02/02/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


02/02/2014

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With Paul Kenny, Malcolm Bruce, James Wharton and Natalie Bennett.


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Transcript


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. The unions helped

:00:37.:00:42.

him beat his brother to the top. Now Ed Miliband wants to change Labour's

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relationship with them. Who will come out on top? We will be asking

:00:47.:00:50.

one union baron what he thinks. Cracks in the coalition after

:00:51.:00:52.

Education Secretary Michael Gove sacks the chairwoman of Ofsted. His

:00:53.:00:57.

Lib Dem deputy is said to be hopping mad. We will be talking to the new

:00:58.:01:00.

deputy leader of the Lib Dems, Malcolm Bruce.

:01:01.:01:04.

Caught a bout of the EU blues? David Cameron has been drowning his

:01:05.:01:06.

sorrows with the President of France. Who better? We will be

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asking if the EU referendum bill is dead in the water.

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And bad weather getting you down? Getting from A to B a bit of a

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nightmare? Fear not! The leader of the Greens will be here with her

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traffic and travel report. Dutch reassurance people want?

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Yes, all that and more in today s action-packed Sunday Politics. And

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blowing more hot air than I have had hot dinners, Helen Lewis, Nick Watt

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and Iain Martin. After the row about candidate

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selection in Falkirk, Ed Miliband said he wanted to reshape the

:02:00.:02:02.

relationship between Labour and the unions. The biggest changes involve

:02:03.:02:06.

union membership of the party, which in turn will affect future Labour

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leadership elections. Some claim this is Ed's Clause 4 moment. But

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the unions will continue to be powerful at conference and on the

:02:17.:02:19.

party's ruling committees, and they will still be able to bankroll the

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election campaign. Here is Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman,

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speaking earlier. What he is proposing for the March the 1st

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conference is a huge change in financing, in the election of the

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leader, in what goes on at local level. In due course, it might have

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implications for the NEC elections and conference. But this is already

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a big issue to take forward. Joining me now is Paul Kenny,

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general secretary of the GMB union and chair of the Trade Union and

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Labour Party Liaison Organisation. Is this Ed Miliband's Clause 4

:03:03.:03:08.

moment? I don't know about that It is certainly a bold move,

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particularly to have an electoral college, which as you said was the

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system which elected him in the first place. Everybody admits that

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has needed reforming for some time. Moving to a one member, one vote

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situation seems to me to be sensible. I know some people are

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upset, mostly MPs, who will lose their golden share. But it is

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nonsense that one MP should have the same vote as 1000 party members So

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the MPs have lost out. Have the unions lost out? Well, the system is

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currently that union members get a ballot paper, but they have to

:04:01.:04:04.

declare that they are a Labour supporter and they have to sign to

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that effect in order to participate. Then their vote is counted. At the

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last election, about 200,000 trade union members gave that indication,

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and they participated in that way. That will not change. The way it is

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organised will be different. The big change in the electoral college is

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that the logical weight given to MPs will disappear. I wonder if you have

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really lost anything. At the moment, there are about 3 million people

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automatically affiliated from the unions to the Labour Party. If only

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10% of them opt in, that will still mean twice as many union individual

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members, 300,000, versus about 180,000 Labour Party members. So

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union members and maybe even the unions will have as big an influence

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on the leadership elections as you do now, maybe bigger? Well, they are

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individual votes. Different unions support different candidates. It is

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lost in the media myth of barons and block votes, but there is an

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individual vote. Different unions recommend different candidates, and

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union members vote accordingly. Ed Miliband won more individual votes

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by a country mile than David, but it got messed up in the process of this

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electoral college. As I have understood the proposals so far

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they are not a done deal. There is a lot of discussion. But it seems

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there are three hurdles. Firstly, union members themselves will have

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to agree whether they want to affiliate to the Labour Party. If

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they don't, the rest of it falls. If they decide they do my they will ask

:05:57.:06:02.

union members to support that an individual basis the next five

:06:03.:06:06.

years, which will have financial implications. Then there will be a

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third position, which is that people who may want to agree with the

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union's position and affiliate with the Labour Party may want to go

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further and become active supporters of the Labour Party, participating

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in leadership elections. They will have to give their sanction to that

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at a third stage. So the implications in terms of

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constituency parties and so on are a lot less than the idea that the 3

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million who are currently affiliated will change. At the moment, the

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unions, because of the automatic affiliation, hand over a affiliation

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fees of about ?8 million a year to Labour. You will now get to keep

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that money, because the individuals will have to put up the money

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themselves. You can keep that money and determine if you give it to

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Labour to fight the election campaign, correct? Incorrect.

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Firstly, the affiliation fees are paid from what is called the

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political fund, which most unions have to set up in order to

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participate. The union will continue to pay the ?3 a affiliation fee for

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those members who want the union to be affiliated. But you get to keep a

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lot more money. In reality, we will see a transitional period of a few

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years. Less people will probably say yes, depending on how popular Labour

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are, about whether they want the union to give money to the Labour

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Party. The GMB has already done this. By the way, don't call me

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kneel. It is Andrew or Mr Neil. The unions will have a bigger chunk of

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money because the unions will not be handing over all of the money at one

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time. But you could still play a major part in funding the Labour

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election campaign. We'll how much you give the dependent on what the

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Labour Party puts in its manifesto? Of course it will. It will have to

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justify our support to Labour for the members who provide money to the

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political fund. If we did not argue for the cert is social justice

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campaigns and laws we want to see, we would be failing in our job. I

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don't intend to hide that from anybody. The unions are there to

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fight for their members. That is our job. So you will still be a major

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part of the bankroll of the Labour campaign. You will still have 5 % of

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the votes at a Labour conference, and you will still have a major part

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in the Labour National executive committee and the policy committee.

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It is right to say the unions are still at the heart of Labour, are

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they not? Well, if you sick to break the affiliated link between trade

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unions and the Labour Party, the whole thing collapses. That is what

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anchors the Labour Party as far as we are concerned. Many of our

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members think that when they want to look for ferrochrome and rights

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social justice, housing and the health service, Labour are better it

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quipped to deliver that for working people than the current parties

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That is why we have traditionally supported them. But not at all of

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our members support Labour, which is why we don't affiliate all of them

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to Labour. There are over 30 million people in the British labour force

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now. Union membership is only 6 5 million out of that 30. A 6.5% of

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that do not vote Labour, they vote Tory or liberal or nationalist in

:10:05.:10:10.

Scotland. So you are a relatively small pressure group. Why should

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Labour be in thrall to you? We are the biggest voluntary organisation

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in this country. Sorry about that, but that is the fact. People make

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conscious choices. My own union the GMB, has been growing for eight

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years. So this dying picture you are trying to paint... In terms of

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accounting for the fact that some do not support Labour, that is why

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unions do not affiliate all of their members to the Labour Party. We have

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adjusted to that. If you don't like being called Neil, I don't like

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being called a barren either. What about Mr Baron? I don't like that

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either. We are representatives of working organisations. It may be

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inconvenient for politicians to have to listen to working people, but we

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will continue to press. Lord Baron, thank you very much.

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So, is this a Clause 4 moment for Ed Miliband? Not really, but to his

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credit, he is going ahead with this. There was a point at which it looked

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as though Ed Miliband would back away from reform. To his credit he

:11:23.:11:27.

is trying to create a mass membership party again. But when it

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comes to the crucial business of funding a general election campaign,

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these reforms will make Labour more reliant on large donations from

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trade unions. They could have more power now, because they get to hold

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back this money, whereas beforehand, they had to hand it over

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automatically. As Mr Kenny just said, how much they handover will be

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dependent on good behaviour. Yes, but these are pragmatic reforms The

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fact that Ed Miliband has a lot of capital in not being seen as a

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Blairite has helped him get these through . The response has been

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muted, which suggests good party management on his behalf. That may

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be because they will still have 50% of the votes at a party conference.

