11/05/2014 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news and interviews. With UKIP's Nigel Farage and Labour's Douglas Alexander ahead of the European and local elections.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics, where we're talking


about the Europe-wide contest that really matters. No, not Eurovision.


The European elections. There are local elections across England too


on May 22nd. The party leaders are campaigning ahead of polling day.


The results could be a pointer to the Big One, May 2015. We'll be


speaking to the man in charge of Labour's election battle plan. Has


the opposition really got its sights set on all-out victory in 2015? Or


will it just be content with squeaking home? And you can't


mention elections these days without talking about the impact of this


Coming up in the West: We will have him if UKIP really is fit for


Coming up in the West: We will have all the local


And I'm joined by three journalists guaranteed to bring a touch of


Eurovision glamour to your Sunday morning. With views more


controversial than a bearded Austrian drag act and twice the


dress sense, it's Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh. So you might


have thought you've already heard David Cameron promise an in-out


referendum on EU membership in 2017 if he's still Prime Minister. Many


times. Many, many times. Well he obviously doesn't think you've been


listening, because he's been saying it again today. Here he is speaking


to the BBC earlier. We will hold a referendum by the end of 2017. It


will be a referendum on an in-out basis. Do we stay in a reformed


European Union or do we leave? And I've said very clearly that whatever


the outcome of the next election, and of course I want an overall


majority and I'm hoping and believing I can win an overall


majority, that people should be in no doubt I will not become Prime


Minister unless I can guarantee that we will hold a referendum. Here's


saying there that an overall majority there will definitely be a


referendum. If these are the minority position, he won't form a


new coalition unless they agree to a referendum, too. The Lib Dems a


pulmonary agree to that. They probably will because the Prime


ministers have a strong argument which is I gave you a referendum


back in 2010 so the least I need is theirs and the Lib Dems are the only


party who have stood in recent elections on a clear mandate to hold


a referendum, so it is difficult for them to say no, there was


interesting the interview he did earlier today. He named everything


was going to ask for. The most controversial with him, as he said


in his speech last year, he wants to take Britain out of the commitment


to make the European Union and ever closer union. That is a very big


ask, but the point is, he may well get it because the choice for the


European Union now, France and Germany, is a clear wonderful do


Britain in or out? Previously, it was can you put up with a British


prime ministers being annoying? I think you'll find the answer is they


are willing to pay a price but not any price to keep Britain in. In


this scenario, Labour would have lost the election again because we


are talking the slowly happen if Mr Cameron is the largest party or has


an overall majority. Could you then see Labour deciding we had better go


along with a referendum, too? I think that's unlikely because as I


think that's unlikely because there's a huge upside for that for I


think what's interesting is the idea he would for minority government.


Would you get confidence and look at other options that might well happen


with the way the arithmetic is going or is he going to hold out and say


the only way I will be Prime Minister is in a majority


Conservative government? No, the implication of his remarks was I


wouldn't form a coalition government unless my coalition partners would


also agree to vote for a referendum. He's basically talking about is


negotiating strategy in those coalition talks. It's a red line and


a huge opportunity for the Lib Dems, because they know David Cameron


absolutely has to do, for accidental reasons, as a person who survives as


Tory leader, to ask for that referendum, so they can ask anything


they want in return and if I was Nick Clegg, I would work out in the


next year one absolute colossal negotiating demand for those


coalition talks. For a party around 10% in the polls, they will do have


the Prime Minister over a barrel on this one, assuming that coalition


talks goes well. They could make Michael Gove Tbyte meeting. OK, we


need to move on. So, the politicians are out and about on what used to be


called the stump ahead of local and European elections in less than two


weeks' time. But, without wanting to depress you on a damp Sunday


morning, the party strategists are already hard at work on their


campaign plans for the General Election next May. Yes, it's less


than a year to go. They may have taken their time, but Labour's


battleplan for 2015 is starting to take shape. As well as take


promising to freeze your energy bills, and reintroduce the 50p rate


of tax, Ed Miliband now says he wants to intervene in the housing


market to keep rents down. There's even talk that the party leadership


wants to bring more railway lines into public ownership. And Labour is


gambling that its big push on the cost of living will see it through


to the general election despite evidence that growth is firmly back.


Labour's campaign chief Douglas Alexander hopes it all adds up to


victory next May. But so far, the evidence is hitting home very thin.


One survey today shows that 56% of people don't think Mr Miliband is up


to the job of Prime Minister. As we head towards one of the least


predictable general elections in 70 years, has Labour got a message to


win seats up and down the country? And Labour's election co-ordinator


and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, joins me now.


Welcome to Sunday Politics. A lot of these policies announced polar


pretty well. By popular with the country. When you add them together,


it's a move to the left and what would be wrong with that? I think is


your packet suggests, the contours in the coming campaign are becoming


clear. Our judgement is the defining issue of the year in British


politics will be the widening gap between the wealth of the country


and the finances of ordinary families. We believe it will be a


cost of living election and we have been setting out our thinking in


relation to energy prices and rent, but you will hear more from Labour


Party in the coming months because we're now less than one year away


from a decisive moment. If the leftish think tank suggested any of


his policies in that Tony Blair years, you would have opposed them.


