22/06/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


22/06/2014

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Rachel Reeves discusses what reforms Labour would make to the welfare department.


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Transcript


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Welfare reform is one of the government's most popular policies.

:00:37.:00:43.

So Labour says it would be even tougher than the Tories.

:00:44.:00:46.

We'll be asking the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary if she's got

:00:47.:00:50.

Even Labour supporters worry that Ed Miliband hasn't got what it takes

:00:51.:00:56.

Labour grandees are increasingly vocal about their concerns.

:00:57.:01:01.

Over 50% of Labour voters think they'd do better with a new leader.

:01:02.:01:12.

In the East Midlands Lib Dels and I apparently "toxic" on the doorstep.

:01:13.:01:26.

In the East Midlands Lib Dels and I region cold for a new leader.

:01:27.:01:28.

promised an electric car revolution, why so little progress?

:01:29.:01:40.

Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh, the toxic tweeters

:01:41.:01:47.

First, the deepening crisis in Iraq, where Sunni Islamists are now

:01:48.:01:55.

largely in control of the Syrian-Iraq border, which means

:01:56.:01:58.

they can now re-supply their forces in Iraq from their Syrian bases

:01:59.:02:04.

Rather than moving on Baghdad, they are for the moment consolidating

:02:05.:02:07.

their grip on the towns and cities they've already taken.

:02:08.:02:09.

They also seem to be in effective control of Iraq's

:02:10.:02:11.

biggest oil refinery, which supplies the capital.

:02:12.:02:15.

And there are reports they might now have taken the power

:02:16.:02:18.

Iraqi politicians are now admitting that ISIS,

:02:19.:02:24.

the name of the Sunni insurgents, is better trained, better equipped and

:02:25.:02:27.

far more battle-hardened than the US-trained Iraqi army fighting it.

:02:28.:02:33.

Which leaves the fate of Baghdad increasingly in the hands

:02:34.:02:35.

No good news coming out of there, Janan. No good news and no good

:02:36.:02:53.

options either. The West's best strategy is to decide how much

:02:54.:02:57.

support to give to the Iraqi government. The US is sending over

:02:58.:03:02.

about 275 military personnel. Do they go further and contemplate

:03:03.:03:05.

their support? General Petraeus argued against it as it might be

:03:06.:03:12.

seen as the US serving as the force of Shia Iraqis -- continue their

:03:13.:03:17.

support. Do we contemplate breaking up Iraq? It won't be easy. The Sunni

:03:18.:03:26.

and Shia Muslim populations don t live in clearly bordered areas, but

:03:27.:03:30.

in the longer term, do we deal with it in the same way we dealt with the

:03:31.:03:34.

break-up of the Ottoman empire over 100 years ago? In the short-term and

:03:35.:03:38.

long-term, completely confounding. Quite humiliating. If ISIS take

:03:39.:03:46.

Baghdad I can't think of a bigger ignominy for foreign policy since

:03:47.:03:52.

Suez. If Iraq is partitioned, it won't be up to us. It will be what

:03:53.:03:55.

is happening because of what is happening on the ground. Everything

:03:56.:04:01.

does point to partition, and that border, which ISIS control, between

:04:02.:04:07.

Syria and Iraq, that has been there since it was drawn during the First

:04:08.:04:13.

World War. That is gone as well An astonishingly humbling situation the

:04:14.:04:16.

West, and you can see the Kurds in the North think this is a charge --

:04:17.:04:24.

chance for authority. They think this is the chance to get the

:04:25.:04:27.

autonomy they felt they deserved a long time. Janan is right. We can't

:04:28.:04:33.

do much in the long term, but we have to decide on the engagement.

:04:34.:04:37.

And the other people wish you'd be talking turkey, because if there is

:04:38.:04:40.

some blowback and the fighters come back, they are likely to come back

:04:41.:04:45.

from Turkey. Where is Iran in all of this? There were reports last week

:04:46.:04:50.

that the Revolutionary guard, the head of it, he was already in

:04:51.:04:53.

Baghdad with 67 advisers and there might have been some brigades that

:04:54.:04:58.

have gone there as well. Where are they? What has happened? I'm pretty

:04:59.:05:03.

sure the Prime Minister of Iraq is putting more faith in Iran than the

:05:04.:05:14.

White House and the British. I think they are running the show, in

:05:15.:05:18.

technical terms. John Kerry is flying into Cairo this morning, and

:05:19.:05:23.

what is his message? It is twofold. One is to Arab countries, do more to

:05:24.:05:26.

encourage an inclusive government in Iraq, mainly Sunni Muslims in the

:05:27.:05:32.

government, and the Arab Gulf states should stop funding insurgents in

:05:33.:05:37.

Iraq. You think, Iraq, it's potentially going to break up, so

:05:38.:05:42.

this sounds a bit late in the day and a bit weak. It gets

:05:43.:05:45.

fundamentally to the problem, what can we do? Niall Ferguson has a big

:05:46.:05:49.

piece in the Sunday Times asking if this is place where we cannot doing

:05:50.:05:53.

anything. He doesn't want to do anything. By the way, that is what

:05:54.:05:59.

most Americans think. That is what opinion polls are showing. You have

:06:00.:06:03.

George Osborne Michael Gold who would love to get involved but they

:06:04.:06:07.

cannot because of the vote in parliament on Syria lasted -- George

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Osborne and Michael Gove. This government does not have the stomach

:06:11.:06:15.

for military intervention. We will see how events unfold on the ground.

:06:16.:06:19.

All parties are agreed that Britain's 60-year old multi-billion

:06:20.:06:21.

The Tory side of the Coalition think their reforms are necessary

:06:22.:06:26.

and popular, though they haven't always gone to time or to plan.

:06:27.:06:29.

In the eight months she's had since she became Shadow Secretary of State

:06:30.:06:33.

for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves has talked the talk about getting

:06:34.:06:40.

people off benefits, into work and lowering the overall welfare bill.

:06:41.:06:43.

her first interview in the job she threatened "We would

:06:44.:06:45.

But Labour has opposed just about every change the Coalition

:06:46.:06:49.

has proposed to cut the cost and change the culture of welfare.

:06:50.:06:54.

Child benefit, housing benefit, the ?26,000 benefit cap -

:06:55.:06:56.

They've been lukewarm about the government's flagship Universal

:06:57.:07:03.

Credit scheme - which rolls six benefit payments into one - and

:07:04.:07:06.

And Labour has set out only two modest welfare cuts.

:07:07.:07:13.

This week, Labour said young people must have skills or be in training

:07:14.:07:16.

That will save ?65 million, says Labour, though the cost

:07:17.:07:22.

And cutting winter fuel payments for richer pensioners which will

:07:23.:07:27.

Not a lot in a total welfare bill of around ?200 billion.

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And with welfare cuts popular among even Labour voters, they will soon

:07:36.:07:38.

have to start spelling out exactly what Labour welfare reform means.

:07:39.:07:44.

Welcome. Good morning. Why do you want to be tougher than the Tories?

:07:45.:07:57.

We want to be tough in getting the welfare bill down. Under this

:07:58.:08:01.

government, the bill will be ?1 million more than the government set

:08:02.:08:04.

out in 2010 and I don't think that is acceptable. We should try to

:08:05.:08:09.

control the cost of Social Security. But the welfare bill under the next

:08:10.:08:13.

Labour government will fall? It will be smaller when you end the first

:08:14.:08:17.

parliament than when you started? We signed up to the capping welfare but

:08:18.:08:22.

that doesn't see social security costs ball, it sees them go up in

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line with with inflation or average earnings -- costs fall. So where

:08:28.:08:32.

flair will rise? We have signed up to the cap -- welfare will rise We

:08:33.:08:37.

have signed up to the cap. We will get the costs under control and they

:08:38.:08:42.

haven't managed to achieve it. The government is spending ?13 billion

:08:43.:08:44.

more on Social Security and the reason they are doing it is because

:08:45.:08:50.

the minimum wage has not kept pace with the cost of living so people

:08:51.:08:53.

are reliant on tax credits. They are not building houses and people are

:08:54.:08:57.

relying on housing benefit. We have a record number of people on zero

:08:58.:09:03.

hours contracts. I'm still not clear if you will cut welfare if you get

:09:04.:09:07.

in power. Nobody is saying that the cost of welfare is going to fall.

