17/11/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


17/11/2013

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With Justine Greening, Andy Burnham and Mark Pritchard.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

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Downing Street announces an inquiry into allegations of hardball tactics

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and intimidation by unions in industrial disputes. That's our top

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Thousands dead. Hundreds of Thousands dead. Hundreds of

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thousands without homes. Millions affected. What is Britain doing to

:00:51.:00:54.

help the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan? We'll ask

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International Development Secretary Typhoon Haiyan? We'll ask

:00:57.:01:00.

Justine Greening. Winter is coming and so, it seems,

:01:01.:01:03.

is another crisis in England's hospitals. I'll be asking the Shadow

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Health Secretary how he'd put visit a North East street to see how

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its residents cope with rising fatalities on the capital's streets,

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and renewed calls to get lorries off the roads in peak hours.

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With me, the best and brightest political panel that money can buy.

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Janan Ganesh, Nick Watt and this week, Zoe Williams, who'll be

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tweeting their thoughts throughout the programme.

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The Government has announced a review to investigate what the Prime

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Minister has called "industrial intimidation" by trade union

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activists. Bruce Carr QC will chair a panel to examine allegations of

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the kind of tactics that came to light during the Grangemouth

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dispute, when the Unite union took their protests - replete with a

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giant rat - outside the family homes of the firms' bosses. Earlier this

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morning the Cabinet office minister, Francis Maude spoke to the BBC and

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this is what he had to say. To look at whether the law currently works

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and see if it is ineffective in preventing the kind of intimidatory

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activity that was alleged to have taken place around range mouth

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during the previous disputes -- Grangemouth. We make no presumptions

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at the beginning of this. I do think it is a responsible thing for the

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government to establish what happened and really do a proper

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review into whether the law is adequate to meet the needs. That was

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Francis Maude. This is a purely political move, isn't it? Unite did

:02:59.:03:03.

this a couple of times, it is hardly happening all over the country but

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the government want to say, we are prepared to investigate Unite

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properly, Labour isn't. This seemed a lot worse when I thought it was a

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real rat. I thought it was a giant dead rat. I am not sure if you know

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much about rats but real rats are not this big, even the ones in

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London. The thing is, obviously it is naked politics but I think it is

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more intelligent than it looks. They are trying to taint Miliband as a

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week union puppet and that doesn't really wash. They hammer away with

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it and it might wash for some people. But it really castrates

:03:45.:03:50.

Miliband in the important issues he has to tackle. Zero hours, living

:03:51.:03:54.

wage, all of those things in which he needs to be in concert with the

:03:55.:03:59.

unions, and to use their expertise. He is making them absolutely toxic

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to go anywhere near. It keeps the Unite story alive, have to kill --

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particularly since Mr Miller band is under pressure to reopen the

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investigation into what Unite are up to -- Mr Miliband. They are

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frustrated, not only at the BBC but the media generally at what they

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think is a lack of coverage. I see the political rationale from that

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respect. There is a risk. There are union members who either vote Tory

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or are open to the idea of voting Tory. All Lib Dem. If the party

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comes across as too zealous in as -- its antipathy, there is an electoral

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consequence. Ed Miliband has been careful to keep a distance. Yes

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they depend on vast amounts of money. When Len McCluskey had a real

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go at the Blairites, Ed Miliband was straight out there with a very

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strong statement. Essentially Len McCluskey wanted Blairites in the

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shadow cabinet sacked and Ed Miliband was keen to distance

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himself or for that is why it is not quite sticking. Another story in the

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Sunday papers this morning, the Mail on Sunday got hold of some e-mails.

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When I saw the headline I thought it was a huge cache of e-mails, it

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turns out to be a couple. They peel away the cover on the relationship

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between Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, with some of Ed Miliband's cohorts

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describing what Mr balls is trying to do as a nightmare. How bad are

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the relations? They are pretty bad and these e-mails confirm the

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biggest open signal in Westminster, which is that relations are pretty

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tense, -- open secret. That Ed Miliband doesn't feel that Ed Balls

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is acknowledging the economy has grown that Labour needs to admit to

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past mistakes. The sort of great open signal is confirmed. On a scale

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of 1-10, assuming that Blair-Brown was ten. I think it is between six

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and seven. They occupy this joint suite of offices that George Cameron

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and -- David Cameron and George Osborne had. It is not just on the

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economy that there were tensions, there were clearly tensions over

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HS2, Ed Balls put a huge question over it at his conference. There

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will be more tensions when it comes to the third runway because my

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information is that Mr balls wants to do it and Ed Miliband almost

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resigned over it when he was in government. I don't think Ed

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Miliband is thinking very politically because he has tried

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live without Ed Balls and that is not tenable either. -- life without.

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He has defined a way of making it work. That is where Tony Blair had

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the edge on any modern politician. He didn't want to make Ed Balls his

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Shadow Chancellor, he had to. Somebody said to him, if you make Ed

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Balls Shadow Chancellor, that will be the last decision you take as

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leader of the Labour Party. Is it as bad? I was surprised at how tame the

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e-mails were. At the FT it is compulsory, one French word per

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sentence! To call him a nightmare, compared to what they are willing to

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say in briefings, conversations bits of frustrations they express

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verbally come what is documented in the e-mails is actually pretty

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light. It has been a grim week for the people of the Philippines as

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they count the cost of the devastation wrought by Typhoon

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Haiyan. HMS Daring has just arrived near the worst hit areas - part of

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Britain's contribution to bring aid to the country.

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It has been one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the

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Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan hit the country nine days ago, leaving

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devastation in its wake. The numbers involved are shocking. The official

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death toll is over 3600 people, with many thousands more unaccounted for.

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More than half a million people have lost their homes and the UN

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estimates 11 million have been affected. David Cameron announced on

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Friday that the UK government is to give an extra ?30 million in aid,

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taking the total British figure ?250 million. An RAF Sea 17 aircraft

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landed yesterday with equipment to help aid workers get too hard to

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reach areas. HMS Illustrious is on its way and due to arrive next

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weekend. The British public have once again dipped into their pockets

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and given generously. They have given more than ?30 million to the

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Disasters Emergency Committee. The International Development

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Secretary, Justine Greening, joins me now for the Sunday Interview

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Good morning, Secretary of State. How much of the ?50 million that the

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government has allocated has got through so far? All of it has landed

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on the ground now. HMS Daring has turned up, that will be able to

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start getting help out to some of those more outlying islands that

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have been hard to reach. We have seen Save the Children and Oxfam

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really being able to get aid out on the ground. We have a plane taking

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off today that will not read just carrying out more equipment to help

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clear the roads but will also have their staff on board, too. We have

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?50 million of aid actually on the ground? We instantly chartered

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flights directly from Dubai where we have preprepared human Terry and

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supplies, and started humanity work -- humanitarian supplies.

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A lot of it has now arrived. I think we have done a huge amount so far.

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We have gone beyond just providing humanitarian supplies, to getting

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the Royal Air Force involved. They have helped us to get equipment out

:10:43.:10:46.

there quickly. We have HMS Illustrious sailing over there now.

