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Good morning. Tough times for the Government ahead, as for the
country, so very important to hear some support of comments, which
takes us straight to the former Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, quoted
today saying an M3 friend told me they knew I was sorry to leave the
Cabot -- an MP friend told me they knew I was sorry to leave the
Cabinet but some people who did not trouble on the Titanic were sad to
be left behind. I am joined by the Sun columnist Jane Moore and
Jonathan Powell who was Tony Blair's cheaper staff through those
too much as Downing Street years. Europe's debt crisis looms large in
those papers. -- those to mulches Downing Street years. The Deputy
Prime Minister Nick Clegg is here to talk about the euro debt crisis.
What would Yvette Cooper's party be doing to help the economic
recovery? I will also be talking to her about policing.
Martin Scorsese will be talking to me about his new family film and
why, after 40 years at the top, he thinks 3D cinema is the next big
thing. And for everybody short of a bob or
two, a modern protest song from the Californian singer-songwriter Aloe
Blacc. A busy hour ahead. First, the news
with Louise Minchin. Good morning. The former Labour
Cabinet minister who reviewed public sector pensions for the
commission has called for even more radical reforms because of the
worsening economic outlook. Lord Hutton told Radio 4 that keeping
the system affordable would be even harder now that the growth
forecasts for the UK has been downgraded.
Last week thousands of public sector workers took to the streets,
angry about the Government's pension reforms. The Government
insists that the present system is not affordable. The unions argue
that the planned changes are unfair. Today, the Labour politician whose
ideas are at the heart of the plans has told the BBC that it is a
generous deal that will protect workers close to retirement. He
agreed with the warnings from some unions that the Government's
proposals could force large numbers of people on low or moderate in
comes to opt out of their pensions altogether. Lord Hutton also
expresses deeper uncertainty about the future. He says his own cess --
assessment about long-term sustainability were optimistic.
forecast has changed radically in the wrong direction. We cannot be
sure that the costs will fall over time and that we will get to a
sustainable balance. The unions are set to continue their negotiations
with the Government over the details. Lord Hutton says that
reforms to pensions should take place as soon as possible.
Patients upon to be confidential medical records could be shared
with drug companies under plans to be unveiled by David Cameron
tomorrow. The Prime Minister says that closer collaboration could
help the NHS target new drugs and save money. It is expected that the
plans will encounter strong opposition from privacy campaigners.
The Government insists that all necessary safeguards will be used
to protect personal details. The Russians are voting in
parliamentary elections which are expected to result in Vladimir
Putin's party being returned to power. Independent monitors have
complained of harassment and vote- rigging. Victory by Mr Putin's
party will pave the way for him to return as president in elections
next March. 45,000 Germans in the city of
Koblenz are leaving their homes today so that experts can defuse an
RAF bomb dropped during the Second World War. The two-ton device was
found in the River Rhine last week after a drop in water levels.
Two giant pandas from China will arrive in Scotland today it --
today to begin a new life at Edinburgh Zoo. The eight-year-old
pair, known as Sweetie and Sweetie, are on loan to the zoo and will go
on show to the public after they have settled into their specially
designed Enclosure. -- Sweetie and The Mail on Sunday's splash is that
horsemen are being told that if they take tips of more than �30
they could be jailed for bribery. Seems a bit strange to me.
Both the Observer and the Independent on Sunday are
interested in what is happening to the environment. The new Green
Alliance is attacking George Osborne. It also says that most
Britons believe that their children will have worse lives than them.
On the Independent, remember me, a picture of David Attenborough there.
The People has, that at 16. The Sunday Telegraph says that David
Cameron has had an opinion poll boost.
Jane Poland -- Jane Moore and Jonathan Powell, thank you for
joining it. Where will we start? There is only one story and that is
the economy. We have Mervyn King being criticised by certain people
in the City and in political parties for, as they see it, rather
overstepping the mark of his role. They are saying that in 1992 during
the exchange rate mechanism crisis Eddie George was not to be seen. He
was getting his BOP. -- kept in his box. It is a problem, isn't it? The
top man in the Bank of England, on the one hand, is trying to increase
confidence with quantitative easing, but if you are also saying that
things are terrible, it undermines your position. It says here, the
role of the Governor is to provide guidance, not to reassure the
markets. I think it is his job to tell us the truth. Jonathan. For me,
the most important story affecting Britain is the story about the euro.
