04/05/2014 Sunday Politics East


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Walls are being


re-painted in Belfast as Gerry Adams begins his fourth day in police


custody in connection with one of the most brutal and shocking murders


of the Troubles. That's our top story.


He may have got egg on his face this week but Nigel Farage is a serious


electoral threat in this month's elections. I'll ask the Conservative


Party Chairman Grant Shapps how worried he is.


And we're on the trail of Nick Clegg. You were voted the best


Here in the East: how many young likely to be a good


Here in the East: how many young people will be bothered to vote in


the local and European elections? And the minor parties make their


pitch for our support. and independence. We have a table


full of Euro candidates here to debate what it means for London.


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


business - Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh. They'll be


throwing metaphorical rotten eggs into the twittersphere.


First this morning - Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, has spent a


fourth night in police custody after he was arrested in connection with


the killing of Jean McConville more than 40 years ago. Sinn Fein has


claimed that the arrest is politically motivated coming, as it


does, during local and European election campaigns. Northern


Ireland's deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, has indicated he


might review the party's support for policing in the province if Gerry


Adams is charged. The Jean McConville murder was one of the


most notorious cases of the Troubles.


The widowed mother of ten was kidnapped from her home in December


1972, never to be seen alive again. The IRA denied involvement but in


1999 admitted it had murdered her and several others, known as the


Disappeared. Before his death, the former IRA commander Brendan Hughes


pointed the finger at Gerry Adams, claiming:


In April this year, either Bell was charged with aiding and abetting the


murder. -- Ivor Bell. Gerry Adams has always insisted he is innocent


of any part in the abduction and killing all burial of Mrs


McConville. We were hoping to speak to the


Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, but having agreed to do an


interview with us this morning, she pulled out. But we are joined from


Belfast by Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. And


the police just doing their job by questioning Gerry Adams? Gerry Adams


said publicly some time ago that he was available to speak to the


police, but that is not what this is about at the moment, because what we


have here is clearly evidence in our mind of political interference in


what should be due process. Gerry Adams made it clear some time ago he


wanted to speak to the police, it was available at any time, and yet


that request was not taken up until three weeks into an election and we


believe that was deliberately orchestrated by a small number of


people. What evidence can you present this morning that proves


that claim? The direct circumstances Gerry Adams finds himself in at the


moment, take that in stark contrast when they have dealt with members of


the British Army for instance... That is just circumstantial. The


PSNI know that the soldiers involved in that and a number of other


high-profile killings of citizens here, and not one of those people


has been arrested. In fact any of the people who were interviewed were


interviewed by request. There was a stark contrast, in terms of how they


have dealt with the British military involving state killings. We haven't


got too much time. Sinn Fein said it would review its support for the


PSNI if Gerry Adams is charged. That sounds like political interference


in the police process. It's not because we have a clear mandate from


the people who elect us. Policing has been an important part of the


peace process here for many years, Sinn Fein plays an important role in


local policing partnerships. We negotiate to make sure we have


powers transferred here to elected representatives in the north. It is


a long way to go before we have policing highly accountable, and


making sure they deliver a very impartial service. How will he react


if Gerry Adams is charged? I am still trying to get a clear answer.


If Gerry Adams is charged, will you withdraw support for the Northern


Ireland police service? We view this as a serious situation and a serious


ongoing situation and we will monitor how this pans out. We have a


very important role to play to support the police service here. We


have done consistently, worked with them on a daily basis, but we will


not accept political interference by a small number of people in the


police who are undermining the police. We will not accept political


policing. If there was evidence, and I emphasise the word if, because we


have seen none, but if there were evidence to justify Gerry Adams


being charged, why should he not be charged? It is my understanding from


the family of Gerry Adams that there has not been a single shred of


evidence put forward. I understand that, but if there was evidence, why


should he not be charged? You put that caveat yourself and then you


expect me to speculate, there is no way I will do that. The fact of the


matter is there hasn't been one single shred of evidence put to


Gerry Adams in the last few days, in fact what has been put to him is a


range of issues of newspaper cuttings, books, statements made


from people, including from people who didn't want their statements


released until they have died. who didn't want their statements


was charged, again I emphasise the word if, does the police process


fall apart? The police process is a fragile entity, it requires work and


we have been saying this publicly and privately with the Irish and


British and privately with the Irish and


process has to be nurtured and developed. We are not out of the


woods yet. From a Republican point of view we have been working flat


out. I just wanted a quick answer to my question, is a yes or no? What


question I asking me? Is the peace process in jeopardy? It is fragile


and I am not going to have words put into my mouth but I don't want to


use. It has to be worked out and nurtured. Thank you for joining us.


Nick Watt, you were a Northern Ireland correspondent like myself in


days gone by. Where is this going to go? It shows how challenging the


peace process is because on the one hand you have the unspeakable pain


of the McConville family, but you also have the danger of not having


mechanisms to deal with the past. South Africa is a good example, you


have to have some mechanism to deal with the past because if you don't,


you are going to have, as Sinn Fein have now, someone in a police cell


but you don't have the arrests of the Bloody Sunday soldiers.