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Why has that taken so long? It was based in the Gulf and is not going

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to get there until two weeks after the storm first hit and that is the

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one ship we have with lots of helicopters. The first decision we

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took was to make sure we could get the fastest vessel out there that

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was able to help HMS Daring. HMS Illustrious was just finishing an

:11:09.:11:10.

exercise and planning to start to head back towards the UK. We have

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said to not do that, and diverted it. Shouldn't it have happened more

:11:16.:11:21.

quickly? We took the decisions as fast as we were able to, you can't

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just turn a big warship around like the HMS Illustrious. We made sure we

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took those decisions and that is while it will be taking over from

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HMS Daring come and that is why HMS Daring is ready there. It will be

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able to provide key support and expertise that has not been there so

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far. The US Navy is doing the heavy lifting here. The US Navy had the

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USS Washington, there is an aircraft carrier, 80 planes, 5000 personnel

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and they have the fleet, they are doing the real work. We obviously

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helping but the Americans are taking the lead. It is a big international

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effort. Countries like the US and the UK, that have a broader ability

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to support that goes beyond simply call humanitarian supplies -- have

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made sure we have brought our logistics knowledge, we have sent

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out our naval vessels. It shows we are working across government to

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respond to this crisis. Why does only just over 4% of your aid budget

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go on emergency disaster and response? A lot depends on what

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crises hit in any given year. We have done a huge amount, responding

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to the crisis in Syria, the conflict there and the fact we have 2 million

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refugees who have fled the country. We are part of an international

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effort in supporting them. Shouldn't we beginning more money to that

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rather than some of the other programmes where it is harder to see

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the results question of if we were to give more money to the refugees,

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it would be a visible result. We could see an improvement in the

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lives of children, men and women. What we need to do is alongside that

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is stop those situations from happening in the first place. A lot

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of our development spend is helping countries to stay stable. Look at

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some of the work we are doing in Somalia, much more sensible. Not

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just from an immigration but there is a threat perspective. There is a

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lot of terrorism coming from Somalia. You only have to look at

:13:33.:13:38.

Kenya recently to see that. Which is why you talk about what we do with

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the rest of the spend. It is why it is responsible to work with the

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government of Somalia. Should we give more, bigger part of the budget

:13:48.:13:54.

to disaster relief or not? I think we get it about right, we have to be

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flexible and we are. This Philippine relief is on top of the work in

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Syria. Where can you show me a correlation between us giving aid to

:14:05.:14:08.

some failed nation, or nearly failed nation, and that cutting down on

:14:09.:14:14.

terrorism? If you look at the work we have done in Pakistan, a huge

:14:15.:14:17.

amount of work. Some of it short-term. It is written by

:14:18.:14:24.

terrorism. That is -- ridden by terrorism. That is not going to fix

:14:25.:14:31.

it self in a sense. Look at the work that we do in investing in

:14:32.:14:40.

education. The things that little girls like Malala talk about as

:14:41.:14:48.

being absolutely key. We are ramping up our aid to Pakistan, it will be

:14:49.:14:53.

close to half ?1 billion by the time of the election. Why should British

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taxpayers be giving half ?1 billion to a country where only 0.5% of

:14:59.:15:06.

people in Pakistan pay income tax, and 70% of their own MPs don't pay

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income tax. It is a good point and that is why we have been working

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with their tax revenue authority to help them increase that and push

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forward the tax reform. You are right, and I have setup a team that

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will go out and work with many of these countries so they can raise

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their own revenues. You really think you will raise the amount of tax by

:15:41.:15:53.

sending out the British HRM see How many troops I we sending out to

:15:54.:15:59.

protect them? They don't need troops. We make sure that we have a

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duty of care alongside our staff, but we have to respond to any crisis

:16:07.:16:17.

like the Philippines, and alongside other countries we have two work

:16:18.:16:22.

alongside them so that they can reinvest in their own public

:16:23.:16:27.

services. If they can create their own taxes, will we stop paying aid?

:16:28.:16:33.

We need to look at that but the new Pakistan Government has been very

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clear it is a priority and we will be helping them in pursuing that.

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Let me show you a picture. Who are these young women? I don't know I'm

:16:47.:16:53.

sure you are about to tell me. They are the Ethiopian Spice Girls and

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I'm surprised you don't know because they have only managed to become so

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famous because your department has financed them to the tune of ?4

:17:06.:17:10.

million. All of the work we do with women on the ground, making sure

:17:11.:17:14.

they have a voice in their local communities, making sure they have

:17:15.:17:21.

some control over what happens to their own bodies in terms of

:17:22.:17:29.

tackling FGM, female genital mutilation... Did you know your

:17:30.:17:35.

department has spent ?4 million on the Ethiopian Spice Girls? Yes, I

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do, and we have to work with girls and show them there is a life ahead

:17:44.:17:47.

of them with opportunity and potential that goes beyond what many

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of them will experience, which includes early and forced marriage.

:17:52.:17:57.

It is part of the work we do with local communities to change

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attitudes everything you have just said is immeasurable, and they

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broadcast on a radio station that doesn't reach most of the country so

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it cannot have the impact. It only reaches 20 million people and the

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project has been condemned saying there were serious inefficiencies.

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That aid report was done a while ago now, and it was talking about the

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project when it first got going and a lot of improvements have happened

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since. I would go back to the point that we are working in very

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difficult environments where we are trying to get longer term change on

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the ground and that means working directly with communities but also

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investing for the long-term, investing in some of these girls

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start changing attitudes in them and their communities. Why does the

:19:00.:19:05.

British taxpayers spend ?5 million on a Bangladesh version of Question

:19:06.:19:17.

Time? We work with the BBC to make sure we can get accountabilities...

:19:18.:19:23.

That is bigger then the BBC Question Time Normal -- budget. That includes

:19:24.:19:43.

the cost of David Dimbleby's tattoo! We are working to improve

:19:44.:19:50.

people's prospects but also we are working to improve their ability to

:19:51.:19:54.

hold their governments to account so that when they are not getting

:19:55.:19:57.

services on the ground, they have ways they can raise those concerns

:19:58.:20:01.

with the people who are there to deliver services for them. In your

:20:02.:20:07.

own personal view, should the next Conservative Government, if there is

:20:08.:20:14.

one, should you continue to ring fence spending on foreign aid? But

:20:15.:20:18.

it is critical that if we are going to spend 7.7% of our national

:20:19.:20:25.

income, we should make sure it is in our national interest and that means

:20:26.:20:30.

having a clear approach to humanitarian responses, in keeping

:20:31.:20:34.

the country safe, and a clearer approach on helping drive economic

:20:35.:20:39.

development and jobs so there is a long-term end of the dependency Do

:20:40.:20:46.

you believe in an shrine in the percentage of our GDP that goes on

:20:47.:20:53.

foreign aid in law? Yes, and that is a coalition agreement. There have

:20:54.:20:59.

been a lot of agreements that you are sceptical about ring fencing. We

:21:00.:21:05.

are focused on shaking up the economy and improving our public

:21:06.:21:15.

finances. Why haven't you done that? At the end of the day we will be

:21:16.:21:24.

accountable but we are committed to doing that. You are running out of

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time, will you do it? I hope we can find the Parliamentary time, but

:21:32.:21:35.

even if we don't, we have acted as if that law is in place and we have

:21:36.:21:44.

already met 0.7% commitment. If you are British voter that doesn't

:21:45.:21:47.

believe that we should enshrine that in by law, which means that with a

:21:48.:21:54.

growing economy foreign aid will rise by definition, and if you think

:21:55.:21:59.

we should be spending less money on the Ethiopian Spice Girls, for whom

:22:00.:22:03.

should you wrote in the next election? I think we have a very

:22:04.:22:10.

sensible approach. I don't know what the various party manifestoes.. The

:22:11.:22:16.

only party who thinks we shouldn't be doing this is UKIP. I think you

:22:17.:22:22.

have to look at the response to both the Philippines crisis and Children

:22:23.:22:36.

