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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Ed Miliband's on
the war path over pay day loans your energy bill and what he calls
the bedroom tax. His spinners say he's resurgent though the polls
don't show it. We'll be talking to his right hand woman, Labour's
Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman. From resurgent to insurgent. Nigel Farage
won an award this week for being a political insurgent. We'll be
talking to the UKIP leader. And Harriet hates, hates, hates page
three. She wants rid of it. But what do you think? We sent Adam out with
some balls. Stay. It is good fun Here in the east, one year on.
It is free choice. In London, the row over the super sewer rumbles on.
And with me, fresh from their success at yesterday's Star Wars
auditions, Darth Vader. Obi Wan Kenobi and R2D2. Congratulations on
your new jobs. We'll miss you. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh.
First, the talks with Iran in Geneva. They ended last night
without agreement despite hopes of a breakthrough. America and its allies
didn't think Iran was prepared to go far enough to freeze its nuclear
programme. But some progress has been made and there's to be another
meeting in ten days' time, though at a lower level. The Foreign
Secretary, William Hague, had this to say a little earlier. On the
question of, or will it happen in the next few weeks? There is a good
chance of that. We will be trying again on 20th, 21st of November and
negotiators will be trying again. We will keep an enormous amount of
energy and persistence behind solving this. Will that be a deal
which will please everyone? No, it will not. Compromises will need to
be made. I had discussions with Israeli ministers yesterday and put
the case for the kind of deal we are looking
the case for the kind of deal we are interests of the whole world,
including interests of the whole world,
the world, to reach a diplomatic agreement we can be confident in in
this issue. This otherwise will threaten the world with nuclear
proliferation and conflict in the future. The interesting thing about
this is that it seems future. The interesting thing about
prepared to go far enough over the Iraq heavy water plutonium reactor
it is building. The people who took the toughest line - the French.
France has always had a pretty tough line on Iran. They see it as a
disruptive influence in Lebanon I am reasonably optimistic a deal will
be done later this month when the talks reconvene. Western economic
sanctions have had such an impact on Iran domestic league. They have
pushed inflation up to 40%. Dashes-macro domestically. The new
president had a campaign pledge saying, I will deal with sanctions.
I actually think, by the end of this year, we will see progress in these
talks. Should we be optimistic? The next round of talks will be at
official level. The place to watch will be Israel. The language which
has been coming out of there is still incredibly angry, incredibly
defensive. They do not want a deal at all. Presumably John Kerry has to
go away and tried to get Israel to be quiet about it, even if they
cannot be happy about it. They cannot agree to a deal which allows
the Iraq reactor with plutonium heavy water. You do not need that
with a peaceful nuclear power programme will stop that is why the
Israelis are so nervous. If there is an international deal, Israel could
still bomb that but it would be impossible. The French tactics are
interesting. It says the French blocked it in part because they are
trying to carry favour with Israel but also the Gulf Arab states, who
are really nervous about and Iranians nuclear capability. Who is
that? Saudi Arabia. Newsnight had a story saying that Pakistan is
prepared to provide them with nuclear weapons. You are right about
Saudi Arabia. They are much more against this deal than Israel. Who
is Herman van Rompuy's favourite MEP? It is probably not Nigel
Farage. He plummeted to the bottom of the EU president's Christmas card
list after comparing him to a bank clerk with the charisma of a damp
rag. And he's been at it again this week. Have a look. Today is November
the 5th, a big celebration festival day in England. That was an attempt
to blow up the Houses of Parliament with dynamite and destroy the
Constitution. You have taken the Dahl, technocratic approach to all
of these things. What you and your colleagues save time and again you
talk about initiatives and what you are going to do about unemployment.
The reality is nothing in this union is getting better. The accounts have
not been signed off for 18 years. I am now told it is 19 and you are
doing your best to tone down any criticism. Whatever growth figures
you may have, they are anaemic. Youth unemployment in the
Mediterranean is over 50% in several states. You will notice there is a
rise in opposition dashed real opposition. Much of it ugly
opposition, not stuff that I would want to link hands with. And Nigel
Farage joins me now. Let me put to you what the editor of the Sun had
to say. He says, UKIP will peak at the European election and then it
will begin to get marginalised as we get closer to 2015 because there is
now that clear blue water between Labour and the Tories. What do you
say to that? There may be layered blue water on energy pricing but on
Eastern Europe, there is no difference at all. When Ed Miliband
offers the referendum to match Cameron, even that argument on
Europe will be gone. The one thing that will keep UKIP strong, heading
towards 2015, is if people think in some constituencies we can win. I
cannot sit here right now and say that will be the case. If we get
over the hurdle of the European elections clearly, I think there
will be grounds to say that UKIP can win seats in Westminster. You are
going to run? Without a shadow of a doubt. I do not know which
constituency. The welcome I got in Edinburgh was not that friendly
Edinburgh is not everything in Scotland. I think we have a
realistic chance of winning those elections. If we do that, we will
have the momentum behind us. You might be the biggest party after the
May elections. The National front is likely to do very well in France as
well. They have won the crucial by-election in the South of France.
Have you talked about joining full season in Parliament? The leader has
tried to take the movement into a different direction than her father.
