22/06/2014 Sunday Politics South West


22/06/2014

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

:00:36.:00:42.

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

:00:43.:00:46.

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

:00:47.:00:50.

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

:00:51.:00:56.

Labour grandees are increasingly vocal about their concerns.

:00:57.:01:01.

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

:01:02.:01:12.

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

:01:13.:01:16.

In the South West: unpopular than Gordon Brown,

:01:17.:01:20.

Could Cornwall lose millions if it's stopped from running

:01:21.:01:22.

And the lawyers claiming legal `id cuts

:01:23.:01:27.

promised an electric car revolution, why so little progress?

:01:28.:01:40.

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

:01:41.:01:47.

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

:01:48.:01:55.

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

:01:56.:01:57.

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

:01:58.:02:03.

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

:02:04.:02:06.

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

:02:07.:02:09.

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

:02:10.:02:11.

biggest oil refinery, which supplies the capital.

:02:12.:02:15.

And there are reports they might now have taken the power

:02:16.:02:17.

Iraqi politicians are now admitting that ISIS,

:02:18.:02:24.

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

:02:25.:02:27.

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

:02:28.:02:32.

Which leaves the fate of Baghdad increasingly in the hands

:02:33.:02:35.

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

:02:36.:02:53.

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

:02:54.:02:57.

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

:02:58.:03:02.

about 275 military personnel. Do they go further and contemplate

:03:03.:03:05.

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

:03:06.:03:11.

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

:03:12.:03:17.

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

:03:18.:03:26.

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

:03:27.:03:29.

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

:03:30.:03:33.

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

:03:34.:03:38.

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

:03:39.:03:45.

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

:03:46.:03:51.

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

:03:52.:03:55.

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

:03:56.:04:01.

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

:04:02.:04:07.

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

:04:08.:04:12.

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

:04:13.:04:15.

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

:04:16.:04:24.

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

:04:25.:04:27.

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

:04:28.:04:33.

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

:04:34.:04:37.

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

:04:38.:04:40.

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

:04:41.:04:45.

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

:04:46.:04:49.

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

:04:50.:04:53.

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

:04:54.:04:57.

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

:04:58.:05:03.

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

:05:04.:05:14.

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

:05:15.:05:18.

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

:05:19.:05:22.

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

:05:23.:05:26.

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

:05:27.:05:31.

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

:05:32.:05:36.

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

:05:37.:05:41.

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

:05:42.:05:45.

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

:05:46.:05:49.

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

:05:50.:05:53.

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

:05:54.:05:58.

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

:05:59.:06:03.

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

:06:04.:06:07.

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

:06:08.:06:10.

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

:06:11.:06:15.

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

:06:16.:06:18.

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

:06:19.:06:21.

The Tory side of the Coalition think their reforms are necessary

:06:22.:06:26.

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

:06:27.:06:29.

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

:06:30.:06:33.

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

:06:34.:06:40.

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

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her first interview in the job she threatened "We would

:06:43.:06:45.

But Labour has opposed just about every change the Coalition

:06:46.:06:49.

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

:06:50.:06:53.

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

:06:54.:06:56.

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

:06:57.:07:02.

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

:07:03.:07:05.

And Labour has set out only two modest welfare cuts.

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

:07:13.:07:16.

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

:07:17.:07:21.

And cutting winter fuel payments for richer pensioners which will

:07:22.:07:27.

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

:07:28.:07:34.

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

:07:35.:07:37.

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

:07:38.:07:44.

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

:07:45.:07:57.

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

:07:58.:08:00.

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

:08:01.:08:04.

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

:08:05.:08:09.

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

:08:10.:08:13.

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

:08:14.:08:17.

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

:08:18.:08:21.

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

:08:22.:08:27.

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

:08:28.:08:32.

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

:08:33.:08:37.

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

:08:38.:08:41.

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

:08:42.:08:44.

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

:08:45.:08:49.

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

:08:50.:08:53.

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

:08:54.:08:57.

