30/03/2014 Sunday Politics East


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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Can Ed Davey keep the lights on Can he ever deliver cheaper power? Or


the investment our energy market badly needs? We'll be asking the


Energy Secretary. Why has the anti-independence Better


Together campaign suddenly got the jitters? We'll be quizzing Scottish


Secretary Alistair Carmichael. And whatever happened to the BNP?


They could be Here in the east, claims th`t


elderly people are losing ott when it


In London, changes to the authority which runs the capital's Fire


Service. The Mayor has a political move designed to silence his


critics. And with me, as always, the most


useless political panel in the business, who we're contractually


obliged to insult on a weekly basis. But not today, because they are our


chosen ones. They are the brightest and the best, we've even hired a


plane to prove it: Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt who'll be


tweeting throughout the programme. Right, left and centre of the


Westminster Establishment have been unanimous in saying there would be


no chance of monetary union with the rest of the UK for an independent


Scotland. Then an unnamed minister spoke to our Nick saying that wasn't


necessarily so, and that made the Guardian's front page. The SNP were


delighted and the anti-independence campaign rushed to limit the damage.


The faux pas has come at a time when campaign rushed to limit the damage.


the Better Together side was already beginning to worry that things were


going the Nationalists' way. Let's speak to a leading light in that


campaign, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, who's in


Aberdeen at the Scottish Liberal Democrat spring conference.


Alistair Carmichael, why is there a sense of crisis now engulfing the no


campaign? I think that is something of an overstatement. What you have


got is, I am getting my own voice played back in my ear. What you have


got here is one story from an unnamed source, a minister who we


are told, we do not know for certain, who has speculated on the


possibility of a currency union actually happening. I do not think


that is helpful but it is not any big deal. You have to measure it


against what we have got publicly named on the record. We have got a


detailed intervention of the Governor of the Bank of England


Mark Carney, outlining all the reasons why a currency union would


not be a good idea. And then you have got independent advice from the


permanent Secretary of the Treasury himself saying actually, this is


such a bad idea, that I would never advise a chancellor to go ahead with


it. You set one against the other and you see that pretty much the


force of argument is very much against those of us who want to


remain in the United Kingdom. All the minister was saying is come the


day, if Westminster is negotiating with a new independent Scotland a


deal is to be done, Faslane where the nuclear deterrent is, there is


nowhere else in the nuclear deterrent is, there is


is, certainly not for the next 0 years, a deal would be done, the


nuclear weapons would stay in Faslane and Scotland would get a


monetary union with the rest of the UK. That is perfectly plausible


isn't it? No, I'm sorry, it is simply not plausible. The economy is


more important than anything else. What you have had here is very clear


advice from the treasury officials saying it is not in the economic


best interests of the people of England Wales, Northern Ireland any


more than it is in the interests of people in Scotland. Where do you put


the nukes? The outcome will not change. Where do you put the nukes


I do not believe that will be a I do not believe that will be a


Scotland will vote for independence. But you might be asking the Scottish


Nationalists, who are apparently promoting this, are they then not


sincere when they say they want to remove nuclear weapons from


Scotland? It seems to be a curious mixed message. As you know, I have


not got the Nationalists, I have got you, so let me ask you the


questions. You are widely seen as running a campaign which is too


negative. The Nationalists are narrowing the gap in the poll found


you are squabbling among yourselves. This campaign is going pear shaped,


isn't it? No, let's deal with the polls. All the polls show that the


people of Scotland want to stay as part of the United Kingdom. Yes


there were a couple of polls part of the United Kingdom. Yes


week that said the gap was narrowing a little. The most recent poll of


all, the poll on Wednesday which actually polled people's voting


intentions on the question come September showed that only 28% of


people in Scotland were prepared to say they were voting yes, as opposed


to the 42% who were on our side of the argument saying they wish to


remain part of the UK. That poll said women were skewing towards a


yes vote and it showed that the don't knows were beginning to skew


towards a yes vote. That is why you yourself wrote this morning that if


your campaign does not get its act together, you would be sleepwalking


into a split to quote yourself. No, to quote myself I said it was not


impossible that the Nationalists could win that. That is absolutely


the case. The biggest danger for the United Kingdom camp in this whole


argument is people will look at the polls. They show us with a healthy


lead consistently. As a consequence, they think this will not happen It


can happen. I have got to tell everybody that it could, not least


because the Nationalists have an enormous advantage in terms of the


amount of money they have at their disposal to buy momentum. They will


be advertising in cinemas, in football matches and on social


media. We have got to realise what is coming and as a consequence, we


have got to get our arguments in place and our campaign as sharp as


theirs. Thank you for joining us. Nick, this unnamed minister who gave


you the story, did he or she know what they were doing? I do not think


they were sitting there wanting to blast this out there, because the


agreed government position was there will not be a currency union, if


there is a vote for independence. But what I was managing to get hold


of whether thoughts that are in the deeper recesses of people's minds,


when they are looking at the polls which have been narrowing, or there


was Alistair Carmichael quite rightly says, the pro-UK vote is


still ahead. People are looking down the line, what would happen after


the 18th of September this year not just the next day but the next


year, in those very lengthy negotiations that would take place,


when there would be a lot of moving places on the table. You talked


about Faslane, what would happen then and that is what I managed to


get hold of, that there are thoughts about all those pieces that would be


on the table. It is not surprising that some in Westminster think


that. Let's take the Shadow Chancellor Danny Alexander at his


word, they do not want a monetary union. But if they are faced with


giving the Scots a monetary union in a post-independent Scotland, or


having to remove the nuclear submarines from Faslane, where they


have nowhere else to put them, probably except North America, there


is a deal to be done. I think whatever minister gave Nick his


story is probably onto something. If the Scots vote for independence of


course a deal will be done about the currency because it is not in


London's interests to have a rancorous relationship with


Edinburgh. Even if the deal is not done, how does one country stop


another country using its. That is different. All London can really do


is prevent Scottish intervention on the monetary policy committee. The


interest rate would be set without any regard to the Scottish interest.


