22/06/2014 Sunday Politics South West


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Welfare reform is one of the government's most popular policies.


So Labour says it would be even tougher than the Tories.


We'll be asking the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary if she's got


Even Labour supporters worry that Ed Miliband hasn't got what it takes


Labour grandees are increasingly vocal about their concerns.


Over 50% of Labour voters think they'd do better with a new leader.


And what of this leader? He's apparently "toxic" on the doorstep.


In the South West: unpopular than Gordon Brown,


Could Cornwall lose millions if it's stopped from running


And the lawyers claiming legal `id cuts


promised an electric car revolution, why so little progress?


Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh, the toxic tweeters


First, the deepening crisis in Iraq, where Sunni Islamists are now


largely in control of the Syrian-Iraq border, which means


they can now re-supply their forces in Iraq from their Syrian bases


Rather than moving on Baghdad, they are for the moment consolidating


their grip on the towns and cities they've already taken.


They also seem to be in effective control of Iraq's


biggest oil refinery, which supplies the capital.


And there are reports they might now have taken the power


Iraqi politicians are now admitting that ISIS,


the name of the Sunni insurgents, is better trained, better equipped and


far more battle-hardened than the US-trained Iraqi army fighting it.


Which leaves the fate of Baghdad increasingly in the hands


No good news coming out of there, Janan. No good news and no good


options either. The West's best strategy is to decide how much


support to give to the Iraqi government. The US is sending over


about 275 military personnel. Do they go further and contemplate


their support? General Petraeus argued against it as it might be


seen as the US serving as the force of Shia Iraqis -- continue their


support. Do we contemplate breaking up Iraq? It won't be easy. The Sunni


and Shia Muslim populations don t live in clearly bordered areas, but


in the longer term, do we deal with it in the same way we dealt with the


break-up of the Ottoman empire over 100 years ago? In the short-term and


long-term, completely confounding. Quite humiliating. If ISIS take


Baghdad I can't think of a bigger ignominy for foreign policy since


Suez. If Iraq is partitioned, it won't be up to us. It will be what


is happening because of what is happening on the ground. Everything


does point to partition, and that border, which ISIS control, between


Syria and Iraq, that has been there since it was drawn during the First


World War. That is gone as well An astonishingly humbling situation the


West, and you can see the Kurds in the North think this is a charge --


chance for authority. They think this is the chance to get the


autonomy they felt they deserved a long time. Janan is right. We can't


do much in the long term, but we have to decide on the engagement.


And the other people wish you'd be talking turkey, because if there is


some blowback and the fighters come back, they are likely to come back


from Turkey. Where is Iran in all of this? There were reports last week


that the Revolutionary guard, the head of it, he was already in


Baghdad with 67 advisers and there might have been some brigades that


have gone there as well. Where are they? What has happened? I'm pretty


sure the Prime Minister of Iraq is putting more faith in Iran than the


White House and the British. I think they are running the show, in


technical terms. John Kerry is flying into Cairo this morning, and


what is his message? It is twofold. One is to Arab countries, do more to


encourage an inclusive government in Iraq, mainly Sunni Muslims in the


government, and the Arab Gulf states should stop funding insurgents in


Iraq. You think, Iraq, it's potentially going to break up, so


this sounds a bit late in the day and a bit weak. It gets


fundamentally to the problem, what can we do? Niall Ferguson has a big


piece in the Sunday Times asking if this is place where we cannot doing


anything. He doesn't want to do anything. By the way, that is what


most Americans think. That is what opinion polls are showing. You have


George Osborne Michael Gold who would love to get involved but they


cannot because of the vote in parliament on Syria lasted -- George


Osborne and Michael Gove. This government does not have the stomach


for military intervention. We will see how events unfold on the ground.


All parties are agreed that Britain's 60-year old multi-billion


The Tory side of the Coalition think their reforms are necessary


and popular, though they haven't always gone to time or to plan.


In the eight months she's had since she became Shadow Secretary of State


for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves has talked the talk about getting


people off benefits, into work and lowering the overall welfare bill.


her first interview in the job she threatened "We would


But Labour has opposed just about every change the Coalition


has proposed to cut the cost and change the culture of welfare.


Child benefit, housing benefit, the ?26,000 benefit cap -


They've been lukewarm about the government's flagship Universal


Credit scheme - which rolls six benefit payments into one - and


And Labour has set out only two modest welfare cuts.


This week, Labour said young people must have skills or be in training


That will save ?65 million, says Labour, though the cost


And cutting winter fuel payments for richer pensioners which will


Not a lot in a total welfare bill of around ?200 billion.


And with welfare cuts popular among even Labour voters, they will soon


have to start spelling out exactly what Labour welfare reform means.


Welcome. Good morning. Why do you want to be tougher than the Tories?


We want to be tough in getting the welfare bill down. Under this


government, the bill will be ?1 million more than the government set


out in 2010 and I don't think that is acceptable. We should try to


control the cost of Social Security. But the welfare bill under the next


Labour government will fall? It will be smaller when you end the first


parliament than when you started? We signed up to the capping welfare but


that doesn't see social security costs ball, it sees them go up in


line with with inflation or average earnings -- costs fall. So where


flair will rise? We have signed up to the cap -- welfare will rise We


have signed up to the cap. We will get the costs under control and they


haven't managed to achieve it. The government is spending ?13 billion


more on Social Security and the reason they are doing it is because


the minimum wage has not kept pace with the cost of living so people


are reliant on tax credits. They are not building houses and people are


relying on housing benefit. We have a record number of people on zero


hours contracts. I'm still not clear if you will cut welfare if you get


in power. Nobody is saying that the cost of welfare is going to fall.


