10/11/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news. With deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and a look at calls to remove the Sun's Page 3.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Ed Miliband's on


the war path over pay day loans your energy bill and what he calls


the war path over pay day loans the bedroom tax. His spinners say


he's resurgent though the polls don't show it. We'll be talking to


his right hand woman, Labour's Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman. From


resurgent to insurgent. Nigel Farage won an award this week for being a


political insurgent. We'll be talking to the UKIP leader. And


Harriet hates, hates, hates page three. She wants rid of it. But what


do you think? We sent Adam out with do you think? We sent Adam out with


some balls. Stay. It is good fun Welcome to your lunchtime Look


North. In the headlines this Welcome to your lunchtime Look


row over the super sewer rumbles on. And with me, fresh from their


success at yesterday's Star Wars auditions, Darth Vader. Obi Wan


Kenobi and R2D2. Congratulations on your new jobs. We'll miss you. Nick


Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh. First, the talks with Iran in


Geneva. They ended last night without agreement despite hopes of a


breakthrough. America and its allies didn't think Iran was prepared to go


far enough to freeze its nuclear programme. But some progress has


been made and there's to be another meeting in ten days' time, though at


a lower level. The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, had this


to say a little earlier. On the question of, or will it happen in


the next few weeks? There is a good chance of that. We will be trying


again on 20th, 21st of November and negotiators will be trying again. We


will keep an enormous amount of energy and persistence behind


solving this. Will that be a deal which will please everyone? No, it


will not. Compromises will need to be made. I had discussions with


Israeli ministers yesterday and put the case for the kind of deal we are


looking the case for the kind of deal we are


interests of the whole world, including


interests of the whole world, the world, to reach a diplomatic


agreement we can be confident in in this issue. This otherwise will


threaten the world with nuclear proliferation and conflict in the


future. The interesting thing about this is that it seems


future. The interesting thing about prepared to go far enough over the


Iraq heavy water plutonium reactor it is building. The people who took


the toughest line - the French. France has always had a pretty tough


line on Iran. They see it as a disruptive influence in Lebanon I


am reasonably optimistic a deal will be done later this month when the


talks reconvene. Western be done later this month when the


sanctions have had such an impact on Iran domestic league. They have


pushed inflation up to 40%. Dashes-macro domestically. The new


president had a campaign pledge Dashes-macro domestically. The new


saying, I will deal with sanctions. I actually think, by the end of this


year, we will see progress in these talks. Should we be optimistic? The


next round of talks will be at official level. The place to watch


will be Israel. The language which has been coming out of there is


still incredibly angry, incredibly defensive. They do not want a deal


at all. Presumably John Kerry has to defensive. They do not want a deal


go away and tried to get Israel to be quiet about it, even if they


cannot be happy about it. They cannot agree to a deal which allows


cannot be happy about it. They the Iraq reactor with plutonium


heavy water. You do not need that with a peaceful nuclear power


programme will stop that is why the with a peaceful nuclear power


Israelis are so nervous. If there is an international deal, Israel could


still bomb that but it would be impossible. The French tactics are


interesting. It says the French blocked it in part because they are


trying to carry favour with Israel but also the Gulf Arab states, who


are really nervous about and Iranians nuclear capability. Who is


that? Saudi Arabia. Newsnight had a story saying that Pakistan is


prepared to provide them with nuclear weapons. You are right about


Saudi Arabia. They are much more against this deal than Israel. Who


is Herman van Rompuy's favourite MEP? It is probably not Nigel


Farage. He plummeted to the bottom of the EU president's Christmas card


list after comparing him to a bank clerk with the charisma of a damp


rag. And he's been at it again this week. Have a look. Today is November


the 5th, a big celebration festival day in England. That was an attempt


to blow up the Houses of Parliament with dynamite and destroy the


Constitution. You have taken the Dahl, technocratic approach to all


of these things. What you and your colleagues save time and again you


talk about initiatives and what you are going to do about unemployment.


The reality is nothing in this union is getting better. The accounts have


not been signed off for 18 years. I am now told it is 19 and you are


doing your best to tone down any criticism. Whatever growth figures


you may have, they are anaemic. Youth unemployment in the


Mediterranean is over 50% in several states. You will notice there is a


rise in opposition dashed real opposition. Much of it ugly


opposition, not stuff that I would want to link hands with. And Nigel


Farage joins me now. Let me put to you what the editor of the Sun had


to say. He says, UKIP will peak at the European election and then it


will begin to get marginalised as we get closer to 2015 because there is


now that clear blue water between Labour and the Tories. What do you


say to that? There may be layered blue water on energy pricing but on


Eastern Europe, there is no difference at all. When Ed Miliband


offers the referendum to match Cameron, even that argument on


Europe will be gone. The one thing that will keep UKIP strong, heading


towards 2015, is if people think in some constituencies we can win. I


cannot sit here right now and say that will be the case. If we get


over the hurdle of the European elections clearly, I think there


will be grounds to say that UKIP can win seats in Westminster. You are


going to run? Without a shadow of a doubt. I do not know which


constituency. The welcome I got in Edinburgh was not that friendly


Edinburgh is not everything in Scotland. I think we have a


realistic chance of winning those elections. If we do that, we will


have the momentum behind us. You might be the biggest party after the


May elections. The National front is likely to do very well in France as


well. They have won the crucial by-election in the South of France.