In Need. Of all the steps we are taking to get the country back on

:22:37.:22:40.

track, it shows the British people will respond to need when they need

:22:41.:22:46.

it and it is one of the things that makes Britain's special.

:22:47.:22:52.

Thank you. "It's always winter but never Christmas" - that's how

:22:53.:22:54.

doctors describe life inside accident and emergency. The College

:22:55.:22:57.

of Emergency Medicine have warned that this year could bring the

:22:58.:23:01.

"worst crisis on record". If that dire prediction comes, expect a

:23:02.:23:04.

spring of political recriminations, but how prepared are the NHS in

:23:05.:23:08.

England? And what do they make of this autumnal speculation? Giles has

:23:09.:23:15.

been to Leeds to find out. This winter has already come to our

:23:16.:23:20.

hospitals. It had an official start date, November the 3rd. That is when

:23:21.:23:30.

weekly updates are delivered to the NHS's most senior planners, alerting

:23:31.:23:34.

them to any sudden changes in patient numbers coming in. Where do

:23:35.:23:42.

they numbers register most then A They are the barometer for what

:23:43.:23:47.

is going on everywhere else, and they are the pressure point, so if

:23:48.:23:53.

the system is beginning to struggle then it is in the A department

:23:54.:23:58.

that we see the problems. It is not that the problems are the A

:23:59.:24:05.

departments, but they are the place where it all comes together. Plans

:24:06.:24:10.

to tackle those problems start being drawn up in May and they look at

:24:11.:24:16.

trends, even taking notice of any flu epidemics in New Zealand. They

:24:17.:24:29.

also look at the amount of bets But the weather, economic realities

:24:30.:24:33.

structural reforms, and changes to the general health of the

:24:34.:24:38.

population, are all factors they have to consider. We get huge

:24:39.:24:42.

amounts of information through the winter in order to help the NHS be

:24:43.:24:48.

the best it can be, but we had to redouble our efforts this year

:24:49.:24:52.

because we expected to be a difficult winter. We know the NHS is

:24:53.:24:58.

stretched so we are working hard to be as good as we can be. That means

:24:59.:25:04.

they are looking at winter staffing levels, plans to ask for help from

:25:05.:25:11.

neighbouring hospitals, and dovetailing help with GP surgeries,

:25:12.:25:15.

and still having the ability to move up an extra gear, a rehearsed

:25:16.:25:22.

emergency plan if the NHS had to face a major disease pandemic. You

:25:23.:25:28.

spend any time in any of our hospitals and you realise the NHS

:25:29.:25:32.

knows that winter is coming and they are making plans, but you also get a

:25:33.:25:36.

palpable feeling amongst health workers across the entire system

:25:37.:25:40.

that they do get fed up of being used as a political football.

:25:41.:25:47.

Doctors and all health care professionals are frustrated about

:25:48.:25:51.

the politics that surrounds the NHS in health care. They go to work to

:25:52.:25:56.

treat patients as best as they can, and the political knock-about does

:25:57.:26:02.

not help anyone. I find it frustrating when there is a

:26:03.:26:06.

commentary that suggests the NHS does not planned, when it is

:26:07.:26:11.

surprised by winter, and wherever that comes from it is hard to take,

:26:12.:26:16.

knowing how much we do nationally and how much our hard working front

:26:17.:26:27.

line staff are doing. When the Coalition have recently tried to

:26:28.:26:34.

open up the NHS to be a more independent body, it is clear the

:26:35.:26:40.

NHS feel they have had an unhealthy dose of political wrangling between

:26:41.:26:45.

parties on policy. The NHS is not infallible or making any guarantees,

:26:46.:26:51.

but they seem confident that they and their patients can survive the

:26:52.:26:53.

winter. Joining me now from Salford in the

:26:54.:26:56.

Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham. Tell me this, if you were

:26:57.:27:07.

health secretary now, you just took over in an emergency election, what

:27:08.:27:14.

would you do to avoid another winter crisis? I would immediately halt the

:27:15.:27:20.

closure of NHS walk-in centres. We heard this week that around one in

:27:21.:27:26.

four walk-in centres are closed so it makes no sense whatsoever for the

:27:27.:27:31.

Government to allow the continued closure of them. I would put nurses

:27:32.:27:37.

back on the end of phones and restore an NHS direct style service.

:27:38.:27:42.

The new 111 service is not in a position to provide help to people

:27:43.:27:50.

this winter. I think the time has come to rethink how the NHS care is

:27:51.:27:55.

particularly for older people so I propose the full integration of

:27:56.:27:59.

health and social care. It cannot make any sense any more to have this

:28:00.:28:05.

approach where we cut social care and let elderly people drift to

:28:06.:28:09.

hospitals in greater numbers. We have two rethink it as a whole

:28:10.:28:18.

service. So you would repeal some of the Tory reforms and move

:28:19.:28:21.

commissioning to local authorities so the NHS should brace itself for

:28:22.:28:27.

another major top-down health reorganisation? No, unlike Andrew

:28:28.:28:33.

Lansley I will work with the organisations ie inherit. He could

:28:34.:28:44.

work with primary care trusts but he turned it upside down when it needed

:28:45.:28:48.

stability. I will not do that but I will repeal the health and social

:28:49.:29:03.

care act because last week we heard that hospitals and health services

:29:04.:29:07.

cannot get on and make sensible merger collaborations because of

:29:08.:29:11.

this nonsense now that the NHS is bound by competition law. Let me get

:29:12.:29:16.

your views on a number of ideas that have been floated either by the

:29:17.:29:21.

press or the Coalition. We haven't got much time. Do you welcome the

:29:22.:29:31.

plan to bring back named GPs for over 75s? Yes, but it has got harder

:29:32.:29:39.

to get the GP appointment under this Government because David Cameron

:29:40.:29:42.

scrapped the 48-hour guarantee that Tony Blair brought in. He was

:29:43.:29:47.

challenged in the 2005 election about the difficulty of getting a GP

:29:48.:29:53.

appointment, and Tony Blair brought in the commitment that people should

:29:54.:29:57.

be able to get that within 48 hours. That has now been scrapped.

:29:58.:30:04.

Do you welcome the idea of allowing everyone to choose their own GP

:30:05.:30:08.

surgery even if it is not in our traditional catchment area? I

:30:09.:30:14.

proposed that just before the last election, so yes. Do you welcome the

:30:15.:30:20.

idea of how a practice is being rated being a matter of public

:30:21.:30:24.

record, and of us knowing how much, at least from the NHS, our GP earns?