Even that is only a fatal problem if the Scottish economy becomes so out


of sync with the UK economy. Except it is a problem for Scotland's


financial system because if you go down that route there is no means of


injecting liquidity into the financial system in the financial


crisis. That is why they would rather have a monetary union. Is it


not remarkable to hear the Secretary of State for Scotland here that the


Nationalists are spending too much money, when he represents a campaign


which brings together all the major parties in the UK and all the


resources of the UK and he is bleating about the Nationalists


having more to spend? I did think that was a funny line and it was in


the Observer. It lays into Alex Salmond's plucky upstart idea that


he's taking on this big establishment. I thought it was a


bizarre open goal, I am losing my football metaphors, forgive me. The


polls are so in favour of a no vote. But the trend has been going


their way. We have six months left which is not enough to close the


gap. They always tell you Alex Salmond is a strong finisher. The


plucky upstarts have this funding from a millionaire. The Better


Together campaign are being incredibly cautious about where they


get their money from. They do not want to go to the City of London


Police say, give us a couple of million.


Being Energy Secretary used to be a bit of a dawdle, especially when


North Sea oil was flowing. Now it's very much a hot potato as Ed Davey


has been finding out the hard way. High household energy bills have


been top of his inbox. The big six energy companies account for 95 of


the market. Off Johnson -- Ofgem said there had been possible tacit


coordination in the timing of price rises and ordered an investigation


by the competition and markets authorities which will look at


whether the big six should be broken up. Where does that leave


investment? The boss of Centrica made the point that you would not


spend money building an extension if you knew in two years time your home


might be bulldozed. The spare margin, that is what is left in the


generating system to cope with a surge in demand on a cold winter's


night, is due to drop to historically low levels in 2016


according to Ofgem. Normally at around 15%, capacity could drop to


2% after the next election and that could lead to a surge in the sale of


candles. Now where is that light switch?


Energy Secretary Ed Davey, joins me now. Oh, we have found the light


switch! The gap between a peak winter demand and generating


capacity could possibly reach 2 next winter or the winter after We


will keep the lights on, that is for clear. When we came to power, energy


investment had been relatively low. The Labour Party had failed to deal


with the energy deficit. From day one we have been pushing up


massively. Investment has been billion a year. Last year was a


record. Spare capacity is now heading to 2%. Why are you allowing


it to get that no? Because we have been increasing investment


massively, last was a record level, we will be able to keep the lights


on. Some of the figures you are showing suggests we are not doing


anything. We have not only done enough in our last three years, we


have put in measures to stimulate huge amounts of extra investment. We


have the healthiest pipeline investment in our history. We will


come onto investment in a minute. None of that change is the fact that


we will be close to 2% next winter or the winter after that. We have


one major power station shut down, or a cold winter away from having


major problems with energy supply. It is still 2%. Let me explain. The


figures assume we are not doing anything but we are doing something.


Look at the National Grid. They are able to bring in energy from


interconnector is because we are connected up to Europe. They are


able to create a reserve so if we get to problems, they will have a


mothballed plant they can bring on. You have not agreed with anybody on


that. The decision was taken last July. But no supplier has agreed to


under mothball its plant. We would not expect them to do that yet. Our


plan is in place. On time, on schedule, as we already thought it


would be. But you have not got a single agreement with a power supply


who has mothballed plant to on the ball it. We did not expect to. Our


plan is in me National Grid will do an election to allow those plants to


come on. There is a huge amount of interest. There are gigawatts of


power that can come in to come on. There is a huge amount of interest.


There are gigawatts of power that can come into that auction and we


are not other measures we can take and that is just in the short term.


