01/12/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


01/12/2013

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. George Osborne

:00:38.:00:46.

announces a ?50 cut to annual household energy bills. We'll talk

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to Lib Dem president Tim Farron ahead of the Chancellor's mini

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budget this week. Net immigration is up for the first

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time in two years. Labour and the Tories say they want to bring it

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down, but how? Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper joins us for the

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Sunday Interview. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will

:01:13.:01:16.

be for some cornflakes to get to the top. The Mayor of London says

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inequality and greed are essential to spur economic activity. The

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And coming up here: We reflect on a speech won

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And coming up here: We reflect on a year of loyalist protests, we've a

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report from the TUV's annual conference and we look at Alex

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Salmond's "blueprint for Scottish independence".

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week, another strategy? Can this one deliver?

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And with me throughout today's programme, well, we've shaken the

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packet and look who's risen to the top. Or did we open it at the

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bottom? Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Sam Coates. All three will be

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tweeting throughout the programme using the hashtag #bbcsp. So, after

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weeks in which Ed Miliband's promise to freeze energy prices has set the

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Westminster agenda, the Coalition Government is finally coming up with

:02:11.:02:12.

its answer. This Government is finally coming up with

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Chancellor George Osborne explained how he plans to cut household energy

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bills by an average of fifty quid. What we're going to do is roll back

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the levees that are placed by government on people's electricity

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bills. This will mean that for the average bill payer, they will have

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?50 of those electricity and gas bills. That will help families. We

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are doing it in the way that government can do it. We are

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controlling the cost that families incurred because of government

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policies. We are doing it in a way that will not damage the environment

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or reduce our commitment to dealing with climate change. We will not

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produce commit men to helping low-income families with the cost of

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living. Janan, we are finally seeing the coalition begin to play its hand

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in response to the Ed Miliband freeze? They have been trying to

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in response to the Ed Miliband respond for almost ten weeks and

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older responses have been quite fiddly. We are going to take a bit

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of tax year, put it onto general taxation, have a conversation with

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the energy companies, engineered a rebate of some kind, this is not

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very vivid. The advantage of the idea that they have announced

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overnight is that it is clear and it has a nice round figure attached to

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it, ?50. The chief of staff of President Obama, he said, if you are

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explaining, you're losing. The genius of this idea is that it does

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not require explanation. He would not drawn this morning on what

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agreement he had with the energy companies, and whether this would

:03:53.:03:55.

fall through to the bottom of the bill, but the way he spoke, saying,

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I am not going to pre-empt what the energy companies say, that suggests

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he has something up his sleeve. Yes, I thought so. The energy companies

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have made this so badly for so long. It would be awful if he announced

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this and the energy companies said, we are going to keep this money for

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ourselves. I do not think he is that stupid. The energy companies have an

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incentive to go along with this, don't they? My worry is that I am

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not sure how much it will be within the opinion polls. I think people

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might expect this now, it is not a new thing, it is not an exciting

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thing. Say in the markets, they may have priced the ten already. If by

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Thursday of this week, he is able to say, I have a ?50 cut coming to your

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bill. The energy companies have guaranteed that this will fall

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through onto your energy bill, and they have indicated to me that they

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themselves will not put up energy prices through 2014, has he shot the

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Ed Miliband Fox? I think he has a couple of challenges. It is still

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very hard. This is an answer for the next 12 months but did is no chance

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announced that Labour will stop saying they are going to freeze

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prices in the next Parliament. He will say, I have not just frozen

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them, I have done that as well and I have cut them. When people look at

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their energy bills, they are going up by more than ?50. This is a

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reduction in the amount that they are going up overall. Year on 08

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will be for George Osborne. He will have to come up with something this

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time next year. The detail in the Sunday papers reveals that George

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Osborne is trying to get the energy companies to put on bills that ?50

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has been knocked off your bill because of a reduction by the

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government. He is trying to get the energy companies to do his political

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bidding for him. It will be interesting to see if they go along

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with that, because then we will know how cross the arm with Ed Miliband.

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Let's get another perspective. Joining me now from Kendal in the

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Lake District is the president of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron.

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Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Good morning. Let me ask you this, the

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coalition is rowing back on green taxes, I do comfortable with that or

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is it taxes, I do comfortable with that or

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against? I am very comfortable with the fact we are protecting for the

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money is going. I am open to where the money comes from. The notion

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that we should stop insulating the homes of elderly people or stop

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investing in British manufacturing in terms of green industry, that is

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something that I resolutely oppose, but I am pleased that the funding

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will be made available for all that. You cannot ignore the fact that for

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a whole range of reasons, mostly down to the actions of the energy

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companies, you have prices that are shooting up and affecting lots of

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people, making life hard. You cannot ignore that. If we fund the

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installation of homes for older people and others, if we protect

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British manufacturing jobs, and raise the money through general

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taxation, I am comfortable with that. It is not clear that is going

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to happen. It looks like the eco-scheme, whereby the energy

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companies pay for the installation of those on below-average incomes,

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they will spin that out over four years, not two years, and one

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estimate is that that will cost 10,000 jobs. You're always boasting

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about your commitment to green jobs, how do square that? I do not believe

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that. The roll-out will be longer. The number of houses reached will be

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greater and that is a good thing. My take is that it will not affect the

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number of jobs. People talk about green levies. There has been

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disparaging language about that sort of thing. There are 2 million people

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in this country in the lowest income families and they get ?230 off their

:08:26.:08:33.

energy bills because of what isn't -- because of what is disparaging

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the refer to as green stuff, shall we call it. There will be more

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properties covered. We both know that your party is being pushed into

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this by the Tories. You would not be doing this off your own bad. You are

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in coalition with people who have jettisoned their green Prudential

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is? -- credentials. You have made my point quite well. David Cameron's

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panicked response to this over the last few months was to ditch all

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panicked response to this over the green stuff. It has been a job to

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make sure that we hold him to his pledges and the green cord of this

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government. That is why we are not scrapping the investment, we are

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making sure it is funded from general taxation. I am talking to

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you from Kendal. Lots of people struggle to pay their energy bills.

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But all these things pale into insignificance compared to the

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threat of climate change and we must hold the Prime Minister to account

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on this issue. Argue reconciled to the idea that as long as you're in

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coalition with the Tories you will never get a mansion tax? I am not

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reconciled to it. We are trying to give off other tax cut to the lowest

:10:00.:10:02.

income people. What about the mansion tax? That would

:10:03.:10:06.

income people. What about the potentially paid for by another view

:10:07.:10:11.

source of finance. That would be that the wealthy... We know that is

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what you want, but you're not going to get that? We will keep fighting

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for it. It is extremely important. We can show where we will get the

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money from. I know that is the adamant. That is not what I asked

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you. Ed Balls and Labour run in favour of a mansion tax, have you

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talked to them about it? The honest answer is I have not. It is

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interesting that they have come round to supporting our policy

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having rejected it in power. So if Labour was the largest party in

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parliament but not in power, you would have no problem agreeing with

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parliament but not in power, you a mansion tax as part of the deal?

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If the arithmetic falls in that way and that is the will of the British

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people, fear taxes on those who are wealthiest, stuff that is fear,

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which includes wealth taxes, in order to fund more reductions for

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those people on lowest incomes, that is the sort of thing that we might

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reach agreement on. You voted with Labour on the spare room subsidy.

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Again, that would be job done in any future coalition talks with Labour,

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correct? I take the view that the spare room subsidy, whilst entirely

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fail in principle, in practice it has caused immense hardship. I want

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to see that changed. There are many people in government to share my

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view on that. So does Labour. The problem was largely caused Labour

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because they oversaw an increase in housing costs both 3.5 times while

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they were in power. The government was forced into a position to tidy

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up an appalling mess that Labour left. You voted with Labour against

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it, and also, you want... No, I voted with the party conference.

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Let's not dance on the head of the ten. Maybe they voted with me. -- on

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the head of a pin. You are also in favour of a 50% top rate of income

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tax, so you and Labour are that one there as well? No, I take the view

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tax, so you and Labour are that one that the top rate of income tax is a

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fluid thing. All taxation levels are temporary. Nick Clegg said that when

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the 50p rate came down to 45, that was a rather foolish price tag

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George Osborne asked for in return for as increasing the threshold and

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letting several million people out of paying income tax at the bottom.

