19/01/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Nick Clegg says


Chris Rennard must apologise. "What for?", say his friends. We'll ask


senior Lib Dem minister Danny Alexander whose side he's on.


What about the voters? What do they make of the Lib Dems? We hear the


views of a Sunday Politics focus group.


In the East Midlands, how much would you want to allow smacking where you


MP. And we'll get the verdict on Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt's


plunge from the highboard from who else but the Minister for


Portsmouth. And with me, as always, the best and


the brightest political panel in the business: and in London, Boris


Johnson has pledged to recruit more volunteers. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis


and Janan Ganesh, who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.


First this morning, Nick Clegg is considering a fresh investigation


into the behaviour of the party s former chief executive, Lord


Rennard. Last week, a lawyer appointed by the party decided that


no action could be taken against him, but that women who had accused


the Lib Dem peer of inappropriate behaviour "were broadly credible".


More than 100 party activists are demanding an apology. Chris Rennard


say he's nothing to apologise for and the party whip must be returned


to him. Helen, this is not going away. It is turning into a crisis


for the Lib Dems? They have only got seven female MPs. There is no female


Cabinet Minister. There is a reasonable chance that after the


next election there might in no female Liberal Democrat MPs at all.


A scandal like this will not encourage women into the party. Have


they made a complete mess of it You feel for Nick Clegg, because he


launched an utterly rigorous process. He called in a QC. The QC


looked at it and decided that the evidence did not meet the burden of


proof in a criminal trial. But clearly he felt that the evidence


from these women was very credible and serious. He said it was broadly


credible. Clearly it was serious. Rennard is being advised by Lord


Carlisle, fellow Liberal Democrat peer, who is giving purely legal


advice. He is saying it has not reached that edge-mac, so do not


apologise. This is a political issue, so the agony continues. Nick


Clegg was hoping to keep the party whip withdrawn. But they did not


launch an enquiry, the Webster enquired it was not an enquiry, it


was a legal opinion. You're right, it was an internal opinion. The Lib


Dems distinguished themselves from the other two parties not with


policy, but with ethics. They presented themselves as being


cleaner, and in possession of more Robert Jay than Labour and the


Conservatives. That will be harder to do now. -- more probity. There


are a Lib Dem peers that are more relaxed about taking him back and


letting him pick up the party whip. That is the problem. There is a


generational issue. The older Lib Dems in the House of Lords, the kind


of thing, he did not do anything that wrong. The younger activists


and those outside the House of Lords, they think it is a pollen.


Yes, there is definitely a sort of what you are complaining about sort


of thing. That is symptomatic of a cultural difference. The report last


year found that they tried to manage the allegations. They did not do


what any company would do if there was an allegation of sexual


harassment. If there had not in the by-election in Eastleigh, this story


may not have got the attention it did. Channel four news are the one


that really drove this. Without their reporting, this might not have


come out. It is not going to go away, because the issue of whether


he gets the party whip back will come week. -- will come up this


week. So it's not been a great week for


the Liberal Democrats and none of this will help public perceptions of


a party already struggling in the polls. In a moment, I'll be talking


to the second most senior Liberal Democrat in the land, Danny


Alexander. First, Adam Fleming went to Glasgow to find out what voters


there made of the party. Let's put the Lib Dems under the


microscope in Glasgow. We have recruited some Glaswegians who have


voted for them, and some who have not. Hello, John. Let's get started.


I will be watching them through the one-way mirror, along with the


former Liberal Democrat MP John Barrett. Let's get to the heart of


the matter straightaway. If the Lib Dems were a biscuit, what would they


be? Tunnock's Teacake. Hard on the outside but soft in the middle. They


give in. There is no strength of character there. They just give in


to whoever. Ouch. Rich Tea. A bit bland and boring. Melts and crumbles


under any sort of heat and pressure. Morrison's own brand of biscuit not


top of the range like Marks Spencer or Sainsbury's or Waitrose.


A custard cream, sandwiched between David Cameron and the Tories. I


think they were concerned that they had one exterior, but something else


was really inside. They did not find it too definitive, too clear, too


concise, too tasty, too appealing. Which means? It is a worry. If that


is their gut reaction, literally, let's find out what is behind it.


The context of them being stuck between a rock and a hard place for


them as a party, I feel slightly sorry for them. I think people who


voted for them will think they are victims as well, being sold down the


river by going to the coalition I think the ones, particularly student


fees, that was an important one to a lot of people. People felt cheated.


I agree. Just going back on that, so publicly and openly, it makes you


think, well, what do they stand for? It is trust. Harsh. But our group is


feeling quite upbeat about the state of the economy. What have the Lib


Dems contributed to that? I am not quite sure. It is George Osborne, a


Conservative, who is the Chancellor, so it is mostly down to him. The


Liberal Democrats are mostly on their coat tails, if you know what I


mean. Have the Lib Dems done anything, anyone? I think the


Liberal Democrats were responsible for increasing the tax allowance,


?10,000 for next year. I think they have played a major role in that.


