29/06/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


With Marie Ashby. Andrew Neil is joined by Europe Minister David Lidington, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan and Lib Dem Charles Kennedy to discuss David Cameron's EU defeat.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 29/06/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



No surprise that Mr Cameron didn't get his way at the European summit.


But does it mean Britain has just moved closer to the EU exit?


Doctors want to ban smoking outright.


A sensible health measure or the health lobby's secret plan all


Fewer hospital beds and fewer medical staff `


Plus, should teachers sit exams with their students?


And with me, as always, the best and the brightest political


panel in the business Nick Watt Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh.


They've had their usual cognac, or Juncker as it's known in


Luxembourg, for breakfast and will be tweeting under the influence


He's a boozing, chain-smoking, millionaire bon viveur who's made


it big in the world of European politic.


I speak of Jean-Claude Juncker, the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg


He'll soon be President of the European Commission,


He wasn't David Cameron's choice of course.


But those the PM thought were his allies deserted him and he ended up


on the wrong end of a 26-2 vote in favour of Arch-Fedrealist Juncker.


-- on the wrong end of a 26-2 vote in favour of Arch-Federalist


So where does this leave Mr Cameron's hopes


of major reform and repatriation of EU powers back to the UK?


Let's speak to his Europe Minister David Lidington


Welcome to the programme. The Prime Minister says that now with Mr


Juncker at the helm, the battle to keep Britain in the EU has got


harder. In what way has it got harder? For two reasons. The


majority of the leaders have accepted the process that shifts


power, it will not careful, from the elected heads of government right


cross Europe to the party bosses, the faction leaders in the European


Parliament and and the disaffection was made clear in many European


countries. Mr Juncker had a distinguished period as head of


Luxembourg, and was not a known reformer, but we have to judge on


how he leads the commission and there were some elements in the


mandate that the heads of government gave this week to the new incoming


European Commission that I think are cautiously encouraging for us. The


Prime Minister talked about those that not everybody wants to


integrate and to the same extent and speed. Let me just interrupt you.


What is new about saying that Europe can go closer to closer union at


different speeds? That has always been the case. It's nothing new


Indeed there are precedents, and they are good examples of the


approach as part of the course and one of the elements that the Prime


Minister is taking forward in the strategy is to get general


acceptance that while we agree that most of the partners have agreed to


the single currency will want to press forward with closer


integration of their economic and tax policies, but not every country


in the EU is going to want to do that. We have to see the pattern


that has grown up enough to recognise there is a diverse EU with


28 member states and more in the future. We won't all integrate the


extent. It is a matter of a pattern that is differentiation and


integration. I understand that. John Major used to call it variable


geometry, and other phrases nobody used to understand, but the point is


that you're back benches don't want any union at any speed, even in the


slow lane. They want to go in the other direction. It depends which


backbencher you talk to. There's a diverse range of views. I think that


there is acceptance that the core of the Prime Minister's approaches to


seek reform of the European Union, for renegotiation after the


election, then put it to the British people to decide. It won't be the


British government or ministers that take the final decision, it's the


British people, provided they are a Conservative government, who will


take the decision on the basis of the reforms that David Cameron


secures whether they want to stay in or not. Is there more of a chance,


not a certainty or probability, but at least more of a chance that with


Mr Juncker in that position of Britain leaving the EU? I don't


think we can say that at the moment. I think we can say that the task of


reform looks harder than it did a couple of weeks ago. But we have do


put Mr Juncker to the test. I do think he would want his commission


to be marked and I think that there is, and I find this in numbers


around Europe, and there is a growing recognition that things


cannot go on as they have been. Europe, economically, is in danger


of losing a lot of ground will stop millions of youngsters are out of


work already that reform. There is real anxiety and a number of


countries now about the extent to which opinion polls and election


results are showing a shift of support to both left and right wing


parties, sometimes outright neofascist movements, expressing


real content and resentment at Howard in touch -- how out of touch


decisions have become. You say you are sensing anxiety about the


condition of Europe, so why did they choose Mr Juncker then? You would


have to put that question to some of the heads of European government.


Clearly there were a number for whom domestic politics played a big role


in the eventual decision that they took. There were some who had signed


up to the lead candidate process and felt they could not back away from


that, whatever their private feelings might have been, but I


think the PM was right to say that this was a matter of principle and


it shouldn't just be left as a stitch up by the European Parliament


to tell us what they do. He said, I can't agree to pretend to acquiesce.


They have to make the opposition clear that go on with reform. Are


the current terms of membership for us unacceptable? The current terms


of the membership are very far from perfect. Are they unacceptable? The


current terms are certainly not ones that I feel comfortable with. The


Prime Minister described them as unacceptable. Do you think they are?


We look at the views of the British people at the moment. If you look at


the polling at the moment, the evidence is that people are split on


whether they think membership is a good thing. I'm asking what you


think. David Cameron wants to in -- endorse changes in our interest but


also because the biggest market is going to suffer if they don't


challenge -- grasp the challenge of political and economic reform.


