01/12/2013 Sunday Politics West


01/12/2013

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. George Osborne

:00:35.:00:44.

announces a ?50 cut to annual household energy bills. We'll talk

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to Lib Dem president Tim Farron ahead of the Chancellor's mini

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budget this week. Net immigration is up for the first

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time in two years. Labour and the Tories say they want to bring it

:00:56.:01:00.

down, but how? Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper joins us for the

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Sunday Interview. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will

:01:11.:01:13.

be for some cornflakes to get to the top. The Mayor of London says

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inequality and greed are essential to spur economic activity.

:01:18.:01:23.

In the West, the brutal murder of a Bristol refugee for being different.

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capital is now a crisis. Another week, another strategy? Can this one

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deliver? And with me throughout today's

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programme, well, we've shaken the packet and look who's risen to the

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top. Or did we open it at the bottom? Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh

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and Sam Coates. All three will be tweeting throughout the programme

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using the hashtag #bbcsp. So, after weeks in which Ed Miliband's promise

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to freeze energy prices has set the Westminster agenda, the Coalition

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Government is finally coming up with its answer. This morning the

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Chancellor George Osborne explained how he plans to cut household energy

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bills by an average of fifty quid. What we're going to do is roll back

:02:16.:02:19.

the levees that are placed by government on people's electricity

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bills. This will mean that for the average bill payer, they will have

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?50 of those electricity and gas bills. That will help families. We

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are doing it in the way that government can do it. We are

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controlling the cost that families incurred because of government

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policies. We are doing it in a way that will not damage the environment

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or reduce our commitment to dealing with climate change. We will not

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produce commit men to helping low-income families with the cost of

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living. Janan, we are finally seeing the coalition begin to play its hand

:02:58.:03:01.

in response to the Ed Miliband freeze? They have been trying to

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respond for almost ten weeks and older responses have been quite

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fiddly. We are going to take a bit of tax year, put it onto general

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taxation, have a conversation with the energy companies, engineered a

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rebate of some kind, this is not very vivid. The advantage of the

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idea that they have announced overnight is that it is clear and it

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has a nice round figure attached to it, ?50. The chief of staff of

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President Obama, he said, if you are explaining, you're losing. The

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genius of this idea is that it does not require explanation. He would

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not drawn this morning on what agreement he had with the energy

:03:48.:03:51.

companies, and whether this would fall through to the bottom of the

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bill, but the way he spoke, saying, I am not going to pre-empt what the

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energy companies say, that suggests he has something up his sleeve. Yes,

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I thought so. The energy companies have made this so badly for so long.

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It would be awful if he announced this and the energy companies said,

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we are going to keep this money for ourselves. I do not think he is that

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stupid. The energy companies have an incentive to go along with this

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don't they? My worry is that I am not sure how much it will be within

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the opinion polls. I think people might expect this now, it is not a

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new thing, it is not an exciting thing. Say in the markets, they may

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have priced the ten already. If by Thursday of this week, he is able to

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say, I have a ?50 cut coming to your bill. The energy companies have

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guaranteed that this will fall through onto your energy bill, and

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they have indicated to me that they themselves will not put up energy

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prices through 2014, has he shot the Ed Miliband Fox? I think he has a

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couple of challenges. It is still very hard. This is an answer for the

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next 12 months but did is no chance announced that Labour will stop

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saying they are going to freeze prices in the next Parliament. He

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will say, I have not just frozen them, I have done that as well and I

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have cut them. When people look at their energy bills, they are going

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up by more than ?50. This is a reduction in the amount that they

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are going up overall. Year on 0 will be for George Osborne. He will

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have to come up with something this time next year. The detail in the

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Sunday papers reveals that George Osborne is trying to get the energy

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companies to put on bills that 50 has been knocked off your bill

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because of a reduction by the government. He is trying to get the

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energy companies to do his political bidding for him. It will be

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interesting to see if they go along with that, because then we will know

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how cross the arm with Ed Miliband. Let's get another perspective.

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Joining me now from Kendal in the Lake District is the president of

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the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Good

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morning. Let me ask you this, the coalition is rowing back on green

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taxes, I do comfortable with that or is it something else you will rebel

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against? I am very comfortable with the fact we are protecting for the

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money is going. I am open to where the money comes from. The notion

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that we should stop insulating the homes of elderly people or stop

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investing in British manufacturing in terms of green industry, that is

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something that I resolutely oppose, but I am pleased that the funding

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will be made available for all that. You cannot ignore the fact that for

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a whole range of reasons, mostly down to the actions of the energy

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companies, you have prices that are shooting up and affecting lots of

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people, making life hard. You cannot ignore that. If we fund the

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installation of homes for older people and others, if we protect

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British manufacturing jobs, and raise the money through general

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taxation, I am comfortable with that. It is not clear that is going

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to happen. It looks like the eco-scheme, whereby the energy

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companies pay for the installation of those on below-average incomes,

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they will spin that out over four years, not two years, and one

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estimate is that that will cost 10,000 jobs. You're always boasting

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about your commitment to green jobs, how do square that? I do not believe

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that. The roll-out will be longer. The number of houses reached will be

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greater and that is a good thing. My take is that it will not affect the

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number of jobs. People talk about green levies. There has been

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disparaging language about that sort of thing. There are 2 million people

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in this country in the lowest income families and they get ?230 off their

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energy bills because of what isn't -- because of what is disparaging

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the refer to as green stuff, shall we call it. There will be more

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properties covered. We both know that your party is being pushed into

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this by the Tories. You would not be doing this off your own bad. You are

:08:48.:08:53.

in coalition with people who have jettisoned their green Prudential

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is? -- credentials. You have made my point quite well. David Cameron s

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panicked response to this over the last few months was to ditch all the

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green stuff. It has been a job to make sure that we hold him to his

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pledges and the green cord of this government. That is why we are not

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scrapping the investment, we are making sure it is funded from

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general taxation. I am talking to you from Kendal. Lots of people

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struggle to pay their energy bills. But all these things pale into

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insignificance compared to the threat of climate change and we must

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hold the Prime Minister to account on this issue. Argue reconciled to

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the idea that as long as you're in coalition with the Tories you will

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never get a mansion tax? I am not reconciled to it. We are trying to

:09:54.:09:58.

give off other tax cut to the lowest income people. What about the

:09:59.:10:04.

mansion tax? That would be potentially paid for by another view

:10:05.:10:09.

source of finance. That would be that the wealthy... We know that is

:10:10.:10:13.

what you want, but you're not going to get that? We will keep fighting

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for it. It is extremely important. We can show where we will get the

:10:20.:10:30.

money from. I know that is the adamant. That is not what I asked

:10:31.:10:34.

you. Ed Balls and Labour run in favour of a mansion tax, have you

:10:35.:10:40.

talked to them about it? The honest answer is I have not. It is

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interesting that they have come round to supporting our policy

:10:45.:10:53.

having rejected it in power. So if Labour was the largest party in

:10:54.:10:56.

parliament but not in power, you would have no problem agreeing with

:10:57.:11:02.

a mansion tax as part of the deal? If the arithmetic falls in that way

:11:03.:11:06.

and that is the will of the British people, fear taxes on those who are

:11:07.:11:11.

wealthiest, stuff that is fear, which includes wealth taxes, in

:11:12.:11:16.

order to fund more reductions for those people on lowest incomes, that

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is the sort of thing that we might reach agreement on. You voted with

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Labour on the spare room subsidy. Again, that would be job done in any

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future coalition talks with Labour, correct? I take the view that the

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spare room subsidy, whilst entirely fail in principle, in practice it

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has caused immense hardship. I want to see that changed. There are many

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people in government to share my view on that. So does Labour. The

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problem was largely caused Labour because they oversaw an increase in

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housing costs both 3.5 times while they were in power. The government

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was forced into a position to tidy up an appalling mess that Labour

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left. You voted with Labour against it, and also, you want... No, I

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voted with the party conference Let's not dance on the head of the

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ten. Maybe they voted with me. - on the head of a pin. You are also in

:12:33.:12:38.

favour of a 50% top rate of income tax, so you and Labour are that one

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there as well? No, I take the view that the top rate of income tax is a

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fluid thing. All taxation levels are temporary. Nick Clegg said that when

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the 50p rate came down to 45, that was a rather foolish price tag

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George Osborne asked for in return for as increasing the threshold and

:13:02.:13:06.

letting several million people out of paying income tax at the bottom.

