22/06/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


22/06/2014

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Rachel Reeves discusses what reforms Labour would make to the welfare department.


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Transcript


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Welfare reform is one of the government's most popular policies.

:00:36.:00:42.

So Labour says it would be even tougher than the Tories.

:00:43.:00:46.

We'll be asking the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary if she's got

:00:47.:00:49.

Even Labour supporters worry that Ed Miliband hasn't got what it takes

:00:50.:00:56.

Labour grandees are increasingly vocal about their concerns.

:00:57.:01:00.

Over 50% of Labour voters think they'd do better with a new leader.

:01:01.:01:12.

We speak to a new political party apparently "toxic" on the doorstep.

:01:13.:01:25.

We speak to a new political party campaigning for regional government

:01:26.:01:26.

in the north`east. promised an electric car revolution,

:01:27.:01:28.

why so little progress? Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and

:01:29.:01:40.

Janan Ganesh, the toxic tweeters First, the deepening crisis in Iraq,

:01:41.:01:46.

where Sunni Islamists are now largely in control of

:01:47.:01:55.

the Syrian-Iraq border, which means they can now re-supply their forces

:01:56.:01:57.

in Iraq from their Syrian bases Rather than moving on Baghdad, they

:01:58.:02:03.

are for the moment consolidating their grip on the towns

:02:04.:02:06.

and cities they've already taken. They also seem to be

:02:07.:02:08.

in effective control of Iraq's biggest oil refinery,

:02:09.:02:11.

which supplies the capital. And there are reports they

:02:12.:02:14.

might now have taken the power Iraqi politicians are now admitting

:02:15.:02:17.

that ISIS, the name of the Sunni insurgents, is

:02:18.:02:23.

better trained, better equipped and far more battle-hardened than the

:02:24.:02:26.

US-trained Iraqi army fighting it. Which leaves the fate of Baghdad

:02:27.:02:32.

increasingly in the hands No good news coming out of there,

:02:33.:02:50.

Janan. No good news and no good options either. The West's best

:02:51.:02:55.

strategy is to decide how much support to give to the Iraqi

:02:56.:02:59.

government. The US is sending over about 275 military personnel. Do

:03:00.:03:03.

they go further and contemplate their support? General Petraeus

:03:04.:03:09.

argued against it as it might be seen as the US serving as the force

:03:10.:03:15.

of Shia Iraqis -- continue their support. Do we contemplate breaking

:03:16.:03:21.

up Iraq? It won't be easy. The Sunni and Shia Muslim populations don t

:03:22.:03:27.

live in clearly bordered areas, but in the longer term, do we deal with

:03:28.:03:31.

it in the same way we dealt with the break-up of the Ottoman empire over

:03:32.:03:36.

100 years ago? In the short-term and long-term, completely confounding.

:03:37.:03:41.

Quite humiliating. If ISIS take Baghdad I can't think of a bigger

:03:42.:03:46.

ignominy for foreign policy since Suez. If Iraq is partitioned, it

:03:47.:03:53.

won't be up to us. It will be what is happening because of what is

:03:54.:03:58.

happening on the ground. Everything does point to partition, and that

:03:59.:04:03.

border, which ISIS control, between Syria and Iraq, that has been there

:04:04.:04:08.

since it was drawn during the First World War. That is gone as well An

:04:09.:04:13.

astonishingly humbling situation the West, and you can see the Kurds in

:04:14.:04:20.

the North think this is a charge -- chance for authority. They think

:04:21.:04:25.

this is the chance to get the autonomy they felt they deserved a

:04:26.:04:30.

long time. Janan is right. We can't do much in the long term, but we

:04:31.:04:35.

have to decide on the engagement. And the other people wish you'd be

:04:36.:04:38.

talking turkey, because if there is some blowback and the fighters come

:04:39.:04:41.

back, they are likely to come back from Turkey. Where is Iran in all of

:04:42.:04:46.

this? There were reports last week that the Revolutionary guard, the

:04:47.:04:51.

head of it, he was already in Baghdad with 67 advisers and there

:04:52.:04:55.

might have been some brigades that have gone there as well. Where are

:04:56.:05:01.

they? What has happened? I'm pretty sure the Prime Minister of Iraq is

:05:02.:05:05.

putting more faith in Iran than the White House and the British. I think

:05:06.:05:15.

they are running the show, in technical terms. John Kerry is

:05:16.:05:20.

flying into Cairo this morning, and what is his message? It is twofold.

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One is to Arab countries, do more to encourage an inclusive government in

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Iraq, mainly Sunni Muslims in the government, and the Arab Gulf states

:05:30.:05:33.

should stop funding insurgents in Iraq. You think, Iraq, it's

:05:34.:05:38.

potentially going to break up, so this sounds a bit late in the day

:05:39.:05:43.

and a bit weak. It gets fundamentally to the problem, what

:05:44.:05:47.

can we do? Niall Ferguson has a big piece in the Sunday Times asking if

:05:48.:05:50.

this is place where we cannot doing anything. He doesn't want to do

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anything. By the way, that is what most Americans think. That is what

:05:57.:06:01.

opinion polls are showing. You have George Osborne Michael Gold who

:06:02.:06:04.

would love to get involved but they cannot because of the vote in

:06:05.:06:08.

parliament on Syria lasted -- George Osborne and Michael Gove. This

:06:09.:06:11.

government does not have the stomach for military intervention. We will

:06:12.:06:14.

see how events unfold on the ground. All parties are agreed that

:06:15.:06:18.

Britain's 60-year old multi-billion The Tory side of the Coalition think

:06:19.:06:20.

their reforms are necessary and popular, though they haven't

:06:21.:06:26.

always gone to time or to plan. In the eight months she's had since

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she became Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves

:06:29.:06:33.

has talked the talk about getting people off benefits, into work and

:06:34.:06:39.

lowering the overall welfare bill. her first interview

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in the job she threatened "We would But Labour has opposed just

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about every change the Coalition has proposed to cut the cost

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and change the culture of welfare. Child benefit, housing benefit,

:06:49.:06:53.

the ?26,000 benefit cap - They've been lukewarm about

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the government's flagship Universal Credit scheme - which rolls six

:06:56.:07:02.

benefit payments into one - and And Labour has set out only

:07:03.:07:05.

two modest welfare cuts. This week, Labour said young people

:07:06.:07:12.

must have skills or be in training That will save ?65 million,

:07:13.:07:16.

says Labour, though the cost And cutting winter fuel payments

:07:17.:07:21.

for richer pensioners which will Not a lot in a total welfare bill

:07:22.:07:27.

of around ?200 billion. And with welfare cuts popular among

:07:28.:07:34.

even Labour voters, they will soon have to start spelling out exactly

:07:35.:07:37.

what Labour welfare reform means. Welcome. Good morning. Why do you

:07:38.:07:54.

want to be tougher than the Tories? We want to be tough in getting the

:07:55.:07:57.

welfare bill down. Under this government, the bill will be ?1

:07:58.:08:02.

million more than the government set out in 2010 and I don't think that

:08:03.:08:05.

is acceptable. We should try to control the cost of Social Security.

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But the welfare bill under the next Labour government will fall? It will

:08:12.:08:14.

be smaller when you end the first parliament than when you started? We

:08:15.:08:20.

signed up to the capping welfare but that doesn't see social security

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costs ball, it sees them go up in line with with inflation or average

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earnings -- costs fall. So where flair will rise? We have signed up

:08:29.:08:34.

to the cap -- welfare will rise We have signed up to the cap. We will

:08:35.:08:38.

get the costs under control and they haven't managed to achieve it. The

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government is spending ?13 billion more on Social Security and the

:08:43.:08:45.

reason they are doing it is because the minimum wage has not kept pace

:08:46.:08:51.

with the cost of living so people are reliant on tax credits. They are

:08:52.:08:55.

not building houses and people are relying on housing benefit. We have

:08:56.:08:58.

a record number of people on zero hours contracts. I'm still not clear

:08:59.:09:04.

if you will cut welfare if you get in power. Nobody is saying that the

:09:05.:09:08.

cost of welfare is going to fall. The welfare cap sees that happening

:09:09.:09:16.

gradually. That is a Tory cap. And you've accepted it. You're being the

:09:17.:09:21.

same as the Tories, not to. If they had a welfare cap, they would have

:09:22.:09:28.

breached it in every year of the parliament. Social Security will be

:09:29.:09:30.

higher than the government set out because they failed to control it.

:09:31.:09:35.