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So you agree with Labour? In favour of rising the tax to 50p. I take the

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view that we should keep our minds open on that. It is not the income

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tax level that bothers me, it is whether the wealthy pay their fresh

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air. If that can be done through other taxes, then that is something

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that I am happy with. -- their fair other taxes, then that is something

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share. Given your position on the top rate of tax, on the spare room

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subsidy, how does the prospect of another five years of coalition with

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the Tories strike you? The answer is, you react with whatever you have

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about you to what the electorate hand you. Whatever happens after the

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next election, you have got to respect the will of the people. Yes,

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but how do you feel about it? We know about this, I am asking for

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your feeling. Does your heart left or does your heart fall at the

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prospect of another five years with the Tories? My heart would always

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follow the prospect of anything other than a majority of Liberal

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Democrat government. Your heart must be permanently in your shoes then.

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Something like that, but when all is said and done, we accept the will of

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the electorate. When you stand for election, you have got to put up

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with what the electorate say. I have not found coalition as difficult as

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you might suggest. It is about people who have to disagree and

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agree to differ. You work with people in your daily life that you

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disagree with. It is what grown-ups do. A lot of people in your party

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think that your positioning yourself to be the left-wing candidate in a

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post-Nick Clegg leadership contest. They think it is blatant

:15:10.:15:16.

manoeuvring. One senior figure says, this is about you. Which bit of the

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sanctimonious, treacherous little man is there not to like? What can I

:15:30.:15:35.

see in response to that. My job is to promote the Liberal Democrats. I

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have to do my best to consider what I'd defend to be right. By and

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large, my position as an MP in the Lake District, but also as the

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president of the party, is to reflect the will of people outside

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the Westminster village. That is the important thing to do. Thank you for

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joining us. David Cameron has said he wants to get it down to the tens

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of thousands, Ed Miliband has admitted New Labour "got it wrong",

:16:10.:16:12.

and Nick Clegg wants to be "zero-tolerant towards abuse". Yes,

:16:13.:16:14.

immigration is back on the political "zero-tolerant towards abuse". Yes,

:16:15.:16:18.

earlier this week showing that net migration is on the rise for the

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first time in two years. And that's not the only reason politicians are

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talking about it again. The issue of immigration has come

:16:26.:16:29.

into sharp focus because of concerns about the number of remaining ins

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and Bulgarians that can come to the UK next year. EU citizenship grants

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the right to free movement within the EU. But when Bulgaria and

:16:40.:16:45.

Romania joined in 2007, the government took up its right to

:16:46.:16:48.

apply temporary restrictions on movement. They must be lifted

:16:49.:16:58.

apply temporary restrictions on end of this year. According to the

:16:59.:16:58.

2011 census, about one eyed 1 million of the population in England

:16:59.:17:03.

and Wales is made up of people from countries who joined the EU in 2004.

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The government has played down expectations that the skill of

:17:08.:17:13.

migration could be repeated. This week David Cameron announced new

:17:14.:17:17.

restrictions on the ability of EU migrants to claim benefits. That was

:17:18.:17:21.

two, send a message. That prompted criticism is that the UK risks being

:17:22.:17:32.

seen as a nasty country. Yvette Cooper joins me now for the Sunday

:17:33.:17:39.

interview. Welcome to the Sunday Politics, Yvette Cooper. You

:17:40.:17:42.

criticised the coalition for not acting sooner on immigration from

:17:43.:17:47.

Romania and Bulgaria but the timetable for the unrestricted

:17:48.:17:50.

arrival in January was agreed under Labour many years ago, and given the

:17:51.:17:55.

battle that you had with the Polish and the Hungarians, what

:17:56.:17:58.

preparations did you make in power? We think that we should learn from

:17:59.:18:00.

some of the We think that we should learn from

:18:01.:18:07.

with migration. It would have been better to have transitional controls

:18:08.:18:09.

in place and look at the impact of what happened. But what preparations

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did you make in power? We set out a series of measures that the

:18:16.:18:17.

Government still had time to bring in. It is important that this should

:18:18.:18:24.

be a calm and measured debate. There was time to bring in measures around

:18:25.:18:28.

benefit restrictions, for example, and looking at the impact on the

:18:29.:18:33.

labour market, to make sure you do not have exploitation of cheap

:18:34.:18:37.

migrant Labour which is bad for everyone. I know that but I have

:18:38.:18:41.

asked you before and I am asking again, what did you do? We got

:18:42.:18:46.

things wrong in Government. I understand that I am not arguing.

:18:47.:18:51.

You are criticising them not preparing, a legitimate criticism,

:18:52.:18:58.

but what did you do in power? Well, I did think we did enough. Did you

:18:59.:19:04.

do anything? We signed the agency workers directive but too slowly. We

:19:05.:19:11.

needed measures like that. We did support things like the social

:19:12.:19:14.

chapter and the minimum wage, but I have said before that we did not do

:19:15.:19:18.

enough and that is why we recommended the measures in March. I

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understand that is what you did in opposition and I take that. I put

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the general point to you that given your failure to introduce controls

:19:29.:19:32.

on the countries that joined in 2004, alone among the major EU

:19:33.:19:37.

economies we did that, should we not keep an embarrassed silence on these

:19:38.:19:42.

matters? You have no credibility. I think you have got to talk about

:19:43.:19:46.

immigration. One of the things we did not do in Government

:19:47.:19:47.

discussed immigration and the concerns people have and the

:19:48.:19:56.

long-term benefits that we know have come from people who have come to

:19:57.:19:59.

Britain over many generations contributing to Britain and having a

:20:00.:20:01.

big impact. I think we recognise that there are things that we did

:20:02.:20:04.

wrong, but it would be irresponsible for us not to join the debate and

:20:05.:20:08.

suggest sensible, practical measures that you can introduce now to

:20:09.:20:13.

address the concerns that people have, but also make sure that the

:20:14.:20:18.

system is fair and managed. Immigration is important to Britain

:20:19.:20:20.

but it does have to be controlled and managed in the right way. Let's

:20:21.:20:25.

remind ourselves of your record on immigration. The chart you did not

:20:26.:20:30.

consult when in power. This is total net migration per year under Labour.

:20:31.:20:35.

2.2 million of net rise in migration, more than the population

:20:36.:20:42.

of Birmingham, you proud of that? -- twice the population. Are you proud

:20:43.:20:50.

of that or apologising for it? We set the pace of immigration was too

:20:51.:20:53.

fat and the level was too high and it is right to bring migration down.

:20:54.:20:59.

So you think that was wrong? Overruled have been huge benefits

:21:00.:21:05.

from people that have come to Britain and built our biggest

:21:06.:21:10.

businesses. -- overall. They have become Olympic medal winners. But

:21:11.:21:14.

because the pace was too fast, that has had an impact. That was because

:21:15.:21:18.

of the lack of transitional controls from Eastern Europe and it is why we

:21:19.:21:22.

should learn from that and have sensible measures in place now, as

:21:23.:21:27.

part of what has got to be a calm debate. These are net migration

:21:28.:21:32.

figures. They don't often show the full figure. These are the

:21:33.:21:37.

immigration figures coming in. What that chart shows is that in terms of

:21:38.:21:41.

the gross number coming into this country, from the year 2000, it was

:21:42.:21:48.

half a million a year under Labour. Rising to 600,000 by the time you

:21:49.:21:54.

were out of power. A lot of people coming into these crowded islands,

:21:55.:21:57.

particularly since most of them come to London and the South East. Was

:21:58.:22:02.

that intentional? Was that out of control? Is that what you are now

:22:03.:22:07.

apologising for? What we said was that the Government got the figures

:22:08.:22:12.

wrong on the migration from Eastern Europe. If you remember particularly

:22:13.:22:16.

there was the issue of what happened with not having transitional

:22:17.:22:21.

controls in place. The Government didn't expect the number of people

:22:22.:22:25.

coming to the country to be the way it was. And so obviously mistakes

:22:26.:22:31.

were made. We have recognised that. We have also got to recognise that

:22:32.:22:34.

this is something that has happened in countries all over the world. We

:22:35.:22:39.

travel and trade far more than ever. We have an increasingly globalised

:22:40.:22:42.

economy. Other European countries have been affected in the same way,

:22:43.:22:46.

and America, and other developing countries affected in the same way

:22:47.:22:51.

by the scale of migration. I am trying to work out whether the

:22:52.:22:56.

numbers were intentional or if you lost control. The key thing that we

:22:57.:23:00.

have said many times and I have already said it to you many times,

:23:01.:23:05.

