15/07/2012 Sunday Politics West


15/07/2012

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.


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In the west: After the march by the far-right in Bristol this weekend,

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we're looking at the state of race relations.

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1805 seconds

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Are the politicians to blame for Good afternoon. We are live this

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afternoon with 20 minutes of discussion and debate. Our top

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story: at this weekend's march by the English Defence League in

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Bristol. Despite 14 arrests it was mainly peaceful, but have

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politicians added to aggravation? First, this week's guests. They are

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to West Country politicians with precious little in common. They are

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Jacob Rees Mogg and Anne Snelgrove. Jacob, you have voted this week

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against house of Lords reform. Why have you done that? I think that

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they were badly thought-through and I do not think that we should

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change constitutional issues without a referendum.

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Liberal Democrat wanted a bit of constitutional form --

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constitutional reform and you have rebelled. We think it was appalling

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that the reforms were introducing proportional representation, which

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was rejected over euro. I am afraid that one of the takes his house of

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Lords reform. All of the parties want House of

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Lords reform, but you have put the kibosh on it by disagreeing with

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the timetabling bill. We have great concerns about a timetabling of

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this bill over ten days. We have reduced the hereditary Peers by 90

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per cent, Brotton and elected Speaker, the people's Peers. --

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brought end. They want to have some proper debate about how they can

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take this forward. David Cameron has a real problem with this party

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now. 91 of his Conservative MPs rebelled against this and he really

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has got in trouble of -- got in trouble over this.

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I peace march has been held in Bristol this afternoon. It is in

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response to yesterday's march by the English Defence League, which

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has brought concern to the Nuzum community. The there was a rival

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demonstration which kicked off the trouble. What does it say about the

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state of community and race relations? It really could not be a

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more difference seen today here in Queen Square. It is very calm and

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peaceful. If you look around, there is a cycling festival taking place

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today, a complete contrast to the best that we witnessed yesterday. -

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- to the events that we witnessed. The English Defence League were

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marched in conjunction with the police down side streets. Piquet

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then living and eventually brought their march into Queen Square,

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where there were rallies and speeches.

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When they got to the square there had been no trouble, but opponents

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of EDL were determined to confront them. Organisations such as We Are

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Bristol, who have a record of opposing the EDL. There were some

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small groups, there were quite a number of arrests. There were 14

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people in total. The day ended on a rather sour note, with the police

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having to make a lot of arrests. Let us talk to a couple of people

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who were involved and have strong views on this. He did not one there

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to be a counter protest yesterday, didn't she? You are right. We were

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strongly discouraging people to join in. Before rigor further, I

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would like to take the opportunity to thank the police for doing a

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marvellous and fantastic job. And to the city as a whole, who

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conducted themselves very well. had held tops with EDL and the

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organisers of their counter protests -- held meetings. You find

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the opponents of their protests difficult to work with? There was a

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lot of a motion at stake. Discussions need to happen right at

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the beginning, not halfway through, are too close to this event. This

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is a learning progress, we need to sit down and discuss how we can

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learn how to conduct ourselves much better. You are the Labour

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candidate for her the Bristol mayoral election. He pushing into

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the counter protests, I you happy with what happened? My name was on

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the protest, but there is another story about that. Yesterday was

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actually about pride. It is a shame... Wasn't having a big

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counter-demonstration close by bound to inflame things? That is

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what then is on community had not wanted. People would come out in

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protest anyway. The clear thing was what -- the thing to make clear was

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to say, they all wanted to make a statement about Bristol. There were

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whole mix of people there, a number of people who have delivered

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fantastically far the city. A number of community activists who

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had been working hard... But that is not the image that people come

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away with from the events yesterday, is it? It depends how you reported.

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If you look at the events of the gay pride march, and the events

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across the city throughout the year, then you have a different image.

