13/10/2013 Sunday Politics South West


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Morning, welcome to the veritable pot pourri that is this morning's


Sunday Politics. We have Alastair Charmichael. We'll ask him what he


has that his predecessor Michael Moore hadn't. Ken Clarke just keeps


going on and on and on. He'll bang his drum for Europe.


Free of the shackles of Government, former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne


will be with us. We'll ask him for the inside scoop.


In the South West: The MPs Diane Abbott will join


In the South West: The MPs threatening to mobilise the rural


yeomanry in their fight for better council funding.


And what next for the says we've misunderstood the problem


of human trafficking and that men pundits who we try to shuffle out of


a job but failed miserably, Mick watt, Miranda Green Andijan an


Ganesh. They'll Tweet like mad as if Is Ed Miliband's Labour Party moving


chid owe Cabinet reshuffle was seen a a shift to the lot of. Two have


announced policy changes which could Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves


says Labour will be tougher on the Tories. While Tristram Hunt says


Labour loves Tory-style free schools after all. Here he is on the BBC


viewers. If you are a group of parents, social entrepreneurs,


teachers, interested in setting parents, social entrepreneurs,


school in areas where you need new school place, the Labour Government


will be on your side. That's free enterprise and innovation. It will


will be on your side. That's free be in areas of need. We have a


school places crisis going on. It teachers in these schools. And


accountability. What is going on with the Al Madina school is because


of terrible mistakes with Michael I'm not sure if the policies have


changed, the change of tone is I'm not sure if the policies have


changed, the change of tone is remarkable, both on welfare and


changed, the change of tone is schools. A significant change of


reshuffle on the Labour frontbench last week was init wered as a purge


of Blair rights. It seemed to be a purge of anti-reform thinking.


Rachel Reeves was not saying anythi different on substance but saying


Labour will be tough than the Tories on welfare. You've seen that clip


from Tristram, free schools will be allowed to be set up in areas of


need. Greater oversight. But a completely different change of tone,


we are on the side of parents and social entrepreneurs who want to set


these up. A different change. Why are they doing this? On education,


polarised. You've had the Michael department. This weekend, we've


polarised. You've had the Michael leaked memos from one of Michael


Gove's advisers which are extreme views about the state of education.


And on the other side teaching unions. It hasn't led to a healthy


debate which represents what parents want out of schools or employers.


This is a huge move from the Labour Party to sound more reasonable.


This is a huge move from the Labour have been silent on education which


is a huge policy area on the left. Is this a focus group-driven change?


They've seen the polls. Welfare reforms are hugery popular and free


only apiece the focus groups by changing the policy substantially. I


always thought a test for this Labour reshuffle was not whether Ed


Miliband would promote Blair rights, it is clear he did, it is whether


they would be allowed to be Blair rights. When Stephen Twigg carried


the education portfolio it was clear his own views were closer to the


Government than he was allowed to let on. He was constrained. There is


no point of giving Tristram Hunt this job if he is not allowed to say


what he thinks. I wouldn't mind betting privately he thinks free


schools should be available beyond just areas of need. He hasn't yet


defined need. It could be, we've run schools are so bad we need schools.


If that is it, it is the same Asics itsing Government policy. In they


unsatisfactory that's no different. He wanted to say he was in favour of


higher educational standards and rigour, he had to tell the audience


he has a Cambridge PhD to attack Michael Gove. That was difficult for


Tristram Hunt he had to mention that. Is that worth something, a PhD


from Cambridge? Obviously to him it is. He said they would demand proper


teaching qualifications. That could teaching? Independent schools do not


have to have teachers with formal teaching qualifications. I've never


been to one? What about you? That decision by Michael Gove to allow


free schools to employ nonunionised and non-trained people, so he has to


Watch this space. The dust settled after the party resufficients. Do


the Tories look a bit more like Britain. Do the Tories look more


#4 With reshuffles, you're never really certain. There's whispers,


rumours, guesses. But the only way to know it is underway is keeping


beady eyes on a front door. Up until now, the only way we knew who was in


and who was out was who came walking down this bit of Downing Street


and who was out was who came walking a smile on their face after going to


see the boss. The once who are to be sacked, they usually go round the


back. Not this time. No, something new alerted us all. The-PM started


can't remember a triple decker reshuffle where you've three parties


changing ministerial teams at the resufficient happened on Twitter.


Not that the press stopped watching the door as well. News was a bit


Charmichael replaced Michael Moore, the first to be pounced on. I'm


disappointed to be leaving office now but pleased at what I've been


able to achieve in the last couple of years. Not as pleased as one


imagines as the man receiving the welcome that went on, and on and


simultaneously having Jeremy Browne, in a sense seen off the premises of


the Home Office in conspiracy to let # Blowing hi Jude through a traffic


Democrats. We tend to think they are herbivorous. Sacking a Cabinet


Minister, another minister, Jeremy Browne. By lunch time, the Tory


ranks were shifting too. The PM Browne. By lunch time, the Tory


to boost the numbers of telegenic women walking into Government and


turning perceptions around. He tipped a so-called flatcap to men


backgrounds with room for some which fitted neither label but are friends


of George Osborne. And, all the while, those new Tory ministers


of George Osborne. And, all the learning of Labour's changes. Labour


too knows the value of new young blood striding into the limelight.


