20/10/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and John Hess with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With communities secretary Eric Pickles and deputy first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.

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Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Politics. Alex Salmond says a


vote for Scottish independence would be an act of national self belief.


His deputy joins us live from the SNP conference in Perth. Is


Whitehall meddling too much in modern affairs? The Communities


Secretary, Eric Pickles, joins me for The Sunday Interview. Senior


coppers will be answering questions this


And in or out ` as your job depend on Europe? And as more


London, does the London assembly have one arm tied behind its back?


All of that to come. And the Home Office minister sacked by Nick


Clegg, who says his party is like a wonky shopping trolley, which keeps


veering off to the left. He will join us live at noon. With me to


unpack all of this, Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Iain Martin. They will be


tweeting throughout the programme, using hashtag #bbcsp. It is the last


day of the Scottish national party conference in Perth. We have


discovered that Alex Salmond has been on the same diet as Beyonce.


The SNP leader compared his attempts to lose weight with the campaign for


independence - lots achieved so far, 20 more to do. In a moment, I will


be joined by the deputy leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon. First


they report on the independence campaign. September 18 2014, the


date of destiny for Scotland, the day when these campaigners hope its


people will decide to vote yes for independence. In a recent poll, only


14% said they knew enough to vote either way. That is unlikely to


change any time soon. I think the Scottish people will be going to the


polls next year still not knowing an awful lot of stuff which is


important, because the outcome, in terms of taxation, debt, exactly


what will happen to the allocation of assets between the two countries,


will come about as a result of negotiation between a Scottish


government and the UK Government. That is not stuff which will be


known year. At the moment, polls suggest Scotland will decide to


remain within the UK. A recent survey found that 44% of those


questioned planned to vote no, 5% yes. But interestingly, the


undecideds were at 31%, suggesting that Alex Salmond's task might be


tough but not impossible. There are a number of reasons which make a


vanilla campaign a good idea. It does not put off cautious voters, it


allows for people to imagine their own version of what independence


will be like, and crucially, it allows for the yes campaign to take


advantage of any mistakes by the no campaign. In other words, the yes


campaign are not out there with big ideas, they are just waiting for the


no campaign to trip up. What we do know is that whatever happens next


September, Scotland will be getting more power. From 2016, a separate


income tax regime will come into force, giving the Scottish


Parliament control over billions of pounds of revenue. What we do not


know yet is how the alternative would pan out. There are issues


which would be raised by independence, issues about how the


national debt is allocated, what the currency will look like, how an


independent Scotland would balance the books, because it would have a


bigger job to do, even down the Whitehall government has to do.


Those are really big issues, which a Scottish government would have to


face, on top of whatever negotiation it had to have with the UK


Government. The Scottish government's White Paper on


independence, two to be published within weeks, should fill in some of


the banks. But how Scotland votes in September may yet be determined by


what it feels rather than what it knows. And joining me from Perth is


Scotland's Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Nicola Sturgeon, we