Newsnight, Friday night, Malcolm Rifkind the former Secretary of


State said to me that even if the choice was to stay in on the


existing terms, he would vote to stay in on the existing terms. He


doesn't necessarily like them, but he would vote to stay in. That is


the authentic voice of the Foreign Office, isn't it? That is the


position of your department. Is it your position? Malcolm Rifkind is a


distinguished and independent minded backbencher. He's not in government


now. But that is your position. No, the position of the government and


the Conservative Party in the government is that we believe that


important changes, both economic and political reforms, are necessary and


that they are attainable in our interest and those of Europe as a


whole. Would you vote to stay in on the existing terms? That's not going


to be a question that the referendum. Really? I know that in


2017 Europe is going to look rather different to how it looks today For


one thing our colleagues in the Eurozone will want and need to press


ahead with closer integration. That, in our view, needs to be done


in a way that fully respects the rights of those of us who remain


outside. Variable geometry, tackling things like the abuse of freedom of


migration. Those are all in the conclusions from the leader this


week and we should welcome that Very briefly, finally, when will


you, as a government, give us the negotiating position of the


government? Will you give us what you hope to achieve before the


election or not? David Cameron set out very clearly in his Bloomberg


speech that he wanted a Europe that was more democratically accountable,


more flexible, more at it -- economically competitive. That is


all very general. When will you lay out the negotiating position? It's


not general. It is very far from general. We have seen evidence in


the successful cut of the European budget, the reform of fisheries


those reforms have started to take effect. We have won some victories


and I'm sure the Prime Minister as we get towards the general election,


will want to make clear what the Conservative Party position is, and


perhaps other political leaders will do the same for their party. Thank


you for joining us this morning The harsh reality of this is that there


is a yawning gap between what the Prime Minister can hope to bring


back and what will satisfy his Conservative backbenchers. Yes, I


think the Parliamentary Conservative Party is divided into three parts,


those who would vote to leave the EU regardless, those who would stay


regardless, and a huge middle ground of people who want to stay in on


renegotiated terms. These are not three equal parts. Those who would


vote to stay in regardless are smaller and smaller. Compared to 20


years ago, tiny. But the people in the middle, generally, would only


stay in if you secure a renegotiation that will not be


re-secured. In other words, they are de facto, out by 2017 and the


referendum. This whole saga of the recent weeks has been the single


biggest economy in foreign policy under this government. That's not


what the voters think. -- single biggest ignominy. I mean the failure


to secure the target. The opinion polls show that standing up against


Mr Juncker has proved rather popular. I suggest that is not Mr


Cameron's problem. His problem is that, if in the end he gets only


because Medic changes, and if he says he still thinks that with these


changes -- cosmetic changes. And he says that they should stay in, that


would split the Tory party wide open. Eurosceptics say would be the


biggest split since the corn laws. He wants to protect the position of


coming out, and you might get that. He wants to crack down on abuse of


benefits, and he might get that He wants to restrict freedom of


movement for future member states, and that's difficult, because it is


a treaty change. And he wants to deal with closer union, but that is


also treaty change. In the Council conclusions, David Cameron was


encouraged because it said, let s look at closer union, but it did not


say it would reform. All it said was ever closer union can be interpreted


in different ways. In other words, we're not going to change it. The


fundamental problem the David Cameron was that two years ago, when


he vetoed the fiscal compact, that showed Angela Merkel was unwilling


to help them and what happened in the last two weeks was that Angela


Merkel was unable to help him. There is not a single leader of the


European Union that once Juncker as president, and he doesn't want it,


he wants the note take a job at the European Council. But there was this


basic stitch up by the European Parliament that meant he was


presented, and when Angela Merkel put the question over his head there


was a huge backlash in Germany and she was unable to deliver. I


understand that, but I'm looking forward to Mr Cameron's predicament.


I don't know how he squares the circle. It seems inconceivable that


he can bring back enough from Brussels to satisfy his


backbenchers. No, you can't. Most of them fundamentally want out. They


don't want to be persuaded by renegotiations. Where it's hard to


draw conclusions from the polling is that if you ask people question that


sounds like, do you like the fact that our Prime Minister has gone to


Brussels and stuck it to the man, they say yes, but how many people


will go to the voting booths and put their cross in the box based on


Europe? We know mostly voters care about Europe as a proxy for


immigration fears. In ten people in this country could not tell you who


John Claude Juncker is Angela Weir is replacing. -- and who he is


replacing. And I'm joined in the studio now by


arch-Eurosceptic Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan and from Strasbourg by


staunch European and former Liberal war? His declared objectives would


leave Britain still in the common agricultural policy, the common


foreign policy, the European arrest warrant, so the negotiating aims


which we just heard Nick setting out wouldn't fundamentally change


anything. It would be easy for the Government to declare war on any of


these things. The danger from your point of view as someone who wants


to stay in is that if David Cameron only gets cosmetic changes, the


chance of getting the vote to leave the European Union increases,


doesn't it? Hypothetically it probably does but we have two big


things to get through first in domestic politics before we even


reach a negotiation. One is are we going to have the United Kingdom


this time next year following the referendum in Scotland? Secondly,


are the Conservatives after the general election next year going to


be in a position to pursue a negotiation? In other words are they


going to be a majority government or even a minority government? For the


sake of this morning let's assume the answer to both is yes, the UK


stays intact and against the polls they were saying this morning, David


Cameron forms an overall majority after the election. There is a


danger, if he doesn't bring much back, that people will vote yes


correct? There is that danger and I see a lot of the British press


comment this morning saying this could be a rerun of the Harold


Wilson like negotiation of the 1970s, a bit cosmetic but enough to


say we have got new terms and you should go with it. I think what is


different however, and this is really an appeal if you like, it


cannot just be left to the Liberal Democrats and coalition government


to make this case on our Rome. A lot of interest groups across the land


will have to start being prepared to put their head above the parapet on


the fundamental - do you want Britain to remain in the European


Union? Yes or no? Are you willing to put your public reputations on the


line? We are not getting enough of that at the moment and it is getting


dangerously close to closing time. Daniel Hannan, David Cameron will


not get away with this, will he It will be an acceptable to his party.


