19/01/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


19/01/2014

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

:00:37.:00:44.

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

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

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

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views of a Sunday Politics focus group.

:00:58.:01:08.

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

:01:09.:01:20.

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

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plunge from the highboard from who else but the Minister for

:01:24.:01:24.

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

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

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

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

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First this morning, Nick Clegg is considering a fresh investigation

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

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

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

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

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

:02:09.:02:18.

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

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

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

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Cabinet Minister. There is a reasonable chance that after the

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

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

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

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

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

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

:03:05.:03:07.

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

:03:08.:03:16.

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

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

:03:21.:03:24.

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

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

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

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

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

:03:47.:03:51.

Dems distinguished themselves from the other two parties not with

:03:52.:03:56.

policy, but with ethics. They presented themselves as being

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

:04:01.:04:03.

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

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

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

:04:23.:04:28.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:04:59.:05:02.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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microscope in Glasgow. We have recruited some Glaswegians who have

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

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

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

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

:06:03.:06:05.

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

:06:06.:06:12.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:07:45.:07:48.

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

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

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

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

:08:05.:08:08.

Liberal Democrats were responsible for increasing the tax allowance,

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

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

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

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

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

:08:42.:08:45.

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

:08:46.:08:49.

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

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

:08:57.:08:59.

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

:09:00.:09:07.

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

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

:09:10.:09:12.

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

:09:13.:09:16.

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

:09:17.:09:34.

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

:09:35.:09:37.

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

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

:09:41.:09:44.

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

:09:45.:09:47.

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

:09:48.:09:50.

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

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

:09:57.:10:02.

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

:10:03.:10:09.

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

:10:10.:10:17.

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

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

:10:21.:10:26.

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

:10:27.:10:31.

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

:10:32.:10:35.

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

:10:36.:10:41.

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

:10:42.:10:45.

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

:10:46.:10:49.

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

:10:50.:10:58.

bafflement as well. And watching that with me, senior

:10:59.:11:01.

Liberal Democrat and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander

:11:02.:11:06.

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

:11:07.:11:11.

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

:11:12.:11:15.

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

:11:16.:11:20.

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

:11:21.:11:25.

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

:11:26.:11:29.

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

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

:11:34.:11:37.

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

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

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

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the economy would not be recovering without the Liberal Democrats.

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

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

:12:01.:12:07.

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

:12:08.:12:10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:47.:12:55.

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

:12:56.:13:00.

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

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

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

:13:09.:13:13.

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

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

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

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

:13:28.:13:31.

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

:13:32.:13:35.

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

:13:36.:13:40.

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

:13:41.:13:47.

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

:13:48.:13:50.

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

:13:51.:13:55.

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

:13:56.:14:00.

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

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

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

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

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

:14:21.:14:24.

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

:14:25.:14:28.

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

:14:29.:14:34.

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

:14:35.:14:36.

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

:14:37.:14:42.

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

:14:43.:14:45.

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

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

:14:52.:14:57.

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

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

:15:03.:15:07.

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

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

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

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

:15:26.:15:34.

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

:15:35.:15:40.

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

:15:41.:15:45.

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

:15:46.:15:50.

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

:15:51.:15:59.

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

:16:00.:16:04.

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

:16:05.:16:09.

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

:16:10.:16:13.

our Scottish voters group showed that people have still not forgiven

:16:14.:16:19.

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

:16:20.:16:23.

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

:16:24.:16:29.

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

:16:30.:16:37.

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

:16:38.:16:42.

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

:16:43.:16:47.

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

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

:16:57.:17:02.

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

:17:03.:17:07.

because we are delivering our economic plan in government with the

:17:08.:17:11.

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

:17:12.:17:18.

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

:17:19.:17:21.

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

:17:22.:17:28.

to anything which undermines the confidence of businesses to invest

:17:29.:17:31.

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

:17:32.:17:40.

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

:17:41.:17:44.

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

:17:45.:17:51.

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

:17:52.:17:57.

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

:17:58.:18:04.

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

:18:05.:18:09.

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

:18:10.:18:16.

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

:18:17.:18:21.

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

:18:22.:18:25.

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

:18:26.:18:29.

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

:18:30.:18:36.

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

:18:37.:18:39.

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

:18:40.:18:46.

