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Up to a million public sector workers will strike this week.
It's one of the biggest walk-outs since 201 .
The country's top trade unionist Frances O'Grady and
Tory Business Minister Matt Hancock go head-to-head.
The Tour de France seems to have cheered him up - just as well
for the Deputy Prime Minister hasn't got much else to smile about.
Nick Clegg joins me live from Sheffield to discuss the
Just over ten weeks until Scotland determines its future.
The man leading the campaign AGAINST independence, Alistair Darling,
joins me from Edinburgh. In the South...
And with me throughout the show three top-flight political
journalists always ahead of the peleton - Nick Watt,
They'll be tweeting faster than Tour de France cyclists can pedal.
The news is dominated this morning by stories swirling
around allegations of an historic Westminster paedophile ring.
Concern has grown because of the disappearance of a dossier
handed over to the Home Office in 1983, along with over 100 official
files related to it and possibly containing details of historic child
Labour is calling for a public inquiry led by a child protection
But speaking earlier on The Andrew Marr Show this morning
the Education Secretary Michael Gove ruled that out.
The most important thing that we need to do is ensure that the due
process of law pursues those who may be guilty of individual crimes and
we also learn lessons about what may or may not have gone wrong in the
past, but it is also important to emphasise that many of the
allegations that are being made are historic. And what we do now in
order to keep children safer is better and stronger than was the
case when 20 or 30 years ago. Without getting into a boring
tit-for-tat, public inquiry, "yes" or "no"? No. Helen, can the
Government go on resisting calls for a full-scale inquiry? It is very
hard. There are cynical and non-cynical reasons for calling for
an inquiry. The cynical one allows you to say I can't comment on this.
The non-cynical is it manages to get people to air allegations in a way
that is safe. What we saw at the Leveson Inquiry was helpful, people
who felt they had been shut out from justice getting a chance to tell
their side of the story. A public inquiry in this case is a good idea.
Labour have called for a lot of public inquiries. A list was made in
2012 of how many they called for. Not only Savile, but the West Coast
Main Line and breast implants. On this particular issue, the people
don't trust the politicians, they don't trust the police either
because they may have been complicit in a cover-up. They may not trust
the Home Office who we are told some of their officials were mentioned in
the dossier? That is what David Cameron is hanging on to. This is a
matter now because they are alleged criminal activity, it is for the
police to investigate. In that big piece in the Sunday Times, Tim
Shipman reports one of the people making the allegations lives in the
United States making the allegations lives in the
been out to the United States to interview him. The Prime Minister
would say that is how serious the police are taking it. The problem
for the Prime Minister - he police are taking it. The problem
allergic to big public inquiry. His finest moment was his response to
the Bloody Sunday inquiry shortly after he became Prime
inrequest -- that inquiry took 2 years to report. The problem is the
dossier has gone missing, the files have gone missing, more allegations
keep coming out either directly or indirectly. It doesn't look like it
is going to go away? The fact the dossiers are missing means it is
inappropriate for the Home Office to be investigating this. There is
inappropriate for the Home Office to a police investigation. If after
that, there are questions unanswered which can only be answered by
that, there are questions unanswered public inquiry, or which require
resources that can only be commanded by a public inquiry, I could see the
case for going down that road. I fear that sometimes in this country
we invest almost supernatural powers in what a public inquiry can do I
wonder whether there is another example of a country that goes
through this stale ritual every few years of a scandal emerging, the
opposition calling for an inquiry, the Government saying no and then
holding the line or giving in. I don't know what we think this
inquiries can do. It comes back to your point, Helen, you should be
careful what you call an inquiry on so it doesn't devalue the concept.
On Thursday up to a million public sector workers - including teachers,
firemen and council workers - will go on strike.
Their unions have differing gripes but the fact they're all striking
on the same day is designed to send a strong message to the government.
As the economy picks up again they're demanding an end
Growth has returned strongly to the UK economy
and unemployment is at its lowest level for more than five years.
So why is there still talk of austerity
The deficit is coming down but much more slowly than the government
And accumulated deficits - the national debt -
the public sector? We need to keep public spending under control and
pay restraint is one of the main ways of being able... The answer is
yes? The answer is this is necessary. The answer is yes, this
is necessary. It isn't because we want to. We have to. This strike
isn't going to change the Government's mind, is it? It does
seem like the Government isn't listening. We have had years... They
are listening, they just don't agree. Ordinary people, including
those in the public sector, are finding it really tough. What really
sticks in the throat is the idea that money can be found to give tax
cuts to billionaires, to millionaires and to big
corporations. But it can't be found to help 500,000 workers in local
government, dinner ladies, school meal workers, lollipop men and women
who are earning less than the living wage. What do you say to that? We
have protected those who are the least well-paid in the public
sector. But this is about a long-term... How can you? Hold on.
