13/05/2012 Sunday Politics South West


13/05/2012

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 13/05/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

In the South West. The Government's promised to make supermarkets pay

:01:42.:01:45.

farmers a fair price, but the retail giants say that'll mean

:01:45.:01:55.
:01:55.:01:55.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2006 seconds

:01:55.:35:22.

Hello, and welcome to the Sunday Politics in the South West. Coming

:35:22.:35:27.

up. The undelivered promise to give voters the power to sack naughty

:35:27.:35:32.

MPs. I'm joined by somebody who's becoming on old hand on this

:35:32.:35:36.

programme, Labour MP Alison Seabeck, who is gamely struggling with a

:35:36.:35:40.

cold today. And by a Sunday Politics debutant - though

:35:40.:35:43.

certainly no political virgin - the Lib Dem peer, cornwall councillor

:35:43.:35:53.
:35:53.:35:55.

and former MEP, Robin Teverson. This week the government had the

:35:55.:36:00.

bit of news to warm the cockles of shadow defence ministers, like to,

:36:00.:36:03.

it announced it is going to buy a batch of jump-jet for the new

:36:03.:36:08.

aircraft carriers. This was joyride do in government, the government

:36:08.:36:13.

did the defence review and said it was a stupid idea, and now they are

:36:13.:36:22.

packed your plan. Absolutely, and a considerable cost to the taxpayer.

:36:22.:36:27.

Philip Hammond struggled to explain why they had taken the original

:36:27.:36:32.

decision and not seek advice on it. The argument seems to me that

:36:32.:36:36.

something has changed, the facts have changed. Perhaps he would like

:36:37.:36:42.

to risk derision advice on why they went for the fixed-wing aircraft.

:36:42.:36:45.

This is acutely embarrassing U-turn, is it not just the fact he did not

:36:45.:36:48.

look closely into this other government and have been forced to

:36:48.:36:54.

go back to this plan? I don't think it's very good at all. Having said

:36:54.:36:58.

that, what worries me is that we have an Anglo-French defence treaty

:36:58.:37:04.

that is very difficult in terms of interoperability between the two

:37:04.:37:11.

and Davies, the two aircraft carriers. How could it ever cost �1

:37:11.:37:17.

billion to change catapults on an aircraft carrier? What sort of

:37:17.:37:23.

original contract did the previous cont'd -- government signed which

:37:23.:37:29.

means that he's changes cost so much money? I think there are

:37:29.:37:34.

questions about the Ministry of Defence over many years.

:37:34.:37:36.

The Queen's Speech revealed that the Government is finally

:37:36.:37:39.

introducing a regulator to police the relationship between

:37:39.:37:42.

supermarkets and farmers. It's supposed to stop big retailers

:37:42.:37:46.

using their commercial muscle to take advantage of food producers.

:37:46.:37:50.

Farmers have been demanding this for years. But the supermarkets say

:37:50.:37:54.

it will push up prices at the checkout. In a further twist, some

:37:54.:37:57.

supporters of the idea fear what the Government's produced is a

:37:57.:38:00.

toothless beast which will struggle to expose exploitation or punish

:38:00.:38:05.

the offenders. John Ayres reports. How much is a pint, or should I say

:38:05.:38:09.

0.568 litres, of milk? There's a feeling that some people in the

:38:09.:38:18.

corridors of power don't know. only are Cameron and was born two

:38:18.:38:22.

posh boys who don't know the price of bill, but there two arrogant

:38:22.:38:28.

posh boys who showed no remorse, and no passion to want to

:38:28.:38:32.

understand the lives of others. not only does David Cameron say he

:38:32.:38:35.

knows the price of milk but his Government's also trying to do

:38:35.:38:38.

something about it. Ruth Kimber is a dairy farmer from Somerset. If

:38:38.:38:43.

the price she receives for a litre of milk drops by just a penny, it

:38:43.:38:51.

can cost her thousands. The problem is that the buyers are so strong.

:38:51.:38:55.

