15/06/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


With Andrew Neil and Richard Moss. James Rubin, Mark Malloch-Brown and Bayan Rahman debate the Iraq crisis and Jackie Baillie and Blair Jenkins discuss Scottish independence.

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Well, this is the closest I'll get to Rio.


The advance of the Islamist army on Baghdad has been slowed.


The Iraqi army claims the fightback has begun.


But the country now faces a de facto partition.


What should Britain, Europe, or the US be doing - if anything?


It's been a big week in the Scottish referendum.


But has the tone of the debate become too downright nasty?


Both sides join us to go head to head.


I will swap Ed Miliband for Tim Farren. What is the significance of


that? In the North East and Cumbrha:


even Westminster, we'll be asking The Conservatives try to broaden


their appeal in the North. And the Government promised free


schools meals in September, but this Cumbrian school dods not


even have a kitchen. In London, why the minority vote one


recent elections Labour, but recent support amongst people is bigger


than assumed. The Sunni Islamist army known


as ISIS is now in control of huge swathes of northern


and western Iraq, including Until the weekend they looked


like advancing relentlessly on Baghdad but that offensive has


now been slowed or even halted The Iraqi army


and its Shia milita allies vow that Baghdad will not be taken and that


a counter-attack will soon begin. Iraq's Shia Prime Minister Nouri


al-Maliki has to do something to reverse the humiliation


of recent days, which saw his US-trained and equipped Iraqi


army, which outnumbered the Islamists 15 to 1 melt away or


surrender when confronted by ISIS. The conflict has already created a


humanitarian crisis, with hundreds The Kurds have used the conflict to


consolidate their hold on their autonomous area in the north, parts


of the west and the north are in the grip of ISIS control and the Shias


are hunkering down in the east. All of which makes a three-way


partition a real possibility with The US is moving another


of its massive aircraft carrier battlefleets to the Gulf,


though the White House shows no While Iran says it's ready to help


its Shia allies and there are unconfoirmed reports


that its revolutionary guard has Well, I'm joined now by Newsnight's


diplomatic editor Mark Urban. Let's start with some basics. Who


are ISIS and why are they controlling big chunks of Iraq? ISIS


is an extremist militant jihad organisation and they have a pure


Islamic concept based on 14th century history and jurisprudence.


What they want to do is correct -- create this caliphate that do not


recognise colonial boundaries so it involves Syria and Iraq, and they


could go down to Lebanon and Palestine, that is all fair game as


far as they are concerned. And they have this strict interpretation of


Islam. The more interesting question is why have semi-Sunni Muslims,


along with them, these are precisely the sort of people who in 2006,


2007, tribal leaders in the west of the country rose up against. It was


called the Awakening and the Americans in power did and


bankrolled it. These people turned against them and admired them in


large numbers, so why do they have so many Sunni Muslims on their


side? We hear about people going back to Mosul. I think the answer is


a perception back to Mosul. I think the answer


that the current government is ruling in sectarian interests, Shia


Muslim interest, and the Sunni Muslims want self-determination and


this is their best bet. Muslims want self-determination and


this is their Let me put up this map to find out where we are going. We


can see Mosul in the north, they took that, and then they started,


South, reports that the crit was involved -- to grit -- to grit. What


is the situation on the ground now? We are in what you might call a


consolidation or strategic pause as American called it in 2003. ISIS are


trying to consolidate their power in Mosul, and now they have this major


city and they are trying to show they can run the city and get the


power going, etc. Their southernmost forces, that is a gorilla army, guys


in pick-up trucks. They cannot deal with serious opposition. They would


like to get the tanks and other things into action but that could


take weeks for them to be able to do it. The government side is that they


have counter-attacked, but it will take a little while before these


newly raised militia and other task forces, call them what you will can


effectively counter-attacked. But that is what will happen in the next


week or two. We will see increasingly large and serious


government counter-attacked trying to retake those places, and I fear a


really difficult, bloody Syrian style street by street battle for


some of these urban centres. I would like to have a look at this map


because the Kurds, as I mentioned, they are consolidating their


position in the autonomous region in the north. The Islamist are taking


over huge chunks of the Sunni Muslim West. And of course the Shia Muslim


are still dominant in control of Baghdad and in parts of the south


and east. Back to me looks like the beginnings of the partition of Iraq.


-- back to me. Well, it is, but we have to caveat it in a few ways


Firstly, there are millions of people in Iraq, so-called sushi


combined families, who do not fit easily into the pattern. Do we see


millions of people becoming refugees under this scheme? There would be a


lot of human tragedies if people really did try to enforce this type


partition. Secondly, there are Sunni Muslim communities in the south of


Baghdad, those places, once again, a lot of misery and fighting will


occur if people try to enforce a de facto partition. There are still an


awakening of forces. They are on the side of the government. We heard


about one group in Samarra of Sunni Muslims fighting on the same side.


It's a complex picture. They factor, it does look like a partition, and


if it goes further in that direction it will. And partition will always


be messy because people end up on the wrong side of the lies.


Finally, the big thing on that map, Iran, a huge place, a huge border


with Shia Muslim Iraq. Iran now becomes a key factor. It is becoming


a proxy war for Iran. Yes, when I was in Baghdad a few months ago I


did actually see Iranians revolutionary guards in uniform


They were protecting a senior Iranians official, so some numbers


have been never some time and they are also said to protect the


political leaders and -- in his compound. They are there. We think


more of them are trying to organise the defence of Baghdad to galvanise


the Iraqi army, and they will not allow the Iraqi government to fall.


Mark, thank you for marking archive this morning. -- marking our card.


Tony Blair took Britain into the Iraq conflict in 2003.


He's now, among other things, envoy to the Middle East representing


That's the UN, the EU, the US and Russia.