Let's be clear, when not going for an interest but seeking to secure a


majority for the only way to do that is not simply to appeal to your


base, but to the centre ground. I believe we got genuine opportunities


in the next year. You have the Conservatives in a struggle with


UKIP on the right of politics. The Lib Dems 9% of trying to find their


base, and there's a genuine opportunity in the next year for


Labour to dominate the centre ground of politics and secure the majority


Labour government we are planning for in the coming year. I notice you


didn't deny you wouldn't have opposed. You say you have got an


message for aspirational voters in the South. This is what John Denham


said. He thinks you're talking too much to your core vote.


He is right to recognise we took a terrible beating in 2010. 29%. If


you look at what we've done in the last week, for example, the


signature policy on rent Ed Miliband announced to launch the campaign,


there's now more than 9 million people in the country in the private


rented sector, more than 1 million families. Many of them are in the


south-east. They are seeing circumstances where, suddenly,


landlord will increase the rent and they put the pressure involved in


schooling, health care facing the families, so it is important both in


terms of policy and in terms of politics that we speak to the whole


country, not simply to one part of it falls up what is the average rise


in event last year? I don't know. Can you tell me? 1%. 1% not in real


terms. I'm not sure what the problem is. It will happen to wages in last


year, we are facing circumstances where people will be worse off, up


to ?1600 off worse and frankly, if our opponents want to argue that the


economy has healed and they deserve a victory lap, good luck to them


because actually, what we are hearing from the Buddhist public,


not just in the north and south, is not the cost living crisis is


continuing and it affects families. There was nothing aspirational about


your party election broadcast for the European elections. It looked


like crude class war to money people. That's a bit of it. Bedroom


tax. Isn't it going to look bad that two thirds of those affected are


disabled? Who cares? They can't fight back. Shall be lay-offs and


NHS nurses? The National Health Service? Oh yes. Mr Cameron? Who


said that? Me. My gosh. The man has shrunk. He's actually shrunk. What


shall we do with him? Can we hunt him? Nothing about Europe, Labour


policy. News that the Tories would result in negative campaigning and


smear. You didn't tell you would be just as bad. Let's start the party


broadcast. The one thing guaranteed to have most people reaching for the


remote control these days are the words, there now follows a party but


the broadcast. I make no apology in the factory to be innovative in how


we presented. It's factual. It was a policy -based critic of this


government. And the Lib Dems role within it. So you're claiming it's


factual to betray the camera and cabinet is not even knowing what the


NHS is, -- the Cameron Cabinet. They attack the disabled because they


can't fight back. The Pinellas Tanner severely Prime Minister Sun


and he was treated during a short life by the NHS. It's a fact many


disabled people across the country including in my constituency have


been directly affected by the bedroom tax. And ultimately, this


Conservative led government, including the Lib Dems, will be held


accountable by the politicians. You say that, the Prime Minister, who


had a severely disabled son of. I you not ashamed about? I shadowed


Iain Duncan Smith of five months also they don't have the excuses of


seeing that saying nobody told them the consequences of the bedroom tax.


They went into this with their eyes open. They knew about the hardship


and difficulty. If they were one-bedroom properties available


across the country for people to move into, their argument would be


OK but they knew they were dealing with the most vulnerable people. Did


you sign off that part of the broadcast? Of course I stand by the


fact of it. I wish David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith would apologise to