Paramilitary prisoners were released after two years... We have seen no


action against somebody accused of the Hyde Park bombings, it is not a


one-way street. We have the decommissioning of IRA weapons by


the IRA, therefore destroying crucial evidence. You have these


inconsistencies because you don't have an mechanism for dealing with


the past, but doing that is really difficult because of the pain of


real people. Don't you get a feeling that here in London they are hoping


he will not be charged? Definitely because it would be nice if


everything went away, but the civil case of the family is taken out of


the hands of the police. You can see here a real failure in Westminster


to see this as anything other than settled. David Cameron we know sees


himself as a chairman. I was speaking to a friend in Northern


Ireland who said he has never met Gerry Adams and I think this is very


revealing. They consider this as a settled issue that will not trouble


Westminster again. It would be, but the relatives of the disappeared


don't want it to be settled. This points to the reality that the


Belfast agreement probably had to be done, but the moral price at which


it was purchased was far greater than we were willing to admit during


the euphoria. For a country that prides itself by the rule of law to


tolerate the early release of prisoners and former pal and


military -- paramilitaries, I think was a very serious matter. As for


the PSNI, it only exists because its predecessor failed to command the


confidence of the nationalist community. It is a very big deal if


even the PSNI ends up falling into the same trap. We have to is leave


it there I'm afraid. It was the Conservative's local election


campaign launch on Friday, and what did David Cameron focus on? Burning


local issues like the state of our roads, rubbish collection or care of


the elderly? No. It was Europe. The Prime Minister re-iterated again his


promise of an in-out referendum on our membership of the EU in 2017.


And it's being reported this morning that he will share a platform with


Nigel Farage in a pre-general election debate. Here's what the


UKIP leader had to say about the issue when he was on the Marr Show


this morning with Ed Miliband. David Cameron very often makes these vague


promises, then doesn't deliver afterwards. I don't think he has any


intention of allowing me into any of these debates. Perhaps Ed Miliband


wants to debate? We have got to have the TV debates as we did join the


last general election. I think David Cameron is doing everything he can


to wriggle out of them. It is up to the broadcasters but whether they


invite Nigel. My main desire is that the debates go ahead. We are joined


now by Grant Shapps. Will he be included? The debates were not


without problems, they took place during the campaign period and


disrupted the flow of the campaign, taking it out of the regions, people


getting to speak to the leaders so a longer period for that would be


helpful. I think they are good idea and they should go ahead, but all of


the negotiation about who is involved is yet to happen. So it is


not a done deal that Nigel Farage will be included? That needs to be


negotiated with the TV companies. The Conservatives believe we should


have debates, but exactly the format and the timing, all of the -- that


will be debated in the autumn, but first we have European elections,


the Queen 's speech and a Scottish referendum. The local election


campaign was launched on Friday. Why did you talk more about Europe than


local councils? Both are important. The local elections are critically


important for people, their local services. It is easy to forget, for


example, that the council tax has been largely frozen since this


Government came to power, a big contrast to Dublin under the


previous Labour government. So why did you go on and on about Europe?


Let me show you the poster used to launch your local election campaign.


There it is, and in-out referendum on Europe, the day of the local


elections, where is the word local? Is it in small print? I hear what


you're saying, I am happy to be here to talk about the local elections.


But you are right, they are on the same day, and not many people know


that only by voting conservative can you get an in-out referendum. --


Conservative. UKIP cannot deliver, we can, it is the same date, so


people... This was the launch of the local election campaign. Why does


the Prime Minister have to keep on promising something he has already


promised? The actual referendum would be in 2017. He promised it


before, he keeps repeating it because he knows people don't really


trust him. I think it is a question of the fact that, actually, unless


you remind people that the pledges there, that the only way to get an


in-out referendum is to vote for it, this is a critical moment at


which we need people to vote for that referendum if they want it. It


is not the case, as I saw this morning, being said by Nigel Farage,


that a referendum was promised before and not delivered. There was


no referendum in the last manifesto. There will be in the next one. There


was a cast-iron guarantee, in the Sun in 2006. Let's just clear that


up... Once the Lisbon Treaty... In the Sun article, he said, we will


have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Clearly, because that treaty


had been passed before the general election, it is difficult to have a


referendum on something in the past. We joined Europe in the 1970s,


having a referendum on that! Look, that is about the future. Our


relationship with Europe is absolutely critical. Most people in


this country feel, I was not old enough to vote in that referendum,


most of those who voted, they voted for a Common Market, that is not


what we have got. We want to continue the work we have been doing


in the EU Budget, what did UKIP do? They voted against it. We want more


of those powers brought home, and we will put it to a referendum, and


people will have to vote Conservative to get it. We have been


looking at new research, almost two thirds of Conservative members are


considering voting for UKIP, almost two thirds. I have a simple message


here, which is this. If you vote for UKIP... Can we have it up? 30% are


likely, 30% are possible. That is why it is important we are making


these arguments. If you vote for UKIP, you are voting to take us


further away from returning powers to this country, further from a


referendum. It is support for Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister,


and he will do exactly what Labour have always done - hand away powers,


and away the rebate for nothing in return, giving Europe even more so


over the day-to-day affairs in Britain. Why are so many people


considering voting UKIP? It is to hold your feet to the fire, they do


not trust you on a referendum, so they will vote UKIP to force you to


tap in your line. We have a very tough line. If I had said four years


ago that this government would manage to cut the overall EU


budget, would take us out of the bailout fund that Labour got us


into, passing a law that no more powers can go to Europe without a


referendum, if I had said that, people would say, I do not believe


it will happen. Not only have we done these things, we are promising


and in-out referendum, and the only way to get it is to vote


Conservative. Nigel Farage has said, we can't change anything in


Europe, and it is no wonder that the president of the European Commission


has said, we love having these UKIP MEPs, because they don't turn up and


vote, apart from when they vote against the cut in the budget. It


goes beyond UKIP in your party, because this research also showed


that those Conservative members most likely to vote for UKIP, they said


they do not feel valued or respected by their own leadership, and they


regard David Cameron as ideological eat more remote from them than UKIP.