This morning he entered the debate about what should be


My point is simple. If you left Saddam in place in 2003, when 2 11


happened and you have the Arab revolutions going through Tunisia,


Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Egypt and Syria, you would still have had a


major problem in Iraq. You can see what happens when you leave the


dictator in place, as has happened with Bashar al-Assad. The problem


doesn't go away. What I'm trying to say is, we can rerun the debates


about 2003, and there are perfectly legitimate points on either side,


but where we are in 2014, we have do understand that this is a regional


problem, but a problem that will affect us.


And I'm joined by the former Foreign Office minister Mark Malloch-Brown,


Here in London are James Rubin, he was chief spokesman


for the State Department under Bill Clinton, and Bayan Rahman,


she represents the Kurdistan Regional government in the UK.


Intervened in Iraq, it's a shambles, we don't intervene in Syria, it s a


shambles. What lessons should we draw? That is a well framed


question, because that is the problem. Tony Blair is half right.


Iraq, like Syria, would probably have been a problem even without an


intervention. But one wishes someone would tell him to stay quiet during


moments like this, because it does drive a great surge of people in the


other direction. The fact is, what has been missing in western politics


towards the Middle East throughout both episodes, Syria and Iraq, is a


drive to build an inclusive, democratic centre which is secular


and nonsectarian. That has been missing amongst the threats of


invasion Manon invasion, we have just constantly neglected the


diplomatic nation-building dimensional this. I want to come


onto what is happening on the ground. I want to begin with what


the Western response by me, and by that we mean the United States,


because of it doesn't do anything, nobody will do anything. All of the


signals I see coming out of the White is that Barack Obama has no


appetite for intervention -- out of the White House. I don't think he


does have an appetite. He would be very unlikely to do anything very


large. He might feel pressured to act because of the fact that this


particular group, this Al-Qaeda inspired group, fits into the


strategy he has pursued in Yemen and Afghanistan and Pakistan, to use


drone strikes against individual terrorists. So it is possible that


the threat of ISIS in the region and the West in general might inspire


him to act, but the idea he will do enough, militarily, to transform


Iraq from its current state of civil War into something along the lines


that Mark was talking about, nation-building diplomacy, a big


operation, I don't see President Obama sees his historic mission as


having got the United States as out of it. Leave it to the Pacific,


perhaps. What would the Kurds like the West to do? First of all, in


Kurdistan we face a huge humanitarian crisis. We already have


had bought a quarter of a million Syrian refugees and we were


struggling to cope with that. And now we have at least double that


number of refugees coming from Mosul. First and foremost, we are


calling on the international community to help us with that. So


we need humanitarian aid? Let's assume we do that in some way, maybe


not enough, but what else if anything? I think it is an incumbent


on the west and other powers to assist Iraq to get rid of ISIS. I


think the Sunni Arab community, some of whom have joined ISIS and may be


supported the uprising, have justified complaints against the


federal government. But we need the terrorists out of Iraq. That is


first and foremost. And what the West can do is not necessarily


intervene with boots on the ground, but provide technical assistance,


provide intelligence and help the Iraqi army and air force to be more


targeted. Can you defend yourselves? In Kurdistan, we can in terms of the


disciplined troops. In this situation, I hope they won't be


abandoning their post, that is for sure. It is a national cause fires.


But we are not armed in the way that the Iraqi army is -- cause for us.


We are not armed in the way that ISIS seems to be now they have


seized some of the American kit We are not asking for weapons, but we


ask for assistance for all of Iraq to deal with the situation. Mark,


this is not just an Iraqi problem. This is a regional conflict, and


from the Levant on the shores of the Mediterranean, all the way through


to the Gulf, the region is gripped with what is essentially a Sunni and


Shia Muslim sectarian war. Yes, with the caveats that Mark bourbon made


earlier, it's not quite that straightforward, but the basic


divide is exactly that -- Mark Urban. People have been looking for


this to begin in Lebanon or Jordan and have been taken by surprise


although with hindsight I'm not sure why, that it has begun in Iraq


instead. At its most extreme, it risks redrawing the 20th century


boundaries of the region in a way which would be highly unstable


because it would pit a Shia Muslim bloc against the Sunni Muslim bloc


and would undo all of the sort of social and economic advance of the


last century, so the stakes are suddenly very, very high indeed Are


we seeing the redrawing? The lines were drawn secretly, not far from


here, about a mile away, and may have survived through thick and


thin. They now look pretty fragile. The map is being redrawn. I think it


is true that there is a key factor partition going on -- des facto


Woodrow Wilson probably gave a bit of a hand to the promotion of the


idea of self-determination, and in a way, there is a self determination


going on, particularly in the Kurdish region, and perhaps they may


end up the big winners in all of this, because they have proceeded


with a relatively moderate, reconcilable government. The key


thing that the Kurdish region has done. They used to fight the two


groups, and now they fight together. What the Sunni Muslims have not done


is figure out how to let politics let the side things instead of guns.


We need to look clearly and in Syria and Iraq, if there is a Sunni


extremist with ISIS that carves out a place for itself, it will be the


great irony of the modern era. President Bush said he wanted to go


into Iraq to fight terrorism. There was no terrorist. There are now If


in Iraq and Syria together thereat a thousand strong Al-Qaeda capability


that threatens the region, the West, the world, we are all going to


have to do something about it. The danger is that power will


spread. This could grow in power. You would not want it on your


southern border. Absolutely, we would not. The point we are all


making indirectly is that things have changed in Iraq and will never


be the same again. Whether Iraq completely disintegrates into three


countries, or whether it stays together as one country, but a


countries, or whether it stays together as one country, but loose


federation, either way, Iraq has changed. It will not go back to what


it was. I hope it will change for the better. I think we're at the


make or break point for Iraq. Either the political readers -- the


political leaders of a right wake up and smell the coffee and put aside


their differences or there will be problems. This provides that


opportunity, in a very nasty way. If we take it? Yes, and if not, I think


this is the end of a rack as we know it. If anything resembling a


caliphate emerges, that is very destabilising for the region itself.