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

:18:47.:18:52.

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

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

:19:00.:19:05.

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

:19:06.:19:09.

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

:19:10.:19:12.

Coalition government tackles the problems in this country, but does

:19:13.:19:19.

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

:19:20.:19:23.

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

:19:24.:19:27.

or a majority Conservative government. Labour you cannot trust

:19:28.:19:32.

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

:19:33.:19:36.

Union which would truly be a disaster to investment in this

:19:37.:19:40.

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

:19:41.:19:45.

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

:19:46.:19:51.

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

:19:52.:19:54.

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

:19:55.:19:59.

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

:20:00.:20:04.

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

:20:05.:20:10.

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

:20:11.:20:15.

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

:20:16.:20:26.

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

:20:27.:20:32.

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

:20:33.:20:38.

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

:20:39.:20:44.

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

:20:45.:20:49.

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

:20:50.:20:52.

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

:20:53.:20:57.

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

:20:58.:21:00.

interest payments simply because Alex Salmond has put that question

:21:01.:21:05.

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

:21:06.:21:10.

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

:21:11.:21:16.

Nick Clegg has embarked on this aggressive differentiation. Where

:21:17.:21:20.

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

:21:21.:21:25.

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

:21:26.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:39.

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

:21:40.:21:45.

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

:21:46.:21:53.

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

:21:54.:22:03.

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

:22:04.:22:06.

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

:22:07.:22:12.

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

:22:13.:22:17.

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

:22:18.:22:26.

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

:22:27.:22:31.

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

:22:32.:22:36.

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

:22:37.:22:39.

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

:22:40.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:51.

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

:22:52.:22:56.

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

:22:57.:23:02.

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

:23:03.:23:08.

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

:23:09.:23:17.

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

:23:18.:23:21.

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

:23:22.:23:25.

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

:23:26.:23:31.

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

:23:32.:23:40.

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

:23:41.:23:45.

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

:23:46.:23:49.

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

:23:50.:23:54.

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

:23:55.:23:59.

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

:24:00.:24:03.

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

:24:04.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:13.

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

:24:14.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:24.

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

:24:25.:24:29.

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

:24:30.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:45.

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

:24:46.:24:53.

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

:24:54.:25:00.

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

:25:01.:25:07.

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

:25:08.:25:12.

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

:25:13.:25:17.

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

:25:18.:25:22.

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

:25:23.:25:29.

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

:25:30.:25:37.

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

:25:38.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:51.

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

:25:52.:26:00.

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

:26:01.:26:07.

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

:26:08.:26:18.

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

:26:19.:26:28.

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

:26:29.:26:34.

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

:26:35.:26:39.

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

:26:40.:26:43.

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

:26:44.:26:47.

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

:26:48.:26:53.

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

:26:54.:27:00.

responsibility under the data protection legislation as well. Here

:27:01.:27:05.

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

:27:06.:27:17.

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

:27:18.:27:22.

something he denies, unproven allegations, on an unpublished

:27:23.:27:27.

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

:27:28.:27:31.

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

:27:32.:27:34.

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

:27:35.:27:41.

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

:27:42.:27:47.

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

:27:48.:27:52.

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

:27:53.:27:59.

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

:28:00.:28:04.

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

:28:05.:28:10.

there are disciplinary allegations. The committee of the party supported

:28:11.:28:16.

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

:28:17.:28:19.

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

:28:20.:28:27.

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

:28:28.:28:37.

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

:28:38.:28:44.

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

:28:45.:28:48.

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

:28:49.:28:52.

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

:28:53.:28:58.

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

:28:59.:29:09.

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

:29:10.:29:16.

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

:29:17.:29:21.

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

:29:22.:29:39.

answer to that. Generally governments are a bit

:29:40.:29:43.

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

:29:44.:29:46.

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

:29:47.:29:49.

US and British security agencies were in fact astonishingly efficient

:29:50.:29:52.

at eavesdropping on the digital communications of their citizens

:29:53.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:29:57.

clandestine activity? In his latest revelation, former US

:29:58.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:01.

operates a secret database called Dishfire. It collect 200 million

:30:02.:30:07.

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

:30:08.:30:13.

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

:30:14.:30:17.

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

:30:18.:30:21.

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

:30:22.:30:28.