:13:07.:13:12.

So you agree with Labour? In favour of rising the tax to 50p. I take the

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view that we should keep our minds open on that. It is not the income

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tax level that bothers me, it is whether the wealthy pay their fresh

:13:24.:13:28.

air. If that can be done through other taxes, then that is something

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that I am happy with. -- their fair share. Given your position on the

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top rate of tax, on the spare room subsidy, how does the prospect of

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another five years of coalition with the Tories strike you? The answer

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is, you react with whatever you have about you to what the electorate

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hand you. Whatever happens after the next election, you have got to

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respect the will of the people. Yes, but how do you feel about it? We

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know about this, I am asking for your feeling. Does your heart left

:14:12.:14:17.

or does your heart fall at the prospect of another five years with

:14:18.:14:21.

the Tories? My heart would always follow the prospect of anything

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other than a majority of Liberal Democrat government. Your heart must

:14:27.:14:31.

be permanently in your shoes then. Something like that, but when all is

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said and done, we accept the will of the electorate. When you stand for

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election, you have got to put up with what the electorate say. I have

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not found coalition as difficult as you might suggest. It is about

:14:46.:14:50.

people who have to disagree and agree to differ. You work with

:14:51.:14:55.

people in your daily life that you disagree with. It is what grown ups

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do. A lot of people in your party think that your positioning yourself

:15:01.:15:05.

to be the left-wing candidate in a post-Nick Clegg leadership contest.

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They think it is blatant manoeuvring. One senior figure says,

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this is about you. Which bit of the sanctimonious, treacherous little

:15:27.:15:29.

man is there not to like? What can I see in response to that. My job is

:15:30.:15:35.

to promote the Liberal Democrats. I have to do my best to consider what

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I'd defend to be right. By and large, my position as an MP in the

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Lake District, but also as the president of the party, is to

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reflect the will of people outside the Westminster village. That is the

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important thing to do. Thank you for joining us. David Cameron has said

:16:00.:16:05.

he wants to get it down to the tens of thousands, Ed Miliband has

:16:06.:16:08.

admitted New Labour "got it wrong", and Nick Clegg wants to be

:16:09.:16:12.

"zero-tolerant towards abuse". Yes, immigration is back on the political

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agenda, with figures released earlier this week showing that net

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migration is on the rise for the first time in two years. And that's

:16:18.:16:21.

not the only reason politicians are talking about it again.

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The issue of immigration has come into sharp focus because of concerns

:16:26.:16:29.

about the number of remaining ins and Bulgarians that can come to the

:16:30.:16:35.

UK next year. EU citizenship grants the right to free movement within

:16:36.:16:41.

the EU. But when Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007, the

:16:42.:16:45.

government took up its right to apply temporary restrictions on

:16:46.:16:46.

movement. They must be lifted apply temporary restrictions on

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end of this year. According to the 2011 census, about one eyed 1

:16:57.:16:57.

million of the population in England and Wales is made up of people from

:16:58.:17:04.

countries who joined the EU in 004. The government has played down

:17:05.:17:08.

expectations that the skill of migration could be repeated. This

:17:09.:17:13.

week David Cameron announced new restrictions on the ability of EU

:17:14.:17:18.

migrants to claim benefits. That was two, send a message. That prompted

:17:19.:17:23.

criticism is that the UK risks being seen as a nasty country. Yvette

:17:24.:17:32.

Cooper joins me now for the Sunday interview. Welcome to the Sunday

:17:33.:17:38.

Politics, Yvette Cooper. You criticised the coalition for not

:17:39.:17:43.

acting sooner on immigration from Romania and Bulgaria but the

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timetable for the unrestricted arrival in January was agreed under

:17:47.:17:51.

Labour many years ago, and given the battle that you had with the Polish

:17:52.:17:54.

and the Hungarians, what preparations did you make in power?

:17:55.:17:58.

We think that we should learn from some of the things that happened

:17:59.:18:05.

with migration. It would have been better to have transitional controls

:18:06.:18:07.

in place and look at the impact of what happened. But what preparations

:18:08.:18:13.

did you make in power? We set out a series of measures that the

:18:14.:18:15.

Government still had time to bring in. It is important that this should

:18:16.:18:22.

be a calm and measured debate. There was time to bring in measures around

:18:23.:18:26.

benefit restrictions, for example, and looking at the impact on the

:18:27.:18:31.

labour market, to make sure you do not have exploitation of cheap

:18:32.:18:35.

migrant Labour which is bad for everyone. I know that but I have

:18:36.:18:39.

asked you before and I am asking again, what did you do? We got

:18:40.:18:44.

things wrong in Government. I understand that I am not arguing.

:18:45.:18:49.

You are criticising them not preparing, a legitimate criticism,

:18:50.:18:56.

but what did you do in power? Well, I did think we did enough. Did you

:18:57.:19:02.

do anything? We signed the agency workers directive but too slowly. We

:19:03.:19:09.

needed measures like that. We did support things like the social

:19:10.:19:12.

chapter and the minimum wage, but I have said before that we did not do

:19:13.:19:16.

enough and that is why we recommended the measures in March. I

:19:17.:19:21.

understand that is what you did in opposition and I take that. I put

:19:22.:19:26.

the general point to you that given your failure to introduce controls

:19:27.:19:30.

on the countries that joined in 2004, alone among the major EU

:19:31.:19:35.

economies we did that, should we not keep an embarrassed silence on these

:19:36.:19:40.

matters? You have no credibility. I think you have got to talk about

:19:41.:19:43.

immigration. One of the things we did not do in Government was

:19:44.:19:46.

discussed immigration and the concerns people have and the

:19:47.:19:54.

long-term benefits that we know have come from people who have come to

:19:55.:19:57.

Britain over many generations contributing to Britain and having a

:19:58.:19:59.

big impact. I think we recognise that there are things that we did

:20:00.:20:02.

wrong, but it would be irresponsible for us not to join the debate and

:20:03.:20:06.

suggest sensible, practical measures that you can introduce now to

:20:07.:20:11.

address the concerns that people have, but also make sure that the

:20:12.:20:16.

system is fair and managed. Immigration is important to Britain

:20:17.:20:18.

but it does have to be controlled and managed in the right way. Let's

:20:19.:20:23.

remind ourselves of your record on immigration. The chart you did not

:20:24.:20:28.

consult when in power. This is total net migration per year under Labour.

:20:29.:20:33.

2.2 million of net rise in migration, more than the population

:20:34.:20:40.

of Birmingham, you proud of that? -- twice the population. Are you proud

:20:41.:20:48.

of that or apologising for it? We set the pace of immigration was too

:20:49.:20:51.

fat and the level was too high and it is right to bring migration down.