the disabled people of the country and the poorest people for the


effects of the bedroom tax. I hope we get that apology between now and


election. As someone who thinks integrity is important in politics,


not ashamed of this kind of thing? It's important we scrutinise the


policies of this government as well as adding a positive agenda for


change. You want that you won't promise this is the last time we'll


see such a negative press campaign? I don't think it is negative or


personal to scrutinise the government. So we'll get more of


this? I'm less interested in the background of the cabinet than their


views. You call the upper-class twits. It's for the British public


to make a judgement in terms of the British... That's how you depicted


them. We are held in accountable for the bedroom tax, the NHS, taxation,


and our record they have to defend. One reason are so fearful in this


election is actually because they know they have a poor record. Let's


look at other part of the election campaign. This poster. Particularly


digitally doing the rounds. On that shopping basket, can you tell us


which items take the full 20% VAT? It's representative of household


shopping, which includes items like cleaning products, and we know that


food is not that trouble. People don't go to the supermarket and say


this is -- vatable. So you are denying that ?450 extra is being


paid? Yes, where'd you get that figure? For an average family to pay


?450 a year extra VAT, they would have to spend ?21,600 a year on


vatable products at 20%. The average take-home pay is only 21,009. They


have got to spend on all sorts of things which are zero VAT. So in


addition to the items, has a range of products people face in terms of


VAT. How could an average family of ?21,000 a year spent 21,006 and the


pound a year on 20% vatable items? It's not an annual figure, is it? So


what is it then? If it's an annual, what is it? The increased VAT in


this parliament is calculated over the course of a Parliament. For the


whole of the Parliament? And you're illustrated this with a shopping


basket which almost has no VAT on it at all? People will be buying a


weekly shop in the course of this Parliament every week. Did you sign


off on this as well? Of course. It didn't dawn on you you're putting


things on it which have no VAT? If you want to argue some people go to


the shops and say these are vatable or not, I disagree. Even your rent


cap announcement went wrong. You're working on the rent rises and it


turns out it wasn't. It was a post your policy. It is the exception


rather than the rule to have the position we have at the moment. In


Northern Ireland we have seen the continued rise in terms of the


rented sector but there is a widespread recognition that for


those people in the rented sector, change is necessary. Are you


coordinating this campaign? It seems accident prone. This is a party that


has set the agenda more effectively than a Conservative party that said


when David Cameron was elected he wasn't going to bang on about


Europe. The day after the election we expect the Conservative party to


be engulfed in crisis. I'm proud of what we talk about and I think there


is a clear contrast about a party talking about issues people care


about, and a Conservative party talking about exclusively a


referendum. Are you in charge of the campaign? I am coordinating the


campaign is, yes. The expensive election guru you have hired, has he


been involved in any of this? We have started our discussions with


him. You are going to have to brief him about British politics because


he doesn't know anything about it. I make no apology for hiring him. He


has a lot of experience in winning tight elections and that is what we


are expecting. If you are expecting us to say, they have passed and we


have to hold them accountable, then I am sorry but we have a campaign


that holds the Government and the Conservatives to account for what I


think is a very hopeless record in government. Thank you.


He leads a party with zero MPs but his media presence is huge. He's had


an expenses scandal, but the public didn't seem to mind. He's got a


privileged background but he's seen as an anti-establishment champion.


Nothing seems to stick to him, not even eggs. I speak of course of


Nigel Farage. We'll talk to him in a moment, but first Giles has been out


on the campaign trail ahead of elections that could make or break


the UKIP leader. Nigel Farage likes a stage, and at


this stage of the Euro and local election campaign he is, like his


party, in buoyant mood. They feel they are on the verge of what they


see as causing an earthquake in British politics. Today Nigel is


filling thousands seat venues and bigger. Not that there's much sign


of that at this press launch. But it's a threat with serious money


behind it, that they believe the media and the political elite just


haven't realised yet, much less learned how to counter it. Not that


it's all been plain sailing. Offensive comments from some


candidates has not only seen UKIP labelled as racist, but necessitated


a rally by the party to visibly and verbally challenge that. The


offensive idiotic statements made by this handful of people have been


lifted up and presented to the great British public as if they represent


the view of this party, which they do not. They never have and they


never will. APPLAUSE I don't care what you call us, but


from this moment on, please do not call must trust a racist party. We


are not a racist party. The need to say that is not just


about the European and local elections even at that campaign


launch it's clear UKIP's leader has set his sights firmly on the


ultimate prize. I come from the south of England and I would not


want to be seen as an opportunist heading to the north, north Norfolk


or whatever it will be. I will make my mind up and stand in the general


election for somewhere in Kent, East Sussex, Hampshire, somewhere in my


home patch. Back at UKIP HQ they are still drilling down how the last


fortnight of campaigning should go. They aren't taking any chances, and


one imagines having offices above those of Max Clifford is a reminder


how fragile built reputations can be of the bubble bursting. They want


their reputation to be built on votes and they know anything but


significant success on May 22nd and some seats in Westminster in 2015


isn't going to be good enough. And after that, having sold yourselves


as the honest outsiders, that stance is harder to maintain once your


people are on the inside. And subtle changes from the past are already


noticeable. The ordinary man of the people stance is still working.


Characteristically outside a pub, Nigel Farage is glad handed by a


customer. Two weeks to go, let's cause an upset. Wouldn't that be


great? The only sign that such an interaction is different now is the


ever presence of bodyguards who shadow his every move. Over lunch


ahead of Question Time, a radio appearance, and then off to


Scotland, I ask him if some of those minded to vote UKIP who see him as a


man they'd be comfortable having a drink with are the sort of people


he'd be entirely comfortable sitting down with. Every political party


attracts support from across the spectrum and there will be some


magnificent people who vote for us and some ne'er-do-wells. The one


common thing about UKIP voters is that they are often not very


political. And it's that people's army that if UKIP can get to a


polling booth might just create that earthquake they want.


Nigel Farage joins me now. When you decided not to stand at the new work


by election coming said if you lost it that the bubble would have


burst. What did you mean by that? I was asked at seven 20p -- at 7:21pm


if I would stand, I have decided by the next morning that I would not. I


didn't know he was going to resign. You claim only a handful of UKIP


candidates have ever said things that are either stupid or offensive,


I'm right on that, yes? 0.1%, I'd rather it was non-. But why have you


chosen a candidate to fight this by-election that has said many


things most people would regard as stupid or offensive? Roger is


fighting this for us, someone of 70 years of age who grew up with a


strong Christian Bible background, in an age when homosexuality was


imprisonable. He had a certain set of views which he maintained for


many years which he now says he accepts the world has moved on and


he is relaxed about it. The comments about homosexuality are not from the


dark ages, they are from two or three years ago. From when he was a


Conservative, yes, so will you be asking David Cameron that question?


