16/10/2011 The Politics Show London


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This week on the Politics Show: As the fallout from the Fox affair


continues, what does his departure mean for David Cameron and the


Government? And does it prove that money still buys access in British


politics? We'll hear from minister Grant Shapps, Shadow Defence


Secretary Jim Murphy and the Euro- sceptic Tory backbenchers. I'm in


Brussels awaiting the opening of a multimillion euro exhibition


explaining what the European Parliament and EU is for. Amidst


this awful crisis, could the UK's relationship with Europe be about


to change radically? We'll debate the issue with UKIP leader, Nigel


Farage. In London this week, how easy is it to sell stolen copper in


the capital? Give me �400 for half a ton and to give him a call back.


It was a done deal. Why the police want a new law to bring dodgy scrap


Joining me throughout the programme journalist and author Eve Pollard


and Times columnist, Phil Collins. First, let's get the latest news


with Maxine Mawhinney. Good morning. The international


protests against what demonstrators see as greed and mismanagement in


the World Banking system are continuing. In several cities


across the world, hundreds of people are camped out on the


streets N London, protesters spent the night outside St Paul's


Cathedral. The vicinity around St Paul's halls


new residents today. And there's a notable police presence.


financial industry is not acting in the interests of the general


population. That's why I'm here. It's a lot calmer in London than it


was in Rome last night. The Italian capital saw the most violent and


destructive protests, as black hooded youths appeared to hijack


otherwise peaceful demonstrations. New York's Times square was also


occupied by protesters, describing themselves as representatives of


the 99% of the population, which they say, has been forced to bear


the brunt of the mistakes carried out by the wealthy 1%. The backdrop


to these protests is the ever fraught situation in the eurozone,


which threatens to turn an already weak global economy into an even


worse recession. And that could increase dramatically the number of


people demanding change, Democratically or otherwise.


The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has said legitimate


questions have been raised about political lobbying. In the light of


the resignation of the former Defence Secretary Liam Fox. Dr Fox


allowed his friend, Adam Werritty, to organise meetings away from


officials. Mr Hague said a report would be out in a few days and he


dismissed allegations Dr Fox was able to pursue an independent


foreign policy. The idea that it's possible to run a completely


separate policy by one minister is a fanciful idea. The foreign policy


of this country is said by me and the Prime Minister, working through


the national Security Council, pursued by 140 ambassadors in 260


embassies and kopbs lats. It's a huge operation. One advisor or non-


advisor, whatever he may have been, to one minister, isn't able to run


a totally different policy from the rest of the Government.


Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett will formally receive a royal title


in a ceremony this morning. It's being recognised for its dedication


to honouring Britain's war dead. Princess Anne will represent the


Queen. Our correspondent Jon Kay, is there now. This is an important


recognition for the town. How is it being received? With enormous pride


today. The letters of patent signed by the Queen, which officially make


it Royal Wootton Bassett, will be unveiled by the Princess Royal.


That will be unveiled at lunch time. People started waiting here behind


the barriers, queuing up for a place in the crowds. Look at them,


that was 7am this morning. Many of them have union flags, with special


new heraldic cests created for the town. They are waiting the length


of the High Street there. It's a huge turn out. They've turned out


so many times over the last few years for repatriations through the


town. People say those fallen servicemen and women, those


families are still very much in their minds today. They say this


isn't a celebration, but they say, it is a chance to show some pride


in themselves, as well, and finally a chance here to smile.


New Zealand are through to the Rugby World Cup final. The


tournament hosts beat Australia in this morning's semi-finals in


Auckland. They won by 20-6, to set up a meeting with France, who beat


Wales yesterday. Despite nearly always being the favourites, the


All Blacks haven't won the World Cup since the very first tournament


in 1987. That final, next Sunday. That's it for the moment. Back to


you. In the beginning the story was a


bit weird, a 33-year-old man travelling the world with the


Defence Secretary and visiting Liam Fox regularly at the MoD. The


special advisor who wasn't. Where it became more tricky for Liam Fox


was when people started chasing the money. That led to strange and


exotic locations. Phil Collins, in a sentence, could you say why Liam


Fox has resigned? He's resigned because of the money. It was weird


and peculiar up until the point where the Times story about the


money landed. At that point, if you find 10p of a money trail, Liam Fox


is in big trouble. What we've got now is we still don't understand it


by any means. There's all sorts of money flying around and peculiar


influences and all sorts of people involved, but to have someone with


defence interests, who appears to be paid by someone other than the


taxpayer, offering advice to a minister, as for as we know, it


goes over the line in impropriety. Is this washing over the public's


head a bit? I think it sort of is because the financial situation is


so bad. But I think people are aware, there is this charmed circle


up there somewhere, where this man could travel round with the Defence


Secretary and nobody put their hand up and said, "Isn't this weird?