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

:08:58.:09:03.

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

:09:04.:09:07.

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

:09:08.:09:13.

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

:09:14.:09:18.

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

:09:19.:09:25.

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

:09:26.:09:29.

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

:09:30.:09:34.

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

:09:35.:09:37.

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

:09:38.:09:40.

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

:09:41.:09:47.

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

:09:48.:09:50.

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

:09:51.:09:52.

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

:09:53.:09:56.

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

:09:57.:10:01.

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

:10:02.:10:06.

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

:10:07.:10:09.

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

:10:10.:10:14.

recent poll showed Labour slightly ahead of the Conservative Party on

:10:15.:10:17.

Social Security, probably because they have seen the incompetence and

:10:18.:10:22.

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

:10:23.:10:26.

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

:10:27.:10:32.

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

:10:33.:10:35.

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

:10:36.:10:40.

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

:10:41.:10:44.

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

:10:45.:10:47.

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

:10:48.:10:50.

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

:10:51.:11:00.

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

:11:01.:11:05.

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

:11:06.:11:09.

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

:11:10.:11:16.

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

:11:17.:11:20.

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

:11:21.:11:25.

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

:11:26.:11:30.

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

:11:31.:11:32.

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

:11:33.:11:36.

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

:11:37.:11:43.

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

:11:44.:11:50.

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

:11:51.:11:55.

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

:11:56.:11:58.

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

:11:59.:12:01.

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

:12:02.:12:06.

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

:12:07.:12:13.

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

:12:14.:12:18.

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

:12:19.:12:23.

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

:12:24.:12:28.

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

:12:29.:12:32.

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

:12:33.:12:35.

government with. For example, cutting benefits for young people

:12:36.:12:41.

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

:12:42.:12:43.

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

:12:44.:12:46.

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

:12:47.:12:50.

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

:12:51.:12:54.

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

:12:55.:13:00.

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

:13:01.:13:05.

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

:13:06.:13:13.

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

:13:14.:13:18.

real prize from the changes Ed Miliband announced in the youth

:13:19.:13:21.

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

:13:22.:13:25.

these young people, who are currently on unemployment benefits

:13:26.:13:27.

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

:13:28.:13:34.

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

:13:35.:13:38.

universal credit, which the government regards as the flagship

:13:39.:13:42.

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

:13:43.:13:48.

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

:13:49.:13:51.

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

:13:52.:13:57.

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

:13:58.:14:01.

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

:14:02.:14:04.

National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, report after

:14:05.:14:09.

report showing that the project is massively overbudget and is not

:14:10.:14:14.

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

:14:15.:14:18.

the committee because we believe in the principle of universal credit

:14:19.:14:20.

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

:14:21.:14:25.

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

:14:26.:14:31.

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

:14:32.:14:37.

recent National audit Forest -- National Audit Office statement said

:14:38.:14:42.

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

:14:43.:14:47.

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

:14:48.:14:52.

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

:14:53.:14:56.

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

:14:57.:15:03.

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

:15:04.:15:08.

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

:15:09.:15:12.

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

:15:13.:15:18.

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

:15:19.:15:21.

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

:15:22.:15:25.

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

:15:26.:15:30.

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

:15:31.:15:34.

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

:15:35.:15:40.

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

:15:41.:15:43.

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

:15:44.:15:46.

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

:15:47.:15:51.

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

:15:52.:15:53.

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

:15:54.:15:58.

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

:15:59.:16:03.

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

:16:04.:16:06.

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

:16:07.:16:20.

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

:16:21.:16:26.

trying to claim universal credit. Iain Duncan Smith cancelled three

:16:27.:16:33.

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

:16:34.:16:38.

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

:16:39.:16:44.

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

:16:45.:16:48.

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

:16:49.:16:57.

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

:16:58.:17:02.

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

:17:03.:17:08.

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

:17:09.:17:16.

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

:17:17.:17:23.

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

:17:24.:17:30.

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

:17:31.:17:35.

