20/10/2013 Sunday Politics West


20/10/2013

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With communities secretary Eric Pickles and deputy first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.


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Transcript


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Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Politics. Alex Salmond says a

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vote for Scottish independence would be an act of national self belief.

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His deputy joins us live from the SNP conference in Perth. Is

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Whitehall meddling too much in modern affairs? The Communities

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Secretary, Eric Pickles, joins me for The Sunday Interview. Senior

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coppers will be answering questions this

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In the West, free food hand`outs treble, but why are so many relying

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on places like this to feed them? London, does the London assembly

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have one arm tied behind its back? All of that to come. And the Home

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Office minister sacked by Nick Clegg, who says his party is like a

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wonky shopping trolley, which keeps veering off to the left. He will

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join us live at noon. With me to unpack all of this, Nick Watt, Helen

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Lewis and Iain Martin. They will be tweeting throughout the programme,

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using hashtag #bbcsp. It is the last day of the Scottish national party

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conference in Perth. We have discovered that Alex Salmond has

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been on the same diet as Beyonce. The SNP leader compared his attempts

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to lose weight with the campaign for independence - lots achieved so far,

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20 more to do. In a moment, I will be joined by the deputy leader of

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the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon. First they report on the independence

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campaign. September 18 2014, the date of destiny for Scotland, the

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day when these campaigners hope its people will decide to vote yes for

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independence. In a recent poll, only 14% said they knew enough to vote

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either way. That is unlikely to change any time soon. I think the

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Scottish people will be going to the polls next year still not knowing an

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awful lot of stuff which is important, because the outcome, in

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terms of taxation, debt, exactly what will happen to the allocation

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of assets between the two countries, will come about as a result of

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negotiation between a Scottish government and the UK Government.

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That is not stuff which will be known year. At the moment, polls

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suggest Scotland will decide to remain within the UK. A recent

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survey found that 44% of those questioned planned to vote no, 5%

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yes. But interestingly, the undecideds were at 31%, suggesting

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that Alex Salmond's task might be tough but not impossible. There are

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a number of reasons which make a vanilla campaign a good idea. It

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does not put off cautious voters, it allows for people to imagine their

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own version of what independence will be like, and crucially, it

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allows for the yes campaign to take advantage of any mistakes by the no

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campaign. In other words, the yes campaign are not out there with big

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ideas, they are just waiting for the no campaign to trip up. What we do

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know is that whatever happens next September, Scotland will be getting

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more power. From 2016, a separate income tax regime will come into

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force, giving the Scottish Parliament control over billions of

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pounds of revenue. What we do not know yet is how the alternative

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would pan out. There are issues which would be raised by

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independence, issues about how the national debt is allocated, what the

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currency will look like, how an independent Scotland would balance

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the books, because it would have a bigger job to do, even down the

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Whitehall government has to do. Those are really big issues, which a

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Scottish government would have to face, on top of whatever negotiation

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it had to have with the UK Government. The Scottish

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government's White Paper on independence, two to be published

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within weeks, should fill in some of the banks. But how Scotland votes in

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September may yet be determined by what it feels rather than what it

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knows. And joining me from Perth is Scotland's Deputy First Minister,

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Nicola Sturgeon. Nicola Sturgeon, we meet again! Hello, Andrew. Former

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leader of the SNP Gordon Wilson said, if this referendum fails, it

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will fail on the basis that people put their British identity ahead of

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their Scottish identity, so we have got to attack on the British

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identity - what does he mean? Gordon Wilson is a very respected, much

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loved former leader of the SNP. My view is that I do not think the

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independence referendum is really about identity. I am secure and

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proud of my Scottish identity, but this is a decision about where power

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best lies. Do decision-making powers best lie here in Scotland, with a

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government which is directly accountable to the people of

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Scotland, or does it best lie in Westminster, with governments which,

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very often, people in Scotland do not vote for? That is the issue at

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the heart of the campaign. Let me just clarify, you do not agree with

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him, that you need to go on the attack with regard to the British

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identity of Scottish people? No I do not think we are required to

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attack British identity. It is absolutely compatible for somebody

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to feel a sense of British identity but still support Scottish

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independence, because Scottish independence is about a transfer of

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power. It is about good government, accountable government, ensuring

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that decisions are taking here in Scotland, by people who have got the

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biggest stake in getting those decisions right. I represent a

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constituency in the south side of Glasgow, and if you speak to many

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people in my constituency, if you ask them their national identity,

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many of them would say Irish, Pakistani, Indian, Polish, and many

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of them will vote yes next year because they understand the issue at

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stake, which is the issue of where decisions are best taken. It looks

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like you are changing tack ex-, you have realised the softly softly

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approach, of saying that actually, nothing much will change, we will

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still have the Queen, the currency, and all the rest of it, is moving

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over towards voting for a left-wing future for Scotland... Well, I know

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that what we are doing is pointing out is pointing out the choice

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between two futures. If we vote yes, we take our own future into our own

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hands. We make sure that for ever after, we have governments which

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will be in demented policies which we have voted for. If we do not

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become independent, then we continue to run the risk of having

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governments not only that we do not vote for, but often, that Scotland

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rejects. We are seeing the dismantling of our system of social

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security. There are politicians in all of the UK parties who are

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itching to cut Scotland's share of spending. So Scotland faces a choice

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of two futures, and it is right to point out the positive consequences

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of voting yes, but also the consequences of voting no. But you

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are promising to reverse benefit cuts and increase the minimum wage.

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You would renationalise the Royal Mail, though how you would do that

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nobody knows. You are promising to cut energy bills. These are the kind

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of promises that parties make in a general election campaign, not in a

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once in 300 years extra stench or choice. Is the future of Scotland

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really going to be decided on the size of the minimum wage? --

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existential choice. A yes vote would be about bringing decision-making

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powers home, but we are also setting out some of the things an SNP

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government would do, if elected A decision on what the first

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government of an independent Scotland would be would not be taken

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in the referendum, that decision would be taken in the 2016 election.

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And all of the parties will put forward their offers to the

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electorate. We are setting out some of the things which we think it is

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important to be prioritised. These are things which have a lot of

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support in Scotland. We see the pain being felt by people because of the

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rising cost of energy bills, there is widespread opposition to some of

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the welfare cuts. So, we are setting out the options which are open to

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Scotland, but only open to Scotland if we have the powers of

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independence. Given that you seem to be promising aid permanent socialist

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near Varna, if Scotland is independent, if you are right of

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centre in Scotland, and I understand that is a minority pursuit where you

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are, but it would be a big mistake to vote for independence, in that

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case, wouldn't it? No, because the whole point of independence is that

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people get the country they want, and the government a vote for. So,

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right of centre people should not vote for independence? No, because

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people who are of that political persuasion in Scotland get the

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opportunity to vote for parties which represent that persuasion and

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if they can persuade a majority to vote likewise, then they will get a

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government which reflects that. That is the essence of independence.

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Right now, we have a Westminster government which most people in

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Scotland rejected at the last general election. That is hardly

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democratic. It is right and proper that the SNP, as the current

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government, points out the opportunities that would be opening

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up. Can I just clarify one thing, when we spoke on The Daily Politics

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earlier last week, you made it clear to me that Alex Salmond, we know he

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wants to debate with David Cameron, but you made it clear to me that he

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would debate with Alistair Darling as well, and Mr Carmichael... He

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made it clear yesterday. Well, he said to the BBC this morning that he

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would only debate with these people after he had had a debate with Mr

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Cameron, so who is right? I was making the point last week, and Alex

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Salmond was making it yesterday and this morning - let's have that

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agreement by David Cameron to come and debate with Alex Salmond, and

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then Alex Salmond, just like me will debate with allcomers. So if he

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does not get the David Cameron debate, then he will not do the

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others, is that right? Let's focus on is wading David Cameron to do the

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right thing. So, in other words he will not debate, yes or no? Members

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of the SNP government... We know that, but what about Alex Salmond?