Have you talked about joining full season in Parliament? The leader has


tried to take the movement into a different direction than her father.


The man she beat, to become leader, actually attended the BNP


conference. The problem she has with her party and we have with her party


is that anti-Semitism is too deep and we will not be doing a deal with


the French national government. You can guarantee you will not be


joining such groups. I can guarantee that. Let's move on to Europe. Let's


accept that the pro-Europeans exaggerate the loss of jobs that


would follow the departure of Britain from the UK. Is there no


risk of jobs whatsoever? No risk whatsoever. There is no risk at all.


There have been some weak and lazy arguments put around about this We


will go on doing business - go on doing trade with Europe. We will


have increased opportunities to do trade deals with the rest of the


world and they will create jobs The head of Nissan, the head of Hitachi


and CBI many other voices in British business, when they all expressed


concern about the potential loss of jobs and incoming investment, we


should just ignore them. With Nissan, the BBC News is making this


a huge story. The boss did not say what was reported. He said there was


a potential danger to his future investment. They have already made


the investments. They have built the plant in Sunderland, which they say


is operating well. We should be careful of what bosses of big


businesses say. This man said they may have two leaves Sunderland if we


did not join the euro. I do not take that seriously. As for the CBI, they


wanted us to join the euro and now they do not. Even within the CBI,


there is a significant minority saying, we do not agree with what


the CBI director-general is saying. The former boss of the organisation


is saying we need a referendum and we need a referendum soon. It


depends on the renegotiation. There is not the uniformity. What we are


beginning to see in the world, is, manufacturing and small businesses


are a lot more voices saying, the costs of membership outweigh any


potential benefit. If you look at the polls, if Mr Cameron does


repatriate some powers and he joins with Labour, the Lib Dems, the


Nationalists in Scotland and Wales, most of business, all of the unions


to say we should stay in, you are going to lose, aren't you? In 1 75,


the circumstances were exactly the same. Mr Wilson promised a


renegotiation and he got very little. The establishment gathered


around him and they voted for us to stay in. I do not think that will


happen now. The scales have fallen. We do not want to be governed by


Herman Van Rompuy and these people. These people are Eurosceptic but


they do not seem to feel strongly enough about it that they are going


to defy all the major parties they vote for, companies that employ


them, unions they are members of. I am absolutely confident there will


be a lot voices in business saying, we need to take this opportunity to


break free, give ourselves a chance of a low regulation lowball trader.


-- global trade. In 1970 53 small publications said to vote yes. I am


not contemplating losing. The most important thing is to get the


referendum. If UKIP is not strong, there will not be a referendum.


Earlier in the year, your party issued a leaflet about the remaining


sample parents being able to come to this country. The EU will allow 29


million Bulgarians and remaining is to come to the UK. That is


technically correct but we both know that is not the case. It is an open


door to these people. Why take the risk? By make out there are 29


million people? I stand by that verdict. It is an open door. 29


million are not going to come. They can if they want. Also 29 million


people from France can come. After these countries have joined, we will


do another leaflet saying that Mr Cameron wants to open the door to 70


million people from Turkey. That is scaremongering. I would not say


that. We have a million young British workers between 16 and 4


without work. A lot of them want work and we do not need another


massive oversupply in the unskilled labour market. Why did you have such


a bad time on question Time this week? The folk that did not buy your


anti-immigration stick. Do you think that group of people in the room was


representative of the voters of Boston? What would make you think it


was unrepresentative? When the county council elections took place


this year in Boston, of the seven seats, UKIP won five and almost won


the other two. I don't think that audience reflected that, but that


doesn't matter. How an audience is put together, how a panel is put


together, on one programme, it doesn't mean much at all. It shows


that your anti-immigrant measure doesn't fly as easily as you hoped


it would? The opinion polls which will be launched on Monday that we


are conducting and nearing completion, they show two things.


Firstly, an astonishing number of people who think it's irresponsible


and wrong to open the doer to Romania and Bulgaria, secondly and


crucially, a number of people whose vote in the European elections and


subsequent general elections may be determined by the immigration


issues. This does matter. It would be the perfect run group the


European elections in May for you if a lot of Bulgarians and remainians


flooded in. You would like that to happen? I think it will happen.


Whether I like it or not, it will happen. You think it will be good


for you, it will stir things up If you say to people in poor countries,


you can come here, get a job, have a safety net of a benefits system


claim child allowance for your kids in Bucharest, people will come You


are ready with the arguments already? You will be disappointed if


only ten turn up? Whether lots come or not we should. Taking the risk


and yes, we are going to make it a major issue in the European


election. Let's leave it there. Thank you very much, Nigel Farage.


