09/06/2011 This Week


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Tonight, the Grand Prix season reaches the This Week studio.


Cameron slums on the brakes for yet more U-turns, is the coalition on


the skids? The Daily Mirror's Kevin Maguire tries to keep up. As one


new university plans to drive off in a new direction, with fees of


�18,000 a year, writer and education campaigner Toby Young


gets behind the wheel. Private, Ivy League style colleges could be the


solution to the funding crisis in higher education. Is life getting


too racy for young girls? The wife of the Speaker, Sally Bercow,


always the chequered flag. cannot just look to the States, to


tackle this problem, parents need Evening all. Welcome to This Week,


bringing up the political rear, as ever. Say what you like about this


government, they know how to exceed expectations. Just when you think


they could not come up with anything crazier than putting Ken


Clarke in charge of prison policy, they surpassed themselves. Their


latest brainwave, NHS reorganisation. What are my


blathering on about? Well, I will tell you, the mind bothering idea


put forward by Theresa May as part of her so-called prevent anti-


terrorism strategy. Apparently, the NHS is not delivering what it was


set up to do. Apparently, doctors and nurses are not just there to


heal the sick, no, they're critical partners, her words, in the fight


against terror. They can help protect people from radicalisation.


It is no longer enough for your doctor to ask, where does it hurt?


In future, they will be asking, who do you want to hurt? Speaking of


people the state should be keeping an eye on, I'm joined tonight by


two men who both deserve to see the inside of the Tower of London. I


speak of course of Michael Portillo and Alastair Campbell. Good evening,


gentlemen. Michael, your moment of the week... Some soldiers, who have


been at war in Afghanistan, have been carrying video cameras on


their helmets and making films of the wars. On BBC Three a couple of


nights ago, they showed some footage from 2007, and there was an


incredibly moving passage in which a platoon is deployed against the


Taliban, in a firefight, and one of them gets shot, as it turns out,


fatally, and they try to rescue him. The immediacy of the war really


came home to me. The confusion of battle. Their enthusiasm for battle,


the chaos of trying to deal with a casualty. Their affection for the


boy who fell and died. Everything is there. It was on BBC Three,


forgive me, why was it will be bought three? -- why was it on BBC


Three? It increased my understanding of war tenfold.


agree, it was an extraordinary piece of film. Your moment? There


have been a lot this week. To pick up one, they think it was the


exchange yesterday between David Cameron and Tom Watson on phone


hacking. May be inadvertently, David Cameron has taken it into a


whole new arena, where the activities of other newspapers are


now very much could be part of the story. And since that exchange, I


subsequently discovered that I have seen a lot of invoices relating to


myself in this regard. Being paid by my old newspaper, the Mirror, to


dig up whatever it is. We are talking about quite big sums of


money. When you see the volume of money that was going out from the


newspapers to this private investigator, who was involved in


the murder trial, as you know, but I thought it was interesting, it


was a very important moment, and people say that PMQs does not


matter, but I thought Tom Watson got Cameron to say things...


Cameron probably wants this to go away, I would have thought. But I


think he has a slightly opened the floodgates on it. There was another


moment which happened tonight, the news of these amazing memos which


the Telegraph is publishing tomorrow, from Mr Brown and Ed


Balls, showing that within days of the terrorist attack in London, on


the Underground, that Gordon Brown and his allies, including Ed Balls


and Mr Miliband, had begun a brutal campaign to get rid of Tony Blair


as Prime Minister, what you make of that? It is true, I walked into the


building tonight, and you have thrown these things at me. I was


involved, I came back, having left in 2003, and helped to put Tony and


Gordon together. We did win! There was also involved a little bit


beyond that in trying to keep them working together. I'm not totally


surprised by seeing this, because I think Gordon did feel fairly soon


into that third term that it was about time Tony started signalling


when he might leave. I think the most interesting thing for me, the


one I think I have seen before, is Tony basically same to Gordon, I


will help you or I can, but I have just been elected for a third term,


and I have got a reform agenda, and I want or support. But Mr Brown's


reply to that, he scribbles in the margins, and you used to scold


people like me for making too much of this... Not by 2005, I didn't.


