24/11/2013 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston present the latest political stories, with Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and a look at Ed Miliband's choices for Desert Island Discs.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Labour's been hit hard by scandals at the Co-op. Ed Miliband says the


Tories are mudslinging. We'll speak to Conservative Chairman Grant


Shapps. Five years on from the financial


crisis, and we're still talking about banks in trouble. Why haven't


the regulators got the message? We'll ask the man who runs the


City's new financial watchdog. And he used to have a windmill on


his roof and talked about giving hugs to hoodies and huskies. These


days, not so much. Has the plan to make the


Is immigration really out of control? We meet Romanians working


on farms in homelessness and population ships.


What is the evidence? And as always, the political panel


that reaches the parts other shows can only dream of. Janan Ganesh,


Helen Lewis and Nick Watt. They'll be tweeting faster than England


loses wickets to Australia. Yes, they're really that fast.


First, some big news overnight from Geneva, where Iran has agreed to


curb some of its nuclear activities in return for the partial easing of


sanctions. Iran will pause the enrichment of uranium to weapons


grade and America will free up some funds for Iran to spend. May be up


to $10 billion. A more comprehensive deal is supposed to be done in six


months. Here's what President Obama had to say about this interim


agreement. We have pursued intensive diplomacy, bilaterally with the


Iranians, and together with our partners, the United Kingdom,


France, Germany, Russia and China, as well as the European Union.


Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path towards a world that is


more secure, a future in which we can verify that Iraq and's nuclear


programme is peaceful, and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.


President Obama spoke from the White House last night. Now the difficulty


begins. This is meant to lead to a full-scale agreement which will


effectively end all sanctions, and end Iran's ability to have a bomb.


The early signs are pretty good. The Iranian currency strengthened


overnight, which is exactly what the Iranians wanted. Inflation in Iraq


is 40%, so they need a stronger currency. -- information in Iran.


France has played a blinder. It was there intransigence that led to


this. Otherwise, I think the West would have led to a much softer


deal. The question now becomes implementation. Here, everything


hinges on two questions. First, who is Hassan Rouhani? Is he the


Iranians Gorbachev, a serious reformer, or he's here much more


tactical and cynical figure? Or, within Iran, how powerful is he?


There are military men and intelligence officials within Iran


who may stymie the process. The Western media concentrate on the


fact that Mr Netanyahu and the Israelis are not happy about this.


They don't often mention that the Arab Gulf states are also very


apprehensive about this deal. I read this morning that the enemies of


Qatar and Kuwait went to Saudi king. -- the MAs row. That is the key


thing to watch in the next couple of weeks. There was a response from


Saudi Arabia, but it came from the Prime Minister of Israel, who said


this was a historic mistake. The United States said there would be no


enrichment of uranium to weapons grade. In the last few minutes, the


Iranian Foreign Minister has tweeted to say that there is an inalienable


right -- right to enrich. The key thing is the most important thing


that President Obama said in his inaugural speech. He reached out to


Iran. It failed under President McKenna jab. Under President


Rouhani, there seems to be progress. There is potentially now what he


talked about in that first inaugural address potentially coming through.


In the end, the key issue - and we don't know the answer - is the


supreme leader, not the president. Will the supreme leader agreed to


Iran giving up its ability to create nuclear weapons? This is the huge


ambiguity. Ayatollah Khamenei authorise the position that


President Rouhani took to Geneva. That doesn't mean he will sign off


on every bit of implementation over the next six months. Even when


President Ahmadinejad was president, he wasn't really President. We in


the West have to resort to a kind of Iranians version of the study of the


Kremlin, to work out what is going on. And the problem the president


faces is that if there is any sign... He can unlock these funds by


executive order at the moment, but if he needs any more, he has to go


to Congress. Both the Democrat and the Republican side have huge


scepticism about this. And he has very low credibility now. There's


already been angry noises coming from quite a lot of senators. It was


quite strange to see that photo of John Kerry hugging Cathy Ashton as


if they had survived a ship great together. John Kerry is clearly


feeling very happy. We will keep an eye on this. It is a fascinating


development. More lurid details about the


personal life of the Co-op Bank's disgraced former chairman, the


Reverend Paul Flowers. The links between Labour, the bank and the


wider Co-op movement have caused big problems for Ed Miliband this week,


and the Conservatives have been revelling in it. But do the Tory


allegations - Ed Miliband calls them "smears" - stack up? Party Chairman


Grant Shapps joins us from Hatfield. Welcome to the programme. When it


comes to the Co-op, what are you accusing Labour of knowing and when?


I think the simple thing to say here is that the Co-op is an important


bank. They have obviously got into difficulty with Reverend flowers,


and our primary concern is making sure that that is properly


investigated, and that we understand what happened at the bank and how


somebody like Paul Flowers could have ended up thing appointed


chairman. You wrote to edge Miliband on Tuesday and asked him what he


knew and when. -- you wrote to Ed Miliband. But by Prime Minister's


Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron claims that you knew that


Labour knew about his past all along. What is the evidence for


that? We found out by Wednesday that he had been a Labour councillor,


Reverend Flowers, and had been made to stand down. Certainly, Labour


knew about that, but somehow didn't seem to think that that made him


less appropriate to be the chairman of the Co-op bank. There was no


evidence that Mr Miliband or Mr Balls knew about that. I ask you


again, what are you accusing the Labour leadership of knowing? We


know now that he stood down for very inappropriate images on his


computer, apparently. You are telling me that they didn't know. I


am not sure that is clear at all. I have heard conflicting reports.


There is a much bigger argument about what they knew and when. There


was a much bigger issue here. This morning, Ed Miliband has said that


they don't have to answer these questions and that these smears.