If it is an acceptable to Tory backbenchers it is because it is


working and they are reflecting what their constituents say. A majority


of people in the country are unhappy with the present terms. They can see


there is a huge wide world beyond the oceans and we have confined


ourselves to this small trade bloc. There is a huge debate to be had


about whether we could be doing better outside. It is not danger, it


is democracy, trusting people. If the only person offering a


referendum at the moment is the Prime Minister, it has serious


consequences for his party, your party, that's what I'm talking


about. I am very proud of being part of the party that is trusting people


to offer this. If he only gets cosmetic changes he cannot carry his


party. But ultimately it will not be his party, it is the electorate as a


whole that has to decide whether the changes are substantive. Everything


we have been hearing just now is about staying out of future


integration, protecting the role of the non-euro countries. People are


upset about what is going on today with the EU. They can see laws being


passed by people they cannot vote for, friendships overseas are


prejudiced, and they conceive that the European Union has just put in


charge in the top slot somebody who wants a United States of Europe into


which we will eventually be dragged into as some kind of Providence


Jean-Claude Juncker is a Federalist, you are Federalist, why did the Lib


Dems oppose him? We shared the view that whilst you take account of what


the members of the European Parliament say, ultimately the


choice of the presidency in the commission should be the political


leaders, the governmental leaders at a national level, and that's why we


went down the route we did. It was more to do with the system than the


individual. Although I would say that you need to bear in mind, I


mean Daniel, I respect him personally and the integrity of his


views, as I think he does mine, but to dismiss the European Union as a


small trading block globally, when you have got the United States of


America, China and other countries acknowledging its importance, it is


really Walter Mitty land. Are we closer than... Daniel Hannan, are we


closer to an exit after what happened last week? Yes, because the


idea that we could get substantive reforms, gets a mythic and powers


back and be within a looser, more flexible European Union has plainly


been closed off. We have to face up to the actual European Union that


has taken shape on our doorstep Are we going to be part of that or are


we going to have a much more semidetached, looser relationship


with it which we can either achieve via a unilateral system of power or


another way. This debate is never-ending, it is going on and on


and has bedevilled British prime ministers for as long as I can


remember. Shouldn't the Lib Dems change their stance on the


referendum yet again let's just have this in-out referendum and have it


sided one way or another? Our position remains clear. If there is


a constitutional issue put before us in terms of treaty changes then we


will have a referendum. Why not now? I am probably the wrong person to


ask because I argued and voted for a referendum on Maastricht because I


thought that was a constitutional treaty. Anything that makes the


Queen a citizen of the European Union surely has constitutional


implications. Anyway, 20 years on we are where we are and we need to


established common vocabulary. You talk about federalism. What do we


mean? Most of the people operating in the European Parliament and the


institution across the road, the Council of Europe, they mean by


federalism decentralisation of powers, not a Brussels superstate


but actually the kind of decentralisation that maintains


national characteristics and pools resources and sovereignty where it


makes sense. Mr Juncker, who is now going to be in charge of the


Brussels commission, he believes in a single EU reform policy, an EU


wide minimum wage and EU wide taxes. You said this week that you


liked the sound of Juncker federalism. Does that sound good to


you? No, and I think the new president of the commission will be


disappointed if he puts forward these views because although we only


had Hungary voting with us, I think if you go to other countries,


France, Poland, Scandinavia, they are not going to buy that kind of


menu. What they mean by federalism is the continental concept, also the


North American concept, that we can sit very happily... They have an


army, a federal police force, federal taxation. Yes, but in terms


of the political institutions which is what we are discussing here, you


can have the supranational, the European level, whilst still having


the very vibrant national, and indeed as we are practising in the


United Kingdom the subnational. A very brief final word from you,


Daniel. That is ultimately going to be the choice. The European Union is


an evolving dynamic, we can see the direction it is going in. Do we want


to be part of that? I suspect Charles Kennedy would have loved a


referendum. I cannot help but notice his party is going downhill since he


was running it. It is illegal to light up in the workplace, pubs and


restaurants. Now the British Medical Association has voted to outlaw


everywhere but not everybody at once. It would apply to anyone born


after the year 2000. In a moment we will debate the merits of those


plans but first he is Adam. There was a time when to be British


was to be a smoker. 1948 was the year off peak fag with 82% of men


smoking mainly cigarettes but it was a pipe that Harold Wilson used as a


political prop to help with the hard-hitting interviews they did in


those days. The advertisements make out pipe smokers to be more virile,


more fascinating men than anybody else. Do you thought -- have that


thought anywhere in your mind? No. It changed in 2006 when smoking in


enclosed places was banned. I would rather be inside but unfortunately


we have got to do what this Government tells us to do. I think


it is good, it is calm and you can breathe. Research suggests it has


improved the health of bar workers no end and reduced childhood asthma.


Now just one in five adults is a smoker. Coming next, crackdowns on


those newfangled e-cigarettes, smoking in cars and possibly the


introduction of plain packaging There is still those who take pride


in smoking and see it as a war on freedom.


We're joined now by Dr Vivienne Nathanson


from the British Medical Association who voted for a graduated ban


on smoking at their conference last week, and Simon Clark


They're here to go head-to-head There are plenty of things which are


bad for our health, why single out cigarettes? We need some sugar in


our diets but the fact is that we need to stop people smoking as


children because if we can do that, the likelihood that they will start


smoking is very small. In no circumstances is smoking good for


you. There are lots of smokers who live long, healthy lives but we


totally accept smoking is a risk to your health and adults have to make


that decision, just as you make the decision about drinking alcohol


eating fatty foods and drinking sugary drinks. This proposal is


totally impractical. It will create a huge black market in cigarettes


which will get bigger every year. They say this is about stopping


children smoking but there is already a law in place that stops


shopkeepers from selling cigarettes to children. This target adults so


you could have the bizarre situation in the year 3035 for example where a


36-year-old can go into shops to buy cigarettes but if you are 35 you


will be denied that, which is ludicrous. The point is that the


younger you start smoking the more likely you will become heavily


addicted. I take the point, but the point he is saying is that if this


becomes law, down the road, if you go into shops to buy cigarettes you


would have to take your birth certificate, wouldn't you? We have


no idea how the legislation would be written but the key point is that if


we can stop young people from starting to smoke, we will in 2


years have a whole group of people who have never smoked so you won't


have that problem of people who are smokers and they are now in their


20s and 30s. Or you will have a lot of younger people who get cigarettes


the way they currently get illegal drugs now. They are already getting


cigarettes illegally and we have to deal with that. We have got to get


better. The Government has not been able to stop it. We know this is


going to kill 50%... When you are 15 you think you will live for ever.


