26/01/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


26/01/2014

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including an interview with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.


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Transcript


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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

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Ed Balls has gone socialist and fiscal Conservative in one speech.

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He promises to balance the biggest bit of the budget. And to bring back

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the 50p top tax rate. Political masterstroke, or a return to old

:00:50.:00:53.

Labour? If you go to work by public

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transport, chances are the price of your ticket has just gone up -

:00:57.:00:59.

again. We'll speak to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. He's

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our Sunday Interview. And it's been another wet week

:01:04.:01:06.

across much of the UK, but what's the outlook according to this man?

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This morning.This morning. Held in recent years by party veterans

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And coming up here... recent years by party veterans like

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And coming up here... Does Stormont need an opposition?

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The Ulster Unionist leader has already said no, so why is Lord

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Empey proposing the idea at Westminster? Find out in

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And with me - as always - the political panel so fresh-faced,

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entertaining and downright popular they make Justin Bieber look like a

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boring old has-been just desperate to get your attention. Nick Watt,

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Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh, and they'll be tweeting quicker than a

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yellow Lamborghini racing down Miami Beach. Being political nerds, they

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have no idea what I'm talking about. Ed Balls sprung a surprise on us all

:02:09.:02:12.

yesterday. We kinda thought Labour would head for the election with a

:02:13.:02:16.

return to the 50p top rate of tax. But we didn't think he'd do it now.

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He did! The polls say it's popular, Labour activists now have a spring

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in their step. The Tories say it's a return to the bad old days of the

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'70s, and bosses now think Labour is anti-business. Here's the Shadow

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Chancellor speaking earlier this morning. I was part of a Government

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which did very many things to open up markets, to make the Bank of

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England independent, to work closely with business, but the reality is we

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are in very difficult circumstances and because if I'm honest you,

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George Osborne's failure in the last few years, those difficult

:02:40.:02:43.

circumstances will last into the next Parliament. Business people

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have said to me they want to get the deficit down, of course they do. But

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to cut the top rate... It is foolish and feeds resentment I want to do

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the opposite and say look, pro-business, pro investment, pro

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market, but pro fairness. Let's get this deficit down in a fairway and

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make the reforms to make our economy work for the long term. What are the

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political implications of Labour now in favour of a 50%, in practise 352%

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top rate of tax? One of the political implications I don't think

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exist is that they'll win new voters. I'm not sure many people out

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there would think, I would love to vote for Ed Miliband but I'm not

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sure if he wants to tax rich people enough. It will con Dale their

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existing vote but I don't think it is the kind of, in the 1990s we

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talked about triangulation, moving beyond your core vote, I don't think

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it is a policy like that. If there has been a policy like that this

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year, this month, it has been the Tories' move on minimum wage. I

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thought Labour would come back with their own version, a centre-right

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policy, and instead they have done this. I think we talk about the 35%

:04:05.:04:09.

strategy that Labour supposed will have, I think it is a policy in that

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direction rather than the thing Tony Blair or Gordon Brown would have

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done. Where he was not clear is on how much it would raise. We know the

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sum in the grand scheme of things isn't much, the bedroom tax was

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about sending a message. What we are going to see is George Osborne and

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Ed Balls lock as they try to push the other one into saying things

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that are unpopular. The Tories, ?150,000 a year, that's exactly

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where Ed Balls want them to be. All three main parties have roughly the

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same plan, to run a current budget surplus by the end of the next

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Parliament. George Osborne said ?12 billion of welfare cuts, hasn't said

:05:04.:05:08.

how he is going to do it. Ed Balls is giving an idea that he is going

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to restore this 50 persons rate. The contribution of that will be

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deminimus. It is not much, but what does it say about your values.

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Because it is that package, it is cleverer than people think. Where

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the challenge is is the question that Peter Mandelson posed at the

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last election, which is can the Labour Party win a general election

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if it doesn't have business on its side? That's the big challenge and

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that's the question looking difficult for them this morning.

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Does it matter if Labour has business on its side. I thought the

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most fascinating thing about this announcement is it came from the guy

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mindful of business support, Ed Balls. When in opposition and when a

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Minister and as a shadow as a result, he's been far more conscious

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than Ed Miliband about the need not to alienate the CB Bill. In the

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run-up of an election. This is a measure of Ed Miliband's strength in

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the Labour Party, that his view of things can prevail so easily over a

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guy who for the last 15 years has taken a different view. Eight out of

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ten businesses according to the CBI don't want us to leave business.

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Business is in a bit of a cleft stick. Ed Miliband would like to see

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businesses squealing, and Ed Balls is clearly not so comfortable on

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that one. There's a difference on that. Mind you, they were squealing

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this morning from Davos. They probably had hangovers as well. The

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other thing they would say is this is not like Ed Balls thinks that 50p

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is the optimal rate forever, it what go eventually. Isn't that what

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politicians said when income tax was introduced? Yeah, in '97 Labour

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regarded 40 persons as the rate where it would stay.

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It's been a bad week for the Lib Dems. Again. Actually, it's been one

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of the worst weeks yet for Nick Clegg and his party in recent

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memory, as they've gone from talking confidently about their role in

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Government to facing a storm of criticism over claims of

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inappropriate sexual behaviour by a Lib Dem peer, Chris Rennard, and a

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Lib Dem MP, Mike Hancock. Here's Giles with the story of the week. A

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challenge to Nick Clegg's authority as he face as growing row over the

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Liberal Democrat... I want everyone to be treated with respect by the

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Liberal Democrats. We are expecting him to show moral leadership on our

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behalf. A good man has been publicly destroyed by the media with the

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apparent support of Nick Clegg. I would like Nick Clegg to show

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leadership and say, this has got to stop. When Nick Clegg woke up on

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Monday morning he knew he was in trouble, staring down the barrel of

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a stand justify with Lord Rennard over allegations that the peer had

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inappropriately touched a number of women. Chris Rennard thought he was

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cleared. Nick Clegg wanted more. I said if he doesn't apologise, he

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should withdraw from the House of Lords. If he does that today, what

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do you do then? I hope he doesn't. I think no apology, no whip. 2014 was

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starting badly for the Liberal Democrats. Chris Rennard refused to

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apologise, saying you can't say sorry for something you haven't

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done. The and he was leaning towards legal action. Butch us friends

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better defending Pym and publicly. This is a good, decent man, who has

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been punished by the party, with the leadership of the party that seems

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to be showing scant regard for due process. But his accusers felt very

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differently. It is untenable for the Lib Dems to have a credible voice on

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qualities and women's issues in the future if Lord Rennard was allowed

:09:05.:09:08.

to be back on the Lib Dem benches in the House of Lords. Therein lay the

:09:09.:09:15.

problem that exposed the weaknesses of the Lib Dem leaders. The party's

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internal structures have all the simplicity of a circuit diagram for

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a supercomputer, exposing the complexity of who runs the Liberal

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Democrats? The simple question that arose of that was can the leader of

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the Lib Dems remove a Lib Dem peer? The simple answer is no. The Lib Dem

:09:36.:09:40.

whips in the Lords could do it but if enough Lib Dem peers disagreed,

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they could overrule it. Some long-stand ng friends of roar

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Rennard think he is either the innocent victim of a media

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witch-hunt or at the least due process has been ridden over rough

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shot by the leadership. Nobody ever did spot Lord Rennard as he didn't

:10:00.:10:03.

turn up to the Lords, will citing ill health. But issued a statement

:10:04.:10:08.

that ruled out an apology. He refused to do so and refused to

:10:09.:10:12.

comply with the outcome of that report, so there was no alternative

:10:13.:10:15.

but for the party to suspend his membership today. On Wednesday Nick

:10:16.:10:20.

Clegg met Lib Dem peers, not for a crunch decision, but to discuss the

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extraordinary prospect of legal action against the party by the man

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long credited with building its success. The situation was making

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the party look like a joke. One Tory MP said to one of my colleagues this

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morning, the funny thing about the Liberal Democrats, you managed to

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create a whole sex scandal without any sex. And we can laugh at

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ourselves but actually it is rather serious. And it got more serious,

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when an MP who had resigned the Lib Dem whip last year was expanded from

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the party over a report into allegations of serious and unwelcome

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sexual behaviour towards a constituent. All of this leaves the

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Lib Dems desperately wishing these sagas had been dealt with long ago

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and would now go away. Nick Clegg ended the week still party leader.