This is ludicrous. These are important questions about an


important bank, how it ended up getting into this position, and how


a disastrous Britannia -- Italia deal happen. -- Britannia deal


happened. And we need to know how the bank came off the rails. To be


accused of smears for asking the questions is ridiculous. I am just


trying to find out what you are accusing Labour of. You saying that


the Labour leadership knew about the drug-taking? Sorry, there was some


noise here. I don't know what was known and when. We do know that


Labour, the party, certainly knew about these very difficult


circumstances in which he resigned as a councillor. I think that the


Labour Party knew about it. We knew that Bradford did, but not London.


Are you saying that Ed Miliband knew about the inappropriate material on


the Reverend's laptop? It is certainly the case that Labour knew


about it. But did Mr Miliband know about it, and his predilection for


rent boys? He will need to answer those questions. It is quite proper


to ask those questions. Surely, asking a perfectly legitimate set of


questions, not just about that but about how we have ended up in a


situation where this bank has made loans to Labour for millions of


pounds, that bank and the Unite bank, who is connected to it. And


how they made a ?50,000 donation to Ed Balls' office. Ed Balls says that


was nothing to do with Reverend Flowers, and yet Reverend Flowers


said that he personally signed that off. Lots of questions to answer.


David Cameron has already answered them on Wednesday. He said that you


now know that Labour knew about his past all along. You have not been


able to present evidence that involve Mr Miliband or Mr Balls in


that. So until you get that, surely you should apologise? Hang on. He


said that Labour knew about this, and they did, because he stood down


as a councillor. If Ed Miliband didn't know about that, then why


not? This was quite a serious thing that happened. The wider point is


about why it is that when you ask perfectly legitimate questions about


this bank, about the Britannia deal, and about the background of Mr


flowers, why is the response, it is all smears? There are questions


about how Labour failed to deal with the deficit and how it hasn't done


anything to support the welfare changes, but there is nothing about


that. Let us -- lets: To the wider picture of the Co-operative Bank.


Labour wanted the Co-op to take over the Britannia Building Society, and


it was a disaster. Do you accept that? The government of the day has


to be a part of these discussions for regulatory reason. The


government in 2009 - Ed Balls was very pleased... But you supported


that decision. There was a later deal, potentially, for the Co-op to


buy those Lloyds branches. There was a proper process and it didn't go


through just recently. If there had been a proper process back in 2009,


would the Britannia deal have gone through? First, you accept that the


Tories were in favour of the Britannia take over. Then your


Chancellor Osborne went out of his way to facilitate the purchase of


the Lloyds branches, even though you had no idea that the Co-op had the


management expertise to become a super medium. Correct? The


difference is that that deal didn't go through. There was a proper


process that took place. Let's look at the process. There was long


indications as far back as January 2012 that the Co-op, as a direct


result of the Britannia take over which you will party supported, was


unfit to acquire the Lloyds branches. By January 2012, the


Chancellor and the Treasury ignored the warnings. Wide? In 2009, there


was political pressure for the Britannia to be brought together.


Based on the information available, this was supported, but that process


ended up with a very, very problematic takeover of the


Britannia. Wind forward to this year, and when the same types of


issues were being looked at for the purchase of the Lloyds deal, the


proper process was followed, this time with us in government, and that


purchase didn't go through. It is important that the proper process is


followed, and when it was, it transpired that the deal wasn't


going to be done. But it was the Treasury and the Chancellor who were


the cheerleaders for the acquisition of the Lloyds branches. But there


was a warning that the Co-op did not have enough capital on its balance


sheet to make those acquisitions, but instead of heeding those


warnings, your people went to Brussels to lobby for the


requirements to be relaxed - why on earth did you do that? Our


Chancellor went to argue for all of Rajesh banking, not specifically for


the Co-op. He was arguing for the mutuals to be given a special


ruling. The idea was to make sure that every bank in Britain could


have a better deal, particularly the mutuals, as you say. That is a


proper thing for the Chancellor to be doing. We could go round in


circles here, but in the end, there was not a takeover of the Lloyds


branches, that is because we followed a proper process. Had that


same rigorous process been followed in 2009, the legitimate question to


ask is whether the Co-op would have been -- would have taken over the


Britannia. That is a proper question to ask. It is no good to have the


leader of the opposition say, as soon as you ask any of these


questions about anything where there is a problem for them, they come


back with, oh, this is all smears. There are questions to ask about


what the Labour government did, the debt and the deficit they left the


country with, the way they stopped work from paying in this country.


The big question your government has two answer is, why, by July 2012,


when it was clear there was a black hole in the Co-op's balance sheet,


your government re-confirmed the Co-op as the preferred bidder for


Lloyds - why would you do that? Well, look, the good thing is, we


can discuss this until the cows come home, but there is going to be a


proper, full investigation, so we will find out what happened, all the


way back. So, we will be able to get to the bottom of all of this. Grant


Shapps, the only reason the Lloyds deal did not go ahead was, despite


the Treasury cheerleading, when Lloyds began its due diligence, it


found that there was indeed a huge black hole in the balance sheet and


that the Co-op was not fit to take over its branches. That wasn't you,


it wasn't the Government, it was not the Chancellor, it was Lloyds. You


were still cheerleading for the deal to go ahead... Well, as I say, a


proper process was followed, which did not result in the purchase of


the Lloyds branches. At that proper process been followed with the


purchase of the Britannia, under the previous government... Which you


supported. Yes, but it may well be that under that previous deal, there


was a excess political pressure perhaps put on in order to create


that merger, which proved so disastrous. The Tories facilitated


it, Grant Shapps, they allowed it to go ahead. I have said, we are going


to have a proper, independent review. What I cannot understand is,


when you announce a robber, independent review, the response you


get to these serious questions. The response is, oh, this is a smear. It


is crazy. We are trying to answer the big questions for this country.


