he is quite different off-camera.

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There is certainly an element of showmanship about what he does and

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time will tell whether the sorts of things he is going to do will be

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radically better or not. But he has appointed a cabinet of businessmen,

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very rich ones, at that. So we will see how it pans out. We saw you with

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Nigel Farage in the Golden lift at Trump Tower. What were you talking

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about? That wasn't the lift, that was his front door. What did you

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talk about? With Nigel, he wanted to talk about the campaign. He was

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tired, it had been a bruising campaign, and they shared that

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camaraderie. But we talked, interestingly, about how he wants to

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redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor in America. I think even

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Paul would have been at home there. It was interesting. I would not have

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used the showers! That's very naughty. Paul Mason. If any of the

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substantive allegations in the security dossier that's being

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published now and handed to the American authorities are true, he

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can't be the President. If they are true, and they are allegations, then

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he is a security risk. Not a security risk to America, but a

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security risk to the 800 British troops who will be sent to Estonia

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this year to stand on the front line with Russia. There is no proof in

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that dossier that he has done any of these things. It looks like raw

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intelligence. I have seen secret intelligence. It doesn't look like

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that. This looks like the input that intelligence people use to make

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decisions. The person who wrote it clearly has no interception

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facilities, no data surveillance facilities. But you know, Trump

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himself, during the campaign, actually called on Russia to hack

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Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is not just a candidate but the former

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first Lady of the United States. This means, if any of these things

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are true, and they are two things, one is conspiracy with the Kremlin

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over years, and misbehaviour in a hotel. The CIA will know about it.

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The CIA and FBI -- FBI will know the details. They have the technology.

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They know what shade of gold the shower was. So Obama knows. Obama

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will know. And I think he has the duty, as do the CIA chiefs, for us,

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not just the American people, to level with people in the West what

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they think is true. If it is not true, let's move on. Other than

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that, of course he has the right. He is the elected President. Look, he

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has been elected and will be inaugurated. I think we ought to

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have a debate about the people he appoints around him now. We should

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have a very serious look at whether the American constitution will be

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stress tested, because Congress will have its say as to what the

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President can do. I would not have voted for him but nobody asked me. I

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don't think we should equate Brexit with Trump. These were two

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completely different things. He has been elected leader of the free

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world and we have a responsibility to work with him as best as we can,

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and the jury is out. The question is, is he fit to be leader? You have

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watched his campaign and heard the way he conducted himself. What

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politicians are fit to be elected, if you put it that way? He probably

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got elected because he wasn't a politician. If you talk about

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fitness, we know one thing about the American system. It is enormously

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robust and has means to deal with people who are not fit for the

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system, and it will be up to the Americans to exercise their

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democratic procedures. What we have seen with Donald Trump in the past

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is that he is an entrepreneur, has made a fortune and lost one. He has

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done all sorts of things which may or may not be dodgy. He has

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certainly expressed some extremely unpalatable opinions and shown

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himself to be, you know, well, I'm not going to say dodgy, but he has

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shown himself to be a strange person. But he has not been

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confined. He was the leader of his empire. He was in charge of his own

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destiny. As he becomes leader of the free world, the democratically, we

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assume, elected leader of the free world. He is going to be hedged

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around by advisers. OK, yes, the ones he has appointed but also

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others. He will not be able, I sincerely trust, be able to push

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that nuclear button, give every home in the USA two guns, as he has said.

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He will not be able to do this. He will be constricted. He has to be.

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Then he will be a massive disappointment to the people who

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voted for him. Maybe. Maybe so. Look at his first policy, he wants to

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take on the pharmaceutical industry in America. That is a wonderful

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aspiration as his first policy. I think he aims to do what he says.

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When he said, I am going to build a big, beautiful wall and the Mexicans

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are going to pay for it, he will do it. Whether you agree with it or

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not, that is what he will do. But the joke was, and the Mexicans have

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agreed to pay for it and no damn American is going to come across it.

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Me go back to the question. What do you think? I don't think he is fit

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to be leader of the free world. He does not have the right temperament,

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he is too aggressive, continually isolating communities and his

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relationship with Russia is frankly troubling. In the second row from

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the back. It is ridiculous to say he is fit to be President, because when

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you compare Obama's leaving message in his message of hope, aspiration

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and equality and you compare it to the Trump campaign built on

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scapegoating minorities, racism and allegations of misogyny, I really

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think his character which he has shown isn't fit to be President at

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all. APPLAUSE

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It is very well for us to sit here and say he is not fit to be

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President. On the 20th of January, he is going

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to be the 45th President. We will have to deal with it. And to Paul

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Mason, you know, these allegations, they are just that. There is no

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evidence being put forward at all. He has denied the allegations. How

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do you suggest he proves they are not true. How can you prove they are

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not true? It is not for him to prove. These allegations have not

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just been made by BuzzFeed. They have gone into the American

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intelligence system and they are being assessed by the American

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intelligence system. It is for Obama, and the boss of the CIA, to

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tell everyone what they think of them. It is not like someone just

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sat there and made an allegation. The man who wrote it is an

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ex-British intelligence officer. We do not employ idiots in MI6. We

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might have done in the past! But this guy sounds like he knows what

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he is talking about. Bidden excellent job with the 45 minute

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dossier, didn't they? -- they did an excellent job with it. That

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pretended to be a worked through judgment and it wasn't. He doesn't

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have much time, does he, a couple of days? David Lidington, it is

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difficult for you because being in the government you have too cosy up

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to him. The react -- the reality is, as the gentleman said, that Donald

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Trump, whatever any of us think about him, and he would admit

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himself in the US that he is something of a Marmite politician.