Yes. I am glad somebody noticed that. We will have helped everyone


who is receiving a salary, and it is interesting that nobody has


mentioned that. Now, let's talk about personalities. Everyone knows


him, but what about say, this guy? Alexander. Danny, they got it


straightaway. I actually quite like him. I think he talks very clearly


and it is easy to understand what he says. Fellow redhead Charles Kennedy


is popular as well. He is very charismatic and it is through him


that I voted Liberal the last few times. But who is this? I recognise


him but I cannot tell you his name. That is the party's leader in


Scotland, Willie Rennie, and the party's role in the upcoming


referendum on independence draws a blank as well. It does not feel like


they have featured, it is SNP and Labour and Conservative. They are


last in a four horse race. We have been talking about the biggest issue


in Scottish politics, independence and the referendum and the Lib Dems


are nowhere. They are not mentioned and they seem to think it is all


about Labour and the SNP. The Lib Dems are part of the Better Together


campaign and we are being drowned out among that. Looking to the


future, what messages do voters have for the Lib Dems? Get a backbone. Do


not go back on your policies or your word. Be strong and decisive. If you


will pardon the expression, man up. DIY, do it yourself. Do not award


bankers and other people for failure. Stand up. Be your own


person, party. If that focus group represented the whole country, what


would the result for the Lib Dems be at 2015 in the election? If they get


the message across between now and then, the result could be OK. If


they do not get the message across, the result could be disaster. Maybe


they would do a lot better on their own. I do not think you are seeing


the true Lib Dems because they are in the coalition. They maybe deserve


another chance. Crucially for the Lib Dems, that means there is some


hope, but there is also plenty of anger, some disappoint, and a bit of


bafflement as well. And watching that with me, senior


Liberal Democrat and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander


Welcome to the programme. One of the things that comes through from the


focus group is that if there is any credit around for the economic


recovery, it is the Tories that are getting it, and you are not? What


can you do about that? The first thing to say is that the economy


would not be recovering if it was not for the Liberal Democrats. If it


was not for our decision right beginning in 2010 to form a strong,


stable coalition government that to deal with the problems, we would


still be in the mess that Labour left us with. Why are you not


getting the credit? That was one focus group. It was interesting to


hear opinions. We have to work very hard to get across the message that


the economy would not be recovering without the Liberal Democrats.


People would not be seeing the largest income tax cuts for a


generation without the Liberal Democrats. The ?10,000 threshold


that one of the people referred to is coming into peoples pay packets


this year. Lots of people recognise that. There was the one person in


the focus groups. This is your measure of success, raising the


people at which people pay income tax. But most of the voters do not


even give you credit for that. The role that we haven't British


politics as a party, is that we are the only party that can be trusted


to deliver a fair society and a strong economy. People know they


cannot trust the Labour Party. We saw it again from Ed Miliband this


morning. You cannot trust the Labour Party with the nation's finances. It


may well be your policy, the income tax threshold, but it is the Tories


that are getting the credit? I do not think that is true. I have spent


lots of time meeting photos and lots of people recognise that if it was


not for the Liberal Democrats, people would not be seeing those tax


cuts. We are helping disadvantaged children in schools. It is right


that we have to work very hard between now and polling day to do


several things, to make sure that we secure the recovery, there can be no


complacency. The economic recovery is in its early stages and we need


to make sure it is sustainable. We need to make sure the benefits of


the recovery are shared out people who have made sacrifices, people on


low pay, people who have seen their savings are eroded. The Tories have


now hijacked another Lib Dem policy, another big hike in the


minimum wage. You spoke about the need to make sure that people on low


pay benefit from the recovery, a big hike in the minimum wage. Did the


Chancellor consulting on this? We have been talking about it for some


time. Vince Cable asked the low pay commission for advice on this. Why


did Vince Cable not make this announcement, why was it the


Chancellor? Let me say a few other things about this. If we are going


to secure the recovery, this year we have to make sure that businesses


start investing. We have got to get Roddick typically rising. An


increase in the minimum wage is something that needs to follow that.


We will not do it unless the low pay commission adviser as it is


important for the economy at this stage. Did you know the Chancellor


was coming out with that statement? I did not know he was going to say


something on that particular day. We have worked together on it in the


tragedy to see what the economic impact would be, and to emphasise


that it is the commission, which has credibility with business, trade


unions and government. It must not be a politically motivated increase.


So you did not know, and Vince Cable, and it is properly a matter


for him as the Business Secretary, he did not make the announcement? I


don't think that's right. I don t clear every word I say with him I


don't expect him to do the same to me. The Lib Dems have told us before


it was the Treasury that was blocking this from happening. We


were going to ask the low pay commission to advise us on bringing


the minimum wage back up. During the financial crisis, wages have been


lower-than-expected but it's also right, we shouldn't act in a hasty


way, we should listen to what the commission has to say, and if they


don't recommend an increase we have to make sure economic conditions are


there to get it right. Not only are the Tories getting credit for that,


our Scottish voters group showed that people have still not forgiven


you for ratting on tuition fees and that was a broken promise that


didn't even apply to the people in Scotland, where there are no tuition


fees! Nick Clegg has been very clear about the issues that that brought


up. If you look at our manifesto, the University of London said we


delivered about 70% of our policies in the manifesto. They haven't


forgiven you for the big one. The big promise we made was to cut


income tax the millions of people. That is a policy which is putting


money back into the pockets of working people. It is only possible


because we are delivering our economic plan in government with the


Conservatives. Now we have to make sure, through tax cuts, through


looking at issues like the minimum wage and other groups who have made


sacrifices, make sure that benefit is shared. I am not going to agree


to anything which undermines the confidence of businesses to invest


in this country over the next 1 months. Speaking of Scotland, the


Lib Dems, why do they now look largely irrelevant in the battle for


the union? Not one of our focus group even knew who your Scottish


leader is. I don't accept that. I have spent a lot of time with


Alistair Carmichael and others, we are all making the case every day.