You have said you have protected them. This involves ordinary people,
many watching this programme, they have had a 1% pay rise in some cases
since 2010. The average gas bill is up 57%, electric bill up 22%, food
costs up 16%, running a car 11% in what way have you protected people
from spending they have to make Firstly, you read out the average
increases in public sector pay. That has had the biggest impact at the
top end and those at the bottom end have been best protected, as best we
could. Of course, we have also taken two million people out of income tax
and increased the income tax threshold which has a big positive
impact. We have frozen and then cut fuel duty, which would have been 20
pence higher. I wanted to take on this point about priorities. We have
got to make sure that we get the economy going at the same time and
we raised more money from those at the top than we did before 2010
partly because we have encouraged them to invest. And this is a really
important balance of making sure we get the books back in order, we have
stability for family finances and we get the economy going. Why not
spread the living wage? We know you could pay for that pay increase
itself if you spread the living wage through the private sector and
guarantee... The living wage being above the minimum wage? Absolutely.
?7.65 in the rest of the country, ?8.80 in London. What is the answer?
I'm a fan of the minimum wage. But not for public sector workers. Being
able to pay low-paid workers as much as possible within the constraints
of the public finances is something I have pushed very hard. The
evidence we can increase the minimum wage has to be balanced which the
Low Pay Commission do with the impact on the number of jobs... Even
after a pay freeze for quite a while among public sector workers, they
are still paid 15% on average more than those in the private sector?
That is not true. It is, according to the ONS figures. I read that
report this morning. If you look at the whole package, what they are
saying is public service workers are worse off. Average earnings in the
public sector are ?16.28 an hour compared to ?14.16 private. You are
comparing apples and pears. It's the kind of jobs and the size of the
workplace that people work in. They are still overall on average better
off? Lower paid workers tend to be better off because unions negotiate
better deals for lower paid workers. They are more unionised in the pry
private sector. The public sector is worse off. This is a political
strike, isn't it? There is a whole disparate range of reasons. The
strike is saying that you are against this Government, that is
what this is about? I this I what firefighters, local government
workers and health workers who are protesting, too, alongside teachers
are saying is that this Government is not listening, it is out of
touch, people can't carry on having cuts in their living standards
depending on benefits. When will the public sector worker ever get a real
increase in their pay under a Conservative Government? Well, we
certainly hope to have the books balanced by 2018. Not before then?
2018 is when we hope to be able to be in surplus. It is testament. .
So, no real pay increase for public sector workers before 2018?
Interestingly, this isn't just about the Conservatives and the Lib Dems,
the Labour Party leadership have said it is a test of their
credibility that they support the squeeze on public sector pay. I look
forward to them, they ought to come out and say very clearly that these
strikes are wrong and they are against the strikes and stop taking
union money. It is a democratic right. Hold on. They are - they
think the policy of pay restraint is necessary. Alright. On this point
about democracy... Ask yourself why so many ordinary decent public
service workers are so fed up. They have seen so many billions of pounds
wasted through outsourcing to organisations like G4 S. In Unite
and UNISON the turnout in this vote was under 20%. Alright. OK. One
final question... Hold on. You said millions and millions voted on
this... I want to ask you this question. Is the story in the Mail
on Sunday today that Mr Cameron s planning a big crackdown on the
unions over balloting, is that true? Well, strikes like this... I know
the cases, is it true you are going to dhang the law? Strikes like this
make that argument stronger. The Conservative Party is in Government
on the basis of 23% of the electorate... We have run out of
time. Thank you very much. "Should Scotland be
an independent country?" That's the question the people of
Scotland will answer in a referendum If the polls are to be believed
the voters will answer "no". But in 2011 - ten weeks before
the Holyrood elections - the polls told us that Labour was going to win
and look what happened there - a Alistair Darling is leading
the campaign against independnence. is one that puts the matter of
independence to bed for a generation. In numerical terms, what
would that be? We need a decisive result in September, I think we will
get that provided we get our arguments across in the next couple
of months. What would it be in figures? I am not going to put a
number on it. People will look at it and say, OK, you have had two and a
half years of debate and Scotland has now decided. The polls may be
encouraging at the moment but I am not complacent, there is still a
long way to go. Speculating... If you don't want to answer that, that
is fair enough. Your side claims that a vote for independence is a
vote for massive uncertainty but if it is a no vote there is lots of
uncertainty too. All of the Westminster parties are promising
devolution but there is no timetable, no certainty. Yes, there
is. For the first time I can remember, all three parties are more
or less on the same page in terms of additional powers, we already have
powers in terms of policing and transport, now more powers are
planned in relation to tax and welfare. But you are all saying
different things. Between 2009 and 2012, the three parties have
slightly different proposals but they came together and there was an
agreed series of reforms in relation to tax which are now on the statute
book. If you go back to the devolutionary settlement in 199 ,
people unified around a single proposition so there is history here
and these three parties have delivered and they will deliver in
the event of people saying we will stay part of the UK. If Scotland
vote no to independence, when will Scotland get these extra powers I
would imagine that in the general election all three parties will have
something in their manifesto and you would expect to see legislation in
the session of Parliament that follows that. Imagining is not
certainty. Because the three parties have said this is what they will do,
and it is important having said that they stick to it. If you look in the
past when the Nationalists said the same thing, when they cast doubt
over what would happen in 2012, we delivered. The only party that
walked out of both of these discussions were the Nationalists
because they are not interested in more powers, they want a complete
break. You cannot say that if Edinburgh gets more devolution that
wouldn't mean fewer Scottish MPs in Westminster, can you? Nobody has any
plans to reduce the number of MPs. If you step back from this moment,
what people have been asked to do in September is to vote on the future
of their country, Scotland, and whether we should be part of the UK.