:09:08.:09:13.

The welfare cap sees that happening gradually. That is a Tory cap. And

:09:14.:09:19.

you've accepted it. You're being the same as the Tories, not to. If they

:09:20.:09:26.

had a welfare cap, they would have breached it in every year of the

:09:27.:09:29.

parliament. Social Security will be higher than the government set out

:09:30.:09:34.

because they failed to control it. You read the polls, and the party

:09:35.:09:38.

does lots of its own polling, and you're scared of being seen as the

:09:39.:09:41.

welfare party. You don't really believe all of this anti-welfare

:09:42.:09:47.

stuff? We are the party of work not welfare. The Labour Party was set up

:09:48.:09:50.

in the first place because we believe in the dignity of work and

:09:51.:09:53.

we believe that work should pay wages can afford to live on. I make

:09:54.:09:56.

no apologies for being the party of work. We are not the welfare party,

:09:57.:10:01.

we are the party of work. Even your confidential strategy document

:10:02.:10:06.

admits that voters don't trust you on immigration, the economy, this is

:10:07.:10:09.

your own people, and welfare. You are not trusted on it. The most

:10:10.:10:14.

recent poll showed Labour slightly ahead of the Conservative Party on

:10:15.:10:17.

Social Security, probably because they have seen the incompetence and

:10:18.:10:22.

chaos at the Department for Work and Pensions under Iain Duncan Smith.

:10:23.:10:26.

Your own internal document means that the voters don't trust you on

:10:27.:10:32.

welfare reform. That is why we have shown some of this tough things we

:10:33.:10:35.

will do like the announcement that Ed Miliband made earlier this week,

:10:36.:10:40.

that young people without basic qualifications won't be entitled to

:10:41.:10:44.

just sign on for benefits, they have to sign up for training in order to

:10:45.:10:47.

receive support. That is the right thing to do by that group of young

:10:48.:10:50.

people, because they need skills to progress. We will, once that. - we

:10:51.:11:00.

will, onto that. You say you criticise the government that it had

:11:01.:11:05.

a cap and wouldn't have met it, but every money-saving welfare reform,

:11:06.:11:09.

you voted against it. How is that being tougher? The most recent bout

:11:10.:11:16.

was the cap on overall welfare expenditure, and we went through the

:11:17.:11:20.

lobbies and voted for the Tories. You voted against the benefit cap,

:11:21.:11:25.

welfare rating, you voted against, child benefit schemes, you voted

:11:26.:11:30.

against. You can't say we voted against everything when we voted

:11:31.:11:32.

with the Conservatives in the most recent bill with a cap on Social

:11:33.:11:37.

Security. It's just not correct to say. The last time we voted, we

:11:38.:11:44.

walked through the lobby with them. You voted on the principle of the

:11:45.:11:50.

cap. You voted on every step that would allow the cap to be met. Every

:11:51.:11:55.

single one. The most recent vote was not on the principle of the cap it

:11:56.:11:59.

was on a cap of Social Security in the next Parliament and we signed up

:12:00.:12:02.

for that. It was Ed Miliband who called her that earlier on. Which

:12:03.:12:06.

welfare reform did you vote for We voted for the cap. Other than that?

:12:07.:12:13.

We have supported universal credit. You voted against it in the third

:12:14.:12:19.

reading. We voted against some of the specifics. If you look at

:12:20.:12:24.

universal credit, they have had to write off nearly ?900 million of

:12:25.:12:28.

spending. I'm not on the rights and wrongs, I'm trying to work out what

:12:29.:12:32.

you voted for. Some of the things we are going to go further than the

:12:33.:12:35.

government with. For example, cutting benefits for young people

:12:36.:12:41.

who don't sign of the training. The government had introduced that. For

:12:42.:12:44.

example, saying that the richest pensioners should not get the winter

:12:45.:12:46.

fuel allowance, that is something the government haven't signed up.

:12:47.:12:51.

You would get that under Labour and this government haven't signed up

:12:52.:12:54.

for it. ?100 million on the winter fuel allowance and ?65 million on

:12:55.:13:00.

youth training. ?165 million. How big is the welfare budget? The cap

:13:01.:13:06.

would apply to ?120 billion. And you've saved 125 -- 165 million

:13:07.:13:13.

Those are cuts that we said we would do in government. If you look at the

:13:14.:13:18.

real prize from the changes Ed Miliband announced in the youth

:13:19.:13:21.

allowance, it's not the short-term savings, it's the fact that each of

:13:22.:13:25.

these young people, who are currently on unemployment benefits

:13:26.:13:28.

without the skills we know they need to succeed in life, they will cost

:13:29.:13:34.

the taxpayer ?2000 per year. I will come onto that. You mentioned

:13:35.:13:39.

universal credit, which the government regards as the flagship

:13:40.:13:42.

reform. It's had lots of troubles with it and it merges six benefits

:13:43.:13:48.

into one. You voted against it in the third reading and given lukewarm

:13:49.:13:51.

support in the past. We have not said he would abandon it, but now

:13:52.:13:58.

you say you are for it. You are all over the place. We set up the rescue

:13:59.:14:02.

committee in autumn of last year because we have seen from the

:14:03.:14:04.

National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, report after

:14:05.:14:09.

report showing that the project is massively overbudget and is not

:14:10.:14:14.

going to be delivered according to the government timetable. We set up

:14:15.:14:18.

the committee because we believe in the principle of universal credit

:14:19.:14:20.

and think it is the right thing to do. Can you tell us now if you will

:14:21.:14:25.

keep it or not? Because there is no transparency and we have no idea. We

:14:26.:14:32.

are awash with information. We are not. The government, in the most

:14:33.:14:37.

recent National audit Forest -- National Audit Office statement said

:14:38.:14:42.

it was a reset project. This is really important. This is a flagship

:14:43.:14:47.

government programme, and it's going to cost ?12.8 billion to deliver,

:14:48.:14:52.

and we don't know what sort of state it is in, so we have said that if we

:14:53.:14:56.

win at the next election, we will pause that for three months and

:14:57.:15:04.

calling... Will you stop the pilots? We don't know what status they will

:15:05.:15:09.

have. We would stop the build of the system for three months, calling the

:15:10.:15:12.

National Audit Office to do awards and all report. The government don't

:15:13.:15:18.

need to do this until the next general election, they could do it

:15:19.:15:21.

today. Stop throwing good money after bad and get a grip of this

:15:22.:15:26.

incredibly important programme. You said you don't know enough to a view

:15:27.:15:31.

now. So when you were invited to a job centre where universal credit is

:15:32.:15:34.

being rolled out to see how it was working, you refused to go. Why We

:15:35.:15:40.

asked were a meeting with Iain Duncan Smith and he cancelled the

:15:41.:15:43.

meeting is three times. I'm talking about the visit when you were

:15:44.:15:46.

offered to go to a job centre and you refused. We had an appointment

:15:47.:15:51.

to meet Iain Duncan Smith at the Department for Work and Pensions and

:15:52.:15:54.

said he cancelled and was not available, but he wanted us to go to

:15:55.:15:58.

the job centre. We wanted to talk to him and his officials, which she

:15:59.:16:03.

did. Would it be more useful to go to the job centre and find out how

:16:04.:16:06.

it was working. He's going to tell you it's working fine.

:16:07.:16:21.

Advice Bureau in Hammersmith, they are working to help the people

:16:22.:16:27.

trying to claim universal credit. Iain Duncan Smith cancelled three

:16:28.:16:33.

meetings. That is another issue I was asking about the job centre It

:16:34.:16:38.

is not another issue because Iain Duncan Smith fogged us off. This

:16:39.:16:44.

week you said that jobless youngsters who won't take training

:16:45.:16:48.

will lose their welfare payments. How many young people are not in

:16:49.:16:57.

work training or education? There are 140,000 young people claiming

:16:58.:17:02.

benefits at the moment, but 850 000 young people who are not in work at

:17:03.:17:09.

the moment. This applies to around 100,000 young people. There are

:17:10.:17:16.

actually 975,000, 16-24 -year-olds, not in work, training or education.

:17:17.:17:23.

Your proposal only applies to 100,000 of them, why? This is

:17:24.:17:30.

applying to young people who are signing on for benefits rather than

:17:31.:17:36.

signing up for training. We want to make sure that all young people ..