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He has huge numbers of fervent supporters and numbers who flocked

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to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton to try to defeat him. But he

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has been elected, fairly, under the democratic constitutional system the

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United States has. They have, as others have said, other

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institutions, a Supreme Court, a Congress that has a constitutional

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role of its own, and that is a matter for the citizens of the

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United States. Our job in the United Kingdom is, yes, David, to work

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closely with whoever, Democrat or Republican, is elected by the

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American people. Because US power and policy matter to us, to our

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security, it matters to things like counterterrorist policy and

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cooperation. It matters to the world economy and to trading opportunities

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around the world. So we need to work to forge a good working relationship

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with Mr Trump and his administration. It doesn't mean we

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will agree on everything. There have been numerous occasions when

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Conservative and Labour Prime Minister is alike have disagreed

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with a particular American administration. But there has been a

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constant acceptance of the reality that our national interests involve

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working closely with whoever is democratically elected Indian

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knighted States. And do you think we are at the front of the queue or the

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back, as President Obama has said, in terms of trade agreements? The

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initial words from Mr Trump are encouraging. And I know from earlier

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roles of mine in government that the United States is a tough negotiator

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when it comes to their own economic interests. But let's look for the

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opportunities. Let's hear from the audience. The woman in the back row.

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The question was, is he fit, and we don't know if he is fit or not. But

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a concern is the people he is pointing to advise him. Are they

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fit? What experience do they have of politics, of running a huge country

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like the USA? Are you uneasy? Very uneasy. What about you, sir? Whilst

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I understand he won the election fair and square, he led a campaign

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in which he said some of the most deplorable things I have heard from

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a politician. It is ironic that he has gone back on so many promises,

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watering them down, which shows he is not fit, if he has to go back on

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his promises. What did you particularly object to? The Muslim

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ban, and I don't think we should be building walls. We should be

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building bridges, not walls. APPLAUSE

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Arron Banks? I think you have to see in the context of the election. The

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whole US media were against him. Yes, there were times where I think

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he overstepped the mark, clearly. Where, for you? The Muslim ban. I

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think that is demonstrably wrong and I would condemn it. And saying it

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doesn't make him unfit? Don't think it does make him unfit. We have seen

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some ropey US president, George Bush at the top. OK, maybe he is a bit

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unfiltered, that might be the description, but often politicians

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are thinking these things and saying it behind closed doors, and he just

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comes out and says it. Anybody else? How refreshing it is to have a

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non-career politician and how refreshing it is to have strong

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leadership in the west. If he had been our leader, he'd have signed

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Article 50 before the courts got involved. OK. It might come to a bit

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of that. Let's go on, because he will be president, well, not quite

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next week, but almost. Anyway, we will be in Peterborough next week.

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We will be in London the week after. On the screen is how to apply, if

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you want to come to Peter Brock or London a fortnight away, and I will

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give the details at the end. Our second question comes from Natalie

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Stanley. Is Theresa May wrong to reject the claims made by the

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British Red Cross at NHS hospitals are facing a humanitarian crisis?

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The British Red Cross this week saying there is a humanitarian

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crisis in the NHS and the Prime Minister rejected it. Gisela Stuart.

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I think humanitarian crisis probably was a phrase we might expect to see

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in other contexts. What do you mean by that? I associate it with war

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zones and something more unpredictable. So they were wrong? I

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would choose that phrase. Last year this time, we had the junior doctors

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strike. The Tory government has stripped money out of social care.

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We know that, if you want decent public services, the health sector

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will be affected by any cutbacks in social care and its knock-on effect,

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and I would really advise Theresa May to listen very carefully to

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Simon Stevens. I've worked with him. He understands the health service

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and politics and how it connects. He knows that just more money isn't the

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answer and what he asked for was greater coordination, bringing

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forward the money, and Theresa May would be well advised to listen to

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his advice. APPLAUSE

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Of course, when you were running the Vote Leave campaign, you said there

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would be ?18 billion more for the NHS if you voted out. You stood in

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front of that bus saying ?350 million a week, double what is being

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spent. We said we had lost control and, as Vote Leave, we said we would

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give ?100 million of that to the health service. I still think we

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should do that. The phrase was, a communitarian crisis is one

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hospitals in Aleppo are being bombed, but what we are seeing now

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is hospitals under pressure. -- a humanitarian crisis. It is a mark of

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the professionalism and hard work of NHS staff that, despite those

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pressures, we are seeing record numbers of people treated at A and

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in other parts of the health service, including record numbers

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being treated today despite those pressures within the four hour time

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limit, but we made to make sure they take action about this. We continue

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to direct more money at the NHS. That is what the government is doing

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and continues to do. We have to make sure that we also are making certain

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that the best practice that we find in the NHS is replicated and

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mainstreamed in every trust around the country because, when you look

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at the pattern at different trusts, you find they often have a very

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varied record in terms of the quality of service they provide. I

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think, if we look to the medium-term... No, it's not the ...

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It's the hospitals' fault? No, the reason people are treated in record

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numbers is due to the response of listen in professionalism and

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dedication of NHS staff but, in an organisation as vast as the NHS, NHS

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professionals themselves say that they can find ways in certain

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hospitals and they are delivering better quality than other trusts. We

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had missed Staffordshire -- mid Staffordshire. That will always be

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true, but what about Simon Stevens, it is stretching it to save the NHS

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is more than he asked for? Uses a lot of words but one of them wasn't

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sorry and I think the government should be saying, we are sorry to

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the people dying on trolleys, because that is where it's at. I

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don't care whether it is a humanitarian crisis, it's a

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political crisis and it's a disgrace for a developed country.

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APPLAUSE 20 hospitals yesterday declared a

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black alert, the worst thing you can declare. The four hour wait target

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has not been met since July 20 15. 4 million people waiting for referral

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for treatment, getting from the appointment to being treated, and

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ambulance targets haven't been on time for 20 months. A doctor is

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writing in the Evening Standard tonight that people going having

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their bed filled and not being able to get back into the bed after a

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serious operation. We should not reduce it to a single cause, because

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there are lots of problems in the NHS, ageing, social care, doesn't

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work, hasn't got enough money, not enough space and time to innovate,

:19:30.:19:33.

and the ageing thing is going to carry on hitting us, but the

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fundamental thing that lies behind all of this is the lack of money. I

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don't want to go kind of ping-pong of political points. I've made my

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political point. I would plead with you to get on the phone to Theresa

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May and get her and Philip Hammond to simply ring to departments, the

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health department and the local councils, the DC LGB and they just

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have say one thing, run a deficit. Please, spend what you need now and