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Lord Rennard, once one of their most powerful players, ended the week,

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for now, no longer even in it. Giles on the Lib Dems' disastrous

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week. Now, as you doubtless already know, on Tuesday Lib Dem MPs will

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vote to choose a new deputy leader. You didn't know that? You do now.

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The job of Nick Clegg's number two is to speak with a genuine Lib Dem

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voice, untainted by the demands of coalition Government. At this point

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in the show we had expected to speak to all three candidates for the

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post, held in recent years by party veterans like Vince Cable and Simon

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Hughes. We thought it being quite a significant week for the party, they

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might have something to say. And here they are. Well that's their

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pictures. For various reasons, all three are now unavailable. Malcolm

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Bruce, he's reckoned to be the outsider. His office said he had a

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"family commitment". Gordon Birtwistle, the Burnley MP, was

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booked to appear but then told us, "I was at an event last night with

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Lorely Burt" - she's one of the candidates - "and she told me it was

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off". And Lorely Burt herself, seen by many as the red hot favourite,

:12:20.:12:23.

told us: "Because of the Rennard thing we don't want to put ourselves

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in a position where we have to answer difficult questions." How

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refreshingly honest. Helen, how bad politically is all this for the Lib

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Dems? What I think is the tragic irony of the Lib Dems is they've

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been revealed as being too democratic. In the same way that

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their party conference embarrassed Nick Clegg by voting sings that he

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signed up to, and now everything has to be run past various

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sub-committees first. Is it democratic or chaotic? It is

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Byzantine. Mike Hancock was voluntarily suspended, and this week

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he was properly suspended. It was new information into the public

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domain that forced that. I'm already hearing Labour and Conservative

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Party musing that if it is a long Parliament, we will form a minority

:13:32.:13:35.

Government. It is a disaster for them. Voters like parties that

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reflect and are interested this their concerns. Parties that are

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self obsessed turn them off. The third party, if they carry on like

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this, they'll be the fifth party in the European elections, so they have

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got to draw a line under this. They do that, if they do, through

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mediation. As I understand it, Chris Rennard,s who has go devoted his

:13:57.:14:01.

entire life to the Liberal Democrats, and previously the

:14:02.:14:04.

Liberal Party, is keen to draw a line under this. He is up for

:14:05.:14:07.

mediation but he needs to know that the women that he has clearly

:14:08.:14:12.

invaded their personal space, that there wouldn't be a possible legal a

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action from them. The it is very difficult to see how you could

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resolve that. Except he is threatening through his friends,

:14:21.:14:24.

these famous friends, to spill all the beans about all the party's sex

:14:25.:14:29.

secrets. Isn't the danger for the Lib Dems, this haunts them through

:14:30.:14:32.

to the European elections, where they'll get thumped in the European

:14:33.:14:36.

elections? They'll get destroyed in the European elections, which keeps

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it salient as a story over the summer. And it has implications for

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Nick Clegg's leadership. He's done a good job until now, perhaps better

:14:46.:14:49.

than David Cameron, of exercising authority over his party. He had a

:14:50.:14:52.

good conference in September. Absolutely, and now the Lib Dems

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have looked like a party without a leader or a leadership structure.

:14:57.:15:02.

Part of that is down to the chaotic or Byzantine organisational

:15:03.:15:05.

structure of the party. Part of it is Nick Clegg's failure to assert

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himself and impose himself over events. Is it Byzantine or

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Byzantine. It is labyrinthine. You don't get these words on the Today

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programme. The cost of living has been back on the agenda this week as

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Labour and the Tories argue over whether the value of money in your

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pocket is going up or down. Well there's one cost which has been

:15:36.:15:38.

racing ahead of inflation and that's the amount you have to pay to travel

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by train, by bus and by air. Rail commuters have been hard hit over

:15:43.:15:45.

the last four years, with the cost of the average season ticket going

:15:46.:15:48.

up by 18% since January 2010, while wages have gone up by just 3.6% over

:15:49.:15:55.

the same period. It means some rail users are paying high prices with

:15:56.:16:01.

commuters from Kent shelling out more than ?5,000 per year from the

:16:02.:16:05.

beginning of this month just to get to work in London. It doesn't

:16:06.:16:10.

compare well with our European counterparts. In the UK the average

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rail user spends 14% of their average income on trains. It is just

:16:17.:16:24.

1.5% in Italy. Regulated fares like season tickets went up 3.1% at the

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beginning of this month, and with ministers keen to make passengers

:16:30.:16:34.

fought more of the bills, there are more fare rises coming down the

:16:35.:16:37.

track. And Patrick McLoughlin joins me now for the Sunday Interview.

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Welcome. You claim to be in the party of hard-working people, so why

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is it that since you came to power rail commuters have seen the cost of

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their average season ticket going up in money terms by over 18% while

:17:00.:17:08.

their pay has gone up in money terms by less than four? I would point out

:17:09.:17:13.

that this is the first year in ten years that we have not had an above

:17:14.:17:19.

inflation increase on fares. The Government accepts we have got to do

:17:20.:17:24.

as much as we can to help the passengers. A big inflation increase

:17:25.:17:33.

since 2010. This is the first year in ten years that it has not been

:17:34.:17:40.

above RPI, but we are also investing huge amounts of money into the

:17:41.:17:44.

railways, building new trains for the East Coast Main Line and the

:17:45.:17:49.

great Western. We are spending ?500 million at Birmingham station, this

:17:50.:17:56.

is all increasing capacity, so we are seeing investments. Over the

:17:57.:18:00.

next five years Network Rail will invest over ?38 billion in the

:18:01.:18:10.

network structure. We also have an expensive railway and it is ordinary

:18:11.:18:15.

people paying for it. A season ticket from Woking in Surrey,

:18:16.:18:20.

commuter belt land in London, let's look at the figures. This is a

:18:21.:18:27.

distance of over 25 miles, it cost over ?3000 per year. We have picked

:18:28.:18:36.

similar distances to international cities.

:18:37.:18:44.

The British commuter is being ripped off. The British commuter is seeing

:18:45.:18:53.

record levels of investment in our railways. The investment has to be

:18:54.:18:58.

paid for. We are investing huge amounts of money and I don't know

:18:59.:19:01.

whether the figures you have got here... I'm sure they are likewise,

:19:02.:19:19.

as you have managed to do... White -- ten times more than the Italian

:19:20.:19:27.

equivalent. We have seen transformational changes in our

:19:28.:19:32.

railway services and we need to carry on investing. We were paying

:19:33.:19:37.

these prices even before you started investing. We have always paid a lot

:19:38.:19:41.

more to commute in this country than our European equivalents. I'm not

:19:42.:19:51.

quite sure I want to take on Italy is a great example. You would if you

:19:52.:19:57.

were a commuter. You is a great example. You would if you

:19:58.:20:03.

the other rates of taxation has to be paid as well. Isn't it the case

:20:04.:20:09.

they are making profits out of these figures and using them to subsidise

:20:10.:20:13.

cheaper fares back in their homeland? The overall profit margin

:20:14.:20:21.

train companies make is 3%, a reasonable amount, and we have seen

:20:22.:20:25.

a revolution as far as the railway industry is concerned.

:20:26.:20:30.

a revolution as far as the railway 20 years we have seen passenger

:20:31.:20:35.

journeys going from 750 million to 1.5 billion. That is a massive

:20:36.:20:39.

revolution in rail. Let me look 1.5 billion. That is a massive

:20:40.:20:44.

spokesperson for the German government, the Ministry of

:20:45.:20:44.

transport. They are charging huge fares in

:20:45.:21:01.

Britain to take that money back to subsidise fares in Germany. What do

:21:02.:21:07.

you say to that? We are seeing British companies winning contracts

:21:08.:21:11.

in Germany. The National Express are winning contracts to the railways.

:21:12.:21:17.

What about the ordinary commuter? They are paying through the nose so

:21:18.:21:22.