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Mr Kenny was clear that that could be deal-breaker if they tried to

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take that away. They have more places at the NEC than anyone else,

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and party members, if only 10% of them signed up, they will outweigh

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individual members in the constituencies. It was interesting,

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how relaxed Paul Kenny was. He was taking thousands of pounds from the

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Labour Party a few months ago because he was annoyed about these

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reforms, and now he is relaxed because they still have 50% of the

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vote at Labour Party conference and Labour Party Parliamentary

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candidates are still selected in the same way. But there is a simple

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point here. Yes, you can pick apart what Ed Miliband said and said the

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unions have too much influence, but the only way he could have gone all

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the way was to break the link with the trade unions, and he was not

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going to do that. It was not the Labour Party that founded the

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unions, it was the unions that founded the Labour Party. Even Tony

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Blair did not break the link. In that context, Ed Miliband has gone

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incredibly far. For the last 50 years, this opting into the union,

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you have to turn to page 50 of your union terms and conditions to say,

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do you want to opt out of the political levy 's that is going to

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go, which will mean that when the next Labour leader is elected from

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the union votes, they will get their ballot from the Labour Party and you

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will append the fast where ballots went out from Unison macro and GMB

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with a picture of Ed Miliband on the front of the ballot paper saying,

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vote for aid. They were Stasi and Saddam Hussein ways of trade union

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members electing the Labour leader, which will go. I am sorry his

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Lordship is not still here to answer that question.

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HMS Coalition is not a happy ship. The lovey-dovey days in the rose

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garden are long gone. It is not a loveless marriage, perhaps even an

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open one. The latest split is over the decision by Education Secretary

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Michael Gove to replace Labour peer Sally Morgan as head of the schools

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inspectorate, Ofsted. Mr Gove's deputy, Lib Dem David Laws, is said

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to be spitting blood about her removal, although only through

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surrogates. He has not said a word on the record. Here was the

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Education Secretary a little earlier. If there is another

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opportunity for Sally to serve in a different role at a different time,

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then I would be delighted to support her in the role which she thinks it

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is appropriate to do. There is nothing wrong with Sally but there

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is a principle across government that there should be no automatic

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reappointment, and that after three or four years, it is appropriate to

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bring in a fresh pair of eyes. That is good corporate practice in order

:15:10.:15:14.

to ensure that you refresh boards, bring a new perspective, and have

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tough questions asked. We're joined now by the newly elected deputy

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leader of the Liberal Democrats Malcolm Bruce. He's in Aberdeen

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Welcome to the Sunday Politics. David Laws is said to be furious

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with Michael Gove, is he? I think he is because Sally Morgan has been

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doing a good job and that has been generally agreed across the whole

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spectrum. I think Ofsted is an impartial body that inspects all

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schools and it shouldn't be subject to some kind of political direction.

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That is the concern, that she is being removed when she was doing a

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good job and most people thought she should be reappointed. It is

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strongly rumoured her successor will be a high-ranking Tory backer. Why

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hasn't David Laws said this himself, have you spoken to him? I have, and

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I know he is not very pleased about it but he will want to speak to

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Michael Gove himself when he gets to see him on Monday. The question you

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have to take on board is that David Laws is the schools minister,

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effectively the one who has engagement with Ofsted, and he is

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seeing it being undermined by the Secretary of State. There is a

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question that if Michael Gove is so pleased with Sally Morgan why is he

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replacing her, and who will he be replacing her with, and on what

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basis? Maybe parliament should have a confirmation hearing so that we

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can be assured that whoever is put in charge is there because they are

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good at it. Why has he licensed his surrogates to save this rather than

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saying it himself? He didn't, he knew I was on the programme this

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morning so I am giving you the answers as best I can. David is

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perfectly capable of speaking for himself. He hasn't so far. You asked

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me to come on this programme and David was anxious for me to know he

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wasn't happy about it, and I can certainly tell you that. I can also

:17:37.:17:41.

give you my own opinion which is that Ofsted is not the Department

:17:42.:17:44.

for Education, it is an independent body. The question you have to ask

:17:45.:17:52.

is will Michael Gove but someone in charge of Ofsted who will have a

:17:53.:17:58.

political agenda? If so, that is not what Ofsted should be used for.

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Let's move on to your own position. You are 69, white male,

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middle-class, what is your answer to the party with diversity problems? I

:18:16.:18:20.

don't think that is what they voted on. They felt I had a wealth of

:18:21.:18:24.

experience that would be vulnerable to the party from the period now

:18:25.:18:28.

until the election, not least because the central issues that will

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concern voters are the economy, and I have a track record of promoting

:18:32.:18:38.

the party's economic policy over many years. But you are not even

:18:39.:18:44.

standing at the next election. No, but we need to get to the next

:18:45.:18:48.

election and my colleagues have confidence that I can do a useful

:18:49.:19:00.

job for the party in that situation. We have developed and delivered

:19:01.:19:03.

policies that I have helped to shape and I want to persuade people to

:19:04.:19:05.

understand the Liberal Democrats have made a fundamental difference

:19:06.:19:08.

to the economic recovery. But you know what has been happening with

:19:09.:19:12.

the Liberal Democrats and their problems with women. Wasn't this a

:19:13.:19:17.

chance to select a woman in a major part? You only have seven female MPs

:19:18.:19:24.

out of 57, not a single Lib Dem woman in the Parliament. Again, why

:19:25.:19:32.

you rather than making a break and bringing someone in onto major

:19:33.:19:37.

positions? My colleagues have concluded that the role I am best

:19:38.:19:44.

qualified to do it, that is why they voted for me. We do only have seven

:19:45.:19:50.

women and that is an issue we need to address. Two of those women are

:19:51.:20:01.

ministers, one is a government whip. We seem to have lost our line to

:20:02.:20:07.

Aberdeen, just as Malcolm Bruce was in full flight defending his

:20:08.:20:12.

position. I'm not sure if we can get the line back, just bear with me for

:20:13.:20:18.

a few seconds to see if we can get it. It looks as if we have lost

:20:19.:20:23.

Malcolm Bruce, I do apologise to Malcolm Bruce and the viewers that

:20:24.:20:27.

we were not able to continue that interview.

:20:28.:20:35.

Fierce winds, torrential rain and a tidal surge have brought more misery

:20:36.:20:38.

to thousands. Official records show that southern England has seen the

:20:39.:20:41.

wettest January since records began in 1767. I remember it well. The

:20:42.:20:44.

Somerset Levels have been hit by weeks of flooding, with little

:20:45.:20:49.

respite from relentless rain. And, the residents of one village on the

:20:50.:20:52.

Levels, Muchelney, has been cut off for almost a month. We sent our Adam

:20:53.:20:59.

out with his wellies and a properly filled out risk assessment form The

:21:00.:21:18.

very wet road to Muchelney. This village of about 100 residents has

:21:19.:21:21.

been cut off for about four weeks, and like the weather vane, it feels

:21:22.:21:29.

a little bit spooky. It came up to here and your front door was there.

:21:30.:21:35.

Anita is just relieved the water stopped here, practically on her

:21:36.:21:40.

doorstep. Now it is the practicalities that are the problem.

:21:41.:21:46.

Driving around for food is quite a hassle. You are foraging. It's not

:21:47.:21:53.

as bad as that but we do have a few bits in the vegetable garden still,

:21:54.:21:57.

and we had some nice apples until the rats ate them but we are not

:21:58.:22:02.

doing too badly on that score. It sounds like the medieval! That's

:22:03.:22:11.

what it feels like. Talking of retro, who knew Somerset still had a

:22:12.:22:19.

