11/12/2011 The Politics Show London


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This week on the Politics Show: Clegg and Cameron seemingly at war


over Europe. Can the coalition survive the Deputy Prime Minister's


fury and dismay over last week's Euro veto? We will be joined by


Nick Clegg's closest adviser, Norman Lamb.


And as Tory Euro-sceptic MPs celebrate what they see as David


Cameron's victory in Brussels, is Britain headed for the EU exit? We


will ask John Redwood and a very worried Lib Dem peer.


Can the government really turn around the lives of Britain's


problem families by the end of this Parliament? Communities Secretary


Eric Pickles thinks so, but how? And remember this? Why have you


issued a briefing document called Calamity Clegg? I have not. This


came from your office on Friday to the Politics Show. I did not see it.


As the Politics Show says goodbye, we look back on our highlights from


the last nine years. In London - parking war in


Westminster. Westminster Council resists calls to scrap plans for


And with me throughout the programme are the former political


editor of the Observer, Gaby Hinsliff, and the Sun's associate


editor Trevor Kavanagh. Welcome to the show. First, the News.


Thank you, good afternoon. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg


has told the BBC he is bitterly disappointed by the outcome of this


week's European summit. He warned Britain could be left isolated and


marginalised after David Cameron's decision to veto a new EU treaty to


stabilise the euro. Here is our political correspondent, Adam


Fleming. They are the two leaders of


different parties whose personal bond holds this coalition together.


Until this morning when Nick Clegg delivered his verdict on the EU


summit. I am bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last week's


summit, precisely because I think there is a real danger that over


time the United Kingdom will be isolated and marginalised within


the European Union. I do not think that is good for jobs in the city


or elsewhere. I do not think it is good for growth or good for


families up and down the country. That is why I as a Liberal Democrat


will do everything I can to make sure this setback does not become a


permanent divide. It is a much tougher tone than the one he used


on Friday when he offered the Prime Minister lukewarm support. And it


is very different from David Cameron's message, hours after he


refused to be part of a new European treaty. I think it is


right for Britain to say which bits of Europe both -- most benefit ass


and focus on those. I'm not frightened of the fact that


sometimes you might not be included in something. Are we better outside


the euro? You bet we are. Nick Clegg also infuriated Euro-sceptics


in the Prime Minister's party calling them spectacularly


misguided. I hear it this about the bulldog spirit. There is nothing


bulldog about Britain hovering in the mid-Atlantic. But he does not


want to push the eject button on the coalition and Conservative


ministers say the relationship still works. Certainly there are


differences between parties in a coalition on a subject like this,


but as we always have over the last 18 months, we work through those


things to a common position. David Cameron will make a statement on


the summit in the Commons tomorrow. The reaction of MPs and the squirms


on the front bench will tell us how far apart the two coalition


partners have become on the issue of Europe.


United Nations talks in South Africa on climate change had ended


with a last-minute deal to compel, for the first time, all the world's


biggest polluters to take action to curb global warming. Delegates


agreed to work towards a new legally binding accord to come into


effect by 2020. The climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, accepted


that a lot remained to be done, but insisted the agreement was a big


step forward. In what we have done today is actually a great success


for European diplomacy. We have managed to put this on the map and


we have managed to bring the major emitters like the United States and


India and China into a road map which will secure an overarching


global deal. A report from the Financial


Services Authority will be highly critical of its own role in the


events which led to the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland three


years ago. The report will say staff at the City regulator lacked


the skills to monitor companies as complex as RBS, but that its


failure was ultimately due to decisions made by the bank's


management. Our next bulletin on BBC 1 is at


5:30pm this afternoon. Now back to Jon Sopel.


Thank you. What an unbelievable image, the


pro-European Deputy Prime Minister alone in his apartment in Sheffield


being run at 4 o'clock in the morning by David Cameron to say


that he had used the veto and the rest of the EU were going it alone.


The reverberations in Europe and the ructions in the coalition are


still playing themselves out. Trevor, how DEC this unfolding?


don't think anyone in London or Brussels fully anticipated the


consequences of what David Cameron did on Friday but what he has done


is to trigger a sequence of events which I now unstoppable and will


lead to the logical conclusion of which means we will leave the


European Union. This cannot be reversed. I have got to ask you


this. Is that wishful thinking or is that cold political analysis?


think it is an analysis which has proved correct since the launch of


the European single currency. It was never going to succeed. It is


doomed to failure one way or another and this is simply a part


of that process. Do you share that analysis? I don't think it is


irreversible. I don't think there is anything which cannot be stopped


in politics if you have the will to stop it. But I think we are set on


a trajectory which will be hard to get off. The other possibility is


not that we will leave the EU but there will be no EU left to leave.