You read the polls, and the party does lots of its own polling, and

:09:36.:09:39.

you're scared of being seen as the welfare party. You don't really

:09:40.:09:41.

believe all of this anti-welfare stuff? We are the party of work not

:09:42.:09:48.

welfare. The Labour Party was set up in the first place because we

:09:49.:09:51.

believe in the dignity of work and we believe that work should pay

:09:52.:09:54.

wages can afford to live on. I make no apologies for being the party of

:09:55.:09:58.

work. We are not the welfare party, we are the party of work. Even your

:09:59.:10:03.

confidential strategy document admits that voters don't trust you

:10:04.:10:07.

on immigration, the economy, this is your own people, and welfare. You

:10:08.:10:12.

are not trusted on it. The most recent poll showed Labour slightly

:10:13.:10:15.

ahead of the Conservative Party on Social Security, probably because

:10:16.:10:18.

they have seen the incompetence and chaos at the Department for Work and

:10:19.:10:23.

Pensions under Iain Duncan Smith. Your own internal document means

:10:24.:10:27.

that the voters don't trust you on welfare reform. That is why we have

:10:28.:10:33.

shown some of this tough things we will do like the announcement that

:10:34.:10:39.

Ed Miliband made earlier this week, that young people without basic

:10:40.:10:41.

qualifications won't be entitled to just sign on for benefits, they have

:10:42.:10:45.

to sign up for training in order to receive support. That is the right

:10:46.:10:48.

thing to do by that group of young people, because they need skills to

:10:49.:10:56.

progress. We will, once that. - we will, onto that. You say you

:10:57.:11:03.

criticise the government that it had a cap and wouldn't have met it, but

:11:04.:11:07.

every money-saving welfare reform, you voted against it. How is that

:11:08.:11:14.

being tougher? The most recent bout was the cap on overall welfare

:11:15.:11:17.

expenditure, and we went through the lobbies and voted for the Tories.

:11:18.:11:24.

You voted against the benefit cap, welfare rating, you voted against,

:11:25.:11:26.

child benefit schemes, you voted against. You can't say we voted

:11:27.:11:31.

against everything when we voted with the Conservatives in the most

:11:32.:11:35.

recent bill with a cap on Social Security. It's just not correct to

:11:36.:11:41.

say. The last time we voted, we walked through the lobby with them.

:11:42.:11:45.

You voted on the principle of the cap. You voted on every step that

:11:46.:11:51.

would allow the cap to be met. Every single one. The most recent vote was

:11:52.:11:56.

not on the principle of the cap it was on a cap of Social Security in

:11:57.:12:00.

the next Parliament and we signed up for that. It was Ed Miliband who

:12:01.:12:03.

called her that earlier on. Which welfare reform did you vote for We

:12:04.:12:10.

voted for the cap. Other than that? We have supported universal credit.

:12:11.:12:14.

You voted against it in the third reading. We voted against some of

:12:15.:12:19.

the specifics. If you look at universal credit, they have had to

:12:20.:12:24.

write off nearly ?900 million of spending. I'm not on the rights and

:12:25.:12:29.

wrongs, I'm trying to work out what you voted for. Some of the things we

:12:30.:12:34.

are going to go further than the government with. For example,

:12:35.:12:38.

cutting benefits for young people who don't sign of the training. The

:12:39.:12:42.

government had introduced that. For example, saying that the richest

:12:43.:12:45.

pensioners should not get the winter fuel allowance, that is something

:12:46.:12:48.

the government haven't signed up. You would get that under Labour and

:12:49.:12:51.

this government haven't signed up for it. ?100 million on the winter

:12:52.:12:56.

fuel allowance and ?65 million on youth training. ?165 million. How

:12:57.:13:02.

big is the welfare budget? The cap would apply to ?120 billion. And

:13:03.:13:11.

you've saved 125 -- 165 million Those are cuts that we said we would

:13:12.:13:14.

do in government. If you look at the real prize from the changes Ed

:13:15.:13:19.

Miliband announced in the youth allowance, it's not the short-term

:13:20.:13:22.

savings, it's the fact that each of these young people, who are

:13:23.:13:25.

currently on unemployment benefits without the skills we know they need

:13:26.:13:29.

to succeed in life, they will cost the taxpayer ?2000 per year. I will

:13:30.:13:35.

come onto that. You mentioned universal credit, which the

:13:36.:13:39.

government regards as the flagship reform. It's had lots of troubles

:13:40.:13:43.

with it and it merges six benefits into one. You voted against it in

:13:44.:13:49.

the third reading and given lukewarm support in the past. We have not

:13:50.:13:53.

said he would abandon it, but now you say you are for it. You are all

:13:54.:14:00.

over the place. We set up the rescue committee in autumn of last year

:14:01.:14:03.

because we have seen from the National Audit Office and the Public

:14:04.:14:07.

Accounts Committee, report after report showing that the project is

:14:08.:14:12.

massively overbudget and is not going to be delivered according to

:14:13.:14:16.

the government timetable. We set up the committee because we believe in

:14:17.:14:18.

the principle of universal credit and think it is the right thing to

:14:19.:14:22.

do. Can you tell us now if you will keep it or not? Because there is no

:14:23.:14:28.

transparency and we have no idea. We are awash with information. We are

:14:29.:14:33.

not. The government, in the most recent National audit Forest --

:14:34.:14:39.

National Audit Office statement said it was a reset project. This is

:14:40.:14:43.

really important. This is a flagship government programme, and it's going

:14:44.:14:49.

to cost ?12.8 billion to deliver, and we don't know what sort of state

:14:50.:14:53.

it is in, so we have said that if we win at the next election, we will

:14:54.:14:57.

pause that for three months and calling... Will you stop the pilots?

:14:58.:15:04.

We don't know what status they will have. We would stop the build of the

:15:05.:15:09.

system for three months, calling the National Audit Office to do awards

:15:10.:15:14.

and all report. The government don't need to do this until the next

:15:15.:15:19.

general election, they could do it today. Stop throwing good money

:15:20.:15:23.

after bad and get a grip of this incredibly important programme. You

:15:24.:15:27.

said you don't know enough to a view now. So when you were invited to a

:15:28.:15:32.

job centre where universal credit is being rolled out to see how it was

:15:33.:15:38.

working, you refused to go. Why We asked were a meeting with Iain

:15:39.:15:41.

Duncan Smith and he cancelled the meeting is three times. I'm talking

:15:42.:15:44.

about the visit when you were offered to go to a job centre and

:15:45.:15:48.

you refused. We had an appointment to meet Iain Duncan Smith at the

:15:49.:15:52.

Department for Work and Pensions and said he cancelled and was not

:15:53.:15:56.

available, but he wanted us to go to the job centre. We wanted to talk to

:15:57.:15:59.

him and his officials, which she did. Would it be more useful to go

:16:00.:16:05.

to the job centre and find out how it was working. He's going to tell

:16:06.:16:06.

you it's working fine. Advice Bureau in Hammersmith, they

:16:07.:16:24.

are working to help the people trying to claim universal credit.

:16:25.:16:29.

Iain Duncan Smith cancelled three meetings. That is another issue I

:16:30.:16:36.

was asking about the job centre It is not another issue because Iain

:16:37.:16:42.

Duncan Smith fogged us off. This week you said that jobless

:16:43.:16:46.

youngsters who won't take training will lose their welfare payments.

:16:47.:16:50.

How many young people are not in work training or education? There

:16:51.:16:58.

are 140,000 young people claiming benefits at the moment, but 850 000

:16:59.:17:05.

young people who are not in work at the moment. This applies to around

:17:06.:17:13.

100,000 young people. There are actually 975,000, 16-24 -year-olds,

:17:14.:17:20.

not in work, training or education. Your proposal only applies to

:17:21.:17:28.

100,000 of them, why? This is applying to young people who are

:17:29.:17:32.

signing on for benefits rather than signing up for training. We want to

:17:33.:17:39.

make sure that all young people .. Why only 100,000? They are the ones

:17:40.:17:44.

currently getting job-seeker's allowance. We are saying you can not

:17:45.:17:57.

just sign up to... Can I get you to respond to this, the number of

:17:58.:18:02.

people not in work, training or education fell last year by more

:18:03.:18:10.

than you are planning to help. Long turn -- long-term unemployment is an

:18:11.:18:21.

entrenched problem... This issue about an entrenched group of young

:18:22.:18:26.

people. Young people who haven't got skills and are not in training we

:18:27.:18:32.

know are much less likely to get a job so there are 140,018-24

:18:33.:18:36.

-year-olds signing onto benefits at the moment. This is about trying to

:18:37.:18:43.

address that problem to make sure all young people have the skills

:18:44.:18:47.

they need to get a job. Your policy is to take away part of the dole

:18:48.:18:52.

unless young unemployed people agree to study for level three

:18:53.:18:58.

qualifications, the equivalent of an AS-level or an NVQ but 40% of these

:18:59.:19:03.

people have the literary skills of a nine-year-old. After all that failed

:19:04.:19:10.

education, how are you going to train them to a level standard? We

:19:11.:19:17.

are saying that anyone who doesn't have that a level or equivalent

:19:18.:19:21.

qualification will be required to go back to college. We are not saying

:19:22.:19:27.

that within a year they have to get up to that level but these are

:19:28.:19:31.

exactly the sorts of people... These people have been failed by your

:19:32.:19:35.

education system. These people are, for the last four years, have been

:19:36.:19:38.

educated under a Conservative government. 18 - 21-year-olds, most

:19:39.:19:46.

of them have their education under a Labour government during which

:19:47.:19:51.