We have to find a way of matching up the strengths. The only way we

:38:55.:39:00.

can do that with so few of them and so many of us is to have an

:39:00.:39:05.

adjudicator with a decent amount of powers to make his position or her

:39:05.:39:09.

position tenable. An adjudicator is exactly what was announced in the

:39:09.:39:12.

Queen's Speech last week. A policeman in effect, to ensure

:39:12.:39:16.

deals are fair. And this isn't just about milk. Releationships involved

:39:16.:39:23.

in producing all sorts of food will come under strutiny. Most of us,

:39:23.:39:27.

when we had food, so long as it tastes nice and cost a fair price,

:39:27.:39:32.

we don't think much about how it has got here. The farmers say that

:39:32.:39:36.

the supermarkets have too much power and if it continues that way

:39:36.:39:39.

then it could be damaging to the farming industry and other long-

:39:39.:39:44.

term effect on security of food. Richard Haddock is a Devon farmer

:39:44.:39:48.

who has set up his own farm shop because he would rather cut out the

:39:48.:39:51.

middle man. He not only wants an adjudicator, but he wants the

:39:51.:40:00.

powers to be extended further. whole thing has to be looked at. It

:40:00.:40:05.

needs at least Monday, a genuine policemen with teeth. If things go

:40:05.:40:09.

down in price, we have to move down, and if things go up in price, they

:40:09.:40:15.

must have to move up. It could be another quango, depends if the

:40:15.:40:19.

government did it teeth. Quangos. I thought the Government

:40:19.:40:26.

said it was getting rid of those. And how much is this going to cost?

:40:26.:40:30.

The cost will be pushed on to consumers so we will be paying for

:40:30.:40:34.

a quango which will not be able to do anything and will not identify

:40:34.:40:39.

the problem specifically identified in the competition report. So how

:40:39.:40:43.

effective will it be? As it stands, the only sanction available will be

:40:43.:40:50.

to name and shame businesses that don't play fair. The worry is that

:40:50.:40:54.

people will not be prepared to come Ford and whistle blowers will not

:40:54.:41:03.

have the protection that they need. Supermarkets will feel but one that

:41:03.:41:07.

bit of censure from D adjudicator, unless it hits them in the pocket,

:41:07.:41:14.

will not make them change their practices. The supermarkets believe

:41:14.:41:21.

they are fair, saying they do invest in farming. It would take

:41:21.:41:26.

away cos that we would be able to invest in stores and shops and

:41:26.:41:29.

keeping prices down for consumers. Farmers say they want an

:41:29.:41:32.

adjudicator, the supermarkets say it's not necessary. There is going

:41:32.:41:39.

to be one, the test will be if it can actually make any difference.

:41:39.:41:44.

This has been a big issue for the Lib Dems. I knew concern that now

:41:44.:41:50.

it is actually happening, you might not at the Palace to do the job?

:41:50.:41:54.

First, I am pleased that something has happened. Not everything has

:41:54.:41:59.

got into the Queen's Speech and we do have this bill, and it had its

:41:59.:42:06.

first reading on Friday. So it means that it is there and has to

:42:06.:42:10.

be taught through. I think there are some issues about it and the

:42:11.:42:14.

one that I would say is that if you have legislation and to bother to

:42:15.:42:19.

do that, you change a code of practice into something that is

:42:19.:42:25.

statutory. You need to do it properly. That organisation is to

:42:25.:42:30.

have reasonable teeth, like the Financial Services Authority does

:42:30.:42:35.

for the finance area. There is provision for finding within this

:42:35.:42:40.

piece of legislation. It is a last resort but last with the minister.

:42:40.:42:44.

That is right, it just be referred to the minister, and a dead thing

:42:44.:42:49.

that is good enough. But continues to be the adjudicated themselves.

:42:49.:42:53.