I have never seen a single comment from Roger that would be deemed to


be offensive. Do you regard his comments on homosexuality as


offensive? When he grew up, homosexuality was illegal in this


country. But this was in 2012 but he said that. Most people have his age


still feel uncomfortable about it -- of his age. In 2012 he said, if two


men can be married, why not three, why not a commune. Many people in


this country are disconcerted by the change in the meaning of marriage


and in a tolerant society we understand that some people have


different views. But he has changed his views now in only two years? He


says he is more relaxed about it. Was he your candidate? He is a


first-class campaigner who has had 30 years in industry, he served in


the European Parliament, he is a good candidate. This morning's


papers suggest you are about to select Victoria Ayling for Grimsby,


but she is on camera saying that, of immigrants, I just want to send a


lot back. This is all very interesting, and we can talk about


it, all we could talk about the fact that in 12 days we have a European


election and every voter across the UK can vote on it and it is really


interesting. Are you happy to pick a candidate that says of immigrants, I


just want to send a lot back? I have seen the tape, it is a complete


misquote and she says it in the context of illegal immigrants. I


have seen the full quote and in the context it is not about illegal


immigrants. Let's come onto the European campaign, you have used a


company that employs Eastern European is to deliver leaflets in


London and the Home Counties. Have we? I'm told that in Croydon one


branch might have done that. Have you found some indigenous Brits to


deliver leaflets in Europe? We have thousands joining the party every


month and they are not all indigenous because what is


interesting is that in today's opinion polls, UKIP is above the Lib


Dems and the Conservatives amongst the indigenous voting.


We have not agreed a manifesto for the general election, we will do


over the course of the summer. This is in your local election. We are


having local elections in some part of the country but we are fighting a


European election. It is impossible with the British media to have an


intelligent debate on the European question. But as I say, we are also


fighting the local elections too. You have promised these tax cuts,


how much will they cost? I have met -- read the local election manifesto


and it doesn't make those promises. We do talk about local services, we


do talk about the need to keep council tax down but we don't talk


about income tax. Absolutely not. In local election campaigning you say


you would restore cuts to policing, double prison places, restore cuts


to front line NHS, spend more on roads, how much would that cost? You


are obviously reading different documents to me. We are voting for


local councillors in district councils who have got little local


budgets. Every party in a manifesto puts his aspirations in it. Have you


read it? Of course I have, cover to cover, which is why I'm saying you


are misquoting it. By the way, on the bubble bursting, you told that


to Norman Smith of the BBC. 75% of British laws are now made in the


European Union. Now AstraZeneca is potentially going to be taken over


by Pfizer. The BBC is refusing to show the public that that decision


cannot be taken here but by an elected European commissioner, and


we sit and argue about what is in or not in the local election manifesto.


It is my job, but let me come on to AstraZeneca. Is it your view that a


British government should stop the takeover of AstraZeneca? It cannot.


Can we please get this clear. I sat next to Chuka Umunna the other day


at question time and he said what could and couldn't be done. He said


I am being studiously neutral, and the reason is we don't have this


power. That is what the European elections is about. Should France


have the takeover of the food company Danan? We seem to do things


to the Nth degree and nobody else does, perhaps because we have this


culture and we obey it. In your view, you don't think Pfizer should


be able to take over AstraZeneca? There is some good science within


AstraZeneca which is in danger of being asset stripped and lost.


Because it is run by a Swede and a Frenchman and most of its employees


are overseas. I understand that but there are still some good science


being produced here. What did you think of the Prime Minister saying


he would not form a government after the election unless he was able to


have a referendum in 2017? I sat here talking to you and you said to


me that David Cameron had given a cast-iron guarantee that if David


Cameron becomes Prime Minister he will have a referendum on the Lisbon


Treaty, but he didn't deliver on that. He knows that people struggle


to believe the renegotiation is worth a row of beans. He is saying


he will not form a government unless he can go forward with the


referendum. I know he is desperately trying to pretend to be Eurosceptic


whilst at the same time saying he will campaign for Britain to remain


in. In a sense, that is what this election is about. We have three


traditional parties, all of whom passionately believe in the


continued membership of the European Union and we have UKIP saying we


want trade and cooperation but there is a bigger and better world out


there. You are now travelling with I think four bodyguards, has this


affected you and your family life? I can't stand it. I've always wondered


about the place and on my own thing. Sadly we have a couple of


organisations out there headed up by senior Labour Party figures who


purport to be against fascism and extremism, who received funding from


the Department of communities, from the trade unions, who have acted in


a violent wait more than once. You are saying the Labour Party is


behind the threats? No, I said a taxpayer funded, trade union funded


and headed by senior Labour Party figures, and I'm happy for them to


come to my meetings and have an itinerant with me, but it's not so


much fun when there are banging you over the head. I is still keen to be


an MP? Yes, what UKIP will then do is target before the general


election next year for the one life be easier if you just went to the


Lords? That's the last thing I want to do. There's an awful lot to do.


