22/06/2014 Sunday Politics West


22/06/2014

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Rachel Reeves discusses what reforms Labour would make to the welfare department.


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Transcript


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Welfare reform is one of the government's most popular policies.

:00:36.:00:42.

So Labour says it would be even tougher than the Tories.

:00:43.:00:45.

We'll be asking the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary if she's got

:00:46.:00:49.

Even Labour supporters worry that Ed Miliband hasn't got what it takes

:00:50.:00:55.

Labour grandees are increasingly vocal about their concerns.

:00:56.:01:00.

Over 50% of Labour voters think they'd do better with a new leader.

:01:01.:01:11.

And what of this leader? He's apparently "toxic" on the doorstep.

:01:12.:01:16.

The polls say Nick Clegg's more unpopular than Gordon Brown,

:01:17.:01:16.

In the West ` media blackout in your council chamber. We will

:01:17.:01:28.

promised an electric car revolution, why so little progress?

:01:29.:01:39.

Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh, the toxic tweeters

:01:40.:01:46.

First, the deepening crisis in Iraq, where Sunni Islamists are now

:01:47.:01:54.

largely in control of the Syrian-Iraq border, which means

:01:55.:01:57.

they can now re-supply their forces in Iraq from their Syrian bases

:01:58.:02:03.

Rather than moving on Baghdad, they are for the moment consolidating

:02:04.:02:06.

their grip on the towns and cities they've already taken.

:02:07.:02:08.

They also seem to be in effective control of Iraq's

:02:09.:02:11.

biggest oil refinery, which supplies the capital.

:02:12.:02:14.

And there are reports they might now have taken the power

:02:15.:02:17.

Iraqi politicians are now admitting that ISIS,

:02:18.:02:23.

the name of the Sunni insurgents, is better trained, better equipped and

:02:24.:02:26.

far more battle-hardened than the US-trained Iraqi army fighting it.

:02:27.:02:32.

Which leaves the fate of Baghdad increasingly in the hands

:02:33.:02:34.

No good news coming out of there, Janan. No good news and no good

:02:35.:02:52.

options either. The West's best strategy is to decide how much

:02:53.:02:56.

support to give to the Iraqi government. The US is sending over

:02:57.:03:01.

about 275 military personnel. Do they go further and contemplate

:03:02.:03:05.

their support? General Petraeus argued against it as it might be

:03:06.:03:11.

seen as the US serving as the force of Shia Iraqis -- continue their

:03:12.:03:16.

support. Do we contemplate breaking up Iraq? It won't be easy. The Sunni

:03:17.:03:26.

and Shia Muslim populations don t live in clearly bordered areas, but

:03:27.:03:29.

in the longer term, do we deal with it in the same way we dealt with the

:03:30.:03:33.

break-up of the Ottoman empire over 100 years ago? In the short-term and

:03:34.:03:37.

long-term, completely confounding. Quite humiliating. If ISIS take

:03:38.:03:45.

Baghdad I can't think of a bigger ignominy for foreign policy since

:03:46.:03:51.

Suez. If Iraq is partitioned, it won't be up to us. It will be what

:03:52.:03:54.

is happening because of what is happening on the ground. Everything

:03:55.:04:00.

does point to partition, and that border, which ISIS control, between

:04:01.:04:06.

Syria and Iraq, that has been there since it was drawn during the First

:04:07.:04:12.

World War. That is gone as well An astonishingly humbling situation the

:04:13.:04:15.

West, and you can see the Kurds in the North think this is a charge --

:04:16.:04:23.

chance for authority. They think this is the chance to get the

:04:24.:04:26.

autonomy they felt they deserved a long time. Janan is right. We can't

:04:27.:04:32.

do much in the long term, but we have to decide on the engagement.

:04:33.:04:36.

And the other people wish you'd be talking turkey, because if there is

:04:37.:04:39.

some blowback and the fighters come back, they are likely to come back

:04:40.:04:44.

from Turkey. Where is Iran in all of this? There were reports last week

:04:45.:04:49.

that the Revolutionary guard, the head of it, he was already in

:04:50.:04:52.

Baghdad with 67 advisers and there might have been some brigades that

:04:53.:04:57.

have gone there as well. Where are they? What has happened? I'm pretty

:04:58.:05:02.

sure the Prime Minister of Iraq is putting more faith in Iran than the

:05:03.:05:13.

White House and the British. I think they are running the show, in

:05:14.:05:18.

technical terms. John Kerry is flying into Cairo this morning, and

:05:19.:05:22.

what is his message? It is twofold. One is to Arab countries, do more to

:05:23.:05:25.

encourage an inclusive government in Iraq, mainly Sunni Muslims in the

:05:26.:05:31.

government, and the Arab Gulf states should stop funding insurgents in

:05:32.:05:36.

Iraq. You think, Iraq, it's potentially going to break up, so

:05:37.:05:41.

this sounds a bit late in the day and a bit weak. It gets

:05:42.:05:44.

fundamentally to the problem, what can we do? Niall Ferguson has a big

:05:45.:05:48.

piece in the Sunday Times asking if this is place where we cannot doing

:05:49.:05:52.

anything. He doesn't want to do anything. By the way, that is what

:05:53.:05:58.

most Americans think. That is what opinion polls are showing. You have

:05:59.:06:02.

George Osborne Michael Gold who would love to get involved but they

:06:03.:06:07.

cannot because of the vote in parliament on Syria lasted -- George

:06:08.:06:09.

Osborne and Michael Gove. This government does not have the stomach

:06:10.:06:14.

for military intervention. We will see how events unfold on the ground.

:06:15.:06:18.

All parties are agreed that Britain's 60-year old multi-billion

:06:19.:06:20.

The Tory side of the Coalition think their reforms are necessary

:06:21.:06:25.

and popular, though they haven't always gone to time or to plan.

:06:26.:06:28.

In the eight months she's had since she became Shadow Secretary of State

:06:29.:06:32.

for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves has talked the talk about getting

:06:33.:06:39.

people off benefits, into work and lowering the overall welfare bill.

:06:40.:06:42.

her first interview in the job she threatened "We would

:06:43.:06:44.

But Labour has opposed just about every change the Coalition

:06:45.:06:48.

has proposed to cut the cost and change the culture of welfare.

:06:49.:06:53.

Child benefit, housing benefit, the ?26,000 benefit cap -

:06:54.:06:55.

They've been lukewarm about the government's flagship Universal

:06:56.:07:02.

Credit scheme - which rolls six benefit payments into one - and

:07:03.:07:05.

And Labour has set out only two modest welfare cuts.

:07:06.:07:12.

This week, Labour said young people must have skills or be in training

:07:13.:07:15.

That will save ?65 million, says Labour, though the cost

:07:16.:07:21.

And cutting winter fuel payments for richer pensioners which will

:07:22.:07:26.

Not a lot in a total welfare bill of around ?200 billion.

:07:27.:07:34.

And with welfare cuts popular among even Labour voters, they will soon

:07:35.:07:37.

have to start spelling out exactly what Labour welfare reform means.

:07:38.:07:43.

Welcome. Good morning. Why do you want to be tougher than the Tories?

:07:44.:07:56.

We want to be tough in getting the welfare bill down. Under this

:07:57.:08:00.

government, the bill will be ?1 million more than the government set

:08:01.:08:03.

out in 2010 and I don't think that is acceptable. We should try to

:08:04.:08:08.

control the cost of Social Security. But the welfare bill under the next

:08:09.:08:12.

Labour government will fall? It will be smaller when you end the first

:08:13.:08:16.

parliament than when you started? We signed up to the capping welfare but

:08:17.:08:21.

that doesn't see social security costs ball, it sees them go up in

:08:22.:08:26.

line with with inflation or average earnings -- costs fall. So where

:08:27.:08:32.

flair will rise? We have signed up to the cap -- welfare will rise We

:08:33.:08:36.

have signed up to the cap. We will get the costs under control and they

:08:37.:08:41.

haven't managed to achieve it. The government is spending ?13 billion

:08:42.:08:43.

more on Social Security and the reason they are doing it is because

:08:44.:08:49.

the minimum wage has not kept pace with the cost of living so people

:08:50.:08:52.

are reliant on tax credits. They are not building houses and people are

:08:53.:08:56.

relying on housing benefit. We have a record number of people on zero

:08:57.:09:02.

hours contracts. I'm still not clear if you will cut welfare if you get

:09:03.:09:06.

in power. Nobody is saying that the cost of welfare is going to fall.