Indeed but they also do it as rebellion and because they see


adults and it is remarkably easy to buy cigarettes. Whatever the case is


for individual choice, won't most people agree that if you could stop


young people smoking, so that through the rest of their lives they


never smoked, that would be worth doing? You get 16 or 17-year-olds


who already do that. Is it worth trying? When the government


increased the age at which shopkeepers could sell from 16 to


18, we supported it. We don't support a ban on proxy purchasing,


we support reasonable measures, but this is unreasonable. This proposal


says a lot about the BMA, because this week the BMA also passed a


motion to ban the use of E cigarettes in public places. There


is no evidence that they are dangerous to health, so why are they


doing that? They are becoming a temperance society. This is not


about public health, it's an old-fashioned temperance society and


they have to get their act together because they are bringing the


medical profession into disrepute. We were having argument is about


things that people buy large accept, smoking in bars or public places,


but the real aim of the BMA was the total banning of cigarettes


altogether. This would suggest that that was true to claim that. It s


not about a ban, it's about a move to a country where nobody wants to


smoke and no one is a smoker. But it would be illegal to smoke. It would


be illegal to buy, not smoke, and there's a difference between two. So


even if I am born in the year 2 00, it would still be illegal to smoke,


just illegal to buy the cigarettes? Indeed. The point being that the


habit of smoking is very strongly linked to your ability to buy, so


that is why things like Price and availability and marketing are so


important. People will flood across the Channel with the cigarettes One


thing you will find is that throughout the world people is


looking at -- people are looking at the same kind of measures, and


different countries like Australia, they were the first with a


standardised packaging. Other countries will follow, because all


of us are facing the fact that we can't afford to pay for the


tragedy. There will be people waiting to flood the market with


cigarettes. This is nonsense. Thanks for both coming and going


head-to-head. "Unless we have more equal


representation, our politics won't be half as good as it should be "


So said David Cameron back in 2 09. So how's it going?


Well, you can judge the quality of the politics for yourself,


but we've been crunching the numbers to find out what


parliament might look like after the next year's general election.


Here's Giles. Politicians are elected to


Parliament to represent their constituents, but the make-up of


Parliament does not reflect society well at all the parties it. In 010


more women and ethnic minority candidates entered Westminster but


not significantly more inner chamber still dominated by white males.


Looking at the current make-up of the Commons, Labour has 83 female


MPs, the Conservative have 47 women MPs, which is just over 47% -- and


the Lib Dems have 12% of the parties. All of the parties have


selected parliaments in those seats where existing MPs are retiring and


to fight seats at the next election, and they've all been


trying to up the number of women and ethnic minorities because discounts


and can be capitalised on. A picture tells a thousand words. Look at the


all-male front bench before us. And he says he wants to represent the


whole country. Despite the jibe the Labour Party know they have a long


way to go on the issue of being representative. So we


way to go on the issue of being look at this particular area of lack


of women and ethnic minorities. Women first.


In the most marginal, 40 have women candidates, that would mean if they


got just enough to win power, they would have 133 women, which is 1%


The Conservatives currently have 305 MPs and their strategy


at the next election is to concentrate on their 40 most


marginal seats, and the 40 seats most mathematically likely to turn


In those 40, 29 candidates have been selected


If they kept hold of their existing seats and won those 29 new ones


they would have 56 women MPs, around 17%, and up 2% from last time.


The Liberal Democrats are fighting to hold on to the 57 seats they won


at the last election, if they manage that, they would have


However all the indications are it could be


a bad night for the Lib Dems, if they lost 20 seats, on a uniform


swing it would leave them with just four women, 11% of the party.


One Conservative peer who thinks the party needs to look at all


options if it's female numbers go down in 2015, says Parliament is


The bottom line is, if 50% of our population is not being looked at


evenly, are we really using the best of our talent? And yes, women's life


experiences are different. They are not superior, they are not inferior.


They are different. But surely those life experiences need to be


represented here at Westminster So that's the Parliamentary


projection for gender, According to the last census


in 2011, 13% of people in the UK Labour currently has 16 MPs from


black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds or just over 6%, if they


get their extra 68 seats that figure would go up to 26, 8% of their party


were from BAME backgrounds. The Tories currently have 11 BAME


candidates, or 4% of the party. If they get an extra 29 seats,


that would mean 14 BAME MPs, The Liberal Democrats


don't have any BAME MPs. If they manage to cling


on to their current number of seats they would have two,


giving them a proportion of 4%. If they lost


their 20 most vulnerable seats, But even if you changed the mix


of gender and ethnicity in Parliament would that solve


the problem? Probably not. Only 10% of us have gone to


a private fee paid school. A Quarter of all Mps went to Oxford


or Cambridge. Only a fifth


of us went to any university. There is a huge disillusionment with


the political elite due to the fact that these people don't look like


us. They don't speak like us, they don't have our experiences and they


cannot communicate in a way we relate to. If you look at the


turnout, at the moment, if you are an unskilled worker, you are 20


points less likely to turn and vote than a middle-class professional and


that is getting worse with single election.


And that's the key, evidence does suggest that if a


Party reflects the society it exists within, it is more likely to get


It's just gone 11.35pm, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


Coming up here in 20 minutes, we'll have more from the panel.


The power of the backbencher. the Sunday Politics where you are.


We meet the MPs who make Prime Ministers tremble.


If you can swap your desire for power for asking diffictlt


Being a backbench MP can be very rewarding indeed.


Should teachers sit exams alongside their pupils?


I think it just adds added pressure, because when you're in your exams,


you don't want to turn round and your teacher is sitting there,


you want to be calm and ready for the exam, so I don't think ht is


Hello, I'm Mhairi Ashby and my guests this


week, two backbenchers who cause more trouble than most.


Andrew Bridgen and is the Conservative MP for


North West Leicestershire and John Mann is the Labour MP for B`ssetlaw


But first, the plans for a radical shake`up of hdalth


Under proposals announced this week, Leicestershire and Rutland will


lose acute services and have fewer hospital beds.


The Better Care Together pl`n unveiled by health bosses w`rns that


NHS services in the two counties are heading


for a ?400 million shortfall unless something is done to cut costs.


The plans include reducing the number of acute care hospit`ls in


Leicester from three to two, with Leicester General Hospital dealing


It also calls for investment in better facilities


The plan is expected to lead to fewer hospital beds and job cuts.