:20:52.:20:57.

So you think that was wrong? Overruled have been huge benefits

:20:58.:21:03.

from people that have come to Britain and built our biggest

:21:04.:21:08.

businesses. -- overall. They have become Olympic medal winners. But

:21:09.:21:12.

because the pace was too fast, that has had an impact. That was because

:21:13.:21:16.

of the lack of transitional controls from Eastern Europe and it is why we

:21:17.:21:20.

should learn from that and have sensible measures in place now, as

:21:21.:21:24.

part of what has got to be a calm debate. These are net migration

:21:25.:21:30.

figures. They don't often show the full figure. These are the

:21:31.:21:35.

immigration figures coming in. What that chart shows is that in terms of

:21:36.:21:39.

the gross number coming into this country, from the year 2000, it was

:21:40.:21:46.

half a million a year under Labour. Rising to 600,000 by the time you

:21:47.:21:52.

were out of power. A lot of people coming into these crowded islands,

:21:53.:21:54.

particularly since most of them come to London and the South East. Was

:21:55.:22:00.

that intentional? Was that out of control? Is that what you are now

:22:01.:22:05.

apologising for? What we said was that the Government got the figures

:22:06.:22:10.

wrong on the migration from Eastern Europe. If you remember particularly

:22:11.:22:14.

there was the issue of what happened with not having transitional

:22:15.:22:19.

controls in place. The Government didn't expect the number of people

:22:20.:22:23.

coming to the country to be the way it was. And so obviously mistakes

:22:24.:22:29.

were made. We have recognised that. We have also got to recognise that

:22:30.:22:32.

this is something that has happened in countries all over the world We

:22:33.:22:37.

travel and trade far more than ever. We have an increasingly globalised

:22:38.:22:40.

economy. Other European countries have been affected in the same way,

:22:41.:22:44.

and America, and other developing countries affected in the same way

:22:45.:22:49.

by the scale of migration. I am trying to work out whether the

:22:50.:22:54.

numbers were intentional or if you lost control. The key thing that we

:22:55.:22:58.

have said many times and I have already said it to you many times,

:22:59.:23:02.

Andrew, that we should have a transitional controls in place on

:23:03.:23:05.

Eastern Europe. I think that would have had an impact on them level of

:23:06.:23:11.

migration. We also should have brought in the points -based system

:23:12.:23:14.

earlier. We did bring that in towards the end and it did restrict

:23:15.:23:18.

the level of low skilled migration because there are different kinds of

:23:19.:23:22.

migration. University students coming to Britain brings in billions

:23:23.:23:25.

of pounds of investment. On the other hand, low skilled migration

:23:26.:23:30.

can have a serious impact on the jobs market, pay levels and so on at

:23:31.:23:35.

the low skilled end of the labour market. We have to distinguish

:23:36.:23:39.

between different kinds of migration. You keep trying to excuse

:23:40.:23:43.

the figures by talking about the lack of transitional controls. Can

:23:44.:23:47.

we skip the chart I was going to go to? The next one. Under Labour, this

:23:48.:23:52.

is the source of where migrants came from. The main source was not the

:23:53.:23:58.

accession countries or the remainder of Europe. Overwhelmingly they were

:23:59.:24:04.

from the African Commonwealth, and the Indian subcontinent.

:24:05.:24:07.

Overwhelmingly, these numbers are nothing to do with transitional

:24:08.:24:11.

controls. You can control that immigration entirely because they

:24:12.:24:16.

are not part of the EU. Was that a mistake? First of all, the big

:24:17.:24:20.

increase was in the accession groups. Not according to the chart.

:24:21.:24:26.

In terms of the increase, the changes that happened. Secondly in

:24:27.:24:30.

answer to the question that you just asked me, we should also have

:24:31.:24:33.

introduced the points -based system at an earlier stage. Thirdly there

:24:34.:24:38.

has been a big increase in the number of university students coming

:24:39.:24:41.

to Britain and they have brought billions of pounds of investment. At

:24:42.:24:45.

the moment the Government is not distinguishing, it is just using the

:24:46.:24:49.

figure of net migration. And that is starting to go up again, as you said

:24:50.:24:53.

in the introduction, but the problem is that it treats all kinds of

:24:54.:24:57.

migration is aimed. It does not address illegal immigration, which

:24:58.:25:02.

is a problem, but it treats university graduates coming to

:25:03.:25:06.

Britain in the same way as low skilled workers. If Labour get back

:25:07.:25:11.

into power, is it your ambition to bring down immigration? We have

:25:12.:25:15.

already said it is too high and we would support measures to bring it

:25:16.:25:20.

down. You would bring it down? There is something called student visas,

:25:21.:25:24.

which is not included in the figures, and it does not include

:25:25.:25:29.

university graduates, and it is a figure that has increased

:25:30.:25:39.

substantially in recent years. They come for short-term study but they

:25:40.:25:42.

do not even have to prove that they come for a college course. They do

:25:43.:25:45.

not even have to have a place to come. Those visas should be

:25:46.:25:47.

restricted to prevent abuse of the system and that is in line with a

:25:48.:25:49.

recommendation from the Inspectorate and that is the kind of practical

:25:50.:25:52.

thing that we could do. Can you give us a ballpark figure of how much

:25:53.:25:57.

immigration would fall? You have seen the mess that Theresa May has

:25:58.:26:02.

got into with her figures. She made a target that it is clear to me that

:26:03.:26:06.

she will not meet. I think that is right. She will not meet it. Can you

:26:07.:26:28.

give as a ballpark figure by which we can judge you? If she had been

:26:29.:26:32.

more sensible and taken more time to listen to experts and decide what

:26:33.:26:34.

measures should be targeted, then she would not be in this mess. You

:26:35.:26:37.

cannot give me a figure? She has chosen net migration. She has set a

:26:38.:26:39.

target, without ifs and buts. I think it is important not to have a

:26:40.:26:42.

massive gap between the rhetoric and reality. Not to make promises on

:26:43.:26:44.

numbers which are not responsible. OK, you won't give me a figure.

:26:45.:26:50.

Fine. Moving on to crime. 10,00 front line police jobs have gone

:26:51.:26:54.

since 2010 but crime continues to fall. 7% down last year alone. When

:26:55.:26:58.

you told the Labour conference that you do not cut crime by cutting the

:26:59.:27:04.

police, you were wrong. I think the Government is being very complacent

:27:05.:27:06.

about what is happening to crime. Crime patterns are changing. There

:27:07.:27:11.

has been an exponential increase, and that is in the words of the

:27:12.:27:17.

police, in online crime. We have also seen, for example, domestic

:27:18.:27:25.

violence going up, but prosecutions dropping dramatically. There is a

:27:26.:27:29.

serious impact as a result of not having 10,000 police in place. You

:27:30.:27:34.

have talked about the exponential increase in online and economic

:27:35.:27:37.

crime. If those are the big growth areas, why have bobbies on the beat?

:27:38.:27:44.

That would make no difference. It is about an approach to policing that

:27:45.:27:47.

has been incredibly successful over many years, which Labour introduced,

:27:48.:27:51.

which is neighbourhood policing in the community is working hard with

:27:52.:27:55.

communities to prevent crime. People like to see bobbies on the beat but

:27:56.:27:59.

have you got any evidence that it leads to a reduction in crime?

:28:00.:28:04.