Andrew, that we should have a transitional controls in place on

:23:06.:23:07.

Eastern Europe. I think that would have had an impact on them level of

:23:08.:23:13.

migration. We also should have brought in the points -based system

:23:14.:23:16.

earlier. We did bring that in towards the end and it did

:23:17.:23:19.

earlier. We did bring that in the level of low skilled migration

:23:20.:23:23.

because there are different kinds of migration. University students

:23:24.:23:26.

coming to Britain brings in billions of pounds of investment. On the

:23:27.:23:30.

other hand, low skilled migration can have a serious impact on the

:23:31.:23:33.

jobs market, pay levels and so on at the low skilled end of the labour

:23:34.:23:40.

market. We have to distinguish between different kinds of

:23:41.:23:43.

migration. You keep trying to excuse the figures by talking about the

:23:44.:23:47.

lack of transitional controls. Can we skip the chart I was going to go

:23:48.:23:52.

to? The next one. Under Labour, this is the source of where migrants came

:23:53.:23:58.

from. The main source was not the accession countries or the remainder

:23:59.:24:02.

of Europe. Overwhelmingly they were from the African Commonwealth, and

:24:03.:24:07.

the Indian subcontinent. Overwhelmingly, these numbers are

:24:08.:24:10.

the Indian subcontinent. nothing to do with transitional

:24:11.:24:13.

controls. You can control that immigration entirely because they

:24:14.:24:18.

are not part of the EU. Was that a mistake? First of all, the big

:24:19.:24:23.

increase was in the accession groups. Not according to the chart.

:24:24.:24:29.

In terms of the increase, the changes that happened. Secondly, in

:24:30.:24:32.

answer to the question that you just asked me, we should also have

:24:33.:24:35.

introduced the points -based system at an earlier stage. Thirdly there

:24:36.:24:40.

has been a big increase in the number of university students coming

:24:41.:24:44.

to Britain and they have brought billions of pounds of investment. At

:24:45.:24:47.

the moment the Government is not distinguishing, it is just using the

:24:48.:24:51.

figure of net migration. And that is starting to go up again, as you said

:24:52.:24:55.

in the introduction, but the problem is that it treats all kinds of

:24:56.:24:59.

migration is aimed. It does not address illegal immigration, which

:25:00.:25:04.

is a problem, but it treats university graduates coming to

:25:05.:25:08.

Britain in the same way as low skilled workers. If Labour get back

:25:09.:25:13.

into power, is it your ambition to bring down immigration? We have

:25:14.:25:17.

already said it is too high and we would support measures to bring it

:25:18.:25:22.

down. You would bring it down? There is something called student visas,

:25:23.:25:26.

which is not included in the figures, and it does not include

:25:27.:25:31.

university graduates, and it is a figure that has increased

:25:32.:25:41.

substantially in recent years. They come for short-term study but they

:25:42.:25:44.

do not even have to prove that they come for a college course. They do

:25:45.:25:47.

not even have to have a place to come. Those visas should be

:25:48.:25:49.

restricted to prevent abuse of the system and that is in line with a

:25:50.:25:52.

recommendation from the Inspectorate and that is the kind of practical

:25:53.:25:53.

thing that we could do. Can and that is the kind of practical

:25:54.:25:56.

us a ballpark figure of how much immigration would fall? You have

:25:57.:26:01.

seen the mess that Theresa May has got into with her figures. She made

:26:02.:26:06.

a target that it is clear to me that she will not meet. I think that is

:26:07.:26:29.

right. She will not meet it. Can you give as a ballpark figure by which

:26:30.:26:32.

we can judge you? If she had been more sensible and taken more time to

:26:33.:26:35.

listen to experts and decide what measures should be targeted, then

:26:36.:26:37.

she would not be in this mess. You cannot give me a figure? She has

:26:38.:26:40.

chosen net migration. She has set a target, without ifs and buts. I

:26:41.:26:43.

think it is important not to have a massive gap between the rhetoric and

:26:44.:26:45.

reality. Not to make promises on numbers which are not responsible.

:26:46.:26:49.

OK, you won't give me a figure. Fine. Moving on to crime. 10,000

:26:50.:26:53.

front line police jobs have gone since 2010 but crime continues to

:26:54.:26:58.

fall. 7% down last year alone. When you told the Labour conference that

:26:59.:27:02.

you do not cut crime by cutting the police, you were wrong. I think the

:27:03.:27:07.

Government is being very complacent about what is happening to crime.

:27:08.:27:12.

Crime patterns are changing. There has been an exponential increase,

:27:13.:27:15.

and that is in the words of the police, in online crime. We have

:27:16.:27:24.

also seen, for example, domestic violence going up, but prosecutions

:27:25.:27:29.

dropping dramatically. There is a serious impact as a result of not

:27:30.:27:34.

having 10,000 police in place. You have talked about the exponential

:27:35.:27:37.

increase in online and economic crime. If those are the big growth

:27:38.:27:42.

areas, why have bobbies on the beat? That would make no difference. It is

:27:43.:27:48.

about an approach to policing that has been incredibly successful over

:27:49.:27:51.

many years, which Labour introduced, which is neighbourhood policing in

:27:52.:27:55.

the community is working hard with communities to prevent crime. People

:27:56.:27:59.

like to see bobbies on the beat but have you got any evidence that it

:28:00.:28:04.

leads to a reduction in crime? Interestingly, the Lords Stevens

:28:05.:28:08.

commission that we set up, they have reported this week and it has been

:28:09.:28:12.

the equivalent of a Royal commission, looking at the number of

:28:13.:28:17.

people involved in it. Their strong recommendation was that this is

:28:18.:28:20.

about preventing crime but also respectful law and order, working

:28:21.:28:23.

with communities, and so they strongly took the view with all of

:28:24.:28:27.

their expertise and the 30 different universities that they have involved

:28:28.:28:31.

that analysis, the right thing was that analysis, the right thing was

:28:32.:28:34.

to keep bobbies on the beat and not push them cars. Instinctively you

:28:35.:28:41.

would think it was true. More visible policing, less crime. But in

:28:42.:28:46.

all the criminology work, I cannot find the evidence. There is

:28:47.:28:49.

competing work about why there has been a 20 year drop in overall crime

:28:50.:28:54.

and everybody has different opinions on why that has happened. The point

:28:55.:28:57.

about neighbourhood policing is that it is broader than crime-fighting.

:28:58.:29:02.

It is about prevention and community safety. Improving the well-being of

:29:03.:29:09.

communities as well. Will you keep the elected Police Commissioners?

:29:10.:29:14.

Big sigh! What the report said was that the system is flawed. We raised

:29:15.:29:19.

concern about this at the beginning. You will remember at the elections,

:29:20.:29:25.

Theresa May's flagship policy, at the elections they cost ?100 million

:29:26.:29:30.

and there was 15% turnout. You have to have a system of accountability

:29:31.:29:36.

at the police. Three options were presented, all of which are forms.

:29:37.:29:41.

So you have to have reform. It is not whether to have reformed, it is

:29:42.:29:45.

which of those options is the best way to do it. The commission set out

:29:46.:29:56.

a series of options, and I thought that the preferable approach would

:29:57.:30:01.

be collaboration and voluntary mergers. We know they won't

:30:02.:30:05.

volunteer. There have been some collaboration is taking place. I

:30:06.:30:09.

think the issues with police and crime commissioners have fragmented

:30:10.:30:14.

things and made it harder to get collaboration between police

:30:15.:30:16.

forces. Everybody is asking this collaboration between police

:30:17.:30:20.

question, just before you go. What is it like living with a nightmare?

