20/10/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


20/10/2013

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

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

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

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Whitehall meddling too much in modern affairs? The Communities

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

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coppers will be answering questions this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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will come about as a result of negotiation between a Scottish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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allows for people to imagine their own version of what independence

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

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

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

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

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

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income tax regime will come into force, giving the Scottish

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

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

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which would be raised by independence, issues about how the

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

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

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

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

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

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Government. The Scottish government's White Paper on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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absolutely compatible for somebody to feel a sense of British identity

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but still support Scottish independence, because Scottish

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

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accountable government, ensuring that decisions are taking here in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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decision on what the first government of an independent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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be promising aid permanent socialist near Varna, if Scotland is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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persuasion in Scotland get the opportunity to vote for parties

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

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

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

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government which most people in Scotland rejected at the last

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the Labour approach. Ed Miliband electrified the party conference

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

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

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know that essentially what pushes prices up the wholesale prices on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How much should ministers in Whitehall medal in local decisions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And Communities Secretary Eric Pickles joins me now for the Sunday

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Interview. Welcome. Nice to be here. You said

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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and you have virtually no possibility to be able to defend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I'm trying to ensure that local authorities understand the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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bin and suggested that new homes should have built in storage

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

:19:52.:20:04.

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

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

:20:13.:20:18.

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

:20:19.:20:28.

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

:20:29.:20:34.

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

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

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

:20:50.:20:53.

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

:20:54.:21:08.

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

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

:21:17.:21:20.

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

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

:21:27.:21:33.

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

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

:21:38.:21:44.

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

:21:45.:21:53.

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

:21:54.:22:02.

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

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

:22:11.:22:15.

supply. Previous to this government decided exactly where houses would

:22:16.:22:18.

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

:22:19.:22:26.

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

:22:27.:22:31.

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

:22:32.:22:41.

think around Nottingham there are particular problems with regards to

:22:42.:22:49.

the green belt. The matter has been referred back.

:22:50.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:07.

to remember why we have the green belt. Not

:23:08.:23:14.

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

:23:15.:23:14.

conurbations bumping into one another. Your

:23:15.:23:19.

conurbations bumping into one is vocal about the need to deal

:23:20.:23:24.

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

:23:25.:23:24.

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

:23:25.:23:36.

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

:23:37.:23:36.

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

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

:23:40.:23:50.

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

:23:51.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:05.

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

:24:06.:24:08.

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

:24:09.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:19.

pull up the drawbridge. There is nothing incompatible between that

:24:20.:24:26.

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

:24:27.:24:31.

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

:24:32.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:44.

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

:24:45.:24:49.

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

:24:50.:24:53.

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

:24:54.:24:58.

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

:24:59.:25:03.

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

:25:04.:25:08.

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

:25:09.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:18.

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

:25:19.:25:25.

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

:25:26.:25:31.

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

:25:32.:25:36.

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

:25:37.:25:42.

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

:25:43.:25:48.

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

:25:49.:25:53.

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

:25:54.:26:01.

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

:26:02.:26:05.

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

:26:06.:26:12.

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

:26:13.:26:18.

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

:26:19.:26:26.

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

:26:27.:26:38.

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

:26:39.:26:50.

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

:26:51.:27:01.

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

:27:02.:27:05.

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

:27:06.:27:10.

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

:27:11.:27:19.

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

:27:20.:27:27.

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

:27:28.:27:37.

looks better. Thank you. On Wednesday senior police folk

:27:38.:27:39.

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

:27:40.:27:44.

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

:27:45.:27:47.

which led to the resignation of the government chief whip Andrew

:27:48.:27:49.

Mitchell. Last week the Independent Police Complaints Commission

:27:50.:27:51.

questioned the "honesty and integrity" of police officers who

:27:52.:27:56.

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

:27:57.:27:59.

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

:28:00.:28:06.

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

:28:07.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:18.

Iain Feis. It started on a summer night in

:28:19.:28:22.

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

:28:23.:28:26.

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

:28:27.:28:31.

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

:28:32.:28:35.

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

:28:36.:28:40.

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

:28:41.:28:50.

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

:28:51.:28:55.

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

:28:56.:28:59.

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

:29:00.:29:05.

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

:29:06.:29:09.

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

:29:10.:29:13.

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

:29:14.:29:20.

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

:29:21.:29:24.

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

:29:25.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:33.

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

:29:34.:29:37.

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

:29:38.:29:41.

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

:29:42.:29:47.

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

:29:48.:29:50.

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

:29:51.:29:56.

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

:29:57.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:05.

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

:30:06.:30:08.

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

:30:09.:30:13.