Isn't this strange?" This morning there are stories of having drinks


and costing �28 each in Dubai. When you have a nation worried about


spending money on yoghurt at the supermarket, which is where we are


now, they do think "do we care? "do we want another report to cost us a


lot of money. How damaging has it been for David Cameron? It's really


interesting for Cameron. It tells you something about the pace of


modern politics. The Alastair Campbell rule has been cited a lot.


If something goes for ten days you're in trouble. David Cameron


has just sat back and allowed it to unfold. You might say that's very


calm, athoritative leadership. The Labour Party has been onto him


saying no it's slow, you have to get onto it. He's come out of it


rather well. Liam Fox has gone, which is the right decision. But he


hasn't sacked him. Fox resigned himself. The right of the party


cannot have any recriminations because Cameron has allowed Fox to


take his time. He hasn't sacked him. He's given him every chance to


prove that the relationship isn't a wrong one, which he's been labelled


to do. So not particularly damaging. I think it damaged Blair when he


cast people out so quickly, partly because of Alastair. He looks like


a nice guy. That's a perfect cue. We can speak to the Shadow Defence


Secretary, Jim Murphy, who joins us now from Glasgow. Very good


afternoon to you, good morning, sorry. We're on earlier today.


Thank you very much - We're still in the morning here in Scotland.


Picking up on that, what they were saying, that David Cameron has


played this absolutely right. not sure that's correct. David


Cameron had Liam Fox into the office at Number Ten I think early


in the week. We need to know what that conversation was. Did Liam Fox


tell David Cameron the full truth? Or did he hide some of the truth?


He told him the full truth about money, influence and the breaching


of the ministerial code, then David Cameron should have acted. That's


what the inquiry's about. inquiry is about Liam Fox and Adam


Werritty an the points of the code. It's clear there are wider issues


at stake, access to money, access to influence, money off the books,


money undeclared, influence. We need to follow the money trail and


see where it leads us. What are you proposing? I think that once Sir


Gus O'Donnell has concluded his work, there's a case for a wider


inquiry. Let's look at the issue of the Atlantic bridge. A charity


which has been wound up. Liam Fox was a patron of. Four other Cabinet


ministers were on the advisory Council of the flick Bridge. That's


an organisation we know little about, yet five Cabinet ministers


were involved in it. It seems, in its politics, it seems to be a


second cousin to the American Tea Party. Aren't you just asking for a


wider inquiry because it keeps bad headlines at the forefront for the


Conservative Party and isn't this what induces cynicism about British


politics? There is a lot of cynicism about British politics,


particularly about money. It's not the existence of money that cupts


politics. It's the hiding of the money, the secret slush funds and


money off the books. We have no evidence that Atlantic Bridge has


done anything wrong, and yet you're suggesting by implying there needs


to be a wider -- inquiry there's something murky going on. Atlantic


bridge itself was closed down not by the Cabinet ministers involved


but by those who receive the rules on charity. I've said throughout I


would rather discuss the Government's defence policy than


the Defence Minister or former Defence Minister. But this is a


self-inflicted crisis. Liam Fox brought it upon himself. David


Cameron act quickly enough and the investigation is too narrow. We


still don't even know the terms of reference of Sir Gus O'Donnell's


inquiry. But you say last week that the Government has shown how out of


touch it is by spending the last week worrying about how to save


Liam Fox's job. The Prime Minister has set up an inquiry, which you


called for. He's giving it time. Marked contrast to the way things


were happening as we were just hearing there, you know, under the


Tony Blair regime, where you had two days of bad headlines and


people were kind of taken out and shot and then to Tony Blair's


regret afterwards. I don't think that's a fair comparison. The fact


is - Why not? Why is it unfair? This saga has draggened ond --


dragged on and on. The initial inquiry that Sir Gus O'Donnell will


carry out professionally is a narrow one. You believe in summary


justice? There are issues much wider than that now about who else


knew what was going on. No-one really has any sense really that


no-one had any idea what Liam Fox and Mr Werritty were up to on a


professional basis. Five Cabinet ministers on that Atlantic Bridge


organisation, is Liam Fox the only one who knew what was going on and


the purpose of that money and what it was used for? I don't think


anyone believes that. In terms of summary justice, I was criticised


during the week for not demanding Liam Fox's head on a plate. He saw


the facts. He knew the facts and decided he had to go. Was your


attack bluntsed because, I no it's all declared in the register of


members interest, you took money from Cellcrypt to play for a trip


to Washington. What is the Shadow Defence Secretary taking money to


go to America from a commercial organisation? I personally didn't


take any money, the Shadow defence team as part of our policy review,


we travelled to the United States to meet senior American politicians


on the left and right of American politics and many others. That trip


was sponsored by a variety of people, including one of these


companies. It's publicly declared F Liam Fox had been open and


transparent in the way we have been, perhaps he wouldn't have been in so


much trouble after all. Don't the public see whether it's declared or


undeclared, you taking money and thinking "What on earth are defence


contractors doing paying for the Shadow defence team to go off to


America?" I think in Opposition you don't have access to that vast


source of public money to carry out your work. As I said earlier, it's


not the existence of money in politics that corrupts it. It's


money off the books, it's pretending and hiding the facts. We


did an entirely proper way, that's the right thing to do. There we


must leave it. Jim Murphy thank you. Liam Fox's resignation rounds off a


tough couple of weeks for the Conservatives, with the party


lurching from one PR disaster to another. Tory spin doctors must be


wondering "Where is it going to end?"