Interestingly, the Lords Stevens commission that we set up, they have

:28:05.:28:08.

reported this week and it has been the equivalent of a Royal

:28:09.:28:11.

commission, looking at the number of people involved in it. Their strong

:28:12.:28:17.

recommendation was that this is about preventing crime but also

:28:18.:28:20.

respectful law and order, working with communities, and so they

:28:21.:28:23.

strongly took the view with all of their expertise and the 30 different

:28:24.:28:27.

universities that they have involved with it, that on the basis of all

:28:28.:28:30.

that analysis, the right thing was to keep bobbies on the beat and not

:28:31.:28:36.

push them cars. Instinctively you would think it was true. More

:28:37.:28:41.

visible policing, less crime. But in all the criminology work, I cannot

:28:42.:28:46.

find the evidence. There is competing work about why there has

:28:47.:28:50.

been a 20 year drop in overall crime and everybody has different opinions

:28:51.:28:54.

on why that has happened. The point about neighbourhood policing is that

:28:55.:28:57.

it is broader than crime-fighting. It is about prevention and community

:28:58.:29:04.

safety. Improving the well-being of communities as well. Will you keep

:29:05.:29:09.

the elected Police Commissioners? Big sigh! What the report said was

:29:10.:29:14.

that the system is flawed. We raised concern about this at the beginning.

:29:15.:29:20.

You will remember at the elections, Theresa May's flagship policy, at

:29:21.:29:26.

the elections they cost ?100 million and there was 15% turnout. You have

:29:27.:29:30.

to have a system of accountability at the police. Three options were

:29:31.:29:36.

presented, all of which are forms. So you have to have reform. It is

:29:37.:29:41.

not whether to have reformed, it is which of those options is the best

:29:42.:29:51.

way to do it. The commission set out a series of options, and I thought

:29:52.:29:57.

that the preferable approach would be collaboration and voluntary

:29:58.:30:01.

mergers. We know they won't volunteer. There have been some

:30:02.:30:06.

collaboration is taking place. I think the issues with police and

:30:07.:30:10.

crime commissioners have fragmented things and made it harder to get

:30:11.:30:14.

collaboration between police forces. Everybody is asking this

:30:15.:30:18.

question, just before you go. What is it like living with a nightmare?

:30:19.:30:26.

Who does all the cooking, so I can't complain! Says Miliband people are

:30:27.:30:35.

wrong, he is a dream cook? He is! In a speech this week, Boris Johnson

:30:36.:30:39.

praised greed and envy as essential for economic progress, and that has

:30:40.:30:42.

got tongues wagging. What is the Mayor of London up to? What is his

:30:43.:30:47.

game plan? Does he even have a game plan and does he know if he has one?

:30:48.:30:57.

Flash photography coming up. Boris. In many ways I can leave it there.

:30:58.:31:01.

You'd know who I meant. And if you didn't, the unruly mop of blonde

:31:02.:31:12.

hair would tell you, the language. Ping-pong was invented on the dining

:31:13.:31:15.

tables of England. Somehow pulling off the ridiculous to the sublime.

:31:16.:31:33.

It is going to go zoink off the scale! But often having to speed

:31:34.:31:36.

away from the whiff-whaff of scandal. Boris, are you going to

:31:37.:31:41.

save your manage? There's always been a question about

:31:42.:31:44.

him and his as role as mayor and another prized position, as hinted

:31:45.:31:47.

to the Tory faithful this year at conference, discussing former French

:31:48.:31:53.

Prime Minister Alan Juppe. -- Alain Juppe. He told me he was going to be

:31:54.:32:01.

the mayor of Bordeaux. I think he may have been mayor well he was

:32:02.:32:06.

Prime Minister, it is the kind of thing they do in funds -- AvD in

:32:07.:32:12.

France. It is a good idea, if you ask me. But is it a joke? He is much

:32:13.:32:21.

more ambitious. Boris wants to be Prime Minister more than anything

:32:22.:32:25.

else. Perhaps more than he wants to be made of London. The ball came

:32:26.:32:33.

loose from the back of the scrum. Of course it would give great thing to

:32:34.:32:38.

have a crack at, but it is not going to happen. He might be right. First,

:32:39.:32:43.

the Conservatives have a leader another Old Etonian, Oxford,

:32:44.:32:46.

Bullingdon chap and he has the job Boris might like a crack at. What do

:32:47.:32:53.

you do with a problem like Boris? It is one of the great paradoxes of

:32:54.:32:57.

Tory politics that for Boris Johnson to succeed, David Cameron must feel.

:32:58.:33:03.

Boris needs David Cameron to lose so that he can stand a chance of

:33:04.:33:07.

becoming loser. -- becoming leader. And disloyalty is punished by

:33:08.:33:10.

Conservatives. Boris knows the man who brought down Margaret Thatcher.

:33:11.:33:12.

Michael Heseltine, who Boris replaced as MP for Henley, never got

:33:13.:33:19.

her job. In 1986, she took on the member for Henley, always a risky

:33:20.:33:29.

venture. And why might he make such a jibe, because he's won two more

:33:30.:33:33.

elections than the PM. Conservatives like a winner. Boris, against Robert

:33:34.:33:42.

expectations, has won the Mayor of London job twice. -- public. He

:33:43.:33:52.

might've built a following with the grassroots but he's on shakier

:33:53.:33:55.

ground with many Tory MPs, who see him as a selfish clown, unfit for

:33:56.:34:02.

high office. And besides, he's not the only one with king-sized

:34:03.:34:05.

ambition, and Boris and George are not close, however much they may

:34:06.:34:12.

profess unity. There is probably some Chinese expression for a

:34:13.:34:18.

complete and perfect harmony. Ying and yang. But in plain black and

:34:19.:34:22.

white, if Boris has a plan, it's one he can't instigate, and if David

:34:23.:34:26.

Cameron is PM in 2016, it may not be implementable. He'd need a seat and

:34:27.:34:31.

it wouldn't be plain sailing if he did make a leadership bid. My

:34:32.:34:37.

leadership chances, I think I may have told you before, or about as

:34:38.:34:42.

good as my chances of ying reincarnated as a baked bean. Which

:34:43.:34:47.

is probably quite high. So if the job you want with Brown-esque desire

:34:48.:34:50.

is potentially never to be yours what do you do? He is, of course, an

:34:51.:34:59.

American citizen by birth. He was born in New York public hospital,

:35:00.:35:03.

and so he is qualified to be President of the United States. And

:35:04.:35:08.

you don't need an IQ over 16 to find that the tiniest bit scary.

:35:09.:35:14.

Giles Dilnot reporting. Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Sam Coates are

:35:15.:35:20.

here. Is there a plan for Boris and if so, what is it? I think the plan

:35:21.:35:26.

is for him to say what he thinks the Tory activist base wants to hear

:35:27.:35:30.

just now. He knows that in 18 months time they can disown it. I think he

:35:31.:35:36.

is wrong, the way the speech has played has a limited number of

:35:37.:35:42.

people. He has cross-party appeal. He has now reconfirmed to people

:35:43.:35:46.

that the Tories are the nasty party and they have been pretending to be

:35:47.:35:52.

modernised. Is it not the truth that he needs David Cameron to lose the

:35:53.:35:56.

2015 election to become leader in this decade? It is very interesting

:35:57.:36:03.

watching his fortunes wax and wane. It always seems to happen in inverse

:36:04.:36:07.

proportion to how well David Cameron is doing in front of his own party.

:36:08.:36:12.

