22/09/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


22/09/2013

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Ed Miliband and the

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rest of the Labour clan are in Brighton for their party conference

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this weekend. He's promised policies galore. But as a Sunday Politics

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poll finds a third of his own councillors don't think he's doing a

:00:52.:00:56.

good job, will that be enough to steady the Labour ship?

:00:56.:01:00.

partying like it's 2006, as Damian McBride's memoirs re-ignite the

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Blair-Brown wars. Alastair Campbell will tell us why he is sickened by

:01:06.:01:12.

the former Brown spin doctor. And speaking of political

:01:12.:01:14.

infighting, Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps will give his

:01:14.:01:17.

response to the rampant Tory-bashing at the Lib Dem Conference And with

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Coming up in Northern Ireland: me, as always, the best

:01:19.:01:27.

Coming up in Northern Ireland: Westminster wants to give free

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school meals to young children but are there better ways for

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school meals to young children but over the two thirds

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school meals to young children but are there better ways for storm want

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school meals to young children but over the two thirds of

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are there better ways for storm want to spend the education

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are there better ways for storm want over the two thirds of the ethnic

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are there better ways for storm want to spend the education budget?

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over the two thirds of the ethnic minority vote but now stands accused

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of institutional racism. Are they right? With me, the best and the

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brightest political panel in the business. Isabel Hardman, Janan

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Ganesh and Steve Richards. They'll be tweeting like demented Damians

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throughout the programme. First today, scrapping the bedroom tax.

:01:54.:01:57.

Universal childcare for primary school kids. More apprenticeships.

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Labour Conference only begins in earnest today, but the policy and

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spending commitments are coming thick and fast. Not before time,

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according to the Labour leader's critics. He's been out and about

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this morning and told Andrew Marr that he knew it was going to be a

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tough fight in the run up to 2015. It is about a party that lost office

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three years ago. We are trying to be a one term opposition. That is

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tough. I believe it is a fight that we can win and I am up for that

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fight. The stakes are so high for young people who want a job, for

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people whose living standards are being squeezed. For people who think

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that this is not good enough for Britain. So what do key Labour Party

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activists - its councillors - think about the direction Mr Miliband is

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taking their party? Adam Fleming is in Brighton at the Party Conference

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with all the details of our latest exclusive Sunday Politics survey.

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Labour have unwrapped their conference set. Let us unwrap them.

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With the help of an opinion poll we surveyed 1350 Labour councillors

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across England and Wales. We wanted to find out what they think as

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Labour gathers for its conference. The Labour leader warmed up for the

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week by taking to his soap box in Brighton city centre. It is great

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week by taking to his soap box in be here. In our survey 31% of

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councillors said they did not think Ed Miliband was doing a good job as

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leader. 30% said they thought the party would have a better chance if

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someone else was in charge at the next election. You will see more of

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Ed Miliband as we run-up to general election. He has been in the job for

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three years! Now it is crunch time. The other Ed, Ed Balls, was disliked

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by roughly one third of the party as well. Ed Balls is not a pop your

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man. He says things and he speaks his mind. -- not a popular man.

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Sometimes he is not the most diplomatic. Sadly Ed Balls did not

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seem to be that bothered about our survey. Over at a conference centre

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the exhibitors were starting up. When it comes to relations with

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trade unions, the majority of Labour councillors thought things were

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absolutely fine. Just 9% thought things with the unions were a little

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bit too close. Tricky because Ed Miliband want to loosen the link.

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The shadow environment secretary arrived in Brighton ride bicycle

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from London to raise money for charity. When we as Labour

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councillors what they would do if the next election results in a hung

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parliament, just over half said they would tell the lid Dems to get on

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their bikes. We would never say no to going into coalition. It gives us

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the chance to be in government and prepare some of the damage of the

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last three years. So are you going to start being nice about the Lib

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Dems? I always treat them with courtesy. And the parties admitted

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that perhaps they had opened the door to too many immigrants. It in

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our survey Labour councillors of warming the felt that immigration

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had been positive for the UK. We're now joined by the Shadow Chief

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Secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves. Good morning. Let us start

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with Ed Miliband. Is it true that the team insisted that he be called

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the leader? I just call him Ed and I think the rest of the Shadow Cabinet

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do. Do you welcome working for a leader that says he is winning back

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socialism? We are a democratic socialist party. We make no

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apologies for that. The most important thing is that we have the

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apologies for that. The most policies that will improve people 's

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lives and tackle the cost of living crisis facing so many families.

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Policies like expanding childcare, offering more apprenticeships, all

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policies that I think the country are calling out for after three

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years of a flat-lining economy and seeing prices rise faster than wages

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for 38 out of the 39 months but David Cameron has been Prime

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Minister. I think that is the most important thing. So it is OK now to

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risk their to the Labour Party again as the Socialist party? The clue is

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in the name, we stand up for working people. You are socialist party

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according to the leader. We have always been the Labour Party, that

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is our name and we stand up for working people, not the privileged

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few like this government with their tax cuts for millionaires. Those are

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policies that help just the privileged few. The Labour Party is

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about helping everyone in Britain, all families. Interesting that your

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run don't use the word socialist. In our survey one third of Labour

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councillors said Ed Miliband was not doing a good job as leader. If he

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cannot convince his own councillors, who can he convince?

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Well you could say that two thirds of councillors think that he is the

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right leader. But these are Labour councillors. The overall majority of

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Labour councillors think that he is doing a good job. What matters is

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the results on election day. Two thirds of councillors think that he

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is doing a good job. That us see what they say at the end of this

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week. Because I think the policies he is announcing will go down well

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week. Because I think the policies with Labour Party people and will

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also resonate with the British public. Policies like expanding

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apprenticeships, giving a break to hard-working families who are

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struggling. I think people will see what kind of a leader that he is.

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Well he has a mountain to climb among all voters. Let me ask the

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question. Just 12% see him as a Prime Minister in waiting, just 2%

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see him as a natural leader. Why? If Prime Minister in waiting, just 2%

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you look at the overall opinion polls, we are consistently ahead in

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those polls. It is hard being leader of the opposition, you cannot

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demonstrate how you would be Prime Minister. By nature you are in

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opposition. But he has taken on Rupert Murdoch and the press barons.

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That is strong leadership, standing up to the vast majority. If you look

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at his reforms to our relationship with the trade unions, strengthening

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ties with individual members. I think that he is a strong leader

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making the right decisions. If that is the case, why has the Labour lead

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gone from 14 points one year ago to at most four points now. What went

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wrong? Well we are six or eight points ahead in the polls today. We

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are six or eight points ahead in the polls today. We're still

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consistently ahead. It looks as if we would get an overall majority if

:10:12.:10:16.

there was an election tomorrow. But we have more work to do to convince

:10:16.:10:22.

more people to vote for Labour. But this is a historic challenge, to be

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a one term Labour opposition. I believe that Ed Miliband will be the

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next Labour Prime Minister and will be an excellent Prime Minister. The

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big policy announcement today is the guaranteed childcare for all primary

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school children. How much will that cost? When Labour were in

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government, they ring fenced money to provide after-school --

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after-school and breakfast clubs. We think that money should be ring

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fenced again. How much will it cost? We are saying that schools

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within their budgets should be able to provide that. At the moment they

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can charge for children to come to their first clubs. But this is a

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policy that does not involve additional money. As it was under

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the last Labour government it will be about ring fencing money because

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we think that this is a priority. This is something that the schools

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should do. You cannot ring fenced money you do not have. You saying

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you could provide wraparound childcare for every family

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schoolchild from eight o'clock in the morning until six o'clock at

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night and it will not cost any more money? Well we did ring fence that

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money in the last Labour government. That money is gone! It has not gone.