meet again! Hello, Andrew. Former leader of the SNP Gordon Wilson


said, if this referendum fails, it will fail on the basis that people


put their British identity ahead of their Scottish identity, so we have


got to attack on the British identity - what does he mean? Gordon


Wilson is a very respected, much loved former leader of the SNP. My


view is that I do not think the independence referendum is really


about identity. I am secure and proud of my Scottish identity, but


this is a decision about where power best lies. Do decision-making powers


best lie here in Scotland, with a government which is directly


accountable to the people of Scotland, or does it best lie in


Westminster, with governments which, very often, people in Scotland do


not vote for? That is the issue at the heart of the campaign. Let me


just clarify, you do not agree with him, that you need to go on the


attack with regard to the British identity of Scottish people? No I


do not think we are required to attack British identity. It is


absolutely compatible for somebody to feel a sense of British identity


but still support Scottish independence, because Scottish


independence is about a transfer of power. It is about good government,


accountable government, ensuring that decisions are taking here in


Scotland, by people who have got the biggest stake in getting those


decisions right. I represent a constituency in the south side of


Glasgow, and if you speak to many people in my constituency, if you


ask them their national identity, many of them would say Irish,


Pakistani, Indian, Polish, and many of them will vote yes next year


because they understand the issue at stake, which is the issue of where


decisions are best taken. It looks like you are changing tack ex-, you


have realised the softly softly approach, of saying that actually,


nothing much will change, we will still have the Queen, the currency,


and all the rest of it, is moving over towards voting for a left-wing


future for Scotland... Well, I know that what we are doing is pointing


out is pointing out the choice between two futures. If we vote yes,


we take our own future into our own hands. We make sure that for ever


after, we have governments which will be in demented policies which


we have voted for. If we do not become independent, then we continue


to run the risk of having governments not only that we do not


vote for, but often, that Scotland rejects. We are seeing the


dismantling of our system of social security. There are politicians in


all of the UK parties who are itching to cut Scotland's share of


spending. So Scotland faces a choice of two futures, and it is right to


point out the positive consequences of voting yes, but also the


consequences of voting no. But you are promising to reverse benefit


cuts and increase the minimum wage. You would renationalise the Royal


Mail, though how you would do that nobody knows. You are promising to


cut energy bills. These are the kind of promises that parties make in a


general election campaign, not in a once in 300 years extra stench or


choice. Is the future of Scotland really going to be decided on the


size of the minimum wage? -- existential choice. A yes vote would


be about bringing decision-making powers home, but we are also setting


out some of the things an SNP government would do, if elected A


decision on what the first government of an independent


Scotland would be would not be taken in the referendum, that decision


would be taken in the 2016 election. And all of the parties will put


forward their offers to the electorate. We are setting out some


of the things which we think it is important to be prioritised. These


are things which have a lot of support in Scotland. We see the pain


being felt by people because of the rising cost of energy bills, there


is widespread opposition to some of the welfare cuts. So, we are setting


out the options which are open to Scotland, but only open to Scotland


if we have the powers of independence. Given that you seem to


be promising aid permanent socialist near Varna, if Scotland is


independent, if you are right of centre in Scotland, and I understand


that is a minority pursuit where you are, but it would be a big mistake


to vote for independence, in that case, wouldn't it? No, because the


whole point of independence is that people get the country they want,


and the government a vote for. So, right of centre people should not


vote for independence? No, because people who are of that political


persuasion in Scotland get the opportunity to vote for parties


which represent that persuasion and if they can persuade a majority to


vote likewise, then they will get a government which reflects that. That


is the essence of independence. Right now, we have a Westminster


government which most people in Scotland rejected at the last


general election. That is hardly democratic. It is right and proper


that the SNP, as the current government, points out the


opportunities that would be opening up. Can I just clarify one thing,


when we spoke on The Daily Politics earlier last week, you made it clear


to me that Alex Salmond, we know he wants to debate with David Cameron,


but you made it clear to me that he would debate with Alistair Darling


as well, and Mr Carmichael... He made it clear yesterday. Well, he


said to the BBC this morning that he would only debate with these people


after he had had a debate with Mr Cameron, so who is right? I was


making the point last week, and Alex Salmond was making it yesterday and


this morning - let's have that agreement by David Cameron to come


and debate with Alex Salmond, and then Alex Salmond, just like me


will debate with allcomers. So if he does not get the David Cameron


debate, then he will not do the others, is that right? Let's focus


on is wading David Cameron to do the right thing. So, in other words he


will not debate, yes or no? Members of the SNP government... We know


that, but what about Alex Salmond? He said yesterday, we will debate


with all sorts of people, including the people you have spoken about,


but David Cameron should not be let off the hook just putting aside the


independence issue, energy prices are now even playing into the SNP,


so every political party has to do something about energy prices. Yes,


it is clearly it is interesting is the difference between the SNP and


the Labour approach. Ed Miliband electrified the party conference


season when he said he would freeze energy prices for 20 months,


seemingly having an amazing control over the energy market, where we


know that essentially what pushes prices up the wholesale prices on


world market. What Nicola Sturgeon is talking about is actually saying,


this amount is added to your bills for green levies, and we are going


to take them off your bills and they will be paid out of general taxation


in an independent Scotland. That is a credible government, making a


credible case, very different to what Labour is saying, although


playing to the same agenda. So, Labour has got a populist policy,


the SNP has also got a populist policy, the one group of people that


do not have a decent response to this is the coalition? Exactly. What


the SNP also have is a magic money pot, so that speech yesterday, you


are right, it was very left wing, social democratic, but there was


none of the icing like Labour has been talking about, with fiscal


responsibility. I think that is the difference between the two. We know


what the Tories would really like to do, all of these green levies which


were put on our bills in the good times, when they were going to be


the greenest party ever, the Tories would like to say, let's just wipe


out some of them, put the rest on to some general government spending,


but they have a problem, which is in the Department of Energy and Climate


Change. Not only that, they really are stuck now. But there is


something in the free schools debate this morning, the parties are now


determined to send a message to their potential voters at the next


election, that they are trying to fight their coalition partners. Do


not expected any change in coalition policy or free schools policy before


the election, but we can expect to hear the parties try to pretend that


they are taking on their coalition partners. Mr Clegg has said, we


would put this free schools policy into our manifesto, so is it not


possible that the Tories will say, if you give us an overall majority,


we will cut your electricity bill because we will get rid of these


green levies? I think that is entirely possible. The Tories know


that they are stuck on this, they do not have a response to Ed Miliband.


How much should ministers in Whitehall medal in local decisions


across England? In opposition, David Cameron said he wanted a fundamental


shift of power from Whitehall to local people. He said, when one size


fits all solution is... Eric Pickles described it as "an


historic shift of power". But the Communitites and Local Government


Secretary can't stop meddling. In the past few months Mr Pickles has


tried to ban councils from using CCTV cameras and "spy cars" to fine


motorists... Told councils how to act quicker to shut down illegal


travellers' sites... Criticised councils who want to raise council


tax... Insisted councils release land to residents hoping to build


their own property... And stated new homes should have a special built in


bin storage section. It seems not a week goes by without a policy


announcement from the hyper active Mr Pickles. So is the government


still committed to localism, or is it all about centralism now?


And Communities Secretary Eric Pickles joins me now for the Sunday


Interview. Welcome. Nice to be here. You said


in July you were going to give town halls the power to wreak their local


magic. So why issue diktats from Westminster? It is not about giving


power to local councils, it is going beyond that to local people. If


local councils refuse to open up their books, we have to go straight


to local people. You have attacked councillors using so-called spy


cameras to enforce parking rules. Why is that your business? Because


there is an injustice taking place. You cannot use fines to raise money


and that is plainly happening. If you get yourself a ticket from a


CCTV, it could be days or weeks before that lands on your doorstep


and you have virtually no possibility to be able to defend


yourself. But just leave it to people to vote out the council then.


We are trying to enforce the law and it clearly states that you cannot


use parking fines in order to fund general rate. So why are you not


taking them to court if they are breaking the law? There have been a


number of court cases taken by local residents. I am there to stand by


local residents. Your even trying to micromanage, allowing motorist s to


park for 15 minutes in local high street. Why is that your business?