What I would say is look at that list... Let me take that step


further. What people need our series solutions to serious problems. When


people vote for a UKIP MEP, I will say, which one of the 40% of the


MEPs who got in for UKIP last time are you voting for, the ones above


left or defected, the ones have gone to jail? 40% have ended up not


delivering. People have a right to know what to expect when they vote


in these elections. They can look at our record at home, and this goes to


the point you have raised about what we have done in Britain to get this


economy back on track, recover from Labour's recession. We are prepared


to take those decisions in Europe as well. Presumably, active


Conservative members, they know that, so why do they not feel valued


by the leadership? I spend time going up and down the country


meeting Conservative members, and they are on the doorstep, last


weekend 150 out in Enfield campaigning for the European and


local elections... Why are they keen on UKIP? When I meet somebody who


says that, not necessarily a member... Have you met members of


say they will vote UKIP? No, but a vote for UKIP is... Do not do it,


you will end up with Labour having more control, handing away powers to


Europe. 51-year-old meeting members who say they will vote UKIP, you


must be out of touch. -- if you are not meeting members. Some of your


members are thinking of voting UKIP. I spend huge amount of time


travelling around, I just told you about this action day in Enfield,


where we had an enormous turnout. Those members were on the doorsteps


pointing out that you can only get reform in Europe by voting


Conservative. Labour and the Lib Dems will not deliver, UKIP can't,


Conservatives will. You have not got that message across, because a


YouGov poll shows, on Europe, who has the best policies? Tories 18%,


Labour 19%, UKIP 27%. On the economy, Tories 27%, Labour 23, UKIP


4. Why don't you shut up about Europe and talk about the economy?


Look, on the 27th of May, we have European elections, as well as local


elections. If I don't talk about the European elections, you would say


what you said at the beginning about not talking about the local


elections! These are serious elections, and the point I am tried


to make is that the issues at stake are not peripheral, they are not


unimportant. Our MEPs have been battling to cut red tape from a


European level on small businesses, the same thing this government has


been doing for small businesses domestic league, where for example


every small business owner watching this show knows they have got ?2000


back in employment announced on national insurance contributions. We


are doing it at home, we are doing it in Europe, and it is important to


tie that together. Ireland that Mr Cameron saying, you should stop


banging on about Europe... -- I remember. This is before the last


general election, as in days for the Lib Dems, 18%. Even then, you didn't


win the election, and now you are only three or four points ahead, it


doesn't look good for you, does it? Even then, the poll did not turn out


to be what it was on the day. No, that is what happens, that is the


voting intentions now! You are in a worse position than a year before


the last election, which you didn't win. We are almost proving the point


that you can take a clip at any moment in time, not sounding like a


politician, but the only poll that matters is on the day. In just over


a year's time, people will have a completely different picture to look


at than these opinion polls. We have an economy from being a basket


case, the great Labour recession knocking 7% of this economy, hurting


every family, to a point where we the fastest-growing economy in the


developed world. In a year's time, I hope people will see that we are the


people who've taken the difficult decisions, got the economy to the


right place, more security for you and your family. Do not give the car


keys back to the people who crashed it in the first place. If I had a


pound for every time I have heard that! It is clearly not getting


through. On the Pfizer attempted of AstraZeneca, Mr Miliband called this


morning for a tougher public interest test such big takeovers. Do


you agree with that or not? Let me be absolutely clear, if there is any


kind of joining, we are in favour of British jobs, British aren't deep,


expanding our pharmaceutical sector. -- R But what Mr Mallon and wants


to do with rent caps, he is anti-business. -- Mr Miliband. He


wants to take us back to the bad old those. -- bad old days. Should there


be a bigger public interest test? We have seen some takeovers that people


have criticised, but others, like Bentley, Land Rover, which have been


very successful. Should there be a tougher test?! We will have tests


that ensured this get-together becomes a great Anglo-American


project, or it doesn't happen, but the Miliband approach is simply to


be anti-business, anti-jobs and anti-job security. Grant Shapps,


thank you. A challenging week for the Liberal


Democrats with a local election campaign overshadowed by another row


with the Conservatives about knife crime. Adam has spent the day with


Nick Clegg on the campaign trail. How nice! Nick Clegg is taking me on


a political mini break to the Cotswolds. Yes, we are getting the


train. He wants to highlight what his party is doing in local


government, and a personal passion of his in Europe. Graham Watson, the


Lib Dem MEP for the south-west, has been running a campaign to have


prunes recognised as a laxative. Is that Lib Dems battling for Britain


in Europe? It is not our front page manifesto commitment! It is one of


many things that Graham does, he does many other things. In fact, he


is a good example of an MEP who took a pioneering role, for instance, in


making sure... There is the proven world, but also the crime-fighting


role. -- prune. He has done work to make sure that when British


criminals flee justice, we can bring them back. And he has promoted


prunes! First stop, a gorgeous country pub, but it turns out


everyone is a journalist or a very on message activist. Dark days,


being a Lib Dem in the last few years? Strangely not. If you find


you are a Lib Dem deep down, you do not get that disheartened, because


you know that, locally, you are doing so well for the people that


you live next door to that, actually, I find I am almost


impervious to what happens on a national level. I am mayor of


Cirencester. Have you taken any leadership lessons from Nick Clegg,


inspiring new in your leadership of Cirencester? I think what he has


demonstrated his patience. It has been a tough time, he has taken a


lot of flak, and as the mayor of a town, lots of people agree with you


and a fair few don't. You are a full on mayor, he is just a Deputy Prime


Minister, do you outrank him? I don't think so, he is in government,


I am not. So our there any normal people in here? We are from


Swindon, you cannot get more abnormal. Are you a big fan of his?