300,000 people left with no GCSEs whatsoever. I don't understand how

:19:52.:19:56.

training for one year can do what 11 years in school did not. We are not

:19:57.:20:01.

saying that within one year everybody will get up to a level

:20:02.:20:05.

three qualifications, but if you are one of those people who enters the

:20:06.:20:09.

Labour market age 18 with the reading skills of a nine-year-old,

:20:10.:20:13.

they are the sorts of people that should not the left languishing I

:20:14.:20:21.

went to college in Hackney if you you are -- a few weeks ago and there

:20:22.:20:27.

was a dyslexic boy studying painting and decorating. In school they

:20:28.:20:32.

decided he was a troublemaker and that he didn't want to learn. He

:20:33.:20:38.

went back to college because he wanted to get the skills. He said

:20:39.:20:42.

that it wasn't until he went back to college that he could pick up a

:20:43.:20:47.

newspaper and read it, it made a huge difference but too many people

:20:48.:20:52.

are let down by the system. I am wondering how the training will make

:20:53.:20:56.

up for an education system that failed them but let's move on to

:20:57.:21:01.

your leader. Look at this graph of Ed Miliband's popularity. This is

:21:02.:21:07.

the net satisfaction with him, it is dreadful. The trend continues to

:21:08.:21:12.

climb since he became leader of the Labour Party, why? What you have

:21:13.:21:18.

seen is another 2300 Labour councillors since Ed Miliband became

:21:19.:21:22.

the leader of the Labour Party. You saw in the elections a month ago

:21:23.:21:30.

that... Why is the satisfaction rate falling? We can look at polls or

:21:31.:21:35.

actual election results and the fact that we have got another 2000 Labour

:21:36.:21:40.

councillors, more people voting Labour, the opinion polls today show

:21:41.:21:44.

that if there was a general election today we would have a majority of

:21:45.:21:49.

more than 40, he must be doing something right. Why do almost 0%

:21:50.:21:57.

of voters want to replace him as leader? Why do 50% and more think

:21:58.:22:04.

that he is not up to the job? The more people see Ed Miliband, the

:22:05.:22:09.

less impressed they are. The British people seem to like him less. The

:22:10.:22:15.

election strategy I suggest that follows from that is that you should

:22:16.:22:19.

keep Ed Miliband under wraps until the election. Let's look at actually

:22:20.:22:25.

what happens when people get a chance to vote, when they get that

:22:26.:22:29.

opportunity we have seen more Labour councillors, more Labour members of

:22:30.:22:36.

the European Parliament... Oppositions always get more. The

:22:37.:22:43.

opinion polls today, one of them shows Labour four points ahead. You

:22:44.:22:47.

have not done that well in local government elections or European

:22:48.:22:52.

elections. Why don't people like him? I think we have done incredibly

:22:53.:22:57.

well in elections. People must like a lot of the things Labour and Ed

:22:58.:23:03.

Miliband are doing because we are winning back support across the

:23:04.:23:07.

country. We won local councils in places like Hammersmith and Fulham,

:23:08.:23:12.

Crawley, Hastings, key places that Labour need to win back at the

:23:13.:23:18.

general election next year. Even you have said traditional Labour

:23:19.:23:22.

supporters are abandoning the party. That is what Ed Miliband has said as

:23:23.:23:28.

well. We have got this real concern about what has happened. If you look

:23:29.:23:33.

at the elections in May, 60% of people didn't even bother going to

:23:34.:23:39.

vote. That is a profound issue not just for Labour. You said

:23:40.:23:43.

traditional voters who perhaps at times we took for granted are now

:23:44.:23:47.

being offered an alternative. Why did you take them for granted? This

:23:48.:23:54.

is what Ed Miliband said. I am not saying anything Ed Miliband himself

:23:55.:24:00.

has not said. When he ran for the leadership he said that we took too

:24:01.:24:05.

many people for granted and we needed to give people positive

:24:06.:24:08.

reasons to vote Labour, he has been doing that. He has been there for

:24:09.:24:12.

four years and you are saying you still take them for granted. Why? I

:24:13.:24:17.

am saying that for too long we have taken them for granted. We are on

:24:18.:24:21.

track to win the general election next year and that will defy all the

:24:22.:24:31.

odds. You are going to win... Ed Miliband will win next year and make

:24:32.:24:34.

a great Prime Minister. Now to the Liberal Democrats, at the

:24:35.:24:41.

risk of intruding into private grief. The party is still smarting

:24:42.:24:45.

from dire results in the European and Local Elections. The only poll

:24:46.:24:49.

Nick Clegg has won in recent times is to be voted the most unpopular

:24:50.:24:53.

leader of a party in modern British history. No surprise there have been

:24:54.:24:57.

calls for him to go, though that still looks unlikely. Here's

:24:58.:24:59.

Eleanor. Liberal Democrats celebrating,

:25:00.:25:02.

something we haven't seen for a while. This victory back in 199 led

:25:03.:25:08.

to a decade of power for the Lib Dems in Liverpool. What a contrast

:25:09.:25:12.

to the city's political landscape today. At its height the party had

:25:13.:25:19.

69 local councillors, now down to just three. The scale of the

:25:20.:25:23.

challenge facing Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems is growing. The party is

:25:24.:25:29.

rock bottom in the polls, consistently in single figures. It

:25:30.:25:33.

was wiped out in the European elections losing all but one of its

:25:34.:25:38.

12 MEPs and in the local elections it lost 42% of the seats that it was

:25:39.:25:45.

defending. But on Merseyside, Nick Clegg was putting on a brave face.

:25:46.:25:51.

We did badly in Liverpool, Manchester and London in particular,

:25:52.:25:56.

we did well in other places. But you are right, we did badly in some of

:25:57.:26:01.

those big cities and I have initiated a review, quite

:26:02.:26:06.

naturally, to understand what went wrong, what went right. As Lib Dems

:26:07.:26:12.

across the country get on with some serious soul-searching, there is an

:26:13.:26:16.

admission that his is the leader of the party who is failing to hit the

:26:17.:26:21.

right notes. Knocking on doors in Liverpool, I have to tell you that

:26:22.:26:26.

Nick Clegg is not a popular person. Some might use the word toxic and I

:26:27.:26:31.

find this very difficult because I know Nick very well and I see a

:26:32.:26:35.

principal person who passionately believes in what he is doing and he

:26:36.:26:40.

is a nice guy. As a result of his popularity, what has happened to the

:26:41.:26:52.

core vote? In parts of the country, we are down to just three

:26:53.:26:55.

councillors like Liverpool for example. You also lose the

:26:56.:26:59.

deliverers and fundraisers and the organisers and the members of course

:27:00.:27:03.

so all of that will have to be rebuilt. As they start fermenting

:27:04.:27:09.

process, local parties across the country and here in Liverpool have

:27:10.:27:13.

been voting on whether there should be a leadership contest. We had two

:27:14.:27:20.

choices to flush out and have a go at Nick Clegg or to positively

:27:21.:27:25.

decide we would sharpen up the campaign and get back on the

:27:26.:27:29.

streets, and by four to one ratio we decided to get back on the streets.

:27:30.:27:34.

We are bruised and battered but we are still here, the orange flag is

:27:35.:27:40.

still flying and one day it will fly over this building again, Liverpool

:27:41.:27:46.

town hall. But do people want the Lib Dems back in charge in this

:27:47.:27:50.

city? I certainly wouldn't vote for them. Their performance in

:27:51.:27:54.

Government and the way they have left their promises down, I could

:27:55.:28:00.

not vote for them again. I voted Lib Dem in the last election because of

:28:01.:28:06.

the university tuition fees and I would never vote for them again

:28:07.:28:12.

because they broke their promise. The Lib Dems are awful, broken

:28:13.:28:15.

promises and what have you. I wouldn't vote for them. This is the

:28:16.:28:19.

declaration of the results for the Northwest... Last month, as other

:28:20.:28:23.

party celebrated in the north-west, the Lib Dems here lost their only

:28:24.:28:29.