We have done all of that, and we are out of time. The Reverend Flowers'


chairmanship of the Co-op bank was approved by the regulator at the


time, which no longer exists. It was swept away by the coalition


government in a supposed revolution in regulation. But will its


replacement, the Financial Conduct Authority, be different? Adam has


been to find out. Come with me for a spin around the Square mile to find


out how we regulate our financial sector, which is almost five times


bigger than the country's entire annual income. First, let's pick up


our guide, journalist Iain Martin, who has just written a book about


what went so wrong during the financial crisis. The FSA was an


agency which was established to supervise the banks on a day-to-day


basis. The Bank of England was supposed to have overall responsible


at for this to Bolivia the financial system and the Treasury was supposed


to take an interest in all of these things. The disaster was that it was


not anyone's call responsibility, or main day job, to stay alert as to


whether or not the banking system as a whole was being run in a safe


manner. And so this April, a new system was set up to police the


City. Most of the responsibly delays here, with the Bank of England, and


its new Prudential Regulation Authority. And the Financial


Services Authority has been replaced with the new Financial Conduct


Authority. Can we go to the financial conduct authority, please?


Canary Wharf, thank you. Here, it is all about whether the people in


financial services are playing by the rules, in particular, how they


treat their customers. This place has got new powers, like the ability


to ban products it does not like, a new mandate to promote competition


in the market, the concept being, more competition means a better


market, plus the idea that a new organisation rings a whole new


culture. Although these are the old offices of the FSA, so maybe not


quite so new after all. It has also inherited the case of the Co-op bank


and its disgraced former chairman the Reverend Paul Flowers. The SCA


will be part of the investigation into what happened, which will


probably involve looking at its own conduct. One member of the


Parliamentary commission into banking wonders whether the new


regulator, and its new boss, are up to it. I have always said, it is not


the architecture which is the issue, it is the powers that the regulator


has, and today, it does not seem to me as if there is any increase in


that. And with the unfolding scandal at the Co-op, it feels like the new


architecture for regulating the City is now facing its first big test.


And the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, the


SCA, Martin Wheatley, joins me now. Welcome to The Sunday Politics. The


failure of bank regulation was one of the clearest lessons of the crash


in 2008, and yet two years later, in 2010, Paul Flowers is allowed to


become chairman of the Co-op - why have we still not got the regulation


right? We have made a lot of changes since then. We have created a new


regulator, as you know. At the time, we still had a process which allowed


somebody to be appointed to a bank and they would go through a


challenge, but in the case of Paul Flowers, there was no need for an


additional challenge when he was appointed to chairman, because he


was already on the board. But going from being on the board to becoming


chairman, that is a big jump, and he only had one interview? That is why


today, it would be different. But the truth is, that was the system at


the time, the system which the FSA operated. He was challenged, we did


challenge him, and we said, you do not have the right experience, but


at the time, we would not have opposed the appointment. What we


needed was additional representation of the board of people who did have


banking experience. You can say that that was then and this is now, but


up until April of this year, it was still the plan for the Co-op, under


Mr Flowers, and despite being seriously wounded by the Britannia


takeover, to take on 632 Lloyds branches. That was the Co-op's


plan. They needed to pass our test as to whether we thought they were


fit to do that, and frankly, they never passed that test. It was not


the regulator that stopped them? It was. We were constantly pushing


back, saying, you have not got the capital, you have no got the


systems, and ultimately, they withdrew, when they could not answer


our questions. You were asking the right questions, I accept that, but


all of the time, the politicians on all sides, they were pushing for it


to happen, and I cannot find anywhere where the regulator said,


look, this is just not going to happen. I cannot comment on what the


politicians were doing, but I continue what we were doing, which


was constantly asking the Co-op, have you got the systems in place,


have you got the people, have you got the capital? And they didn't.


But it only came to a head when Lloyds started its own due diligence


on the bank, and they discovered that it was impossible for them to


take over the branches, it was not the regulator... In fairness, what


we do is ask the questions, can you do this deal? And we kept pushing


back, and we never frankly got delivered a business plan which we


were happy to approve. Is the SCA going to launch its own inquiry into


what happened? -- the FCA. The Chancellor has announced what will


be a very broad inquiry. There are a number of specifics which we will be


able to look at, relating to events over the last five years. Could


there be a police investigation? I think the police have already


announced an investigation. I am talking about into the handling of


the bank. It depends. There might be, if there is grim low activity,


which we do not know yet. You worked at the FS eight, didn't you? I did.


Some of those people who were signed off on the speedy promotion of Mr


Flowers, are they now working there? Yes, we have some. I came to


join the Financial Services Authority, to lead it into the


creation of the new body, the SCA. We had people who were challenging


and they did the job. There was not a requirement to approve the role as


chairman. There was not even a requirement to interview at that


stage. What we did do was to require that he was interviewed, and that


the Co-op should get additional experience. One of the people from


the old organisation, who signed up on the promotion of Mr Flowers to


become chairman is now a nonexecutive director of the Co-op,


so how does that work? Welcome he was a senior adviser to our


organisation, one of the people who made the challenges, and who said,


you need more experience on your board. Subsequently he then went and


joined the board. Surely that should not be allowed, the regulator and


the regulated should not be like that. Well clearly, you need


protection, but we have got to get good people in, and frankly, we want


the industry to have good people in the industry, so there will be some


movement between the regulator and industry. We all wonder whether you


have the power or even the confidence to stand up if you look


at all of the really bad bank decisions recently, politicians were


behind them. It was Gordon Brown who pushed the disastrous merger of


Lloyds and RBS. It was Alex Salmond who egged on RBS to buy the world.