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It is about priorities and we are saying that it should be a priority

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to provide that wraparound care. So where is the money being spent now

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that you would take it from? If we look at some of the things that this

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government is doing, building free schools in areas where there are

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already enough. That is capital spending. We are ring fencing that

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many. Again, it is different priorities. We had the ring fence

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when we were in government. It would be reintroduced so that schools had

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to offer that wraparound care. Of course schools can charge a small

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to offer that wraparound care. Of fee for their breakfast clubs and

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after-school DVDs. But the important thing is that provision is there for

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parents going out to work. Ed Balls and Ed Miliband are at the heart of

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the Brown project. Damien Wright was the hit man. Is it not inconceivable

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that they did not know what he was the hit man. Is it not inconceivable

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up to. It is inconceivable that they did not -- Damian McBride. I am

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asking about Damian McBride. What I'm saying is that I was not there.

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I was not there under the last Labour government. But I do know

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that these things are not happening under the leadership of Ed Miliband.

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He has led by example. There is not that backstabbing going on. There is

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no plotting against Ed Balls going on? I do not see that. And anyone

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who briefed against colleagues should be sacked, I agree with that.

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Nick Clegg's conference speech made it clear he was repaired to work

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with Ed Miliband in the event of a hung parliament. Are you excited by

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that prospect or is it just boring? That is very generous of Nick Clegg

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to say that. With his poll ratings of 9%. I think it is up to the

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general public to decide who they want to form a government. We are

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campaigning for an overall Labour government at the next election. Are

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you excited by the prospect, or is that just boring boring? I want to

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serve in a Labour government is not a coalition government. That is what

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we are campaigning for. Thank you for joining us. Steve Richards, what

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has Ed Miliband got to do this week? He has got to start to win the

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argument about the economy. I think they will be quite clever on that in

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terms of saying that the recovery has begun but it is not going to

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benefit many of the voters. Unlike previous economic recoveries. That

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is a strong line and they need to make that again and again. The

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recovery has barely started. The make that again and again. The

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interesting thing, Isabel, they want to make a living standards the issue

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now because growth has returned, let's return to living standards

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which have been squeezed. The polls show that twice as many people blame

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Labour for the living standards than the Conservatives. It is a great

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scene for them to mine, and it is the only one before they announce

:15:45.:15:49.

big policies, but they have not gained the trust of voters on the

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economy, so the Conservatives can say they are finishing the job of

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fixing the recovery now and then we'll focus on living standards,

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whereas Labour is trying to say, you cannot quite trust us with the

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economy but we will talk about living standards. Ed Miliband's main

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job this week is to begin elucidating policies and not just

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themes, and that makes elucidating policies and not just

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incredibly vulnerable. The only thing worse than not having a policy

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for an opposition leader is to have a policy. It gives the opposition

:16:19.:16:25.

something to attack, the media something to scrutinise and it makes

:16:25.:16:28.

you bold rubble and you can see that coming through already before the

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conference has started. You have sketchy ideas on child, --

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childcare. Spigot can he provide wraparound childcare for free? --

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can he provide wraparound childcare for free? I don't even know what it

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is. Opposition is emphatically an art form, and the art form, and the

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artform for them at the moment is to announce policies without spending

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any money and it is very difficult to do. You gave an illustration of

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how difficult it is. They are under huge pressure, for the last year, to

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announce policies and they announce one on childcare and you immediately

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say, how do you paper it? And she immediately says, we will not spend

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a penny on it, because they are terrified of spending anything. This

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is where it an artform. The tax suspension before and election is

:17:29.:17:34.

crazy, because they will find money one way or another, but in another

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way, they cannot say we will spend money on this. It is a real problem.

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How do you measure the state of the coalition after the Liberal Democrat

:17:44.:17:48.

conference? The Liberal Democrats were in a very strong position after

:17:48.:17:51.

their conference, Nick Clegg had faced and activists on some issues,

:17:51.:17:56.

including fracking, which they supported, which seem to be the most

:17:56.:18:01.

important part of the conference. In terms of the coalition, the Tories

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have had to sit and watch as Vince Cable, Nick Clegg and Coe have

:18:05.:18:08.

basically criticised them and said they are evil and only the Lib Dems

:18:08.:18:12.

can make sure the Government is fair and works properly. So in terms of

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how the coalition works, you can expect to see some revenge at the

:18:15.:18:20.

Tory conference. The Lib Dems, Nick Clegg's followers, they had their

:18:20.:18:32.

revenge. Mister Clegg may have convinced his own activists to stay

:18:32.:18:34.

behind him, but he has a bigger challenge, which is called

:18:34.:18:39.

convincing the British people. There is some interesting polling they

:18:39.:18:42.

have done privately that suggests there is a market of about 25% of

:18:42.:18:47.

the electorate which is plausibly open to them, and all they have to

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do is target policies remorselessly at that group, rather than the

:18:50.:18:54.

broader public, in order to do well enough at the next election to hold

:18:54.:18:58.

the balance of power. That is why policies that seem weird to us, like

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free school meals regardless of income, may perversely make sense to

:19:02.:19:16.

them. Because it appeals to their demographic. It is a strange

:19:16.:19:18.

political world we are in, the Labour strategists think they can

:19:18.:19:21.

win with 35%, the Lib Dems are going to concentrate on 25. The Tories

:19:21.:19:23.

have seized to be a national party any more. We haven't been used to it

:19:23.:19:28.

for a long time. In the 80s, one party dominated, the Tories. In the

:19:28.:19:32.

90s into the 21st century, the policy matter delayed the Labour

:19:32.:19:39.

Party dominated. -- the Labour party dominated. We are now here but we

:19:39.:19:44.

have other parties hoping that 36% will give them a small overall

:19:44.:19:48.

majority and it is the best they can get. It is a very odd situation

:19:48.:19:53.

where the main two parties feel they can lose and the Lib Dems are openly

:19:53.:20:01.

targeting only 25%. They have gotten rid of 75% already and it is a long

:20:01.:20:05.

way from the policies of last couple of decades Nick Clegg talked about

:20:05.:20:13.

all of the policies he had locked. There is a real opportunity for the

:20:13.:20:16.

Conservatives to say that he is blocking all of the things that

:20:16.:20:20.

voters outside of our bays are interested in, top immigration

:20:20.:20:23.

policy, human rights reform, that sort of thing. David Cameron can say

:20:23.:20:28.

that in Manchester next week. One thing was quite clear, it came out

:20:28.:20:43.

of this awayday, and and this is this, that when you look at Mister

:20:43.:20:49.

Miller band's polls, the Tories are going to make this a presidential

:20:49.:20:53.

election -- Ed Miliband's polls. Which is why I am curious why they

:20:53.:21:00.

are not more keen on TV debates. When the strength of your party is

:21:00.:21:03.

the visibility of your leader against his opponents, why not have

:21:03.:21:07.

him or her juxtaposed against them in 90 minutes three times a week.

:21:07.:21:13.