MEP, Chris Davies. Now there is concern the party doesn't know how

:28:30.:28:34.

to turn its fortunes around. We don't have an answer to that, if we

:28:35.:28:40.

did we would be grasping it with both hands. We will do our best to

:28:41.:28:48.

hold onto the places where we still have seats but as for the rest of

:28:49.:28:52.

the country where we have been hollowed out, we don't know how to

:28:53.:28:57.

start again until the next general election is out of the way. After

:28:58.:29:01.

their disastrous performance in the European elections, pressure is

:29:02.:29:04.

growing for the party to shift its stance. I think there has to be a

:29:05.:29:15.

lancing of the wound, there should in a referendum and the Liberal

:29:16.:29:22.

Democrats should be calling it. The rest of Europe once this because

:29:23.:29:26.

they are fed up with Britain being unable to make up its mind. The Lib

:29:27.:29:32.

Dems are now suffering the effects of being in Government. The party's

:29:33.:29:36.

problem, choosing the right course to regain political credibility

:29:37.:29:43.

We can now speak to form a Lib Dems leader Ming Campbell. Welcome back

:29:44.:29:48.

to the Sunday Politics. Even your own activists say that Nick Clegg is

:29:49.:29:54.

toxic. How will that change between now and the election? When you have

:29:55.:29:59.

had disappointing results, but you have to do is to rebuild. You pick

:30:00.:30:04.

yourself up and start all over again, and the reason why the

:30:05.:30:09.

Liberal Democrats got 57, 56 seats in the House of Commons now is

:30:10.:30:14.

because we picked ourselves up, we took every opportunity and we have

:30:15.:30:16.

rebuilt from the bottom up. least popular leader in modern

:30:17.:30:28.

history and more unpopular than your mate Gordon Brown. You are running

:30:29.:30:33.

out of time. No one believes that being the leader of a modern

:30:34.:30:37.

political party in the UK is an easy job. Both Ed Miliband and David

:30:38.:30:40.

Cameron must have had cause to think, over breakfast this morning,

:30:41.:30:45.

when they saw the headlines in some of the Sunday papers. Of course it

:30:46.:30:48.

is a difficult job but it was pointed out a moment or two ago that

:30:49.:30:53.

Nick Clegg is a man of principle and enormous resilience if you consider

:30:54.:30:56.

what he had to put up with, and in my view, he is quite clearly the

:30:57.:30:59.

person best qualified to lead the party between now and the general

:31:00.:31:03.

election and through the election campaign, and beyond. So why don't

:31:04.:31:08.

people like him? We have had to take some pretty difficult decisions

:31:09.:31:12.

and, of course, people didn't expect that. If you look back to the rather

:31:13.:31:19.

heady days of the rose garden behind ten Downing St, people thought it

:31:20.:31:22.

was all going to be sweetness and light, but the fact is, we didn t

:31:23.:31:27.

know then what we know now, about the extent of the economic crisis we

:31:28.:31:31.

win, and a lot of difficult decisions have had to be taken in

:31:32.:31:34.

order to restore economic stability. Look around you. You will see we are

:31:35.:31:40.

not there yet but we are a long way better off than in 2010. You are not

:31:41.:31:44.

getting the credit for it, the Tories are. We will be a little more

:31:45.:31:51.

assertive about taking the credit. For example, the fact that 23

:31:52.:31:56.

million people have had a tax cut of ?800 per year and we have taken 2

:31:57.:31:59.

million people out of paying tax altogether. Ming Campbell, your

:32:00.:32:03.

people say that on every programme like this. Because it is true. That

:32:04.:32:09.

might be the case, but you are at seven or 8% in the polls, and nobody

:32:10.:32:14.

is listening, or they don't believe it. Once

:32:15.:32:22.

is listening, or they don't believe doubt that what we have achieved

:32:23.:32:23.

will be much more easily recognised, and there is no doubt,

:32:24.:32:27.

for example, in some of the recent polls, like the Ashcroft Pole,

:32:28.:32:31.

something like 30% of those polled said that as a result at the next

:32:32.:32:38.

something like 30% of those polled general election, they would prepare

:32:39.:32:41.

their to be a coalition involving the Liberal Democrats. So there is

:32:42.:32:45.

no question that the whole notion of coalition is still very much a live

:32:46.:32:49.

one, and one which we have made work in the public interest. The problem

:32:50.:32:54.

is people don't think that. People see you trying to have your cake and

:32:55.:32:58.

eat it. On the one hand you want to get your share of the credit for the

:32:59.:33:01.

turnaround in the economy, on the other hand you can't stop yourself

:33:02.:33:04.

from distancing yourself from the Tories and things that you did not

:33:05.:33:08.

like happening. You are trying to face both ways at once. If you

:33:09.:33:14.

remember our fellow Scotsman famously said you cannot ride both

:33:15.:33:27.

remember our fellow Scotsman to the terms -- terms of the

:33:28.:33:28.

remember our fellow Scotsman coalition agreement, which is what

:33:29.:33:30.

we signed up to in 2010. In addition, in furtherance of that

:33:31.:33:34.

agreement, we have created things like the pupil premium and the

:33:35.:33:37.

others I mentioned and you were rather dismissive. I'm not

:33:38.:33:41.

dismissive, I'm just saying they don't make a difference to what

:33:42.:33:45.

people think of you. We will do everything in our power to change

:33:46.:33:50.

that between now and May 2015. The interesting thing is, going back to

:33:51.:33:56.

the Ashcroft result, it demonstrated clearly that in constituencies where

:33:57.:34:01.

we have MPs and we are well dug in, we are doing everything that the

:34:02.:34:04.

public expects of us, and we are doing very well indeed. You aren't

:34:05.:34:09.

sure fellow Lib Dems have been saying this for you -- you and your

:34:10.:34:15.

fellow Liberal Dems have been saying this for a year or 18 months, and

:34:16.:34:19.

since then you have lost all of your MEPs apart from one, you lost your

:34:20.:34:22.

deposit in a by-election, you lost 310 councillor, including everyone

:34:23.:34:28.

in Manchester or Islington. Mr Clegg leading you into the next general

:34:29.:34:34.

election will be the equivalent of the charge of the light Brigade I

:34:35.:34:40.

doubt that very much. The implication behind that lit you

:34:41.:34:44.

rehearsed is that we should pack our tents in the night and steal away.

:34:45.:34:49.

-- that litany. And if you heard in that piece that preceded the

:34:50.:34:52.

discussion, people were saying, look we have to start from the bottom and

:34:53.:34:56.

have to rebuild. That is exactly what we will do. Nine months is a

:34:57.:35:09.

period of gestation. As you well know. I wouldn't dismiss it quite so

:35:10.:35:16.

easily as that. I'm not here to say we had a wonderful result or

:35:17.:35:19.

anything like it, but what I do say is that the party is determined to

:35:20.:35:24.

turn it round, and that Nick Clegg is the person best qualified to do

:35:25.:35:29.

it. Should your party adopt a referendum about in or out on

:35:30.:35:34.

Europe? No, we should stick to the coalition agreement. If there is any

:35:35.:35:37.

transfer of power from Westminster to Brussels, that will be subject to

:35:38.:35:43.

a referendum. No change. And finally, as a Lib Dem, you must be

:35:44.:35:47.

glad you are not fighting the next election yourself? I've fought every

:35:48.:35:54.

election since 1974, so I've had a few experiences, some good, some

:35:55.:35:59.

bad, but the one thing I have done and the one thing a lot of other

:36:00.:36:02.

people have done is that they have stuck to the task, and that is what

:36:03.:36:06.

will happen in May 2015. Ming Campbell, thank you for joining us.

:36:07.:36:10.

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

:36:11.:36:13.

Hello and welcome. This week, the in Scotland who leave us now

:36:14.:36:34.

Hello and welcome. This week, the problems of attracting and retaining

:36:35.:36:37.

headteachers. Is pressure from Ofsted and interference frol Michael

:36:38.:36:41.

Gove to blame? We have a spdcial report. By two guests in thd studio

:36:42.:36:46.

are from rival parties but they are both trying to unseat a conservative

:36:47.:36:55.

at next year's general election More from them in a moment. Let s

:36:56.:37:00.

start with a new political party. Launched in Durham this week, it is

:37:01.:37:06.

called the north`east party. It wants the region to have its own

:37:07.:37:09.

elected assembly with powers similar to those on offer in Wales `nd

:37:10.:37:15.

Scotland. The party intends to field candidates in 12 constituencies at

:37:16.:37:18.

the general election. Susan MacDonald is a former Labour Party

:37:19.:37:23.

member and plans to stand. She says the region is getting a raw deal. I

:37:24.:37:27.

don't think we have strong political representation. In fact, if you

:37:28.:37:30.

remember when we had a lot of the cabinet members in the north`east,

:37:31.:37:34.

we didn't have strong representation then either. What does it s`y about

:37:35.:37:38.

Westminster? I would suggest it doesn't think a lot. With md now is

:37:39.:37:43.

the chairman of the party, Hilton Dawson. There are plenty of people

:37:44.:37:51.

within existing parties who don t get the best deal for Westmhnster.