We believe that tomorrow the Germans and the French are going to
unveil what the solution to the euro is, of which I think will be
to go ahead with fiscal union, but we will be excluded. It will be the
members of your rope -- the euro who go ahead and do that. We will
be excluded from these negotiations. It doesn't seem possible that we
will be able -- that they will be able to put in place Fiscal Union
controlling national budget without a treaty, which will have big
implications. They could conceivably go ahead with the
treaty with just the 17 members of the euro. They are bound to start
with an inter-governmental conference and try to bring Britain
and the others into it. Indian, the Germans and the French will get
what they want. With a economy not be worse if we had been in the
Rock? You may be better off if you were inside in the long term. We
are looking at the short-term consequences.
A meanwhile, on the High Street, is it Morrison's? Yes, but first, in
the Observer, the new pessimism. We had the Things Can Only Get Better
slogan years ago. Now it seems that things can only get worse. Parents
seem to think that their children will have it worse than they did.
was trying to remember the great Larkin poem, our most depressing
poet. Get out as early as you can, don't have any kids yourself. That
is the kind of mood of today's papers. You were paying attention
at school, when she? -- were you not? Most other countries are
optimistic, we're always pessimistic.
It is almost hysterical, the pessimism this morning. Where is
the stiff upper lip when you needed? You mentioned Morrison's.
For me, one of the biggest problems for future generations is that
Morrison's have set up a new store in Salford and they are saying that
they will only employ local youngsters. Of the 210 staff who
will start work tomorrow, have left school without a single GCSE to
their name. Morrisons has had to send 150 of them back for basic
training skills on how to work - how to turn up on time, how to
maintain eye contact with people, they have poor English, poor maths.
They have spent 12 years in the education system. This is
depressing. There was a story recently interviewing kids who
would not take jobs in hospitality because they were all waiting to be
on X Factor or to be rock stars. Jonathan, you next story. Yes, in
the Independent, 1 Iran. There have been lots of stories recently about
the invasion of Iran. The rule of thumb that I work and there is that
the more people talk about it the less likely it is to happen. The
interesting thing in Iran will be regime change. If rebels succeed in
getting rid of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Iran will be next. If the
methods do not work in Syria, they will not work in Iran.
You are also the New Machiavelli, according to your new book.
According to your book, Tony Blair was at one point saying, we're
really going to show Iran what is what. It is very difficult to make
threats unless you have an or else. In the end, we managed to negotiate
with them, but it is often very difficult with the Iranians.
Negotiating with them is absolute hell. I can imagine.
Which, the consumer or organisation, has said that people should haggle
when the shopping at Christmas. I am always very British, I must pay
what is on the label, I cannot bear to haggle. I am married to a high
dollar, he has always haggled. -- haggler.
We went to buy a car and he asked them how business was. They said it
was not good and he said, you will not want me to leave without buying
a car. He got me at �3,000 discount. Can we do this at market stalls?
Ask for a deal on bananas? shopper quoted in here says he has
done just that. Jonathan, you have a story about a
man I think you have dealt with for many years. Yes, Gus O'Donnell. He
is retiring. He was, for me, the first modern Cabinet Secretary we
had. Many Cabinet secretaries were reminiscent of the past. He came
into reform things. He was a football playing south London boy,
he is not a toff in the old sense. He was focused on trying to change
things. I was a civil servant for 16 years. They are very good but
they are rather too set in the ways. Gus O'Donnell was someone who tried
to change that. Do you think that ethos will stay? There will be a
different guy who is the head of the Civil Service. He should have a
different attitude and will play that will change things.
Gus O'Donnell helped to keep us out of the euro, of course. We thought
he was going to help us get into the euro. He came at one stage and
said, you have a choice - you can join the euro or leisure chance. In
my view, we made the wrong choice. Jane. Kate Middleton has a lot of
things to deal with now that she is the Duchess of Cambridge and the
future Queen, but this is a massive dilemma. Her hairdresser is leaving
the salon that she frequents. She has the rather tricky decision to
make off going with a man who does her hair are staying with the salon.
I can see you glazing over. parallels with the last days of
Tony Blair are incredible. women, leaving your hairdresser is
literally like divorcing your husband. It is not the done thing.
I know women who say, I do not like the way they do my hair about --
any more, I want to leave, so my heart goes out to her.