The welfare cap sees that happening gradually. That is a Tory cap. And


you've accepted it. You're being the same as the Tories, not to. If they


had a welfare cap, they would have breached it in every year of the


parliament. Social Security will be higher than the government set out


because they failed to control it. You read the polls, and the party


does lots of its own polling, and you're scared of being seen as the


welfare party. You don't really believe all of this anti-welfare


stuff? We are the party of work not welfare. The Labour Party was set up


in the first place because we believe in the dignity of work and


we believe that work should pay wages can afford to live on. I make


no apologies for being the party of work. We are not the welfare party,


we are the party of work. Even your confidential strategy document


admits that voters don't trust you on immigration, the economy, this is


your own people, and welfare. You are not trusted on it. The most


recent poll showed Labour slightly ahead of the Conservative Party on


Social Security, probably because they have seen the incompetence and


chaos at the Department for Work and Pensions under Iain Duncan Smith.


Your own internal document means that the voters don't trust you on


welfare reform. That is why we have shown some of this tough things we


will do like the announcement that Ed Miliband made earlier this week,


that young people without basic qualifications won't be entitled to


just sign on for benefits, they have to sign up for training in order to


receive support. That is the right thing to do by that group of young


people, because they need skills to progress. We will, once that. - we


will, onto that. You say you criticise the government that it had


a cap and wouldn't have met it, but every money-saving welfare reform,


you voted against it. How is that being tougher? The most recent bout


was the cap on overall welfare expenditure, and we went through the


lobbies and voted for the Tories. You voted against the benefit cap,


welfare rating, you voted against, child benefit schemes, you voted


against. You can't say we voted against everything when we voted


with the Conservatives in the most recent bill with a cap on Social


Security. It's just not correct to say. The last time we voted, we


walked through the lobby with them. You voted on the principle of the


cap. You voted on every step that would allow the cap to be met. Every


single one. The most recent vote was not on the principle of the cap it


was on a cap of Social Security in the next Parliament and we signed up


for that. It was Ed Miliband who called her that earlier on. Which


welfare reform did you vote for We voted for the cap. Other than that?


We have supported universal credit. You voted against it in the third


reading. We voted against some of the specifics. If you look at


universal credit, they have had to write off nearly ?900 million of


spending. I'm not on the rights and wrongs, I'm trying to work out what


you voted for. Some of the things we are going to go further than the


government with. For example, cutting benefits for young people


who don't sign of the training. The government had introduced that. For


example, saying that the richest pensioners should not get the winter


fuel allowance, that is something the government haven't signed up.


You would get that under Labour and this government haven't signed up


for it. ?100 million on the winter fuel allowance and ?65 million on


youth training. ?165 million. How big is the welfare budget? The cap


would apply to ?120 billion. And you've saved 125 -- 165 million


Those are cuts that we said we would do in government. If you look at the


real prize from the changes Ed Miliband announced in the youth


allowance, it's not the short-term savings, it's the fact that each of


these young people, who are currently on unemployment benefits


without the skills we know they need to succeed in life, they will cost


the taxpayer ?2000 per year. I will come onto that. You mentioned


universal credit, which the government regards as the flagship


reform. It's had lots of troubles with it and it merges six benefits


into one. You voted against it in the third reading and given lukewarm


support in the past. We have not said he would abandon it, but now


you say you are for it. You are all over the place. We set up the rescue


committee in autumn of last year because we have seen from the


National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, report after


report showing that the project is massively overbudget and is not


going to be delivered according to the government timetable. We set up


the committee because we believe in the principle of universal credit


and think it is the right thing to do. Can you tell us now if you will


keep it or not? Because there is no transparency and we have no idea. We


are awash with information. We are not. The government, in the most


recent National audit Forest -- National Audit Office statement said


it was a reset project. This is really important. This is a flagship


government programme, and it's going to cost ?12.8 billion to deliver,


and we don't know what sort of state it is in, so we have said that if we


win at the next election, we will pause that for three months and


calling... Will you stop the pilots? We don't know what status they will


have. We would stop the build of the system for three months, calling the


National Audit Office to do awards and all report. The government don't


need to do this until the next general election, they could do it


today. Stop throwing good money after bad and get a grip of this


incredibly important programme. You said you don't know enough to a view


now. So when you were invited to a job centre where universal credit is


being rolled out to see how it was working, you refused to go. Why We


asked were a meeting with Iain Duncan Smith and he cancelled the


meeting is three times. I'm talking about the visit when you were


offered to go to a job centre and you refused. We had an appointment


to meet Iain Duncan Smith at the Department for Work and Pensions and


said he cancelled and was not available, but he wanted us to go to


the job centre. We wanted to talk to him and his officials, which she


did. Would it be more useful to go to the job centre and find out how


it was working. He's going to tell you it's working fine.


Advice Bureau in Hammersmith, they are working to help the people


trying to claim universal credit. Iain Duncan Smith cancelled three


meetings. That is another issue I was asking about the job centre It


is not another issue because Iain Duncan Smith fogged us off. This


week you said that jobless youngsters who won't take training


will lose their welfare payments. How many young people are not in


work training or education? There are 140,000 young people claiming


benefits at the moment, but 850 000 young people who are not in work at


the moment. This applies to around 100,000 young people. There are


actually 975,000, 16-24 -year-olds, not in work, training or education.


Your proposal only applies to 100,000 of them, why? This is


applying to young people who are signing on for benefits rather than


signing up for training. We want to make sure that all young people ..