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He said yesterday, we will debate with all sorts of people, including

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the people you have spoken about, but David Cameron should not be let

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off the hook just putting aside the independence issue, energy prices

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are now even playing into the SNP, so every political party has to do

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something about energy prices. Yes, it is clearly it is interesting is

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the difference between the SNP and the Labour approach. Ed Miliband

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electrified the party conference season when he said he would freeze

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energy prices for 20 months, seemingly having an amazing control

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over the energy market, where we know that essentially what pushes

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prices up the wholesale prices on world market. What Nicola Sturgeon

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is talking about is actually saying, this amount is added to your bills

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for green levies, and we are going to take them off your bills and they

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will be paid out of general taxation in an independent Scotland. That is

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a credible government, making a credible case, very different to

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what Labour is saying, although playing to the same agenda. So,

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Labour has got a populist policy, the SNP has also got a populist

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policy, the one group of people that do not have a decent response to

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this is the coalition? Exactly. What the SNP also have is a magic money

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pot, so that speech yesterday, you are right, it was very left wing,

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social democratic, but there was none of the icing like Labour has

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been talking about, with fiscal responsibility. I think that is the

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difference between the two. We know what the Tories would really like to

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do, all of these green levies which were put on our bills in the good

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times, when they were going to be the greenest party ever, the Tories

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would like to say, let's just wipe out some of them, put the rest on to

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some general government spending, but they have a problem, which is in

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the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Not only that, they really

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are stuck now. But there is something in the free schools debate

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this morning, the parties are now determined to send a message to

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their potential voters at the next election, that they are trying to

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fight their coalition partners. Do not expected any change in coalition

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policy or free schools policy before the election, but we can expect to

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hear the parties try to pretend that they are taking on their coalition

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partners. Mr Clegg has said, we would put this free schools policy

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into our manifesto, so is it not possible that the Tories will say,

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if you give us an overall majority, we will cut your electricity bill

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because we will get rid of these green levies? I think that is

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entirely possible. The Tories know that they are stuck on this, they do

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not have a response to Ed Miliband. How much should ministers in

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Whitehall medal in local decisions across England? In opposition, David

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Cameron said he wanted a fundamental shift of power from Whitehall to

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local people. He said, when one size fits all solution is...

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Eric Pickles described it as "an historic shift of power". But the

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Communitites and Local Government Secretary can't stop meddling. In

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the past few months Mr Pickles has tried to ban councils from using

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CCTV cameras and "spy cars" to fine motorists... Told councils how to

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act quicker to shut down illegal travellers' sites... Criticised

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councils who want to raise council tax... Insisted councils release

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land to residents hoping to build their own property... And stated new

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homes should have a special built in bin storage section. It seems not a

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week goes by without a policy announcement from the hyper active

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Mr Pickles. So is the government still committed to localism, or is

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it all about centralism now? And Communities Secretary Eric

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Pickles joins me now for the Sunday Interview.

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Welcome. Nice to be here. You said in July you were going to give town

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halls the power to wreak their local magic. So why issue diktats from

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Westminster? It is not about giving power to local councils, it is going

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beyond that to local people. If local councils refuse to open up

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their books, we have to go straight to local people. You have attacked

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councillors using so-called spy cameras to enforce parking rules.

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Why is that your business? Because there is an injustice taking place.

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You cannot use fines to raise money and that is plainly happening. If

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you get yourself a ticket from a CCTV, it could be days or weeks

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before that lands on your doorstep and you have virtually no

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possibility to be able to defend yourself. But just leave it to

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people to vote out the council then. We are trying to enforce the law and

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it clearly states that you cannot use parking fines in order to fund

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general rate. So why are you not taking them to court if they are

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breaking the law? There have been a number of court cases taken by local

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residents. I am there to stand by local residents. Your even trying to

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micromanage, allowing motorist s to park for 15 minutes in local high

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street. Why is that your business? I'm trying to ensure that local

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authorities understand the importance of the town centre. If

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you look at all opinion polls, right now there is a five-minute leeway

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but there are many cases of people being jumped on by parking officials

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for quite trivial things. It is about saying, surely I can go and

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get a pint of milk. But a party that dines out on localism, that is a

:19:17.:19:22.

matter for local people, not the men in Whitehall. I have to be on the

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side of local people. That person who wants to go and get a pint of

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milk. Ultimately it is a matter for them. It is a matter for the

:19:37.:19:40.

council. But a little bit of criticism is not a bad thing. You

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have now declared war on the wheelie bin and suggested that new homes

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should have built in storage sections. You just cannot help

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meddling! I suppose that is possible. You are a meddler! I am in

:20:02.:20:08.

charge of building regulations and planning. So I may have some

:20:09.:20:18.

responsibility there. Another one, interfering in local planning

:20:19.:20:27.

decisions. A couple of places, you ruled in favour of developers. They

:20:28.:20:32.

want to build over 200 houses against the wishes of the parish and

:20:33.:20:40.

district councils. The local MP said the Secretary of State's decision

:20:41.:20:45.

runs roughshod over any concept of localism. Now I have to be a

:20:46.:20:51.

blushing violet because of course this is still potentially subject to

:20:52.:20:59.

judicial review. I have to act properly. And Apple went is entitled

:21:00.:21:13.

to justice. -- an applicant. A local authority has a duty to ensure that

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is adequate housing for people in their area. This was not a decision

:21:18.:21:25.

that I took as a personal decision, it was on the advice of an

:21:26.:21:29.

inspector. But you contradict what David Cameron himself said in 2 12,

:21:30.:21:37.

he spoke about a vision where we give communities much more say and

:21:38.:21:44.

local control. People in villages fear big housing estates being

:21:45.:21:47.

plonked from above. You have just done exactly that. After a proper

:21:48.:22:01.

quasi judicial enquiry. What we have is planning framework which local

:22:02.:22:05.

people can decide where it goes But they cannot say, nothing here. They

:22:06.:22:12.

have to have a five-year housing supply. Previous to this government

:22:13.:22:17.

decided exactly where houses would go, now local people can take the

:22:18.:22:25.

lead. Anna Silbury said because of the way your department rules, local

:22:26.:22:28.

authorities now have no alternative but to agree development on green

:22:29.:22:37.

belt land. I do not accept that I think around Nottingham there are

:22:38.:22:42.

particular problems with regards to the green belt. The matter has been

:22:43.:22:50.

referred back. the green belt. The matter has been

:22:51.:23:01.

want to see development on the green belt but on Brownfield site. We want

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to see underused land. But you have to remember why we have the green

:23:08.:23:07.

belt. Not to remember why we have the green

:23:08.:23:14.

nice, it is their to prevent conurbations bumping into one

:23:15.:23:15.

another. Your conurbations bumping into one

:23:16.:23:19.

is vocal about the need to deal what he calls the historic under

:23:20.:23:25.

provision of housing. Shelter says we need 250,000 new homes per year.