If Scotland votes to be independent, it will be in a much worse financial


position within the European Union. Scotland will be contributing to the


rebate for the UK, rather than benefiting from it. It has been a


disaster for your Scottish based to have joined a coalition with the


Tories. It may have been the right thing to do, you say it is in the


national interest, but Scottish Lib Dems did not expect to be in a


coalition with the Tories. By the way I think it is also in the


national interests and the interests of the people for Scotland, cutting


the income tax of Scottish people, stabilising the economy. We are now


seeing good growth. But you are in meltdown. I don't accept that. We


will see what happens in the 20 5 election. I think we have a record


to be proud of, we have played a very important role in clearing up


the mess Labour made in the economy, of making sure the


Coalition government tackles the problems in this country, but does


so in a fair way. I think the biggest risks to the economic


recovery over the next few years is either a majority Labour government


or a majority Conservative government. Labour you cannot trust


with the finances, the Tories want us to play chicken with the European


Union which would truly be a disaster to investment in this


country. You announced this week that if Scotland votes to leave the


UK, it would be the British Treasury that would guarantee all British


government debt. There wouldn't be a negotiation, but the backstop would


be that even if they didn't take anything, we would still guarantee


the debt. What was happening in the markets that you needed to calm them


down? We were getting quite a few questions from the people we rely on


to lend us money. We are still borrowing billions of pounds every


month as a country. Those people were asking us to clarify this


point. It was becoming a serious concern? It wasn't reflected in the


guilty yields. I follow the bond market quite carefully and there was


no sign this was having an impact. That's why the right thing to do was


to clarify this point now, rather than the concerns being reflected in


what you imply, and I think it is a bad idea for Scotland to vote for


separation but it would be wrong to allow for the fact that question is


on the table to cost taxpayers in the UK more money and higher


interest payments simply because Alex Salmond has put that question


on the table. That's why I think it was the right thing to do. There


were a lot of calls from the focus group that you need to be different.


Nick Clegg has embarked on this aggressive differentiation. Where


you can be different is the bankers' bonuses. What conceivable


reason could there be for anybody at RBS getting a bonus twice in their


salary? We have not been approached by RBS in terms of those votes. I


would be sceptical about an approach from RBS if it can. It shows what we


have presided over as a party in government, massive reductions. .


I'm not asking you about that, I'm asking what conceivable case there


can be for a bank that has failed to sell its branches even though


ordered by the Government, still has 38 billion of toxic debt on its


balance sheet, I ask again what possible reason should they get


twice salary as a bonus? Your right to say RBS is in a very different


position to other banks, it is mostly owned by the state. RBS


hasn't put a case to us but they might do so I would like to look at


what they would say, but I would be sceptical as to whether a case could


be made given some of the things you said, but also the fact that it is a


bank that has benefited from the taxpayer standing behind it. Now RBS


has to focus more on domestic retail. Let me turn to Chris


Rennard, ten women have accused him of sexual harassment. He denies


every case. Who do you believe? We have been through a process on this


as a party. A report has been issued on this. I agree with Alistair


Webster on this, he has made clear that while he cannot prove what


happened to a criminal standard that there is clear there has been


considerable distress and harm caused. I agree with him about that


and that's why it is necessary for Chris Rennard to apologise as he has


been asked to do. If he refuses to apologise, should he be denied the


Lib Dem whip in the Lords? I don't think he should be readmitted to the


Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords until such time as the


disciplinary process, including the apology, has been done properly We


are very democratic party, it is a matter for our group in the House of


Lords in due course to make that judgement. Party HQ has had a lot of


complaints from party members about the fact no apology has been made.