Coleman, this is Brian's first delivery since Christmas. Everything

:22:20.:22:25.

has gone old-fashioned. We are now talking to neighbours we might never

:22:26.:22:29.

have seen before or spoken to so we are getting to know more people in

:22:30.:22:35.

the village. She's right, there has been an outbreak of Dunkirk spirit,

:22:36.:22:39.

quite literally. The council and the Fire Brigade have put on this boat

:22:40.:22:46.

service to get people to work and school. The church has become an

:22:47.:22:55.

unofficial flood HQ. This is where people pick up their mail, and this

:22:56.:23:01.

is where the people who run the boat stopped for their tea breaks. It all

:23:02.:23:06.

seems quite jolly, if a bit boring, but it is no fun for the homes and

:23:07.:23:12.

businesses that have been inundated, or for the farmers whose land is

:23:13.:23:18.

underwater, an area the size of Bristol, or for the villages which

:23:19.:23:21.

are less isolated but where the flooding is worse. People like the

:23:22.:23:26.

parish chairman are starting to get angry with how the Government has

:23:27.:23:32.

responded. It was all a bit late. We knew what was going to happen with

:23:33.:23:38.

the amount of rain on the fields and the Government was so slow to

:23:39.:23:42.

react. The county council got the boat going quickly but it was

:23:43.:23:46.

another four weeks nearly before the button was pressed for the major

:23:47.:23:52.

incident. Right on cue, the cavalry arrived in the shape of emergency

:23:53.:23:57.

crews from other parts of the UK. The rumour is that they will bring

:23:58.:24:02.

in a hovercraft but the bad news is that the weather is becoming more

:24:03.:24:06.

grim this weekend. There has been a surge in bookings at the campsite

:24:07.:24:13.

where people have seen the Somerset Levels on holiday and would like to

:24:14.:24:16.

come on holiday, if it ever stops raining. I'm delighted to say we

:24:17.:24:25.

have got the line back to Aberdeen, somebody has put a shilling in the

:24:26.:24:29.

meter. We can go back to Malcolm Bruce. We were talking about the Lib

:24:30.:24:34.

Dem women and your election, I suppose the point some people are

:24:35.:24:40.

making is that your party has as many knights in Parliament as it has

:24:41.:24:48.

women and you are one of them. The good news is that for the five MPs

:24:49.:24:55.

who are standing down, who have had candidates elected in their

:24:56.:25:00.

constituencies so far, all five candidates that have been selected

:25:01.:25:05.

are women. We need to fight hard to get behind those women and get them

:25:06.:25:08.

elected so that we have a much better balanced parliament in the

:25:09.:25:13.

future, but given that we have few women, you really have to pick

:25:14.:25:16.

people appropriate for the job and we have appointed the women as I

:25:17.:25:34.

have said but we need our image to be balanced. How many women

:25:35.:25:41.

candidates will there be come the next election? At the moment, 1 ,

:25:42.:25:48.

five more than we have now, and we haven't finished selection. Where

:25:49.:25:51.

there are men sitting and standing again, that is not likely to change,

:25:52.:25:57.

but where they are standing down we are overwhelmingly choosing women,

:25:58.:26:01.

and in my view good and very able women. What I would want to say to

:26:02.:26:08.

people is that if you want to see the Lib Dems have more women, go to

:26:09.:26:16.

those seats and help us hold them. We are told that only 20% of the 57

:26:17.:26:23.

seats have female candidates and in the unlikely event that you were

:26:24.:26:28.

able to hold onto them all, it still wouldn't be a sea change to have

:26:29.:26:34.

20%. The point is you have to build them up. We are supporting female

:26:35.:26:41.

candidates. These are really good candidates who will make first-class

:26:42.:26:47.

MPs and I certainly believe you will gradually see the Liberal Democrats

:26:48.:26:51.

taking them on. We don't have 3 0 seats that we currently hold like

:26:52.:26:55.

other parties, but what I can tell you is that increasing --

:26:56.:27:02.

increasingly we will have female candidates. One newspaper has said

:27:03.:27:08.

that you will deal with the Chris Rennard fallout quickly and

:27:09.:27:13.

privately, what does that mean? It means I will not be telling you

:27:14.:27:18.

because these things are not helped by comments on the airwaves. I hope

:27:19.:27:22.

it will be possible to have a resolution without people going to

:27:23.:27:26.

court but I don't think it helps anybody for me to comment on any

:27:27.:27:30.

aspect of how this will be done and I'm not prepared to do so. If you

:27:31.:27:36.

are not in full possession of the facts, why did you say you will deal

:27:37.:27:44.

with this privately? I have come into this halfway through, I don't

:27:45.:27:48.

have full possession of the facts, I doubt you do, and we have a process

:27:49.:27:56.

that needs to be followed through. Any comments in public do not help.

:27:57.:28:02.

Isn't it hypocrisy of a high order to hear from a party that is

:28:03.:28:09.

constantly calling for transparency in other institutions but when it

:28:10.:28:14.

comes to your own, you say, I am not going to talk about it. There are

:28:15.:28:18.

all sorts of disputes that happen in the world and often people don't

:28:19.:28:23.

talk about them because talking about them aggravates the

:28:24.:28:27.

situation. I believe you have to deal with them privately and I don't

:28:28.:28:31.

think trial by media in this context is helpful and I don't believe that

:28:32.:28:35.

those who choose to make those comments are making it easier to

:28:36.:28:41.

solve them. There are problems in other walks of life and the Liberal

:28:42.:28:45.

Democrats are not the only ones with these problems. We are trying to

:28:46.:28:49.

change that culture and I think we will do it effectively in our own

:28:50.:28:54.

way. We have a pastoral care officer now and I think that is the right

:28:55.:29:05.

way to do it. Thank you for that. Let's now go back to the story of

:29:06.:29:09.

the flooding in Somerset. We are joined by the leader of the Green

:29:10.:29:17.

party, Natalie Bennett in Millbank. Natalie Bennett, don't the Green

:29:18.:29:22.

party bears some responsibility for these floods? You have sided with

:29:23.:29:30.

the Environment Agency in the decision not to dredge rivers and

:29:31.:29:35.

that is one of the reason why these places have been flooded. Firstly I

:29:36.:29:39.

want to give my sympathy to everyone dealing with these floods. The

:29:40.:29:46.

homeowners, the farmers seeing sodden fields for weeks and weeks.

:29:47.:29:55.

We get that, we all have huge sympathy, particularly because so

:29:56.:29:58.

little seems to be done to help them. What is the answer to my

:29:59.:30:03.

question? I think there is strong evidence that dredging is not the

:30:04.:30:09.

answer. If you think about the flow of the river, where the pinch points

:30:10.:30:15.

are is things like bridges, weirs and towns. If you dredge the river

:30:16.:30:20.

in between those barriers, you just make the water faster to those

:30:21.:30:24.

points. The experts are saying that dredging is not the answer, it may

:30:25.:30:29.

be in particular cases, but you have to look at each river system on its

:30:30.:30:33.

own merits and very often the best way of dealing with this is working

:30:34.:30:37.

out ways to slow the watered down and make sure that people don't

:30:38.:30:40.

suffer unduly while you are doing that. The west of England

:30:41.:30:49.

agricultural Society, which I would venture knows more about the

:30:50.:30:52.

Somerset Levels than either of us, has said that without dredging, this

:30:53.:30:56.

was a disaster waiting to happen. The local drainage boards have been

:30:57.:31:00.

calling for years for dredging to be resumed. The National Farmers' Union

:31:01.:31:06.

has called for it, and the chairman of the West Sussex flood defences

:31:07.:31:10.

has called for more drainage, and he is a drainage engineer by

:31:11.:31:12.

profession. So I don't know where your experts are, but the experts on

:31:13.:31:17.

the ground am not the urban ones in London, seem to think this has not

:31:18.:31:24.

been caused, but made worse by the failure of the Environment Agency to

:31:25.:31:29.

continue to dredge. If you look at the example of the planning and

:31:30.:31:32.

climate change coalition, which is led by the town and country planning

:31:33.:31:37.