All three main parties wanted the Co-op to buy Britannia, even though


they did not know the debt it would inherit, and all three wanted the


Co-op to buy the Lloyds branches - how do you as a regulator stand up


to that little concert party? Well, that political pressure exists, our


job at the end of the day is to do a relatively technical job and say,


does it stack up? And it didn't, and we made that point time and time


again to the Co-op board. They did not have a business case that we


could approve. The bodies on left and right -- the politicians on left


and right gave the Co-op special support. They may have done, but


that was not you have made a warning about these payday lenders, but I


think what most people would like to see is a limit put on the interest


they can charge over a period of time - will you do that? We have got


a whole set of powers for payday lenders. We will bring in some


changes from April next year, and we will bring in further changes as we


see necessary. Will you put a limit on the interest they can charge?


That is something we can study. You do not sound too keen on it? Well,


there are a lot of changes we need to make. One change is limiting


rollovers, limiting the use of continuous payment authorities.


Simply jumping to one trigger would be a mistake. Finally, an issue


which I think is becoming a growing concern, because the Government is


thinking of subsidising them, 95% mortgages are back - should we not


be worried about that? I think we should if the market has the same


experiences that we had back in 2007 - oh wait. We are bringing a


comprehensive package in under our mortgage market review, which will


change how people lend and will put affordability back at the heart of


lending decisions. -- 2007-08. You have not had your first big


challenge yet, have you? We have many challenges.


It was once called the battle of the mods and the rockers - the fight


between David Cameron-style modernisers and old-style


traditional Tories for the direction and soul of the Conservative Party.


But have the mods given up on changing the brand? When David


Cameron took over in 2005, he promoted himself as a new Tory


leader. He said that hoodies need more love. He was talking about


something called the big society. He told his party conference that it


was time to that sunshine win the day. There was new emphasis on the


environment, and an eye-catching trip to a Norwegian glacier to see


first-hand, supposedly, the effects of global warming. This week, party


modernise and Nick bone has said that the party is still seen as an


old-fashioned monolith and hasn't done enough to improve its appeal.


The Tories have put some reforms into practice, such as gay marriage,


but they have put more into welfare reform band compassionate


conservatism. David Cameron wants talked about leading the greenest


government ever. Downing Street says that the quote in the Son is not


recognised, get rid of the green crap. At this point in the programme


we were expecting to hear from the Energy and Climate Change Minister,


Greg Barker. Unfortunately, he has pulled out, with Downing Street


saying it's for ""family reasons"". Make of that what you will. However,


we won't be deterred. We're still doing the story, and we're joined by


our very own mod and rocker - David Skelton of the think-tank Renewal,


and Conservative MP Peter Bone. Welcome to you both. I'm glad your


family is allowed you to come? David Skelton, getting rid of all the


green crap, or words to that effect, that David Cameron has been saying.


It is just a sign that Tory modernisation has been quietly


buried. I do think that's right. Modernisation is about reaching out


to the voters, and the work to do that is now more relevant than ever.


We got the biggest swing since 1931, and the thing is we need to do more


to reach out to voters in the North. We need to reach out to non-white


voters, and show that the concerns of modern Britain and the concerns


of ordinary people is something that we share. And what way will racking


up electricity bills with green levies get you more votes in the


North of England? We have to look at ways to reduce energy bills. The


renewable energy directive doesn't do anything to help cut our


emissions, but does decrease energy bills by ?45 a year. We should


renegotiate that. That is a part of modernisation and doing what


ordinarily people want. And old dinosaurs like you are just holding


this modernisation process back? I am very appreciative of covering on


this programme. The Tory party has been reforming itself for more than


150 years. This idea of modern eyes a is just some invention. We are


changing all the time. I'm nice and cuddly! So you are happy that the


party made gay marriage almost a kind of symbol of its modernisation?


Fine Mac the gay marriage was a free vote. David Cameron was recorded as


a rebel there because more Tories voted against his position than ever


before. It was said that this was a split between the old and young, but


it actually was a split between those who were religious and


nonreligious. It is a misinterpretation of what happened.


Is a modernisation in retreat? I think modernisation is an


invention. Seven years ago, in my part of the world, we got three


councillors elected, two were 80 and one was 21. A few months ago, a


25-year-old was chosen to fight Corby for the Conservative Party. He


came from a comprehensive School. He was one of the youngest. The Tory


party is moving on. So you found three young people? Hang on a


minute. You can't get away with that. Three in one batch. Does


modernisation exist? Modernisation is about watering our appeal and


sharing our values are relevant to voters who haven't really thought


about voting for us for decades now. Modernisation is about more than


windmills and stuff, it is about boosting the life chances of the


poorest, it is about putting better schools in poorer areas. It is also


saying that modernisation and the Tory party... When has the Tory


party been against making poorer people better off? Or against better


schools? Do you think Mrs Thatcher was a moderniser when she won all


those elections? The problem we have at the moment is that UKIP has


grown-up. If we could get all of those people who vote UKIP to vote


for us, we would get 47% of the vote. We don't need to worry about


voters on the left. We need to worry about the voters in the north, those


people who haven't voted for us for decades. Having an EU Referendum


Bill is going to get people to vote. We have to reach out to


voters, but not by some sort of London based in need. You have to


broaden your base. I agree with you on that. We have to broaden our


appeal, but this back to the future concept is not going to work. We


need something that generally appeals to low and middle-income


voters, and something that shows we genuinely care about the life


chances of the poorest. Do you think that the people who vote UKIP don't


support those aspirations? We are not doing enough to cut immigration.


We don't have an EU Referendum Bill stop we have to get the centre right


to vote for us again. Do that, and we have it. Tom Pursglove, the 25


euros, will be returned in Corby because we cannot win an election


there. -- the 25-year-old. Whether you are moderniser or


traditionalist, people, particularly in the North, see you as a bunch of


rich men. And rich southerners. You are bunch of rich southerners. We


need to do more to show that we are building on lifting the poorest out


of the tax. We need to build more houses. There is a perception that


the leadership at the moment is rich, and public school educated.