The appropriate committee would need to look at that and decide what


action needs to be taken because these are very serious matters. We


as a party have learned a lot, taken a long, hard look at ourselves, to


change the way we work. The apology does need to be made. We are told


that Lord Newby, the Chief Whip of the Liberal Democrats in the House


of Lords, we are told he has shaken hands with Chris Rennard and


welcomed him back. That decision has not been taken yet. I think Lord


Newby would share my view on this. Have you shaken his hand and


welcomed him back? No, I haven't. Does Nick Clegg have the power to


deny Chris Rennard as the whip? I am making it clear that a lack of


apology is totally unacceptable and therefore we have to take steps if


that is not forthcoming. His view and my view is that Lord Rennard


should not be readmitted to the House of Lords if that is not


forthcoming. In our party, our group in the House of Lords has two in the


end take a view for itself. And they can override Nick Clegg's view? I


hope that when they look at this... Do they have the power to override


Nick Clegg? They have the power to decide who should be the whip. The


failure to follow up the simple human demand for an apology for the


stress that has been caused is totally unacceptable. Your party is


totally down lighted on this -- divided on this. Here is what Lord


Carlile had to say. A total nonsense, hyperbole. It is a


ridiculous statement to make and we have seen Alistair Webster, the QC


who did this investigation, comment on that himself this morning. He has


followed the process the party laid down in its rules, which sets the


standard for the investigation which asked him to report on the evidence


he has found, but he also has a duty of confidentiality and


responsibility under the data protection legislation as well. Here


is what your activists have said in a letter to the Guardian. This shows


there are strong opinions, but why should Chris Rennard apologise for


something he denies, unproven allegations, on an unpublished


report that Chris Rennard has not been allowed to read? He should


apologise because he wants to continue to be a member of the


Liberal Democrats and this is the recommendation that has been made by


the internal disciplinary process. Webster himself said this was not an


inquiry, it is an opinion. If Chris Rennard apologises on this basis, he


opens himself to civil lawsuits He says he is not going to do it. As a


Liberal Democrat you join the party because you believe in its values,


you abide by its rules. One of those rules is that we have a process if


there are disciplinary allegations. The committee of the party supported


Webster's recommendations, one of which was that an apology should be


made because he clearly found distress had been caused. Will there


now be a proper inquiry? I don't think any of these legalistic


things, I don't think he can have it both ways. Will there be a proper


inquiry? Alistair Webster did do a proper inquiry. There was a proper


report into what happened at the time and we have learned a lot from


this is a party, and the most important thing now is that Chris


Rennard apologises. You have made that clear. What kind of biscuits


are you? Are you a Tunnocks? Soft on the inside? It is good of you to be


advertising a Scottish product. We just wondered if you weren't tough


enough to take on Ed Balls. Thank you. More than tough enough is the


answer to that. Generally governments are a bit


rubbish at IT projects. They tend to run way over budget and never quite


achieve what they promised. So the revelations of a former spy that the


US and British security agencies were in fact astonishingly efficient


at eavesdropping on the digital communications of their citizens


came as a bit shock. But just how worried should we be about their


clandestine activity? In his latest revelation, former US


by Edward Snowden has claimed that America's National Security Agency


operates a secret database called Dishfire. It collect 200 million


mobile phone messages every day from around the world, accessed, he says,


why British and American spies. This week, the president has outlined a


series of surveillance reforms, including Ning to the storage of the


phone call information of millions of Americans, and no Morse -- and no


more spying on allies like Angela Merkel. Critics say that the British


intelligence agencies have refused to acknowledge even the need for a


debate on the issue. The Foreign Secretary William six says that we


have a very strong system of checks and balances. -- William Hague. ??


new line Nick Pickles is director of the pressure group Big Brother


Watch. The Labour MP Hazel Blears in on Parliament's Intelligence And


Security Committee. They're here to go head to head.


Welcome to both of you. Hazel Blears, let me come to you first.


President Obama has made some major changes as a result of what we have


learned that the NSA in America was up to. But British politicians seem


to, they are not up for this kind of thing, they are hoping it will go


away? It is not going away and that is why my committee, the


Intelligence And Security Committee, has decided to launch an enquiry


into whether the legal framework is up-to-date. We have had massive


technological change. We have had a call for evidence. Some of the


sessions will be open so that people can see what the evidence is.


Obviously some of the information will have to be classified, but on


the committee, there is a real commitment to say, there is a big


debate going on, let's see if the system is as Rob asked as we can


make it. The big question is oversight and the call for evidence


that the committee has issued is not mention oversight. It is ten years


since the Foreign Affairs Committee said that the committee should be a


fully elected committee chosen by Parliament and not the Prime


Minister. It has changed, actually. The Prime Minister nominates people


and the house gets to him -- gets to approve. In America, they have a


separation of power, the president does not nominate Kennedy.


Basically, Hazel Blears, you're an establishment lackey? I do not think


so. Most of the people on the committee have some experience of


intelligence and these issues. In this country, we have robust


scrutiny, compared to some of her European neighbours. We have


Parliamentary scrutiny, the interception commissioners, and


ministers have to sign the warrants. But there may be room for


improvement, which is why we are having the enquiry. Do not forget,


President Obama said that the agency should not have the ability to


collect data, he wanted to put more safeguards in. That is essential for


the work of the agencies. If you cannot see the data, you cannot take


the connections and see the patterns. Some people never talk


about the threat from terrorism, it is all about travesty. There are


several thousand people in this country, as we are talking, who are


actively planning to do a country harm. When this debate started in


the US, the NSA head stood up and said there are 54 plots that have


been detected by this capability that has detected and that in bulk.


Now the head of the NSA has admitted that the number is actually zero. It


is not the intelligence committee in the US that did the work to reduce


that number, it was a Judiciary Committee. The fact that we have two


different bodies doing this in this country, it means that you do not


get the correct view. How can people have confidence in a body when if


you go around Europe, for example, or the world, we are not at the end


not requiring judges to not sign warrants? I do not accept that the


committee failed on that range of issues. You look at the reports on


7/7. Two reports by the committee get to the heart of it. If you look


at that terrorist attack on our country, people will say, why did


you not have them on the radar? The agencies are between a rock and a


hard race. They have got to be subject to oversight, but beanie


capability. Did you know about Dishfire? We go to GCHQ on a regular


basis and I know about the capabilities that we have got. Some


of the names of these programmes, we would not necessarily know. But did


you know that GCHQ had the capability to use Dishfire, or to


get Dishfire material from the NSA? I knew and my committee knew that we


had the capability to collect data, and these days, people do not write


letters, they do not use landline telephones, they use the Internet


and text in, so it is important that the agencies are able to keep up


with that take the logical change. What should happen? The proper legal


framework should include, if a company is cooperating, as Google


and Facebook do, it should be illegal for GCHQ to hack into them.