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will also be focusing later this afternoon on a piece wok, which

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will be happening today in order to show the positive side of Bristol -

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- peace march. Jacob, why do you think that the

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English Defence League find support? The there is a real

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problem with the immigration issue, because it has been toxic for

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politicians. It has been tied up with ideas of race and politicians

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had been very nervous about talking about it in a rational way.

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opposing the spread of Islam in this country racist or wrong?

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think that that is just wrong. I do not think we should be frightened

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of Islam, frightened of other -- frightened of other religions, but

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it comes out of a fear of emigration. If politicians had

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dealt with their idea of emigration earlier, we would see much more

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tolerance in terms of religion. Would you accept that Labour lost

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control and allowed immigration on a massive scale. And be left some

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traditional Labour supporters, including the White working classes,

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feeling threatened? I do not think we lost control. When countries

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such as Paul and were -- such as Poland were allowed into the

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European Union, then we had some issues. We had problems with cheap

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labour coming in from Eastern Europe. We are conflating lot of

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issues here. The march yesterday was anti- Islam and chosen on a day

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when Bristol were celebrating the pride. There were twice as many

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people at the Gay pride celebration as the EDL could muster from the

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hold the country. Well done to the Gay pride march and thumbs down to

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the EDL. What would you like to see with

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immigration? Why has the government not got a handle on it? I am more

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of a sceptic than the government has. I think we need to look at all

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the immigration problem, can take - - including from the European Union.

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We have simply had too many people coming in and providing a labour

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force that has paid out of work the indigenous labour force. That is a

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problem for our country. Do you accept that immigration drive down

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wages, pates pressure on housing? think it has driven down wages,

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where housing is concerned, I think that many of those immigrants

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living in very bad housing situations, that is my experience

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in that Swindon. I think that we need to look at the European Union

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again. We would say that we have made some mistakes over emigration,

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but not over wider emigration. I just say one thing? A think it is

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very unfortunate that a grand mother of a family from the Indian

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sub-continent find it -- find it very difficult to come here even

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though her family is here. Whereas someone from the European Union can

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come here. No questions asked. That is what we need to the cat. Mark

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Hook has now been charged with his 112's -- with his 112 offence. He

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was given a holiday to Africa and was known as Safari Boy, but does

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his serial offending represent a failure of the criminal justice

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system? He first made headlines almost 20

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years ago after being sent to North Africa on holiday. The aim was to

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break his cycle of reoffending, but just one year later, in 1994, Mark

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Hook was back in court, charged with more than 30 offences.

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perhaps need to invest more in nursery education, youth facilities.

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This is not a soft option I am talking about, I am talking about

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the choices that society has been investing money.

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Over the past two decades he has made promises to change, but this

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week he was charged for his 112 offence, stealing a woman's handbag.

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The question still remains, can anything be done to make sure this

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really is Mark Hook's last time behind bars?

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I am joined now by Juliet Lyon from the Prison Reform Trust. Does his

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case not short that really we are not on top of serial criminals in

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this country and that nothing appears to work?

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His case hits exactly the day, or rather tomorrow, when Ken Clarke

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and the Prison Reform Trust are celebrating a third drop end youth

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crime and the number of children behind bars. Something has happened

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that is really successful and to change that dreary cycle of people

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going back into jail. You are saying that youth crime is down?

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Markedly, 37 per cent. So people would say that it does not feel

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like that on the street. It maybe that it is not reported correctly,

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but that is actually correct. If you look at this excess of early

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intervention, getting people in LA to look at -- to get children out

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of trouble. That is what we did want.

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People like that young man, a lifetime of crime, to a hundred and

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12 offences, he says he will go straight, but no one is holding

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their breath that -- 112. What he would look at with someone like

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that, prolific persistent offender, he would look at integrated

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prisoner management. There are some flagship work being done in that

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area. Prison staff, prisoners anti- drug work -- drug workers all

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working together. The combination of that and with victims saying,

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this is the harm that you have caused me, can help.