A fortnight ago Britain was Basqueing in an Indian summer and


the Tories were gathering for the annual conference in Manchester, in


confident mood. But the 14 days since have been among David


Cameron's worst, since moving into Downing Street. First, the Home


Secretary Theresa May's conference speech on the Human Rights Act


sparked an almighty row. May's Cabinet colleague Ken Clarke


ridiculed her claim about a cat as "nonsense". Then David Cameron had


to rewrite his own speech, after the original draft suggested that


people should pay off their credit card debts, not a message designed


to boost economic growth. Another Cabinet minister, Oliver


Letwin had to apologise after being caught disposing of constituents


letters in a park bin. I do apologise because I do understand


that constituents may feel that I shouldn't have allowed their papers


to be in that bin. Worst of all was the Liam Fox affair. The Defence


Secretary ordered an investigation after questions were raised about


his relationship with Adam Werritty. Then, on Monday, he appeared before


MPs to apologise. I accept that it was a mistake to allow distinctions


to be blurred between my professional responsibilities and


my personal loyalties to a friend and Mr Speaker, I am sorry for this.


I have apologised to the Prime Minister, to the public and at the


first opportunity available, to the He is the first Conservative


minister to leave the Cabinet. The easy days of summer are a distant


memory. With us in the studio is the housing minister, Grant Shapps.


It has been a torrid couple of weeks. Have you become accident-


prone as a government? I do not think so. Government is not always


plain sailing. Clearly things happen that are often outside your


immediate control. You have to respond to them. These things come


and go and I suspect by the next election we will not be speaking


about them. But it is showing something about the Government not


having a very sure touch. This thing with Liam Fox and the Oliver


Letwin thing as well, extraordinary. At conference, one weekend a half


ago, we were not speaking about it. You cannot plan every single


activity in government. If we did, you would say that we were media


managing government in the same way that Tony Blair used to be. Could


you have done with more media management over the past couple of


weeks? I think the Liam Fox situation has been quite


interesting. Newspapers have tried, or have run stories every single


day. A process was put in place by the Prime Minister, quite correctly,


and he said, let's let Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary,


carry this out. We will make a decision from there. Liam Fox said


he recognised the lines were blurred and he decided to leave. It


has been a straightforward process, there has been movement and I think


that Philip Hammond will do a great job in defence. I wonder if the


accident-prone nature of this is perhaps damaging to the


Conservative brand? It seems to have reinforced two stereotypes.


Oliver Letwin, the amiable toff who goes around absent-mindedly


discarding constituents' letters in a rubbish bin in St James's Park.


Then you have Liam Fox, consorting with strange billionaires,


soliciting funds. I do not agree at all. If you look at the really big


things that are going on, and this week there have been far bigger


issues to do with the Eurozone, the dangers there, and the fact that


the Chancellor has been meeting with the European Finance Minister.


Even in defence, and I notice that Jim Murphy is keen to speak about


that, you have got to remember there was a �38 billion black hole


in defence spending going forward. Those are the things that Liam Fox


was sorting out. How will people feel when the read about what Liam


Fox was doing? Can you explain it? Liam Fox is said that he allowed


the lines to blah. The fact that he wrote to the Prime Minister and


resigned, he accepted that it did not look can feel right. We will


have the Cabinet Secretary's report earlier this week. That is true,


but it does not change the reality of day today, there is a lot of


work which goes on that will not stop. Take me through what it is


like being a minister? Can you understand how it was possible that


he had his seemingly separate private office? It is important for


ministers to try in separate parts of their life, but it is not always


easy to do. You have very restricted time. The temptation to


say, I have a busy day, but I would like to see my family, they will


see me at lunch time if they happen to be around, that sort of thing,


weight is the cut-off point? I suspect things became blurred in


this case. Do you think it would be possible in your department to have


an operation running like Liam Fox's? This can be over exaggerated.