Let's turn now to the coalition. The past week has given us inklings of

:21:13.:21:16.

how the yellow half of the Government is planning on fighting

:21:17.:21:18.

how the yellow half of the the General Election.

:21:18.:21:22.

When the Lib Dems gathered for their annual shindig in Glasgow, some

:21:22.:21:26.

ministers were non-too complimentary about their blue blood fellows. --

:21:26.:21:32.

bedfellows. Vince Cable led the way in stick in the boot in, saying the

:21:32.:21:36.

Tories had reverted to type as a nasty party and describe their

:21:36.:21:41.

politics as ugly, cynical, callous and prejudice. Nick Clegg did not

:21:41.:21:44.

restrict himself to policies that and prejudice. Nick Clegg did not

:21:44.:21:46.

the Lib Dems had champion, such as and prejudice. Nick Clegg did not

:21:46.:21:49.

increasing the amount you can earn before paying tax. The Deputy Prime

:21:49.:21:59.

Minister proudly listed all of the things he had stopped the Tories

:21:59.:22:02.

from doing. Speak of scrapping housing benefit the young people,

:22:02.:22:06.

no. No to ditching the human rights act. No to weakening the protections

:22:06.:22:13.

in the equalities act. So how much of a break have the yellow brigade

:22:13.:22:17.

being on Conservative ambitions question mark in the two leaders

:22:17.:22:21.

shake hands again after the 20 15th election, what policies were David

:22:21.:22:27.

Cameron insist on. -- 2015? No matter how many times Nick Clegg

:22:27.:22:29.

says no? matter how many times Nick Clegg

:22:29.:22:32.

And Grant Shapps joins me the Sunday Interview.

:22:32.:22:38.

Grant Shapps, good morning. Nick Clegg, Doctor Know himself,

:22:38.:22:45.

self-styled. He boasted to his conference that he had stopped the

:22:45.:22:51.

Tories from going ahead with 16 policies in government. Is this

:22:51.:22:55.

accurate? I don't know but what I can tell you, as your commentator

:22:55.:23:00.

Isabel said, some of the policies that we wanted them if we were a

:23:00.:23:04.

majority government sent out to be very popular things, like reforming

:23:04.:23:08.

the human rights act and some of the problems that provides when it comes

:23:08.:23:12.

to sending people who have no right to be in this country back. So there

:23:12.:23:15.

may be some things we could have made progress on. You are in

:23:15.:23:20.

government, did he stop the inheritance tax cut? I don't know

:23:20.:23:25.

the details, but I think it is absolutely true to say that

:23:25.:23:29.

coalitions are a process of negotiation and sometimes you can't

:23:29.:23:34.

get everything you want, and we had done the best, given where the

:23:34.:23:37.

electoral maths left us. That is why 70 people in this country say they

:23:37.:23:40.

would rather see a single party running the country -- why so many

:23:40.:23:47.

people. I have to say I agree. They are not sure which single party.

:23:47.:23:50.

Give me a couple of major policies that you would introduce if you had

:23:50.:23:54.

had a majority in 2010 and were not held back by the Lib Dems. Speaking

:23:54.:24:02.

the one I just mentioned would be the Human Rights Act. In This

:24:02.:24:06.

Country, we have had 1,000 years of developing the law and we are more

:24:06.:24:10.

than capable of putting in place sensible laws. you would have left

:24:10.:24:15.

the European Court of human rights. We have already started the process

:24:15.:24:19.

of negotiation. There was some progress, but limited, and we would

:24:19.:24:24.

like to move further. Let me give you one other. I think this country

:24:24.:24:28.

has a great future but we can only grasp that country if we make

:24:28.:24:30.

ourselves the best place in the world to come and set up a business.

:24:30.:24:32.

ourselves the best place in the If we make ourselves the best place

:24:32.:24:37.

in Europe to develop jobs and entrepreneurship and I think there

:24:37.:24:40.

are a host of things we could do to go further on cutting back red tape.

:24:40.:24:44.

And the Lib Dems have stopped you? I think that is the case. In what

:24:45.:24:52.

ways, if any, have the Lib Dems improved the coalition process? It

:24:52.:24:57.

has been a stable government. No one talks about when the next election

:24:57.:25:00.

will come, we know it is in May 2015 but that is in part being in a

:25:00.:25:08.

coalition. The Tories wouldn't have done that? It wasn't the plan of any

:25:08.:25:13.

party to go from... In the old days, there would have been speculation.

:25:13.:25:18.

You turned it into a national debate, you changed the British

:25:18.:25:21.

constitution in a fundamental way and nobody got a say. It was debated

:25:21.:25:28.

on the floor of the Has, as all constitutional changes are and there

:25:28.:25:33.

was a lot of agreement -- of the House. Nobody has ever said to me

:25:33.:25:36.

that it is a problem that we now have a fixed term parliament. Here

:25:36.:25:44.

it is, every five years. This is what it has done, it has provided

:25:44.:25:49.

stability in an incredibly uncertain economic time and that has been good

:25:49.:25:53.

for the economy. we will chalk that up to delete -- Lib Dem. What about

:25:53.:26:07.

taking people out of tax, the Lib Dems did that question mark it is a

:26:07.:26:10.

great policy. It is a conservative led government, it is a Conservative

:26:11.:26:18.

government massively Chancellor. This is a screen grab from your

:26:18.:26:24.

party's website, income tax cut to 25 million people. You are taking

:26:25.:26:28.

the credit for it, it wouldn't have happened without the Lib Dems. It

:26:28.:26:31.

certainly came about because of the coalition and we put it in the

:26:31.:26:35.

coalition agreement. It could not have happened without a Conservative

:26:35.:26:40.

Chancellor making it happen. It is right, 25 million people taken out

:26:41.:26:45.

of tax. Another 17 by this April will not be paying tax at all. you

:26:45.:26:51.

didn't want to do it. Look at what David Cameron told Nick Clegg during

:26:51.:27:02.

the leaders debate in 2010. What Nick Clegg is promising is a

:27:02.:27:07.

£17 billion tax cut. We are saying, stop the waste of 6 billion to stop

:27:07.:27:12.

the national insurance rise. I would love to take everyone out of their

:27:12.:27:14.

first £10,000 of income tax, it is a love to take everyone out of their

:27:14.:27:18.

beautiful idea but we cannot afford it. It wasn't in your manifesto.

:27:18.:27:23.

Mister Cameron said it was unaffordable and now you are taking

:27:23.:27:28.

the credit for it. I feel like it is having a three year afterwards

:27:28.:27:33.

argument, and we got into coalition because the British people put us

:27:33.:27:35.

there and we agreed to make the best of it. And as it happens, if you

:27:35.:27:40.

want to hear a confession, I absolutely think it is the right

:27:40.:27:43.

thing to take as many people out of tax entirely as possible. Two points

:27:43.:27:48.