:37:52.:37:56.

Why set up a new one? Simplx because we don't believe that any of the

:37:57.:38:00.

established parties, the Westminster `based parties, are capable of

:38:01.:38:04.

delivering regional devoluthon. We have good evidence for this. There

:38:05.:38:10.

has been successful devoluthon in Scotland and Wales but that has been

:38:11.:38:15.

achieved through the efforts of dedicated parties campaigning for a

:38:16.:38:17.

base in those countries. Yot say that but it was a Labour government

:38:18.:38:23.

that delivered that devoluthon. They are the only ones of who can deliver

:38:24.:38:34.

it. We are going to stand c`ndidates across the north`east, in at least

:38:35.:38:38.

12 constituencies at the next general election, to put prdssure on

:38:39.:38:41.

the established parties and to hopefully get people elected to

:38:42.:38:46.

Westminster, to make these points. Another memory for you, 2004, a vote

:38:47.:38:51.

on the regional assembly in the north`east. It was overwhellingly

:38:52.:38:54.

rejected. Very little support for it. Why will people change their

:38:55.:38:59.

minds now? They did in Wales. It took 18 years. In 1979, Walds voted

:39:00.:39:09.

almost exactly the same proportion as the north`east against

:39:10.:39:13.

devolution. In 1997, they voted in favour. Over that time, a dddicated

:39:14.:39:18.

party had campaigned to empower the people of Wales. That is wh`t we are

:39:19.:39:22.

going to do. Do you think pdople in the north`east are worried `bout

:39:23.:39:26.

jobs, hospitals and so on, that getting a bunch of politici`ns to

:39:27.:39:32.

sit in Durham is better than those in Westminster? That is exactly why

:39:33.:39:36.

we wanted. This region is the most neglected in England. We have the

:39:37.:39:40.

highest unemployment, the worst social deprivation, the gre`test

:39:41.:39:44.

poverty, some of the worst health, some of the poorest standards in

:39:45.:39:50.

education. We need a much bdtter deal from the north`east for what

:39:51.:39:58.

was rich ` because we are one of the richest countries in the world. This

:39:59.:40:03.

is a comment on labour, isn't it? A lot of the people are ex`Labour

:40:04.:40:08.

supporters. We have to look at the Conservatives's record on this.

:40:09.:40:18.

We've had the scrapping of One North East and there is already a party

:40:19.:40:22.

which are standing in for the needs of those in the north`east `nd it is

:40:23.:40:25.

called the Labour Party. Thdse people have seen what the L`bour

:40:26.:40:29.

Party has delivered. They are not confident you will deliver on your

:40:30.:40:33.

promises. They think you nedd a bit of a poke from a new party. There is

:40:34.:40:37.

that and some of the concerns are well founded about the negldct of

:40:38.:40:39.

this region. I think that we can have thhs

:40:40.:40:51.

argument about structures btt people out there are struggling. I don t

:40:52.:40:55.

think we need to be arguing about structures. We need to be arguing

:40:56.:40:58.

about issues which affect pdople 's lives. The Liberal Democrats are

:40:59.:41:05.

always the party on deliverhng local power to local people. Rathdr than

:41:06.:41:08.

turning to you, they are setting up their own party. That is right. I

:41:09.:41:15.

have a lot of sympathy with Hilton's situation and what he has

:41:16.:41:18.

done. What I would like to see more of and may be you starting tp this

:41:19.:41:24.

party is going to provide the platform for it to arise th`t it is

:41:25.:41:31.

the people themselves feeling that the north`east has been badly

:41:32.:41:40.

neglected. I do believe that there are some things we have dond in

:41:41.:41:42.

coalition government around the regional growth fund and th`t kind

:41:43.:41:46.

of thing, setting up institttions. There is still a perceived `nd a

:41:47.:41:51.

natural divide between North and South. Is the answer to work within

:41:52.:41:57.

the political parties? Prestmably you would prefer that. Is a pattern

:41:58.:42:04.

of people turning away from West Mr parties. They don't see the

:42:05.:42:06.

Westminster parties as doing anything. We have to wake up to

:42:07.:42:12.

this. As Liberal Democrats, we believe in greater devolution of

:42:13.:42:20.

powers. What is local is re`l and immediate to people. I do bdlieve in

:42:21.:42:25.

greater devolution of powers. You've had a huge opportunity in government

:42:26.:42:29.

delivered some of it through the delivered some of it through the

:42:30.:42:32.

local is a Mac. Powers have been handed to communities through that

:42:33.:42:35.

and it will take a while for that to work its way through. It is all

:42:36.:42:39.

relatively new. There are things there that can handle greatdr power

:42:40.:42:48.

to people. Like I say, I do have something the ` some sympathy. How

:42:49.:43:01.

will you judge your success here? Have you any realistic proposition

:43:02.:43:05.

of winning? I think the first thing you're going to do, definitdly, is

:43:06.:43:10.

to revitalise the debate. Wd will get more people engaged in politics.

:43:11.:43:13.

We will hopefully get more people voting. I think we are good for

:43:14.:43:17.

democracy. We are a breath of fresh air to the local political scene.

:43:18.:43:27.

What we are absolutely aimed to do, is to make the case for the

:43:28.:43:32.

north`east. We will see what happens next. Let's

:43:33.:43:36.

talk about another big issud. Schools and education. In the

:43:37.:43:40.

north`east, they are facing problems recruiting the next generathon of

:43:41.:43:43.

head teachers. More than half of their heads in the region who

:43:44.:43:47.

replied to a survey said thdy were considering leaving the profession

:43:48.:43:51.

early. They blame government reforms and rising workloads. Ministers

:43:52.:43:55.

insists they are making school leadership more attractive by giving

:43:56.:44:01.

heads greater control. Whether it is keeping order in the

:44:02.:44:05.

playground or keeping up st`ndards in the classroom, the job of head

:44:06.:44:09.

teacher has always come with heavy responsibilities. But for hdads like

:44:10.:44:14.

this one, the pressure has grown. Over the weekend, there was a lot of

:44:15.:44:17.

work to be done with making sure we have classes in place. We asked her

:44:18.:44:22.

to keep a diary of her schedule over the last seven days. It camd to 56

:44:23.:44:28.

hours, which was more than H had expected, but when you think about

:44:29.:44:32.

things like the evening work, the work that gets done at weekdnds and

:44:33.:44:35.

out of school hours... One thing that is important is that wd have

:44:36.:44:44.

long hours. But she sees thd real problem is the constant uncdrtainty

:44:45.:44:47.

created by everything from Ofsted inspections to government rdforms.

:44:48.:44:53.

There has been a fast rate of change in education. The headteachdr is

:44:54.:44:57.

ultimately responsible. Somdtimes we feel like football managers, in

:44:58.:45:00.

fact, if something goes wrong, you are going to be the head of roles.

:45:01.:45:06.

This might put off middle ldadership from moving further. For all that,

:45:07.:45:11.

she is happy in her job but others seem less so. More than 100

:45:12.:45:15.

headteachers responded to a survey by the teachers network, Schools

:45:16.:45:25.

North East. Among the most commonly cited reasons for wanting to leave

:45:26.:45:28.

early, work workload, polithcal interference under pressure from

:45:29.:45:33.

Ofsted. Good quality school leadership in the north`east. We

:45:34.:45:37.

need those leaders to be taking up those posts and staying in them We

:45:38.:45:40.

are hearing from governors that they are not getting the applications and

:45:41.:45:44.

people are not up for that challenge because of the instability that we

:45:45.:45:46.

have in the system currentlx. We need a period of stability, to make

:45:47.:45:50.

sure that we can grow those new leaders. Is there a danger we put

:45:51.:45:55.

people off from wanting to run schools like this one? The

:45:56.:45:59.

government rejects any suggdstion of an impending crisis in head teacher

:46:00.:46:03.

recruitment and retention. Ht points out that vacancy rates are very low

:46:04.:46:07.

and it says by giving extra powers and freedoms to heads, throtgh the

:46:08.:46:11.

academy programme, it is making the job more attractive, not less. What

:46:12.:46:15.

we need is more heads to cole into the system but we are doing that by

:46:16.:46:19.

making it a situation where academies are more availabld to

:46:20.:46:23.

people, there is a greater degree of freedom and we want to get out of

:46:24.:46:26.

the way of headteachers werd doing all they can to support peoples We

:46:27.:46:35.

do that by giving them more money. Could this be part of the solution?

:46:36.:46:39.