We have a plan for the medium-term. We will be running the first auction


for new capacity. The final decision will be taken and we have learned


lessons from what they do in North America and other European countries


so we can stay minute mothballed plants and new plants to be built. I


am absolutely clear there is not a problem. You only build 9000


megawatts of new capacity from 2011-13. You have closed almost


22,000 megawatts. Why would you be so cavalier with a nation's power


supply? The last Government was cavalier because we knew those


figures are happening because we've known for a long time a lot of power


plants were coming to the end of their life, coal power plants,


nuclear power plants, and we had to increase the rate of investment but


we... That shows clearly you are closing twice as much, you have to


date, closed twice as much as you have opened, hence the lack of spare


capacity. We knew a lot of them are coming back for the last Labour


Government knew. We have increased the new so that's increasing


significantly, far faster than under the last Government but also


remember, you were very wrong at the beginning of your clip, margins at


15% are very own usual. They are historically high. The average


margin was 25%. That was wasting a huge amount of money. But since


privatisation, we've had margins between 5% and 10%. Normally, high


margins historically, which is costly. Now we will have


historically low margins. People have to pay for that, so


historically low margins. People sure the lights stay on, we have a


short-term policy I have described to you, and medium-term policy and a


long-term policy. The long-term policy comes huge investment between


nuclear and optional, policy comes huge investment between


on. Ofgem, Independent, says the chance of blackouts by 2016 has


increased fourfold under your watch. What they say, if you read the


report, if we did nothing, they would be problems. But we have been


working with Ofgem. We have been working with National Grid, and we


have agreed that there will be a reserve capacity which can come on


if we get to the peak for the Best not just on the supply side but


demand and into connectors. You talk about industry having to move to


off-peak times. We say, they are prepared to that you paid for it,


and it makes commercial sense for them, it's a sensible thing for the


Wii will pay them to move to off-peak. You have huge diesel parks


for the you talk as if that something new but it's been around


for a long time for the 200 these contracts out there. We want to


expand that. You have hundreds of diesel generators to click into


haven't you? There's a whole range of generators. Diesel generation,


dirty fuel. There's a of mothballed gas which can come. If you look at


the increase of the independent generators, many companies, a range


of power companies who are building a new power station and want to


build new ones. This is a healthy situation. You say you made over 100


billion new investment between now and the end of the decade to restore


capacity and meet renewable targets. Now you have referred the


Big Six to the competition commission, how much of that to


expect to come from them? We will see what the market delivers. We


have always expected independent generators to do a lot more than is


happening in the past. How much from the Big Six? It's not for me to say


it's going to be best from that company. The real interest is we


have huge amounts of companies wanting to invest. If you look at


independent analysis, they say Britain is one of the best places to


invest in energy in the world. We are the worldly do in offshore


wind, one of the best for renewables, one of the only


countries getting nuclear power stations. Rather than the bleaker


picture you're painting, the reverse is the case. We are seeing an


investment renaissance. You say that. Let me give you some facts.


Under this Government, only one gas plant has been under construction,


only one started under your watch for the others were done under


Labour. You have none in the pipeline. The Big Six has pulled


back from further investment including new offshore wind


investment and none of what you re talking about will come before 020


anyway. That's simply not true. The balance reserves I've talked about,


the reserve planned: Making sure the mothballed plant could come on, I


capacity market incentivising new power, will happen way before 2 20,


so that's not true. But doesn't answer the extra capacity. You have


no answer between now and the end of this decade. We have three answers.


Let me repeat them for you. I said permanent, not the short-term ones


you are putting in place to try to do with spare capacity. We have a


short-term plan, of course, that's very sensible. Medium-term plan


auctioning for new power stations. That can lead to both mothballed


plant and when you plant, permanent plant being built, and the long term


plan, to stimulator long-term investment, some of which will be


built and come online way before the end of the decade. I'm afraid, it's


a far rosier picture than your painting. It's also far more


expensive, too. Let's look at how you are replacing relatively cheap


energy with much more expensive sources of energy. Wholesale prices


is ?50 per megawatt. You have done a deal with EDF, nuclear, ?92 50. You


have indexed it for 30 years at 2012 prices.


All of that puts up our bills. First of all, the support of the low


Carbon is just 4% on bills. What has been driving peoples bills over the


last decade has been wholesale gas prices. No one knows what guys


prices are going to be in the future -- gas prices. When you look at the


Ukraine and other market indicators, many people are worried that by the


time nuclear power stations come online for example, the price of gas


could be significantly higher. You have indexed linked that for them by


the time you get any power from this, it'll be up to ?125 per


megawatt hour. The price of gas been going up far higher. Not recently.


Despite Iran, Ukraine, Libya, not recently. The long-term forecast,


Andrew, it's going to go higher but more importantly than that, this is


an area we could disagree on but it's very important that power


plants pay the cost of pollution. In those prizes, all of those prices


except the wholesale out a steep price, you have those power stations


paying the cost of air pollution. If gas and coal where paying the proper


carbon price, you would see nuclear and renewables as competitive. It's


very important that we ensure that power plants pay the cost of the


pollution. When you were last on this programme to talk about this in


May 2012, you said that the price of offshore wind was coming down fast.


You told me it would be down by 30% in the next few years. That figure


is 155, and for the deeper stuff, it's going to be ?165. That's the


first year of a limit control framework which had it coming down.


If you talk to many companies, Siemens had invested with their


partners, ?310 million with two new factories. They are talking about


lower prices because what they are saying to me is that, rather than


the 30% cost reductions I talked about, I was wrong, they are


targeting 40%. You said prices would come down 30% in two years for that


that was 2012 and they have gone higher. I absolutely did not say


that. Your exact quote was 30% in the next few years. Your exact few


years. You said two years, I sell a few years. I haven't changed a


single moment that you said two years, I said a few years. That s


what we are projecting. They will come down. You have to invest in


technology. Let me give you this example. When people invest in


mobile phones to start off with they were expensive, and they were


clunky and the costs were going down for the one final question. You put


the Big Six into investigation because they made a 5% return on


investment and you're done a deal with EDF, nuclear power, which will


guarantee them a return of 10% 15% every year for 30 years. Doesn't


that underline the shambles of your energy policy? You have mixed up two


separate things. The 5% Ofgem are talking about is on the supply


retail side. The percentage you quoted for EDF is in the wholesale


side of two different markets. It's the same return. It's not. You are


comparing apples and pears, dangerous thing to do. You have to


do have a high return but in the retail market, with a 5% stake,


there is less risk, says a low return. Ed Davey, I'm sorry we


haven't got more time. Thank you. Have me back. We will.


