tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 2, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT
s a three-part plan to make sure we balance the books. >> but if you look back, and the question was looking back, why should we trust labor in the light of what happened before? so, six years before the crash, you increased borrowing year on year on year on year on year. why should people believe that you're going to get it done? >> the debt and the deficit were both lower before the financial crisis. >> of course they were, but you were increasing the deficit. >> let me address directly the issue about the financial crisis. we got it wrong on bank regulation. the mistake we made, and i absolutely say this to this audience was the banks weren't properly regulated. we made that mistake. now the question you've got to consider for the future is who's going to get it right for the future? now, we've learned that lesson. david cameron is saying there should be less bank regulation at the time. leave that to one side. we learned that lesson for the future. i'm the first labor leader david, going into an election saying spending in key area is actually going to fall. that's because i'm so determined, back to elizabeth, that we live within our means. >> all right.
the lady -- yes? >> and just going back to your letter for a moment, the letter mr. cameron, you call is a prop. i run a business here. the last five years has been really hard work. we have a plan and the economy is improving. for me back in as a chancellor and he called that letter a joke. let me tell you, running a business the last few years is anything but a joke, and if that's the way your party wants to treat the economy, how can we trust you? [ applause ] >> what does your business do? >> i employ 76 people here in the city. >> let me tell you very specifically what i think we need to do for businesses like yours and this does go to the big choice of this election. there will be some people who tell you that the way we succeed as a country as long as a few people at the top do well in large corporations, that will power the economy.
i've got a different view, and that's your choice for the next five years. i think it's when working people, every person in our country succeeds in britain -- now for your business, we make a different choice from mr. cameron. he wants to cut taxes further for the largest businesses. i would cut your business rates if i was prime minister. that's important, i hope, for your business, but i think it tells a bigger story about how britain succeeds. as i say, i think it succeeds not just with a few successful corporations but with millions of businesses and millions of working people. >> does that satisfy you? >> no. that wasn't the question i asked you. i asked why i should trust the chancellor who thinks the leter was a joke. if he worked in the corporate world, he would have been fired and not be allowed back to do that job. you're telling me -- [ applause ] >> let me tell you, i can tell you, i take incredibly seriously the need to get the deficit down. it was on the front fajpage of our
manifesto. that's why he's going into this election telling our colleagues in departments that spending is going to fall. you have to make your decision but we are absolutely deadly serious about getting the deficit down and balancing the books. >> i also think mr. miliband you talk about big businesses. i was today with the biggest private employer in the uk. they talked about behaving their way, the problems they've made. i think that's something politicians have got to think about, too. >> all right. >> we need strong big business in the country. >> we do. one thing -- can i just comment on that? >> yes y ees. >> the one thing business needs this is a difference of view, we need to stay within the european union. it would be a disaster for our businesses. give david cameron credit. he believes in staying in the eu. i feel he's being dragged by his party to exit from the eu. begin, again, i've got to say to this audience, i think that would be a real problem for our country. >> all right. the woman up there at the back. yes, you. >> hi. if your party were in power the
gaps between the richest and the poorest? >> what's your name? >> shirley. >> shirley. >> yeah. >> it's a great question shirley. let me answer it directly. yes. there's a rule shirley is referring to called the nondom rule. some may know that and some may not. you can live here/work here, be permanently settled here but not pay taxes here. been in place, believe it or not, for 200 years. that's 40 prime ministers. ss sministers. i'm going to it get rid of it. i believe in a country that has one rule for all. david cameron worked to defend that rule. i think he's wrong about that. we have to tackle tax avoidance wherever we find it and make people at the top live up to their responsibilities. >> i hope we can -- [ applause ] i hope we can reach the man sitting right behind me here yes. >> a really simple question. do you accept that when was last in power they overspent? >> no, i don't.