More so I would suggest than even the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in


Afghanistan. At some stage, you have to assume that they will be coming


for us. That is correct. This is extremely dangerous. The only way


forward is for these political groups to talk to each other and


find a compromise that allows the rates of cinemas and minorities in


Iraq to be protected within or the rates of cinemas and minorities in


Iraq to be protected with an autonomous federal-state. Any


support for the government must be premised on that. There is no


military solution for this which is in during -- there is no military


solution for this. There must be serious political negotiation, not


with ISIS, but with Sunni Muslim moderates, to form a more


representative government. This is the last chance for Iraq. I think we


are all saying that that is going to need to be some major western


leadership to make some big decisions here for the future of the


region. I am concerned that after Afghanistan and Iraq, my country is


quite world-weary, quite world-weary. It does not seem to be


giving leadership. Certainly we are not seeing that in Europe. I am


deeply concerned that we are not going to take the leadership role


that needs to be taken. These are big issues. When Britain and France


carved up the Middle East, they were world powers, operating as global


powers, and without that global leadership by somebody, this is just


going to get worse and worse. I think we will leave it there, thank


you very much. The danger is that power will


spread. This could grow in power. It is just under 100 days until the


referendum on Scottish independence. So, for once,


it'll be a long hot-summer But the campaign isn't


just getting heated. In places it's also


down-right nasty. When Scotland's best-selling author


announced she was giving the unionist cause a million pounds


this week, she received Independence supporters online,


so-called cybernats, called JK Rowling a traitor


and much worse, using a variety of For its part, the Better Together


campaign has been accused Even Gordon Brown seems to think so,


and this week he criticised Conservative ministers


for relying on "threats With the Edinburgh Festival


approaching, reports suggest even comedians are now reluctant to


engage in the subject because I'm joined by Blair Jenkins from


Yes Scotland and Jackie Baillie They're both in our Glasgow studio,


and they're going head to head. Blair Jenkins, let me come to you


first. Why have you and the Better Together campaign and Alex Salmond


not done more to slap down the cyber nationalists who are poisoning the


debate? Good morning. I think both sides tried to stop the tiny number


of people on both sides who are incapable of controlling


themselves. We should not get this out of proportion. We are having a


fantastic, decent and democratic debate. The people who probably


total no more than 100 on both sides who post offensive material or not


to be allowed to deflect from that fact. Of course there are nasty


people on the Better Together side as well, but are you saying there


are as many of those as the cyber nationalists? I have not done the


Kent. Lots of people are certainly posting nasty in defensive things to


people in the yes campaigners well. I imagine that people do what I do,


and block them. You stop them from sending anything further. There is a


democratic and in gauging progress going on throughout Scotland. It is


characterised by good humour and good debate. We should not get out


of proportion and the activities of the number of people. I want to get


to Jackie Baillie. The debate is actually pretty good-humoured and


you should be doing more about the nasties on your side as well? I


think we have reached a new low this week. Despite many people engaging


in the politics of the decision and the debate about that, whether we


want to retain the best of both worlds are separate from the United


Kingdom, what we have seen is the most abusive and vitriolic attack,


particularly on women, JK Rowling and a Labour supporter who dared to


support the no campaign. When you look at the number of people on


social media, there are more from the yes campaign than the no site.


We should all be condemning attacks, from whatever quarter they come


This seemed to be connected to the office of the First Minister. What


is the evidence for that? There was an e-mail from one of the... I


understand about that, but it did not use vile words. It did not, but


it repeated the same mistake as on the website. We should be clear that


we need to condemn these attacks, but it is not just the water works,


it is taking action. There was an IpsosMORI poll this week which was


varying testing. It showed the population as a whole, farmer people


think that Yes Scotland is running an effective campaign as against


Better Together. It is a undecided voters think this by a majority of


four 21. Some people are worried about of the campaign. JK Rowling,


Scotland's most successful author of all time. She gives ?1 million to


the Better Together campaign. She then faces some of the most


incredible abuse. I know what it is like because I have had some myself.


Traitor, Quisling. I cannot use some of the words, it is Sunday morning.


Why does Scottish Nationalists culture have such a revolting


fringe? JK Rowling is entitled to our views and it is unacceptable if


people say offensive things about her or anyone else who voices and


opinion in this debate. Who are obese people? When you look at the


accounts of some of the people who were posting these things about JK


Rowling, they were using the same sort of language about film stars


and football stars. This was just part of their language on Twitter.


How often has Alex Salmond condemned the cyber nationalists? Very often.


Everyone in the campaign hands. By common consent, Yes Scotland is


running a thoroughly positive campaign, much more positive than


Better Together. Jackie Baillie it hardly helps matters when Alistair


Darling, who runs your campaign compares Alex Salmond to Kim Jong Il


and North Korea. That hardly elevates the debate? I think we need


to elevate the debate. There are less than a hundred days to go. It


is a massive decision. We need to elevate the debate beyond attacks. I


think there is much more that Yes Scotland and the SNP can do. You


have made that point. Why are you running a campaign based on fear?


The codename of your campaign is even project fear. It is threats.