In the US, Lundberg estimate that this has driven a 35mm and hole in


the US economy because people do not trust but there are systems are


secure. We need to know that GCHQ are not trying to use a different


door into the system, whether by hacking or foreign intelligence. We


need judicial oversight with judges and not politicians signing off. The


final 30 seconds to you. As a result of the changes in the Justice and


Security act, the committee is accountable to Parliament and not


the Prime Minister. Those changes are taking place, and I am up for


the debate if we need more change or not. But I want British agencies to


have more power to protect the people in this country. Thank you to


both of you. It's coming up to 11:40. You're watching the Sunday


Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes, we'll get the verdict of


the Minister for Portsmouth on that dive from the Portsmouth MP. Ouch!


In the East Midlands, the educational crisis in our region. We


are in a `` inside one school to find out about the special measures.


People ask me what school I went to. They'd apply, was this `` that the


school that was in the news? How much money would you want to allow


fracking New Year all? Would you hold out for ?1 million? `` near


your home. I am joined by Pauline Latham and Graham Allen. Welcome to


you both. Pauline, you have been raising a topic, MPs are reluctant


to go there, relationships. You were talking about a debate regarding


Relate. They are well`known for dealing with families with


Asperger's syndrome. They also deal with, not just men and women, they


deal with all sorts of relationships, the councils, to


councils want to cut the funding. It will cost more money for social


services and schools if they do that. But do they have a choice? You


are imposing these huge cuts so they have to make these cuts elsewhere.


The government has put in ?30 million towards relationship


counselling and what we want them to do is to do things locally. So that


services are not cut. We are asking them to prioritise this because it


will save them money in the long`term. In these difficult times,


it is advice and support that Relate offer, is a top priority? It is a


priority. We need to protect those services. Unfortunately, if we take


a council like Derby or Nottingham, we are losing half of the government


grants coming from the Department of communities in government in five


years. If you were to lose half of your grant or your funding or any


viewer to do that, you would realise that a lot has to go. This is a


priority and social services will have to pick up the problems if


Relate do not do their job. It will cost the council is more in the long


run. Onto another troubled relationship, that between teachers


and Ofsted. Six of Nottingham's 14 secondary schools are in special


measures after an Ofsted bullets at the end of last year. With the


problems at the Al`Madina school in Derby, many teachers say there is a


sense of crisis in the system. One school that field the inspection


said it is already back contract. `` that field. `` that failed.


Its schools inspected by Ofsted in one week, the majority declared


inadequate and put in special measures. What is it like being put


in the spotlight, being told you're still is not very good, especially


when the GCSE exams are a few months ago `` away? People ask me what


school I went in. When I replied they say, was that the school that


was in the news? I say yes. We see Will we ever boost our reputation?


We do not want to hit the bottom already. It was quite low but now I


am pleased with the Euro Levantine. It has improved a lot. `` year 11


team. The timetable has been rewritten each year to put more


focus on those about to set their exams. The commitment to students


has always been there but now we are able to focus that commitment and


make sure that the kids have got the best chance to achieve the best


results they can. There is more choice available now. I will, it was


result. The Ofsted swoop in Nottingham was described as


destructive by some. For these leaders here it served the


weaknesses they knew that existed at the school. It was our assessment of


systems that led us to decide that we needed to change the way the


school was chained `` functioning fundamentally. Were you surprised?


No. We found the process to be positive. It is no secret that


Nottingham's schools lag behind the regional averages. While this one


except the Ofsted Berdych, elsewhere there is concern. The inspector's


these may be advancing free schools. Five out of the six failing schools


are in your constituency. What is the latest you have heard? The way


that Ofsted came and was discouraging both to teachers and


pupils. They need to know they are doing a good job but need to do


better. So two things, one there will be a challenge board set up to


help us deal with the media problems and help school leadership to go


through. But what I am concerned about is that we tackle the


long`term problems. Ofsted have been in my constituency now for the last


20 years and they are not having a strategic view. What we need to do


is improve the supply, the wrong material, so that children arrive at


primary school ready and they arrive at secondary school ready there.