No! What has he done wrong? I don't believe in his views at all. Where


has he got to? Nigel Farage would have had a pint! At this time in the


morning a copy was more appropriate. I have no time for a drink of any


kind, because now we are off to look at a local traffic blackspot. This


is amazing, like a Lib Dem election leaflet brought to life, Lib Dems


pointing at a road. High-vis jackets! Next we had to giggle full


bath, but there will be no Regency sightseeing for us, oh no, Nick is


taking us to an abandoned wilderness. We have just had a


health and safety briefing, we have been told to look out for


dive-bombing seagulls and an angry fox. That is the sort of thing Nick


Clegg has to put up with. He wants to talk about the economy but he has


to dodge the day's beat new story, letters leaked by a Tory suggesting


that Lib Dems are soft on knife crime. Isn't that a new kind of


warfare? I just think it is silly. They may think they are clever by


catching some headlines but they are not helping people who worry about


knife crime, like I do. We work together... Just like the


Coalition! This is a co-working space where different businesses


share the same office. My time with the Deputy Prime Minister is drawing


to a close. We haven't talked about the most important story of the


week, that you were voted the best looking party leader and the most


likely to be a good cook. Right, this is news to me and I can


guarantee you that my scepticism of opinion polls has just been


confirmed. Just as well because the more serious polls don't look great


for him or his party. Goodbye, and thanks for the offer of a ride


home! He is still walking. Malcolm Bruce


joins us now. According to Lib Dem briefing documents, you are likely


to choose -- lose a big chunk of your MEPs. If you lose a lot, what


would that say about a party that boasts of its pro-Europe


credentials? It would be disappointing because we have the


most hard-working MEPs. The worry that we have is that people think


the European Parliament is not important but it takes decisions


that affect us. They would be disappointing for Britain as well as


the Liberal Democrats. Isn't the problem that the more you bang on


about your pro-European credentials, the more you slip in the polls? I do


think so, we have two weeks to go and we are campaigning extremely


hard. You are forced in the polls. I can tell you there are people out


there who do believe Britain should stay in the EU and they are worried


that other parties will take us out. The Liberal Democrats are clear, we


want to stay in, we will work for reform and do it effectively. If you


lose the Liberal Democrats, Britain's influence in Europe will


be weakened. Your track record in Europe shows you have been


spectacularly wrong again and again. In your 2009 manifesto you said the


European Central Bank and the euro have been tried and tested over ten


years providing a clear picture of the benefits of Eurozone membership


and that proved to be nonsense. It was nonsense everywhere. Every


developed bank in the world was tried and tested and failed. Europe


may not be perfect, but the question people have to decide is if we are


going to leave Europe and be isolated on RM, or use our influence


to reform it from inside. We have allies, you work with them, that is


something the Lib Dems do better than any other parties. Your 2004


manifesto, you claim that being outside the euro would lead to job


losses and reduced prosperity. You were just plain wrong, weren't you?


Yes, but the reason is that to some extent the euro did not observe any


rules and regulations when it was set up. That is why we never


recommended Britain should join at the outset because the criteria had


not been met. In 2001 Nick Clegg was writing to the Financial Times...


Your track record is important. He wrote that the Tisch monetary policy


is not all it is cracked up to be. Britain would gain greater control


over its affairs by joining the euro. How wrong can he be? We have


always argued that the currency had to abide by strict criteria. It


hasn't done so and that is one of the reasons it has failed. We


recognise there is no future for Britain joining the euro and we are


not advocating it. Lets put your 2010 manifesto on the screen. I


didn't say it was not our long-term interest. If Europe succeeds as an


entity, if the euro becomes one of the world leading currencies, there


will come a point when it may be justified. In the circumstances we


are in the moment, there is no recommended timescale. Let's get


this right. Despite the Eurozone crisis which has cost millions of


jobs, countries that were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the


Eurozone now facing stagnation and some countries on the brink of


deflation, you still won't rule out Britain joining? We are ruling it


out in the foreseeable future. You can miss the point that we are


working as a coalition partner in government that has secured recovery


for the UK, and working as Liberal Democrats in the parliament that


have cut back the European budget in cooperation with others. What would


the world look like if it were right for Britain to join the euro? You


have 27 states at the moment, with too many countries still struggling


to meet the criteria so until you have a strong and cohesive enough


single Eurozone in which all the countries can meet that criteria,


Britain is better off out. So a more centralised Eurozone, that is what


you would like Britain to join? No, because it can only happen by


consent. Any circumstances in which any further powers would be


transferred from the UK to the EU, we would support a referendum. You


have just said that for the Eurozone to work, it has to be more


centralised and you said if that happens, that is what Britain would


join. I didn't say that, I said it would require the consent of all


member states to agree to the criteria. We certainly do not


envisage joining in the foreseeable future. Since you are the proud


party of in, why weren't you just give us a referendum on in or out?


Because it has to have a context. What David Cameron is doing is


dangerous because I think the major players like Britain and France are


not keen on the idea of being bullied into reforms on the


instigation of just one member state which is threatening possibility to


withdraw. They will have to agree to rules... Just have it now. Do you


want in or out? To have a referendum against no background is to put it


out of context. We are in the middle of a crisis, a year away from the


general election. We have made it clear... You said we are in the


middle of the Eurozone crisis? So we are not in the middle of it? What's


the middle? The reality is that the Western world has gone through a


deep crisis. The UK is coming out of it, the Eurozone is coming out of


it. Greece have been able to borrow on the markets in recent weeks which


is a sign of success. It is in our interest is the Eurozone succeeds


and recovers and we should be part of it but not necessarily on the


same conditions as everyone else. The Liberal Democrats work with


others to deliver Britain's interests and if they are not there,


their interests will be undermined. You are watching Sunday Politics. We


say goodbye to viewers in Scotland now.