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

:17:36.:17:43.

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

:17:44.:17:47.

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

:17:48.:18:00.

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

:18:01.:18:06.

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

:18:07.:18:42.

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

:18:43.:18:45.

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

:18:46.:18:50.

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

:18:51.:18:55.

to study for level three qualifications, the equivalent of an

:18:56.:19:01.

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

:19:02.:19:04.

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

:19:05.:20:38.

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

:20:39.:20:42.

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

:20:43.:20:47.

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

:20:48.:20:53.

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

:20:54.:20:57.

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

:20:58.:21:02.

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

:21:03.:21:08.

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

:21:09.:21:12.

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

:21:13.:21:18.

seen is another 2300 Labour councillors since Ed Miliband became

:21:19.:21:22.

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

:21:23.:21:30.

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

:21:31.:21:35.

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

:21:36.:21:40.

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

:21:41.:21:45.

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

:21:46.:21:49.

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

:21:50.:21:57.

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

:21:58.:22:04.

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

:22:05.:22:10.

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

:22:11.:22:15.

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

:22:16.:22:20.

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

:22:21.:22:25.

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

:22:26.:22:30.

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

:22:31.:22:36.

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

:22:37.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:47.

have not done that well in local government elections or European

:22:48.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:58.

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

:22:59.:23:03.

Miliband are doing because we are winning back support across the

:23:04.:23:07.

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

:23:08.:23:12.

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

:23:13.:23:18.

general election next year. Even you have said traditional Labour

:23:19.:23:23.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

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

:23:29.:23:34.

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

:23:35.:23:39.

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

:23:40.:23:43.

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

:23:44.:23:48.

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

:23:49.:23:54.

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

:23:55.:24:00.

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

:24:01.:24:05.

many people for granted and we needed to give people positive

:24:06.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:13.

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

:24:14.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:22.

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

:24:23.:24:31.

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

:24:32.:24:34.

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

:24:35.:24:42.

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

:24:43.:24:46.

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

:24:47.:24:49.

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

:24:50.:24:53.

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

:24:54.:24:58.

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

:24:59.:24:59.

Eleanor. Liberal Democrats celebrating,

:25:00.:25:02.

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

:25:03.:25:08.

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

:25:09.:25:13.

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

:25:14.:25:19.

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

:25:20.:25:23.

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

:25:24.:25:29.

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

:25:30.:25:33.

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

:25:34.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:45.

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

:25:46.:25:51.

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

:25:52.:25:56.

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

:25:57.:26:02.

those big cities and I have initiated a review, quite

:26:03.:26:06.

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

:26:07.:26:12.

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

:26:13.:26:16.

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

:26:17.:26:21.

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

:26:22.:26:26.

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

:26:27.:26:32.

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

:26:33.:26:35.

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

:26:36.:26:41.

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

:26:42.:26:52.

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

:26:53.:26:55.

councillors like Liverpool for example. You also lose the

:26:56.:27:00.

deliverers and fundraisers and the organisers and the members of course

:27:01.:27:04.

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

:27:05.:27:09.

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

:27:10.:27:14.

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

:27:15.:27:20.

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

:27:21.:27:25.

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

:27:26.:27:30.

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

:27:31.:27:35.

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

:27:36.:27:41.

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

:27:42.:27:46.

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

:27:47.:27:51.

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

:27:52.:27:55.

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

:27:56.:28:00.

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

:28:01.:28:06.

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

:28:07.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:15.

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

:28:16.:28:19.

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

:28:20.:28:24.

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

:28:25.:28:29.

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

:28:30.:28:34.

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

:28:35.:28:40.

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

:28:41.:28:48.

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

:28:49.:28:53.

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

:28:54.:28:57.

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

:28:58.:29:01.

their disastrous performance in the European elections, pressure is

:29:02.:29:04.

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

:29:05.:29:15.

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

:29:16.:29:22.

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

:29:23.:29:26.

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

:29:27.:29:32.