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

:30:14.:30:19.

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

:30:20.:30:21.

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

:30:22.:30:27.

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

:30:28.:30:31.

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

:30:32.:30:39.

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

:30:40.:30:40.

years ago. Of course, in Britain, crime is

:30:41.:30:53.

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

:30:54.:30:58.

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

:30:59.:31:02.

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

:31:03.:31:08.

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

:31:09.:31:13.

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

:31:14.:31:17.

Some of them also think politicians, the Tories especially,

:31:18.:31:21.

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

:31:22.:31:25.

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

:31:26.:31:35.

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

:31:36.:31:42.

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

:31:43.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:56.

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

:31:57.:32:00.

incidents which raise individual issues. I would suggest that your

:32:01.:32:05.

short headline summarising each of them has taken the most negative

:32:06.:32:12.

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

:32:13.:32:17.

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

:32:18.:32:21.

talking about a handful of senior officers, dealing with the

:32:22.:32:26.

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

:32:27.:32:34.

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

:32:35.:32:38.

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

:32:39.:32:45.

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

:32:46.:32:49.

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

:32:50.:32:58.

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

:32:59.:33:02.

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

:33:03.:33:07.

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

:33:08.:33:11.

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

:33:12.:33:18.

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

:33:19.:33:25.

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

:33:26.:33:30.

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

:33:31.:33:33.

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

:33:34.:33:38.

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

:33:39.:33:43.

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

:33:44.:33:47.

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

:33:48.:33:50.

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

:33:51.:33:54.

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

:33:55.:33:59.

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

:34:00.:34:04.

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

:34:05.:34:07.

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

:34:08.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:14.

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

:34:15.:34:17.

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

:34:18.:34:27.

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

:34:28.:34:31.

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

:34:32.:34:34.

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

:34:35.:34:39.

when they are freezing their pensions and reducing their numbers.

:34:40.:34:43.

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

:34:44.:34:46.

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

:34:47.:34:50.

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

:34:51.:34:55.

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

:34:56.:35:03.

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

:35:04.:35:10.

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

:35:11.:35:15.

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

:35:16.:35:20.

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

:35:21.:35:22.

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

:35:23.:35:26.

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

:35:27.:35:35.

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

:35:36.:35:41.

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

:35:42.:35:45.

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

:35:46.:35:52.

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

:35:53.:35:55.

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

:35:56.:36:01.

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

:36:02.:36:07.

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

:36:08.:36:12.

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

:36:13.:36:18.

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

:36:19.:36:20.

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

:36:21.:36:23.

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

:36:24.:36:28.

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

:36:29.:36:31.

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

:36:32.:36:35.

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

:36:36.:36:40.

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

:36:41.:36:43.

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

:36:44.:36:51.

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

:36:52.:36:57.

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

:36:58.:37:01.

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

:37:02.:37:05.

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

:37:06.:37:10.

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

:37:11.:37:17.

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

:37:18.:37:27.

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

:37:28.:37:33.

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

:37:34.:37:44.

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

:37:45.:37:48.

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

:37:49.:37:52.

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

:37:53.:37:56.

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

:37:57.:38:02.

more competent and properly resourced Independent police

:38:03.:38:08.

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

:38:09.:38:12.

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

:38:13.:38:19.

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

:38:20.:38:25.

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

:38:26.:38:28.

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

:38:29.:38:40.

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

:38:41.:38:51.

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

:38:52.:38:56.

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

:38:57.:39:00.

are part of Europe. And as another local authority sells

:39:01.:39:03.

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

:39:04.:39:11.

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

:39:12.:39:14.

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

:39:15.:39:23.

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

:39:24.:39:26.

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

:39:27.:39:29.

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

:39:30.:39:34.

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

:39:35.:39:37.

East Midlands is bucking the national trend and heading in the

:39:38.:39:41.

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

:39:42.:39:45.

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

:39:46.:39:47.

falling. Labour's Ed Balls has been on the

:39:48.:39:50.

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

:39:51.:39:53.

Chancellor was at Fisher Scientific, a logistics business in Loughborough

:39:54.:39:56.

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

:39:57.:40:02.

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

:40:03.:40:11.

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

:40:12.:40:15.

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

:40:16.:40:20.

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

:40:21.:40:23.

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

:40:24.:40:31.

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

:40:32.:40:37.

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

:40:38.:40:40.

predicaments in different countries. In Spain, youth

:40:41.:40:44.

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

:40:45.:40:50.

businesses to supply apprenticeships. Should we do that

:40:51.:40:54.

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

:40:55.:40:58.

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

:40:59.:41:08.