7 million people pay no tax at all because of this rise in the

:27:48.:27:54.

threshold. -- 2.7 million. I'm pleased it worked out. What are the

:27:54.:28:00.

most important thing is a majority Tory government would do after 2015,

:28:00.:28:05.

unencumbered by the Lib Dems? I think produce even more jobs when

:28:05.:28:08.

unemployment goes down, because we think produce even more jobs when

:28:08.:28:11.

are the most entrepreneurial place to set up a business. Are more

:28:11.:28:16.

free-market economy? We make our money because we are out global

:28:17.:28:24.

trading economy. That is why it is so important that we have to make

:28:24.:28:29.

sure it is easy to trade around the world. One simple example, it is

:28:29.:28:32.

crazy in my view that we have global tariffs that prevent some of the

:28:32.:28:36.

hardest other countries in the world, in developing parts of the

:28:36.:28:40.

world, from exporting to us and vice versa. I'm giving you a platform of

:28:40.:28:46.

things that I think we would be more interested in progressing in. It

:28:46.:28:51.

sounds like you are talking about even more Thatcherite, market led

:28:51.:28:58.

agendas. I think that you did a huge amount to show this country that if

:28:58.:29:02.

you want to help the least well off people in society, and the least

:29:02.:29:05.

well off people in the world, around the globe, the way to do it is to

:29:06.:29:09.

trade, and I think we should have an economy which is much more open to

:29:09.:29:15.

free trade. If there is another hung parliament, and the poll suggest

:29:15.:29:19.

there might be, at the moment it is all to play for on both sides, what

:29:19.:29:25.

would your non-negotiable Red Line speak? We are still two years away

:29:25.:29:32.

from that, it is a long way away, but there is a lot we want to lay

:29:32.:29:36.

out. What we are going to be saying to this country is most people want

:29:36.:29:40.

a single party running the country, they think it is clean and clear and

:29:40.:29:45.

you don't end up with negotiation after an election. We will be

:29:45.:29:48.

setting out a very clear platform which will be for hard-working

:29:48.:29:51.

people in this country who want to work hard and get on in life. We

:29:51.:29:56.

would, I think, want to see the welfare state that we have got into,

:29:56.:29:59.

where it is no longer about helping those most in need but became a

:29:59.:30:03.

situation where you are better off not working than in worker, I think

:30:03.:30:08.

we plan to ensure that this is an incredibly fair place to go out and

:30:08.:30:12.

do a day's work and get the money at the end of the day rather than

:30:12.:30:15.

thinking there is an alternative. you have promised a referendum on UK

:30:16.:30:20.

membership of the EU in 2017, that must be your first Red Line? We are

:30:20.:30:27.

clear, we want to see a referendum, a reform European Union. So no

:30:27.:30:35.

poll... ? I should remind viewers that there is an act of Parliament,

:30:35.:30:39.

a bill going through Parliament right now, for a referendum on the

:30:39.:30:47.

EU, which comes back to the House. It is past the report stage and

:30:47.:30:50.

comes back in November and we will be discussing it. The Lib Dems,

:30:50.:30:55.

Labour, will have an opportunity to support what the British people

:30:55.:31:01.

want. Lots may have changed. But it would be a Red Line for any future

:31:01.:31:04.

coalition government question mark we are clear that it is time to have

:31:04.:31:10.

a say. You will know from our manifesto. What is wrong with yes or

:31:10.:31:17.

no? I cannot write the manifesto for 2015. You are asking me to project

:31:17.:31:22.

beyond that and see in advance the election result and carry out the

:31:22.:31:27.

negotiations that are yet to come. I'm just trying to work out how

:31:27.:31:32.

much... I know you are committed but she won't tell me. Let's move on.

:31:32.:31:42.

Your party has been described as nasty and blinkered. What do you

:31:42.:31:48.

feel when he says that? We are interested in helping the most

:31:48.:31:55.

vulnerable people in society. I think we're doing all that and more.

:31:55.:32:02.

And it is a shame that that language was used because we have made so

:32:02.:32:06.

much progress together. Are you getting to the end of your tether

:32:06.:32:19.

with Mr King? I do not think it is terribly helpful for any Cabinet

:32:19.:32:25.

minister to make comments like that. What I would say is that Nick Clegg

:32:25.:32:31.

minister to make comments like that. is the leader of the Lib Dems and

:32:31.:32:38.

entitled to have a view on it himself. Look at these figures on

:32:38.:32:45.

party membership. Why has your party lost half of its members since Mr

:32:45.:32:48.

party membership. Why has your party Cameron became leader? I would like

:32:48.:32:54.

it to be more. But I think the world has changed. People do not rush out

:32:54.:32:59.

and join political parties as they used to. Instead they support you in

:32:59.:33:08.

different ways. If I released the number of people who give to the

:33:08.:33:12.

party in different ways, through donations for example, through

:33:12.:33:19.

friend memberships. If you include that that figure goes back up. But

:33:19.:33:26.

your membership has fallen by 50% at a time when UKIP has doubled. I do

:33:26.:33:36.

not want to to misinterpret what I want to say. It is important to gain

:33:36.:33:44.

members. I think we will have done that by the time of the next

:33:44.:33:48.

election. But one statistic of interest, in the last election I had

:33:48.:33:55.

a 17,000 majority in my own constituency. The difference was I

:33:55.:34:00.

had 1000 people helping me to deliver leaflets and knock on the

:34:00.:34:05.

doors. The Conservative party has changed. We now have an army of

:34:05.:34:15.

people, volunteers who are not necessarily traditional members. The

:34:15.:34:21.

days when you expect people to give you £25, before you accept their

:34:21.:34:26.

support, those days have passed. You spoke about your most vulnerable

:34:26.:34:33.

marginal seats. This is a poll from Michael Ashcroft. The 40 most

:34:33.:34:41.

marginal seats that you will be defending. Labour is way up, you are

:34:41.:34:49.

way down and UKIP is also up. What is happening, the Lib Dem Mo -- both

:34:49.:34:59.

are moving to Labour. And disillusioned Conservatives are

:34:59.:35:03.

moving to UKIP. If these figures came at an election he would lose 32

:35:03.:35:09.

of these 40 seats. The point about any opinion poll is that it is

:35:10.:35:14.

perhaps accurate at the moment it is taken. We are now in a position

:35:14.:35:19.

where the economy has turned the corner. The right thing to do was to

:35:19.:35:30.

deal with the deficit. The people being asked about these things, they

:35:30.:35:36.

will be interested in their own standard of living. Their mortgage

:35:36.:35:42.

payments. Why are you doing worse in the marginal seats? National League

:35:42.:35:50.

you are kind of nip and tuck with Labour. Well if that is the pick to

:35:50.:35:57.

come 2015, people will see that this government has stuck to its guns. It

:35:57.:36:01.

did not go for more borrowing and spending. And the record

:36:01.:36:07.

demonstrates that the last thing you want to do is give the car keys back

:36:07.:36:12.

to the people who crashed it in the first place. Lynton Crosby at this

:36:13.:36:18.

away day of Conservative MPs, his one message was to go all out and

:36:18.:36:25.

attack Ed Miliband. It is going to be a nasty election. That is

:36:25.:36:31.

actually not true. We are going to focus on his policies, if he finally

:36:31.:36:37.

announces some. Everything we have seen so far suggests it would mean

:36:37.:36:43.

more borrowing and spending. The shadow chancellor said we would be

:36:43.:36:54.

ruthless, just a few months later, 27.9 pounds of extra spending

:36:54.:36:59.

committed by Labour. These are your figures. I will speak to you about

:36:59.:37:08.

that during the Tory conference. It's just after 11:30. You're

:37:08.:37:11.

watching the Sunday Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes. Alastair

:37:11.:37:16.

Campbell gives us his not-too-positive review of Damian

:37:16.:37:19.