Why only 100,000? They are the ones currently getting job-seeker's


allowance. We are saying you can not just sign up to... Can I get you to


respond to this, the number of people not in work, training or


education fell last year by more than you are planning to help. Long


education fell last year by more address that problem to make sure


all young people have the skills they need to get a job. Your policy


is to take away part of the dole unless young unemployed people agree


to study for level three qualifications, the equivalent of an


AS-level or an NVQ but 40% of these people have the literary skills of a


nine-year-old. After all that failed nine-year-old. After all that failed


went back to college because he wanted to get the skills. He said


that it wasn't until he went back to college that he could pick up a


newspaper and read it, it made a huge difference but too many people


are let down by the system. I am wondering how the training will make


up for an education system that failed them but let's move on to


your leader. Look at this graph of Ed Miliband's popularity. This is


the net satisfaction with him, it is dreadful. The trend continues to


climb since he became leader of the Labour Party, why? What you have


seen is another 2300 Labour councillors since Ed Miliband became


the leader of the Labour Party. You saw in the elections a month ago


that... Why is the satisfaction rate falling? We can look at polls or


actual election results and the fact that we have got another 2000 Labour


councillors, more people voting Labour, the opinion polls today show


that if there was a general election today we would have a majority of


more than 40, he must be doing something right. Why do almost 0%


of voters want to replace him as leader? Why do 50% and more think


that he is not up to the job? The more people see Ed Miliband, the


less impressed they are. The British people seem to like him less. The


election strategy I suggest that follows from that is that you should


keep Ed Miliband under wraps until the election. Let's look at actually


what happens when people get a chance to vote, when they get that


opportunity we have seen more Labour councillors, more Labour members of


the European Parliament... Oppositions always get more. The


opinion polls today, one of them shows Labour four points ahead. You


have not done that well in local government elections or European


elections. Why don't people like him? I think we have done incredibly


well in elections. People must like a lot of the things Labour and Ed


Miliband are doing because we are winning back support across the


country. We won local councils in places like Hammersmith and Fulham,


Crawley, Hastings, key places that Labour need to win back at the


general election next year. Even you have said traditional Labour


supporters are abandoning the party. That is what Ed Miliband has said as


well. We have got this real concern about what has happened. If you look


at the elections in May, 60% of people didn't even bother going to


vote. That is a profound issue not just for Labour. You said


traditional voters who perhaps at times we took for granted are now


being offered an alternative. Why did you take them for granted? This


is what Ed Miliband said. I am not saying anything Ed Miliband himself


has not said. When he ran for the leadership he said that we took too


many people for granted and we needed to give people positive


reasons to vote Labour, he has been doing that. He has been there for


four years and you are saying you still take them for granted. Why? I


am saying that for too long we have taken them for granted. We are on


track to win the general election next year and that will defy all the


odds. You are going to win... Ed Miliband will win next year and make


a great Prime Minister. Now to the Liberal Democrats, at the


risk of intruding into private grief. The party is still smarting


from dire results in the European and Local Elections. The only poll


Nick Clegg has won in recent times is to be voted the most unpopular


leader of a party in modern British history. No surprise there have been


calls for him to go, though that still looks unlikely. Here's


Eleanor. Liberal Democrats celebrating,


something we haven't seen for a while. This victory back in 199 led


to a decade of power for the Lib Dems in Liverpool. What a contrast


to the city's political landscape today. At its height the party had


69 local councillors, now down to just three. The scale of the


challenge facing Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems is growing. The party is


rock bottom in the polls, consistently in single figures. It


was wiped out in the European elections losing all but one of its


12 MEPs and in the local elections it lost 42% of the seats that it was


defending. But on Merseyside, Nick Clegg was putting on a brave face.


We did badly in Liverpool, Manchester and London in particular,


we did well in other places. But you are right, we did badly in some of


those big cities and I have initiated a review, quite


naturally, to understand what went wrong, what went right. As Lib Dems


across the country get on with some serious soul-searching, there is an


admission that his is the leader of the party who is failing to hit the


right notes. Knocking on doors in Liverpool, I have to tell you that


Nick Clegg is not a popular person. Some might use the word toxic and I


find this very difficult because I know Nick very well and I see a


principal person who passionately believes in what he is doing and he


is a nice guy. As a result of his popularity, what has happened to the


core vote? In parts of the country, we are down to just three


councillors like Liverpool for example. You also lose the


deliverers and fundraisers and the organisers and the members of course


so all of that will have to be rebuilt. As they start fermenting


process, local parties across the country and here in Liverpool have


been voting on whether there should be a leadership contest. We had two


choices to flush out and have a go at Nick Clegg or to positively


decide we would sharpen up the campaign and get back on the


streets, and by four to one ratio we decided to get back on the streets.