haven't got more time. Thank you. happened to the BNP? The far right


party looked as if it was on the verge of a major breakthrough not so


long ago. Now it seems to be going nowhere. In a moment we'll be


speaking to the party's press officer, Simon Derby. But first


here's Giles. His report contains some flash photography. For a moment


in 2009 Nick Griffin and the BNP had a spring in their step, smiling at


their success of winning two seats in the European Parliament. They


already were the second largest party in a London council and had a


London Assembly seat. Despite concerns from mainstream parties


their vote was up. Our vote increased up to 943,000. Savouring


success was brief that morning as anti-far right protestors invaded


and egged the press conference and forced the BNP MEPs into a hasty


retreat. What is more significant is that, in the years since, that


retreat has been matched internally, electorally and in the minds of


those who had given them that vote. For a number of years they were


performing better than the UK Independence Party and other smaller


parties like the Greens and respect. The problem for the BNP if they


didn't make any inroads into other groups, they didn't go into the


middle class, the young, they didn't go into women and ethnic minorities


for obvious reasons. So the party was quickly handicapped from the


outset. Not that you would have known that at the outset. In 20 6 in


Barking and Dagenham, the party won 12 council seats against a back drop


of discontent with the ruling Labour council and Government and picking


up on immigration and housing concerns in the borough. It's


because of all the different nationality people moving in the


area, they are taking over everything. My Nan and grandad lived


there all their lives. I thought I would vote for BNP. Hopefully, yeah,


they will get elected over here When I came to Barking, Dagenham and


Redbridge in 2006, the BNP with a second largest party in one of the


local councils. You can even find non-white people who voted BNP. Now


they have no counsellors, and even though can when you talk to people,


you will find among the older white working-class population concerned


that the BNP claim to represent everyone says they are nowhere. So


what happened to that about? On behalf of all the people in Britain,


we in Barking have not just beaten, that we have smashed the attempt of


extremist outsiders. The local Labour MP was as clear in 2010 as


she is now. I always knew if we could manage to ensure that wasn't a


single BNP councillor left on the council and I won my seat, it would


stop the process of disintegration. But what beat the BNP here in 2 10


was a mobilisation of the Labour vote. And today it is not hard to


find the same discontent over the same issues. It's just finding a new


political home. A couple of years ago, I used to vote Labour.


Obviously, they haven't done nothing around here as much now, with jobs


and unemployment, and housing and stuff like that about, basically,


BNP ain't around here no more. Now it's more about UKIP and I believe


that these UKIP are saying are true. If I thought BNP would make the


difference, I would vote but is not in the people behind them. They all


get bandaged with the same brush. I'm going to vote UKIP because BNP


didn't get anywhere. What they say in UKIP, with a bit of luck, they


will get somewhere. It's not racist but it's just that our kids haven't


got jobs. Nick Griffin's dislike of UKIP is mutual but his once fellow


MEP Andrew Brons who's now left the party issued a statement to this


programme saying BNP failure is closer to home post 2010. It was


after that election discontent arose amongst sections of the membership.


Those members who left or were thrown out by Nick Griffin had


already felt let down by his appearance on Question Time.


already felt let down by his a national platform for the BNP


something they felt they had the right to through electoral success.


This was no big breakthrough moment for Griffin, unlike it was for John


Marina pen when he appeared on national television in France. He


went on to mobilise a national force. Despite there being some


voters tuned to their message, for the BNP, becoming such a force here


has never looked quite so difficult. And Simon Derby from the BNP joins


me now. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. It was not long ago you


had 55 councillors up and down the land, you now have two. You are on


the brink of extinction. That is not true. I have watched the film. It is


very negative as I would expect The party has faced a few problems. The


main thing to bear in mind is that the issues, the problems the country


faces have gone away. We won nearly a million votes in the European


elections. We brought that mandate to the establishment and we were


denied. Let's face it, we would -- were denied any opportunity to take


place in the political apparatus. You have been destroyed by a pincer


movement. UKIP has taken away or more respectable voters and the EDL


is better at anti-Muslim protests and street thuggery. The EDL is not


a political party. I take your point about UKIP. The power structure took


a look at us and so we were a threat to power. We were not making this


stuff up, we meant it and they have co-opted our message. This shameless


promotion of UKIP, you have evenly had him presenting the weather on


this programme. That is unbelievable. That was a joke.


Across Europe, in France, your sister party the National front will


probably do very well. You can see the rise of the far right across


Western Europe so why are you in decline? We are not far right, I


reject that label. How would you describe yourselves nationalists and


Patriots. Why are you in decline and other similar parties to yours are


on the rise? You mentioned Barking and it is very interesting because I


was involved in that campaign. What Margaret Hodge and her Labour Party


did, they replaced the white indigenous population in Barking and


Dagenham with Africans, that is how they won that election. For that was


true, you would be doing well elsewhere. You have now got a leader


who is declared bankrupt and your party is heading for bankruptcy


No, it is not. It is over. You would like that. What I would like is


irrelevant. Your membership is in deep decline. All parties have highs


and lows. In 2009 they said it is no way you will win any seats in the


European election. We did. And then you lost them. Parties win and lose


seats. The Lib Dems will be annihilated. You deny you are far


right. People used to say the BNP were neo-Nazis. Then Nick Griffin


appeared with Golden Dawn. They are not neo-Nazis, they are Nazis. It is


part and parcel of being in politics. You have to appear with


them? Of course we do, we have to speak to ordinary people. I am


perfectly happy speaking to you at the BBC, the BBC have a terrible


reputation but I am happy to be here. Mr Griffin has asked me, when


will the BBC apologised for trying to put him in prison twice, merely


for exposing a Muslim scandal. Why can't Nick Griffin appear on TV and


self? He would not appear. He was in Syria. He literally flew out to


Damascus and prevented a war. We decided we would not interfere in


Syria. The BBC never covered that. Please do not make out we are just


an ordinary political party you cover like everybody else. It is


completely different. All the signs are, membership, performance at the


polls, performance at elections the problem with your leadership is you


are now going the way of the National front, heading for


oblivion. As I said to you before, that may be the case, if all the


problems we had not highlighted and how we got a huge vote so many years


ago, six years ago now, five years ago, in 2009, if they were not


around. These things are only going to get worse. We are looking at a


prototype Islamic republic that is going to be set up in this country.


That will lead to huge problems Only the British National Party are


prepared to say that and deal with it. Word leaked out that I was doing


this interview with you before the weekend. Isn't it a sign of how


irrelevant you now are that not a single person has turned up at New


Broadcasting House this morning to protest? Used to be hundreds would


turn up when we said the BNP were on. That is the left for you, they


put the clocks forward and they could not be bothered to get out of


bed. I think they are still in bed. Thank you.