Again some with TV experience of that. Tristram Hunt and Gloria de


peer row would be hard to describe as hard left. But Blairbrushing


peer row would be hard to describe past out of the picture seemed to be


the name of the day. Liam Byrne With Diane Abbott also gone, was


this really a Blair right cull? It depends what you mean. Blair right


used to mean someone who wanted depends what you mean. Blair right


Blair to be leader of the Labour Party. Somebody who worked closely


with him. Now it means sometimes people who believe in a certain


with him. Now it means sometimes of ideologyies or ideas. There are


still very much those kind of Blair rights within the party. But we


still very much those kind of Blair seeing the group around Tony Blair


are not long assassin flew enjoys as they once were. By evening, it was


over. New bees were sharing the ministers quietly thanked commits


raters. Or -- commiserators. Or ministers quietly thanked commits


disified. How much much someone standing here might want it to be


the case, you are unlikely to get someone coming out of that do going


"how could." And running off crying! And the brand, spanking new Scottish


Secretary Alastair Charmichael joins us from Orkney on a line that hasn't


been used since the fleet was used in the outbreak of World War I! I


wasn't around at the time. I'm hearing you loud and clear. Why


wasn't around at the time. I'm you agreed to run a department?


wasn't around at the time. I'm you wanted to abolish six years


wasn't around at the time. I'm Hello? Maybe our connections are not


Charmichael. Can you hear me? I Hello? Maybe our connections are not


hear you now. There was a nasty second there where you disappeared.


Let me try the question again. Why have you agreed to run a department


you wanted to abolish six years have you agreed to run a department


Because this is the, probably one of the most important jobs in British


politics at the moment. To ensure that Scotland remains part of the


UK. Even when I was talking about the reconfiguration of rep sen Taigs


of Scotland -- representation of Scotland within Whitehall, there was


always a job to be done. That is true in spades now. I will focus on


making sure the UK Government has a real voice in that debate. What


making sure the UK Government has a you that Michael Moore didn't have?


Look, I think Michael Moore did you that Michael Moore didn't have?


excellent job. The work he did delivering the Edinburgh agreement


clear legal and decisive referendum, the work delivering extra powers to


substantial piece of work. I'm not friend of mine. I will say that


substantial piece of work. I'm not we go forward into this, this is now


about the actual debate itself. we go forward into this, this is now


will be putting the case, with some passion, I hope, for Scotland to


just some abstract debate about nationhood, sovereignty, this is a


their livelihoods, the cost of their mortgage. That and an awful lot


challenge. I understand that. But if you're being put in there to save


the union, every pole has the no -- poll has the no campaign margin


alley ahead. Mr Moore was doing pretty well to save the union. I


suspect you've been given the job to Scotland? And lieu, you misread


suspect you've been given the job to situation if you -- Andrew, you


misread the situation new think anybody is going to be the person


who will save the union. The people who will save the union are the


people of Scotland if they turn who will save the union are the


next year and vote to save the union. We have to put the case for


that. That is what I will be doing. Look at the position of your own


party. You came fourth in the last Scottish parentry elections. You


were even behind the Conservatives. The latest poll has you still in


fourth. Are you there because you're a bruiser and you will pep up the


Liberal Democrats opportunity in Scotland. If I had a pound for


everybody to referred to me as being Scotland. If I had a pound for


a bruiser, I wouldn't need to be sitting here this morning. I could


have retired by now. The truth of this, if I can address it once and


for all, I have done probably one of the most complex and subtle jobs in


three-and-a-half years, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in a Coalition


survived in that job a week, let alone three-and-a-half years, if I


was the sort of person who went around picking unnecessary fights.


So, can we just please forget about this business about being a bruiser.


As far as the position of the party in the polls, this is true also


As far as the position of the party the referendum vote, opinion polls


are a snapshot. They are not a prediction of what will happen in


the future. I will be out there putting the case. Neither the next


election nor the referendum is one or lost yet. One of the things I


really want to be guarding against because we are a good margin ahead


today, 12 months out from the actual polling day, that it is in the bag.


Believe me, Andrew, it is not. As you know, wasn't for the Liberal


Democrats. Not just talking about the polls. You came fourth in the


You said you were happy to facial ex-Salmond in a TV debade. Should


David Cameron face him? I am happy debate. Should David Cameron face


him? No, because that allows Alex Nationalists to portray this as


him? No, because that allows Alex sort of contest or choice between a


vision of Scottish social democracy and English conservativism, which it


is not. This is a debate that has to is not. This is a debate that has to


be held in Scotland about the future of Scotland amongst Scots. David


Cameron has a very important part in Scotland's public life, but he is


not Scottish and I think he will accept Commies edit himself in fact,


the person who should be debating Darling. He has got a Scottish name


wealthiest of Scotland at some stage in the past. Anyway, you described


the campaign to keep the union together as lacking passion, were


you referring to the campaign or referring to Alistair Darling. I


think what I was saying is that referring to Alistair Darling. I


we move into this new stage, and Alistair Darling said it himself, we


are now campaigning for people Alistair Darling said it himself, we


hearts because if you look at the range of papers the Government has


published, it is pretty clear the arguments lie in relation to the


head. I am not giving up the battle for the hearts and Scotland because


there is a good strong case, as somebody who is proud to be Scottish


and to be British, for Scotland somebody who is proud to be Scottish


remain part of the UK. You come somebody who is proud to be Scottish


distilleries and I understand you celebratory drink for your new post.