You cannot have the pound, there will be no shipbuilding. You will be


flooded by immigrants. Why are you so negative? I am not negative at


all and neither is the campaign The campaign has asked questions and I


think it is legitimate to ask questions of the people proposing


such a fundamental change. People care about the economy, their jobs,


their families. What would happen to them if they leave the rest of the


United Kingdom. I think it is legitimate to ask questions. I


refuse to be asked of scaremongering. People deserve


answers. The yes campaign is equally guilty of some of the most


outrageous scaremongering. Maybe you are both scaremongering. Blair


Jenkins, the First Minister said of the cyber nationalists, that they


are just Daft folk, as if they were mischievous little children. It is


worse than that. When you look at what they say, they are twisted


perhaps even evil minds. I would not disagree with his comments, but they


are directed at just a small number of people. The story of this


campaign is not the story of what people are saying on Twitter. Around


Scotland, lots of people are getting engaged in debate to have been tuned


out of the political process. Today, we have 47% support for the yes


campaign. The movement in the campaign is towards yes. People know


we have a better campaign, a vision for Scotland. The latest poll of


polls does not show that. Both sides, you always take the opinion


polls that show you in the best light. All politicians do that.


Jackie Baillie, your campaign is not just negative, it is patronising.


You make dubious claims that Scots would be ?1400 better off by staying


in the union, and then you say that the kids use the money to scoff 280


hotdogs at the Edinburgh Festival. The fate of the nation is in your


hands and that is the best you can do? I think you will find that the


campaign is something that we are taking the message to people. Then


why are you talking about hotdogs? I do not. The campaign did. We are


taking a positive message to people across Scotland about the benefits


of the United Kingdom. We believe we are stronger and more secure and


more stable, being part of that family of nations that is the United


Kingdom. At the same time, we have the strange and power over things


like education and transport. I understand that. I am not doing the


issues today, I am talking about the tone of the campaign. I have one


very important question. Who would you supporting last night in the


England-Italy match? I was not watching the game. I would be


delighted to see England do well in this tournament. I have Argentina in


the office sweepstake. I have to keep some attention on them, but I


would be delighted to seeing Clint do well. That is because you think


it will help your campaign. It will annoy the Scots. Jackie Baillie I


was supporting England. I was also supporting Portugal.


Now most of you probably missed last night's football match


between England and Italy because you wanted to get an early night and


England lost despite a plucky effort, I'm told.


But even Westminster is in the grip of World Cup fever


and with speculation about the fitness of each political


party's team we sent Adam out to tackle some of the big players.


Well, this is the closest I'll get to Rio.


This year everybody seems to have gone a bit mad Belize, football


stickers. Let's see who I will get. Oh, the suspense -- a bit mad for


these. George Osborne? That is because we leapt on the bandwagon


and made Alan political stickers. They're hotter than a Brazilian


barbecue. And at Westminster they're


turning into collector?s items. Sunday politics political stickers.


We have one of you, Norman. Would you like it? Do you want to start


collecting, Bob? Would you like a packet?


collecting, Bob? Would you like a Thank you. No album, I'm afraid


collecting, Bob? Would you like a Thank you. No album, I've got


Michael Gove, next to to Reza, and two of the Prime Minister. -- next


to Theresa. I am sure Michael has Theresa in her stick around, and


vice versa. These Tory ones are proving very


popular since she fell out with him out how


to handle extremism in schools. And there's been open speculation


about him taking on him in Do you think there will be any


reshuffle of the whole Tory album. Do you think there will be any


swapping in the Tory leadership soon? Who knows? David Cameron has


also got to replace the EU commissioner, Cathy Ashton, who is


standing down. Does he go with the favourite


the former health secretary Or the grassroots choice,


Martin Callanan, the Tories old Or does he rehabilitate


Andrew Mitchell after Plebgate? Do you fancy being European


Commissioner? I would rather be spending the money on the world s


poor and spending it well. Glad to hear it. Happy collecting.


Right, there must be some Labour stickers out there.


You don't want to swap Ed Balls any of the others? Can't I keep them


all? This is almost the perfect team.


There have been grumblings about the fitness of the Shadow


And Ed Miliband's got a kicking in Liverpool after posing


I'm told grown men are meeting up in pubs for sticker swaps -


With Danny Finkelstein - Tory peer and Times columnist,


He would be the card I would not want to trade. Do people want to


trade him in? I don't think anybody wants to trade him in at the moment.


He is the best person to lead the Labour party and will lead us into


the next election. There's been a lot about Michael Gove, and he's


very combative. That's been a huge strength as an education Secretary,


despite the fact it's brought in trouble. I would think the prime


minister would tell him not to get himself into peripheral battles at


the moment but stick to what has been successful. I haven't got Nick


Clegg, but I got me. Controversy amongst collectors of Lib Dems. I


need to give away me in return for Nick Clegg. That would be far


better. There you are. Some local parties are holding


meetings about his leadership, but at one in Cambridge this week


they voted to stick with him. You have got a Euro Commissioner.


Why don't I swap, I will swap Ed Miliband for Tim Farren. Can I do


that? What is the significance of that? Very significant. Happy


collecting. These beauties are popping up


everywhere, but sadly they won't Adam is still doing the samba around


Westminster as I speak. I'm joined


by three journalists who've been furiously swapping stickers


throughout the show, they certainly weren't allowed to stay up to watch


the football, it's Nick Watt, We will talk about Labour after the


break, and I want to concentrate on the Tories, but the moment, Nick,


senior Tories are saying privately that they might win next May. They


are beginning to dream the dream. So why are they doing all this


jockeying? I think the jockeying for the leadership is about a year old.


What stoped it up was when Theresa gave a speech to the conference and


people said she was doing it just in case, when things were not looking


too good. She is not on manoeuvres. I think it was a policy row that


drove the differences with Michael Gove. But Michael Gove is on


manoeuvres, and he is trying to protect George Osborne from, he


believes, a serious threat from Boris Johnson and possibly Theresa.


It is quite self-indulgent when you are a couple of points behind, the


economy is going your way, to be involved in this sort of stuff.