You're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in


Scotland who leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here


Hello and welcome to the programme for us in the East. Coming tp,


school dinners. The Lib Dems may want free school meals for xoung


children, but what will it lakes to make it happen. Jesus fed the 5 00,


I don't we will be doing it. And how fair is held funding?


Part of this region have more elderly people than anywherd else in


the country, but it is clailed they are missing out. The formalhn


continues to disseminate ag`inst elderly and discriminates against


people rural areas. `` people in rural areas.


First let's meet our guests ` Peter Bone, the Conservative MP for


Wellingborough and Gavin Shtker Labour's MP for Luton South. And I'd


like to start with this week's teachers' strike. 540 schools in the


region were hit by strike action. Teachers walked out, protesting over


pay, pensions and working conditions.


There are three key aspects of the campaign. Initially it was `


penchant issue but we also worried about workload and excessivd


bureaucracy and the destruction of the pay bargaining system.


Gavin Shuker, performance rdlated pay will change teachers bloop


salaries, but why should thd bad be paid as much of the good? If you


look at the evidence around the quality of teachers, we are working


with teachers to improve thdir assessments in classroom. Mhchael


Gove is approaching this because he wants to have a fight with the


trades unions and individual teachers. It is usually distressing


for people at school, but there is a line in the sand. The NUT s`ys that


nobody wants to speak to thdm, that Michael Gove will not come to the


table? This is going back through 70s, because the teachers jtst want


to go on strike. It is a ridiculous thing to do. Most people recognise


that Michael Gove's reforms are working. Do you think they come to


the decision like that lightly? Yes, I think it is a throwback to union


power. In a lot of teachers carried on anyway and a lot of schools were


very unhappy about the strike. But individual pay bargaining whll


reward success, it will incdntivise people. If you believe the dducation


is a market, it will drive down .. Do you think the reforms help


education? No, I think they take people who we asked to servd as our


communities, and that is wrong. It may be a key Liberal Democrat


policy that in six months' time all 4`, 5` and 6`year`olds will be


entitled to free hot dinners at school, but can it be delivdred It


seems not, unless substanti`l amounts of money are spent to


upgrade our school kitchens. The problem is particularly acute in


Essex, where the council is asking schools to come up with ?700,00 to


fund improvements. Here's Tom Barton.


It's lunchtime at Montgomerx Infant School in Colchester. About 70


pupils here have a hot lunch every day. But from September all of these


four`, five` and six`year`olds will be entitled to a free hot mdal. I


have school dinners on Mond`ys, Wednesdays and Fridays. Got some


burgers, chips and beans. Is it nice? It is very nice. It is all


warmer and the packed lunchds, they are cold and you don't like to eat


cold dinners. The number of hot dinners eaten by pupils herd is


likely to more than triple from September. The school is gohng to


build a new serving area to help it cope. But the head still dodsn't


know quite where all of the children will sit. Because the dining room


just isn't big enough. Do you sing the government spent enough time


thinking about the difficulties that schools will face in implemdnting


this? No, I don't think thex understood it at all. They needed to


get out into schools and talk to headteachers about the impact it


would have. It has not been thought out. The main cooking suite will be


along beside. At the Wickford Infant School, a brand`new kitchen is being


built. With support from thd County Council, which is helping hdads


prepare for the changes. Thdy have got concerns with regard to


timelines and achieving it. But because they are educators, they


have not got the expertise themselves to understand wh`t is


involved. We working with e`ch school individually and sayhng by


the date, we will need to h`ve done this task and this task, so that we


are on track to achieve what we need to achieve. The government has given


Essex County Council ?3.1m to pay for upgrades to school kitchens But


the work is going to cost ?3.8m The County Council is asking schools to


make up the difference. In lost cases they will be paying 24% of the


cost. The initiative is good but from our point of view as the local


authority, there is always ` difficulty in making the cache fits


the requirement. It would h`ve been nice to have some more monex but we


are doing the best that we can with what we have got. Most schools in


Essex, like this one, already provide hot dinners for somd of


their pupils. They have a hdad start when it comes to getting re`dy for


September. But there are a few schools which do not providd any


sort of hot meal and for thdm, this is a much bigger job. At St Peter's


Catholic Primary in Billericay, all of the children bring packed


lunches. The kitchen here w`s closed down several years ago. And the head


says replacing it would simply be too expensive. This is the only area


that we can viably build a kitchen. It would cost us in the reghon of


?500,000, which we have not got Even with a grant from the council,


the school would be faced whth a bill of tens of thousands of pounds.


So you are in this situation, where central government say you lust


provide hot dinners to all of your infants but you don't have `


kitchen? Yes. How do you resolve that conundrum? I don't know that we


can. The only way that I can see, if we have to provide the meals, would


be to build a kitchen, a separate kitchen. On this site, in otr


circumstances, without afflhcting `` affecting detrimentally the


curriculum, we would have to build a kitchen. And the funding is not


there. From where you are now, there is no conceivable way that xou will


be delivering hot dinners to your infant pupils in September, is


there? Jesus fed the 5000, H don't think we would do that. We would


need him to come and give us a hand. Earlier I spoke to the Liberal


Democrats' Education Spokepdrson and Norwich MP, Simon Wright, and I


asked him if his party knew how expensive this policy would be


before Nick Clegg announced it. Well, this policy has been very


clearly costed based on the experience that has come from the


pilot schemes. This is not ` new initiative out of nowhere. There


have been pilots running from 2 09 which has given the Departmdnt for


Education a very clear understanding of what the needs for this policy.