Not a drop has touched my lips. celebratory drink for your new post.


supporting local business! I will be making up for lost time on the


supporting local business! I will be of November, I will be doing it


supporting local business! I will be aid of Macmillan Cancer care and if


website, they can donate. It is worthwhile. I cannot think of a


better cause. One Cabinet minister who many thought might get Reef


better cause. One Cabinet minister Clarke. Welcome to Sunday Politics.


minorities, where did you fit in? I minorities, where did you fit in? I


would describe myself as the elder statesman, to be polite, but it


would describe myself as the elder difficult to replace them. I enjoy


it. It is a great privilege to have a role in Cabinet and I will carry


on as long as David wants me to a role in Cabinet and I will carry


I have seen many reshuffles, they are dreadful and I seem to have


survived them so far. Did David Cameron talk to you before this


reshuffle? No, he didn't. I would have had expected a phone call,


asking, how do you think about stepping down, but he didn't and my


role is one of giving my wit and wisdom to the Cabinet and meetings


of the Security Council so he has got to put up with me a bit longer.


You said you are going to stand again at the next election, why


You said you are going to stand you keep going? What do you hope to


achieve in politics? I am mostly a political anorak, I have been since


I was very small, by the process of politics but the older I get I get


governance of the country and at the moment the combination of problems


is quite appalling. The difficulty of tackling the modern world is


is quite appalling. The difficulty difficult and I find it fascinating.


The old argument that attracts every decent person into politics, you


might be able sometimes to make decent person into politics, you


bit of difference, and I try to decent person into politics, you


that. I try not to hark back on decent person into politics, you


experience but we will have a lot of tough problems which I think the


Conservative Government will have to tackle. You opposed referenda on


Maastricht, the Lisbon Treaty, you were even against one on Britain


adopting the euro. It must follow that you are against the referenda


on Britain's membership to the EU? I accountable to the long-term and


representatives, but this is a minority now and my colleagues have


firmly decided a referendum needs to be held to settle the question of


Britain's relationship with the European Union which I think is


Britain's relationship with the of the most important things in


Britain's place in the modern world politicians are able to look after


the living standards, the economy, the safety against terrorism. Last


the living standards, the economy, summer you said that only extreme


nationalists wanted a silly EU referendum. It follows your party


must be full of extremely silly nationalists. The people who are


desperate to have a referendum are all the people who actually want to


referendum will involve the public and people like me have got to get


across to the public, don't just feel angry about the last thing


across to the public, don't just read in the newspaper about what the


commission is or is not doing, do commission is or is not doing, do


bear in mind this is our base in the modern world. We happen to be a


leading member, almost as valuable and rich as the Americans, from


influence in events. That is not just how the politicians get on


influence in events. That is not politicians look after us when we


spilling over from the Middle East, or we face public services being


threatened. You didn't even turn up to vote for the bill which will


threatened. You didn't even turn up engagements on the Friday concerned.


It seemed to get through without my participation. You didn't want to be


seen voting for something your heart Look, many of your colleagues I


seen voting for something your heart interviewed say that if the choice


was between the state -- the status quo with the European Union and


leaving, they would leave. The truth is that you would vote to stay in


even on the status quo, wouldn't supporting the EU to leave now if I


got chance. I think our economy supporting the EU to leave now if I


investment, as in Washington last been if we were outside the EU.


investment, as in Washington last week. We are trying to roll forward


the prospect of free trade and I have to reassure Americans that


the prospect of free trade and I are not likely to leave the EU to


That is true but it also needs reform. The cry for reform, which is


particularly Germany, is a good reform. The cry for reform, which is


Even if David Cameron came back reform. The cry for reform, which is


nothing from Brussels, you would still vote to stay in, correct?