i know you may not agree with that, but let me -- let me just say very clearly -- >> even with all the borrowing year on year on year? >> no, i don't. let me tell you, because there are schools that have been rebuilt in our country, there are hospitals that were rebuilt, there were centers that were built which would not have happened. and so i don't agree with that. let me just explain to you the way i see it. there was a global financial kpri sis crisis which caused the deficit to rise. now, look, president obama isn't dealing with a high deficit because we built more schools and hospitals. this gentleman here spending's got to fall. >> that's why we will reduce spending. >> all right. you, sir, there. >> what about the financial crisis? australia didn't suffer this. canada didn't suffer this. some other countries didn't suffer. this country suffered because --
how can you stand there and say you didn't overspend and end up bankrupting this country? that is absolutely ludicrous. you're frankly just lying. [ applause ] >> i guess i'm not going to convince you, but -- >> you're not going to convince because the facts speak for themselves. you stood there and said you didn't overspend. if i get to the end of the week and i can't afford to buy a pint i've overspent. it means i haven't got any money left. the government of 13 years and during that 13-year period, you spent, spent you sold gold when it was low. if we sold the gold now, we'd be pretty much better off. you can't stand there and say -- >> the point you made, i think i'm not going to convince you. >> that's what happened under the last government. >> let me come back on this. you said something very important which is that some other countries didn't suffer from that.
that's because they were less exposed to financial services. >> i'm sorry, financial services. financial services actually brought millions and millions and millions of pounds into this country. millions of pounds which you then spent and spent irresponsibly. >> i want to make this point, david. i want to make this point. i think what we didn't do enough of is build up other industries sure financial services are important including here. look, the reality is that we didn't do enough on apprenticeship. we didn't do enough on the modern industrial port and we aren't doing enough now. one industry. so my point is as you need a more diverse and more diverse industrial base. that's also a stake in this election. >> i come to you. we're going to keep moving around the audience. i don't want two or three people to get all the -- >> if you can't accept that you overspent in the last government, then why on earth should we trust you not to do it again if you can't even realize that's what you did? they cut the deficit by half. why should we trust you not to do the same thing?
if you can't accept that you overspent? >> you and other audience members, goes back to elizabeth's question, there are some parties in this election saying no cuts at all. i'm not saying that. mr. cameron, he didn't say this earlier, wants to double the cuts next year. not just the same cuts as in the last parliament, double the cuts. now, i think that would be incredible dangerous for our national health service. >> because you want to -- you're saying you don't want people from my age group to be in dealt, yet you're committed to borrowing even more. >> no, we're committing to a balanced plan which balancing -- not going much further and i try to set out what that balanced plan is. but, look you and others will have to make a judgment about this because i think we can balance the books without sacrificing our public services. without sacrificing tax credits. jenny asked a question earlier, the very first question of this -- where's jenny who asked the question? i'm afraid david cameron might have sounded like e answerhe answered your question but he didn't. i'm going to give you that guarantee tonight.
i'm not going to cut your tax credits. i'm note going to cut child benefit or means testing. i think that would be the wrong thing to do for our country the wrong thing to do for family finances and that's -- i've got to say, after mr. cameron's answers tonight tax credits and child benefits are on the ballot paper of this election because millions of families risk losing thousands of pounds because of a cuts plan that he has. yes, i do disagree with mr. cameron. i've got a different plan. >> i think we should move on to another subject. simon wilkinson, please? simon wilkinson. >> why is the labor party misleading the country about having to do a deal with the snp in the event minority labor doesn't -- [ applause ] >> let me be plain. we're not going to do a deal with the scottish national party. we're not going to have a coalition. we're not going to have a deal. let me just say this to you simon. in it meant -- if it meant we weren't going to be in
government, not doing a dole coalition, not having a deal, so be it. i'm not going to sacrifice the unity of our country i'm. i'm not going to give into snp demands around trident or deficit or anything like that. i want to repeat this point to you. i'm not going to have a labor government if it means deals for coalitions with a scottish national party. i want to say this to folks in scotland, david. there's no easy route here to vote snp and get a labor government. if you want a labor government, you need to vote labor. >> we know the members of the shadow cabinet say they're open to deals. you disagree with that? >> i do. i'm the leader. we wouldn't have deals. >> you wouldn't support the -- you wouldn't go to the queen and have them accept an invitation -- >> we want the labor queen's speech. i want a labor majority government. it would be for the party in the house of commons to vote for it. you asked me about deals, coalitions. they're not going to happen. i couldn't be clearer with you. >> you said something rather interesting. you said you'd rather not have a labor government than have a labor government supported by the snp? >> a labor government with a
coalition or a deal. look, the -- >> what's a deal in your terms? in your language. >> lots of different kind of deals. coalition, where they're called -- >> coalitionministers in your cabinet. what is a deal? >> confidence in supply, they said, where you sort of have an arrangement. i'm not doing that. i'm not doing that. and i want to explain why i'm not doing it. >> sorry, so you'd rather lose office, so to speak? you'd rather not have a labor government to do that? >> if the price of having a labor government with a coalition or deal with the scottish national party, not doing to happen. >> okay. >> yes you, sir? let's have people who haven't spoken already. yes? >> in that case, does that rule out a future labor government? because you're not going to win the most seats in the uk. >> no. look first of all, i don't want to sound like the previous bloat blote, mr. cameron.