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

:29:33.:29:37.

problem, choosing the right course to regain political credibility

:29:38.:29:44.

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

:29:45.:29:49.

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

:29:50.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:04.

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

:30:05.:30:09.

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

:30:10.:30:14.

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

:30:15.:30:16.

rebuilt from the bottom up. least popular leader in modern

:30:17.:30:28.

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

:30:29.:30:33.

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

:30:34.:30:37.

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

:30:38.:30:41.

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

:30:42.:30:45.

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

:30:46.:30:48.

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

:30:49.:30:53.

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

:30:54.:30:56.

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

:30:57.:31:00.

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

:31:01.:31:03.

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

:31:04.:31:09.

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

:31:10.:31:13.

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

:31:14.:31:20.

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

:31:21.:31:23.

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

:31:24.:31:27.

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

:31:28.:31:31.

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

:31:32.:31:35.

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

:31:36.:31:40.

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

:31:41.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:56.

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

:31:57.:32:00.

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

:32:01.:32:03.

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

:32:04.:32:10.

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

:32:11.:32:14.

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

:32:15.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:23.

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

:32:24.:32:27.

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

:32:28.:32:31.

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

:32:32.:32:39.

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

:32:40.:32:41.

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

:32:42.:32:46.

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

:32:47.:32:50.

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

:32:51.:32:54.

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

:32:55.:32:58.

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

:32:59.:33:01.

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

:33:02.:33:05.

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

:33:06.:33:09.

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

:33:10.:33:15.

remember our fellow Scotsman famously said you cannot ride both

:33:16.:33:28.

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

:33:29.:33:28.

remember our fellow Scotsman coalition agreement, which is what

:33:29.:33:30.

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

:33:31.:33:34.

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

:33:35.:33:37.

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

:33:38.:33:41.

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

:33:42.:33:45.

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

:33:46.:33:50.

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

:33:51.:33:56.

the Ashcroft result, it demonstrated clearly that in constituencies where

:33:57.:34:01.

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

:34:02.:34:05.

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

:34:06.:34:10.

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

:34:11.:34:15.

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

:34:16.:34:19.

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

:34:20.:34:22.

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

:34:23.:34:29.

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

:34:30.:34:34.

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

:34:35.:34:40.

doubt that very much. The implication behind that lit you

:34:41.:34:44.

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

:34:45.:34:49.

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

:34:50.:34:52.

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

:34:53.:34:56.

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

:34:57.:35:10.

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

:35:11.:35:16.

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

:35:17.:35:19.

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

:35:20.:35:24.

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

:35:25.:35:30.

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

:35:31.:35:35.

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

:35:36.:35:37.

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

:35:38.:35:43.

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

:35:44.:35:48.

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

:35:49.:35:54.

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

:35:55.:36:00.

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

:36:01.:36:03.

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

:36:04.:36:07.

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

:36:08.:36:11.

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

:36:12.:36:13.

We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now

:36:14.:36:16.

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

:36:17.:37:06.

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

:37:07.:37:09.

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

:37:10.:37:12.

Politics graphics department. Defections or no defections, Robin,

:37:13.:37:15.

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

:37:16.:37:19.

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

:37:20.:37:22.

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

:37:23.:37:26.

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

:37:27.:37:31.

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

:37:32.:37:34.

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

:37:35.:37:39.

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

:37:40.:37:42.

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

:37:43.:37:46.

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

:37:47.:37:49.

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

:37:50.:37:51.

Particularly in Cornwall, yds. What

:37:52.:37:52.

Liberal Democrats are resilhent and Lord Ashcroft always makes that

:37:53.:37:56.

point, and he always says there s absolutely no complacency

:37:57.:37:58.

Conservative Party and my mdssage to the Conservative Party is absolutely

:37:59.:38:01.

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

:38:02.:38:07.

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

:38:08.:38:10.

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

:38:11.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:20.

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

:38:21.:38:25.

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

:38:26.:38:28.

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

:38:29.:38:32.