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

:41:09.:41:13.

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

:41:14.:41:17.

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

:41:18.:41:23.

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

:41:24.:41:28.

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

:41:29.:41:31.

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

:41:32.:41:36.

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

:41:37.:41:42.

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

:41:43.:41:45.

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

:41:46.:41:50.

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

:41:51.:41:55.

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

:41:56.:42:02.

talking about? Absolutely. In these times where everyone 0

:42:03.:42:03.

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

:42:04.:42:07.

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

:42:08.:42:11.

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

:42:12.:42:20.

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

:42:21.:42:23.

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

:42:24.:42:28.

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

:42:29.:42:33.

then they become an overlooked generation because you never get

:42:34.:42:37.

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

:42:38.:42:41.

across the county, colleges, businesses and other councils as

:42:42.:42:44.

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

:42:45.:42:51.

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

:42:52.:42:55.

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

:42:56.:43:01.

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

:43:02.:43:07.

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

:43:08.:43:12.

possible. Well, jobs again ` this time

:43:13.:43:15.

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

:43:16.:43:20.

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

:43:21.:43:23.

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

:43:24.:43:29.

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

:43:30.:43:32.

role manufacturing still plays in our economy.

:43:33.:43:42.

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

:43:43.:43:48.

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

:43:49.:43:52.

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

:43:53.:43:58.

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

:43:59.:44:08.

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

:44:09.:44:12.

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

:44:13.:44:15.

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

:44:16.:44:21.

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

:44:22.:44:25.

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

:44:26.:44:32.

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

:44:33.:44:38.

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

:44:39.:44:45.

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

:44:46.:44:49.

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

:44:50.:44:56.

has an disproportionate amount of leverage when we negotiate with the

:44:57.:45:00.

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

:45:01.:45:06.

world markets than if we were on our own.

:45:07.:45:08.

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

:45:09.:45:11.

everyone in the business community is so sure.

:45:12.:45:13.

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

:45:14.:45:16.

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

:45:17.:45:19.

candidate for next year's European parliamentary elections.

:45:20.:45:25.

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

:45:26.:45:29.

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

:45:30.:45:44.

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

:45:45.:45:50.

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

:45:51.:45:56.

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

:45:57.:46:00.

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

:46:01.:46:06.

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

:46:07.:46:13.

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

:46:14.:46:18.

and we go to a referendum, what happens? 0

:46:19.:46:19.

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

:46:20.:46:22.

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

:46:23.:46:29.

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

:46:30.:46:35.

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

:46:36.:46:43.

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

:46:44.:46:50.

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

:46:51.:46:56.

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

:46:57.:47:04.

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

:47:05.:47:09.

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

:47:10.:47:13.

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

:47:14.:47:29.

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

:47:30.:47:35.

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

:47:36.:47:38.

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

:47:39.:47:45.

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

:47:46.:47:50.

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

:47:51.:47:57.

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

:47:58.:48:02.

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

:48:03.:48:08.

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

:48:09.:48:13.

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

:48:14.:48:19.

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

:48:20.:48:26.

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

:48:27.:48:29.

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

:48:30.:48:34.

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

:48:35.:48:38.

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

:48:39.:48:45.

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

:48:46.:48:52.

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

:48:53.:48:58.

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

:48:59.:49:01.

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

:49:02.:49:08.

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

:49:09.:49:18.

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

:49:19.:49:23.

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

:49:24.:49:30.

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

:49:31.:49:33.

including the market Hall investment. European money is

:49:34.:49:39.

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

:49:40.:49:44.

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

:49:45.:49:50.

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

:49:51.:49:54.

been out in Nottingham to get your views.

:49:55.:50:08.

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

:50:09.:50:12.

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

:50:13.:50:17.

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

:50:18.:50:23.

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

:50:24.:50:28.

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

:50:29.:50:32.

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

:50:33.:50:40.

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

:50:41.:50:47.

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

:50:48.:50:55.

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

:50:56.:51:02.

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

:51:03.:51:07.

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

:51:08.:51:11.

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

:51:12.:51:21.

matter what I think? Our street interviews showed 0

:51:22.:51:22.

matter what I think? Our street interviews showed that

:51:23.:51:24.

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

:51:25.:51:28.

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

:51:29.:51:36.

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

:51:37.:51:42.

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

:51:43.:51:46.

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

:51:47.:51:51.

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

:51:52.:51:58.

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

:51:59.:52:02.

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

:52:03.:52:06.

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

:52:07.:52:13.

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

:52:14.:52:18.

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

:52:19.:52:24.

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

:52:25.:52:29.

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

:52:30.:52:34.