There is no small element of strategy about what we are doing

:36:13.:36:16.

here. The problem with Boris is that he's popular with the country, but

:36:17.:36:21.

not with the party's MPs and its hard-core supporters. This was an

:36:22.:36:28.

appeal to the grassroots this week. He is not the only potential

:36:29.:36:33.

candidate. If we were in some kind of circumstance where Boris was a

:36:34.:36:38.

runner to replace Mr Cameron, who with the other front the? I think it

:36:39.:36:47.

will skip a generation. The recent intake was ideological assertive. I

:36:48.:36:53.

do not buy the idea that it will be Jeremy Hunt against Michael Gove. I

:36:54.:36:57.

then, that generation will be tainted by being in government. It

:36:58.:37:06.

is interesting, what is he trying to pull? He is ideological. He does not

:37:07.:37:12.

believe in many things, but he believes in a few things quite

:37:13.:37:17.

deeply, and one is the idea of competition, both in business and

:37:18.:37:22.

academic selection. He has never been squeamish about expressing

:37:23.:37:29.

that. We do make mistakes sometimes, assuming he is entirely political.

:37:30.:37:35.

Look at all the Northern voters who will not vote for the Tories even

:37:36.:37:39.

though they are socially or economic the Conservatives. I do not think he

:37:40.:37:46.

helps. Who in the Tories would help? That is a tough question. To

:37:47.:37:53.

reason me has also been speaking to the hard right. -- Theresa May. I

:37:54.:38:02.

have been out with him at night It is like dining with a film star

:38:03.:38:05.

People are queueing up to speak to him. Educational selection is one of

:38:06.:38:12.

the few areas that he can offer He has gone liberal on immigration as

:38:13.:38:14.

are made of London would have to. Thank you and welcome to the part of

:38:15.:38:38.

the programme or us in the West Coming up this week: With WSDL in

:38:39.:38:44.

the headlines after the savage beating and burning of Bijan

:38:45.:38:47.

Ebrahimi, we ask whether politicians could have done more to stop this

:38:48.:38:52.

happening. He repeatedly called police asking for help but it never

:38:53.:38:56.

came. Now the Home Secretary has been told to speed up the

:38:57.:39:00.

investigation. Joining as today are two politicians have clashed in the

:39:01.:39:07.

battle for Stroud. It is David Drew and Paul Hodgkinson. Thank you for

:39:08.:39:11.

coming in. First we must talk about the badger cull which was halted

:39:12.:39:22.

this weekend. The cull has failed on every level, has it not? I do not

:39:23.:39:29.

think it has. We had to pilot culls. It was quite successful and

:39:30.:39:37.

got close to our target. It has been more challenging in Gloucestershire.

:39:38.:39:41.

The reason they have suspended it is because page trapping was having to

:39:42.:39:54.

end. `` page trapping. People on the ground were reporting they were not

:39:55.:40:00.

seeing many temperatures. The weather was deteriorating as well.

:40:01.:40:02.

If you could not see any temperatures, does that mean they

:40:03.:40:16.

have been shot? Temperatures. How many have you reduced it by? We will

:40:17.:40:20.

give a statement in Parliament tomorrow which sets out the precise

:40:21.:40:24.

figures but we will be short of the target we had. It has been a more

:40:25.:40:32.

challenging in Gloucester. We will be analysing the figures in the next

:40:33.:40:38.

couple of months and it will put us in a strong position on how we take

:40:39.:40:43.

the policy forward to next year The policing has cost ?2.5 million and

:40:44.:40:47.

there is a possibility in Gloucestershire that the badgers may

:40:48.:40:53.

have got scared and gone to other areas, but you claim it is a

:40:54.:40:58.

success? You have to look at the cost of tackling TB. We know that if

:40:59.:41:04.

we do nothing than the disease would cost ?1 billion. You spent ?2

:41:05.:41:13.

billion and may have made it worse. There is no evidence that you can

:41:14.:41:16.

tackle TB without tackling the disease in the wildlife population.

:41:17.:41:21.

There was a lot of research into vaccines... I know that, but can you

:41:22.:41:28.

not accept and clarified that there is a possibility that you have made

:41:29.:41:34.

it worse in Gloucestershire? With the trials that were done a a

:41:35.:41:43.

decades ago, we know that there was only a 30% drop in population.

:41:44.:41:46.

Providing we sustain it in Gloucestershire, there will be a

:41:47.:41:53.

significant reduction in TB. We know that if you sustain the cull and get

:41:54.:42:01.

the population down then it can still have her significant effect. I

:42:02.:42:06.

would like to bring in my other get stop you both sceptics. Has he said

:42:07.:42:14.

anything to convince you? No, because they should not have started

:42:15.:42:18.

down this line. When I was in Parliament we looked at this issue.

:42:19.:42:23.

There is a way forward and it is vaccination and controlling the

:42:24.:42:26.

population. That is what they should have done instead of this mad idea.

:42:27.:42:32.

It has been a shambles from beginning to end. Let's stop this.

:42:33.:42:36.

Maybe you can ask the Minister whether he will carry this on for

:42:37.:42:45.

the next two years. I am a Gloucestershire County Council and

:42:46.:42:52.

the Liberal Democrats voted against this. We think it is madness. I

:42:53.:42:56.

think it is a disaster. I represent a rural area in the Cotswolds and

:42:57.:43:04.

the opinion amongst farmers is split, and most are and see this. ``

:43:05.:43:12.

against this. I think it has been a disaster. Let's go back to the

:43:13.:43:16.

Minister. Disaster has been a word that has been used time and time

:43:17.:43:20.

again, and the question about whether it will continue as

:43:21.:43:24.

planned. I do not accept it as a disaster. The last Labour government

:43:25.:43:29.

put their head in the sand on this. This is a government that is willing

:43:30.:43:33.

to take difficult and controversial decisions, and that is why we are

:43:34.:43:36.

taking forward this strategy of cull. There is no example anywhere

:43:37.:43:43.

in the world of being able to tackle TB without it. I visited a farm in

:43:44.:43:47.

Gloucestershire recently and they had pests every two months... People

:43:48.:43:55.

are still saying it is a failed policy and you are still doing it! I

:43:56.:44:00.

do not accept that. We know that we cannot tackle TB without the cull.

:44:01.:44:08.

And queue for coming on. The tragic murder of a Bristol man for being

:44:09.:44:12.

different has rocked the city. He was beaten to death on his own

:44:13.:44:19.

doorstep after a mob appears in being a paedophile. Kerry McCarthy,

:44:20.:44:27.

the Labour MP, has asked the Home Secretary to speed up the

:44:28.:44:40.

investigation into the case. Ijan Ebrahimi came to the UK seeking

:44:41.:44:50.

sanctuary `` Bijan Ebrahimi. His family say he called the police 50

:44:51.:44:55.

times in five years and that he was called a cockroach and told to go

:44:56.:45:01.

home. Just because he was different, they picked on him. He was

:45:02.:45:06.

vulnerable and did not want to mix with those sorts of people. He lived

:45:07.:45:13.

on his own and they have used that to pick on him. Falsely accused of

:45:14.:45:21.

being a paedophile the shy man known as Ben was beaten to death by a

:45:22.:45:26.

neighbour, Lee James. Now the police are under investigation. They

:45:27.:45:33.

arrested Bijan Ebrahimi for his own safety in the days leading up to the

:45:34.:45:37.

murder after repeatedly claiming harassment. I want this to happen as

:45:38.:45:45.

quickly as possible. The IPCC are under resourced and they have been

:45:46.:45:49.

sidelined by the Hillsborough enquiry. I have written to the Home

:45:50.:45:54.