Today there is an extraordinary story saying that there was an


alternative foreign policy brief going on with the self-styled


adviser. This is silly. There is a Foreign Office with 160 diplomats


and the Foreign Secretary. There is no way that one individual could


have that great an influence, no matter how good friends they are


what one minister. He was clearly operating a separate office, that


is what was going on. He was on the same page as Liam Fox. Is that


acceptable when you have got an independent civil service there to


offer advice? We have seen a variety of different stories in the


newspapers, so you cannot say clearly. THEY ALL TALK AT ONCE We


understand enough of what has gone on to make a pretty clear a guest


of what has gone on. Liam Fox is said that the lines got


blurred and he stepped down. He has not said there was an alternative


foreign policy our defence policy. I was interested in Jim Murphy's


comments that in opposition he needed to formulate any defence


policy. He went off to the States and it was paid for by one of these


private companies. This Atlantic Bridge thing was in opposition. Jim


Murphy made it sound like it happened in the last week. It did


not. The idea that there is a separate policy running is probably


untrue. We should not judge it on the basis of newspaper headlines,


but through the Cabinet Office report. Do you think you officials


would have known? I think it is a strong case and that the Cabinet


Secretary will want to do this, say, what was the private office saying


at the time? I am sure he will look into that. Could you imagine having


something like that with your private affairs? Everyone's


relationship with their own private officers, the people who look after


your interests in Parliament, the relationship is a very one to one


thing. Everyone's relationship is slightly different. I can imagine


my private office having a range of conversations with me about all


sorts of topics. We have heard David Cameron saying that you need


to set up a register of lobbyists? Should that happen more quickly?


11,000 people were registered for the Tory party conference, but only


4,000 were Tory delegates? Ministers have a great


responsibility. When I get a letter from a lobbyist on behalf of a firm,


I ask why the company is not contacting me directly. With in any


sector, ministers are there to be contacted if you want to get a


point across. Do not use lobbyists, do it yourself. Do you think you


need to bring forward the time when you introduce this register?


need complete transparency. As soon as you have transparency, it all


becomes much clearer. And in light of all this, the sooner the better?


My view is that the path towards complete transparency is


unstoppable. It is happening anyway. Before next May? In the Prime


Minister will look at what Sir Gus O'Donnell says and makes his


decision based on that. Would you like this to happen sooner? I think


that everything you do in government, you should be


transparent. I do not think that using lobbyists is a good way for


organisations to lobby government. They should be done as soon as


possible. Surely someone would have liked Adam Werritty's constant


attendance is faster. I do not understand why the private office


did not say. Why did they not say, we are worried about this, what is


going on? There is a feeling that everything is not joined up. We do


not know what was said and what wasn't said which is why the


Cabinet Secretary is looking into it. We need to wait until after


that report is produced. We cannot let Liam Fox get away with the idea


that he was not cultivating links with other regimes. He clearly was.


The people he worktop -- BP plus he was talking to in the Sri Lankan


regime were quite a aid of the mainstream foreign policy. He was


stupid and unrealistic as well as wrong. Some of the other things


were ridiculous. The idea that he was fostering relationships with


Republicans in the US, Atlantic Bridge stuff, you would expect him


to have good relationships with people in the US. What do you make


of that? Referring back to the earlier... THEY ALL TALK AT ONCE


All the politicians want to stop newspapers.


After one week of newspapers doing the dirty work if everyone, they


are very important. Of course, but let me caution in this way, we do


not want the newspapers making decisions about what actually did


happen. They can make accusations, but the stories in newspapers this


morning in my policy area, absolutely wrong end completely


incorrect. If I only took a conclusion based on newspapers you


would always come to do wrong conclusion which is why any the


cabinet secretary. Later in the programme, what made Europe and our


relationship with it look like once the dust settles on the Eurozone


crisis? Nigel Farage and one of Dr Fox's Euro-sceptic friends on the


Tory backbenches will join us then. First of all, The Politics Show


where you are. Good morning. This week, later on,


we are looking at the phenomenon of copper been stolen in and around


the capital. Is tighter regulation of scrap metal dealers on the


cards? First, the level of knife crime in London is heading in the


wrong direction. The latest figures show that in the four months to


August this year, the number of incidents was up 17 % on the same


period last year. How mum -- how much of this is happening in


London's schools, not much, probably, but it is difficult to


tell? Carrying a knife on our streets is inexcusable in a


civilised society. We're proposing that anyone convicted of knife


crime should expect to go to jail. Strong words from the Prime


Minister in 2008, but three years later, the tragic consequences of


young people carrying knives can be seen clearly.


A teenager has been repeatedly stabbed... At 15-year-old boy


stabbed to death... The Politics Show asked all 33


London boroughs how many weapons had been seized in their schools.


Only three could give us any information for the past five years,


including Richmond, who have had 59 weapons seized in their schools


There were a total of 470 exclusions for incidents involving


weapons in the last five years. The Department of Education told us


this... Schools are under no obligation to provide figures for


the number of weapons confiscations. We need a combination of things. I


think that laws need to be more stringent for crimes were knives


have been used. When someone is caught using a knife or a gun, the


punishment needs to be severe and swift. The question remains, if the


government or local authorities do not have any figures relating to


weapons in schools, how can they formulate an effective policy to


tackle the problem? Joining used to raise appears, the


Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, and Danny Kruger, chief executive


of a charity which works with sex offenders.