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

:30:29.:30:38.

intelligence agencies have refused to acknowledge even the need for a

:30:39.:30:42.

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

:30:43.:30:45.

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

:30:46.:30:53.

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

:30:54.:30:56.

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

:30:57.:30:59.

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

:31:00.:31:10.

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

:31:11.:31:15.

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

:31:16.:31:18.

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

:31:19.:31:24.

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

:31:25.:31:29.

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

:31:30.:31:34.

Intelligence And Security Committee, has decided to launch an enquiry

:31:35.:31:37.

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

:31:38.:31:45.

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

:31:46.:31:50.

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

:31:51.:31:54.

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

:31:55.:31:59.

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

:32:00.:32:03.

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

:32:04.:32:07.

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

:32:08.:32:10.

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

:32:11.:32:15.

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

:32:16.:32:22.

fully elected committee chosen by Parliament and not the Prime

:32:23.:32:29.

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

:32:30.:32:34.

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

:32:35.:32:42.

separation of power, the president does not nominate Kennedy.

:32:43.:32:50.

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

:32:51.:32:55.

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

:32:56.:32:59.

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

:33:00.:33:03.

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

:33:04.:33:07.

Parliamentary scrutiny, the interception commissioners, and

:33:08.:33:13.

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

:33:14.:33:16.

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

:33:17.:33:23.

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

:33:24.:33:27.

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

:33:28.:33:31.

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

:33:32.:33:35.

the connections and see the patterns. Some people never talk

:33:36.:33:40.

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

:33:41.:33:45.

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

:33:46.:33:50.

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

:33:51.:33:55.

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

:33:56.:33:59.

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

:34:00.:34:06.

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

:34:07.:34:12.

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

:34:13.:34:18.

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

:34:19.:34:22.

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

:34:23.:34:29.

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

:34:30.:34:32.

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

:34:33.:34:38.

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

:34:39.:34:43.

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

:34:44.:34:49.

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

:34:50.:34:54.

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

:34:55.:34:59.

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

:35:00.:35:05.

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

:35:06.:35:10.

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

:35:11.:35:16.

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

:35:17.:35:22.

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

:35:23.:35:29.

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

:35:30.:35:34.

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

:35:35.:35:39.

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

:35:40.:35:43.

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

:35:44.:35:49.

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

:35:50.:35:52.

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

:35:53.:36:00.

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

:36:01.:36:04.

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

:36:05.:36:10.

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

:36:11.:36:15.

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

:36:16.:36:19.

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

:36:20.:36:24.

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

:36:25.:36:28.

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

:36:29.:36:36.

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

:36:37.:36:40.

Security act, the committee is accountable to Parliament and not

:36:41.:36:44.

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

:36:45.:36:48.

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

:36:49.:36:53.

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

:36:54.:36:58.

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

:36:59.:37:01.

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

:37:02.:37:04.

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

:37:05.:37:29.

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

:37:30.:37:42.

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

:37:43.:37:47.

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

:37:48.:37:58.

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

:37:59.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:13.

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

:38:14.:38:17.

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

:38:18.:38:24.

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

:38:25.:38:37.

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

:38:38.:38:41.

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

:38:42.:38:47.

deal with all sorts of relationships, the councils, to

:38:48.:38:55.

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

:38:56.:38:59.

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

:39:00.:39:06.

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

:39:07.:39:11.

The government has put in ?30 million towards relationship

:39:12.:39:14.

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

:39:15.:39:20.

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

:39:21.:39:25.

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

:39:26.:39:30.

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

:39:31.:39:38.

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

:39:39.:39:42.

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

:39:43.:39:48.

grants coming from the Department of communities in government in five

:39:49.:39:52.

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

:39:53.:39:57.

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

:39:58.:40:02.

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

:40:03.:40:07.

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

:40:08.:40:12.

run. Onto another troubled relationship, that between teachers

:40:13.:40:18.

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

:40:19.:40:22.

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

:40:23.:40:27.

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

:40:28.:40:31.

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

:40:32.:40:38.

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

:40:39.:40:51.

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

:40:52.:40:56.

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

:40:57.:41:00.

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

:41:01.:41:06.

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

:41:07.:41:12.

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

:41:13.:41:19.

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

:41:20.:41:26.

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

:41:27.:41:36.