Anything to cheer us up? The Mrs Thatcher film. Meryl Streep playing
Mrs Thatcher and all her friends are getting worried about it. But
it is a wonderful idea to make a film about Mrs Thatcher. According
to her biographer, he was worried there is a scene that shows her
talking to some of her Cabinet Cabinet Ministers and says there is
no way she would have done that. My brother worked for Mrs Thatcher and
she used to cook him breakfast every morning and she would never
reveal herself. We love the pandas, Sunshine and
Sweetie, are they ready for the Scottish weather I ask myself?
There is a strange story, Scotland on Sunday saying they have been
given diplomatic imcommunity? they can park on a double yellow? I
do love that. That's so sweet. They are charming, aren't they pandas.
They will soon be depressed with the weather.
Still on a gloomy day ght papers -- in the papers, pandas not a bad
item to finish and the weather down in the soft south, it wasn't really
properly cold when I got up this morning, but in the north of
England it would have been different. Let's hear the best or
different. Let's hear the best or worst from Chris Fawkes.
We have already had some snow fall in Edinburgh Edinburgh Zoo. For
Northern Ireland and England and Wales the showers are falling as
rain at the moment except for the highest hills across Northern
England and Northern Ireland. Through the rest of the day, there
will be be lots more snow showers coming in across Scotland. We have
had travel problems on the mijor routes. -- major routes. It is
worth checking with the travel news before you head outside. Across
England and Wales, there is more cloud around. A cooler day
nationwide. Overnight, it turns snowy and icy
for Scotland with difficult travelling conditions overnight and
the snow showers will turn up over high ground in Northern Ireland and
across north-west England too. But the focus of the really snowy
weather will be across the West of Scotland where the the Met Office
continues to have a weather warning out in force. By tomorrow morning,
we are expecting accumulations of snow. 5 to 10 centimetres on roads
above 200 meters. Travel disruption is a possibility. Another place
that could be hit with snow fall will be across the Pennine routes.
Bear that in mind. Elsewhere it turns colder.
The best of the sunshine across eastern areas, but the temperatures
at just 7 Celsius, it will feel Later this week Labour will launch
its independent policing review to be conducted by Lord Stevens.
Yvette Cooper says Labour would limit police cuts to 10% rather
than the 20% that the Government is insisting on. Yvette Cooper joins
me now. Good morning, Andrew.
Let's start off with this policing review. Lord Stevens was known as
the coppers' copper, he wrote a clum for the News of the World --
column for the News of the World. Is this not going to be too close
to the policing establishment which is a formidable lobby in this
country? The review is led by Lord Stevens who has a formidable
reputation in policek, but will -- policing, but will involve senior
police officers from abroad and people from with a background in
business, in the judiciary, in the community action as well. So a
whole series of different people involved in this and also senior
criminalolgists. It is important that we build a consensus around
the future of policing because at the moment what we have got is not
just a serious cuts that are taking place to 16,000 officers being lost,
but also a kind of chaos and confusion around policing reform,
cuts to policing powers that's making matters worse.
You say that, but the idea of elected commissioners which Labour
is against will seem to many people reasonable, rather a good idea,
give people a bit more say, a bit more direct say in policing in
their area by electing somebody in charge of policing? We said we
thought the money that would go into the election of police and
crime commissioners next year would be better spent on additional
police officers in an Olympic year. The big question is how do you make
sure that police are responding to the local communities? On every
estate across the country and every areaks and not simply to somebody
who will be elected for a rather large area. So I think there are a
series of questions of accountability.
A voice for those people, isn't that what they are for? You have
got those changes taking place. Big questions about the checks and
balances on those people, but at time when there are growing
national threats and growing national pressures and serious
local problems, the need to respond to local communities and what you
are not getting from the Government is any vision. It is just a chaotic
series of con confused measures. It is 50 years since we had the last
Royal Commission at a time when police didn't have radios. It is
time to have an overall vision for policing, for the future that looks
at the serious challenges they are going to face for the 21st century
rather than a mess that we're getting a the moment.
But given that you have got, you know, an eminent former policeman
who always spoke up for the police, you have got other policemen as
well on this commission, it is not going to be too cosy, is it? It
seems to me that you know if you look at membership of the
commission, the fact that you have set it up, you are against the full
measure of cuts the police are facing, there is a danger here of
you just getting the answers you want from people who are not going
to challenge the culture of the police as it is now? Well, there is
a series of people involved in this hol be providing all kinds of
challenges, but you know, what you have got to remember is at a time
when 16,000 police officers are being cut, we have got you know,
police powers being cut and the chaos of changes. The risk at the
moment is the police just drawing their horns. Everybody else draws
in their horns and the work to prevent crime going up disappears.