Are you surprised, do you think that schools should be collecting


data, for weapons discovered on their premises, and giving it to


local authorities? I think they should be doing that, because the


first step to finding a solution is accepting there is a problem. Until


you know the size of the problem you cannot take steps to make the


problem go away. It is really important to have information. My


constituency is Bexley council which is one of the safest boroughs


in London according to statistics, yet a young boy was murdered there


on his way home from school a couple of months ago. For that


family it does not matter it is the safest bar. Do you know how many


weapons or do you hear of many instances of weapons being found on


school premises? No, that information is not readily


available. They recently put metal arches up in the Broadway, the


congregation point for secondary schools in Bexley. It can be quite


lively there when you have three or four schools all coming out at the


same time. They have tried staggering the timetable, but they


now have metal arches. But they have not found any knives on


anybody. But not from the most recent figures I have seen. It was


a Labour strategy, to give schools more power to search pupils when


they were coming into school? They introduced that and some schools


did introduce knife Archie's? Do I think schools should do it if


they want to. If a young person can't feel safe in school, that's a


terrible failure on the part of the system, which is looking after them


for the hours that they're there. Actually, most crime happens


outside school. Most violent crime certainly happens outside school.


While I think it's right for schools to prevent children


carrying weapons, all that happens when you do that and the reason


there probably aren't knives going into those schools is the young


people who otherwise would would carry them is hiding them. They did


a sweep in Camden, the local area, the parbgdz, and they found dozens


of weapons hidden in bushes because, not because of schools, but because


the police recommend powered to stop and search anybody who might


be carrying a weapon. Clamping down on carrying a knife is important,


and I'm all for it. But we must find out why they feel they need to


in the first place. I know head teachers resent the implication or


suggestion that there are weapons or knives in schools. Is it


exaggerated? Is it the case that most pupils know that it would be a


stupid thing to take it into, but they keep them close by? I think


that happens. I think quite a lot of teachers are in denial about the


extent of crime among students. They might behave well in school.


Thank God for that. A lot of teachers are trying to preserve the


reputation of their school and denying the existence of real


serious gang involvement, drug dealing going on by the students on


the streets. Would you want to see, what are you saying, that young


people need to know if caught with a weapon what should happen


automatically? I'm all for mandatory sentences and tough


across-the-board rules clamp down on carrying knives. Fine with us


being tougher than we are about carrying knives. We must not think


we can arrest our way out of the problem of serious youth violence.


Yes, young people need clear signals. If all we do is lock them


up, all we're doing is turning a generation into criminals. We can't


do that. That was the message from your leader of course. Two things


have to be said at once, and it's difficult because there's only room


for one headline. Can you say both things. The first thing you have to


say if you're in charge of the Government and a public figure is


to say we're going to clamp down on violence. After the riots, this is


criminal behaviour, we have to stop it. There has to be the second half


of the message that these people need help as well. And we can't


arrest our way out of the crime problems. Where do you stand, David


Cameron indicated or said that there -- he wanted to see this


offence aggravated knife carrying and said before the election there


should be a mandatory prison sentence if found in possession of


it. Some MPs, including Enfield Conservative MP, want to see that


extended to 15 to 18-year-olds. If you were found with a knife it's


mandatory that you receive a custodial sentence, what do you say


to that? I think when both David Cameron and Boris Johnson made that


pledge I was angry because I thought this is just political


posturing. They're talking to an audience who want to hear that. But


it's not that simple. It's, what I want is, as it currently stands now,


if you commit an offence with a knife, you get a longer sentence.


But I don't want people carrying them in the first place. It's to go


back to the longer term and do exactly what's been said here. You


need to look at what are the problems that cause these children


to be stabbing other children. I've spoke ton lots of secondary school


children who come into school on educational visits, the boys in


particular, when you say "What's the thing you like least about


school?" They don't say the home work, uniform or the teachers, they


say getting to and from school. They fear that. Because they don't


know who has a knife. It certainly looks, Danny Kruger, that David


Cameron has resisted. He doesn't want to give Nick de Bois and David


Burrowes their way on that. He doesn't want to commit himself to


jailing everyone. So do you think he understands the messages or the


important thing here is to deal with the underlying, trying to stop


them carrying in the first place? It's inindividualious to


distinguish between a clear deterrent about carrying a knife


and addressing that. My feeling about the carrying is that the


mandatory sentences, I think 15 is probably too young. You have a lot


of silly kids who think they need to carry knives because others are


carrying them. They don't need to and they're not going to use them.


However, a clear signal about this is a very serious offence,


certainly anyone threatening or using a knife in an intimidating


manner needs to be punished. There shouldn't be this mandatory effect


then because someone may well be, they're possessing that knife and


in possession of that knife because of fear, for defensive purposes.