:23:26.:23:37.

provision of housing. Shelter says Houston statistics are getting

:23:38.:23:37.

there, but nowhere near that. - housing. You cannot

:23:38.:23:40.

there, but nowhere near that. - localism agenda as well as meeting

:23:41.:23:42.

housing demand. I do not accept that. We inherited a position where

:23:43.:23:55.

the lowest level of building since the 1920s was in place. But it has

:23:56.:24:01.

steadily improved. It does take a while. You cannot have a localism

:24:02.:24:07.

agenda where people call the shots on housing as well as meeting the

:24:08.:24:12.

housing demand. People have a duty to ensure that future generations

:24:13.:24:18.

have somewhere to live. You cannot pull up the drawbridge. There is

:24:19.:24:23.

nothing incompatible between that and localism. Because someone has to

:24:24.:24:28.

be the voice of those people who are going to live there and to make sure

:24:29.:24:35.

there is the proper amount. Plans now exist for more than 150,000

:24:36.:24:42.

homes to be built on protected land, including the green belt. That will

:24:43.:24:47.

mean riding over local concerns Each application will be taken on

:24:48.:24:52.

its own merits. To suggest that there is an assault on the green

:24:53.:24:57.

belt is as far from the truth as you can imagine. Should Andrew Mitchell

:24:58.:25:01.

get his job back if the years exonerated? I would be honoured to

:25:02.:25:05.

sit with Andrew Mitchell in the Cabinet. I have always believed his

:25:06.:25:13.

version. But it is a matter for the Prime Minister who he has in

:25:14.:25:16.

government. He would have no problem in seeing him back in Cabinet?

:25:17.:25:25.

Absolutely not. Your mother answered Vulcan junior minister Nick balls

:25:26.:25:29.

said about the Royal Charter for the press, there's nothing we have done

:25:30.:25:35.

that troubles me as much as this. Is that your view? It is not. I accept

:25:36.:25:38.

the compromise agreement put together. If the press want to have

:25:39.:25:46.

an additional protection that the Royal Charter offers, then they can

:25:47.:25:51.

move into the system. But if they want to continue independently that

:25:52.:25:57.

is acceptable to me. But you previously echoed Thomas Jefferson,

:25:58.:26:04.

you said for a free society to operate the river of a free press

:26:05.:26:09.

has to flow without restriction That is what I said at the time We

:26:10.:26:17.

had to find a compromise. And that seems to me to be a better

:26:18.:26:23.

compromise. Let me just show you this little montage of pictures that

:26:24.:26:36.

we have. I could not be happier Then you are in the Desert and there

:26:37.:26:44.

you are in San Francisco. Then you are in the casino. That is my

:26:45.:26:58.

personal favourite. These students took a cardboard cutout of you and

:26:59.:27:03.

took it round the world with them. Did you ever think you would become

:27:04.:27:10.

a student icon? I always felt secretly that that might happen one

:27:11.:27:15.

day. But it came earlier in my career than I thought! Why would

:27:16.:27:23.

they do that? I think they thought I could do with a bit of an airing! I

:27:24.:27:31.

went to Norfolk earlier, but that looks better. Thank you.

:27:32.:27:39.

On Wednesday senior police folk including chief constables, will be

:27:40.:27:41.

questioned by MPs about what's become known as Plebgate. That's the

:27:42.:27:46.

incident in Downing Street last year which led to the resignation of the

:27:47.:27:49.

government chief whip Andrew Mitchell. Last week the Independent

:27:50.:27:51.

Police Complaints Commission questioned the "honesty and

:27:52.:27:53.

integrity" of police officers who met Mr Mitchell following the row.

:27:54.:27:59.

So do scandals like this affect public trust in the police? Here's

:28:00.:28:06.

Adam Fleming. It's a story of politics, the

:28:07.:28:12.

police, and CCTV. No, not Andrew Mitchell, but an MP's researcher

:28:13.:28:14.

called Alex Bryce and his partner Iain Feis.

:28:15.:28:21.

It started on a summer night in 2011. They'd been in Parliament

:28:22.:28:25.

After a few words with a police officer, Ian was wrestled to the

:28:26.:28:30.

ground. Alex came to have a look and the same thing happened to him. Both

:28:31.:28:34.

were arrested and charged. These pictures emerged on day one of their

:28:35.:28:39.

trial. A trial that was halted because the police version of events

:28:40.:28:46.

just didn't match the footage. A lot of people with incidence like this

:28:47.:28:53.

which we experienced, people think there is no smoke without fire. So

:28:54.:28:57.

when we said we did nothing wrong, people would think police just would

:28:58.:29:04.

not do that. There is always that underlying view that some people

:29:05.:29:08.

have. I think that has been challenged and people who know us

:29:09.:29:13.

believe that. This year the Met apologised and paid compensation.

:29:14.:29:16.

And it's led to an unlikely sort of friendship. When the truth came out

:29:17.:29:22.

about the Andrew Mitchell story I actually sent him an e-mail to

:29:23.:29:26.

congratulate him about the truth coming out. He did send a reply

:29:27.:29:32.

acknowledging that. So where are we with THAT saga? Remember last

:29:33.:29:36.

September? Andrew Mitchell had a row with police at the gates of Downing

:29:37.:29:40.

Street about his bike. He lost his job as chief whip after accusations

:29:41.:29:43.

he called the officers plebs. That, he's always denied. This week the

:29:44.:29:49.

police watchdog the IPCC suggested that three officers may have lied

:29:50.:29:52.

about a meeting with him at the height of the scandal. Add that to

:29:53.:29:58.

the charge sheet of cases that haven't exactly flattered the

:29:59.:30:02.

police. Like the revelation of a cover up over Hillsborough. The

:30:03.:30:07.

prosecution of an officer from the Met over the death of Ian Tomlinson

:30:08.:30:13.

during protests in 2009. Along with news that undercover officers were

:30:14.:30:15.

told to smear the family of Stephen Lawrence. During Thursday's protest

:30:16.:30:21.

by teachers in Westminster the police operation was really, really

:30:22.:30:26.

relaxed. And recent scandals have done nothing to affect society's

:30:27.:30:30.

view of the boys and girls in blue - or should I say hi-vis. About 6 % of

:30:31.:30:34.

the public say they trust the police. And that's not budged since

:30:35.:30:41.

pollsters started measuring it 0 years ago.

:30:42.:30:50.

Of course, in Britain, crime is down, so the perception might be

:30:51.:30:55.

that the police is doing a good job. And the rank-and-file recently

:30:56.:31:00.

seamed pretty chipper at this awards ceremony. Is it a good time to be a

:31:01.:31:05.

police officer? It is a good time. Despite all of the headlines? Still

:31:06.:31:12.

a good time. But speak to officers privately, and they say Plebgate is

:31:13.:31:16.

affecting how the public see them. Some of them also think

:31:17.:31:19.

politicians, the Tories especially, are enjoying that a little too much.

:31:20.:31:25.