one which is dwindling in comparison with others, in the modern world it


would be dangerous. I also think the dangers of the Middle East and the


dangers of some of the countries disengage. I will take that as a


strengthen the case, and of some members of the public don't agree


persuaded when David delivers his reforms. The latest poll gives


Labour a ten point lead over the Tories and the reason why it has a


ten point lead is because UKIP are up there with 18% of the vote and


ten point lead is because UKIP are the Tory vote has slumped in the


Paul to 27%. How would you see off UKIP? By saying you need a strong


Paul to 27%. How would you see off and effective Government. We faced


terrible problems. Every Government I have been in has been behind in


the polls. This Government is not as popular as the previous Government I


have served in under the three previous prime ministers. When you


get an election, people have to previous prime ministers. When you


themselves who do we want to decide the issues of war and peace in this


country? Who do we want to get us out of our economic problems. I


don't think Ed Miliband is up to it. That generalised stuff will not


don't think Ed Miliband is up to it. off UKIP. People will not listen to


that. When people answer an opinion poll, they tell you how annoyed


that. When people answer an opinion are by something that has recently


upset them, but people are more sensible than this. Every Government


I have served in has been behind in the polls. At a general election you


have to mobilise the public to start thinking, who do we want to govern


us? They did take over a calamitous important problems to be decided


going forward. UKIP represents anti-immigration, anti-foreigners,


anti-Europe, anti-politics but I don't think it will get 18% of the


Thank you. Once upon a time, a politician whose career ended in


disgrace might choose to lie low for a while, perhaps to spend a bit


disgrace might choose to lie low for time tending the tulips and doing


the odd bit of charity work. Not Chris Huhne. He walked free from


prison only five months ago but Chris Huhne. He walked free from


former Energy Secretary is already back in the public eye - a column in


the Guardian, a job with a renewable interview. So is he working on a


political rehabilitation? Chris Politics. The answer to that is


clearly know, and thank you for inviting me back. You have set your


career in politics is over so what does the future hold for you? I


career in politics is over so what happy doing what I am doing, I am


passionate about green energy and climate change, so I am doing things


on that front in terms of business non-governmental organisations,


on that front in terms of business I am doing a column for the Guardian


on Mondays. You obviously get a I am doing a column for the Guardian


of material from the Sunday Politics to write about. Have you embarked on


political rehabilitation? It was clear from the point of view of


political rehabilitation? It was George when I was sentenced, he


rehabilitating you, because I had not offended for ten years, it was


actually about stopping people like you, Andrew, Ron doing the same


thing. It was a deterrent effect for the public. That is I think why


thing. It was a deterrent effect for prosecution was brought. I had not


offended for ten years on this, rehabilitate yourself in the public?


coalition to the bitter end? Or should they re-establish their own


identity? My view is that the Coalition agreement is for the whole


Parliament, and the Lib Dems are going to stay, and should stay. What


would be a good result for the Lib Dems in 2015? The loss of ten, 15


seats? I think it will be an interesting election because I think


you will have essentially three party leaders, all of whom are


unpopular. It is almost unprecedented that they have


negative ratings so it will be a battle between the walking wounded.


In those circumstances, in my view, the Lib Dems can come out very


well. But you will lose seats, won't you? It is far too early to say. If


the Liberal Democrats do badly in next year's European elections, you


could come fourth on fifth behind the Greens. Will Nick Clegg's


leadership be in jeopardy? I've been in countless cycles where we've had


very low poll ratings. The normal pickup to the subsequent general


election on average has been 10 percentage points. So he's not in


jeopardy? I think Nick will be there at the next general election. I


think he'll lead the party into the next general election. I expect


we'll do much better than most people think. If we are heading for


another hung Parliament, which is what the Liberal Democrats want.


Let's be honest, you'd rather be in coalition with the Labour Party than


have a repeat of the Conservatives? One of the key things I sawed to


colleagues, whatever your personal preference, I used to be a Labour


Party member, you can derive from that I'm on the left of centre of


the party. I always said to my colleagues in the party, it is


absolutely colleagues in the party, it is


the we are in politics because we are Liberal Democrats, not because


we are either Conservatives or second best Labour. If you don't


take that view, you don't have any bargaining position when it comes to


coalition. You have to be able, genuinely, to do a coalition with


either of the other parties. I understand that, but you'd prefer


Labour? Your personal preference really should not come into this. It


is about making sure you get the best possible deal for the things


that your voters have voted for. If you get that with one party rather


than another, that's fine. You stand up for Liberal Democrat values, not


for Conservative or Labour second best values. You said you're keeping


up your interest in energy matters. Is Ed Miliband right to promise a


temporary price freeze? There's been pop ewe louse posturing. It is not a


sensible policy. It was tried in California in 2,000 and 2001 which


led to blackouts. We had the Prime Minister promising we should sift


everybody automatically to the lowest possible tariff. So


unfortunately we're at the stage in the political cycle where we are


getting clap trap. You're against the freeze? It is a bad idea when we


are trying to encourage investment. When the market can give us some of


the lowest gas and electricity prices in Europe. Britain has


son-in-law of the lowest? Not our base price? The other European Ian


prices are only higher because they put a lot more taxes on to it? Our


base energy prices are among the highest in Europe? No, if you look


at EU comparisons in what goes out to people's households. That's after


all the taxes have been put on them? to people's households. That's after


. The Conservatives are claiming there are


next for the badger cull ? The Government acknowledges the plant is


not going according to plan. The badgers have moved the goalposts.


And for the next 20 minutes I am joined by the Plymouth Conservative


MP Oliver Colvile and label a councillor Kate Wheller from Dorset.


This week we look at potholes. Potholes figures obtained by us show


nearly 2000 people have made claims for damage caused I potholes in the


last year. In death and there were 8000 claims and the regional cost


runs into tens of thousands of pounds. This is something I know you


feel strongly about, Oliver, and to prove it, we have a photo of you


with your friend from the highways authority assessing one particular


example. One in ten drivers has now told the AA they have had an


accident or damaged their car because of a pothole and now they


can claim. The Chancellor announced there would be more money given to


local authorities, and I have been campaigning with pothole Peter of


the Herald and it has been a great success. I want people to e—mail me


and tell me where potholes are and I will write to the council. So you


blame the council, not the Government? The money is there but


the councils are not using it? The local authorities can bid for money


from the gunmen to get this sorted out but we need to do this. —— can


bid for money from the Government. I am worried that in six months it


will be back to square one and what we really should be doing is


resurfacing all those roads. There is money for that? There is not. You


what working with Dorset council. Is this something that can be repaired


more quickly, could councils be asking for more money? We are asking


for money but whether it comes or not is another matter. But is it


that we are able to fix these potholes? Why are we not doing it?


Funding. Oliver says there is money for this. The Department for


Transport spokesman said we have recently announced £12 billion for


road maintenance and that would prepare about 90 million potholes.