look, i'm going to fight as hard as i can for as many seats as i can. i want to make this point about the snp. the reason why i reject the snp, they're, by the way, fighting us in scotland. the reason i reject it is because they want to break up the country. not only that, they used to say that the referendum was a once in a lifetime experience. that's what they said before the last referendum. now nicholas sturgeon isopening the door to another coalition. >> the problem is you do sound a lot like the other guy because both of you seem to not entertain the possibility that you might not get a majority which is absolutely ridiculous. >> sure. >> you really need to be honest with voters about what you might do in the event that you do. >> what was your name? i'm sorry. >> rebecca. >> rebecca, let me try and do better than the other guy on this one. you know, he was saying at the
end, david cameron that if you didn't get a majority, it meant this business of going into a darkened room with nick clage. i don't like the sound of that at all for a whole range of reasons. but i don't like it for one -- for one particular reason. i'm not going to start bartering away my manifesto whatever the outcome of the election, right? even if i don't win a majority i've got a manifesto. you know, some of you may have read it. not that many people. some people may have read it. but itst's out there. if i'm the prime minister i'm going to do everything i can to get my manifesto, not start trading for anyone else's manifesto manifesto. we're in a new world in britain. it was the first coalition obviously this coal list for a long time. it's not about saying going to a darkened room with somebody and start taking off parts of your manifesto. it's not going to happen if i'm
prime minister. >> we'll go to another subject. alicia, please? >> what makes your view more important than the british people when its s it comes to an in and out -- >> sure. >> it's actually alicia. >> it's about leadership what i want to achieve as prime minister. when i look at the country what do i think the biggest problems in the country are? i think five years of wages falling behind bills and the threat is going to happen again. i think five years of young people thinking they're going to have a worse life than their parents. five years of an nhs in crisis. if i'm prime minister in seven or eight days' time, i want to spend all of my energy on those issues. not on deciding whether we want to exit the european union which i think frankly will be a disaster for the country. >> suppose she wants -- >> your view is more important than mine and everybody else here? >> i do -- i do respect that point of view but i don't agree with it because i'm putting my view forward. i think one of the things --
>> will you put ours forward? >> you do at the general election. one thing about leadership, you don't always do what the poll tell you to do. you do what you think is the right thing for the country. i've got to level with you and level with the country that i don't think the right thing for our country to do now is plunge ourselves into two years of debating whether to leave the eu when i've got to tell you that for jobs and the millions of jobs that depend on it for businesses and for families, it will be a disaster. now, there's one thing i will say to you which is any further transfer of powers from britain to the european union, we would have a referendum. unlikely to happen, though. in a way you have to make your own judgment about what is the most important issue to you. for me, it isn't trying to get out of the eu. >> okay. [ applause ] >> so you don't want a referendum, the debate that brings. a second election because you won't form a majority government? >> i don't want -- >> if you don't go majority
you're not going to go the snp? >> i want to govern. i want to govern and change the country. and i think -- i just got to say to you, the stakes are incredibly high. you know you get this choice once every five years. do you want a country run for the richest and most powerful the nondoms the lady talked about at the top? for jenny, her tax credits aren't safe. that's the choice of this election. that is a choice facing the british people. >> couple more people. the woman there then i'll come to you and we'll move on. yes? >> yes, hello good evening. the conservative party has made cuts to education. how would you propose to endure the damage cuts to education. how would you propose to endure the damage done by the -- >> education which we may come to. i want to stick to the subject of the eu if you don't mind while we're on it. yes. >> mr. miliband. >>ly. >> you know when people ask you a question about forming a coalition, you say no, i want the majority mr. cameron said the same.