Association, who you would not describe as a group of radical

:31:38.:31:40.

greens, these people have said we have to look at how we deal with

:31:41.:31:45.

flooding in the future. But not in Somerset. These are the people

:31:46.:31:48.

currently being flooded, not somebody sitting in a quango office

:31:49.:31:52.

in London. They have asked for this to happen and it hasn't, and they

:31:53.:31:57.

are now flooded in definitely. We have to look at what is happening on

:31:58.:32:02.

a case-by-case basis. If you look at Germany, there are many cases there

:32:03.:32:06.

were, to deal with flooding, many farmers are paid to hold water on

:32:07.:32:10.

their land. Maybe we need to introduce those systems, because we

:32:11.:32:14.

have to protect farmland, but we also have to protect urban areas for

:32:15.:32:20.

safety. We saw a horrible flood in Wales were lines were endangered --

:32:21.:32:28.

where lives were endangered. That is the priority, to protect lives,

:32:29.:32:33.

property and farmland. Lives are endangered at the moment,

:32:34.:32:37.

particularly as this stagnant water turns toxic. And yet we are in a

:32:38.:32:43.

situation, again encouraged by the Greens and the lobbying Environment

:32:44.:32:45.

Agency, it says it does not want to dredge because dredging is

:32:46.:32:48.

expensive, yet it spends millions on a bird sanctuary. That is getting

:32:49.:32:54.

everything totally wrong. The government is getting everything one

:32:55.:32:59.

by cutting on flood defences. It has not cut on a bird sanctuaries. I

:33:00.:33:06.

don't know the details of that. But looking at the broader issue, we

:33:07.:33:14.

have to prepare for climate change. The government has slashed funding

:33:15.:33:17.

to the Environment Agency and has cut back on the number of staff

:33:18.:33:22.

available to deal with it and has removed the requirement on local

:33:23.:33:24.

councils to plan for climate change. These are all gambling the future of

:33:25.:33:31.

our lives and property and the future of our environment. Hasn't

:33:32.:33:34.

the high watermark of greenery now gone well past? You don't come out

:33:35.:33:40.

of the Somerset Levels with any great reputation. The UK government

:33:41.:33:43.

is now going to start fracking as quickly as it can. Brussels is

:33:44.:33:48.

loosening the CO2 obligations for 2030. The President of America is

:33:49.:33:54.

about to give the go-ahead to the keystone pipeline, a totemic issue

:33:55.:33:59.

for American greens, and your party is in a state of civil war in

:34:00.:34:03.

Brighton. It is over, isn't it? Absolutely not. We are seeing large

:34:04.:34:08.

amounts of extreme weather around the world. Any one event is whether,

:34:09.:34:16.

but we are seeing a lot of it and people are recognising that climate

:34:17.:34:19.

change is happening. If we are going to quote international experts, I

:34:20.:34:23.

can quote to you Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, not known as a

:34:24.:34:27.

radical green, and he said after the IPCC report came out that the heat

:34:28.:34:32.

is on and we must act. If you go to Christine Lagarde, head of the

:34:33.:34:34.

International Monetary Fund, again not a radical green, she was asked

:34:35.:34:38.

what kept her awake at night, and she said, we are not doing enough

:34:39.:34:43.

about climate change. So actually, people around the world are looking

:34:44.:34:46.

at what is happening around them are both people on the ground and people

:34:47.:34:50.

in high positions are saying we have to act on climate change. And in the

:34:51.:34:55.

case of Britain, that should absolutely not mean fracking. Sorry

:34:56.:35:01.

to interrupt, but I have evidence that you are planning a little

:35:02.:35:05.

career change. Don't go away. This is what happens when you let Nigel

:35:06.:35:09.

Farage present the weather. One thing leads to another and low and

:35:10.:35:13.

behold, the Sunday Politics now has a new traffic and travel reporter.

:35:14.:35:18.

Let's go back to Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett. Thanks, Andrew. It

:35:19.:35:24.

is easy out that, so let's start with our airports. I am pleased to

:35:25.:35:29.

say that Heathrow's third runway, Boris Island and all short-haul

:35:30.:35:35.

flights are, just like our arguments, well grounded. We suggest

:35:36.:35:40.

making or alternative arrangements, like a re-nationalised rail

:35:41.:35:46.

network, although it would be a glaring omission if we did not admit

:35:47.:35:51.

that that plan is currently being delayed by Labour Party foot

:35:52.:35:54.

dragging. Speaking of trains, we are hearing that high-speed two may well

:35:55.:36:00.

be derailing, or at least getting bogged down in political fog. One

:36:01.:36:05.

viewer, Ed Balls, has texted in to say he is completely lost. Thanks

:36:06.:36:12.

for the update, Ed. You are not alone among political commuters.

:36:13.:36:16.

Meanwhile, dumped UKIP manifestoes are causing major tailbacks across

:36:17.:36:21.

the South, apparently stretching all the way to Brussels. This does make

:36:22.:36:27.

driving road tricky, but UKIP's MEPs can, of course, just hop on their

:36:28.:36:37.

gravy train. The tree had a roundabout is blocked after reports

:36:38.:36:41.

of a political earthquake. It seems that a green unwound his beard to

:36:42.:36:46.

block a dodgy gas extractor. A motorist who turned out to be the

:36:47.:36:49.

environment minister object into the delay and was told to frack off as

:36:50.:36:55.

furious badgers demanded that he stopped moving the goalposts.

:36:56.:37:02.

Unregulated traffic in the city of London continues unchecked.

:37:03.:37:07.

Pedestrians should try to block bankers with sacks of loot rushing

:37:08.:37:11.

for the payments. But do beware the Lib Dem Exodus that is clogging up

:37:12.:37:18.

the motorways. Although they are in a jam, or is it a fudge, we are

:37:19.:37:24.

happy to make way for them, as, like all refugees, we say they are

:37:25.:37:28.

welcome here in muesli green. That is the travel. Back to you, Andrew.

:37:29.:37:35.

Natalie, I think you make my point. You are now preparing a new career

:37:36.:37:41.

in traffic and travel. Well, I do believe in lifelong education and

:37:42.:37:44.

that was an example of it. We know you have had a tough time today to

:37:45.:37:49.

get to our studio. Thank you for the effort.

:37:50.:37:56.

You are watching the Sunday Politics. Coming up in just over 20

:37:57.:37:58.

minutes, we will have The Eastern European is planning to

:37:59.:38:21.

vote for British parties in the coming elections. I need to know who

:38:22.:38:27.

you are, some more information but you can do for us.

:38:28.:38:32.

Once they fought and died for the right to vote, so how can we get

:38:33.:38:36.

young people involved in politics today?

:38:37.:38:42.

Here, three men were hanged for their part in the Nottingham riots

:38:43.:38:46.

and their campaign to extend the right to vote.

:38:47.:38:52.

My guests today, two people very interested in politics, the

:38:53.:38:55.

Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire and Labour's MP for

:38:56.:39:03.

Leicester South. Let's get your views on the state of the economy

:39:04.:39:07.

and what that means in the East Midlands, especially after the

:39:08.:39:10.

latest report that says that average incomes are still 6% load their

:39:11.:39:14.

peak. We have all of this good news but 0

:39:15.:39:16.

peak. We have all of this good news but this is still a problem. `` 6%

:39:17.:39:24.

below their peak. Our economy is growing faster than any comparator

:39:25.:39:29.

country in the world. Unemployment is falling, it fell by 30% in my

:39:30.:39:33.

constituency last year. There is going to be a while before companies

:39:34.:39:40.

making profits feeds through into wage rises but it is not surprising

:39:41.:39:42.

we 0 wage rises but it is not surprising

:39:43.:39:43.

we have 0 wage rises but it is not surprising

:39:44.:39:47.

we have had such a hit when we suffered a 7.2% contraction during

:39:48.:39:53.

Labour's great bust. The economy is growing strongly. Are you seeing

:39:54.:39:59.

that in Leicester South? I have been calling for growth for three years.

:40:00.:40:03.

We have had nothing for three years so thankfully we now have some.

:40:04.:40:07.