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you will not be penalised at the end of the year for overspending. That

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would solve the crisis now. APPLAUSE

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The woman in pink. What Theresa May and Simon Stevens are bickering,

:20:17.:20:20.

there are people dying with incurable breast cancer, they can't

:20:21.:20:23.

get the support they need, drugs are being blocked, life-saving drugs for

:20:24.:20:30.

cancer, and it seems to me that the government is in denial about the

:20:31.:20:37.

funding needs. I agree to some extent with what Paul is saying

:20:38.:20:41.

about needing more money. That is indubitably true. But just throwing

:20:42.:20:48.

money at the problem will not solve it. The NHS is a monolithic

:20:49.:20:52.

organisation. One size doesn't fit all. It is no good saying, yes,

:20:53.:20:57.

learn best practice from this trust and go to that trust, but you have

:20:58.:21:01.

different populations with different requirements, different needs, and

:21:02.:21:06.

so to try and force the same pattern of behaviour on hospital trusts

:21:07.:21:13.

isn't going to work. You need more trust lower down, trust with the

:21:14.:21:21.

doctors and nurses, who are on the coal face, but, you know, they are

:21:22.:21:27.

not, they are on the ward, but the doctors and nurses and social

:21:28.:21:30.

workers who are with the communities, looking at community

:21:31.:21:34.

hospitals which are closing, where people have to travel greater

:21:35.:21:36.

distances to come to bigger hospitals. Yes, those hospitals have

:21:37.:21:41.

the fancy equipment which is necessary... Are they closing

:21:42.:21:44.

because of funding or another reason? Various reasons, different

:21:45.:21:51.

in different areas. A lot of it is you are saying, it is better that we

:21:52.:21:55.

have this specialised maternity care it, so we are going to close these

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two cottage hospitals there, but if we could have them both, have it

:22:00.:22:05.

all, you know, Utopia. Let's hear from the woman there. I think a way

:22:06.:22:12.

to get money back to the NHS is to start charging people for not

:22:13.:22:16.

turning up to appointments. I got a text message the other day to say,

:22:17.:22:19.

this is the reminder of my appointment and it costs the NHS

:22:20.:22:24.

?100 for people who don't turn up. Every time I for an appointment,

:22:25.:22:29.

there are always signs to say how many people and turned up but I

:22:30.:22:33.

think it is a disgrace and that is one way for the NHS to get their

:22:34.:22:38.

money back. OK. You, sir, in a blue shirt. Is this a result of five to

:22:39.:22:47.

six years of austerity and tax cuts, the fact we are talking about this

:22:48.:22:51.

now? Shouldn't we, instead of... APPLAUSE

:22:52.:22:55.

Instead of talking about cutting corporation tax, shouldn't we be

:22:56.:23:00.

talking about adding 1p or 2p in the pound to my tax bill that would help

:23:01.:23:05.

to fund the NHS, social care, schools and everything in the public

:23:06.:23:10.

sector? Don't you think, Mr and Mrs politician from whichever party, we

:23:11.:23:14.

have it the public sector to hard over the last six years? Arron

:23:15.:23:22.

Banks. Well, let's start with the principle that most hospitals I have

:23:23.:23:26.

been to, I think are pretty efficiently run, and I don't think

:23:27.:23:30.

it is the people working in the hospitals. There is some top-down

:23:31.:23:34.

management but clearly it is in crisis on funding. There is a lack

:23:35.:23:39.

of money in the NHS and that sits at the heart of the problem for

:23:40.:23:42.

government. It goes to the wider principle of the government should

:23:43.:23:46.

do less and it should do what is really important well. I would agree

:23:47.:23:51.

that there is a humanitarian crisis of whether it is that is a question,

:23:52.:23:57.

but it is definitely a crisis. Unless we put the necessary cash

:23:58.:24:01.

into it, I think it will get worse and worse. Is there any chance you

:24:02.:24:05.

may relent on this business of saying the NHS has got any money --

:24:06.:24:09.

enough money now, we set aside enough? We did put in an extra 400

:24:10.:24:17.

million for particular winter pressures that come up every winter

:24:18.:24:20.

season. But they are clearly not enough. If you look at the sums of

:24:21.:24:28.

money overall you have had in... The raw figures for 2015-16, the NHS

:24:29.:24:36.

budget was 98.1 billion. 2020-21, it will be 119.1 billion. It is going

:24:37.:24:41.

up, and it is continuing we only do that, in response to the gentleman

:24:42.:24:47.

who just spoke, because the economy is continuing to grow and generating

:24:48.:24:53.

the funds that we can distribute to public services, and corporation tax

:24:54.:24:59.

revenue has gone up. There was a request from Simon Stevens for more

:25:00.:25:02.

money in the next two to three years. He asked for it in a

:25:03.:25:06.

Parliamentary committee. You're not giving it, so there is a clay

:25:07.:25:08.

difference between what the expert says and what the politician says.

:25:09.:25:15.

Simon Stevens is independent. The Government made the boss of the NHS

:25:16.:25:24.

an independent body separate from ministers precisely so he could act

:25:25.:25:29.

as an independent advocate. He did. He also Paul, which you didn't say

:25:30.:25:34.

is that when the Government made its announcement about NHS spending, he

:25:35.:25:37.

welcomed that warmly, said that his concerns had been listened to, had

:25:38.:25:41.

asked for the extra spending to be front loaded which is exactly what

:25:42.:25:48.

we have done. If I can just - Monica made an important point about

:25:49.:25:51.

different patterns needed in different parts of the country.

:25:52.:25:54.