Well, Andrew Bridgen, fully last week, we were talking about the


NHS Trust in Leicester having the biggest debt in the country


These latest cuts are as a direct result of this, or they?


No, these plans have been created by health care professionals


looking forward to the future health care requhrements


of the city and the county this is their response to that.


What we are actually seeing is migration of health services


So you're saying this has got nothing to do with the huge deficit


The trust had a ?39 million deficit last year, I don't


I think Peterborough has got far the biggest deficit.


No, Leicestershire Leicester was higher.


That has got to be addressed, but what we are looking


at is a long`term plan for the shape of health card moving


So you're saying this is a good thing?


Most people do not want to go into hospital, most people want to


GPs are going to be offering more primary care, and it is good for the


patients, it is good for elderly people with complex morbidities


There is a funding gap of ?400 million over the next four xears.


Well, you know that health has had a special case as far


as the austerity measures under the Coalition Government.


We have actually increased health spending well above inflation,


which is in contrast to what Labour would have done, they would have cut


Well, John, the health servhces behind this plan have told ts that


they want to use the financhal challenges to reorganise and come up


The report actually says, working together will provide more


community`based projects and support for patients to live at


Keeping people out of hospital is a good thing?


Anyone going into hospital is a bad thing,


However much Andrew and the Tories try and rest this up, cuts cuts


cuts, the cutting the National Health Service and the way to change


the National Health Service is by putting money in and by improving it


and by ensuring everyone gets the best treatment. These ctts,


you know the phrase is workhng together, what is coming next?


A huge cut, doctors jobs gohng, patients suffering, it is what this


government is about, and we are going to see a lot more of ht.


Stop dressing it up, Andrew, and start apologising.


You start apologising for your manifesto last timd where


you proposed what would havd been a 20% cut in the NHS budget.


We protected that and gave it extra money.


Is cuts, cuts, cuts, and we are seeing it in my `rea


as well, we are seeing privatisation and Nottinghalshire


Patients are starting to go private, because they can't get


To be fair, Andrew the report says pretty clearly that thdre


It actually says the exact number of job cuts is not yet clear,


but it is not denying that there will be job cuts.


That is because there is a migration of services


from hospitals to GP practices and primary care, and that is the plan.


At a time where we have got a huge shortage of GPs?


GPs are running this now, through their clinical commissioning groups.


They are shaping the structtre of care.


For far too long, the NHS has been run from Whitehall


What we are actually doing hs empowering


the clinical professionals to come up with decisions of how thdy are


Set more GPs on, well thank you very much.


You have cut the training btdget, you've cut the numbers.


It takes years to train up ` doctor, and you are cutting doctors,


cutting nurses, cutting other health specialist


Where would the NHS have bedn if Labour had got into power


Not getting cut, and Bevan said you have got to stand up for thd NHS


if you want it, now is the time for people to fight against you lot


OK, well as we have just sedn, our guests might not agree on much,


but there is one thing that they do definitely have in common,


they are very effective exponents of the art of back benching.


We thought while they were both here, we might


find out a little bit more `bout how they go about their business.


But first, Chris Doig takes a look at how the backbenchdr can be


If you are Cameron, Clegg, Milleband or Farage, there hs


a threat more scary even th`n that of a bad opinion poll, becatse more


dangerous than the public's opinion is the opinion of the men and women


Does my right honourable friend `gree


with me that continued criminalisation the people whose


only crime is being poor is completely untenable?


The evasiveness of the government on this matter has not escaped


so much no one can remember where the party line is, or their mouth is


What do I do with my money, do I take it out this rotten,


Backbench MPs can be unruly, disloyal...


With power in their constittency, and some independently wealthy like


Andrew Bridgen, many back bdnchers feel they have little to lose.


My questions surround this project have been asked, but


As we all know, the best se`t on the school bus is the one at thd back.


You are grossly negligent, or you are grossly incompetdnt.


It seems the backbenchers have all the fun too.


But wait, we are forgetting something very important.


The former West Derbyshire LP Matthew Parris recalls tellhng


his constituency association that he would settle for being Home


Secretary, because Prime Minister would have sounded pretentious.


In the end, maybe Minister for Transport, he thought, tntil he


lowered his ambitions to just being on a select committee and going to


junkets to the Humber Bridgd, or a bus carriage in Toronto.


Not surprisingly, Mr Parris ended up in a much more important career


The crushing disappointment doled out by the slippery pole is a game


Almost every new MP secretlx wants to live at number ten, have tea with


the Queen, and have a speci`l Branch codenamed like Princess.


Most will be the bridesmaid and never the bride.


But if you can stomach the smell of regret and unfulfilled


potential, then the life of a backbencher isn't too bad.


They are paid ?67,000 a year, you get to tell the governmdnt what


it is doing wrong, and the thoughts of select commhttees,


panels of backbench MPs stuffed full of the mischievous and vengdful


I'm a big fan of getting answers from you.


If you can swap your desire for power


for asking difficult questions and causing trouble, being a backbench


Four Chris Doiges there for the price of one, I think you could say.


A few years ago, Andrew, people were saying that the backbencher was


dead, that MPs just followed their leader, but I guess with Tony Blair


and Gordon Brown, they had huge majorities and they didn't have to


listen, but now that this is a coalition, do backbenchers


like yourself have more powdr because every vote counts?


I think turning to an intakd of the more independently minded, ht was


a very large intake, so it really altered the sort of structure of the


house, where a small intake can be absorbed into the status quo


I think because the intake was so large,


I think the fact that we ard in a coalition, and I think for `


Conservative backbenchers to realise that 57 Liberal Democrats h`ve such


power over the government, ht is not hard then to work out that hf I can


get 56 of my colleagues on the backbenches of my party, we can have


as much say over what the government policy is as the Liberal Delocrats.


I don't know about more powdr, but the role of an MP is not to


spend their time sucking up to some top politician and saying ghve me


a job, it is to represent the people who have put you there.


And, you know, for better or for worse, to put forward what you


If the government is doing something good, get more of it for yotr area,


and if they are doing something bad, stop it in your area.