Extraordinary. It shows the toxic disease that gnaws at the entrails


of the Tory party, and Cameron is their great asset. He is more


popular than the party, he bridges the gap is, and he has an


extraordinary dissemble and some pretending to be this moderate while


never the lens -- nevertheless leading the most far right wing


government we have had since the war, and that has been a brilliant


piece of political Charente and they would be crazy to get rid of it --


political Charente. piece of political Charente and they


would be crazy to get rid of it -- charades. Does this rumble on? I


have an unfashionable view as there aren't half as many leadership plots


taking place in Westminster as we assume, and the willingness to read


strategic calculation into anything that takes place comes from people


watching I Claudius or house of cards. That hasn't been off -- on


for years. I needed a reference from your time. I needed something. Maybe


brief encounter? It's a stylised view of how politics works, and so


much more in life is about randomness and mistakes. Boris


Johnson, Theresa May, Michael Gove as George Osborne's man on earth,


they are positioning themselves -- Janan wrote an eloquent comment this


week about this, but there are certain realities that. Michael Gove


had that famous dinner with Rupert Murdoch a few weeks ago in which he


said that you must not make Boris Johnson leader of the Conservative


party, George Osborne is my man Theresa May set out her credo two


years ago and people on her team were saying that she was doing it


just in case. People are out there and are thinking of the future, but


I do think Janan is right. In the village, in the thick of it mindset,


you can get a bit carried away and you can be a bit in the famous. That


is before your era. He died. What did he mean by it. You can get a bit


carried away by it. I will have words with you during the break


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


Coming up here in 20 minutes, we'll be talking about Ed Miliband's


Hello and a warm welcome to your local part of the show `


more nerve`shredding than any World Cup football match,


without the lovely Gary Lindker but hopefully no diving.


This school has no kitchen, so how is it going to provide free school


We are in Cumbria finding ott if the coalition's promises can be met


My guests, kicking around the week's issues, whth no


Labour's former Chief Whip, Newcastle MP Nick Brown and,


for the Conservatives, David Skelton ` the man who is trying to revive


Tory fortunes in the north, a job some might say that is even


But first, the Government s`ys 47,000 new jobs have been created


But this week it emerged th`t weekly earnings are continuing to fall


The pay packets of women in particular are down, mord than


Nick Brown, the Prime Minister was right at Prime Minister's Qtestions


this week. Employment did go faster this quarter than anywhere dlse in


the country. The questions to the Prime Minister asked about poverty


in work. Two thirds of children who are living below the povertx line


are in families where someone is working. Work is not the pathway out


of poverty here. The answer is that we need more jobs and a better


spread of jobs. David Skelton, on the face of its the news is next,


isn't it? People are not fedling the benefit of being in work. It is good


news that more people are in work. We have two think about the legacy


that the coalition was faced with. Labour were not doing enough to get


this done. We still had the highest unemployment in the country after 13


years of Labour government. Now I think a lot is being done to make


sure that more businesses are created. But the government will not


get credit for that unless wages rise. You need a long`term growth in


the region. I think it is rhght to acknowledge what the governlent has


done to help people who are struggling. Between 2004 and 20 0,


the government increased thd minimum wage and took the poorest pdople out


of tax altogether. This is not a good use of statistics. Durhng the


period of the Labour governlent this area had the fastest growth of


any English region. There w`s an agency that focused on the `rea and


worked for the region. I was a regional minister and was able to


intervene on a number of issues Let us top about something else.


When the Conservatives lost their North`East seat in last month's Euro


elections, it was another low in the party's spiral of decline.


It is hard to imagine, but back in the 1970s the Tories


controlled big city councils like Sunderland and Newcastle,


while, even under Mrs Thatcher, places like Darlington and Tynemouth


It is all very different now, of course.


But the Conservative Party hs not giving up without a fight


and has launched a campaign to broaden its appeal in the North


But do not be misled by the yachts, this County Durham town has coal


dust in its veins and has h`d Labour MPs for almost a century


Maybe not the best place to hunt for potential Tories.


Actually, there is somewherd in Seaham that is true blue and this is


It has actually got hundreds of members,


But if you join the club, you do not have to join the Conservatives.


You just have to say that you are prepared to vote Tory.


Even that takes some guts for working`class men


Ask them for their views on Cameron's Conservatives, though and


He talks out of the back of his head, I think.


You can?t believe anything that he says.


I don't think much of him to be quite honest.


I think he is a waste of tile as a leader.


He was brought up by a millhonaire father and this sort of thing.


You keep going on about the food banks and things like that, but they


do not want to know about it, they do not even think they are there.


The leaders of the party, the people at the top, are lore


interested in being celebrities than running the country.


There were some who were more supportive, but even the cltb


chairman recognises that his party is not playing well in the North.


We donate a lot of money to the Conservativd Party,


from the Conservative Club, and we expect them to listen to us.


If they do not start listenhng to us, they are going to lose


So what concerns do members feel are being ignored?


Immigration certainly came tp and the north`south divide too.


And there was disquiet about the legacy of a missing Conserv`tive.


You will not find a picture of Margaret Thatcher here,


because the chairman says it would not go down well.


The irony here is that if D`ve here had managed to secure as many


northern voters as Maggie dhd, he would now be the Prime Mhnister


of a Conservative Government and not just a coalition.


So the Conservative brand in the North does seem to nded


Time, perhaps, to take specialist advice.


Cravens is an advertising agency in Newcastle.


One of its current clients hs Glasgow Rangers Football Cltb.


What advice would they give to another set of struggling blues


This is not about logos or strap lines, this is about things that


I think Boris Johnson in London is doing a very good job of behng


He appeals to people and he connects to the people in that


I think finding a North`East spokesperson,


a credible spokesperson, whether they come from the world of


sport or media I am not surd, would be a really positive step forward.


There are new brands to content with too.


Ted voted Conservative for 40 years, but in 2010 he joined UKIP `nd


in 2015 he will stand against the Tory MP in the general election


Attracted by his new party, repelled by his old.


I think that over the years, they have changed totally


They are not in touch with people at all.