I'm trying to ensure that local authorities understand the


importance of the town centre. If you look at all opinion polls, right


now there is a five-minute leeway but there are many cases of people


being jumped on by parking officials for quite trivial things. It is


about saying, surely I can go and get a pint of milk. But a party that


dines out on localism, that is a matter for local people, not the men


in Whitehall. I have to be on the side of local people. That person


who wants to go and get a pint of milk. Ultimately it is a matter for


them. It is a matter for the council. But a little bit of


criticism is not a bad thing. You have now declared war on the wheelie


bin and suggested that new homes should have built in storage


sections. You just cannot help meddling! I suppose that is


possible. You are a meddler! I am in charge of building regulations and


planning. So I may have some responsibility there. Another one,


interfering in local planning decisions. A couple of places, you


ruled in favour of developers. They want to build over 200 houses


against the wishes of the parish and district councils. The local MP said


the Secretary of State's decision runs roughshod over any concept of


localism. Now I have to be a blushing violet because of course


this is still potentially subject to judicial review. I have to act


properly. And Apple went is entitled to justice. -- an applicant. A local


authority has a duty to ensure that is adequate housing for people in


their area. This was not a decision that I took as a personal decision,


it was on the advice of an inspector. But you contradict what


David Cameron himself said in 2 12, he spoke about a vision where we


give communities much more say and local control. People in villages


fear big housing estates being plonked from above. You have just


done exactly that. After a proper quasi judicial enquiry. What we have


is planning framework which local people can decide where it goes But


they cannot say, nothing here. They have to have a five-year housing


supply. Previous to this government decided exactly where houses would


go, now local people can take the lead. Anna Silbury said because of


the way your department rules, local authorities now have no alternative


but to agree development on green belt land. I do not accept that I


think around Nottingham there are particular problems with regards to


the green belt. The matter has been referred back.


the green belt. The matter has been want to see development on the green


belt but on Brownfield site. We want to see underused land. But you have


to remember why we have the green belt. Not


to remember why we have the green nice, it is their to prevent


conurbations bumping into one another. Your


conurbations bumping into one is vocal about the need to deal


what he calls the historic under provision of housing. Shelter says


we need 250,000 new homes per year. provision of housing. Shelter says


Houston statistics are getting there, but nowhere near that. -


housing. You cannot there, but nowhere near that. -


localism agenda as well as meeting housing demand. I do not accept


that. We inherited a position where the lowest level of building since


the 1920s was in place. But it has steadily improved. It does take a


while. You cannot have a localism agenda where people call the shots


on housing as well as meeting the housing demand. People have a duty


to ensure that future generations have somewhere to live. You cannot


pull up the drawbridge. There is nothing incompatible between that


and localism. Because someone has to be the voice of those people who are


going to live there and to make sure there is the proper amount. Plans


now exist for more than 150,000 homes to be built on protected land,


including the green belt. That will mean riding over local concerns


Each application will be taken on its own merits. To suggest that


there is an assault on the green belt is as far from the truth as you


can imagine. Should Andrew Mitchell get his job back if the years


exonerated? I would be honoured to sit with Andrew Mitchell in the


Cabinet. I have always believed his version. But it is a matter for the


Prime Minister who he has in government. He would have no problem


in seeing him back in Cabinet? Absolutely not. Your mother answered


Vulcan junior minister Nick balls said about the Royal Charter for the


press, there's nothing we have done that troubles me as much as this. Is


that your view? It is not. I accept the compromise agreement put


together. If the press want to have an additional protection that the


Royal Charter offers, then they can move into the system. But if they


want to continue independently that is acceptable to me. But you


previously echoed Thomas Jefferson, you said for a free society to


operate the river of a free press has to flow without restriction


That is what I said at the time We had to find a compromise. And that


seems to me to be a better compromise. Let me just show you


this little montage of pictures that we have. I could not be happier


Then you are in the Desert and there you are in San Francisco. Then you


are in the casino. That is my personal favourite. These students


took a cardboard cutout of you and took it round the world with them.


Did you ever think you would become a student icon? I always felt


secretly that that might happen one day. But it came earlier in my


career than I thought! Why would they do that? I think they thought I


could do with a bit of an airing! I went to Norfolk earlier, but that


looks better. Thank you. On Wednesday senior police folk


including chief constables, will be questioned by MPs about what's


become known as Plebgate. That's the incident in Downing Street last year


which led to the resignation of the government chief whip Andrew


Mitchell. Last week the Independent Police Complaints Commission


questioned the "honesty and integrity" of police officers who


met Mr Mitchell following the row. So do scandals like this affect


public trust in the police? Here's Adam Fleming.