:17:37.:17:43.

Why only 100,000? They are the ones currently getting job-seeker's

:17:44.:17:47.

allowance. We are saying you can not just sign up to... Can I get you to

:17:48.:18:00.

respond to this, the number of people not in work, training or

:18:01.:18:06.

education fell last year by more than you are planning to help. Long

:18:07.:18:16.

turn -- long-term unemployment is an entrenched problem... This issue

:18:17.:18:24.

about an entrenched group of young people. Young people who haven't got

:18:25.:18:30.

skills and are not in training we know are much less likely to get a

:18:31.:18:35.

job so there are 140,018-24 -year-olds signing onto benefits at

:18:36.:18:41.

the moment. This is about trying to address that problem to make sure

:18:42.:18:45.

all young people have the skills they need to get a job. Your policy

:18:46.:18:51.

is to take away part of the dole unless young unemployed people agree

:18:52.:18:55.

to study for level three qualifications, the equivalent of an

:18:56.:19:01.

AS-level or an NVQ but 40% of these people have the literary skills of a

:19:02.:19:09.

nine-year-old. After all that failed education, how are you going to

:19:10.:19:15.

train them to a level standard? We are saying that anyone who doesn't

:19:16.:19:19.

have that a level or equivalent qualification will be required to go

:19:20.:19:24.

back to college. We are not saying that within a year they have to get

:19:25.:19:30.

up to that level but these are exactly the sorts of people... These

:19:31.:19:34.

people have been failed by your education system. These people are,

:19:35.:19:38.

for the last four years, have been educated under a Conservative

:19:39.:19:44.

government. 18 - 21-year-olds, most of them have their education under a

:19:45.:19:48.

Labour government during which 300,000 people left with no GCSEs

:19:49.:19:54.

whatsoever. I don't understand how training for one year can do what 11

:19:55.:20:00.

years in school did not. We are not saying that within one year

:20:01.:20:04.

everybody will get up to a level three qualifications, but if you are

:20:05.:20:07.

one of those people who enters the Labour market age 18 with the

:20:08.:20:11.

reading skills of a nine-year-old, they are the sorts of people that

:20:12.:20:19.

should not the left languishing I went to college in Hackney if you

:20:20.:20:26.

you are -- a few weeks ago and there was a dyslexic boy studying painting

:20:27.:20:31.

and decorating. In school they decided he was a troublemaker and

:20:32.:20:35.

that he didn't want to learn. He went back to college because he

:20:36.:20:40.

wanted to get the skills. He said that it wasn't until he went back to

:20:41.:20:45.

college that he could pick up a newspaper and read it, it made a

:20:46.:20:49.

huge difference but too many people are let down by the system. I am

:20:50.:20:55.

wondering how the training will make up for an education system that

:20:56.:21:00.

failed them but let's move on to your leader. Look at this graph of

:21:01.:21:05.

Ed Miliband's popularity. This is the net satisfaction with him, it is

:21:06.:21:10.

dreadful. The trend continues to climb since he became leader of the

:21:11.:21:17.

Labour Party, why? What you have seen is another 2300 Labour

:21:18.:21:20.

councillors since Ed Miliband became the leader of the Labour Party. You

:21:21.:21:25.

saw in the elections a month ago that... Why is the satisfaction rate

:21:26.:21:33.

falling? We can look at polls or actual election results and the fact

:21:34.:21:38.

that we have got another 2000 Labour councillors, more people voting

:21:39.:21:43.

Labour, the opinion polls today show that if there was a general election

:21:44.:21:47.

today we would have a majority of more than 40, he must be doing

:21:48.:21:55.

something right. Why do almost 0% of voters want to replace him as

:21:56.:22:00.

leader? Why do 50% and more think that he is not up to the job? The

:22:01.:22:07.

more people see Ed Miliband, the less impressed they are. The British

:22:08.:22:13.

people seem to like him less. The election strategy I suggest that

:22:14.:22:18.

follows from that is that you should keep Ed Miliband under wraps until

:22:19.:22:22.

the election. Let's look at actually what happens when people get a

:22:23.:22:28.

chance to vote, when they get that opportunity we have seen more Labour

:22:29.:22:32.

councillors, more Labour members of the European Parliament...

:22:33.:22:39.

Oppositions always get more. The opinion polls today, one of them

:22:40.:22:45.

shows Labour four points ahead. You have not done that well in local

:22:46.:22:50.

government elections or European elections. Why don't people like

:22:51.:22:56.

him? I think we have done incredibly well in elections. People must like

:22:57.:23:01.

a lot of the things Labour and Ed Miliband are doing because we are

:23:02.:23:05.

winning back support across the country. We won local councils in

:23:06.:23:09.

places like Hammersmith and Fulham, Crawley, Hastings, key places that

:23:10.:23:15.

Labour need to win back at the general election next year. Even you

:23:16.:23:20.

have said traditional Labour supporters are abandoning the party.

:23:21.:23:26.

That is what Ed Miliband has said as well. We have got this real concern

:23:27.:23:31.

about what has happened. If you look at the elections in May, 60% of

:23:32.:23:36.

people didn't even bother going to vote. That is a profound issue not

:23:37.:23:41.

just for Labour. You said traditional voters who perhaps at

:23:42.:23:46.

times we took for granted are now being offered an alternative. Why

:23:47.:23:51.

did you take them for granted? This is what Ed Miliband said. I am not

:23:52.:23:57.

saying anything Ed Miliband himself has not said. When he ran for the

:23:58.:24:03.

leadership he said that we took too many people for granted and we

:24:04.:24:07.

needed to give people positive reasons to vote Labour, he has been

:24:08.:24:11.

doing that. He has been there for four years and you are saying you

:24:12.:24:15.

still take them for granted. Why? I am saying that for too long we have

:24:16.:24:20.

taken them for granted. We are on track to win the general election

:24:21.:24:24.

next year and that will defy all the odds. You are going to win... Ed

:24:25.:24:35.

Miliband will win next year and make a great Prime Minister.

:24:36.:24:39.

Now to the Liberal Democrats, at the risk of intruding into private

:24:40.:24:44.

grief. The party is still smarting from dire results in the European

:24:45.:24:48.

and Local Elections. The only poll Nick Clegg has won in recent times

:24:49.:24:51.

is to be voted the most unpopular leader of a party in modern British

:24:52.:24:55.

history. No surprise there have been calls for him to go, though that

:24:56.:24:59.

still looks unlikely. Here's Eleanor.

:25:00.:25:00.

Liberal Democrats celebrating, something we haven't seen for a

:25:01.:25:05.

while. This victory back in 199 led to a decade of power for the Lib

:25:06.:25:11.

Dems in Liverpool. What a contrast to the city's political landscape

:25:12.:25:16.

today. At its height the party had 69 local councillors, now down to

:25:17.:25:22.

just three. The scale of the challenge facing Nick Clegg and the

:25:23.:25:26.

Lib Dems is growing. The party is rock bottom in the polls,

:25:27.:25:31.

consistently in single figures. It was wiped out in the European

:25:32.:25:36.

elections losing all but one of its 12 MEPs and in the local elections

:25:37.:25:42.

it lost 42% of the seats that it was defending. But on Merseyside, Nick

:25:43.:25:49.

Clegg was putting on a brave face. We did badly in Liverpool,

:25:50.:25:53.

Manchester and London in particular, we did well in other places. But you

:25:54.:25:59.

are right, we did badly in some of those big cities and I have

:26:00.:26:04.

initiated a review, quite naturally, to understand what went

:26:05.:26:10.

wrong, what went right. As Lib Dems across the country get on with some

:26:11.:26:14.

serious soul-searching, there is an admission that his is the leader of

:26:15.:26:19.

the party who is failing to hit the right notes. Knocking on doors in

:26:20.:26:24.

Liverpool, I have to tell you that Nick Clegg is not a popular person.

:26:25.:26:30.