:09:07.:09:12.

The welfare cap sees that happening gradually. That is a Tory cap. And

:09:13.:09:18.

you've accepted it. You're being the same as the Tories, not to. If they

:09:19.:09:25.

had a welfare cap, they would have breached it in every year of the

:09:26.:09:29.

parliament. Social Security will be higher than the government set out

:09:30.:09:33.

because they failed to control it. You read the polls, and the party

:09:34.:09:37.

does lots of its own polling, and you're scared of being seen as the

:09:38.:09:40.

welfare party. You don't really believe all of this anti-welfare

:09:41.:09:46.

stuff? We are the party of work not welfare. The Labour Party was set up

:09:47.:09:49.

in the first place because we believe in the dignity of work and

:09:50.:09:52.

we believe that work should pay wages can afford to live on. I make

:09:53.:09:55.

no apologies for being the party of work. We are not the welfare party,

:09:56.:10:00.

we are the party of work. Even your confidential strategy document

:10:01.:10:05.

admits that voters don't trust you on immigration, the economy, this is

:10:06.:10:08.

your own people, and welfare. You are not trusted on it. The most

:10:09.:10:13.

recent poll showed Labour slightly ahead of the Conservative Party on

:10:14.:10:16.

Social Security, probably because they have seen the incompetence and

:10:17.:10:21.

chaos at the Department for Work and Pensions under Iain Duncan Smith.

:10:22.:10:25.

Your own internal document means that the voters don't trust you on

:10:26.:10:31.

welfare reform. That is why we have shown some of this tough things we

:10:32.:10:34.

will do like the announcement that Ed Miliband made earlier this week,

:10:35.:10:39.

that young people without basic qualifications won't be entitled to

:10:40.:10:43.

just sign on for benefits, they have to sign up for training in order to

:10:44.:10:46.

receive support. That is the right thing to do by that group of young

:10:47.:10:49.

people, because they need skills to progress. We will, once that. - we

:10:50.:10:59.

will, onto that. You say you criticise the government that it had

:11:00.:11:05.

a cap and wouldn't have met it, but every money-saving welfare reform,

:11:06.:11:08.

you voted against it. How is that being tougher? The most recent bout

:11:09.:11:15.

was the cap on overall welfare expenditure, and we went through the

:11:16.:11:19.

lobbies and voted for the Tories. You voted against the benefit cap,

:11:20.:11:24.

welfare rating, you voted against, child benefit schemes, you voted

:11:25.:11:29.

against. You can't say we voted against everything when we voted

:11:30.:11:31.

with the Conservatives in the most recent bill with a cap on Social

:11:32.:11:36.

Security. It's just not correct to say. The last time we voted, we

:11:37.:11:43.

walked through the lobby with them. You voted on the principle of the

:11:44.:11:49.

cap. You voted on every step that would allow the cap to be met. Every

:11:50.:11:54.

single one. The most recent vote was not on the principle of the cap it

:11:55.:11:58.

was on a cap of Social Security in the next Parliament and we signed up

:11:59.:12:01.

for that. It was Ed Miliband who called her that earlier on. Which

:12:02.:12:05.

welfare reform did you vote for We voted for the cap. Other than that?

:12:06.:12:12.

We have supported universal credit. You voted against it in the third

:12:13.:12:18.

reading. We voted against some of the specifics. If you look at

:12:19.:12:23.

universal credit, they have had to write off nearly ?900 million of

:12:24.:12:27.

spending. I'm not on the rights and wrongs, I'm trying to work out what

:12:28.:12:31.

you voted for. Some of the things we are going to go further than the

:12:32.:12:34.

government with. For example, cutting benefits for young people

:12:35.:12:40.

who don't sign of the training. The government had introduced that. For

:12:41.:12:43.

example, saying that the richest pensioners should not get the winter

:12:44.:12:46.

fuel allowance, that is something the government haven't signed up.

:12:47.:12:50.

You would get that under Labour and this government haven't signed up

:12:51.:12:54.

for it. ?100 million on the winter fuel allowance and ?65 million on

:12:55.:13:00.

youth training. ?165 million. How big is the welfare budget? The cap

:13:01.:13:05.

would apply to ?120 billion. And you've saved 125 -- 165 million

:13:06.:13:12.

Those are cuts that we said we would do in government. If you look at the

:13:13.:13:17.

real prize from the changes Ed Miliband announced in the youth

:13:18.:13:20.

allowance, it's not the short-term savings, it's the fact that each of

:13:21.:13:24.

these young people, who are currently on unemployment benefits

:13:25.:13:27.

without the skills we know they need to succeed in life, they will cost

:13:28.:13:33.

the taxpayer ?2000 per year. I will come onto that. You mentioned

:13:34.:13:38.

universal credit, which the government regards as the flagship

:13:39.:13:41.

reform. It's had lots of troubles with it and it merges six benefits

:13:42.:13:47.

into one. You voted against it in the third reading and given lukewarm

:13:48.:13:50.

support in the past. We have not said he would abandon it, but now

:13:51.:13:57.

you say you are for it. You are all over the place. We set up the rescue

:13:58.:14:01.

committee in autumn of last year because we have seen from the

:14:02.:14:03.

National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, report after

:14:04.:14:08.

report showing that the project is massively overbudget and is not

:14:09.:14:13.

going to be delivered according to the government timetable. We set up

:14:14.:14:17.

the committee because we believe in the principle of universal credit

:14:18.:14:19.

and think it is the right thing to do. Can you tell us now if you will

:14:20.:14:24.

keep it or not? Because there is no transparency and we have no idea. We

:14:25.:14:31.

are awash with information. We are not. The government, in the most

:14:32.:14:36.

recent National audit Forest -- National Audit Office statement said

:14:37.:14:41.

it was a reset project. This is really important. This is a flagship

:14:42.:14:46.

government programme, and it's going to cost ?12.8 billion to deliver,

:14:47.:14:51.

and we don't know what sort of state it is in, so we have said that if we

:14:52.:14:55.

win at the next election, we will pause that for three months and

:14:56.:15:03.

calling... Will you stop the pilots? We don't know what status they will

:15:04.:15:08.

have. We would stop the build of the system for three months, calling the

:15:09.:15:11.

National Audit Office to do awards and all report. The government don't

:15:12.:15:17.

need to do this until the next general election, they could do it

:15:18.:15:20.

today. Stop throwing good money after bad and get a grip of this

:15:21.:15:25.

incredibly important programme. You said you don't know enough to a view

:15:26.:15:30.

now. So when you were invited to a job centre where universal credit is

:15:31.:15:34.

being rolled out to see how it was working, you refused to go. Why We

:15:35.:15:39.

asked were a meeting with Iain Duncan Smith and he cancelled the

:15:40.:15:43.

meeting is three times. I'm talking about the visit when you were

:15:44.:15:45.

offered to go to a job centre and you refused. We had an appointment

:15:46.:15:50.

to meet Iain Duncan Smith at the Department for Work and Pensions and

:15:51.:15:53.

said he cancelled and was not available, but he wanted us to go to

:15:54.:15:57.

the job centre. We wanted to talk to him and his officials, which she

:15:58.:16:03.

did. Would it be more useful to go to the job centre and find out how

:16:04.:16:06.

it was working. He's going to tell you it's working fine.

:16:07.:16:20.

Advice Bureau in Hammersmith, they are working to help the people

:16:21.:16:26.

trying to claim universal credit. Iain Duncan Smith cancelled three

:16:27.:16:32.

meetings. That is another issue I was asking about the job centre It

:16:33.:16:37.

is not another issue because Iain Duncan Smith fogged us off. This

:16:38.:16:43.

week you said that jobless youngsters who won't take training

:16:44.:16:47.

will lose their welfare payments. How many young people are not in

:16:48.:16:56.

work training or education? There are 140,000 young people claiming

:16:57.:17:01.

benefits at the moment, but 850 000 young people who are not in work at

:17:02.:17:08.

the moment. This applies to around 100,000 young people. There are

:17:09.:17:15.

actually 975,000, 16-24 -year-olds, not in work, training or education.