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A tunic prison sentences longer, they are more effective because you

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have more time to work with the prisoner in jail? But you do not

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want to get at that point. If someone has committed a serious and

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violent offence then prison as the only option, but we should be

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focused on stopping at. What would you do with people who regard crime

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as a way of life and that there is a revolving door at the Crown

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Court? We do have to punish those people, but it is that -- but it is

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right that agencies have come together to make sure that crime is

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kept down. We will never win with 100 per cent of the people, but the

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chief constable said back in 1994, we need more nursery education.

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There is a 37 per cent drop in crime, it works. On that particular

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case, why it became famous as because he went on a safari is a

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young man at the taxpayer's offence. -- expense. I was outraged at that

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time, I could not afford to go abroad on holiday. I think we do

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need to look at different ways of punishing people, but also helping

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them back in. As a Farry is not a good idea. The need to give more

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discretion to the judges. There has been a tendency to limit that

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discretion, but the judge knows their individual that he is dealing

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worth and that people are different. There will be some people who have

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committed serious crimes, he need to be locked up for some time, and

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others who are redeemable. I do believe that people should be

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offered a second chance, and even a third chance, but not necessarily

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112 chances. It is harder to get to jail than to

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get to Oxford or Cambridge? much more expensive when you get in

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than going to Eton. Let us use it for the few people that need to be

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pit their. There are 100,000 core offenders

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who caused a great deal of crime. What do you do about them?

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Unavoidable minimum. What do we mean by that? Probably the number

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that when I investigated Strangeways prison. We are

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currently locking up 88,000 people. That is fast public offence -- vast

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public expense, a necessary. Crime has dropped by almost a third in

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the last two years. But that was after a decade of increasing crime.

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Are you going to argue about crime dropping? No, but it is coming down

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from a high level, that is what am saying. But it has dropped, the

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trouble is that good news stories do not make news, but this is

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something that all the political party should be proud of, because

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everyone has contributed and everyone supports restorative

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justice. We have an increase in police numbers in Somerset, that

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has made a huge difference. research does show that more

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policing does lead to a reduction in crime and of course, police

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numbers are being cut. It is worth bearing in mind that crime has cop

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-- crime has fallen very sharply now that there are higher numbers

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in prison. I think you have to be careful about looking at things at

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-- about how things have happened, before jumping to conclusions.

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Thank you very much. If you have literally got one minute to spare,

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let us catch up on some more political news for the week.

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It was an uncomfortable week for the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg - not

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helped by this man, Bristol Councillor John Kiely. He stuck the

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boot in this week, calling for the Deputy Prime Minister to resign.

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There needs to be a reality check within the party. It is facing

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tough times ahead. You will always have people making comments,

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sometimes disobliging comments from the sidelines, that is politics.

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Wealthy people who own second homes in the Cotswolds will no longer get

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a 10% discount on their council tax. Other areas, like Bath and North

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East Somerset, are also considering scrapping the discount, claiming

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all homeowners should pay "their fair share".

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There have been more twists and turns than down a badger sett in

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the fight to stop Government plans for a badger cull in

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Gloucestershire and Somerset. This week, the High Court threw out an

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appeal by campaigners to stop the cull. They have a week to appeal.

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Council tax, the full whack on second homes. I have two. Just the

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two! I think it is perfectly reasonable. It was a saying that if

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you had a second home venue had fewer services. In an age of

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austerity, when everyone has to pay more, it is a reasonable discount

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to get rid of. I am in agreement with Jacob. I actually think that

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in these times of austerity if people can afford to two homes than

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they have to pay twice. I am more concerned with their elderly person

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living on his or her own who still find it very difficult to find 75

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per cent of the council tax. It seems that if we should cut

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something, we should cut the council tax for them.

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That is it for this series of the Sunday Politics. The government has

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done a U-turn on the caravan tax and Jacob is off to his second home

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Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.


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