:30:25.:30:31.

Of course, every political party supports transparency in the NHS.

:30:32.:30:35.

More information for the public of that kind is a good thing. Do you

:30:36.:30:40.

welcome this plan to make it will form the collect in an NHS hospital

:30:41.:30:43.

-- make wilful neglect a criminal -- make wilful neglect a criminal

:30:44.:30:51.

offence. It is important to say you can't pick and mix these

:30:52.:30:53.

recommendations, you can't say we will have that one and not the

:30:54.:30:57.

others. It was a balanced package that Sir Robert Francis put forward.

:30:58.:31:02.

My message is that it must be permitted in full. If we are to

:31:03.:31:05.

learn the lessons, the whole package must be addressed, and that includes

:31:06.:31:11.

safe staffing levels across the NHS. Staff have a responsible to two

:31:12.:31:16.

patients at the government also has responsible at T2 NHS staff and it

:31:17.:31:17.

should not let them work in responsible at T2 NHS staff and it

:31:18.:31:25.

understaffed, unsafe conditions -- a responsibility to NHS staff. Is

:31:26.:31:40.

there a part of the 2004 agreements that you regret and should be

:31:41.:31:45.

undone? A lot of myths have been built up about the contract. When it

:31:46.:31:49.

came in, there was a huge shortage of GPs across the country. Some

:31:50.:31:56.

communities struggle to recruit This myth that the government have

:31:57.:32:01.

built, that the 2004 GP contract is responsible for the AM decries is,

:32:02.:32:07.

it is spin of the worst possible kind -- the A crisis. You would

:32:08.:32:15.

redo that contract? It was redone under our time in government and

:32:16.:32:19.

change to make it better value for money. GPs should be focused on

:32:20.:32:22.

improving the health of their patients and that is a very good

:32:23.:32:27.

principle. Not so great if you can't get 24-hour access. I agree with

:32:28.:32:33.

that. We brought in evening and weekend opening for GPs. That is

:32:34.:32:38.

another thing that has gone in reverse under Mr Cameron. It is much

:32:39.:32:41.

harder to get a GP appointment under him and that is one of the reasons

:32:42.:32:48.

why A is an oppressor. -- under pressure. What do you make of the

:32:49.:32:55.

review into intimidatory tactics by unions? If there has been

:32:56.:33:01.

intimidation, it is unacceptable, and that should apply to unions as

:33:02.:33:07.

well as employers. Was Unite wrong to turn up and demonstrate? I don't

:33:08.:33:13.

know the details, this review will look into that presumably. I need

:33:14.:33:17.

reassurance that this is not a pretty cool call by Mr Cameron on

:33:18.:33:21.

the designed to appear near the election -- that this is not a

:33:22.:33:27.

political call. Are you sponsored by unite? No. Do you get any money from

:33:28.:33:40.

Unite? No. What have you done wrong? It seems others are getting money

:33:41.:33:48.

from Unite. Can I tell you what I think is the scandal of British

:33:49.:33:52.

party political funding, two health care companies have given ?1.5

:33:53.:33:55.

million in donations to the Tory party, they have ?1.5 billion in NHS

:33:56.:34:03.

contracts. I wonder why you don t spend much time talking about that

:34:04.:34:09.

and obsess over trade union funding. We are happy to talk about that We

:34:10.:34:16.

see from e-mails that Mr Miliband's closest advisers regard Mr Ed Balls

:34:17.:34:21.

a bit of a nightmare about him as a bit of a nightmare about him as

:34:22.:34:26.

well? I don't at all, he is a very good friend. I can't believe that

:34:27.:34:30.

you are talking about those e-mails on a national political programme.

:34:31.:34:34.

My goodness, you obviously scraping the barrel today. I have been in

:34:35.:34:38.

front-line labour politics for 0 years. I can't remember the front

:34:39.:34:43.

bench and the wider party being as united as it is today and it is a

:34:44.:34:47.

great credit to Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. We are going into a general

:34:48.:34:51.

election and we are going to get rid of a pretty disastrous coalition

:34:52.:34:56.

government. It was worth spending a few seconds to establish your not

:34:57.:34:57.

having nightmares. Thank you for having nightmares. Thank you for

:34:58.:35:01.

joining me. It's just gone 11:30am. You're

:35:02.:35:03.

watching the Sunday Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes, I'll be

:35:04.:35:05.

talking to the MP Hello and a warm welcome to your

:35:06.:35:19.

local part of the show, just for the North East and Cumbria. Coming up...

:35:20.:35:24.

Can the new Police Commissioners keep crime down in the face of

:35:25.:35:27.

shrinking budgets or will council tax have to rise? We will ask

:35:28.:35:30.

Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird.

:35:31.:35:35.

My other guests this week is North East Liberal Democrat Lord Shipley

:35:36.:35:38.

and, on the weekend of their first`ever party conference in the

:35:39.:35:41.

region, the deputy leader of UKIP, Paul Nuttall. You have planned well

:35:42.:35:52.

in Parliamentary and other elections in the last 12 months, you think you

:35:53.:35:57.

could make the big breakthrough and actually win seats in the North?

:35:58.:36:02.

Look at last night. We are polling well. We polled 56 and 58%. We are

:36:03.:36:14.

holding our first confidence in the North East and that shows how much

:36:15.:36:18.

our membership has grown in this part of the world in the last couple

:36:19.:36:21.

of years and we are wanting to take this forward to the European

:36:22.:36:26.

elections. Is it not just a protest vote? No, I do not agree with that.

:36:27.:36:34.

We have proved very well in local elections and county elections. When

:36:35.:36:44.

you are looking at the situation in the North East and Cumbria, your

:36:45.:36:53.

party is falling well behind UKIP. We have many more councillors than

:36:54.:37:05.

they do and UKIP, friendly have two fight not just the odd by`election,

:37:06.:37:09.

but only county elections and local elections, they will find more of

:37:10.:37:18.

difficulty. Wait until next year. More on UKIP later, but first, what

:37:19.:37:22.

were you doing around this time last year? Were you among the 15% of

:37:23.:37:25.

people who bothered to vote in the first Police and Crime Commissioner

:37:26.:37:28.

elections? 12 months on, their profile may still be relatively low,

:37:29.:37:32.

but that is not to say the Police Commissioners are not grappling with

:37:33.:37:35.

some big issues. The most difficult is how to keep crime levels down

:37:36.:37:38.

with fewer officers and shrinking budgets. Do you know how I am? No, I

:37:39.:37:56.

am afraid not. The police and ten Commissioner Ron Hogg is proud of

:37:57.:37:59.

the work he has done in the first year. What has been difficulties

:38:00.:38:07.

trying to get out to the community, to put across the cost of policing,

:38:08.:38:18.

so as not to disrupt services. It is not going to get easier for any of

:38:19.:38:22.

the commissioners. Durham will have to find savings of ?5 million over

:38:23.:38:26.

the next two years, Cleveland ?7 million, Cumbria ?4 million in

:38:27.:38:35.

Northumbria ?10 million. The challenge of funding is going to get

:38:36.:38:40.

even worse. The financial resources for policing our getting squeezed

:38:41.:38:49.

every year. In that climate, how do the commissioners keep promises?