:17:16.:17:22.

Your proposal only applies to 100,000 of them, why? This is

:17:23.:17:29.

applying to young people who are signing on for benefits rather than

:17:30.:17:35.

signing up for training. We want to make sure that all young people ..

:17:36.:17:42.

Why only 100,000? They are the ones currently getting job-seeker's

:17:43.:17:46.

allowance. We are saying you can not just sign up to... Can I get you to

:17:47.:17:59.

respond to this, the number of people not in work, training or

:18:00.:18:05.

education fell last year by more than you are planning to help. Long

:18:06.:18:15.

turn -- long-term unemployment is an entrenched problem... This issue

:18:16.:18:23.

about an entrenched group of young people. Young people who haven't got

:18:24.:18:29.

skills and are not in training we know are much less likely to get a

:18:30.:18:34.

job so there are 140,018-24 -year-olds signing onto benefits at

:18:35.:18:41.

the moment. This is about trying to address that problem to make sure

:18:42.:18:44.

all young people have the skills they need to get a job. Your policy

:18:45.:18:50.

is to take away part of the dole unless young unemployed people agree

:18:51.:18:54.

to study for level three qualifications, the equivalent of an

:18:55.:19:01.

AS-level or an NVQ but 40% of these people have the literary skills of a

:19:02.:19:08.

nine-year-old. After all that failed education, how are you going to

:19:09.:19:14.

train them to a level standard? We are saying that anyone who doesn't

:19:15.:19:18.

have that a level or equivalent qualification will be required to go

:19:19.:19:23.

back to college. We are not saying that within a year they have to get

:19:24.:19:29.

up to that level but these are exactly the sorts of people... These

:19:30.:19:33.

people have been failed by your education system. These people are,

:19:34.:19:37.

for the last four years, have been educated under a Conservative

:19:38.:19:43.

government. 18 - 21-year-olds, most of them have their education under a

:19:44.:19:47.

Labour government during which 300,000 people left with no GCSEs

:19:48.:19:53.

whatsoever. I don't understand how training for one year can do what 11

:19:54.:19:59.

years in school did not. We are not saying that within one year

:20:00.:20:03.

everybody will get up to a level three qualifications, but if you are

:20:04.:20:06.

one of those people who enters the Labour market age 18 with the

:20:07.:20:11.

reading skills of a nine-year-old, they are the sorts of people that

:20:12.:20:18.

should not the left languishing I went to college in Hackney if you

:20:19.:20:25.

you are -- a few weeks ago and there was a dyslexic boy studying painting

:20:26.:20:30.

and decorating. In school they decided he was a troublemaker and

:20:31.:20:34.

that he didn't want to learn. He went back to college because he

:20:35.:20:39.

wanted to get the skills. He said that it wasn't until he went back to

:20:40.:20:44.

college that he could pick up a newspaper and read it, it made a

:20:45.:20:49.

huge difference but too many people are let down by the system. I am

:20:50.:20:54.

wondering how the training will make up for an education system that

:20:55.:20:59.

failed them but let's move on to your leader. Look at this graph of

:21:00.:21:04.

Ed Miliband's popularity. This is the net satisfaction with him, it is

:21:05.:21:09.

dreadful. The trend continues to climb since he became leader of the

:21:10.:21:16.

Labour Party, why? What you have seen is another 2300 Labour

:21:17.:21:19.

councillors since Ed Miliband became the leader of the Labour Party. You

:21:20.:21:24.

saw in the elections a month ago that... Why is the satisfaction rate

:21:25.:21:33.

falling? We can look at polls or actual election results and the fact

:21:34.:21:37.

that we have got another 2000 Labour councillors, more people voting

:21:38.:21:42.

Labour, the opinion polls today show that if there was a general election

:21:43.:21:46.

today we would have a majority of more than 40, he must be doing

:21:47.:21:54.

something right. Why do almost 0% of voters want to replace him as

:21:55.:22:00.

leader? Why do 50% and more think that he is not up to the job? The

:22:01.:22:06.

more people see Ed Miliband, the less impressed they are. The British

:22:07.:22:12.

people seem to like him less. The election strategy I suggest that

:22:13.:22:17.

follows from that is that you should keep Ed Miliband under wraps until

:22:18.:22:22.

the election. Let's look at actually what happens when people get a

:22:23.:22:27.

chance to vote, when they get that opportunity we have seen more Labour

:22:28.:22:31.

councillors, more Labour members of the European Parliament...

:22:32.:22:38.

Oppositions always get more. The opinion polls today, one of them

:22:39.:22:44.

shows Labour four points ahead. You have not done that well in local

:22:45.:22:49.

government elections or European elections. Why don't people like

:22:50.:22:55.

him? I think we have done incredibly well in elections. People must like

:22:56.:23:00.

a lot of the things Labour and Ed Miliband are doing because we are

:23:01.:23:04.

winning back support across the country. We won local councils in

:23:05.:23:08.

places like Hammersmith and Fulham, Crawley, Hastings, key places that

:23:09.:23:14.

Labour need to win back at the general election next year. Even you

:23:15.:23:19.

have said traditional Labour supporters are abandoning the party.

:23:20.:23:25.

That is what Ed Miliband has said as well. We have got this real concern

:23:26.:23:30.

about what has happened. If you look at the elections in May, 60% of

:23:31.:23:35.

people didn't even bother going to vote. That is a profound issue not

:23:36.:23:40.

just for Labour. You said traditional voters who perhaps at

:23:41.:23:45.

times we took for granted are now being offered an alternative. Why

:23:46.:23:50.

did you take them for granted? This is what Ed Miliband said. I am not

:23:51.:23:56.

saying anything Ed Miliband himself has not said. When he ran for the

:23:57.:24:02.

leadership he said that we took too many people for granted and we

:24:03.:24:06.

needed to give people positive reasons to vote Labour, he has been

:24:07.:24:10.

doing that. He has been there for four years and you are saying you

:24:11.:24:14.

still take them for granted. Why? I am saying that for too long we have

:24:15.:24:19.

taken them for granted. We are on track to win the general election

:24:20.:24:23.

next year and that will defy all the odds. You are going to win... Ed

:24:24.:24:34.

Miliband will win next year and make a great Prime Minister.

:24:35.:24:38.

Now to the Liberal Democrats, at the risk of intruding into private

:24:39.:24:43.

grief. The party is still smarting from dire results in the European

:24:44.:24:47.

and Local Elections. The only poll Nick Clegg has won in recent times

:24:48.:24:50.

is to be voted the most unpopular leader of a party in modern British

:24:51.:24:54.

history. No surprise there have been calls for him to go, though that

:24:55.:24:58.

still looks unlikely. Here's Eleanor.

:24:59.:24:59.

Liberal Democrats celebrating, something we haven't seen for a

:25:00.:25:04.

while. This victory back in 199 led to a decade of power for the Lib

:25:05.:25:10.

Dems in Liverpool. What a contrast to the city's political landscape

:25:11.:25:15.

today. At its height the party had 69 local councillors, now down to

:25:16.:25:21.

just three. The scale of the challenge facing Nick Clegg and the

:25:22.:25:25.

Lib Dems is growing. The party is rock bottom in the polls,

:25:26.:25:30.

consistently in single figures. It was wiped out in the European

:25:31.:25:35.

elections losing all but one of its 12 MEPs and in the local elections

:25:36.:25:41.

it lost 42% of the seats that it was defending. But on Merseyside, Nick

:25:42.:25:48.

Clegg was putting on a brave face. We did badly in Liverpool,

:25:49.:25:52.