It's a story of politics, the police, and CCTV. No, not Andrew


Mitchell, but an MP's researcher called Alex Bryce and his partner


Iain Feis. It started on a summer night in


2011. They'd been in Parliament After a few words with a police


officer, Ian was wrestled to the ground. Alex came to have a look and


the same thing happened to him. Both were arrested and charged. These


pictures emerged on day one of their trial. A trial that was halted


because the police version of events just didn't match the footage. A lot


of people with incidence like this which we experienced, people think


there is no smoke without fire. So when we said we did nothing wrong,


people would think police just would not do that. There is always that


underlying view that some people have. I think that has been


challenged and people who know us believe that. This year the Met


apologised and paid compensation. And it's led to an unlikely sort of


friendship. When the truth came out about the Andrew Mitchell story I


actually sent him an e-mail to congratulate him about the truth


coming out. He did send a reply acknowledging that. So where are we


with THAT saga? Remember last September? Andrew Mitchell had a row


with police at the gates of Downing Street about his bike. He lost his


job as chief whip after accusations he called the officers plebs. That,


he's always denied. This week the police watchdog the IPCC suggested


that three officers may have lied about a meeting with him at the


height of the scandal. Add that to the charge sheet of cases that


haven't exactly flattered the police. Like the revelation of a


cover up over Hillsborough. The prosecution of an officer from the


Met over the death of Ian Tomlinson during protests in 2009. Along with


news that undercover officers were told to smear the family of Stephen


Lawrence. During Thursday's protest by teachers in Westminster the


police operation was really, really relaxed. And recent scandals have


done nothing to affect society's view of the boys and girls in blue -


or should I say hi-vis. About 6 % of the public say they trust the


police. And that's not budged since pollsters started measuring it 0


years ago. Of course, in Britain, crime is


down, so the perception might be that the police is doing a good


job. And the rank-and-file recently seamed pretty chipper at this awards


ceremony. Is it a good time to be a police officer? It is a good time.


Despite all of the headlines? Still a good time. But speak to officers


privately, and they say Plebgate is affecting how the public see them.


Some of them also think politicians, the Tories especially,


are enjoying that a little too much. Adam Fleming reporting there. Going


head-to-head on this issue of trust in the police, a Sunday Mirror


columnist and Peter Kirkham, former chief inspector. Peter Kirkham, let


me come to you first. Plebgate, the cover-ups over John Charles De


menace, the death of Ian Tomlinson, the industrial deception over


Hillsborough, why is the culture of deceit so prevalent in the police? I


do not agree there is a cultural deceit. These are all individual


incidents which raise individual issues. I would suggest that your


short headline summarising each of them has taken the most negative


view of it. How can you be positive about the police's behaviour over


Hillsborough? It remains to be seen with the inquiry but we are probably


talking about a handful of senior officers, dealing with the


paperwork. Well over 100 testimonies being doctored by the police. Well,


those testimonies were true to start with, so the officers have told the


truth, and they have been changed for some reason. By the police. By


the police all lawyers we have got this thing that the police conflates


everything. There are 43 forces, there is ACPO, there is the College


Of Policing... People say it was a handful of police officers, it


wasn't, it was six senior police officers who were alleged to have


doctored 106 D4 statements. Even today we are hearing that more than


1000 officers are yet to be spoken to about Hillsborough. -- 164. Do we


pretend that Hillsborough, and some of these examples, are the exception


rather than the rule? What is the evidence that this is now prevalent


in our police? I think there is a lot of evidence, and Plebgate is


probably the thing which has clinched it. The public want to


know, how deep does this girl? The audacity of a group of policemen who


think they can set up a Cabinet minister. Five of those who were


arrested and bailed still have not been charged. One of those officers


actually wrote an e-mail pretending to be a member of the public. I do


not see what the problem is in prosecuting them for that. Taking


Plebgate, there are loads of different bits of that incident.


There is the officers on duty in Downing Street, the issue of who


leaked the story to the Sun, there are the officers who claim to have


been there who would appear not to have been there, and then we have


got the West Midlands meeting issue, which has sort of been


resolved this week. There has been misconduct. But at a lower level.


But it is the audacity of an organisation which thinks it can


take on an elected minister and destroy him for their own political


purposes, at a time when the Government are cutting please pay,


when they are freezing their pensions and reducing their numbers.


It looks very much to all of us, the public, that the police are at war


with the government, and they are going to do anything they can to


discredit the Government. The police would have every reason to be at war


with the Government, because there if there is a crisis of trust... But


it looks like they fitted up a Cabinet minister. That remains to be


seen, it is being investigated. We know that those Birmingham officers,


they totally misrepresented to, if not lied outright, about what was


said. Again, that is a misrepresentation of what happened.


If you actually go and look at what is said, it is plain from the


context, they were saying, he has told us nothing new. But he had in


the transcript, it said he hadn't. He would not admit he had used the


word pleb. He apologised profusely, he said it would never happen again,


he said many things that he had not said before. I agree, which is


presumably... Thereon many police forces in this country, they have


one of the toughest jobs in the land, they end up getting involved


in almost anything which happens in society, and there are obviously a


number of difficult examples, but what is the evidence that it is out


of hand, other than just several bad apples? This bad apples argument, we


have some amazing police people, thank God, but it is because of


have some amazing police people, those that we have to root out the


bad ones, the ones that are possibly corrupt. From where most of us are


standing, the ones who are being accused of being corrupt, there does


not seem to be any process to deal with these people. The trouble with


a rotten apple is that it spreads. It is not fair on the good cops to


be tainted by this, and I think the police force, as an institution...


For all of us, we have to respect the police. There is a problem, is


there not? People do worry that if you can fit up a Cabinet minister,


you can fit up anybody... . I would disagree that anybody has proved


that anybody has been fitted up. We are yet to hear what happened at the


gates of Downing Street. But what we do know about the gates of Downing


Street is that we were told by the police officers that passers-by had


heard this incredible row, where Mitchell's file went was bullied.