Hello, and welcome to the part of the programme that is just for us


here in the East. I'm Amelia Reynolds. Coming up, it elections


count down. With less than three weeks to the local and European


polls, we look at the key battle grounds in the East and ask how many


young people will be bothered to vote. My vote isn't going to make


any sort of difference. All the local electorate is all peak orders


from their MPs in Parliament. ?? WHITE Plus what the minor parties


have to say to tempt us on May 22. We actually need to stand up for


ourselves and for the English nation and that's the purpose of the


English Democrats. So, let's meet our guest. Andrew Lansley is the


Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire and the Leader of the


House of Commons. Andy Sawford became Labour MP for Corby and East


Northamptonshire in 2012 and he's already a shadow minister for


communities and local government. And Rupert Read is fighting to


become the Greens' first MEP for the Eastern region. He is the party's


national spokesperson on transport and he also teaches philosophy at


the University of East Anglia. Welcome to all of you. Let's start


with that date, May 22, just 18 days to go until the European and local


council elections. And you know when elections are coming up and all the


party leaders head your way. We've had Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, Nigel


Farage and, of course, the Prime Minister, who was in Colchester this


week. David Cameron was there to launch changes to benefits for the


long`term unemployed. Basically the choice is this. Either go to the job


centre every day, do community work for nothing, or you could lose your


benefits. Andrew Lansley, isn't this stigmatising people who, for


whatever reason, cannot find a job. No, it's helping people who are


long`term unemployed and, of course, it's in a situation where we've been


able to have a substantial reduction in the number of people who are


unemployed. In my own constituency it's gone down by a third since the


elections. We've got 1.7 million more private`sector jobs. In


Cambridge at the moment there are four vacancies for every person out


of work. So what people who are long`term unemployed clearly need is


they need the training, the work placements and intensive support


that this helped to work programme is going to give them. Do you agree


that that is what the help to work programme will give them? Isn't it


right, Andy Sawford, to get a bit tougher? Well, of course it's right


to try to help people into work, but actually this is a pretty


astonishing admission of failure by the government, because it only


applies after you've been out of work for three years. Now, clearly,


we need to be making intervention much earlier, so Labour's compulsory


jobs guarantee would kick in after two years, but for under


25`year`olds the problem is stubbornly high on unemployment for


under 25s still ` in my constituency and right across the region it would


come in after a year. But we want to do much more and that is why voting


for Labour councils across the region this May means that you will


get a council that is really backing local job creation. Rupert Read, we


have lower than average unemployment in the East, there are, as we've


heard, loads of jobs available. So, it's good news, isn't it? Is this


the way forward? No, we think that this scheme is really quite


hopeless, and we're not alone in that. Oxfam and Salvation Army have


already said that they won't participate. Forced volunteering is


a completely absurd idea, it's an oxymoron. So we need to look at a


solution which would actually work. In the Greens, we think we should


reduce the length of the standard working week. Why don't we share out


the jobs more? So that people who are overworked and people who are


unemployed can find some sort of happy medium. They've tried it in


some other countries to some success and that's the direction we should


go in. OK, well, no agreement there. I wouldn't expect it, because all


the parties are of course actively setting out their differing visions


in the run`up to the local elections. Hundreds of seats are up


for grabs in the East for some key council battle grounds. With the


details, here's our political correspondent Andrew Sinclair.


Elections taking place on just 20 councils across the East on May than


22nd. Here they are. Anywhere that is coloured red or blue means that


it's run by Labour or the Tories, grey means no overall control. Quite


a few authorities like South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire


have thumping Conservative majorities and they are very


unlikely to change hands, but in others it is much closer. Let's have


a look at Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis's constituency seat. Labour


took control of the council last time round but have a majority of


just one. Can they strengthen that, or can the Tories show they are


capable of bouncing back? We're also watching the UKIP vote there very


closely. They did very well in Yarmouth in last year's county


council elections. What will happen this time round? Another interesting


seat, Norwich, always interesting to watch. This was also a Labour gain


last time round, but the Greens have been the main challengers there for


some time. Lib Dems on just three and the Tories are nonexistent.


Colchester, where both the Prime Minister and Nick Clegg have visited


in the last week. Why? As you can see, the Lib Dems run it, but only


with the help of Labour. This will be a good place to see if the core


Lib Dem vote can hold up and if there is any sign of Conservative


revival. Cambridge is being visited by dozens of big names. It's also in


no overall control and there is a big battle going on between the Lib


Dems who run it and Labour who'd like to run it. And then there's


Milton Keynes. It used to be run by the Lib Dems. At the moment the


Tories run it as a minority administration with Labour are


pushing away. And because of boundary changes every seat is up


for grabs this year, so anything could happen. Essex, Basildon and


Southend are well worth watching. Both have Conservative run councils,


but only just. But perhaps more interesting than which councils


change hands will be how many seats change hands. More than 300 are up


for grabs this year. The Tories, as you can see, have by far the largest


number. Labour and the Lib Dems have about the same. UKIP and the Greens


very few. The big question ` how much will this change on May 22nd?


OK, that's where we stand with the numbers. Andy Sawford, if I could


come to you first. Andrew was standing next to a big map there,


not much red on it. You've got a huge mountain to climb, haven't you?


The Eastern region, I think, you know, your viewers won't be


surprised to hear me say it's not been a Labour stronghold compared to


some other parts of the country. But actually we've made a lot of


progress in recent years. We're looking to make very significant


gains in terms of the council seats, take control of some councils like


Milton Keynes in these elections, and obviously targeting these four


Westminster gains. But we've made big progress in recent years in this


area. Let's talk about South Cambridgeshire, Andrew Lansley. UKIP


may gain some seats there. Are you worried? On what evidence? In the


county council elections last year, there was one UKIP county councillor


in South Cambridgeshire elections, there were none afterwards. So in


any case, looking at all of these contests, there is one common theme.