People out there are still having a really hard time, people are worse

:40:08.:40:13.

off by about ?1600 under this Tory government. The statisticians at the

:40:14.:40:20.

Institute of fiscal studies have worked out that because prices have

:40:21.:40:23.

been rising higher than wages people are really worse off and the Tory

:40:24.:40:30.

government have to do something. We have been doing things to ease the

:40:31.:40:34.

cost of living for people. Freezing council tax, it is frozen for the

:40:35.:40:41.

fourth consecutive year. Cutting Labour's fuel duty tax. What about

:40:42.:40:47.

VAT? We have cut 0 Labour's fuel duty tax. What about

:40:48.:40:54.

VAT? We have cut income tax, 1.7 million people are paying less

:40:55.:41:01.

income tax. What about the 10p tax that your government cut? People who

:41:02.:41:08.

are wealthier, people who are bit more privileged, we think it is only

:41:09.:41:13.

fair that they pay a bit more tax. They are going to reverse that. The

:41:14.:41:17.

wealthiest 10% have 0 They are going to reverse that. The

:41:18.:41:19.

wealthiest 10% have taken a 9% reduction in their income. Why

:41:20.:41:25.

shouldn't they pay a bit more? They have already taken a reduction. Do

:41:26.:41:29.

you think people in 0 have already taken a reduction. Do

:41:30.:41:32.

you think people in Asheville think it is fair that these millionaires

:41:33.:41:38.

are taking... OK, we will hear plenty more about this. All of the

:41:39.:41:44.

talk about immigration in the East Midlands, have 0

:41:45.:41:45.

talk about immigration in the East Midlands, have we overlooked one

:41:46.:41:47.

important point. East Europeans have the vote. One party in the East

:41:48.:41:53.

Midlands thinks it has spotted a massive opportunity.

:41:54.:41:59.

On the streets and canvassing votes. It is a traditional election

:42:00.:42:02.

site but there is nothing traditional about the target voters.

:42:03.:42:06.

This candidate is looking for East Europeans.

:42:07.:42:17.

Hello. I am out campaigning on behalf of the Liberal Democrats. Did

:42:18.:42:21.

you know that people who are living here from Eastern and Central Europe

:42:22.:42:23.

can actually vote? Yes, 0 here from Eastern and Central Europe

:42:24.:42:29.

can actually vote? Yes, certainly. Have you registered yet? Of course.

:42:30.:42:37.

Joanna came to the UK unable to speak in fish and now she runs a

:42:38.:42:42.

restaurant. She plans to vote but she needs more information. `` speak

:42:43.:42:50.

English. I need more information about what you can do for us, for

:42:51.:42:55.

Polish people. It is a short step across the street to the next

:42:56.:43:04.

target. This couple run two businesses from their shop, selling

:43:05.:43:06.

speciality teas 0 0 businesses from their shop, selling

:43:07.:43:08.

speciality teas and offering fitness training. They plan to spend the

:43:09.:43:12.

rest of their lives in the UK and they are alarmed by the

:43:13.:43:18.

anti`immigration mood. When you hear something horrible it is about

:43:19.:43:23.

Polish people or whatever. We work hard, we pay taxes. The Lib Dems are

:43:24.:43:30.

working hard on canvassing the sizeable East European vote in the

:43:31.:43:35.

region. Under European Union rules, citizens from member countries

:43:36.:43:39.

living in another country can vote there, leaving hundreds of thousands

:43:40.:43:45.

of votes up for grabs. It is no surprise perhaps that

:43:46.:43:49.

politicians are courting this new electorate. The turnout in UK and

:43:50.:43:53.

European elections is pretty low, around 35%. With more than 1 million

:43:54.:43:57.

people from Eastern Europe in the country they could have significant

:43:58.:44:03.

impact. But what would make Eastern European is vote for UK politicians?

:44:04.:44:08.

This newspaper is aimed at Poles living in the East Midlands. `` East

:44:09.:44:17.

European threw vote. We want a different kind of elliptical debate

:44:18.:44:23.

where the emphasis could be put on positive contributions that migrants

:44:24.:44:27.

make to the local economy. `` political debate. The Eastern

:44:28.:44:36.

European vote is a new force in British politics.

:44:37.:44:45.

You are number two on the Liberal Democrats list in the European

:44:46.:44:48.

election, your party has not been doing very well in the latest

:44:49.:44:52.

opinion polls. Are you courting Eastern European is to try to win

:44:53.:45:04.

their vote? `` Europeans. We work with everybody to try to get

:45:05.:45:08.

ourselves elected of course but the reason why we think the Eastern

:45:09.:45:10.

European community is very important... 0

:45:11.:45:12.

European community is very important... Is that why you have

:45:13.:45:15.

been as far as Boston to speak to them? As I said, the reason for

:45:16.:45:21.

working with Eastern European community is is because recently

:45:22.:45:22.

they have been quite 0 community is is because recently

:45:23.:45:24.

they have been quite demonised through some of the negative myths

:45:25.:45:31.

Page rated by UKIP and some people on the Tory right. `` perpetuated.

:45:32.:45:38.

They have suffered from their public image. We went to Boston to talk to

:45:39.:45:42.

these people and find out their views and feelings and I was quite

:45:43.:45:46.

surprised to find out that some of those communities are very, very

:45:47.:45:50.

disappointed with the political process 0 0

:45:51.:45:51.

disappointed with the political process in this 0

:45:52.:45:51.

disappointed with the political process in this country, some of

:45:52.:45:54.

them are quite scared because they are not sure whether some of the

:45:55.:45:58.

rhetoric coming out is actually going to hurt them. The idea was to

:45:59.:46:02.

try to find out how we can better engaged with these communities.

:46:03.:46:07.

Their votes could have a big impact on the outcome of the European

:46:08.:46:13.

elections. All parties reach out to all the electorate to get their

:46:14.:46:18.

message across. Unfortunately, turnout is traditionally quite low

:46:19.:46:23.

so every vote counts. Are you worried that your party is

:46:24.:46:30.

alienating Eastern Europeans? I think 0

:46:31.:46:31.

alienating Eastern Europeans? I think I message reflects the

:46:32.:46:34.

electorate who will be voting so it is reasonable that we tailor our

:46:35.:46:39.

message to them. Polish people are worried about anti`immigration talk

:46:40.:46:42.

and with your views and policies on immigration that could cost you

:46:43.:46:48.

votes. The people most vulnerable to the next wave of immigration are the

:46:49.:46:52.

last immigrants. I think some of the biggest supporters on curbs of

:46:53.:47:01.

immigration are recent immigrants. Will Labour be targeting these

:47:02.:47:07.

groups? We will be talking to everybody who has a vote. I was out

:47:08.:47:16.

just this last weekend with a Labour candidate in Leicester, knocking on

:47:17.:47:20.

doors. I have to tell you, people think the Liberal Democrats really

:47:21.:47:24.

let them down, broke all of their promises and I think people won't

:47:25.:47:28.

vote for you because of that. You think this will not make any

:47:29.:47:33.

difference? Every politician has to you engage people but at the end of

:47:34.:47:37.

the day the Lib Dems said they would end tuition fees, they wouldn't put

:47:38.:47:46.

up the 80... Do people feel down by Lib Dem policy? The Eastern

:47:47.:47:52.

Europeans we spoke to is engaged in the same struggle as everybody else,

:47:53.:47:56.

trying to work their way through the biggest recession in living memory

:47:57.:48:00.

on a caused by the previous government, so it is a bit rich

:48:01.:48:04.

coming from the gentleman on my left to talk about the problems of the

:48:05.:48:14.