That is not true... . They did not use those words, actually. All


right, but it is clear that the Police Federation jumped on this as


a politically motivated campaign... I have always said that politics


should be kept out of policing. The federation, they cannot go on


strike, but this was to covertly political, so I criticise them for


that. Do we need a better way of monitoring the police? We need a


more competent and properly resourced Independent police


commission. But if you look at those Bravery Awards, every police


officer, every year, who acts with bravery... That is the police force


we want to believe in. That is the police force you have got. We will


leave it there. Coming up in just over 20 minutes, I will be speaking


to former Lib Minister Jeremy Browne. And in The Week Ahead,


East Midlands manufacturers say they want us to stay in Europe, but what


do you think? Were England, aren't we? I think we can do it ourselves.


I live and work in Germany right now and I assume that is easy because we


are part of Europe. And as another local authority sells


off its care homes for the elderly, we look at what the future holds for


our ageing population. Running a business to make money out of


elderly care I don't believe should be a factor. The care and compassion


has to come first in my view. Hello, I'm John Hess. My guests this


week ` the Liberal Democrat's MEP for the East Midlands, Bill


Newton`Dunn, and the Labour leader of Derbyshire County Council, Anne


Western. Welcome to you both and first ` jobs. Unemployment in the


East Midlands is bucking the national trend and heading in the


wrong direction. Figures this month showed a slight rise of 1,000 in the


number of people out of work here, whilst nationally the figure was


falling. Labour's Ed Balls has been on the


patch talking about his party's plans for creating jobs. The Shadow


Chancellor was at Fisher Scientific, a logistics business in Loughborough


to meet staff and apprentices ` and try his hand at the world of work.


He said Labour would concentrate on combating youth unemployment. We're


saying repeat the tax on bank bonuses and guarantee a job for


every young person. I grew up in Nottingham in the 1980s where there


was long`term unemployment becoming entrenched for young people. We


cannot repeat that mistake. Let's get young people back to work. Ed


Balls talking about his own experience there. But this is a


problem across Europe now, isn't it? Well, there are different


predicaments in different countries. In Spain, youth


unemployment is scarily high. In Germany, it was compulsory for


businesses to supply apprenticeships. Should we do that


here? It is voluntary in Britain. I would like to see everybody taking


youngsters on and giving them a skilled. Anne, that is an idea at a


national level. What about local government ideas? In Derbyshire, we


have a good apprenticeship scheme. We are recruiting at a rapid rate.


We have to get the balance right though because we don't want to


substitute apprenticeships the jobs. We're not being so successful


getting apprenticeships into the private sector. I was talking to the


chamber of commerce last week and the offer we are making does not


seem to be the right offer to appeal to businesses. There is a small


amount of money as an incentive but they are looking for more support.


Ed Balls was talking about finding the money to pay for this job is


guarantee Labour was talking about to get anyone under 25 either into


work or training, is that an IDA European governments have been


talking about? Absolutely. In these times where everyone 0


talking about? Absolutely. In these times where everyone is short of


cash, it is about finding the money. Politics is about priorities. Some


European countries are saying, we have to help our youngsters. For


county like yours, Anne, what are the consequences of long`term youth


unemployment? Well, it is disastrous, isn't it? It is not just


now, but the future. If young people can't find a way into the workplace


then they become an overlooked generation because you never get


those opportunities again. So we're trying to pull everyone together


across the county, colleges, businesses and other councils as


well, to get to the bottom of what we can do best to support the youth.


This is massive youth unemployment happening on your watch. What is the


answer? I would like to see Nick Clegg spending more money on it. If


he can get more money out of the Chancellor to give young people more


skills and get them apprenticeships or training is `` or whatever is


possible. Well, jobs again ` this time


European ones. The subject of whether to be in or out of the EU is


back again. A new survey by the manufacturing organisation EEF has


found that 85% of its businesses want to stay in the EU. It matters


here in the East Midlands in particular, because of the important


role manufacturing still plays in our economy.


302,000 people in the East Midlands worked in the manufacturing sector.


That is 13.9% of the workforce, the highest in the UK. What's more, it's


on the increase. In the last three years, the number of manufacturing


jobs in our region has increased by 16%, compared with a national


average of `1%. Arnab Dutt is a Leicestershire businessmen are


alarmed by talk of leaving the European Union. He supplies and


equipment for escalators around the world. We have ten people working in


our factory. On a monthly basis, 30% of output is going to Europe. The


wheels you see behind me are on their way to Germany next week. I


passionately is `` believe it is important we stay in the UK. Back in


the EU. We are part of a much larger supply chain. If the companies that


export to Europe disappear, we will be in big trouble. The strength of


being in the US we are part of a collective bargaining group. The UK


has an disproportionate amount of leverage when we negotiate with the


US and Asia. So by staying in the EEO, we have greater access to the


world markets than if we were on our own.


Arnab Dutt, and his strong case to stay in the European Union. But not


everyone in the business community is so sure.


We're joined by Stephen Castens, who runs a Nottingham`based advertising


and marketing firm which operates globally. He's also a Conservative


candidate for next year's European parliamentary elections.


Stephen, the fact is that the EU matters for the economy of the East


Midlands. Aren't we risking any revival by the Euro`sceptic talk of


a referendum? Yes, it could be, but the thing we've got to realise with


all the Eurosceptic talk is Europe is very important, whether we are in


or out, both nationally and locally. It is not going to be the case that


if we left we would then suddenly go out to the middle Atlantic and bury


our heads in the ocean. We have to have a strong working relationship


with Europe. If David Cameron doesn't get is renegotiated terms


and we go to a referendum, what happens? 0


and we go to a referendum, what happens? Do you think the UK should


come out if we don't get those improved terms? It is very difficult


to say, because it entirely depends on what he actually does get. What


do you want him to get? I wanted to get a strong renegotiation. On what?