What we have to do is get more people from state education into the


top. You are going the other way at the moment. That is a fair


criticism. Modernisers also say that. I went to a combo hedge of


school as well. -- do a comprehensive school. We need to


show that we are standing up for low income. Thank Q, both of you. You


are watching the Sunday Politics. Coming up in just


Welcome to the part of the programme that is just for us in the West.


Coming up this week, UKIP claims we cannot cope with more immigration.


We'll Romanians and Bulgarians really flocked to the West Country


as they claim? We hear from some of those who are already working here


and what has drawn them to live in market towns like Yeovil. Joining us


are two politicians whose parties are locked in a fierce battle over


the issue of immigration. They are the Conservative MP Ashley Fox and


for the UK Independence Party, Neil Hamilton. Before we talk about


immigration, let's take a look at the goings`on in the European


Parliament this week. Ashley Fox, you have upset the French by trying


to stop the parliament's monthly pilgrimage from Brussels to


Strasbourg. Once a month, 766 MEPs, 3000 staff


and 25 lorry loads of documents shuttle from here in Brussels to


this rather similar looking building in the French city of Strasbourg. It


is thought the round`trip costs over 100 million euros a year.


Environmental terms it is 19,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.


French members here should confess what they are doing, they are


defending selfish national interest. If the seat of the European


Parliament was in my home city of Bristol, I would do the same.


That has not gone down well with the French, who insist that sitting in a


city on the border with Germany is of huge symbolic significance.


We are turning our backs on our history and culture and on some of


the founding principles of the European Union.


In the end, the European Union voted in favour of trying to change the


treaty in favour of these two cities. But to do that they will


need your disapproval of the two EU Council of ministers, one of whom


happens to be French. Ashley, nice try, but you're wasting


your breath because the French will veto it?


Not at all. We want get it immediately, but the French and


Germans will be coming with their own treaty changes to improve


changes in the year was on. The only consent of Parliament to approve the


changes. Any deal will need to be done. There is huge momentum for us


to have one seat and save 150 million euros a year.


The French might have to get something like that up, they will


say to us, give up your budget rebate for something you get.


This is nothing to do with the budget rebate, it is of a treaty


change. They will want amendments to the treaties, and the European


Parliament wants one seat. We want the treaty amended for that, and I'm


confident within five years we can do a deal.


No, has he got a crack? I think it is unlikely the French


will ever agree to move the Parliament from Strasbourg because


it is a huge symbolic significance for them. But this isn't a matter of


a huge question of waste in the EU. If they say 150 million pounds a


year and this move, they will only wish that somewhere else. We're not


really convinced by this one way or another.


It is not a sideshow, it is very important. You might ask Mr Hamilton


by the UKIP MEPs did not support this. There are only four of them


and they abstain. The whole thing is a Charente. The


Parliament has no right to make this decision. It is so much hot air. If


the money is not wasted on this, it will be wasted on something else. It


makes sense for the Parliament at one Single Place to meet.


Why didn't you vote on it? Because you have got no power to do


anything. It seems extraordinary you did not


even bother to say that we should not have two seats of government.


It is of no interest to us at all. We want to be out of the EU.


You should be interested in getting the best value for taxpayers' money.


The best way to save taxpayers not about money is to get out of the EU.


Four out of 13, they cannot be bothered to vote to save money.


Would you have ordered a the debate had been held in Strasbourg?


We don't vote in Strasbourg on matters which are of no interest in


anybody. It is a waste of time. It is a story really out of the


news, with politicians claiming we're on the wave of the new mass of


immigration from Bulgaria mania. Today UKIP have warned that towns


like Yeovil weather is already significant Eastern European


community, cannot cope with more immigrants.


This is virtual. He is Romanian and works in Yeovil as a taxi driver.


We are 40 or 45 Romanians. The reason he has come is simple.


More money, more opportunities for me.


These Romanians and vulgarians are working on agricultural visas and


for advance. They say they are not taking jobs from locals because they


are the only ones who want to take the work will stop.


I found some jobs in the mania, but it is better here. Better money


here. They preferred the good jobs, they don't like working in


agriculture. The same happen in my country. I don't want to work in


agriculture in my country, I want to hear.


But according to the UKIP councillor for central Yeovil, people are fed


up with the drain immigration is putting on their committee.


The main concern is immigration. Every person I spoke to said


immigration. That, he claims, is putting a strain


on our public services. When you have got a relatively small


town, it can have a big impact on medical services, on education,


school places. On housing. There is no doubt things have


changed in our committees. Take a look at the number of Polish


immigrants in this part of the world. It has gone up significantly


since 2001, at least ten times. Here at this Catholic primary School in


Yeovil, you can see the impact immigration has had on the area.


Back in 2000, none of the pupils years book English as a second


language, now it is nearly 50% of the pupils. But according to the


headteacher that is not a bad thing. We are an inclusive Catholic school,


are priorities to get on with our neighbours. This is a very


harmonious place. Most of the parents of these peoples


work in the hospitals or for local businesses.


What we see is that most of those people coming in, most of whom are


economic migrants, become here to work, they do not come here to live


on benefits. We are 40 days away from the lifting


of working restrictions on Bulgaria and Romania.


There is a catastrophe looming ahead.


But nobody knows yet how many more people will choose places like


Yeovil for their home. Joining us is Jon Fox, an expert on


immigration. But first, Neil Hamilton, are you and your


colleagues in Yeovil using scare tactics here?