When I say part of the UK, full members of the UK with
representation in the House of Commons and the institutions that
affect our lives. This is a critically important vote. We want
to see more decentralisation of power to Scotland, and to local
authorities within Scotland, but we don't want a complete break with the
uncertainties, the risks and the downright disadvantages that would
throw Scotland's away if we were to make that break. The economic
arguments are dominating people s thinking, the polls show, that is
what is dominating at the moment. You cannot guarantee continued
membership of the European Union given all the talk now about an
in-out UK referendum. Firstly I don't think anyone has ever argued
Scotland wouldn't get back in. The big question is the terms and
conditions we would have to meet and we are applying to get into
something that is established, it wouldn't be a negotiation. What we
have said is there is no way Europe would let Scotland keep the rebate
which Scotland has, there would be big questions over whether we have
to join the euro, and other terms and conditions. The European Union
does not act with any great speed, on average it takes eight and a half
years to get into Europe. I don t want that uncertainty or the
disadvantages that would come Scotland's away that come with
losing clout in the European Union. The second point you asked me about
is in relation to the UK's membership of the European Union,
and if you look at polls, the majority of people still want to
stay in the UK. Frankly, a lot of people on my side didn't make the
argument against independence for a long time, we have been doing that
over the last two and a half years and we are making progress and that
is why I can say I think we will win provided we continue to get our
arguments across. Similarly with the European Union, the case needs to be
made because it is a powerful case. Isn't it true that the Nationalists
win either way? They win if it is a yes vote, and they win if it is a no
vote. They wanted devolution max so they win either way. There is a
world of difference between devolution and further devolution
where you remain part of the UK There is a world of difference
between that and making a break where Scotland becomes a foreign
country to the rest of the UK. You lose that security and those
opportunities. You lose the same currency, the opportunity with
pensions and so on. They are entitled to argue this case with
passion, they want a break, but the two things are worlds apart. Gordon
Brown said that the no campaign was too negative, have you adjusted to
take that criticism into account? Ever since I launched this campaign
over two years ago I said we would make a strong powerful case for
remaining part of the UK. Look at our research, where we have had
warnings from people to say that if we do well with research in Scotland
we get more than our population share of the grand and we gain from
that. There is a positive case but equally nobody will stop me from
saying to the Nationalists, look at the assertions you make which are
collapsing like skittles at the moment. Their assertions don't stand
up. They assert that somehow milk and honey will be flowing. It is
perfectly healthy within a referendum campaign to say that what
you are saying simply isn't true. You have been negative, we all know
about the so-called Cyber Nats book you compared Alex Salmond to the
leader of North Korea. On! The context was that Alex Salmond was
being asked why it was that UKIP had additional seat and he appeared to
blame television being been doing from another country, from BBC South
of the border. If you cannot have humour in a debate, heaven help us.
I think it is important in this debate that people from outside
politics should be allowed to have their say whatever side they are on
because that will make for a far better, healthier debate. Nobody
should be put in a state of fear and alarm by worrying about what will
happen if they stand up. Despite the nastiness, more and more people are
making a stand. We have run out of time. Thank you.
I will be talking to the SNP's hippity leader, Nicola Sturgeon
next week on Sunday Politics. Scotland: For Richer or Poorer will
be on BBC Two at 9pm tomorrow. Disastrous results in the European
elections, it is fair to say the Lib Dems are down in the doldrums. In a
moment I will be speaking to Nick Clegg, but first Emily has been
asking what Lib Dems would say to the Prime -- Deputy Prime Minister
on Call Clegg. Our phone in this week is the challenges facing the
Liberal Democrats. They are rock bottom in the polls and have dire
results in the local and European elections so what can the party do
to turn things around? Get in touch, we are going straight to line
one and Gareth. How much is a problem of that loss of local
support? It is a massive problem because those are the building
blocks of our success. The councillors who gets the case work
done are also the people who go out and deliver the leaflets and knock
on doors. Interesting, and it is not just local support the party has
lost, is it? In the next general election there are some big-name
Liberal Democrat MPs standing down like Malcolm Bruce and Ming
Campbell, how much of a problem will that be? That is a real challenge
and we have some of our brightest and best reaching an age of maturity
at the same moment so that is quite an additional test in what will be a
difficult election anyway. So how does the party need to position
itself to win back support? Let s go to Chris online free, has the party
got its strategy right? There is always a danger of appearing to be a
party that merely dilutes Labour or dilutes the Conservatives. We have a
of is serious, positive messages and we need to get those across in the
next election because if we don t people will vote for the Tories
Nick, what do you think of the people will vote for the Tories
have had a look at early draft of our manifesto and there is some good
stuff in there but the authors are probably too interested in what may
think we have achieved in the last five years and not really focusing
on what the voters will want to be hearing about the next five years.