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

:38:33.:38:37.

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

:38:38.:38:40.

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

:38:41.:38:43.

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

:38:44.:38:46.

absolutely right that there was a protest party which attractdd people

:38:47.:38:52.

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

:38:53.:38:55.

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

:38:56.:39:00.

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

:39:01.:39:03.

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

:39:04.:39:05.

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

:39:06.:39:11.

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

:39:12.:39:17.

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

:39:18.:39:21.

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

:39:22.:39:23.

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

:39:24.:39:29.

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

:39:30.:39:32.

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

:39:33.:39:35.

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

:39:36.:40:01.

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

:40:02.:40:04.

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

:40:05.:40:09.

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

:40:10.:40:12.

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

:40:13.:40:15.

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

:40:16.:40:18.

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

:40:19.:41:32.

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

:41:33.:41:41.

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

:41:42.:41:43.

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

:41:44.:41:47.

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

:41:48.:41:50.

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

:41:51.:41:53.

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

:41:54.:41:55.

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

:41:56.:41:58.

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

:41:59.:42:04.

today, because Cornwall is dmbarking on its third tranche

:42:05.:42:06.

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

:42:07.:42:12.

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

:42:13.:42:15.

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

:42:16.:42:18.

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

:42:19.:43:59.

On a visit to the Aerohub in the last week,

:44:00.:44:04.

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

:44:05.:44:08.

local enterprise partnerships, or LEPs, would continue to decide

:44:09.:44:13.

I don't know anybody on the LEP from central

:44:14.:44:39.

Everybody on the LEP is frol local councils, local representathves

:44:40.:44:42.

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

:44:43.:44:46.

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

:44:47.:44:49.

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

:44:50.:44:51.

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

:44:52.:44:56.

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

:44:57.:44:59.

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

:45:00.:45:04.

Whether the rest of Cornwall's business community are convhnced

:45:05.:45:08.

There is concern too that the move towards a national

:45:09.:45:11.

operation programme flies in the face of government preaching

:45:12.:45:14.

on localism and Cornwall's `mbition for devolution.

:45:15.:45:15.

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

:45:16.:45:18.

much more than national pride at stake.

:45:19.:45:21.

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

:45:22.:45:25.

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

:45:26.:45:27.

Steph, I mean, you sit on Cornwall Council.

:45:28.:45:43.

Would you like to see this programme

:45:44.:45:44.

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

:45:45.:45:47.

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

:45:48.:46:06.

effective when the money is delivered locally.

:46:07.:46:08.

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

:46:09.:46:11.

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

:46:12.:46:15.

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

:46:16.:46:18.

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

:46:19.:46:21.

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

:46:22.:46:24.

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

:46:25.:46:27.

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

:46:28.:46:30.

economy has gone backwards, despite half a billion here.

:46:31.:46:32.

Somebody got something very wrong with that.

:46:33.:46:33.

There have been some successful programmes.

:46:34.:46:36.

OK, it was Robin who was involved right at

:46:37.:46:38.

But just quickly, I take it you are not impressed

:46:39.:46:45.

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

:46:46.:46:53.

if it is administered in London essentially all

:46:54.:47:03.

the decisions would be made by the LEP in Cornwall?

:47:04.:47:10.

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

:47:11.:47:20.

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

:47:21.:47:23.

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

:47:24.:47:26.

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

:47:27.:47:33.

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

:47:34.:47:36.

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

:47:37.:47:39.

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

:47:40.:47:42.

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

:47:43.:47:44.

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

:47:45.:47:48.

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

:47:49.:47:51.

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

:47:52.:47:54.

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

:47:55.:47:58.

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

:47:59.:48:03.

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

:48:04.:48:05.

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

:48:06.:48:11.

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

:48:12.:48:14.

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

:48:15.:48:17.

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

:48:18.:48:25.

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

:48:26.:48:27.

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

:48:28.:48:42.

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

:48:43.:48:46.

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

:48:47.:48:52.