It's counterproductive to think about putting them... I don't want


15-year-olds in a detention centre because they have a knife on them


because they're terrified of the bus journey. We have to solve the


problem of that 15-year-old being terrified in the first place. It's


a much bigger problem. There's no quick fix. It will take a long time.


Thanks very much for coming in. Now, it's the new gold, copper, and


it's rapidly rising -- its rising value is making it attractive to


criminals. The railways are particularly vulnerable. Most of it


is flogged to dodgy scrap metal dealers, there needs to be tougher


regulation of the said trade. Is that feasible?


The price of copper has increased five fold in the last decade and


this is the result. Thieves stealing cable from railway tracks.


Incidents like this are increasingly common in London and


can cause hours of delay and commuter misery. The Politics Show


has learned that it's not just the railways. Public services all over


are affected. Air traffic control at Stansted were hit and two


hospitals St George's and St Thomass. Entire bus stops have been


taken and even police communication system have been affected. These


incidents can impact things like the police radio. There are fall-


back FA sits. We can bring those into -- facilities. We can bring


those into operation. Once the fall-back facilities are in place,


you think, what's the fall back to the fall back? How easy is it to


sell? We decided to find out. With the help of British Telecom we set


out with telecommunications cables. This is the older type cable. Our


colour codes are unique to us. Thieves are so good at stealing


this cable, we've heard a story about people in uniforms having the


road dug up, taking it out of the ground. It was only when a proper


BT engineer drove past and realised that no-one should be digging up


the road that they clocked no-one should -- that they were nicking it.


Much of it is clearly marked, BT only dispose of cables through an


authorised supplier and not just a random bloke with a bag full of


wire. The bloke in question is Howard. He's a member of the


Politics Show team who is going to see if he can get anyone to agree


to buy it. I wanted to sell some copper cable. Would you be


interested at all? The first attempt was unsuccessful. I'm back,


and the guy clearly said that he couldn't accept the copper piping.


It clearly had BT labelled on it. The second dealer said the first at


first, but changed his tune when Howard rang back. If I strip it


down and bring it back, would I be able to sell it to you. Give me a


sec, mate. Is this (BLEEP)? I just got given your number from a guy


(BLEEP), I was speaking to him. He passed on your number. He looked it


over and he said it was fine. He realise today was not legit. He


asked me where I got it from. He said it was important to know where


I got it from so he wouldn't sell it in the same area. He said he


would give me �800 Perton. So it would be �400 for the half ton and


give him a call back and it was a done deal. Senior police want to


see tougher regulation and powers to close dodgy dealers. We visit


scrap metal dealers day after day. Some are clearly operating outside


the law. They're not registered with the local authority as they


should be. We would like to be able to close them down and ask them to


apply it a magistrate or something like that to give them the


authority to trade. The Government say they're looking at whether they


need to tighten the law, but as yet, have made no promises about what


they might do. Joining me Dyan Crowther, director


of operational services from network rail and Ian Hetherington


director of the British Metals Recycling. What do you want to see


happen, more licensing, regulation, how would it work? First, it's a


big problem. It affects thousands of passengers on a weekly, daily,


monthly basis. It's a growing problem. We want to make life


tougher for the thieves and to get the illegal scrap dealers, the


rogue dealers, put out of business. We need to remember there's a lot


of honest scrap dealers out there. What we don't want is regulation


that affects their business std. We need to focus on the illegal ones


and not make it tougher for the people who want to earn an honest


living. Before we start debating that, you said it is a growing


problem, suddenly, perhaps it's just that we've started to read


about it a lot, but it seems to be happening an awful lot now,


suddenly, is that true? It's suddenly hit London. So clearly


when it hits London it becomes bigger news. It's been a phenomena


across the rail network and in other industries for the last five,


six years. We have a of experience in terms of responding to it. We've


done a lot of initiatives. We've put a lot of investment, time and


resource, but it's not had the impact that we've wanted. It's not


going away. We need some help. want more licensing and more


regulation. We've heard Dyan say doesn't want to tarnish the


reputation of the good dealers but need to identify the bad ones.


Would you accept that the industry needs greater regulation? I accept


that it needs to be reformed, the existing regulations are outmoded


and out of date. The trouble with regulation is that if we don't have


effective enforcement of existing regulation, then, frankly, the


enforcement of new regulation, new law will be no better. Is the


present liepsepbsing system good enough? What changes do you want to


see? The current licensing system isn't good enough. We can see that


in terms of the increase of the number of cable thefts is ais cot


network. Why isn't it good enough? Because it's not obligatory for you


to be licensed or there aren't enough people working for local


authorities or the police checking for legitimate dealers, what's


wrong there? Resources is clearly an issue. Certainly, it's also


around the sentence inside of things. We've worked very hard with


Magistrates' Courts around the country to make sure that


Magistrates' Courts understand it's not just about cable theft, it's


about the chaos that this actually occurs. And not just on the rail


network but the impact on the economy. In effect, you think it


might be outmoded, but the powers are there, people aren't doing.