:38:50.:38:58.

Cumbria have said they will keep the number of officers for two years.

:38:59.:39:04.

But only have to be a part of the council tax bill purely from the

:39:05.:39:15.

police? The amount of money that we are talking about will think police

:39:16.:39:23.

the precept. It is around ?4 per year. If we proceed with the

:39:24.:39:34.

proposals with this year. Some are unhappy about trusting that slice of

:39:35.:39:40.

money to the police commissioners. That money will be an 43 pairs of

:39:41.:39:49.

hands up and down the country. The success failure of the commissioners

:39:50.:39:55.

will be judged by voters in 2016. Given the cuts they have to make,

:39:56.:40:01.

the main struggle to make an impact. The Police and Crime Commissioner

:40:02.:40:03.

for Northumbria, Labour's Vera Baird, is here now. With the impact

:40:04.:40:12.

on resources, can you do a lot more than manage a declaim? It is a great

:40:13.:40:20.

challenge. We have been forced to lose 1,000 officers. The lease

:40:21.:40:27.

constable is championing the front line and I agree with that, because

:40:28.:40:30.

that is really front`line lies and Republic confidences. We face the

:40:31.:40:37.

loss of another ?10 million in our region and the are looking at

:40:38.:40:42.

everything else apart from cutting officers and personnel. Well that be

:40:43.:40:47.

possible? We are systematically going through is the support, the

:40:48.:40:54.

cost of running particular parts of the estate, the prospect of jointly

:40:55.:40:59.

buying things with other police forces. You thinking of raising the

:41:00.:41:07.

council tax, for you did last year? We did last year, but 82% of people

:41:08.:41:16.

who were consulted before this happened, said the would do that. I

:41:17.:41:27.

will ask the public again if I have two. Is it fair to ask people to pay

:41:28.:41:34.

more in these difficult financial times? We have the smallest council

:41:35.:41:45.

tax precept in the country. That is by a long way. A lot of the houses

:41:46.:41:59.

in this region are banned a. This was only half of what people were

:42:00.:42:04.

paid PPO to pay. But the government will say is, we give you their

:42:05.:42:09.

resources, so you should be able to manage without raising the council

:42:10.:42:15.

tax. But they have cut it by another ?10 million on top of the other

:42:16.:42:22.

cuts. Let us talk about the Labour attitude. They did not Police and

:42:23.:42:29.

Crime Commissioners want, they did not feel they should put so much

:42:30.:42:36.

power in the hands of one person. I think the pioneers in this role have

:42:37.:42:40.

to do not only a good job, it is exciting and challenging, I think I

:42:41.:42:46.

have made the success of it. You need a good relationship with the

:42:47.:42:52.

chief constable. But where we agree is that the one to one relationship,

:42:53.:42:59.

if it does not work, could have a dramatically add impact. I think the

:43:00.:43:02.

jury is still out is whether this individualistic approach is the way

:43:03.:43:08.

to go. One thing I am sure is that democracy will not come back. That

:43:09.:43:18.

is not going to go away. The Liberal Democrats did not like this idea.

:43:19.:43:24.

Where are you on this? I agree with the that the jury is out. I think

:43:25.:43:30.

just one year to assess it was rather harsh. I think you have to

:43:31.:43:33.

wait a couple of years before this is judged. I am surprised that 70%

:43:34.:43:46.

of people are aware that the have a police claim Commissioner, even if

:43:47.:43:49.

they do not know the social name of them. Only 20% apparently dead. I am

:43:50.:44:00.

encouraged by that. I am in favour of the police run panel in its

:44:01.:44:08.

entirety being elected. But only 15% of people voted for the policing

:44:09.:44:13.

claim Commissioner is, how many people would turn out to vote for

:44:14.:44:17.

that? I think once it is established, once the panel is

:44:18.:44:23.

elected, you would then guarantee that the likes of Northumberland

:44:24.:44:28.

would have a representative on the police authority. What is the view

:44:29.:44:39.

of UKIP about this? I think the elections last year when a disgrace.

:44:40.:44:47.

They did not allow for a free leaflet to go for everyone's house.

:44:48.:44:51.

They had to pay for it themselves. The big parties ensured that they

:44:52.:44:56.

were able to put their machinery in place. What about the way it is

:44:57.:45:04.

working? Again, I think the jury is out. We are only talking about one

:45:05.:45:12.

year. It would help the commissioners if the government did

:45:13.:45:15.

not keep cutting their resources for them? Actually, claim is down, do

:45:16.:45:24.

you then need as many staff? But there has been a huge amount of

:45:25.:45:29.

back`office bureaucracy in the police force. I think that needed

:45:30.:45:37.

reformed. I am heartened by what he said, which is what she said she is

:45:38.:45:40.

going through the budget line by line, to look at all aspects of the

:45:41.:45:47.

police force cost. That is exactly the right thing to do.

:45:48.:45:51.

It has been a good 12 months for UKIP in the region as we have heard,

:45:52.:45:55.

but could that be derailed? Their policy of leaving the European Union

:45:56.:45:58.

does not play well with many business leaders, who believe jobs

:45:59.:46:02.

would be put at risk. Only last week came this warning from Nissan, a

:46:03.:46:05.

firm which employs 6,000 workers in Sunderland. It is a very productive

:46:06.:46:14.

time, but it is a European point based in the United Kingdom. If

:46:15.:46:19.

anything change, we would have to reconsider our strategy. It could

:46:20.:46:25.

have implications on investment? You cannot look at the United Kingdom

:46:26.:46:34.

independent of its environment. That was the Chief Executive of Nissan.

:46:35.:46:42.

Though, we have felt that Hitachi, have made a similar announcement. Is

:46:43.:46:52.

this not worrying? We have been hearing all of this at the time. We

:46:53.:46:58.

were told years ago that we would have problems every did not join the

:46:59.:47:05.

union and that has not transpired. You are as Guinness is to just your

:47:06.:47:14.

party and assuming that you know exactly what you are talking about.

:47:15.:47:23.

The business world is split on this. So why are these chief Executive

:47:24.:47:32.

saying this? Not all of them are. If we left the European Union beaded

:47:33.:47:42.

same eight trade deal. If we came out, we would sign a free trade deal

:47:43.:47:47.

and be able to deal and trade with the rest of the world. There is no

:47:48.:48:00.

way that we would he suddenly putting this edgy party just because

:48:01.:48:06.

we left the European Union surely? Well, you have to remember that

:48:07.:48:10.

Nissan will then be faced with the tariff barrier. The calls would

:48:11.:48:17.

become much more expensive. There is no evidence that the rest of Europe

:48:18.:48:20.

would sign up to a free trade agreement. Finally, of the trade

:48:21.:48:25.

agreements we are part of that in the European Union, we would be a

:48:26.:48:33.

side of the street trade agreements. What UKIP is saying is simply

:48:34.:48:38.

incorrect. There are 12 million jobs on the continent which are directly

:48:39.:48:44.

related to British trade. They would not put 12 million jobs at this by

:48:45.:48:51.

not signing a free trade treaty. Do you not have a referendum? I do not

:48:52.:49:00.

have the problem holding a referendum because I am sure it

:49:01.:49:06.

would be one and stone by those wanting to remain within the

:49:07.:49:13.