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

:41:37.:41:44.

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

:41:45.:41:48.

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

:41:49.:41:54.

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

:41:55.:41:58.

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

:41:59.:42:04.

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

:42:05.:42:11.

result. The Ofsted swoop in Nottingham was described as

:42:12.:42:18.

destructive by some. For these leaders here it served the

:42:19.:42:21.

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

:42:22.:42:28.

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

:42:29.:42:35.

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

:42:36.:42:46.

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

:42:47.:42:50.

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

:42:51.:42:55.

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

:42:56.:43:06.

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

:43:07.:43:10.

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

:43:11.:43:14.

that Ofsted came and was discouraging both to teachers and

:43:15.:43:18.

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

:43:19.:43:23.

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

:43:24.:43:27.

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

:43:28.:43:33.

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

:43:34.:43:37.

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

:43:38.:43:41.

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

:43:42.:43:45.

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

:43:46.:43:50.

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

:43:51.:43:54.

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

:43:55.:44:00.

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

:44:01.:44:05.

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

:44:06.:44:09.

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

:44:10.:44:13.

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

:44:14.:44:17.

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

:44:18.:44:26.

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

:44:27.:44:30.

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

:44:31.:44:36.

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

:44:37.:44:46.

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

:44:47.:44:51.

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

:44:52.:44:59.

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

:45:00.:45:16.

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

:45:17.:45:20.

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

:45:21.:45:27.

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

:45:28.:45:32.

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

:45:33.:45:38.

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

:45:39.:45:42.

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

:45:43.:45:49.

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

:45:50.:45:54.

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

:45:55.:45:59.

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

:46:00.:46:03.

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

:46:04.:46:07.

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

:46:08.:46:11.

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

:46:12.:46:17.

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

:46:18.:46:27.

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

:46:28.:46:32.

speak to us. Are you telling me that parents

:46:33.:46:36.

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

:46:37.:46:40.

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

:46:41.:46:47.

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

:46:48.:46:52.

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

:46:53.:46:57.

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

:46:58.:47:02.

the lowest attendance and secondary schools almost across the country,

:47:03.:47:07.

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

:47:08.:47:11.

enjoying what is happening and coming out with things that matter

:47:12.:47:15.

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

:47:16.:47:21.

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

:47:22.:47:24.

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

:47:25.:47:30.

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

:47:31.:47:33.

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

:47:34.:47:40.

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

:47:41.:47:44.

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

:47:45.:47:49.

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

:47:50.:47:53.

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

:47:54.:47:58.

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

:47:59.:48:04.

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

:48:05.:48:08.

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

:48:09.:48:16.

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

:48:17.:48:20.

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

:48:21.:48:26.

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

:48:27.:48:30.

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

:48:31.:48:36.

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

:48:37.:48:40.

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

:48:41.:48:44.

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

:48:45.:48:49.

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

:48:50.:48:56.

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

:48:57.:49:01.

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

:49:02.:49:06.

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

:49:07.:49:10.

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

:49:11.:49:15.

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

:49:16.:49:19.

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

:49:20.:49:23.

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

:49:24.:49:28.

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

:49:29.:49:32.

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

:49:33.:49:36.

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

:49:37.:49:41.

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

:49:42.:49:49.

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

:49:50.:49:55.

education for everybody. We have six secondary schools in Nottingham

:49:56.:50:00.

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

:50:01.:50:04.

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

:50:05.:50:08.

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

:50:09.:50:14.

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

:50:15.:50:18.

Department of education to work locally to improve standards. When

:50:19.:50:23.

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

:50:24.:50:28.

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

:50:29.:50:35.

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

:50:36.:50:40.

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

:50:41.:50:44.

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

:50:45.:50:48.

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

:50:49.:50:52.

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

:50:53.:50:56.

with an offer to compensate communities and individuals who

:50:57.:50:59.

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

:51:00.:51:05.

Monday, the oil platforms that are already there on the

:51:06.:51:08.

Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire border, it is worth making the point

:51:09.:51:12.

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

:51:13.:51:16.

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

:51:17.:51:26.

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

:51:27.:51:34.

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

:51:35.:51:40.

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

:51:41.:51:43.

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

:51:44.:51:48.

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

:51:49.:51:54.

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

:51:55.:52:00.