Most of all, I will not rest until we are free from political union and


government from Brussels. Nigel Farage, thank you for being with us.


It's just gone 11.30am. You're watching the Sunday Politics. We say


goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now for Sunday Politics


Scotland. Coming up here in 20 minutes, our panel talks about the


big stories of the week. First though,


big stories of the week. First Good morning and welcome to the part


of the show just for us here in the West. Coming up: Labour in Somerset


put out a poster comparing UKIP supporters to zombies who vote


without thinking. The political mudslinging of today all seems


rather tame compared to what went on in Victorian times. We'll dive into


Bristol's archives and find evidence that campaigning used to be far more


vicious. And talking of mudslinging, we've got two guests who will be


going at it hammer and tongs but later in the programme. They are


Sophie Gardner for Labour and, from UKIP, Jake Shaw. They're both


standing in West Country seating next year's general election. ``


West Country seats in next year's general election. But first, let's


talk nicely about the other elections that are taking place this


month` the ones to local councils. Here is Paul Barltrop. This year's


local elections in the West are small in number but big in


significance. A third of seats are up in Bristol and Labour next year


end to seize Parliamentary seats from both coalition parties. In


Stroud and Gloucester, the Conservatives are the largest group


on hung councils and have MPs with slender majorities. In nearby


Cheltenham, it's a coalition dogfight. A Lib Dem Council and Lib


Dem MP with the Tories on the attack. Finally, there's Swindon,


and that's always one to watch. The Conservatives have both Westminster


seats and run the borough. But it's very close, with Labour chasing


hard. For decades, Swindon's been a barometer for general election


success. Navigate its famous Magic Roundabout and the road to Downing


Street lies open. Its museum shows its working`class roots but also a


more middle class side. Like its renowned collection of 20th century


paintings. Art lover Eric Burnett`Godfrey says the town is


moving up in the world. Swindon has a very strong tradition of art and


culture practice. I think what Swindon needs is to step up into the


professional league and become a first division cultural town to


match the economic growth that is taking place here recently. This


socioeconomic change is a challenge for Labour. Jack Straw is one of a


procession of senior figures who visited. Voters exhibit mixed


loyalties but little enthusiasm. I don't hardly vote at all if I'm


honest. I don't hardly vote. A lot of them, they say things and they


don't always mean what they say. Why Labour? Because I hate what the


Tories have done to this country. Probably the Conservatives, still.


There's something what comes across to me from UKIP but I think, for


people my age and all, I think they will do a better job for me. UKIP


are bullish. Membership is at a high. They're leafleting hard,


standing candidates in all 20 wards. That's quite a contrast to the


Liberal Democrats, who are currently the third party in the council


chamber. For the ruling Conservatives, it isn't easy. They


prefer to highlight their party's track record locally, not


nationally. And they hope to appeal to Swindon's growing middle classes


with a new purpose`built museum. Swindon's demographic clearly has


changed over the years quite dramatically and if you have a new


art gallery, I think that speaks volumes about the town's commitment


to culture and wanting to place that at the heart of its growth and


development. So Swindon's changing, economically


and culturally. But politically, it's hard to predict.


OK, let's pick up a few issues coming out of that film. Sophie,


you're standing for another important seat in the West Country.


Do you take the point that Labour needs to appeal to aspirational


voters? Or are you happy just to appeal to core voters? No, I'm not


happy to appeal just to core voters. Clearly, if the people that voted


for us last time, next election next year, vote in the same numbers, I


won't be winning in Gloucester so that would be a bad idea. Tony Blair


famously went for Mondeo man, didn't he? I don't recall that particular


campaign. You're making me stand old now! `` you're making me sound old.


But I can promise you, it was quite famous. I think we need to talk to


lots of different people. It's people shifting their views of what


Labour's offering, what it stands for, how we actually want to change


the future for this country in terms of offering young people a better


future than the one that they're facing at the moment. With great


unemployment prospects, expensive education, punitive benefits and so


on and so forth. I just think they need something positive. Let's go to


UKIP. What would be the point of voting for UKIP in a local election?


What's it got to do with anything? Well, we've got some pretty active


local councillors where we've got them. We're running ten candidates


in Stroud, for instance, whereas the Liberal Democrats are running three.


But say there was a debate about a local car park or whether to cut the


village green. Why would you need an out of Europe guy to do that?