European Union. Fundamentally, so much of our trade goes to the

:49:14.:49:16.

European Union, we would suddenly find ourselves faced with the tariff

:49:17.:49:21.

barrier. All our goods would become much more expensive. The Chief

:49:22.:49:27.

Executive of Nissan and Hitachi are absolutely right. What about the

:49:28.:49:32.

truth of what these companies are seeing. If we came out, we could

:49:33.:49:40.

sign free`trade deals with the rest of the world. Our trade with Europe

:49:41.:49:45.

is going down year`on`year and trade with the rest of the world is going

:49:46.:49:52.

up and up. The European Union is effectively an economic block for

:49:53.:50:06.

hours. Germany has built trade and the road and they remain within the

:50:07.:50:09.

union, why are they not talking about coming out of it? I am

:50:10.:50:17.

absolutely convinced we will be doing this debate for quite a while.

:50:18.:50:20.

We talked earlier about crime, but what about the job of supervising

:50:21.:50:23.

offenders after they get out of prison? The government believes the

:50:24.:50:26.

best way of keeping them out of trouble is to hand over the

:50:27.:50:29.

supervision of many offenders to private companies and charities.

:50:30.:50:32.

Ministers believe it will be more efficient than the existing

:50:33.:50:34.

Probation Service. Those proposals passed through their latest stage in

:50:35.:50:38.

the Commons this week, but as Fergus Hewison reports, their potential

:50:39.:50:46.

impact is causing concern. Serving up coffee, but there is a lot more

:50:47.:50:51.

to this class cafe in Newcastle in the CIA. Many of the people employed

:50:52.:51:01.

here are eight offenders. `` former of offenders. I have been involved

:51:02.:51:13.

in petty claim for much of my life. There I came from, everyone seemed

:51:14.:51:17.

to be pinching things and stealing things. For him, the cafe has become

:51:18.:51:27.

a weird of the life of claim. This has been a great help to help build

:51:28.:51:33.

a foundation in work. It has also made me meet new friends and

:51:34.:51:39.

improved my spirit. He has also been involved with the project which runs

:51:40.:51:45.

the cafe. He said he had a positive experience with the probation

:51:46.:51:56.

service. The Rectory help with the aims and aspirations of where I

:51:57.:52:02.

wanted go. The North East and Cumbria as one of the worst records

:52:03.:52:07.

in the United Kingdom of people reoffending. Under plans debated in

:52:08.:52:20.

the House of Commons, some of the services of the probation service

:52:21.:52:22.

will be handed over to other groups. This will only involve

:52:23.:52:30.

low`risk offenders. This will also link into people who receive no help

:52:31.:52:35.

us support once the finish a sentence. Some people are not so

:52:36.:52:47.

sure. I think there could be a reversal in the expertise of what

:52:48.:52:54.

the probation service has given offenders. There is absolutely no

:52:55.:53:01.

guarantee that this will work. Probation workers have been on

:53:02.:53:08.

strike over the issue, but Conservative MPs say many of the

:53:09.:53:12.

proposals are put forward by the last Labour government. In 2008,,

:53:13.:53:20.

when the Labour Party were planning to put this format, it is said, we

:53:21.:53:29.

estimate that 29,400 prisoners will start shortly. Why does he not know

:53:30.:53:38.

like the plan which has been in the offing for nearly ten years and is

:53:39.:53:41.

finally being produced by the coalition government? The Labour

:53:42.:53:50.

Party says a desperate overhaul of the system and an ex`offenders are

:53:51.:53:58.

treated is drastically needed. A lot of Labour MPs have been worried

:53:59.:54:04.

about this. Let us get Police Commissioner Vera

:54:05.:54:07.

Baird's view on the changes to probation. Yes, the probation

:54:08.:54:17.

service results have been very good. But this is about bringing support

:54:18.:54:22.

for people on lower`level sentencing, lower than one year.

:54:23.:54:32.

This is the plan. This is the plan that Labour were planning to

:54:33.:54:40.

introduce? Yes, they were going to bring in support for people with

:54:41.:54:43.

less than one year sentences. The very people who should be delivering

:54:44.:54:49.

that should be the probation trust, not private companies. There is no

:54:50.:54:56.

evidence that this will work, but there is evidence that the current

:54:57.:54:58.

system is not working, because reoffending rates are to Harry. How

:54:59.:55:07.

I begun to improve it? By fragment in the service and bringing people

:55:08.:55:11.

in the desk in one category and then went your situation changes, you

:55:12.:55:21.

find yourselves being dealt with by a completely different organisation?

:55:22.:55:25.

The rate of reoffending as I ended stricken down, but the probation

:55:26.:55:31.

trust has one of the best reputations and records in doing

:55:32.:55:41.

this. He's a huge contract. They are going to be delivered not to local

:55:42.:55:45.

companies who know the ADF, they are going to be delivered to huge

:55:46.:55:52.

nationwide companies. The government said reoffending rates are too high,

:55:53.:55:58.

is this a good idea to try this? Reoffending is that 600,000 times a

:55:59.:56:03.

year and that needs to come down. I hope charities will come on to take

:56:04.:56:10.

the low two major risk probationers. If the probation trust is doing such

:56:11.:56:13.

a good job, why is this being considered? Many of them, but are

:56:14.:56:26.

600,000 we offenders. It is possible there could be a problem. The jury

:56:27.:56:30.

may be out there, but more generally, there is to be a National

:56:31.:56:37.

probation service, with 30,000 high`risk offenders still in that.

:56:38.:56:43.

OK, thank you. Now, some good news on jobs and a

:56:44.:56:47.

plan to save Durham Tees Valley Airport. Just a couple of the

:56:48.:56:50.

stories making the news this week, all in a jet`powered 60 Seconds.

:56:51.:56:57.

Prepare for take`off. Unemployment is down by 1,000 dead in the East.

:56:58.:57:03.

There is a plan to rescue Durham Tees Valley Airport. A Wearside MP

:57:04.:57:14.

said Mark trains will be cancelled only once the North East mainline is

:57:15.:57:24.

privatised. We will see 15,000 trains officially late or cancel or

:57:25.:57:29.

without the operator reaching the required standard. He liberal MP has

:57:30.:57:43.

this voted against the bedroom tax, well another regional MP voted for

:57:44.:57:44.

it feel for forehead. And that is about it from us. There

:57:45.:57:59.

is more on my blog about police commissioners, including details of

:58:00.:58:02.

a new poll, that is at bbc.co.uk/richardmoss. You can also

:58:03.:58:05.

track me down on Twitter. Next Sunday, we have a special report on

:58:06.:58:07.

the problems receiving it. We will return to this

:58:08.:58:10.

if we hear more. Thank you. Andrew, it is back to you.

:58:11.:58:24.

Who'd be an MP? It's a good question. Certainly something Mark

:58:25.:58:29.