Rural and urban, it's going to Sarah vicious it's why the reform plans

:25:55.:25:59.

that are being taken forward within the NHS are being locally driven

:26:00.:26:03.

rather than being imposed top-down. But you know that the NHS and social

:26:04.:26:08.

care work hand in hand. You cannot keep cutting billions of social care

:26:09.:26:12.

in Local Government and then think extra funding in the NHS is

:26:13.:26:16.

sufficient. You cannot cut down training places and then say we

:26:17.:26:19.

haven't got enough nurses and doctors to recruit in there. Actions

:26:20.:26:23.

have consequences. You are quite right, you started to move towards

:26:24.:26:27.

funding the NHS, but, as you're cutting the rest, you are creating a

:26:28.:26:32.

crisis and a long-term position which will just get worse. What are

:26:33.:26:38.

the cuts you are talking about in care in the community, council care,

:26:39.:26:44.

what scale are you talking about? Oh I think it's significant, ?19

:26:45.:26:47.

billion since 2010 taken out and you have cut the training places for

:26:48.:26:51.

staff. The two just will make the situation worse. Also David, you

:26:52.:26:56.

talked about the ?400 million which in the scheme of the NHS is a drop

:26:57.:27:02.

in the ocean. It's a week's worth. Just under a week's worth. The man

:27:03.:27:09.

in orange in the centre, let us hear from you and then woman next to you

:27:10.:27:16.

This crisis isn't new, it comes around like Christmas, ofry year.

:27:17.:27:20.

This Government and successive past Governments have continually failed

:27:21.:27:22.

the British public. APPLAUSE.

:27:23.:27:26.

Action is required. OK. What would you have? More spending? Higher

:27:27.:27:31.

taxes? It's like pouring money at the top of the funnel, are you sure

:27:32.:27:39.

it's going to come out at the bottom and reach where it's needed? The

:27:40.:27:47.

woman next to you? I agree with the woman up there. You can tell me

:27:48.:27:51.

there is a crisis, but actually do something about it. I also think

:27:52.:27:55.

it's not a case of let's throw money at it because that's just quantity

:27:56.:27:59.

of money, where's the quality going, so I also agree with Monica, don't

:28:00.:28:03.

just throw money at the NHS because how long is that going to last until

:28:04.:28:07.

the next crisis? Can I just take you back. I was a Health Minister under

:28:08.:28:12.

Blair. When Blair said we are going to increase the GDP percentage

:28:13.:28:19.

spending, we increased the places, created NHS Direct and changed the

:28:20.:28:22.

model and you had a period of probably about ten years when the

:28:23.:28:26.

NHS was not the topic of Prime Minister's Question Time and it has

:28:27.:28:31.

returned to that topic because it's deteriorating again.

:28:32.:28:35.

APPLAUSE. I can remember news headlines when

:28:36.:28:40.

you were with Tony Blair as a Health Minister visiting a big hospital

:28:41.:28:44.

with crowds of angry patients outside. There have been crises,

:28:45.:28:52.

pressures under Governments of all parties, but it's got to be a

:28:53.:28:56.

combination of the increased spending that does depend on the

:28:57.:28:59.

productivity and growth of the economy at the end, but also a

:29:00.:29:06.

flexible, locally driven approach to local reforms and it will need some

:29:07.:29:11.

reconfiguration of services in some areas. My area, we used to have

:29:12.:29:16.

cardiac and stroke unit treatments at both the local hospitals. Now

:29:17.:29:21.

they've been closed, they have been centralised at one of the hospitals.

:29:22.:29:27.

My constituency hospital lost out and I was quite miffed about that,

:29:28.:29:33.

to put it mildly. Actually, the outcomes for patients from having

:29:34.:29:36.

specialist stroke and cardiac units... David, if you start... More

:29:37.:29:43.

people are living and making complete recoveries from strokes so

:29:44.:29:49.

we shouldn't decry... So all these complaints are without any basis?

:29:50.:29:52.

No, they are not. There is a ground for complaint?

:29:53.:29:58.

Where there are pressures they have to be addressed.

:29:59.:30:05.

And where there are cases of bad treatment, which in an NHS treating

:30:06.:30:10.

millions every day, there are bound to be some, then those need to be

:30:11.:30:15.

investigated. Bad treatment has not been in the headlines this week. It

:30:16.:30:20.

is absence of treatment, because of absence of money. What is it about

:30:21.:30:25.

the evidence that you refuse to confront?

:30:26.:30:25.

APPLAUSE That money is needed to train more

:30:26.:30:35.

people. We need more radiographers, more

:30:36.:30:40.

midwives, more nurses, we need more assistant nurses, what used to be

:30:41.:30:44.

state enrolled nurses. We need more people actually there, and then you

:30:45.:30:49.

could keep the smaller units going. Yes, have a really skilled people at

:30:50.:30:54.

the big, fancy, flashy places, but you need the filtration. This

:30:55.:31:01.

business about, we have a responsibility, Jeremy Hunt was

:31:02.:31:05.

saying, you know, you should not just trail to A if your perch your

:31:06.:31:10.

finger, but we need there to be more people there who are trained to say,

:31:11.:31:16.

right, you are really badly hurt. Are you shocked by the way things

:31:17.:31:23.

are at the moment? I am shocked. You think there is a genuine public

:31:24.:31:30.

worry? Arron Banks. I am a successful businessman. If you

:31:31.:31:33.

starve a business of working capital and cash, you end up making bad

:31:34.:31:38.

decisions for the wrong reasons. I think we are in danger where it is

:31:39.:31:43.

being starved for cash. You have enough money to park ?2 billion in

:31:44.:31:47.

the World Bank pending the fact that we can't spend enough money quickly

:31:48.:31:52.

enough on the aid budget, but we are starving the NHS of cash. We have to

:31:53.:31:57.

start working out our priorities. Is it a priority to spend 12 billion

:31:58.:32:02.

that is misappropriated by foreign governments, or spend money on the

:32:03.:32:05.

NHS for people in this country? APPLAUSE

:32:06.:32:11.

Natalie, who asked the question, what do you make of the answers?

:32:12.:32:18.

I think everybody did not answer the question. My question was is she

:32:19.:32:23.

wrong to reject the claims, and she is, in my opinion. We can all get

:32:24.:32:27.

hung up on the semantics and the wording, is it a humanitarian

:32:28.:32:32.

crisis, but it is a crisis, whatever you put before that word. I would

:32:33.:32:39.

argue that yes, Syria and Aleppo is a humanitarian crisis, but are those

:32:40.:32:43.

people suffering any greater than the person lying on a bed in a

:32:44.:32:47.

hospital corridor, dying, without the treatment they require? Is there

:32:48.:32:53.

suffering any less? There is no hierarchy of suffering. The fact is,

:32:54.:32:59.

it needs to be sorted. I have children and a grandparent who rely

:33:00.:33:02.

on the NHS, and the fact that they do not receive the care they need in

:33:03.:33:07.

a timely manner angers me, to be fair.