Because it's all about grassroots politics. It's all about getting


power back to the people where they live and that's actually


underpinning everything we've been talking about. And our councillors


do that, too. Well, that's very good if they do but the point is that


that's why you should vote for a local guy who's going to do the work


for you. We have a councillor up in Lincolnshire who actually clean the


toilets every day. So I think a local UKIP councillor ` vote for the


guy who's going to work for you. You see, the considered thinking is that


you might do well in these elections, the European elections,


but after that, the tide goes out. Well, the old Chinese proverb is "we


shall see", but I think we're going to do all right in the general


election as well. Why are you not way ahead in the polls at this


stage? I don't know. I'm not really looking at the polls. I'm measuring


it on how we are doing when we're talking with people, what people are


worried about the stop if I obsessed with all the polls and all the


figures, I'd never get any work done and, actually, what I need to be


doing is talking to people in Gloucester. And what have they told


you about why you're not ahead in the polls? I don't talk to them


about the polls. We talk about... You must say, "are you going to vote


Labour?" And they must say "no". What do you say to that? Normally


you talk about what they're planning to vote, if they're planning to


vote. Some of them are just angry. I spoke to one young guy who'd never


voted last week and he, sort of, was closing down the conversation. He


said, "you don't understand my life". And I said, what sort of


life? And he was in the Navy. And actually, we had a really good five,


ten minute conversation about some of the issues that are facing our


defence forces, which, of course, being ex`air force I could talk


about. And I was at sea for two years with the Navy. So you talk to


people and you find out what it is that concerns them. How much of a


blue would it be for UKIP if they didn't do well in the local


elections? Well, we would like to do well. How much of a blow? It would


be the same as any blow to any party that didn't do well in a local


election. But I think we're going to do well, cos we've got loads of


active people. I know in my constituency, where we haven't got


any local elections, our party's very active in local causes. They


raised a bunch of money and did a load of bag holding in the floods,


for instance. So how will we do? I think we're going to do well. Will


it be disastrous if we don't? No, because we're going forward to the


general election. OK. Thank you. Now, the gloves came off in the


election race this week. A Labour Party political broadcast was


devoted to belittling Nick Clegg and an article written by Labour in


Somerset accused UKIP followers of being zombies who'd had their brains


removed. Robert Markwell has been taking a look at the rough side of


politics. Their opponents would like you to


think they come from outer space. But if the polls are to be believed,


UKIP supporters, or Kippers, are already here en masse. This version


of a 1950s sci`fi film poster is just one of a raft of attack ads.


It's being circulated online by Labour in Somerset. They've compared


UKIP supporters to zombies, voting without thinking. I don't believe


that what we are engaging in is negative campaigning. I believe UKIP


are engaged in negative campaigning and I think the type of poster


campaign they've run, which scapegoats immigrants and so on,


terrifies other people. It is negative campaigning. What we're


doing is challenging that negative campaigning by getting people to


look at the real issues and that's what politics should be about `


looking at the real issues. Privately, some Conservatives have


told me they thought Labour went a bit too far. But the Tories, too,


have been putting out their own anti`UKIP leaflets, and in UKIP


colours. It was a point we put to the PM on his tour of the West this


week. That is saying, quite right, that you could say one thing and


then they say another. You wouldn't know that that's a Conservative


leaflet. No, you absolutely would know it's a Conservative leaflet


because it says at the bottom that it is promoted by the Conservative


party. UKIP says it happened to shrug off the brickbats but how do


these messages go down where it really matters, with the voters? ``


happy to shrug off the brickbats. We sought professional advice at the


Bristol communications agency. We have a whole load of disaffected


voters. And with that, I don't think negative campaigning works. They


will not be trusting the words coming out of the politicians that


they've already decided they don't trust. And when it comes to trust,


you might have thought we were more trusting about politicians in


centuries past. But a glance through one of the largest collections of


political leaflets in the country reveals anything but. If you thought


politicians could be pretty rough with each other today, they have


nothing on the Victorians. Take a look at this leaflet from the 1878


Bristol by`election. It's from the Liberal candidate. He says, "vote


for me and you get peace aplenty and a table filled with food". However,


should you dare vote for his Conservative rival, he claims,


"you'll end up with long hours, little pay and, in the end,


starvation". So whether it's the threat of emaciation then or


zombification now, politics has always been a mucky business. For


voters hardened to at all, they will have had enough of the scare


stories. Thanks to Bristol University for


showing us their collection. They say they're always grateful for new


material. OK, let's just talk about that. Do you think he's a braindead


zombie? No, I don't. Why has your party issued material that suggests


they might think that? I can't tell you why a councillor in a different


part of the South West has done it. It's not my style. I don't think


that... If you want to have a conversation about with people and


people are deciding how to vote and they might be thinking about voting


UKIP but they might be thinking about voting Labour, or for other


parties, if I want to start a conversation I'm not going to be


helpful if I start that conversation by insulting them. Do you think that


some people in the Labour Party don't really get UKIP and don't


respect people who think they have good ideas? I wouldn't say that. I


think... We're talking about it so it's getting attention, and I can


see that some people want to do that. Below that message ` obviously


I've read it now ` are some quite good points about the fact that UKIP


MEPs claim all their expenses but do very little work in Europe. So I can


see why people do it. It isn't my style. Do you recognise this


description of your followers as being zombies? No, absolutely not.