Some might use the word toxic and I find this very difficult because I

:26:31.:26:34.

know Nick very well and I see a principal person who passionately

:26:35.:26:39.

believes in what he is doing and he is a nice guy. As a result of his

:26:40.:26:45.

popularity, what has happened to the core vote? In parts of the country,

:26:46.:26:55.

we are down to just three councillors like Liverpool for

:26:56.:26:59.

example. You also lose the deliverers and fundraisers and the

:27:00.:27:02.

organisers and the members of course so all of that will have to be

:27:03.:27:08.

rebuilt. As they start fermenting process, local parties across the

:27:09.:27:12.

country and here in Liverpool have been voting on whether there should

:27:13.:27:18.

be a leadership contest. We had two choices to flush out and have a go

:27:19.:27:23.

at Nick Clegg or to positively decide we would sharpen up the

:27:24.:27:27.

campaign and get back on the streets, and by four to one ratio we

:27:28.:27:32.

decided to get back on the streets. We are bruised and battered but we

:27:33.:27:38.

are still here, the orange flag is still flying and one day it will fly

:27:39.:27:43.

over this building again, Liverpool town hall. But do people want the

:27:44.:27:49.

Lib Dems back in charge in this city? I certainly wouldn't vote for

:27:50.:27:53.

them. Their performance in Government and the way they have

:27:54.:27:57.

left their promises down, I could not vote for them again. I voted Lib

:27:58.:28:04.

Dem in the last election because of the university tuition fees and I

:28:05.:28:10.

would never vote for them again because they broke their promise.

:28:11.:28:14.

The Lib Dems are awful, broken promises and what have you. I

:28:15.:28:18.

wouldn't vote for them. This is the declaration of the results for the

:28:19.:28:22.

Northwest... Last month, as other party celebrated in the north-west,

:28:23.:28:26.

the Lib Dems here lost their only MEP, Chris Davies. Now there is

:28:27.:28:32.

concern the party doesn't know how to turn its fortunes around. We

:28:33.:28:39.

don't have an answer to that, if we did we would be grasping it with

:28:40.:28:46.

both hands. We will do our best to hold onto the places where we still

:28:47.:28:51.

have seats but as for the rest of the country where we have been

:28:52.:28:56.

hollowed out, we don't know how to start again until the next general

:28:57.:29:00.

election is out of the way. After their disastrous performance in the

:29:01.:29:02.

European elections, pressure is growing for the party to shift its

:29:03.:29:13.

stance. I think there has to be a lancing of the wound, there should

:29:14.:29:18.

in a referendum and the Liberal Democrats should be calling it. The

:29:19.:29:24.

rest of Europe once this because they are fed up with Britain being

:29:25.:29:30.

unable to make up its mind. The Lib Dems are now suffering the effects

:29:31.:29:35.

of being in Government. The party's problem, choosing the right course

:29:36.:29:40.

to regain political credibility We can now speak to form a Lib Dems

:29:41.:29:46.

leader Ming Campbell. Welcome back to the Sunday Politics. Even your

:29:47.:29:51.

own activists say that Nick Clegg is toxic. How will that change between

:29:52.:29:58.

now and the election? When you have had disappointing results, but you

:29:59.:30:03.

have to do is to rebuild. You pick yourself up and start all over

:30:04.:30:07.

again, and the reason why the Liberal Democrats got 57, 56 seats

:30:08.:30:12.

in the House of Commons now is because we picked ourselves up, we

:30:13.:30:16.

took every opportunity and we have rebuilt from the bottom up.

:30:17.:30:27.

least popular leader in modern history and more unpopular than your

:30:28.:30:30.

mate Gordon Brown. You are running out of time. No one believes that

:30:31.:30:35.

being the leader of a modern political party in the UK is an easy

:30:36.:30:39.

job. Both Ed Miliband and David Cameron must have had cause to

:30:40.:30:43.

think, over breakfast this morning, when they saw the headlines in some

:30:44.:30:47.

of the Sunday papers. Of course it is a difficult job but it was

:30:48.:30:51.

pointed out a moment or two ago that Nick Clegg is a man of principle and

:30:52.:30:55.

enormous resilience if you consider what he had to put up with, and in

:30:56.:30:59.

my view, he is quite clearly the person best qualified to lead the

:31:00.:31:02.

party between now and the general election and through the election

:31:03.:31:06.

campaign, and beyond. So why don't people like him? We have had to take

:31:07.:31:11.

some pretty difficult decisions and, of course, people didn't expect

:31:12.:31:15.

that. If you look back to the rather heady days of the rose garden behind

:31:16.:31:21.

ten Downing St, people thought it was all going to be sweetness and

:31:22.:31:25.

light, but the fact is, we didn t know then what we know now, about

:31:26.:31:29.

the extent of the economic crisis we win, and a lot of difficult

:31:30.:31:33.

decisions have had to be taken in order to restore economic stability.

:31:34.:31:38.

Look around you. You will see we are not there yet but we are a long way

:31:39.:31:43.

better off than in 2010. You are not getting the credit for it, the

:31:44.:31:50.

Tories are. We will be a little more assertive about taking the credit.

:31:51.:31:55.

For example, the fact that 23 million people have had a tax cut of

:31:56.:31:59.

?800 per year and we have taken 2 million people out of paying tax

:32:00.:32:02.

altogether. Ming Campbell, your people say that on every programme

:32:03.:32:07.

like this. Because it is true. That might be the case, but you are at

:32:08.:32:12.

seven or 8% in the polls, and nobody is listening, or they don't believe

:32:13.:32:14.

it. Once is listening, or they don't believe

:32:15.:32:22.

doubt that what we have achieved will be much more easily

:32:23.:32:26.

recognised, and there is no doubt, for example, in some of the recent

:32:27.:32:29.

polls, like the Ashcroft Pole, something like 30% of those polled

:32:30.:32:31.

said that as a result at the next something like 30% of those polled

:32:32.:32:39.

general election, they would prepare their to be a coalition involving

:32:40.:32:42.

the Liberal Democrats. So there is no question that the whole notion of

:32:43.:32:48.

coalition is still very much a live one, and one which we have made work

:32:49.:32:53.

in the public interest. The problem is people don't think that. People

:32:54.:32:56.

see you trying to have your cake and eat it. On the one hand you want to

:32:57.:33:00.

get your share of the credit for the turnaround in the economy, on the

:33:01.:33:04.

other hand you can't stop yourself from distancing yourself from the

:33:05.:33:07.

Tories and things that you did not like happening. You are trying to

:33:08.:33:15.

face both ways at once. If you remember our fellow Scotsman

:33:16.:33:15.

famously said you cannot ride both remember our fellow Scotsman

:33:16.:33:28.

to the terms -- terms of the remember our fellow Scotsman

:33:29.:33:28.

coalition agreement, which is what we signed up to in 2010. In

:33:29.:33:32.

addition, in furtherance of that agreement, we have created things

:33:33.:33:36.

like the pupil premium and the others I mentioned and you were

:33:37.:33:40.

rather dismissive. I'm not dismissive, I'm just saying they

:33:41.:33:43.

don't make a difference to what people think of you. We will do

:33:44.:33:47.

everything in our power to change that between now and May 2015. The

:33:48.:33:52.

interesting thing is, going back to the Ashcroft result, it demonstrated

:33:53.:33:58.

clearly that in constituencies where we have MPs and we are well dug in,

:33:59.:34:03.

we are doing everything that the public expects of us, and we are

:34:04.:34:09.

doing very well indeed. You aren't sure fellow Lib Dems have been

:34:10.:34:14.

saying this for you -- you and your fellow Liberal Dems have been saying

:34:15.:34:17.

this for a year or 18 months, and since then you have lost all of your

:34:18.:34:21.

MEPs apart from one, you lost your deposit in a by-election, you lost

:34:22.:34:25.

310 councillor, including everyone in Manchester or Islington. Mr Clegg

:34:26.:34:30.

leading you into the next general election will be the equivalent of

:34:31.:34:37.

the charge of the light Brigade I doubt that very much. The

:34:38.:34:42.

implication behind that lit you rehearsed is that we should pack our

:34:43.:34:46.

tents in the night and steal away. -- that litany. And if you heard in

:34:47.:34:51.

that piece that preceded the discussion, people were saying, look

:34:52.:34:54.

we have to start from the bottom and have to rebuild. That is exactly

:34:55.:35:09.

what we will do. Nine months is a period of gestation. As you well

:35:10.:35:13.

know. I wouldn't dismiss it quite so easily as that. I'm not here to say

:35:14.:35:18.

we had a wonderful result or anything like it, but what I do say

:35:19.:35:22.

is that the party is determined to turn it round, and that Nick Clegg

:35:23.:35:26.

is the person best qualified to do it. Should your party adopt a

:35:27.:35:31.

referendum about in or out on Europe? No, we should stick to the

:35:32.:35:36.

coalition agreement. If there is any transfer of power from Westminster

:35:37.:35:40.

to Brussels, that will be subject to a referendum. No change. And

:35:41.:35:46.

finally, as a Lib Dem, you must be glad you are not fighting the next

:35:47.:35:52.

election yourself? I've fought every election since 1974, so I've had a

:35:53.:35:57.

few experiences, some good, some bad, but the one thing I have done

:35:58.:36:02.

and the one thing a lot of other people have done is that they have

:36:03.:36:05.

stuck to the task, and that is what will happen in May 2015. Ming

:36:06.:36:07.