Pritchard must have asked himself when his picture graced the front

:58:30.:58:32.

page of the Daily Telegraph, with allegations that he had offered to

:58:33.:58:35.

set up business deals overseas in return for hundreds of thousands of

:58:36.:58:38.

pounds. Mr Pritchard dismissed the claims as hurtful and wrong. He

:58:39.:58:40.

referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

:58:41.:58:42.

who has now said there is insufficient evidence to

:58:43.:58:45.

investigate. In a moment we'll talk to Mr Pritchard, but first let's

:58:46.:58:48.

take a look back at how the story unfurled. A Conservative MP has

:58:49.:58:51.

denied allegations that he used his Parliamentary contacts for financial

:58:52.:58:56.

gain... The daily Telegraph says Mark Pritchard offered to broker

:58:57.:59:00.

investments overseas. In a statement he said the allegations made by the

:59:01.:59:10.

Telegraph are false. Mr Pritchard was secretly filmed... What do you

:59:11.:59:15.

make of these allegations? He has referred himself to the

:59:16.:59:18.

Parliamentary Commissioner for standards to clear his name and I

:59:19.:59:21.

suspect this story will reopen the debate about what MPs should be

:59:22.:59:31.

allowed, having business interests elsewhere. Is it not clear that you

:59:32.:59:39.

did ask for money in consultancy services? First of all I would like

:59:40.:59:49.

to apologise for the sunglasses I have had a lot of comments about

:59:50.:59:55.

that. On a serious point, these claims by the Telegraph of false.

:59:56.:00:04.

You didn't ask for ?3000? They are false, hurtful and malicious. It is

:00:05.:00:10.

known widely that I have sued the Telegraph previously. I have also

:00:11.:00:13.

been critical of their coverage of the plebgate affair, their reporting

:00:14.:00:19.

of that. I have been supportive of the cross-party Royal Charter and I

:00:20.:00:22.

know that some people in the media don't like my position on that. That

:00:23.:00:27.

is why it is malicious. I believe in a free press. That free press also

:00:28.:00:33.

has a responsibility to be fair accurate and lawful. In discussions

:00:34.:00:39.

with this business who turned out to be a Telegraph reporter, it is true

:00:40.:00:44.

that you ask for ?3000 a month consultancy fee. The point is..

:00:45.:00:53.

That is the point. No. That video has been cut and pasted to serve the

:00:54.:00:58.

Telegraph's story. The story was that we want to get Mark Bridger,

:00:59.:01:04.

for whatever reason, at any cost. -- Mark Bridger hard. I would not go

:01:05.:01:08.

down the line they were hoping I would go down. Everything I own

:01:09.:01:11.

outside of Parliament is openly declared. We are allowed to have

:01:12.:01:17.

outside witness interests. The Telegraph need to say clearly

:01:18.:01:20.

whether they accept that or they don't. I think you need to say

:01:21.:01:26.

clearly whether you asked for the money or not. You then went on to

:01:27.:01:31.

ask for ?300,000 if it was a 10 million deal, you asked for 3%

:01:32.:01:35.

commission. Let me be clear, if I was asking for income in return for

:01:36.:01:42.

lobbying, or raising issues in Parliament, or setting up

:01:43.:01:47.

Parliamentary groups, or going to ministers, writing to ministers

:01:48.:01:51.

that would be completely inappropriate. I was approached by

:01:52.:01:55.

somebody to advise them on business. It is entirely proper and entirely

:01:56.:02:02.

within the rules for members of Parliament to have outside

:02:03.:02:05.

consultancies and interests. Did you or didn't you? I am answering the

:02:06.:02:11.

question in the way that I want to answer it, not in the way that fits

:02:12.:02:15.

a particular narrative. The narrative, unfortunately, of some

:02:16.:02:19.

parts of the Telegraph and to be fair, there are some very good

:02:20.:02:22.

journalists, I know there is a dispute about the direction of that

:02:23.:02:26.

paper at senior parts. Do they want to return to being a Catholic,

:02:27.:02:31.

objective newspaper or do they want to slip into the slippery slope of

:02:32.:02:36.

being an agnostic rag, looking for sensationalist headlines? Part of

:02:37.:02:40.

this has come from your membership of these all-party Parliamentary

:02:41.:02:48.

groups. You were in Malta when you are first approached, I think you

:02:49.:02:51.

were on a trip there, Hungary is another one, there is an

:02:52.:02:55.

uncomfortable overlap between your political and business interests. I

:02:56.:03:00.

have no business interests in any of those countries. Some of the country

:03:01.:03:04.

is the Telegraph mentioned, let me be clear, I have not even visited.

:03:05.:03:12.

You were boasting that you knew the Albanian Prime Minister and the

:03:13.:03:15.

Mayor of Teheran and the previous prime minister. I make no apology

:03:16.:03:21.

for making foreign trips. I think it is unfortunate we have a narrative

:03:22.:03:25.

developing in some parts of the press that if a politician goes

:03:26.:03:29.

abroad at the taxpayers expense it is wrong. If they go abroad at a

:03:30.:03:34.

host government's expense it is wrong. If they go abroad with a

:03:35.:03:38.

charity, NGO and private company, even if it is declared, it is wrong.

:03:39.:03:41.

We want people with an international perspective in Parliament. Look at

:03:42.:03:47.

this map. You are a member of 5 country groups. I don't know what

:03:48.:03:53.

Canada has done not to deserve you, or Australia. 54 groups, you are a

:03:54.:03:59.

part of. You're like... This is the Mark Pritchard British Empire. That

:04:00.:04:04.

is very kind. If I had global interests that white I would not be

:04:05.:04:09.

in Parliament. No, no, no. That is the point... It is the suspicion,

:04:10.:04:15.

that you used these groups to drum up business for your consultants.

:04:16.:04:21.

Prove it, that is the trouble. These sorts of headlines, create

:04:22.:04:25.

suspicion. I am suing the Telegraph... Have you issued a writ?

:04:26.:04:34.

I expect an apology. Have you issued a writ? I have just answered your

:04:35.:04:40.

question. It is yes or no, have you issued a writ? I am in final legal

:04:41.:04:46.

discussions tomorrow about issuing a writ. You have raised something for

:04:47.:04:51.

top the fact is that is inaccurate. I am a member of 40-something

:04:52.:04:54.

Parliamentary groups, of which I make no apology. We have got 54 Let

:04:55.:05:02.

me answer the question if I may It would be very useful. There are 196

:05:03.:05:10.

countries around the world, it is less than a quarter of the country

:05:11.:05:14.

groups on my figures. I make no apology. One of my regrets is not

:05:15.:05:21.

having visited Syria, I don't know if I am a member of the Syria group,

:05:22.:05:24.

part I should become a member, I make no apology. -- perhaps I should

:05:25.:05:29.

become. When it came to the Syria vote, I was blind sided foot of yes,

:05:30.:05:37.

we have excellent briefings. I had to make a judgement based on part

:05:38.:05:40.

knowledge with nothing beats being on the ground, as even BBC

:05:41.:05:45.

journalists recognised this week. Nothing beats being on the ground.

:05:46.:05:50.

You posted about your connections in Albania to getting a business

:05:51.:05:54.

contract. You meet these people through these all Parliamentary

:05:55.:05:57.

groups. That is where there is an unhealthy overlap. That is what the

:05:58.:06:04.