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

:48:53.:48:55.

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

:48:56.:49:10.

absolutely certain is that Europe says this, and the

:49:11.:49:12.

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

:49:13.:49:15.

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

:49:16.:49:18.

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

:49:19.:49:21.

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

:49:22.:49:24.

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

:49:25.:49:31.

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

:49:32.:49:34.

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

:49:35.:49:36.

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

:49:37.:49:40.

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

:49:41.:49:43.

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

:49:44.:49:47.

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

:49:48.:49:50.

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

:49:51.:49:53.

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

:49:54.:49:56.

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

:49:57.:50:00.

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

:50:01.:50:03.

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

:50:04.:50:06.

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

:50:07.:50:08.

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

:50:09.:50:11.

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

:50:12.:50:14.

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

:50:15.:50:17.

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

:50:18.:50:21.

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

:50:22.:50:24.

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

:50:25.:50:26.

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

:50:27.:50:29.

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

:50:30.:50:32.

any domestic government would be giving that type of money to

:50:33.:50:35.

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

:50:36.:50:37.

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

:50:38.:50:40.

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

:50:41.:50:44.

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

:50:45.:50:46.

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

:50:47.:50:49.

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

:50:50.:50:53.

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

:50:54.:50:55.

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

:50:56.:50:59.

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

:51:00.:51:02.

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

:51:03.:51:06.

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

:51:07.:51:09.

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

:51:10.:51:12.

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

:51:13.:51:16.

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

:51:17.:51:19.

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

:51:20.:51:22.

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

:51:23.:51:25.

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

:51:26.:51:28.

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

:51:29.:51:31.

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

:51:32.:51:34.

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

:51:35.:51:37.

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

:51:38.:51:39.

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

:51:40.:51:43.

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

:51:44.:51:45.

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

:51:46.:51:49.

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

:51:50.:51:52.

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

:51:53.:51:55.

legal aid cases in protest at funding cuts. Thd

:51:56.:51:57.

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

:51:58.:52:00.

without legal representation. The lawyers say they are making the

:52:01.:52:02.

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

:52:03.:52:05.

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

:52:06.:52:08.

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

:52:09.:52:10.

number of cases across Devon have been delayed or disrupted bdcause

:52:11.:52:13.

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

:52:14.:52:16.

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

:52:17.:52:19.

because of a row with the government. They are protesting

:52:20.:52:21.

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

:52:22.:52:24.

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

:52:25.:52:27.

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

:52:28.:52:30.

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

:52:31.:52:32.

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

:52:33.:52:36.

there was no one to represent him because criminal lawyers across

:52:37.:52:38.

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

:52:39.:52:42.

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

:52:43.:52:44.

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

:52:45.:52:48.

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

:52:49.:52:51.

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

:52:52.:52:55.

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

:52:56.:52:58.

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

:52:59.:53:01.

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

:53:02.:53:04.

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

:53:05.:53:07.

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

:53:08.:53:14.

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

:53:15.:53:18.

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

:53:19.:53:23.

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

:53:24.:53:26.

Richardson, to issue unprecddented guidance on how courts should

:53:27.:53:32.

proceed. This is the first indication that it is causing

:53:33.:53:36.

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

:53:37.:53:44.

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

:53:45.:53:48.

way with these particular proposals. Campaigners in Ddvon

:53:49.:53:53.

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

:53:54.:53:57.

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

:53:58.:54:06.

firm focuses entirely on dohng criminal legal aid work but the

:54:07.:54:08.

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

:54:09.:54:16.

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

:54:17.:54:24.

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

:54:25.:54:28.

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

:54:29.:54:32.

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

:54:33.:54:35.

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

:54:36.:54:47.

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

:54:48.:54:54.

accused of crime or who havd difficulties with their employment

:54:55.:54:57.

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

:54:58.:55:02.

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

:55:03.:55:05.

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

:55:06.:55:19.

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

:55:20.:55:22.

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

:55:23.:55:25.