delivered, even all these many years later. How do you do it? There is an
inquiry in the Home Office about what's happened to these documents,
serious questions need to be asked about what happened in the Home
Office and those questions need to be answered. There are inquiries in
the BBC, in the NHS and most importantly of all the police are
looking into the places where this abuse was alleged to have taken
place. All I would say is, let's make sure that justice is delivered,
truth is uncovered and I think that the way to do that, as we have seen,
is by allowing the police to get on with their work. You say that, but
there are only seven police involved in this inquiry. There are 195
involved in the hacking investigations. We can both agree
that child abuse is more important and serious than hacking. The Home
Office, there are reports that Home Office officials may have been
mentioned in the dossier, people don't trust people to investigate
themselves, Mr Clegg? No, I accept that we need to make sure that and
the police need to make sure that the police investigations are
thorough, well resourced. I can t think of anything more horrendous, I
can't, than powerful people organising themselves and worse
still, this is what is alleged, covering up for each other to abuse
the most vulnerable people in society's care - children. But at
the end of the day, the only way you can get people in the dock, the only
way you can get people charged, is by allowing the prosecuting
authorities and the police to do their job. I have an open mind about
what other inquiries take place A number of other inquiries are taking
place. I assume any additional inquiries wouldn't be able to second
guess or look into the matters which the police are looking into already.
All I would say is that people who have information, who want to
provide information which they think is relevant to this, please get in
touch with the police. Alright. Let's come on to our own inquiry
into the state of the Lib Dems. You have attempted to distance yourself
and the party from the Tories, but still stay in Government - it is
called aggressive differentiation. Why isn't it working? It's not
called aggressive differentiation. It is called "coalition". It is two
parties who retain different identities, different values, have
different aspirations for the future. But during this Parliament
have come together because we were facing a unique national emergency
back in 2010, the economy was teetering on the edge of a
precipice. I'm immensely proud, notwithstanding our political
challenges, which are real, I'm immensely proud that the Liberal
Democrats, we stepped up to the plate, held our nerve and without
the Liberal Democrats, there wouldn't now be that economic
recovery which is helping many people across the country. Why
aren't you getting any credit for it? Well, we won't get credit if we
spend all our time staring at our navals. If it wasn't for the Liberal
Democrats, there wouldn't be more jobs now available to people. They
don't believe you, they are giving the Tories the credit for the
recovery? Well, you might assert that, we will assert and I will
shout it from the rooftops that if we had not created the stability by
forming this Coalition Government and then hard-wired into the
Government's plans, not only the gory job of fixing the public
finances, but doing so much more fairly than would have been the
case, if the Conservatives had been in Government on their own, they
wouldn't have delivered these tax cuts. They wouldn't have delivered
the triple lock guarantee for pensions or the pupil premium. OK.
Why are you 8% in the polls? Well, because I think where we get our
message across - and I am here in my own constituency - this is a
constituency where I am a campaigning MP - we can dispel a lot
of the information and say we have done a decent thing by going into
Government and we have delivered big changes, big reforms which you can
touch and see in your school, in your pensions, in your taxes and
then people do support us and, in our areas of strength, we were
winning against both the Conservative and Labour parties It
is a big effort. Of course, there are lots of people from both left
and right who want to shout us down and want to vilify our role in
Government. What we also need to do - and Nick Harvey was quite right -
having been proud of our record of delivery, we also need to set out in
our manifesto as we are and as we will our promise of more, of more
support in schools. So why is it then... Why is it then that a Lib
Dem MP in our own film says you are in danger of no longer becoming a
National Party. That could be the Clegg legacy, you cease to be a
National Party? I'm a practical man. I believe passionately in what we
have done in politics. I am so proud of my party. I don't spend that much
time speculating that the end might be nigh. There is no point in doing
that. Let's get out there, which is what I do in my own constituency, in
challenges circumstances and say we are proud of what we have done, we
have done a good thing for the country, we have delivered more
Liberal Democrat policies than the party has ever dreamed delivering
before. We have a programme of change, of reform, of liberal
reform, which is very exciting. Just over the last few weeks, I have been
setting out our plans to provide more help to carers, to make sure
teachers in every classroom are properly qualified, that all kids in
school are being taught a proper core curriculum. That parts company
from the ideological rigidities with which the Conservatives deal with
education policy. Those are thing which speak to many of the values
that people who support us... Alright. When Mike Storey gets out
and about, he told this programme two weeks' ago that he finds that
you "are toxic on the doorstep" Look, as everybody knows, being the
leader of a party, which for the first time in its history goes into
Government, which is already a controversial thing to do because
you are governing with our enemies, the Conservatives, and on top of
that, doing all the difficult and unpopular things to fix the broken
economy which was left to us by Labour, of course as leader of that
party I get a lot of incoming fire from right and left. The right say
that I'm stopping the Conservatives doing what they want. There is a
good reason for that. They didn t win the election. The left say that
somehow we have lost our soul when we haven't. That happens day in day
out. Of course that will have some effect. My answer to that is not to
buckle to those criticisms, those misplaced Chris -- criticisms from
left and right, but to stand up proudly. Is it your intention to
fight the next election against an in-out referendum on Europe? Yes.
Unless there is major treaty change? Our position hasn't waivered, it
won't waiver, we are not going to flip-flop on the issue of the
referendum like the Conservatives did. We want an in-out referendum.