McBride's memoirs. Until then, the Sunday Politics

:37:19.:37:27.

Hello, And Welcome To Sunday Politics In Northern Ireland.

:37:27.:37:31.

Should Stormont Follow The Lead Of Westminster And Give Free School

:37:31.:37:34.

Meals To All Children In Primaries One To Three? Or Is There A Better

:37:34.:37:39.

Way Of Spending The Dinner Money? We'll Hear From The Chair Of The

:37:39.:37:42.

Education Committee, Mervyn Storey, And Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard. And

:37:42.:37:46.

Another Saturday Loyalist Protest In Belfast City Centre. Just How

:37:46.:37:48.

Damaging Are The Demonstrations For Local Businesses?

:37:48.:37:56.

And Joining Me To Reflect On Another Busy Week In Politics Here, I'm

:37:56.:37:59.

Joined By The Director Of Include Youth, Koulla Yiasouma And

:37:59.:38:06.

Journalist Steven Mccaffrey. Our Politicians Have Been Getting

:38:06.:38:10.

Themselves Into A Bit Of Stew This Week Over How An Extra Allocation Of

:38:10.:38:13.

Cash From Westminster Should Be Spent. Around £20 Million Is

:38:13.:38:16.

Expected To Be On Its Way To Stormont After The Deputy Prime

:38:16.:38:19.

Minister, Nick Clegg, Announced That All Children In Primaries One To

:38:19.:38:21.

Three In England Are To Get Free All Children In Primaries One To

:38:21.:38:25.

School Meals. But As Our Education Correspondent, Maggie Taggart,

:38:25.:38:27.

Reports, Not Everyone Thinks The Policy Is A Good Idea.

:38:27.:38:36.

If We Get The Same Deal As In England, The Number Of Young

:38:36.:38:41.

Children Coming Here Could Double. At The Moment, Most Children Take A

:38:41.:38:49.

Packed Lunch And Half Get A Dinner. What Do Parents Here Think Of The

:38:49.:38:54.

Plan To Give Out Free Meals? It Is An Excellent Idea. They Should All

:38:54.:39:18.

Be Treated The Same Way. I do not know if the government could sustain

:39:18.:39:24.

the cost. If children's families are entitled to school meals, they

:39:24.:39:36.

should get them. Initially our frustration is this is a top-down

:39:36.:39:40.

should get them. Initially our government imposed initiative.

:39:40.:39:43.

Sometimes we think it is better asking schools what are the key

:39:43.:39:48.

priorities? There is also a worry that a free offer might mean a lot

:39:48.:39:55.

of food wasted. The younger the children they tend to have a couple

:39:55.:40:00.

of scoops and the way. The older children are keen on seconds and

:40:00.:40:10.

thirds. White it is understood Northern Ireland could get about 20

:40:10.:40:15.

million. But before parents give up making packed lunches we are told

:40:15.:40:19.

the money would not be ring fenced and the executive should decide

:40:19.:40:23.

whether it should go towards food or the Department of education. There

:40:23.:40:28.

was evidence children who eat well known well. Universal free meals

:40:28.:40:35.

improved performance. There is some evidence of attainment games but

:40:35.:40:39.

they were not significant for the least affluent. What they did not

:40:39.:40:44.

compare to those other interventions like one to one tuition. The money

:40:44.:40:49.

will be formally approved in the next few weeks but will not be

:40:49.:40:53.

available until this time next year. In the meantime, the assembly will

:40:53.:40:58.

be chewing over how it will be spent.

:40:58.:40:59.

Maggie Taggart reporting. I'm joined by two members of the Education

:40:59.:41:02.

Committee, its Chair, Mervyn Storey, and Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard. You

:41:02.:41:11.

are Sinn Fein's education spokesman. Do you think John O'Dowd will want

:41:11.:41:18.

to follow the English example? I am sure John will want to get his money

:41:18.:41:23.

in the hands first to decide how it will be spent. There are a suite of

:41:23.:41:30.

measures we could invest in, free school meals is one. We have seen

:41:30.:41:36.

John extends the criteria so no doubt he will want to get the money

:41:36.:41:43.

first to see what the benefits could be. Is it your position that free

:41:43.:41:48.

school meals is an instrument which could help educational attainment

:41:48.:41:54.

for children of all backgrounds? The health and financial benefits of

:41:54.:42:00.

without a doubt. It all leads into a culture that needs to academic

:42:00.:42:06.

success. Is it a blunt instrument in your view, Mervyn? There is evidence

:42:06.:42:14.

that this is a very blunt instrument. If we separate the menu

:42:14.:42:22.

in relation to this issue, the then set of free school meals, that is a

:42:22.:42:26.

very desirable and beneficial outcome. However, if free school

:42:26.:42:31.

meals are used as a trigger mechanism to ensure that more

:42:31.:42:32.

funding goes schools, therein lies mechanism to ensure that more

:42:32.:42:38.

the major disparity and the major problem because a child could be in

:42:38.:42:41.

receipt of free school meals but problem because a child could be in

:42:41.:42:47.

could not have access to speak and language and let's remember, what

:42:47.:42:50.

has been described as the working poor. There are many families who

:42:50.:42:56.

struggle who do not fall within the threshold and they cannot understand

:42:56.:43:00.

that every time that it seems working families are penalised.

:43:00.:43:09.

Given what you have just said, are there more effective ways of using

:43:09.:43:16.

this money, assuming it comes to education? I think their race. If

:43:16.:43:20.

you look at the way money is squandered, the issue is not the

:43:21.:43:26.

amount of money it is the way they spend it. We have seen a fiasco in

:43:26.:43:34.

relation to levels of progression and they have all been expensive

:43:34.:43:38.

blunders and failures on the part of the department and I would be

:43:38.:43:42.

worried about giving the Department of education, given its current

:43:42.:43:48.

track record, an additional £20 million. It touches on a serious

:43:48.:43:54.

point. People are wondering why you would use public money to pay for

:43:54.:44:00.

meals for children whose parents can already pay for those meals. It is

:44:00.:44:04.

meals for children whose parents can about the culture of schools. Our

:44:04.:44:08.

children are very acute social and tonight. It is about how the canteen

:44:08.:44:15.

can become a hub where teachers and all the children sit down, there is

:44:15.:44:19.

no cars and them, table manners are improved, everything improves. Our

:44:19.:44:28.

education system, the most fundamental flaw is the poverty

:44:28.:44:34.

floor and we have to address this. Table manners, if eating together

:44:34.:44:40.

helps from a social point of view, children who come from socially

:44:40.:44:44.

deprived backgrounds, their meals would be paid for, they will sit

:44:44.:44:49.

alongside children whose parents are paying for meals, that is a red

:44:49.:45:01.

herring. It does not have to be the stereotypical tray with big

:45:01.:45:05.

lunches. It could be an extension of breakfast clubs but the conversation

:45:05.:45:08.

lunches. It could be an extension of has started. It is making sure we

:45:08.:45:14.

address the poverty floor. It is about meeting the needs of children

:45:14.:45:19.

and this is the difficulty. What is the primary need of children in our

:45:19.:45:24.

classrooms? It is to ensure their educational needs are met and

:45:24.:45:30.

clearly we have one in four children leaving primary schools with major

:45:30.:45:36.

issues. Despite millions of pounds, going back to 1999 when the

:45:36.:45:39.