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

:55:26.:55:29.

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

:55:30.:56:00.

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

:56:01.:56:03.

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

:56:04.:56:14.

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

:56:15.:56:17.

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

:56:18.:56:20.

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

:56:21.:56:24.

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

:56:25.:56:27.

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

:56:28.:56:30.

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

:56:31.:56:33.

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

:56:34.:56:36.

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

:56:37.:56:40.

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

:56:41.:56:43.

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

:56:44.:57:01.

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

:57:02.:57:04.

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

:57:05.:57:08.

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

:57:09.:57:11.

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

:57:12.:57:14.

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

:57:15.:57:17.

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

:57:18.:57:20.

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

:57:21.:57:23.

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

:57:24.:57:26.

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

:57:27.:57:29.

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

:57:30.:57:33.

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

:57:34.:57:36.

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

:57:37.:57:40.

philosophical question therd. Devon County Council decides to close 20

:57:41.:57:43.

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

:57:44.:57:46.

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

:57:47.:57:49.

going to impact greatly on the community. And staff who

:57:50.:58:01.

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

:58:02.:58:05.

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

:58:06.:58:08.

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

:58:09.:58:11.

extraordinary achievement and also the most extraordinary challenge.

:58:12.:58:20.

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

:58:21.:58:25.

Commons Environment Committde tells the government to spend a lot more

:58:26.:58:28.

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

:58:29.:58:31.

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

:58:32.:58:47.

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

:58:48.:58:50.

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

:58:51.:59:00.

Steph. Is the government grhpping the flood problems efficiently?

:59:01.:59:02.

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

:59:03.:59:05.

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

:59:06.:59:08.

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

:59:09.:59:11.

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

:59:12.:59:15.

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

:59:16.:59:18.

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

:59:19.:59:19.

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

:59:20.:59:24.

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

:59:25.:59:42.

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

:59:43.:59:47.

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

:59:48.:59:52.

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

:59:53.:59:56.

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

:59:57.:00:02.

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

:00:03.:00:07.

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

:00:08.:00:11.

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

:00:12.:00:17.

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

:00:18.:00:19.

publicly embarrassed, because whoever was in charge of press

:00:20.:00:26.

letting go through a process where we have councillors in Merseyside

:00:27.:00:36.

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

:00:37.:00:39.

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

:00:40.:00:50.

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

:00:51.:00:55.

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

:00:56.:01:02.

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

:01:03.:01:08.

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

:01:09.:01:14.

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

:01:15.:01:24.

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

:01:25.:01:29.

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

:01:30.:01:33.

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

:01:34.:01:36.

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

:01:37.:01:41.

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

:01:42.:01:48.

parliaments, opposition normally lose ground and governments gain

:01:49.:01:53.

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

:01:54.:01:56.

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

:01:57.:02:02.

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

:02:03.:02:05.

Minister and Labour is behind the Conservatives went people are asked

:02:06.:02:09.

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

:02:10.:02:12.

has won by being behind on leadership and other elections where

:02:13.:02:16.

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

:02:17.:02:21.

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

:02:22.:02:26.

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

:02:27.:02:29.

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

:02:30.:02:36.

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

:02:37.:02:46.

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

:02:47.:02:54.

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

:02:55.:02:57.

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

:02:58.:03:02.

skills, determination, determination, whatever makes to

:03:03.:03:09.

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

:03:10.:03:15.

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

:03:16.:03:19.

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

:03:20.:03:24.

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

:03:25.:03:29.

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

:03:30.:03:33.

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

:03:34.:03:38.

strong enough to overcome the feeling that the Labour leadership

:03:39.:03:44.

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

:03:45.:03:48.

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

:03:49.:03:52.

immediately and cannot fight another election the way Neil Kinnock did

:03:53.:03:57.

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

:03:58.:03:59.

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

:04:00.:04:03.

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

:04:04.:04:10.

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

:04:11.:04:16.

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

:04:17.:04:20.