It is that we as Conservatives and the coalition government, we took7


the mess that Labour left us, we are turning it around, we're cutting the


deficit, creating jobs, one. `` 1.7million jobs. Inflation is at a


five`year low, business confidence is at a ten year high. That is a


basis... I'm interested in how you just batted off the UKIP question.


Do you not take their challenge seriously then? Because there is a


lot of support in this region. I've seen it, and I've seen the places


where they have taken votes and they've taken votes from people who


want some specific things. They want a referendum on Europe, and we in


the Conservative Party argue on the way that they can get that because


we will deliver it in the next Parliament. They want controlled


migration, not uncontrolled migration like we had under Labour.


We are doing that and putting that in place. And they want a strong


economy, because a strong economy is the only way in which actually you


have a strong country. Let me bring Rupert Read in here. Why is that


kind of UKIP message appealing to voters in a way that the Green


message does not seem to be getting through? UKIP have some super`rich


backers and that might explain why their policies are hard`right,


extremely unpleasant policies. We think when people find out more


about UKIP policies, for example about the fact that they want to


privatise the NHS. Let us talk about the Greens. You asked me about UKIP,


the point is UKIP's policies, when people understand them, they may not


like them any more. In the next few weeks of the campaign people are


going to start switching on that basis to Green as a more positive


alternative, are hopeful alternative to the existing parties. Let's talk


about the Greens. The second biggest party on Norwich City Council, 15


seats. But you haven't actually increased your total there since


2010. We are fighting hard in Norwich against a Labour council


which is quite well funded, again, by the National party apparatus. So


we are the main challengers in Norwich, but we're also looking


elsewhere in the region at this election to make breakthroughs. We


are hoping to break through onto South Cambridgeshire Council and


also onto South Suffolk. We think that the Green message in these


local elections... Of course, our main focus now is the European


elections, hoping to get me elected as our first Green parliamentarian.


But we think we've got some real gains to make from the local


elections as well. Andy Sawford, Labour were at an all`time low the


last time they see to being fought. One would have expected you to be


doing better at this stage. I think we will have to judge the results


after these elections. We're working very hard to make the case that if


you vote for a Labour council, and a Labour government next year you will


get a government that is going to help to tackle the cost of living


crisis, average families are ?1600 per year worse off. Many people are


trapped in unemployment, many people live in rented accommodation in


insecurity. Vote Labour and you will get double the number of social


homes in your area, which is a great record. You will get the living wage


from your Labour council. Lots of reasons to vote Labour. Well, it's


obvious we are interested in what is going to happen on May 22, and if


you're watching we presume you are as well. But it does seem that there


is a large swathe of the population, to put it bluntly, who


couldn't really care less. Only 32% of 18 to 24`year`olds voted in the


last election, so why is that? And can politicians change it? Our


reporter has been to Ipswich to find out.


Two young people ` passionate about where they live, but have never


voted. # I come from a small place where


only a failure get broadcast... #. Pablo McSheen 23 and a keen


musician. He recently recorded an album. He says that the estate where


he grew up does not have enough facilities. They have a little youth


club here but it does not cater for the 15`18 `year`olds. Sometimes they


are standing around the road not doing anything with themselves. But


Ipswich has seen changes. Millions have been spent on the waterfront


and there is a new university drunk people to the town, like 21`year`old


Esther. She moved from London three years ago today about your science


degree. As a student you feel separated from the community and the


University is the community. In the last local elections around one in


three of under 24`year`olds voted, compared to over three quarters of


over 65`year`olds. If you decide to leave the decision to others you


cannot complain afterwards when their choice impacts on you


directly. The mac schools and colleges could do more to engage us,


to get us to come in and talk to young people about what local


councils do. Today we have brought some young people together to meet


the person who runs the council. We want to know why they are unlikely


to vote. There are a lot of broken... I do not want to call it


promises, but there are a few broken promises. In my mind I think that it


is just me voting, so there may not be any change. Re/Max I feel as


though my vote is not going to make any sort of difference. All of the


local electorates take orders from the MPs in Parliament. If


politicians are looking at making unpopular decisions they will


targeted at the people who do not vote because that will not affect


their jobs. If you do not want be targeted by politicians, we know


more cuts will be coming, so you need to vote. We talked for an hour,


but did it change anything? Only to look into it, something affects me


and then I do not vote about it, that is silly. This campus will be


used as a polling station, giving thousands of students are very local


police to cast their votes. Students, like everyone else, have


until Tuesday to register for the May elections. The question is, how


many will bother? Broken promises, my vote does not


count, I cannot make a difference. I will ask each of you to make your


pitch to young people, potential voters. Keep it snappy. I totally


relate to what those young people were saying. We are trying to say,


do not give up on politics completely because the bad guys will


win. In the recent budget, David Cameron and George Osborne were


deliberately clearly appealing to older people. They are relying on


young people not voting. Prove them wrong. Thank you. Lets not talk


about goodies and baddies. But look at policies like zero our


contracts, and employment for young people, that is really worrying. The


cost of living traces particularly affects young people. They will be


better off with Labour `` cost of living traces. We bring the youth


Parliament to Westminster and I have seen a lot of people who take an


interest in politics and see it through. I have seen the same be


true in villages in South Cambridgeshire Fred the created a


youth Council `` Grady created. Give young people a chance, in my opinion


they take it up. It can appear a bit stuffy? Of course. No offence meant.