All the work that helped deliver us a 40% reduction in crime over the
last 13 or 14 years again disappears and what you see is big
risks being taken with policing. Never forget we saw the problems in
the summer where the police lost control of the streets for several
days and didn't have the ability to keep up with the social networks
and the media that was escalating the criminality that we saw then.
You know, the police have got to be able to respond to the new changes.
I think we need to work with the police to do it. At the moment, the
Government's working against the police and we have a situation
where one senior police officer said to me, "We won't take risks.
We won't go out on a limb because we know the politicians and the
ministers won't won't back us if they do." The police sometimes need
to take risks and not taking risks they will push crime back up by
making it harder for the the police to do their job.
Theresa May said she is removing bubg October crassy and --
bureaucracy and allowing them to do their job better? We have seen
areas where they are increasing bureaucracy. I think there is a lot
further we should go including changing legislation, but they have
got to have the support they need, you know, taking away the powers to
use DNA or ASBOs is a mad thing to If this is not a cosy process and
if you will say hard truths to the police, where would you make the
cuts in the policing service? say we think 12% would be
sustainable and that was based on work Alan Johnson had done before
the election. He identified areas around procurement, around the way
the police make their contracts that you could save �400 million
there. �500 million to be saved in different processes in ways and
doing things and the independent inspectorate came up with different
figures they thought you could raise 12%, but without affecting
front-line services, without cutting the number of police
officers on the streets. Less turn to the economy generally.
Another poll in one of the papers today showing Labour falling behind
the Conservatives at this dire time economically and a general sense
interest a lot of polling at the moment that people just don't think
the Labour Party is tough enough for tough times times. Not prepared
to take tough decisions. Your rhetoric is about nasty Government
making too many cuts, cutting back here and cutting back there.
People believe that in these tough times hard decisions, hard cuts
have to be described and they are not hearing that kind of language
from you and they are not hearing the specifics from you? Well, you
are right that tough decisions have to be made and that includes saying
things and being prepared to say things when they are the truth and
in fact, the Labour Party has been saying for a long time, the
Government is cutting too far too fast, Plan A is not working and it
is not going to work, what we saw last week was the evidence that it
isn't working and fact, we are seeing borrowing coming in much
higher to pay the bills a failure, not because they haven't got their
act together on tax and spending, but because you have got a �29
billion increase in the Social Security Bill, well that is because
you have got more people on the dole, that's costing you more for
the wrong things, not for the right things.
Realistically over the last couple of years no Government could have
could have grown with this significant to a significant extent,
could they? Therefore Labour's plans to cut back less, which would
amount I think to �300 billion of extra borrowing by the end of this
Parliament, would take the country much, much further towards losing
its triple A position and losing its rating in the world? You would
be unwise to use the Conservatives figures and to follow their
argument. Let's be clear what we say we would do, we set out a plan
for jobs and growth for this Pre- Budget Report and the economy was
growing at the time of the election. We had unemployment coming down. We
had youth unemployment coming douchblet you are right, there are
additional global problems in Europe, but that's also why we said
in the face of a global storm, you don't just rip out the foundations
of the house. You need to support the economy, get it through. If you
don't have the economy growing, if more people are on the dole, you
know, if businesses aren't growing, it ends up costing you more. It is
the same with policing, if you end up with crime going up, we end up
spending more and we end up paying for the compensation for crime
rather than preventing it happening. You upbraid me about using the
Conservative figures. What is the figures then? Alistair Darling set
out the figures. What are the figures.
What Alistair Darling set out the borrow figures looked similar to
what George Osborne set out, but we would have had higher growth. But
what you have got to do is respond to the new circumstances and the
new pressures we are facing. I am going to move on. First of all,
the eurozone, an important meeting come up between the German and
French leaders. If they don't come through with a credible answer how
serious is that going fob the British economy? It is serious. The
immediate thing they need to do is get the European Central Bank
stepping in behind countries like it tale taly, if we don't have that
-- Italy, if we don't have that, we should be worried about the euro. I
am fearful they are going to put together a deal that actually risks
not solving the problems, it is not just about the European Central
Bank, they need a plan for growth and jobs across Europe and there is
no sign of that at the moment either.