And I actually have to say that I was a Labour voter and I've been to


university. I run my own businesses. Being a zombie is not helpful for


running your own business. I think it's insulting. I think it's


negative campaigning and I think that it will backfire because nobody


wants to be talked to like that. If you go and tell somebody to go to


hail, if you like, they are hardly going to be predisposed to be


positive about any message you've got after that. The question people


might ask is what your policies are. We know you want out of Europe but


we don't really know much more about you. Well, as with most parties, our


general election manifesto isn't out yet. Or any policies at all. We have


quite a few policies. Before I was coming on the programme, we were


talking about railways, we were talking about cheese. We do have


issues. So you've got policies on cheese and railways? What's your


railway policy, as a matter of interest? Well, we don't support


renationalisation. We don't support HS2, because it's an EU vanity


project and it's a lot of money we could spend on upgrading the rest of


the railway, for instance. We actually believe that travellers on


the railway should have some say in franchises. We believe franchises


should be longer. OK. Is it true that, as was put out in Labour's


material, that you would cut maternity pay by more than half? No.


OK. Is it true you would hand the whole of the NHS over to private


companies? No, but the Conservative party is trying to do that right


now. OK. Well, if you ask him what his policies are, those, on that...


It's just "no, they're not." It's very difficult to pin them down.


Maybe cheese we can discuss. Yeah, when you going to come up with


something which is more than just "we want out of Europe"? Well, we're


working on it now and what are we coming up with? We've got a lot of


people who want to get back to control for the voters out there. So


we want to localise a lot of what happens. We want to reduce the size


of government, we want to reduce the amount of bureaucracy and red tape


that people have to deal within their lives and in their business.


Why is it, then, the mud doesn't seem to stick when it's thrown at


UKIP but it would if it was thrown at Labour? Labour carry some of the


blame, that's why. That's a very long... I could almost write an


essay on it. I'm not absolutely sure. I think it's because UKIP is


anti`politics. It's a negative thing and it's against things, it wants


out of things and so on. And at the moment, there's very little positive


policy. That's not true at all. I think, therefore, when you're being


an anti`politician, as Farage very much as, you are a bit more Teflon


in terms of... Do you think it has backfired, all this negative


fruitcake stuff? I think it's giving UKIP additional publicity that they


would have... Why don't you stop doing it, then? I'm not doing it. I


didn't say I was. Your party is doing it. I did not say I was. It's


talking down to people. It's being rude to people. I'm very sorry but


that's not... Jake, I'm the candidate for Gloucester. All I


control is the campaign for Gloucester. That is what I am doing.


You look at my literature ` unlike the candidate, the UKIP candidate,


recently selected, who got negative about me straightaway, I'm not doing


that. David Miliband was doing exactly the same thing the other


day, saying that we were... I don't control David Miliband, you will be


amazed to hear. Do we mean Ed? I've been called a racist, I've been


called homophobic, I've been called sexist. I'm none of these things. I


had to ring up a gay friend the other day and said, "I just want to


check ` am I homophobic?" He said, "not in 20 years". So actually,


negative campaigning is what we get. On the street, we don't get that.


OK. Now, we've asked all the parties running in the European elections to


pitch for your vote. Last week we heard from four. Here are the


remaining four in no particular order.


The Conservatives have a good record on Europe. We've cut the EU budget


for the first time ever. David Cameron vetoed a treaty that wasn't


our interests and we're now out of the EU bailout fund. Now we want to


reform Europe for good. We want to take powers back from Brussels to


Britain. We want to renegotiate the terms of our membership. When the


deal is done, we're going to put that to the British people so you


can decide whether we stay or leave in a referendum.


Well, of course, the real debate in this election is about whether we


are in the European Union or out. My party, the Liberal Democrats, is the


party of in. In because being in Europe means being in work. Having


all of the foreign investment that sustains so many jobs in export


industries. Some 365,000 here in the South West. Being in Europe because


being in means our police forces and our judiciary is working together to


tackle international crime and being in Europe to fight climate change,


together with other countries. We should like to stop mass


immigration. We want to turn off the immigration tap, reverse the


multicultural societies, withdraw from the EU. Reintroduce Christian


values into this country. Deport illegal immigrant is an bogus asylum


seekers. `` illegal image and tos and Bochum asylum seekers. ``


illegal immigrants. And finally, and perhaps also very important, we want


to support UK manufacturing. Once we were the workshop of the world. We


want to be so again and we think we could if we favoured our own in this


country. The English Democrats are the only party representing England


and the English. The huge debts incurred prior to 2008 by a small


group of Scottish bankers based in Edinburgh are being paid for by the


English. We want equal treatment for the people of England, no less than


for those in Scotland and Wales. Voters in England cannot rely upon


the other parties to put their interests first. They seem


preoccupied with minorities. The English Democrats are the only party


to guarantee to put England first. That was the final four. We did the


previous four last week, so everyone is covered fair and square, and you


can find a full list of all the candidates on the BBC website. Now


here's a brief recap of the political week in 60 seconds.


On Thursday, the Prime Minister ventured west on his campaign trail.


David Cameron rallied Conservative activists in Chippenham, Waterman to


read and Bristol and urged disaffected Tories to come back from


UKIP. Hi there, good to see you. Thanks for coming out in the rain.