Even going back to the 70s tnder Margaret Thatcher, many people did


not like her, but at least she came from a working`class background


Now you have a lot of multimillionaires who do not have


a clue what is happening to Joe Public.


There does not seem to be mtch sunshine on the horizon for the


On the streets and even in their own club they seem a little snookered.


Well let's talk about that now with my guests.


I am also joined by the North East's newly elected member of the


European Parliament, Jonathan Arnott from UKIP.


David Skelton, you are obviously someone who wants to revive the


boat. It is depressing to go to a conservative club and sea vhews like


that. I believe that the politics in the North East is in flux at the


moment. Firstly, the Labour vote is imploding. They got less thoughts in


the North East, they have lost the hundred and 50,000 voters. Lany


people are saying similar things. They said that Labour has t`ken


their base for granted. A ntmber of people I speak to in the north`east


say that Labour is not their party any more. The Liberal Democrat vote


has also gone. I think therd is a strong opportunity for the


Conservatives here. What cale across there is that people think that your


party is out of touch with working people. The important point is not


about personality, it is about using power to help working peopld. I


think there is an opportunity here for the Conservatives that has not


been around in recent decadds. They can use their power to help working


people in the North East. Jonathan Arnott, the policies of UKIP have


appealed to people but can xou replace the Conservatives? What we


have done in the European and local elections is finished ahead of the


Conservatives in most places. We took more votes than them across the


north`east. It is astonishing. Can you beat them in a general dlection?


Will people vote UKIP for government? We found that when


people were choosing an MP... We have to do the best we can. The


simple fact is that the est`blished parties are not listening to UKIP's


message. They are not prepared to change or do anything about it.


While they continue being arrogant and ignoring the needs and wishes of


working`class voters they whll still find a problem with support. This is


a problem for Labour as well. Some people have said that they have


become the party of the middle`class, not the working class.


There is a truth in that. There is also some sense in the consdrvative


renewal at the attempt to rdbuild support in the north. I think it


will be a long time before people forget that Margaret Thatchdr used


the police against the miners and start people in shipyards. But the


decline of only happened after Margaret Thatcher left office. But


when we needed help she would not help us and she kind her back on us.


People will not forget that. But you will accept there is a challenge for


Labour because working`class people are also moving away from your


party. It is important that we engage with the people that we


expect to support us. If Labour turns its back on working`class


people it will be a problem. I do not think that we have done this. I


work hard to service the nedds of my constituency. The Labour Party is


resilient in the north`east because other members of Parliament... This


is a 20 year decline. What hs the silver bullet? It has to be seen as


the party of job creation and economic renewal. Labour had 13


years in power and the problems were still there when they left hn 2 10.


The Conservative Party has to be seen as the party that is about


restoring the north`east. It is about ensuring their jobs are


created. David Cameron would say that you are doing that now. They


are doing it now. But they `re making a complete mess of it. Let us


focus on the Conservatives. There is rather growth in the north`dast I


think it is important that the seen as the party of economic growth and


job creation. They should bd seen to devolve power to the north`dast The


Conservatives should also t`ke part in education reform. Jonath`n


Arnott, the new think it is odd that your party can appeal to


working`class people with a wealthy in? But some of our members come


from council estates. The whole point of UKIP is that the appeal to


people from all different sorts of backgrounds. Because we had people


at the top of our party who are from working class backgrounds they


understand. Now to one


of the most mouth`watering policies from the coalition `


a pledge to introduce free school lunches for every child in hnfant


school from September this xear A hot healthy meal, it is claimed,


will give every child But it is proving quite


a logistical challenge to ddliver. In Cumbria,


the local authority delivers just That will rise to more


than 15,000 in September. And despite of more than ?1 million


from the Government, there `re still worries over exactly how sole


of the meals will be providdd. 200 dinners a day are made ` day


in Deaton at Robert Ferguson I like them because they ard cooked


and very nice, because the dinner ladies are kind to you all the time


and it means having a proper meal I like all the puddings,


because they make them But in September,


staff are expecting to deliver 00 daily dinners because the government


wants all infant school children to Schools are under


pressure to prepare. Like so many initiatives th`t come


into schools, where head te`chers have to do a professional job of


implementing them, this particular one does feel rushed and it does


feel that not only schools but local authorities have had to hotfoot it


to work out where to deploy the But in essence I think it is


a good policy. Across the region,


an estimated 36,000 more school children will be entitled to free


school meals from this Septdmber. Stockton says they are expecting to


provide 5,500 extra meals, Durham is planning for 5,000, and in Gateshead


and Northumberland it is 2,000 each. But Cumbria faces


the biggest challenge. At the moment,


the county council delivers more That will rise to more


than 15,000 this autumn. They have been given a Government


grant of more than a million pounds to pay for new kitchen equipment


and small alterations. But that will not pay


for big dining room extensions or The Government has determindd


the amount of money that Culbria I'm sympathetic to a lot of the


schools, but I'm afraid that does We will try to work the schools


as much as we can, and we will try to mitigate anything


that is going on, but we do not have For Fairfield Primary School


in Cockermouth, the autumn term At the moment,


all pupils eat packed lunchds. But Nick Clegg's policy is


for hot meals. We are going to have to havd meals


transported in ` To work with some companies


and schools that can producd hot school meals and have them


transported to our site. Our long`term vision is that


hopefully, at some point in time, we will have


our own hot kitchen on`site. If there are problems,


the message is not to stay silent. I have been talking to a lot


of schools and most Those who have had difficult issues,


we have managed to find solttions In some cases,


there is a financial issue and it is just a case of thd county


council approaching the Govdrnment and saying that this has become


difficult for us and I'm 100 percent A few heads


in Cumbria doubt the value of the free meal policy, but they are


less confident about the tilescale. Moving


from party conference announcement to plates on tables in under


a year is proving a tall order. Nick Brown, I know we have talked


about this. The coalition h`s made a pledge and is delivering it. It is


impressive, isn't it? It was labour who first proposed the schele. David


Cameron has reintroduced wh`t Labour piloted. I think it is a good idea.