The man she beat, to become leader, actually attended the BNP
conference. The problem she has with her party and we have with her party
is that anti-Semitism is too deep and we will not be doing a deal with
the French national government. You can guarantee you will not be
joining such groups. I can guarantee that. Let's move on to Europe. Let's
accept that the pro-Europeans exaggerate the loss of jobs that
would follow the departure of Britain from the UK. Is there no
risk of jobs whatsoever? No risk whatsoever. There is no risk at all.
There have been some weak and lazy arguments put around about this We
will go on doing business - go on doing trade with Europe. We will
have increased opportunities to do trade deals with the rest of the
world and they will create jobs The head of Nissan, the head of Hitachi
and CBI many other voices in British business, when they all expressed
concern about the potential loss of jobs and incoming investment, we
should just ignore them. With Nissan, the BBC News is making this
a huge story. The boss did not say what was reported. He said there was
a potential danger to his future investment. They have already made
the investments. They have built the plant in Sunderland, which they say
is operating well. We should be careful of what bosses of big
businesses say. This man said they may have two leaves Sunderland if we
did not join the euro. I do not take that seriously. As for the CBI, they
wanted us to join the euro and now they do not. Even within the CBI,
there is a significant minority saying, we do not agree with what
the CBI director-general is saying. The former boss of the organisation
is saying we need a referendum and we need a referendum soon. It
depends on the renegotiation. There is not the uniformity. What we are
beginning to see in the world, is, manufacturing and small businesses
are a lot more voices saying, the costs of membership outweigh any
potential benefit. If you look at the polls, if Mr Cameron does
repatriate some powers and he joins with Labour, the Lib Dems, the
Nationalists in Scotland and Wales, most of business, all of the unions
to say we should stay in, you are going to lose, aren't you? In 1 75,
the circumstances were exactly the same. Mr Wilson promised a
renegotiation and he got very little. The establishment gathered
around him and they voted for us to stay in. I do not think that will
happen now. The scales have fallen. We do not want to be governed by
Herman Van Rompuy and these people. These people are Eurosceptic but
they do not seem to feel strongly enough about it that they are going
to defy all the major parties they vote for, companies that employ
them, unions they are members of. I am absolutely confident there will
be a lot voices in business saying, we need to take this opportunity to
break free, give ourselves a chance of a low regulation lowball trader.
-- global trade. In 1970 53 small publications said to vote yes. I am
not contemplating losing. The most important thing is to get the
referendum. If UKIP is not strong, there will not be a referendum.
Earlier in the year, your party issued a leaflet about the remaining
sample parents being able to come to this country. The EU will allow 29
million Bulgarians and remaining is to come to the UK. That is
technically correct but we both know that is not the case. It is an open
door to these people. Why take the risk? By make out there are 29
million people? I stand by that verdict. It is an open door. 29
million are not going to come. They can if they want. Also 29 million
people from France can come. After these countries have joined, we will
do another leaflet saying that Mr Cameron wants to open the door to 70
million people from Turkey. That is scaremongering. I would not say
that. We have a million young British workers between 16 and 4
without work. A lot of them want work and we do not need another
massive oversupply in the unskilled labour market. Why did you have such
a bad time on question Time this week? The folk that did not buy your
anti-immigration stick. Do you think that group of people in the room was
representative of the voters of Boston? What would make you think it
was unrepresentative? When the county council elections took place
this year in Boston, of the seven seats, UKIP won five and almost won
the other two. I don't think that audience reflected that, but that
doesn't matter. How an audience is put together, how a panel is put
together, on one programme, it doesn't mean much at all. It shows
that your anti-immigrant measure doesn't fly as easily as you hoped
it would? The opinion polls which will be launched on Monday that we
are conducting and nearing completion, they show two things.
Firstly, an astonishing number of people who think it's irresponsible
and wrong to open the doer to Romania and Bulgaria, secondly and
crucially, a number of people whose vote in the European elections and
subsequent general elections may be determined by the immigration
issues. This does matter. It would be the perfect run group the
European elections in May for you if a lot of Bulgarians and remainians
flooded in. You would like that to happen? I think it will happen.
Whether I like it or not, it will happen. You think it will be good
for you, it will stir things up If you say to people in poor countries,
you can come here, get a job, have a safety net of a benefits system
claim child allowance for your kids in Bucharest, people will come You
are ready with the arguments already? You will be disappointed if
only ten turn up? Whether lots come or not we should. Taking the risk
and yes, we are going to make it a major issue in the European
election. Let's leave it there. Thank you very much, Nigel Farage.
The summer of 2013 was not good for Ed Miliband, with questions over his
leadership, low ratings and complaints about no policies. He
bounced back with a vengeance at the Labour Conference in September,
delivering a speech which this week won the spectator political speech
of the year aword. In that speech he focussed on the cost-of-living and
promised a temporary freeze on energy prices. Even said this. The
next election isn't just going to be about policy. It's going to be about
how we lead and the character we show. I've got a message for the
Tories today. If they want to have a debate, about leadership and
character, be my guest And if you want to know the difference between
me and David Cameron, here is an easy way to remember it. When it was
Murdoch v the McCanns, he took the side of Murdoch. When it was the
tobacco lobby versus the cancer charities, he took the side of the
tobacco lobby. When the millionaires wanted a tax cut as people pay the
bedroom tax, he took the side of the millionaires. A come to think of it,
here is an easier way to remember it. David Cameron was a Prime
Minister who introduced the bedroom tax. I'll be the Prime Minister who
repeals the bedroom tax There we go, that will go down with the party
faithful on Tuesday. There will be a debate on the bedroom tax. Labour's
Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, joints me now. Let's begin with the
bedroom tax or bedroom subsidy. Nearly 11% of people who've come off
Housing Benefits all together after their spare room subsidy was
stopped, isn't that proof that reform was necessary? No. I think
that the whole way that the bet room tax has been attempted to be
justified is completely wrong. What it's said is that it will actually
help take people off the waiting lists by putting them into homes
that have been vacated by people who've downsized by being
incentivised by the bedroom tax so basically if you are a council
tenant or Housing Association tenant in a property with spare bedrooms,
then because the penalty is imposed, you will move to a smaller property.