So they are claiming there is enough money. And I would argue we would


have as much as we can implement but it will have to be spread through


the country. OK. We have to move on. Pothole repair is of course just one


of many demands on council budgets. We have talked a lot lately about


warnings those budgets are about to reach breaking point especially in


the countryside. Rowell MPs say there councils only get half the


Government funding given to open ones. —— rural MPs. They took it to


Government a game and once again the Government failed to be convinced by


their argument. And once again, they failed to give up. We will mobilise


the rural yeomanry to make sure we get our fair share of funding. What


we are asking for is one tenth of 1% of the total budget to be shifted


towards the rural macro authorities. His that too much to ask of this


Government? I certainly do not think it is. In a moment we will discuss


what the funding row might mean for everything from social workers to


buses but does this report. —— at first this report.


It is tough keeping services going with less money. In West Somerset


the council is losing £100,000 a year and is facing bankruptcy. It is


simply that per head of population of West Somerset, we are not getting


enough income to run the services that the people deserve. There have


been fears other authorities could be heading in the same direction.


These small district and borough councils are facing a serious


threat. And I urge the ministers to take it as seriously as it deserves.


But there's little sympathy at the top. Three years ago, there were


predictions of the end of local government as we knew it, of end of


services. That has proved to be complete tosh. Torbay Council could


have to cut an estimated £20 million from its spending over the next two


years. In the past, the mayor suggested merging with other


councils in Devon to form one large super—authority to save money. This


week it has been reported that the mayor is so concerned about the


financial situation here that he has asked the leader of Devon County


Council to take Torbay Council over. But rural councils think it is even


tougher for them, arguing it costs more to deliver services across


large areas with small populations, and after a long—running campaign


for a fairer share of the funding cake, the region's MPs began to feel


like their concerns were being listened to. Is the minister


confirming to MPs representing rural areas is that he is open for further


discussion about the perceived disparity between rural and urban


funding? Because I would want to hear from him a clarification that


he is up for such discussions if he is inviting me to join him in the


voting lobbies this evening. As I said in the debate on Monday, I have


an open door policy. I am happy to continue that discussion. But during


the conference season, these hopes seem to be dashed. Local councils in


rural areas say they are being short—changed compared to urban


areas, and vice versa. We cannot magic money which is not there. As


Liam Byrne famously said to David Laws, there is no money left. I


think we have been fair between urban areas and rural areas but of


course all local councils are having to do more. A lot of your MPs think


you are listening and think you might actually consider reforming


that funding system. So they will be disappointed, then? We have made


changes to the funding system. To be fair, Government MPs have been


saying you have broadened the divide, it has got worse. I do not


accept that. Often city areas are more dependent on grant than on


council tax. Grant necessarily has been reduced. Politicians in the


South West are refusing to give up but with a BBC poll this week


suggesting 40% of people have not noticed the budget cuts it could be


even harder for the rural funding campaigners to win their argument.


Joining us to discuss this we have representatives of town and country.


In London we have Andrew Carter from Centre for Cities and in the studio


Dan Bates from the Rural Services Network. Welcome. Dan, Eric Pickles,


the Secretary of State for local governments, said so far none of the


figures he has heard of Canon convince him that rural areas need


more money. He says these arguments have proved to be complete tosh. If


you take the figures for 2013—14, you find that 50% gap is what there


is between rural and urban areas. There is half as much funding a game


for every person in an urban area than in a rural area. That


translates into rural residents paying more per head in council tax


to get less services. So if you are in rural macro person you pay £85


more to get less services, because of the disparity. So where you


live. Andrew, but does not sound fair. £85 per head more in rural


areas and yet you get less services? Much of the money goes on


a needs basis. In our urban areas the need is that much greater, so


therefore they get more money because the need... The need for


what is greater? What sort of things? If you look at the areas


with the highest rates of deprivation across a number of


issues, 80% of those neighbourhoods, the worst neighbourhoods in the UK,


are in our urban areas. They have multiple needs. What sort of needs?


Clearly up graffiti... ? We are addressing issues around


unemployment, low incomes, poorer services, crime on those sort of


social issues. That is where the money from Government is allocated.


Andrew, I will just that to Dan. Do you accept that argument is that


they do need more money? I agree urban areas have conflict issues but


do they need 50% more per head in funding? The other point we make is


about the cost of providing those services. Your first article was on


potholes. If you can imagine potholes in areas as expansive as


Devon, compared with Plymouth, the cost of repairing those potholes in


Devon would be that much more, yet they are getting 50% less per head


than the urban areas in funding and that is not fair. Dan says it is not


fair. I am talking about my own constituency but the big Robin has


been inheriting this awful deficit which we are trying to sort out.


# Deficit. Local authorities need to be talking to one another and maybe


the health service as well and the police, about how they can actually


share common backroom staff as well, for instance, for things like


human resources and things like that. Secondly, I do think there is


a role for the Government to review what they are asking local


authorities to do. I want to make sure the money will be spent on my


potholes, doing the drains, those kind of things. Is unsatisfied? ——


is Dan Bates satisfied? Not really. If you start from a base that is 50%


lower per head and the cuts that are coming are pretty big, the


Government has said we will make equal cuts now so those rural


authorities starting on a lower base are taking more cuts. So you think


that will hit rural areas harder? It is that much harder in rural areas.


Kate, 40% of people, according to a BBC poll, said they have not


actually noticed any cuts to services and some people think


council services have actually improved. In which case the


Government is right, isn't it? They can make these cuts and people have


not noticed. That is a testament to how hard the local councils have


been working. It has nothing to do with the swingeing cuts that the


Government are continuing to impose upon us. And this idea that this is


all the cause of the previous Government, people are not stupid.