Correct. We would join Network Rail in asking for tougher sentencing,


without doubt. Yes, we want existing regulations enforced. We


want to see illegal traders closed down. We want to see those that are


unregulated and where the existing regulation isn't being enforced


closed down. They provide unfair competition and they provide an


outlet for stolen materials, such as the cables stolen from Network


Rail. You don't actually see change to the licensing, just people


taking the existing set up more seriously. There needs to be a


change to licensing and regulation, but ahead of that, we need to see


the enforcement. Because our members are faced with losing


substantial volumes of legitimate business by tougher rules, which


they will inevitably abide by, without there being effective


enforcement. What would you like police to be able to do now?


like it see police able to go into scrap yards and have the power to


close the scrapyard down. They don't necessarily have that at the


moment. They do in some circumstances. Do they need prima-


facie evidence of a crime? police have the power to enter any


licenses scrap metal dealer. They don't have the power to enter an


unlicensed scrap metal dealer, which is a nonsense. We would agree


totally. They need the powers to enter any of these and yes, if


they're in breach of regulation, in breach of the law they should be


closed down. One suction being made is that you should end -- cashless


transactions, no end cash transabgsz, there should be a


cheque. Do you agree? That's one of the options that we've looked at


and put forward. Is that practical? We would ebb gauge krb engage with


a discussion around cashless trading. Would your members agree


to no cash, agree to bank transfers or whatever? Today they would lose


probably 50% of their legitimate cash business. It is a very


substantial amount of business. This is a �5 billion a year


business. You wouldn't want to go for cashless transactions?


industry will engage, if the enforcement precedes the regulation.


Otherwise, then the business will drift out to the existing illegal


operators, who will continue to trade in cash. Have you, are you


making the case to Government and at what level and are there any


signs that anyone's listening? we are making the case. But it's


not just Network Rail making the case, because it's not just our


industry affected. So we're working with other victims of cable theft


to put a case to Government. signals coming from people? Yes,


signals definitely. Railway signals. Very good! Yes, we are getting


positive signals. We are getting some engagement. Clearly, it's a


big area. There's a lot to take into consideration. But we are


engaging. Do you feel you're getting any sense that there is


We would anticipate moves on enforcement, before regulation.


Welcome back. Maybe, just maybe, the Eurozone crisis is heading


towards its endgame with next week's EU summit being trailed as a


decisive moment. Another one! But how profound is the crisis and what


will the repercussions be for the EU and our relationship with it? We


sent Giles Dilnot to Brussels to find out.


On a bright day in Brussels, the European Parliament opens the doors


of its all-singing, all-dancing 21 million euro new visitor experience,


explaining what the EU is about and what it's for.


Amidst the appalling crisis that is engulfing the Eurozone, the message


in Brussels seems to be, let them eat cake. This is a massive crisis


on a scale that the European Union has not seen before just because


there are hundreds of billions, if not trillions of Euros at stake.


Potentially it is every bit as bad as the Post Lehman situation. But


worse. It is the most serious crisis the EU has faced in its 50


year history. It is possible that the euro will break-up and that the


EU itself will not survive the break-up of the euro.


generations to come, people will say, thank God, Britain did not


join the euro. So now the narrative is not whether


we join a currency, but how, amidst this crisis, the UK still gets the


economic benefits of what remains a vast and valuable single European


market without a Euro collapse handing us our own Greek tragedy.


Here, the message is of an established union of 27 member


states "united in diversity", but when the dust final settles on the


current Eurozone crisis, might the Eurozone and indeed the EU itself


look rather different? My own guess is that in the long run Greece may


well prefer to leave the euro. There is a good chance that no one


else will want or need to leave, but that requires two things to


happen. Firstly the Germans and the other rich countries have to come


up with lots of money for a bail out fund to convince the markets


that they are serious about keeping Italy and Greece in the euro.


Secondly, countries such as Greece and Italy need to adopt sensible


policies that will improve the performance of their economies. The


Spanish government has adopted such policies, but the Italian


government is still playing games. It may be better for a few


countries to excited rather than trying to keep the whole thing


together with all this pathetic contradictions, trying to keep it


on its feet until the whole thing comes crashing down.


But rather than fragmentation what seems oddly more likely is even


closer financial integration of the tax rates, spending, and debt


levels of 17 core Euro economies, a plan voiced by a UK government


happy to keep well out. What these very impressive


multimedia, multilingual information guides won't tell you


in any language is that some see the current crisis as an


opportunity for Britain to redefine its relationship with Europe.


Whether the coalition does that as a spectator or a full participant


is the source of a great deal of disagreement. I have never accepted


that you cannot renegotiate the region relationship with the


European Union. People should stop being so defeatist about this. If


we have a government that is clear about what it wants, it just takes


a government that puts its fate down until it gets it. This is a


golden opportunity for the Government to think through what it


is we want the European Union to be doing in the 21st century, what we


wanted not to do and how we should order it.