With ve legislated for the trigger when that will happen, when in u
powers are transferred to the European Union. That is what we have
said for years. We legislated for that... So no change? No change
Alright. We are expecting a reshuffle shortly. Will you keep
Vince Cable as Business Secretary to the election? I'm immensely proud of
what Vince has done. Yes, I intend to make sure that Vince continues to
serve in the Government in his present capacity Look what he has
done on apprenticeships, he's done more than many people for many years
to make sure we build-up manufacturing, the north here, not
just the south. I'm proud of what he's done. We have talked about some
heavy things. We know you have got into kickboxing. Is there any danger
of you becoming a mammal - you know what I mean - a middle-aged man in
Lycra! Will the Tour de France influence you? Absolutely no risk of
that whatsoever having seen the Tour de France start yesterday near
Leeds. I have the yellow Yorkshire sign on my pullover. I will see them
later whisk through my constituency. I will not try to emulate them. I'm
sure that is to the relief of a grateful nation. Thank you.
It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now
for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here in 20 minutes,
the Week Ahead. the Week Ahead.
First, let's meet the two politici`ns
Rowenna Davis is the Labour parliamentary candidate
And Tim Loughton is the Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham.
I got the title of your constituency right!
It's the public sector pay strike this week.
Falling behind with pay bec`use of the 1% increase, do you think the
I think the whole strike is really deeply regrettable
and it's really sad whenever it comes to that, because it whll mean
a lot of disruption and it leans that trust is really broken down.
But the two reasons that thdre are further strikes happening,
which I have some sympathy with are one, the pay freeza at 0%.
Many of these workers, huge in the public sector,
are on average wage or below, many of whom are on the minhmum wage
and they have had a realtimd pay cut for the last four years.
And these people are working in our schools, they are cleaning for us,
they are doing really vital services and they feel quite desperate now.
And the second reason that they are out, which I think is deeper than
money, actually, it's about this government's relationship whth
public services and in health and in education, you have had these
massive top`down, sweeping reforms that peopld
on the front line, teachers, nurses, they really haven't felt part of.
They don't feel they have been negotiated with.
They felt that they had been walked over.
And I think now that they are at the end of their tether, and thdy feel
that the people that they are trying to help, the patients and the
schoolkids, they are going to suffer unless they do something dr`stic.
Losing a day's pay to make this pohnt.
You've got to accept, 1%, even if money was tight,
some people would say there is plenty, it's just that it is not
going to these people, seeing the house prices going up 10%, more
The trouble is, there isn't a lot of money `round.
Everybody has had to make s`crifices over the last few years.
That was not going to go aw`y in a matter of months or evdn
It is going to take this full five`year term from this government
But do you not have sympathx for people who have been affected
by cuts and redundancies th`t are having to work a lot harder?
Their money is going down, year`on`year.
And the public sector is facing the same challenges that the prhvate
If you don't sell the goods in the private sector, your pay
doesn't go up or you lose your job and the public sector, I'm `fraid,
The public sector has had to become more productive and what we have
done is to really try and safeguard as much as possible
So we've got more nurses and more doctors and far fewer managdrs.
And to try and value and really bring up the quality
and confidence in the teachhng profession in education as well
But the problem for you is, that the Conservatives have been trulpeting
repeatedly from government that the economy is recovering, that we are
really getting back to growth and yes, these people who are on the
front line, doing incrediblx vital services, they aren't seeing
But meanwhile, they have watched MPs have
Well, we haven't had any increase in salary.
It's been held down, is there actually a mandate for this strike?
Because it is small numbers voting for it,
Those that have turned out, I think it is 60% in Unison
and it is over two thirds in some of the other unions as well.
You never get a 100% turnout on these issues or as many people
voting in one way or another, but the rules have been followed and the
outcome has been that the m`jority of those union workers do w`nt to
strike, and you have to respect the outcome of that ballot.
The strike will not achieve anything, particularly for teachers
in schools, because it is not just the teachers losing a day's pay it
means parents have to take ` day off school to look after the kids as
well, and that is a huge inconvenience all around. This will
I'm afraid we have to bite our lips and carry on with getting
to grips with the economy and the economy is starting to hmprove.
Growth is starting to improve and we need to make sure th`t that
I do not know how you tell people that nothing will work, bec`use
you have to tell these publhc sector workers what will work.
The money is not there. That is the problem.
The Labour government spent all the money.
It is about more than money, this is the relationship your government
That is why we value people in the health services which is why
we increased money on incre`sed services in the health servhces
There would be more people on strike if you were still in governlent
One group who'll be out on strike on Thursday is teachers.
It's another chapter in the NUT s long`running dispute with the
A dispute that may explain why fewer people are choosing teaching
From looking at this year's recruitment figures there are likely
to be shortages of teachers in biology, maths, music, physics.
Many areas that the governmdnt sees as vital to economic growth.
John Howson is a former advhser to the government on teacher stpply and
a Liberal Democrat councillor, and joins us now from our Oxford studio.
If people are being put off being teachers, why?
The discussion you just had, it sounded a bit like a rertn
of the winter of discontent versus Thatchdrism.
And because it was the Labotr Party that started
the academies programme in education.
The problem we have now got is that as the economy comes out of
recession, the demand for graduates goes up and teaching needs something
like 40,000 graduate entrants into training every year, and th`t is a
very, very big ask, particularly in some of the subjects where
Particularly if we have got a baby boom
and those people are now, the pupils are moving into secondary and there
will be shortages in partictlar subjects that we really need.