And it needs to be pretty big fines, presumably, dealing with retailers

:42:53.:42:58.

on this scale. Yes, to be noticeable, they have to be

:42:58.:43:01.

significant. I think just naming and shaming or having

:43:01.:43:05.

investigations is important but it does not quite get there yet and

:43:05.:43:09.

maybe more but the government to change its mind. Alison, did you

:43:09.:43:14.

recruit labour's official position? There is clearly a debate that has

:43:14.:43:21.

to be had. There are -- I spoke to farmers, about a year ago, about

:43:21.:43:27.

whether the code was strong enough, and they felt it was not. I

:43:27.:43:32.

actually do think having an ombudsman of some sort is the way

:43:32.:43:37.

to go. But I heartily agree with Robin that it has to have teeth.

:43:37.:43:44.

You will play with some very big players here. What about the

:43:44.:43:51.

argument that farming incomes are doing quite well at the moment, but,

:43:51.:43:56.

whatever happens, it this actually works it will put up prices for

:43:56.:43:59.

consumers and those other people that are really hurting at the

:43:59.:44:05.

moment? The balance must be found through the middle of this. Clearly,

:44:05.:44:14.

the consumer will pay a price, I suspect. It is almost inevitable.

:44:14.:44:19.

But we have seen farmers' fortunes ebb and flow and when they are at

:44:19.:44:25.

the bottom, they really struggle. Robin do you agree that the

:44:25.:44:30.

consumer is bound be hit in the pocket by this? In fact, price 16

:44:30.:44:35.

is excluded out of this completely, and I think the most important

:44:35.:44:40.

thing is that farmers need to have sensible returns so that they are

:44:40.:44:46.

there for a long term. Some people were as intrigued by the bills

:44:46.:44:49.

which didn't make it into the Queen's Speech as the ones that did.

:44:49.:44:54.

Social care reform and gay marriage both missed the boat. And there was

:44:54.:44:57.

no update on the Government's promise to give voters the power to

:44:57.:45:00.

sack misbehaving MPs between general elections. So it's still

:45:00.:45:02.

not clear when this particular coalition pledge will be honoured.

:45:02.:45:05.

And the plans the Government's already sketched out have drawn

:45:05.:45:08.

fierce criticism from people who say they're not worth the paper

:45:08.:45:15.

they're written on anyway. Tamsin Melville reports.

:45:15.:45:20.

I have done nothing criminal, that is the most awful thing. They were

:45:20.:45:24.

the symbols of the MPs' expenses scandal in the South west. Anthony

:45:24.:45:27.

Steen's flagpole - for which he tried to claim �28.50. And Julia

:45:27.:45:35.

Goldsworthy's rocking chair - which had cost taxpayers �1,000. We have

:45:35.:45:40.

too many MPs who once they are elected have a job for life.

:45:40.:45:43.

image of the designer rocking chair dogged Julia Goldsworthy, until she

:45:43.:45:47.

lost her re-drawn seat at the 2010 general election. And it was cases

:45:47.:45:50.

like hers which contributed to a new enthusiasm for the option of

:45:50.:45:53.

getting rid of MPs between elections. In the last

:45:53.:45:56.

parliamentary session a draft Bill on the Recall of MPs appeared. But

:45:56.:46:03.

there was no mention of it becoming law in this week's Queen's Speech.

:46:03.:46:06.

Under the coalition's plans, a Commons Committee decides if a

:46:06.:46:10.

recall should be triggered. Then, if 10% of constituents sign a

:46:10.:46:15.

petition, a by-election goes ahead. Critics think there's a danger of

:46:15.:46:25.
:46:25.:46:25.

vested interests. What we want is for voters to be able to decide, at

:46:25.:46:30.

not a group of MPs, but there they attempt to remove their MP, and not

:46:30.:46:34.

just for serious wrongdoing, but for loss of confidence for any

:46:34.:46:39.

reason. It needs to be opened up democratically and if the threshold

:46:39.:46:43.

is enough, then we should be and trouble to the people and not just

:46:43.:46:47.

the parliament, but we have to get that right. Neil Parish is joined

:46:47.:46:50.

by more than 50 cross-party members who are supporting alternative

:46:50.:46:53.

proposals which give more power to voters to sack their MP - rather

:46:53.:46:59.

than a Parliamentary committee. But this approach has its critics too.