Campbell, thank you for joining us. It's just gone 11.35am, you're

:36:08.:36:11.

watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers

:36:12.:36:13.

in Scotland who leave us now UKIP's newest MEP heads to Brussels

:36:14.:36:16.

and gives us her reaction. It is a little overwhelming

:36:17.:36:31.

in the sheer size of it. And how about a bank holidax

:36:32.:36:39.

on Election Day to encouragd you to We will be looking at the

:36:40.:36:42.

students who have come up whth 00 The other proposal, that I like

:36:43.:36:48.

is a bank holiday for everybody I am sure that will go

:36:49.:36:52.

down really well. Generally the politicians

:36:53.:36:56.

are rubbish in this country. the Conservative MP for Sherwood,

:36:57.:37:00.

Mark Spencer, and Labour's LP First let's take a look

:37:01.:37:09.

at an issue that is never f`r from the headlines ` the st`te

:37:10.:37:14.

of the National Health Servhce. The funding of our hospitals is far

:37:15.:37:16.

from healthy, according to figures In fact, the finances of thd seven

:37:17.:37:19.

NHS Trusts in the East Midl`nds are Four of them are in debt to

:37:20.:37:26.

the tune of nearly ?90 millhon. University Hospitals of Leicester

:37:27.:37:34.

NHS Trust has the dubious honour of being the worst in the country, with

:37:35.:37:37.

a deficit of nearly ?40 million United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS

:37:38.:37:42.

Trust is next, Then Sherwood Forest Hospit`ls NHS

:37:43.:37:46.

Foundation Trust, with nearly ?18 million, and finally

:37:47.:37:54.

Derby Hospitals NHS Foundathon Some pretty alarming figures

:37:55.:37:59.

in there and the East Midlands Some of it is down to the enormous

:38:00.:38:32.

PFIs. The repayments can be huge. The Government is increasing the

:38:33.:38:36.

funding that is going into the NHS. Some of them are in special measures

:38:37.:38:41.

and are coming out the other side and improving.

:38:42.:38:45.

Isn't some of this a hangovdr from the Public Finance Initiatives

:38:46.:38:47.

that Labour were so keen on, which has saddled some

:38:48.:38:50.

One in ten Trusts used to bd in deficit, but now it is one hn three.

:38:51.:39:00.

The pressure is on the NHS have never been greater. They ard not

:39:01.:39:07.

enough GPs. There are peopld in hospital who cannot get out even

:39:08.:39:11.

though they are set to get out. The whole system is under presstre. It

:39:12.:39:16.

is the same old story, you cannot Trust the Tories with the NHS. I

:39:17.:39:23.

think that is rubbish. Therd is a challenge in the NHS and we are

:39:24.:39:30.

getting older. We are finding more drugs to help people and it is

:39:31.:39:32.

becoming more expensive. Will the government

:39:33.:39:33.

bail`out these Trusts? We have to see how they are managed.

:39:34.:39:41.

It is not about throwing cash at then. We might need to put hn new

:39:42.:39:48.

management. If you look at the NHS in Wales, in Labour's control, it is

:39:49.:39:59.

much worse. This is anecdot`l. Mark is saying it must be the management.

:40:00.:40:04.

But they were talking about too many managers and getting rid of all the

:40:05.:40:07.

managers and now we have a management crisis. What would Labour

:40:08.:40:18.

do? Where would you find thd money? We would get rid of the competition.

:40:19.:40:25.

There is a lot of money in the NHS being spent in lawyers. We can get

:40:26.:40:30.

rid of the competition and spend that money on more GP appointments.

:40:31.:40:37.

People there are going to bd worried this has a knock`on effect

:40:38.:40:40.

You can see what they can do in Wales. They are making a mess of it.

:40:41.:40:50.

It is worse than in England. We also have

:40:51.:40:56.

the biggest debt`ridden Trust in the The PFIs signed by the prevhous

:40:57.:40:58.

Government is the problem. Next,

:40:59.:41:18.

the fall`out from the recent local After losing their only MEP in

:41:19.:41:20.

the region, and dropping thousands of votes in the Newark by`election,

:41:21.:41:23.

some Liberal Democrats in the We will be hearing from thel

:41:24.:41:26.

in a moment. At the same time,

:41:27.:41:30.

UKIP's newly elected MEPs h`ve been Jane Dodge reports

:41:31.:41:32.

on the impressions of the Arriving in Brussels, suitc`se

:41:33.:41:35.

in hand, Margot Parker is not For a party that she has only been

:41:36.:41:42.

a member of for the last five But she has been here beford `

:41:43.:41:51.

she worked for Brussels lobbying It was that experience that

:41:52.:41:56.

led to her becoming an MEP. I went into politics

:41:57.:42:02.

because I was so shocked, after a number of years, about

:42:03.:42:08.

a number of legislation dirdctives. I realised that we have

:42:09.:42:13.

no influence at all. What are her first

:42:14.:42:16.

impressions coming back? It has trebled since I first

:42:17.:42:19.

came here, many years ago. It is a little overwhelming

:42:20.:42:23.

in the sheer size of it. Time to go

:42:24.:42:33.

and meet her new colleagues. It is the first time that all

:42:34.:42:36.

of UKIP's new recruits have got together in Brussels

:42:37.:42:39.

and there is a lot to learn. More difficult, less effecthve, less

:42:40.:42:42.

profitable by European regulation... The EU is to blame `

:42:43.:42:47.

that is UKIP's central mess`ge. Margot is focusing on its ilpact

:42:48.:42:51.

on the economy. I have just been elected by a large

:42:52.:42:55.

number of people who are worried about immigration, because they are

:42:56.:42:58.

worried about having no jobs. There is

:42:59.:43:03.

a very unlevel playing field and I I would

:43:04.:43:07.

like to be able to do something At least, I can raise the issues

:43:08.:43:12.

and rattle the cage. She will get the keys to her office

:43:13.:43:15.

next month and intends to dddicate her time in Brussels to getting

:43:16.:43:19.

herself, and the UK, out of it. Well, UKIP are riding high `fter

:43:20.:43:25.

the local and European elections. But the same cannot be said for the

:43:26.:43:28.

Lib Dems, who lost their only MEP I am joined now

:43:29.:43:32.

by their defeated candidate in the He came sixth in one of the party's

:43:33.:43:38.

worst ever by`election results. You did not have a single Lhb Dem MP

:43:39.:43:44.

join you on the campaign tr`il. Were you, in effect,

:43:45.:43:50.

abandoned by your party? No. We knew it was going to be a

:43:51.:44:02.

difficult campaign. We knew it was going to be down to the loc`l

:44:03.:44:08.

people. We were not expecting huge support from the National m`chine.

:44:09.:44:18.

If I were you not expecting that? We did not expect to when in Ndwark. If

:44:19.:44:26.

the Conservatives had not won it would have been a major problem for

:44:27.:44:30.

them. We knew that they werd going to win.

:44:31.:44:32.

What were people saying to xou on the doorstep about your party?

:44:33.:44:38.

I was telling people on the doorstep what we stood for and Helen then ``

:44:39.:44:47.

and I was telling them what we have achieved in Government. What were

:44:48.:45:02.

people saying to you? It is not a good result, but we will botnce

:45:03.:45:03.

back. Once upon a time,

:45:04.:45:05.

you would have expected dis`ffected But there is plenty of anecdotal

:45:06.:45:08.

evidence they voted Conserv`tive That may be the case in that

:45:09.:45:23.

particular seat. The collapse in the Liberal Democrats is absolutely

:45:24.:45:28.

stunning. It is unfortunate for people like David who are ldft to

:45:29.:45:41.

carry on. There is a growth in the gap between the rich and poor. And

:45:42.:45:45.

tuition fees, but that is jtst a tiny part of it. There is no one

:45:46.:45:49.

left to support the Liberal Democrats.