:33:08.:33:08.

APPLAUSE I work with people who rely heavily

:33:09.:33:19.

on health and social and there is a crisis.

:33:20.:33:24.

Those sort of people don't have a luxury of time to sit in A waiting

:33:25.:33:29.

to be seen. I think we should be moving on to work together. This is

:33:30.:33:35.

a clarion call for everyone to work together to try and transform the

:33:36.:33:39.

services. The government has a five-year plan. Frankly, we don't

:33:40.:33:43.

have time for that. Something needs to be downright now for these

:33:44.:33:51.

people. A last word to you, David. I describe both how the money is

:33:52.:33:54.

going, but also in response to the lady in the front row and to Monica,

:33:55.:34:00.

look at the figures. There are now nearly 11,500 more doctors than in

:34:01.:34:08.

2010, nearly 5000 more nurses and midwives, and those NHS staff are

:34:09.:34:13.

treating more people, year-on-year, for different conditions than they

:34:14.:34:16.

used to. That is a tribute to them, and they are doing it because the

:34:17.:34:21.

money is being put in. I agree about the need to provide a means at A

:34:22.:34:28.

for differentiating between those who do need the Accident Emergency

:34:29.:34:32.

service and those who need some other kind of treatment or advice.

:34:33.:34:37.

There are some NHS areas that are doing that effectively. I do think

:34:38.:34:42.

there are some parts of the country that can learn from success

:34:43.:34:46.

elsewhere. The NHS itself is saying they think perhaps 30% of people who

:34:47.:34:51.

go to A would be better going through some of -- some other path.

:34:52.:34:57.

That seems true from international evidence of other industrialised

:34:58.:35:02.

countries. I can't quite get a handle on whether you are saying

:35:03.:35:06.

that the complaints here and the things Jeremy Corbyn said in the

:35:07.:35:09.

House of Commons are justified, or whether it is making politics

:35:10.:35:15.

against your government? I think it is perfectly accurate to say that

:35:16.:35:19.

the NHS at the moment is experiencing some severe pressures.

:35:20.:35:22.

Those are partly the short-term ones of winter, which is always worse,

:35:23.:35:28.

but this winter is turning out to be particularly bad with some

:35:29.:35:30.

persistent viruses that are taking more people to hospitals. But also,

:35:31.:35:38.

there is what Arron and Monica talked about, the fact that we have

:35:39.:35:43.

an ageing population and therefore there will be an increase in demand.

:35:44.:35:48.

It's great, people are surviving, living for longer, living

:35:49.:35:51.

independently for longer, just as it is great that medical science is

:35:52.:35:56.

producing more drugs and treatment. The way we keep up with it is to

:35:57.:36:05.

continue to spend more, which this government is committed to do, but

:36:06.:36:09.

which depends absolutely on the health and vigour of our economy. It

:36:10.:36:14.

is to secure reforms that make sure the best, most successful practices

:36:15.:36:19.

are followed, and it is to integrate social care and health care. You

:36:20.:36:23.

keep saying the economy is going very well, so the man who said he

:36:24.:36:28.

would pay an extra 2p on his income tax... The economy is continuing to

:36:29.:36:35.

grow, but this is a world in which there are many economic risks. It is

:36:36.:36:40.

a world in which we are still to pay off the whole of the deficit we

:36:41.:36:44.

inherited. We are about two thirds of the way on that task as it is. So

:36:45.:36:52.

you can never be complacent. That deficit continues to grow. You have

:36:53.:37:02.

got the deficit down by destroying the NHS. Thank you!

:37:03.:37:03.

APPLAUSE No, we got the deficit down while we

:37:04.:37:12.

have increased spending on the NHS year-on-year.

:37:13.:37:17.

Who are you shaking your head at? The Jeremy Corbyn lookalike on the.

:37:18.:37:22.

I hope Jeremy Corbyn is not watching. I would not want him to be

:37:23.:37:28.

insulted that he looks like me. I just think that what we really need

:37:29.:37:35.

to look at... I'm a Conservative, but I believe we need to look at

:37:36.:37:40.

huge reforms within the NHS to make it sustainable. Because to say each

:37:41.:37:44.

year we will give an extra 10 billion, all of this extra money,

:37:45.:37:48.

don't we actually need to start having a proper debate about

:37:49.:37:52.

structural reforms towards health in this country? I'm sorry to those

:37:53.:37:58.

with your hands up, but we have to go on because we have 20 minutes

:37:59.:38:03.

left, and a question from that Peters. Is restricted access to the

:38:04.:38:08.

single market a price worth paying for drastically reducing

:38:09.:38:20.

immigration? I would come to you, David, but you have been speaking a

:38:21.:38:27.

lot. Paul Mason. I want us to have the maximum possible access to the

:38:28.:38:30.

single market because although I thought a lot of what the Treasury

:38:31.:38:34.

and the Bank of England said was politically manipulated during the

:38:35.:38:38.

Brexit debate, I voted reluctant Remain. I wanted nothing to do with

:38:39.:38:42.

the way George Osborne manipulated those reports. But what the Bank of

:38:43.:38:47.

England said is that we would have a hard Brexit in a chaotic Brexit,

:38:48.:38:52.

which is what the former ambassador to Europe feared when he resigned.

:38:53.:38:57.

If we have a chaotic Brexit, we will be wiping out all of the growth we

:38:58.:39:01.

have made in the last ten years. It will be a disaster. So I want the

:39:02.:39:06.

maximum continuity. I think we have to accept the Brexit vote. We are

:39:07.:39:11.

leaving Europe. Get over the denial, find some positivity in it, even if

:39:12.:39:16.

you didn't like it. That is true. We start with the economy and then we

:39:17.:39:20.

say to people who voted Brexit because they don't like migration,

:39:21.:39:24.

we will do as much as we can to address the problem is that you are

:39:25.:39:28.

bothered about. But if you think Britain is suddenly going to become

:39:29.:39:32.