Manchester and London in particular, we did well in other places. But you

:25:53.:25:58.

are right, we did badly in some of those big cities and I have

:25:59.:26:03.

initiated a review, quite naturally, to understand what went

:26:04.:26:09.

wrong, what went right. As Lib Dems across the country get on with some

:26:10.:26:13.

serious soul-searching, there is an admission that his is the leader of

:26:14.:26:18.

the party who is failing to hit the right notes. Knocking on doors in

:26:19.:26:23.

Liverpool, I have to tell you that Nick Clegg is not a popular person.

:26:24.:26:29.

Some might use the word toxic and I find this very difficult because I

:26:30.:26:33.

know Nick very well and I see a principal person who passionately

:26:34.:26:38.

believes in what he is doing and he is a nice guy. As a result of his

:26:39.:26:44.

popularity, what has happened to the core vote? In parts of the country,

:26:45.:26:54.

we are down to just three councillors like Liverpool for

:26:55.:26:58.

example. You also lose the deliverers and fundraisers and the

:26:59.:27:01.

organisers and the members of course so all of that will have to be

:27:02.:27:07.

rebuilt. As they start fermenting process, local parties across the

:27:08.:27:11.

country and here in Liverpool have been voting on whether there should

:27:12.:27:17.

be a leadership contest. We had two choices to flush out and have a go

:27:18.:27:22.

at Nick Clegg or to positively decide we would sharpen up the

:27:23.:27:26.

campaign and get back on the streets, and by four to one ratio we

:27:27.:27:31.

decided to get back on the streets. We are bruised and battered but we

:27:32.:27:37.

are still here, the orange flag is still flying and one day it will fly

:27:38.:27:42.

over this building again, Liverpool town hall. But do people want the

:27:43.:27:48.

Lib Dems back in charge in this city? I certainly wouldn't vote for

:27:49.:27:52.

them. Their performance in Government and the way they have

:27:53.:27:56.

left their promises down, I could not vote for them again. I voted Lib

:27:57.:28:03.

Dem in the last election because of the university tuition fees and I

:28:04.:28:09.

would never vote for them again because they broke their promise.

:28:10.:28:13.

The Lib Dems are awful, broken promises and what have you. I

:28:14.:28:17.

wouldn't vote for them. This is the declaration of the results for the

:28:18.:28:21.

Northwest... Last month, as other party celebrated in the north-west,

:28:22.:28:26.

the Lib Dems here lost their only MEP, Chris Davies. Now there is

:28:27.:28:31.

concern the party doesn't know how to turn its fortunes around. We

:28:32.:28:38.

don't have an answer to that, if we did we would be grasping it with

:28:39.:28:45.

both hands. We will do our best to hold onto the places where we still

:28:46.:28:50.

have seats but as for the rest of the country where we have been

:28:51.:28:55.

hollowed out, we don't know how to start again until the next general

:28:56.:28:59.

election is out of the way. After their disastrous performance in the

:29:00.:29:02.

European elections, pressure is growing for the party to shift its

:29:03.:29:12.

stance. I think there has to be a lancing of the wound, there should

:29:13.:29:17.

in a referendum and the Liberal Democrats should be calling it. The

:29:18.:29:23.

rest of Europe once this because they are fed up with Britain being

:29:24.:29:29.

unable to make up its mind. The Lib Dems are now suffering the effects

:29:30.:29:34.

of being in Government. The party's problem, choosing the right course

:29:35.:29:39.

to regain political credibility We can now speak to form a Lib Dems

:29:40.:29:45.

leader Ming Campbell. Welcome back to the Sunday Politics. Even your

:29:46.:29:50.

own activists say that Nick Clegg is toxic. How will that change between

:29:51.:29:57.

now and the election? When you have had disappointing results, but you

:29:58.:30:02.

have to do is to rebuild. You pick yourself up and start all over

:30:03.:30:06.

again, and the reason why the Liberal Democrats got 57, 56 seats

:30:07.:30:11.

in the House of Commons now is because we picked ourselves up, we

:30:12.:30:15.

took every opportunity and we have rebuilt from the bottom up.

:30:16.:30:26.

least popular leader in modern history and more unpopular than your

:30:27.:30:29.

mate Gordon Brown. You are running out of time. No one believes that

:30:30.:30:34.

being the leader of a modern political party in the UK is an easy

:30:35.:30:38.

job. Both Ed Miliband and David Cameron must have had cause to

:30:39.:30:42.

think, over breakfast this morning, when they saw the headlines in some

:30:43.:30:46.

of the Sunday papers. Of course it is a difficult job but it was

:30:47.:30:50.

pointed out a moment or two ago that Nick Clegg is a man of principle and

:30:51.:30:54.

enormous resilience if you consider what he had to put up with, and in

:30:55.:30:58.

my view, he is quite clearly the person best qualified to lead the

:30:59.:31:01.

party between now and the general election and through the election

:31:02.:31:05.

campaign, and beyond. So why don't people like him? We have had to take

:31:06.:31:10.

some pretty difficult decisions and, of course, people didn't expect

:31:11.:31:14.

that. If you look back to the rather heady days of the rose garden behind

:31:15.:31:21.

ten Downing St, people thought it was all going to be sweetness and

:31:22.:31:24.

light, but the fact is, we didn t know then what we know now, about

:31:25.:31:29.

the extent of the economic crisis we win, and a lot of difficult

:31:30.:31:33.

decisions have had to be taken in order to restore economic stability.

:31:34.:31:37.

Look around you. You will see we are not there yet but we are a long way

:31:38.:31:42.

better off than in 2010. You are not getting the credit for it, the

:31:43.:31:49.

Tories are. We will be a little more assertive about taking the credit.

:31:50.:31:54.

For example, the fact that 23 million people have had a tax cut of

:31:55.:31:58.

?800 per year and we have taken 2 million people out of paying tax

:31:59.:32:02.

altogether. Ming Campbell, your people say that on every programme

:32:03.:32:07.

like this. Because it is true. That might be the case, but you are at

:32:08.:32:11.

seven or 8% in the polls, and nobody is listening, or they don't believe

:32:12.:32:13.

it. Once is listening, or they don't believe

:32:14.:32:22.

doubt that what we have achieved will be much more easily

:32:23.:32:25.

recognised, and there is no doubt, for example, in some of the recent

:32:26.:32:28.

polls, like the Ashcroft Pole, something like 30% of those polled

:32:29.:32:30.

said that as a result at the next something like 30% of those polled

:32:31.:32:39.

general election, they would prepare their to be a coalition involving

:32:40.:32:41.

the Liberal Democrats. So there is no question that the whole notion of

:32:42.:32:47.

coalition is still very much a live one, and one which we have made work

:32:48.:32:52.

in the public interest. The problem is people don't think that. People

:32:53.:32:56.

see you trying to have your cake and eat it. On the one hand you want to

:32:57.:32:59.

get your share of the credit for the turnaround in the economy, on the

:33:00.:33:03.

other hand you can't stop yourself from distancing yourself from the

:33:04.:33:06.

Tories and things that you did not like happening. You are trying to

:33:07.:33:14.

face both ways at once. If you remember our fellow Scotsman

:33:15.:33:14.

famously said you cannot ride both remember our fellow Scotsman

:33:15.:33:27.

to the terms -- terms of the remember our fellow Scotsman

:33:28.:33:28.

coalition agreement, which is what we signed up to in 2010. In

:33:29.:33:31.

addition, in furtherance of that agreement, we have created things

:33:32.:33:35.

like the pupil premium and the others I mentioned and you were

:33:36.:33:39.

rather dismissive. I'm not dismissive, I'm just saying they

:33:40.:33:42.

don't make a difference to what people think of you. We will do

:33:43.:33:46.

everything in our power to change that between now and May 2015. The

:33:47.:33:51.

interesting thing is, going back to the Ashcroft result, it demonstrated

:33:52.:33:57.

clearly that in constituencies where we have MPs and we are well dug in,

:33:58.:34:02.

we are doing everything that the public expects of us, and we are

:34:03.:34:08.

doing very well indeed. You aren't sure fellow Lib Dems have been

:34:09.:34:13.

saying this for you -- you and your fellow Liberal Dems have been saying

:34:14.:34:17.

this for a year or 18 months, and since then you have lost all of your

:34:18.:34:20.