Adam Fleming reporting there. Going head-to-head on this issue of trust

:31:26.:31:32.

in the police, a Sunday Mirror columnist and Peter Kirkham, former

:31:33.:31:38.

chief inspector. Peter Kirkham, let me come to you first. Plebgate, the

:31:39.:31:44.

cover-ups over John Charles De menace, the death of Ian Tomlinson,

:31:45.:31:50.

the industrial deception over Hillsborough, why is the culture of

:31:51.:31:55.

deceit so prevalent in the police? I do not agree there is a cultural

:31:56.:31:59.

deceit. These are all individual incidents which raise individual

:32:00.:32:04.

issues. I would suggest that your short headline summarising each of

:32:05.:32:07.

them has taken the most negative view of it. How can you be positive

:32:08.:32:16.

about the police's behaviour over Hillsborough? It remains to be seen

:32:17.:32:20.

with the inquiry but we are probably talking about a handful of senior

:32:21.:32:22.

officers, dealing with the paperwork. Well over 100 testimonies

:32:23.:32:33.

being doctored by the police. Well, those testimonies were true to start

:32:34.:32:37.

with, so the officers have told the truth, and they have been changed

:32:38.:32:43.

for some reason. By the police. By the police all lawyers we have got

:32:44.:32:47.

this thing that the police conflates everything. There are 43 forces

:32:48.:32:53.

there is ACPO, there is the College Of Policing... People say it was a

:32:54.:33:01.

handful of police officers, it wasn't, it was six senior police

:33:02.:33:05.

officers who were alleged to have doctored 106 D4 statements. Even

:33:06.:33:09.

today we are hearing that more than 1000 officers are yet to be spoken

:33:10.:33:18.

to about Hillsborough. -- 164. Do we pretend that Hillsborough, and some

:33:19.:33:21.

of these examples, are the exception rather than the rule? What is the

:33:22.:33:28.

evidence that this is now prevalent in our police? I think there is a

:33:29.:33:33.

lot of evidence, and Plebgate is probably the thing which has

:33:34.:33:36.

clinched it. The public want to know, how deep does this girl? The

:33:37.:33:40.

audacity of a group of policemen who think they can set up a Cabinet

:33:41.:33:46.

minister. Five of those who were arrested and bailed still have not

:33:47.:33:50.

been charged. One of those officers actually wrote an e-mail pretending

:33:51.:33:53.

to be a member of the public. I do not see what the problem is in

:33:54.:33:59.

prosecuting them for that. Taking Plebgate, there are loads of

:34:00.:34:02.

different bits of that incident There is the officers on duty in

:34:03.:34:05.

Downing Street, the issue of who leaked the story to the Sun, there

:34:06.:34:10.

are the officers who claim to have been there who would appear not to

:34:11.:34:14.

have been there, and then we have got the West Midlands meeting

:34:15.:34:17.

issue, which has sort of been resolved this week. There has been

:34:18.:34:26.

misconduct. But at a lower level. But it is the audacity of an

:34:27.:34:28.

organisation which thinks it can take on an elected minister and

:34:29.:34:34.

destroy him for their own political purposes, at a time when the

:34:35.:34:37.

Government are cutting please pay, when they are freezing their

:34:38.:34:41.

pensions and reducing their numbers. It looks very much to all of us the

:34:42.:34:45.

public, that the police are at war with the government, and they are

:34:46.:34:48.

going to do anything they can to discredit the Government. The police

:34:49.:34:52.

would have every reason to be at war with the Government, because there

:34:53.:35:02.

if there is a crisis of trust.. But it looks like they fitted up a

:35:03.:35:07.

Cabinet minister. That remains to be seen, it is being investigated. We

:35:08.:35:13.

know that those Birmingham officers, they totally misrepresented to, if

:35:14.:35:18.

not lied outright, about what was said. Again, that is a

:35:19.:35:22.

misrepresentation of what happened. If you actually go and look at what

:35:23.:35:26.

is said, it is plain from the context, they were saying, he has

:35:27.:35:33.

told us nothing new. But he had in the transcript, it said he hadn t.

:35:34.:35:38.

He would not admit he had used the word pleb. He apologised profusely,

:35:39.:35:44.

he said it would never happen again, he said many things that he had not

:35:45.:35:49.

said before. I agree, which is presumably... Thereon many police

:35:50.:35:54.

forces in this country, they have one of the toughest jobs in the

:35:55.:35:58.

land, they end up getting involved in almost anything which happens in

:35:59.:36:04.

society, and there are obviously a number of difficult examples, but

:36:05.:36:09.

what is the evidence that it is out of hand, other than just several bad

:36:10.:36:17.

apples? This bad apples argument, we have some amazing police people

:36:18.:36:20.

thank God, but it is because of those that we have to root out the

:36:21.:36:23.

bad ones, the ones that are possibly corrupt. From where most of us are

:36:24.:36:29.

standing, the ones who are being accused of being corrupt, there does

:36:30.:36:32.

not seem to be any process to deal with these people. The trouble with

:36:33.:36:36.

a rotten apple is that it spreads. It is not fair on the good cops to

:36:37.:36:41.

be tainted by this, and I think the police force, as an institution ..

:36:42.:36:44.

For all of us, we have to respect the police. There is a problem, is

:36:45.:36:52.

there not? People do worry that if you can fit up a Cabinet minister,

:36:53.:36:58.

you can fit up anybody... . I would disagree that anybody has proved

:36:59.:37:02.

that anybody has been fitted up We are yet to hear what happened at the

:37:03.:37:06.

gates of Downing Street. But what we do know about the gates of Downing

:37:07.:37:11.

Street is that we were told by the police officers that passers-by had

:37:12.:37:18.

heard this incredible row, where Mitchell's file went was bullied.

:37:19.:37:27.

That is not true... . They did not use those words, actually. All

:37:28.:37:34.

right, but it is clear that the Police Federation jumped on this as

:37:35.:37:45.

a politically motivated campaign... I have always said that politics

:37:46.:37:49.

should be kept out of policing. The federation, they cannot go on

:37:50.:37:53.

strike, but this was to covertly political, so I criticise them for

:37:54.:37:57.

that. Do we need a better way of monitoring the police? We need a

:37:58.:38:03.

more competent and properly resourced Independent police

:38:04.:38:09.

commission. But if you look at those Bravery Awards, every police

:38:10.:38:13.

officer, every year, who acts with bravery... That is the police force

:38:14.:38:20.

we want to believe in. That is the police force you have got. We will

:38:21.:38:26.

leave it there. Coming up in just over 20 minutes, I will be speaking

:38:27.:38:29.

to former Lib Minister Jeremy Browne. And in The Week Ahead,

:38:30.:38:42.

Thank you. Welcome to the Sunday Politics here in the West. Today,

:38:43.:38:49.

why are so many people turning to food banks? According to a local

:38:50.:38:53.

charity, three times as many people are using them to feed themselves.

:38:54.:38:57.

Are the Coalition benefit reforms really to blame? Joining us are two

:38:58.:39:02.

local politicians come from opposite ends of political spectrum. ERD

:39:03.:39:07.

conservative Chris Skudder, and David Drew, who lost his Labour seat

:39:08.:39:12.

in Stroud at the last general election. First, the top story of

:39:13.:39:21.

the week. The government was forced to announce that the badger cull has

:39:22.:39:27.

fallen short of its target. DEFRA admitted fewer than half of their

:39:28.:39:32.

Lords target over the six weeks were killed. `` lowered. First, let us

:39:33.:39:40.

speak to one of the ministers in charge of the badger cull. Thank

:39:41.:39:47.

macro for joining us. `` thank you. Why has it failed? I do not think it

:39:48.:39:54.

has failed. These were pilot culls. There were people in the industry

:39:55.:39:58.

last why we did not get on with it nationally. We said no, we want to

:39:59.:40:04.

try and test this and learn lessons before we rule it out more widely.

:40:05.:40:12.