Coalition partners, however, are not so sure. I think they are


trying to offer something that does not exist, you are either in or out,


you cannot renegotiate things that have been negotiated. It is things


-- it is like free beer and longer cigarettes, it does not exist.


But for one party sitting in the real European Parliament, rather


than this virtual reality, the choice between the UK as sideline


spectator or full participant is a false one. We should just get out.


A move the Conservatives haven't made, claims one new defector to


Nigel Farage's UKIP because Europe is hard-wired into the system.


establishment in Whitehall believes that Europe is here forever.


Therefore the advice that comes in to the Department, the Secretaries


of State and the ministers, and into the Prime Minister's private


office and everything else, is essentially, in my opinion, pretty


heavily tainted. I wasn't Whitehall for quite a long time. -- I was in.


But time is short for politicians. They have a week to argue over how


this might end, a closer hug or a messy goodbye. Merci au revoir.


Very quickly afterwards, whatever those in Brussels hope for, the


markets will deliver their verdict. So is it now time for Britain to


re-examine its relationship with Europe? With me in the studio is


the Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, who is a member of a new Tory group


that wants what they call a "clear plan" to take back powers from the


EU, and UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who is head of the UK Independence


Party. Do you see this as a golden


opportunity to renegotiate power as? I think we all agree there will


be a paradigm shift in the structures of Europe. The Eurozone


countries will have to integrate fiscally further. I think we can


use it as an opportunity to say that we will support you, but in


return, we want to repatriate powers around social and employment


legislation. William Hague kicked it into the long grass this morning


when he was interviewed by Andrew Marr. The repatriation of powers to


this country is not an immediate prospect, I am in favour of it.


said he is in favour of it. What he is really saying is that the


priority today is to deal with the imminent crisis around the Eurozone


countries. By the way, we also passed a piece of legislation that


says any treaties that require more power to go the other way have to


be put to a referendum. He made that point this morning. He's


saying that we should deal with the crisis first. What do you make of


that? This is a pro EU government. Since they have been in power, many


powers, the control of the City of London, the setting up of a new


external action service for the Union, all of these things have


happened. This is a government led by David Cameron who promised a


referendum on this question. We want to have a say on this, the


public. On Friday and met with 400 businessmen and not one of them


said to me we want a referendum today is to be out if you're it.


They said that they need to be in there to export to that market, 40


% of their exports go there. What would you say on a referendum?


question is simple, do we want to trade deal our membership of a


political union? Two-thirds of this country want a trade deal and


nothing more. We have been saying this for three decades. Before we


get bogged down, do you think that there will, no opportunity to


repatriate powers, and do you believe that the EU will say, of


course, have them back? Off course that, but there will be an


opportunity. There will be a paradigm shift in the structures of


Europe. To get through the crisis they will have to fiscally


integrate. Do you believe the David Cameron and William Hague are


pushing for that? They are looking to help with the current crisis,


but when the time comes I will want to repatriate powers around


employment and social legislation. I think we can do that. When people


get the chance to vote in the Commons, do you believe there will


be a vote in the Commons on there being a referendum in Britain being


in or I it? I think if you go through the logic of the debate I


will be saying, this is the wrong time to have a referendum. So you


will be voting no? Absolutely. What are you going to say to the public?


We want to make sure the single market works. 400 businessman said


to me on Friday we do not want to be out. It will harm our economy.


To have a referendum to pull-out if you it would be political suicide.


Euro-sceptic viewers listening to that will be thinking, you have


made the case for me, I will vote for UKIP? Not at all. People in


this country, businessmen and women, understand the importance of


exporting. To rebalance the economy we have got to export. These are


hopelessly out of date arguments. Norway and Switzerland trade with


Europe without being members of the Union. You must be terrified that


they achieve this? They are not going to do it! Cameron and Hege


committed to the European Union. They are true believers. They made


the odd Euro-sceptic nice to try and stop people voting UKIP. If you


are a Euro-sceptic thought to, if you want a referendum, UKIP is the


party, not the Conservatives. did you make about the departure of


Liam Fox, not the rights and wrongs of it, but in terms of the balance


of the Cabinet? He will be missed, but Justine Greening was a Liam Fox


supporter. John Redwood sounded very down in the mouth about it


yesterday. Having read what he said about it, all I would say is that


what David Cameron has done is that he has got all parts of the party


in the Cabinet. Andrew Mitchell ran David Davis' campaign. Is the cat


made Euro-sceptical enough? Look at William Hague. -- is the catmint.


William Hague is the most respected and sound on Europe. He is now


promoting closer integration for the Eurozone. It is the most pro EU


Tory leadership since Edward Heath. That is a UKIP panic attack. No, I


think it is correct. Time for me to stepping. Thank you, gentlemen, for


being with this. -- with us. And that's it for this week.


Yesterday morning, the St David's flag flew over Downing Street, and


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