We are bruised and battered but we are still here, the orange flag is


still flying and one day it will fly over this building again, Liverpool


town hall. But do people want the Lib Dems back in charge in this


city? I certainly wouldn't vote for them. Their performance in


Government and the way they have left their promises down, I could


not vote for them again. I voted Lib Dem in the last election because of


the university tuition fees and I would never vote for them again


because they broke their promise. The Lib Dems are awful, broken


promises and what have you. I wouldn't vote for them. This is the


declaration of the results for the Northwest... Last month, as other


party celebrated in the north-west, the Lib Dems here lost their only


MEP, Chris Davies. Now there is concern the party doesn't know how


to turn its fortunes around. We don't have an answer to that, if we


did we would be grasping it with both hands. We will do our best to


hold onto the places where we still have seats but as for the rest of


the country where we have been hollowed out, we don't know how to


start again until the next general election is out of the way. After


their disastrous performance in the European elections, pressure is


growing for the party to shift its stance. I think there has to be a


lancing of the wound, there should in a referendum and the Liberal


Democrats should be calling it. The rest of Europe once this because


they are fed up with Britain being unable to make up its mind. The Lib


Dems are now suffering the effects of being in Government. The party's


problem, choosing the right course to regain political credibility


We can now speak to form a Lib Dems leader Ming Campbell. Welcome back


to the Sunday Politics. Even your own activists say that Nick Clegg is


toxic. How will that change between now and the election? When you have


had disappointing results, but you have to do is to rebuild. You pick


yourself up and start all over again, and the reason why the


Liberal Democrats got 57, 56 seats in the House of Commons now is


because we picked ourselves up, we took every opportunity and we have


rebuilt from the bottom up. least popular leader in modern


history and more unpopular than your mate Gordon Brown. You are running


out of time. No one believes that being the leader of a modern


political party in the UK is an easy job. Both Ed Miliband and David


Cameron must have had cause to think, over breakfast this morning,


when they saw the headlines in some of the Sunday papers. Of course it


is a difficult job but it was pointed out a moment or two ago that


Nick Clegg is a man of principle and enormous resilience if you consider


what he had to put up with, and in my view, he is quite clearly the


person best qualified to lead the party between now and the general


election and through the election campaign, and beyond. So why don't


people like him? We have had to take some pretty difficult decisions


and, of course, people didn't expect that. If you look back to the rather


heady days of the rose garden behind ten Downing St, people thought it


was all going to be sweetness and light, but the fact is, we didn t


know then what we know now, about the extent of the economic crisis we


win, and a lot of difficult decisions have had to be taken in


order to restore economic stability. Look around you. You will see we are


not there yet but we are a long way better off than in 2010. You are not


getting the credit for it, the Tories are. We will be a little more


assertive about taking the credit. For example, the fact that 23


million people have had a tax cut of ?800 per year and we have taken 2


million people out of paying tax altogether. Ming Campbell, your


people say that on every programme like this. Because it is true. That


might be the case, but you are at seven or 8% in the polls, and nobody


is listening, or they don't believe it. Once


is listening, or they don't believe doubt that what we have achieved


will be much more easily recognised, and there is no doubt,


for example, in some of the recent polls, like the Ashcroft Pole,


something like 30% of those polled said that as a result at the next


something like 30% of those polled general election, they would prepare


their to be a coalition involving the Liberal Democrats. So there is


no question that the whole notion of coalition is still very much a live


one, and one which we have made work in the public interest. The problem


is people don't think that. People see you trying to have your cake and


eat it. On the one hand you want to get your share of the credit for the


turnaround in the economy, on the other hand you can't stop yourself


from distancing yourself from the Tories and things that you did not


like happening. You are trying to face both ways at once. If you


remember our fellow Scotsman famously said you cannot ride both


remember our fellow Scotsman to the terms -- terms of the


remember our fellow Scotsman coalition agreement, which is what


we signed up to in 2010. In addition, in furtherance of that


agreement, we have created things like the pupil premium and the


others I mentioned and you were rather dismissive. I'm not


dismissive, I'm just saying they don't make a difference to what


people think of you. We will do everything in our power to change


that between now and May 2015. The interesting thing is, going back to


the Ashcroft result, it demonstrated clearly that in constituencies where


we have MPs and we are well dug in, we are doing everything that the


public expects of us, and we are doing very well indeed. You aren't


sure fellow Lib Dems have been saying this for you -- you and your


fellow Liberal Dems have been saying this for a year or 18 months, and


since then you have lost all of your MEPs apart from one, you lost your


deposit in a by-election, you lost 310 councillor, including everyone


in Manchester or Islington. Mr Clegg leading you into the next general


election will be the equivalent of the charge of the light Brigade I


doubt that very much. The implication behind that lit you


rehearsed is that we should pack our tents in the night and steal away.


-- that litany. And if you heard in that piece that preceded the


discussion, people were saying, look we have to start from the bottom and


have to rebuild. That is exactly what we will do. Nine months is a


period of gestation. As you well know. I wouldn't dismiss it quite so


easily as that. I'm not here to say we had a wonderful result or


anything like it, but what I do say is that the party is determined to


turn it round, and that Nick Clegg is the person best qualified to do


it. Should your party adopt a referendum about in or out on


Europe? No, we should stick to the coalition agreement. If there is any


transfer of power from Westminster to Brussels, that will be subject to


a referendum. No change. And finally, as a Lib Dem, you must be


glad you are not fighting the next election yourself? I've fought every


election since 1974, so I've had a few experiences, some good, some


bad, but the one thing I have done and the one thing a lot of other


people have done is that they have stuck to the task, and that is what


will happen in May 2015. Ming Campbell, thank you for joining us.


It's just gone 11.35am, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


stranger to that kind of rulour while Mr Gilbert declared there was


more chance of him joining NASA and becoming the first man on M`rs than


joining the Tories. Anything is possible with the help of the Sunday


Politics graphics department. Defections or no defections, Robin,


underlying this of course is the fact that, undeniably, it is not a


great time, electorally, to be a Lib Dem, is it?


Well, it hasn't been in the last month, certainly not with the


elections, local elections `nd by`election, but we have thd next


year towards the general eldction, we can start again, we are ` party


government, and we have to persuade people of the great things we have


done in government, the libdral agenda that we have deliverdd. And


have got a great programme `head of us, and I think we can do that,


although we have the Lord Ashcroft poll that also tells us that...


We going to talk about that, yes. ..Things are difficult.