It will get worse in the next few years unless we can do something
about it, because the next few years unless we can do something `bout it,
And quite a lot of them will be in our region.
Yet there are geographical factors, particularly London weighting
They do not seem to be able to get teachers in a much more difficult
East Kent, particularly, I do not know about Tim's constituency..
The Isle of Wight and Portsmouth are suffering.
If you need two incomes to pay for a mortgage or in some cases, to pay
for the rent, where the teacher s partner can find a graduate`level
job is also critical, and clearly there are a lot of those in London,
though London is probably doing less badly than on previous occasions.
They pay the London weighting as well.
Every school is now able to pay what it likes under the freedom that this
government has introduced, `nd I suspect that one of the outcomes
of the future is likely to be that if we are going to pay teachers
Is there an impact from fred schools, from academies, ap`rt from,
as you say, the discussion we had about morale in the Public Services,
is there a sense in which some of these changes haven't come through
yet to encourage people into the teaching profession
The one change that might ptt people off is the Secretary of State saying
that he doesn't require academies to have trained teachers.
I think it is like saying the British Army doesn't repuire
A daft idea that of course would put some people off
because they will say, why should I enter a profession like that?
Tim Lawson is muttering herd, a daft idea?
The Liberals are obsessed whth us having fully qualified teachers
There were more unqualified teachers under the last Labour
If you look at some of the most successful schools,
some of the independent schools they regularly have a large
That doesn't mean they are not qualified,
it means many of them have good degrees in their subject, they just
There are other ways to makd sure kids get interested by prioritising
and getting more teachers into those subjects where we desperately need
them, making sure they have a good background and a good degred in
those subjects and will inspire kids to want to take it up,
we are improving the level of teaching and the range of tdaching
His point is that it is demoralising, because it dodsn't
seem to be being profession`l about the thing any more.
You don't just go to school to be taught by a single person
School is a range of experidnces and there are people,
nuclear physics prize winners, for example, they would not be `ble to
teach under John's criteria if they did not have a teaching carder.
I have got news for Peter, I was with a senior figure from
the Independent Schools Movdment this morning who is launching
a teacher training programmd in September, because they unddrstand
It feels like a system that is not working.
I hated physics, I was the worst at physics,
I got the lowest mark because I had a rubbish physics teacher who could
I loved history because I had a fantastic hhstory
Whether any of those had a teaching degree was irreldvant.
It can make huge a difference. It does.
If you are putting a teacher into a classroom, you have to think
lots of poor quality teachers out there that must be going around
There were at one time and that has been going arotnd
since Chris Woodhead became chief inspector in 1992.
20 years on, we have the best teachers wd have
had and the results in London show how that is improving.
It's a funny old business politics ` or so they say.
But is it in fact maybe a bit too serhous
Are politicians perhaps ` how can I put this politely?
A little lacking in the humour department?
Margaret Thatcher, you may remember, had to have Monty Python's lost
Our Oxfordshire political rdporter Helen Catt has been finding out
whether there can be a serious point to having a laugh.
Our elected representatives aren't averse to the odd bit of jollity.
What with parliamentary pancake races,
lobbing buns from town hall roofs and even being weighed in ptblic.
And of course there's, ah, xes, hang in there Boris,
Everyday politics though can be well, a little less fun.
The Monster Raving Loony Party's been trying to brighten up dlections
They've brought us candidatds like Hairy Norm, Nick the Flying
Their candidate for the recdnt local elections in Oxford says thdy give
Rather than go ahead and vote as they always have for, yot know,
I am a Labour man, the Tory man what ever, give them the ch`nce to
show that they are bit frustrated and he wants the opportunitx to
reinvigorate the electoral process, but show that they don't thhnk
there is really many good choices to be made.
Some of their policies, likd all day pub opening, have even becole law.
And it's possible the PM's been listening to
They want a referendum with the choices in,
At the last general election, the Monster Raving Loony Party
fielded 28 candidates funded by William Hill, but this ydar,
the bookmaker has suggested it probably won't fund them next time.
Why did the squirrel across the river on its back?
But could fun be used not jtst as a protest, but as a real vote`winner?
Meet Louis Trup, the new prdsident of Oxford University Student Union.
It's a job previously done by the likes of
He got it with a manifesto written in crayon.
I like being fun like everyone does, really.
I tried to use the to get pdople listening to the important things I
care about, so as so as well as making silly videos, I was writing
He thinks politicians in general should think mord
about how best to engage with the people they represent.
The more people who are vothng, the more people who are writing to their
MP, the more people talking on these issues, the more of a mandate we
have for politics, the more people will care about politics, and so
Why are there no painkillers in the jungle?
When it comes to putting the fun into politics,
well there is one politician who seems to have really nailed it.
Use the Mayor of London and the former member for Henley`on`Thames.
The geiger counter of Olymphc mania is going to go crazy!
Boris makes it fun, I enjoy watching him.
The young people enjoy watching him, they have seen him on TV.
Here's a cold, calculating politician, and he is jovial
Being caught on a zip line hs fun, and maybe that is what you want
in a future prime minister or current mayor!
So, mixed views on whether laughter and leadership mix,
I think you allow people to just stop for a moment and look
at the issue and see sometiles that is actually very absurd.