Turning from growth and jobs to pensions. A little embarrassing
that your former colleague, Lord Hutton is saying that the offer to
the public sector unions on pensions is credible and that given
you know, the economic position, the Government is speaking right?
Well, I I I haven't seen everything John Hutton was saying today. He
was concerned about the fact that the Government hasn't followed his
approach and instead has introduce this 3% increase for all public
sector workers. That's not something that was in Lord Hutton's
report and instead... I think he thought that report was too
optimistic. First of all what the Government is
doing is not what the approach that's in Lord Hutton's report.
There is this additional cost which risks making the public sector
pension schemes unsustainable. There is a wider issue about how
optimistic can we be about the economy? My fears is what the
Government is going is making pessimism a self fulfilling
prophecy because they are cutting fast.
Of all the great American directors who came of age in the golden age
of 1970s cinema, Martin Scorsese is the most revered. No-one captured
men on the edge in the way that he did in Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and
The Departed. His new film, Hugo, is a far cry from the mean streets
of New York or the casinos of Vegas. It is based on a best-selling
children's book and this film The 3-D. It stars Ben Kingsley and
Sasha Baron Cohen and is set in a beautifully re created 1920s Paris.
Scorsese sees it as a homage to the early pioneers of cinema, such as
Charlie Chaplin. What they did at that time,
technically, was amazing. There were references to that through
Sasha Baron Cohen's character. But Merseyside! Move aside!
This is quite a departure for you. The mean streets of 1920s Paris is
not what we expect. I know! The due pick up this book and think,
yes! It is the imagination of a child. The sense of wonder and the
sense of joy and terror? Yes, and playing with them, which is
basically what we do. Making movies, we are playing. Children's minds
are open. To be around that, it is great. I saw the book and I said,
this is a natural. They did say to me at the studio, Martin, make a
child -- make a full match your child could see just for once. --
You have these fantastic -- this fantastic body of work and you are
taught in colleges and schools now. I wanted to us, what is your
favourite Martin Scorsese film? Or is it like a rock star who says,
the one that I just made. Probably. I guess I just go back to the roots
of it. The film that I showed a little bit of where Wright came
from was the documentary I made of my mother and father, called
Italian-American. As with many of your films, the
music is terribly important. wanted more but we couldn't afford
it. You made this remarkable documentary, Shine at Light, which
allows you to get really close to the Rolling Stones. We went with 12
cameras and then when we started to film them, Bob said, we need eight
more. Just to keep them in focus. To capture them in concert, and
also the aspect off, of what is rock music at this point in time?
Particularly for the pioneers and the ones who established what we
know as rock music, is it only meant for a certain age group? The
four-man -- the phenomenon of older rock stars is interesting.
That leads me to Bob Dylan. He is the most enigmatic of them all.
Tell me a little bit about working with Bob. Jeff Rosen was the
producer. He said I have some footage with Bob. He did an
interview with Bob Dylan that lasted 10 hours. Bob Totton, I am
going to do this once and never again. -- Bob told him. He said to
me, do you think you can make something of it? My problem was the
freedom to make something of it. I admire his work so much and I am
not interested in the negative aspect of it. I am interested in
how he managed to stay on his own course.
In taking all the elements that I've ever known to make wide
sweeping statements that contains a general lessons of the spirit of
the Times, I think I have managed to do that. I thought that I needed
to press on and get as far into it as I could.
#the answer is blowing in the wind. Sometimes you seem more interested
in music. Or as interested in music. You made a film about the blues.
worked on a film with Eric Clapton called Nothing But The Blues. I had
some footage of the original Mississippi Delta blues, Chicago
Do you see yourself as a kind of historian and novelist of the
American story? You're telling a lot of the American story, one
where another. I find that the obsession is there that compels me
to tell these stories, particularly through the music. Music was
immediate. My brother played guitar, we lived in tenements. We cannot
even afford a still camera so there was no question of making movies.
Music was something you could do. I could not play, my father could
play. My mother would sing while she was cleaning up the house and
washing dishes. In America, there was a different thing at that time
in the late 40s where there was lots of different types of music.
It was not cut up into genres were know. I hear you're thinking of
making a movie about Frank Sinatra, possibly with Leonardo DiCaprio and
possibly in 3-D? Yes. I think 3-D is a good element in telling
stories. I think anything can work in 3-D. What excites you about it?