The summer of 2013 was not good for Ed Miliband, with questions over his


leadership, low ratings and complaints about no policies. He


bounced back with a vengeance at the Labour Conference in September,


delivering a speech which this week won the spectator political speech


of the year aword. In that speech he focussed on the cost-of-living and


promised a temporary freeze on energy prices. Even said this. The


next election isn't just going to be about policy. It's going to be about


how we lead and the character we show. I've got a message for the


Tories today. If they want to have a debate, about leadership and


character, be my guest And if you want to know the difference between


me and David Cameron, here is an easy way to remember it. When it was


Murdoch v the McCanns, he took the side of Murdoch. When it was the


tobacco lobby versus the cancer charities, he took the side of the


tobacco lobby. When the millionaires wanted a tax cut as people pay the


bedroom tax, he took the side of the millionaires. A come to think of it,


here is an easier way to remember it. David Cameron was a Prime


Minister who introduced the bedroom tax. I'll be the Prime Minister who


repeals the bedroom tax There we go, that will go down with the party


faithful on Tuesday. There will be a debate on the bedroom tax. Labour's


Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, joints me now. Let's begin with the


bedroom tax or bedroom subsidy. Nearly 11% of people who've come off


Housing Benefits all together after their spare room subsidy was


stopped, isn't that proof that reform was necessary? No. I think


that the whole way that the bet room tax has been attempted to be


justified is completely wrong. What it's said is that it will actually


help take people off the waiting lists by putting them into homes


that have been vacated by people who've downsized by being


incentivised by the bedroom tax so basically if you are a council


tenant or Housing Association tenant in a property with spare bedrooms,


then because the penalty is imposed, you will move to a smaller property.


That is the justification for it. But actually, something like 96 of


the people who're going to be hit by the bedroom tax, there isn't a


smaller property for them to move into. I understand that. Therefore


they are, like the people in my constituency, if they have got one


spare bedroom, they are hit by 700 a year extra to pay and that is


completely unfair As a consequence of people losing the subsidy for


their spare room, they have decided to go out and get work and not


depend on Housing Benefit at all? 11% of them. What's wrong with that?


Well, they are going to review the way 2 the bedroom tax is working.


What is wrong with that? But that's not working. That's the result of


Freedom of Information, 141 councils provided the figures, 25,000 who've


come off benefits, of the 233,0 0 affected, it's about 11%. These


people were clearly able to get a job was having the Housing Benefit


in the first place? But of course the people who're on the benefits


who're not in work are always looking for work and many of them


will find work which is a good thing, but for those who don't find


work, or who find work where it s low-paid and need help with their


rent, it's wrong to penalise them on the basis of the fact that their


family might have grown up and moved away and so you have either got to


move out of your home, away from your family and your neighbourhood,


or you've got to stay where you are and, despite the fact that you are


low-paid or unemployed, you have got to find an extra ?700 a year because


of your rent. So it's very unfair The Government that was


commissioning independent research on the impact of this work change


and welfare policy, particularly on the impact on the most vulnerable,


some of which you have been talking about there, shouldn't they have


waited until you have got the independent research, that


independent investigation before determining your policy? No. In


fact, the Government should have waited until they'd have done their


independent research before they bought into effect something and


imposed it on people in a way which is really unfair. They could have


known. Why didn't you wait? What they could have done is, they could


have asked councils, are people going to be able to Manifest into


smaller homes if we impose the bedroom tax and the answer from


councils and Housing Associations would have been no, they can't move


into smaller homes because which haven't got them there. They should


have done the evaluation before they introduced the policy. We are


absolutely clear and you can see the evidence, people are falling into


rent arrears. Many people, it's a terrifying thing to find that you


can't pay your rent, and some of the people go to payday loan companies


to get loans to pay their rent. It is very, very unfair. The


justification for it, which is people will move, is completely


bogus. There aren't places for them to go. On the wider issue of welfare


reform, a call for the TUC showed that voters support the Government's


welfare reforms, including a majority of Labour voters. Why are


you so out of touch on welfare issues, even with your own


supporters? Nobody wants to see people who could be in a job


actually living at the taxpayers' expense. That's why we have said


that we'll introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee, so that if you are a


young person who's been unemployed for a year, you will have to take a


job absolutely have to take a job, and if you have been unemployed as


somebody over 25, there'll be a compulsory thing after two years of


unemployment. So if you have been on welfare two years? So the main issue


about the welfare bill actually is people who're in retirement who need


support. We have said for the richest pensioners, they shouldn't


have to pay their winter fuel allowance. My point wasn't abouts


the sub stance, it's about how you don't reflect public opinion --


substance. The Parliamentary aid said the political backlog of


benefits and social security is "not yet one that we have won. Labour


must accept that they are not convincing on these matters,". Well,


redo have to convince people and explain the policies we have got and


the view we take. So, for example, for pensioners, who're well off we


are saying they don't need the Winter Fuel Payment that. 's me


saying to you and us saying to people in this country, we do think


that there should be that tightening. For young people, who've


been unemployed, they should be offered jobs but they've got to take


them. So yes, we have to make our case. OK. The energy freeze which we


showed there, on the speech, as popular. The living wage proseles


have been going down well as well. Why is Labour's lead oaf the


Conservatives being cut to 6% in the latest polls? Ed Miliband's own


personal approval rating's gotten worse. Why is that? I'm not going to


disdues ins and outs of weekly opinion polls with you or anybody


else because I'm not a political commentator, but let me say to you


the facts of what's happened since Ed Miliband's been leader of the


Labour Party. We have got 1,950 New Labour councillors, all of those...