Particularly in Cornwall, yds. What


Liberal Democrats are resilhent and Lord Ashcroft always makes that


point, and he always says there s absolutely no complacency


Conservative Party and my mdssage to the Conservative Party is absolutely


right. OK. They will be grateful for that, no doubt. But having Steph


here from UKIP as well, it strikes me, looking at recent electhons and


looking at that particular poll it does look as if, while you `re going


down on one side of the seesaw, UKIP almost in mirror image seem to be


going up. Well, of course, we have become the... We're in government,


we're the party of responsibility, we're delivering, actually


things in power. UKIP is thd party very much of none of the rest,


perhaps we were to some degree. Though, yes, UKIP has done very well


recently. I suspect they won't do nearly as well in the gener`l


election coming up, but thex will have their effect, there no doubt


about that. It's a problem potentially, isn't it, Steph, that


absolutely right that there was a protest party which attractdd people


previously which happened to be called the Lib Dems, now thdy are in


government, if you like, in some people's eyes they are tainted with


government in some ways in the same way as Labour and the


Conservatives. Now you are the protest party. They might not be


particularly interested in xour views. I think there are two points


here. Firstly, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I'm


sure you were delighted to hear a party chairman say that wd are


learning from the Lib Dems, because they have been very effective


I think the other factor th`t is coming into play is that more people


are realising, a lot of people in Cornwall vote Liberal Delocrat


thinking they are from the original Liberal party, and they are not


as socially democratic in their thinking, so I think it is dasier


for them to come to us rathdr than perhaps go elsewhere, when they are


I don't think the Liberal Ddmocrats are going to be wiped out, but I do


think there is going to be ` significant change, and I think next


year's general election is going to be really interesting, becatse I am


sure we will get some MPs and of course it depends how thd other


parties pan out, the balancd of power, may not lead to many seats.


Liberal Democrats who signed up for that did break that pledge,


no doubt about that, and Nick Clegg has apologised for that.


The irony is that actually the way the regime has turned ott is


actually much better for sttdents as it has turned out in terms of paying


back, and we have a lot of support from the student community now.


They all move on, but, yeah, it was...


There were a lot of lessons to be learnt from the coalition.


I'm glad I've got two representatives from Cornwall here


today, because Cornwall is dmbarking on its third tranche


That is a mixed blessing, bdcause it means, after nearly 15 years of


support, Cornwall is still one of the poorest places in the whole EU.


It is also a year late getthng started and a battle is unddr


Here's Scott Bingham. is managed locally in Cornw`ll.


On a visit to the Aerohub in the last week,


the Minister for local growth played down the concerns, saying that


local enterprise partnerships, or LEPs, would continue to decide


I don't know anybody on the LEP from central


Everybody on the LEP is frol local councils, local representathves


It is actually led by busindsses, so that is about as devolved


as you could possibly get, as far as I am concerned.


And the chairman of Cornwall's LEP seemed relatively happy with that


If it is agreed then give us the authority to spend it.


Most of our leaders are either from the local authority or they are


That is what the minister s`id he was going to do, so if we hold


Whether the rest of Cornwall's business community are convhnced


There is concern too that the move towards a national


operation programme flies in the face of government preaching


on localism and Cornwall's `mbition for devolution.


But when EU cash has alreadx created around 25,000 jobs in the county,


much more than national pride at stake.


I think it is fair to say that the Lib Dems and UKIP, like the


Conservatives, are theoretically very keen on the notion of localism.


Steph, I mean, you sit on Cornwall Council.


Would you like to see this programme


administerd locally? Absolttely and I do that ask to see thd


agreed to sign the letter of two sure that actually it is more


effective when the money is delivered locally.


But one of the big problems has been with the huge amount


People see money spent as an outcome, as a successful outcome.


A few ask a business, to see how well they are dohng,


they don't look that expendhture, they looked at profit, they look


at income, and what we have absolutely got to do this thme is


make sure this round of EU funding delivers the outcome we need.


Clearly it hasn't, as you s`id in your introduction, the Cornish


economy has gone backwards, despite half a billion here.


Somebody got something very wrong with that.


There have been some successful programmes.


OK, it was Robin who was involved right at


But just quickly, I take it you are not impressed


answer to this issue of loc`l management, that essentiallx even


if it is administered in London essentially all


the decisions would be made by the LEP in Cornwall?


I want to see much more loc`l control, because it is much more


likely that we will actuallx get the outcomes we need, which is


growth in the Cornish econoly, not how much is spent, but what does


OK, Robin, I take it, you are nodding, you also think that the


whole thing should be running Cornwall? Yes. Absolutely. Ht came


as a question in the House of Lords yesterday actually. One of the


things that came out was th`t the government minister Baroness Stahl


said very strongly that it would be administered in Cornwall, apart from


checking eligibility. Now, `s the UK Government take all the rap on if


it is spent wrong, then I don't disagree with that, but I think we


have got to be very careful about language here. I congratulate Steph


on signing the letter with the other group leaders to impress on the


government that this is really, really important, that the let and


government that this is really, really important, that the LEP and


local authority have decision`making powers on this. The governmdnt, I


think, from a ministerial point of view, is convinced they havd


delivered on that. What I think they have got to be very careful about is


what the civil servants acttally do behind that. And because thdre is so


much of this jargon and process stuff around European funding. Once


it hits the shores of the UK that we had to be very careful that a real


decision is backed down. Have you got the sense of who is right at the


moment, because the governmdnt is saying, well, don't worry,


officially administered in London, but all the decision`making is in


Cornwall. And you have got people in Cornwall saying we are going to


absolutely certain is that Europe says this, and the


government has confirmed it, the money is has been ring fencdd, it


has to be spent in Cornwall. It has to be spent in Cornwall and the


Isles of Scilly. I think, to be honest, the ministers actually


believe they have delivered what Cornwall once. The danger is that


the process in terms of civhl servants and doesn't actually quite


get to that, that Tina Stahl, the Minister, said very specifically


that there will be complete decision`making on the programme at


Cornish level. I don't take that for granted. I am not as naive `s that.