He pulled now what caused the recession. What caused the recession


was the greed of bankers, and the Scotmid have done nothing to address


that situation at all. —— the Government. Ordinary people are


paying for that now. Services they need just not going to be provided.


They cannot be provided on less and less money. Do you think there are


too many votes in the cities, that we are trying to target city


voters? Is that what is happening here? I do not think so. The


politics is more diverse. I would like to come back to this point.


This issue about scale and size. You talked about some of the smaller


rural councils but clearly the issue is that some of these councils are


quite small. If you go to urban districts, some smaller ones, they


are suffering and struggling with exactly the same issues. So should


all councils be bigger, so you can book by and... ? Possibly. I do not


know whether we are saying they should all be bigger but what we


have seen in different parts of the country, urban to urban, rural to


rural, councils coming together to think about how they can deliver


more effectively. Refit, Oliver, have you any sympathy for York


colleagues like Neil Parish and Geoffrey Cox, they feel so


passionate about this and yet all the mud are not listening to them? I


have enormous sympathy but there are local authorities, certainly in


London, where they have been able not only to make those reductions


but also to cut the council tax, and that is something that is very


important. Labour is talking all the time about the cost of living and we


need to talk about keeping the council tax down. Thank you.


This week, the Government revealed its trial badger cull in West


Somerset did not meet the target for the number of badges its own


scientists say needed to be killed for the chance of tackling the


disease in cattle. Welfare groups say the Cole has failed to meet any


of its aims but ministers insist they are happy with the way the


trial was carried out. At the end of August, protesters


were angry as the six—week badger cull kicked off in West Somerset but


halfway through, unbeknown to us, alarm bells started to ring. One


former DEFRA worker from Cornwall was called up out of the blue and


asked to provide ten more shooters. Clearly the focal was an act of


desperation. If were going well, why did they phone? —— the phone call


was an act of desperation. It is under resourced. The resources


needed were immense. The Government set article 70% of badges in West


Somerset during the six—week trial. —— set out to kill. In fact, they


have only killed 59%. So why is 70% the magic number? Many experts


believe killing a high number of badges over 70% is crucial because


the trial showed that a low kill rate will actually increase TB


infection in cattle, as fleeing badgers can widely spread the


disease. 850 badgers have so far been shot, at a revised estimate of


1450 but originally, DEFRA have all there were 2400 badgers in the West


Somerset area. It would be unusual for badger populations to change to


such a degree. There are concerns that there has been interference.


Interference with the methods used to count badgers, which could help


to explain the difference between the estimates for now and last


October. It is embarrassing for the Government. Earlier this week on BBC


Sport light, the environment secretary loaned the badgers. The


badgers have moved the goalposts. You are dealing with a wild animal.


Those naughty badgers! They are playing with numbers. It appears


this year the numbers of badgers are too low. Last year the Government


said there were too many. The plug was pulled just before the 2012


badger cull. Do you remember all the fuss last year? The controversial


cull of badgers has been called off... And does this sound


familiar? There was some doubt about whether enough badgers could be


killed in the pilot areas before December. The companies set up to go


ahead with the badger cull had doubts they would be able to


eradicate 70% in the necessary time. Those badgers, they are at it again.


Some MPs said the Government may have made a mistake facing so much


emphasis on numbers. It will always be difficult to estimate wild


animals as to how many are there but what I will repeat, and what I will


die in a ditch over, is that these badgers are diseased and giving


these diseases to the cattle. A farm in Devon. Some of the cattle here


have had TB in the past. DEFRA said last year 38,000 cattle were killed


in Britain. The company running the badger cull has just been granted a


three—week exception. —— extension. The farmer here hope is that he can


have clean badgers and cattle living side—by—side.


Was Owen Paterson right to say that the badgers have moved the


goalposts? Be surprised that wild animals do not do as they're told is


amazing, isn't it? I am in support of anything that is helping the


British farming industry but this badger cull has been so badly


managed. It has been based on inaccurate data. How on earth can


they expect meaningful results from something that is just farcical? So


Owen Paterson calling it a success too would disagree with? Yes. Has


this been a success? It is a difficult story. I am told that the


lungs of badgers come like sponge. It is incredibly painful. So to


identify badgers that are ill to kill them is very difficult. Why


don't you vaccinate? It takes a long time and you have to do it on an


annual basis so you have to catch them time and time again. The


problem is, do we want to make sure that our cattle is not going to be


diseased with TB? Are you going to eat a steak which has got TB in it?


Lets move back to Owen Paterson calling this a success. The thing


is, you have not killed as many badgers as you set out to do. You


underestimated the number of badgers in the first place. Now you are


having to extend the badger cull. How is that a success? We have


actually made quite a lot of mad of progress on it.


# Quite a lot of progress. We are going to make sure it does not


continue to spread. How on earth will you manage to roll this out


across other areas of the country when you could not make a success of


this tiny controlled area? It does not bode well, does it, for a


nationwide project? When you cannot cope with a tiny area. It is a very


difficult area in which to actually deal with because we are very rural.


Are you surprised that badgers are in a oral area? ! Not at all. ——


rural area. We need to see what has happened during the course of the


pilot scheme. I would love to share your confidence in this. It is


interesting that with the increase in badgers we have seen a deep


crease in hedgehogs. —— at the crease. Unfortunately we have


reached the end of that segment. It is time for a regular round—up of


the political week in 60 Seconds. A bitter row erupted over plans for


1500 homes on the outskirts of Truro, the city council stepping up


its efforts to block them. We want to see affordable housing in Truro,


investment, not on greenfields. Taunton MP Jeremy Brown lost his job


as Home Office minister, with MPs Dan Rogerson and George Eustace both


getting jobs at DEFRA. So Cornwall now has two Government MPs.