If you look at the failure to deal with the eurozone crisis, you can


see the political entity coming apart as well as the economic


entity. Thank you. In a moment, we will talk to voices


from both sides of the coalition and both sides of the euro divide,


but first, here is a reminder of how we got here.


Agent Cameron packed his attache case for a trip to Brussels this


week for what turned out to the Mission impossible. The assignment,


support a treaty which might help to save the eurozone crisis if by


creating a deeper fiscal union and protecting the city. By the early


hours of Friday morning, that mission was aborted as Sarkozy and


Merkel rejected the plan. The result, a bleary-eyed Cameron.


was on offer was not in Britain's interests. And the plan is a two-


speed Europe. The response was furious with President Sarkozy


Colin Cameron's demands unacceptable and Angela Merkel cent


Cameron was never really at the table. At home, Tory MPs were


celebrating but the morning's front pages are dominated by Nick Clegg's


fury and dismay over the veto. Triumph or disaster? Victory or


defeat? It is too early to decide. That depends on whether the crisis


can be resolved in the reserves. If it cannot, Britain will gain credit


for standing aside. But if it does not, the veto could blow up in


David Cameron's face. Norman Lamb joins us from Norwich


now. Thank you for being with us. Nick Clegg sounded furious this


morning, is he? I think he is clearly disappointed. Many people


are, particularly in the business community. It should be said that


both coalition partners agreed the terms that we should go into the


negotiations with. They were modest and reasonable demands. But there


is no doubt there where we have got to is not a good place for Britain


to be in. If your interest is in jobs and growth and the interests


of British business, we have to build alliances across Europe and


that has to be the priority now. believe the veto was used because


of the unacceptable proposals or because of the constraints that


David Cameron finds himself under in the Conservative Party.


knows? As Nick indicated this morning, the Prime Minister was


clearly caught in a very difficult position with complete


intransigence it seems, from the French in particular, and it is a


great pity that those reasonable demands, that the British put


forward and remember, there was no demand for repatriation of powers,


this was just about protecting the single market. It is a great pity


that those reasonable demands were not accepted. Was it right to use


the veto? Ultimately, where we have got to is not a good place. Hang on.


The viewer can listen to that and here you not answering that


question. Was it right to use the veto? What we cannot say is whether


if the negotiations had continued, we would have got to a better place.


The truth is that Britain's interests are damaged by being


isolated in Europe. We may also have been in a difficult position


had we gone along with a compromise that did not meet the demands which


we, as a coalition government, put forward. I think the critical thing


now, seriously, is to look forward and the choice that we face is a


really important one. Faced with a position that where most of us take


the view is... I will talk about the future, I promise I will come


to the future but you have raised something very interesting their


way you refused to answer the question about whether it was right


to use the veto, you said negotiations should have continued


longer. Was this a failure of negotiations? Who knows? Unless you


were in the room, it is impossible to make the judgment. All I can say


is that the demands were reasonable and a picnic's analysis this


morning that he was trapped between intransigence from France and the


Euro-sceptic Right of the Conservative Party was the right


analysis. What I want to focus on is the future. We have a really


important choice as a country. Faced with the fact that most


people take the view that Europe is in need of serious reform, it


regulates too much, it irritates people intensely, the amount that


it interferes with people's lives, it needs the reform. The choice is,


do you walkaway which the Euro- sceptic Right want to do, or do you


lead the case for reform. The Liberal Democrats will support the


growth. We are part of a single market of 500 million consumers. It


is critical for Britain's interests that we lead the case for


liberalising back market, for jobs and growth. You talk about the


future. Should Nick Clegg be at the summit to be part of the


negotiations? I think in the lead- up to Thursday night, Nick played a


very prominent role in talking to European leaders. The without much


effect. Well, in seeking alliances. The key thing is that Britain is


not alone in its analysis that we need to reform Europe. We need to


make the single market more liberal. There are a lot about eyes out


there and the challenge for British diplomacy is to build those


alliances and Nick will lead the case in talking to businesses, in


working with business now to support the case for supporting


alliances to make the single market work effectively in Britain's


interests. You heard Trevor Kavanagh's analysis that ultimately


this will lead to a decision about whether Britain stays in the EU or


not. Do you think this could lead to Britain's withdrawal from the


European Union? As I said, there is a choice. Trevor Kavanagh


represents the view that we should move all the way to leave the EU.