:45:50.:45:52.

If that is true about Lib Ddms voting Tory in Newark,

:45:53.:45:54.

then the number of traditional Conservative voters who desdrted you

:45:55.:45:57.

I think we had the best candidate and the randy best campaign. `` ran

:45:58.:46:21.

the best campaign. They needed a swing.

:46:22.:46:25.

As if things were not bad enough for the Lib Dems, members in

:46:26.:46:28.

Nottingham held a special mdeting this week and voted overwhelmingly

:46:29.:46:31.

Here is what one of them, Tony Sutton,

:46:32.:46:34.

a former Liberal Democrat councillor who lost his seat, had to s`y.

:46:35.:46:37.

On the doorsteps, we contintally get the complaint ` "yes I used to vote

:46:38.:46:40.

Lib Dem, but I will not votd for you again because you cannot be trusted.

:46:41.:46:44.

The reason that you cannot be trusted is that you broke

:46:45.:46:46.

That has become almost shorthand for saying that politicians cannot

:46:47.:46:53.

In the same way that Tony Blair will always be remembered for thd Iraq

:46:54.:46:58.

war, in the same way that Margaret Thatcher is remembdred for

:46:59.:47:03.

the poll tax, Nick Clegg will always be remembered for the tuition fees

:47:04.:47:06.

Tony Sutton from the Liberal Democrats.

:47:07.:47:12.

No. If we change leader now it will look like panic. We have achieved a

:47:13.:47:26.

lot in Government. A lot of our manifesto has been put into action.

:47:27.:47:33.

There are better pensions, the pupil premium, these are things that we

:47:34.:47:35.

have done. What effect will meetings

:47:36.:47:37.

like this have on the party? There have been a number of meetings

:47:38.:48:00.

like this. People are concerned Everyone realises that Nick Clegg

:48:01.:48:18.

has been a good leader. We do not want to go into election panicking.

:48:19.:48:24.

We have worked in the national interest. I believe that voters will

:48:25.:48:27.

come back to us. There are calls in your party for a

:48:28.:48:29.

new leader to replace Ed Miliband? I am not aware of any seriots voices

:48:30.:48:40.

calling for that. In terms of the Liberal Democrats, there is no point

:48:41.:48:44.

in keeping the reader and kdeping the same policies. The Liberal

:48:45.:48:50.

Democrats do not seem to know why they are losing. We know th`t there

:48:51.:48:59.

is an issue of Trust. We have accepted that. We have not been

:49:00.:49:11.

forgiven, but we have not got our message out strong enough. We have

:49:12.:49:21.

to make sure that people know. Labour are ahead in the polls. We

:49:22.:49:25.

wish that we were further ahead but I think we are feeling confhdent and

:49:26.:49:35.

most of the big issues. Ed Liliband has called it correctly and I have

:49:36.:49:39.

confidence in him. Are people going to vote

:49:40.:49:43.

on your record or David Camdron s? A bit of both. We will go ott and

:49:44.:49:57.

bang on doors. Hopefully I can convince people to support le.

:49:58.:50:01.

Now, how about a bank holiday to hold elections?

:50:02.:50:03.

Well, students at Leicester's De Lontfort

:50:04.:50:07.

University have come up with 10 radical ideas to change Britain

:50:08.:50:10.

The proposals include giving elections a Mardi Gras feel,

:50:11.:50:12.

by bringing in a bank holid`y for voters and holding them over

:50:13.:50:15.

Tax cuts for people who do volunteer work.

:50:16.:50:20.

Developing a sense of Britishness and holding a National Migr`nts Day

:50:21.:50:22.

On the economy, the students want to abolish zero`hours contracts

:50:23.:50:29.

and have local currencies in towns and cities to make people

:50:30.:50:32.

They also want to see 250,000 new homes built and a National Festival

:50:33.:50:39.

Well, joining us now is De Lontfort University student Hazra Debar,

:50:40.:50:47.

The University give us an opportunity to come up with policy

:50:48.:51:08.

ideas. The Vice Chancellor wanted to address this issue. There is a

:51:09.:51:13.

misconception that young people are not interested in politics.

:51:14.:51:16.

Did you think there was something that needed fixing?

:51:17.:51:20.

Definitely. We were given the issues and we did research before we came

:51:21.:51:31.

up with the policies. We thought these were the policies that were

:51:32.:51:32.

needed. I think a lot of the ideas `re good

:51:33.:51:50.

and some of them are quite radical. I think that photographs of

:51:51.:51:54.

candidates on ballot papers would be interesting. It is brilliant that

:51:55.:51:59.

young people are getting involved. The young people I meet are pretty

:52:00.:52:02.

enthusiastic. A bank holiday for elections...

:52:03.:52:04.

would that work? I think the main point was having a

:52:05.:52:17.

three the voting period. Yot would call for that? I think it is a good

:52:18.:52:24.

idea. I think we of voting hs a great idea. It stops the problem of

:52:25.:52:32.

us worrying when it rains on election day. The policies that we

:52:33.:52:47.

created we thought were practical and realistic.

:52:48.:52:51.

Well, they might seem radical polhcies

:52:52.:52:52.

So, what would make people more interested in voting?

:52:53.:52:57.

What about a National Immigration Day?

:52:58.:53:00.

The other proposal that I lhke is a bank holiday for everybodx.

:53:01.:53:09.

I'm sure that'll go down really well.

:53:10.:53:11.

I do vote, but generally the politicians are

:53:12.:53:13.

We are wondering what peopld think of those ideas, or if they

:53:14.:53:22.

Once they start telling the truth, the general public will start to

:53:23.:53:30.

support them ` or not, whatever the case may be.

:53:31.:53:34.

I think the parties need to make their policies easier to understand.

:53:35.:53:40.

I do not think they are understandable

:53:41.:53:43.

We feel like if we vote, ond vote will not make much of a difference.

:53:44.:54:02.

Personally, just the way th`t politics is run in this country

:54:03.:54:06.

They are always arguing and I cannot stand the whold House

:54:07.:54:10.

I think that the economic goals are not set out clearly,

:54:11.:54:17.

One of the most important things is getting jobs back for young people

:54:18.:54:26.

A lot of support for your ideas there ` are you pleased to see that?

:54:27.:54:42.

Yes. I am pleased to see thhs. The one issue that stood out to me is

:54:43.:54:50.

that young people thought they did not have a voice. I would lhke to

:54:51.:54:58.

ask these men, what do you think about youth engagement in politics?

:54:59.:55:04.

I think politicians need to go out of their way to engage with young

:55:05.:55:11.

people. From my perspective, one of the things that was clear from the

:55:12.:55:16.

film is that people said it do not understand the policies and think it

:55:17.:55:21.

is too obligated. That poses questions to ask in times of

:55:22.:55:26.

education and people coming out of school feeling so disconnected from

:55:27.:55:33.

it. We need to improve that engagement. It is a real ch`llenge.

:55:34.:55:43.

We need to communicate our lessage. I think we need to make surd that we

:55:44.:55:47.

can indicate our policies in a way that people understand the

:55:48.:56:00.

differences between the parties I am not from our politics background.

:56:01.:56:05.

But I was given this opporttnity and it was an amazing experiencd. If you

:56:06.:56:10.

give young people the opportunity they will speak out. What do

:56:11.:56:17.

politicians have to do to gdt more young people involved? I thhnk you

:56:18.:56:22.

need to interact with young people and speak to them. If you are out

:56:23.:56:31.

there and telling them that you are addressing issues and to support

:56:32.:56:41.

them, that would be good. I enjoy speaking to young people and having

:56:42.:56:47.

political debate. But there are still some problems with engagement?

:56:48.:56:52.

We are trying to get our yotth groups more active. One grotp made a

:56:53.:57:00.

film about politics and education. They are the voters of the future.

:57:01.:57:07.

You have compiled this report with 100 ideas for changing Brit`in,

:57:08.:57:10.