do you comprehend how much respect you would get from the audience if you were truly honest. >> sir, i'm saying to you -- [ applause ] i'm absolutely not saying to you i'm guaranteed the majority. i'm working for it. and i guess you'll respect me saying that. but i tried to answer the lady on the end who asked a question about the circumstances of not getting a majority. and i tried to outline my approach. as i said, my approach is not to start to barter away different bits of the manifesto. the reason i say that is because i think trust in politics, which is a pretty fragile thing anyway, is incredibly low. so the idea that nick clegg says i'm breaking my tuition fees promise and david cameron says i'm breaking my vat promise and they blame each other and the coalition, that's not going to be my approach. whatever the circumstances. if i'm prime minister, i'm going to seek to implement all of my manifesto. >> i'm going to get back to the lady there. just one brief question on this and an answer if you would. >> the conservative party have made up to 20% cuts in
education. how do you propose to undo the damage done by the savage cuts to adult education made by this government? >> have you had experience of this? >> yes we have. i work in f.e. >> what we've said for the future, i can't guarantee to reverse what's already been done but what we've said for the future is we will protect education spending. so it will be protected at least against inflation. now, the reason why we've made that choice, which we haven't made in other government departments, is because i think investing in education investing in the future is essential not just for our society but our economy as well. i think it's a false economy to start cutting back on education spending. i can't promise to immediately reverse the damage and i'm not going to make a false promise to you. >> but adults in further education -- >> yes indeed. >> ufrlts or pliermrimary -- >> yes. we have made that promise. >> amy green. >> mr. miliband -- the welfare bill skyrocket. i'm over here. >> hi. sorry. [ laughter ] >> it's okay.
it's a vote for yourself. the welfare bill skyrocket. >> no. let me explain why. i believe in a welfare system with responsibility. responsibility means that if you can work you should work. we're the only party at this election putting forward a proposal saying if you're a young person unemployed more than a year we'll guarantee you a job working with the private sector but if you don't take the job you'll lose benefits. because i think that actually responsibility is a foundation of the welfare system. but let me just say one more thing to you, amy because it's important for keeping control of the welfare bill. take the issue of housing benefit. you may not be obvious but the housing benefit bill's gone up a lot in the last five years for those in work. the reason for that is we have an economy based on low pay and we're not building up enough homes in our country. that's why we have an eight-pound minimum wage and that's why we'll build homes again in britain. dealing with the welfare bill is about responsibility but it's also about tackling the underlying factors that are driving the welfare bill up.
like our low pay economy that doesn't work for working people. and this is all connected. because our economy doesn't work for most people and works for the richest in our society in my view, if means that the welfare bill's higher. it means that people are having a harder life and working all the hours. we'll keep it under control. >> the benefits of a legitimate lifestyle choice. >> no. >> i think they do. you say about raising minimum wage and you're going to guarantee jobs. i work in recruitment. where are those jobs going to come from? >> they're going to come from working with the private sector to help create those jobs. apprenticeships for our young people so actually they're the skilled people that the private sector needs. a proper industrial policy which will help the private sector. cutting business rates which will also help grow the economy and help grow jobs. leading in the big industries of the future like green industry. take climate change for example. some people see that as a burden. it isn't a burden. it's a necessity to tackle it and a challenge to lead as a country in one of the most
important industries of the future. >> can we come back to welfare? [ applause ] is your plan to cut the welfare bill, to increase it? >> there's a cap on the welfare bill which the government has put in place. we'll keep to within that cap. >> the ifs says your commitment to being tough on welfare amounts to almost nothing. >> well i don't agree with them. >> where have they gone wrong? they've analyzed everybody's -- >> let me give you an example. i want to help pensioners in our country. we're going to have a triple lock on the basic state pension. that means pensions going up by 2 1/2% but we have said that the winter fuel-outs will not continue to grow to pensions with incomes above 43,000 pounds a year because i don't think i can justify that in the times we're in. but i think this point about the drivers of the welfare bill and what is making it go up is the key thing underlining it. >> i'm trying to go to different people who haven't spoken yet. >> are you essentially telling us that you're expecting the