:46:59.:47:05.

If you could below anybody to trigger an recall mechanism they

:47:05.:47:10.

will be big money, for example the Murdoch press might have it in for

:47:10.:47:15.

an MP he was having a bit of a nuisance for them. We have to be

:47:15.:47:19.

careful that the trigger mechanism is with the public but is on the

:47:19.:47:23.

best possible grounds. Across the pond, the power of recall is a

:47:23.:47:26.

feature of politics in some American states, and was most

:47:26.:47:29.

famously used in California in 2003 when Governor Gray Davis lost a

:47:29.:47:31.

ballot to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator attracted global

:47:31.:47:35.

attention to a little-known power that's only ever been used twice at

:47:35.:47:44.

this level. It is supposed to be this instrument of direct democracy

:47:44.:47:50.

and people power but in the end, what really triggers these recalls

:47:50.:47:57.

his money, and large amounts of money, from private citizens or

:47:57.:48:02.

from the unions. It does not tend to be a grassroots movement. It may

:48:02.:48:07.

not be widely used in top level politics in the US, but as a symbol

:48:07.:48:10.

of direct democracy the National Union of Students here is running

:48:10.:48:14.

its own Right to Recall campaign - against Lib Dem MPs who did a U-

:48:14.:48:21.

turn on tuition fees. I think everyone should be accountable for

:48:21.:48:27.

their actions. So I think it is something the NUS have got right.

:48:27.:48:31.

If people decide they should lose their seats, then they should lose

:48:31.:48:35.

their seats. If they have gone so far against policy than the need to

:48:35.:48:38.

be put under the spotlight. But, for now, the Government's Bill

:48:38.:48:41.

remains a draft, and the supporters of the alternative proposals are

:48:41.:48:48.

still waiting for a promised Commons debate.

:48:49.:48:53.

Robin, Lib Dems like constitutional reform. Some people so they are

:48:53.:49:01.

fixated with them! You could not get people to change the voting

:49:01.:49:06.

system last year. Your big thing now is 0 reform. This thing, which

:49:06.:49:10.

strikes me the one bit of constitutional reform that might

:49:10.:49:20.

enthuse people, did not get a mention. Of course, as the peer,

:49:20.:49:23.

cannot be fired under any circumstances. That is why does

:49:23.:49:31.

need reform. In terms of right to recall, then it is part of the

:49:31.:49:35.

coalition agreement so it needs to go in there. I think the draft bill

:49:35.:49:39.

was pretty anaemic. You have to get a balance between the public being

:49:39.:49:42.

able to recall someone who has really gone against what they

:49:42.:49:46.

should be doing but at the same time not stopping them from really

:49:46.:49:50.

saying what they think of being able to stand up to some of the

:49:50.:49:53.

pressure groups and do what the majority of their constituents want

:49:53.:49:57.

them to do. It needs to be left in the hands of the people and not

:49:57.:50:06.

just Parliament. I agree. It is interesting that in a very thin

:50:06.:50:12.

Queen's Speech that this Bill was not included. I'm not quite sure

:50:12.:50:16.

what the logic was because it think it is something we should debate

:50:16.:50:20.

and I think the public want us to have the discussion and they want

:50:20.:50:25.

to be involved. But there are risks. We do have to make sure that it

:50:25.:50:30.

cannot be used vexatiously, but the money cannot be used to house

:50:30.:50:37.

somebody for whatever reason. You could see, either within individual

:50:37.:50:42.

parties, factions getting together to try to unseat an MP who perhaps

:50:42.:50:49.

is taking an individual few want something. They need to be checks

:50:49.:50:54.

and balances in there but it is important that we discuss it.