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

:52:35.:52:43.

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

:52:44.:52:47.

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

:52:48.:52:55.

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

:52:56.:53:00.

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

:53:01.:53:07.

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

:53:08.:53:11.

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

:53:12.:53:16.

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

:53:17.:53:20.

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

:53:21.:53:27.

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

:53:28.:53:32.

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

:53:33.:53:36.

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

:53:37.:53:50.

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

:53:51.:53:55.

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

:53:56.:54:00.

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

:54:01.:54:04.

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

:54:05.:54:10.

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

:54:11.:54:14.

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

:54:15.:54:25.

legislation. Next: an issue that's likely to

:54:26.:54:32.

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

:54:33.:54:35.

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

:54:36.:54:38.

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

:54:39.:54:41.

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

:54:42.:54:45.

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

:54:46.:54:48.

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

:54:49.:54:59.

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

:55:00.:55:02.

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

:55:03.:55:08.

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

:55:09.:55:13.

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

:55:14.:55:19.

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

:55:20.:55:24.

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

:55:25.:55:30.

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

:55:31.:55:36.

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

:55:37.:55:41.

26 elderly persons homes owned by Derbyshire County Council. But

:55:42.:55:44.

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

:55:45.:55:49.

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

:55:50.:55:53.

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

:55:54.:55:59.

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

:56:00.:56:05.

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

:56:06.:56:09.

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

:56:10.:56:15.

terms with. Leicestershire County Council completed the sale of all

:56:16.:56:18.

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

:56:19.:56:25.

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

:56:26.:56:29.

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

:56:30.:56:36.

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

:56:37.:56:40.

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

:56:41.:56:44.

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

:56:45.:56:48.

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

:56:49.:56:53.

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

:56:54.:57:00.

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

:57:01.:57:04.

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

:57:05.:57:08.

Anne, with so many of your neighbouring authorities selling off

:57:09.:57:10.

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

:57:11.:57:18.

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

:57:19.:57:22.

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

:57:23.:57:26.

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

:57:27.:57:31.

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

:57:32.:57:35.

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

:57:36.:57:39.

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

:57:40.:57:44.

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

:57:45.:57:50.

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

:57:51.:57:58.

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

:57:59.:58:02.

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

:58:03.:58:08.

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

:58:09.:58:12.

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

:58:13.:58:19.

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

:58:20.:58:24.

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

:58:25.:58:31.

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

:58:32.:58:36.

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

:58:37.:58:40.

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

:58:41.:58:45.

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

:58:46.:58:53.

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

:58:54.:58:58.

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

:58:59.:59:02.

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

:59:03.:59:08.

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

:59:09.:59:14.

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

:59:15.:59:20.

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

:59:21.:59:23.

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

:59:24.:59:28.

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

:59:29.:59:33.

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

:59:34.:59:39.

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

:59:40.:59:42.

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

:59:43.:59:48.

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

:59:49.:59:58.

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

:59:59.:00:00.

Conservative council leaders up and down the country are doing the

:00:01.:00:04.

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

:00:05.:00:08.

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

:00:09.:00:16.

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

:00:17.:00:19.

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

:00:20.:00:25.

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

:00:26.:00:30.

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

:00:31.:00:39.

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

:00:40.:00:44.

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

:00:45.:00:48.

compassionate service. The battle for the bones of Richard

:00:49.:00:55.

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

:00:56.:00:59.

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

:01:00.:01:05.

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

:01:06.:01:10.

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

:01:11.:01:14.

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

:01:15.:01:24.

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

:01:25.:01:30.

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

:01:31.:01:31.

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

:01:32.:01:35.

to both of you for being my guests today.

:01:36.:01:44.

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

:01:45.:01:52.

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

:01:53.:01:58.

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

:01:59.:02:05.

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

:02:06.:02:09.

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

:02:10.:02:16.

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

:02:17.:02:23.

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

:02:24.:02:27.

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

:02:28.:02:38.

up genetically -- and unapologetically a Liberal party. I

:02:39.:02:42.

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

:02:43.:02:47.

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

:02:48.:02:52.

I think we should be proud and unambiguously a authentic Liberal

:02:53.:02:56.

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

:02:57.:03:01.

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

:03:02.:03:06.

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

:03:07.:03:11.

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

:03:12.:03:16.

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

:03:17.:03:24.

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

:03:25.:03:29.

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

:03:30.:03:33.

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

:03:34.:03:37.

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

:03:38.:03:41.

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

:03:42.:03:43.

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

:03:44.:03:50.

also, distinctive Liberal Democrat policies for example on income tax

:03:51.:03:54.

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

:03:55.:03:57.

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

:03:58.:04:01.

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

:04:02.:04:04.

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

:04:05.:04:08.

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

:04:09.:04:14.

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

:04:15.:04:18.

that and they will respond positively. Does that not therefore

:04:19.:04:23.

make it rather strange that Nick Craig should choose to distance

:04:24.:04:27.

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

:04:28.:04:36.

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

:04:37.:04:44.

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

:04:45.:04:47.

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

:04:48.:04:51.

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

:04:52.:04:54.

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

:04:55.:04:59.

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

:05:00.:05:01.

competitors, the other industrialised countries, in terms

:05:02.:05:05.

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

:05:06.:05:11.

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

:05:12.:05:13.

thirds of children from disadvantaged backgrounds are

:05:14.:05:19.

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

:05:20.:05:27.

the world leaders in education, we could have an interesting

:05:28.:05:30.

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

:05:31.:05:33.

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

:05:34.:05:36.

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

:05:37.:05:40.

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

:05:41.:05:45.

quality education in order to realise their full potential in

:05:46.:05:48.

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

:05:49.:05:55.

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

:05:56.:06:01.

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

:06:02.:06:04.

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

:06:05.:06:09.

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

:06:10.:06:13.

about putting more power and responsible at the end opportunity

:06:14.:06:17.

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

:06:18.:06:21.

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

:06:22.:06:24.

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

:06:25.:06:30.

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

:06:31.:06:34.

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

:06:35.:06:48.

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

:06:49.:06:52.

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

:06:53.:07:00.

Conservatives have, if you like made some advances or generous

:07:01.:07:04.

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

:07:05.:07:07.

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

:07:08.:07:11.

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

:07:12.:07:15.

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

:07:16.:07:20.

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

:07:21.:07:24.

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

:07:25.:07:30.

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

:07:31.:07:33.

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

:07:34.:07:38.

the Conservative Party. Our ambition, as Liberal Democrats,

:07:39.:07:42.

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

:07:43.:07:52.

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

:07:53.:07:56.

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

:07:57.:08:01.

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

:08:02.:08:05.

Conservatives have to make their own decisions about which candidates

:08:06.:08:10.

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

:08:11.:08:14.

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

:08:15.:08:26.

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

:08:27.:08:32.

a coalition which has gone through an enormous squeeze in living

:08:33.:08:34.

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

:08:35.:08:39.

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

:08:40.:08:44.

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

:08:45.:08:49.

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

:08:50.:08:54.

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

:08:55.:08:58.

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

:08:59.:09:02.

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

:09:03.:09:05.

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

:09:06.:09:09.

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

:09:10.:09:14.

came out with the outrageously disloyal statement that he supported

:09:15.:09:18.

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

:09:19.:09:22.

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

:09:23.:09:25.

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

:09:26.:09:30.

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

:09:31.:09:32.

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

:09:33.:09:42.

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

:09:43.:09:47.

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

:09:48.:09:49.

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

:09:50.:09:55.

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

:09:56.:10:00.

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

:10:01.:10:04.

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

:10:05.:10:11.

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

:10:12.:10:15.

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

:10:16.:10:21.

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

:10:22.:10:27.

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

:10:28.:10:32.

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

:10:33.:10:35.

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

:10:36.:10:44.

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

:10:45.:10:53.

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

:10:54.:10:59.

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

:11:00.:11:06.

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

:11:07.:11:11.

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

:11:12.:11:17.

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

:11:18.:11:21.

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

:11:22.:11:25.

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

:11:26.:11:29.

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

:11:30.:11:35.

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

:11:36.:11:39.

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

:11:40.:11:45.

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

:11:46.:11:49.

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

:11:50.:11:56.

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

:11:57.:12:00.

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

:12:01.:12:05.

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

:12:06.:12:14.

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

:12:15.:12:19.

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

:12:20.:12:23.

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

:12:24.:12:26.

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

:12:27.:12:29.

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

:12:30.:12:35.

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

:12:36.:12:41.

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

:12:42.:12:48.

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

:12:49.:12:51.

special, light touch regulatory regime. What could possibly go

:12:52.:13:02.

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

:13:03.:13:09.

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

:13:10.:13:12.

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

:13:13.:13:20.

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

:13:21.:13:24.

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

:13:25.:13:30.

which basis it can influence the result of the next general

:13:31.:13:35.

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

:13:36.:13:38.

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

:13:39.:13:43.

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

:13:44.:13:46.

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

:13:47.:13:55.

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

:13:56.:14:00.

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

:14:01.:14:03.

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

:14:04.:14:07.

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

:14:08.:14:14.

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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