private sector to fund the gaps in the welfare bill? because there's only so much that employers can actually do to -- you can't keep expecting -- you're talking about zero hours contract changes. you're talking about getting people to working in the private sector after a year. how are employers supposed to afford all of this stuff? being an employer is a very, very expensive business as it is. >> we're definitely not expecting employers to fund the welfare bill. but my point at the moment is the welfare bill is actually spending billions and billions of pounds subsidizing low pay in our country. i'm afraid that's the sort of reality. now, we've got to raise the minimum wage in a way that is cautious. we've got to do it so it doesn't put people out of work. and that's what we'll do. but i think we've also got to confront the fact that because we're one of the low-pay capitals of europe we are spending tens of billions of pounds on welfare as a result of
that. so it's about working with the private sector to make sure you can raise wages. >> on that point let me bring in chris mcgee, please. >> a ban on zero hours contracts will prevent me from growing my small business. isn't it time the labour party put business before gimmicks and sound bites? [ applause ] >> and there's more evidence that people like zero hours contracts than dislike them. >> chris, what's your business in. >> it's tourism business. when the sun shines i've got business. if the sun doesn't shine i don't. so zero hours contracts would be good for me. >> the sun always shines in yorkshire. >> whenever there's a cycle race there is. >> let me tell you about my policy and then you come back and say how it might affect you. our policy is this, that after 12 weeks an employee will have a right to a regular contract, not a zero hours contract, based on the average number of hours that they've done. and if the employee wants to carry on with the zero hours contract they can but we think that should be in the hands of the employee having the right to
a regular contract. let me explain why i say that. i know this may be difficult for your business but let me explain the reasons for that. i don't think we can base the future of our economy on the economy -- i meet lots of people on zero hours contracts that people don't know from one day to the next how many hours they're doing or what wage they're going to be getting. mr. cameron was honest enough to say the other day he couldn't live on a zero hours contract. well, nor could i. but if i can't live on it and he can't live on it i don't think we should make the british people live on it. that's the logic of my position. [ applause ] >> ryan furlong, please. >> hi. what are you going to do differently about imarbitration? >> i changed labour's position. and let me tell you what we're going to do. under a labour government when people come here they won't get benefits for at least the first two years. we're going tone sure that in our public services our people learn english. but i think everyone who comes
here should learn english. and thirdly, we're going to stop something which i think frankly should have been stopped a long time ago, which is employers bringing people into this country, exploiting migrant labor, and undercutting wages. let me give you a fact brian. there have been -- [ applause ] there have been two prosecutions for failure to pay the minimum wage in the last five years. now, the notion that that reflects what's actually happening in the world of work is of course nonsense. and even the government's own migration advisory committee have said that is one of the things that is bringing low-skilled labor into here. the notion that some rogue employees, and i emphasize some because most employers don't do this, can get away with bringing migrant labor in and undercutting wages. so the last thing i want to say to you is this. i don't believe it's prejudiced to worry about immigration. some people say it is. i don't believe it is. i think people's concerns are real. i see it with my constituency in doncaster. and we're going to deal with -- >> why don't you set a target,
then? refuse to set a target when she criticizes the conservative patt policy on it but isn't willing to commit to any kind of number at all. is it just free-for-all, everyone who wants to come here can come here regardless of economic suitability or affordability, and where is everyone going to live? [ applause ] >> what's your name? >> jo. >> jo. i'll tell you why i'm not going to set a target. because i don't want to stand on the stage in five years' time and -- >> you -- >> let him answer. >> let me finish this answer. that i've broken my promise. this is a really important point. david cameron stood on the stage five years ago and said he'd get net yi78 grace to 10,000. it's 219,000. >> but you're not even -- >> let him answer. >> i'm not going to pluck a target out of the air. it's not the right thing to do. i can't -- trust in politics trust is so low in politics for reasons i understand, because of
broken promises in the past. i want to be the first politician to underpromise and overdeliver, not overpromise and underdeliver. and look, sometimes -- sometimes that means i'll get a hard time from people like jo because i'm not making the easy promise. but i'm not the guy who's going to make the easy promises. because all it does is it makes people think you're all going to break your promises. >> no, no no. i'm afraid we've come to the end of those 28 minutes. >> it flew by for me. maybe not for the audience. >> thank you very much, mr. miliband miliband. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> so the last of our three leaders now. from the liberal democrat party, the leader of the liberal democrats, would you welcome nick clegg.