But you have tested it and it failed. Now, the trial in Somerset,

:40:13.:40:20.

they got to 60% and had an extension to their licence. Able get more

:40:21.:40:26.

closer to the 70% by the time it finishes. In Gloucestershire has

:40:27.:40:29.

been more challenging. There are a number of reasons for that. There

:40:30.:40:37.

are different landscapes. You run department said, the following

:40:38.:40:41.

requirements must we met. Killing of badgers must be limited to a

:40:42.:40:45.

six`week period. They have had the six weeks and have not met the

:40:46.:40:51.

target. The evidence we have is that is more important to get closer to

:40:52.:40:54.

the target than do it all within six weeks. When it comes to learning the

:40:55.:41:00.

lessons from this, we will work out whether we need to use trapping

:41:01.:41:05.

more, or controlled shooting. Learning lessons from things like

:41:06.:41:08.

the existence of crops and how that affects the movement of the animals

:41:09.:41:12.

and their willingness to go into traps. We want to learn lessons The

:41:13.:41:20.

evidence from trials done under the last government is that even in

:41:21.:41:22.

those areas where you have a slow start, where you perhaps only get

:41:23.:41:28.

30% in the first year, you can catch up. But the DEFRA report recommended

:41:29.:41:36.

the culling should take place in a period of six weeks, or preferably

:41:37.:41:44.

less. Yes, in an optimum situation, you would. But in that trial, there

:41:45.:41:49.

were three areas in the randomised Badger culling trial where they only

:41:50.:41:54.

got around 30`35% in the first year but they caught up and they got

:41:55.:41:57.

significant benefits in terms of disease reduction. The important

:41:58.:42:02.

thing to remember, if you look at a country like Ireland, they had

:42:03.:42:06.

problems with TB. I started a cull in 2000, and have had a 40%

:42:07.:42:13.

reduction in TB. `` they started a cull. If there was an easy way to

:42:14.:42:17.

solve this problem, I would love to do it. If I read badger, I would

:42:18.:42:27.

have packed my bags and got out `` if I were badger. The fact is, that

:42:28.:42:40.

badgers in a zone of calling moved to other areas in a short`term. That

:42:41.:42:47.

can lead to a short`term increase in the infection in the area around it.

:42:48.:42:51.

That it is a short lived experience, and the evidence from the rider Mize

:42:52.:42:59.

`` randomised trial says that it has gone down, the disease. Thank you.

:43:00.:43:09.

You can not be surprised that it has not hit its targets. Yes, when sex

:43:10.:43:20.

get attacked, after a couple have died, `` setts. Free shooting does

:43:21.:43:44.

not work. We do not want any sort of cull. If we have not had the sort of

:43:45.:43:50.

experience that the Minister has mentioned, and that TB in cattle

:43:51.:43:55.

came down, would you change your mind? I would never change my mind

:43:56.:44:04.

about killing them in any way. So you are fixed on no badgers being

:44:05.:44:09.

cold ever? Cattle vaccination should be the key thing we are looking at.

:44:10.:44:14.

This is quite an `` contentious issue. What is going to happen in

:44:15.:44:21.

Stroud? The trouble with the government is it is incomplete

:44:22.:44:25.

denial of the science. The scientists involved with the

:44:26.:44:31.

previous independent investigation have come out against culling

:44:32.:44:34.

because it will make it worse. Why do we not listen to the scientists

:44:35.:44:39.

and act on their advice and move for a full`scale vaccination programme

:44:40.:44:43.

initially with badgers and then moving onto cattle? Let the Minister

:44:44.:44:47.

comeback. What do you think about what David has said? If there was an

:44:48.:44:58.

easy answer, we would do it. No single measure on its own can solve

:44:59.:45:03.

this. We need to do more and deal with cattle movements, but we have

:45:04.:45:06.

done a great deal already. We have pre`movement tests for cattle moving

:45:07.:45:11.

into safe areas, post`movement tests, big restrictions on this We

:45:12.:45:21.

are spending ?4 million a year developing vaccines for badgers and

:45:22.:45:25.

cattle. That will have a role, but only once we have reduced the

:45:26.:45:31.

population because the problem with the vaccine is it cannot cure

:45:32.:45:35.

badgers with the disease just now. It has to be a combination of lots

:45:36.:45:44.

of things. It is wishful thinking. The saddest thing the Coalition did

:45:45.:45:48.

was remove the areas where they were carrying out the vaccination areas.

:45:49.:45:58.

If they had kept the six trial areas we would be a lot further forward in

:45:59.:46:02.

terms of science, and we would know what we could do to deal with the

:46:03.:46:05.

wildlife reservoir of TB then move on to the capital cattle. What would

:46:06.:46:12.

it take to make this pilot scheme fail? We need to continue along the

:46:13.:46:28.

lines of what we are doing. We want to learn lessons in this. The

:46:29.:46:33.

evidence about whether reducing the badger population and dealing with

:46:34.:46:36.

the reservoir of the disease in the badger population has an important

:46:37.:46:42.

role to play in this. We know that it is not enough, and long`term it

:46:43.:46:50.

will take eight or ten years. But it has to start with a cull of badgers

:46:51.:46:55.

as well. We have to be that the Thank you very much indeed.

:46:56.:47:00.

`` leave it there. Thousands of people are turning to

:47:01.:47:04.

charity to help them feed themselves and their families. Trust based in

:47:05.:47:08.

Wiltshire says demand is up 300 . The government has been asked to

:47:09.:47:13.

hold an enquiry into why is many people cannot afford the basics of

:47:14.:47:16.

life. `` so many people. These are one of

:47:17.:47:21.

the hundreds of thousands using Britain's burgeoning food banks

:47:22.:47:26.

Tracy and Chris get benefits. Many of the jobs he might get wood, he

:47:27.:47:30.

reckons, leave their family worse off. As it is, they seek extra help.

:47:31.:47:37.

It is scraping the bottom of the barrel and saying, OK, we will form

:47:38.:47:47.

the food bank. If this was not available, what would I feed my

:47:48.:47:50.

kids? The first thing you do is not eat yourself. This man has got by on

:47:51.:47:56.

benefits for eight months, but after missing an appointment, the

:47:57.:48:00.

Jobcentre halted payments. I find it horrendously difficult. Obstacles

:48:01.:48:05.

put in front of you, people not helping you, not communicating. So

:48:06.:48:10.

you turn for help to the Swindon food bank where they feed

:48:11.:48:14.

ever`increasing numbers. If we did not take in some any items at

:48:15.:48:18.

harvesting, it would be a struggle. However, the demand is 22% up on

:48:19.:48:25.

last year. They distribute enough food for three days to those like

:48:26.:48:31.

Graham, give vouchers by agencies. So what is driving the increase The

:48:32.:48:37.

benefits system is undergoing dramatic changes. There are big cuts

:48:38.:48:44.

in the crisis loans helping people through emergencies and a sharp

:48:45.:48:47.

increase in sanctions where benefits are stop temporarily. And there are

:48:48.:48:52.

wider economic factors, wages have fallen back. Food and energy prices

:48:53.:48:57.

have surged. There is another reason, though. There are more food

:48:58.:49:04.

banks than ever. Did 400 nationally, with a few opening every week.

:49:05.:49:09.