:30:21.:30:28.

Who does all the cooking, so I can't complain! Says Miliband people are

:30:29.:30:37.

wrong, he is a dream cook? He is! In a speech this week, Boris Johnson

:30:38.:30:41.

praised greed and envy as essential for economic progress, and that has

:30:42.:30:44.

got tongues wagging. What is the Mayor of London up to? What is his

:30:45.:30:49.

game plan? Does he even have a game plan and does he know if he has one?

:30:50.:30:59.

Flash photography coming up. Boris. In many ways I can leave it there.

:31:00.:31:03.

You'd know who I meant. And if you didn't, the unruly mop of blonde

:31:04.:31:15.

hair would tell you, the language. Ping-pong was invented on the dining

:31:16.:31:17.

tables of England. Somehow pulling off the ridiculous to the sublime.

:31:18.:31:35.

It is going to go zoink off the scale! But often having to speed

:31:36.:31:38.

away from the whiff-whaff of scandal. Boris, are you going to

:31:39.:31:43.

save your manage? There's always been a question about

:31:44.:31:46.

him and his as role as mayor and another prized position, as hinted

:31:47.:31:49.

to the Tory faithful this year at conference, discussing former French

:31:50.:31:55.

Prime Minister Alan Juppe. -- Alain Juppe. He told me he was going to be

:31:56.:32:03.

the mayor of Bordeaux. I think he may have been mayor well he was

:32:04.:32:08.

Prime Minister, it is the kind of thing they do in funds -- AvD in

:32:09.:32:14.

France. It is a good idea, if you ask me. But is it a joke? He is much

:32:15.:32:23.

more ambitious. Boris wants to be Prime Minister more than anything

:32:24.:32:27.

else. Perhaps more than he wants to be made of London. The ball came

:32:28.:32:35.

loose from the back of the scrum. Of course it would give great thing to

:32:36.:32:40.

have a crack at, but it is not going to happen. He might be right. First,

:32:41.:32:46.

the Conservatives have a leader, another Old Etonian, Oxford,

:32:47.:32:48.

Bullingdon chap and he has the job Boris might like a crack at. What do

:32:49.:32:55.

you do with a problem like Boris? It is one of the great

:32:56.:32:58.

you do with a problem like Boris? It Tory politics that for Boris Johnson

:32:59.:33:03.

to succeed, David Cameron must feel. Boris needs David Cameron to lose so

:33:04.:33:07.

that he can stand a chance of becoming loser. -- becoming leader.

:33:08.:33:11.

And disloyalty is punished by Conservatives. Boris knows the man

:33:12.:33:13.

who brought down Margaret Thatcher. Michael Heseltine, who Boris

:33:14.:33:16.

replaced as MP for Henley, never got her job. In 1986, she took on the

:33:17.:33:22.

member for Henley, always a risky venture. And why might he make such

:33:23.:33:33.

a jibe, because he's won two more elections than the PM. Conservatives

:33:34.:33:38.

like a winner. Boris, against Robert expectations, has won the Mayor of

:33:39.:33:52.

London job twice. -- public. He might've built a following with the

:33:53.:33:55.

grassroots but he's on shakier ground with many Tory MPs, who see

:33:56.:33:58.

him as a selfish clown, unfit for high office. And besides, he's not

:33:59.:34:06.

the only one with king-sized ambition, and Boris and George are

:34:07.:34:09.

not close, however much they may profess unity. There is probably

:34:10.:34:18.

some Chinese expression for a complete and perfect harmony. Ying

:34:19.:34:22.

and yang. But in plain black and white, if Boris has a plan, it's one

:34:23.:34:26.

he can't instigate, and if David Cameron is PM in 2016, it may not be

:34:27.:34:31.

implementable. He'd need a seat and it wouldn't be plain sailing if he

:34:32.:34:38.

did make a leadership bid. My leadership chances, I think I may

:34:39.:34:42.

have told you before, or about as good as my chances of ying

:34:43.:34:46.

reincarnated as a baked bean. Which is probably quite high. So if the

:34:47.:34:51.

job you want with Brown-esque desire is potentially never to be yours

:34:52.:34:57.

what do you do? He is, of course, an American citizen by birth. He was

:34:58.:35:03.

born in New York public hospital, and so he is qualified to be

:35:04.:35:05.

President and so he is qualified to be

:35:06.:35:08.

President of the United States. And you don't need an IQ over 16 to find

:35:09.:35:12.

that the tiniest bit scary. Giles Dilnot reporting. Helen Lewis,

:35:13.:35:18.

Janan Ganesh and Sam Coates are here. Is there a plan for Boris, and

:35:19.:35:26.

if so, what is it? I think the plan is for him to say what he thinks the

:35:27.:35:29.

Tory activist base wants to hear just now. He knows that in 18 months

:35:30.:35:35.

time they can disown it. I think he is wrong, the way the speech has

:35:36.:35:40.

played has a limited number of people. He has cross-party appeal.

:35:41.:35:47.

He has now reconfirmed to people that the Tories are the nasty party

:35:48.:35:50.

and they have been pretending to be modernised. Is it not the truth that

:35:51.:35:57.

he needs David Cameron to lose the 2015 election to become leader in

:35:58.:36:02.

this decade? It is very interesting watching his fortunes wax and wane.

:36:03.:36:08.

It always seems to happen in inverse proportion to how well David Cameron

:36:09.:36:13.

is doing in front of his own party. There is no small element of

:36:14.:36:16.

strategy about what we are doing here. The problem with Boris is that

:36:17.:36:21.

he's popular with the country, but not with the party's MPs and its

:36:22.:36:27.

hard-core supporters. This was an appeal to the grassroots this week.

:36:28.:36:31.

He is not the only potential candidate. If we were in some kind

:36:32.:36:39.

of circumstance where Boris was a runner to replace Mr Cameron, who

:36:40.:36:45.

with the other front the? I think it will skip a generation. The recent

:36:46.:36:53.

intake was ideological assertive. I do not buy the idea that it will be

:36:54.:36:59.

Jeremy Hunt against Michael Gove. I then, that generation will be

:37:00.:37:07.

tainted by being in government. It is interesting, what is he trying to

:37:08.:37:14.

pull? He is ideological. He does not believe in many things, but he

:37:15.:37:16.

believes in a few things quite deeply, and one is the idea of

:37:17.:37:19.

competition, both in business deeply, and one is the idea of

:37:20.:37:24.

academic selection. He has never been squeamish about expressing

:37:25.:37:32.

that. We do make mistakes sometimes, assuming he is entirely political.

:37:33.:37:37.

Look at all the Northern voters who will not vote for the Tories even

:37:38.:37:41.

though they are socially or economic the Conservatives. I do not think he

:37:42.:37:48.

helps. Who in the Tories would help? That is a tough question. To

:37:49.:37:55.

reason me has also been speaking to the hard right. -- Theresa May. I

:37:56.:38:04.

have been out with him at night. It is like dining with a film star.

:38:05.:38:08.

People are queueing up to speak to him. Educational selection is one of

:38:09.:38:15.

the few areas that he can offer. He has gone liberal on immigration, as

:38:16.:38:17.

are made of London would have to. Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics

:38:18.:38:37.

in Northern Ireland. Loyalist protestors still on the streets of

:38:38.:38:42.

Belfast. 12 months on from the start of the flag protests, we'll be

:38:43.:38:44.

looking back at a year of protest and disruption. Joining me with

:38:45.:38:50.

their views, the Alliance MP for East Belfast, Naomi Long, and from

:38:51.:38:53.

our Foyle studio, the DUP MP Gregory Campbell. We'll also hear from

:38:54.:38:56.

yesterday's TUV conference in Cookstown where the party leader,

:38:57.:38:59.

Jim Allister, made a prediction for the 2014 European election contest.

:39:00.:39:09.

I see that the DUP has been suggesting they might even run two

:39:10.:39:16.

candidates. They won't. And with me in studio to discuss that and more

:39:17.:39:19.

are business consultant Joanne Stuart and commentator Seamus Close.

:39:20.:39:25.

Almost exactly a year on from the decision to fly the union flag at

:39:26.:39:31.

Belfast City Hall on designated days, around 2,000 loyalist

:39:32.:39:33.

protestors gathered in the city centre. They breached a Parades'

:39:34.:39:36.

Commission determination which said they had to be clear of the area by

:39:37.:39:42.

half past 12. While there was no trouble in the city centre, a police

:39:43.:39:45.

officer was knocked unconscious during clashes in North Belfast

:39:46.:39:48.

involving protestors. Joining me now is the Alliance Party's Naomi Long

:39:49.:39:55.

and Gregory Campbell of the DUP. Thank you both for joining us. Naomi

:39:56.:39:57.

Long - one year on from the union Thank you both for joining us. Naomi

:39:58.:40:01.

flag being restricted in its flying from the City Hall and still large

:40:02.:40:04.

number of protestors are on the streets of the city centre. What's

:40:05.:40:13.

your reaction to that? I think it's very disappointing that people,

:40:14.:40:17.

after a year, are still convinced that these protests are going to

:40:18.:40:21.

change anything. The decision taken by City Hall was taken for the right

:40:22.:40:25.

reasons. It is a good decision and a democratic decision. No amount of

:40:26.:40:29.

protest on the street will change that. So we need to be honest with

:40:30.:40:34.

people engaged in those protests, but it's also unclear what they were

:40:35.:40:38.

protesting about. Partly they were saying smashed the Alliance party,

:40:39.:40:44.

partly they were protesting about political policing. So it's not

:40:45.:40:48.

clear where their anger is directed. From my perspective, I

:40:49.:40:49.

don't think it's political policing. directed. From my perspective, I

:40:50.:40:55.

If you choose to express your politics through violence breaking

:40:56.:40:58.

the law and are rested, that is not vertical policing. We need people to

:40:59.:41:03.

restore order to the situation and to find ways of expressing concerns

:41:04.:41:07.

that they have in a democratic and peaceful and lawful manner. Many of

:41:08.:41:14.

them are constituents of yours in East Belfast and for whatever

:41:15.:41:18.

reason, maybe a collection of reasons, they feel marginalised and

:41:19.:41:22.

disenfranchised. That's a problem that isn't going to go away. But

:41:23.:41:26.

everyone has the right of abode, whether they choose to exercise it

:41:27.:41:29.

or not is a matter of choice for them. -- the right to vote. I would

:41:30.:41:36.

put the blame on the door of Unionist politicians who have

:41:37.:41:40.

continually fed unionists and loyalists a diet of negativity, of

:41:41.:41:44.

loss. They have made the narrative of the agreement wonder they are

:41:45.:41:47.

constantly losing, it's not the truth, but it's a diet they are fed

:41:48.:41:52.

and they believe it's an argument that will get them more votes. They

:41:53.:41:57.

want people to motivated by fear, and that is why we have a believe

:41:58.:42:02.

good community who feel they haven't gained by the agreement because no

:42:03.:42:04.

one gives them the objective argument. What you think the protest

:42:05.:42:13.

achieved, if anything? Where we were last week, people were predicting

:42:14.:42:18.

all sorts of violence and mayhem, quite rightly saying this is one of

:42:19.:42:22.

the rest shopping days before Christmas, we should try and do our

:42:23.:42:27.

best to minimise prospects of trouble and maximise the return to

:42:28.:42:32.

the economy. Of the more dire predictions materialise. Apart from

:42:33.:42:40.

a few minor incidents, which are regrettable, for the most part it

:42:41.:42:44.

appears to have passed off very peacefully. Hopefully, we can build

:42:45.:42:51.

on that. I am just a bit concerned that if lessons can be learned

:42:52.:42:54.

throughout the political process over the course of the last year, it

:42:55.:42:59.

would appear that the Alliance party aren't learning very many. There was

:43:00.:43:05.

a serious mistake, a democratic one, but a serious one made 12 months

:43:06.:43:13.

ago. Let's not repeat the mistakes of trying to say to a community, we

:43:14.:43:17.

don't care what you think or what you feel, or how strongly you

:43:18.:43:20.

express your views, we're not going to change our mind. What progress

:43:21.:43:26.

are you referring to when you say the progress of the last 12 months?

:43:27.:43:30.

are you referring to when you say We are exactly where we were, with

:43:31.:43:34.

another protest bringing the centre of Belfast to a standstill on the

:43:35.:43:36.

busiest shopping day before Christmas. George January and

:43:37.:43:41.

February last year, there were weekly and in some cases nightly

:43:42.:43:46.

protests. In some instances they were violent and in other instances

:43:47.:43:50.

they were peaceful. All of those days are hopefully behind us now but

:43:51.:43:54.

people I think saw the benefit of getting registered to ensure that

:43:55.:43:59.

their political voice was heard at the ballot ox, they need to keep on

:44:00.:44:04.

doing that because elections are coming up and they need to express

:44:05.:44:06.

their views peacefully and democratic way. If they do that,

:44:07.:44:11.

hopefully all the political parties will learn lessons are not repeat

:44:12.:44:15.

the mistakes of 12 months ago when there was a decision by a small

:44:16.:44:20.

number of parties who didn't realise the implications of what they were

:44:21.:44:26.

doing. They do now. So you need to learn a lesson? I think it's a

:44:27.:44:32.

bizarre situation when you have a democratic Unionist saying we have

:44:33.:44:35.

to learn lessons from having been intimidated and threatened for a

:44:36.:44:40.

year. I have never said I don't care about depression people have for the

:44:41.:44:44.

flag, or sensitive to their concerns, I engage with people on a

:44:45.:44:50.

daily basis about that. But I will not be bullied or intimidated by

:44:51.:44:53.

anyone into changing what is a good decision because we're not just

:44:54.:44:56.

dealing with Unionists who feel disenfranchised, we are trying to

:44:57.:45:02.

balance the needs of the whole community. I also think it shows how

:45:03.:45:07.

accustomed and can dish and we are that when you have a police officer

:45:08.:45:10.

knocked unconscious and another injured, will talk about that as a

:45:11.:45:13.

good day for Belfast. injured, will talk about that as a

:45:14.:45:16.

it is, I agree it was better than it might have been. You have welcomed

:45:17.:45:23.

the fact that it was peaceful, broadly, and you made the point,

:45:24.:45:28.

with the exception that two officers were injured, nonetheless it was not

:45:29.:45:34.

unlawful parade. It was not because people who were taking part were not

:45:35.:45:40.

clear of city centre by half past 12 and that was in the determination,

:45:41.:45:44.

so they defied your party leader who said peaceful and lawful? It would

:45:45.:45:50.

have been preferable had the parade not taken place on the Saturday, we

:45:51.:45:55.

made that clear, but given the fact it was going to go ahead, we had to

:45:56.:45:58.

work with what we have. There is no point in trying to say that we wish

:45:59.:46:02.

it wasn't going to happen, bury our heads in the sand and hope

:46:03.:46:04.

everything will turn out right. A heads in the sand and hope

:46:05.:46:09.

lot of work was put in behind the scenes to try and ensure a peaceful,

:46:10.:46:13.

lawful outcome. It was a lot better than it could have been. But is that

:46:14.:46:22.

good enough? I wish we did live in a perfect world, but we don't. Let's

:46:23.:46:28.

work with what we have, let's build. We talked about a year ago. A year

:46:29.:46:33.

ago and implement were significant. It's on the decline now. Hopefully

:46:34.:46:36.

we are starting to create a better economic future. We have to build on

:46:37.:46:42.

that and hopefully progress the sense of alienation that is in there

:46:43.:46:45.

in the working class Unionist community. Our final brief

:46:46.:46:54.

sentence? I think it's important in a society when we have lost her grip

:46:55.:46:57.

on the rule of law a society when we have lost her grip

:46:58.:47:01.