German commuters can travel more cheaply. We are still subsidising

:21:23.:21:27.

the railways in this country, but overall we want to reduce the

:21:28.:21:31.

subsidy we are giving. We are still seeing growth in our railways and I

:21:32.:21:39.

want to see more people using them. Why do you increase rail fares at

:21:40.:21:47.

the higher RPI measure than the lower CPI measurement? That is what

:21:48.:21:52.

has always been done, and we have stopped. This is the first time in

:21:53.:21:56.

ten years that we have not raised the rail figures above RPI. You

:21:57.:22:06.

still link fares to RPI. You use the lower CPI figure when it suits you,

:22:07.:22:12.

to keep pension payments down for example, but the higher one when it

:22:13.:22:16.

comes to increasing rail fares. We are still putting a huge subsidy

:22:17.:22:21.

into the rail industry, there is still a huge amount of money going

:22:22.:22:25.

from the taxpayer to support the rail industry. I am not asking you

:22:26.:22:31.

about that, I am asking you why you link the figures to the higher RPI

:22:32.:22:39.

vesture Mark if we are going to pay for the levels of investment, so all

:22:40.:22:46.

the new trains being built at Newton Aycliffe for the East Coast Main

:22:47.:22:50.

Line and the great Western, ?3.5 billion of investment, new rolling

:22:51.:22:54.

stock coming online, then yes, we have to pay for it, and it is a

:22:55.:22:58.

question of the taxpayer paying for it all the -- or the passenger.

:22:59.:23:12.

You have capped parking fines until the next election, rail commuters we

:23:13.:23:16.

have seen the cost of their ticket has gone up by nearly 20%, you are

:23:17.:23:26.

the party of the drivers, not the passengers, aren't you?

:23:27.:23:33.

We are trying to help everybody who has been struggling. I think we are

:23:34.:23:46.

setting out long-term plans for our railways, investing heavily in them

:23:47.:23:51.

and it is getting that balance right. But you have done more for

:23:52.:23:56.

the driver than you have for the user of public transport. I don't

:23:57.:24:03.

accept that. They are paying the same petrol prices as 2011. This is

:24:04.:24:09.

the first time in ten years that there has not been an RPI plus

:24:10.:24:17.

rise. We are investing record amounts. Bus fares are also rising,

:24:18.:24:24.

4.2% in real terms in 2010, at a time when real take-home pay has

:24:25.:24:30.

been falling. This hits commuters particularly workers who use buses

:24:31.:24:35.

on low incomes, another cost of living squeeze. I was with

:24:36.:24:40.

Stagecoach in Manchester on Friday, and I saw a bus company investing in

:24:41.:24:54.

new buses. Last week First ordered new buses. Part of your hard-working

:24:55.:24:59.

families you are always on about, they are the ones going to work

:25:00.:25:06.

early in the morning, and yet you are making them pay more for their

:25:07.:25:10.

buses in real terms than they did before. They would be happier if

:25:11.:25:17.

they could travel more cheaply. It is about getting investment in

:25:18.:25:22.

services, it has to be paid for. Why not run the old buses for five more

:25:23.:25:30.

years? Because then there is more pollution in the atmosphere, modern

:25:31.:25:34.

buses have lower emissions, and we are still giving huge support

:25:35.:25:39.

overall to the bus industry and that is very important because I fully

:25:40.:25:42.

accept that the number of people, yes, use the train but a lot of

:25:43.:25:51.

people use buses as well. High-speed two, it has been delayed because 877

:25:52.:25:58.

pages of key evidence from your department were left on a computer

:25:59.:26:04.

memory stick, part of the submission to environmental consultation. Your

:26:05.:26:08.

department's economic case is now widely regarded as a joke, now you

:26:09.:26:15.

do this. Is your department fit for purpose? Yes, and as far as what

:26:16.:26:21.

happened with the memory stick, it is an acceptable and shouldn't have

:26:22.:26:24.

happened, and therefore we have extended the time. There has been an

:26:25.:26:30.

extension in the time for people to make representation, the bill for

:26:31.:26:41.

this goes through Parliament in a different way to a normal bill. It

:26:42.:26:54.

is vital HS2 provides what we want. What I am very pleased about is when

:26:55.:26:58.

the paving bill was passed by Parliament just a few months ago,

:26:59.:27:03.

there was overwhelming support, and I kept reading there was going to be

:27:04.:27:09.

70 people voting against it, in the end 30 people voted against it and

:27:10.:27:14.

there was a good majority in the House of Commons. So can you give a

:27:15.:27:18.

guarantee that this legislation will get onto the statute books? I will

:27:19.:27:27.

do all I can. I cannot tell you the exact Parliamentary time scale. The

:27:28.:27:30.

bill will have started its progress through the House of Commons by

:27:31.:27:39.

2015, and it may well have concluded. The new chairman of HS2

:27:40.:27:45.

said he can bring the cost of the line substantially under the budget,

:27:46.:27:56.

do you agree with that? The figure is ?42 billion with a large

:27:57.:28:01.

contingency, and David Higgins, as chairman of HS2, is looking at the

:28:02.:28:05.

whole cast and seeing if there are ways in which it can be built

:28:06.:28:11.

faster. At the moment across London we are building Crossrail, ?14.5

:28:12.:28:16.

billion investment. There was a report last week saying what an

:28:17.:28:22.

excellent job has been done. Crossrail started under Labour.

:28:23.:28:28.

Actually it was Cecil Parkinson in the 1990 party conference. You may

:28:29.:28:36.

get HS2 cheaper if you didn't pay people so much, why is the

:28:37.:28:42.

nonexecutive chairman of HS2 on ?600,000? And the new chief

:28:43.:28:52.

executive on ?750,000. These are very big projects and we need to

:28:53.:28:55.

attract the best people become so we are going for the best engineers in

:28:56.:29:00.

the world to engineer this project. It is a large salary, there is no

:29:01.:29:05.

question about it, but I'm rather pleased that engineers rather than

:29:06.:29:10.

bankers can be seen to get big rewards for delivering what will be

:29:11.:29:14.

very important pieces of national infrastructure. I didn't have time

:29:15.:29:18.

to ask you about your passenger duty so perhaps another time. We are

:29:19.:29:25.

about to speak to Nigel Mills and all of these MPs on your side who

:29:26.:29:28.

are rebelling against the Government, how would you handle

:29:29.:29:33.

them? We have got to listen to what our colleagues are talking about and

:29:34.:29:39.

try to respond it. Would you take them for a long walk off a short

:29:40.:29:44.

pier? I'm sure I would have many conversations with them. An

:29:45.:29:56.

immigration bill to tack the immigration into the UK. When limits

:29:57.:30:03.

on migration from Bulgaria and Romania were lifted this year there

:30:04.:30:08.

were warnings of a large influx of migrant workerses from the two new

:30:09.:30:12.

European countries. So far it's been more of a dribble than a flood. Who

:30:13.:30:18.

can forget Labour MP Keith Vaz greeting a handful of arrivals at

:30:19.:30:22.

Luton Airport. But it is early days and it is one of the reasons the

:30:23.:30:27.

Government's introduced a new Immigration Bill. The Prime Minister

:30:28.:30:30.

is facing rebellion from backbenchers who want tougher action

:30:31.:30:37.

on immigration from abroad. Nigel Mills would reimpose restrictions on

:30:38.:30:45.

how many Romanians and Bulgarians can come here. Joining me is Nigel

:30:46.:30:52.

Mills, Conservative MP behind the amendment and Labour MP Diane

:30:53.:30:57.

Abbott. Welcome. Nigel Mills, there hasn't been an influx of Romanians

:30:58.:31:05.

and Bulgarians. Why do you want to restore these, kick these

:31:06.:31:08.

transitional controls way forward to 2019? I don't think any of us were

:31:09.:31:13.

expecting a rush on January 1st, Andrew. I think we were talking

:31:14.:31:18.

about a range of 250,000 to 350,000 people over five years. That's

:31:19.:31:24.

obviously a large amount of people, especially when you think net

:31:25.:31:28.

migration to the UK was well in excess of the Government's target of

:31:29.:31:32.

tens of thousands last year. The real concern is that it would be

:31:33.:31:37.

ever increasing our population, attracting lots of low-skilled,

:31:38.:31:43.

low-wage people, which keeps our people out of work and wages down.

:31:44.:31:48.

Did you accept that if you were to accept this, it would be in breach

:31:49.:31:52.

of the Treaty of Rome, the founding principle of the European Union? We

:31:53.:31:58.

were trying to keep the restrictions that Bulgaria and Romania accepted

:31:59.:32:02.

for their first seven years of EU membership, on the basis that when

:32:03.:32:05.

we signed the treaty we weren't aware that we would have a huge and

:32:06.:32:09.

catastrophic recession we are still recovering from. But you would be in

:32:10.:32:14.

breach of the law, correct? The UK Parliament has a right to say we

:32:15.:32:19.

signed this deal before the terrible recession, and we need a bit longer

:32:20.:32:23.

in our national interest. It is worth noting that Bulgaria and

:32:24.:32:30.