On the way Europe works. It is important the business, we need that


open market, we need the opportunity to export. But, on the other hand,


what we don't want us some of the difficult bureaucratic elements that


keep creeping in. Arnab Dutt was telling us he registered a patent


for one of his products and he said that the ?700 and filling in one


form he could get protection in 28 countries across the youth. `` the


EU. That sounds great, that doesn't sound like bureaucracy. It is very


good. But it is about the cost of running everything in Brussels. That


whole bureaucratic element is not giving us the best deal. Bill,


you've been a member of the European Parliament longer than most. You


must feel you're bashing your pro`EU head against a Euro sceptical wall.


It is healthy there is a debate. There are things that need changing,


nothing is perfect. It is eight compromise of 28 countries, so it


will not be perfect. But we have to stay because we have to have a say


and a voice and a boat to influence the others. If we quit and become


like Norway, who just received faxes about what has been decided, that is


thrown away our influence. UKIP are not going to be satisfied with what


your programmers at the moment, which seems to be wanting the best


of both worlds. They are clear, and that will be attracted to the


electorate, won't it? It is an easy message to give but I think the


electorate are wise to this. What we have to remember is the whole


origins of the new go back to the 1970s when it was a brave difficult


situation. The whole spectre of the Second World War was hanging over


things, and a lot of countries were thinking about that, as were the


eastern European countries. Anne, can you imagine with the UK out of


the EU? No, I agree, you have to be on the inside to change things. It


is easy for people to see what we pretend to be EU, we don't always


see what we get out. There are big investments in Chesterfield,


including the market Hall investment. European money is


helping us to roll out broadband across the country. There are a


whole load of rural benefits that people perhaps don't act knowledge.


If we do have a referendum, you will have a say on Europe. And Des has


been out in Nottingham to get your views.


IU in out? In. I don't want Britain to be isolated from a business point


of view. We need to be able to export to Europe, to be able to


climb out of the recession. We've got a business, and personally I


would stay out of Europe. Why? Because this country needs to stand


alone. You don't need anybody telling you what you've got to do,


what you can't do with your business. All these EU laws have a


vast impact on everything. I said we should be in Europe. The simple


reason is, it should be able to give us more jobs and opportunities to do


other things as well as business abroad. I think we ought to come


out. Wearing blender, we can do it ourselves. I live and work in


Germany now and I assume that is easy because we are in Europe and we


have good relationships. There are a lot of advantages. Does it really


matter what I think? Our street interviews showed 0


matter what I think? Our street interviews showed that


people are actually quite well informed on the issue and have a


view. Stephen, why wait until after the general election for a


referendum? Let's have it now. It's too soon, the debate has to happen.


There has to be discussion. If we do get the opportunity to have a


renegotiation ` let's remember a lot of other countries are supporting


that as well ` then it is very important that we put our best team


forward. We should put people from all sides into that negotiation and


get the best for Britain. But it is a long process, it could take two or


three years to get a proper negotiation. Anne detailed some of


the benefits for her part of Derbyshire, is that not what the


pro`Europeans have to do? Spell out in practical terms what it means for


ordinary people? Yes, and the report you mentioned earlier actually says


that public opinion is due to very poor information and not knowing the


facts. I would welcome a referendum. I'm certain it's coming. It has to


be after the renegotiation, not before. Then the public can get the


real facts and I'm certain they will vote to stay in. Within the Labour


Party, it strikes me that they have their own problems on this issue. I


can think of at least two of your colleagues who want out. Yes, they


have their own views. The discussion today is around business. Given what


we've said about the East Midlands being centred on manufacturing, we


cannot as a country stand alone. We are not self`sufficient. We import


and we export. If you look at Toyota, over 80% of their production


is exported to the EU. Anything creating a barrier there would have


an impact on their business. What do you say to people like Steve and use


a future economic growth is not going to come within the EU? ``


people like Stephen who say. We've got much more strength than 28


individual countries trying to wake `` try to make their way into new


markets. As long as we stay in, business is on a level playing


field. There are too many examples where we are over interpreting


implementation of legislation. What can be done about it? It is


Westminster. The House of Commons fails to do its job of scrutinising


legislation. Next: an issue that's likely to


affect all of us in one way or another ` how we care for our


growing elderly population. The squeeze on councils means they're


looking to cut back on the cost of providing care. This week, Leicester


City Council became the latest to announce big changes ` selling off


half of its homes, and closing the rest. Our political reporter Tim


Parker's been taking a look at the challenges facing councils.


It is becoming a rare sight, residents in a home owned by the


local authority. But the people living here are pretty happy with


how things are run now. The food is all right. At night time I've got my


tally and the phone. I'm not wanting for anything. It's as good as being


at home before `` because you are so well looked after. They are very


good to hours and kind. The food is beautiful. What more could you want?


When you're on your own, you realise how important these places are and


how much you really like it. This is a home in South Derbyshire, one of


26 elderly persons homes owned by Derbyshire County Council. But


across the East Midlands, the trend is to sell homes to private


operators. This week, Leicester City Council is the latest to announce


the closure of all eight of its homes. We are in tough times. That


doesn't mean we have to stop caring, that doesn't mean we don't


do the work with commitment and compassion, but it does mean that,


in the short term, there are changes that are hard for people to come to


terms with. Leicestershire County Council completed the sale of all


its elderly persons homes earlier this year. We are the same as most


councils. We used to have a lot and in my time at the maximum we owned


is 20. We are now entirely privately operated. That's my mother when she


was a nurse 40 years ago. John Wright's mum has been in this


council run home for two years. He says he would be concerned if


politicians decided to sell it off. Profit should not be the overriding


factor. Running a business to make money out of elderly care I don't


believe should be the dominating factor. The care and compassion has


to come first, I think. It's a message not lost on councillors, but


the most, balancing the budget is now a bigger priority.


