22/06/2014 Sunday Politics West


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


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


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


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


Labour grandees are increasingly vocal about their concerns.


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


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


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


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


promised an electric car revolution, why so little progress?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


biggest oil refinery, which supplies the capital.


And there are reports they might now have taken the power


Iraqi politicians are now admitting that ISIS,


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


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


Which leaves the fate of Baghdad increasingly in the hands


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


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


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


about 275 military personnel. Do they go further and contemplate


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The Tory side of the Coalition think their reforms are necessary


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


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


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


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


her first interview in the job she threatened "We would


But Labour has opposed just about every change the Coalition


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


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


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


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


And Labour has set out only two modest welfare cuts.


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


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


And cutting winter fuel payments for richer pensioners which will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recent poll showed Labour slightly ahead of the Conservative Party on


Social Security, probably because they have seen the incompetence and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


government with. For example, cutting benefits for young people


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


real prize from the changes Ed Miliband announced in the youth


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


these young people, who are currently on unemployment benefits


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


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


universal credit, which the government regards as the flagship


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


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


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


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


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


National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, report after


report showing that the project is massively overbudget and is not


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


the committee because we believe in the principle of universal credit


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


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


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


recent National audit Forest -- National Audit Office statement said


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


trying to claim universal credit. Iain Duncan Smith cancelled three


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to study for level three qualifications, the equivalent of an


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have said traditional Labour supporters are abandoning the party.


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


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


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


just for Labour. You said traditional voters who perhaps at


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


still looks unlikely. Here's Eleanor.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


initiated a review, quite naturally, to understand what went


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


we are down to just three councillors like Liverpool for


example. You also lose the deliverers and fundraisers and the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


them. Their performance in Government and the way they have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


least popular leader in modern history and more unpopular than your


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


party between now and the general election and through the election


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


doubt that what we have achieved will be much more easily


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


famously said you cannot ride both remember our fellow Scotsman


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers


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


the Week Ahead..First Hello and welcome to the


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


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


authorities would rather their public discussions were kept


more private. We are joined by two Coalithon


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


action. They are the Phil Nevilles, if


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


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


for a moment. I want to talk


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


of mandatory jail sentences This was saying that anybodx


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


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


opportunity for the judge to take the circumstances of the case


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


including the Magistrates Association,


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


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


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


for this. It sends


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


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


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


and search methods in operation and most people who are stopped


and searched are from black They are going to be


disproportionately found thdn to It is actually those communhties


themselves that are asking Often knives are carried as a status


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


than automatically lock people up. You can film inside the


United Nations, the European Parliament and the Houses


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


and you will get kicked out. It is one of


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


from recording their deliberations, flouting guidelines


from the Government We were allowed to film the very


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


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


since cameras were first allowed Still Bath and North East Somerset


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


of new technology. Elsewhere there have been


confrontations involving people This one in Middlesbrough rdsulted


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


allowed. It started But the quality is not what


we would normally broadcast. It is not necessarily for


duplication. Despite this the council still said no to new


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


rapidly since we started webcasting meetings. Peoples contributhons have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


our services. And they led the way with


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


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


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


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


at issues of major concern or something that concerns the local


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


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


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


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


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


will hear from an independent councillor who opposes allowing


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


should throw out television cameras when they are supposed to bd


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


They cannot handle the heat that comes out of that particular


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


two lists from China. `` visitors from China.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


chips. Do you like fish and chips? Yes.


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


Visa. The Chinese need one Visa to cover


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are involved in economic developments, which could ldad to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


for this rundown of the week in 60 seconds.


A group of MPs criticised the Government for not spending enough


on maintaining rivers beford the floods this winter.


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


raised in the House of Commons on Wednesday.


An MP faces an inquiry. People inside Gloucestershire may


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


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


say. Let us pick up on the polling for


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


polls. Hopefully more peopld will realise the great contributhon that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


publicly embarrassed, because whoever was in charge of press


letting go through a process where we have councillors in Merseyside


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


parliaments, opposition normally lose ground and governments gain


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


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


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


Minister and Labour is behind the Conservatives went people are asked


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


has won by being behind on leadership and other elections where


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


skills, determination, determination, whatever makes to


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


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


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


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


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


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


strong enough to overcome the feeling that the Labour leadership


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


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


immediately and cannot fight another election the way Neil Kinnock did


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


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


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


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


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


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


after losing the general election. Essentially what the people are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


elections and the local government elections, in which the


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Europeans and locals was disappointing for an opposition one


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


election prediction swings and roundabouts. He is looking for what


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


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


for your health. Political folk wisdom has it that incumbency


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


their MPs have a reputation as ferociously good local campaigners


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Falling 20 seats short could well mean the difference between victory


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


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


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


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


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


Ashcroft with marginal polling, because people have never been so


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


carpetbagger in America, but it is normal in British Parliamentary


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


second. If the Lib Dem representation collapses, that helps


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


contributed most of this terrible idea that seized politics where you


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to the beating heart of today's vibrant shops.


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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