I would like policymakers to look at what we have just and see if they

:57:11.:57:19.

can apply them in their manhfestoes. Hazra Debar,

:57:20.:57:22.

thank you for joining us. Time for a round`up of some

:57:23.:57:24.

of the other political storhes The Ashfield MP, Gloria De Piero,

:57:25.:57:27.

came top in a parliamentary poll She responded to 93%

:57:28.:57:36.

of her messages from local people Bad news for bees in Rushclhffe

:57:37.:57:39.

where plastic flowers have replaced Rushcliffe Borough Council says

:57:40.:57:46.

it will save ?3,000 a year. The newly elected MP for Newark

:57:47.:57:55.

Robert Jenrick, has made his first contribution to the Commons in

:57:56.:57:58.

Prime Minister's Questions. He raised the problems

:57:59.:58:00.

of flooding in his constitudncy The people of Newark have enjoyed

:58:01.:58:07.

becoming better acquainted with I regret to inform the

:58:08.:58:09.

Prime Minister that the town of Southwell, in my constittency,

:58:10.:58:13.

was again flooded last week. He wants the same help for flooding

:58:14.:58:20.

victims in Nottinghamshire `s in the rest of the country,

:58:21.:58:23.

and he inadvertently stepped into the big debate ` is it pronounced

:58:24.:58:27.

'South`well' or 'South`el'? Some people said 'South`well' and

:58:28.:58:59.

other people said 'South`el'. What about you? It sounds like a

:59:00.:59:08.

Nottinghamshire question. While neither of you commit? You cannot

:59:09.:59:12.

win on those sorts of questhons Thanks to our guests,

:59:13.:59:16.

here in the East Midlands. information, you can apply to them

:59:17.:59:22.

and they will be obliged to tell you. Thanks for joining us. Andrew,

:59:23.:59:24.

back to you. think you'd want to. Labour grandees

:59:25.:59:43.

are not queueing up to sing his praises. Look at this. In my view,

:59:44.:59:50.

he is the leader we have and he is the leader I support and he is

:59:51.:59:53.

somebody capable of leading the party to victory. Ed Miliband will

:59:54.:59:58.

leave this to victory, and I believe he can. If he doesn't, what would

:59:59.:00:06.

happen to the Labour Party? We could be in the wilderness for 15 years.

:00:07.:00:09.

At the moment he has to convince people he has the capacity to lead

:00:10.:00:13.

the country. That's not my view but people don't believe that. We had a

:00:14.:00:19.

leader of the Labour Party was publicly embarrassed, because

:00:20.:00:25.

whoever was in charge of press letting go through a process where

:00:26.:00:28.

we have councillors in Merseyside resigning. It was a schoolboy error.

:00:29.:00:38.

Having policies without them being drawn together into a convincing and

:00:39.:00:46.

vivid narrative and with what you do the people in the country. You have

:00:47.:00:51.

to draw together, connect the policies, link them back to the

:00:52.:00:57.

leader and give people a real sense of where you are going. Somehow he

:00:58.:01:07.

has never quite managed to be himself and create that identity

:01:08.:01:12.

with the public. And we are joined by the president of you girls, Peter

:01:13.:01:15.

Kellner. Welcome to the Sunday politics. -- YouGov. The Labour

:01:16.:01:26.

Party is six points ahead in your poll this morning. So what is the

:01:27.:01:30.

problem? On this basis he will win the next election. If the election

:01:31.:01:35.

were today and the figures held up, you would have a Labour government

:01:36.:01:40.

with a narrow overall majority. One should not forget that. Let me make

:01:41.:01:44.

three points. The first is, in past parliaments, opposition normally

:01:45.:01:49.

lose ground and governments gain ground in the final few months. The

:01:50.:01:55.

opposition should be further ahead than this. I don't think six is

:01:56.:02:01.

enough. Secondly, Ed Miliband is behind David Cameron when people are

:02:02.:02:04.

asked who they want as Prime Minister and Labour is behind the

:02:05.:02:08.

Conservatives went people are asked who they trust on the economy. There

:02:09.:02:11.

have been elections when the party has won by being behind on

:02:12.:02:14.

leadership and other elections where they have won by being behind on the

:02:15.:02:19.

economy. No party has ever won an election when it has been clearly

:02:20.:02:22.

behind on both leadership and the economy. Let me have another go The

:02:23.:02:28.

Labour Party brand is a strong brand. The Tory Bramleys week. The

:02:29.:02:32.

Labour brand is stronger. That is a blast -- the Labour -- the Tory

:02:33.:02:42.

Bramleys week. A lot of the Tories -- the Tory brand is weak. Cant you

:02:43.:02:50.

win on policies and a strong party brand? If you have those too, you

:02:51.:02:56.

need the third factor which isn t there. People believing that you

:02:57.:03:02.

have what it takes, competent skills, determination,

:03:03.:03:04.

determination, whatever makes to carry through. -- whatever mix. A

:03:05.:03:14.

lot of Ed Miliband policies, on the banks, energy prices, Brent

:03:15.:03:18.

controls, people like them. But in government, would they carry them

:03:19.:03:22.

through? They think they are not up to it. -- rent controls. If people

:03:23.:03:27.

think you won't deliver what you say, even if they like it, they were

:03:28.:03:31.

necessarily vote for you. That is the missing third element. There is

:03:32.:03:36.

a strong Labour brand, but it's not strong enough to overcome the

:03:37.:03:40.

feeling that the Labour leadership is not up to it. Nick, you had some

:03:41.:03:47.

senior Labour figure telling you that if Mr Miliband losing the next

:03:48.:03:50.

election he will have to resign immediately and cannot fight another

:03:51.:03:53.

election the way Neil Kinnock did after 1987. What was remarkable to

:03:54.:03:58.

me was that people were even thinking along these lines, and even

:03:59.:04:02.

more remarkable that they would tell you they were thinking along these

:04:03.:04:08.

lines? What is the problem? The problem is, is that Ed Miliband says

:04:09.:04:14.

it would be unprecedented to win the general election after the second

:04:15.:04:18.

worst result since 1918. They are concerned about is the start of a

:04:19.:04:22.

script that he would say on the day after losing the general election.

:04:23.:04:24.

Essentially what the people are trying to do is get their argument

:04:25.:04:29.

in first and to say, you cannot do what Neil Kinnock did in 1987. Don't

:04:30.:04:33.

forget that Neil Kinnock in 198 was in the middle of a very brave

:04:34.:04:36.

process of modernisation and had one and fought a very campaign that was

:04:37.:04:42.

professional but he lost again in 1992, and they wanted to get their

:04:43.:04:47.

line in first. What some people are saying is that this is an election

:04:48.:04:52.

that the Labour Party should be winning because the coalition is so

:04:53.:04:55.

unpopular. If you don't win, I'm afraid to say, there is something

:04:56.:04:59.

wrong with you. Don't you find it remarkable that people are prepared

:05:00.:05:02.

to think along these lines at this stage, when Labour are ahead in the

:05:03.:05:05.

polls, still the bookies favourite to win, and you start to speak

:05:06.:05:10.

publicly, or in private to the public print, but we might have to

:05:11.:05:15.

get rid of him if he doesn't win. Everything you say about labour in

:05:16.:05:18.

this situation has been said about the Tories. We wondered whether

:05:19.:05:22.

Boris Johnson would tie himself to the mask and he is the next leader

:05:23.:05:26.

in waiting if Cameron goes. It's a mirror image of that. We talk about

:05:27.:05:30.

things being unprecedented. It's unprecedented for a government to

:05:31.:05:33.

gain seats. All the things you say about labour, you could say it the

:05:34.:05:37.

Conservatives. That's what makes the next election so interesting. But in

:05:38.:05:41.

the aftermath of the European elections and the local government

:05:42.:05:44.

elections, in which the Conservatives did not do that well,

:05:45.:05:48.

the issue was not Mr Cameron or the Tories doing well, the issue was the

:05:49.:05:51.

Labour Party and how they had not done as well as they should have

:05:52.:05:54.

done, and that conversation was fuelled by the kind of people who

:05:55.:05:58.

have been speaking to nick from the Labour Party. Rachel Reeves cited

:05:59.:06:03.

their real-life performance in elections as a reason for optimism.

:06:04.:06:07.

When in fact their performance in the Europeans and locals was

:06:08.:06:11.

disappointing for an opposition one year away from a general election.

:06:12.:06:15.