But you're... All those who've won their seats against the


Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats and no, Andrew you don't


always get that in opposition. In 1997 after Tony Blair was elected,


the Tories carried on losing council seats. Exceptional circumstances and


these days Mr Blair was 25% ahead in the polls. You were six. The economy


grew at an annual rate of 3% in the third quarter just gone. Everybody,


private and public forecasters now saying that Britain in this coming


year will grow faster than France, Italy, Spain, even Germany will grow


faster. Your poll ratings are average when the economy was


flatlining, what happens to them when the economy starts to grow


Well, I've just said to you, I'm not a political commentator or a pundit


on opinion polls. We are putting policies forward and we are holding


the Government to account for what they are doing and we think that


what they did opt economy pulled the plugs from the economy, delayed the


recovery, made it stagnate and we have had three years lost growth. I


understand that, but it's now starting to grow. Indeed. If you are


no political commentator, let me ask you this, you anticipated the


growth, so you switched your line to no growth to this is growth and


living standards are rising. If the economy does grow up towards 3% next


year, I would suggest that living standards probably will start to


rise with that amount of growth What do you do then? We have not


switched our line because the economy started to grow. All the way


along, we said the economy will recover, but it's been delayed and


we have had stagnation for far too long because of the economic


policies. We have been absolutely right to understand the concerns


people have and recognise that they are struggling with the


cost-of-living. Sure. And we are right to do that. What kind of


living standards stuck to rise next year? -- start to rise next year. I


hope they will. For 40 months of David Cameron's Prime Ministership,


for 39 of those, wages have risen slower than prices, so people are


worse off. I understand that. You will know that the broader


measurement, real household disposable income doesn't show that


decline because it takes everything into account. Going around the


country, people feel it. They say where's the recovery for me. Living


standards now start to rise? If that happens, what is your next line


There is a set of arguments about living standards, the National


Health Service, about the problems that there is in A, which caused


-- are caused by the organisation. I can put forward other lines. All


right. Let me ask you one other question If no newspapers have


signed up to the Government-backed Labour-backed Royal Charter on press


regular lace by 2015 and it looks like the way things are going none


will have, if you are in power, will a Labour Government legislate to


make them? They don't have to sign up to the Royal Charter, that's not


the system. What the Royal Charter does is create a recogniser and


basically says it's for the newspapers to set up their own


regulator. They are doing that. My question is... Let me finish. If


they decide to have nothing to do with the Royal Charter that was


decided in Miliband's office in the wee small hours, will you pass


legislation to make them? The newspapers are currently setting up


what they call... I know that, Harriet Harman. Just let me finish.


OK. Because the newspapers are setting up the independent Press


Standards Organisation. Right. If it is independent, as they say it is,


then the recogniser will simply say, we recognise that this is


independent and the whole point is that, in the past when there's been


skaen deals a tend press have really turned people's lives upside down


and the press have said OK we'll sort things out, leave it to us


then they have sorted things out but a few years later they have slipped


back, all this recogniser will do is check it once every three years and


say yes, you have got an independent system and it's remained independent


and therefore that is the guarantee things won't slip back. Very


interesting. Thank you for that That's really interesting that if


they get their act right, you won't force the alternative on them. We


want the system as set forward by Leveson which is not statute and


direct regulation. I want to stick with the press because I want to


ask, is this a British institution or an out-of-date image for a by


gone age. The Sun's Page 3 has been dividing the nation since it first


appeared way back in 1970. That s 43 years ago. Harriet Harman's called


for it to be removed, so we sent Adam out to ask whether the topless


photographs should stay or go. We have asked people if page three


should stay or go. Page three. What do you think? Nothing wrong with it


at all. I think it is cheap and exploits women. It is a family


newspaper. Should it stay or go Go. I will look like the bad guy. It


should go. You have changed your mind. It is free choice. Girls do


not have to be photographed. Old men get the paper just for that. Know


when your age does that? Not really. Dashes-macro know what your age


Page three girls, should they stay or go? I am not bothered. There are


other ways of getting noticed. Page three of the Sun newspaper every


day, there is a woman with no top on. We got rid of that about 40


years ago in Australia. I am not in favour of censorship. It has been


long enough. It can stay there. What is wrong with it? We want to


encourage children to read the newspapers. I do not want my


children to look at that. It is degrading. Do you think we will see


the day when they get rid of it Yes, I do. I am wondering if I can


turn this into some kind of a shelter. It is tipping it down. I


think the council should do something about their car parks


Mother nature, the human body. It should stay. Is some people like it,


that is fine. I have nothing against it. You know what has surprised me,


lots of women saying it should stay. Maybe they are seeing it as


empowering. As I have a baby daughter in there, I am happy to see


it go. Imagine my grandad opening up his paper and they're being my bats!


It should go. There is nothing wrong with it. He wants it to go. What


about people who think that page three should be banned? Idiots. Do


you know a girl called Lacey, aged 22, from Bedford? Good luck to her.


I do not know her as a person that I have heard she is nice. What about


her decision to be on page three? Nothing to lose. Do you think she


has made Bedford proud? That is not hard. What have we learned? More


people want page three to stay down for it to go. Most people do not


really seem to care, do they? You have heard a range of views. I am


not arguing it should be banned I have not argued for it to be banned


but I have disapproved of it since the 1970s. You do not think it


should be banned? I do not think there should be dictating content


but I do think, if you arrive from there should be dictating content


outer space in this country in 21st-century Britain, and asked


yourself what was the role of women 21st-century Britain, and asked


in society... To stand in their knickers and nothing else, I think


women have more to aspire to than to be able to take their clothes off in


public. The sun no longer has the circulation, or the political


importance, that it had in the 980s circulation, or the political


when page three was at its height. Aren't people just voting with their


feet anyway? The market is sorting this out. Half the number of people


buy it now than they did 20 years this out. Half the number of people


ago. Until the time the sun does not have page three any more, I am


entitled to my view that it is outdated and wrong. I am happy to


ban it. What should happen? Should ban it. What should happen? Should


people boycott the paper? I have people boycott the paper? I have


never implied or said it should be banned. I have always been


forthright. Should people boycott the paper? I have not called for a


boycott. The women's movement, of which I am part, and this is not


about politicians censoring the press. I am part of the movement


which says women can do better than press. I am part of the movement


in their knickers in the newspapers. in their knickers in the newspapers.