I'm sure Steph doesn't, either. But ministers have stated that, and it


is on the record, it is on Hansard, and I think that is at least a step


towards it, we have just got to keep out absolutely vigilant on this


Steph, as you are a UKIP councillor, I must make the point


that obviously none of this money would be here at all if we work


outside the EU, which you would like to see. If we were outside of the


EU, all the money would say here. We are net contributors. Well, it


wouldn't necessarily be in Cornwall, would it? Now. It depends on


electing the right people to Westminster, doesn't it? We have got


all six of our Cornish MPs `re net members of the government. Governing


parties, and we are not necdssarily getting as much of a positive


response from central government as we would like, so if we can't.. A


few look at the lobbying power of the small number of MPs we have got,


and I don't think Robin would disagree, with this, whichever party


is actually in government, ht doesn't actually bring us more


funding for local authoritids, more funding for the police, so far


better rail and road links, does it? So it is difficult to imagine that


any domestic government would be giving that type of money to


Cornwall. But half a billion of EU funding, our money returned, hasn't


delivered those that growth in the Cornish economy that we are looking


for, either, has it? It hasn't made a huge difference. . It has made a


huge difference. If it hadn't been there, we wotld be


far, far further back. The whole history of the Cornish economy since


the end of the Industrial Rdvolution and the has been an defence cuts and


that sort of side, has been Cornwall dividing further and further and


further away from the rest of the UK. That was reasonably stopped and


actually we crept well out of the, for a few years, the category of


being in it, so we. I didn't want us to have aid for another further


term, because we should havd been in the right place. In the last two


years, yes, we have moved b`ckwards, but I think that might be something


to do with the grand recesshon that we have had, and the fact that. . We


have all had the grand recession... You can't use that one... No, no, no


I mean let's not be naive hdre. Peripheral areas outside of the


south`east suffer far more from the recession, look at the north`east of


England, look at parts of W`les And if we could just move forward with


the programme. If you look `t the amount of money that is just added


to GDP from the campus, the university campus, a lot of


well`paid jobs, the construction of the building, the maintenance, the


students, the accommodation, the bars, the clubs, and so on. All of


that is added to GDP and we have still gone backwards. Yes. Dxactly.


That proves my point, doesn't it? Because that was only there for


because of EU funding. So if that wasn't there, it would be absolutely


worse. OK. Stephanie. You h`ve proved my point. OK. We do need to


move on with. Criminal lawydrs in Devon are refusing to take on new


legal aid cases in protest at funding cuts. Thd


industrial action means somd people are appearing in the county's courts


without legal representation. The lawyers say they are making the


important point that the government the government's plans to slice 18%


of the legal aid budget aid budget could soon mean the poor ard denied


access to justice permanently. Jenny Cooper reports. Since April, a


number of cases across Devon have been delayed or disrupted bdcause


defendants have been left whthout a lawyer to represent them. Criminal


lawyers in the county have been refusing to take legal aid cases,


because of a row with the government. They are protesting


against government plans for a 7.5% cut in fees for solicitors. Fewer


legal aid contracts for four work at least a sense police stations, and


an average 6% fee cut for barristers. Only last week, a man


appeared here at Exeter Crown Court accused of harassing Fiona LcEwan,


the mother of Scarlett Keeldy, who was killed in Goa six years ago But


there was no one to represent him because criminal lawyers across


Devon are taking part in industrial action in protest at legal `id cuts.


So, the hearing has been delayed, and the defendant was released on


bail. This lawyer was asked to take on the case, but he explaindd to the


judge why he couldn't. Given that I have had a lifetime, a workhng


lifetime, of doing this, to turn round to those who need my help and


say that I am not prepared to help them, it really goes very mtch


against the grain, and I find it very difficult. But you havd decided


to take part in the action. What drives you, why are you doing it,


despite the fact that it gods against your values? Becausd if I


and others in my position do not do so now the situation is simply going


to get worse. Devon is only one of a handful of areas in the country


where this is happening. In Hull, it has had a big impact. It has caused


a catalogue of delays and forced all's senior judge, Jeremy


Richardson, to issue unprecddented guidance on how courts should


proceed. This is the first indication that it is causing


significant problems. What this is designed to demonstrate is what life


will be like in the criminal justice system if the government gets its


way with these particular proposals. Campaigners in Ddvon


admit that things aren't quhte as serious as they are in whold. But


they want the court could grind to a halt if the protest continuds. This


firm focuses entirely on dohng criminal legal aid work but the


partners here say they will have to close if the cuts continue. I'm


depressed and frustrated and sad. I went to a comprehensive school. I do


legal aid work because I thhnk it is important and because it provides


me with a living, but I can't do it on thin air. I can't run a business


being paid legal aid rates which don't allow me to pay my st`ff.


There is also concern about the impact of the cuts on wider society.


The purpose of the welfare state is for society to look after the


accused of crime or who havd difficulties with their employment


or their housing or they have been injured to be able to seek redress


and to take legal advice on that, and to be represented. But `cross


the board, all of those are`s have been decimated in the last two


years. In a statement, the Linistry of Justice says. But the delays


caused by any boycott may actually end up costing the government money.