That is the justification for it. But actually, something like 96 of
the people who're going to be hit by the bedroom tax, there isn't a
smaller property for them to move into. I understand that. Therefore
they are, like the people in my constituency, if they have got one
spare bedroom, they are hit by 700 a year extra to pay and that is
completely unfair As a consequence of people losing the subsidy for
their spare room, they have decided to go out and get work and not
depend on Housing Benefit at all? 11% of them. What's wrong with that?
Well, they are going to review the way 2 the bedroom tax is working.
What is wrong with that? But that's not working. That's the result of
Freedom of Information, 141 councils provided the figures, 25,000 who've
come off benefits, of the 233,0 0 affected, it's about 11%. These
people were clearly able to get a job was having the Housing Benefit
in the first place? But of course the people who're on the benefits
who're not in work are always looking for work and many of them
will find work which is a good thing, but for those who don't find
work, or who find work where it s low-paid and need help with their
rent, it's wrong to penalise them on the basis of the fact that their
family might have grown up and moved away and so you have either got to
move out of your home, away from your family and your neighbourhood,
or you've got to stay where you are and, despite the fact that you are
low-paid or unemployed, you have got to find an extra ?700 a year because
of your rent. So it's very unfair The Government that was
commissioning independent research on the impact of this work change
and welfare policy, particularly on the impact on the most vulnerable,
some of which you have been talking about there, shouldn't they have
waited until you have got the independent research, that
independent investigation before determining your policy? No. In
fact, the Government should have waited until they'd have done their
independent research before they bought into effect something and
imposed it on people in a way which is really unfair. They could have
known. Why didn't you wait? What they could have done is, they could
have asked councils, are people going to be able to Manifest into
smaller homes if we impose the bedroom tax and the answer from
councils and Housing Associations would have been no, they can't move
into smaller homes because which haven't got them there. They should
have done the evaluation before they introduced the policy. We are
absolutely clear and you can see the evidence, people are falling into
rent arrears. Many people, it's a terrifying thing to find that you
can't pay your rent, and some of the people go to payday loan companies
to get loans to pay their rent. It is very, very unfair. The
justification for it, which is people will move, is completely
bogus. There aren't places for them to go. On the wider issue of welfare
reform, a call for the TUC showed that voters support the Government's
welfare reforms, including a majority of Labour voters. Why are
you so out of touch on welfare issues, even with your own
supporters? Nobody wants to see people who could be in a job
actually living at the taxpayers' expense. That's why we have said
that we'll introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee, so that if you are a
young person who's been unemployed for a year, you will have to take a
job absolutely have to take a job, and if you have been unemployed as
somebody over 25, there'll be a compulsory thing after two years of
unemployment. So if you have been on welfare two years? So the main issue
about the welfare bill actually is people who're in retirement who need
support. We have said for the richest pensioners, they shouldn't
have to pay their winter fuel allowance. My point wasn't abouts
the sub stance, it's about how you don't reflect public opinion --
substance. The Parliamentary aid said the political backlog of
benefits and social security is "not yet one that we have won. Labour
must accept that they are not convincing on these matters,". Well,
redo have to convince people and explain the policies we have got and
the view we take. So, for example, for pensioners, who're well off we
are saying they don't need the Winter Fuel Payment that. 's me
saying to you and us saying to people in this country, we do think
that there should be that tightening. For young people, who've
been unemployed, they should be offered jobs but they've got to take
them. So yes, we have to make our case. OK. The energy freeze which we
showed there, on the speech, as popular. The living wage proseles
have been going down well as well. Why is Labour's lead oaf the
Conservatives being cut to 6% in the latest polls? Ed Miliband's own
personal approval rating's gotten worse. Why is that? I'm not going to
disdues ins and outs of weekly opinion polls with you or anybody
else because I'm not a political commentator, but let me say to you
the facts of what's happened since Ed Miliband's been leader of the
Labour Party. We have got 1,950 New Labour councillors, all of those...