Why don't you do something about it? I am doing something about it by


saying it is outdated. I am not doing anything more about it. Should


people buy the paper as long as there is a page three? Would you


like to say to viewers, as long as like to say to viewers, as long as


page three is in the sand, you should not buy it? Dashes-macro be


Son. I am saying, wake up to what the role of women in society should


be, which is more than page three. If they changed it in Australia


which is where Rupert Murdoch came from, why can they not change it in


this country? You're watching the Sunday Politics. Coming up in just


over 20 minutes... I'll be talking to man


Welcome to your lunchtime Look North. In the headlines this


Welcome to your lunchtime Look North. In the I Hello


Welcome to your lunchtime Look Hello and a warm welcome to your


local part of the show for the North East and Cumbria. Coming up: are we


doing enough to help foster children once they reach 18? A charity calls


for a change in the law. And my guests this week: the


Gateshead Labour MP, Ian Mearns, and Northumberland Conservative


Councillor Wayne Daley. A warm welcome to you both.


And we start this Remembrance Sunday with continuing arguments over the


size and scope of the Government's cuts to the Armed Forces. The number


of regular soldiers is set to fall from 102,000 to 82,000 over the next


decade, leaving the Army half the size it was during the Cold War era.


A campaign is under way to save the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of


Fusiliers, which recruits heavily in the North East and North West and is


one of those due to be lost. It was an issue raised this week in the


Commons. I joined over 100 supporters of the


2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers as they marched on


Parliament against the government's decision to scrap it. Ministers


believe that the 2nd Battalion can be replaced by reservists, yet the


chairman of the Northumberland Fusiliers Association is very


concerned that it simply won't be possible to recruit the numbers


needed. The Government wants the number of


reservists to double to 30,000 but ministers say they are not a direct


replacement for regular troops. The change of the role of reservists


and the changes in the structure of the Army are not simply about trying


to recruit reservists to replace disbanded battalions of infantry.


Most of the reservists we are recruiting will be specialists,


unlike the infantry role. Ian Mearns, I gather the Battalion


of Fusiliers is one that is close to your heart?


Indeed, my dad was a member of the Northumberland Royal Fusiliers


before and during the Second World War.


Clearly there is emotional resonance but I suppose the danger is that we


could let emotions cloud the hard decisions that have to be made with


the lack of resources meaning that some regiments will have to go.


That is probably right but we have to look at the criteria the


Government are using for the decisions that they have taken. When


we look at The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, there are two


well`recruited battalions ` one in the North East, the other in the


North West. If we take out one of those battalions it brings the whole


regiment into question because under the government's own criteria,


single battalion regiments are ones they are looking to cut further.


Wayne Daley, the whole process of this doesn't seem right.


Conservatives are presiding over cuts that a lot of people in your


own party will be horrified by. It is important to understand that


Northumberland Conservatives have supported a motion which supports


the retention of the 2nd Battalion, particularly the Northumberland


Regiment within that. It is very important for us to retain


historical links. This goes back to something much wider, which was the


defence review in 2010. Both parties at that general election were


committed to doing this and the reason was simple: there was a ?3.3


billion overspend in the last year of the Labour Government, a ?38


billion hole in total over the last ten years on defence expenditure.


That's the context but the reality is that as an unintended


consequence, a historic regiment which recruits from the North East,


particularly Northumberland, is now likely to be disbanded and as


Conservatives in the area we are fundamentally opposed to that and we


are writing to Philip Hammond to ask him to review the situation because


it is the wrong decision. The Government says that reservists


aren't supposed to be a replacement but realistically people will look


at them as such. The plan is to have 30,000


reservists by 2020. In the first month of recruitment, around 1500


have been recruited so the MOD are saying they are on track. I don't


know whether that's correct but what I am seeing as a Conservative is


that I have concerns about that and many in my party have concerns about


replacing a full`time Regiment with reservists and we need to monitor it


very carefully because the MOD does not have a good history of delivery


of its projects. Ian Mearns, I understand there is


some emotion around this particular Regiment but every week Labour


politicians come on here to say "don't cut this", "don't cut that",


but realistically there is only so much money and the Government has


got to take action. If you look at what the two


battalions deliver on the ground, they are exactly what the modern


army would need in the future. The MOD's website tells you exactly what


the range of skills are within these two battalions and it exactly fits


the criteria of what needs to be retained. I think that the MOD and


the Army need to look elsewhere. Thank you both for now.


Many of our local councillors have been running campaigns to attract


more foster parents and it does seem to have worked. But what happens


when those children reach 18? It seems many social service


departments are not willing to keep funding of their foster placements


and that can leave vulnerable young people faring for themselves without


a job or a secure family home. The Government is now being urged to


change the law. Like a lot of 18`year`olds, Arran


has a busy schedule. Along with work as a swimming pool lifeguard, he is


also training to be a sports coach. That means trips to the gym as well


as study at college and through all this has foster mum is vital.