Teachers are told us they think there is a political move here to


pave the way for more free schools. It may or may not be true. What is


important is that we try and tackle these long`term problems. Otherwise


we will keep hurting our head against a brick while every single


year. Above all we need to help those babies and children be ready


for school on that first aired `` first day. The Ofsted report have


also mentioned that some children do not arrive ready. We need Ofsted and


the Department of education to say that. I have been to see Michael


Gove and the chief of Ofsted to make sure they get this message. Ofsted


were in the primary schools last year. Have they turned it around in


Derby? There is more features on the schools and they have not been


allowed to slap and carry on. `` ball`carriers. `` focus. If they do


not do that, it will not improve. It does not look good that these two


cities have such problems in education. Some of these schools are


not local academy `` authority schools. I would hope the Pauline


would agree with me that it is pointless and having a 1% or 2%


increase in schools, we need to address the fundamentals. You went


to London to try and address some of the issues with Michael Gove. A few


months later, the teachers that you had taken with you, they found out


that their schools were in special measures. I will not make any


personal criticisms of Michael Gove, what is vital is that politicians


and Ofsted don't have the short`term view of what we want to do for this


year or next year, but really help us get the wrong material sorted


out. That way all kids will attain and to better at school, which is


what we all want. We did ask Michael Gove to speak to us, but he was


unavailable for interview. We had another official who said they would


speak to us. Are you telling me that parents


would want us to work together to improve things for the children? One


of the things that I know since we have doing `` doneness, everyone is


talking about education. I would want my children to be at schools


that were good schools that were meeting their needs. So, parents,


good. We have children voting with their feet in Nottingham. We have


the lowest attendance and secondary schools almost across the country,


so is going wrong. We need to get children in school succeeding,


enjoying what is happening and coming out with things that matter


to them. At the moment to many of them are not coming. Let's get them


into school, let's get them succeeding. Perhaps it is the


culture of the city that is the problem here. Is it an attitude of


low attainment? From the reports from the schools that have failed,


there is a consistent message that talks about low expectations. I


think it is easy to say that. I think there are low expectations.


But that is not for one minute to say they are not huge challenges


here. Yes, I know there are other cities like Liverpool that to face


similar challenges. The challenges are not unique but that is not to


underestimate them. So no quick answers here, but yes, there is a


culture. There has been a culture, it is embedded in some places which


size these young people won't achieve any more. That is rubbish,


they will. `` which say that these. Maybe it is the parents who are to


blame here not the children? No, I think what we need to do is work


together. But what we have not got yet... Some of the children are


being sent to school in nappies by the parents. They were children who


were not raised properly, there is an intergenerational cycle. We need


to work on the long`term. What I did not hear from Ofsted was what I've


reports to the board in Nottingham was that there should be a ten year


plan so we help parents and babies before they even get to school, so


they can achieve when we `` they get there. Ofsted seem to be willing the


ends but not on the means. Let's get that strategy. They are there to


inspect, not to set their plans and targets for the schools. We need


some answers as well saying they are not good. It is their heads that


need to do that strategic view of the tenuous. The parents need to


have high expectations of the schools and of their own children.


But if you do not get children into school, you cannot educate them. One


of the problems here in this area seems to be getting children into


school. Graham is right, it is about early years and focusing them. Do


you think the parents are to blame? They are. They have not been


inherited properly and we need to cycle `` in that cycle. `` parented.


We need a strategic view that they want to go for it and improve


education for everybody. We have six secondary schools in Nottingham


failing. That was a miscalculation about blitzing people. If you want


people to be sensible and rational and have good behaviour, you have to


start with Ofsted. Maybe Ofsted should be in measured `` special


measures. It has pointed out the problems but we need Ofsted and the


Department of education to work locally to improve standards. When


the Prime Minister decided to become a `` to make a major speech on


fracking, he came to our area to make it. Looking at the map of areas


under consideration, it shows that most of the East Midlands is under


consideration. You can see it concentrates at the moment on the


north of the region. Any fracking would first have to get planning


permission and our councils report that so far they have had no


applications. In the meantime the government is trying to get support


with an offer to compensate communities and individuals who


suffer. The point I would make having been to see yesterday, on


Monday, the oil platforms that are already there on the


Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire border, it is worth making the point


that those went ahead without the sort of community benefit is that we


are promising the shale. ?100,000 when he well is dug. 1% of revenues


which could be seven to ?10 million for a well. And 100% retention of


business rates for a set of Wells for a local authority. Is it a


tempting offer? Des Coleman has followed the Prime Minister to find


out if the people in one area I tempted by the money.


This is Worksop high Street. David Cameron was up the street saying


that people would get a share from the profits from fracking. Is that


enough for the people here? I think it is too dangerous. It can affect


the water supply, it can cause earthquakes in various areas. I am


not happy with it at all. I need definite proof that we are


guaranteed it will not cause any ill effects to the environment. David


Cameron says some of the profits may go to the people are some of the


local councils. Can we always believe what politicians say? Can


we? Really? I think fracking is a good idea if it takes us away from


coal. We need the energy, then why not. My concern was that in France


it has been banned, but it is a French company I have heard is


coming over to the UK to do it here. I was concerned it is not all right


for the French but it is all right for the English. It is a load of


rubbish. I do not think politicians do for ordinary people. It would be


a miracle if it works here. If the pollution or whatever they are using


for the fracking gets into the water system, we don't know the long`term


solution or the long`term problems we may have. What about the


financial benefits that David Cameron is offering? I think it is a


little bit of blackmail. Plenty of interesting views there. We are


joined by a Green party councillor in Nottinghamshire. Wellcome. A lot


of people there we heard very cautious really about fracking,


especially in the places that they live in. What are your concerns


particularly? We have huge concerns about the environmental risks.


Fracking requires a large amount of water. It is about half 1 million


tonnes per fracked of which 50% of the water is completely lost and


nobody knows where it actually ends up in there is a risk of polluting


our aquifers. The water that reads services has got chemicals additives


in it. `` resurfaces. We do not know what to do with it or who will be


paying for that polluted water. There are some risks are about


earthquakes as we have seen in Blackpool. House prices have fallen


significantly since then. Obviously the industry would despite some of


the points you have made. `` dispute. The industry could say we


are sitting on billions perhaps billions of pounds worth of gas.


Those are estimates and in the States we have seen those estimates


were hugely overestimated by 42% and there is far less than they are.