Trump style closed to foreigners, it can't be. That also would be very

:39:33.:39:36.

bad for our economy. I want to get away with the minimum amount of

:39:37.:39:40.

change to free movement that we need really to be able to win back

:39:41.:39:46.

consent among the British people for an open and high migration and

:39:47.:39:50.

highly tolerant economy, such as the one I think all of us really want.

:39:51.:39:52.

APPLAUSE What did Jeremy Corbyn, who you

:39:53.:40:04.

support and admire, mean when he said this week that the Labour Party

:40:05.:40:09.

is not wedded to freedom of movement as a point of principle, but nor do

:40:10.:40:13.

we rule it out? I can't make head or tail of that.

:40:14.:40:20.

It's simple. Simple! Many in our party and who support us are wedded

:40:21.:40:25.

to it as aprons are poor. It is a principle of the European Union.

:40:26.:40:29.

Once you are outside the European Union, the have to decide if you're

:40:30.:40:33.

going to fight for it forever. Corbyn and the people around him are

:40:34.:40:37.

saying, once we go to negotiations, we will not be saying that our red

:40:38.:40:41.

line is freedom of movement. It is not a principle of socialism, it is

:40:42.:40:48.

part of a treaty we signed. However, because of Corbyn's position, and my

:40:49.:40:53.

position, the economy comes first. I am willing to layout a series of

:40:54.:40:58.

things we would try and do on migration, maybe free movement above

:40:59.:41:03.

a certain salary, maybe for public sector only. I want a debate about

:41:04.:41:06.

this because many people voted against it. A lot of people who

:41:07.:41:12.

supported Arron's party. I want to talk to them. They have a duty to be

:41:13.:41:17.

listened to. But when we go to negotiations, we have to start from

:41:18.:41:21.

the economy, get what we can to satisfy the British people and

:41:22.:41:25.

reassure them on migration. And that means, to be honest, on the day we

:41:26.:41:29.

leave, free movement as we know it will cease. During the whole

:41:30.:41:35.

campaign there were two things which both sides absolutely agreed on, and

:41:36.:41:40.

that was, if we vote leave, we will leave the single market. No, they

:41:41.:41:45.

didn't. I didn't agree with it and I was on a side, so how can you say

:41:46.:41:50.

that? People voted on what the official side said. No, they didn't.

:41:51.:42:03.

What I'm saying is that you are deluding the audience deliberately.

:42:04.:42:08.

Let the audience decide whether they are being deluded. Both sides said a

:42:09.:42:19.

vote to leave, whether you want on the Remain scythe or believes macro

:42:20.:42:22.

side, the campaign said that would mean leaving the single market. The

:42:23.:42:26.

single market is a trading arrangement of 31 countries which

:42:27.:42:29.

say you have to comply with the same set of laws, you have free movement

:42:30.:42:35.

of people, money, capital and services, and you also won't have

:42:36.:42:40.

control over your borders. So the official vote Leave campaign said we

:42:41.:42:45.

want to take control of our borders, our trade policy and our laws. If we

:42:46.:42:50.

now say that Brexit means Brexit, you cannot remain a member of the

:42:51.:42:53.

single market and not have control over your borders, have control over

:42:54.:42:58.

your laws and control over your trade. You can. Isolating ourselves

:42:59.:43:09.

from the single market might not matter. Over half of immigration

:43:10.:43:13.

into this country comes from outside the EU, so Brexit, no Brexit, single

:43:14.:43:17.

market, no single market, these people will still come in. No one

:43:18.:43:23.

from the Leave side, not even Nigel Farage and Arron Banks have said

:43:24.:43:27.

they will stop migration altogether. We will still have migration from

:43:28.:43:32.

the EU, even if it is vetted. But we risk isolating ourselves from our

:43:33.:43:38.

biggest trading block. For me, for relatively little gain. Even if you

:43:39.:43:42.

do one less migration, more will still come from outside. For me,

:43:43.:43:46.

Britain is on the verge of cutting off its nose to spite its face. For

:43:47.:43:51.

me, we are playing a very dicey game. You are shaking your head. I

:43:52.:43:59.

was an ardent Remainer and I led one of the teams here in Solihull. I

:44:00.:44:06.

realise now that we are out, OK. The point is, I think there is a fiction

:44:07.:44:09.

being created between membership and access. The United States, China

:44:10.:44:16.

have access to the single market yet are not wedded to the free movement

:44:17.:44:23.

principles. We can still have access and yet have control of our borders.

:44:24.:44:28.

This fiction that is being created by the EU is going to cause problems

:44:29.:44:32.

when we get to the negotiating table in March. David Lidington, when you

:44:33.:44:38.

were working with David Cameron in the run-up, you said these trade

:44:39.:44:43.

agreements were going to take six, seven, eight years and counting. It

:44:44.:44:48.

is massive, what is at risk. Do you still take that view?

:44:49.:45:00.

I'm with the gentleman in the blue jumper. I campaigned very hard for a

:45:01.:45:06.

remain vote. I was hugely disappointed by the result. But if

:45:07.:45:09.

you call yourself a democrat, you have to accept that result. What we

:45:10.:45:17.

now have to do as a Government, as a country, is to negotiate hard for

:45:18.:45:24.

the best possible deal for people of Britain but also part of our

:45:25.:45:29.

argument saying we want there to continue to be a really close

:45:30.:45:34.

working partnership between the UK and what will continue to be our

:45:35.:45:39.

closest neighbours amongst the European countries. Now, part of

:45:40.:45:48.

that should, in my view, involve as much, not just access to, but

:45:49.:45:51.

freedom to operate within the European market for British

:45:52.:45:56.

companies and, for that to happen on a resick Rick Al basis for European

:45:57.:45:59.

countries here as well, I think it was also clear from the referendum

:46:00.:46:04.

that very many people who voted to leave did so thinking in terms of

:46:05.:46:09.

the immigration debate and trying to re-establish national immigration

:46:10.:46:13.

control. That's what I found on the doorstep when talking to leave

:46:14.:46:16.

voters again and again. I think it's clear from the result that freedom

:46:17.:46:23.

of movement as it currently exists cannot continue as before. But

:46:24.:46:29.

again, we need to find a way that also respects the rights of the

:46:30.:46:34.