Secretary asking for a report as soon as possible. If the police

:45:55.:45:58.

officers are found guilty of misconduct then appropriate action

:45:59.:46:03.

should be taken. I want to happen what happened to Bijan Ebrahimi in

:46:04.:46:16.

the last few days. `` I want to know. If he asked for help then he

:46:17.:46:21.

did not receive the help he deserved. Five officers remain under

:46:22.:46:28.

investigation in what the IPCC says is a robust enquiry, moving as

:46:29.:46:31.

quickly as possible. They have offered to meet the family of Bijan

:46:32.:46:38.

Ebrahimi. The local MP thinks better neighbourhood policing could have

:46:39.:46:43.

prevented what happens and she has wider concerns about why Bijan

:46:44.:46:47.

Ebrahimi was even on the estate It raises questions about where you put

:46:48.:46:51.

vulnerable people. I was there a week or two ago and had neighbours

:46:52.:47:00.

telling me about drug dealers in the area as well as violence and

:47:01.:47:04.

aggression between people living in neighbouring properties. Is that the

:47:05.:47:08.

right place to put a vulnerable person? What are the alternatives?

:47:09.:47:14.

There is such a shortage of suitable accommodation. The death of Bijan

:47:15.:47:18.

Ebrahimi remains a test for the community with questions to ask The

:47:19.:47:25.

police force is now under political pressure.

:47:26.:47:34.

Joining me in the studio is a member of a charity. He has been helping

:47:35.:47:38.

the family through this difficult time. Welcome to our programme.

:47:39.:47:44.

Let's fill in the gaps in our knowledge. Why did he come to

:47:45.:47:48.

Bristol? Became as a refugee from around. `` Iran. Wherever he went

:47:49.:48:02.

there were problems. Why? Yes, he was different. He was Iranian and

:48:03.:48:11.

because he was a refugee, wherever he was put in, there were other

:48:12.:48:19.

people with social needs. Other immigrants have settled peacefully,

:48:20.:48:30.

though? He had racist attacks in 2007 in a homeless hostel. This was

:48:31.:48:44.

a high deprivation area. He moved from here to his present address.

:48:45.:48:50.

Truly terrible. The Chief Constable I was interviewing last week admits

:48:51.:48:54.

that there have been failures in all the agencies involved. Do you accept

:48:55.:48:58.

that there were failures in your agency? Not failures, we do not have

:48:59.:49:13.

the power to change things. In those last terrifying hours, was he on to

:49:14.:49:18.

you saying that he was reading the police and they are not coming? No,

:49:19.:49:23.

he was not stop he had stopped coming to us because we referred him

:49:24.:49:30.

to a law centre because there was an injunction taken out on him. Before

:49:31.:49:34.

that we have a catalogue of incidents that we worked with. There

:49:35.:49:39.

were 50 phone calls made to the police on a persistent basis of

:49:40.:49:45.

being harassed and racially abused. There was an injunction against him?

:49:46.:49:53.

Yes. The Bristol Law Centre came on board and said this was wrong. He

:49:54.:50:07.

was accused of a malicious lie. People know that racism is

:50:08.:50:12.

completely unacceptable but to call someone a paedophile, as they did

:50:13.:50:16.

wrongly in this case, it seems it is open season and the victim is in

:50:17.:50:21.

mortal danger. Yes, and I think when those words came out, it is an

:50:22.:50:29.

emotive subject for most of us, and we mostly think of the victims, I

:50:30.:50:35.

think the authorities should have quelled those rumours and said to

:50:36.:50:41.

the people that there is no proof at all that this man is a paedophile.

:50:42.:50:46.

Once a rumour gets out it seems that those knucklehead, the members of

:50:47.:50:55.

the mobs, think it is noble to attack somebody. They should have

:50:56.:51:01.

seen a vulnerable person in a dangerous place. It was Bijan

:51:02.:51:06.

Ebrahimi who was arrested? For his own safety. Let's bring in the other

:51:07.:51:11.

politicians. Are there lessons that can be learned? Yes, there are.

:51:12.:51:20.

Politicians have to be careful when they mix up the immigration debate

:51:21.:51:23.

with racism. On the back of the Jimmy Savile case, paedophilia is

:51:24.:51:32.

something that politicians need to be careful with. They use language

:51:33.:51:38.

that can be a Q3. The sad thing is that there should have been

:51:39.:51:43.

intervention at an early stage or he should have been taken out of the

:51:44.:51:51.

premises. Sometimes evil things happen. I think what's happened is

:51:52.:51:59.

truly appalling. It is dreadful and I cannot imagine how that can happen

:52:00.:52:03.

in a civilised country like this one. Acting up what David said,

:52:04.:52:09.

there is a culture of fear emerging. `` backing up. People of the right

:52:10.:52:18.

wing push out messages about people who are different. Immigrants,

:52:19.:52:22.

people of a minority sexuality, religion. The tabloids scream these

:52:23.:52:30.

things and it creates a culture of noticing where people are different.

:52:31.:52:34.

That is frightening and has no place in civilised society in my view

:52:35.:52:45.

The IPCC have not reported back yet because they are so busy with other

:52:46.:52:48.

complaints about Hillsborough and Plebgate and all the rest of it

:52:49.:52:54.

What does that tell us? The priority needs to be put quite high on this

:52:55.:53:00.

one. We have finished a review, the first part of the review, and I

:53:01.:53:07.

think the IPCC should do the second part. We need to know and we need to

:53:08.:53:14.

learn the lessons of this so we do not have another case of Bijan

:53:15.:53:22.

Ebrahimi in Bristol. Thank you. They are often left by grieving relatives

:53:23.:53:27.

and friends as a tribute to a lost one but now a Bristol councillor has

:53:28.:53:32.

accused his local authority about being too relaxed in clearing the

:53:33.:53:41.

flowers up. Vicky was just 18 when she died after a night at her

:53:42.:53:48.

boyfriend's House. Her friends say she was kind and popular. This

:53:49.:53:52.

unofficial memorial has upset some who want the green clear for the

:53:53.:53:57.

carol concert. Tensions have been running high. It is not a great and

:53:58.:54:06.

it is not a cemetery. We are showing respect! It is disgusting! I think

:54:07.:54:22.

it is ridiculous to be honest. It is somewhere we can go to pay our

:54:23.:54:27.

respects. There is nowhere else we can go so we come here. This is our

:54:28.:54:35.

place and we come here to put flowers down and remember her. 9%

:54:36.:54:42.

of people lose relatives. It is tragic when anybody dies. Why is it

:54:43.:54:54.

that when somebody decides to remember their daughter this way...

:54:55.:54:58.

If the whole country did it, there would be flowers around every tree.

:54:59.:55:03.

Becky's mother is caught on both sides. I suppose it can be upsetting

:55:04.:55:09.

for other people as well. Seeing things like that. If they have lost

:55:10.:55:15.

a member of their family could be upsetting. I do feel a bit sad that

:55:16.:55:21.

if we could replace it with something like a bench or a tree,

:55:22.:55:25.

that would be nice. A short distance from the area, another tragic

:55:26.:55:30.

reminder on the roadside but this has been here for years. Different

:55:31.:55:36.

councils take different approaches to how long memorials like this one

:55:37.:55:41.

can stay. In Somerset Council removes flowers from the roadside a

:55:42.:55:44.

month. Bristol County is more relaxed and there is no limit. The

:55:45.:55:50.

important question is how we defy what our public lives is for.

:55:51.:55:59.

It is a sensitive thing that politicians have two decides on

:56:00.:56:03.