As leader of the House of Commons, could you be doing work? You are


absolutely right. The Hansard demonstrated this week that we have


seen a doubling of the number of young people who are using social


media to engage in politics. Yes, we can do that. In Parliament, one of


the things we will be doing this week is creating a petitioning


system to Parliament. We do not want Parliament just to be sending people


there for five years and then five years later you decide whether to be


let them. During that period people should be able to go to their


Parliament, here are their issues debated and be listened to. I know


that you use Twitter. How'd you combat the fact that government,


local or national, feels out of touch with young people? I have a


lot of engagement with young people, not just on Twitter. Face also gives


me more local contact `` Facebook. To some extent, up one politician at


a time, we have to rebuild trust of people. That has been broken. Over


Iraq, for example. The Greens should be harnessing single issues.


Absolutely. Polling is showing that the support for Greens is higher


with young people and students is that young people realise that the


future depends on putting into practice the kind of policies that


we are putting forward is, like our green transport revolution, green


energy revolution. Perhaps more people will be looking for more


choice. This year the European elections to offer a lot of choice.


Last time the vote share in the East was 31% for the Conservatives, 20%


for UKIP, 14% by the Lib Dems, 10.5% for Labour and 9% for the Greens,


but they are not the only ones citing the Europeans. But let's take


a look at some of the other parties that are standing. The English


Democrats have launched the the campaign. It is the UK state


structure which we think is operating against England's


interests. You only have to think about the fact that in Scotland and


Wales there are free prescriptions for every body. In England you have


to pay if you are elderly for residential care, in Scotland it is


free. These are all examples of why we actually need to stand up for


ourselves and the English nation. That is the purpose of the English


Democrats. We believe that a Socialist union would be preferable


because we believe it is based on what people need rather than what


big business need. All of the European companies at the moment are


cutting living standards, lowering the minimum wage. This is not


anything to do with UKIP. This is me. I have been campaigning against


our membership of the European Union since 1994 when I stood at the


Dudley by`election. Nothing to do with UKIP. Our vote is a different


road. We do not like it, we are opposed to it, because free movement


seems to mean that they all come this way. We do not move the other


way. Everyone is coming here and it is because the European Union have


control of our borders. We'd like to withdraw from the EU and play the


money back into our communities, because there are so many


communities that need help at the moment that have been filled by the


government. We have to stand for traditional marriage, the redefined


marriage bill has been pushed through and we really want to see


the abolition of that. And also for sanctity of human life. Of course,


it is not all about elections and political life does go on. But news


of help for deprived areas, police manager and a care homes can do, ``


your home scandal, here is our 62nd round up.


The government has rendered new assisted areas, mostly times along


the east coast along with parts of Northamptonshire. No cash upfront,


businesses go to the top of the pecking order for financial help.


Plans to merge police control routes in Suffolk and Norfolk were


scrapped. It was scuppered against the wishes of both chief constables.


The trust and confidence of the people in Suffolk is absolutely


imperative than this and I did not think it could be delivered.


Shocking images of abuse were uncovered by BBC's Panorama. Norman


Lamb promised a clamp`down. There are dreadful things that happen and


we are they happen we have to take very effective action. Big protest


in saffron Walden against hundreds of new homes. It is the old dilemma,


towns need to expand but many do not want the development. And the road


map 11 `` and the A11 has been opened.


You happy with the bypass? We need to look at what is coming, not what


happened. What about the A14? The old parties basically want to build


more and. We say that enough is enough. Let us resist the kind of


overdevelopment that we are facing in a large part of our region. We


are talking about nine miles of road and it has been decades coming. What


hope is there for the rest of the region and the infrastructure? That


is illustrative of the fact that when the sun was shining Labour did


not appear at the wrists. There are things that were not done by Labour


and we are doing them. Yes it is the A11, yes it will be the A14, but


just this week we have committed to rebuild Papworth Hospital. When I


first came a member of Parliament went to see the Health Minister to


try to get him to commit to the rebuilding of it and that was 17


years ago. Under this coalition government, it is going to happen.


So that was your highlight of the week! What about yours? I am


guessing the assisted status for Corby? We have had for wasted years


under this government. Just as they get the election we are being told


that things that should have happened for years are now going to


happen. We have been losing out for four years because the previous Tory


county council and MP would not back assisted status for Corby. I have


lobbied and no business in my area will have a fighting chance. That is


all we have got time for. Thank you to all of our guests. That is all


for now. We will be backing in Vienna to live in the next week when


we will be looking at some of the target seats in the local election


`` we will be back again at 11am next week.


on our website. That is all we have got time for this week. Next week,


London's local elections. Welcome back. Now, the Government is


not very good at predicting the future. That's according to a report


from a committee of MPs this morning who say that its Horizon Scanning


programme that's supposed to identify potential threats, risks,


emerging issues and opportunities isn't much good at reading the tea


leaves. But can it really be any worse than our panel? Here they are


predicting the future of then culture secretary Maria Miller


before Easter. Can she survive? I'm getting out of


the prediction game after I said Nick Clegg would win the debates.


But I almost think she might. If there is a big event that moves this


off the front pages. David Cameron will want to keep Maria Miller until


at least his summary shuffle. I think they will get rid of her. I


think they will do the decent thing after exhausting all other options.


Maria Miller resigned a few days later of course! The best and the


brightest, when did that slip in? This week it will be exactly a year


until the General Election, so what better time to get our panel to gaze


into their crystal balls again. What's the outcome of the election


in 2015? I'm going to go with the polls and say Ed Miliband as the


Prime Minister. But the polls are only a snapshot of opinion now, you


think they will be the same in a year? No, I think they will narrow.