MEPs apart from one, you lost your deposit in a by-election, you lost

:34:21.:34:24.

310 councillor, including everyone in Manchester or Islington. Mr Clegg

:34:25.:34:29.

leading you into the next general election will be the equivalent of

:34:30.:34:36.

the charge of the light Brigade I doubt that very much. The

:34:37.:34:41.

implication behind that lit you rehearsed is that we should pack our

:34:42.:34:45.

tents in the night and steal away. -- that litany. And if you heard in

:34:46.:34:50.

that piece that preceded the discussion, people were saying, look

:34:51.:34:53.

we have to start from the bottom and have to rebuild. That is exactly

:34:54.:35:08.

what we will do. Nine months is a period of gestation. As you well

:35:09.:35:12.

know. I wouldn't dismiss it quite so easily as that. I'm not here to say

:35:13.:35:17.

we had a wonderful result or anything like it, but what I do say

:35:18.:35:21.

is that the party is determined to turn it round, and that Nick Clegg

:35:22.:35:25.

is the person best qualified to do it. Should your party adopt a

:35:26.:35:30.

referendum about in or out on Europe? No, we should stick to the

:35:31.:35:35.

coalition agreement. If there is any transfer of power from Westminster

:35:36.:35:39.

to Brussels, that will be subject to a referendum. No change. And

:35:40.:35:46.

finally, as a Lib Dem, you must be glad you are not fighting the next

:35:47.:35:51.

election yourself? I've fought every election since 1974, so I've had a

:35:52.:35:56.

few experiences, some good, some bad, but the one thing I have done

:35:57.:36:01.

and the one thing a lot of other people have done is that they have

:36:02.:36:04.

stuck to the task, and that is what will happen in May 2015. Ming

:36:05.:36:06.

Campbell, thank you for joining us. It's just gone 11.35am, you're

:36:07.:36:10.

watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers

:36:11.:36:12.

in Scotland who leave us now Coming up here in 20 minutes,

:36:13.:36:15.

the Week Ahead..First Hello and welcome to the

:36:16.:36:26.

Sunday Politics here in the West. On the show this week, the councils

:36:27.:36:29.

that are so shy they won't let We will ask why some local

:36:30.:36:33.

authorities would rather their public discussions were kept

:36:34.:36:42.

more private. We are joined by two Coalithon

:36:43.:36:46.

pundits who are here to givd us their analysis of the West Country

:36:47.:36:50.

action. They are the Phil Nevilles, if

:36:51.:36:52.

you like, of the Sunday Polhtics. I speak of Don Foster,

:36:53.:36:56.

MP for Bath and Justin Tomlhnson, We have got to be serious jtst

:36:57.:37:00.

for a moment. I want to talk

:37:01.:37:09.

about knife crime first of `ll. House of Commons MPs voted hn favour

:37:10.:37:12.

of mandatory jail sentences This was saying that anybodx

:37:13.:37:15.

above the age of 16 found c`rrying a knife, not using it, for thd second

:37:16.:37:26.

time, would automatically bd sent to prison for six months, with no

:37:27.:37:29.

opportunity for the judge to take the circumstances of the case

:37:30.:37:33.

into account. We think that's very particularly at a time

:37:34.:37:36.

when carrying knives has fallen by 30%. We are also trying to talk

:37:37.:37:45.

about putting 16`year`olds hn prison when our prisons are overcrowded. It

:37:46.:37:48.

costs a lot of money to do ht. We are worried that it might lead to

:37:49.:37:52.

16`year`olds handing knives down to If you don't carry

:37:53.:37:55.

a knife you can't use it. You can come up with all

:37:56.:37:59.

the headline grabbing comments that The truth is, all of the experts,

:38:00.:38:02.

including the Magistrates Association,

:38:03.:38:06.

said this is a crazy way to do it. Putting young people in prison leads

:38:07.:38:10.

them to be much more likely to be on one of the Conservative MPs for

:38:11.:38:15.

Enfield, led on this in Parliament The leading judges were calling

:38:16.:38:27.

for this. It sends

:38:28.:38:30.

a crystal clear message to those that want to choose to carrx a knife

:38:31.:38:32.

that it is absolutely unaccdptable. It is making sure that we prevent

:38:33.:38:35.

things in the first place. The truth is that there are stop

:38:36.:38:43.

and search methods in operation and most people who are stopped

:38:44.:38:46.

and searched are from black They are going to be

:38:47.:38:49.

disproportionately found thdn to It is actually those communhties

:38:50.:38:52.

themselves that are asking Often knives are carried as a status

:38:53.:38:56.

symbol and then something sparks it. Sometimes the kids carry thdm

:38:57.:39:04.

for older members of a gang. Invariably they are the mugs

:39:05.:39:07.

that go to prison. This is why it is part of a range

:39:08.:39:12.

of packages to deal with thhs. This is as serious as it gets

:39:13.:39:15.

and we have to have a range of packages that send a crystal

:39:16.:39:19.

clear message that carrying This is an example of why it is

:39:20.:39:21.

important to let judges look at the details of the case rather

:39:22.:39:26.

than automatically lock people up. You can film inside the

:39:27.:39:28.

United Nations, the European Parliament and the Houses

:39:29.:39:31.

of Parliament, but you try taking a television camera into Bath Council

:39:32.:39:34.

and you will get kicked out. It is one of

:39:35.:39:37.

a few local authorities in the West Country who ban TV crews

:39:38.:39:39.

from recording their deliberations, flouting guidelines

:39:40.:39:42.

from the Government We were allowed to film the very

:39:43.:39:46.

start of this Bath and North East Then an official came to

:39:47.:40:04.

tell us to switch off. It's a quarter of a century

:40:05.:40:07.

since cameras were first allowed Still Bath and North East Somerset

:40:08.:40:10.

and a couple of other counchls won't hastened by the advent

:40:11.:40:13.

of new technology. Elsewhere there have been

:40:14.:40:17.

confrontations involving people This one in Middlesbrough rdsulted

:40:18.:40:19.

in everyone being ordered ott. In the Bath chamber some filming is

:40:20.:40:33.

allowed. It started But the quality is not what

:40:34.:40:37.

we would normally broadcast. It is not necessarily for

:40:38.:40:57.

duplication. Despite this the council still said no to new

:40:58.:41:05.

scanners. There is a fear of manipulation. That fear is growing

:41:06.:41:09.

rapidly since we started webcasting meetings. Peoples contributhons have

:41:10.:41:15.

improved remarkably. The is changing. It is now a bigger

:41:16.:41:21.

acceptance of the role of wdbcasting and cameras in meetings. He is a

:41:22.:41:26.

convert. Soon his fellow cotncillors will have no choice. The Government

:41:27.:41:32.

last year issued guidance s`ying that the councils should allowed

:41:33.:41:37.

filming. When they heard of the reluctance to change, ministers

:41:38.:41:43.

decided to make it mandatorx. The law is expected to change ndxt

:41:44.:41:47.

month. In Bristol it will m`ke no difference. For a decade our cameras

:41:48.:41:51.

have been able to capture mdmorable moments. We are trying to protect

:41:52.:42:09.

our services. And they led the way with

:42:10.:42:13.

webcasting, starting seven xears ago. While a typical council meeting

:42:14.:42:21.

has a few in the gallery, thousands can view online. It is only

:42:22.:42:31.

councillors and members of the media who sit through an entire mdeting. I

:42:32.:42:34.

would not want to inflict that on people. But it is important to look

:42:35.:42:42.

at issues of major concern or something that concerns the local

:42:43.:42:45.

community so that they can see what is happening. That is the most

:42:46.:42:50.

exciting thing. People realhse that it is a and they can take p`rt in

:42:51.:42:55.

it. But getting the official blessing to film is one thing.

:42:56.:43:01.

Predicting how the public rdact as another entirely. You might have to

:43:02.:43:09.

speak more quietly for a molent We may leave it there. In a molent we

:43:10.:43:17.

will hear from an independent councillor who opposes allowing

:43:18.:43:26.

cameras in. But first, do you sense the outrage that local authorities

:43:27.:43:29.

should throw out television cameras when they are supposed to bd

:43:30.:43:41.

accountable? I do. It is yotr friends in Bath. The Liberal

:43:42.:43:44.