David Baldwin is executive headteacher of two schools. This

:46:40.:46:46.

secondary and another in Sotth Shields. It's an approach hd says

:46:47.:46:49.

helps nurture the heads of the future. It allows a people who you

:46:50.:46:58.

might see as assistant heads, they can have an opportunity to test out

:46:59.:47:01.

their own leadership skills in a safe environment, with someone who

:47:02.:47:08.

has the experience and will take the ultimate depravity. They can then

:47:09.:47:12.

work with that person to experience the excitement of what headship is

:47:13.:47:19.

all about. How the young ard taught remains a hot debate among

:47:20.:47:23.

politicians and the public `like. But that education also depdnds on

:47:24.:47:27.

the people leading our schools. How to retain and recruit them hs a

:47:28.:47:33.

frightful calculation. You are a school governor, H

:47:34.:47:36.

believe. Does this tally with your experience? There is a lot of

:47:37.:47:42.

pressure at the moment on hdads It was interesting that you had to

:47:43.:47:47.

report there, one from a prhmary school and the other a secondary

:47:48.:47:54.

school. There are different problems for both those sectors. Secondary

:47:55.:47:57.

school heads typically speaking they are able to take advantage of

:47:58.:48:03.

greater freedoms. Even though they are ultimately accountable, there

:48:04.:48:06.

are more layers underneath them and can share power. The problel is

:48:07.:48:13.

really at primary level, whdre headteachers, typically those

:48:14.:48:17.

schools are not able to convert to academies because they are not big

:48:18.:48:21.

enough to be able to do it `nd have the confidence to do it with a

:48:22.:48:25.

structure behind them. Thosd headteachers, I think, are feeling

:48:26.:48:29.

the stress. Hopefully, things like the alliances which we have set up,

:48:30.:48:34.

through the coalition government, are helping. Schools working

:48:35.:48:39.

together, making a big diffdrence to standards. Most of us if asked would

:48:40.:48:54.

want to retire early. These are high`pressure jobs but parthcularly

:48:55.:48:57.

in rule schools, we are finding headteachers who are looking at two

:48:58.:49:00.

schools, headteachers who h`ve to look at the budgets, manage staff

:49:01.:49:06.

and also have to teach. The problem that we have, that we are f`cing, is

:49:07.:49:11.

that the best teachers don't want to come within a mile of these jobs and

:49:12.:49:14.

it is because of the reforms that we are seeing. It's because of the

:49:15.:49:18.

pressure of Ofsted. The two pledges made by the sitting MP for Hexham,

:49:19.:49:23.

that we should get out of the way, they are actually doing the

:49:24.:49:28.

opposite. Isn't it Michael Gove saying, I want the best education

:49:29.:49:32.

possible for the children of this country? That is fair enough, isn't

:49:33.:49:37.

it? You do that by working with heads, not by setting up thhs system

:49:38.:49:42.

which is like a top`down, dictatorial system. He has removed

:49:43.:49:48.

?400 million from the budgets to spend on free schools. This puts

:49:49.:49:54.

extra pressure on heads. Thd coalition... We are in coalhtion but

:49:55.:50:03.

we do have our own distinct policies when it comes to education. Do you

:50:04.:50:08.

like what Michael Gove is doing Most people would probably `gree

:50:09.:50:14.

with that. David laws has achieved a lot. One of the major things we have

:50:15.:50:21.

achieved is the pupil premitm, where we are directly targeting ftnding at

:50:22.:50:24.

disadvantaged children to m`ke sure they can achieve just as well as

:50:25.:50:29.

their peers. That is massivdly significant. The other thing liberal

:50:30.:50:32.

democrats are very concerned about is harnessing the power of the

:50:33.:50:35.

professionals and working whth professionals as much as possible.

:50:36.:50:42.

And investing in them, giving them more responsibility. I would say we

:50:43.:50:50.

are quite distinct in that way. The problem is, a change of govdrnment

:50:51.:50:53.

will not solve this. Labour will come in with their next set of

:50:54.:50:57.

ideas, with constant revolution under more pressure. I've worked as

:50:58.:51:01.

a teacher for a lot of years and I've seen the effects of thhs. What

:51:02.:51:04.

we need is the best heads working in the most challenged schools. Heads

:51:05.:51:11.

are put off going into challenging schools because Ofsted can come in

:51:12.:51:14.

at no notice and brand them. Rather than having to plan for months and

:51:15.:51:21.

months before Ofsted, they just have to run a good school. They do. David

:51:22.:51:26.

laws has headed up the free school programme and is diverging funds. He

:51:27.:51:32.

is the schools minister. He has to take responsible at it. What we are

:51:33.:51:38.

seeing is Lib Dems tried to distance themselves from conservativds. They

:51:39.:51:43.

voted for all these policies. We are a Democratic party and you will see

:51:44.:51:45.

from the record of our confdrences that we voted against free schools.

:51:46.:51:51.

As far as the pity concerned... You are not going to agree on is so

:51:52.:51:54.

let's leave it there for thd moment, while we search for solutions.

:51:55.:51:58.

When the sun is shining, it is easy to forget flooded homes which

:51:59.:52:06.

dominated the news last winter. Ministers say they are spending more

:52:07.:52:09.

than ever on flood prevention. That doesn't satisfy MPs on the select

:52:10.:52:15.

committee this week. On a rdport, they said works such as rivdr

:52:16.:52:18.

dredging is at a bare minimtm and they have warned that staffhng costs

:52:19.:52:22.

in the environment agency are putting communities at risk. And

:52:23.:52:27.

Mackintosh chairs the committee While there is a role for physical

:52:28.:52:32.

flood defences, they are not the most cost`effective so therd must be

:52:33.:52:37.

regular dredging and maintenance. For every ?1 spent, we must get ?8

:52:38.:52:44.

saved. There must be walked reliance on natural flood defences. @mongst

:52:45.:52:50.

those hit by flooding were Simon and Julian. They were forced to leave

:52:51.:52:54.

their home in County Durham in 012 and have only recently been able to

:52:55.:52:57.

return. Our correspondent wdnt to see them.

:52:58.:53:02.

My daughter lost all her toxs, she lost her birthday presents. It was

:53:03.:53:10.

devastating. I had to take plaster off the walls. I had to takd them

:53:11.:53:15.

floors up. Everything had to go out of this house. The kitchen was

:53:16.:53:20.

ripped out and everything. Ht looked like a bonsai. ` bomb site. When we

:53:21.:53:28.

came in the next day, the w`ter came up to about here. There was a tidal

:53:29.:53:35.

mark. We need more flood protection because I think it will defhnitely

:53:36.:53:39.

happen again. They need to think about the people that it is

:53:40.:53:42.

affecting. If they don't invest in it, it will have them all the more

:53:43.:53:49.

and it will wipe out all peoples lives.

:53:50.:54:01.

MPs from all parties are on this committee and they have all

:54:02.:54:06.

criticised the investment. We are undergoing the process of climate

:54:07.:54:11.

change. We have now got to step up to the challenge that it brhngs

:54:12.:54:18.

There is going to be more flooding. There is a lot more we need to do.

:54:19.:54:22.

More money or do we have to manage expectations but what we can do In

:54:23.:54:27.

the ideal world, yes, more loney but we are working in very stringent

:54:28.:54:31.

times. Hopefully, down the line there will be more money whdn the

:54:32.:54:35.

economy is improving. It is improving now and hopefully there

:54:36.:54:38.

will be more money down the line. In the meantime, we can be smarter with

:54:39.:54:42.

the money we've got. Some of the recommendations in the report around

:54:43.:54:47.

greater localisation of funding so that actually, the people who know

:54:48.:54:53.

that area where the river is or where the sea is coming in `nd

:54:54.:54:57.

flooding, they have greater local knowledge about how to addrdss those

:54:58.:55:06.

issues. That is one thing. The government is spending a record

:55:07.:55:11.

amount, ?3.5 billion, on flood protection but every time, the

:55:12.:55:14.

Labour Party says more needs to be done. There is no blank chepue but

:55:15.:55:18.

one of the acts of this govdrnment was to cut flood defence spdnding by

:55:19.:55:23.

?100 million. This is a short`term is. We can see that spending on

:55:24.:55:27.

flood defences is one thing but then having to clear up the mess that

:55:28.:55:30.

these floods create and the damage that these floods due to peoples

:55:31.:55:35.

lives costs more than that. This is an investment in the future. It s

:55:36.:55:39.

not as simple as. If you cotld predict, you would be a millionaire!

:55:40.:55:46.

To say we need more money, that s not the solution. They are spending

:55:47.:55:49.

more than any other governmdnt has ever done. You cannot keep spending

:55:50.:55:56.

more. Well, I was in a vill`ge just north of Hexham which has bden

:55:57.:56:00.

affected. The communities are doing their best. People are fillhng

:56:01.:56:05.

sandbags. These communities have been let down badly. They are

:56:06.:56:10.

sacking environment agency workers, whose job it is to mitigate these

:56:11.:56:16.

issues. Litigation against the effects of climate change is cheaper

:56:17.:56:19.

than dealing with the mess that it leaves behind. Haven't politicians

:56:20.:56:28.

got to be more honest? Therd is an awful lot more that can be done

:56:29.:56:34.