I think UKIP's vote share will fall. I think they are currently coasting


on a high and that will tailor way so they won't take as many votes off


the Tories. Labour with a majority or is the largest party. Another


liberal Conservative coalition, and I say that because he is already in


touching distance of Labour. I don't think UKIP will get 15, maybe half


of that, and most of the votes they lose will either not vote at all go


to the Tories and that should be enough to be the biggest party in a


hung parliament I don't envisage a Tory majority. I am also going to go


with the polls. For Ed Miliband to be hoping to win at this stage, he


has got to be way ahead in the polls. Labour needs to be much


further ahead if he is going to win so David Cameron, probably the


leader of the largest party. Last time after the election David


Cameron went to the 1922 committee and announced he was Prime Minister


as head of the Coalition. He has agreed this time he will consult


them and it will be much more difficult for him to get a


coalition. People at home have now concluded there will be a Liberal


Democrat landslide! Are we going to have debates? Yes, probably further


away from polling day then last time. That is the Liberal Democrat


point, isn't it? Yes, it sucks all the life out of the campaign, so the


last six weeks will be left to traditional campaigning. What did


you make of this in the Sunday Times this morning, this two, three, five


formula. There should be a Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg debate, then


there should be another one with them and UKIP and the Greens. It


might be testing the patience of the nation to tune into all of those. If


you're going to say Nigel Farage should be there, the Green party


should be too. They know that as soon as you put them on a podium


next to them, he looks like he has equal stature and that is a problem.


David Cameron does not want the debates to happen on the way they


happened last time. It is generally regarded, Lynton Crosby believes


they were a disaster for David Cameron because they allowed Nick


Clegg to be the fresh person. He knows he cannot say no to them so


the moment you see David Cameron suggesting that Caroline Lucas


should be in the debate, you know he is not serious. What he will try to


do is have more debates, have them outside the main part of the general


election so that it doesn't dominate. The problem the David


Cameron is that the campaign will be much longer. It is a five-week


campaign so it is quite difficult for him to say we will only have one


debate in that campaign. I think smother it with love, hopefully it


will go to the courts for him and hopefully they will never happen and


he will be delighted. The European election and the local elections are


coming up. The three mainstream parties are saying it is a flash in


the pan, they don't really matter and so on, but if UKIP comes a


strong first, if Labour comes a poor second and the Tories come a poor


third, it will have consequences for all three, and the Lib Dems come


forth or even fish. It will have consequences and not just in the


media but on the ground. One of the big stories is what will happen to


the Lib Dems, they face losing all of their MEPs. A good result for


them is lit -- in the local elections is losing 250 councillors.


These are the most interesting elections we have had for some


time. Are we heading for a Nick Clegg summer leadership crisis? I


think we are heading towards reversing the clock back to where we


were before the Eastleigh by-election. That quiet and things


down for Nick Clegg. If they lose all their MEPs, and there is a real


chance they will, Vince Cable will be out on manoeuvres because age is


not on his side. If he can say Nick Clegg is a loser and a failure, he


will be back. Will the Tories go into headless chicken mode if they


come third? Yes, if UKIP come first there will not be as much panic as


if Labour come first. Is Labour comes a poor second, will there be


some pressure on Ed Miliband to reopen his attitude to the


referendum? I don't think so and my colleague was talking to Labour


sources who said he is absolutely not going to. That is something you


can say definitely about him, he decides on a course and he sticks to


it. There is one potential upside for David Cameron in a really bad


Conservative results, it could strengthen his hand in the


renegotiations of Britain's EU membership because he doesn't even


need to say to Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande it is there. David


Cameron hasn't just been fighting for his party into the local


elections. He also got his knuckles wrapped by the Speaker, John Bercow,


at Prime Minister's Question Time, for talking for too long. Take a


look at this. There is a better future ahead of us but we must not


go backward to the policies that put us in this mess in the first place.


I don't know what they are paying him, Mr Speaker. Order, order. I


haven't finished! In response to that question, the Prime Minister


has finished and he can take it from me that he has finished. I can't


remember a speaker ever speaking to a Prime Minister like that. Clearly


in that case, John Bercow crossed a line. It is Prime Minister 's


questions, he is entitled to answer the questions. There is really bad


blood between those two, going back a long way. They hate each other and


the worrying thing about that was the look of triumphalism on the


speaker's face afterwards. He is a remarkable, revolutionary speaker


who has made the House of Commons more relevant, he is holding the


executive to account, but that look on his face showed he had crossed


the line. Does he survive after the next election? He has improved the


importance of the Commons, is that enough to keep him in the Speaker 's


chair? The most public bit of the Commons is still the Prime Minister


's questions, and we can conclude that John Bercow's interventions


take more time than any delays he complains about so I wouldn't be


surprised if, in a few years' time, someone else replaces him. He is


quite popular with Labour, is he not? Yes, he is married to a Labour


activist and is notably sympathetic to Labour but I think this is a


difficult situation. David Cameron also overstepped the line. As soon


as the speaker says order, the idea is that the House was to order and


David Cameron pushed him. They are both trying to score points off each


other. We cover Prime Minister 's questions every week on the daily


politics, and there is a danger that he sees it as an opportunity to do


some grandstanding. You slightly sends his vanity gets the better of


him. It is supposed to be Prime Minister 's questions. At the end of


that session, the Speaker read out a statement from the Chief clerk, and


immensely respected figure, saying he is taking early retirement. It is


pretty clear that the reason he has decided to go early is because he is


finding it tricky to maintain a cordial relationship with the


speaker, and the speaker might want to think about his man management


skills. That's all for today. The Daily Politics will be back on BBC


Two at lunchtime from Tuesday onwards. Remember, it is a bank


holiday tomorrow. I'll be back here at 11am next week. Remember - if


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


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