Democrats are not the majorhty. It is important that they open them up.

:43:45.:43:50.

We started with radio in Parliament. Then we had teldvision.

:43:51.:43:58.

Have you told them? I have. They have now introduced a web c`st. Up

:43:59.:44:01.

to 1000 people watch council meetings life. 1500 people watch the

:44:02.:44:09.

archived version. It is good for democracy. What do you think the

:44:10.:44:15.

problem is? Is it that the councillors are not up to scratch?

:44:16.:44:21.

They cannot handle the heat that comes out of that particular

:44:22.:44:30.

kitchen. I spent ten years hn Swindon Borough Council. I would be

:44:31.:44:41.

delighted for people to fill. It was... My council looked at doing

:44:42.:44:50.

it. I am talking about times when something is newsworthy and a news

:44:51.:44:52.

crew wants to come in and they are turned away. My counsel opens The

:44:53.:45:00.

Doors and said any organisation good film. `` my counsel opened the way

:45:01.:45:22.

to allow any organisation to film. It is an opportunity for people to

:45:23.:45:31.

engage with the council. Yot think it is right that television cameras

:45:32.:45:38.

should not be allowed in. Unless you show the entire debate things can be

:45:39.:45:45.

taken out of context. When xou watch the television news and you see a

:45:46.:45:48.

debate in the House of Commons would you want the entire four hotrs

:45:49.:45:59.

shown? I would want the opportunity. But you would never hear thd details

:46:00.:46:03.

of a court case because thex go on for days. That is the main reason

:46:04.:46:11.

why we should not have TV then the council chamber. If the public want

:46:12.:46:19.

to know, they have a public speaking session, and they can infludnce the

:46:20.:46:22.

councillors in debate by attending the meetings. They can do vdry

:46:23.:46:29.

little sat at home in a chahr watching television. Television has

:46:30.:46:33.

been around for 60 years. That is how people find out information

:46:34.:46:39.

People find out information through the press. The big danger whth being

:46:40.:46:47.

televised is that councillors will play to the camera. Would you show

:46:48.:46:58.

off to the campus? I would show off anywhere. Has he got a point? The

:46:59.:47:11.

same arguments were used in 197 about recording what was gohng on in

:47:12.:47:14.

the House of Commons. The truth is from time to time people misbehave.

:47:15.:47:20.

They are now hot on camera. The public can make a judgement. On the

:47:21.:47:25.

whole people do behave bettdr. `` they are now hot on camera ht is

:47:26.:47:34.

important that the public h`ve the opportunity to see what is going on.

:47:35.:47:47.

You helped to ban tweeting from the council chamber? We have to leave it

:47:48.:47:59.

there. Thank you for coming in. The summer holidays are just around

:48:00.:48:05.

the corner. It is looking lhke a bumper year for tourism in the West.

:48:06.:48:14.

Even The Sun is shining. Thd Government has made it easidr for

:48:15.:48:22.

two lists from China. `` visitors from China.

:48:23.:48:31.

We report from the Cotswolds. Peace and quiet in the Cotswolds. It is

:48:32.:48:45.

like stepping back in time. Until, by lunch, the coach park is full.

:48:46.:48:51.

They come from all over. We are from North Yorkshire. It is lovely around

:48:52.:48:59.

here. We are from Leamington spa. They are from Oxford. We always say

:49:00.:49:10.

Newcastle. I am from San Fr`ncisco in the United States. This hs

:49:11.:49:20.

quaint. One nation stands ott. You will find their language at the

:49:21.:49:24.

train station. They are backing our boys in Brazil. And he enjoxed the

:49:25.:49:34.

national cuisine. Do you like it here? Yes. We are eating fish and

:49:35.:49:42.

chips. Do you like fish and chips? Yes.

:49:43.:49:48.

The Japanese do not need a Visa to come here. But the Chinese do need a

:49:49.:49:58.

Visa. The Chinese need one Visa to cover

:49:59.:50:03.

26 Nations, but the UK is not one of them. That means that over 0 million

:50:04.:50:11.

Chinese visitors, only a sm`ll fraction cross the Channel. The

:50:12.:50:16.

Chinese spend three times more than the average overseas tourists. Now

:50:17.:50:29.

the Government is making it easier. It is fantastic news. We have been

:50:30.:50:40.

waiting for this day for too long. It is significant. It is a positive

:50:41.:50:49.

step in the right direction. It is not just in tourism the Chinese

:50:50.:50:55.

money is making a differencd. There is also business. ?18 billion worth

:50:56.:51:03.

of deals were signed off thhs week. But this is not welcomed by

:51:04.:51:16.

everyone. Security for our electricity, water, ports. The fact

:51:17.:51:24.

that they are controlled ovdrseas means we do not have control. The

:51:25.:51:39.

economy could be stopped. Chinese investors will be funding of 40 of

:51:40.:51:45.

this nuclear power station. Some people think that the infludnce of

:51:46.:51:51.

the Far East has gone too f`r. Are you happy that we are allowing

:51:52.:51:57.

so much Chinese influence? Absolutely. The importance for us is

:51:58.:52:10.

to secure foreign investment and to provide long`term economic growth.

:52:11.:52:30.

Getting the two lists in ` they are spending three times as much as

:52:31.:52:34.

other visitors `` getting the visitors then. Nick Clegg spoke out

:52:35.:52:44.

against the regime in China. Was the correct to do so? He was right to do

:52:45.:52:54.

so. It was also right for the Prime Minister to do the same when he was

:52:55.:52:59.

in China. It is perfectly possible to have dialogue with peopld with

:53:00.:53:03.

whom we have disagreements. The Coalition is a very good ex`mple. We

:53:04.:53:08.

can actually do business and raise our concerns about and rights. If we

:53:09.:53:18.

are involved in economic developments, which could ldad to

:53:19.:53:22.

social and political development, that is a good thing. Why do we need

:53:23.:53:28.

help to build nuclear power stations? They are investing more in

:53:29.:53:36.

the recent years than they have done. It is vitally important for

:53:37.:53:46.

the economic growth in this country. We live in a global economy. We are

:53:47.:53:58.

attracting more Chinese invdstment than France and Germany. We are also

:53:59.:54:08.

sending our expertise. That is an opportunity for UK companies to

:54:09.:54:11.

export into a rapidly expanding economy. Bass is already cr`mmed

:54:12.:54:27.

with visitors. Do we need more? Yes. 8500 jobs have been created. We have

:54:28.:54:36.

got 1000 Chinese students pdr year. That is very important. We need more

:54:37.:54:43.

of them. This country is currently not getting its fair share. We are

:54:44.:54:55.

opening up new Visa centres across China. They are welcome. It is nice

:54:56.:55:08.

to see them. But the jobs whll be low paid. And they will be filled by

:55:09.:55:19.

Europeans. There is an appetite to take up jobs. When you are

:55:20.:55:29.

attracting high`end tourism, you must provide a high end service

:55:30.:55:39.

Three years ago we introducdd Mandarin language gates. We want to

:55:40.:55:49.

make Bath the most Chinese friendly city in the UK. We need mord people

:55:50.:56:00.

speaking the language. If you have taken your eye off the political

:56:01.:56:04.

ball with all the football on the television, you might be gr`teful

:56:05.:56:07.

for this rundown of the week in 60 seconds.

:56:08.:56:15.

A group of MPs criticised the Government for not spending enough

:56:16.:56:18.

on maintaining rivers beford the floods this winter.

:56:19.:56:33.

People have suffered an accdptably. The issue of a plague of flhes was

:56:34.:56:37.

raised in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

:56:38.:56:56.