Romania haven't met all their accession requirements. The

:32:31.:32:35.

Bulgarian requirement passed a law... So if they break the law it

:32:36.:32:40.

is alright for us to break the law? Is we should be focusing on trying

:32:41.:32:45.

to get 2. 4 million of our own in work, and 1 million people not in

:32:46.:32:51.

work... Let me bring in Diane Abbott. Will you vote for this

:32:52.:32:56.

amendment and why? It is in breach of the treaty. While I deplore MPs

:32:57.:33:01.

that try to cause trouble, these MPs have been particularly mindless,

:33:02.:33:05.

because what they want to do wouldn't be legal. However, it is a

:33:06.:33:10.

Tory internal brief, if I might say so. Maybe you can cause trouble by

:33:11.:33:15.

voting for it. No, that would be going too far. Underlying it is a

:33:16.:33:22.

real antagonism for David Cameron. They have had to hold off on this

:33:23.:33:26.

bill until January. It was supposed to be debating before Christmas. As

:33:27.:33:30.

we speak they've not cut a deal, so it could be pretty grus om. Nigel

:33:31.:33:38.

Mills, what do you say to that I think there is a recognition that

:33:39.:33:42.

there is a problem with the amount of migration from EU countries that

:33:43.:33:47.

we need to tackle. We could try to achieve an annual cap perhaps,

:33:48.:33:50.

longer limits on when countries get free movement. I think the debate is

:33:51.:33:54.

moving in the right direction, but I think those people who are trapped

:33:55.:33:58.

out of work and desperately looking for work want something to be done

:33:59.:34:03.

now and not wait a few more years while we have more assessments

:34:04.:34:08.

Andrews. People are worried about the level of immigration. They I it

:34:09.:34:13.

is too high. That's the consensus in the country. We spoke to to

:34:14.:34:19.

migration centre in Hackney and they said they are struggling to cope

:34:20.:34:22.

with the number of people using their services. These are people

:34:23.:34:26.

with problems with the law. In the past years EU migrants put in more

:34:27.:34:31.

to the economy in taxation than they take out in benefits. When it comes

:34:32.:34:36.

to free movement, which is agitating Nige em, that horse has bolted. We

:34:37.:34:41.

signed a treaty. There is nothing people like Nigel Mills can do,

:34:42.:34:46.

unless they want to rip their party apart, God forbid. Will you go as

:34:47.:34:50.

far as to rip your party apart, Nigel Mills? Are you going to take

:34:51.:34:55.

this all the way? Would you rather see this bill go down than your

:34:56.:35:00.

amendment not be accepted? This is a very important bill. I think we all

:35:01.:35:06.

want to see measures on the statute book, so the last thing we want to

:35:07.:35:10.

see is this bill go down. We do need to set out clearly that we have real

:35:11.:35:15.

concerns about the level of EU migration and something needs to be

:35:16.:35:22.

done. Would you rather have the bill without your amendment or no bill at

:35:23.:35:27.

all? I am hoping we can have the bill with the amendment. I know

:35:28.:35:32.

that, but if you can't? Is that will depend on what the Labour Party

:35:33.:35:38.

decide to do. They are talking tougher on immigration but will they

:35:39.:35:43.

take action on it? Your party has been talking tough on immigration

:35:44.:35:47.

but I will be surprised if an Ed Miliband Labour Party would vote for

:35:48.:35:51.

egg in direct cameravention of the Treaty of Rome. It would make no

:35:52.:35:56.

sense. Nigel Mills is wishing for the impossible. If I was a Tory I

:35:57.:36:03.

would be wringing high hands. He hasn't ruled out crashing the bill.

:36:04.:36:08.

That's incredible. Where will this end, Nigel Mills? We'll end with a

:36:09.:36:14.

vote on Thursday. There's a lot of amendments people can use to show

:36:15.:36:19.

their concern about migration. We want limited and proportionate

:36:20.:36:22.

action, and that's what I am proposing. I want to see the bill on

:36:23.:36:27.

the statute book, I want the restrictions on people who shouldn't

:36:28.:36:32.

be here getting bank accounts and driving licences. I don't want to

:36:33.:36:36.

crash this bill but there's more measures we need in it. Nigel Mills

:36:37.:36:42.

thank you. You are going to be -- popping up I think on the Sunday

:36:43.:36:47.

Politics East Midlands. Diane Abbott, thank you as well.

:36:48.:36:54.

We're in for more heavy rain and high winds across the UK today. You

:36:55.:36:57.

may remember that one UKIP councillor - he's since been

:36:58.:36:59.

suspended - caused controversy last weekend by blaming the recent

:37:00.:37:02.

flooding on the legalisation of gay marriage. Why didn't I think of

:37:03.:37:06.

that? So who better than this man to bring you the unofficial forecast.

:37:07.:37:09.

I'll be bringing you the late least UKIP weather from your area.

:37:10.:37:14.

You're watching Sunday Politics. Also coming up in just over 20

:37:15.:37:21.

minutes, I'll be looking at the week ahead with our political panel.

:37:22.:37:23.

Until Welcome to Sunday politics in

:37:24.:37:38.

Northern Ireland. The Ulster Unionist Party has said no to

:37:39.:37:41.

opposition at Stormont, get one of his peers is proposing that very

:37:42.:37:46.

thing. Where does the party stand? We will hear from Lord MP and former

:37:47.:37:53.

Ulster Unionist Party 's NI21 deputy leader John McCallister.

:37:54.:37:56.

And pressure over welfare reform. Those who resist the inevitability

:37:57.:38:01.

of welfare reform can answer why our roads budget, education budget has

:38:02.:38:06.

to lose out next year and potentially next year, too.

:38:07.:38:13.

With me throughout with their thoughts, academic Cathy

:38:14.:38:15.

Gormley-Heenan and journalist Sam McBride.

:38:16.:38:22.

It was a fundamental part of the Good Friday Agreement, the creation

:38:23.:38:29.

of a mandatory coalition. But every so often the debate over

:38:30.:38:33.

establishing an official opposition cranks up a gear. This time it is

:38:34.:38:36.

the turn of the Ulster Unionist Party the party chairman has tabled

:38:37.:38:39.

an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill which would pave the way for

:38:40.:38:48.

opposition. The party NI21 have the stated

:38:49.:38:54.

intention of campaigning for an opposition.

:38:55.:38:58.

Welcome to the programme, Lord Empey, first of all, why are you

:38:59.:39:03.

making a case for formal opposition at Stormont at this stage? Because

:39:04.:39:07.

there is a piece of legislation in front of Parliament that allows me

:39:08.:39:12.

to do so, the Northern Ireland miscellaneous provisions Bill and

:39:13.:39:18.

allows you to put forward items of a wide range of areas.

:39:19.:39:21.

I have put forward a series of amendments. There is a legislative

:39:22.:39:25.

vehicle in front of us at this point. So you can do it, the

:39:26.:39:29.

question is why choose to do it? It looks to the public, I suggest,

:39:30.:39:35.

that it is a change of tack on the part of the Ulster Unionist Party.

:39:36.:39:38.

You were not in favour of opposition, now you appear to be. I

:39:39.:39:44.

am afraid you are wrong. Our 2010 manifesto had provision for

:39:45.:39:49.

opposition. In our manifesto for 2011 it is included, and at Mike

:39:50.:39:54.

Nesbitt's maiden speech he raised the question of opposition. Whether

:39:55.:40:00.

we as a party would ever seek to be an opposition is a totally different

:40:01.:40:03.

issue from whether we have an official opposition or not. We want

:40:04.:40:07.

the provision could be applied because we think it will strengthen

:40:08.:40:12.

Stormont, it will move us one stage towards more normal politics and I

:40:13.:40:16.

cannot see any reason why anyone would be opposed to it.

:40:17.:40:20.

In the public mind, John McCallister stood for the story -- Ulster

:40:21.:40:26.

Unionist leader against Mike Nesbitt, he stood on a ticket of

:40:27.:40:30.

wanting to take the party into opposition and Mike Nesbitt oppose

:40:31.:40:35.

that. Now the former leader looks to be supporting opposition. Can you

:40:36.:40:38.

see how that looks strange to the public? John wanted to take the

:40:39.:40:42.

party into opposition there and then.