Lib Dems. Student tuition fees were brought in during... You said you

:48:15.:48:21.

were going to get rid of them. You raised them in power. You said you

:48:22.:48:27.

were going to get rid of them and you are in power now. We have

:48:28.:48:35.

introduced a system which is fairer. How many Eastern Europeans were

:48:36.:48:38.

talking about this? It is hard to get the figures. There is an

:48:39.:48:43.

estimation of something in the region of bubbly a quarter of a

:48:44.:48:48.

million to half a million people in the East Midlands. `` probably. They

:48:49.:48:56.

could really play an important role. Anything any party does to encourage

:48:57.:49:00.

people to vote has to be a good thing and I support that. It is

:49:01.:49:04.

important that all of the parties reach out and the electorate decide.

:49:05.:49:09.

What other problems they are talking to you about? One of the major

:49:10.:49:15.

problems is this notion of not enough information coming through

:49:16.:49:18.

about how to register and in terms of whether or not they are eligible

:49:19.:49:23.

to vote. One of the things they are asking for is more information from

:49:24.:49:26.

the political parties and I have to say the Labour Party is completely

:49:27.:49:28.

ignoring 0 say the Labour Party is completely

:49:29.:49:30.

ignoring them because we spoke to them about local politicians and

:49:31.:49:36.

they say... You are missing a trick, aren't you? I was talking to people

:49:37.:49:41.

in Leicester just last week you have Swedish nationality and Danish

:49:42.:49:45.

nationality about getting them to vote, so it is not the case where I

:49:46.:49:54.

am MP. They feel they are being taken for granted. I have to say the

:49:55.:49:58.

contributions they make to the economy are not taken into

:49:59.:50:02.

consideration. One of the myths perpetuated is this thing about

:50:03.:50:06.

benefits. Actually European migration benefits the European

:50:07.:50:11.

Community. So we can't afford to ignore them? They make a net

:50:12.:50:18.

contribution. A campaign has been launched this

:50:19.:50:21.

week to persuade more young people to register to vote, after 0

:50:22.:50:23.

week to persuade more young people to register to vote, after figures

:50:24.:50:25.

revealed only a quarter of them plan to vote in the next general

:50:26.:50:29.

election. It is a far cry from the early days of the fight for

:50:30.:50:33.

democracy, where the East Midlands played a leading role in thousands

:50:34.:50:37.

of people fought and sometimes died for the right to vote. `` when

:50:38.:50:47.

thousands. On the march to Nottingham Castle

:50:48.:50:48.

for the right to vote. It 0 On the march to Nottingham Castle

:50:49.:50:54.

for the right to vote. It is 1381 `` 1831 and the landing gentry have

:50:55.:51:02.

blocked the right to vote. Ted knows all about voting. 0

:51:03.:51:03.

blocked the right to vote. Ted knows all about voting. He used to run the

:51:04.:51:06.

election counts in Nottingham. Now he wants the city's historic role to

:51:07.:51:13.

be celebrated. It is crucial that people understand just how hard

:51:14.:51:18.

fought the campaign to win the vote was. In 1831 riots broke out and the

:51:19.:51:27.

exhibition be putting on will explain that. Can it explain why so

:51:28.:51:33.

many young people are not using their vote? At the last general

:51:34.:51:36.

election only a quarter of young people between 18 and 24 actually

:51:37.:51:41.

voted. By the time of the next election for million young people

:51:42.:51:46.

will be eligible to vote yet a recent survey by Hansard indicated

:51:47.:51:50.

that only 12% of them were likely to use the right. I am not not voting

:51:51.:51:58.

out of apathy, I am not voting out of indifference and weariness about

:51:59.:52:01.

the lies and deceit of the political class that has been going on for

:52:02.:52:06.

generations. Did Russell Brand strike a chord and

:52:07.:52:09.

does he speak for many of his generation?

:52:10.:52:11.

I 0 generation?

:52:12.:52:13.

I am not really interested in politics. I believe that if you

:52:14.:52:18.

don't vote you don't get to have a say. In the school classroom there

:52:19.:52:22.

are 48 questions that go to the heart of the current political and

:52:23.:52:26.

economic debate but if our politicians struggle with these

:52:27.:52:29.

questions there are some future voters who might be able to come up

:52:30.:52:35.

with the answers? Why is it important to vote? Every person's

:52:36.:52:44.

vote is equal. A session at the school council at the National

:52:45.:52:50.

Academy in Nottingham `` Nottinghamshire and there is a key

:52:51.:52:56.

vote. All of those in favour raise your hands. All those against. Beth

:52:57.:53:04.

is eligible to vote already. I've turned 18 in January but registering

:53:05.:53:06.

to vote 0 turned 18 in January but registering

:53:07.:53:10.

to vote is a carbonated process. A national campaign called Bite The

:53:11.:53:16.

Ballot will encourage people to get on the register. Historically this

:53:17.:53:21.

is a pretty grisly place to be because in 1830 the gallows were

:53:22.:53:27.

built and three men were hanged for their part in the Nottingham riots

:53:28.:53:31.

and their campaign to extend the right to vote. Democracy was very

:53:32.:53:36.

hard`fought and people suffered to get the vote. Out of the embers of

:53:37.:53:43.

Nottingham Castle, the spark of universal suffrage. A new generation

:53:44.:53:46.

is being urged not to take that right for granted.

:53:47.:53:52.

Don Anderson from Derby is the vice`chairman of the National Union

:53:53.:53:55.

of Students. The people we saw and heard from in John's report were

:53:56.:53:59.

keen to vote, but how common is that? We have done research which

:54:00.:54:06.

suggests the vast majority of students want to register. It is for

:54:07.:54:11.

the parties themselves to give students a passion and make them

:54:12.:54:16.

want to vote for them. Why are not so many people interested? They feel

:54:17.:54:22.

like they have been lied to in the past. Students were told if they

:54:23.:54:27.

voted a certain way they would receive 0

:54:28.:54:28.

voted a certain way they would receive tuition 0

:54:29.:54:28.

voted a certain way they would receive tuition fees being removed

:54:29.:54:31.

and that never happened. Students turned out in record numbers in 2010

:54:32.:54:35.

and they found they did not get what they voted for. John, you are

:54:36.:54:40.

supporter of lowering the voting age to 16. Would that help? 0

:54:41.:54:44.

supporter of lowering the voting age to 16. Would that help? I do not

:54:45.:54:47.

think it is a silver bullet but if you give 16`year`olds the vote I

:54:48.:54:53.

hope they will get more engaged in the process. I also think... Catch

:54:54.:55:00.

them early, but I also think governments of all parties tend to

:55:01.:55:06.

cat back on things like tuition fees and introduce policies that aid

:55:07.:55:16.

other parts of society. `` cut back. Andrew, would you lower it? I

:55:17.:55:23.

wouldn't. Only about 20% of people in the country believe it is a good

:55:24.:55:28.

idea and most 16 to 18`year`olds do not think it is. I think it is

:55:29.:55:35.

pretty 0 not think it is. I think it is

:55:36.:55:39.

pretty overwhelming. Is it the case that young people don't think they

:55:40.:55:42.

have to get some engaged in politics, they can become

:55:43.:55:46.

politically engaged in other ways on campaigning on Twitter and Facebook?

:55:47.:55:52.

I think it is a two`way street. Students do like being activists and

:55:53.:55:56.

young people do like getting involved in campaigns that if you

:55:57.:56:01.

ask people from certain areas whether there is any point in

:56:02.:56:11.

voting, if any politician ever `` never said anything that interests

:56:12.:56:18.

them, why would they bother? You are on this programme, and we are very

:56:19.:56:22.

glad you are! Is it going to make a difference if young people don't

:56:23.:56:27.

vote? We will just have the same as what we have always had. Politicians

:56:28.:56:34.

are more accountable... This is through citizenship education as

:56:35.:56:39.

well. They are looking for you to say something interesting to young

:56:40.:56:44.

people. I was at Nottingham University a long time ago, 1983,

:56:45.:56:56.

and six weeks ago I took part in a debate at Trent University to get

:56:57.:57:01.

students to vote. They are very interested in the issues, of course,

:57:02.:57:06.

because they are affected, but you have to get them engaged. If you

:57:07.:57:13.

think about young people, they will be 0

:57:14.:57:13.

think about young people, they will be more 0

:57:14.:57:14.

think about young people, they will be more engaged if you give them

:57:15.:57:18.

more of a platform. A lot of the time you see tokenistic efforts,

:57:19.:57:22.

politicians going into schools, and that does not make them feel engaged

:57:23.:57:27.

with. Schoolchildren ask you the most difficult questions, I promise

:57:28.:57:33.

you. John will know that we have more and more school visits, young

:57:34.:57:37.

people visiting the Houses of Parliament every year, and we

:57:38.:57:45.

encourage that. This Speaker, John Bercow, was at a big event in

:57:46.:57:52.