In a sense, the way that I perceive you right now, you are in space.
Even behind the ears? Yes. It is like a sculpture, in a way.
Still, as from the beginning, it is about getting the audience into the
cinema to surprise them? Yes. That can be emotional, too. It might be
the emotional impact of the last two lines of Brief Encounter.
Martin Scorsese, thank you very much indeed.
And if you're wondering what the closing lines of Brief Encounter
are, take a look at our website, where there is also a longer
version of that interview. I am joined by Deputy Prime
Minister Nick Clegg. Good morning. Good morning.
Looking through the papers, since the Autumn Statement, the overall
consensual position is that the economy is just going to go through
a grim, frozen period for years ahead. It changes the all mood of
politics in the country. It has been a tough week because we have
all had to recognise and reconcile ourselves to the fact that, as the
Office for Budget Responsibility said, than not that we took in 2008
when the banking system blew up was much more serious than we even
thought then, that it is going to take longer to recover from that,
and then that a number of further things have happened that have
delivered blows to the economy, notably energy prices and inflation
going up over the last year. That has meant that people have suddenly
thought, gosh, the time of recovery is going to be further away than we
thought. That, of course, creates anxiety, which is why a think it is
so important, as a country, but we do not allow ourselves to become
divided. It is not private sector versus public sector, north versus
south. We, as a government, need to redouble our efforts to show that
what we're doing is being done as fairly as possible. Otherwise we
will not get everyone to support these difficult decisions.
You mention "as fairly as possible", there has been great criticism of
the effect of the Autumn Statement on poor families. It has been
suggested that 100,000 people will be moved into poverty as a result
of the measures taken and that the people worst-affected are those on
low in comes. I do not want to go into the statistics. The way that
some of them are calculated is a bit ropey. The Child poverty figure
is relative. It means that, if you help pensioners, as we are, that
statistically that means that you're not helping children, which
is a ludicrous thing to say. It does not take into account many of
the other things we're doing that make a big difference. We're going
to double to 260,000 the number of toddlers who will get 15 hours of
free child care for the first time ever. Why is that important?
Because we know that if you give a toddler that, you're giving them
the best possible start. Here you are now in a situation where, if
you're going to give to some people, you have to take from others. You
give to toddlers but you have taken away what many people were relying,
which was an uprating of child benefit? We are increasing child
tax credit by �130. Reg remember, on that one in particular, that
helps families who are in work or out of work. The above inflation
promise that people thought had been made has been taken away.
what we have done is that we are freezing two components of the
working tax credit. We have froze and other parts for three years up
until last year. In cash terms, no- one loses out. But if you factor in
inflation they do. One of the components is worth around �2,000
and it will remain exactly at that value next year. This is important
- I make no-one apology at all for us having to make difficult choices
and, in those choices, prioritise in the poorest. The fear and
anxiety of unemployment is clearly greater now than it has been for a
very long period of time. Many people know of other people -
cousins, old relatives, neighbours - who have lost their jobs and they
are worried about their own job security was I think it is right
for the government might to say, if you have lost your job through no
fault of your own you will have benefits that are fully up rated by
the inflation, over 5%, in order to get you back into work. We are also
protecting children through the full uprating of the tax credit.
Is it not true that that uprating came about because the Liberal
Democrats insisted on it? I read post-mortems about who said what.
In coalition governments you have constant discussions and debates
and so on. You were tabling this as one of your successes, were you
not? When we are faced with invidious choices - and there are
no easy choices left to this Government - you have to be guided
by a basic sense of what is right for the poorest and the most
tolerable. That is what we have done by operating the benefits for
the poorest and the most tolerable. In terms of the future, is Danny
Alexander Wright when he says that you will have to going to the next
election with another �30 billion of spending cuts? This is the
interesting thing politically - before this week there was only one
party, the Labour Party, that was advocating more savings after the
next general election. Now all three parties are moving to a
position where we have to explain to the British people where and how
we make additional savings after the next election. We have been
very up front with people, as a party and the government. The
details about how you do it fairly and how you mix between taxing and
spending, all of that is open to debate.
We are talking about a lost decade and compelling as with Japan. If
your party is going to go into the next election talking about �30
billion of cuts, like the conserve this, you are effectively going to
be in lockstep. You will have to see this through as a coalition
government. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown subscribed to John Major's
spending plans in 1997. No-one said they were identical. We agree on
the overall need to live within our means as a country. The Liberal
Democrats will be independent and will be very keen to push our
uniqueness and that blend that we represent in British politics. It
is about how you arrive at the overall figures. There will be lots
of general debate up to and through the general election.