An MP faces an inquiry. People inside Gloucestershire may

:56:57.:57:01.

soon be waxing down their surfboards. And man`made surfing

:57:02.:57:05.

lake was approved by councillors. But the Government has the final

:57:06.:57:17.

say. Let us pick up on the polling for

:57:18.:57:28.

the Lib Dems. It is looking dire. It is looking dire in national opinion

:57:29.:57:36.

polls. Hopefully more peopld will realise the great contributhon that

:57:37.:57:40.

we have made as Liberal Democrats to getting us out of the econolic

:57:41.:57:49.

mess. Our task is to get ovdr the messages of the good things we have

:57:50.:57:58.

achieved. Very often at this stage in the election cycle we ard in a

:57:59.:58:03.

dire position. Time after thme when it gets closer to the electhon our

:58:04.:58:09.

figures bounceback and we do much better than the pundits predict Why

:58:10.:58:15.

are the Lib Dems taking the blame for the problems of the Coalition?

:58:16.:58:21.

There is still a long way to go before the general election. We

:58:22.:58:28.

cannot be complacent. We ard in the grown`up politics. Do you or them a

:58:29.:58:37.

favour? In a mass porter of the Coalition. `` I am a supporter of

:58:38.:58:53.

the Coalition. What we have seen with the Liberal Democrats hs that

:58:54.:58:57.

where they have good active MPs they are doing much better than the

:58:58.:59:02.

national picture. That is all we have time for. Thank you. Please

:59:03.:59:13.

keep in touch with us on social media. Now we go back to London

:59:14.:59:18.

information, you can apply to them and they will be obliged to tell

:59:19.:59:23.

you. Thanks for joining us. Andrew, back to you.

:59:24.:59:41.

think you'd want to. Labour grandees are not queueing up to sing his

:59:42.:59:47.

praises. Look at this. In my view, he is the leader we have and he is

:59:48.:59:51.

the leader I support and he is somebody capable of leading the

:59:52.:59:55.

party to victory. Ed Miliband will leave this to victory, and I believe

:59:56.:00:01.

he can. If he doesn't, what would happen to the Labour Party? We could

:00:02.:00:07.

be in the wilderness for 15 years. At the moment he has to convince

:00:08.:00:11.

people he has the capacity to lead the country. That's not my view but

:00:12.:00:16.

people don't believe that. We had a leader of the Labour Party was

:00:17.:00:19.

publicly embarrassed, because whoever was in charge of press

:00:20.:00:26.

letting go through a process where we have councillors in Merseyside

:00:27.:00:35.

resigning. It was a schoolboy error. Having policies without them being

:00:36.:00:39.

drawn together into a convincing and vivid narrative and with what you do

:00:40.:00:49.

the people in the country. You have to draw together, connect the

:00:50.:00:55.

policies, link them back to the leader and give people a real sense

:00:56.:01:01.

of where you are going. Somehow he has never quite managed to be

:01:02.:01:07.

himself and create that identity with the public. And we are joined

:01:08.:01:13.

by the president of you girls, Peter Kellner. Welcome to the Sunday

:01:14.:01:24.

politics. -- YouGov. The Labour Party is six points ahead in your

:01:25.:01:28.

poll this morning. So what is the problem? On this basis he will win

:01:29.:01:32.

the next election. If the election were today and the figures held up,

:01:33.:01:36.

you would have a Labour government with a narrow overall majority. One

:01:37.:01:41.

should not forget that. Let me make three points. The first is, in past

:01:42.:01:47.

parliaments, opposition normally lose ground and governments gain

:01:48.:01:53.

ground in the final few months. The opposition should be further ahead

:01:54.:01:55.

than this. I don't think six is enough. Secondly, Ed Miliband is

:01:56.:02:02.

behind David Cameron when people are asked who they want as Prime

:02:03.:02:05.

Minister and Labour is behind the Conservatives went people are asked

:02:06.:02:08.

who they trust on the economy. There have been elections when the party

:02:09.:02:12.

has won by being behind on leadership and other elections where

:02:13.:02:16.

they have won by being behind on the economy. No party has ever won an

:02:17.:02:20.

election when it has been clearly behind on both leadership and the

:02:21.:02:25.

economy. Let me have another go The Labour Party brand is a strong

:02:26.:02:29.

brand. The Tory Bramleys week. The Labour brand is stronger. That is a

:02:30.:02:35.

blast -- the Labour -- the Tory Bramleys week. A lot of the Tories

:02:36.:02:46.

-- the Tory brand is weak. Cant you win on policies and a strong party

:02:47.:02:54.

brand? If you have those too, you need the third factor which isn t

:02:55.:02:56.

there. People believing that you have what it takes, competent

:02:57.:03:02.

skills, determination, determination, whatever makes to

:03:03.:03:08.

carry through. -- whatever mix. A lot of Ed Miliband policies, on the

:03:09.:03:15.

banks, energy prices, Brent controls, people like them. But in

:03:16.:03:19.

government, would they carry them through? They think they are not up

:03:20.:03:23.

to it. -- rent controls. If people think you won't deliver what you

:03:24.:03:28.

say, even if they like it, they were necessarily vote for you. That is

:03:29.:03:32.

the missing third element. There is a strong Labour brand, but it's not

:03:33.:03:38.

strong enough to overcome the feeling that the Labour leadership

:03:39.:03:44.

is not up to it. Nick, you had some senior Labour figure telling you

:03:45.:03:48.

that if Mr Miliband losing the next election he will have to resign

:03:49.:03:51.

immediately and cannot fight another election the way Neil Kinnock did

:03:52.:03:56.

after 1987. What was remarkable to me was that people were even

:03:57.:03:59.

thinking along these lines, and even more remarkable that they would tell

:04:00.:04:02.

you they were thinking along these lines? What is the problem? The

:04:03.:04:10.

problem is, is that Ed Miliband says it would be unprecedented to win the

:04:11.:04:15.

general election after the second worst result since 1918. They are

:04:16.:04:19.

concerned about is the start of a script that he would say on the day

:04:20.:04:22.

after losing the general election. Essentially what the people are

:04:23.:04:25.

trying to do is get their argument in first and to say, you cannot do

:04:26.:04:30.

what Neil Kinnock did in 1987. Don't forget that Neil Kinnock in 198 was

:04:31.:04:34.

in the middle of a very brave process of modernisation and had one

:04:35.:04:39.

and fought a very campaign that was professional but he lost again in

:04:40.:04:43.

1992, and they wanted to get their line in first. What some people are

:04:44.:04:50.

saying is that this is an election that the Labour Party should be

:04:51.:04:53.

winning because the coalition is so unpopular. If you don't win, I'm

:04:54.:04:56.

afraid to say, there is something wrong with you. Don't you find it

:04:57.:04:59.

remarkable that people are prepared to think along these lines at this

:05:00.:05:03.

stage, when Labour are ahead in the polls, still the bookies favourite

:05:04.:05:06.

to win, and you start to speak publicly, or in private to the

:05:07.:05:11.

public print, but we might have to get rid of him if he doesn't win.

:05:12.:05:16.

Everything you say about labour in this situation has been said about

:05:17.:05:18.

the Tories. We wondered whether Boris Johnson would tie himself to

:05:19.:05:23.

the mask and he is the next leader in waiting if Cameron goes. It's a

:05:24.:05:28.

mirror image of that. We talk about things being unprecedented. It's

:05:29.:05:30.

unprecedented for a government to gain seats. All the things you say

:05:31.:05:34.

about labour, you could say it the Conservatives. That's what makes the

:05:35.:05:39.

next election so interesting. But in the aftermath of the European

:05:40.:05:42.

elections and the local government elections, in which the

:05:43.:05:44.

Conservatives did not do that well, the issue was not Mr Cameron or the

:05:45.:05:49.

Tories doing well, the issue was the Labour Party and how they had not

:05:50.:05:52.

done as well as they should have done, and that conversation was

:05:53.:05:55.

fuelled by the kind of people who have been speaking to nick from the

:05:56.:06:01.