Anne, with so many of your neighbouring authorities selling off


their care homes, how long can Derbyshire hold off? There are two


ways of looking at dealing with the financial situation. We can either


just shrink and shrink and shrink the services we got until there is


nothing left, or sell them off, or we can reinvent what we do and how


we do it. In the six months we've been in control, we've started to


talk to partners like the NHS in the county, talking to them about what


they need in terms of preventing old people ending up in hospital. Aren't


other local authorities doing that as well? They may be, but our


priority is doing what the people want, and what they want is council


run homes. Because of the quality of care, the supervision and training,


and because it is accountable. If something is wrong, they know they


can take it to the council. Bill, this is happening on your


watch. The Liberal Democrats are in government. Is it accept it by the


rank and file? No, we are very worried, just like Anne. Populations


all over Europe are getting older. The problem we have is going to be


bigger in five or ten years. We are going to need to find the money. If


you look at Sweden, probably the best run country in Europe, they


have far higher taxation and they pay for it that way. In the `` in


the UK, that is difficult to achieve in the short term. So the Lib Dems


say, abolish Trident. Nick Clegg is not in favour that. I won't speak


that privately, but as the coalition partner, he has to make


compromises. But if we got rid of Trident, we could save a fortune the


country by fighting international crime. It costs ?19 million to run


your counsel homes. The overall cost to Derbyshire is ?72 million. That


is a big budget that surely will come under pressure. The Prime


Minister the other week said that any increasing cuts would be modest.


We're trying to prioritise the care services, whether it is elderly,


disabled or children people in the county. We want to support people in


their own homes for longer as well so they don't have to go into


residential care. If they need to, we want them to be able to have a


choice. As regards to David Cameron, I think he is playing with numbers.


This is not just me as a Labour council leader. There are


Conservative council leaders up and down the country are doing the


case. I'm afraid we have to end it there. Time for a round`up of some


of the other political stories in the East Midlands this week ` here's


Rob Pittam with 60 seconds. Dennis Skinner brought a harsh to


the House of Commons when he told MPs of a constituent suffering from


cancer who was denied benefits. For 11 months he waited for an appeal.


Then his aggressive cancer took his site. Took his hearing. Then, last


Friday, took his life. The MP demanded the abolition of the body


assessing whether people are fit to work. It insists it provides a


compassionate service. The battle for the bones of Richard


the bird took a new step this week. The petition calling for the King's


remains to remain in Leicester has more than 40,000 signatures.


And watch out dog owners. A council is stepping up homes to match owners


who fail to poop and Scoop. Those who do get the chance to win a ?50


voucher and grooming session ` for the dogs, that is.


That's all from us this week. Thanks to my guests. Don't forget to catch


up with my latest political blog. Now, back to London.


down immigration, but not in any way which links in with this. Thank you


to both of you for being my guests today.


Are the Lib Dems like a wonky shopping trolley? Why is Nick Clegg


kicking off over free schools? And what about Boris and George's love


bombing of China? All questions for The Week Ahead. We are joined now by


the former Home Office minister and Liberal Democrat MP Jeremy Browne.


Jeremy Browne, let me ask you this key question - ??GAPNEXT who is in


the ascendancy in your party, those who would fear to the left, or those


who would fear to the centre? The point I was making in the interview


that I gave to the times was that I want us to be unambiguously and on


up genetically -- and unapologetically a Liberal party. I


do not want us to be craving the approval of columnists like Polly


Toynbee. I do not want us to be a pale imitation of the Labour Party.


I think we should be proud and unambiguously a authentic Liberal


party. That is my ambition for the party. If it is, as you put it,


fearing to the left, then I think that is a mistake, I think we should


be on the liberal centre ground But is it actually veering to the left,


your party? I think there is a danger when a party, or any


organisation, feels that it is in a difficult position, to look


inwards, to look for reassuring familiar policy positions. I do not


want us to be the party which looks inwards and speaks to the 9% of


people who are minded to support us already. I want us to look outwards


and speak to the 91% of the population, for whom I think we have


got a good story to tell about the contribution we have made to getting


the deficit down, cutting crime keeping interest rates low, and


also, distinctive Liberal Democrat policies for example on income tax


and pupil premiums. If we look like we are a party which is uneasy and


ambivalent about our role in government, people will not give us


credit for the successes of the government, and we will not be able


to claim the authorship which we should be able to claim for our


policies excesses in government I want us to be confident, outward


looking, and authentically liberal. If we are that, people real sense


that and they will respond positively. Does that not therefore


make it rather strange that Nick Craig should choose to distance


himself from the coalition's schools policy? Well, I support free


schools, I think they are a liberal policy. Education is a fascinating


area, so let's explore it a bit We have had two very significant and


troubling reports in the last fortnight, one from Alan Milburn,


saying that social mobility has stalled in this country, in other


words, what your parents do is a reliable guide to how you will get


on in life and the other saying that Britain lags behind our


competitors, the other industrialised countries, in terms


of the educational attainment of 15-year-olds. Both of those are


worrying. We have a scandalous situation in this country where two


thirds of children from disadvantaged backgrounds are


failing to get five Grade A to Grade C. Some get none at all. If we were


the world leaders in education, we could have an interesting


conversation about how we are able to maintain that position, but we


are not. Whether there are good things one less good things which


have happened in our schools over the last 30-40 years, we really need


to raise our game and stop letting young people down who need a good


quality education in order to realise their full potential in


life. It sounds like you do not share Mr Clegg's designations? I


think there are two big dangers for us as a party. I do not think we


should be instinctively statist and I do not think either we should be


instinctively in favour of the status quo. I want us to have a


restless, radical, energetic, liberal reforming instinct, which is


about putting more power and responsible at the end opportunity


in the hands of individual people. As I say, we look at the education


system, of course there are good teachers and good outcomes in some


schools and for some pupils, overall, our performance in this


country is not good enough, so the status quo has not been a successful


stop I am interested in how we can innovate. -- has not been a success.