:40:43.:40:46.

We are arguing there is no opposition facility at Stormont to

:40:47.:40:50.

take the party into. All you can do is remove yourself from the

:40:51.:40:53.

executive and just sit there. There is no status, you will get no

:40:54.:41:00.

speaking rights, supply days or anything and opposition would get.

:41:01.:41:03.

John McCallister, do you accept that analysis?

:41:04.:41:08.

My Private Members' Bill would create that, and effectively at the

:41:09.:41:12.

minute we are looking at two former leaders of the Ulster Unionist Party

:41:13.:41:15.

effectively wanting to take powers away from the Northern Ireland

:41:16.:41:19.

Assembly. Legal advice in this is quite clear.

:41:20.:41:26.

We can do this at Stormont, and that is the place this should be being

:41:27.:41:32.

done. I welcome the debate, but if he wants to do something in the

:41:33.:41:37.

Northern Ireland miscellaneous Bill, what he should be doing is tackling

:41:38.:41:41.

the bits we cannot do at Stormont, like designation or particularly

:41:42.:41:45.

tackling the way we elect the Justice Minister. You are saying

:41:46.:41:50.

this debate is unnecessary because you think the powers already reside

:41:51.:41:53.

at Stormont? Let me be clear on that, they reside

:41:54.:41:56.

at Stormont. The legal advice is that they reside

:41:57.:42:02.

at Stormont. That is where this should be decided and debated. But

:42:03.:42:06.

that would be for something of informal opposition rather than

:42:07.:42:08.

formal opposition. What he is wanting to do, all of

:42:09.:42:14.

that is decided at Stormont, and we can change that.

:42:15.:42:18.

The best vehicle to do that is in my Private Members' Bill. This point

:42:19.:42:23.

about trying to normalise politics - you cannot have a party leader out

:42:24.:42:29.

fighting a culture where -- culture war and then talk about normalising

:42:30.:42:34.

politics. The public will not understand that message. You cannot

:42:35.:42:38.

talk about opposition as you would claim, Reg, for about 16 years and

:42:39.:42:42.

not want to go into it, not see that we believe strong enough to go into

:42:43.:42:47.

it. We believe in having it but do not want to go into it seems to be

:42:48.:42:52.

the message from the UUP. John McCallister is saying, Reg Empey,

:42:53.:42:57.

that this should be the preserve of the MLAs at Stormont.

:42:58.:43:03.

No, if he looks at his own party's website on the 27th of August, when

:43:04.:43:08.

he sat beside Alex came at a seminar organised by himself on opposition,

:43:09.:43:12.

Alex Kane made it absolutely clear that if you went down the road he

:43:13.:43:15.

wants to go down and leave it at Stormont you would be the way thing

:43:16.:43:20.

of the shin of -- of Sinn Fein and the DUP, they can snuff you out like

:43:21.:43:24.

that. Standing orders at Stormont can be changed at any point by the

:43:25.:43:30.

largest two parties. We want to have it in statute so there is no

:43:31.:43:33.

question that the stat us of an opposition is not dependent on the

:43:34.:43:38.

goodwill of the two parties who happen to be in control. -- the

:43:39.:43:43.

status. Does that mean that Mike Nesbitt would want to take the

:43:44.:43:46.

Australian unionists into opposition?

:43:47.:43:51.

He can do that at the moment anyway. -- the Ulster Unionists.

:43:52.:43:59.

No, he cannot. All you can do is become a group of

:44:00.:44:05.

backbenchers with no status. First of all, any party that thinks in an

:44:06.:44:11.

election fights to win. You fight to win, to get support for your

:44:12.:44:14.

policies and implement them in over a month. But on occasion, parties do

:44:15.:44:20.

not win. -- implement them in government. We want to have an

:44:21.:44:24.

opposition which is officially recognised which cannot be the

:44:25.:44:27.

plaything of any two parties at Stormont. The methodology for

:44:28.:44:32.

electing ministers and selecting them is all in the Northern Ireland

:44:33.:44:37.

act, so should opposition be. There is not very much separating you, is

:44:38.:44:39.

there? The point is, opposition is not

:44:40.:44:43.

mentioned in the Northern Ireland act.

:44:44.:44:48.

For that very reason it means it is a devolved matter and the Northern

:44:49.:44:54.

Ireland Assembly can change it. Alex Kane is not a lawyer for the

:44:55.:44:57.

Northern Ireland Assembly, there is not the legal adviser. And Professor

:44:58.:45:02.

Rick Wilford doesn't know what he is doing?

:45:03.:45:06.

The advice from the Assembly is that opposition is a devolved matter and

:45:07.:45:10.

when you read through Reg's amendment we can change that in the

:45:11.:45:12.

Assembly and that is the best vehicle to do it.

:45:13.:45:17.

Reg talks about being snuffed out by the DUP and Sinn Fein if they wanted

:45:18.:45:23.

to. You mention a few things like the Afive, it is hardly a ringing

:45:24.:45:31.

endorsement of the Ulster Unionist Party being in government. -- the

:45:32.:45:36.

A5. This is a debate we should be all on. You cannot do that while in

:45:37.:45:40.

government and fighting a culture war at the same time. All of those

:45:41.:45:46.

things contradict each other. John is arguing to totally different

:45:47.:45:50.

things. Whether due as a party are in opposition is one issue. What I

:45:51.:45:54.

am dealing with is providing a structural mechanism to allow it to

:45:55.:45:58.

happen at Westminster where it cannot be interfered with by

:45:59.:46:02.

Stormont. Otherwise the parties that control Stormont can snuff you out

:46:03.:46:06.

at any time. You accept you can do it at Stormont?

:46:07.:46:11.

No, you cannot do that. You can.

:46:12.:46:15.

The legal advice is clear. You can change standing orders, not

:46:16.:46:20.

primary legislation. But the place to do primary

:46:21.:46:24.

legislation is at Stormont. It is not, you are totally wrong. I would

:46:25.:46:29.

welcome him to the debate behaviour is doing something, particularly

:46:30.:46:32.

around designation. We will leave it there, thank you

:46:33.:46:38.

both for now. Let's hear from our commentators,

:46:39.:46:41.

Cathy Gormley-Heenan and Sam McBride. Sam, some people think we

:46:42.:46:46.

may be dancing on the head of a pin, others think this is a fundamental

:46:47.:46:49.

issue that needs to be clarified, which is it for you? It is both.

:46:50.:46:56.

Sitting on the fence! It is going to be teased out at Westminster,

:46:57.:47:00.

whether the government takes this as an amendment to its bill.

:47:01.:47:04.

If it does, and Lord Empey as closer links to the Tories through the

:47:05.:47:07.

history of the Ulster Unionist Party, and if they do then clearly

:47:08.:47:13.

the legal advice that the government has is that it can. If they do not,

:47:14.:47:17.

there will be a question over that. There are two separate issues here.

:47:18.:47:20.

Is there a mechanism for opposition? Sometimes I think public

:47:21.:47:26.

unhappiness at Stormont has forced a debate into the parties, where the

:47:27.:47:32.

Ulster Unionist Party is reluctant about this, increasingly there is

:47:33.:47:38.

this realisation that something has to be done, and the debate has moved

:47:39.:47:42.

on to two separate ways to do the same thing. What is your opinion on

:47:43.:47:46.

where authority arrived as Michael resides?

:47:47.:47:53.

You are an academic and you know Rick Wilford and Alex Kane very

:47:54.:47:57.

well, you know the territory very well, do you side with John or Reg?

:47:58.:48:03.

I am not a legal expert. I am not prepared to side with

:48:04.:48:06.

either of them. I am heartened by this debate, today, because it puts

:48:07.:48:10.

the issue of opposition squarely onto the agenda. Last year the

:48:11.:48:15.

Assembly and review committee looked at this issue specifically. They put

:48:16.:48:18.

out a call for a consultation. Not many people got involved in the

:48:19.:48:21.

debate at the time under this forces us to have a thorough and robust

:48:22.:48:30.

debate on the mechanisms for an opposition and what that may mean

:48:31.:48:33.

for Northern Ireland, particularly for things like who would chair the

:48:34.:48:37.