Heather takes me everywhere, pretty much. She makes all my food. She


gives me encouragement to do what I want and I have confidence that


Heather believes in me. Of course, in most households,


staying in the family home into your 20s has become the norm rather than


the exception. But foster children are different. The vast majority


still leave care before their 18th birthday. Campaigners say that's too


young. Arran's foster carer agrees. There aren't a lot of people who


leave home at 18 and most people of that age don't want to think about


it, so I think all young people in foster care should be given the


choice and the opportunity if they wish to stay on after 18.


All the evidence suggests that people who have been in the care


system are much more likely to end up unemployed or with poor health.


But those who remain with their foster families for longer tend to


do better. Why then, across the country, does only one in 20 remain


fostered until the age of 19? It might be that there is just not


that expectation, that principle that says come 18, you can stay with


your foster carer. We have to try and break through that and make it


clear to everybody that it is a good thing to do and that the thought of


moving into a flat, which might be attractive to some young people,


actually isn't so attractive once you have done it as it can be a very


lonely time. That sense of isolation is something


Ashleigh knows all about. She is now 19, living in supported


accommodation and doing well. But after a childhood in the North East


that alternated between foster care and unsuccessful returns to her


birth family, she was placed alone in a hostel, aged only 16.


It was horrible, people knocking on your door all the time, shouting and


fighting. What sort of people?


Like, alcoholics... How much help and support did you


get at that time? Not really much... None.


The answer, say some MPs, is to give teenagers like Ashleigh a new legal


right to stay in foster care until 21.


I think that we as a society have a responsibility to support young


people who end up in the care system through no fault of their own. We


should give them some of the advantages that young people in


stable family relationships end up with.


The Government has so far resisted new legislation but ministers say


that they are pushing councils to support those in foster care for


longer. They appear to share the view that teenagers like Arran


deserve someone else to share their burden.


Wayne Daley, isn't it a dereliction of duty that we saw someone like


Ashleigh there aged only 16, ending up in a hostel facing the things she


described? It's not good. In fact, on Friday


the Government produced a wide`ranging cross`departmental


strategy which is looking at young people in care. It is encouraging


local authorities to continue that care and support for them post`18.


Encouraging, but not forcing or providing resources.


At the moment, it is a cross departmental strategy...


A "cross`departmental strategy" ` that doesn't cut any ice...


What that means is, let's look at Northumberland. In Northumberland,


we have a 'staying put' strategy, which means we can help young people


stay with their foster families past the age of 18. In Northumberland, to


the age of 25 we have dedicated workers who will support those young


people. There are pilot projects, we need to look at that and as we have


seen in the film, the Government may be minded to look at legislation. My


personal view is that it is such an important issue for those young


people that we need to enshrine it in legislation. But at the moment


what the Government is saying to local authorities is: continue to


give the ?2000 grant to help set up a home, if they want it. Continue to


provide the educational bursary of ?1200 a year, but also continue to


provide that post`18 care, and like in Northumberland, which is a very


good example, continue to offer that one`to`one support, and I think we


can learn from that. Ian Mearns, some councils seem to be


able to offer support, others don't. Is this more about their will to do


it rather than resources? It's very patchy across the country


and one of the things we have to accept is that previous governments


have introduced the concept of local authorities as corporate parents and


from my perspective, the corporate parenting responsibility does not


end when a young person becomes 18 years old. If we're going to take


the role of corporate parenting as seriously as we would parenting our


own children, then it has to go on into young adulthood and into


adulthood itself. These are vulnerable young people who have


been through traumatic experiences, so we cannot cast them aside at the


age of 18. We're does it stop, though? 21? 25?


30? I mean, there are limits to resources.


I think in the role of the corporate parent should be as a back`up


facility, a guardianship role. I don't think we can get away from the


fact that that will be resource`intensive but I think the


problem we have to face up to is that far too many youngsters come


through the care system and end up in the criminal justice system,


which has far too many youngsters in it who've been failed by the care


system. The costs there are dramatic to the criminal justice system. So


we need to think about spending some money to support those young people


into adulthood in order to prevent later unnecessary expenditure and


harm. Thank you very much.


There was a time when bus companies were owned and run by local councils


but then Mrs Thatcher came along and the industry was deregulated. These


days, it is the big transport operators like Stagecoach and Arriva


which control bus services across the North East and the taxpayer


still contributes ?62 million a year in subsidy. But could things be


about to change? In Tyne Wear, the transport authority is consulting on


plans that could see politicians taking back control over buses.


The transport authority says that bus companies profits are excessive.


If they took control, they'd promise better services and more joined up


ticketing with the metro. But the bus companies have hit back. They


say that the councils want to take money out of bus services to pay for


the loss`making Metro and Shields ferry, while council tax bills will


rise. So, who's right? Both sides in an


increasingly bitter dispute are with me now. Jonathan Bray, tell us why


this would be good news for bus passengers.


This proposition is to take the ?60 million that the authorities have


already put in and use also the excessive profits that the operators


are making to provide a single integrated public transport network


for Tyne Wear, where we can guarantee through contracts that the


fares will be protected to RPI and also that 80% of passengers will


start off any position where they will be better off or the same as


they are now. This will be the first city outside of London to have a


fully integrated transport system where buses coordinate with each


other and with the Metro and it will be something similar to the Oyster


card that will allow you to use all of the system together.


OK, that is the case for. Phil Medlicot, why is it such a bad idea?