The scale of immigration has been truly astonishing. These are numbers


that are completely unheard`of in the whole of our history. When Enoch


Powell made his famous speech nearly 50 years ago, we were getting


immigration of 50,000 a year. In 2010 alone we have more people come


to this country, 210,000, that came between 1066 and 1950 to stop we are


dealing with a massive problem. If they are working hard and paid


taxes, what is the problem? It is not against the individuals


coming here, we can understand why they would want to. The average wage


in Romania is less than jobseeker's allowance year. I would be not want


to come here? Especially when they can qualify by simply turning up.


Jon Fox, would you take a guess about how many Romanians and


Bulgarians might come this way? No. It is they difficult to predict.


We don't even have a good sense of how many people are here at the


moment. Census figures will be different from National Insurance


registrations. Migrants move, become here, they turn around and got back,


then they come back again. It is hard to get a sense of this. This is


why the predictions we do see are all over the place.


People are worried. They say it is hard to get a doctors appointment at


the moment, is hard to get a house, public services are pushed, it is


hard to get the job. Can you understand why people are given


nervous about possibly more immigration?


Yes, sure. And in some places these will be felt more acutely than in


other places. But if you look at the overall scale of things, I think you


see that we are absorbing this migration fairly well, and we don't


have this terrible problem of a strain on local councils, local


services everywhere. This is an isolated places, and not in the


entire country. Ashley Fox, is there a case for the


government saying, we let the Polish in when the rest of Europe said now


there has to be transitional controls, therefore, in this case


should we have more strength now and let Europe take the strain as we did


when the Polish game? There is no doubt there during the


13 years of Liberal government far too many immigrants were allowed to


comment United Kingdom. It was uncontrolled immigration, and the


Labour Party have agreed that was a catastrophic mistake, they are


words. The coalition government is committed to reducing immigration


significantly, firm but fair controls.


What controls are you putting over Romanians and Bulgarians coming in?


Those controls expire on the 1st of January 2014. Those are EU laws, and


that is the deal that Tony Blair signed. There is nothing we can do


other than take the Neil Hamilton route which is to leave the EU.


That is correct. We have an open door immigration policy in this


country, and each of the three main parties believes in staying in the


EU, that means we cannot control our borders from immigration, anywhere


else in the whole of Europe. Would you urge the government not to


allow Romanians and vulgarians not to come here from the 1st of


January? We think there should be a points


system for immigration, as Australia does and many other countries.


If we had a UKIP government... That is not going to happen by the


1st of January. The government should take


unilateral decision to close the borders, and do that unlawfully. Why


not? Rather, you should have a


referendum, which my government wants to do.


Yes, possibly in 2017. We're not talking about 2017, we're talking


about 1st of January 2014. You want to bring in unlawful


measures. We do not accept the legitimacy of the EU.


If we had responsibility for taking this decision, we would control


immigration. You do not want to control immigration.


Let's go back to the expat here, Jon Fox. People are worried about people


taking benefits. What can they actually get?


The 2004 entrance to the EU have access to benefits after one year of


continuous climate. Most of those people can claim benefits just like


you and me. Or, like you. The Romanians and Bulgarians have


stricter restrictions placed on them for what they can claim, but that


will change from 1st of January 2014, when it will be the same as


the 2004 entrance into the EU. I will get what benefits are being


claimed, we see very clearly that eastern European migrations are


making a net contribution. The statistic is the paying 34% more


into the system than they are taking out.


If they are paying in more than they are getting, why do you object?


We're not the individuals coming here. The scale of the problem is


what matters here. The numbers that are coming, the speed with which


immigration is taking place is placing enormous strains on public


services. It is also requiring us because of the numbers to concrete


over vastly greater makers of England, because this is an English


problem first and foremost. The planning minister wants another 3


million acres of housing. And it is required because of the scale of


immigration that is coming in from outside the EU as well, but we don't


know what the scale of the problem will be from Romania and Bulgaria,


but we do know what the scale of the problem was for the last 15 years.


Nearly 1 million came from Poland in the end.


There is this image of the people showing up and claiming benefits and


being a strain on services, but they are paying a lot of money into the


system, more than you and I are paying into the system.


It is a question of how quickly you can have services that can respond


to the scale of the immigration. Thank you.


The protection of honourable children in the West Whatley is not


good enough to stop under a new Ofsted Rhegium, two thirds of our


councils would not meet the required standard. Somerset is taking


measures after being judged inadequate.


The shocking realities of front line social work.


This was a social worker from Bristol on a TV documentary last


year minutes after taking a baby into care. His mother was living


with a sex offender. This challenging work has increased


dramatically in the last five years. Child protection orders have, by


47%, while care proceedings have gone up 64%. The number of children


ending up in care has increased by 13%. Bristol was one of only three


authorities in the West officially judged to have good child


protection. Five were labelled as inadequate. `` adequate. That


standard is no longer acceptable. In the future that will require


improvement. One of them, Somerset, was told in August that its child


protection was completely inadequate. The council knew they


were in trouble. They brought in a new director of children's services,


experience in helping struggling authorities. This week he was asked


if things had improved for the county's children.


Yes. Certainly better protected. There is sometimes a bit of


mythology that says that all children can be protected of time,


that is not true, but we have to make sure that we do our very best


of the children be known about we protect very well, that we find out


about those children who are at risk and do something about their


circumstances. But Somerset is under huge financial


pressure. Proposed changes to children centres have caused


controversy. Campaigners packed a council meeting and forced a


rethink. The council insists it wants to spend more on front line


staff, not buildings, but saving money is a factor.


The cuts have gone really deep now. Eric Pickles has given local


government as almost a sacrificial lamb. I think this government is any


fairly serious situation. In key care services, social care and


learning disabilities, we're only one bad case away from being in the


newspapers. Meanwhile in the chamber, members


were reporting through another ?4 million of cuts, with more to come.