Are the Tories wooing you? Well I do not know if that is the right


word, I have been reported, and I have set myself, that the


Conservatives have, if you like made some advances or generous


suggestions to me, but I am a liberal, and I am a Liberal


Democrat. I have been a member of the Lib Dems since the party was


founded, I joined when I was 18 years old. I have campaigned


tirelessly for the Liberal Democrats for my entire adult life, so I am


not about to go and join another political party. I would turn this


on its head, let me put it like this, I think there are quite a few


liberals in the other political parties, people like Alan Milburn,


who wrote a report on social mobility, people like Nick Bowles in


the Conservative Party. Our ambition, as Liberal Democrats,


should be to attract liberals from other political parties, and no


political party, to the Lib Dems. Just briefly, have you suggested


that the Tories do not run a candidate against you in the next


election? I have not suggested anything of the sort. The


Conservatives have to make their own decisions about which candidates


they select, and I will take on whoever is select it from each of


the political parties. Thank you for joining us. There is a danger not


from Jeremy Browne, but from Mr Clegg, in that, having been part of


a coalition which has gone through an enormous squeeze in living


standards for three years, it did not look like both was coming, it


was being regarded overall as a failure, but now, it may be turning


the corner, so why would you then start to disassociate yourself from


the coalition's policies? Yes, the danger for Nick Clegg is that he


makes the Liberal Democrats looked like visitors in a guesthouse, a


guesthouse which is owned by the Conservatives. As you say, they were


there for the three difficult years, and just at the moment when the


economy seems to be coming right, and we are getting some nice growth,


they seek to distance themselves. It is interesting that Jeremy Browne


came out with the outrageously disloyal statement that he supported


free schools statement. That is a disloyal Liberal Democrat view, but


on Thursday, of course, the Liberal Democrat party was in favour of free


schools, because in that statement about the Al-Madinah school, David


Laws made a passionate defence about what Nick Clegg is now criticising,


which is having on qualified teachers. If things are now coming


right, the big risk for the Liberal Democrats always was that they would


not get the credit anyway. Well if they diss associate themselves like


this, they definitely will not get the credit. It depends which voters


their opinion poll ratings are dire, he spoke about 9%, and sometimes it


is less than that. So, where are they going to get those voters


from? They have not got those anti-Iraq war voters. Is it not


Mission impossible, getting Labour voters test surely the left of the


Lib Dem vote is peeling off towards labour, not away from Labour? I


wonder to what extent, and this might be speculation, this might be


organised and arranged, that Cameron and Clegg both understand that they


have groups of voters that they need to get, so they need to send


messages out to different groups, it looks like a bit of a setup to me.


Boris in China, along with boy George - let's have a look... Who,


according to JK Rowling, was Harry Potter's first girlfriend? That s


right, and she is Chinese overseas student, is that not right at


Hogwarts? Actually, we are not sure it is right, she is actually from


Scotland. It is not only London which has a diverse society. Putting


that to one side, we are inviting the Chinese into finance our power


stations, to run big banks in the cities, we are giving out more visas


to them, are we right to embrace the Dragon? What worries me about the


power stations then, it is 30% of investment, and it reminds me a lot


of PFI, the idea that you do not want a huge investment on your


balance sheet, but if somebody bails out halfway through, we cannot stop


with a half finished power station. It is EDF, the French company, which


will actually build it, and we will be guaranteeing the debt for them.


It is extraordinary that there has been so little adverse comment after


George Osborne and Boris's trip to China, and is it now really the UK


Government policy, to sell Britain to the Chinese? There was a debate


in government about this, as they were getting ready for the trip and


there will be at some point in the next six months be a David Cameron


trip to China. He has had to wait three years because they were


annoyed about him meeting the Dalai llama. There were some people in the


Foreign Office who were saying, fine, but tread carefully. George


Osborne's view is absolutely not, get in there, I do not care about


any of these problems, get stuck in. I think he is storing up five


years since the financial crisis, Chinese banks are being given a


special, light touch regulatory regime. What could possibly go


wrong?! There is lots to see. Energy prices have continued to dominate


this week. We have got the EDF deal, whereby we are going to be giving


them twice the market rate for their energy. But for the coalition, all


eyes are on the GDP figures. The expectation and hope is that the


recovery will be stronger than the figures have suggested so far, on


which basis it can influence the result of the next general


election. The chief economist at the Bank of England was saying on


Twitter last week that the Bank of England may now bring forward the


assessment when it says, maybe we are going to have to change monetary


policy, if unemployment goes below 7%. And we know what that means


interest rates. The Bank of England on Twitter! That is it for today.


The Daily Politics is back tomorrow on BBC Two. I will be back with


prime Minster 's questions on Wednesday, and of course, we will be


back at 11 o'clock on BBC One next Sunday.


Andrew Neil and John Hess with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With communities secretary Eric Pickles and deputy first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.

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