Well, we know, John, that you are always very happy to offer `


friendly advice to your own leader, but if Labour do get into power


does that outspoken persona that you have, does that hold you back?


If it comes to getting a job in Cabinet, if they get into power?


I am not really interested in the greasy pole.


Do I want to live in ten Downing St, I can tell you, no.


I wouldn't dream of living hn some kind of a mansion house likd that.


If Labour is in power, I will be there twisting arls to


ensure that the very best comes to my area, so that there is more money


If there is more money for the NHS, I wanted.


If there is more money for new roads, I want it.


And I will get more access hf Labour is in power,


And you don't care that it might damage your career?


By being outspoken and upsetting a few people along the way,


If I don't upset people on the way, I am not doing the job propdrly


I do, at the end of the day, common sense isn't always


as common in the House of Commons as you'd like it to be and I think the


However I finished being an MP, I want to look back at Hans`rd and


say, yes, I don't take any of that back, everything I said I bdlieved


Well give us some of the trhcks of the trade, then.


How do you go about making an impact as a backbencher?


Well, you get a government linister, and you say to them, indirectly


I am going to make you a st`r and a hero, or I am going to make


What backbenchers do have, we have the power of the argument, `nd


if you make that argument wdll and you can persuade colleagues, not


It is always about putting your case over well, isn't ht?


Then you get a chance to make that case to the media, and if you take


the people with you, the power of the argument is very strong.


It's a shame he doesn't fault with me more often.


He is always agreeing with le, I'm always speaking, and he's up there


nodding, thumbs up all the time that is alliance across the chamber.


What he needs to do is transfer that into votes.


That might get some popularhty for you then.


What effect has social medi` had for both of you?


I mean, John, you take to Twitter quite a lot


Oh, yes, I get plenty of abtse from people, normally from London.


I am interested in what the good people further north think,


They tell me, in no uncertahn terms, and I take


their life experiences and their advice back into Parlhament.


If it is a Labour Prime Minhster, they will be hearing


from me what the people of Bassetlaw think In no uncertain terms.


How much pressure do you cole under to toe the party line, though?


Because you must come under pressure.


On the government benches, obvious the votes are predominantly whipped.


But at the end of the day, bigger all free vote if you are


At the end of the day, it is down to each member's


What I would say is to the listeners or the viewers is when we are


discussing politics in the local pub, it is all black`and`whhte.


It is a little more shades of grey when you're down taking part in it.


You don't agree with each other at all, do you?


Well, he is a favourite of privatising the NHS.


I say to the whips, don't tell me how to vote, xour job


Well, the latest target for Andrew Bridgen's fire is te`chers.


He says that teachers should be sitting A`levels alongside


In a moment, we will be hearing from a teacher's union


on how they feel about the hdea but first Des Coleman's been back to


school to hear from pupils who will be taking their A`levels next year.


Well, I have come to this school in Hucknall, to ask a group


Do you think teachers should set their A`level exams


Like, they have already got their qualifications,


I don't think you need them to take their A`level to prove that


I think that your results speak for how they teach.


I think it just adds added pressure, so when you are in your exal,


you don't want to turn around, and your teacher is sitting there.


You want to actually be call and ready for the exam,


so I don't think it is necessary that they do it with you.


Yes and no, really, because it would show their capability


of teaching the subject, but now because, like Jodie said, you are in


your exam, and seeing your teacher there could just add pressure.


It is like, they have already got their


I think all the teachers I have had no thoroughly about their stbject,


but whether they are a born teacher and whether they are good


at portraying that to their pupils is sometimes a different matter


The problem is their teaching capabilities over because they are


obviously going to be brillhant in their subject, but that doesn't


necessarily mean they are going to be brilliant at teaching it.


Thanks very much to the sixth formers At the National in Hucknall.


Well, Ian Lever from the National Union of Teachers


Well, I was going to say, I am actually reassured and


not entirely surprised that the students there were saying that it


They were more afraid of them actually being in the same


room while they were taking their exam Partly that, but also


one of the students there also said about the fact that there is more to


You can see how this governlent at the moment seem to be absolutely


obsessed with the fact that as long as somebody is a graduate they are


quite capable of being in the classroom, they are even happy to


in the classrooms in academhes and free schools, and their latest


idea seems to be that anybody who happens to have a degree was retired


Well, actually, the thrust of my debate about the A`levels was to


reschedule the timing of thd exams so that people could get thd results


and apply to university with known grades rather than a prediction


We know that the predictions are four out of five are incorrdct,


three are overpredicted out of five, and one is under predhcted.


I thought that was the way to get the meritocr`cy,


and get the best people to go to the best universities.


But you were talking about teachers sitting exams?


Or was that a flippant, throwaway remark?


That actually came from a constituent of mine who is ` sixth


former at the moment who actually e`mailed me on that day when we were


debating about A level policy, and he said he thought that somd of the


teachers on different coursds on A`levels were better than others.


He thought that a good test of it for rigour would be to let the


I agree with the pupils from the National in Hucknall.


I mean, come on, you might as well have an MP in


It means nothing, because times have moved on


They are harder now, teachers are better, and a good teacher hsn't


just with the knowledge which they certainly need, ht is the


That is what makes a brilliant teacher, that inspires,


What about an idea of taking exams earlier?


Well, before I come to that, a lot of other students there were


saying about the fact that they recognise the scrutiny that teachers


are under at the moment, with classroom observations and


It is a shame that that is not recognised


Do they see this as more meddling, really?


They ought to recognise that morale is at rock bottom at the molent


A recent report showed that morale amongst teachers in this


You are going to have a strike again, aren't you?


Yes, and teachers don't strhke for nothing.


They don't strike unless thdy get to the stage were morale is th`t bad.


It is a shame that that isn't being recognised.


The issue of, as John was s`ying, about it being more than just simply


having knowledge and being `ble to impart that knowledge, recently


There are huge changes coming in to the A`levels...


The NUT requested an additional training day to


Instead of having to sit ex`ms, that would have been far more


useful, but that has been knocked back by Michael Gove.


So you are saying you have got enough on your plate,


without people coming in and suggesting the sort of things?