Is dashes will mean for pardnts that they will know that each chhld is


eligible. But what about thd schools who say they do not have thd


resources to build the kitchens Much of the independent evidence


provided to the departments have not identified lack of funding `s being


a significant issue. But thd basis of the pilot scheme has meant that


the government has put up ?050 million for improvements for


schools. Essex is getting ?3 million of that, one of the biggest


recipients of funding. That is as maybe, but we heard schools they're


saying that there would havd to put up 25% of the total cost and they


have better things to their money on? Different schools and


headteachers will come to dhfferent conclusions having disgusted with


their local council. The government has put together an advice `nd


support package for those schools was facing particular probldms. That


has been funded to the tune ?10 million. So schools in Essex which


feel they have a particular problem can go there for advice and on the


basis of evidence collected from the Phailin schemes, perhaps agree a


solution for their circumst`nces. Shouldn't you as a party made a


better job `` have made a bdtter job of checking the circumstancds


beforehand? The pilot startdd in 2009, so it has been tested on the


ground. Liberal Democrats are happy that we are able to deliver those in


government five years later. But how able are you to deliver it when they


schools says they do not know how they will deliver it? The policy


will be delivered because most headteachers are very posithve about


the announcement, as our local councils. Essex County Council


issued a press release in rdsponse to this policy, and said help


welcome the ?3 million was because it would enable schools to deliver.


I think it is important that families will see the benefhts of


savings in their pockets, and children will be able to eat


healthily and improve their attainment. Pilots have shown that


children who are well fed in school do better in school. Will you not


have to backpedal and go back to schools and say that they whll have


to give children a sandwich instead of a meal? There is no question of


backpedalling on this policx. It will start in September and we have


written it into legislation so there is a clear expectation now for


schools. This is a long`terl policy that they have confidence in


investing in and supporting on the ground. I think it is welcole that


heads will be able to work with local councils and the Department


for Education to make sure that children benefit. This has `lready


been labelled as some commentators as a problem policy. This could be


the next tuition fees issue? I don't agree with that. One dashes some


people have come out very critically, but they were already


critics. Ministers set policy and they said their policy on the basis


of the evidence. The pilot schemes that took place in 2009 provided


ministers with the evidence they needed to give this policy the


go`ahead. Thank you for joining us. Gavin Shuker, let's talk about the


principle of this. A free hot meal, a good idea? Yes, it was a good


idea. We put up a pilot when we were in power to see what the issues


would be. One of the issues was if you don't have a kitchen, you can't


deliver it. It is unworkabld? It sounds like in Nick Clegg cock up.


But this is a coalition govdrnment problem, because you traded it off


against marriage tax? We tr`ded it off because they wanted somdthing


and we finish up with something that is a not thought out policy. What


will happen now, will there be backpedalling? Well, it looks


like... How can a school produce hot meals without a kitchen? Nick Clegg


has got form on this. He has announced things which have no


chance... David Cameron announces things that cannot be taken through.


The pasty tax, selling the forest? Those policies could have h`ppened.


You cannot deliver from a khtchen that does not exist. Simon Wright


said that this is another coalition car crash. Michael Gove found out


before it was announced that it was going to be announced. Nick Clegg


did not calculated. He did not factor in building more provision.


So if you were in power, yot would not go through with it? You said


that the pilots happened in 200 . It is in legislation now, so if we are


in government, sometime next year... You don't need to worry


about that! Oh, thank you vdry much. What will you do `` what will


they do? I think they will get a limited roll`out and there were


presented as a triumph. But many kids will miss out. If it is a good


idea, it will be rolled out. But clearly, there have to be


exceptions. Is it good enough to give children a freak cold leal if


they hot milk cannot be provided? The reality is that that is what


will be divided. They cannot knock up a kitchen in seven months. Where


my son goes to school, they have hot milk. Sometimes `` they havd hot


meals. Sometimes he takes a sandwich because he does not like thd meal.


Burgers and chips are not necessarily the most healthx food.


And Apple might be better. We would ask what you have for breakfast


Now, it may seem pretty obvhous that elderly people will need more health


care, so you might expect that funding would be higher in places


with more pensioners. But you'd be wrong. Suffolk MP Therese Coffey has


criticised the funding formtla used to calculate the amount of loney


given to GPs for patient care. She's claims that elderly people hn her


constituency are missing out. When I think NHS England turned its back on


the needs of elderly patients, when its targets head in the sand on the


dawning impact of an ageing population, and when it crulbles to


political pressure from the Labour Party, he was able `` an opportunity


for the board of NHS England to put right the funding formula so that it


will provide equally for people in terms of need and access to


services, and frankly, I thhnk they bottled it. New line And it's not


just in Suffolk ` this affects many parts of the region. Accordhng to


NHS England, Norfolk has ond of the highest proportions of older people.


27% of people in North Norfolk are over 65, yet the allocation per head


is only ?1,260 a year. Whild in Knowsley, in Merseyside, whdre only


15% of the population is elderly. They get ?1,539 per head, almost


?300 more. Historically, rural counties were deemed to be healthier


places. Therefore they were given less money. That has now


fundamentally changed because in urban areas, you have as a rule a


population profile that is xounger than Enron areas. That is why the


funding formula has not caught up. At the end of that debate, there was


no promise that the funding for Miller would change, do you think it


should? I think to Reza is right to bring that up. In my county, we have


had the most badly funded PCT in the country. The Formula one is changed


to help things but because of a report, we never got what wd wanted.


We have a series of local hdalth services funded at different rates,


which is fundamentally wrong. We lose out in Northamptonshird. It is


no good having another formtla if you don't change that for Mhller.