Charities are calling for the government enquiry. We are the

:49:10.:49:13.

seventh richest nation in the world, and it is scandalous that so many

:49:14.:49:17.

people are finding themselves in such deep difficulty. A lot of the

:49:18.:49:24.

reasons behind this are problems with social security systems, with

:49:25.:49:28.

the welfare system changes which have not been implemented

:49:29.:49:32.

effectively or efficiently. Many politicians agree. There are certain

:49:33.:49:38.

things you should not fall below. Natalie Bennett made a big issue

:49:39.:49:44.

that during a visit to the West It is a tragedy that in 2013 in

:49:45.:49:47.

Britain, half a million people today are dependent on food banks to get

:49:48.:49:52.

enough good to eat. I really value the work of the volunteers running

:49:53.:49:57.

them and people donating to them, but we have two ask ourselves, do we

:49:58.:50:02.

want people having to depend on charity for the basics of life?

:50:03.:50:07.

Chris is getting advice on how to better organise his finances. Graham

:50:08.:50:11.

is trying to get his benefits restored, but for them, using food

:50:12.:50:16.

banks has become part of ordinary life.

:50:17.:50:20.

The director of the citizens advice bureau in the West joins us. Thank

:50:21.:50:25.

you for coming in. You issue vouchers for these food banks, not

:50:26.:50:28.

just anyone can turn up. What criteria do you use? The issuing of

:50:29.:50:37.

a third major comes from normally a complex piece of work we are doing

:50:38.:50:41.

with the client. A client comes to us with a range of problems, and we

:50:42.:50:48.

discussed the money they have coming in, we deal with housing and

:50:49.:50:54.

employment problems, and it is a complex picture. So you do not just

:50:55.:51:02.

dish them out? Not at all. It is difficult to get food voucher. If

:51:03.:51:07.

someone turned up and you could see they were smoking 20 or 40

:51:08.:51:10.

cigarettes a day, what they get a voucher? We work with the client

:51:11.:51:17.

regarding debts and benefits and spending, how they manage their

:51:18.:51:21.

money. We do a lot of work around financial capability and helping

:51:22.:51:26.

people manage better. Chris, will this be one of the injuring images

:51:27.:51:30.

of the Coalition government? Queues at food banks? I hope not. The most

:51:31.:51:36.

important thing to get across as we do not want to see food banks as

:51:37.:51:42.

being a stigma. Under the last government, they refused people to

:51:43.:51:45.

access these pictures of they turned up at a Jobcentre. We do not see the

:51:46.:51:49.

problem with charities getting involved in setting up food banks.

:51:50.:51:56.

There is real pressure on wages on household income. At at the same

:51:57.:52:01.

time, one of the reasons why food bank use has gone up is because we

:52:02.:52:05.

have allowed people to use food banks when they were previously not

:52:06.:52:12.

allowed to do so. David? I am a supporter of the food banks in

:52:13.:52:18.

Stroud. What happens now, DWP have a very clear message to people who are

:52:19.:52:25.

in desperate straits, and that is that they will signpost people but

:52:26.:52:29.

they will not issue vouchers. They stopped issuing vouchers months ago

:52:30.:52:34.

in Stroud. I am a voucher holder and I will issue them, and often when

:52:35.:52:36.

people have been sanctioned, they will come to me. Sue is right. We

:52:37.:52:42.

are careful about who we issue them to. It is a myth that there has not

:52:43.:52:46.

been a huge increase. Batters connected to the benefit situation,

:52:47.:52:49.

but also the worsening economic situation. `` that is connected Do

:52:50.:52:55.

you think they'll is a genuine need for food banks? When someone has

:52:56.:53:02.

been sanctioned, they have nothing. I speak to people who have been

:53:03.:53:08.

sanctioned on a regular basis. People walk out of the Jobcentre and

:53:09.:53:12.

do not know where their next meal is coming from. It is my duty to find

:53:13.:53:18.

them food. I will do that. If it puts up figures, that draws

:53:19.:53:21.

attention to the need of those people and how we need to reform the

:53:22.:53:24.

benefit system so we should never put people in that situation. Chris?

:53:25.:53:33.

We have to take the situation with welfare in the context of reducing

:53:34.:53:43.

welfare payments. The cost of living is going up and wages are going

:53:44.:53:46.

down, so it is not surprising that people need food. But if you look at

:53:47.:53:50.

what the government has done, we have raised the threshold for income

:53:51.:53:56.

tax, we have frozen council taxes, frozen bedroom tax, so we are doing

:53:57.:54:01.

the best we can to make sure people have more money in their pockets.

:54:02.:54:05.

The people we deal with are not at that level, they are at the bottom

:54:06.:54:08.

rungs of society, where they get picked up by food banks. And you,

:54:09.:54:15.

Sue, for coming in. There has been a response to last

:54:16.:54:18.

week 's programme where the immigration minister came

:54:19.:54:21.

face`to`face with an asylum seeker and told him to go home. The man has

:54:22.:54:27.

been living in Bristol for six years and had his case rejected five

:54:28.:54:31.

times. He has had the chance to claim

:54:32.:54:35.

asylum, his case has been looked at carefully, and we did not find it

:54:36.:54:39.

credible. We have a system where he can go through a legal process and

:54:40.:54:42.

the judge did not find his claim credible. He has no right to be in

:54:43.:54:48.

the United Kingdom and he should leave. Cannula than five times a

:54:49.:55:01.

day? `` can you live? But with the greatest respect, the taxpayer

:55:02.:55:04.

supported you when you were claiming asylum. You now have note right to

:55:05.:55:10.

be your. You need to go home. Their confrontation made national

:55:11.:55:13.

headlines, with dozens of readers and viewers writing into the papers

:55:14.:55:17.

and online forums giving their views on whether he should be a latest a.

:55:18.:55:36.

`` allowed to stay. Public opinion, according to Mark Harper, is with

:55:37.:55:42.

the government. I do not see any problem in saying to people who have

:55:43.:55:46.

no right to be here that they should not be here any more. This is one of

:55:47.:55:50.

the examples about why we do not trust politics are politicians any

:55:51.:55:54.

more. It has been quite a week following

:55:55.:55:57.

that appearance on the Sunday Politics. I am joined by Mark

:55:58.:56:03.

Shepherd, who is a lawyer representing asylum seekers. Can you

:56:04.:56:09.

tell me why people like this can still be in this country after they

:56:10.:56:13.

have lost five hearings? First of all, I am not his lawyer, and I

:56:14.:56:18.

understand he is from Iraq. Situation in Iraq is a situation of

:56:19.:56:26.

potential civil war. Every asylum seeker is different, from different

:56:27.:56:30.

countries, and you cannot just send someone back to a place like Iraq or

:56:31.:56:35.

Iran, where their life could be in danger. The maid be refused on their

:56:36.:56:41.

personal circumstances, but that does not mean you can just send them

:56:42.:56:46.

home. Can you see why people are frustrated by the asylum system

:56:47.:56:49.

where people are told they do not have a claim, but they are still

:56:50.:56:56.

here? Yes, I am frustrated by the system, but you have to look at

:56:57.:57:02.

whether the system is working. For example, the home affairs select

:57:03.:57:04.

committee report reported ten days ago that nearly one in two women

:57:05.:57:10.

that go through the system have the decisions overturned in court. The

:57:11.:57:20.

blame is not necessarily on the people claiming asylum. The home

:57:21.:57:28.

affairs report said there was a disbelief within the system. In

:57:29.:57:31.

other words, you come to the country and Europe to grand almost not to

:57:32.:57:40.

believe them. Does you come to the country and we are generally not

:57:41.:57:49.

believing them. Will have to ask why people are hopping over 15 countries

:57:50.:57:52.

to get to Britain. We have to tackle that head`on, but until then there

:57:53.:57:57.

will be problems. People will ask why they are coming here, is it just

:57:58.:58:03.

for benefits? If you have genuine asylum seekers, we should help them,

:58:04.:58:29.

but if the law says... I do not think anyone would volunteer to be

:58:30.:58:35.

in a situation like this. Is it located tell them they should go

:58:36.:58:39.

home? Someone has been put through the system and has been found to

:58:40.:58:42.

have no case, and the country they are from is safe, they should be

:58:43.:58:46.

given the opportunity to voluntarily go home. Of the ones that you see,

:58:47.:58:57.

how many fit into that category Most people I meet have some form of

:58:58.:59:01.

claim to be here, but whether that meets the legal tests is something

:59:02.:59:07.

that can only be determined by Home Office decision`makers.