But you're... All those who've won their seats against the
Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats and no, Andrew you don't
always get that in opposition. In 1997 after Tony Blair was elected,
the Tories carried on losing council seats. Exceptional circumstances and
these days Mr Blair was 25% ahead in the polls. You were six. The economy
grew at an annual rate of 3% in the third quarter just gone. Everybody,
private and public forecasters now saying that Britain in this coming
year will grow faster than France, Italy, Spain, even Germany will grow
faster. Your poll ratings are average when the economy was
flatlining, what happens to them when the economy starts to grow
Well, I've just said to you, I'm not a political commentator or a pundit
on opinion polls. We are putting policies forward and we are holding
the Government to account for what they are doing and we think that
what they did opt economy pulled the plugs from the economy, delayed the
recovery, made it stagnate and we have had three years lost growth. I
understand that, but it's now starting to grow. Indeed. If you are
no political commentator, let me ask you this, you anticipated the
growth, so you switched your line to no growth to this is growth and
living standards are rising. If the economy does grow up towards 3% next
year, I would suggest that living standards probably will start to
rise with that amount of growth What do you do then? We have not
switched our line because the economy started to grow. All the way
along, we said the economy will recover, but it's been delayed and
we have had stagnation for far too long because of the economic
policies. We have been absolutely right to understand the concerns
people have and recognise that they are struggling with the
cost-of-living. Sure. And we are right to do that. What kind of
living standards stuck to rise next year? -- start to rise next year. I
hope they will. For 40 months of David Cameron's Prime Ministership,
for 39 of those, wages have risen slower than prices, so people are
worse off. I understand that. You will know that the broader
measurement, real household disposable income doesn't show that
decline because it takes everything into account. Going around the
country, people feel it. They say where's the recovery for me. Living
standards now start to rise? If that happens, what is your next line
There is a set of arguments about living standards, the National
Health Service, about the problems that there is in A, which caused
-- are caused by the organisation. I can put forward other lines. All
right. Let me ask you one other question If no newspapers have
signed up to the Government-backed Labour-backed Royal Charter on press
regular lace by 2015 and it looks like the way things are going none
will have, if you are in power, will a Labour Government legislate to
make them? They don't have to sign up to the Royal Charter, that's not
the system. What the Royal Charter does is create a recogniser and
basically says it's for the newspapers to set up their own
regulator. They are doing that. My question is... Let me finish. If
they decide to have nothing to do with the Royal Charter that was
decided in Miliband's office in the wee small hours, will you pass
legislation to make them? The newspapers are currently setting up
what they call... I know that, Harriet Harman. Just let me finish.
OK. Because the newspapers are setting up the independent Press
Standards Organisation. Right. If it is independent, as they say it is,
then the recogniser will simply say, we recognise that this is
independent and the whole point is that, in the past when there's been
skaen deals a tend press have really turned people's lives upside down
and the press have said OK we'll sort things out, leave it to us
then they have sorted things out but a few years later they have slipped
back, all this recogniser will do is check it once every three years and
say yes, you have got an independent system and it's remained independent
and therefore that is the guarantee things won't slip back. Very
interesting. Thank you for that That's really interesting that if
they get their act right, you won't force the alternative on them. We
want the system as set forward by Leveson which is not statute and
direct regulation. I want to stick with the press because I want to
ask, is this a British institution or an out-of-date image for a by
gone age. The Sun's Page 3 has been dividing the nation since it first
appeared way back in 1970. That s 43 years ago. Harriet Harman's called
for it to be removed, so we sent Adam out to ask whether the topless
photographs should stay or go. We have asked people if page three
should stay or go. Page three. What do you think? Nothing wrong with it
at all. I think it is cheap and exploits women. It is a family
newspaper. Should it stay or go Go. I will look like the bad guy. It
should go. You have changed your mind. It is free choice. Girls do
not have to be photographed. Old men get the paper just for that. Know
when your age does that? Not really. Dashes-macro know what your age
Page three girls, should they stay or go? I am not bothered. There are
other ways of getting noticed. Page three of the Sun newspaper every
day, there is a woman with no top on. We got rid of that about 40
years ago in Australia. I am not in favour of censorship. It has been
long enough. It can stay there. What is wrong with it? We want to
encourage children to read the newspapers. I do not want my
children to look at that. It is degrading. Do you think we will see
the day when they get rid of it Yes, I do. I am wondering if I can
turn this into some kind of a shelter. It is tipping it down. I
think the council should do something about their car parks
Mother nature, the human body. It should stay. Is some people like it,
that is fine. I have nothing against it. You know what has surprised me,
lots of women saying it should stay. Maybe they are seeing it as
empowering. As I have a baby daughter in there, I am happy to see
it go. Imagine my grandad opening up his paper and they're being my bats!
It should go. There is nothing wrong with it. He wants it to go. What
about people who think that page three should be banned? Idiots. Do
you know a girl called Lacey, aged 22, from Bedford? Good luck to her.
I do not know her as a person that I have heard she is nice. What about
her decision to be on page three? Nothing to lose. Do you think she
has made Bedford proud? That is not hard. What have we learned? More
people want page three to stay down for it to go. Most people do not
really seem to care, do they? You have heard a range of views. I am
not arguing it should be banned I have not argued for it to be banned
but I have disapproved of it since the 1970s. You do not think it
should be banned? I do not think there should be dictating content
but I do think, if you arrive from outer space in this country in
21st-century Britain, and asked yourself what was the role of women
in society... To stand in their knickers and nothing else, I think
women have more to aspire to than to be able to take their clothes off in
public. The sun no longer has the circulation, or the political
importance, that it had in the 980s when page three was at its height.
Aren't people just voting with their feet anyway? The market is sorting
this out. Half the number of people buy it now than they did 20 years
ago. Until the time the sun does not have page three any more, I am
entitled to my view that it is outdated and wrong. I am happy to
establish that you do not want to ban it. What should happen? Should
people boycott the paper? I have never implied or said it should be
banned. I have always been forthright. Should people boycott
the paper? I have not called for a boycott. The women's movement, of
which I am part, and this is not about politicians censoring the
press. I am part of the movement which says women can do better than
taking off their clothes and being in their knickers in the newspapers.