Why did the man drown in his bowl of muesli?
Because he was pulled in by a strong currant!
Not everyone would be interdsted in the fun bit,
but not everyone will be necessarily interested in policy bit, btt
the fact that people are involved in the first place means thdy are
That's something politicians may have to work at.
It's too much humour and destraction policy from Boris, is it a danger?
You take a risk using humour, I take politics very seriously and take
myself very seriously and I have been called a bit po`faced, and I
Is that a safety thing, you say these are our policies?
It is like a form of armour, you feel you could get embarrassed
For me, it is just that I rdally, really care about what is going
on and the left often suffers from this, we really care
about jobs, wages, poverty, making Britain a better place, so it
Some people say it is all ldft wing humour on the radio, no right`wing.
You're happy to make a fool of yourself occasionally,
I have done Have I Got News For You, which was a high risk,
I just about got away with ht, I did some other documentarhes.
MPs are just normal people `nd if you are completely seriots
and take politics completelx seriously, because a lot
of the public don't, then pdople will not pay any attention.
A lot of people think polithcians are from another planet, but you
have to use humour and if you use it in a well focused way to get other
people's attention, then thdy might bother to listen to some of
It also has to be genuine, authentic, true to yourself.
The worst thing you can do hs use humour when it is not your style
because the public see strahght through it, so we can sit hdre and
say, wouldn't it be great if we were more funny, but if it is not in a
You have to be able poke fun at yourself.
Gordon Brown was terrible at humour, it just did not work.
I have a picture of me with a chicken on my head
Now our regular round`up of the political week in thd South.
As usual it's all packed into 60 seconds, and this wdek it's
The number of managers at West Sussex County Council `re to be
They're trying to save ?128 million over four years.
The Prime Minister invited yachtsman Ben Ainslie to Downing
10% of the cost of the Portsmouth HQ for his America's Cup campahgn.
It is a great site to sail out of, to compete out of, to host
The 10% many mobile home owners pay on transfer lead to a protest
They say new laws haven't protected them properly.
It is not fair, it is unjust, and you can see from all of these
Wycombe High School is one of 32 new mathematics hubs `dopting
They could calculate the probability of getting
They have been counting the noughts added or taken `way
A few arts organisations lost money and Southampton has lost a few
things, it's lost racing, it lost Lallana to Liverpool, it's looking
good for Southampton when the Solent is the centre of yachting and yet
It is always looking good for us, that is because of the people
and the place, but it has bden a disappointing result to not have
And as he said, we are the centre for a lot of sailing, we have got
a huge tradition of it, the Solent has always been known for it, and
what happened is, the government is feeling bad that it couldn't save
BAE and there were a lot of job losses
in Portsmouth. A lot of those from Southampton, the wider Solent area.
A lot of the job losses camd from Southampton and we havd
It's phenomenal amount of money for the state to put in for quite
an affluent person?s sport `nd Ben Ainslie is not a poor gentldman
I think this could have the tradition and history of it
It is a phenomenal amount of money for the state to put in for quite
an affluent person's sport `nd Ben Ainslie is not a poor gentldman
I think this could be made tp of a higher proportion of privatd sector
Commercial sponsorship and if it was in Worthing, Shordham
my constituency has some of the best kite surfing
in the whole of the country, it will be an Olympic sport at some stage.
This is a true project with a fantastically successful Olxmpian.
A small proportion of the money is coming from the government.
If that can attract a lot of extra money into the private sector for
other jobs coming to the arda, then it is probably a good investment,
but particularly for Portsmouth because they have taken such a hit
off government money and defence contracts. They could have
kept some of the defence contracts! What about spending!
Exactly, it is relatively slall but it is a lot of money.
progress in London was being made before that started. I wish we had
longer for that. It is all over to you.
What will Thursday's mass public sector strike achieve?
Has David Cameron's anti-Juncker attacks clawed back support
And is Alan Johnson really thinking about challenging Ed Miliband
We will start with the strikes, Matt Hancock was hardline in the
head-to-head that he did with the TUC. I guess that the Tory internal
polling and focus groups must be telling them that there are votes in
taking a tough line? There is that and there is the fact that they are
now much more confident on any economic policy two or three years
ago. They shied away from it because the economy was shrinking, there was
still a danger that public sector job losses would lead to higher
unemployment overall. Now, the economy is growing, they have a good
story to sell about employment so they are much more bolshy and brazen
than they were two or three years ago. They know that it always causes
problems for Labour. Labour is naturally sympathetic to the public
sector workers, pay being squeezed, they are striking to make an issue
of it. And yet they can't quite come out and give the unions 100% Labour
support? Exactly. You saw Tristram Hunt on the Marr Show this morning
squirming to support the idea of strikes, but not this particular
strike. It was always the question that gets asked to Labour - who
funds you? That is a real problem. The bit that gets me is they trail
this ef are I time there is a - every time there is a strike, this
idea of cutting it to ballots and local election turnout was a third.
Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London with 38% turnout. We need to
talk about-turnout across our democracy. That is an easy rebuttal
for Labour to make. Matt Hancock was hardline about changing the strike
law. When you asked him the question, if you are not going to
stabilise the public finances till 2018, does this mean the pay freeze
or no real term pay increase in the public sector will increase till
2018, h e was inner vous on that one. -- he was nervous on that one.