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

:52:01.:52:05.

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

:52:06.:52:10.

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

:52:11.:52:14.

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

:52:15.:52:17.

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

:52:18.:52:21.

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

:52:22.:52:27.

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

:52:28.:52:33.

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

:52:34.:52:39.

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

:52:40.:52:43.

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

:52:44.:52:47.

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

:52:48.:52:52.

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

:52:53.:52:59.

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

:53:00.:53:04.

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

:53:05.:53:09.

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

:53:10.:53:14.

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

:53:15.:53:18.

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

:53:19.:53:23.

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

:53:24.:53:31.

of people there we heard very cautious really about fracking,

:53:32.:53:35.

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

:53:36.:53:41.

particularly? We have huge concerns about the environmental risks.

:53:42.:53:45.

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

:53:46.:53:49.

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

:53:50.:53:54.

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

:53:55.:54:02.

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

:54:03.:54:08.

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

:54:09.:54:14.

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

:54:15.:54:18.

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

:54:19.:54:23.

significantly since then. Obviously the industry would despite some of

:54:24.:54:28.

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

:54:29.:54:34.

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

:54:35.:54:39.

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

:54:40.:54:45.

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

:54:46.:54:50.

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

:54:51.:54:57.

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

:54:58.:55:02.

Cameron says that these are incentives that communities will

:55:03.:55:07.

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

:55:08.:55:15.

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

:55:16.:55:22.

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

:55:23.:55:26.

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

:55:27.:55:34.

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

:55:35.:55:38.

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

:55:39.:55:44.

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

:55:45.:55:49.

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

:55:50.:55:53.

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

:55:54.:56:05.

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

:56:06.:56:08.

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

:56:09.:56:16.

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

:56:17.:56:19.

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

:56:20.:56:25.

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

:56:26.:56:33.

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

:56:34.:56:37.

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

:56:38.:56:44.

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

:56:45.:56:50.

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

:56:51.:56:54.

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

:56:55.:57:02.

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

:57:03.:57:08.

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

:57:09.:57:13.

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

:57:14.:57:20.

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

:57:21.:57:28.

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

:57:29.:57:34.

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

:57:35.:57:38.

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

:57:39.:57:45.

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

:57:46.:57:51.

Burning further fossil fuels is actually contributing to this. We

:57:52.:57:55.

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

:57:56.:57:59.

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

:58:00.:58:03.

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

:58:04.:58:12.

councils have not had any applications in and they have not

:58:13.:58:16.

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

:58:17.:58:21.

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

:58:22.:58:26.

is our political editor the 60 seconds.

:58:27.:58:36.

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

:58:37.:58:39.

claims that the British military helped plan the assault in the

:58:40.:58:48.

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

:58:49.:58:54.

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

:58:55.:59:09.

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

:59:10.:59:13.

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

:59:14.:59:20.

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

:59:21.:59:28.

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

:59:29.:59:39.

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

:59:40.:59:43.

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

:59:44.:59:50.

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

:59:51.:59:58.

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

:59:59.:00:13.

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

:00:14.:00:18.

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

:00:19.:00:20.

that. houses being built by the mayor.

:00:21.:00:31.

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

:00:32.:00:37.

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

:00:38.:00:41.

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

:00:42.:00:44.

competition show, here she is in action.

:00:45.:00:59.

APPLAUSE Here is a lady who is more used to

:01:00.:01:16.

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

:01:17.:01:22.

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

:01:23.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:37.

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

:01:38.:01:40.

matters? The newly appointed Minister for Portsmouth, Michael

:01:41.:01:42.

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

:01:43.:01:49.

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

:01:50.:01:53.

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

:01:54.:02:01.

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

:02:02.:02:04.

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

:02:05.:02:09.

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

:02:10.:02:14.

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

:02:15.:02:20.

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

:02:21.:02:27.

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

:02:28.:02:33.

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

:02:34.:02:37.

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

:02:38.:02:43.

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

:02:44.:02:50.

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

:02:51.:02:56.

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

:02:57.:03:04.

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

:03:05.:03:11.

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

:03:12.:03:15.

going to have a minister for Chipping Sodbury? Chipping Sodbury

:03:16.:03:18.

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

:03:19.:03:26.

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

:03:27.:03:31.