However much we spend, therd are some communities which identified.

:56:35.:56:38.

There is a lot more that we need to do in addressing climate ch`nge

:56:39.:56:44.

about how you spend more ` spend money more smartly. You can

:56:45.:56:55.

mitigate. You confident that the coalition government is doing enough

:56:56.:57:03.

about climate change? There is a lot that we are doing. This report does

:57:04.:57:09.

point out ways forward for ts that we will be adopting. It is `bout

:57:10.:57:13.

prevention because we do know these events are going to happen lore and

:57:14.:57:16.

more. We have to think much more long form about how we mitigate

:57:17.:57:20.

against the effects of flooding That is in prevention, rathdr than

:57:21.:57:23.

in cleaning up as my colleague was saying.

:57:24.:57:28.

Thank you very much. The de`ths of two teenage girls in the River Wear

:57:29.:57:31.

last summer prompted an MP to wait raise the issue of water safety in

:57:32.:57:34.

the Commons this week. Farmers could lose out on ilportant

:57:35.:57:53.

payments because the process has to be done online, according to the MP

:57:54.:57:58.

for Bishop Auckland. She told a Commons debate that poor rural

:57:59.:58:01.

Internet connections are ond of the main problems. Newcastle cotncillors

:58:02.:58:06.

warned another ?40 million of cuts will have to be made from 2015. It

:58:07.:58:10.

won't be until the autumn that more details emerge. Washington `nd

:58:11.:58:14.

Sunderland West MP says prilary schools must do much more to teach

:58:15.:58:17.

swimming, following the deaths of two teenage girls. Almost 20% of

:58:18.:58:25.

schools and 25% of academies don't know their swimming attainmdnt rates

:58:26.:58:28.

or don't offer swimming at `ll. 51% of primary school children `re

:58:29.:58:34.

unable to swim 25 metres by the time they leave primary school. The NHS

:58:35.:58:39.

trust in North Cumbria has ` deficit of more than ?23 million, according

:58:40.:58:45.

to new figures released this week. South Tees and South Tyneside are

:58:46.:58:47.

also in the red. That is about it from us. If you

:58:48.:58:56.

live on Teeside, there is a chance to put your question to the

:58:57.:58:59.

transport minister next Friday morning. The Minister, also the MP

:59:00.:59:04.

for Scarborough and Whitby, will be in the hot seat, your calls. We will

:59:05.:59:15.

be back next week. I hope you can join us then. Goodbye.

:59:16.:59:18.

information, you can apply to them and they will be obliged to tell

:59:19.:59:24.

you. Thanks for joining us. Andrew, back to you.

:59:25.:59:41.

think you'd want to. Labour grandees are not queueing up to sing his

:59:42.:59:47.

praises. Look at this. In my view, he is the leader we have and he is

:59:48.:59:51.

the leader I support and he is somebody capable of leading the

:59:52.:59:55.

party to victory. Ed Miliband will leave this to victory, and I believe

:59:56.:00:02.

he can. If he doesn't, what would happen to the Labour Party? We could

:00:03.:00:07.

be in the wilderness for 15 years. At the moment he has to convince

:00:08.:00:11.

people he has the capacity to lead the country. That's not my view but

:00:12.:00:17.

people don't believe that. We had a leader of the Labour Party was

:00:18.:00:19.

publicly embarrassed, because whoever was in charge of press

:00:20.:00:26.

letting go through a process where we have councillors in Merseyside

:00:27.:00:35.

resigning. It was a schoolboy error. Having policies without them being

:00:36.:00:39.

drawn together into a convincing and vivid narrative and with what you do

:00:40.:00:49.

the people in the country. You have to draw together, connect the

:00:50.:00:55.

policies, link them back to the leader and give people a real sense

:00:56.:01:02.

of where you are going. Somehow he has never quite managed to be

:01:03.:01:07.

himself and create that identity with the public. And we are joined

:01:08.:01:13.

by the president of you girls, Peter Kellner. Welcome to the Sunday

:01:14.:01:24.

politics. -- YouGov. The Labour Party is six points ahead in your

:01:25.:01:28.

poll this morning. So what is the problem? On this basis he will win

:01:29.:01:32.

the next election. If the election were today and the figures held up,

:01:33.:01:36.

you would have a Labour government with a narrow overall majority. One

:01:37.:01:41.

should not forget that. Let me make three points. The first is, in past

:01:42.:01:48.

parliaments, opposition normally lose ground and governments gain

:01:49.:01:53.

ground in the final few months. The opposition should be further ahead

:01:54.:01:56.

than this. I don't think six is enough. Secondly, Ed Miliband is

:01:57.:02:02.

behind David Cameron when people are asked who they want as Prime

:02:03.:02:05.

Minister and Labour is behind the Conservatives went people are asked

:02:06.:02:09.

who they trust on the economy. There have been elections when the party

:02:10.:02:12.

has won by being behind on leadership and other elections where

:02:13.:02:16.

they have won by being behind on the economy. No party has ever won an

:02:17.:02:20.

election when it has been clearly behind on both leadership and the

:02:21.:02:25.

economy. Let me have another go The Labour Party brand is a strong

:02:26.:02:29.

brand. The Tory Bramleys week. The Labour brand is stronger. That is a

:02:30.:02:35.

blast -- the Labour -- the Tory Bramleys week. A lot of the Tories

:02:36.:02:46.

-- the Tory brand is weak. Cant you win on policies and a strong party

:02:47.:02:54.

brand? If you have those too, you need the third factor which isn t

:02:55.:02:57.

there. People believing that you have what it takes, competent

:02:58.:03:02.

skills, determination, determination, whatever makes to

:03:03.:03:08.

carry through. -- whatever mix. A lot of Ed Miliband policies, on the

:03:09.:03:15.

banks, energy prices, Brent controls, people like them. But in

:03:16.:03:19.

government, would they carry them through? They think they are not up

:03:20.:03:24.

to it. -- rent controls. If people think you won't deliver what you

:03:25.:03:28.

say, even if they like it, they were necessarily vote for you. That is

:03:29.:03:32.

the missing third element. There is a strong Labour brand, but it's not

:03:33.:03:38.

strong enough to overcome the feeling that the Labour leadership

:03:39.:03:44.

is not up to it. Nick, you had some senior Labour figure telling you

:03:45.:03:48.

that if Mr Miliband losing the next election he will have to resign

:03:49.:03:51.

immediately and cannot fight another election the way Neil Kinnock did

:03:52.:03:56.

after 1987. What was remarkable to me was that people were even

:03:57.:03:59.

thinking along these lines, and even more remarkable that they would tell

:04:00.:04:03.

you they were thinking along these lines? What is the problem? The

:04:04.:04:10.

problem is, is that Ed Miliband says it would be unprecedented to win the

:04:11.:04:15.

general election after the second worst result since 1918. They are

:04:16.:04:20.

concerned about is the start of a script that he would say on the day

:04:21.:04:22.

after losing the general election. Essentially what the people are

:04:23.:04:26.

trying to do is get their argument in first and to say, you cannot do

:04:27.:04:31.

what Neil Kinnock did in 1987. Don't forget that Neil Kinnock in 198 was

:04:32.:04:34.

in the middle of a very brave process of modernisation and had one

:04:35.:04:40.

and fought a very campaign that was professional but he lost again in

:04:41.:04:43.

1992, and they wanted to get their line in first. What some people are

:04:44.:04:50.

saying is that this is an election that the Labour Party should be

:04:51.:04:53.

winning because the coalition is so unpopular. If you don't win, I'm

:04:54.:04:56.

afraid to say, there is something wrong with you. Don't you find it

:04:57.:05:00.

remarkable that people are prepared to think along these lines at this

:05:01.:05:03.

stage, when Labour are ahead in the polls, still the bookies favourite

:05:04.:05:07.

to win, and you start to speak publicly, or in private to the

:05:08.:05:11.

public print, but we might have to get rid of him if he doesn't win.

:05:12.:05:16.

Everything you say about labour in this situation has been said about

:05:17.:05:19.

the Tories. We wondered whether Boris Johnson would tie himself to

:05:20.:05:23.

the mask and he is the next leader in waiting if Cameron goes. It's a

:05:24.:05:28.

mirror image of that. We talk about things being unprecedented. It's

:05:29.:05:31.

unprecedented for a government to gain seats. All the things you say

:05:32.:05:34.

about labour, you could say it the Conservatives. That's what makes the

:05:35.:05:39.

next election so interesting. But in the aftermath of the European

:05:40.:05:42.

elections and the local government elections, in which the

:05:43.:05:45.

Conservatives did not do that well, the issue was not Mr Cameron or the

:05:46.:05:49.