Why don't you do something about it? I am doing something about it by
saying it is outdated. I am not doing anything more about it. Should
people buy the paper as long as there is a page three? Would you
like to say to viewers, as long as page three is in the sand, you
should not buy it? Dashes-macro be Son. I am saying, wake up to what
the role of women in society should be, which is more than page three.
If they changed it in Australia which is where Rupert Murdoch came
from, why can they not change it in this country? You're watching the
Sunday Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes... I'll be talking
to man Here in the east, one year on. Our
Police and Crime Commissioners, they may I Hello
Police and Crime Commissioners, they Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics
East. I'm Etholle George. Later in the programme: The Police and Crime
Commissioners at the head of our police forces.
They were supposed to provide answers but, on the first
anniversary of the new role, questions are being raised over
their performance. Police and Crime Commissioners have
been something of a disappointment. The majority of them have not made
an impact or acted to help the role allows.
Life in the country isn't all it's cracked up to be, as communities
suffer through unfair funding. They always assume that if you live
in the country that you are rich. It could not be further from the truth.
And the Chancellor visits Norwich where he announces plans to cut
train times to London. But first, let's meet our guests.
Richard Howitt, Labour's member of the European Parliament for the East
and Kevin Bentley, the Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and a
Colchester councillor. Which is where we start this week, with the
news that police have been called in to investigate Colchester Hospital,
after claims that staff were bullied into changing the data of waiting
times for cancer treatment. Health officials have described the
report by the Care Quality Commission as shocking. Inspectors
found a number of cancer patients suffered "undue delays" to their
treatment, there was evidence some records had been altered to meet
national targets and 22 patients were at risk of receiving unsafe
care. The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended the Trust
be put into special measures. Now the hospital has promised to set up
a full external investigation and health bosses say waiting lists for
cancer patients are to be checked on a weekly basis.
If that is what is required, that is what is required. I am devastated at
what we have been told has happened. It is very serious. The
police are involved. What I want to ensure is that the thousands of
people who use Colchester Hospital every week continue to do so in
confidence that everything is OK, and also to try and lift the morale
of the 4000 staff who must have been hit by what is going on. There is no
defence whatsoever, so we are hearing about elements within the
cancer treatment area of the hospital. Let us not blame the whole
hospital with what we are hearing about rogue activity.
As a Colchester counsellor, how worried are you?
I know the hospital well, I have family and friends who use the
hospital. It is dreadful news. It is about focusing on the patients and
their families and making sure there is confidence in the services. And
for the staff. The hospital is not all that. But the investigation is
going on and we must get answers. It is labour that are ordering the
targets, is it hitting the targets that are the cause of the problems?
22 people and their families who are suffering, it is very important that
they get the support that they need. It is devastating, and we should not
make any party political point about that. On the targets, there is a
point about is this mismanagement? Or was it a question that the
problems that we have in the NHS? This is about bullying, which is
always unacceptable in any circumstance. It is European law
that protects people against victimisation and harassment and
helps protect the whistle`blowers. How concerned are you that it was a
whistle`blower who brought this to our attention?
It is good that people can do that. But we must be part of the answer as
well. It is clear what has happened. I am glad someone has come forward
and expose this. We must stop it from happening again.
This time last year, the first elections for Police and Crime
Commissioners were held. Billed as "the most significant democratic
reform of policing in our lifetime" they were supposed to usher in a new
era in policing. We were told that the public would now know who is
leading the fight against crime in their community ` but do they? One
year on, Sally Chidzoy looks at whether the PCCs have fulfilled
their promise. It was all smiles a year ago when
Police and Crime Commissioners were elected, but most of the voters were
uninspired and did not go to the ballot box.
Police and Crime Commissioners have been something of a disappointment.
The vast majority of them have not make the sort of impact that would
be nice to see. They have not acted to what the role allows. There have
been problems about Police and Crime Commissioners and how they have
dealt with themselves. This man has had to deal with his own problem,
after questions about his own mileage expenses.
It is now being announced that he will have to repay money that he was
paid to drive between his home and his office. He received ?43 for each
trip. Tax rules do not allow staff to claim for such expenses. He says
that he thought that his claims were legitimate.
I am very happy with what I do. My job is to meet organisations
wherever they are in the county. His home is a distance away from his
office. He said that he made it clear from the start that his
personal office would be his home. My job is to move around the whole
county. You saying to me that I must go here, before I go anywhere else?
His expenses showed that, in nine months, he claimed this amount of
mileage. However, much of this was from his Home Office. Claims for
those trip is accounted for 61% of his mileage expenses.
Mr Bett says that he thought that the claims were above board, but he
will not claim, because he does not want to ruin the image of Police and
Crime Commissioners. It will not do much for their image.
It raises questions. We can talk about the legalities, but even if it
were to be completely OK, I am very surprised that a senior politician
would seek to do this. None of the Eastern region's Police and Crime
Commissioners claim expenses from travelling from their homes to that
officers. If you have to permanent places of
work, the cost of travelling between the two are not tax liable.
Mr Betts said that if there were any questions to answer, he would be
happy to go before the appropriate authorities. He says he does not
believe that anything was wrong. He says that the hard work that he does
with getting public bodies to work together should be focused on.