What is the appropriate length of time that memorials should be left?

:56:04.:56:08.

We do have to be sensitive because we are talking about people who have

:56:09.:56:11.

lost someone. I think there should be a period during which memorials

:56:12.:56:17.

can be there and I disagree fundamentally with one of the

:56:18.:56:20.

individuals who said there should not be something. I think that has

:56:21.:56:26.

to be some time. I think it should be a matter of months, maybe three

:56:27.:56:30.

months. In Gloucestershire there is no limit. I think it should be

:56:31.:56:34.

three`month. It should be a period where they remember someone but

:56:35.:56:46.

after that time they should move on. Is that reasonable? I think

:56:47.:56:48.

people should be allowed to grieve. People often have a level of

:56:49.:56:52.

spirituality which is hidden. I would like to see the grieving

:56:53.:56:57.

process formalised. The idea of a tree or a bench. A young person in

:56:58.:57:02.

Stroud killed themselves and as a result of the action, his young

:57:03.:57:07.

friends paid for the funeral and created a very moving epitaph to

:57:08.:57:16.

that young person's life. I guess these are public spaces. We all have

:57:17.:57:22.

tragedies to deal with and most people do it privately. Some people

:57:23.:57:27.

need to express it publicly and that may not always be welcome. I think

:57:28.:57:32.

people should be able to express it. The interesting thing is that if

:57:33.:57:37.

there is something by the side of the road, it reminds people that has

:57:38.:57:42.

been an accident. In the Cotswolds, there are a couple of locations

:57:43.:57:46.

where it reminds people, for a period of time, that it is an

:57:47.:57:51.

accident prone spot and people should take care. People should be

:57:52.:57:56.

allowed to grieve in some way and I think a few months is appropriate. I

:57:57.:58:01.

have heard in my area that drivers looking at those memorials has

:58:02.:58:07.

caused other issues the happen with regards to road safety. After that

:58:08.:58:16.

period, we should move on. We generally have a stiff upper lip and

:58:17.:58:25.

there is a general view that we were `` spear `` spirituality is passe.

:58:26.:58:37.

Let's have some way we can keep that memory alive and too often it is

:58:38.:58:42.

about taking down the immediate flowers and that is the wrong way to

:58:43.:58:47.

do it. If you are grieving this weekend, our thoughts are with you.

:58:48.:58:51.

Now it is time to look at the political week which has just gone

:58:52.:58:59.

by. Tessa month has launched a scathing

:59:00.:59:04.

attack on Somerset councillors over cuts to Children's Services. It was

:59:05.:59:09.

announced that the decision would be made today and it is not fair on the

:59:10.:59:13.

parents and children. More people will be able to find out from the

:59:14.:59:18.

place whether their partner has a history of the mess that violence.

:59:19.:59:23.

Wilts is one of four areas where the law has been brought in. `` domestic

:59:24.:59:33.

violence. He never shies away from taking on his own government. This

:59:34.:59:39.

challenge was own immigration. The free movement of people is not

:59:40.:59:44.

working. Why does the government lacked the political will to change

:59:45.:59:48.

the law? After years of fighting, plans to redevelop Bristol City s

:59:49.:59:52.

current ground have been approved. It looks certain they will stay put

:59:53.:59:57.

rather than heading to a bigger site. That was the week that was.

:59:58.:00:04.

Let's look ahead to the next week and the Chancellor's Autumn

:00:05.:00:09.

statement. That is when he announces the spending plans. What is on your

:00:10.:00:17.

wish list? The Chancellor needs to go much further with increasing the

:00:18.:00:20.

personal tax allowance. It has gone up to 10,000. They have given 2

:00:21.:00:26.

million people a tax cut. I would like to see them go much further.

:00:27.:00:33.

That gives everybody a pay cut. That would give a millionaire tax cut. It

:00:34.:00:40.

does but it takes more people out of paying tax altogether. We have taken

:00:41.:00:47.

3 million out of paying tax. That is on your wish list. What about you,

:00:48.:00:54.

David? I agree with Tessa. I would put the money into saving

:00:55.:01:02.

children's' centres. We need to boost this very important part of

:01:03.:01:05.

government spending. I agree with Tessa. OK, let's see what Santa

:01:06.:01:11.

brings you. That is all we have time for this week. Thank you to my

:01:12.:01:17.

guests for joining me. I will be back next week for our final

:01:18.:01:21.

programme in the series before Christmas is here. How time flies!

:01:22.:01:23.

picked out. People thought he was touching on eugenics and things like

:01:24.:01:27.

that. That is all we have time for. Thank you. What rabbit has George

:01:28.:01:44.

Osborne got up his sleeve? And what's David Cameron up to in China?

:01:45.:01:50.

All questions for The Week Ahead. To help the panel led, we are joined by

:01:51.:01:57.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Tory MP. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Why has the

:01:58.:02:03.

government been unable to move the agenda and to the broad economic

:02:04.:02:07.

recovery, and allowed the agenda to stay on Labour's ground of energy

:02:08.:02:13.

prices and living standards? Energy has been a big issue over the last

:02:14.:02:17.

few months but the autumn state and will be a wonderful opportunity to

:02:18.:02:20.

readdress where we are fighting the ground, the good economic news that

:02:21.:02:25.

we delivered. If you look at where Labour were earlier this year,

:02:26.:02:30.

people were saying they would they 5 million people unemployed. They were

:02:31.:02:35.

saying that there should be a plan B. He is not in the Labour Party?

:02:36.:02:43.

Elements of the left were suggesting it. Peter Hain told me it would be

:02:44.:02:48.

up to 3 million people. Danny Blanchflower said it would be 5

:02:49.:02:54.

million people. So we have got to get the economy back to the centre

:02:55.:02:59.

of the debate? Yes, the game we were playing was about the economy. That

:03:00.:03:04.

was the central fighting ground of the political debate. We were

:03:05.:03:09.

winning that battle. Labour have cleverly shifted it onto the cost of

:03:10.:03:14.

living. It is essential that the government, that George, talks about

:03:15.:03:18.

the economy. That has been its great success. I do not think this has

:03:19.:03:27.

been a week of admitting that Labour was right, plain cigarettes

:03:28.:03:35.

packaging, other issues. If you look at the big picture, where we are

:03:36.:03:39.

with the economy, we have the fastest growing economy in the G-7.

:03:40.:03:44.

Despite Labour's predictions, none of this has happened, none of the

:03:45.:03:50.

triple dip has happened. The British economy is on a good fitting. That

:03:51.:03:54.

is a good story for the government to bat on. You say that people have

:03:55.:03:59.

stopped talking about the economic recovery, but it is worse than that,

:04:00.:04:02.

people have stopped talking about the deficit? As long as people were

:04:03.:04:08.

talking about the deficit, the Tories were trusted. But people have

:04:09.:04:15.

forgotten about it. This country still spends ?100 billion more than

:04:16.:04:19.

it raises. Yes, I am of the view that the deficit, the national

:04:20.:04:25.

debt, is the biggest question facing this generation of politicians. You

:04:26.:04:30.

are right to suggest that the Conservative Party was strong on

:04:31.:04:36.

this. That head, not deficit, is not going to come down in the

:04:37.:04:42.

foreseeable future? It is rising. This is a test that George Osborne

:04:43.:04:45.

is not going to pass. We know what is coming in the Autumn Statement,

:04:46.:04:51.

it is lots of giveaways, paying for free school meals, paying for fuel

:04:52.:04:56.

duty subsidies. We are still talking about the cost of living, not

:04:57.:05:00.

changing it actively wider economy. There might be extra money for

:05:01.:05:05.

growth but it is not clear what will happen to that. If it is time for

:05:06.:05:12.

giveaways, let's speak about Labour. I have never been a fan of

:05:13.:05:18.

giveaways. Fiscal prudence is what our watchword should be. Look at the

:05:19.:05:24.

headlines. Each time, the deficit figures, the debt figures, were

:05:25.:05:30.

always worse than predicted. This year it will be significantly

:05:31.:05:36.

better. I think that is significant. Any kind of recovery is probably

:05:37.:05:41.

better than no recovery at all. When you look at this recovery, it is

:05:42.:05:46.

basically a consumer spending boom. Consumer spending is up, business

:05:47.:05:51.

investment is way down compared with 2008, and exports, despite a 20

:05:52.:05:59.

devaluation, our flat. Let's get one thing straight, it is a recovery.