European citizens who've come here, lived here lawfully, worked, lived

:46:35.:46:38.

and paid taxes and doing a job their employers value, and the rights of

:46:39.:46:41.

British people living in the other countries as well.

:46:42.:46:45.

Aaron Banks? Of course every country in the world

:46:46.:46:50.

has access to the single market. It's a kind of fallacy. In terms of

:46:51.:46:56.

the actual single market, I think you mentioned the control of

:46:57.:47:00.

immigration, the fact that the Government's utterly failed to

:47:01.:47:03.

control non-EU immigration is not a reason not to do it. I mean, you

:47:04.:47:08.

have rules, you have regulations. I mean, the idea that Theresa May, by

:47:09.:47:12.

the way, is going to do a deal with Europe, is laughable. David Cameron

:47:13.:47:16.

went to do a deal, came back with absolutely nothing, I mean

:47:17.:47:21.

absolutely nothing! And pushed us into a referendum.

:47:22.:47:24.

Yes, well I'm sorry you are against democratic votes, but that's the way

:47:25.:47:29.

it goes. But the fact of the matter is, you've got Marine Le Pen being

:47:30.:47:38.

elected, Gert Vealeders and the EU hasn't budged an inch. This idea

:47:39.:47:45.

there is going to be negotiations, it's laughable. So, you know, you

:47:46.:47:49.

are saying we are going to get a wonderful deal, we'll do the best,

:47:50.:47:51.

there is no doing the best, it is what it is, we have to leave the

:47:52.:47:54.

single market and trade with the rest of the world.

:47:55.:48:00.

APPLAUSE. You? Brexit means Brexit and I think

:48:01.:48:07.

I agree with Gisela that there are two parties in this negotiation and

:48:08.:48:12.

Aaron's just picked up on the point that if the EU's position would be

:48:13.:48:16.

if we want to trade with them, we have to apply with, or comply with

:48:17.:48:20.

their rules and regulations and they are probably not going to budge. Is

:48:21.:48:25.

the rather than have this ongoing debate about hard Brexit, it's not

:48:26.:48:28.

our choice. Ultimately, it will be the EU, whether we have a hard

:48:29.:48:33.

Brexit or soft Brexit because of their rules and regulations. Now we

:48:34.:48:39.

voted on immigration, to get our laws back into our country and, on

:48:40.:48:42.

that basis, if that is going to happen, by definition, we are going

:48:43.:48:46.

to be outside of the rules and regulations and therefore we need

:48:47.:48:49.

the trade agreements to be in place when we do leave.

:48:50.:48:57.

Monica? Coming back to the question of restricted access, is it a price

:48:58.:49:03.

worth do paying to reduce immigration. I think that we should

:49:04.:49:07.

not be looking to reduce immigration. From the perspective of

:49:08.:49:14.

the sector in which I work, which is the university sector, research,

:49:15.:49:19.

innovation, we need people coming to us from Europe, from America, from

:49:20.:49:25.

China, from the whole world, because we don't have enough skilled people

:49:26.:49:30.

in this country to fill the jobs that we need. There are not enough

:49:31.:49:36.

engineers being trained in the whole of Europe to actually fill the

:49:37.:49:41.

engineering jobs that are required. There simply aren't enough. And so

:49:42.:49:46.

if we restrict people coming into this country, we are going to

:49:47.:49:50.

restrict the people who're working and paying taxes and helping to

:49:51.:49:54.

build our economy, helping to innovate and helping to design. We

:49:55.:49:59.

are also going to restrict our own people who want to travel abroad,

:50:00.:50:05.

travel to America, travel to other countries within the EU and beyond,

:50:06.:50:09.

we are preventing them from having the opportunity to do that, learn

:50:10.:50:13.

new skills and then bring them back to this country. Very briefly, are

:50:14.:50:17.

you reconciled? APPLAUSE.

:50:18.:50:21.

Are you reconciled to the Brexit vote? I am not reconciled. I'm a

:50:22.:50:29.

good democrat but I'm completely unreconciled, I've felt sick every

:50:30.:50:34.

day since I woke up on June 24th. APPLAUSE.

:50:35.:50:44.

It's funny because I've had a sense of liberation every day since the

:50:45.:50:46.

vote so there we go. APPLAUSE.

:50:47.:50:51.

All right. You want another referendum? Sorry? Do you want

:50:52.:50:56.

another referendum. Have another go. I would like one, yes, because I

:50:57.:51:00.

don't believe that we were given if correct information at the time --

:51:01.:51:03.

the correct information at the time. APPLAUSE.

:51:04.:51:10.

I don't want to be accused of being, you know, a Remaining moaner or

:51:11.:51:16.

whatever, but I feel that at the time we were not given... Sounded

:51:17.:51:21.

like one! I'm not moaning, I'm making a statement. We have five

:51:22.:51:25.

minutes left. I would like to take one more question which came up this

:51:26.:51:29.

week and I think we have just got five minutes to talk about it, a

:51:30.:51:34.

question from Claire Rex? Should there be a maximum wage cap? Should

:51:35.:51:40.

there be a cap on wage salaries as was being talked about by Labour?

:51:41.:51:45.

Paul Mason? Yes, there should be but it won't solve the problem on its

:51:46.:51:48.

own of what we are trying to do here. We've got a situation in the

:51:49.:51:53.

world, not just in Britain, where the rich get richer because they're

:51:54.:51:57.

able to use their assets which rise in value in a way that ordinary

:51:58.:52:01.

people's assets which is a house you ways basically don't own and a car

:52:02.:52:07.

you basically don't own just can't. Now, taxation as has to change. Big

:52:08.:52:14.

official bodies like the OECD think-tank based in pairs well

:52:15.:52:17.

resourced are coming around to the idea that we have to do something,

:52:18.:52:22.

otherwise we'll end up with Downton Abbey-style levels of inequality and

:52:23.:52:24.

it's not just about how much money you have in the bank, it's about the

:52:25.:52:30.

life chances of your children. If you can't afford private school or

:52:31.:52:34.

private medicine when the state system is falling apart because the

:52:35.:52:38.

rich are not paying their taxes, there becomes a social apartheid. So

:52:39.:52:43.

yes I would like to see a 20 times cap from the lowest to the highest.