Democrats, uphold the rule of law. Peaceful and lawful are not the same

:47:02.:47:06.

thing. We need to have clear statement around that from political

:47:07.:47:12.

representatives who are there to uphold the rule of law. Joining me

:47:13.:47:23.

now to reflect on that are the commentator Seamus Close and the

:47:24.:47:26.

business consultant Joanne Stuart. Not as bad as it could have been.

:47:27.:47:32.

Once again, the shopkeepers, the traders, the people of Belfast,

:47:33.:47:37.

people further afield, have been held hostage. Let's be blunt, held

:47:38.:47:41.

hostage by a couple of thousand people who were breaking the law in

:47:42.:47:49.

an illegal protest, organised and led by a faceless individual whose

:47:50.:47:50.

an illegal protest, organised and name we don't know until lives

:47:51.:47:55.

outside Belfast. What sort of a society... I listen to both the

:47:56.:48:03.

politicians saying they are opposed and would have preferred it not to

:48:04.:48:06.

happen. I think that would be the judgement of the vast majority, if

:48:07.:48:10.

not all of the politicians in Northern Ireland, would have

:48:11.:48:14.

preferred that the parade didn't take place. Yet in spite of that, it

:48:15.:48:19.

took place. So democracy is set aside by a crowd... Why are we

:48:20.:48:26.

cuddling up to them? Why did they get permission in the first place?

:48:27.:48:29.

Why did the traders have to lose business yet again, and Belfast

:48:30.:48:35.

dragged through the gutter by people who obviously don't care about

:48:36.:48:38.

Belfast? They obviously have their selfish and confused motives.

:48:39.:48:40.

Because the flag will not be because 2000 people gather in front

:48:41.:48:52.

of City Hall. You are close to the business community. You have had a

:48:53.:48:57.

senior position presenting that. How serious is the issue for business

:48:58.:49:04.

confidence in. Fast? It is very serious. Nobody in business wanted

:49:05.:49:08.

to see that parade on Saturday. It is the busiest trading day. What

:49:09.:49:14.

seems to not be considered are the rights of business owners to trade

:49:15.:49:17.

uninterrupted, and threatened and unharmed. Grigori mentioned focusing

:49:18.:49:22.

on the economy, and it's the economy that will create jobs, create a more

:49:23.:49:28.

positive economic future. It's important that there is a concerted

:49:29.:49:33.

focus and effort on economic issues because they are the keys to

:49:34.:49:35.

tackling and addressing our social issues. Do

:49:36.:49:39.

tackling and addressing our social could have been worse? It obviously

:49:40.:49:44.

could have, there is relief there was no violence within the city

:49:45.:49:48.

centre, I appreciate there was some violence you wouldn't want to see

:49:49.:49:52.

but it shouldn't have taken place. Thanks very much now. The TUV

:49:53.:50:01.

leader, Jim Allister, has been talking elections. He told his

:50:02.:50:03.

annual conference in Cookstown that the DUP is bluffing about the

:50:04.:50:06.

possibility of running two candidates in next year's European

:50:07.:50:10.

poll. But he was more coy about what his own party will do. Here's our

:50:11.:50:12.

Political Correspondent, Gareth Gordon. There is more than one view

:50:13.:50:17.

of Jim Allister. According to his party chairman, some people in

:50:18.:50:21.

dormant think he is a pain in the neck. Then there is the view of his

:50:22.:50:29.

followers. Jim Allister I believe is the man for Ulster. Great leader, a

:50:30.:50:35.

truthful man. He is doing a fantastic job. His only main rival

:50:36.:50:43.

is and Travers, who inspired him to introduce the bill. Also there was a

:50:44.:50:50.

soldier injured in the bombing carried out by the special adviser

:50:51.:50:55.

in question, Paul Kavanagh. It's not right somebody should shoot, kill

:50:56.:51:00.

and murder a police officer and get two years in prison, that's not

:51:01.:51:05.

right. He was referring to the case of the husband of this woman. She

:51:06.:51:11.

declined to be interviewed. In his conference speech, Jim Allister's

:51:12.:51:15.

favourite target was his former party. The DUP conference on the

:51:16.:51:22.

Friday night, at their dinner, they had an illusionist, long. -- come

:51:23.:51:30.

along. The first thing that surprised me was they had to bring

:51:31.:51:37.

someone in to perform. Then he looked ahead to future elections. I

:51:38.:51:45.

see that the DUP has been suggesting they might even run two candidates.

:51:46.:51:53.

They won't, ladies and gentlemen. Last time they fought the European

:51:54.:51:57.

elections, their candidate held on by her fingernails to creep in for

:51:58.:52:03.

the third seat, there is no way they will be fighting with two

:52:04.:52:08.

candidates. There was however one omission from the speech, what the

:52:09.:52:13.

TUV was going to do in that election. Jim Allister has been

:52:14.:52:14.

quick to tell us what the DUP election. Jim Allister has been

:52:15.:52:18.

not do. Not so quick to tell us what his own party will. You can tempt me

:52:19.:52:25.

as much as you like but I will not be telling you today what the TUV

:52:26.:52:31.

will be doing. He may concentrate on the council elections instead. We

:52:32.:52:35.

are not going to know until next year. Obviously, Jim Allister

:52:36.:52:43.

getting the party faithful to lap it up. Can they expand beyond their

:52:44.:52:50.

core race? I think their core base is narrow and will remain so. He is

:52:51.:52:57.

very productive in the Assembly, he is the epitome of what opposition

:52:58.:53:01.

should be. Look at the number of questions, he has dozens down at any

:53:02.:53:04.

point in time. And they are about questions, he has dozens down at any

:53:05.:53:09.

salient issues that affect every man, woman and child in Northern

:53:10.:53:13.

Ireland. He is doing a wonderful job as an MLA, but the negativity of his

:53:14.:53:18.

party comes across through him, that is his big problem. Will he run a

:53:19.:53:28.

candidate for Europe? Politics is about running candidates, if he

:53:29.:53:30.

doesn't, he will demonstrate more negativity. Will he polled better

:53:31.:53:35.

than the 66,000 last time? Good question. Let's pause, then, and

:53:36.:53:41.

have a look at the week gone past in 60 seconds - with Stephen Walker.

:53:42.:53:50.

After a car bomb partially exploded in Belfast city centre, Americans

:53:51.:53:52.

were warned to take care, but some thought that advice was overplayed.

:53:53.:53:58.

It has been blown out of all proportion in Northern Ireland.

:53:59.:54:03.

It has been blown out of all Claims about Gerry Adams and the IRA

:54:04.:54:07.

continued. MLAs were told past should not dictate future. I think

:54:08.:54:14.

the people who make the argument that you can't further contribute to

:54:15.:54:18.

society because you were a member of the IRA in the past are making a

:54:19.:54:23.

huge mistake. Health minister ordered a review into the treatment

:54:24.:54:26.

of patients at a County Antrim nursing home. An independent report

:54:27.:54:31.

said the SDLP were complacent and stuck in the past. But the party

:54:32.:54:39.

said they had much to offer. If there are perceptions out there that

:54:40.:54:41.

I think are wrong, we have to challenge them.

:54:42.:54:48.

The Scottish Government has published its blueprint for

:54:49.:54:54.

independence. The 670-page document promises a 'revolution' in social

:54:55.:54:57.

policy, with childcare at its heart. Politicians at Stormont have been

:54:58.:54:59.

watching events in Edinburgh carefully. The Deputy First

:55:00.:55:03.

Minister, Martin McGuinness, has said local parties should stay out

:55:04.:55:07.

of the debate. The First Minister, Peter Robinson, took a different

:55:08.:55:13.

approach. He's talked in the past about the emotional bonds that link

:55:14.:55:16.

Scotland and Northern Ireland and is firmly opposed to the proposal.

:55:17.:55:19.

Joining me is Professor Graham Walker from Queen's University.

:55:20.:55:22.

Graham, what did you make of this White Paper? I think the Scottish

:55:23.:55:29.

Government set out the case for independence quite soberly. I think

:55:30.:55:32.