They made a political agreelent first and then looked at thd


practical consequences and realise that some of the schools cotld not


do it. These problems need to be sorted out. David Skelton, hs this


the kind of thing that will broaden coalition appeal or is it ghving


free food to people who can afford it with Mac it is an excelldnt


policy. Having a hot meal hdlps educational performance. Thdre have


been studies that showed thhs is the case. But people from deprived areas


get free meals anyway. That is not the point. It is saving pardnts


money. But you talk about the severity and cutting public spending


but you are giving free meals to children whose parents can `fford


it. This is an important policy to improve educational attainmdnt. It


is focused... But it is being rushed through. I don't think it is being


rushed through. Idea of nothce was given. It is a very progressive


policy that I think everyond should get the hind. But money was spent on


free schools when it could have been given to build kitchens. Is it not a


good idea? The argument is nutrition. The evidence that is


available to the government is that young people perform better with a


hot meal inside of them rather than a pact lunch. I think it is a good


argument for continuing the policy. Now, a look at what else has been


going on this week ` including the first ever lo`n


from a local council to the NHS With that and the rest of the news,


here is Mark Denten. Firms bidding to run the


East Coast Main Line are behng urged to put on direct trains


from Middlesbrough to London. Research by Tees Valley Unlhmited


claims it would be worth ne`rly ?50 million a year to


the region?s economy. Northumbria Country Council is to


make a loan of ?114 million to Northumbria Health Care will use


the money to end its PFI contract The Trust says the move will


save around ?3.5 million a xear The Prime Minister says cre`ting


more jobs in the North East is the Shockingly,


one in three children in thd North Significantly, two out of three


young people who are living in households now. And finally your MPs


will get a chance to put thdir own bills forward to the Commons, after


coming eighth and eleventh hn the But there is no guarantee they


will get debated in the Comlons And just time to fit in one more


from a boisterous Question Time Labour's Ronnie Campbell was


in trouble with the Speaker after interrupting the


Prime Minister one time too many. That is what is happening,


but above all... Mr Campbell,


when you are eating curry...order! When you are eating curry in the


Kennington Tandoori you do not yell across the restaurant, so do not


yell across the floor of thhs house! Ronnie Campbell getting a thcking,


or should that be a tikka`ing, off. Anyway, sounds like he might


get poppadoms for life. We are back, and just as sphcy,


on BBC One next Sunday. For now, do follow me on Twhtter


and enjoy the football. It is back to Andrew for thd rest


of this week's programme. There are big changes afoot


in the EU following last month's European elections,


not least who'll get the top job But


behind the scenes the parties have also been jockeying for position as


they try to form the big groups that And UKIP seems to have been


struggling to keep its influence Here's Adam to explain


how it all works. If you want your party to be a big


cheese in the European Parliament, you need to form a political group.


By doing this, the party gets more money, more positions on committees


and even more speaking rights in the chamber. But the parliament's rules


are strict. And to form a group you need a group of 25 MPs from at least


seven different countries. For UKIP, the number of MEPs will not be a


problem because they already have 24 of their own, but the different


nationalities are more of a challenge. Nigel Farage was not


helped by the Tories stealing - stealing his former Danish and


Finnish allies, and the pen pinching his Italian charms. Nigel needs a


new charm and fast. He has already signed up Lithuania's order and


justice, a free citizen from Prague, and the Dutchman from the reformed


political party. The big signing was the 17 members of the Italian Beppe


Griego's 5-star movement, but it leaves UKIP short of two more


international powers, and with the clock ticking, it looks like his


hopes resting on the Swedish Democrats and the Polish new right


Congress. They both make their decisions next week.