This strike is different to those strikes that took place in 2010 At
that time, the TUC and the Labour Leadership thought there was going
to be a great movement out there, not a kind of 1926 movement, but a
great movement out there. This time round, I think the climate is
different. Ed Miliband talking about wage increases being outstripped by
inflation and people not seeing the recovery coming through into their
pay packets. Slightly more tricky territory for the Tories. If The
Labour machine cannot make something out of Matt Hancock telling this
programme there will be no increase in pay for workers in the public
sector till 2018, they have a problem? They do have a problem
They have to say always that they would not just turn the money taps
on. That is the dance that you are locked in all the time. Can we all
agree that Alan Johnson is not going to stand against Ed Miliband this
side of the election? Some politicians are cynical enough. I
don't think Alan Johnson is one Do we agree? There is nothing in it for
Labour and certainly not for Alan Johnson. No way. It is the last
thing he would want to do. There are some desperate members going around
trying to find a stalking horse Alan Johnson will not be their man.
He has more important things to do on a Thursday night on BBC One!
Isn't it something about the febrile state of the Labour Party that
Labour, some Labour backbenchers or in the Shadow Cabinet, can float the
idea of this nonsense? If there was a time to do it, maybe it was in the
middle of the Parliament. With ten months left, you are stuck with the
leader you chose in 2010. I remember them failing to understand this in
January of 2010 when there was that last push against Gordon Brown. Five
months before an election, they were trying to do something. The deputy
Leader of the Labour Party had something to do with it. There is
deep unease about Ed Miliband. There are problems but Alan Johnson is not
the man. I think there is no chance of it!
If the most recent polls are to be believed, David Cameron appears to
have enjoyed a 'Juncker bounce' - clawing back some support from UKIP
after he very publicly opposed the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker
to the post of EU Commission president. Last week Nigel Farage
took his newly enlarged UKIP contingent to Strasbourg
for the first session of the new European Parliament.
These two gentlemen have nothing to say today. It was the usual dull,
looking back to a model invented 50 years ago and we are the ones that
want democracy, we are the ones that want nation state, we are the ones
that want a global future for our countries, not to be trapped inside
this museum. Thank you. I can see we will be covering more of the
European Parliament at last! It's rumoured he's likely to stand
in the next general election in the Kent constituency of Thanet South,
currently held by the Conservatives. Last week the Conservatives selected
their candidate for the seat - Craig McKinlay -
a former deputy leader of UKIP. Did you get the short straw, you
have got a seat that Nigel Farage is probably going to fight? Not in the
slightest. It is a seat that I know well. It is a seat that there's
obvious euro scepticism there and my qualities are right for that seat.
UKIP got some very good... What are your qualities? Deep-seated
conservatism, I was a founder of UKIP, I wrote the script back in
1992. My heart is Conservative values. They are best put out to the
public by me in South Thanet. It would be ridiculous if Nigel chose
that seat. We need a building block of people like myself to form a
Government if we are going to have that referendum that is long
overdue. I don't think he's got the luxury of losing somebody who is
very similar in views to him. He would be best look looking
elsewhere. You wouldn't like him to stand in your seat, would you? It
would seem to make very little sense. People would say what is UKIP
all about if it's fighting people who have got a similar view to them?
We do need to build a majority Government for the Conservatives
next year because only us are offering that clear in-out
referendum. I want to be one of those building blocks that is part
of that renegotiation that we will put to public in a referendum.
Sounds to me like if the choice is between you and Nigel Farage next
May in Thanet South, it is Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee? Not at all The
danger to this country is another Labour Government. That is one of
the main reasons that I left UKIP in 2005 because that last five years of
the Labour Government was the most dangerous to the fundamentals of
Britain that we have ever seen. I'm happy with the Conservatives. I have
full Conservative values. I am a Euro-sceptic. Thank you for joining
us. The Westminster bubble yet again, which has a herd mentality, a
bubble with a herd mentality, it again, which has a herd mentality, a
The question is how far low do they fall? They are still registering
12-15% in the opinion polls. They are. When Mr Cameron wielded his
veto which again the Westminster bubble said it's
veto which again the Westminster quieten down, please. Ben Bradshaw,
the former Minister made it, he said, "I'm reminded when the leader
of the Labour Party before Harold Wilson made that famous Euro-sceptic
speech and Mrs Gaitskell said darling, the wrong people are
cheering." That is the challenge. Thank you, bubbles!
The Daily Politics is back at its usual Noon time every day
And I'll be back here on BBC One next Sunday at 11pm for the last
Sunday Politics of the summer - I'll be talking to Scotland's Deputy
Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.
Former Cabinet Minister Lord Tebbit says he believes there may well have
been a cover up over child abuse in the 1980s, after more than
a hundred documents relating to historical abuse allegations are
missing or have been destroyed. In Kenya,
29 people have been killed in two attacks by Islamist militants.
And Britain's Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour
Andrew Neil and Peter Henley with the latest political news, interviews and debate including interviews with the deputy prime Minister, Nick Clegg, former chancellor Alistair Darling, Frances O'Grady of the TUC, and skills minister Matthew Hancock.