Where we are today is that the Tyne Where we are today is that the Tyne


Wear bus network, outside of London, is the next`most heavily


used network in the whole of the UK. We also have one of the most


satisfied customer bases outside of London, in fact including London. We


have said that we will work with the Tyne Wear ITA and Nexus to


introduce a partnership, as in many other cities in the UK. That is the


normal process nowadays. From that, we can introduce a lot of things


that Jonathan is talking about, for example, guaranteed levels of


investment, real`time information, Wi`Fi, etc.


Is is that this is about you protecting profits. . That is not


true. ?42 million of that 62 million is actually to pay for concessionary


fares so it is actually paying for the travellers that use the service.


Are you making profits of 20%? Around that amount but we reinvest


back into the service. We have invested over ?10 million into the


economy in Tyne Wear. This is about taking money away from


profitable alias and subsidising the loss`making metal and Shields


ferry. It is all about profit. In London, where they have the same


system that Tyne Wear want to bring in here, the only nickname


percent. It is all about profit levels. If councils get the figures


wrong it is the taxpayer that will suffer. This is the normal system


for providing services. This system works. Argos is safe in your hands?


`` are buses safe in your hands? Statistics are classic and you can


always go back far not to say whether or not asked passengers have


or haven't fallen. Actually, bus passenger levels are relatively


stable. It is the numbers on the Metro but have fallen. Are bus


passengers getting a good deal? I use the buses a great deal. We have


one area of regional Government in England, that is London, but why is


it one rule for London and another rule for provincial England? I use


an Oyster card in London and it is so convenient. Let's not forget that


when the buses where the regulated, the bus companies were sold off from


public ownership at a very cheap premium. That actually proves that


they were just about giving them away. What about support a


Northumberland? The town council are supporting the proposal for these


buses because they come into Northumberland. I think it would be


good for our area. From the information that I have seen, it


looks like a good idea because it provides a surety of service. This


is curious that a conservative is backing what is in effect a kick in


the teeth to private companies. It is not a kick in the teeth, it is


falling Boris Johnson's example. It is taking profits. It is not about


taking profits. It works in London and can work for the people in Tyne


Wear and Northumberland. It is a. . The police caught on


one key study identified that young lady has been taxed and now only has


84p per day to live on. It is an absolute scandal. The head of Nissan


wants the car`maker would have to reconsider its future in the UK if


Britain pulled out of the European Union.


Former DJ Mike Reed will be in the region next weekend for his new role


as culture spokesman. I will be interviewing the party


leader Nigel farads. That is next week.


It came as a surprise when a Northumberland MP said he wanted to


take over the studio and grill me for a change. Here I am, facing a


quickfire question round for Children In Need.


Here with me today as Richard Moss. You are a celebrity here in the


North East so we have if you questions to ask you. Who would play


you in the film your life? That is a good question and I would like to


think it would be Brad Pitt. But party there might be a better


match, in all honesty. You work`out? Songs in my head, yes! What is your


message to the world? If you want Mr universe? I want to promote world


peace. Daniel Craig Sean Connery? Daniel Craig. What do you want to


be? I harbour ambitions to be a bus driver.


Your consumer of that this Friday for Children In Need.


more equipment so they can see cyclists. Back to you, Andrew.


We learned this week that no more warships will be built at


Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy since the days of the Mary Rose


and Francis Drake. But has the city been sacrificed to save jobs on the


Clyde in Scotland? Is England the loser in an effort to keep the


United Kingdom intact? Let's speak to Eddie Bone, he leads the campaign


for an English Parliament. Is England the loser in this attempt to


doubt, Andrew. We would look at it from the campaign for the English


Parliament that the British governance is bribing the Scots to


stay with the union at the cost of English jobs. What is the best


outcome for England when Scotland votes in the referendum next year?


We have got to have an English parliament. What I mean by that is


an endless governor and with a first minister speaking on behalf of the


people of England. -- and English government. If Scotland votes for


independence, that is the union coming to an end. It will be


dissolved legally. England would be going to negotiating table without


true representation. The union continues but it continues without


Scotland. I want to come back to my... That is the constitutional


position. You may not agree with me but that is the constitutional


position. Do you want Scotland to vote for independence next year We


want a fair deal with equality for England. If that can be maintained


or England can have a fair deal within the union, that is brilliant.


Let's have a federal system are all the nations are treated equally If


that cannot happen and Scotland decides to stay, if Scotland goes,


it is an independent England, isn't it? If Scotland votes to leave the


union, what is left of the United Kingdom would be so dominated by


England at Westminster would, in effect, Beale English Parliament,


wouldn't it? I do not agree with you. I think that is a British, deny


list approach. The act of union was a fusion with the King of England to


the King of Scotland. That would come to an end. The Welsh are very


concerned. They are a very small nation. If you have a botched


British come English Parliament the Welsh would be in a very vulnerable


situation. They would not be listened to. Also a situation with


Northern Ireland. There are voices in Northern Ireland talking about


trying to reunite Northern Ireland. It would be a very volatile


situation. Would you prefer England to become an independent nation


separate from what was left of the UK, which would be Wales and


Northern Ireland? Would you like to see England have a seat in the UN? I


want their representation for the people of England. English jobs were


sacrificed because the British government wanted Scotland to


remain... You have answered that very quickly. I am -- very clearly.