Our view is that that would be disastrous. To walk away from the


world's biggest single market of 500 million consumers, where over 3


million jobs defend -- 3 million jobs depend on trade with Europe,


it would be crazy so let's reform Europe, recognise where it fails


but don't walk away. Thank you. And I'm joined by men with two very


different views about Europe and David Cameron's veto. Liberal


Democrat peer Matthew Oakeshott and Conservative MP and renowned Euro-


sceptic John Redwood. John Redwood, I'm sure you disagreed with a lot


of what Nick Clegg at said. I think David Cameron used the veto for


very good reasons. The deal on the table was unacceptable to the


United Kingdom's. It was against the interests of the government and


people. What we are talking here is a set of proposals that the


European Union come up with for more and more austerity measures to


be enforced on countries from the EU with sanctions in order to


enforce them. I don't think Mr Clegg does actually want more cuts


and more tax increases at the moment in Britain, so surely he is


rather relieved that we did not sign up to that, coming from the EU.


Did you sense relief when you listen. Was that the emotion you


would describe? No, I was trying to reassure him that Britain did the


right thing in the right situation. We were out of the room on the euro


from the day we wisely decided not go into the euro. I think most


people in Britain are heartily relieved that we did not go into


the euro. We have never been in a room on the euro because we are not


part of it. We should take it further to political union. Britain


cannot conceivably be part of that process so we need a new


relationship which makes sense for Was it a disaster? Of course it was.


It was bad for Brittain. John is a very old friend and a very old


political enemy. The agenda is to get as out of Europe. This is


deeply damaging both for the country and a coalition. Haven't we


witnessed the Liberal Democrats huffing and puffing, unhappy, and


unable to do anything about it? am not huffing and puffing. Nick


Clegg has called it a bad deal for Brittain and he did not know that


David Cameron had exercise the veto. I would say a veto should have been


exercised you said, I am not having an puffin, Vince Cable is not


huffing and puffing. The position of Vince Cable is, he gave a very


serious warning last Monday in the Cabinet, against elevating these


financial regulation points in a make or break deal. He did not get


any support on that. That warning his birth. Make Clegg was warning


David Cameron -- Nick Clegg was warning David Cameron there was a


fear it could break down and it did happen. You are a very close friend


of Vince Cable. Is he considering Nick Clegg said this was a bad deal


for Britain. Nick Clegg is the Deputy Prime Minister and he will


be pushing that we should not walk away. Are you absolutely sure the


Vince Cable will not resign? I have no idea what Vince Cable will do.


Are not huffing and puffing. We are in there fighting. The Liberal


Democrats are going to fight to ensure that we are not cut off from


Europe as John Redwood and his friends want. You would have to ask


other individuals, Vince Cable is fighting to ensure that we are not


cut off from Europe. We are not coughing and puffing. So he could


be outside the Cabinet? You could read the newspapers this morning.


He is saying that it was a mistake and most Liberal Democrats are


saying it is a mistake. It was a mistake to try and look after


frankly the speedier area of the city of London to make that are


David Cameron needed to say something that was hostile to jobs


and prosperity. It was wrong to suggest we do not need European


trading partners. I always found it easier to export to non- EU


countries. The fact that Britain had some involvement in rule-making


did not help us much. We need to meet the needs of the customer,


that can include government rules and customer requirements. It is


not a magic box. You need to tailor it for the different parts of the


world. It was easier to export to non EU countries. Speaking on


economics, these countries are our biggest trading partners. They are


not. They are. On manufacturing, it is over half. The point is, this is


much bigger. We could have had this argument in 1931. This is much


bigger. We are talking about the Western economies. It seems to me


we have a fundamental difficulty with the way the coalition operates.


These circumstances were not seen by the coalition agreement. Is it


time to go back to that agreement? I do not think that is quite true.


What happened was there was clear agreement about what they were


trying to achieve. They put forward a very reasonable package. France


blocked it. The Prime Minister had to make a decision about getting a


deal that Nick Clegg wanted. He had to say No For a start he immediate


the reacted and said he did not agree with the Prime Minister. --


no. The reason for the mess was the Conservatives broke away from the


mains -- mainstream grouping. He should have been talking with


Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. Now we're in with their head


bangers in Eastern Europe and cut- off without influence. They up


serious democratic politicians as well. Here you have lost a lot of


influence. I wanted him to be negotiating seriously with our


friends and allies in Western Europe. You think you should have


had a veto over the veto? The point is, we are here, we are where we


are. There is no political leader in Britain who could have come away


with the deer that meant surrendering �30 billion of tax


revenue from the City of London. -- a deal. Was there a Fayette in


negotiation? As Nick Clegg said, I want to quote him exactly. -- a


failure. I think David Cameron, I do not know whether he overplayed


his hand or did not want to do anything in the first place. There


is considerable evidence that a walkout quite suited him. The


problem is there was a majority in parliament. -- there is no majority


in parliament for a veto on Europe. I am sorry. If you looked at the


thought bubble coming off David Cameron, it would be, what the hell


have I just done? He was forced into it. We only have a minute left.


Do you think this could break the coalition? I think that Nick Clegg


needs to go back and say we are not going to have a bad deal for


Britain and the need to keep fighting. It is a very tense


situation. So, it could break the coalition? It could do. I think


there is no chance of that was up his first reaction was that David


Cameron had no choice to do what he did. I do not think the Liberal


Democrats want to have a general election over this issue. You want


to get out, that is what you want to do. Four out of five voters


agreed with David Cameron. We should trade and be friends but we


do not want to be bossed around, taxed. Listening to you two, you


seem utterly irreconcilable. If you a marriage guidance counsellors,


you would say, you know what kind it is over. We're not in the


coalition that we have different views. The Conservative right has


never accepted the principle in the coalition agreement that they keep


arguing for the referendum, they are the coalition wreckers. There


we must leave it. All of you, thank you very much indeed for being with


us. As we have been discussing, Nick Clegg has dismissed the idea


that the veto last week showed the bulldog spirit of David Cameron.


Earlier ice-pick to Eric Pickles and began by asking him whether he


thought David Cameron was channelling his in .. In Brussels.


-- I spoke. He was channelling his communication. It is strange for


someone to say one thing on the House of Commons and follow it up


in Europe. He did that. Infuriated the Liberal Democrats saying, Tory


Euro-sceptics were spectacularly misguided. There is nothing bulldog


about Britain hovering somewhere in the mid-Atlantic. He is furious.


They did follow an agreed coalition blind. I was pleased with the


reaction from Nick Clegg on Friday. -- line. You are pleased with his


reaction today? It means we can move forward on things like the


single market. We have been together on foreign policy. Indulge


made. You are less pleased with what he said today. Nick Clegg


speaks for himself but we can unite on many things. He blames your


party for the mess we are now in. It was not an agreed coalition


policy. We made for a modest bequest would regard to Industry.


Our colleagues in the European Union could not succeed on that and


the sensible thing was to use the veto. He said that Tory Euro-


sceptics were misguided. I'm not under the same can straighten my


Parliamentary Party that David Cameron is. In other words, he had


to use the veto, not because what was happening in Brussels but


because of his party. That it is misreading the situation. We needed


to ensure there would not be any presumption in favour and needed to


protect our financial institutions. It was not part of a treaty with


their -- renegotiation. So, Nick Clegg has got that wrong. We are


prepared to work with Liberal Democrat colleagues on the things


that unite us - foreign-policy, spreading out the single market,


insuring our markets are opened. We recently saw an increase in trade


with North Africa and the like. There is a massive split that


Britain finds itself in - alone. The rest of the EU is getting on


without us. We are not going to be a member of the euro. We made clear


in the coalition document it would not be included in any preparations


that were made in the lifetime of this Parliament. Our future lies


outside the euro. We need to ensure our institutions are not threatened


by that. Let me ask another thing. You said David Cameron negotiated.


Nick Clegg said the opposite. For one reason or another, there was no


negotiation about the menu of negotiating tasks we made. There


was no give and take battle. It became polarised. Over time it is


damaging to Britain as a whole. There is an element that we feel a


bit let down by our European partners on this. It became clear


they were not so willing to cope with an hour -- go with our very


modest proposals so we use the veto. Mr Pickles, you know very well that


you took your party out of the European People's Party - the


centre-right coalition of mainstream European parties. It is


what Angela Merkel Leeds, what Nicolas Sarkozy is part of the,


Manduel Rosso is part of. The Tories were not there able to


influence things. They could have been influencing matters. They were


isolated. There is something intrinsically wrong with the


Conservatives being in the EPP. has left too isolated. -- left you


isolated. We continue to work with our European partners on the single


market and European policies. We work very closely with France on


foreign policy and on defence policy. Our two nations have never


been quite so united in terms of foreign defence policy for


generations. Is there a logic that we need the European Union?


course not. There is no suggestion of that. Britain is subject to all


the things we do not like. The most important thing, so far as the


European Union is concerned, is the single market. We want to see that


spread out. We are a trading nation. Can we turn from the problem family


that is the European Union, to problem families in the UK? How


serious a problem is it? It is a very big problem. It is costing the


nation �9 billion a year. In an extreme case it can be anything


from a quarter of a million or rising. The average is about


�75,000. Her per family. It is a very big deal. Quite often it is a


generational thing. Parents have never been in work, children have


never been in work. I do not like the idea of a sighting of the life


chances of people. What you do? writing off. What we will be doing


is establishing a unit to co- operate with local authorities


surveys people have one person dealing with them. Her we will turn


around the lives of the most troubled families in this country.


It is a bold claim. It is a bold claim and a bold objective.


Something has to be done. How can we measure success? Fairly


straightforward, kids into school, people into jobs and a reduction in


antisocial behaviour. We have tended to be too complex in the way


we deal with these families. That will happen in the lifetime of this


Parliament? Absolutely. Absolutely. So, truancy will be history and


petty crime will be history. have good co-operation with local


authorities. There is a broad political consensus on theirs. We


will look to the authorities like Salford, which is Labour lead, it


is doing a lot of work in S. We have seen results in particular


authorities. -- in this. They want to spread that to authorities over


the country. With Council Tax, if it goes up by more than 3.5%, maybe


there should be consulted in a referendum about whether they want


it. What about the reverse? If the council tax is slashed and they


want to cut services massively, should that go to a referendum as


well? No. The job is to remove my powers of capping. I did not have


any powers to force councils to put up council tax. This is in place of


me deciding what to the level should be. The people should decide.


What about if the council were to cut council tax? This year, because


of the other we have made with the council tax freeze, we will be


giving local authorities extra Later in the programme, as the


Politics Show takes its bow, we will bring you some highlights of


our eight years on air. But first, and for the last time, the Politics


Show where you are. Hello and welcome to the Politics


Show here in London where later on we will be asking if drastic


economic times need equally drastic solutions. We will be hearing from


people trying to think the unthinkable about what could help


plug the deficit gap. But first, with Christmas


approaching, make the most of free evening parking in the West End


because it is not around for much longer. From January, Westminster


Council is introducing parking charges on Sunday and the evenings.


It has led to a chorus of complaints from seemingly everybody


except borough residents. If it could cost local firms �800 million


in lost business and 5,000 jobs. The battle lines are drawn as the


controversy surrounding Westminster council's decision to introduce


parking charges on evenings and Sundays escalates. We have become


men. It is another way to make money out of us. Now is the time


that we should come in and relax and we should not have to worry


about parking charges. The area designated stretches from Oxford


Street in the north, to Hyde Park in the West and the Strand in the


south. Drivers will have to pay �2.40 pap hour from Monday to


Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays it goes up to �4.80 Para. With


restricted public transport services running through the night,


how will those doing night shifts in the capital manager and what


will be the knock-on effect for the night-time economy? He will hit the


worker's hard and I cannot compensate their wages. What will


happen? I don't know but I can guarantee that our job losses from


the 9th, people will not be able to afford to work in the West End.


impact of these new parking regulations will be immense. I


believe it will cripple Westminster and it will make it into a ghost


town. He a report commissioned by worried local businesses has


estimated that this new initiative could take �800 million out of the


local economy and cost some 5,000 jobs. This week, two senior


politicians weighed in with further What remains to be seen is whether


Westminster will stick to their guns in the face of what appears to


be widespread opposition. Joining me here is the Cabinet men


before parking at Westminster Council, Councillor Lee Rowley and


the Labour opposition, Paul Dimoldenberg. What will it take to


persuade Westminster Council to give up these plans? Everyone


appears to be opposed to it. It is certainly proving very


controversial but we must not forget that there are a lot of


people in favour of it, particularly residents who live


close by. Even people who disagree with what we're doing agree there


is a problem of congestion in the West End so that is what we are


trying to tackle. Where trying to manage a city which lots of people


want to use at different times of the dead which is causing these


kind of issues to be raised and the solutions to be tried. Paul


Dimoldenberg, you have to take your hat off to them for the bravery in


the face of criticism? This is about jobs and the economy as much


as about parking. A latest study shows that 5,000 jobs could be lost


by this. In the depths of the recession, this is the last thing


the West End needs. West End stores and businesses are the people who


depend on the night-time economy. It is a disaster for the West End


and for the broader London economy. It is not good news at all. I think


the problem is that Paul has quoted a report. Another person has said


that his voodoo economics, lies, damn lies and statistics is the old


maxim. What is wrong with the figures? Bake are not based on


anything. -- they are not based on anything. They do not have any


bearing on any recollection or likelihood of what is likely to


happen. We do realise that these things are not popular. We realise


they may have an impact and that is why we have said we will only bring


these in on an experimental basis to see if they have the effect of


reducing congestion, imprison people's quality of life in London


and we will see how it goes. and reliable survey you are


quoting? He can rubbish the report, the company was done -- report was


done by a company which works for 47 of the top FTSE 100 companies so


I am confident it was done well. He can rubbish the report but the


council has not done one or the impact of what they have called


themselves an experiment in the West End. At the depth of recession,


next year, 2012, the West End will see unprecedented numbers of people.


If it is so obvious, why are they doing it? It is about money. The


council has a huge hole in the finances. Over the years, that has


been a reduction and parking income which has helped subsidise the


council tax. What, Westminster Council, the model for the last 20


years? Yes, Westminster has relied on this pot of gold called parking


income which has helped subsidise the council tax for residents. That


money has been reducing ovaries years because drivers have become


more compliant. The result is, the council has no money. It has


refused to put up the council tax so it has no room for manoeuvre.


That is why the �7 million that the charges will bring in is crucial.


Paul is talking nonsense and it is not the first time. He is playing


politics with this. It is not about the money, it has never been about


the money. It is about traffic congestion. There are several


hundred pages of data finding out what is happening in our streets


which we have used in coming to this decision to see how we can


improve the lives. But the income from parking has been going down?


It varies from a year by year basis. I think it was going up this year.


Anything you do with parking has a financial impact. So you would say


there is absolutely nothing wrong with the finances of Westminster


council. We are breaking even this year. The fundamental point, Paul,


is what is your answer to the increasing amount of congestion in


the West End. If you do not like this, what will you do when you


have 11 million cars on the streets since 1990. Parking income will


drop again this year by an estimated �2 million, thereby


putting more pressure on the council's finances. The issue of


congestion, if you talk to people who live in Mayfair and St James's,


they say there is not any congestion of a note. Of course,


there are some places where there are real problems but they are very


small parts of the West End. think the main point from the


viewers' point of view, obviously have the responsibility of your


residents, but you're also the central London one. You influence a


lot of our lives. When so many people are telling you this is an


idea you should U-turn on, what will it take for you to do that?


did a huge consultation on this already. We recognise there are a


lot of people who do not like it. The what would it take? You were


saying there is no question you will go ahead? We will implement on


the 9th. We believe it is important that people can still get around.


The vast majority of people already come by public transport. The vast


majority of people will not be effected by the changes. Sunday


mornings means the churches will not be affected by the changes.


long will you let it run before you decide whether or not it is


working? We can make changes very quickly. We can make changes within


weeks if necessary. To both of you, thank you very much.


During these hard economic times, are we looking at all the possible


solutions in the capital? We know there will meet the extra borrowing


and cuts longer than we previously thought. Some people think this


presents an opportunity to think again about a lot of State position


and perhaps send a few sacred cows to slaughter.


Last week, the Chancellor announced that come 2017 we are going to have


to fill the deficit by an additional �30 billion, roughly


equivalent to the cost of the Olympic Games three times over


every year. Where in London could we start clawing back that kind of


money? Could it be time to think again about the NHS? There are


around one million missed GP appointments every year in the


capital. By fining them all �10, that could be �10 million in the


kitty. If we charged everybody a �10 to see a GP in the first place,


you could net �650 million a year in London alone. Of perhaps, we


could look at another sacred cow, the drugs laws. According to the


campaign group Transform, by taxing cannabis use, we could save the


Treasury between 200 and �250 million a year. There is also the


transport network. The upgrade to the Underground currently costs us


about �1.5 billion a year. We could also think about road-pricing.


Charging people for every mile they drive when traffic is bad. Far


campaigners, the main aim here is to reduce congestion and help air


pollution. In these times, the cash raised could be useful as well.


Depending on the scheme, the concessions and the time of day,


you might get something like �3 billion a year from a scheme across


the whole of London which is in the order of 10 times more than the


current revenue from the central London scheme. So, that's 3 billion


extra pounds in the coffers. Since we are putting a price on the


use of the roads, why not other parts of the public realm? Hyde


Park is prime real-estate by anyone's standards. According to


the estate agents, Savills, property in the area is worth two


Grand a square foot. That is �30 billion. Is it better to have money


in the bank or art in the vaults? 90 % of the British Museum's


election is not on show. Neither they nor the government know how


much it is worth although the figure is so big that they do not


bother to ensure it. Me that under current rules that allowed to be


sold. I think it is quite right that it is not allowed. This is an


incredibly important resource and this is a time when we need all the


art we can get. It is easy to see that people actually want art and


they want us to have it and hold it and keep it. But perhaps the best


way to make money is to go after the money men. Much discussed this


week has been the financial transactions tax. If the UK wanted


to introduce one just for itself of 0.05 % on every transaction, it is


estimated it would bring in �20 billion a year. But there are other


ways to use the city's expertise to use the -- to help the public purse.


What have we were to use London's world-leading financial skills to


invest public money on the nation's behalf. It could pay off part of


the national debt without the pain of cuts or tax rises. Other


countries have used the revenue from that to create lucrative


sovereign wealth funds which have earned them even more money off the


back. Could we have done the same with North Sea oil? Starting from


the 70s when it oil was first sold in the UK on a commercial level, we


would have at least 500 billion pounds to wealth. It is a


conservative assumption. Half a trillion pounds is roughly half the


national debt but in the short term we do not have any more money to


invest. In the meantime, it is the end of free healthcare, concrete


over Hyde Park, a run-down Tube network and a tax which some fear


would send the most lucrative industry packing. What Chancellor


could possibly resist put in a package like that to the


Mark Littlewood it is director- general of economic Affairs. As


well as Adam Lent. You signed up to all those, did you? Not quite all


of them. Apart from the bankers tax. You have managed to think much more


imaginatively and out of the box than George Osborne has managed to.


It is like the Government has tried to get finances under some


semblance of control. Still adding to the national debt but gradually


wearing that dam, rather than doing what they -- what they promised ban


was a Comprehensive Spending Review. Should we be doing this at all?


What should be palatable? Let's start with GPs and charging for


missed appointments. The Government, unfortunately, has ring-fenced the


National Health Service. We have identified if you brought in


radical reform you could cut spending by 44 billion a year. The


NHS is a sacred cow. If it does not need to be slaughtered, it needs to


be tackled substantially. We need to look at assets. To we really


need vast amounts of Art Collections buried in the basements


of museums? Is there a political opportunity to approach state


provision and what we are not charging for in a different ball


greater way? Absolutely there is. It is a chance to think quite hard


about welfare, pensions and health care. They are the three really big


areas of spent by government. I would disagree quite strongly with


the notion that the Government is only skimming across the surface.


The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the level of cuts now being


brought in is unprecedented in British history. This is extreme


fiscal consolidation going on. good example is the NHS because it


is so sacred to voters. All the parties kind of will agree


privately that you will make slightly distorted decisions


because of its popularity. T think GP should charge? Are there other


areas we should rationalise? -- do you think? We should look at Co


payment whereby the user of the service and the Government shares


the cost was something like the National Health Service. That is


not just because of the deficit. The demands for the National house-


owners are rising extraordinarily over the next 10, 20 years. --


National Health Service. We need to find ways of doing this that


protects people who are least able to afford those sorts of extra


charges that might come in. Why, when we were talking about in


London, the congestion charge, we have seen similar but not exactly


the same schemes in the country, why are we not talking more about


road pricing? We should be talking about that. The bit of the film in


the package show was more nervous about his, if you start trying to


shove up taxes more, I think we have reached the limit. We spend


not far off 50% of income in the public sector. B cannot raise that


money through taxation. We should be looking at the side of cutting


and not raising revenue. It was that kind of radical thinking that


we need. I would like to see a much bolder privatisation programme of


the roads rather than a bunch of bureaucrats trying to work out


whether you should charge a fiver for a tenner. This is the sort of


area we should be looking at. It is about raising revenues and


challenging types of behaviour like carbon emissions, smoking, eating


junk food. The sorts of thing - as macabre sort of things that cause


problems for the deficit and into the future. -- the sort of things.


I would not agree that privatisation is the solution.


Privatisation has ramped up costs for the Government. We need to go


about it in a pragmatic way. What about things like modernisation


work to the tube or upgrades? The perception is, you need to invest


because it will benefit the whole country. You could afford to stop


doing that. The difficulty is, can you raise prices if you do


upgrades? Does it have a rate of return. The solution to the


economic hole is not to say, stop spending any money on anything


anywhere. We need economic growth. We need to live cattle areas which


are potentially wasteful. You highlighted Hyde Park. If


concreting over that is a goer, that would be more controversial.


40% of space in London is Green Park area. That is extraordinary.


It is a metropolis. A do we need every single one of those blades of


grass? -- do we need? Would the public accepts that? No. Mark raise


the issue of taxes and said, I do not think we can be taxing more


than we do. A key example is take - - pension tax relief. We provide


pension tax relief for higher-rate tax payers. We're talking about


removing benefits, should we not talk about tax relief? I would like


to see the system simplified. It is so complicated. The tax rule book


is 14,000 pages long. Definitely simplified all of that. Most


economists would agree, you cannot squeeze more than about 40% out of


the overall economy, however you do it. We are above that level now.


Most of it has to be on the side of cuts. I would like it to go below


the 40% level. Time is running out. After nine years of bringing you


the big political stories and interviews, this is the final ever


edition of the Politics Show. Before we say goodbye, we will look


back over our time together. Hello and welcome for the first time to


the Politics Show. With me now to discuss Iraq is Labour Party


chairman, John Reid, the first We have not given unqualified


support to the Government. We have been critical of the Government


where we believe they have not made the case. We want the weapons


inspectorate to complete their task. It is possible for the crisis to


have a peaceful resolution. welcome to the Politics Show in the


week that war was launched on the rack. Some things are going to plan,


in some cases ahead of expectations. -- on Iraq. That is really amazing.


Hang on! I even felt comfortable like this. I am ready to go, ready


Here is the bit the muesli munchers Do not talk politics to me, I have


had enough. I am joined by David Cameron. It is difficult to work


out what your policies are. There is the pre-manifesto document.


you believe you can win the election? Absolutely. Anyone who


takes the British electorate for granted is a full. -- fool. Today,


something for everyone. Dawn is breaking in a city that never


sleeps. I am on Air Force to for an exclusive interview with Jack Straw


and Condoleezza Rice. How far are we away from Iraq being stable


enough for the US and Britain to pull out its troops? We do not want


to talk about timetables. We want to talk about results. Which you


give us a tune? I will never again allow anyone ever to make fun of a


degree in sports science. This is just a holding position before I


get to be a rock and roll star. I do not know what will hold me back,


I have the looks, I am a fabulous musician. I have been speaking to


the possible future leader of the Conservatives, David Cameron.


not want his party to be out of power for 17, 18 years. -- this


party. So, at the G8 next year, you will still be Prime Minister?


have made it clear I will carry on doing the job. Do you know when


you'll go? I am going to get on with the job. There is no point


asking me for dates or whatever. the end of John Reid as a Cabinet


minister? I intend to stand down from the Cabinet towards the end of


June, when Tony goes. I think you will see we are in a position,


whether in one capacity or another, to draw on the talents of our


society. Why had he issued a briefing document called Calamity


Clegg? I have not. Up this came from office on Friday. Do you owe


him an apology? If it is the first time I have seen it. It is called


Calamity Clegg! There is a sense of excitement, a buzz, as I am


discovering in this sports bar. Down at the farm, Oinkbama has been


consistently winning. We're at the main base in southern Afghanistan,


Camp Bastion. I am the most high profile backbench Member of


Parliament in all history - in all history. Google it and see. Google


my name and see. From Downing Street, to your street, it is time


to judge the Prime Minister of the DUP Gordon Brown, welcome. I am


very sorry about what happened. I am sorry for the grief the deaths


in Afghanistan have caused people. We want to scrap tuition fees. We


cannot scrap them overnight. It will take longer. What are we


talking? Just in order of the sort of cuts. Tempting as it is to set


heard a budget on this programme, I will be doing that before the


election. -- set out. Presumably when you talked to Nick Clegg, you


raise the possibility that this is a resignation issue. You meet a lot


in politics of politicians who like humanity in general but dislikes


them in particular. That is it for our first programme. Thank you very


much ball-watching. Thanks for being with us. Goodbye. -- for


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