What alarms me about labour is the way they react to criticisms about

:06:16.:06:20.

Ed Miliband. Two years ago when he was attacked, they said they were 15

:06:21.:06:23.

points ahead, and then a year ago there were saying they were nine or

:06:24.:06:26.

ten ahead, and now they are saying we are still five or six ahead. The

:06:27.:06:32.

trend is alarming. It points to a smaller Labour lead. Am I right in

:06:33.:06:37.

detecting a bit of a class war going on in the Labour Party? There are a

:06:38.:06:43.

lot of northern Labour MPs who think that Ed Miliband is to north London,

:06:44.:06:46.

and there are too many metropolitan cronies around him must I think that

:06:47.:06:54.

is right, Andrew. What I think is, being a pessimist in terms of their

:06:55.:06:57.

prospects, I do think the Labour Party could win the next election. I

:06:58.:07:02.

just don't think they can as they are going at the moment. But the

:07:03.:07:06.

positioning for a possible defeat, what they should be talking about is

:07:07.:07:13.

what do we need to change in the party and the way Ed Miliband

:07:14.:07:16.

performs in order to secure victory. That is a debate they could have,

:07:17.:07:20.

and they could make the changes I find it odd that they are being so

:07:21.:07:27.

defeatist. Don't go away. Peter is a boffin when it comes to polls. That

:07:28.:07:30.

is why we have a mod for the election prediction swings and

:07:31.:07:35.

roundabouts. He is looking for what he calls the incumbency effect.

:07:36.:07:41.

Don't know what is a back-up -- what that's about question don't worry,

:07:42.:07:45.

here is an. Being in office is bad for your health. Political folk

:07:46.:07:54.

wisdom has it that incumbency favours one party in particular the

:07:55.:07:59.

Liberal Democrats. That is because their MPs have a reputation as

:08:00.:08:03.

ferociously good local campaigners who do really well at holding on to

:08:04.:08:07.

their seats. However, this time round, several big-name long serving

:08:08.:08:11.

Liberal Democrats like Ming Campbell, David Heath and Don Foster

:08:12.:08:18.

are standing down. Does that mean the incumbency effect disappears

:08:19.:08:21.

like a puff of smoke? Then there is another theory, called the sophomore

:08:22.:08:27.

surge. It might sound like a movie about US college kids, but it goes

:08:28.:08:31.

like this. New MPs tend to do better in their second election than they

:08:32.:08:35.

did in their first. That could favour the Tories because they have

:08:36.:08:39.

lots of first-time MPs. The big question is, what does this mean for

:08:40.:08:44.

the 7th of May 2015, the date of the next general election? The answer

:08:45.:08:52.

is, who knows? I know a man who knows. Peter. What does it all mean?

:08:53.:08:59.

You can go onto your PC now and draw down programmes which say that these

:09:00.:09:03.

are the voting figures from a national poll, so what will the

:09:04.:09:07.

seats look like? This is based on uniform swing. Every seat moving up

:09:08.:09:10.

and down across the country in the same way. Historically, that's been

:09:11.:09:16.

a pretty good guide. I think that's going to completely break down next

:09:17.:09:20.

year, because the Lib Dems will probably hold on to more seats than

:09:21.:09:23.

we predict from the national figures and I think fewer Tory seats will go

:09:24.:09:29.

to the Labour Party than you would predict from the national figures.

:09:30.:09:34.

The precise numbers, I'm not going to be too precise, but I would be

:09:35.:09:38.

surprised, sorry, I would not be surprised if Labour fell 20 or 5

:09:39.:09:44.

seats short on what we would expect on the uniform swing prediction

:09:45.:09:51.

Next year's election will be tight. Falling 20 seats short could well

:09:52.:09:53.

mean the difference between victory and defeat. What you make of that,

:09:54.:10:00.

Helen? I think you're right, especially taking into account the

:10:01.:10:04.

UKIP effect. We have no idea about that. The conventional wisdom is

:10:05.:10:07.

that will drain away back to the Conservatives, but nobody knows and

:10:08.:10:12.

it makes the next election almost impossible to call. It means it is a

:10:13.:10:16.

great target the people like Lord Ashcroft with marginal polling,

:10:17.:10:19.

because people have never been so interested. It is for party politics

:10:20.:10:24.

and we all assume that UKIP should be well next year, but their vote

:10:25.:10:31.

went up from 17 up to 27%. Then that 17% went down to 3%, so they might

:10:32.:10:36.

only be five or 6% in the general election, so they might not have the

:10:37.:10:39.

threat of depriving Conservatives of their seats. Where the incumbency

:10:40.:10:44.

thing has an effect is the Liberal Democrats. They have fortress seats

:10:45.:10:50.

where between 1992 and 1997 Liberal Democrats seats fell, but their

:10:51.:10:54.

percentage went up. They are losing the local government base though.

:10:55.:10:58.

True, but having people like Ming Campbell standing down means they

:10:59.:11:02.

will struggle. We are used to incumbency being an important factor

:11:03.:11:05.

in American politics. It's hard to get rid of an incumbent unless it is

:11:06.:11:10.

a primary election, like we saw in Virginia, but is it now becoming an

:11:11.:11:14.

important factor in British politics, that if you own the seat

:11:15.:11:18.

you're more likely to hold on to it than not? If it is, that's a

:11:19.:11:23.

remarkable thing. It's hard to be a carpetbagger in America, but it is

:11:24.:11:26.

normal in British Parliamentary constituencies to be represented by

:11:27.:11:30.

someone who did not grow up locally. It is a special kind of achievement

:11:31.:11:34.

to have an incumbency effect where you don't have deep roots in the

:11:35.:11:37.

constituency. I was going to ask about the Lib Dems. If we are wrong,

:11:38.:11:41.

and they collapse in Parliamentary representation as much as the share

:11:42.:11:44.

in vote collapses, is that not good news is that the Conservatives? They

:11:45.:11:49.

would be in second place in the majority of existing Lib Dems seats.

:11:50.:11:53.

For every seat where Labour are second to the Lib Dems, there are

:11:54.:11:56.

two where the Conservatives are second. If the Lib Dem

:11:57.:12:00.

representation collapses, that helps the Conservatives. I'm assuming the

:12:01.:12:08.

Tories will gain about ten seats. If they gain 20, if they'd had 20 more

:12:09.:12:13.

seats last time, they would have had a majority government, just about.

:12:14.:12:17.

So 20 seats off the Lib Dem, do the maths, as they say in America, and

:12:18.:12:22.

they could lose a handful to labour and still be able to run a one

:12:23.:12:26.

party, minority government. The fate of the Lib Dems could be crucial to

:12:27.:12:29.

the outcome to the politics of light. On the 8th of May, it will be

:12:30.:12:36.

VE Day and victory in election day as well as Europe. The Lib Dems will

:12:37.:12:41.

be apoplectic if they lose all of the seats to their coalition

:12:42.:12:46.

partners. The great quote by Angela Merkel, the little party always gets

:12:47.:12:51.

crushed. It's a well-established idea that coalition politics. They

:12:52.:12:54.

can't take credit for the things people like you may get lumbered

:12:55.:12:57.

with the ones they don't. They have contributed most of this terrible

:12:58.:13:01.

idea that seized politics where you say it, but you don't deliver it.

:13:02.:13:04.

Tuition fees is the classic example of this Parliament. Why should you

:13:05.:13:10.

believe any promise you make? And Ed Miliband is feeling that as well.

:13:11.:13:14.

But in 1974 the liberal Democrats barely had any MPs but there were

:13:15.:13:19.

reporters outside Jeremy Thorpe s home because they potentially held

:13:20.:13:22.

not the balance of power, but were significantly in fourth. Bringing

:13:23.:13:26.

back memories Jeremy Thorpe, and we will leave it there. Thanks to the

:13:27.:13:30.

panel. We are tomorrow on BBC Two. At the earlier time of 11am because

:13:31.:13:34.

of Wimbledon. Yes, it's that time of year again already. I will be back

:13:35.:13:39.

here at 11 o'clock next week. Remember, if it is Sunday, it is the

:13:40.:13:42.

Sunday Politics.

:13:43.:13:46.

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by Labour's work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves to discuss what reforms Labour would make to the welfare department. Plus, what Nick Clegg needs to do to keep his grass roots happy.


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