:06:00.:06:03.

Any recovery is better than no recovery. Now we can have a debate

:06:04.:06:11.

about, technical debate about the elements of the recovery. It is not

:06:12.:06:15.

technical, it is a fact. There is evidence that there is optimism in

:06:16.:06:20.

terms of what are thinking... Optimism? If I am optimistic about

:06:21.:06:27.

the economy, I am more likely to spend money and invest in business.

:06:28.:06:33.

So far you have not managed that? Exports have not done well either?

:06:34.:06:38.

Exports are not a big section of the British economy. But of course, they

:06:39.:06:44.

are important. But given where we were at the end of last year, no

:06:45.:06:49.

economist was saying that we would be in this robust position today.

:06:50.:06:53.

That is true, in terms of the overall recovery. Now the PM loves

:06:54.:07:01.

to "bang the drum abroad for British business" and he's off to China this

:07:02.:07:04.

evening with a plane-load of British business leaders. And it's not the

:07:05.:07:06.

first time. Take a look at this Well, you might not think exports

:07:07.:08:01.

unimportant, but clearly the Prime Minister and the Chancellor do. They

:08:02.:08:05.

are important, but they are not what is driving the growth at the moment.

:08:06.:08:10.

We used to talk about the need for export led recovery is, that is why

:08:11.:08:14.

the Prime Minister is going to China. Absolutely, and he's doing

:08:15.:08:21.

the right thing. Do we have any evidence that these tend of trips

:08:22.:08:25.

produce business? The main example so far is the right to trade the

:08:26.:08:30.

Chinese currency offshore. London has a kind of global primacy. London

:08:31.:08:35.

will be the offshore centre. Is that a good thing? I have no problem at

:08:36.:08:41.

all with this sort of policy. I do not think that Britain has been

:08:42.:08:44.

doing this enough compared with France and Germany in recent years.

:08:45.:08:48.

I am optimistic in the long term about this dish -- about British

:08:49.:08:56.

exports to China. China need machine tools and manufacturing products. In

:08:57.:09:03.

20 years time, China will be buying professional groups, educational

:09:04.:09:07.

services, the things we excel at. All we need to do is consolidate our

:09:08.:09:11.

strengths, stand still and we will move forward. The worst thing we can

:09:12.:09:17.

do is reengineer the economy towards those services and away from

:09:18.:09:21.

something else. We have a lot of ground to make up, Helen? At one

:09:22.:09:27.

stage, it is no longer true, but at one stage you could say that we

:09:28.:09:32.

exported more to Ireland, a country of 4 million people, than we did to

:09:33.:09:37.

Russia, China, India, Brazil, all combined. I believe we form 1% of

:09:38.:09:47.

Chinese imports now. The problem is what you have to give up in exchange

:09:48.:09:52.

for that. It is a big problem for David Cameron's credibility that he

:09:53.:09:56.

has had to row back on his meeting with the Dalai llama. This trip we

:09:57.:10:03.

have been in the deep freeze with China for a couple of years. This

:10:04.:10:08.

trip has come at a high cost. We have had to open up the City of

:10:09.:10:12.

London to Chinese banks without much scrutiny, we have had to move the

:10:13.:10:15.

date of the Autumn Statement, and there is no mention of human rights.

:10:16.:10:21.

It is awkward to deal with that all in the name of getting up to where

:10:22.:10:25.

we were a few years ago. A month after strong anchor -- one month

:10:26.:10:33.

after Sri Lanka, where he apologised three human rights abuses, this is

:10:34.:10:39.

difficult to take. Do we have any idea what the Prime Minister hopes

:10:40.:10:43.

to do in China this time? I am not sure there is anything specific but

:10:44.:10:47.

when you go to these countries, certainly in the Middle East China,

:10:48.:10:52.

they complain, why has the Prime Minister not come to see us? That is

:10:53.:10:58.

very important. High-level delegations from other countries go

:10:59.:11:03.

to these places because the addict -- because they are important export

:11:04.:11:14.

markets. You might look at the Prime Minister playing cricket over there,

:11:15.:11:19.

and wonder, what is that for? I do not mind the Prime Minister Rajoy

:11:20.:11:23.

cricket. This is a high visibility mission, chose that politicians in

:11:24.:11:29.

Britain care. You are part of the free enterprise group. It had all

:11:30.:11:33.

sorts of things on it like tax cuts for those on middle incomes or above

:11:34.:11:39.

the 40% bracket, tax cuts worth 16 billion. You will get none of that

:11:40.:11:47.

on Thursday, we are agreed? No. But he does have two budgets between now

:11:48.:11:51.

and the election and if the fiscal position is using a little bit, he

:11:52.:11:58.

may have more leeway than it looked like a couple of months ago. Yes,

:11:59.:12:01.

from a free enter prise point of view, we have looked at the tax cuts

:12:02.:12:09.

that should be looked at. The 4 p rate comes in at quite a low level

:12:10.:12:14.

for people who, in the south-east, do not feel particularly wealthy.

:12:15.:12:19.

They are spending a lot of money on commuting, energy bills. The

:12:20.:12:25.

Chancellor has been very open about championing this. He says that the

:12:26.:12:29.

40p rate will kick in at a slightly higher rate. Labour had a bad summer

:12:30.:12:34.

and the opinion polls seem to be narrowing. Then they had a good

:12:35.:12:41.

hearty conference season. The best. Has the Labour lead solidified or

:12:42.:12:44.

increased the little, maybe up to eight points? If it is a good Autumn

:12:45.:12:50.

Statement, or the Tories start to narrow that lead by the end of the

:12:51.:12:56.

year? If they go into 2014 trailing by single digits, they cannot

:12:57.:13:01.

complain too much. That gives them 18 months to chip away at Labour's

:13:02.:13:06.

lead. But do they do that chipping away by eight bidding Labour or do

:13:07.:13:11.

they let time take its course and let the economic recovery continue,

:13:12.:13:13.

maybe business investment joins consumer spending as a source of

:13:14.:13:20.

that recovery, and a year from now, household disposable income begins

:13:21.:13:24.

to rise? That is a better hope than engaging in a bidding war. Be

:13:25.:13:30.

assured, they will be highly political budgets. That's all for

:13:31.:13:33.

today. The Daily Politics is on BBC Two at midday all this week, except

:13:34.:13:36.

on Thursday when we'll start at 10:45 to bring you live coverage and

:13:37.:13:39.

analysis of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement in a Daily Politics

:13:40.:13:42.

special for BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. Remember if it's Sunday,

:13:43.:13:44.

it's the Sunday Politics.

:13:45.:13:48.

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron.


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