The leader said other areas are harder hit, so children services can


be protected. But winning approval from inspectors is a long way off.


Ofsted continue to change the goalposts. Every year they change


their inspection process. Yes, we hold our hands up and say this year


we did not need their standards. We are working very hard, we have got


the right people in place, we have made the right financial


commitments. We are doing our best for children in Somerset to ensure


they are safe. Nationally, one child a week dies


because of abuse. Social workers worried because of increased and


decreased resources, make that worse.


Joining us is Ray Jones a professor of social work had shared the


children safeguarding board for Bristol. Has reduced sauces got


anything to do with this problem? It is a combination of things. There


is a greater need in the community because of the welfare and benefit


changes. Secondly, welfare cuts is bringing less assistance for those


families, such as sure start centres closing. And more work is coming


through to social workers and there is no commensurate increase in


social worker numbers. They're not cutting social worker


numbers. Now, they're trying to maintain the


numbers of social workers they have, but doing well making cuts in other


areas, children's centres for example, so they're not cutting the


numbers of social workers, but they're not increasing them in line


with increasing demand. Tragically around one child a week


dies because of abuse in this country, which is absolutely


shocking, but that figure has been static for 20 years.


40 years. The first big scandal was a young girl who died in Brighton.


Over the years we have learned more and more about how to take children.


My concern at the moment is that we are seeing the amount of work coming


into social work increasing dramatically. Child protection


plans, plans for children, those have gone up dramatically. Someone


has got to be around to make sure we implementing those plans


appropriately. That requires an increase in resource. Overall we are


seeing resources seeing static, the needs of families increasing.


We have increased vastly over the last 40 years? The number of


resources? But what we have had since the death


of baby Peter in 2007 and the story breaking into those in need is an


increasing number of children reported to agencies, more work for


them to do, and now increasing the capacity for them to do that work.


Let's bring in Ashley Fox here. Local authority reductions. The


amount of pressure the coalition is putting on them. That has got to be


to blame, hasn't it? I don't think it's to blame. Council


services are under great pressure. It is very challenging. But just


remember why ` we are clearing up the huge budget deficit, 156 Ilium


pounds but Labour left us. We have cut that by one third. Taxes have


gone up and public expenditure is being cut. But we face a huge


challenge clearing up this mess will stop and councillors like those in


Somerset are doing their bit and very difficult circumstances.


We have to leave it there. Thank you. Now let's take a run through


the week in one minute. Brittle's public toilets could soon


be flushed away. Amir has proposed closing all but one as he trims his


budget I want quarter over the next three years.


If you are like me, with an elderly bladder, you need to have access to


the loo. And this is a tourist city. Tourists come to the city and expect


public toilets. Councillors have called for more


time to propose closing 18 children centres after protests from


children. We voted through ?4 million of cuts to the budget saying


it was the tip of the iceberg. Gloucestershire's controversial


incinerator project is being looked at ie government planning inspector.


Campaigners say it would be a blot on the landscape by the developer


says it is needed and will save millions of pounds.


But's cab`drivers save you risk getting lost after being told to


ditch their sap maps. Local authority says drivers should know


their way around and other devices obstruct the view.


That was a week. A word on public loos. Neil Hamilton, in UKIP land,


would you have public loos morbidly funded?


This is not an issue we are focused on particularly deeply, but on the


elections in May we hope to be flushed with success.


This is nothing to do with the EU. We have to leave it there. That is


all we have time for today. I did it are guests, Ashley Fox and Neil


Hamilton. You can watch the programme again on the BCI player,


but now we return to Andrew who was waiting for us in London. We'll see


those people who want to cycle. We will be returning to this one. Thank


you. A little bit of history was made at


Prime Minister's Questions this week. A teensy tiny bit. It wasn't


David Cameron accusing one MP of taking "mind-altering substances" -


they're always accusing each other of doing that. No, it was the first


time a Prime Minister used a live tweet sent from someone watching the


session as ammunition at the dispatch box. Let's have a look. We


have had some interesting interventions from front edges past


and present. I hope I can break records by explaining that a tweet


has just come in from Tony McNulty, the former Labour security


minister, saying that the public are desperate for a PM in waiting who


speaks for them, not a Leader of the Opposition in dodging in partisan


Westminster Village knock about. So I would stay up with the tweets if


you want to get on the right side of this one! We are working on how the


Prime Minister managed to get that wheat in the first place. What did


you think when you saw it being read out? I was certainly watching the


Daily Politics. I almost fell off my chair! It was quite astonishing. He


didn't answer the question - he didn't do that the whole time. But I


stand by what the tweets said. I have tweeted for a long time on


PMQs. Normally I am praising Ed Miliband to the hilt, but no one


announces that in Parliament! Because the Prime Minister picked up


on what you said, it unleashed some attacks on you from the Labour side.


It did, minor attacks from some very junior people. Most people were


supportive of what I said. They took issue with the notion of not doing


it until 12:30pm, when it wasn't available for the other side to use.