Alex Salmond has been trying to reassure people for some time that

:55:33.:55:35.

the transition to independence can be a smooth one. However he's not in

:55:36.:55:42.

a position to reassure yet about key issues such as the European Union

:55:43.:55:45.

membership, the currency, and so on. This is where the no camp are. They

:55:46.:55:53.

are trying to put forward the argument that this is a leap into

:55:54.:55:56.

the unknown that carries too many risks. Alex Salmond's line is it as

:55:57.:56:03.

an exciting opportunity. Is it affordable? If you put better social

:56:04.:56:09.

policy at the heart of an independent Scotland, that's fine,

:56:10.:56:13.

but can it pay for it? A lot might come down to the oil revenues, and a

:56:14.:56:17.

great deal of negotiation is going to have to come into that. I think

:56:18.:56:22.

it's a fair point about whether it's affordable or not but what is

:56:23.:56:26.

significant is that he should put that at the centre of things. Was

:56:27.:56:30.

the message he is trying to put over is that the welfare, a compelling

:56:31.:56:36.

reason to continue to support the union, he would say that is

:56:37.:56:39.

weakening and he can actually union, he would say that is

:56:40.:56:43.

better social welfare provision in an independent Scotland. The first

:56:44.:56:48.

minister has been very clear that this is up to the people of

:56:49.:56:52.

Scotland, not for us to interfere, but he also feels passionately that

:56:53.:56:57.

an independent Scotland would not be good for the UK. So what kind of

:56:58.:57:01.

impact do you think the debate is likely to have on this side of the

:57:02.:57:07.

Irish Sea? A profound impact, particularly as we get close to the

:57:08.:57:12.

date of the referendum. It does suggest that if there is a yes vote,

:57:13.:57:17.

then of course the Russian ship of these islands is going to change

:57:18.:57:21.

profoundly -- the relationship. If they are saying that the union is

:57:22.:57:27.

saved, it cuts the ground from that if a major partner is going to

:57:28.:57:35.

depart. So there are all sorts of anxieties and risks. I think

:57:36.:57:42.

Unionists tend to read across rather simplistically of the situation from

:57:43.:57:45.

here and Scotland. The two situations are very different.

:57:46.:57:51.

Divisions in Scotland will not map onto religious divisions. And also,

:57:52.:57:55.

Scottish Unionism has a nationalist element, nationalism is an important

:57:56.:58:01.

part of Scottish Unionism and Scottish nationalism has never been

:58:02.:58:06.

about grievances and troubled history, certainly not nearly as

:58:07.:58:11.

much. This seems to be a sense that it is unlikely they would be a yes

:58:12.:58:16.

vote, but still Alex Salmond appears to be building a momentum. A year is

:58:17.:58:20.

a long time in politics, is it possible that events could move it

:58:21.:58:27.

in the direction of Alex Salmond and ultimately, there could be a yes

:58:28.:58:31.

vote? Is that realistic? I think it is. I would say that at the moment.

:58:32.:58:40.

I think the yes campaign have a new momentum, and things like the

:58:41.:58:43.

bedroom tax have undoubtedly affected the game recently. He has

:58:44.:58:50.

been able to put that into his White paper, saying he's going to abolish

:58:51.:58:53.

that, that phase will rule out Scotland. Do you think there will be

:58:54.:59:00.

an interest in Northern Ireland about that? I think some people will

:59:01.:59:07.

want to get directly involved. I think those in the prounion camp

:59:08.:59:13.

have an incentive to try and cooperate with others in that camp

:59:14.:59:16.

to come up with a constructive vision of the union, as they are

:59:17.:59:20.

going to have to do that soon, they can't just rely on saying it is all

:59:21.:59:29.

too risky. Thanks very much. Just time for a final word from our

:59:30.:59:32.

guests of the day. What do you make of that debate? Are you interested?

:59:33.:59:40.

Absolutely, a lot of trade goes on with Scotland, from the perspective

:59:41.:59:44.

of the decision to change corporation tax, work is continuing

:59:45.:59:50.

on that, if there is a no vote, how we take that forward and if there is

:59:51.:59:55.

a yes vote, there is an implication for the rest of the UK. I haven't

:59:56.:00:00.

got through all the pages yet but at least we have something that sets

:00:01.:00:04.

out what an independent Scotland could look like and the

:00:05.:00:07.

implications. What do you make of the debate? Very interesting. I

:00:08.:00:14.

figured should be a spectator sport. It is interesting for Scotland, but

:00:15.:00:19.

I think it is ironic that the Unionists are the ones who want to

:00:20.:00:22.

get involved but they are the most this difference whenever another

:00:23.:00:26.

country tries all attempts to speak about what happens in Northern

:00:27.:00:30.

Ireland. So I think they should take a leaf out of their own book and

:00:31.:00:40.

keep quiet and spectate. The Haass talks move into the final

:00:41.:00:42.

negotiation stage this month. December is make or break time. We

:00:43.:00:47.

need to get a consistent message from our population -- politicians,

:00:48.:00:53.

we need to get the confidence and stability, we are waiting eagerly to

:00:54.:00:59.

see what comes out. I get optimistic that Haass will leave him with a

:01:00.:01:04.

deal done? I don't think so, I think one of the key issues will be in the

:01:05.:01:12.

long-term future. The politicians have an awful lot of work to do,

:01:13.:01:18.

there is a lot riding on this. Futures are riding on this. We have

:01:19.:01:22.

to sort out the mess and get on with it. Thank you both very much.

:01:23.:01:27.

touching on eugenics and things like that. That is all we have time for.

:01:28.:01:42.

Thank you. What rabbit has George Osborne got up his sleeve? And

:01:43.:01:48.

what's David Cameron up to in China? All questions for The Week Ahead. To

:01:49.:01:55.

help the panel led, we are joined by Kwasi Kwarteng, Tory MP. Welcome to

:01:56.:02:03.

the Sunday Politics. Why has the government been unable to move the

:02:04.:02:07.

agenda and to the broad economic recovery, and allowed the agenda to

:02:08.:02:11.

stay on Labour's ground of energy prices and living standards? Energy

:02:12.:02:16.

has been a big issue over the last few months but the autumn state and

:02:17.:02:21.

will be a wonderful opportunity to readdress where we are fighting the

:02:22.:02:24.

ground, the good economic news that we delivered. If you look at where

:02:25.:02:30.

Labour were earlier this year, people were saying they would they 5

:02:31.:02:34.

million people unemployed. They were saying that there should be a plan

:02:35.:02:44.

B. He is not in the Labour Party? Elements of the left were suggesting

:02:45.:02:48.

it. Peter Hain told me it would be up to 3 million people.

:02:49.:02:52.

it. Peter Hain told me it would be Blanchflower said it would be 5

:02:53.:02:56.

million people. So we have got to get the economy back to the centre

:02:57.:03:01.

of the debate? Yes, the game we were playing was about the economy. That

:03:02.:03:06.

was the central fighting ground of the political debate. We were

:03:07.:03:11.

winning that battle. Labour have cleverly shifted it onto the cost of

:03:12.:03:16.

living. It is essential that the government, that George, talks about

:03:17.:03:20.

the economy. That has been its great success. I do not think this has

:03:21.:03:30.

been a week of admitting that Labour was right, plain cigarettes

:03:31.:03:37.

packaging, other issues. If you look at the big picture, where we are

:03:38.:03:41.

with the economy, we have the fastest growing economy in the G-7.

:03:42.:03:46.