He described the words of Mr Blair as a shallow, inconsistent and


muddled. Which he was not, he was not any of those things, he pretty


much knew most of the time what he was up to. Mr Balls, who was


involved in most of this, and we have got handwritten memos from him,


has previously insisted people like me that he has never been involved


in attempts to undermine colleagues, including Mr Blair - is that now


sustainable position? If you look at some of them, they look fairly


ordinary, it is a political operation. I have always said about


Gordon, the ambition to become Prime Minister, seeing nothing


wrong with that. We were joking about Michael... I don't remember.


You do. Mr Brown orders Mr Balls to take a bluetongue approach to


cleanse the Labour Party of Mr Blair's influence. Well, if that is


accurate, then it was not a terribly wise thing to say. I'm not


pretending the relationship between the two of the was hunky-dory, it


wasn't. However, the reason why I went back to help Gordon in 2010


was because together, they did achieve issue demand. At times the


relationship was really bad, this was clearly one of those times.


didn't we get this in your diaries? You got quite a bit, actually.


sense that it. A I did, I was straightforward about that. Thanks


for the plug, there is another one coming out on July 7th. There is


quite a lot of it. But even despite all of that, when it was bad, we


still got a helluva lot then. hated and despised Blair, it is


clear. At times, he had such a negative view, he was so clear


about his own ambition to be Prime Minister that sometimes, I think he


underestimated just how talented Tony was, and how strong he was.


The haunting question is, particularly in the latter years,


how much more could Tony have done if he had not been blocked? Let's


leave that hanging in the air, because we need to move on. Most


universities are hotbeds of dissent. If there is one thing arts students


cannot handle, apart from basic mental arithmetic, it is big


business. So, the news this week of plans to open a private university


funded by investors rather than the state was greeted with fury from


students and arts academics. A handful of protesters went to throw


smoke bombs at the cuddly Nafti academic masterminding the project.