A lot of people cannot see any difference between you and the
Conservatives. You said, we do not going to that. -- broke into that.
I said that we wanted to protect the vulnerable, deliver run the
increased entitlement to toddlers as of everyone knows I have been
The centrepiece of tax policy to lift more people out of paying
income tax has come from the front page of the of the Liberal Democrat
manifesto of last year. At the time of the next election
you would be able to go into an election with a distintively
different plan for the economy than the Conservatives after five years
of working closely together? Let me give you two examples. I'm not
going to start writing manifestoes four years in advance. It is clear
for instance if we are going to try and make the sums add up, the
Liberal Democrats, as a party, will be less inclined to spend a lot of
money on replacing the Trident system. We have been open about
that. I believe and have done for a long time, that we should be asking
millionaire pensioners to perhaps make a little sacrifice on their
free TV licence or their free bus passes. These are things where we
don't agree as a Government right now, but where those arguments will
play out in the years ahead. That's the natural battleground of British
politics. To be upfront with people and to agree what the savings need
to be, but to have the key debate about who are the winners and who
are the losers. Winners and losers then at a time
when people on average earnings are having a really, really tough time.
Yes. Is it fair that for instance last
year FT 100 executives were getting 49% average increase in what they
were taking home? Executive pay remains something which appears to
a lot of people out of control? agree with you. The revelation that
top executives of some of our top companies are receiving up to 50%
pay increases even though their companies weren't doing any better
was a real slap in the face for millions of people in this country
who are struggling to make ends meet. We need to call time on
excessive and irresponsible behaviour in the public sector just
as we have been... In the private sector? In the private sector, yes.
Just as we have tough on unaffordable things in the public
sector, we need to get tough on irresponsible behaviour. What do I
mean by that? I don't mean the Government starts going around
setting pay rates in the private sector. That's not what I mean. I
believe people should be well paid if they succeed. What I abhor is
people who get paid bucket loads of cash in difficult times for failure.
? Is there any way politicians can intervene? We have consulted. We
are going to come forward with proposals next month and the things
we're looking at is for instance, to break open this closed shop of
remuneration committees which seems to be an old boys... A remuneration
committee, I give you an increase? Can you make companies stop that?
Of course, you can. We have got plenty of means which which we can
make sure the remoney rakes committees -- remuneration
committees are opened up. Share Holders should be given a greater
say. What about employees? Well, we have
consulted on whether there is a case for putting employees on the
remuneration committees. We are consulting on whether you should
publish information on the ratio between those, the pay of top
executives and the average pay. Will Hutton argued that it
shouldn't be more than 20 times? There was An independent high Pay
Commission which reported and they did extremely good work. And we are
if not in agreement with all of what they said, in agreement with
many of the points they have made and they have suggested there
should be more transparency in relationship for the pay at those
at the top and those in the boiler room in these companies. These are
tough times for everybody whether in the public or private sector.
Whether you are a nurse or factory worker or a Taxi Driver or a civil
servant with' mead to make sure -- need to make sure that people in
the public sector don't feel they are doing all the heavy lifting.
People watching will understand the politics of it, but they will want
to know are you prepared for instance to bring forward
legislation early in the New Year to make sure these things happen?
If legislation is require, of course, we will do so. As I say,
there is no question of this Government and it would be
ridiculous if we were to suggest that of setting pay, but greater
transparency, less of a closed shop in the remuneration committees,
greater openness and accountability by which executives are are paid so
it is related to what they actually do and succeed in doing.
We are short of time. Let me move on to the eurozone. Angela Merkel
is right when she says there has to be fiscal union if the eurozone is
going to hold together? She is right when she says the design of
the union as it is is lopsided and needs to be changed. It has to mean
a treaty change? I have always been outspoken against a great big
treaty change. We open the whole Pandora's box and people say they
want this change and that change. I can't see how the treaty cannot
be changed? There are quite a lot of provisions in the treaty as it
exists which this is the great tragedy by the way, I was a
supporter of our entry into the euro many, many years back, and I
was a supporter because I believed what was written in the treaty
about the rules that should have been respected by the countries...