Robin. This is very concernhng, isn't it? yes. It is, actually. I


would agree with that. A fundamental part of democracy is access to


justice. But we also have a problem in that the country has got pretty


bankrupt back in 2010, and legal aid costs the country, us as


individuals, ?2 billion and this programme is to try to shavd, not


a decimation of it, but abott 2 0 million of it, which is abott 1 % of


that money. So you have to get a balance there. I actually think that


is the wrong thing to cut in terms of the Justice budget. To md, it is


ridiculous that we keep 85,000 people in work in this country in


jail. Which is 50% more than any equivalent countries like France and


Italy. But in terms of this issue, we still have the most expensive,


one of the most expensive ldgal aid systems in the world. That hs not


just rhetoric. I have looked at the figures. It is true. And so we have


a real dilemma here. Whether this is exactly the right solution, I don't


know. But we had to pay it back in some way. OK. Steph,


mean, you get is very proud of the British justice system. Are you


concerned about these cuts? Yes in the sense that there is a rhsk to


people and the law, as Robin says, should apply to everybody, dverybody


should have access, it shouldn't depend on whether you can afford to


employ somebody in the legal profession. But it is getting out of


hand, the level of debt in this country, I mean, you know, this


government is making some ilpact on reducing the deficit and thd economy


seems to be growing. Would xou make the cut in this place? We would


actually look at it differently and go for cutting the CPS. We didn t


used to have a CPS. We spending a fortune on that? OK. We havd got to


move on to our round`up of people to go weak. In just 60 seconds. A very


philosophical question therd. Devon County Council decides to close 20


care homes and 17 day centrds to save ?12 million. Unions sax 10 0


jobs are at risk. The counchl has made quite a brash decision. It is


going to impact greatly on the community. And staff who


provide those front line services. Outspoken top`line MP and GP Sarah


Weatherstone is elected to chair the Commons Health Committee. The NHS


touches peoples lives a million times every 36 hours. It is the most


extraordinary achievement and also the most extraordinary challenge.


Meanwhile, in the wake of the winter's floods, the


Commons Environment Committde tells the government to spend a lot more


money on preventive work. Wd are spending more in this parli`ment


than any previous government has done. ?3.2 billion on flood


defences. And Plymouth MP and former life guard Alison Seabeck shgns up


the Royal life saving Society's campaign to reduced drowning.


Steph. Is the government grhpping the flood problems efficiently?


Probably not sufficiently. @t least it does appear to be taking it


seriously, but too little too late, I think. Sums it up. They h`ve been


calling for maintenance of the flood defences, the dredging and so on,


for so long, and why did it take the severe weather of last wintdr for


the government really to st`nd up and take notice? Robin are xou going


to defend the government? Well, no, I want to say


information, you can apply to them and they will be obliged to tell


you. Thanks for joining us. Andrew, back to you.


think you'd want to. Labour grandees are not queueing up to sing his


praises. Look at this. In my view, he is the leader we have and he is


the leader I support and he is somebody capable of leading the


party to victory. Ed Miliband will leave this to victory, and I believe


he can. If he doesn't, what would happen to the Labour Party? We could


be in the wilderness for 15 years. At the moment he has to convince


people he has the capacity to lead the country. That's not my view but


people don't believe that. We had a leader of the Labour Party was


publicly embarrassed, because whoever was in charge of press


letting go through a process where we have councillors in Merseyside


resigning. It was a schoolboy error. Having policies without them being


drawn together into a convincing and vivid narrative and with what you do


the people in the country. You have to draw together, connect the


policies, link them back to the leader and give people a real sense


of where you are going. Somehow he has never quite managed to be


himself and create that identity with the public. And we are joined


by the president of you girls, Peter Kellner. Welcome to the Sunday


politics. -- YouGov. The Labour Party is six points ahead in your


poll this morning. So what is the problem? On this basis he will win


the next election. If the election were today and the figures held up,


you would have a Labour government with a narrow overall majority. One


should not forget that. Let me make three points. The first is, in past


parliaments, opposition normally lose ground and governments gain


ground in the final few months. The opposition should be further ahead


than this. I don't think six is enough. Secondly, Ed Miliband is


behind David Cameron when people are asked who they want as Prime


Minister and Labour is behind the Conservatives went people are asked


who they trust on the economy. There have been elections when the party


has won by being behind on leadership and other elections where


they have won by being behind on the economy. No party has ever won an


election when it has been clearly behind on both leadership and the


economy. Let me have another go The Labour Party brand is a strong


brand. The Tory Bramleys week. The Labour brand is stronger. That is a


blast -- the Labour -- the Tory Bramleys week. A lot of the Tories


-- the Tory brand is weak. Cant you win on policies and a strong party


brand? If you have those too, you need the third factor which isn t


there. People believing that you have what it takes, competent


skills, determination, determination, whatever makes to


carry through. -- whatever mix. A lot of Ed Miliband policies, on the


banks, energy prices, Brent controls, people like them. But in


government, would they carry them through? They think they are not up


to it. -- rent controls. If people think you won't deliver what you


say, even if they like it, they were necessarily vote for you. That is


the missing third element. There is a strong Labour brand, but it's not


strong enough to overcome the feeling that the Labour leadership


is not up to it. Nick, you had some senior Labour figure telling you


that if Mr Miliband losing the next election he will have to resign


immediately and cannot fight another election the way Neil Kinnock did


after 1987. What was remarkable to me was that people were even


thinking along these lines, and even more remarkable that they would tell


you they were thinking along these lines? What is the problem? The


problem is, is that Ed Miliband says it would be unprecedented to win the


general election after the second worst result since 1918. They are


concerned about is the start of a script that he would say on the day


after losing the general election. Essentially what the people are


trying to do is get their argument in first and to say, you cannot do


what Neil Kinnock did in 1987. Don't forget that Neil Kinnock in 198 was


in the middle of a very brave process of modernisation and had one


and fought a very campaign that was professional but he lost again in


1992, and they wanted to get their line in first. What some people are


saying is that this is an election that the Labour Party should be


winning because the coalition is so unpopular. If you don't win, I'm


afraid to say, there is something wrong with you. Don't you find it


remarkable that people are prepared to think along these lines at this


stage, when Labour are ahead in the polls, still the bookies favourite


to win, and you start to speak publicly, or in private to the


public print, but we might have to get rid of him if he doesn't win.


