01/12/2013 Sunday Politics West


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


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


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


budget this week. Net immigration is up for the first


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


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


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


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


inequality and greed are essential to spur economic activity.


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


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


deliver? And with me throughout today's


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


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


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


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


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


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


Chancellor George Osborne explained how he plans to cut household energy


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


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


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


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


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


controlling the cost that families incurred because of government


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


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


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


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


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


respond for almost ten weeks and older responses have been quite


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


British manufacturing jobs, and raise the money through general


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in coalition with people who have jettisoned their green Prudential


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


insignificance compared to the threat of climate change and we must


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


interesting that they have come round to supporting our policy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


problem was largely caused Labour because they oversaw an increase in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


agenda, with figures released earlier this week showing that net


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


not the only reason politicians are talking about it again.


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


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


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


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


government took up its right to apply temporary restrictions on


movement. They must be lifted apply temporary restrictions on


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


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


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


expectations that the skill of migration could be repeated. This


week David Cameron announced new restrictions on the ability of EU


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


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


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


Politics, Yvette Cooper. You criticised the coalition for not


acting sooner on immigration from Romania and Bulgaria but the


timetable for the unrestricted arrival in January was agreed under


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


You are criticising them not preparing, a legitimate criticism,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


discussed immigration and the concerns people have and the


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


Britain over many generations contributing to Britain and having a


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


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


suggest sensible, practical measures that you can introduce now to


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


system is fair and managed. Immigration is important to Britain


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


from people that have come to Britain and built our biggest


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


there was the issue of what happened with not having transitional


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


migration. University students coming to Britain brings in billions


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


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


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


between different kinds of migration. You keep trying to excuse


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


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


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


accession countries or the remainder of Europe. Overwhelmingly they were


from the African Commonwealth, and the Indian subcontinent.


Overwhelmingly, these numbers are nothing to do with transitional


controls. You can control that immigration entirely because they


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is a problem, but it treats university graduates coming to


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


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


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


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


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


university graduates, and it is a figure that has increased


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


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


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


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


recommendation from the Inspectorate and that is the kind of practical


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have talked about the exponential increase in online and economic


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


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


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


which is neighbourhood policing in the community is working hard with


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


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


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


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


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


recommendation was that this is about preventing crime but also


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that the preferable approach would be collaboration and voluntary


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


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


crime commissioners have fragmented things and made it harder to get


collaboration between police forces. Everybody is asking this


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Conservatives have a leader another Old Etonian, Oxford,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


profess unity. There is probably some Chinese expression for a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


academic selection. He has never been squeamish about expressing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the headlines after the savage beating and burning of Bijan


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


seeing many temperatures. The weather was deteriorating as well.


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


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


give a statement in Parliament tomorrow which sets out the precise


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


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


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


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


there is a possibility in Gloucestershire that the badgers may


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


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


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


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


tackle TB without tackling the disease in the wildlife population.


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


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


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


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


Providing we sustain it in Gloucestershire, there will be a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


again, and the question about whether it will continue as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


officers are found guilty of misconduct then appropriate action


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


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


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


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


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


Ebrahimi. The local MP thinks better neighbourhood policing could have


prevented what happens and she has wider concerns about why Bijan


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


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


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


aggression between people living in neighbouring properties. Is that the


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


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


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


police force is now under political pressure.


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


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


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


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


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


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


people with social needs. Other immigrants have settled peacefully,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


think the authorities should have quelled those rumours and said to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


complaints about Hillsborough and Plebgate and all the rest of it


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


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


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


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


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


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


accused his local authority about being too relaxed in clearing the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


councils take different approaches to how long memorials like this one


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


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


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


It is a sensitive thing that politicians have two decides on


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


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


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


can be there and I disagree fundamentally with one of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


by. Tessa month has launched a scathing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are right to suggest that the Conservative Party was strong on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


always worse than predicted. This year it will be significantly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


do is reengineer the economy towards those services and away from


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


very important. High-level delegations from other countries go


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


maybe business investment joins consumer spending as a source of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it's the Sunday Politics.


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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