Nobody has gone down there and seen how much there actually is. So you


are saying you the `` were right to be cautious? That is right. David


Cameron says that these are incentives that communities will


find hard to turn down? There is a lot of profit to be made via the


companies, it should be invested in the local communities. `` made by


the companies. Politicians are not flavour of the month and nobody


believes we do anything. The proof will be in... Whether we give it and


we get it will be shown. They will be able to say whether it is


actually happening. Where you stand on, Graham? Were David Cameron went


to visit is a few miles away from where my dad was a minor and we


missed a trick in Mrs Thatcher and others closing the pets. We have the


technology to burn coal cleanly but that chance is gone. My view is this


is a non`proven industry. Couldn't the money from fracking help to


regenerate the area is your talking about? Are we missing something


there? This is ridiculous. We are facing an energy crisis. Sooner or


later we will run out of fossil fuels so we need to invest now in


insulating homes. But fracking could be one of the anger `` and that? For


years now we in the Green party have been saying we need to start with


renewables. It is not happening enough. We did not know about this


gas 20 years ago. Let's use that now and invest in the future when we


know that will run out. What they do in America they do we out in the


plains, there is virtually no people out there. We now and I'm `` in our


region where we extract coal there is subsidised. They are looking


around the non`dash`mac Nottinghamshire`literature border.


We are talking about the majority of the East Midlands. You are saying we


are not, Pauline? There is nothing in Northamptonshire. There is not in


Lincolnshire. It is concentrated at the border at the moment and we will


have to see how that pans out. You seem to be saying it will be much


more widespread. It is the majority of Nottinghamshire. Something else I


would like to add here, we are facing a huge environmental crisis.


Burning further fossil fuels is actually contributing to this. We


must change because as we have just seen this winter with all the


floods, the big freeze in the States, this costs as a lot of money


and human lives. So burning further coal or gas, is not the answer. The


councils have not had any applications in and they have not


sign anything off. We will have to leave that there. This has not been


proven, not reducing conservation. With a round`up of other news, here


is our political editor the 60 seconds.


Lester's Sikh community is calling for an independent enquiry into


claims that the British military helped plan the assault in the


Golden Temple in Amritsar. People are being asked to write to their


local MPs over the issue. British Gas are being asked about a scheme


that they have pulled out of to help people reduce gas costs.


British Gas says government changes means a cannot fund the scheme.


Finally, a mouse. Yes, Pauline Latham's offers in the Commons has


been invested `` infested by mice. Where their traps in the question?


Really? Where are all these most coming from and what are you doing


about it? I do not know where they have come from. After Christmas we


saw three on the desk. The whole lot was covered... Did you leave


inspired out? No. I did not want to touch anything. `` a mince pie. I


have seen a lot of mice in the House of Commons but when I want to see a


rat, I have to go into the chamber. I knew you would say something like


that. houses being built by the mayor.


Andrew, back to you. Welcome back. Now she made quite a splash last


night. I am talking, of course, of the Portsmouth North MP, Penny


Mordaunt. If you missed her first appearance in ITV's celebrity diving


competition show, here she is in action.


APPLAUSE Here is a lady who is more used to


campaigning for votes than diving for them. She created far too much


rotation. Hard work has gone into the start of this dive to try and


control it. That looked painful Now the Portsmouth North MP got voted


off the show last night but what about the verdict that really


matters? The newly appointed Minister for Portsmouth, Michael


Fallon, is here. Welcome to the programme. I would give her ten out


of ten for bravery. I was cheering her on. She was doing this for a


local charity, raising money for the local swimming pool. She was a good


sport. As Minister for Portsmouth, can we expect to see you in your


swimming trunks for the next series? I do not think I have the


spare time at the moment. But there is a big challenge in Portsmouth.


Penny Mordaunt and the other local MPs there have been remorseless in


asking ministers to help the city. They are losing jobs. There is a


goblin Trinity -- there is a big opportunity to create jobs. Should


she have been on a celebrity television show of their role these


problems in Portsmouth? This was in her spare time and it is raising


money for a good cause. I do not think we should eat two sniffy about


it. Did I not see you dressed up on Thursday night, doing your


programme? This is my job. This is not her job. It was in her spare


time, she was raising money for a local charity. Your Minister for


Portsmouth. Are we going to have a minister for every town? Are we


going to have a minister for Chipping Sodbury? Chipping Sodbury


does not have the issues that Portsmouth have -- that Portsmouth


has. There are jobs at risk in shipbuilding. The government puts in


a lot of money through the regional growth fund, some ?20 million. There


are range of government funding streams going into Portsmouth. My


job is to make sure that is properly coordinated. I need to make sure


that Portsmouth seizes this opportunity to develop a more


broadly -based marine and maritime economy. To make sure a marginal


seat stays Tory at the next election? There are marginal seats


everywhere. There is a Liberal Democrat marginal the -- seat. Vince


Cable and I have been working together for the issues that


Portsmouth is facing. We work on these things together. But I have


the very specific job of making sure that the effort on the ground is


coordinated. So Vince Cable is not the Minister for Portsmouth? I have


been there recently, so has Vince Cable. So there are two ministers


for Portsmouth? Just a minute. I am making sure that the effort is


properly coordinated on the ground. I am determined to turn this


challenging time into a proper opportunity. Should we be to Paul


faced about this? No, good honour. How much money would be have to pay


you to get into a swimming costume? Bid is not enough money in the BBC


covers. Good on her. It took seven years to get a leg there's an MP.