:59:08.:59:12.

Thank you for coming in. Letters have a look at some of the

:59:13.:59:16.

other political news making the headlines 60 seconds.

:59:17.:59:24.

`` in 60 seconds. Thousands of teachers whereon

:59:25.:59:28.

straight this week with Michael Gove the figure of hate. David Laws is

:59:29.:59:35.

his number two, and he took to the airwaves to defend the policies The

:59:36.:59:41.

unions are wrong to blame the government for this. The union have

:59:42.:59:47.

got their members into this mess. David Heath, the MP with one of the

:59:48.:59:51.

smallest majorities in the country, is standing down. It is a huge

:59:52.:59:57.

pressure. There comes a point where it is time to move on. Tend to look

:59:58.:00:03.

for something more regular and less stressful. Emir of Marlboro has been

:00:04.:00:11.

talking about the second big frame in his town. First jewellers shop

:00:12.:00:15.

was raided and now someone has made off with his chain of office. It is

:00:16.:00:27.

solid gold. `` big crime. Waiters pick up on David Heath s

:00:28.:00:31.

resignation. You know what it is like to be in a marginal

:00:32.:00:38.

constituency. Is it worth the heartache of being booted out? In

:00:39.:00:42.

politics, I did not understand how anyone can go into any election with

:00:43.:00:46.

the guaranteed to win, so you have to get used to the fact that you

:00:47.:00:50.

will lose some of them. In terms of David Heath, he has decided to go,

:00:51.:01:05.

probably hardly to do with calling `` probably partly to do with his

:01:06.:01:12.

stance on calling. You do not think this is a job for life, and it would

:01:13.:01:15.

be complacent to think like this. You do this to help able, and it is

:01:16.:01:23.

better having a majority of one than 10,000.

:01:24.:01:28.

Here today, gone tomorrow, true of all of us. Thank you for joining us

:01:29.:01:32.

today. which links in with this. Thank you

:01:33.:01:36.

to both of you for being my guests today.

:01:37.:01:45.

Are the Lib Dems like a wonky shopping trolley? Why is Nick Clegg

:01:46.:01:53.

kicking off over free schools? And what about Boris and George's love

:01:54.:01:59.

bombing of China? All questions for The Week Ahead. We are joined now by

:02:00.:02:06.

the former Home Office minister and Liberal Democrat MP Jeremy Browne.

:02:07.:02:10.

Jeremy Browne, let me ask you this key question - ??GAPNEXT who is in

:02:11.:02:17.

the ascendancy in your party, those who would fear to the left, or those

:02:18.:02:23.

who would fear to the centre? The point I was making in the interview

:02:24.:02:28.

that I gave to the times was that I want us to be unambiguously and on

:02:29.:02:39.

up genetically -- and unapologetically a Liberal party. I

:02:40.:02:43.

do not want us to be craving the approval of columnists like Polly

:02:44.:02:48.

Toynbee. I do not want us to be a pale imitation of the Labour Party.

:02:49.:02:52.

I think we should be proud and unambiguously a authentic Liberal

:02:53.:02:57.

party. That is my ambition for the party. If it is, as you put it,

:02:58.:03:01.

fearing to the left, then I think that is a mistake, I think we should

:03:02.:03:06.

be on the liberal centre ground But is it actually veering to the left,

:03:07.:03:12.

your party? I think there is a danger when a party, or any

:03:13.:03:16.

organisation, feels that it is in a difficult position, to look

:03:17.:03:24.

inwards, to look for reassuring familiar policy positions. I do not

:03:25.:03:29.

want us to be the party which looks inwards and speaks to the 9% of

:03:30.:03:33.

people who are minded to support us already. I want us to look outwards

:03:34.:03:38.

and speak to the 91% of the population, for whom I think we have

:03:39.:03:41.

got a good story to tell about the contribution we have made to getting

:03:42.:03:44.

the deficit down, cutting crime keeping interest rates low, and

:03:45.:03:51.

also, distinctive Liberal Democrat policies for example on income tax

:03:52.:03:55.

and pupil premiums. If we look like we are a party which is uneasy and

:03:56.:03:58.

ambivalent about our role in government, people will not give us

:03:59.:04:02.

credit for the successes of the government, and we will not be able

:04:03.:04:05.

to claim the authorship which we should be able to claim for our

:04:06.:04:09.

policies excesses in government I want us to be confident, outward

:04:10.:04:15.

looking, and authentically liberal. If we are that, people real sense

:04:16.:04:19.

that and they will respond positively. Does that not therefore

:04:20.:04:24.

make it rather strange that Nick Craig should choose to distance

:04:25.:04:28.

himself from the coalition's schools policy? Well, I support free

:04:29.:04:36.

schools, I think they are a liberal policy. Education is a fascinating

:04:37.:04:45.

area, so let's explore it a bit We have had two very significant and

:04:46.:04:48.

troubling reports in the last fortnight, one from Alan Milburn,

:04:49.:04:52.

saying that social mobility has stalled in this country, in other

:04:53.:04:55.

words, what your parents do is a reliable guide to how you will get

:04:56.:05:00.

on in life and the other saying that Britain lags behind our

:05:01.:05:02.

competitors, the other industrialised countries, in terms

:05:03.:05:06.

of the educational attainment of 15-year-olds. Both of those are

:05:07.:05:11.

worrying. We have a scandalous situation in this country where two

:05:12.:05:13.

thirds of children from disadvantaged backgrounds are

:05:14.:05:20.

failing to get five Grade A to Grade C. Some get none at all. If we were

:05:21.:05:28.

the world leaders in education, we could have an interesting

:05:29.:05:31.

conversation about how we are able to maintain that position, but we

:05:32.:05:34.

are not. Whether there are good things one less good things which

:05:35.:05:37.

have happened in our schools over the last 30-40 years, we really need

:05:38.:05:41.

to raise our game and stop letting young people down who need a good

:05:42.:05:46.

quality education in order to realise their full potential in

:05:47.:05:49.

life. It sounds like you do not share Mr Clegg's designations? I

:05:50.:05:56.

think there are two big dangers for us as a party. I do not think we

:05:57.:06:02.

should be instinctively statist and I do not think either we should be

:06:03.:06:05.

instinctively in favour of the status quo. I want us to have a

:06:06.:06:10.

restless, radical, energetic, liberal reforming instinct, which is

:06:11.:06:14.

about putting more power and responsible at the end opportunity

:06:15.:06:18.

in the hands of individual people. As I say, we look at the education

:06:19.:06:22.

system, of course there are good teachers and good outcomes in some

:06:23.:06:25.

schools and for some pupils, overall, our performance in this

:06:26.:06:30.

country is not good enough, so the status quo has not been a successful

:06:31.:06:35.

stop I am interested in how we can innovate. -- has not been a success.