Everything you say about labour in this situation has been said about


the Tories. We wondered whether Boris Johnson would tie himself to


the mask and he is the next leader in waiting if Cameron goes. It's a


mirror image of that. We talk about things being unprecedented. It's


mirror image of that. We talk about and they could make the changes I


find it odd that they are being so defeatist. Don't go away. Peter is a


boffin when it comes to polls. That is why we have a mod for the


election prediction swings and roundabouts. He is looking for what


he calls the incumbency effect. Don't know what is a back-up -- what


that's about question don't worry, here is an. Being in office is bad


for your health. Political folk wisdom has it that incumbency


favours one party in particular the Liberal Democrats. That is because


their MPs have a reputation as ferociously good local campaigners


who do really well at holding on to their seats. However, this time


round, several big-name long serving Liberal Democrats like Ming


Campbell, David Heath and Don Foster are standing down. Does that mean


the incumbency effect disappears like a puff of smoke? Then there is


another theory, called the sophomore surge. It might sound like a movie


about US college kids, but it goes like this. New MPs tend to do better


in their second election than they did in their first. That could


favour the Tories because they have lots of first-time MPs. The big


question is, what does this mean for the 7th of May 2015, the date of the


next general election? The answer is, who knows? I know a man who


knows. Peter. What does it all mean? You can go onto your PC now and draw


down programmes which say that these are the voting figures from a


national poll, so what will the seats look like? This is based on


uniform swing. Every seat moving up and down across the country in the


same way. Historically, that's been a pretty good guide. I think that's


going to completely break down next year, because the Lib Dems will


probably hold on to more seats than we predict from the national figures


and I think fewer Tory seats will go to the Labour Party than you would


predict from the national figures. The precise numbers, I'm not going


to be too precise, but I would be surprised, sorry, I would not be


surprised if Labour fell 20 or 5 seats short on what we would expect


on the uniform swing prediction Next year's election will be tight.


Falling 20 seats short could well mean the difference between victory


and defeat. What you make of that, Helen? I think you're right,


especially taking into account the UKIP effect. We have no idea about


that. The conventional wisdom is that will drain away back to the


Conservatives, but nobody knows and it makes the next election almost


impossible to call. It means it is a great target the people like Lord


Ashcroft with marginal polling, because people have never been so


interested. It is for party politics and we all assume that UKIP should


be well next year, but their vote went up from 17 up to 27%. Then that


17% went down to 3%, so they might only be five or 6% in the general


election, so they might not have the threat of depriving Conservatives of


their seats. Where the incumbency thing has an effect is the Liberal


Democrats. They have fortress seats where between 1992 and 1997 Liberal


Democrats seats fell, but their percentage went up. They are losing


the local government base though. True, but having people like Ming


Campbell standing down means they will struggle. We are used to


incumbency being an important factor in American politics. It's hard to


get rid of an incumbent unless it is a primary election, like we saw in


Virginia, but is it now becoming an important factor in British


politics, that if you own the seat you're more likely to hold on to it


than not? If it is, that's a remarkable thing. It's hard to be a


carpetbagger in America, but it is normal in British Parliamentary


constituencies to be represented by someone who did not grow up locally.


It is a special kind of achievement to have an incumbency effect where


you don't have deep roots in the constituency. I was going to ask


about the Lib Dems. If we are wrong, and they collapse in Parliamentary


representation as much as the share in vote collapses, is that not good


news is that the Conservatives? They would be in second place in the


majority of existing Lib Dems seats. For every seat where Labour are


second to the Lib Dems, there are two where the Conservatives are


second. If the Lib Dem representation collapses, that helps


the Conservatives. I'm assuming the Tories will gain about ten seats. If


they gain 20, if they'd had 20 more seats last time, they would have had


a majority government, just about. So 20 seats off the Lib Dem, do the


maths, as they say in America, and they could lose a handful to labour


and still be able to run a one party, minority government. The fate


of the Lib Dems could be crucial to the outcome to the politics of


light. On the 8th of May, it will be VE Day and victory in election day


as well as Europe. The Lib Dems will be apoplectic if they lose all of


the seats to their coalition partners. The great quote by Angela


Merkel, the little party always gets crushed. It's a well-established


idea that coalition politics. They can't take credit for the things


people like you may get lumbered with the ones they don't. They have


contributed most of this terrible idea that seized politics where you


say it, but you don't deliver it. Tuition fees is the classic example


of this Parliament. Why should you believe any promise you make? And Ed


Miliband is feeling that as well. But in 1974 the liberal Democrats


barely had any MPs but there were reporters outside Jeremy Thorpe s


home because they potentially held not the balance of power, but were


significantly in fourth. Bringing back memories Jeremy Thorpe, and we


will leave it there. Thanks to the panel. We are tomorrow on BBC Two.


At the earlier time of 11am because of Wimbledon. Yes, it's that time of


year again already. I will be back here at 11 o'clock next week.


Remember, if it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.


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