Department of education squandered 40 million, we have still not

:45:39.:45:46.

address that need and it is about need and feed. In that film, Tony

:45:46.:45:55.

Gallagher was making the point there that there are other areas where the

:45:55.:46:01.

money could be spent, for example tuition, early years intervention.

:46:01.:46:08.

Without a doubt. Free school meals is not a silver bullet that will

:46:08.:46:10.

Without a doubt. Free school meals cause achievement to go up at if you

:46:10.:46:16.

look at the case of children in low income families, they are 100% less

:46:16.:46:21.

likely to achieve than those from more affluent families. Why are we

:46:21.:46:26.

now in a situation when the education Minister, he said he had

:46:26.:46:37.

no intention, the focus had to be on early years intervention. Now he had

:46:37.:46:40.

made the announcement he when extended to post primary, so clearly

:46:41.:46:46.

I think the focus needs to go back to those early years because we have

:46:46.:46:50.

not and early years policy ten years after what was promised and those

:46:50.:46:54.

not and early years policy ten years are the heart for delivering the

:46:54.:46:59.

needs of our children. Just to be clear, will you be recommending your

:46:59.:47:06.

party colleagues that this £20 million goes in the first instance

:47:06.:47:11.

to the Department of education and then they soaked up spending should

:47:11.:47:16.

be eight conversation on how it should be best spent? The current

:47:16.:47:33.

education minister has refused to enter into the process in relation

:47:33.:47:38.

to the savings and delivery plans because he believes he is spending

:47:38.:47:47.

his money well. It is a perverse sense of thinking about it. Have a

:47:47.:47:54.

case where five or six years ago, 24% of kids in low income families

:47:54.:48:00.

were achieving good GCSEs. It is now up 10%. Free school meals we will

:48:00.:48:13.

see 79% of our schools losing out in funding. That is the real reason why

:48:13.:48:17.

the department is using free school meals.

:48:17.:48:23.

Mervyn Storey and Chris Hazzard, thank you. With me are Koulla

:48:23.:48:28.

Yiasouma, Director of Include Youth, and the journalist Steven McCaffery.

:48:28.:48:36.

You are in the business of advocating for young people, where

:48:36.:48:41.

the use stand on the school free meals debate? The debate this

:48:41.:48:47.

morning and the piece demonstrates this is quite complicated. Northern

:48:47.:48:49.

Ireland has a good education system and then it gets worse as children

:48:50.:48:55.

get older so free school meals is not the panacea. Free school meals

:48:55.:49:03.

is only good as the uptake of them. Nutrition benefits young children's

:49:03.:49:09.

ability to learn and poor ritual during do less well. 34% of children

:49:09.:49:15.

in time to to free school meals get during do less well. 34% of children

:49:15.:49:24.

good GCSEs. There is a huge gap. There is a number of initiatives we

:49:24.:49:29.

need. Free school meals is part of the issue but not the whole answer.

:49:29.:49:31.

Is that how you see it? It is a very the issue but not the whole answer.

:49:31.:49:36.

serious issue. The Lib Dems were the issue but not the whole answer.

:49:36.:49:45.

accused of trying to score political points and attract votes and IM not

:49:45.:49:49.

suggesting the two main parties are not taking this seriously but you

:49:49.:49:59.

would be surprised and old enough to remember when Margaret Thatcher took

:49:59.:50:01.

would be surprised and old enough to away the milk from kids. Is there a

:50:01.:50:08.

little bit of politics? Again, perish the thought that politicians

:50:08.:50:17.

would be like that. I am in no doubt the elections are playing a part. It

:50:17.:50:24.

is enormously complicated and there is no guarantee that this money will

:50:24.:50:28.

go to education in the first instance. We have priorities in

:50:28.:50:34.

government but I really think there are bottomless pits. If this money

:50:34.:50:40.

is done for education, it should go to the Department of education. It

:50:40.:50:45.

is them and the schools and parents and families need to say what is the

:50:45.:50:50.

best way to spend this money? How can we bridge the gap? Chris

:50:50.:50:56.

Hazzard, do you think there may be some truth in DD UPI looking over

:50:56.:51:08.

their shoulder? I sit in studios and committee rooms and we talk about

:51:08.:51:14.

the need to tackle underachievement, especially in low income

:51:14.:51:17.

communities. Here is an example of the best way to do it. Let everyone

:51:17.:51:22.

step up to the plate and say let's go forward. That is the reason this

:51:22.:51:30.

has been done. However, if it is about convincing the electorate that

:51:30.:51:39.

this has been a good news story, let's see free school meals being

:51:39.:51:48.

used for political reasons. A very interesting debate. Thank you very

:51:48.:51:54.

much for joining us. Let's take a look back at the political week in

:51:54.:52:02.

60 seconds. US diplomats Richard Harris and

:52:02.:52:07.

Megan O'Sullivan begin the attempt to resolve the issues flags,

:52:07.:52:12.

protests and the past. The fact that this process was created by the

:52:12.:52:16.

leadership of Northern Ireland suggests to me there is well. Martin

:52:16.:52:21.

McGuinness remembers the past and next to the future with some but not

:52:21.:52:29.

all went -- bewilderment. As an investigation begins into child

:52:29.:52:34.

exportation, one MLA reveals why she abandoned the bill to clamp down on

:52:34.:52:38.

abuse. They taught me that this was not an issue and what I was

:52:38.:52:45.

proposing was criminalise young people in care. Free school meals

:52:45.:52:49.

for all infant pupils in England but will be assembly go for it? And the

:52:49.:52:53.

new finance minister starts with a smile.

:52:53.:53:08.

Gareth Gordon reporting. Another Saturday, another loyalist

:53:08.:53:12.

demonstration. It's now nine months since Belfast City Council voted to

:53:12.:53:15.

fly the union flag only on designated days. But the protests

:53:15.:53:19.

continue with an estimated 1,000 people marching from City Hall at

:53:19.:53:22.

lunchtime yesterday just as traders might have been expecting peak

:53:22.:53:27.

business. With me now is Ian Coulter, the

:53:27.:53:29.

business. Chair of the CBI here.

:53:29.:53:34.

About 1000 people took part in the Chair of the CBI here.

:53:34.:53:38.

parade and there were several thousands supporting them on the

:53:38.:53:43.

way. What is your verdict on what happened yesterday? I would like to

:53:43.:53:48.

take a step back and comment on the specific. Over the last 12 months

:53:48.:53:54.

there has been an explosion of the numbers of parades not just in

:53:54.:53:58.