:06:36.:06:48.

Are the Tories wooing you? Well I do not know if that is the right

:06:49.:06:53.

word, I have been reported, and I have set myself, that the

:06:54.:07:00.

Conservatives have, if you like made some advances or generous

:07:01.:07:05.

suggestions to me, but I am a liberal, and I am a Liberal

:07:06.:07:08.

Democrat. I have been a member of the Lib Dems since the party was

:07:09.:07:11.

founded, I joined when I was 18 years old. I have campaigned

:07:12.:07:16.

tirelessly for the Liberal Democrats for my entire adult life, so I am

:07:17.:07:21.

not about to go and join another political party. I would turn this

:07:22.:07:25.

on its head, let me put it like this, I think there are quite a few

:07:26.:07:31.

liberals in the other political parties, people like Alan Milburn,

:07:32.:07:34.

who wrote a report on social mobility, people like Nick Bowles in

:07:35.:07:39.

the Conservative Party. Our ambition, as Liberal Democrats,

:07:40.:07:42.

should be to attract liberals from other political parties, and no

:07:43.:07:52.

political party, to the Lib Dems. Just briefly, have you suggested

:07:53.:07:57.

that the Tories do not run a candidate against you in the next

:07:58.:08:02.

election? I have not suggested anything of the sort. The

:08:03.:08:06.

Conservatives have to make their own decisions about which candidates

:08:07.:08:11.

they select, and I will take on whoever is select it from each of

:08:12.:08:14.

the political parties. Thank you for joining us. There is a danger not

:08:15.:08:27.

from Jeremy Browne, but from Mr Clegg, in that, having been part of

:08:28.:08:33.

a coalition which has gone through an enormous squeeze in living

:08:34.:08:35.

standards for three years, it did not look like both was coming, it

:08:36.:08:39.

was being regarded overall as a failure, but now, it may be turning

:08:40.:08:45.

the corner, so why would you then start to disassociate yourself from

:08:46.:08:50.

the coalition's policies? Yes, the danger for Nick Clegg is that he

:08:51.:08:55.

makes the Liberal Democrats looked like visitors in a guesthouse, a

:08:56.:08:58.

guesthouse which is owned by the Conservatives. As you say, they were

:08:59.:09:02.

there for the three difficult years, and just at the moment when the

:09:03.:09:05.

economy seems to be coming right, and we are getting some nice growth,

:09:06.:09:10.

they seek to distance themselves. It is interesting that Jeremy Browne

:09:11.:09:15.

came out with the outrageously disloyal statement that he supported

:09:16.:09:19.

free schools statement. That is a disloyal Liberal Democrat view, but

:09:20.:09:23.

on Thursday, of course, the Liberal Democrat party was in favour of free

:09:24.:09:26.

schools, because in that statement about the Al-Madinah school, David

:09:27.:09:30.

Laws made a passionate defence about what Nick Clegg is now criticising,

:09:31.:09:33.

which is having on qualified teachers. If things are now coming

:09:34.:09:43.

right, the big risk for the Liberal Democrats always was that they would

:09:44.:09:48.

not get the credit anyway. Well if they diss associate themselves like

:09:49.:09:50.

this, they definitely will not get the credit. It depends which voters

:09:51.:09:56.

their opinion poll ratings are dire, he spoke about 9%, and sometimes it

:09:57.:10:01.

is less than that. So, where are they going to get those voters

:10:02.:10:05.

from? They have not got those anti-Iraq war voters. Is it not

:10:06.:10:12.

Mission impossible, getting Labour voters test surely the left of the

:10:13.:10:15.

Lib Dem vote is peeling off towards labour, not away from Labour? I

:10:16.:10:22.

wonder to what extent, and this might be speculation, this might be

:10:23.:10:28.

organised and arranged, that Cameron and Clegg both understand that they

:10:29.:10:33.

have groups of voters that they need to get, so they need to send

:10:34.:10:36.

messages out to different groups, it looks like a bit of a setup to me.

:10:37.:10:45.

Boris in China, along with boy George - let's have a look... Who,

:10:46.:10:54.

according to JK Rowling, was Harry Potter's first girlfriend? That s

:10:55.:11:00.

right, and she is Chinese overseas student, is that not right at

:11:01.:11:07.

Hogwarts? Actually, we are not sure it is right, she is actually from

:11:08.:11:11.

Scotland. It is not only London which has a diverse society. Putting

:11:12.:11:18.

that to one side, we are inviting the Chinese into finance our power

:11:19.:11:22.

stations, to run big banks in the cities, we are giving out more visas

:11:23.:11:26.

to them, are we right to embrace the Dragon? What worries me about the

:11:27.:11:30.

power stations then, it is 30% of investment, and it reminds me a lot

:11:31.:11:36.

of PFI, the idea that you do not want a huge investment on your

:11:37.:11:40.

balance sheet, but if somebody bails out halfway through, we cannot stop

:11:41.:11:46.

with a half finished power station. It is EDF, the French company, which

:11:47.:11:50.

will actually build it, and we will be guaranteeing the debt for them.

:11:51.:11:57.

It is extraordinary that there has been so little adverse comment after

:11:58.:12:01.

George Osborne and Boris's trip to China, and is it now really the UK

:12:02.:12:06.

Government policy, to sell Britain to the Chinese? There was a debate

:12:07.:12:15.

in government about this, as they were getting ready for the trip and

:12:16.:12:20.

there will be at some point in the next six months be a David Cameron

:12:21.:12:24.

trip to China. He has had to wait three years because they were

:12:25.:12:26.

annoyed about him meeting the Dalai llama. There were some people in the

:12:27.:12:30.

Foreign Office who were saying, fine, but tread carefully. George

:12:31.:12:36.

Osborne's view is absolutely not, get in there, I do not care about

:12:37.:12:42.

any of these problems, get stuck in. I think he is storing up five

:12:43.:12:49.

years since the financial crisis, Chinese banks are being given a

:12:50.:12:52.

special, light touch regulatory regime. What could possibly go

:12:53.:13:03.

wrong?! There is lots to see. Energy prices have continued to dominate

:13:04.:13:10.

this week. We have got the EDF deal, whereby we are going to be giving

:13:11.:13:13.

them twice the market rate for their energy. But for the coalition, all

:13:14.:13:20.

eyes are on the GDP figures. The expectation and hope is that the

:13:21.:13:25.

recovery will be stronger than the figures have suggested so far, on

:13:26.:13:31.

which basis it can influence the result of the next general

:13:32.:13:36.

election. The chief economist at the Bank of England was saying on

:13:37.:13:39.

Twitter last week that the Bank of England may now bring forward the

:13:40.:13:43.

assessment when it says, maybe we are going to have to change monetary

:13:44.:13:47.

policy, if unemployment goes below 7%. And we know what that means

:13:48.:13:56.

interest rates. The Bank of England on Twitter! That is it for today.

:13:57.:14:01.

The Daily Politics is back tomorrow on BBC Two. I will be back with

:14:02.:14:04.

prime Minster 's questions on Wednesday, and of course, we will be

:14:05.:14:08.

back at 11 o'clock on BBC One next Sunday.

:14:09.:14:15.

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With communities secretary Eric Pickles and deputy first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.


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