:52:44.:52:47.

But the average rich person knows how to get around that. You know,

:52:48.:52:52.

David Cameron's dad had all these off shore accounts and all of that,

:52:53.:52:56.

they know how to get around it so we need to close down the tax havens.

:52:57.:53:03.

All right. Aaron Banks? In a system where 1% of the population owns 50%

:53:04.:53:10.

of the the wealth of the country is not capitalism, it's been replaced

:53:11.:53:15.

by something more sinister. I find myself agreeing with Paul but I

:53:16.:53:18.

don't agree the cap is the right way of dealing with it. Some sort of

:53:19.:53:26.

aggressive tax system that basically penalises what I would call unearned

:53:27.:53:30.

wealth that hasn't been earned through the merit of what you are

:53:31.:53:36.

doing seems to be to me wholly sensible. It's worse in the States

:53:37.:53:40.

although they have learnt how to give money more effectively than in

:53:41.:53:43.

this country. I don't agree with the wage cap but I do think there has to

:53:44.:53:48.

be some fundamental rethinking of capitalism, how it works and this

:53:49.:53:53.

kind of corporatism that's kind of replaced it that's insidious and

:53:54.:53:58.

very dangerous. David Lidington? The answer to the questioner was no, we

:53:59.:54:04.

have tried in the '70s in particular to put caps and regulations on

:54:05.:54:10.

wages. It didn't work. But I do think there is a genuine issue

:54:11.:54:17.

behind that question. For once, and I did agree with partly with what

:54:18.:54:20.

Paul said, because I think there is a need for action on tax havens.

:54:21.:54:24.

Let's not kid ourselves that that can be done in one country, that

:54:25.:54:29.

needs global agreement when money can be moved around on the click of

:54:30.:54:35.

a mouse. I think that we do need to have greater transparency from

:54:36.:54:38.

companies about what they're paying the top people and I do think that

:54:39.:54:43.

shareholders, particularly corporate shareholders, need to hold the high

:54:44.:54:47.

paid to account. What narks a lot of people is, when you see a company

:54:48.:54:53.

doing really badly, yet the money paid out to the bosses of that

:54:54.:54:57.

company seem Toscary on going up year on year. Did you support David

:54:58.:55:05.

Cameron's idea of a 10-1 ratio from top-to-bottom, were you behind that?

:55:06.:55:12.

It wasn't my idea, but I agreed with it, yes. So why didn't it hatch?

:55:13.:55:18.

Because we were not saying that that would be something imposed by law,

:55:19.:55:22.

but it should be imposed by way of policies. He's in charge of the

:55:23.:55:27.

Public Services. Public Services have a lot of autonomy. The other

:55:28.:55:32.

thing that I want to say in response to what Paul and Monica said is

:55:33.:55:35.

that, if you actually look pat what's happening in the UK at the

:55:36.:55:41.

moment, the richest 1% are paying 27% of income tax at the moment, the

:55:42.:55:47.

highest share that there's ever been paid by that top 1%. That's

:55:48.:55:53.

irrelevant. And we need to maintain a tax regime that ensures people do

:55:54.:55:58.

pay their fair whack in terms of tax and don't try and squirrel it away.

:55:59.:56:06.

I agree about progressive taxation. I don't think a wage cap is

:56:07.:56:10.

workable. I think what narks people is when they see great big

:56:11.:56:14.

corporations like Amazon and Google getting away with paying no tax in

:56:15.:56:20.

this country or hardly any tax... APPLAUSE.

:56:21.:56:24.

Unfor Natalie, if you are wealthy, you can employ a train of

:56:25.:56:28.

accountants and tax people who'll explain how you can get around the

:56:29.:56:33.

tax laws. I think we really have to go for fair taxation, fair pay, fair

:56:34.:56:40.

taxation and make sure it's implemented. Jeremy Corbyn says he'd

:56:41.:56:45.

like a high earnings cap and some say it doesn't make sense. Which

:56:46.:56:50.

side are you on? The last Labour Government introduced the minimum

:56:51.:56:53.

wage which they said always better off in work than out. We have not

:56:54.:56:57.

kept up-to-date with increasing that minimum wage to not reduce the gap

:56:58.:57:01.

and you have a progressive tax system on top of that. That is the

:57:02.:57:05.

answer to reduce the inequality rather than just having the top

:57:06.:57:10.

down... We have raised that before. We have got to stop, our time is up.

:57:11.:57:18.

We only have an hour. Apologies to those who had their hands up.

:57:19.:57:26.

We're in Peterborough next week with broadcaster Piers Morgan

:57:27.:57:28.

and the American novelist, Lionel Shriver among our panellists.

:57:29.:57:31.

To come and take part in our audience in Peterborough

:57:32.:57:38.

or London, go to our website, or call 0330 123 99 88.

:57:39.:57:41.

If you are listening tonight on Radio 5 live, the debate goes

:57:42.:57:45.

For us here, it's my pleasure to thank you all very much for coming

:57:46.:58:01.

on to the panel, to thank you for coming here to Solihull to take

:58:02.:58:05.

part. Until next Thursday from Question Time, good night.

:58:06.:58:36.

That I will faithfully execute the Office...

:58:37.:58:39.

And will to the best of my ability...

:58:40.:58:43.

The Constitution of the United States...

:58:44.:58:48.

David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Solihull.

On the panel are David Lidington, Conservative leader of the House of Commons; Labour MP and chair of the Vote Leave campaign Gisela Stuart; businessman, Brexit campaigner and Ukip donor Arron Banks; journalist and broadcaster Paul Mason; professor of planetary space science at the Open University Monica Grady.


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