All Police and Crime Commissioners are trying to make their mark
fighting crime and raising their own profile. In Hertfordshire, it David
is shown this new remote courtroom. Next, a visit to a custody suite
before a radio interview. Mr Lloyd suggested that people locked up in
police cells should pay for their stay. He supports a new idea about
police cells for drunks. This is a development of it.
Have you given up on your individual policy of police cells like hotels?
I don't think it is a question of switching.
I think this is exactly what I was talking about.
PCCs are meant to be public figures, but everyone in this area
did not know David Lloyd and what he did.
What is your name of your PCC? I don't know. I think it is a waste of
money. I did not know there was one. This former police constable is that
the Police and Crime Commissioners system is not working.
We have a general election soon. I am sure the parties will be looking
at the model. I cannot think that the model will survive in its
existing form without a very considerable lift in the level of
accountability to PCCs to the crime panel, because that has not worked.
I think there is a case to be made about saying that change should
happen. PCCs were meant to strengthen police
crime fighting, but it has been a difficult first year. If they cannot
up their game, they may be consigned to history.
The Home Office told us: Expenses should only be claimed by Police and
Crime Commissioners to reimburse costs incurred while undertaking
their duties, not for non`work related mileage.
Well, joining us from London, Justice Minister and, of course, MP
for North West Cambridgeshire, Shailesh Vara.
We heard in the film there's been more publicity about problems with
the PCC's than their achievements, now it seems there's another one in
Norfolk. Yes, it is important to recognise
that this is a public appointments funded by the taxpayer. In the
21st`century, we have openness and transparency and the public should
see how their money is spent. It is important that, ultimately, each
Police and Crime Commissioners will have to be accountable to the public
when the next election comes. Let me put it to you, Police and
Crime Commissioners are a mistake, they are expensive and no one knows
who they are? I do not think it was a mistake. I
think it is an extraordinary movement that we have taken, in the
sense that we now have people who are accountable to elected people.
They are elected by the public and can be held to account.
They are elected by very few people. Even the Home Secretary says that
have been errors of judgement and there is room for improvement.
I do not deny that they were elected by a small amount of people. We need
to address this issue. The concept of having an elected commissioner is
a good one, but we need to work on the fact that more people get to
know about them and that in the next election there is a greater movement
of democracy. We need to do more that `` to make sure that the public
are aware of who the commissions are. I know that in Cambridgeshire,
the PCC is very active, going out to church congregations and harassers.
I am sure that people all across the East are very active, but they are
not always aware who they are? `` congregations and parishes.
It is a question of the commissioners making sure that they
are getting the right publicity, making use of the Internet as well
as the written press. There are issues at the moment, but I don't
think it is a question of whether or not it is a good concept. It is a
good concept. We need to work at it. You have said that it there is a
good concept. What about accountability? What about the
panels that are meant to be looking at the work of the Police and Crime
Commissioners? To the extent that there are teasing
problems, they need to be addressed. You are talking about early problems
12 months into the role. It is not right to talk about it 12 months
in? We are talking about a totally new
concept. Even general elections, which have been going on for many
years, even they only attract 70% of support. Local elections, which have
been going on for many years, they can have a turnout of 15%. I did
think we should be dismissing this concept because the public don't
know about it. We must also make sure that the public gets to know
about it. I accept that we need to work on that.
Richard, do you think we will be collecting another set of Police and
Crime Commissioners next time? I don't know. I know that this is a
conservative invention. With the same money that was spent on the
elections, we could have 3000 extra lease constables on our streets.
There have been 200 public events in Cambridgeshire in the first year,
and a new system of tagging that has really `` reduced offending rates.
But these reports show how little many of the Police and Crime
Commissioners have been travelling around.
We need to concentrate on the general issues. The Home Secretary
talked about mistakes, it is hardly an endorsement?
I think that anything that involves voting for people is a good idea. It
is important that people vote for who decides on the budget for the
police. In Essex, we have a great PCC. He engages with the public. I
cannot say that all the people in Essex know him, but he is doing the
best he can to beach them. What about the idea that it is a
good idea to bring in a person who represents the public?
We recruit more special constables. He and his deputies, the cost of his
work is less than the cost of the old police authority. Where we have
won the elections, I think people will see that we are delivering.
Kevin, what about the problem that hardly anyone, and there have been
surveys, knows who their PCC is? That is because it is new. We must
all introduce this to people. It is important the work that is being
done by the PCC in Essex. It is power for the people. It is
important. I would say to anyone watching this, please getting
gauged, please send e`mails to your Police Commissioner.
There are Police and Crime Commissioners who want to have
sponsored uniforms and police cars. But that is up to the public to vote
for the right people. You have a choice in the election.
What about the question of scrutiny. You saw it in the film there. I
think the old police authorities played a role.
As they counsellor, I hope you would see the merits of that.
This is a direct election in which people can vote in.
But accountability, for any of us, is extremely important and we should
seek to make the system work. Now, town versus country. If you've
always fancied a country cottage with roses round the door, you might
want to think again, because rural folk are missing out.
People living in the countryside get 50% less public funding per head of
population than those who live in urban areas.
Several government MPs from the region have presented petitions in
Parliament, supporting the campaign to secure more funding for rural
areas. Life in the country may look
idyllic, but in Ashill in Mid Norfolk 400 people signed a
petition, complaining that successive governments have failed
to recognise the increased costs of living in the country.