:50:55.:50:58.

do you achieve that? We heard that in America, on the few occasions

:50:58.:51:03.

when this has happened, big money tends to be involved. Yes, and in

:51:03.:51:07.

the draft Bill there are all sorts of provisions are but a new finance

:51:07.:51:13.

how this works. I remember when I was a prospective candidate back in

:51:13.:51:18.

the 1990s, around the poll tax, people said to me how did we get

:51:18.:51:23.

redress snow on our MP if they voted the wrong way, and you cannot.

:51:23.:51:28.

You need to leave it in the hands of people with a threshold that

:51:28.:51:30.

means they after it signed a petition properly in a particular

:51:31.:51:35.

place, they are proper constituent, that it has to be a bar of a

:51:35.:51:41.

certain threshold. This debate about whether quite trivial issues

:51:41.:51:45.

could sparks this. The government plans would apply to criminal

:51:45.:51:51.

offences. It somebody is convicted of criminal offence while they are

:51:51.:51:56.

in Parliament Commission may just be kicked out anyway? That is a

:51:56.:51:59.

very good point and is clearly something we should discuss.

:51:59.:52:04.

would expect lawmakers to keep the law themselves. At the moment, it

:52:04.:52:10.

is over 12 months, they should be out anyway. Absolutely, lawmakers

:52:10.:52:14.

should be law keepers. Now our regular round-up of the

:52:14.:52:24.

political week in 60 seconds. The police hit the streets - not to

:52:24.:52:32.

supervise a protest but to do the protesting. We are seeing a real

:52:32.:52:35.

effect in Dorset, and losing officers and support staff which

:52:35.:52:39.

will have a detrimental effect on the service we give. And tomorrow's

:52:39.:52:44.

pensioners had the same idea. A multi-million pound uplift of

:52:44.:52:47.

public money is needed to re-open Plymouth Airport, according to the

:52:47.:52:55.

group campaigning to save it. costs a number of millions to free

:52:55.:53:02.

the airport for the long term of the city then that is a superb deal

:53:02.:53:05.

for the city. Pollock handliners say quota cuts could shipwreck

:53:05.:53:14.

their businesses. I was at sea on the second and by the evening off

:53:14.:53:17.

the third I had a phone call to tell me I had caught my quota for

:53:17.:53:21.

the month. And the company in charge of emptying Cornwall's bins

:53:21.:53:25.

is fined of tens of thousands of pounds for being a bit rubbish

:53:25.:53:35.
:53:35.:53:38.

itself. Should they be put your the kestrel

:53:38.:53:42.

Plymouth airport? There are certainly came back and looking at

:53:42.:53:47.

the airport and its relation to the city. But it is far too early. But

:53:48.:53:53.

then it is an issue that is being taken very seriously. Robin, you're

:53:53.:53:58.

not from Plymouth, but I know you have been a great business lobbyist

:53:58.:54:02.

and business people say transport links are the top priority. They

:54:02.:54:07.

are. I used to represent Plymouth in Europe. One might use his

:54:07.:54:13.

letters get a decent train service in Plymouth. What about the

:54:13.:54:18.

airport? I think the airport is something I would like to support

:54:18.:54:23.

and want to be there, but the council tax payer cannot subsidise

:54:23.:54:28.

him by millions. If we can make it work, that is good, but it us to

:54:28.:54:34.

work financially in the long term. Could you not be repaid in the long

:54:34.:54:37.

term by the Investment? It depends what kind of detail they come up

:54:38.:54:44.

with. Was there there are commercial interests around there.

:54:44.:54:47.

Plymouth City Council is still the freeholder so I would have thought

:54:47.:54:52.

it could find some way of fixing this. What is your message to the

:54:52.:54:57.

company canteen on not tempting pins in Cornwall? I got a lot of

:54:57.:54:59.

aggro from my accountant institutes and the need to get their act

:54:59.:55:05.

together. I think they have now run out of the bags to give people so I

:55:05.:55:09.

Andrew Neil and Martyn Oates with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by the communities secretary Eric Pickles to discuss growth and regulation, plus he speaks to the Labour MP, Chris Bryant about the latest from the Leveson Inquiry and hears how two leading economists would get Britain's economy growing.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS