27/11/2011 The Politics Show London


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This week on the Politics Show: It promises to be one of the


biggest strikes in British history, but have both sides made avoidable


disruption inevitable? We'll ask the TUC General Secretary why he's


determined to press ahead with Wednesday's walkout over public


sector pensions when talks seemed to be making progress.


And Francis Maude, one of the ministers leading the negotiations,


joins us to answer charges that his rhetoric has inflamed, rather than


calmed, the dispute. And what about Labour? We'll ask


Shadow Chief Secretary Rachel Reeves if her party will support


the day of action. A yes or no answer will do.


With the economy flatlining or even sliding towards a possible new


recession, I'll report on how the Chancellor can boost growth while


sticking to his plans to reduce the deficit.


In London, how constituency boundary changes could affect the


capital's make-up. And the proposed relaxation of


licensing laws for music venues, is With me for the programme today are


Jackie Ashley, who's a political commentator for the Guardian, and


Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of the Sun. First the news.


The Chancellor has been giving more details of his plans to make


billions of pounds available in bank loans to businesses. The


Government will act as a guarantor for the loans to small and medium


sized enterprises. It comes as George Osborne is preparing his


Autumn Statement this week. Labour says the so called "credit easing"


plan doesn't go far enough, as our business correspondent Joe Lynam


The eurozone crisis is having what the government calls a chilling


effect on the British economy which could in theory lead to a complete


seizing up of bank lending to companies here. But as the


Chancellor prepares to unveil his Autumn Statement, he was still


confident that his deficit reduction plan was going to work.


We have got a deficit reduction plan that has brought us record low


interest rates, it has turned us that AAA credit rating. We are


absolutely going to stick to that plan because that is what is


helping Britain weather this storm and is also helping us lay the


foundations of a stronger economy. To do that he gave us more detail


on credit easing, his plan to boost lending. The Government would act


as a guarantor for lending by banks to small firms, by enabling lenders


to pass on cheaper borrowing costs to companies. A second programme


would see the government taking a stake in investment funds which


make loans to medium-sized companies, and the third idea hopes


to create an alternative to traditional bank loans by


encouraging firms to send -- sell bonds to the market. Although the


Treasury said the skins will not affect the deficit, Ed Balls said


it still would not be enough to boost growth. It was a big choice a


year ago. We were out on a limb in advocating a different approach.


Actually, increasingly, the IMF, business organisations,


Conservative MPs are all seeing that the plan has not worked. It


has led to more borrowing, we need a different course. On Tuesday the


Chancellor will set out the rest of the measures aimed at helping a


flagging economy. At the same time the Office for Budget


Responsibility, which he set up, was likely to say just how weak


that economy is. Her 100,000 more jobs could be cut in


the public sector, according to an independent forecasting group. The


Ernst and Young ITEM Club says the Government has been conservative in


its estimate of the number of job losses required to meet spending


cuts. It expects the predicted losses over the next five years to


be increased from 400,000 to around 500,000.


A search is continuing for five Russian seamen who are missing


after their cargo ship sank in gale force winds off the coast of


Anglesey. Two crew members were rescued from the sea, a third has


also been recovered, but his condition isn't known. The ship,


the Swanland, was carrying 3,000 tonnes of limestone. Last year, the


same ship was grounded off the coast of Cornwall.


A four-year-old girl has been killed in a motorway crash


involving several cars and a lorry near Birmingham. Second girl in the


same car was seriously injured. Six other people were taken to hospital.


A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by


dangerous driving. Iran's parliament has voted to


downgrade diplomatic and economic ties with the UK in retaliation for


Western sanctions imposed over Tehran's nuclear programme. If the


bill is passed, the government will downgrade ties within two weeks,


forcing the British Ambassador out of the country. This move comes


less than a week after London banned all British financial


institutions from doing business with their Iranian counterparts.


That's it from me. Thank you.


There will be much finger pointing in the Commons on Tuesday when the


Chancellor delivers his Autumn Labour and the coalition on how to


manage the economy. But are the differences really that great? Do


you think there is a sense in which it is convenient for both Tories


and Labour to exaggerate how far apart they are? To an extent, if


you look at the figures, there's not much difference between the


amount both sides would be spending, but you have to take into account


the Conservatives were dragged kicking and screaming to where we


are now by the Lib Dems. A lot of the measures we are seeing, which I


call Plan A class... Jobs and infrastructure. They have been


pushed by the Lib Dems, I don't think George Osborne by himself


would have done them. You are now seeing the Lib Dems, who are more


naturally in tune with Labour, have been making some headway. Do you


buy that analysis? I'd do. If you look at the numbers, the total


spending package of 700 billion. From that perspective it is small.


Where I disagree with that is there's still this Faustian gulf


between left and right, Tory, Labour, on the bigger picture,


which is the deficit reduction targets, whether you stick to that


precise spending package, or whether you will get to it in 2015


or 2017, or whether you borrow to create growth. Keane's inverses the


supply-side. Still far apart. you're going to have measures,


infrastructure projects, credit easing, help for small businesses,


a jobs fund to get young people back to work. A tacit


acknowledgement that the debt reduction will not get there by


2015. They have been brought on board by the Lib Dems. We should


give them a bit of credit for once for pulling the Conservatives over


to the right side! Sounds like you have got the memory already! I


haven't got that yet. 10 questions to ask... What is most interesting


about this week is not the tinkering that George Osborne does


in the Autumn Statement, because he doesn't have much room for


manoeuvre and we probably had most of it last week with the housing


staff and employment law changes and youth culture act. It is to


redefine the battlefield on what exactly is Plan A. I can't define


it. Is it deficit-reduction by 2015? Not really because that will


not work any more. What is it? It is slightly dry stuff that we


obsess about, talking about matters that don't mean a lot to normal


people, but how do we reshape... Where are the jobs coming from,


more importantly? Part of Plan A was we would cut public sector jobs


and the private sector would step in, but they haven't. We will leave


that there. Now, two million workers are


expected to take to the streets on Wednesday. Schools will close,


travel and border checks will be disrupted and operations will be


cancelled. You might think such drastic action was a measure of


last resort, taken after months of talks mired in deadlock. But after


a Government concession on public sector pensions which the unions


themselves described as a "material move", it might seem puzzling that


we are on the brink of one of the biggest walkouts in British history.


Earlier this morning, I spoke to the TUC General Secretary Brendan


Barber. I began by asking him whether the public would have more


sympathy with the strike if the Government hadn't shown such


willingness to negotiate. They have been intransigent, I'm afraid. On


some of the key issues involved in this difficult issue, they have


simply been unwilling to reconsider their position at all. That has


made it extremely difficult. said on November 2nd, I'm glad


they've made a move, it is important that the government has


moved, it has come late and we welcome they have made a move today.


It is a material move in their position. That doesn't sound like


intransigence. But even on some of those issues that were involved in


the proposals they set out early in November, we are still awaiting


absolute clarity on exactly what those proposals amount to. Why not


wait for the clarity and then go on strike if you're unhappy with what


you get? There are a whole number of different issues involved in the


negotiations which need to be addressed and need to be resolved.


On some of those, as things stand, the government had shown no


willingness to reconsider their position. On others, they have


failed to even present the information to enable us to clearly


understand what some of the proposals amount to. That has made


it extraordinarily difficult. But nobody is taking this action this


week likely. We have been trying to resolve this problem through those


negotiations for almost the whole of this year. Nobody has been


rushing to action. But the sense of frustration and a sense of real


injustice and anger is enormously strong across a whole range of


unions, many of them have never taken action before. What do you


say to the mother on low-pay, no gold-plated pension for her, having


to take a day off work because her child can't go to school? It is


terrible, isn't it? I take no pleasure in seeing ordinary


people's lives disrupted by this industrial action. But I think


people across the Community realise that sometimes it is right to take


a stand. Sometimes you have to show how strongly you feel. But only two


to three weeks ago, you were talking about how the government


had moved, how this could be a basis for negotiations, yet this


strike is going ahead. We have tried in the intervening period to


resolve this and reach an agreement. That has not been possible. That is


being disingenuous when on 2nd November, you said the government


had moved and we are still going ahead with the strike. It might


look to some people that you have decided on this industrial action,


you have a mandate, come what may it you are going ahead. No, that is


not the basis on which something so important is decided, of course not.


All of the organisations involved, 30 unions, they made this decision


very reluctantly. They don't want to move to industrial action


lightly or casually. Yet I urge you to look at the range of


organisations, organisations representing our most senior civil


servants, head teachers, professional health workers who are


dedicated to the service they provide. Many of them have agonised


over this decision they have made. But they feel so strongly that this


is a real injustice the government is seeking to force through, they


have to make a stand. I'm proud of them for doing it. We are about to


speak to Francis Maude, who is listening. Is there anything you


could say that could get you to call off your action? At this stage


I think that is probably unlikely. Nothing he can say? What Francis


Maude has to do with his colleagues in government is give people


confidence that there is a secured, fair pension going to be maintained


for the future. At the moment, people simply do not have that


confidence. Pensions can be quite complicated, but this is a simple


point. Sorry to interrupt. Isn't that a rather extraordinary


position? There's nothing the chief negotiator could say on Sunday


lunchtime that would get you to call off your action on Wednesday?


Well, he could certainly have a try. If he said the government are not


going to force through contributions increases, that would


help. That they are going to reconsider the change in indexation


they have made to reduce the value of the pension so significantly,


that they are not just going to force through the increase in the


pension Beijing scheme so that people will have to work in some


cases quite a number of years longer before they secured their


pension. If they would state -- take a step back on some of these


issues. But having talked to Francis Maude and his colleagues a


lot over written months, I fear he is not prepared to say that, which


leaves us with a real difficulty. Of course, we will try to resolve


this through the negotiations after the industrial action on Wednesday,


but unless he comes up with something very surprising, the


action will be going ahead later this week. Grateful to you, thank


you. And listening to that interview,


Francis Maude, one of the ministers leading the negotiations.


Have you got anything to say to Brendan Barber that might avert the


strikes? Yes, I would say, call it off, now. He said we had been


talking incessantly, we have. There are conversations going on every


day, pretty much. There will be conversations on Tuesday, Thursday.


This is going on intensively. The unions have jumped the gun. Brendan


slightly let the cat out of the bag. He said there is nothing you can


say that will call it off. They set off on this path months ago,


calling ballots which jumped the gun, with very low turnouts in some


of these ballots. The biggest unions had turnouts of a quarter


and a third of their memberships. This was irresponsible, in


appropriate, wrong timing, wrong thing to be doing, will inflict


damage on the economy at a time of When was the last time you spoke to


Brendan Barber? I understand there have been four different pension


negotiations going on. We had a meeting at the beginning of this


month, there have been conversations since then. But that


was the beginning of November, we have got a strike on Wednesday.


but there are four separate schemes. An agreement has to be reached not


in the central body, but in the sector schemes. And that is


happening all the time. There have been meetings twice a week going on.


So, this is very, very intensive. It is completed disingenuous to say


that there have not been conversations. They have been going


on all the time. Some people would suggest that your role in this has


actually been to stoke the flames of it, you have expressed your


irritation, you have talk about the unions going on strike for 15


minutes, which I think a lot of them found insulting and


patronising. The unions involved in the Royal Mile have on a number of


occasions had a five-minute strike to achieve what was needed, which


was to keep the ballot mandate open. But this was done for public


consumption. We have suggested to them in private, I'm not going to


tell you all the discussions which go on in private, and there are a


lot, but we have suggested to them in private that there are ways of


doing what he said was important, which was to keep open the ballot


mandate, because of this eccentricity in the law, which says


that if you have got a mandate, you have to exercise it within 28 days,


or it goes. So we said, let's think of some ways around this. Some


people have called for example a two-hour strike in the middle of


the night to get around it. What I was suggesting is completely


consistent with what a lot of unions already do. What about this


other point which some people thought was provocative, which was


to say, if you do not accept this, we reserve the right to withdraw it


from the table. Presumably you either think it is a fair deal for


workers or not. If you're going to withdraw it, that is hardly fair.


We think it is a good outcome. This will still save the taxpayer a good


deal of money. But would it not be a sign of good faith if you said


you would stick to it come what may? So you think it would be fine


for the Government to commit a considerable amount of taxpayers'


money to continue to be spent on pension schemes which are still


going to be the best anyone will have access to, while actually


there is no agreement that the unions will not carry on striking


and taking industrial action, working to rule, inflicting more


damage on the interests of the public and on the economy? You


think it would be fine to do that? No, this is conditional on an


agreement. This is a very fair, generous offer. We have said that


no-one within 10 years of retiring need fear any change to their


retirement age, or any reduction in the value of their pension. We said


that no-one earning below �15,000 will actually pay any additional


contributions. This is a fair way of treating dedicated public


servants who are entitled to good pensions. I want to test this


fairness and generosity. David Cameron said that low and middle-


income earners would be getting a larger pension at retirement than


they do now... That's not right, is it? Many of


their will. We have said that many of them will be able to retire on a


pension at least as good as the one they can expect now. So, someone


aged 37, on �26,000, working until they are 67, they will not be worse


off? We are talking about the pension you retire on. Many people


will be expected to retire later, because we're living 10 years


longer than people were. A 60-year- old today can expect to live 10


years longer than a 16-year-old in the 1970s. So it was not correct,


factually? Many of them will get a better pension, but what we have


always said is that people will be able to retire, particularly middle


and low-income earners, on a pension at least as good. The


change we made was where we increased the generosity of the


offer, which had the effect of meaning that many of them will


retire not on a pension just as good, but better than what they


currently can expect. Let's talk about the disruption on Wednesday.


How worried are you of what it could be like? I think it will be


destructive, schools will close, which will inconvenience not only


the children, but actually, the real damage will be to the millions


of people who depend on the schools being open to be able to go to work


themselves. They have got hard pressed household budgets, they're


going to work to pay the taxes which go to pay the pensions for


public sector workers, better pensions than nearly anyone in the


private sector has access to. will say these are only


contingencies, but the military are on standby, to do what? To make


sure that our borders are secured, and that the inconvenience to


travellers, people visiting Britain, is minimised. How many members of


the army have been trained up? would have to speak to the UK


Border Agency. They have responsibility for keeping the


border secure and for minimising the inconvenience to passengers.


They are taking that responsibility extremely seriously. People will be


arriving at Heathrow on Wednesday morning, and they will find


soldiers sitting there at passport control? It is possible, you will


have to speak to the Department about that. There will be some


disruption, I'm afraid it is inevitable. Passionate in


appropriate, irresponsible, the unions have jumped the gun. It is


quite wrong to be calling strikes at a time when discussions are


still going on, and where we are making progress. The unions have


been disingenuous this morning, saying there is no progress. Of


course they have to say that because it justifies this


irresponsible strike. Are you not worried? One newspaper today has a


poll saying the public are blaming the Government for this strike.


That was not what they were asked. Actually, the public are very much


supporting, as far as I can see, the changes the Government is


making. People look at their own pension arrangements, and they look


at the pension arrangements for public sector workers, which, at


the end of this, will be far better than what anyone else can expect.


And they say, is it right that my life should be disrupted, I will


not be able to go to work, because my children cannot go to school,


when actually I'm paying out in many cases as much in my taxes to


support their pensions as I am to support my own. It seems obvious


now that both sides, if they do not want this, that nothing will change


before November 30th. But what about after November 30th? Would


you then be able to offer the unions something more, to give them


some sort of face-saving exercise? What we have made absolutely clear


is that there is still a lot of flexibility, there are a lot of


moving parts. The reason why we have been talking so intensively is


that because in each of these schemes, which all have different


workforces, different profiles of salaries, different age ranges, to


work out within each one the best way to put the pieces together to


provide the best pension schemes, and the best outcome for most of


their members. That's what we're trying to do. There are not any


more parts we can put on the table. We have made a big, generous offer,


on November 2nd. Everybody acknowledges that it is a generous


offer. The unions have said it is a big move forward. We now need to


finalise it, to work out the way to use those moving parts to provide a


fair and affordable outcome. Thank you very much for being with us.


The big walkout should be a no- brainer for the Labour Party. But


with the strike three days away, the Labour Party is sitting firmly


on the fence. In a moment I will be speaking to the Shadow Chief


Secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves, about that. But first, some


maths homework. She's one of Labour's brightest young things.


Only elected last year, Rachel Reeves is already in the shadow


cabinet. Can this maths buff and former Bank of England economist


help save Labour's two classic conundrums - how to manage the


relationship with the trade unions and how to rebuild its battered


economic reputation. But what does the relationship between Labour and


the trade unions at up to at a time when strikes on the agenda? Well,


the party was formed by the unions. Ed Miliband was elected thanks to


their support. And figures out this week show that they donate 89% of


Labour's money. But it is a complicated equation when it comes


to solidarity on strikes, with the party offering sympathy for


strikers but refusing to back Wednesday's action. As for the


economy, despite the coalition's troubles, voters are sceptical that


the two Eds can really do their sums. 50% say they do not trust


Labour to make the right decision, and many blame them for the current


slowdown. But Rachel Reeves continues to argue for tackling the


deficit more slowly to avoid another recession. As we await an


autumn statement designed to deliver growth, she believes that


Labour are starting to win that argument. But it will be for the


public to decide if her calculations really do add up.


Rachel Reeves joins us now. Thank you very much for being with us.


Simple question, yes or no will do - do you support the strikes?


understand why public sector workers are going on strike, but I


think it could have been averted if the unions and the Government had


been sitting down talking to each other this weekend rather than


talking separately to you. But they have said they have been talking.


Francis Maude said he spoke to Brendan Barber at the beginning of


November. We have got strikes looming on Wednesday. I would have


thought that Francis Maude would have spent this weekend negotiating


with Brendan Barber and public sector workers to avert these


strikes. That's what people up and down the country want. That's what


businesses want, and yet they have not spoken since the beginning of


the month. Let me ask the question again - do you support the strikes?


I don't think that is the right question. It is the question I want


to ask. But the real question is, what has right done to avert the


strike? If Labour were in power, this weekend we would have been


sitting down with the unions to thrash out a deal, to negotiate an


outcome which is acceptable both to taxpayers and for people and the


public sector. The Government and Francis Maude has admitted


yesterday, have not done that. there not a role of political


leadership, whereby you should be able to shake, one way or another,


there was an important new offer put on the table, and the unions


have said it looks interesting, we need clarification on it - why are


you striking when you're still getting clarification and still


talking about the offer? Surely it would have been better to delay the


strike action until some time in the future, when you think actually,


this is a lousy deal, or it is OK. What you saw on the 2nd November


was some concessions from the Government on the a crawl rates and


on the transitional protection for some people coming up to retirement.


But the across-the-board increases in contribution, that is not on the


table, it is being imposed. If you're a low-paid worker, part-time,


particularly a woman working in the public sector, a community nurse, a


dinner lady, they will be facing increasing contributions of between


�5 and �10 a week. They're already struggling to make ends meet, with


a two-year pay freeze. They will find it very difficult to absorb


this increase, but it is not even on the table. That is one thing we


think the Government should have been negotiating on. Don't Labour


get themselves into a difficult position, where the unions think,


you're a bit mealy mouthed in supporting us, and the public think,


you are not condemning the strikes? I have sympathy for the people who


rely on public services. The kids are supposed to be getting an


education on Wednesday. Francis Maude said it was not a big deal,


but I think it is, for many kids. But you could show political


leadership and say, they should not go on strike. I do understand why


people, teachers, people in the Border Agency, I understand why


they're so frustrated, because they feel the Government are being


disingenuous. Also, they are being asked to contribute 3% extra from


their pay packet, effectively a tax on public sector workers which will


not even be going into their pension pots. If Labour were in


power, the difference would be that we would be sitting down


negotiating, rather than upping the rhetoric and threatening to


withdraw the deal, as Francis Maude did again today on this programme.


Just one more question on Labour's relationship with the unions - we


talk about the fact that nine tenths of your funding comes from


the unions, should it not be an ambition to reduce that? Since the


general election last year, our membership has gone up by more than


50%, and the biggest supporters of the party are our members, who pay


through their subscriptions and off road through donations. -- and also


through donations. What we were talking about was the levy that


members of the trade unions pay. That is not quite an answer to the


question. That is the decision of people to pay the political levy


for the trade unions, and that many then comes to the Labour Party, and


I'm proud of that relationship. The Labour Party was formed by the


trade unions, it is part of our tradition. Just on the economy,


let's talk about the wider UK economy, with the Autumn Statement


coming up on Tuesday - why do you think it is that if the Government


is making such a mess of this, the We should have done more with


banking regulation. But we are now seeing the impact of this


Government's policies. Increasing taxes, VAT, cutting public spending


at such a rate is now risking a double-dip recession in the UK.


talk about the failure of banking regulation. Don't you also need to


say we spent too much? Until 2008, the Conservatives were backing our


spending. How I'm not asking about what they did, I'm asking you for


your judgment on whether Labour spent too much. I don't believe we


did. Between 1997 and 2007 we reduce debt as a share if GDP, but


during the financial crisis, we made a decision to bring forward


spending, to cut taxes, to try to avoid a global recession becoming a


global depression. They were the right choices because it stopped


unemployment going up to 2.5 and 3 million to as we've seen in the


sessions and the past. Your five point plan for jobs involves more


borrowing. You haven't said how much more borrowing, have you?


point is... So the answer is no? VAT, that is �12 billion. For what


makes you think of the markets are going to accept more borrowing when


they haven't done in Spain, Italy, Greece? That is a massive gamble.


The reality is that the government on a borrowing at least �46 billion


more than they had previously planned because of the cost of the


failure of their economic policies, they have more people out of work


so we are paying more out in benefits and getting less in taxes.


With these targeted measures to get jobs and growth back on track, that


will get the economy moving and will help us reduce the debt in a


sustainable way. At the moment we are borrowing more because of


economic failure. Can I go back to the strikes? Francis Maude was


talking about eccentricities in the strike ballot. You have to take the


industrial action within 28 days of the ballot. Do you agree with that?


As Francis Maude said, the unions could do something different league


to keep that mandate available. But they have decided to take strike


action on Wednesday because of the strength of feeling about this


issue. You think the 15th minute idea was a constructive proposal?


don't think that... Are you suggested that was the right way


forward? What I was saying is you could keep the mandate by just


taking small action. On this occasion the unions feel so


strongly about this issue, that is not on the table. That might be a


better idea. Negotiations are quite close to reaching an agreement.


doesn't sound like they are close to reaching agreement. The fact


that Brendan Barber and Francis Maude have not spoken since the


beginning of the month suggests they are a long way off a deal.


That is unfortunate because people who rely on public services will


see massive disruption that could have been avoided if the government


were sitting down with the people in the public sector this week


rather than coming on the television and saying they might


withdraw their offer. You do seem to suggest, and I am interested in


this, that some sort of token strike action, whether in the


middle of the night, would have been a way forward that would have


allowed the talks to continue and still keep the mandate. Jackie is


saying is it appropriate to say you have to take action within 28 days


to keep that mandate? There are ways to keep that mandate going


that fall short of full strike action, but the unions have decided


and balloted on strike action and they are going ahead with that


because they don't think the government have listened. Thank you.


We will have more on what to expect from the Chancellor's statement


later. First, The Politics Show Hello and welcome to The Politics


Show in London. Coming up later...


It is the biggest change to parliamentary boundaries for


decades, we consider one MP's fight to save his constituency. Self-


interest or commonsense? But first, and next year's Olympics


there are big commercial opportunities both legal and


illegal. Fielders profession in the world might anticipate an upturn in


business as millions visit the capital for the Games. But as


police rampart their efforts to shut Brussels and London, could


prostitutes be driven onto the streets and therefore Integrator


danger? -- brothels. According to the English collective


of prostitutes, there's a degree of prosecution going on towards sex


workers as police target human Now Conservative assembly mender


Andrew Goff has claimed... -- He added that brothels were


targeted under the guise of the police going after trafficked women


and asked if this was the best way to attack trafficking. He also


called for the police to turn a blind eye to prostitutes working in


Brussels, for them to be decriminalised and licensed, adding


it would do some power pence and make it easier to allow health


His remarks have been questioned in some quarters, with critics


claiming it will give a green light to prostitution, enabling a red


light districts to spring up in every area of town.


Andrew off is here with me now along with Labour assembly member


and candidate for deputy Mayor, Val Shawcross. What do you say to the


reaction to what you say? Police are going into hard against


brothels and prostitution? police quote is they want to make


London a hostile environment for pimps, but some of their actions


make it a hostile environment for women working in the sex industry.


I want to see a regime whereby women feel able to report attacks


against them, to report whether or not they have been trafficked orca


worse, and I think currently the conduct of the police is not


helping that, but they have a law which mitigates against the safety


of women. What is your evidence that it is not working? I think we


have seen an increase in raids, for example, in the five Olympic


boroughs. 80 raids in the past year whereas in all the remaining


boroughs of London, we have only had 29. They are concentrating on a


particular area. The messages I am getting from people in that


industry, from prostitutes, is they are feeling it is a more unsafe


environment. They are cautious that if they were to report an attack,


for example, to the police, it might be then criminalise rather


than the attacker. What do you say about this? I think the police are


absolutely right to carry on trying to stamp down on this. The concept


that somehow or other a woman in a brothel is making a career choice


is absolutely ridiculous. Enormous numbers of women are Coe worst,


traffic, drug abuse is implicated in this, extreme violence. There's


absolutely no sensible research that shows women makes this as a


career choice. Of course they don't. Poverty is one of the biggest


drivers of women into this industry and it is very important that we


don't give any signals that this is a legal industry. It is very


implicated with a gang criminals. What about if the police were going


in harder because of the Olympics? 90% of the women in prostitution in


London are thought to be migrants and the police themselves think a


very, very large number have actually been trafficked. It is


really important that they keep the pressure up because at the moment


the danger is that there could be an increase in violence against


women and the growth in broth and prostitution. A do you recognise


that? I don't recognise that picture. Val is not looking at any


research into this area. For research suggests there's not a


massive number of women being trafficked, though there are


trafficked women. My interest in those women being trafficked,


research suggests the figure of colours of Lee trafficked women


into Prof is well below 5% and that is independent research. The police


themselves are saying that they have seen no rise in the amount of


trafficking in the run-up to the Olympics. This is being based...


That research has been debunked thoroughly by the police themselves.


It hasn't. It has been debunked. That study went into about 100


brothels, spoke to women under circumstances where they were


probably under coercion and threats of violence. It was a very small


sample and has been comprehensively debunked. I really do think...


last word with each. You should talk to some of the women in this


industry. Your caricaturing every single one as being coerced into


doing that. Some people have made choices and you don't liberate


women by taking their choice away. Women do not make a choice to be


victims of sexual violence, to be abused by gangs in London. You can


shut your eyes to it. You should look a little bit more seriously at


the implications of this issue. that's all we have time for. Thank


you. The political map of London looks


set to change under new proposals to reduce the number of MPs. The


capital will lose five of its 73 seats and House of Commons. Nearly


every constituency in London is being redrawn to some extent. Some


MPs are not happy. This is Andy Love, MP for Edmonton.


Although maybe not for much longer. Under proposed changes, his


constituency will cease to exist and merge with Chingford, which he


says is bad news for residents. represent some of the most deprived


people who need public services, who need somebody to champion their


rights in the community. A member of parliament, that is their role.


The new seat of Chingford and Edmonton is divided by the Lea


Valley. Industrial land, but most importantly a reservoir, leaving


only two road crossings more than two miles apart. We followed Andy


to the local shopping centre as he tried to canvass support. I am


running a campaign to save Edmonton. What we are doing is trying to stop


them linking Edmonton with Chingford. One has -- one of his


big contentions is the amount of time it will take people to get


from Edmonton to Chingford and on these leaflets it says Chingford,


one hour and 30 minutes by foot. Not that many people would fancy


that walk. We're going to see how long it would take by public


transport. Destination Chingford, Conservative Association. The


journey might be one that residents wanting to see their MP have to get


used to. The proposed new seat, if it had existed at the last election,


would have been won by Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservatives. The


reaction you get from some members of the public is that politicians


are interested in this because they are trying to save their own skins.


Inevitably there will be the case and I would be the last to say


politicians don't have a critical interest in the boundaries under


which they operate. Of course. But we have tried to separate the


politics from the issues that should concern everybody. It is


about community, it is about links, it is about how the difficulties of


accessing your representative. Chingford & Woodford Green


Fantastic. I suggested it was an hour to an hour and a half, it has


turned out to be spot on the middle. Chingford is a very different place


compared to the at the side of the tracks. It is notably well fear.


But while economics and a huge body of water may separate the two parts


of the proposed new constituency, and he thinks he might have found a


quicker way to bridge that divide. -- Andy. You're wearing a


lifejacket, you have taken us to the King George Sailing Club on the


reservoir. Why is that? That is Edmonton straight across the


reservoir on the other side. That is the most direct route and that


is the one I'm going to take to show you how ludicrous these new


boundaries are. We are going by Only the eye Ps! -- VoIPs.


Andy Love is Here. How long did it take you to get across the lake?


4 minutes. Tony Travers is also hear from the LSE. How long does it


take to go by car from one side of your constituency to the other?


my constituency... The new one. takes somewhere between 15 and 20


minutes. That doesn't make it sound so bad. You have to remember that


the people who want to act as a Member of Parliament, they are


often the very people who don't have access to a car and it is to


my unconcerned about. Don't you feel it is geographically not right


I think I am saying more than that. They have ignored geography all


over the country and I would not stand out if it was the only thing


of matter to me. What matters is this enormous geographical barrier


that exists between the two parts of the constituency. There are no


links between Chingford and Edmonton. We will never build them


because of the barrier. And we are losing the links we currently have


Almost none of these cases are typical, without being unhelpful.


Some of the constituencies will remain exactly the same. Others


will be dismembered, but there are some clear examples. This is one of


them, where what feels like a single place ends up being on


either side of a river or road, and is undoubtedly separated. But I


thought the promise was that what was meant to be happening would be


to iron out those problems to make things more integrated.


difficulty is that when you start to change boundaries, and


particularly when you reduce the number of constituencies, which is


what lies behind all of this, it leaves the people drawing the


boundaries with a terrifically difficult job. If you move the


boundaries for one, in order to get just the right number of voters,


you have knock-on effects in the next one. And you end up with


constituencies which in some cases do not fully makes sense. We cannot


get an absolute, scientific indication of this, but we can get


some indications from previous election results, which indicate


that it would make it less likely that you would hold the seat next


time - is that one factor? course it is a factor for me,


personally. We have tried to separate out the issues. Everybody


can tell when an argument is essentially political. We have


tried to stick to the criteria which the Boundary Commission has


suggested - it is about geographic links, community links, it is about


all of the other issues which make up a constituency. If


constituencies are going to be all in this together... You're making


this case to the Boundary Commission, any indication from


then yet that they might admit they have got this one slightly wrong,


with this big body of water it adds that we invited them to come up and


see for themselves, but they resisted the temptation. I hope


they will review this seriously. We have got significant concerns


expressed by my constituents, it just does not make any sense. Let


me just say, as a comparison, they had to cross the River Thames, they


did so at the narrowest point in London. They have crossed the River


Lea at the widest point. If you look at the overall result,


comparing it with last time, it looks as if Labour would lose


probably two or three seats, and so, they would be slightly worse off,


the Conservatives might lose one, too. But overall, the Conservatives


would do slightly better. And what about some key senior figures?


south London, there's a number of MPs, including Tessa Jowell, Kate


Hoey, Sidique Khan, all finding their constituencies are being cut


up. But of course there will be some new constituencies which


arguably will make more sense as communities after the reform, even


though it means dismembering a constituency, from the point of


view of the MP. They will all end up fighting with each other, which


they like less, of course, even than fighting with opponents in the


other party. If you run a venue in London where you have live music


and it is under a certain size, soon you may not need an


entertainment licence. The Government is considering getting


rid of some regulations which they believe to be burdensome. But some


of London's councils are worried about what this could unleash. When


it comes to getting permission to put on live music events, there are


lots of inconsistencies within the system. You do not need a licence


to have a carol concert in a church, but you do if it is in a church


hall. You would not need a licence for a free school concert, but you


would if there was charity fund- raising going on. Punch & Judy


shows, pianists in restaurants and other things all need licences to


go ahead. It is these anomalies and disadvantages for small music


events which the Government hopes to remove by changing the licensing


system. They are proposing that all venues with an audience of less


than 500 people will no longer have to buy licences to host musical


events. -- 5,000 people. It is a relief for many small venues which


currently struggle to pay. Kensington & Chelsea Council have


almost 1,000 venues which would be free to host events under the new


regulations. The council are worried that this could lead to


music being played around the clock, leading to an increase in noise and


anti-social behaviour. But laws on noise nuisance, alcohol licensing


and disorder will remain the same, so are the council just standing in


the way of what many would say is his implication of an overly


complicated system? -- is an -- is a simplification. Joining me now, a


representative of Kensington & Chelsea council. We are very


supportive of the creative industries, we want people to have


a good time, but actually, if you remove all the regulation which is


currently in place, as this threatens to do, you run the risk


that residents will be immensely that residents will be immensely


inconvenienced. The only section they will have is to make a


complaint or to see to have a premises closed down after the


event. We want some control, to give residents some degree of


security. John Smith, making this easier for the venues, and for the


musicians, is all very well, but for the people living nearby?


think they have got legislation in place now which can deal with that.


You have got environmental legislation, anti-social behaviour


legislation, health and safety legislation, which we think deal


with this. What happens with the Licensing Act is that they have to


sign up to a complicated set of restrictions before they even play


music. When we did some research, just after the Licensing Act was


passed, it was clear that most complaints were about domestic


music, from parties and things like that, and recorded music, which is


exempt from the Licensing Act. So it only punishes live music.


the DJs can be loud, but not live music. Is this too prescriptive,


just putting burdens in the way? I don't think so. You saw from the


film, we have nearly 1,000 licensed premises in our Burgh. What is


appropriate in one place, where it might make sense to relax the rules,


is not appropriate in a built up, inner city area, where one person's


noise and good fun really makes another person's life a misery. We


have got to take account of that. This fails to do that, there is no


balance. We have lobbied for a long while for an exemption for the


smaller venues. We did not like the way that music was licensed under


the Licensing Act. And we know that this particularly hit the smaller


venues, because they are using recorded music, rather than live


music. So the opportunity is not there to grow young acts. I was


doing some research into the borough, and there is a small venue


on the King's Road called the 3p, where Mumford & Sons and Laura


Marling started. That is the kind of venue we want to encourage.


the bureaucrats of Kensington and Chelsea could have prevented major


bands! We have a great history of being the home of lots of creative


bands. We do not want to stop that, but there is a right place and are


well placed to make lots of noise. We have plenty of licensed premises,


we have music licences, it has not stamped out creativity. But it


gives residents some support. think they have already got powers


which they could use? We think they exist already, yes. If there is an


issue, people can be taken to task. Why can't you just do that, it


would save you time and money, wouldn't it? No, because that puts


the onus on to the nearby residents, on to the neighbours, on to the


miscreant. What's wrong with saying, this is a venue where we want some


live music, we can manage it properly, we can control the crowds.


The idea that up to 5,000 people can go to a venue, and there is no


control whatsoever, is ludicrous in central London. It may work in the


middle of pull. That's all the time we have on that for now. Back to


you, Jon. As we have been discussing, the Chancellor's Autumn


Statement has a lot of hype to live up to. Treasury sorties -- treasury


sources quoted today say it will be a game-changer. That is a big claim.


So, what can we expect from the Autumn Statement? This is what


rebuilding the economy looks like. Today, we're using concrete. I'm


not joking, because getting billions into infrastructure


projects like roads and railways is one of the two main lines of attack


which Mr Osborne will be using on Tuesday in his battle to stimulate


economic growth. Building, for example, a new railway means jobs


in the construction industry, in transport and associated businesses


and a revenue stream when passengers start queuing up. If I'm


standing here in seven years' time, I will be running a serious risk of


getting mowed down by a train coming out of this tunnel behind me.


This is the Canary Wharf Station for CrossRail, and the entire


project is costing �14.8 billion. I have been told that the Government


will be announcing another big infrastructure project this coming


Tuesday. But where is the money going to come from? The Government


can spend money on capital infrastructure projects without


interfering with their own mandate to reduce the deficit. But they


would rather involve the private sector, too. There's a lot of


companies and Investment funds with a lot of cash on their balance


sheets, and on looking back, getting the planning consent ready,


and the Government putting in the necessary support, is important not


just for getting jobs now, but also in preparing the economy for the


future. The second weapon in the Government's armoury is going to be


something called credit easing. The banks are hoarding money, rather


than lending it, which is bad news for businesses, particularly small


ones. We now know the Treasury will underwrite �20 billion worth of


loans to small businesses, targeting companies that turnover


less than �50 million. The Government guarantees the funds, so


that taxpayers' money would not be at risk if one of the businesses


went under. But some people in this attack think this is a wrong and


risky strategy. -- some people in the City. It is quite a risky thing,


because we would be seeing the taxpayer once again taking on risk.


People think that loans are too risky, and yet the Government is


going to start underpinning this. And there is a trend here. We saw


it also on the policy of guaranteeing 95% mortgages. The


Government is turning into a bank, turning into a vehicle to guarantee


debt, for private individuals or firms, and I think that is


dangerous. It also shows that the coalition has learnt nothing from


the disaster of some time lending. -- of subprime lending. When you


start to think you know better than lenders, you end up in trouble.


That is the big stuff, infrastructure and credit. But this


autumn statement is also going to mean difficult decisions about us,


and how we cope with falling standards of living. We know for


example but the Chancellor is going to cap increases in rail fares for


commuters, but what will happen about increasing benefits, for


instance? The Government's policies to upgrade benefits against the


consumer price index have been using the rate from the previous


September. This time the Government will have to spend more next year


than they had been expecting on benefit recipients, about which


more and more than they had been expecting in March. That's why


people are talking about the Treasury backing away from such a


large and direct increase in benefits. And what is going to


happen about fuel bills? Fuel duty is helping to reduce the deficit,


but there is talk of a freeze. Government has plans to increase


fuel duty next January by 3p, which will raise the Government about


�1.3 billion each year. That is part of what is helping to


contribute to closing the gap between government spending and


revenue. Juggling conflicting needs, like the need to save money and the


needs of car drivers, for example, is going to require some careful


manoeuvres this Tuesday. But most of all, George Osborne wants


British business to say, yes, this is a radical strategy to encourage


growth. This time, a bit of tinkering is not going to do the


trick. Just to say, there will be full coverage of the Chancellor's


statement in a special programme on BBC Two on Tuesday at noon. That is


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