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

:04:21.:04:23.

after losing the general election. Essentially what the people are

:04:24.:04:26.

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

:04:27.:04:31.

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

:04:32.:04:35.

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

:04:36.:04:40.

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

:04:41.:04:44.

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

:04:45.:04:50.

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

:04:51.:04:53.

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

:04:54.:04:56.

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

:04:57.:05:00.

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

:05:01.:05:03.

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

:05:04.:05:07.

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

:05:08.:05:12.

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

:05:13.:05:17.

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

:05:18.:05:19.

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

:05:20.:05:23.

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

:05:24.:05:28.

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

:05:29.:07:19.

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

:07:20.:07:22.

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

:07:23.:07:28.

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

:07:29.:07:33.

election prediction swings and roundabouts. He is looking for what

:07:34.:07:36.

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

:07:37.:07:43.

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

:07:44.:07:52.

for your health. Political folk wisdom has it that incumbency

:07:53.:07:57.

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

:07:58.:08:01.

their MPs have a reputation as ferociously good local campaigners

:08:02.:08:04.

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

:08:05.:08:09.

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

:08:10.:08:14.

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

:08:15.:08:18.

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

:08:19.:08:24.

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

:08:25.:08:28.

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

:08:29.:08:32.

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

:08:33.:08:36.

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

:08:37.:08:42.

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

:08:43.:08:45.

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

:08:46.:08:56.

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

:08:57.:09:01.

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

:09:02.:09:04.

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

:09:05.:09:08.

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

:09:09.:09:12.

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

:09:13.:09:18.

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

:09:19.:09:22.

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

:09:23.:09:27.

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

:09:28.:09:31.

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

:09:32.:09:36.

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

:09:37.:09:42.

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

:09:43.:09:47.

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

:09:48.:09:52.

Falling 20 seats short could well mean the difference between victory

:09:53.:09:57.

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

:09:58.:10:01.

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

:10:02.:10:05.

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

:10:06.:10:09.

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

:10:10.:10:14.

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

:10:15.:10:17.

Ashcroft with marginal polling, because people have never been so

:10:18.:10:23.

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

:10:24.:10:26.

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

:10:27.:10:34.

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

:10:35.:10:38.

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

:10:39.:10:42.

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

:10:43.:10:46.

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

:10:47.:10:51.

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

:10:52.:10:56.

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

:10:57.:10:59.

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

:11:00.:11:03.

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

:11:04.:11:07.

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

:11:08.:11:12.

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

:11:13.:11:16.

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

:11:17.:11:21.

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

:11:22.:11:25.

carpetbagger in America, but it is normal in British Parliamentary

:11:26.:11:27.

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

:11:28.:11:31.

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

:11:32.:11:35.

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

:11:36.:11:39.

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

:11:40.:11:42.

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

:11:43.:11:47.

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

:11:48.:11:51.

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

:11:52.:11:55.

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

:11:56.:11:58.

second. If the Lib Dem representation collapses, that helps

:11:59.:12:06.

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

:12:07.:12:11.

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

:12:12.:12:14.

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

:12:15.:12:20.

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

:12:21.:12:24.

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

:12:25.:12:27.

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

:12:28.:12:35.

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

:12:36.:12:39.

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

:12:40.:12:42.

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

:12:43.:12:48.

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

:12:49.:12:52.

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

:12:53.:12:55.

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

:12:56.:12:59.

contributed most of this terrible idea that seized politics where you

:13:00.:13:03.

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

:13:04.:13:08.

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

:13:09.:13:13.

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

:13:14.:13:17.

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

:13:18.:13:20.

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

:13:21.:13:25.

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

:13:26.:13:28.

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

:13:29.:13:33.

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

:13:34.:13:37.

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

:13:38.:13:42.

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

:13:43.:13:46.

Andrew Neil and Martyn Oates with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by Labour's work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves to discuss what reforms Labour would make to the welfare department. Plus, what Nick Clegg needs to do to keep his grass roots happy.


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