Public Accounts Committee? Northern Ireland is the only area in the UK

:48:38.:48:42.

that has a Public Accounts Committee not chaired by the member of the

:48:43.:48:46.

opposition. That is important to me because an opposition at its core is

:48:47.:48:51.

about good governance and holding the government to account. You

:48:52.:48:54.

cannot hold yourself to account if you are holding the office and

:48:55.:48:57.

holding the accountability mechanisms, as well. That is why

:48:58.:49:01.

this debate, complicated as it may seem, is important. It is

:49:02.:49:05.

fundamental. The debate that has been hand, that

:49:06.:49:10.

people outside of the political village have had come is forcing the

:49:11.:49:14.

pace on this. -- the debate that has been hand.

:49:15.:49:20.

?15 million has been lost out of the executive budget already this year

:49:21.:49:23.

because of our failure to agree on welfare reform. The finance minister

:49:24.:49:28.

warned this week the penalty is expected to increase significantly.

:49:29.:49:31.

The welfare reform Bill was pulled in April because of a lack of

:49:32.:49:34.

agreement with the DUP blaming Sinn Fein for a delay. The finance

:49:35.:49:38.

minister, Simon Hamilton, said he was disappointed no progress had

:49:39.:49:43.

been made. I will have to return to the welfare reform issue.

:49:44.:49:46.

I am hugely disappointed no progress has been made on this issue. As a

:49:47.:49:50.

result, the executive had no option but to set aside ?50 million to

:49:51.:49:55.

cover the cost of financial penalties for the remaining three

:49:56.:49:57.

months of this financial year. This, in effect, as one colleague

:49:58.:50:02.

described it, is dead money, returning to the Treasury, which is

:50:03.:50:07.

now unable to be spent on services that benefit our citizens. Those who

:50:08.:50:11.

resist, Mr Speaker, the inevitability of welfare reform, can

:50:12.:50:17.

answer why our health budget, roads budget or schools budget has to lose

:50:18.:50:21.

out this year. It is my party's view that in terms

:50:22.:50:26.

of the ?15 million of welfare money, that is not dead money. That

:50:27.:50:31.

15 million is still in the pockets of many low income people. It is

:50:32.:50:38.

more likely to be spent, in terms of local economy and retail and other

:50:39.:50:41.

areas. That 15 million is not dead money, it is money that is quite

:50:42.:50:47.

important to the local economy. The differing views of Simon Hamilton

:50:48.:50:55.

and Daithi McKay. With me is Les Allamby, an expert in

:50:56.:51:02.

welfare law. Where do we stand on this complicated issue? All of the

:51:03.:51:06.

main political parties are critical of welfare reform as it is in

:51:07.:51:08.

Britain. You can understand why, because

:51:09.:51:13.

Sheffield Hallam University recently did a survey that said ?750 million

:51:14.:51:18.

will come out of the economy if we slavishly follow the GB reform, and

:51:19.:51:22.

of the local authorities across the UK seven out of the top 20 were

:51:23.:51:27.

actually in Northern Ireland. Where we are is the two main parties in

:51:28.:51:33.

government, Sinn Fein and the DUP, worked very hard over the summer to

:51:34.:51:36.

try and get a deal, and they got a measure of agreement on a number of

:51:37.:51:39.

issues on this in the public domain, such as the bedroom tax

:51:40.:51:45.

which has gone very badly in Britain. They will only introduce it

:51:46.:51:49.

for new claimants. You think that is the deal they have reached? That is

:51:50.:51:53.

not the whole of the deal but it is part of it.

:51:54.:51:55.

There are other parts of the deal, I think they have followed the

:51:56.:51:59.

Scottish model, which is to put more money into what will be called the

:52:00.:52:02.

discretionary support fund here and to do other things. Where the two

:52:03.:52:08.

parties are parting company that at the moment is that is the deal as

:52:09.:52:12.

far as the DUP are concerned, but for Sinn Fein I think the issue is,

:52:13.:52:18.

is that a staging post in the deal? There is the added complicity for

:52:19.:52:21.

Sinn Fein that they have been very critical of the South's coalition

:52:22.:52:25.

austerity policies and therefore they have an awkward position of, if

:52:26.:52:32.

they implement austerity there in Northern Ireland, they obviously

:52:33.:52:35.

have a very strong equality agenda, but welfare reform will increase

:52:36.:52:39.

economic and social inequality. They are between a rock and a hard

:52:40.:52:44.

place, Sinn Fein. People would say that if the bones of a deal are in

:52:45.:52:48.

existence, the sooner they get it published and signed up to in public

:52:49.:52:52.

the better. Potentially, Northern Ireland plc is

:52:53.:52:56.

losing ?5 million per month now to the Treasury again. We know that has

:52:57.:53:01.

not been imposed as yet, but potentially the amount of money we

:53:02.:53:04.

are going to lose from our budget is significant.

:53:05.:53:10.

We had an earlier legal debate, and there is -- interesting legal debate

:53:11.:53:14.

about how the Treasury can implement the ?5 million financial penalty. Do

:53:15.:53:19.

you think it is a hollow threat? I don't think it is a hollow threat,

:53:20.:53:23.

because they could do it relatively quickly.

:53:24.:53:26.

On the other hand, I think it is clearly important. We would have

:53:27.:53:32.

been pushed into a decision much more quickly if welfare reform and

:53:33.:53:36.

universal credit and Personal Independence Payments had gone with

:53:37.:53:39.

the timetable in Britain, but it's slowed down on the universal credit

:53:40.:53:44.

side because of problems with IP. In my view on the Personal Independence

:53:45.:53:48.

Payments side it has slowed down because it has played very badly for

:53:49.:53:52.

people with disabilities and the government has slowed that down

:53:53.:53:55.

because of an election. Therefore most of the pain will be felt in the

:53:56.:53:59.

early period of the next government. That has given us some breathing

:54:00.:54:03.

space. I would personally like to see what the two parties agree on

:54:04.:54:07.

being published, so that we can see where we are now and then have a

:54:08.:54:11.

debate about other things we may want to do above and beyond that.

:54:12.:54:17.

The two main parties may agree on something of deal to move this

:54:18.:54:20.

forward, but it requires wider society to agree on that.

:54:21.:54:23.

But also, critically, the other parties at Stormont.

:54:24.:54:29.

Absolutely, and both the Ulster Unionist Party, particularly Michael

:54:30.:54:33.

Copeland as the spokesperson, and the SDLP have been largely kept out

:54:34.:54:40.

of the loop, and they are particularly very critical. One of

:54:41.:54:43.

our worries is that what will happen with welfare reform is it will

:54:44.:54:47.

become a political football, whereas actually what we are dealing with is

:54:48.:54:52.

the importance of Social Security for people, particularly of working

:54:53.:54:58.

age, and it may well prove to be counterintuitive, just as the

:54:59.:55:00.

economy is getting back on its feet, that we do the number of things in

:55:01.:55:04.

Social Security that actually take us in the other direction and have a

:55:05.:55:08.

negative impact on economic recovery. It is a tough, bread and

:55:09.:55:15.

butter issue for our politicians to deal with this. What makes it

:55:16.:55:19.

interesting is that it is outside the usual binary political debate.

:55:20.:55:25.

It is. If we look at the local authorities worst affected by this -

:55:26.:55:30.

Belfast, Strabane, Coleraine - it affects heartlands of both the main

:55:31.:55:36.

political parties. This will play very badly in the heartlands of both

:55:37.:55:39.

the DUP and Sinn Fein, and they are both very aware of that. Therefore,

:55:40.:55:44.

the politics of this are really important as well as the actual

:55:45.:55:49.

outcomes for the people on the ground. If the Personal Independence

:55:50.:55:53.

Payments are introduced as it is, then 25% of people of working age

:55:54.:55:57.

under Disability Living Allowance will lose benefit altogether when

:55:58.:56:01.

they move across to that. That is a lot of money coming out of the local

:56:02.:56:04.

economy, a lot of hardship, and that will have to be picked up somewhere

:56:05.:56:09.

else as -- in terms of health or housing problems. In Britain this is

:56:10.:56:13.

happening, other places are happy that Michael having to pick up the

:56:14.:56:17.

slack. It is not saving the money the government originally intended.

:56:18.:56:23.

-- other places are having to pick up the slack.

:56:24.:56:31.

Cathy, do you get the sense that the two main parties are inching toward

:56:32.:56:38.

something of agreement on this? Inching is probably the right word.

:56:39.:56:42.