Tories doing well, the issue was the Labour Party and how they had not

:05:50.:05:52.

done as well as they should have done, and that conversation was

:05:53.:05:56.

fuelled by the kind of people who have been speaking to nick from the

:05:57.:06:01.

Labour Party. Rachel Reeves cited their real-life performance in

:06:02.:06:05.

elections as a reason for optimism. When in fact their performance in

:06:06.:06:09.

the Europeans and locals was disappointing for an opposition one

:06:10.:06:12.

year away from a general election. What alarms me about labour is the

:06:13.:06:17.

way they react to criticisms about Ed Miliband. Two years ago when he

:06:18.:06:21.

was attacked, they said they were 15 points ahead, and then a year ago

:06:22.:06:24.

there were saying they were nine or ten ahead, and now they are saying

:06:25.:06:29.

we are still five or six ahead. The trend is alarming. It points to a

:06:30.:06:35.

smaller Labour lead. Am I right in detecting a bit of a class war going

:06:36.:06:39.

on in the Labour Party? There are a lot of northern Labour MPs who think

:06:40.:06:44.

that Ed Miliband is to north London, and there are too many metropolitan

:06:45.:06:49.

cronies around him must I think that is right, Andrew. What I think is,

:06:50.:06:55.

being a pessimist in terms of their prospects, I do think the Labour

:06:56.:07:00.

Party could win the next election. I just don't think they can as they

:07:01.:07:04.

are going at the moment. But the positioning for a possible defeat,

:07:05.:07:08.

what they should be talking about is what do we need to change in the

:07:09.:07:13.

party and the way Ed Miliband performs in order to secure victory.

:07:14.:07:18.

That is a debate they could have, and they could make the changes I

:07:19.:07:22.

find it odd that they are being so defeatist. Don't go away. Peter is a

:07:23.:07:28.

boffin when it comes to polls. That is why we have a mod for the

:07:29.:07:32.

election prediction swings and roundabouts. He is looking for what

:07:33.:07:36.

he calls the incumbency effect. Don't know what is a back-up -- what

:07:37.:07:43.

that's about question don't worry, here is an. Being in office is bad

:07:44.:07:52.

for your health. Political folk wisdom has it that incumbency

:07:53.:07:57.

favours one party in particular the Liberal Democrats. That is because

:07:58.:08:01.

their MPs have a reputation as ferociously good local campaigners

:08:02.:08:04.

who do really well at holding on to their seats. However, this time

:08:05.:08:09.

round, several big-name long serving Liberal Democrats like Ming

:08:10.:08:14.

Campbell, David Heath and Don Foster are standing down. Does that mean

:08:15.:08:18.

the incumbency effect disappears like a puff of smoke? Then there is

:08:19.:08:23.

another theory, called the sophomore surge. It might sound like a movie

:08:24.:08:28.

about US college kids, but it goes like this. New MPs tend to do better

:08:29.:08:32.

in their second election than they did in their first. That could

:08:33.:08:36.

favour the Tories because they have lots of first-time MPs. The big

:08:37.:08:42.

question is, what does this mean for the 7th of May 2015, the date of the

:08:43.:08:45.

next general election? The answer is, who knows? I know a man who

:08:46.:08:56.

knows. Peter. What does it all mean? You can go onto your PC now and draw

:08:57.:09:01.

down programmes which say that these are the voting figures from a

:09:02.:09:03.

national poll, so what will the seats look like? This is based on

:09:04.:09:08.

uniform swing. Every seat moving up and down across the country in the

:09:09.:09:12.

same way. Historically, that's been a pretty good guide. I think that's

:09:13.:09:18.

going to completely break down next year, because the Lib Dems will

:09:19.:09:21.

probably hold on to more seats than we predict from the national figures

:09:22.:09:27.

and I think fewer Tory seats will go to the Labour Party than you would

:09:28.:09:30.

predict from the national figures. The precise numbers, I'm not going

:09:31.:09:35.

to be too precise, but I would be surprised, sorry, I would not be

:09:36.:09:42.

surprised if Labour fell 20 or 5 seats short on what we would expect

:09:43.:09:47.

on the uniform swing prediction Next year's election will be tight.

:09:48.:09:52.

Falling 20 seats short could well mean the difference between victory

:09:53.:09:56.

and defeat. What you make of that, Helen? I think you're right,

:09:57.:10:01.

especially taking into account the UKIP effect. We have no idea about

:10:02.:10:05.

that. The conventional wisdom is that will drain away back to the

:10:06.:10:09.

Conservatives, but nobody knows and it makes the next election almost

:10:10.:10:13.

impossible to call. It means it is a great target the people like Lord

:10:14.:10:17.

Ashcroft with marginal polling, because people have never been so

:10:18.:10:22.

interested. It is for party politics and we all assume that UKIP should

:10:23.:10:26.

be well next year, but their vote went up from 17 up to 27%. Then that

:10:27.:10:33.

17% went down to 3%, so they might only be five or 6% in the general

:10:34.:10:38.

election, so they might not have the threat of depriving Conservatives of

:10:39.:10:41.

their seats. Where the incumbency thing has an effect is the Liberal

:10:42.:10:45.

Democrats. They have fortress seats where between 1992 and 1997 Liberal

:10:46.:10:50.

Democrats seats fell, but their percentage went up. They are losing

:10:51.:10:55.

the local government base though. True, but having people like Ming

:10:56.:10:58.

Campbell standing down means they will struggle. We are used to

:10:59.:11:03.

incumbency being an important factor in American politics. It's hard to

:11:04.:11:07.

get rid of an incumbent unless it is a primary election, like we saw in

:11:08.:11:12.

Virginia, but is it now becoming an important factor in British

:11:13.:11:15.

politics, that if you own the seat you're more likely to hold on to it

:11:16.:11:20.

than not? If it is, that's a remarkable thing. It's hard to be a

:11:21.:11:25.

carpetbagger in America, but it is normal in British Parliamentary

:11:26.:11:27.

constituencies to be represented by someone who did not grow up locally.

:11:28.:11:31.

It is a special kind of achievement to have an incumbency effect where

:11:32.:11:35.

you don't have deep roots in the constituency. I was going to ask

:11:36.:11:39.

about the Lib Dems. If we are wrong, and they collapse in Parliamentary

:11:40.:11:42.

representation as much as the share in vote collapses, is that not good

:11:43.:11:46.

news is that the Conservatives? They would be in second place in the

:11:47.:11:51.

majority of existing Lib Dems seats. For every seat where Labour are

:11:52.:11:54.

second to the Lib Dems, there are two where the Conservatives are

:11:55.:11:58.

second. If the Lib Dem representation collapses, that helps

:11:59.:12:06.

the Conservatives. I'm assuming the Tories will gain about ten seats. If

:12:07.:12:11.

they gain 20, if they'd had 20 more seats last time, they would have had

:12:12.:12:14.

a majority government, just about. So 20 seats off the Lib Dem, do the

:12:15.:12:19.

maths, as they say in America, and they could lose a handful to labour

:12:20.:12:24.

and still be able to run a one party, minority government. The fate

:12:25.:12:27.

of the Lib Dems could be crucial to the outcome to the politics of

:12:28.:12:34.

light. On the 8th of May, it will be VE Day and victory in election day

:12:35.:12:39.

as well as Europe. The Lib Dems will be apoplectic if they lose all of

:12:40.:12:41.

the seats to their coalition partners. The great quote by Angela

:12:42.:12:47.

Merkel, the little party always gets crushed. It's a well-established

:12:48.:12:52.

idea that coalition politics. They can't take credit for the things

:12:53.:12:55.

people like you may get lumbered with the ones they don't. They have

:12:56.:12:59.

contributed most of this terrible idea that seized politics where you

:13:00.:13:02.

say it, but you don't deliver it. Tuition fees is the classic example

:13:03.:13:07.

of this Parliament. Why should you believe any promise you make? And Ed

:13:08.:13:12.

Miliband is feeling that as well. But in 1974 the liberal Democrats

:13:13.:13:17.

barely had any MPs but there were reporters outside Jeremy Thorpe s

:13:18.:13:19.

home because they potentially held not the balance of power, but were

:13:20.:13:25.

significantly in fourth. Bringing back memories Jeremy Thorpe, and we

:13:26.:13:27.

will leave it there. Thanks to the panel. We are tomorrow on BBC Two.

:13:28.:13:32.

At the earlier time of 11am because of Wimbledon. Yes, it's that time of

:13:33.:13:37.

year again already. I will be back here at 11 o'clock next week.

:13:38.:13:41.

Remember, if it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.

:13:42.:14:38.

to the beating heart of today's vibrant shops.

:14:39.:14:43.

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by Labour's work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves to discuss what reforms Labour would make to the welfare department. Plus, what Nick Clegg needs to do to keep his grass roots happy.


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