His government defended its contract to build a new nuclear power


station, Hinkley Point, despite claims it could be null and void. A


group of law and economic so experts have warned the deal may have been


too generous to the firm EDF Energy. West Country producers of cheddar


are feeling cheesed off. China has banned the cheese after its food


inspectors complained about hygiene standards at a British dairy. The


farming minister called for the restrictions to be lifted as soon as


possible. There was a final twist in the tale of Bristol's disputed


Banksy. The city's mayor had recaptured the work from the local


boys' club but the artist confirmed that the club was the rightful


owner. Let's go back to the story about


cheese and the Chinese banning cheddar. If we were out of the EU,


wouldn't we be very vulnerable to countries doing things by that? No


because it's an issue for the World Trade Organisation. One of the


issues about the EU is that the EU is negotiating a trade deal which


means we are going to be flooded. It wouldn't be a problem. The


collective action that Europe can have together, and the trade


agreement we have, is really important. I would say also, I know


it's about cheese but it is about the use of soft power in China and,


again, you can see where Putin is heading if you read what he's been


saying recently. I think that collective action with Europe is


really important closer to home. That's all we've got time for this


week. It would be nice to go on. But thanks to Sophie and Jake for coming


in. If you want to see this part of the show again ` and


Welcome back, let's go straight to our panel. What did you make of Mr


Alexander's defence of the Labour party election broadcast? It is


difficult for them because they started by saying they were not


going to do negative campaigning and they have thrown that away for an


advert which is funny but crude in the class war sense. He didn't look


thrilled to be defending it. There is a page in Tony Blair's memoirs


talking about negative campaigning, and he says that anything too


extreme turns off the average voter so his line of attack on Hague was


funny jokes but... I think this failed the Blair test, it was too


vicious. If your strategy is to shore up your car vote, that advert


was genius. If your strategy is to reach out to a broader number of


voters, Middle Britain, then that advert was a complete disaster. It


looks like there is a lot of negativity and smears all round in


the next year. That definitely looks the way we are going. They will be


essentially trying to re-run by -- the American election. I am slightly


puzzled why we cannot have our own election gurus who live here and


understand the country. I should point out that the ?450 extra VAT


that was claimed in that Labour poster, both Ed Balls and the Labour


Treasury team have said that is ?450 per year. Nonsense the VAT rise, one


year. I should also point out that Nigel Farage said to Norman Smith,


the BBC is always reliable Norman Smith that if you run in Newark and


lost the bubble would burst. I should also point out that although


a number of the tax rises I mentioned on council tax, minimum


wage tax and some other things that UKIP wants to cuts, a couple of


these are in the local manifesto but several are not. They are on the


UKIP website, which is still current and dated 2014. We like to make sure


we are absolutely right. Let's talk about Nick Clegg and Michael Gove


and the latest spat. Let me show you this headline in the Observer this


morning. From both the Independent, he called him a zealot, lunatic is


of -- another word. Do we take this seriously? It hinges on this


question of what counts as an area of need in education. The Lib Dems


say an area of need is one where there are not enough school places


to meet local demand. He says it can also be a place where there are


surplus places but that is for a reason. Local places don't trust


those schools to do a good job for their kids. It surprises me because


there isn't a yawning distance between David Laws and Michael Gove.


David Laws has found himself between a rock and a hard place because I


asked -- as I understand it most Lib Dems don't like the free schools but


Mr laws was quite sympathetic to it and he is now having to this respect


it. When they asked people who are the most hated politicians in a poll


were this week, Michael Gove is off the charts, far above David Cameron


or George Osborne. This is tit-for-tat war. The Liberal


Democrats believe Michael Gove had a hand in leaking the document that


showed Nick Clegg was opposing the tougher Chris Grayling position on


knife crime. They are saying there were Cabinet ministers who never


usually attend the sub Cabinet meeting, they turned up and the


document is leaked so what we are getting is tit for tat on that. It


is inevitable but it is not good for either side of the Coalition. Voters


will look at it and say it is politics of the playground. I read


in the Mail on Sunday this morning that some Tory insiders are accusing


Lib Dems of spreading rumours about the camera in marriage. The


rebuttals of education story is that the free school meals is sucking


money away. I always thought they would work together without fuss and


yet it has been more the source of disagreement then I would have


expected a couple of years ago. Is it serious? It is serious obviously,


using that language, but is it fatal for the Coalition? I think it is a


road bump because I don't think anybody wants to dissolve the


Coalition. It is a challenge for Labour because where do they stand


on the free schools? They invented the Academy programme so it is


difficult for them to take a hands-off approach at this stage.


There was a danger for Michael Gove that he looks ideological but the


danger for the Liberal Democrats is that they are breaking the rules for


the Coalition they said that they wouldn't break which is that they


looked like opposition in government. Is Michael Gove's


position safe? Very safe. If he moves in a reshuffle that will be to


a a job. That's all for today. The Daily Politics will be back on BBC


Two at lunchtime from Tuesday onwards. I'll be back here on BBC


One at 11am next week. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday


Politics. What if the person


that killed her... I found out she'd been taking drugs.


Just let me explain. You wasn't at that party all night.


Yeah, I was. What was she even doing there?


Oi, you keep your mouth shut. She was exchanging a significant


number of texts and calls with someone in the weeks


leading up to her death. It's like we didn't


really know her at all.


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