Questions about nuclear safety at Devonport were raised by Alison


Seabeck, who held onto her job as Shadow Defence Minister. What we


need to understand now is why the processes went wrong, what the MoD


have done to ensure that further failsafes are in place.


Plymouth Council has threatened to begin charging for evening parking


on the city's streets. Teignbridge councillors pulled the


plug on funding 17 public loos. I am completely mystified as to why this


decision was taken. Let's look at the issue of parking.


Plymouth to introduce evening parking charges. It is tempting for


cash—strapped councils to start increasing parking charges. Is this


happening in Dorset? I can only speak for Weymouth and Portland. We


are about to remove overnight parking charges. Would you like to


see them follow suit in Plymouth? Absolutely. A lot of people come to


the city centre to use the theatre and pubs. We need to make sure


people are encouraged to come here. You cannot have it with ways. It is


an issue to get people to come and use the city centre, deduce all the


facilities we have. I have to stop you because sadly that is the Sunday


Politics in the South West. Thank you to my guests, Oliver and Kate.


The programme is you to my guests, Oliver and Kate.


and these tactics were plain wrong. That is all we have time for. Back


ministerial team this week with That is all we have time for. Back


commentators calling it the purge of the Blairites, but one poor lamb who


fell victim to this perch was Diane Abbott, not somebody who worshipped


at the altar of Tony Blair. Life on the backbenches means she can pursue


other interests such as attending the Cheltenham literary Festival,


and where she joins us now. Welcome. Why did Ed Miliband fire you? He


think the thing that did it for Why did Ed Miliband fire you? He


was me coming out on Syria. This was Why did Ed Miliband fire you? He


a purge of the Blairites, how did you become collateral damage? I


a purge of the Blairites, how did no idea but the fact that I was


a purge of the Blairites, how did one member of the front bench to go


public about my concerns on Syria probably tipped my enemies in the


party machinery over the edge. But he went your way on Syria, in the


end he agreed with your line on Syria so why would that be for


dismissal? I agree with you - you're fired. Because I actually spoke


dismissal? I agree with you - you're and it was the fact that I spoke up,


which was like a pebble falling and it was the fact that I spoke up,


forest or something. I am glad I spoke up on Syria. He doesn't like


people around them than who are outspoken, who speak their minds? I


think he's convinced he needs people who read from the scripts. People


increasingly upset that even though who read from the scripts. People


I was speaking party policy, I was reading from the script. Since Mr


Miliband bid you farewell, you've said he's doing his best. Is his


best good enough? I am sure it will be. I've always said the Labour


Party chose the right Miliband. be. I've always said the Labour


will remain loyal to him on the backbenches. You're going to be


loyal? However, I want to join in the debate. You're going to be


loyal? Absolutely. I was loyal both in public and private when others


were bitching about him behind the from the backbenches, I hope to


were bitching about him behind the involved in the debate particularly


around nick policy. Et's see how loyal you are. You must be happy


with all this new tough talk on welfare and free schools? Well,


with all this new tough talk on think both Rachel and Tristram are


very talented. We're going to have to see how this all plays out. The


issue of free schools, they are to see how this all plays out. The


thing. But diminishing the role to see how this all plays out. The


local authorities is another. There need strong local authorities. I'm


local authorities is another. There sure Tristram will be aware of that.


As for welfare, I'm sure Rachel knows some of the cuts the Tories


have made have been counter prod ublingtive in -- productive in terms


of spending. You wouldn't call that your full-hearted endorsement, would


you? What are you on, and lieu? your full-hearted endorsement, would


haven't seen the detail of Rachel's new position. You have to wait and


see the detail. It is in the papers. You haven't stopped reading the


papers. It was the Observer. When will you announce you're running for


Mayor of London? I have no plans to announce that I'm running for Mayor


Mayor of London? I have no plans to of London. No plans. That's what


Michael his I will Tyne used to of London. No plans. That's what


me. He had no plans to run against Margaret Thatcher. Are these the


same kind of plans you have? I know. No, no. I have no plans. You know


going for it. Everybody knows you're going for it. Just fess up to your


old mate! ! I have no plans to run. If you did run, who would be, what


would be your biggest threat other than yourself? I think there's a lot


of very talented candidates, David They are all talented. I would have


to weigh up the field. What do you think your chances would be of


getting the taxi drivers' vote? Well, you know, Andrew, some of


getting the taxi drivers' vote? most loyal viewers of This Week


getting the taxi drivers' vote? were taxi drivers and their wives.


I'm not frightened of reaching out to middle England. You will find if


you walk around London sub usual ya, they all know me and they all love


This Week. Love This Week. I thought you were going to say they all love


you. One person who loves you, is Michael Portillo. He wasn't a happy


chappie on Thursday night. You can't see it but you can hear. This is


what he said. I was disappointed for her. She had decided to leave this


something else in politics. She wanted to do something serious.


something else in politics. She had taken what appeared to be a


something else in politics. She position but taken it extremely


serious and was committed to the issues. I'm quite disappointed for


her. Why would Ed Miliband do such a thing. You just mentioned about


London mayor, did Diane not ask thing. You just mentioned about


Someone who's an eminent person thing. You just mentioned about


this programme, I don't know how he could do that. I think Michael's


missing you. Are you free this Thursday night? Make him a happy


man, come back to the fold. I think I may be free this Thursday night.