She should be a minister. It is a pity she has the spare time to do


this. She is very talented. It is interesting about the Minister for


Portsmouth, up in the north-east they must be sad that they do not


have any marginal seats. Nick Brown as David Cameron last July, can we


have a minister for the north-east, and the Prime Minister is said no?


Does this mean that Portsmouth is more deprived economic late than the


north-east? No, it means it is a marginal seat.


The Labour Leader Ed Miliband was on the Andrew Marr programme this


morning and he outlined plans under a Labour government for an annual


competition audit. Here is what he had to say. The next Labour


government will have an annual competition at it, not just done by


the regulatory body. Alongside them will be the citizens advice bureau,


setting the agenda for the future, setting the agenda for how we can


ensure that competition will benefit consumers and businesses. I want to


see Labour going into the next election as the party of


competition, the party of the consumer, the party of hard-pressed


working families who are struggling. They need somebody to deal with


those issues and that is what the next Labour government will do. I


thought you were meant to be the party of competition? We are the


party of competition. This is the party that has given us some of


these problems. We have an annual competition review in the energy


sector. We have already tackling banking. What is interesting about


his proposal is it is the smaller ones who are less sure about this,


the smaller banks who think that this could inhibit the growth. It is


the smaller energy companies who think that through interfering with


the market, through his price freeze, that he will hinder


competition. We spoke about this before. It is a clever pitch that Ed


Miliband is making. Under the guise of token markets and claiming to be


the party of competition, he is creating the reason for state


intervention? -- broken markets Exactly, and it is state


intervention that does not work There is a proud tradition in


government of smashing open cartels. Teddy Roosevelt did it nearly a


century ago. The problem is, in those situations it was clear and


obvious that the consumers were suffering. I am not sure it is


entirely obvious in this country. In the banking sector we have free


current accounts in the high street. That is not true in all Western


countries. In the energy sector our bills are not outlandish they high.


It is when we take taxes into account the become unaffordable He


has to make the case that consumers are suffering as a result of these


monopolies. Ed Miliband would say it is not about state intervention but


about making markets work. The piece that was written by his intellectual


Duryea about the significance and the importance of Teddy Roosevelt.


He was the Republican president in the yearly -- in the early years of


the last century. He wanted markets to work. There is an interesting


debate on Twitter this morning. Tim Montgomerie is saying, why are we,


the Conservative Party, not seen as the party of Teddy Roosevelt? We are


seen as the party of business. There are smaller energy companies


competing against the big six. In banking, we have seen smaller


companies coming. It was the Labour government that created the big six


energy companies. I think Teddy Roosevelt also invaded Cuba and the


Philippines. That could give us a clue as to Ed Miliband's foreign


policy. Nigel Farage has promised to purge the party of its more extreme


candidates ahead of the European Council elections in May. But that


may not be going so well. Listen to this. The latest in this process is


these homosexual laws. And Thomas I shall manage. I believe that the


Prime Minister, who was warned that disasters would follow a three went


in this direction, he has persisted, and I believe that this is largely a


repercussion from this godlessness that he has persisted in. The


instructions I have got from now on, or is just not to answer in, and not


to give interviews such as this one. So you are ignoring them? I am not


ignoring them. But you are talking to me? You are the last one I shall


be speaking to. I think it is too late. Who would have thought it It


is not global warming that is causing the floods, it is gay


marriage? That explains it. Last year David Cameron offered a coded


retraction of his statement that UKIP is full of fruit cakes. I think


he will be tempted to retract the retraction. It is a warning to lots


of Tories who think that their best interests are served by flirting


with lace -- with UKIP. Nigel Farage is a very plausible guy, but several


layers down, there are people who are very different. Nigel Farage is


saying that he's going to clear the party out of what Mr Cameron called


the fruitcakes. If he is true to his word, Mr Sylvester's days in the


party should they numbered. If Nigel Farage falls under the bus, what is


left of place -- what is left of UKIP? People say that they like UKIP


because unlike other politicians, they speak their mind. But as it


turns into more of a proper organisation, people speaking their


mind will be less acceptable. The European elections are always a


protest vote. People are not happy with the elite. You will get people


saying utterly ridiculous things like that man in Henley-on-Thames.


But this is a chance to vote against the entire political establishment.


I am not sure that comments like that will make much of a difference.


There are lots of arguments about climate change. That was certainly a


new one! They are the only big protest party at the moment. Protest


party is obviously hoovered up lots of votes. We have got to be clear in


European message that we are the only party that can reform Europe


and give people a proper choice the first referendum in over 40 years.


Mr Sylvester used to be a conservative. You're probably glad


to see the back of him? David Cameron is right, there are probably


a few fruitcakes around there. I think that mainstream conservatives


will understand that this is the only party that can secure European


reform and give people the choice they have been arguing for. Whatever


happens in the European elections, it is a protest vote. We have almost


run out of time. We will see this week of Chris Rennard gets the party


whip act. There is a battle brewing between Danny Alexander and the


common side of the Liberal Democrats and the House of Lords. If he turns


up on Monday and asks to be let in, I they going to make a big scene at


the gate of Parliament? And the issue will stay in the papers? Yes,


they are clearly nervous that Lord Rennard might be tempted to mount a


legal bid. That is all for today. Thanks to all my guests. The Daily


Politics is back on Monday at midday on BBC Two. And I will be here again


next week. Remember if it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.


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