Belfast but across Northern Ireland. If you look at the retail city

:53:58.:54:03.

centre figures, they have dropped by 10% which is a massive figure. Zero

:54:03.:54:11.

all to do with the protest. Is not at all but it is a major

:54:11.:54:17.

contributory factor. Your organisation has said that the

:54:17.:54:23.

protests this year is £15 million. That is an estimate but if you look

:54:23.:54:29.

at the figure, that is £55 million. This is the effect of things in the

:54:29.:54:36.

city centre but there is a hidden cost. All these protests and

:54:36.:54:40.

parades, be it whatever community, just adds up an extra layer of

:54:40.:54:47.

uncertainty as to where we are at the moment. Yesterday's parade was

:54:47.:54:58.

entirely peaceful. I accept that but you have one office and you put them

:54:58.:55:16.

all together... All of these discussions and business tends to be

:55:16.:55:23.

quite slow, where the rights for the business people? -- where are the

:55:23.:55:30.

right? How do you communicate that? You represent the business

:55:30.:55:36.

community, you talk to the politicians. How do you communicate

:55:36.:55:42.

with them and the people participating in organising these

:55:42.:55:47.

protests that it is not good for Belfast plc for that situation to

:55:47.:55:53.

continue? What we are calling on is restraint. The media plays a role in

:55:53.:55:59.

this. Yesterday, one of the retailers said the way the media pro

:55:59.:56:03.

trade yesterday 's events properly contributed as much to the lack of

:56:03.:56:08.

trade as to anything else. How is that the case? You simply report the

:56:08.:56:16.

fact it is happening. A retailer confirmed that the media coverage on

:56:16.:56:20.

Friday and Saturday did as much harm. You should talk about it but

:56:20.:56:28.

do not exaggerate it. Give me an example. There was an e-mail that

:56:28.:56:33.

was sent on Friday that there were going to be five or 600 participants

:56:33.:56:38.

or possibly up to 1000 maximum and on Saturday morning, other reports

:56:38.:56:47.

were of 3-4000 people. There is a need for restraint on all sides. We

:56:47.:56:57.

can deal with specifics but I would move back a bit. What we need to do

:56:57.:57:04.

is we need to find a way that for people who have got businesses in

:57:04.:57:08.

Belfast and businesses that are trying to grow internationally, how

:57:08.:57:13.

do you break the cycle and get the numbers of these parades and

:57:13.:57:16.

protests down to a manageable level? There is a challenge here to

:57:16.:57:25.

square that circle between people knowing what is happening and that

:57:25.:57:28.

square that circle between people being effectively reported but not

:57:28.:57:32.

exaggerating it in advance and not hyping it up for a people want to

:57:32.:57:40.

break the law. The media have to take their share of responsibility

:57:40.:57:45.

but weeks ago, we had a riot on Royal Avenue so I do not think the

:57:45.:57:50.

media can necessarily be blamed for causing public concern around

:57:50.:57:54.

yesterday 's parade. If people stayed away they stayed away because

:57:54.:57:58.

of what has been happening over the last year but the media have to play

:57:58.:58:05.

a careful role. How concerned are you at the potential impact of

:58:05.:58:10.

continuing parades on businesses to employ local people who depend on

:58:10.:58:16.

those jobs to continue running their families? Sometimes I think people

:58:16.:58:22.

forget the connections. We are based in Belfast city centre and I just

:58:22.:58:26.

forget the connections. We are based want to make a quick comparison. On

:58:26.:58:32.

Friday, we had culture night where 30,000 people thronged the streets.

:58:32.:58:39.

There was a march parade in the middle of Belfast in the afternoon.

:58:40.:58:51.

There was no e-mails saying be careful, so we do need to be

:58:51.:58:59.

careful. We need people protected. I want to see people marching because

:58:59.:59:03.

of property and to protect their rights. Generally they do not result

:59:03.:59:08.

in the destruction of property and we need to be careful as to how we

:59:08.:59:16.

manage this. The other issue is Richard Haas and the political

:59:16.:59:21.

developments. You went in with others to speak to Richard on

:59:21.:59:26.

Friday. Were you impressed with his handle on where we are? Greatly

:59:26.:59:31.

impressed. His team was very well briefed. Got to the issues

:59:31.:59:37.

immediately. I think they have the right team to help here and it bodes

:59:37.:59:42.

well. Is that the kind of noise you have been picking up as well? One

:59:42.:59:49.

feature of the talks process that has not caught the public emotion

:59:49.:59:54.

nation is the degree to which Washington is watching. Joe Biden

:59:55.:00:00.

could be visiting here so we need to get this right. BR the story of the

:00:00.:00:08.

week which is Safeguarding Children Board. We need to get better, let's

:00:08.:00:14.

remember we have been protecting children, we need to do it better

:00:14.:00:17.

together across all agencies. Thank Blackman and Sadiq Khan, thanks very

:00:17.:00:21.

much. Leafing through the papers the Blackman and Sadiq Khan, thanks very

:00:21.:00:34.

last few days has taken me back to my youth. The halcyon days of the

:00:34.:00:40.

2000s, when the warring Blairite and Brownite tribes fought over who

:00:40.:00:44.

should run the Labour Party. Gordon Brown's chief spin doctor Damian

:00:44.:00:47.

McBride - McPoison, or worse, to his enemies - has published his memoirs,

:00:47.:00:50.

timed for maximum impact in the week of Labour's Conference. They detail

:00:50.:00:59.

how Mr McBride briefed against colleagues, brought down Cabinet

:00:59.:01:01.

Ministers - Labour Cabinet Ministers, that is - and fought

:01:01.:01:04.

tooth and nail to promote the man he called "the greatest man he ever

:01:04.:01:12.

met" - Gordon Brown. Joining us now is Tony Blair's former Director of

:01:12.:01:20.

Communications, Alastair Campbell. You are angry about what he has done

:01:20.:01:28.

in this book. Why is that. It is partly the fact that he has done it

:01:28.:01:35.

in a way that will be -- will be damaging to the Labour Party at this

:01:35.:01:39.

time. But also because of the lies that he told at the time that he now

:01:39.:01:45.

confirms. I was director of communications and trying to hold

:01:45.:01:51.

the thing together, build the team. There was also Charlie Whelan and

:01:51.:01:59.

others. And that job was made more difficult than it should have been.

:01:59.:02:04.

I used to challenge Gordon Brown about it. And there came a stage

:02:04.:02:13.

where I said if Whelan does not go, I will go. And when Damian McBride

:02:13.:02:18.

was on the scene I was clear that I was not going to have anything to do

:02:18.:02:25.

with him. Because of what he is now admitting to, I think they played

:02:25.:02:29.

quite a significant part in pushing Labour out of power. Because the

:02:29.:02:38.

public were being fed by them, this narrative, the whole time. That

:02:38.:02:43.

Blair was useless, Charles Clarke was useless. And I think that we

:02:43.:02:50.

where the government and had very good ministers trying to do big

:02:50.:02:55.

things for the country. I said this morning it was like being a foot

:02:55.:03:02.

tall team were on the pitch you had your own players kicking the star

:03:02.:03:07.

players. That is why I am angry about it because I think they helped

:03:07.:03:11.

usher in a conservative government. If we had all stuck together I think

:03:11.:03:12.

we would still be there. The If we had all stuck together I think

:03:12.:03:18.

did not win the last election, that is a reasonable point. But surely

:03:18.:03:23.

they were only doing that to undermine Tony Blair and to promote

:03:23.:03:29.

their man, Gordon Brown. It is inconceivable then that Gordon Brown

:03:29.:03:34.

did not know about it. Well in spite of everything I always had a

:03:34.:03:39.

reasonably good relationship with Gordon Brown. I used to challenge

:03:39.:03:43.

him a lot about what Whelan was doing. He would always say, I will

:03:43.:03:51.

sort it out. Another thing that annoys me is this sense put forward

:03:51.:03:57.

by the right wing media that there was this sense of equivalence.

:03:57.:04:04.