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

:03:32.:03:36.

are range of government funding streams going into Portsmouth. My

:03:37.:03:41.

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

:03:42.:03:46.

that Portsmouth seizes this opportunity to develop a more

:03:47.:03:49.

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

:03:50.:03:53.

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

:03:54.:03:59.

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

:04:00.:04:09.

Cable and I have been working together for the issues that

:04:10.:04:12.

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

:04:13.:04:18.

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

:04:19.:04:22.

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

:04:23.:04:27.

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

:04:28.:04:34.

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

:04:35.:04:39.

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

:04:40.:04:42.

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

:04:43.:04:49.

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

:04:50.:04:54.

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

:04:55.:05:00.

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

:05:01.:05:06.

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

:05:07.:05:11.

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

:05:12.:05:16.

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

:05:17.:05:22.

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

:05:23.:05:26.

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

:05:27.:05:31.

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

:05:32.:05:39.

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

:05:40.:05:41.

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

:05:42.:05:44.

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

:05:45.:05:47.

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

:05:48.:05:49.

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

:05:50.:05:53.

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

:05:54.:05:58.

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

:05:59.:06:01.

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

:06:02.:06:07.

see Labour going into the next election as the party of

:06:08.:06:09.

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

:06:10.:06:15.

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

:06:16.:06:18.

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

:06:19.:06:23.

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

:06:24.:06:29.

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

:06:30.:06:34.

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

:06:35.:06:36.

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

:06:37.:06:43.

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

:06:44.:06:46.

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

:06:47.:06:51.

the smaller energy companies who think that through interfering with

:06:52.:06:54.

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

:06:55.:07:00.

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

:07:01.:07:07.

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

:07:08.:07:12.

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

:07:13.:07:18.

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

:07:19.:07:22.

intervention that does not work There is a proud tradition in

:07:23.:07:29.

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

:07:30.:07:34.

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

:07:35.:07:37.

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

:07:38.:07:44.

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

:07:45.:07:48.

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

:07:49.:07:53.

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

:07:54.:07:56.

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

:07:57.:08:03.

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

:08:04.:08:08.

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

:08:09.:08:13.

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

:08:14.:08:17.

Duryea about the significance and the importance of Teddy Roosevelt.

:08:18.:08:21.

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

:08:22.:08:27.

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

:08:28.:08:35.

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

:08:36.:08:40.

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

:08:41.:08:50.

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

:08:51.:08:54.

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

:08:55.:08:59.

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

:09:00.:09:04.

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

:09:05.:09:09.

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

:09:10.:09:14.

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

:09:15.:09:18.

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

:09:19.:09:23.

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

:09:24.:09:32.

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

:09:33.:09:39.

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

:09:40.:09:45.

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

:09:46.:09:50.

repercussion from this godlessness that he has persisted in. The

:09:51.:09:56.

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

:09:57.:10:01.

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

:10:02.:10:07.

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

:10:08.:10:12.

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

:10:13.:10:18.

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

:10:19.:10:24.

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

:10:25.:10:28.

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

:10:29.:10:32.

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

:10:33.:10:38.

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

:10:39.:10:45.

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

:10:46.:10:49.

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

:10:50.:10:55.

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

:10:56.:11:00.

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

:11:01.:11:05.

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

:11:06.:11:15.

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

:11:16.:11:20.

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

:11:21.:11:26.

turns into more of a proper organisation, people speaking their

:11:27.:11:32.

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

:11:33.:11:36.

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

:11:37.:11:40.

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

:11:41.:11:46.

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

:11:47.:11:49.

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

:11:50.:11:58.

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

:11:59.:12:03.

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

:12:04.:12:07.

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

:12:08.:12:13.

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

:12:14.:12:17.

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

:12:18.:12:23.

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

:12:24.:12:27.

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

:12:28.:12:33.

a few fruitcakes around there. I think that mainstream conservatives

:12:34.:12:36.

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

:12:37.:12:42.

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

:12:43.:12:46.

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

:12:47.:12:52.

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

:12:53.:12:55.

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

:12:56.:13:01.

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

:13:02.:13:06.

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

:13:07.:13:14.

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

:13:15.:13:20.

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

:13:21.:13:28.

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

:13:29.:13:32.

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

:13:33.:13:37.

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

:13:38.:13:39.

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