Leicester and the students loved him. He chaired an event as if it

:57:53.:57:56.

was the House of Commons, with all of the shouting! It is a good point,

:57:57.:58:03.

sometimes the Parliament channel seems really boring. We disagree for

:58:04.:58:13.

the sake of disagreement sometimes and we go into the tea room

:58:14.:58:16.

afterwards and have a cup of tea together. It is like WWF wrestling.

:58:17.:58:24.

If politicians agree with each other, they should work together.

:58:25.:58:29.

Are you reassured by anything you hear? We have seen from four men on

:58:30.:58:38.

this programme and a lot of young women will be thinking, politics

:58:39.:58:44.

will never be for me. We will have to leave it here. Let's look at some

:58:45.:58:49.

more stories in the news. Another Tory scalper Nigel Farrage.

:58:50.:58:55.

The former leader of Leicestershire county council has joined UKIP. ``

:58:56.:59:12.

scalp for Nigel Harwich. `` Farage. Developers could be forced to

:59:13.:59:18.

provide flood prevention schemes. A Conservative MP is introducing a

:59:19.:59:22.

bill this week to make builders legally responsible for preventing

:59:23.:59:25.

flooding on land they are developing. Conservatives on

:59:26.:59:29.

Nottingham City Council have accused the ruling Labour group of an abuse

:59:30.:59:33.

of power. The Conservative leader has reported the council to the

:59:34.:59:38.

district auditor over poster campaigns she says Labour

:59:39.:59:41.

propaganda. Business leaders are fighting for improvements to bees

:59:42.:59:44.

Midlands rail link. The government has ruled out more money 0

:59:45.:59:49.

Midlands rail link. The government has ruled out more money but a local

:59:50.:59:51.

business club says the route is important.

:59:52.:59:56.

Surprised at David Parson's defection? He has travelled a long

:59:57.:00:04.

way, he started in the Labour Party, he was expelled from the

:00:05.:00:07.

Conservative party three years ago, and now he is in UKIP. If they found

:00:08.:00:13.

a viable economic policy that would be interesting. This is another loss

:00:14.:00:16.

to 0 be interesting. This is another loss

:00:17.:00:21.

to your party. It is a democracy and David will go where he feels most

:00:22.:00:26.

comfortable. Last week we had a UKIP regional chairman in the studio and

:00:27.:00:33.

he defected from Labour. It is mainly former Tories going over to

:00:34.:00:37.

UKIP, and if you look at their policies they are basically Tory

:00:38.:00:43.

policies. Good luck to him. Neither of your parties can afford to lose

:00:44.:00:49.

any more numbers to UKIP. We are increasing our members in the Labour

:00:50.:00:54.

Party. To me they are just another Tory party. We have to leave it

:00:55.:00:56.

there. Not a complete denial! Hopefully a

:00:57.:01:02.

Conservative mayor again. Not a good week for David Cameron on

:01:03.:01:18.

the tricky European front last week. President Hollande said he was not

:01:19.:01:22.

interested in major treaty reform for 2017. That is when Mr Cameron

:01:23.:01:26.

hopes to hold his in-out referendum. And the private member's bill to put

:01:27.:01:29.

that referendum on the statute bill was killed by Labour and Lib Dem

:01:30.:01:34.

peers in the Lords. James Wharton was the Tory MP behind the bill and

:01:35.:01:41.

he joins me now. What happens now? It is out of my hands what happens

:01:42.:01:47.

now, because Labour and the Liberal Democrats conspired in the Lords to

:01:48.:01:51.

kill off my bill. One of the options is for another private member to

:01:52.:01:54.

bring a bill forward when they have the next private member's bill at,

:01:55.:01:58.

and we can try again. The prime minister has indicated that he will

:01:59.:02:02.

support that. But whatever happens, it will be in the Conservative

:02:03.:02:08.

manifesto at the next election. Do you accept that cost this is Tory

:02:09.:02:13.

policy and not government policy that the government policy elite

:02:14.:02:17.

macro cannot bring forward a bill? That is the problem. The Liberal

:02:18.:02:22.

Democrats, despite having promised a referendum in their manifesto at the

:02:23.:02:25.

last election, now will not allow government time for a bill to

:02:26.:02:30.

enshrine that in law. That was why I brought it forward as a private

:02:31.:02:34.

member's bill. David Cameron and the Conservative Party through

:02:35.:02:37.

everything behind that. To many people's surprise, we got it through

:02:38.:02:41.

all the House of Commons stages Sadly, to their discredit, Labour

:02:42.:02:45.

and Liberal Democrat peers, doing the bidding of their masters in the

:02:46.:02:50.

Commons, is conspired to kill it. Do you accept that it is Conservative

:02:51.:02:54.

policy, but not government policy, that you could not use the

:02:55.:02:58.

Parliament act to get this through the Lords? That is not the case The

:02:59.:03:02.

Parliament act is clear that if a public bill passes through the House

:03:03.:03:06.

of Commons twice in one Parliamentary period, there is a

:03:07.:03:11.

certain amount of time that has to be between both bills being

:03:12.:03:14.

presented. There are some procedural steps to be overcome, but there is

:03:15.:03:18.

no legal reason why the Parliament act could not come into effect. I

:03:19.:03:22.

was talking about you not having a majority in this case. That remains

:03:23.:03:27.

to be seen. We saw previously that Labour and the Liberal Democrats

:03:28.:03:31.

sent enough people to frustrate its progress to make it as difficult as

:03:32.:03:35.

possible, but not huge numbers to vote against it. On a Friday, huge

:03:36.:03:40.

numbers of MPs do not attend normally. Getting that number might

:03:41.:03:46.

prove difficult. The Parliament act, which is a bit of an atomic bomb in

:03:47.:03:51.

constitutional terms, if that was used, they would turn up to vote

:03:52.:03:55.

against you. Is it not the case that after the countryside Alliance tried

:03:56.:04:01.

to involve the courts in the hunting ban that it was made clear that the

:04:02.:04:06.

Parliament act was not to be used for constitutional issues? I don't

:04:07.:04:12.

think we know how many would turn up and we don't know how they would

:04:13.:04:16.

vote. One of the things that has been revealed as I have gone through

:04:17.:04:19.

the process of getting this bill to get a referendum through the Commons

:04:20.:04:23.

is that there are big splits in the Labour Party. One of the reasons we

:04:24.:04:27.

did not see them turning up in large numbers to stop this bill from

:04:28.:04:30.

happening was that Ed Miliband knew that if he tried to lead his own MPs

:04:31.:04:33.

through the lobbies to block a bill, the only purpose of which is

:04:34.:04:38.

to let Britain decides to give people a say on membership of the

:04:39.:04:44.

union, a lot of his MPs may not have followed him. It is all fantasy

:04:45.:04:47.

politics anyway. The French president has made clear that he has

:04:48.:04:52.

no interest in treaty change this side of 2017. He would need a

:04:53.:04:58.

referendum as well . And he needs that like a hole and had. Merkel is

:04:59.:05:03.

not keen, as she is in coalition with the social Democrats. Without

:05:04.:05:06.

the French or the Germans, it will not happen, end of story. The policy

:05:07.:05:14.

is that we will try to negotiate on getting a better deal. I hear what

:05:15.:05:18.

you are saying, but I don't recognise it as reality. We have a

:05:19.:05:22.

strong bargaining position. But whatever the result of that

:05:23.:05:25.

negotiation, it will be put in an in-out vote to the Britain people.