If we didn't come here three times a week, it would be very lonely.
They always assumed that if you live in the country you are rich. That
you have a Land Rover. They could not be further from the truth. It
just doesn't happen. Rural MPs have had enough about
their areas being discriminated against. It has gone on for years.
This difficult funding situation that we face as a country has
highlighted it. Kevin, this has been going on for
too long, hasn't it? I represents a very rural division
in Essex County Council. I comes a that rural deprivation is not all
about these issues, we only have one or two buses a day. I believe that
government should give more of their funding down to the local people and
the elected councillors so that we can sort out these issues. What
about the rest of Europe? Is there a similar situation? I
think there is. We should be fighting for our rural
areas. We'll be fighting in every part of the East of England in the
next general election, and the buses are a big issue. 5000 people are
living in rural areas who are dependent on food banks in Norfolk.
These are big issues. What about this issue of perception, people
being rich? It does not elicit sympathy.
It is right, it is not about the countryside being rich. I represents
people of all different incomes. It is important that they get a fair
representation, as well as everyone else. In our area, much of our money
goes to metropolitan areas. What'll happen?
People like myself in the council, we are fighting more with the
government is to get more money. Labour is seen as a metropolitan
party, is that not the case? No. The group that I work for help
to bring opportunities and work learning for helping young people
who are outside the bus routes. But there is hypocrisy, where people are
saying that they do not have money 40 Ching in rural areas, but it is
their government who is delivering it.
Well, the man in control of the government purse strings visited the
region this week and he wasn't the only member of the Cabinet. Here's
Deborah McGurran's 60 second round`up.
The biggest private contract ever handed out in the NHS ` for ?800
million worth of elderly care ` in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
moved a step closer this week. While the Peterborough MP raised in
parliament the City Council's plan for what could be the biggest solar
farm in Europe, on 900 acres of farmland.
There is a chance that this project could be a disaster and make a loss,
bankrupted the city. George Osborne visited businesses in
Suffolk and Norfolk and announced a goal for the next franchise holder
to reduce London journeys to an hour and a half.
We are setting up a Basque force, but I am determined to deliver this.
`` eight ask force. While Business Secretary Vince Cable
was put through his paces at Silverstone in Northamptonshire.
And bottoms up for Shailesh Vara, who showed the Secretary of State a
display of the best food Cambridgeshire has to offer.
That is a good title. What is not to like about that?
The fact that there is no money. I wore Parliamentary representative
said it was hot air. The Transport Secretary said that if only more
money could come back to the tax payer.
What about that? It could take 14 years for anything to happen?
Thank goodness for MPs in the region who have fought very hard to get
that into the region. The Chancellor understands that it is an important
railway line. We need the funding to go in there. It is now on the table.
Thank you both very much. That's all for now. You can keep in
touch via our website, where you will also find links to Deborah
McGurran's blog. We're back at the usual time of 11am
next week, when we'll We're back at the usual time of 11am
cyclists. Back to you, Andrew. We learned this week that no more
warships will be built at Portsmouth, the home of the Royal
Navy since the days of the Mary Rose and Francis Drake. But has the city
been sacrificed to save jobs on the Clyde in Scotland? Is England the
loser in an effort to keep the United Kingdom intact? Let's speak
to Eddie Bone, he leads the campaign for an English Parliament. Is
England the loser in this attempt to keep the
doubt, Andrew. We would look at it from the campaign for the English
Parliament that the British governance is bribing the Scots to
stay with the union at the cost of English jobs. What is the best
outcome for England when Scotland votes in the referendum next year?
We have got to have an English parliament. What I mean by that is
an endless governor and with a first minister speaking on behalf of the
people of England. -- and English government. If Scotland votes for
independence, that is the union coming to an end. It will be
dissolved legally. England would be going to negotiating table without
true representation. The union continues but it continues without
Scotland. I want to come back to my... That is the constitutional
position. You may not agree with me but that is the constitutional
position. Do you want Scotland to vote for independence next year We
want a fair deal with equality for England. If that can be maintained
or England can have a fair deal within the union, that is brilliant.
Let's have a federal system are all the nations are treated equally If
that cannot happen and Scotland decides to stay, if Scotland goes,
it is an independent England, isn't it? If Scotland votes to leave the
union, what is left of the United Kingdom would be so dominated by
England at Westminster would, in effect, Beale English Parliament,
wouldn't it? I do not agree with you. I think that is a British, deny
list approach. The act of union was a fusion with the King of England to
the King of Scotland. That would come to an end. The Welsh are very
concerned. They are a very small nation. If you have a botched
British come English Parliament the Welsh would be in a very vulnerable
situation. They would not be listened to. Also a situation with
Northern Ireland. There are voices in Northern Ireland talking about
trying to reunite Northern Ireland. It would be a very volatile
situation. Would you prefer England to become an independent nation
separate from what was left of the UK, which would be Wales and
Northern Ireland? Would you like to see England have a seat in the UN? I
want their representation for the people of England. English jobs were
sacrificed because the British government wanted Scotland to
remain... You have answered that very quickly. I am -- very clearly.