People like Steve who I have known for years, there is not a single

:04:04.:04:10.

journalist with the very occasional exception where I lost my temper,

:04:10.:04:14.

who would honestly be able to tell you that I ever breathed against

:04:14.:04:20.

ministers. That was my golden rule. So we were presented as being...

:04:20.:04:29.

People say you were the forerunner. I know it was not the case. One of

:04:29.:04:41.

the reasons why I do despise what they did, the whole spin thing which

:04:41.:04:48.

Peter and I are probably most associated with, once I wrote a

:04:48.:04:57.

piece where I spoke about the journalists as the spin doctors. But

:04:57.:04:59.

actually within the government, I journalists as the spin doctors. But

:04:59.:05:03.

had a principle of maximum openness and trust. Anyone could come to the

:05:03.:05:09.

morning meetings on condition that what was discussed their state as

:05:09.:05:15.

part of the team. I had to say to Gordon Brown, your people are not

:05:15.:05:20.

coming. Because I knew where it was coming from. Did you know that the

:05:20.:05:25.

time but Charles Clarke and others were effectively being destroyed

:05:25.:05:30.

from within the Labour government? I certainly knew that they thought

:05:30.:05:37.

that. I did know journalists telling me that that was what was happening.

:05:37.:05:44.

Ultimately, this is why I never buy this thing that you can blame

:05:44.:05:51.

leaders, it is ultimately up to the litre. Possibly in a different age

:05:52.:06:01.

Gordon Brown would have been an amazing Prime Minister. He was a

:06:01.:06:05.

great chancellor. But he had a flaw, this need for truly horrible

:06:05.:06:12.

people to be around him doing truly horrible things in politics and

:06:12.:06:17.

giving him and the Labour Party and politics a bad name. That is why I'm

:06:17.:06:23.

still angry about Damian McBride. What do you make of it? The current

:06:23.:06:31.

administration is a contrast. We have rival factions occupying the

:06:31.:06:37.

same offices but they still get on. The only time they have a row is

:06:37.:06:42.

when something really big happens. But with that one party in Downing

:06:42.:06:45.

Street there was fighting the whole time. Did Ed Balls know about this.

:06:45.:07:00.

I would assume so. I spoke with him about it at the time. He told me at

:07:00.:07:07.

the time that he had spoken about it with Gordon Brown. So I think there

:07:07.:07:17.

was a concern from within that camp about some of these activities at

:07:17.:07:24.

the time. With this myth of equivalence, in life you expect to

:07:24.:07:29.

see that there is full on both sides. But I do not buy it in this

:07:29.:07:33.

see that there is full on both case. If you look at the testimonies

:07:33.:07:35.

see that there is full on both over the years, what you can surmise

:07:35.:07:40.

about the character of Gordon Brown and of Tony Blair, it was ultimately

:07:40.:07:45.

driven by Gordon Brown and the people around him. The Blairites did

:07:45.:07:51.

things but they did then by way of retaliation rather than initiation.

:07:51.:07:58.

The one-time when I did lose it was the whole psychological force thing.

:07:58.:08:04.

That came at the end of a period when we were relentlessly being done

:08:04.:08:10.

in by Charlie Whelan and his gang of journalists. I would go along to

:08:10.:08:14.

briefings and Stephen and his colleagues would be there and I just

:08:14.:08:20.

had to sit there and not hit back. Saying I cannot believe Gordon Brown

:08:20.:08:25.

would have anything to do with this. You get to the stage where your own

:08:25.:08:29.

credibility is on the line. Coming on the Labour conference. The

:08:29.:08:36.

promotion of alcohol awareness. But before that the Labour Party, you

:08:36.:08:42.

never had to deal with this in opposition because you were pretty

:08:42.:08:49.

far ahead in the polls by midterm. This time that is not the case. It

:08:49.:08:57.

is surprisingly narrow. What advice would you give to Ed Miliband? To

:08:57.:09:04.

keep his head out side of this bubble but it's all about him. And

:09:04.:09:09.

to use this week to really speak to the British people about himself,

:09:09.:09:13.

about what he believes. And particularly the kind of policy

:09:14.:09:18.

agenda he is shaping for the future. And start to heart -- start to hit

:09:19.:09:27.

the Tories hard. They're not pop, they're not competent. They're

:09:27.:09:31.

screwing up the health service. And yet they are neck and neck. I would

:09:31.:09:36.

say that the whole Shadow Cabinet and Labour Party has got to

:09:37.:09:42.

understand that you win elections by wanting to win elections every

:09:42.:09:45.

minute of every day. There is too much complacency. A small lead now

:09:45.:09:54.

you have to grow that. You do that with energy and conviction and

:09:54.:10:01.

policy. Tony Blair had a huge pole bead in the run-up to 1997. We were

:10:01.:10:08.

winning seat where we had not even campaigned and he was saying, why

:10:08.:10:13.

celebrate because we have not won yet. You are promoting your alcohol

:10:13.:10:17.

awareness campaign. Perhaps the party conference is not the best

:10:17.:10:22.

place to do that! That is one reason why I am doing that. I'm hosting

:10:22.:10:30.

probably the only alcohol free reception of the week! There is

:10:30.:10:36.

nothing worse than a convert, I know that. But I travel a lot. I travel

:10:36.:10:47.

around the world and Britain has a reputation as being the blues

:10:47.:10:50.

capital of the world. That is something we should be ashamed of.

:10:50.:10:57.

Why is that, is it cultural? I think it is historical. But I dig David

:10:57.:11:04.

Cameron was right to go for minimum unit pricing and wrong to do a

:11:04.:11:17.

reversal. 6% of alcoholics get treatment. I expect that drugs are a

:11:17.:11:24.

problem but we spent £2 billion on 100,000 problem drug takers and £91

:11:24.:11:28.

million on 1.6 million problem drinkers. Part of this campaign, you

:11:28.:11:35.

have written this book about a young drinkers. Part of this campaign, you

:11:35.:11:42.

alcoholic, a teenager. And it is in the first person. People could think

:11:42.:11:48.

you are writing about yourself. Why did you choose a teenage girl? Well

:11:48.:11:56.

partly, I dedicated this to the families of alcoholics. And I

:11:56.:12:01.

dedicated it to one doctor in Southampton. He told me when he

:12:01.:12:07.

started his career that his patience was split nine to one, men to women

:12:07.:12:14.

and it is now 50 - 50. They're getting younger and younger. One

:12:14.:12:22.

doctor looking after me said I will take you around this hospital and

:12:22.:12:27.

the problems of alcohol are in every single ward. Not just accident and

:12:27.:12:34.

emergency. I watched the foot all, just can't the number of

:12:34.:12:39.

advertisements for gambling and advertising. How have we allowed

:12:39.:12:47.

this to happen, ? We are just awash with it. What we did I think on

:12:47.:12:56.

24-hour licensing was a mistake. Availability and price either too

:12:56.:12:59.

means by which you can bring this down. And the country that has had

:12:59.:13:05.

the biggest success on this is Russia, bizarrely. Thank you very

:13:05.:13:17.

much for that. That's all for today. Thanks to all our guests. I'll be

:13:17.:13:22.

back on BBC Two tomorrow at 11:30am with live coverage of Labour Party

:13:22.:13:24.

Conference, including the speech from the man who wants to be the

:13:24.:13:28.

next Chancellor, Ed Balls. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday

:13:28.:13:29.

Politics.

:13:29.:13:36.

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