:05:26.:05:30.

It is time people were allowed to decide. It has been over a

:05:31.:05:34.

generation since we last had a say. David Cameron has committed to

:05:35.:05:38.

delivering that referendum. The Conservative Party will have it in

:05:39.:05:41.

our next manifesto for the election. Whatever happens to my bill or any

:05:42.:05:46.

other of the bill that comes forward. If people want a

:05:47.:05:49.

referendum, the only party that can deliver that in British politics is

:05:50.:05:56.

the Conservatives. Let me bring the panel in. Nick, where is this going?

:05:57.:06:01.

It is clear to me and anyone who follows European politics that there

:06:02.:06:03.

is no appetite for major treaty change in the short run,

:06:04.:06:07.

particularly for the kind of major changes that Vista Cameron says he

:06:08.:06:12.

is going to get, and yet the Tories are talking about Europe again when

:06:13.:06:17.

they should be talking about the economy. And Francois Hollande is

:06:18.:06:19.

looking at 2017, the year we are meant to have this referendum. There

:06:20.:06:24.

will be a French presidential election going on, and Nicolas

:06:25.:06:28.

Sarkozy will be back in play by then. But James has an interesting

:06:29.:06:34.

point, which is that it is down to Angela Merkel. She would be more

:06:35.:06:39.

receptive to David Cameron's ideas of reform than people assume. She

:06:40.:06:43.

has looked over the edge at a Europe without the UK and said, that is not

:06:44.:06:48.

acceptable, and I am willing to pay a price, not any price, but a price

:06:49.:06:52.

to keep the UK in the European Union. And the French, because the

:06:53.:06:57.

UK and France are the only serious military powers in Europe, will

:06:58.:07:01.

eventually come to that position. So there is more support for David

:07:02.:07:07.

Cameron than people assume. The French are also not a strong

:07:08.:07:10.

position in terms of the euro and French economy. The Foreign Office

:07:11.:07:19.

seem a bit more optimistic about it. Of course they are. Douglas Hurd

:07:20.:07:29.

once told me, we are winning the arguments on the single currency. Of

:07:30.:07:32.

course anything from the Foreign Office comes with a health warning,

:07:33.:07:36.

but if David Cameron had won a majority and was determined to

:07:37.:07:40.

renegotiate, he is in a strong position with Merkel. There is a

:07:41.:07:45.

possibility that the French could eventually be talked around. So it

:07:46.:07:49.

is not entirely bleak on that front for Cameron. When do the Tory party

:07:50.:07:55.

managers say, look, stop banging on about Europe again? The economy is

:07:56.:08:01.

going away. We still have an electoral mountain to climb. Let's

:08:02.:08:04.

just talk about that and not be divided. They should have done that

:08:05.:08:09.

some time ago. It is already too late. The Tories need a seven point

:08:10.:08:15.

lead in the polls to get image are tea. The way things are, that would

:08:16.:08:20.

require a huge change from where we are now . It is very unlikely to

:08:21.:08:24.

happen. So all this is happening in some bizarre imaginary space with

:08:25.:08:33.

wonderful rainbows and sunshine But we can detect the beginnings of a

:08:34.:08:39.

shift in the last couple of weeks. If you talk to Tory backbenchers,

:08:40.:08:44.

Douglas Carswell is now saying in public that it is time to stop the

:08:45.:08:49.

fighting. If they are to get even close to winning the election, they

:08:50.:08:56.

can't do it if they are all against each other. I don't think it is an

:08:57.:09:01.

imaginary space. It is likely that David Cameron will have the largest

:09:02.:09:06.

party in the election. If it is a hung parliament and it is the

:09:07.:09:09.

Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party, David Cameron

:09:10.:09:13.

will save to Nick Clegg we gave you an AV referendum, I am having this

:09:14.:09:16.

referendum. And it will be difficult for Nick to say no. Let me go back

:09:17.:09:22.

to Mr Wharton. You are going to get a referendum in the manifesto. Other

:09:23.:09:27.

than Ken Clarke, everybody wants it. So why don't you just banked that

:09:28.:09:31.

and get behind the leadership Institute causing endless problems

:09:32.:09:36.

and coming across as a Europe accessed, divided party? I am

:09:37.:09:40.

absolutely behind the leadership. David Cameron announced the policy I

:09:41.:09:45.

am trying to bring forward in this bill. It is in line with the speech

:09:46.:09:51.

he gave this time last year. But getting that commitment into law

:09:52.:09:57.

will help to kick-start the negotiation process and mean

:09:58.:10:04.

everyone will know where we stand. But whatever happens, the

:10:05.:10:06.

Conservatives are committed to delivering a referendum. And to

:10:07.:10:10.

address the point that we talk about Europe too much, that is not the

:10:11.:10:13.

case. We have a good message on the economy, on tackling immigration and

:10:14.:10:20.

reforming welfare. There is more to do, but this is also an important

:10:21.:10:26.

part of policy. But at a time when the economic news seems to be

:10:27.:10:32.

turning in your direction, you are talking about the European

:10:33.:10:36.

referendum. Your backbench colleagues are trying to change the

:10:37.:10:39.

Immigration Bill every which way. Dominic Rather is putting in an

:10:40.:10:44.

amendment is and Mr Nigel Mills has been on this programme, putting in

:10:45.:10:50.

amendments that are clearly illegal. How is that helpful? The fact is

:10:51.:10:54.

that we are in a coalition, so there are areas of policy where

:10:55.:10:56.

Conservatives might want to go further and we are not able to do

:10:57.:11:03.

that. In other areas, we are delivering good reforms. But this is

:11:04.:11:06.

not a matter of going further. The mill 's amendment was clearly a

:11:07.:11:13.

contravention of the Treaty of Rome. That is where you get the headlines

:11:14.:11:17.

from. Some of your colleagues have a death wish? Would they rather have a

:11:18.:11:22.

Miliband government if the choice is an impure Cameron one instead? I

:11:23.:11:27.

don't think anyone in their right mind would rather have a Miliband

:11:28.:11:32.

government. Then why are they behaving that way? We have had some

:11:33.:11:37.

disagreements into the leak and debate within the party, but it was

:11:38.:11:42.

talked about on the panel just now. The Conservative Party is behind

:11:43.:11:46.

David Cameron and focused on winning the next election. Europe is one

:11:47.:11:50.

part of that. We have policies in a range of areas, but we are getting

:11:51.:11:56.

back on the right track. Thank you for being patient with us.

:11:57.:12:02.

Is this ghost story going to go somewhere? Mr Laws is talking

:12:03.:12:06.

through surrogates at the moment, but there is a strategy by the Lib

:12:07.:12:12.

Dems make these differential points now. I think it is fantastic

:12:13.:12:19.

coalition sports and entertaining, but in terms of out there, it has

:12:20.:12:23.

almost no traction whatsoever. I don't think any voters know who

:12:24.:12:28.

Baroness Morgan is and it sounds like one but politicians shouting at

:12:29.:12:30.

another bunch of politicians about their ability to give each other

:12:31.:12:35.

jobs. There is a larger point about the way Michael Gove runs his

:12:36.:12:40.

government. He is notoriously a very polite man surrounded by Rottweiler

:12:41.:12:44.

is, his advisers. He has made enemies of a lot of people in the

:12:45.:12:47.

media, and some of that will come back on him in the next 18 months.

:12:48.:12:52.

We shall see if Mr Laws himself sticks his head above the parapet.

:12:53.:12:56.

That is it for this week. The Daily Politics is on throughout the week

:12:57.:13:01.

at midday on BBC Two, except on Wednesdays, when we are on at

:13:02.:13:06.

11:30am. I will be back next week at the same time. Remember, if it is

:13:07.:13:09.

Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.

:13:10.:13:15.

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