Labour Party. Rachel Reeves cited their real-life performance in

:06:02.:06:05.

elections as a reason for optimism. When in fact their performance in

:06:06.:06:09.

the Europeans and locals was disappointing for an opposition one

:06:10.:06:11.

year away from a general election. What alarms me about labour is the

:06:12.:06:16.

way they react to criticisms about Ed Miliband. Two years ago when he

:06:17.:06:21.

was attacked, they said they were 15 points ahead, and then a year ago

:06:22.:06:24.

there were saying they were nine or ten ahead, and now they are saying

:06:25.:06:29.

we are still five or six ahead. The trend is alarming. It points to a

:06:30.:06:34.

smaller Labour lead. Am I right in detecting a bit of a class war going

:06:35.:06:39.

on in the Labour Party? There are a lot of northern Labour MPs who think

:06:40.:06:43.

that Ed Miliband is to north London, and there are too many metropolitan

:06:44.:06:48.

cronies around him must I think that is right, Andrew. What I think is,

:06:49.:06:55.

being a pessimist in terms of their prospects, I do think the Labour

:06:56.:07:00.

Party could win the next election. I just don't think they can as they

:07:01.:07:03.

are going at the moment. But the positioning for a possible defeat,

:07:04.:07:07.

what they should be talking about is what do we need to change in the

:07:08.:07:13.

party and the way Ed Miliband performs in order to secure victory.

:07:14.:07:17.

That is a debate they could have, and they could make the changes I

:07:18.:07:22.

find it odd that they are being so defeatist. Don't go away. Peter is a

:07:23.:07:28.

boffin when it comes to polls. That is why we have a mod for the

:07:29.:07:32.

election prediction swings and roundabouts. He is looking for what

:07:33.:07:36.

he calls the incumbency effect. Don't know what is a back-up -- what

:07:37.:07:42.

that's about question don't worry, here is an. Being in office is bad

:07:43.:07:52.

for your health. Political folk wisdom has it that incumbency

:07:53.:07:56.

favours one party in particular the Liberal Democrats. That is because

:07:57.:08:01.

their MPs have a reputation as ferociously good local campaigners

:08:02.:08:04.

who do really well at holding on to their seats. However, this time

:08:05.:08:09.

round, several big-name long serving Liberal Democrats like Ming

:08:10.:08:13.

Campbell, David Heath and Don Foster are standing down. Does that mean

:08:14.:08:18.

the incumbency effect disappears like a puff of smoke? Then there is

:08:19.:08:23.

another theory, called the sophomore surge. It might sound like a movie

:08:24.:08:28.

about US college kids, but it goes like this. New MPs tend to do better

:08:29.:08:32.

in their second election than they did in their first. That could

:08:33.:08:36.

favour the Tories because they have lots of first-time MPs. The big

:08:37.:08:41.

question is, what does this mean for the 7th of May 2015, the date of the

:08:42.:08:45.

next general election? The answer is, who knows? I know a man who

:08:46.:08:56.

knows. Peter. What does it all mean? You can go onto your PC now and draw

:08:57.:09:00.

down programmes which say that these are the voting figures from a

:09:01.:09:03.

national poll, so what will the seats look like? This is based on

:09:04.:09:07.

uniform swing. Every seat moving up and down across the country in the

:09:08.:09:12.

same way. Historically, that's been a pretty good guide. I think that's

:09:13.:09:17.

going to completely break down next year, because the Lib Dems will

:09:18.:09:21.

probably hold on to more seats than we predict from the national figures

:09:22.:09:26.

and I think fewer Tory seats will go to the Labour Party than you would

:09:27.:09:30.

predict from the national figures. The precise numbers, I'm not going

:09:31.:09:35.

to be too precise, but I would be surprised, sorry, I would not be

:09:36.:09:41.

surprised if Labour fell 20 or 5 seats short on what we would expect

:09:42.:09:47.

on the uniform swing prediction Next year's election will be tight.

:09:48.:09:52.

Falling 20 seats short could well mean the difference between victory

:09:53.:09:56.

and defeat. What you make of that, Helen? I think you're right,

:09:57.:10:01.

especially taking into account the UKIP effect. We have no idea about

:10:02.:10:05.

that. The conventional wisdom is that will drain away back to the

:10:06.:10:09.

Conservatives, but nobody knows and it makes the next election almost

:10:10.:10:13.

impossible to call. It means it is a great target the people like Lord

:10:14.:10:16.

Ashcroft with marginal polling, because people have never been so

:10:17.:10:22.

interested. It is for party politics and we all assume that UKIP should

:10:23.:10:25.

be well next year, but their vote went up from 17 up to 27%. Then that

:10:26.:10:33.

17% went down to 3%, so they might only be five or 6% in the general

:10:34.:10:37.

election, so they might not have the threat of depriving Conservatives of

:10:38.:10:41.

their seats. Where the incumbency thing has an effect is the Liberal

:10:42.:10:45.

Democrats. They have fortress seats where between 1992 and 1997 Liberal

:10:46.:10:50.

Democrats seats fell, but their percentage went up. They are losing

:10:51.:10:55.

the local government base though. True, but having people like Ming

:10:56.:10:58.

Campbell standing down means they will struggle. We are used to

:10:59.:11:03.

incumbency being an important factor in American politics. It's hard to

:11:04.:11:06.

get rid of an incumbent unless it is a primary election, like we saw in

:11:07.:11:12.

Virginia, but is it now becoming an important factor in British

:11:13.:11:15.

politics, that if you own the seat you're more likely to hold on to it

:11:16.:11:20.

than not? If it is, that's a remarkable thing. It's hard to be a

:11:21.:11:24.

carpetbagger in America, but it is normal in British Parliamentary

:11:25.:11:27.

constituencies to be represented by someone who did not grow up locally.

:11:28.:11:31.

It is a special kind of achievement to have an incumbency effect where

:11:32.:11:35.

you don't have deep roots in the constituency. I was going to ask

:11:36.:11:38.

about the Lib Dems. If we are wrong, and they collapse in Parliamentary

:11:39.:11:42.

representation as much as the share in vote collapses, is that not good

:11:43.:11:46.

news is that the Conservatives? They would be in second place in the

:11:47.:11:51.

majority of existing Lib Dems seats. For every seat where Labour are

:11:52.:11:54.

second to the Lib Dems, there are two where the Conservatives are

:11:55.:11:58.

second. If the Lib Dem representation collapses, that helps

:11:59.:12:06.

the Conservatives. I'm assuming the Tories will gain about ten seats. If

:12:07.:12:10.

they gain 20, if they'd had 20 more seats last time, they would have had

:12:11.:12:14.

a majority government, just about. So 20 seats off the Lib Dem, do the

:12:15.:12:19.

maths, as they say in America, and they could lose a handful to labour

:12:20.:12:23.

and still be able to run a one party, minority government. The fate

:12:24.:12:27.

of the Lib Dems could be crucial to the outcome to the politics of

:12:28.:12:34.

light. On the 8th of May, it will be VE Day and victory in election day

:12:35.:12:39.

as well as Europe. The Lib Dems will be apoplectic if they lose all of

:12:40.:12:41.

the seats to their coalition partners. The great quote by Angela

:12:42.:12:47.

Merkel, the little party always gets crushed. It's a well-established

:12:48.:12:51.

idea that coalition politics. They can't take credit for the things

:12:52.:12:54.

people like you may get lumbered with the ones they don't. They have

:12:55.:12:58.

contributed most of this terrible idea that seized politics where you

:12:59.:13:02.

say it, but you don't deliver it. Tuition fees is the classic example

:13:03.:13:07.

of this Parliament. Why should you believe any promise you make? And Ed

:13:08.:13:12.

Miliband is feeling that as well. But in 1974 the liberal Democrats

:13:13.:13:16.

barely had any MPs but there were reporters outside Jeremy Thorpe s

:13:17.:13:19.

home because they potentially held not the balance of power, but were

:13:20.:13:24.

significantly in fourth. Bringing back memories Jeremy Thorpe, and we

:13:25.:13:27.

will leave it there. Thanks to the panel. We are tomorrow on BBC Two.

:13:28.:13:32.

At the earlier time of 11am because of Wimbledon. Yes, it's that time of

:13:33.:13:36.

year again already. I will be back here at 11 o'clock next week.

:13:37.:13:41.

Remember, if it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.

:13:42.:14:38.

to the beating heart of today's vibrant shops.

:14:39.:14:42.

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by Labour's work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves to discuss what reforms Labour would make to the welfare department. Plus, what Nick Clegg needs to do to keep his grass roots happy.


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