And you have changed your mind? What I have responded to clearly is
the fact that those rules where not adhered to. That's the tragedy and
bluntly it was the French and German governments back in 2005 who
signalled there was going to be a free for for fall that the rules
shouldn't be adhered to. If the rules had been stuck to, we
wouldn't be in the trouble we are in and therefore it is right that
they should be strengthened. I would like to see those rules
strength wnd a minimum amount of institutional fuss because if you
open this whole thing up into a naval gazing exercise, that would
be damaging to the urgent need to make sure we fix things in the
eurozone. It would trigger a referendum in
this country about our relationship with Europe. My next question is
could the coalition survive a referendum on our relationship with
Europe? I don't think there needs to be a referendum.
The Prime Minister promised one. If there is a treaty change, he
promised a referendum? It will only take place if there is a surrender
of sovereigntry. I thought any substantial treaty
change would trigger a referendum? No, the test which we have
legislated on if we the United Kingdom give up more sovereigntry
to the European Union. The changes which are now required are changes
which are required in the euro 17. Briefly, I am sorry because we are
coming to the end of this. In no agreement is reached next weekend,
how serious is that for the British economy and for the euro? Is it the
end for the euro? It is grave if no agreement is reached. Perhaps not
every T crossed and every I dotted, but we need to have a clear road
map if you like towards the stabilisation, and strengthening of
the eurozone. Let's not forget, whatever your views on Europe,
three million people in our country depend on their jobs on our role in
the European Union. That's not not something we should give up lightly.
The deptry Prime Minister announced the Government will bring forward
proposals to limit executive pay increases. He said excessive
boardroom pay was a slap in the face to millions of families
struggling to get by. He said the Government was prepared toe
legislate to make committees who decide pay levels more open and
accountable. A former minister has called for
radical reforms now the outlook for the UK UK economic growth has has
been downgraded. Lord Hutton said the assumptions behind his report
may have been too optimistic. Yvette Cooper said asking people to
make higher contributions risks making the system unsustainable.
That's all for now. The next news on BBC One is at
midday. Back to you, Andrew.
Thank you. Nick Clegg is still with me. We are joined by the American
singer as long writer, Aloe Blacc. We are going to hear one of the
anthems for tough times. One of the things that I was amazed by when I
I was reading your biography, you worked for Ernest and young.
You were an accountant figure? worked in the business consulting
division of of Ernst and Young so I have been in the thick of the
corporate world. And that gave you the inspiration
for the song we're going to hear? Well, being made redundant gave me
inspiration! Yeah, for sure.
We are looking forward to it very much.
In the coalition Government Aloe can give me tips on how to reinvent
myself. What do you make of Lord Hutton's
remarks? He is stating the obvious. As circumstances are tough, it is
important we we get a good deal and I am glad he recognised what we put
forward is credible and reasonable. We will cut off now. If we don't
get agreement on the euro, that could be the end of the euro, some
MEPs are saying the same thing? There is no doubt the whole
foundation of the euro is skating on thin ice. We must protect
Britain's interests and particularly the integrity the
single market. Any reasonable person must wish the the French and
the Germans luck in sorting this out because it affects us. Join me
next week when I will be talking to David Attenborough, Jenny Agutter
and more. There will be music from Mick Hucknall. Until then we leave
you with Aloe Blacc performing I # I need a dollar dollar, a dollar
is what I need # Hey hey
# Well I need a dollar dollar, a dollar is what I need
# Hey hey # And I said I need a dollar dollar,
a dollar is what I need # And if I share with you my story,
would you share your dollar with me # Bad times are comin and I reap
what I don't sow # I had a job but the boss man let
me go # He said, "I'm sorry but I won't
be needing your help no more'" # I said, "Please mister boss man,
I need this job more than you know # But he gave me my last pay cheque
and he sent me on out the door # Well I need a dollar dollar, a
dollar is what I need # Hey hey
# Said I need a dollar dollar, a dollar is what I need
# Hey hey # And I need a dollar dollar, a
dollar is what I need # And if I share with you my story
would you share your dollar with me # Well I don't know if I'm walking
on solid ground # Cause everything around me is
crumbling down # And all I want is for someone to
help me # What in the world am I gonna to
do tomorrow # Is there someone whose dollar
that I can borrow # Who can help me take away my
sorrow # Maybe it's inside the bottle
I need a dollar, a dollar is what I need
# I said I need a dollar, that's what I need