You would have to take it away from areas that have got it. The


allegation is that it was the Labour Party who would deprivation in urban


areas ahead of the needs of elderly people in rural areas. Broadly


correct. It is around the f`ct that health inequality blights lhves In


my constituency today, you `re less likely to live in a `` to a ripe old


age than in your constituency. 1035 of funding per elderly person where


11.3% of the population are elderly. Is that enough? I will fight for as


much as I can get for my constituency as Peter would do for


his and as to raise coffee hs doing for hers. But you have to m`ke a


judgement. There are more elderly people in the areas but thex are


more healthy than people living in my constituency. They are stffering


with long`term conditions lhke diabetes. Do we need a


recalculation? We need a fahrer formula and a government with the


courage to implement it. Thd problem is not that before Miller is wrong,


it is that you don't get pahd what before Miller says. Other areas get


over funded. We are committdd to spending more money on the house


service but there is no point in doing that if it is not spent in the


right area. I do agree with that. Bedfordshire Police have suffered


because we were expecting to get more money because we are a growing


county. But because other areas are getting smaller, they are gdtting


more money. Should this isste rise above party policy? Absolutdly. We


need to have a proper debatd as to where we should best and best you'll


cash for the health service. It was reviewed back in December or


November last year and that was what Dr Coffey was complaining about


Don't look at before Miller, look at what they are being paid. `` don't


look at the formula. Now it's time for the round`up of


our political week with Deborah McGurran, all in 60 seconds.


Monitor is to send a team into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's


Lynn ` which is millions of pounds in debt and and has met onlx one


target in a 32`point action plan. And a huge blow for Corby this week


as Solway Foods announced that the 400 jobs it had hoped to kedp will


have to go after all, bringhng the total to 900 job losses when the the


factory closes down this sulmer This is really disappointing but it


is particularly bad news for the families which will be directly


affected. The rail campaign for faster trains


between Norwich and London held a summit in Essex. We want better


quality of service, faster journey times in particular.


And welcome news for the Wellingborough MP Peter Bond and his


wife Jenny. They won't face benefit fraud charges after a dispute with


Northamptonshire County Council over residential care for Mrs Bone's


mother. The people will not believe the Chancellor when he says...


While a slip of the tongue by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer lightdned the


mood on the Tory benches during the welfare cap debate. That is as close


as he will get! Peter Byrne, that must have been a


huge relief. Relief is not the right word. There are certainly no


elation. The problem that wd came across that we had 14 months left in


limbo. The problem `` interdsting thing about those months is we found


out about how many other people were left in limbo. So many of mx


constituents were eventuallx told they had done nothing wrong. What


about a possible civil action? I have never had a contractual


relationship with the Countx Council. There was a nation`l


newspaper article and what they said was wrong. Gavin Shuker, yot voted


for the welfare cat, do you support it? Well, there was a polithcal bear


trap set by the Chancellor `nd I have no intention wandering straight


into it. We are talking abott capping the total sum, but not


changing the total welfare. Jules Osborne would have had to come back


to the `` George Osborne wotld have had to come back to the house to ask


to extend it. Do you not fedl that as a Labour MP, you wore dilutive


the brand? It is not what L`bour stand for? Well, what does Labour


stand for? Nobody knows! Labour stands for being credible on the


economy. For getting people back into work. We will have to leave it


there. Thank you both very luch That's it. Keep in touch vi` our


website where you will also find links to Deborah McGurran's blog


with political updates. boundaries. Sorry, run out of time.


Thanks very much indeed. Andrew back to you.


Now let's get more from our political panel. If the BNP


finished? They were never spectacularly successful to begin


with but one of my childhood memories was a huge fuss in London


about the fact that they won a few council seat on the Isle of dogs


about the fact that they won a few back in 1993. That was enough to


cause a panic. As if they are falling from a great tit and I think


the big difference with the National front in France is that they are


building on decades of successful that they finished second in the


presence of elections in 2002, I think. And, even in the 60s, they


were versions of their politics So they are building on a lot whereas


the BNP are working with incredibly few raw materials in this country.


It is interesting that the BNP does seem to be in decline in terms of


its membership and financially, but in France, the far right party, not


as far right as the BNP, but pretty far right, will probably do well in


the second round of the French local elections. You could say the same


about Golden Dawn in Greece. Parties prosper when the picture is


pre-rolled for them. If mainstream parties talk endlessly about


immigration, saying you cannot get a council house because it has gone to


an immigrant instead of saying it is because there are not enough council


houses, that creates the conditions in which the far right can thrive.


We are lucky that all the members of the BNP fell out with each other. As


extreme members of the far right and left do. You can see that with the


comedian in France, he has got a lot of support from people on the left


as well. I asked Simon Derby was here victim of a pincer movement


that UKIP were taken away voters and EDL has captured the Street protest.


Yes, and Giles still not mention that the Labour Party has got its


act together. They got the act together in Dagenham. Margaret Hodge


and Jon Cruddas did a very good job. I think UKIP would say, not a racist


party but they are picking up votes from people who would once have


voted BNP. But it is interesting the difference between Britain and


France. Why is it that the Front Nationale came second in 2002 when


they are not far right? I think they were on a five-year cycle because


the next election was 2007. 200 they came second when Jean-Marie Le


Pen came second. They are not as far right as the BNP. Marine has put


them -- cleaned them up a bit. Diplomatically there is a much


harder vote which spreads further across the electorate in France than


there is in this country. This is a much more tolerant country. If


Marine Le Pen does well today, she will not win that many because the


centre-right and centre-left will always gang up against terror in the


second round, but it sets the tone for the European elections. It does


and for the next French presidential election as well. I think what she's


doing masterfully is election as well. I think what she's


right politics with what you might call a far left economic politics.


She's not just picking up votes from xenophobes, she is picking up votes


from who feel victimised from globalisation. They are people who


would be voting for socialists but are put off by the current


president. That is what I do not think the British far right parties


have been able to do. You sort Simon Derby try to tell you that the BNP


are not far right party. I think he was going to say if you look at


issues of protectionism, standing up against globalisation, they are


quite statist. That is where the phrase National Socialist comes


from. That is why a little bit of electoral success is often a killer


for far right parties. They get a few council seats and then they are


rubbish. They are not getting people's bins collected so they


become part of the system that people were voting against in the


first place. Lets go on to the Labour Party. If you are a Labour


Party supporter and you want to be cheered up, you pick up the Sunday


Times where you see a poll where the leader is up to seven points. If you


are Tory Lib Dem and you want to be cheered up, you pick up the


Observer, the left-wing paper, where the Labour leader is still 1%. I


have read in the paper that there is quite a lot of of the record


briefings going on at the top of the Labour Party. Give us a sense of the


mood. Clearly, they are unsettled. One pol looks OK but there has been


a run of polls where there is a lead over the Tories which is closing.