Instant history, and instantly forgettable, I would say. Do you


think you have started a bit of a trend? I hope not, because the


dumbing down of PMQs is already on its way. Most people tweet like mad


through PMQs! Is a measure of how post-modern we have become, we have


journalists tweeting about someone talking about a tweet. That is the


level of British politics. I am horrified by this development. The


whole of modern life has become about observing people -- people


observing themselves doing things. Do we know what happened? Somebody


is monitoring the tweets on behalf of the Prime Minister or the Tory


party. They see Tony's tweet. They then print it out and give it to


him? There was a suggestion that Michael Goves had spotted it, but


Craig Oliver from the BBC had this great sort of... Craig Oliver was


holding up his iPad to take pictures of the Prime Minister, which he then


tweeted, from the Prime Minister. People will now be tweeting in the


hope that they will be quoted by the Prime Minister, or the Leader of the


Opposition. I wasn't doing that. I'm just talking about the monster you


have unleashed! I hope it dies a miserable death. I think Tony is a


good analysis -- a good analyst of PMQs on Twitter. Moving onto the


Co-op. You were a Co-op-backed MP, white you? I was a Co-op party


member. There are two issues here about the Co-op and the Labour


Party. All the new music suggests that the Co-op will now have to


start pulling back from lending or donating to the Labour Party, which,


at a time when Mr Miliband is going through changes that are going to


cut of the union funds, it seems quite dangerous. There are three


things going on. There's the relationship that the party has


politically with the Co-op party, there is the commercial relationship


you referred to, and then there is this enquiry into the comings and


goings of Flowers and everybody else. The Tories, at their peril,


will mix the three up. There's a lot of things going on with a bang.


Labour has some issues around funding generally, and they are


potentially exacerbated by the Co-op issue. The Labour Party gets soft


loans from the Co-op bank, and it gets donations. ?800,000 last year.


Ed Balls got about ?50,000 for his private office. You get the feeling,


given the state of the Co-operative Bank now, that that money could dry


up. We will see. There's lots of speculation in the papers today. At


the core, the relationship between the Co-op party and the Labour Party


is a proud one, and a legitimate one. I don't think others always


understand that. Here is an even bigger issue. Is it not possible


that the Co-op bank will cease to exist in any meaningful way as a


Co-op bank? Is the bane out means it is 70% owned -- the bail out means


that it is 70% owned, or 35% going to a hedge fund, I think I read.


Yes, there is a move from the mutualism of the Co-op. But don't


confuse the Co-op bank with the Co-op Group. Others have done that.


I haven't. Here's the rub. The soft loans that Labour gets. They got


?1.2 million from this. And 2.4 million. They are secured against


future union membership fees of the party. What is Mr Miliband doing? He


is trying to end that? You have this very difficult confluence of events,


which is, could these wonderful soft loans that Labour has had from the


Co-op, could they be going? And these union reforms, where Ed


Miliband is trying to create a link between individuals and donations to


the Labour Party... Clearly, there could be real financial difficulties


here. The government needs to be careful, because George Osborne


launched one of his classic blunderbuss operations this week,


which is that the Labour Party is to blame for Paul Flowers' private


life. No, it's not. And that all the problems, essentially... Look at


what George Osborne was doing in Europe. He was trying to change the


capital requirement rules that would make it easier for the Co-op to take


over Lloyd's. If there is to be a big investigation, George Osborne


needs to be careful of what he wishes for. This is another example


of the Westminster consensus. All of the Westminster parties were in


favour of the Britannia takeover. This is how the Co-op ended up with


all this toxic rubbish on its balance sheet. All the major parties


were in favour of going to get the Lloyds branches. The Tories tried to


outdo Labour in being more pro-Co-op. There was nobody in


Westminster saying, hold on, this doesn't work. It is like the


financial bubble all over again. Everyone was in favour of that at


the time. I think there is no evidence so far that the storm is


cutting through to the average voter. If I were Ed Miliband, I


would let it die a natural death. I would not write to an editorial


column for a national newspaper on a Sunday. That keeps the issue alive,


and it makes him look oversensitive and much better at dishing it out


than taking it. I agree about that. The Labour press team tweeted this


week saying that it was a new low for the times. And this was


re-tweeted by Ed Miliband. It isn't a great press attitude. It is very


Moni. Bill Clinton went out there and fought and made the case. So did


Tony Blair. If you just say, they are being horrible to us, it looks


pathetic. And it will cut through on Osborne and the financial


dimensional is, not political. I shall tweet that later! While we


have been talking, Mr Miliband has been on Desert Island Discs. He


might still be on it. Let's have a listen to what he had to say.


# Take on me, take me on. # And threw it all, she offers me


protection. # A lot of love and affection.


# Whether I'm right or wrong #. # Je Ne Regrette Rien. #.


Obviously, that was the music that Ed Miliband chose. Who thought --


you would have thought he would choose Norman Lamont's theme tune!


He chose Jerusalem... He has no classical background at all. He had


no Beethoven, no Elgar. David Cameron had Mendelssohn. And Ernie,


the fastest Notman in the West. -- fastest milkman. Tony Blair chose


the theme tune to a movie. Tony Blair's list was chosen by young


staffers in his office. It absolutely was. Tony Blair's list


was chosen by staff. The Ed Miliband this was clearly chosen by himself,


because who would allow politician to go out there and say that they


like Aha. I am the same age as Ed Miliband, and of course he likes


Aha. That was the tumour was played in the 80s. Sweet Caroline. It is


Angels by Robbie Williams. I was 14-year-old girl when that came out.


I thought Angels was the staple of hen nights and chucking out time in


pubs. The really good thing about his list is that the Smiths to not


appear. The Smiths were all over David Cameron's list. The absolutely


miserable music of Morris he was not there. What was his luxury? And


Indian takeaway! Again, chosen for political reasons. I would agree


with the panel about Aha, but I would expect -- I would respect his


right to choose. Have you been on Desert Island Discs? I have. It took


me three weeks to choose the music. It was the most difficult decision


in my life. What was the most embarrassing thing you chose? I


didn't choose anything embarrassing. I chose Beethoven, Elgar, and some


proper modern jazz. Anything from the modern era? Pet Shop Boys.


That's all for today. The Daily Politics will be on BBC Two at


lunchtime every day next week, and we'll be back here on BBC One at


11am next week. My luxury, by the way, was a wind-up radio! Remember,


if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


Andrew Neil and David Garmston present the latest political stories, with Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and a look at Ed Miliband's choices for Desert Island Discs on Radio 4.

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