Writer and campaigner Toby Young thinks private education is worth


fighting for. Here is his call to arms. AC Grayling Bundled plans to


set up a private university of humanities, but he was told, he had


no right to speak by one group. Public education is the last


redoubt of the Progressive Left. They will stop at nothing to defend


the state's position as a monopoly provider. They were particularly


incensed by the professor, because he used to be one of them. But now,


they will not rest until they have bullied him into denouncing his


radical ideas. Is that the Archbishop of Canterbury? In


The professor is proposing to charge students �18,000 a year,


enabling his opponents to brand the New college of the humanities


socially exclusive. But the high fees will allow the college to


subsidise poorer students, in some cases of in them 100% bursaries, a


system which works well in America, giving children from low-income


families access to higher education. As a founder of the west London


free school, I have to put up with daily attacks from the


stormtroopers of the hard left. They do not care about helping the


poor gain access to good schools or universities. If you're setting


yourself up as an independent provider, free of state control,


then you are the enemy and you must be stopped. Welcome to the fight,


Professor Grayling. That was Toby Young playing


soldiers at the national Army museum in central London. He joins


us now. Welcome back to the programme. First of all, Alastair,


you were a celebrity teacher in Jamie's Dream School, so there --


to this must be right up your Not really. Teaching is really,


really, really lard. I saw that. was voted the best by the kids, but


I thought it is not the job for amateurs. I think that this new


university it's got a slightly odd feel to it to me. The guys who have


made themselves very well known in their own field and they come along


and I think the other thing - and they say they can give this great


course and all this money and so on. It takes a long, long time to


establish a reputation as an educational establishment. The


second thing, it is slightly taking us off the main point, which is the


80% cuts in teaching grants. It's probably what is making them think


there's this market opportunity opening for them now. I think we


are talking about the 80% cuts about a potential disaster for


universities that we should and they should be fighting to protect


and support. Do you think, Michael, it's part of a movement which some


would like to see, to a more morn- style higher education system,


where in addition to the state- funded universities, which there


are many in America and nearly all in this country, there are private-


higher education institutions? Absolutely. I think Alistair is


taking it too literally. The new future is that places like Oxford


and Cambridge I think have to go private. They have to put


themselves beyond the reach of the state. Why is that? It's because


the state will suffocate them. It's because the state won't like them


to charge enough money and then the state will have all sorts of social


engineering agendas, which will compromise their academic


excellence and it is really important nationally, because it is


important to us that we should have the outstanding educational


institutions in country. Unfortunately, not the outstanding


ones, because the American ones are better, but we need to get back on


to the track. They have potential to be independent and private. They


have the potential to be massively endowed, which is the pod elon


which the American universities are funded. They try to do now, but


they don't appear to be able to do it. If you have that, cue provide


lots of bursaries so you overcome that social problem. You should


have a needs blinds policy. You should not know the background of


the students on deciding whether to let them in. I agree. When you have


a $20 billion endowment then you have do that. I understand. Toby,


this isn't going to be anything like this, but a Swiss finishing


school in the middle of London for rich kids that couldn't get into


Oxford or Cambridge? I don't think that's particularly fair. They have


an outstanding rota of professors. How many do you think Neil Ferguson


will give in between teaching at Harvard and New York and lecturing


to Goldman Sachs? Bearing in mind 220,000 university applicants


aren't going to get places this year. If you allow private


providers to enter the sector you'll increase the number of


places and give education to the people who need it. Students should


be backing this. Only if you can afford �18,000 a year. It's going


to be, as you say, means blind and about 25% of the places will be


subsidised so not everyone who goes will have to afford that. 75% are


paying �54,000 for an education when most students are up in arms


that they might pay �9,000. If you increase the number of places by


breaking the monopoly of the state then you'll increase supply and the


prices will go down, which is why students should be backing this.


you think an eng-lit degree is really worth �54,000, plus living


expenses? I could see becoming an engineer might be worth �54,000.


There will be a market. If people want to buy, why not? Can there be


any harm in it, Alistair? Well, maybe there's not any harm, but


going back to the earlier point, I think I just worry that we are


slightly looking at this kind of group abdemic celebs who are --


academic celebs who are off going around, but I worry - You have to


put in three hours in the Dream School. Slightly more than that. I


was there and you weren't. The point is I think - I'm amazed that


the 80% cut has not had more debate and coverage, because that is what


will devastate the future of universities and I think these guys


should be thinking about that, because I don't buy the line that


if you go down the route that Toby is talking about that you'll get


the sort of increased access for poorer kids into the universities.


I think we are going in the opposite directions. I don't think


people should be terrified about free choice. This is a market thing.


That is the point. Some someone wants to spent 54,000. How many


people can. If somebody decides that, that is sending a signal and


telling you that some people believe this institution is


offering something that even Oxford and Cambridge at half the price are


not offering. I think they'll struggle. Maybe they will. If they


go out and pay that money then there will be a really important


message being sent by that. reason they can command the fees is


because it's a sellers' market, because there are far fewer


university places than there are people who want an education. The


way to drive prices down and make it more affordable is to open up


the market and allow different providers to enter. One of the


consequences of Labour education policies that you spend a lot of


time attacking is there were more people going to universities and


there will be fewer people going because of scrapping the EMAs and


because of the rising fees and because of the huge cuts in


teaching grants. That, I think, is far more important whether AC


Grayling has half-baked ideas. of the fundamental problems we face


in this country is getting bright kids from poor backgrounds into our


elite universities. It's proving to be really a struggle. How does this


help? Well, if there are bursaries it doesn't make any -- make things


any worse. If 25% will apply on a means blind basis then it's not


worse, but here we come back to what was achieved in the Labour


years and many years before that, why is it now that so few kids from


state schools find it possible to get in on their merits to Oxford


and Cambridge? I think it's because in looking at the secondary


education system, we felt that selection was a bad thing, so -


why? Because the secondary modern schools weren't very good, so


instead of trying reform them, we destroyed the grammar schools.


know you don't agree with that. will work like an ivy Leith college.


They charge people who can afford slightly over the odds and then


they can enable poorer children who wouldn't otherwise have access to


that quality of higher education to go. I'm not worried that there will


be a lot of rich kids from China and the ol gashing sons going there.


The Government's own social mobility report says that state


school kids who get to universities are getting better degrees than


those out of the private schools and the problem with Oxbridge is


they haven't tackled what they need to do to get more state school kids


going into the universities. There are a handful that dominate the


state school sector. Toby - it includes a lot of the remaining


grammar schools. You have a free school in west London. When does it


open? September. How much money have you got from the Government?


Exactly the same amount that any ordinary school would have. We get


something like between five to six,000 per pupil. Who has bought


the site? The department for education. Let me just say, I don't


oppose everything that Labour did. I'm wholly in favour of their city


academies programme, something I wish your wife was too. You wish


Gordon hadn't blocked it as much too. Absolutely. Toby, keep us up-


to-date with the free school. There is no mystery on what keeps us up


late, super-strong coffee and Blue Nun and saup-weak bladder control.


-- soup-weak bladder. Sally Bercow will join us to talk about the


sexualisation of society. If you want to witness deluded moral


outrage there's nowhere better than the viewers' comments page on the


interweb. Or you can express your disgust with fewer swear words by


following us on twitter. Painfully steal, that is the verdict of the


Archbishop of Canterbury today. We thought he was talking about this


programme, but no, it turns out he meant David Cameron's big society.


He could have gone on to say cheap, soft and low on protein, but then


he really would have been talking about this programme, or modern


mass-produced bread, which Britain invented 50 years ago this week we


should hang our heads in shame. We asked Kevin Maguire to remember a


simpler time, when bread and politics were made the traditional


Last on the round would be old ma Cameron's place. It was like taking


bread to the top of the world. Mrs Cameron. I've got your organic sour


dough and raspberry bloomer. World were a simpler place once, but


these days everything's going up in price. Economists say elderly folk


have to choose between eating and heating. This week's been about one


thing, bread. Well, dough to you and me. They don't make them like


they used to, you know. Time were a Lib Dem were a Lib Dem. And now


he's a delivery boy for Mr Osborne, the butcher. The case for changing


strike law is not a compelling one. However, should the position change


and should strikes impose serious damage to the economic and social


fabric, the pressure on us to act will ratchet up. That's something


which both you and I will Beth both collectively want to avoid. -- will


both collectively want to avoid. talked tough before, but he didn't


rise to the occasion. This debate about strike laws is nothing but a


distraction. There is no justification for tightening up


even further already extremely restrictive laws. The Tories are


really needing the Lib Dems with them, being pum eld and pounded and


David Cameron is getting on with the U-turns. We'll not cut spending


on the NHS, but increase it. If you are worried that we'll sell off the


NHS or create something American- style private system, we will not


do that. Cameron faced the wrath of God, oh, how much the prime baker


must wish the Church of England was still the Tory Party at prayer. The


Archbishop of Canterbury said the poor need more than a few crumbs


Labour says the Government's plans are half-baked and not just on the


NHS. Ken Clarke's plans for half sentencing were meant to safe a --


save a load of dough. Ed Miliband should have had David Cameron on


toast at Prime Minister's questions. He knows he's in a total mess on


the policy. Just like on all of the other crime policies and I now want


to ask about another area where he's in a complete mess.


Miliband failed to singe Cameron. I'm not surprised he wants to move


on, because on the first subject he was found guilty. We all know, on


the Irish of discounts it was the last government that introduced a


33%, a third discount on sentences, so there is, as I say, more than a


whiff of jumping on a bandwagon. This Government has more twists and


turns than my bread, but Labour is still finding it hard to slice


Out Pop Tony Blair, flogging his book to make more bread.


largest private donor to him is Alastair Campbell, you're not


putting your money where your mouth is yet... Well, I'm certainly very


happy to support them in any way I can. I didn't realise Alastair had


achieved that great accolade. were a grand ride back again, time


for a mother of pearl grey. -- a mug of Earl Grey. This Week, As


Good For You are now as it has always been. We thank the baker for


letting us film there. We are joined by a Lib Dem commentator. Mr


Cameron, his U-turn, or concessions, on health reforms - right or wrong?


Wrongish. Right fish in the right direction but he needs to go


further and drop the whole bill. Right. U-turn on sentencing policy?


Wrongish. Wrong. Wrongish. How far are these U-turns down to Mr Clegg,


should he be claiming some credit for them? I think he is claiming


credit for the NHS one. Probably not the sentencing one. As always,


we learn more detail, as time goes on, and we learn that the


coalitions within the coalition are the unexpected. You will find that


there will be Conservative Cabinet ministers who disagree with their


fellow Conservative ministers, so I think sometimes it is a slightly


smoke and mirrors about this kind of, we're going to go into the


Cabinet and fight for a particular issue. I spoke to somebody very


senior in the Conservatives who said they thought the Andrew


Lansley stuff was pretty crazy. So I think a lot of Tories had spotted


that. I think Mr Cameron would like to be shot of a lot of it as well


now, I don't think he understood what the implications were. But as


he backtracked enough to satisfy the Liberal Democrats? I do not


entirely know the answer to that, because we're waiting for the


detail. But there if -- but if there is a sufficient pull back


from a single body which are driving towards competition, then


obviously that will alleviate a lot of the problems that were raised in


the Liberal Democrat amendments to motions at the spring conference.


Mr Cameron seems quite adept at U- turns. We in the media, no matter


who is in power, we make a big deal about U-turns, probably too much -


from your experience inside government, do they Harmer


government? No, I think John Major was damaged through the whole sense


of dithering and taking different positions. I think ultimately what


matters is the policy position you get to. Where I think David Cameron


is in trouble on this one, there was a discussion on Newsnight the


other night, with Norman Lamb, and the Tory MP who's in the news for


other things tonight, a bit of a right winger, I think, and they


were both same, following David Cameron's speech, they're both


really happy. Now that's totally impossible, this Liberal Democrat


and the right-wing Tory. Opposite working good guys from within the


health sector, saying they were totally confused by what the policy


was. I think Cameron, if he is up for the whole you turn business, he


could do worse than just drop the whole bill. A lot of what he says


he wants to do, he could do by just using existing reforms. Alan


Milburn has said you do not really need a Bill to do what he wants to


do. Is there a danger that looking beyond this, Mr Cameron gives the


impression that he's just not prepared to stand and fight on some


things? Absolutely, there is such a danger. He desperately needs


competition in the national Health Service, partly because that's what


he believes in, partly because the national Health Service has to make


enormous savings in order to live within its budget. The budget is


rising in real terms, but that is nothing compared to the extra


incidence of diseases which we can treat, and the longevity of the


population and so on. So, we need extra competition. I think it was


part of the radicalism of the coalition, which I thought was


extremely attractive, that in areas like criminal justice, it was


prepared to look at new solutions, different ways of trying to reduce


the prison population, not just building new prisons, and part of


that is, in certain cases, if somebody says you the trouble of


taking them through the criminal justice system, they should be


offered a discount on their sentence, it is just common sense.


I want to move on to Ed Miliband. There is a perception growing at


Prime Minister's Questions that there is a regular open goal


staring him in the face, and the ball gets kicked over the bar.


think he is just going through one of those phases, where there is a


media mood of negativity around him. I did not see PMQs yesterday, but I


think Ed Miliband is one of the few people I have noticed who can get


under the skin of David Cameron, and who I think has had some decent


kits at Prime Minister's Questions. They think he's right not to be


going too fast on the policy review process. He is still in the process


of getting known by the public. The problem we have got now, I used to


feel terribly sorry for Olly, when she was a press officer for the Lib


Dems, but we have to accept now, we are the third most interesting


party. Nick Clegg's tactics, is it really just to stay behind the


scenes at the moment I have been writing about this for some time,


and I think it is borne out by what you have written, and a lot of the


stuff I have read from Labour, when they were in government, which is


this obsession with making speeches and announcements and trying to


turn the media image of somebody. It is not achievable. Therefore, a


long-term media strategy has to be backed up by kneeling down the


details of the policy, and the policy having some kind of


coherence. I think Nick Clegg will damage himself even more by trying


to give this sense that the policy debate is now about he can


influence every policy. He is now the Deputy Prime Minister of the


government, his only hope I think in rebuilding any sense of


credibility is to be the guy who just takes the hits, says, I'm


doing what is white for the country, and I will tough it out. To a


certain extent, he has been doing that. Does it matter these days


what the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks about politics? The column


he wrote in the New Statesman could have been written by a political


commentator. Does it matter? happens every time you have Tories


in government now. This thing about the Church of England being the


Tory Party at prayer is so far out of date. I'm amazed by the


political naivety. I draw exactly the opposite lesson from the


Archbishop of Canterbury. In a modern democracy, you will never


get people telling you what to do in government, what needs to be


done. The miracle is that in democracies, you still get people


who, when they get into power, to what is the right thing to do. They


will not tell you in advance. The Archbishop Canterbury saying this


is terrible because they did not tell us in advance, no, that's not


terrible. The wonderful thing is that they're actually doing the


right policy now. We were talking about this story earlier, have the


police spoken to you? I have been speaking to the police about the


Glenn Mulcaire stuff, but I have not decided what to do about that.


But I think this Jonathan Rhys stuff is going to go into a


different area. We're not just talking about phone hacking, we're


talking about bank details, building societies, the further


they get into the details of a D George's mortgage, if that is what


it was, this is beginning to unravel now. -- Eddie George. We


have had the first police investigation, which was a joke.


Then we have had the, it is just a Rogue reporter, but that has gone


as well. But this shows newspapers systematically hiring people to


do... We need to leave it there. There's nothing we like more than a


good old fashioned moral panic. Whether it's too much violence or


too much sex. In the case of Michael Portillo, too much wearing


of his violently sexy green satin shirt. We believe the public should


be protected from all such degenerate influences, even at this


time of night. But are the latest tabloid headlines about


inappropriate influences just scare stories? We decided to put the


sexualisation of society under the House of society become too


sexualised, especially where children are concerned? David


Cameron thinks so. The Government has decided it is time for action.


Parents told me they did not want further regulation. What they


wanted was the barriers which stopped them being good parents to


be taken away. But can children be prevented from growing up too


quickly? It has not stopped the opening of a new Playboy Club in


London. That's despite the protests. Meanwhile, women have been walking


the streets protesting about their right not to be judged by the


clothes they wear. Is society really going to hell in a handcart,


or are we just jumping on a typical tabloid bandwagon? That picture


speaks volumes for our relationship, I'm the one doing all the punning.


Anyway, we joined now by Sally Bercow. His David Cameron right to


be worried about this? I think he is. It is an issue for


all parents, children are becoming more sexualised, but the question


is really whether the Government should be doing something about it,


or whether really, parents should be stepping in. I think parents


have to take some responsibility. A padded bikini top does not by


itself, a parent buys it. When you see kids wearing T-shirts saying


things like, future WAG, it makes you wonder whether parents allow


that. Absolutely, it can be pester power. I know what is like, you


come in from a long day, the kids say, I want this, I want that, and


you agree, but you have to draw a line in the sand. Do you think it


comes from children who want to copy their parents, when they're


young? There's a beauty salon which has opened at the weekend which is


doing exactly that for 16-month-old babies. Painting toenails, doing


sprayed towns and so on. You almost think that should be illegal.


Absolutely, it has been opened at the weekend. But I think the key


thing is that parents need to be firmer with their children.


Youngsters today have access, when I was a kid, it was TV, but today,


it is laptops, I phones, i-Pads, there are pin their rooms all the


time. It is an incredible array of influence. -- they are up in their


rooms. A lot of it is a good thing, enriching the life experience of a


child. But parents do have to take more of an interest in their


children. It is not just up to the government to babysit them.


government do much about this? not have a problem with Cameron


saying, there is a problem. What I cannot workout is what the


government actually does about it. I spoke to my daughter tonight, to


see what she thought, she's 17 now. She says, there is no doubt there


is more of this stuff, but she thinks a lot of kids have worked


out how to sail through it. My take is that you cannot do this without


changing society. Most of us are attracted by advertisements which


promote sexuality, scantily clad people, good-looking people, and


unless we are prepared to change society, it is just not going to


happen. Should we be careful that we are not just part of the old


thing where every generation thinks the same thing? I do not think we


should wrap children up in cotton wool at all. That's why sexual


education is important in school. And you have got two young kids.


Three. Are you conscious that this is a problem for them? Absolutely.


Thanks for being with us. That's your lot for tonight. Michael and I


are off to cry ourselves to sleep. Why? I hear you ask. Like everyone


else we meet, we failed miserably to get any tickets for the Olympics.


So, no synchronised swimming for me. No Greco-Roman wrestling for


Michael. You know how much Michael loves his Greco-Roman wrestling. He


does. Shambles, Seb Coe, you should hang your head in shame. But we


were heartened to see the Speaker of the House of Commons back in the


news, he gallantly came to the defence of his wife this week,


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