What is the latest? UKIP have enough MEPs with their pals, but they need


seven countries, as I understand it. They are not there yet. They are


wrapped five countries and need another two. UKIP are being quite


buoyant and say they will be meeting MEPs from five countries next week


and are pretty confident they will get those countries, but as Adam was


saying, the problem UKIP have had is that the Conservatives have nicked


two of the parties. That is why they have been struggling, but they say


they are confident they will do it. Meanwhile, the Tories new best


friends are the German Eurosceptic party, which has put Mrs Merkel s


nose out of joint, but we don't quite know whether she really cares


or not. I think Cameron has played his hand badly since he committed to


pulling out of the EBP. And he should be in there with Angela


Merkel and if he needs to make a major renegotiation, he needs to


have the Germans onside. Instead there is a breakaway party and its


like supporting UKIP. His party are supporting her worst enemy. It


certainly causing him a lot of problems, and undermines his


negotiating position, but isn't there an honesty that the


centre-right group is explicitly Federalist, and the Tories are


anything but, so they came out, and Labour are in the Socialist group,


which is explicitly Federalist, and they are not Federalist either. If


you want support and influence in Europe, you have to trade, and he


hasn't done this well. The whole business with who will be the next


president, he needs Angela Merkel's support. Without that, it won't


happen. He should have been trading behind-the-scenes, but he has


exposed himself in public, and if he doesn't win it looks uncertain, and


he will be in a position where he has to go back to his own party and


say they are not getting anywhere. That is dangerous and takes us


closer to the Exeter, which I don't think would want. The danger for Mr


Cameron is if it is the president of the commission, he will save you


cannot stop a federalist becoming head of the European commission


what chance do you have of repatriating lots of powers back to


London. There are lots of Tory MPs dying to make the argument. My hunch


is that he won't make it. There are too many countries opposed to his


presidency and even the country notionally in favour of it, Germany,


is failing in youth -- enthusiasm. Angela Merkel cannot be seen to give


in to the Brits this. Her own side once it as well, though some reason


the German media says it. When she tried to reach out and said to look


at the other candidates, she got such abuse on the right wing press


from her own country and party she had to retreat. Janan is right that


there is opposition to Juncker, but as long as Cameron turns it into an


argument about Britain and Europe, he will strengthen the hand of


Juncker. Angela Merkel thinks Juncker is inappropriate. She did


not like the process, which was a power grab by the European


Parliament, but when David Cameron went to the council and said that if


I don't get my way, we could leave the EU, that led to the backlash,


most significantly from the SPD in Germany. As Tony Blair says, if only


David Cameron had made the argument that Juncker is bad for Europe, then


he would have found his natural allies would have felt more


comfortable following behind. Enough Europe. I want to show you a


picture. See what you think of this. When I saw that picture, I thought


it was so ludicrous that it had to have been photo shop. Discuss. He is


holding it with a certain disdain, looking a bit hangdog. A disastrous


picture for Ed Miliband. His strength is authenticity, sincerity


and cleverness. And he blows all of that. He was the one who took on


Murdoch, very bravely and dangerously, and one, really. Now


there he is supporting Murdoch's son. It's a big mistake, not just in


Liverpool, where obviously they are particularly incensed. And then he


apologises. Sort of apologises and understands why Liverpool feels


upset. But it is a fundamental error and I hope he learns from this, that


he must absolutely stay true to himself. That's all he's got going


for him. Who do we blame? His advisers or himself? In the end


himself. Nobody forced him to do it. On this one, he called it wrong


It's a sign of the rather the bridal state of the Labour Party is that


his candidates were vocal in attacking him doing this. It's a


sign of how readable Ed Miliband is at Parliamentary level. I don't


think you should have apologised. The mistake he made was associating


himself with that newspaper. The mistake was the prior three years


when he went too far as portraying the Murdoch empire beyond the pale.


He made a case against phone hacking and offences in that regard without


going as far as he did with the rhetoric. To do that, and then pose


with the Sun newspaper, the juxtaposition is what did for him,


not the mere fact of posing with it. Maybe he did not know what he was


doing because we were told he doesn't read the British


newspapers. It was football, and he has posed with the Sun newspaper


before. Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg posed as well. But with the Sun


newspaper and football, you tread carefully. That was the mistake You


get the impression from the picture that he looks so uncomfortable that


you wonder whether there was a full process of consultation that went on


within his media operation, within his political operation. Was he


fully aware of what would happen question what he looks so incredibly


uncomfortable. But at the end of the day, leaders have to take


responsibility. It is cultural as well. That picture says, I am down


there with the football blokes and you think, you are not. That is not


what people will vote for. Be yourself and don't pretend to be


something else because it never works. But the polls suggest that


the British voters don't yet see Ed Miliband as prime ministerial. The


worst thing you can then do is get involved in stunts that are more


likely to reinforce that idea than counter it. There was a precedent


for it in the last parliament which was Gordon Brown's attempts to feign


a populist touch. He did it by telling the contents of his iPod.


The Arctic monkeys. It always jarred because he was trying too hard. Not


uniquely guilty of, Ed Miliband all the other leaders have done it. At


the moment he more vulnerable. Yes, and he is less popular than his


party. Labour has quite a popular brand, in a resilient way, in a way


they don't with the Tories, yet their leader is a personal problem.


The pressure is on him to do stunts like this. Will there be a shadow


cabinet reshuffle? Yes, we have to get the cabinet reshuffle out of the


way first, and that might come next week, maybe by the time of the


summer recess, but the first thing that the prime Minister do is work


out who is the UK candidate for the European Commissioner. Is it not the


case probably that Ed Balls is becoming semi-detached from the Ed


Miliband project? I don't think entirely. Nothing gets agreed


without both of the end are green. Ed Balls is controversial. He has


great pluses and minuses and is a big figure. Labour doesn't have that


many big figures. It's quite hard to think who would be a heavy hitter as


a possible Chancellor. He is a convincing chancellor to the future,


Love him. He has the heft -- love him or hate him. Any possibility Ed


Balls could be moved as shadow chancellor? The timing is convenient


because the Scottish referendum ends in the autumn and Alistair Darling


becomes a free man, win or lose I don't think Ed Balls will be removed


because moving him would be an admission that everything the Labour


Party said about the economy to the preceding four years has been a


mistake. And you can't do that nine months before a general election.


You invite ridicule. But relations between Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are


not great at the moment. The Ed Miliband team are very, very


suspicious of this new love in between Ed Balls and Peter


Mandelson. Mandelson likes to say that he spotted the Ed Balls talents


in the original place and appointed him to the Gordon Brown team after


the disaster of 1992. But things obviously went awry, and now Ed


Balls and Peter Mandelson Avenue Rappaport, and that is with enormous


suspicion -- they have a new Rappaport. With good reason because


it's about policy. It's about the attitude towards business. Should


they be out there saying they will get the tax dodgers, Starbucks,


Vodafone, are we going to take on business in a big way? In a way that


Ed Miliband has quite bravely said. On the other hand, Ed Balls and


Peter Mandelson are saying, hang on, we only won in 1997 by being


business friendly. Sorry to rush you. We are running out of time


The Daily Politics will be back every day this week at midday,


and I'll be back here next Sunday when I'll be joined


by the shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves.Remember


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


Magnificent. The power base of medieval England.


Charles' ceiling was a piece of breathtaking arrogance.


You get a sense of the people who made the palaces.


as I unlock the secrets of Britain's great palaces.


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. James Rubin, Mark Malloch-Brown and Bayan Rahman discuss the crisis in Iraq. Jackie Baillie from Better Together and Blair Jenkins from Yes Scotland debate the nature of the Scottish independence campaign.

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