Teachers are quite happy to engage in CPD, but the career spechfic ..


Continuing professional development...


teachers are very happy to dngage in that, but a lot


of the career specific profdssional development has now disappe`red


What he is also saying is they have clearly had enough,


they have got to meet all of these targets, they are stressed,


they are overworked, they fdel there is underpaid, they are worrhed


But how can a teacher in part the knowledge


I think if you are teaching A`levels,


A`levels are very important exams, they are going to ship the rest


of the student's life, and they only get one chance at an educathon.


I would suspect that students should be able to expect that the teacher


taking them through the course of an A`level course should be able


How prepared are you to take this further?


How far do you want to take this idea?


At the end of the day, we need to have...


Have you spoken to Michael Gove about it?


I am very keen to change A`levels so we can actually have a true merit


` meritocracy and get peopld going to the right universities, `nd I


think the way we are going to do that, I am sorry about the


disruption to teachers, but I think the prize is worth it to


have a genuine meritocracy, because I think the current system


really does discriminate ag`inst people who go to state schools.


I think they're grades are tnder predicted, and I think that


if they do achieve better than that, they are not going to go to


Would it make a difference, taking exams early?


I think that Michael Gove otght to be taking a few A`levels.


Question him, where is the North of England.


Let's just ask you a couple of questions before you leave me.


Consider, John, the extent to which the which the influence


of individual grassroots melbers within the Labour Party has


And the answer to that is that it hasn't diminished.


Not ever since I successfully proposed giving members the vote.


And now the vote to elect individual party leaders.


I would say, get involved in the Labour Party, go and have a say


Andrew, what extent does the contemporary Conservative Party


promote traditional conserv`tive values, 30 marks for this.


Probably for me and some of my colleagues not quite dnough.


I think the confusion is th`t we actually do not have a Consdrvative


government we have a coalithon government and people shouldn't


The one thing I was going to say if I may do is that teachers are


highly qualified and well skilled professionals and if you have got


an amateur in charge, look `t what happens with Michael Gove in charge.


Is tanker 60 seconds. Busindsses any East Midlands are being urgdd to bid


for their share of ?200 million for regeneration. The next round of the


regional growth ground is open for applications. Previous rounds have


given the area the least amount of grass in the country. Firefhghters


say they can't rule out indtstrial action over plans to cut a puarter


of the workforce. Managers say the service need to sate ?7.5 mhllion.


Unions say it would put the lives of viral fighters and the publhc at


risk. Passions run high 18 leeting of borough councillors this week.


Our reporter with interviewhng the council leader when Labour `nd


Conservative councillors behind him almost came to blows. Tempers


quickly calmed and no one w`s hurt. Well, it didn't come to blows, but


emotions were clearly running rather high, weren't they? Put thel in the


stock in the Market Square. That is certainly one solution. That is the


Sunday Politics in the been problems elsewhere in Europe,


but I take your point. Thanks to both of you today. Back to you,


Andrew. Now, there have been some


less-than-helpful remarks about the way the Labour party makes


policy, and they've come from the man who is heading Labour's


Policy Review, Jon Cruddas. In a speech to party activists he


was recorded saying that, "instrumentalised, cynical nuggets


of policy to chime with our focus groups and our press strategies and


our desire for a topline in terms of the 24 hour media cycle,


dominate and crowd out any He added that Labour's election


strategy was being hampered by a The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls


was asked about what Mr Cruddas had I talked to him a couple of days


ago, and he's not frustrated, he is excited about his policy agenda He


is frustrated that one report of 250 pages gets reduced down. So it's our


fault? That is the way we live in the world in which we live, but we


have big ideas about devolution long term infrastructure spending


and new manufacturing policy, new investment in skills, big changes


which, let's be honest, I'm really on George Osborne's agenda. How


serious is this? It is Wimbledon, so let's call it an unforced error You


go to the party speeches, and you don't know who is in the audience.


There is no need for something as serious as this to happen. It's


hugely serious because it speaks about something people have felt for


a long time, that they have doled out little nuggets of policy but no


overarching story. There was a quite saying the Ed Miliband has given as


a shopping list, not a narrative. When people in the party say things


that are true, it's very difficult for people to explain it away. Not


sure Mr Miliband can win here. He was recently criticised for not


having policies. Now he's being criticised for having too many. I


think this line of attack is particularly wounding because he


prides himself on being a politician of ideas. That is his unique selling


point, and the weight that David Cameron's prime ministerial nature


is his selling point. So it is wounding. If I was the Labour Party,


before announcing any policy, I would ask can help fix us on the


economy? It might be radicalised immolating on its own terms, but


it's politically useless. -- radical and innovative on its own terms I


don't think any member of the public does not think they are not radical


enough or creative enough. If anything, it's the opposite. They


are a bit nervous about what a Labour government could do and


nervous about the economic reputation. Reassurance, caution,


maybe a bit of timidity might be the notions that inform their policies


or should inform their policies in night -- my view, not the opposite.


I am worried for Jon Cruddas, because anyone who questions the


Labour Party are part of the nexus of the banking industry who are


terrified of a Labour victory. It's interesting that this goes to the


heart of the debate in the Labour Party, at the highest levels, do


they put a big offer to the British people, or a little off, John


Cruddas offer, or Douglas Alexander offer? Ed Miliband says that his


ideas about freezing energy prices and rent controls are a big offer,


but his policy chief clearly has real concerns that they don't go far


enough. How important a figure is John Cruddas in the project? He is


hell of the -- head of the policy review and has a huge amount of


power, and so him slagging off the policy review is a bad moment. He is


trusted in that inner circle and the problem for Ed Miliband from the odd


is that he has people with strong opinions, Maurice clasping is


another, big thinkers, but they maybe don't have a precaution that a


professional politician might have in terms of giving bland answers.


So, David Cameron had to apologise after his former director


of communications was convicted of phone hacking.


David Cameron's other former friend, Rebekah Brooks, had a better day.


At the same trial, she was cleared of all the charges against her.