Would you want England, without Northern Ireland and Wales to become


a separate nation state? If that is what it takes for people of England


to have their representation - representation that looks at


policies of the NHS, education very different from Wales and Northern


Ireland - then so be it. Independence will need to be the way


forward. We have a small window of opportunity that the federal system


might still work. D1 indenting have a system like Scotland? -- do you


want England to have a system like Scotland? What we need to do now is


implement the process is to get their representation for England. I


would urge your viewers to join our campaign because it is the only way


to protect jobs in England, protect the NHS, protect education.


Otherwise we will see the people in England continually penalised by the


British government is trying desperately to save the union by


giving more to Scotland and Wales. Nice to talk to you. Helen, on this


business of the Clyde versus Portsmouth, it would have been


pretty inconceivable of the British government that believes in the


union to have allowed the Clyde to close. That would have been a


disaster. It would have been. It's dumped Nicola Sturgeon. Hang on a


minute, if there was Scottish independence, England were not allow


its warships to be built in a foreign country. She was unable to


admit there were any downsides to Scottish independence. It would be


dangerous for Scotland to talk about this. You have a Lib Dem and a


Conservative MP with reasonable majorities. They will find that a


killer on their doorstep in the next election. There are no results in


this for Mr Cameron. He has one MP and he will be lucky to have two.


And the South of England, I know Portsmouth is quite an industrial


area, but the South of England is overall Tory territory. He has


backed the Clyde where there are no Tory votes. The Tory problem in


Scotland is crucial. The trend to look out for is the rise of English


nationalism within the Conservative Party. They have the word Unionist


in their official title. If, in election after election, they failed


to win a significant presence in Scotland, and they are failing to


win a majority in Westminster because of that, it is not hard to


imagine that in ten years time that would be a party which has more


autonomy. One person we know who does not sign up to that. David


Cameron is a romantic Unionist at heart he may say that are not any


vote in Scotland but he want to keep the union together. With the Clyde,


you saw a rival together of economic and political interests. It is


economic or the case the greatest shipbuilding capability in the


United Kingdom is in the Clyde. It is politically very helpful for this


government to say to people in Scotland, look at the benefits of


being in the United Kingdom and under their breath, or in the case


of Alistair Carmichael to a camera, look what might go if you leave


That came together very conveniently to the government. Now, how do you


like your politicians? Squeaky clean with an impeccable past? Or are you


happy for them to have a few skeletons in the closet? Well, last


week the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted smoking crack cocaine. He


said he took the drug about a year ago whilst in a drunken stupor. So,


what impact do confessions have on a political career? In a moment, we'll


hear what our panel has to say, but first, take a look at this. Yes I


have smoked crack cocaine. Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it?


Probably one of my drunken stupor is, about a year ago. I have used


drugs in the past. I have used class a drugs in the past. About 30 years


ago at university, I did smoke cannabis. I took cannabis is a few


times at university and it was wrong. Have you snorted cocaine I


tried to but unsuccessfully years ago. I sneezed. The people around


you who took cocaine, they went .. Is it better to confess or the that


get you into even more hot water? It is absolutely better. The confession


by Jacqui Smith was without glamour. Finding a Labour politician who once


smoked cannabis 25 years ago... I do not think it makes you think that


she cannot be a serious politician. Politicians should brace thing about


them which everyone knows. In the case of Ed Miliband, he should not


deny being geeky. That would reek of in authenticity. The Tory MP meant


to be regarded as a rising star turns out he was claiming to heat


his horses stables at the expense of the tax payer. He had made a


generous claim for energy bills in his constituency home. He went


through the papers and found he had been using it to heat the stables


and he laid it all out and did the right thing. He was completely


honest. Is that the end of it? It will still haunt in because energy


is such a big issue. He was right to be honest about it. Helen was


saying, absolutely, you need to be honest about your past. Harriet


Harman said she smoked pot at university. If you have smoked pot,


you can have a front line career. If you have taken class a drugs, you


cannot have a front line career There is the politician confessing


and the remarkable willingness of the public to forgive. It is


enlightened and progressive to forgive a politician for an affair


or taking soft drugs at university. To smoke crack cocaine and demand be


mad of following the Mayor of Toronto does astonishes me. There


was an example in America a few years ago. It was crack cocaine He


was elected having confessed to smoking crack cocaine. I draw the


line around class a drugs. We will put the team on to investigate him.


Help to Bible come back into the headlines again. Mr Cameron will


surroundings by the people who are benefiting from buying their homes


on this scheme in the same way that this is that you used to visit those


who had bought their council houses. It will become hugely politicised.


The Bank of England thinks that unemployment will drop late 201 ,


early 2015. They will put interest rates up. Those with 95% mortgages


will have two find an extra ?40 a month to pay them off. I would not


be surprised if David Cameron is setting up himself with this


trouble. They will not want to raise interest rates. Mark Carney was very


careful to give himself three get out clauses. If unemployment hits a


certain level, Key has three measures which have to be fulfilled


before he goes ahead and raises interest rates. As a Tory


strategist, would you rather go into the election with low and implement


or low interest rates? I think they would stick to low interest rates.


-- low unemployment. It is not just panellists who are raising questions


about it, it is senior figures people in senior economic positions.


They are saying the scheme is fine at the moment. David Cameron will be


surrounded by people who have taken mortgages out at low levels and it


is all fine right now but if interest rates go up, it will not be


cosy. That's all folks. The Daily Politics is back tomorrow on BBC Two


at midday. I'll be back next Sunday at the normal time of 11am.


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


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