There is the possibility of an agreement on the horizon, in part

:56:43.:56:45.

driven by the fact that there may be penalties brought to bear on others.

:56:46.:56:51.

Simon Hamilton has said he has kept aside 50 million to pay for the

:56:52.:56:54.

first quarter of penalties at ?5 billion per month. -- 15 million. ?5

:56:55.:57:04.

million per month. The Treasury has said they will levy the penalty if

:57:05.:57:09.

they did not detect any progress. Progress and agreement are two

:57:10.:57:12.

different things, and I think the two main parties can say they are

:57:13.:57:16.

inching towards an agreed position on this, so they are making progress

:57:17.:57:20.

without moving very fast. The reason for that, I think, is that moving at

:57:21.:57:26.

a slow pace allows the politicians in Northern Ireland to really zone

:57:27.:57:29.

in non-where the problems are in the rest of the UK, so that those

:57:30.:57:34.

mistakes are not made here, for example around the competing

:57:35.:57:38.

problems that they have had. It sounds a little bit like a carrot

:57:39.:57:42.

and stick approach on the behalf of the Treasury.

:57:43.:57:47.

Do you think this matter will be sorted out clearly once and for all.

:57:48.:57:52.

No, because I think last year Nelson McCausland said publicly is that

:57:53.:57:55.

four of the six areas he had agreed behind the scenes with the

:57:56.:58:00.

government would be concessions to Northern Ireland.

:58:01.:58:03.

We seem to be no further forward. I find it extraordinary that was not a

:58:04.:58:06.

single party that supports the welfare reforms giving that polling

:58:07.:58:12.

suggest they are popular. -- given that. Let's take a look at the week

:58:13.:58:14.

in 60 seconds with Stephen Walker. It was friends this united as old

:58:15.:58:30.

pals fell out. He was prepared to go forward to the

:58:31.:58:35.

destruction of the party. But the current DUP leader was keeping his

:58:36.:58:38.

own counsel. I do not intend to take part in

:58:39.:58:43.

these kinds of recriminations. Others suggested Doctor Ian Paisley

:58:44.:58:46.

was on his own. What Ian Paisley has done is expose

:58:47.:58:51.

himself as a billy no mates. Another leading man said he would

:58:52.:58:55.

exit the stage - Matt Baggot is to step down as the PSNI chief

:58:56.:58:58.

constable. At Westminster, David Cameron said

:58:59.:59:02.

the government would not intervene and impose a solution over flags,

:59:03.:59:08.

parades and the past. I think if the parties work together and the

:59:09.:59:11.

British and Irish Lions are there to help, I think we can make progress.

:59:12.:59:14.

Even before it hit the stage, a spoof play on the Bible was shown

:59:15.:59:19.

the final curtain by Newtownabbey Council.

:59:20.:59:28.

Stephen Walker reporting. Cathy, has the dust finally settled on the two

:59:29.:59:36.

Ian Paisley documentaries? I don't think so, I think people

:59:37.:59:40.

will be interested in this story for a long time as the uninterested in

:59:41.:59:44.

any political dynasty. It is of particular interest to us because

:59:45.:59:50.

we're from Northern Ireland. -- as they are interested in any political

:59:51.:59:55.

business -- dynasty. But coups were leaders are

:59:56.:00:00.

overthrown, then we come back to the leader to the previous one who had

:00:01.:00:03.

just been deposed. It is fascinating for us at a local level but this is

:00:04.:00:07.

in practice practising politics internationally.

:00:08.:00:13.

The intriguing place -- the intriguing thing is to wear all of

:00:14.:00:20.

this leaves Ian Paisley junior. Even though he seems to have had limited

:00:21.:00:23.

involvement in this year is the one person who remains that could be

:00:24.:00:25.

punished. Thank you both very much for your

:00:26.:00:27.

company. That is it back to you.

:00:28.:00:42.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is never far away from controversy, but this

:00:43.:00:45.

week he's been outdoing himself. He was hit over the head with a placard

:00:46.:00:48.

by a protester in Kent, provoked outrage by saying women with

:00:49.:00:51.

children are worth less to city firms, and said the ban on owning

:00:52.:00:58.

handguns was 'crackers'. He also seemed less than sure of his party's

:00:59.:01:01.

own policies when I interviewed him on the Daily Politics. And the story

:01:02.:01:05.

that got everyone talking was the suggestion by a UKIP councillor that

:01:06.:01:10.

flooding is linked to gay marriage. We'll talk about all of that in a

:01:11.:01:13.

moment, but first, over to Nigel with the weather. Weather for all

:01:14.:01:22.

areas of the British Isles but definitely not "Bongo Bongo Land."

:01:23.:01:25.

You may have heard about a storm in a tea cup developed when you kip

:01:26.:01:32.

councillor in Oxfordshire blamed the floods on the gay marriage Bill. The

:01:33.:01:38.

old party is focusing on the view of UKIP members like him, even though

:01:39.:01:43.

he had said a sell yuj of things before when a Tory councillor. How

:01:44.:01:49.

quickly things change depending on when the blouse. There are

:01:50.:01:57.

occasional barmy views by people of all persuasions. In Whitby a Labour

:01:58.:02:03.

councillor claimed of fathered a child with an extra terrorist ral,

:02:04.:02:08.

and said his real mother was a 9 foot green alien. And in Wales a

:02:09.:02:16.

councillor thinking about heading off for the

:02:17.:02:25.

slopes, there were flurries of embarrassment for the Tories after

:02:26.:02:33.

Aidan Burly organised a Nazi skiing party in a resort.

:02:34.:02:39.

Anyone heading to Brussels, perhaps on the gravy train, watch out for

:02:40.:02:44.

hot air. In Britain temperatures are rising

:02:45.:02:49.

ahead of the European elections in May. It could get stormy, so advise

:02:50.:02:56.

light aircraft. Watch out for outbreaks of common sense, and no

:02:57.:03:01.

chance of cyclonic fruit cakes. Back to you, Andrew, with the rest of the

:03:02.:03:06.

Sunday Politics. Nick, if it was any other party that

:03:07.:03:10.

had bon through the past week it would be in meltdown. And maybe it

:03:11.:03:15.

is harming UKIP and maybe it isn't. What do you think? That just shows,

:03:16.:03:21.

that great weather forecast, Prince Charles now has a rival to be an

:03:22.:03:27.

excellent weather forecaster, as does the Duchess of Cornwall. It

:03:28.:03:32.

shows why Nigel Farage is the fefr candidate to the European elections.

:03:33.:03:36.

Our invitation to the British people to kick the establishment. The

:03:37.:03:41.

establishment have spent five years that the European Parliament is a

:03:42.:03:44.

waste of time, so who are you going to vote for? A Nigel Farage type of

:03:45.:03:51.

person. What was important about your eadviceration of Nigel Farage

:03:52.:03:56.

on Daily Politics is that when it came to the substance, they

:03:57.:03:59.

flounder. But the point about that party is they may have the thinnest

:04:00.:04:03.

set of policies, but people know what they stand for more than any

:04:04.:04:10.

other parties - get out of Europe, a grammar school in every town. If any

:04:11.:04:15.

other leading politician called for an end to the ban on handguns, at a

:04:16.:04:21.

time when we've seen these appalling gun deaths in the United States, now

:04:22.:04:24.

almost one every week in some terrible siege in a school. It would

:04:25.:04:29.

be a crisis. It seems to wash off him. He's got congenital

:04:30.:04:39.

foot-and-mouthitis. Straight into another wild nothing to do with why

:04:40.:04:44.

people might vote UKIP. I don't think people are desperate to have

:04:45.:04:48.

handgun licences back in this country. It is such an unusual

:04:49.:04:54.

phenomenon, UKIP, that if this was a Tory or a Labour or a Lib Dem saying

:04:55.:05:01.

it, we've seen the damage done to the Lib Dems on a much more serious

:05:02.:05:06.

manner, we would say this is terminal. But maybe it adds to this

:05:07.:05:09.

image that we are not like the other parties. I think that is it. We keep

:05:10.:05:16.

waiting for these scandals and embarrassments to do damage to

:05:17.:05:20.