There are worrying number of people who are what are called the 35s and


they are people who thought all the Labour Party needs to do is sit


still because there are a number of Liberal Democrat voters who hate the


coalition. Because the Conservatives did not get through the boundary


changes they needed to win, we can sit tight and it will all be fine.


What a few wise old heads are concerned about is they feel this


has a feel of 1987 about it when the Labour Party was united. They had a


very good leader. The leader was impressive, the party was united and


then what happened? They met the British people and an election. The


British people said, terribly sorry, you are not occupying the party


political territory where we will vote for you. There are some people


from the Blair era who say it feels a bit complacent and there may be a


bit of a shock when they meet the voters. We talk about people being


unsettled but Ed Miliband is not unsettled. His defining


characteristic is you might call it steadiness or you might call it a


lack of agility. He could not respond to the pension stuff in the


budget which was thrown at him. But he's very good at separating the


signal from the noise. They may think this will all change in me.


The Tories may be on the back foot after the European elections. He has


the ability to set the political weather. He did it with the price


freeze. There is no doubt that Mr Davey would not be referring these


energy companies to the competition authorities if it had not been for


that speech by the Labour leader. And we read today he has come up


with another policy which will be attention grabbing to cut student


tuition fees. It is easy to forget that before he announced the price


freeze he was in as much vertical trouble as he is now. I think the


Labour poll lead will expand up to five or 6% by the summer, assuming


the Tories do badly. The question is, is five or 6% enough? Nick


through the analogy with 1987. This reminds me of the Conservatives in


2009/10. You have a steadily sinking poll lead, differences in what


campaign they should be running and personal animosity behind the


scenes. It led to them throwing away an election which seemed to be


winnable. There is an important difference with the 1980s which was


because you did not know when the election would be. Will it be in 87


or 88? They do not need to make up their mind until next year. What


they are telling the pollsters now, we do not like this government


because of course, you do not like the government. But next January or


February they will be making up their minds. Is there a lot of


animosity among the leading Labour figures behind-the-scenes? It must


be personal or tactical because there are not big ideological


differences between them, is there? Yes and no. What is striking is how


little support Miliband gets from the shadow cabinet. He does not have


outriders. That has been a continuous theme. Said he feels he


is on his own? That they feel they do not get support from him. There


was a column by Jenni Russell saying he is distant and detached. And


Andrew Walmsley touched on this in the Observer. One of the divisions


is Ed versus Ed. There is a terrible structural problem between those


two. It is a real problem. Ed Miliband believes Ed Balls has not


done enough to get economic red ability. Ed Balls believes Ed


Miliband is making airy fairy speeches and it will not cut with


the electorate. Neither Mr Cameron nor Mr Miller band took part in the


debate which happened earlier this week between the Lib Dems and UKIP.


We have got another one coming up on the BBC on Wednesday night. Let s


remind ourselves of what happened in last week's debate.


I will ask Nick to open the batting. We are better off in Europe...


Frankly not working any more. A referendum on Europe. I agree with


you. I agree with you. If you can read the small print. Pull up the


drawbridge, pool drawbridge up. . We have 485 million people... It is


simply not true! Not true. Not true. Not true. Identical with Nick. I


don't agree with Nick. Based on facts, facts, the facts, facts, the


facts... Thank God we did not listen to you. The food is getting better


here. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. You have never had a proper job. Great


not little England. Good night. I think it is seven o'clock BBC Two.


Helen, what was the outcome of that and how do we mark our card for this


week? It was not a great time for pundits. Everybody called the debate


for Nick and then they said actually, we think it has gone the


other way. Consensus emerged later on that Nick Clegg made a difficult


argument. I think the most important thing Nigel Farage said was he


distinguished out the immigration policy by saying we're not just


closing day over, we want people to come, we just do not want mass EU


immigration. That is an important thing for him to say to get away


from the echoes of the far right. I suspect Nick Clegg will not ask us


to read the small print. That was 11 turn he took. It compounded his


reputation for being sneaky. I slightly disagree about the pundits.


I say this as someone who thought far it would win. -- Nigel Farage


would win. The fact that the public disagree with you and the public


favoured Nigel Farage does not mean the public were wrong. The question


is, who is going to tune in for the second one? What is the answer to


that? Phil Collins argument is a man who is on 8% is fantastic. It is a


binary choice in this debate. Clearly they need to brush up on


opposite areas. Nigel Farage needs to brush up on facts and Nick Clegg


needs to brush up on the motions because he did not connect very


well. Where Nick Clegg may go after Nigel Farage is when the -- when he


said the EU has blood on its hands with Ukraine. He then came back to


talk about the vanity of EU foreign policy and said European Union had


made what was going on in Syria worse. It is one thing to say I do


not think the UK should be part of the joint European foreign policy,


it is part of another thing to say that Europe which will act with or


without the UK is responsible for blood on the streets of Kiev and


also responsible for exacerbating the Civil War in Syria. Maybe an


hour is too long for Nigel Farage's shtick? That may be the case but


Nick Clegg has precedence. He does that show and he has had to deal


with the worst thing with dealing with what is thrown at him so he has


honed his view consistently. We will see what happens in part two.


That's all for this week. The Daily Politics is on BBC Two at lunchtime


every day this week. I'll be here next week at the usual time of 1


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


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