So, if he'll have me, I'll be there. My people will speak to your people.


We'll get it sorted out. Diane, watch that big vase behind you,


you're not insured for. That thanks Does she have a chance of being


Mayor of London? She's very well known as Michael pointed out. That


is important. People who are outside known as Michael pointed out. That


the party fold have traditionally done well in the mayoral election.


The job of being a London mayor done well in the mayoral election.


running an economy the size of a nation. It is a very serious job.


There may be problems with her running? That was a transparent


There may be problems with her for it. She's potentially a very


compelling Coll ticks. People have left-winger but she's quite tough


and conservative. Michael Gove said he had fallen in love with Diane


which That's one vote he has. What do you think? I thing about Diane


Abbott is she has a fantastic way of connecting. She has a really good


way of connecting wi people. She would be a very strong candidate in


candidate. It will probably be a Labour win next time. Depends, if


Labour wins the 2015 election it may be more difficult. There's a danger


for Labour that Diane is the big personality liked by the party


primary but isn't necessarily a personality liked by the party


in come the London general election? That's true. London is traditionally


a Labour city. But Boris managed to win as an outsider. There are big


dangers for Labour with that. I think, as I said before, somebody


who seems a bit independent from their own party machinery tend to do


We've only had mayors so far that were independent? Indeed. And how


Not that far behind bar Is Johnson. well Ken Livingstone did last time.


Not that far behind bar Is Johnson. He was and is much more left-wing


than Diane Abbott. Diane didn't He was and is much more left-wing


stray on Syria, it was immigration. Why was Jeremy brown replaced by


This is very much to do with Clegg deciding he has to go back to those


people who abandoned the Liberal Democrats the day they went into


coalition with the Conservatives really, and convince them there


coalition with the Conservatives some holy areas of policy, sacred


areas which they will defend. That includes civil liberties. In the


Home Office, that incident with includes civil liberties. In the


immigration vans went down very badly across the whole nation. Went


down particularly badly with Liberal Democrats and voters. In the Home


somebody there to put a shield on purpose behind it. And Nick Clegg


has won the argument against the left, Vince Cable on the economy,


away day in July, briefings say DrCable's been put in his box. He's


won the argument on economic policy against the left. When it comes


won the argument on economic policy the touchstone issue in the Home


Office, he wants to shore up that vote on the left. And please The


Guardian. This is important for something else going on which is


that Nick Clegg has to keep his parliamentary party happy. That


involves giving them ministerial jobs. A lot of Liberal Democrats


losing their jobs, Michael Moore, because vacancies have to be created


for number people to come in. By Liberal Democrat MPs will have been


on the payroll. It is effective party management. I want to move on


to press regulation. Brian Leveson's famous report, appeared before the


parliamentary select committee. famous report, appeared before the


will run you a clip from Connor politicians got involved in this. We


moved away from the press 300 years ago. The centr commitment is Lord


Leveson wanted a system the press self-regulation. This is state


involvement which I worry about profoundly. He sits on the media


interviews and investigations into the media. Chris Huhne said earlier


he thought all the newspapers would sign up to the Government-backed


Royal Charter. I think he's totally should. But he did say they would. I


think he's wrong. They won't sign up. All the mood music when that


Royal Charter was agreed on Friday was they would not sign up. It is


Maria Miller, is essentially saying to the press industry, if you don't


sign up, the Royal charter will to the press industry, if you don't


ahead. I cannot control the Labour to the press industry, if you don't


industry is wind the clock back to the press industry, if you don't


what they are calling the Puttnam stage. That was earlier this year,


Lord Puttnam was tack amendments which would introduce statutory


regulation. Maria Miller says you statutory legislation but if you


don't sign up to this, it will be a lot worse. Will that work? Playing


the good cop, bad cop routine? Will that pressurise everyone to sign up.


Lots of people are saying this will be a club with no members. It won't


work. As Nick and I broke the story last week that the Government was


going to reject the newspaper-backed one, I'm certain that the newspapers


now, most of them maybe, not all, but most, will go the legal route


and to judicial review on what the Government's proposing and will


and to judicial review on what the it to strains Bowring where freedom


of the press is enshrined. They it to strains Bowring where freedom


fight this? There is enough fury amongst Fleet Street to result in


that. The big political question going forward is which of the party


leaders does the press blame the most for the emergence of press


regulation? The Tories are very confident they'll blame Ed Miliband


the most. They'll target him before 2015. David Cameron gave us Brian


Leveson. You appoint a judge who shouldn't be surprised with what you


got in the Leveson report? I big chunk of press will look at David


Cameron saying, you were the guy who intended what will happen. If he had


have appointed Brian Leveson. If they face more punitive fines over


Labour ale cases they take that they face more punitive fines over


Europe. The Daily Mail and the tallest presumably will have to


suspend their campaign of Britain to leave the European Convention of


suspend that. We must never come out Churchill was behind it. He was


indeed. But it is actually a major constitutional issue whether you


regulate the press or not. There was constitutional issue whether you


a lot of ill feeling that this Marie ya miller statement was snubbing out


on Friday afternoon. Somebody said freedom of the press too important


to sneak out on afully afternoon. The whole subject should be treated


with respect. We've run out of time. I'll be back next Sunday with the


Communities Secretary Eric Pickles at our usual time of 11.00am. If


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