UKIP's poll ratings, but it's not working. It is ultimately because if

:05:21.:05:27.

you are an antiestablishment party, if you are an anti-system party, the

:05:28.:05:32.

rules of the game which apply to the establishment parties don't apply to

:05:33.:05:38.

you. And the more ramshackle and embarrassing you are, the more

:05:39.:05:42.

authentic you seem. It what be take something for them not to finish

:05:43.:05:49.

second in May. Do they spend the following 12 months sinking in the

:05:50.:05:53.

poll snoos And George Osborne's strategy is fame everything as

:05:54.:05:56.

Labour versus the Conservatives. The electorate will have their fun in

:05:57.:06:00.

May. Maybe the Tories will be beat into third place but in thejection

:06:01.:06:07.

is that -- but in the general election it is Labour versus the

:06:08.:06:15.

Tories. The Conservative Party will run around, 46 letters to Graham

:06:16.:06:19.

Brady, a leadership contest. That sort of scenario. UKIP, if it rules

:06:20.:06:24.

well in the European elections, could cause big trouble for Mr

:06:25.:06:28.

Cameron and Mr Clegg couldn't it? The big point about this, David

:06:29.:06:35.

Cameron said this is not a political party but a pressure group. This is

:06:36.:06:40.

the way to look at UKIP, and the way it is used by people in the right of

:06:41.:06:45.

the party, who say we have to do this. I like the policy of painting

:06:46.:06:52.

the trains in their old liveries. It would be like my old train set. I

:06:53.:07:04.

like the bigger passports. Pre-GNER... And London and Midland.

:07:05.:07:13.

I used to be a train spotter. Gordon Birtwhistle has been on the

:07:14.:07:17.

phone. Good to know you are watching but pity you are not here. He wanted

:07:18.:07:23.

to clarify he had constituency commitments to prevent him coming on

:07:24.:07:27.

the show to talk about becoming leader of the party, but he didn't

:07:28.:07:31.

dispute anything we said on the show.

:07:32.:07:34.

Yesterday, Ed Balls said that housing investment will be a central

:07:35.:07:37.

priority for the next Labour Government. It's a big issue, as the

:07:38.:07:40.

lack of new homes pushes up the the price of owning or renting. Well,

:07:41.:07:43.

tomorrow the Tories will announce what they say is the most ambitious

:07:44.:07:46.

programme of affordable housebuilding for 20 years. The

:07:47.:07:53.

Government sees housing as a really important part of the economy.

:07:54.:07:59.

That's why we are announcing a ?23 billion package for 165,000 new

:08:00.:08:04.

affordable homes. So individual builders, councils, housing

:08:05.:08:09.

associations can bid for that money. Phase one, which we are halfway

:08:10.:08:14.

through at the moment, we've built 170,000 houses. 99,000 already

:08:15.:08:18.

coming out of the ground, so we've made real progress on that. So,

:08:19.:08:25.

165,000 new, affordable homes. It is a lot. Let me add three more words.

:08:26.:08:30.

Over three years. It is not such a lot. It is not, and Labour's

:08:31.:08:34.

commitment is 200,000 homes a year and even that isn't enough. The

:08:35.:08:40.

problem here is that the vest interest is with people who already

:08:41.:08:45.

have homes. They have a vote in the system through the planning

:08:46.:08:47.

regulations. In London there is a gap in the hedge through Richmond

:08:48.:08:52.

Park through which you should be able to see St Paul's Cathedral.

:08:53.:08:57.

That's why you cannot build homes where you want them. I don't think

:08:58.:09:02.

we want to build homes over Richmond Park. He wasn't saying that. That's

:09:03.:09:10.

dies an Tyne -- that's Byzantine. You've got to deal with supply,

:09:11.:09:14.

which is why Labour is talking about 200,000 a year, and what George

:09:15.:09:19.

Osborne has done with supply is helping with demand. We know the

:09:20.:09:24.

Help to Buy Scheme is pretty dangerous, and Mark Carney is keen

:09:25.:09:30.

to put the break on that. If you are to deal with supply, you have to do

:09:31.:09:36.

radical things. Chris Huhne talked about on brownfield sites you can

:09:37.:09:40.

tax people who are holding the land as if the development has taken

:09:41.:09:43.

place. Then if you are really going to deal with it you have to talk

:09:44.:09:47.

about the greenfield sites, and you have to deal with the garden cities

:09:48.:09:52.

argument, which is too much for the Tories. All the parties seem to

:09:53.:09:56.

agree building new houses is a political winner. I hope that they

:09:57.:09:59.

are right. I'm not sure they are. The housing market is the example of

:10:00.:10:05.

what economists call the insider in-outsider problem. People who are

:10:06.:10:10.

already homeowners have no rational incentive to vote for more housing

:10:11.:10:16.

stock. Even if you leave aside the Conservative arable objections, if

:10:17.:10:19.

you are a homeowner there is an interest to stick with the planning

:10:20.:10:24.

promise that we have. So then we are stuck between a rock and a hard

:10:25.:10:28.

place. Not only are we growing at the moment but our population is

:10:29.:10:33.

growing. I've seen projects that in quite quickly we will overtake

:10:34.:10:38.

Germany and become the largest populated country in Europe. If

:10:39.:10:41.

that's the case we've got to build homes. We have. If you look at Tower

:10:42.:10:47.

Hamlets in London, the population is r ging higher than the number of

:10:48.:10:52.

dwelling. Classically the theory's been young people are most affected

:10:53.:10:56.

by this and they don't vote much. But when their parents have young

:10:57.:11:02.

Johnny stuck at home at 37, that's an electoral issue. That's why the

:11:03.:11:07.

garden cities project is interesting, because they finance

:11:08.:11:11.

themselves. You zone it for development, it is worth ?2 million

:11:12.:11:16.

an acre and then you can build on it. But who is going to want the

:11:17.:11:22.

greenfield sites gone. And how quickly can we build garden cities

:11:23.:11:28.

today? Some were started before the Town and Country Planning Act. I've

:11:29.:11:33.

read stats about the way Chinese and Japanese are building houses and

:11:34.:11:37.

they were slower than that. Here's a thought, sticking on the housing

:11:38.:11:41.

theme. Ed Miliband came up with the energy freeze, a populist

:11:42.:11:46.

interventionist move. Then the use it or lose it to land developers.

:11:47.:11:52.

Then breaking up the banks. Now the 50p tax rate. How much would you put

:11:53.:11:56.

on Labour coming up for rent controls? That's already a big

:11:57.:12:01.

split. They are split already on it. They have. In London it is a popular

:12:02.:12:06.

policy. It might not play well in the rest of the country. I would say

:12:07.:12:10.

50-50 on that. I think Labour supporting rent controls like the

:12:11.:12:14.

Tories having a go at welfare. The policy may be individually popular

:12:15.:12:18.

but it sends an impression about the party which might be less attract

:12:19.:12:23.

active. It confirms underlying suspicions that vote these guys into

:12:24.:12:26.

power and suddenly they are tampering with the private economy.

:12:27.:12:31.

The memories of the '70s when Governments tried and failed to do

:12:32.:12:35.

that. It is riskier than a superficial reading of the polls

:12:36.:12:37.

would superficial reading of the polls

:12:38.:12:40.

would suggest. One to watch? I think they are looking at it. That was the

:12:41.:12:45.

key message of the Ed Balls speech on housing, is looking at supply and

:12:46.:12:50.

how you get to that 200,000 figure a year, which is substantially more

:12:51.:12:54.

than what Kris Hopkins is talking about. What we didn't get to talk

:12:55.:12:59.

about, remember we had Michael Wilshaw on, the Chief Inspector of

:13:00.:13:03.

Schools. We all consumed was Mr Gove's man, the Education

:13:04.:13:07.

Secretary's man. Now according to the Sunday Times he is spitting

:13:08.:13:11.

blood about the way Mr Gove and his office are speaking about him behind

:13:12.:13:15.

the scenes. We've checked the quotes and he stands by them, so I think

:13:16.:13:19.

we'll have to have the head of Ofsted back on the programme. If you

:13:20.:13:23.

are watching, we're here. All that to the Lib Dems who didn't come on

:13:24.:13:27.

today. That's all for today. Thanks to all

:13:28.:13:30.

my guests. The Daily Politics is back on Monday at midday on BBC Two,

:13:31.:13:34.

and I'll be here again next week. Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the

:13:35.:13:35.

Sunday Politics. Britain, with 120,000 soldiers,

:13:36.:14:13.

is now at war with Germany This would be the first

:14:14.:14:21.

truly modern war.

:14:22.:14:30.

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