Telegraph said, let's wait and see. Look... You are a newspaperman, you

:06:05.:06:09.

know lots of people in the newspaper industry, as well as being a

:06:10.:06:13.

respected broadcaster. I am not going to prejudice my legal

:06:14.:06:18.

proceedings against the Telegraph. I make no apology. A good politician

:06:19.:06:22.

has to be local am a national and international. Hang on hang on -

:06:23.:06:29.

has to be local, national and international. We need politicians

:06:30.:06:33.

who get out of the Westminster bubble, who have a business

:06:34.:06:35.

hinterland, who keep their foot in the real world and have an

:06:36.:06:40.

international perspective. And ask for 3% commission? I have answered

:06:41.:06:46.

the question. It was a cut and pasted video, photo shopped to suit

:06:47.:06:50.

the agenda of the Telegraph. They need to get back to serious news

:06:51.:06:53.

reporting and I wish those well at the senior part of the Telegraph who

:06:54.:06:58.

want to get to those days. We look forward to the writ. Thank you.

:06:59.:07:01.

Now - there's been more good news on the economy for George Osborne this

:07:02.:07:04.

week - inflation's down, growth forecasts have been revised up and

:07:05.:07:06.

unemployment has fallen again. On Friday the former Bullingdon boy

:07:07.:07:10.

donned a head torch and went down't pit for just one of many photo

:07:11.:07:12.

opportunities ahead of the Autumn Statement, which he'll deliver in

:07:13.:07:15.

the Commons on fifth December. And, who knows, he might even take his

:07:16.:07:22.

hard hat off for that. # Going underground.

:07:23.:07:31.

# Let the boys all saying and let the boys all shout for tomorrow

:07:32.:07:37.

# Lah, lah, love, love. # I talk and talk until my head

:07:38.:07:41.

explodes. # Make this boy shout, make this boy

:07:42.:07:49.

scream. # Going underground.

:07:50.:08:02.

# I'm going underground. # I'm going underground.

:08:03.:08:08.

George Osborne in his heart out he probably sleeps with it on. This

:08:09.:08:16.

Autumn Statement is becoming a more important part of the political

:08:17.:08:21.

calendar for the coalition. It looks like this is where they are finally

:08:22.:08:24.

going to come up with some kind of response to Ed Miliband's game

:08:25.:08:30.

changing electricity price freeze. The idea which is mooted is they

:08:31.:08:34.

will move people's green tax on two general bills which is not an answer

:08:35.:08:39.

but cosmetically it could have apolitical impact. George Osborne is

:08:40.:08:43.

receiving a lot of representations from lobby groups, business, MPs on

:08:44.:08:49.

his own side, for tax cuts and extra bits spending and he has to spend

:08:50.:08:53.

the next two weeks reminding people of something that has been skewered

:08:54.:08:56.

by the economic recovery. This country has a fiscal deficit which

:08:57.:09:05.

is twice that of France, supposedly the crisis economy in western Europe

:09:06.:09:08.

or if you accept it will take another parliament again to

:09:09.:09:11.

eliminate this deficit, we are not even halfway through the age of

:09:12.:09:14.

austerity. He is in no position to give anything away. He has to hold

:09:15.:09:19.

the line. Danny Alexander has been useful but this is his real

:09:20.:09:23.

challenge. He is going to give stuff away. When the Autumn Statement

:09:24.:09:28.

comes away, 15 months from an election, Nick Clegg has been

:09:29.:09:32.

talking about raising the tax allowance threshold even further,

:09:33.:09:37.

talk of moving green levies of the electricity bills, he is going to

:09:38.:09:41.

give stuff away. We will get funding for free school meals that Nick

:09:42.:09:44.

Clegg mentioned in his party conference. The significance of the

:09:45.:09:48.

Autumn Statement is twice a year, a Chancellor stands up and we all look

:09:49.:09:53.

at the state of the economy. If you talk to members of the Chancellor's

:09:54.:09:56.

circle, it is interesting how nervous they are. They say, don t

:09:57.:10:00.

assume we are going to have this wonderful growth for ever, don't

:10:01.:10:03.

assume everything is fine in the eurozone. I think what would help

:10:04.:10:08.

the Chancellor is if somebody was able to see some of that humility in

:10:09.:10:13.

public. It is recognised that he was far too triumphalist

:10:14.:10:14.

speech he made on the 9th of September, when he said to Ed Balls,

:10:15.:10:21.

we have one and you cannot make an economic policy on the cost of

:10:22.:10:22.

living -- we have... Won. economic policy on the cost of

:10:23.:10:35.

people don't seem to learn from Norman Lamont's green shoots. Labour

:10:36.:10:39.

has moved from complaining there is no growth, now there is, to say

:10:40.:10:45.

has moved from complaining there is is gross but living standards are

:10:46.:10:45.

not rising. If the economy grows by nearly 3% next year, even the bank

:10:46.:10:50.

is saying it will grow by 2.8%, living standards could start to

:10:51.:10:55.

rise. It does but everybody in a difficult position politically if

:10:56.:10:58.

the economy starts growing, ironically. We need to remind

:10:59.:11:01.

ourselves that economy, the natural direction of an economy is to grow.

:11:02.:11:07.

Unless the politicians screw up Unless you have some idiot in

:11:08.:11:12.

charge! It is not a cause for the Morris dance that they seem to be

:11:13.:11:16.

doing, certainly on the Tory side. Osborne is put in a difficult

:11:17.:11:19.

position goes he will have to stop giving stuff away, he cannot push

:11:20.:11:26.

the austerity line at the same time as jangling his magical growth - he

:11:27.:11:32.

will have to start giving stuff away. It puts Labour in a difficult

:11:33.:11:38.

position, it is very unlikely that living standards will match GDP Not

:11:39.:11:45.

since 2003, GDP has been a great indicator. Wages have stagnated for

:11:46.:11:51.

ten years, food has gone up 17% energy has gone up 24%. That is a

:11:52.:11:55.

decade in which everybody has got poorer. The real sweet spot comes

:11:56.:12:01.

when wages start to outstrip inflation. It is a sweet spot and

:12:02.:12:05.

will be a huge challenge for Ed Miliband. As ever on the economy

:12:06.:12:10.

with a sweet spot, you have a danger moment because that is when the

:12:11.:12:13.

governor of the Bank of England will have to look at interest rates.

:12:14.:12:17.

Everything he was saying last week was when we move toward 7%

:12:18.:12:21.

unemployment come that is not the trigger for raising interest rates,

:12:22.:12:24.

it is the moment when we look at it. Everything was saying he did not

:12:25.:12:30.

want to do that. When do you anticipate wages outstripping

:12:31.:12:32.

inflation? It hasn't happened for so long. The second half of next year.

:12:33.:12:39.

Wages and prices are not the sole measure of living standards, there

:12:40.:12:41.

are broader measures which no one seems willing to use.

:12:42.:12:45.

That's all for today. The Daily Politics will be back at tomorrow at

:12:46.:12:48.

midday on BBC Two and I will back here on BBC One at 11:00am next

:12:49.:12:52.

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

:12:53.:12:57.

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With international development secretary Justine Greening, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham and Conservative MP Mark Pritchard.


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