Would you want England, without Northern Ireland and Wales to become
a separate nation state? If that is what it takes for people of England
to have their representation - representation that looks at
policies of the NHS, education very different from Wales and Northern
Ireland - then so be it. Independence will need to be the way
forward. We have a small window of opportunity that the federal system
might still work. D1 indenting have a system like Scotland? -- do you
want England to have a system like Scotland? What we need to do now is
implement the process is to get their representation for England. I
would urge your viewers to join our campaign because it is the only way
to protect jobs in England, protect the NHS, protect education.
Otherwise we will see the people in England continually penalised by the
British government is trying desperately to save the union by
giving more to Scotland and Wales. Nice to talk to you. Helen, on this
business of the Clyde versus Portsmouth, it would have been
pretty inconceivable of the British government that believes in the
union to have allowed the Clyde to close. That would have been a
disaster. It would have been. It's dumped Nicola Sturgeon. Hang on a
minute, if there was Scottish independence, England were not allow
its warships to be built in a foreign country. She was unable to
admit there were any downsides to Scottish independence. It would be
dangerous for Scotland to talk about this. You have a Lib Dem and a
Conservative MP with reasonable majorities. They will find that a
killer on their doorstep in the next election. There are no results in
this for Mr Cameron. He has one MP and he will be lucky to have two.
And the South of England, I know Portsmouth is quite an industrial
area, but the South of England is overall Tory territory. He has
backed the Clyde where there are no Tory votes. The Tory problem in
Scotland is crucial. The trend to look out for is the rise of English
nationalism within the Conservative Party. They have the word Unionist
in their official title. If, in election after election, they failed
to win a significant presence in Scotland, and they are failing to
win a majority in Westminster because of that, it is not hard to
imagine that in ten years time that would be a party which has more
autonomy. One person we know who does not sign up to that. David
Cameron is a romantic Unionist at heart he may say that are not any
vote in Scotland but he want to keep the union together. With the Clyde,
you saw a rival together of economic and political interests. It is
economic or the case the greatest shipbuilding capability in the
United Kingdom is in the Clyde. It is politically very helpful for this
government to say to people in Scotland, look at the benefits of
being in the United Kingdom and under their breath, or in the case
of Alistair Carmichael to a camera, look what might go if you leave
That came together very conveniently to the government. Now, how do you
like your politicians? Squeaky clean with an impeccable past? Or are you
happy for them to have a few skeletons in the closet? Well, last
week the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted smoking crack cocaine. He
said he took the drug about a year ago whilst in a drunken stupor. So,
what impact do confessions have on a political career? In a moment, we'll
hear what our panel has to say, but first, take a look at this. Yes I
have smoked crack cocaine. Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it?
Probably one of my drunken stupor is, about a year ago. I have used
drugs in the past. I have used class a drugs in the past. About 30 years
ago at university, I did smoke cannabis. I took cannabis is a few
times at university and it was wrong. Have you snorted cocaine I
tried to but unsuccessfully years ago. I sneezed. The people around
you who took cocaine, they went .. Is it better to confess or the that
get you into even more hot water? It is absolutely better. The confession
by Jacqui Smith was without glamour. Finding a Labour politician who once
smoked cannabis 25 years ago... I do not think it makes you think that
she cannot be a serious politician. Politicians should brace thing about
them which everyone knows. In the case of Ed Miliband, he should not
deny being geeky. That would reek of in authenticity. The Tory MP meant
to be regarded as a rising star turns out he was claiming to heat
his horses stables at the expense of the tax payer. He had made a
generous claim for energy bills in his constituency home. He went
through the papers and found he had been using it to heat the stables
and he laid it all out and did the right thing. He was completely
honest. Is that the end of it? It will still haunt in because energy
is such a big issue. He was right to be honest about it. Helen was
saying, absolutely, you need to be honest about your past. Harriet
Harman said she smoked pot at university. If you have smoked pot,
you can have a front line career. If you have taken class a drugs, you
cannot have a front line career There is the politician confessing
and the remarkable willingness of the public to forgive. It is
enlightened and progressive to forgive a politician for an affair
or taking soft drugs at university. To smoke crack cocaine and demand be
mad of following the Mayor of Toronto does astonishes me. There
was an example in America a few years ago. It was crack cocaine He
was elected having confessed to smoking crack cocaine. I draw the
line around class a drugs. We will put the team on to investigate him.
Help to Bible come back into the headlines again. Mr Cameron will
surroundings by the people who are benefiting from buying their homes
on this scheme in the same way that this is that you used to visit those
who had bought their council houses. It will become hugely politicised.
The Bank of England thinks that unemployment will drop late 201 ,
early 2015. They will put interest rates up. Those with 95% mortgages
will have two find an extra ?40 a month to pay them off. I would not
be surprised if David Cameron is setting up himself with this
trouble. They will not want to raise interest rates. Mark Carney was very
careful to give himself three get out clauses. If unemployment hits a
certain level, Key has three measures which have to be fulfilled
before he goes ahead and raises interest rates. As a Tory
strategist, would you rather go into the election with low and implement
or low interest rates? I think they would stick to low interest rates.
-- low unemployment. It is not just panellists who are raising questions
about it, it is senior figures people in senior economic positions.
They are saying the scheme is fine at the moment. David Cameron will be
surrounded by people who have taken mortgages out at low levels and it
is all fine right now but if interest rates go up, it will not be
cosy. That's all folks. The Daily Politics is back tomorrow on BBC Two
at midday. I'll be back next Sunday at the normal time of 11am.
Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.