I take full responsibility for employing Andy Coulson. I did some


on the basis of undertakings I was given by him about phone hacking and


those turned out not to be the case. I always said that if they turned


out to be wrong, I would make a full and frank apology, and I do that


today. I am extremely sorry that I employed him. It was the wrong


decision. I'm clear about that. When I was arrested it was in the middle


of a maelstrom of controversy, politics and of comment. Some of


that was there, but much of it was not, so I'm grateful to the jury for


coming to that decision. Not been a great week for David Cameron. Andy


Coulson found guilty, and another person who had worked in Downing


Street is also charged on an unrelated issue. And he was 26- on


the wrong end in Brussels, and there is a poll this morning which no one


seems to be talking about which puts Labour nine points ahead. Before all


that there was Dominic Cummings criticising the Downing Street


operation is being shambolic. Is Mr Cameron's judgement becoming an


issue? Yes, what often happens when one leader is under pressure for


long enough, as Ed Miliband has been the six months, we get bored. We


then switch the Gatling gun to the other guy. So David Cameron going


into the Conference season might be the man under pressure. The whole


Andy Coulson saga has raised questions about his judgement and


those around him, but any political damage she was going to sustain over


Andy Coulson and phone hacking was sustained years ago -- he was


going. It was Brother beyond the date the News of the World was


closed down three summers ago - it was probably on the date. As the


hacking trial cut through to the general public? Or is it just as


media and political obsessives? I am sure it has cut through in some way


but it didn't necessarily happen in recent days, more likely in recent


years. It was some time ago that Andy Coulson resigned in high


profile circumstances. It has had a slow burning effect over a few


years, and the Prime Minister fears the Big Bang. But there is one theme


and words that unites this week with Juncker and Andy Coulson, and that


is that the Prime Minister can be lackadaisical. He was lackadaisical


in not asking big question is when there was a lot in the public domain


about what had happened that the News of the World. And he was


lackadaisical with Juncker. He made a calculation that Angela Merkel


would support him and it turned out she couldn't. Maybe he needs to


change. He was late in understanding what was happening in Germany when


both the Christian Democrats, her party, wanted Juncker, and when the


actual Murdoch press of Germany said that they wanted him as well. He


never saw that. He only looks at one person in Germany, Angela Merkel,


and it is a grand coalition, and the SDP felt strongly about it. He is,


in a sense, an essay crisis Prime Minister. He is, in a sense, an


essay crisis Prime Minister. He s very good in an essay, and the SA


gets a double first the essay. Is Ed Miliband right to be angry? He has


John Cruddas attacking him, and that is the news leading in the Sunday


Times, and has not been a good week the Prime Minister and in which Mr


Miliband has a bigger lead in the polls than he has had some time so


he must be wondering why they are having a go at him. He made a


tactical error in Prime Minister's Questions by asking all the


questions about Andy Coulson. The one at the end about what Gus


O'Donnell said was rather hopeful in the extreme. Politicians can be out


of touch on all sides of the house. The problem is, and there is a great


quote by William Hague, is that the Tory party has two modes, panic and


complacency. At the moment they are complacent. They think Ed Miliband


will lose Labour election but I don't know if they have a positive


plan about how to win it. -- lose Labour the election.


Now, we knew Prince Charles had trouble keeping his views


about the environment and the countryside to himself,


but that's not the only thing he's passionate about according to


a radio four documentary to be broadcast this lunchtime.


Here's former Education Secretary, David Blunkett on how the Prince


had once attempted to influence his policy on schools.


I would explain that our policy was not to expand grammar schools, and


he didn't like that. He was very keen that we should go back to a


different era where youngsters had what he would've seen as the


opportunity to escape from their background, where as I wanted to


change their background. And you can hear that documentary -


it's called The Royal Activist Does it matter that Prince Charles


is getting involved in this kind of policy, released behind closed doors


question mark on the issue of grammar schools is not clear anybody


listened to him. I think it is a principal problem. I've spoken to


form a government members, and judging by what they say, if


anything we underestimate how much contacting makes with ministers And


how many representations he makes on the issue that interest him. There


has been an attempt to keep it hidden. It's almost a theological


question about whether the future monarch should be involved in the


public realm. If he wants to influence policy, shouldn't we know


what policy he's trying to influence and what position he is taking?


Sewer speech is better than private one-on-one lobbying. Possibly - so


a speech. Prince Charles's views are interesting. He's not a straight


down the light reactionary. He makes a left-wing case for rammer schools.


There is an interview with him in the Financial Times in which his


argument in favour for architectural development takes into account


affordable housing in the wake which no one would have suspected. He has


interesting views, but I'm not convinced on the point of principle


whether someone is dashing his position should be speaking. Your


former employer 's famously described him as the SDP king. You


slightly feel sorry for him. He s 66 and still an apprentice. He's in a


difficult position. We know what the powers of the monarch are. They are


to advise in courage and warned the Prime Minister of the day. These in


the difficult position where the problem for him is that there is a


line that isn't really defined, but you slightly feel he just gets a bit


too close to it and possibly crosses that line with the lobbying that


goes on. I think the worrying thing is that at some point he will become


King and will he know that he has got to work within that framework?


He is somebody that cannot win either. If he doesn't take an


interest in public policy, he will be thought to be a bit of a waster,


going round opening town halls, and when he does have an interest we


think, hey, you are in the monarchy, stay out. There's an interesting


parallel with first ladies who are encouraged to find a controversial


charitable project. Michelle Obama has bought childhood obesity, and


that is the standard thing. Everybody knows that that is a bad


thing, but you are not offering solutions that are party political.


I feel there must be a middle way with what he should be able to do


about finding big causes he can complain about without getting stuck


into lobbying ministers. Which can become a party political issue. He


has had some influence on architecture, because the buildings


we are putting up to date are better than the ones we used to put up


The Daily Politics is on BBC 2 at 11:00am


We'll be back here at the same time next week.


Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


With Marie Ashby. Andrew Neil is joined by Europe Minister David Lidington, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan and Lib Dem Charles Kennedy to discuss David Cameron's EU defeat. Also should there be a complete ban on smoking?

Download Subtitles