Despite Labour's predictions, none of this has happened, none of the

:03:47.:03:52.

triple dip has happened. The British economy is on a good fitting. That

:03:53.:03:56.

is a good story for the government to bat on. You say that people have

:03:57.:04:01.

stopped talking about the economic recovery, but it is worse than that,

:04:02.:04:04.

people have stopped talking about the deficit? As long as people were

:04:05.:04:10.

talking about the deficit, the Tories were trusted. But people have

:04:11.:04:17.

forgotten about it. This country still spends ?100 billion more than

:04:18.:04:21.

it raises. Yes, I am of the view that the deficit, the national

:04:22.:04:27.

debt, is the biggest question facing this generation of politicians. You

:04:28.:04:32.

are right to suggest that the Conservative Party was strong on

:04:33.:04:38.

this. That head, not deficit, is not going to come down in the

:04:39.:04:44.

foreseeable future? It is rising. This is a test that George Osborne

:04:45.:04:47.

is not going to pass. We know what is coming in the Autumn Statement,

:04:48.:04:53.

it is lots of giveaways, paying for free school meals, paying for fuel

:04:54.:04:58.

duty subsidies. We are still talking about the cost of living, not

:04:59.:05:02.

changing it actively wider economy. There might be extra money for

:05:03.:05:07.

growth but it is not clear what will happen to that. If it is time for

:05:08.:05:14.

giveaways, let's speak about Labour. I have never been a fan of

:05:15.:05:20.

giveaways. Fiscal prudence is what our watchword should be. Look at the

:05:21.:05:24.

headlines. Each time, the our watchword should be. Look at the

:05:25.:05:28.

figures, the debt figures, were always worse than predicted. This

:05:29.:05:34.

year it will be significantly better. I think that is significant.

:05:35.:05:40.

Any kind of recovery is probably better than no recovery at all. When

:05:41.:05:45.

you look at this recovery, it is basically a consumer spending boom.

:05:46.:05:51.

Consumer spending is up, business investment is way down compared with

:05:52.:05:58.

2008, and exports, despite a 20% devaluation, our flat. Let's get one

:05:59.:06:04.

thing straight, it is a recovery. Any recovery is better than no

:06:05.:06:10.

recovery. Now we can have a debate about, technical debate about the

:06:11.:06:15.

elements of the recovery. It is not technical, it is a fact. There is

:06:16.:06:21.

evidence that there is optimism in terms of what are thinking...

:06:22.:06:27.

Optimism? If I am optimistic about the economy, I am more likely to

:06:28.:06:33.

spend money and invest in business. So far you have not managed that?

:06:34.:06:39.

Exports have not done well either? Exports are not a big section of the

:06:40.:06:43.

British economy. But of course, they are important. But given where we

:06:44.:06:49.

were at the end of last year, no economist was saying that we would

:06:50.:06:54.

be in this robust position today. That is true, in terms of the

:06:55.:07:01.

overall recovery. Now the PM loves to "bang the drum abroad for British

:07:02.:07:05.

business" and he's off to China this evening with a plane-load of British

:07:06.:07:08.

business leaders. And it's not the first time. Take a look at this.

:07:09.:07:39.

Well, you might not think exports unimportant, but clearly the Prime

:07:40.:08:03.

Minister and the Chancellor do. They unimportant, but clearly the Prime

:08:04.:08:08.

are important, but they are not what is driving the growth at the moment.

:08:09.:08:13.

We used to talk about the need for export led recovery is, that is why

:08:14.:08:16.

the Prime Minister is going to China. Absolutely, and he's doing

:08:17.:08:23.

the right thing. Do we have any evidence that these tend of trips

:08:24.:08:27.

produce business? The main example so far is the right to trade the

:08:28.:08:32.

Chinese currency offshore. London has a kind of global primacy. London

:08:33.:08:37.

will be the offshore centre. Is that a good thing? I have no problem at

:08:38.:08:43.

all with this sort of policy. I do not think that Britain has been

:08:44.:08:46.

doing this enough compared with France and Germany in recent years.

:08:47.:08:51.

I am optimistic in the long term about this dish -- about British

:08:52.:08:58.

exports to China. China need machine tools and manufacturing products. In

:08:59.:09:05.

20 years time, China will be buying professional groups, educational

:09:06.:09:09.

services, the things we excel at. All we need to do is consolidate our

:09:10.:09:13.

strengths, stand still and we will move forward. The worst thing we can

:09:14.:09:19.

do is reengineer the economy towards those services and away from

:09:20.:09:23.

something else. We have a lot of ground to make up, Helen? At one

:09:24.:09:29.

stage, it is no longer true, but at one stage you could say that we

:09:30.:09:34.

exported more to Ireland, a country of 4 million people, than we did to

:09:35.:09:39.

Russia, China, India, Brazil, all combined. I believe we form 1% of

:09:40.:09:49.

Chinese imports now. The problem is what you have to give up in exchange

:09:50.:09:54.

for that. It is a big problem for David Cameron's credibility that he

:09:55.:09:58.

has had to row back on his meeting with the Dalai llama. This trip, we

:09:59.:10:05.

have been in the deep freeze with China for a couple of years. This

:10:06.:10:10.

trip has come at a high cost. We have had to open up the City of

:10:11.:10:14.

London to Chinese banks without much scrutiny, we have had to move the

:10:15.:10:18.

date of the Autumn Statement, and there is no mention of human rights.

:10:19.:10:23.

It is awkward to deal with that, all in the name of getting up to where

:10:24.:10:27.

we were a few years ago. A month after strong anchor -- one month

:10:28.:10:35.

after Sri Lanka, where he apologised three human rights abuses, this is

:10:36.:10:41.

difficult to take. Do we have any idea what the Prime Minister hopes

:10:42.:10:45.

to do in China this time? I am not sure there is anything specific, but

:10:46.:10:49.

when you go to these countries, certainly in the Middle East China,

:10:50.:10:54.

they complain, why has the Prime Minister not come to see us? That is

:10:55.:11:00.

very important. High-level delegations from other countries go

:11:01.:11:05.

to these places because the addict -- because they are important export

:11:06.:11:16.

markets. You might look at the Prime Minister playing cricket over there,

:11:17.:11:21.

and wonder, what is that for? I do not mind the Prime Minister Rajoy

:11:22.:11:25.

cricket. This is a high visibility mission, chose that politicians in

:11:26.:11:31.

Britain care. You are part of the free enterprise group. It had all

:11:32.:11:35.

sorts of things on it like tax cuts for those on middle incomes or above

:11:36.:11:41.

the 40% bracket, tax cuts worth 16 billion. You will get none of that

:11:42.:11:49.

on Thursday, we are agreed? No. But he does have two budgets between now

:11:50.:11:53.

and the election and if the fiscal position is using a little bit, he

:11:54.:12:00.

may have more leeway than it looked like a couple of months ago. Yes,

:12:01.:12:03.

from a free enter prise point of view, we have looked at the tax cuts

:12:04.:12:11.

that should be looked at. The 40p rate comes in at quite a low level

:12:12.:12:16.

for people who, in the south-east, do not feel particularly wealthy.

:12:17.:12:21.

They are spending a lot of money on commuting, energy bills. The

:12:22.:12:27.

Chancellor has been very open about championing this. He says

:12:28.:12:30.

Chancellor has been very open about 40p rate will kick in at a slightly

:12:31.:12:35.

higher rate. Labour had a bad summer and the opinion polls seem to be

:12:36.:12:39.

narrowing. Then they had a good hearty conference season. The best.

:12:40.:12:45.

Has the Labour lead solidified or increased the little, maybe up to

:12:46.:12:50.

eight points? If it is a good Autumn Statement, or the Tories start to

:12:51.:12:53.

narrow that lead by the end of the year? If they go into 2014 trailing

:12:54.:13:00.

by single digits, they cannot complain too much. That gives them

:13:01.:13:04.

18 months to chip away at Labour's lead. But do they do that chipping

:13:05.:13:10.

away by eight bidding Labour or do they let time take its course and

:13:11.:13:14.

let the economic recovery continue, maybe business investment joins

:13:15.:13:19.

consumer spending as a source of that recovery, and a year from now,

:13:20.:13:21.

consumer spending as a source of to rise? That is a better hope than

:13:22.:13:31.

engaging in a bidding war. Be assured, they will be highly

:13:32.:13:33.

political budgets. That's all for today. The Daily Politics is on BBC

:13:34.:13:35.

Two at midday all this today. The Daily Politics is on BBC

:13:36.:13:37.

Two at midday all this week, except on Thursday when we'll start at

:13:38.:13:40.

10:45 to bring you live coverage and analysis of the Chancellor's Autumn

:13:41.:13:43.

Statement in a Daily Politics special for BBC Two and the BBC News

:13:44.:13:47.

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

:13:48.:13:50.

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron.


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