[ applause ] and mr. clegg the first question comes from darren metcalfe, please. darren metcalfe. >> nick. >> hi, darren. >> how are you? your promise on student loans has destroyed your reputation. why would we ever believe anything else you say? [ applause ] >> nice easy way to start. look, firstly, i got it wrong. i said sorry. musically, no less. when you make a mistake in politics just as in life in politics just as in life sometimes you can't do exactly what you want. i was absolutely between a rock and a hard place five years ago on that particular policy. secondly, i hope you can at least give me credit for the many, many other things that i have actually put into practice, whether it's taking lots of people on low pay out of paying any income tax. the biggest expansion of
apprenticeships this country's ever seen. the biggest reform of our pension system in a generation. more money into schools to help with the education of disadvantaged children. more childcare. shared parental leave. healthy lunches for little kids at primary school. the list goes on. i accept for some people, and you may be one of them for whom that one thing you can't forgive, you can't forget -- >> why did you vote for it and not just abstain? because it was such a key thing. you had all your candidates going around to these things. why didn't you abstain when it came to the vote? rather than vote in favor. that's the thing that upset people. >> well, i mean, what happened as you may remember was the previous government, the labour government introduced fees and then increased them. when we came into government there, was no money left. david cameron's just been waving around the letter which provided to the liberal democrat chief secretary of the treasury at the time saying there was no money left. and both the larger parties as they i think would admit if you asked them about it wanted fees to go up very considerably. the report commissioned at the time into all this said there
should be no limit at all. in a sense what we did is get the fairest deal we could in those circumstances. and thankfully you've now got more young people at university than ever before. as i said earlier my experience is some people will say i can't forget that. i hope there are plenty of other fair-minded folk who will accept that nonetheless there are many many, many other good policies that i did put into practice. >> anybody want to come in on this? you, sir in the middle. yes, you in the center. >> policy of increasing tuition fees, essentially robbing from the rich you're taking money away from future generations to go to university because the economy's going bust by people not repaying their fees, not getting enough money to be able to make the threshold. and the policies are completely defunct. >> no, i don't agree with that. under the old system we inherited if you left university you had to stop repaying the moment you earned 15,000 pounds.
now you don't pay back if you earn 16 17, 18, 19 20:00 you only start paying back when you earn -- >> that's precisely my point. >> no. well, you're right -- some people say it's not generous enough. you're saying it's too generous. you're right to say that no one needs to pay up front. thousands of students under the old system who used to have to pay up front or ask their parents to do so. and crucially if you can't pay it off during your working life it gets paid off for you. so in a sense it's a much, much more fair system. it's not the system i would have liked. but it's a much, much more fair system than people alleged at the time it was introduced. >> the question was about trust. you, sir, in the blue pullover there with the tie. yes. second row from the back. >> hi mr. clark. the public suggests -- >> did you say prime minister clegg? mr. clegg. i thought you said prime minister clegg for a moment. >> the public says they can't forgive that one thing. in hindsight would you go into coalition in 2010 again? >> yes, absolutely. the more i look back the more i
think it's a brave decision for the liberal democrats. it's come at a political cost. but it's clear in my mind -- we could have been greece. our deficit was almost as big as greece's. our banking crisis was a whole lot worse. and i certainly wouldn't have wanted on my conscience higher interest rates higher unemployment higher youth unemployment, which i'm absolutely sure would have happened if we hadn't stepped up to the plate to create a stable government without which an economic recovery is not possible. and my great concern at the moment is that having got this far over five years, and >> 1,500 pounds off 8 million of the most vulnerable families. we can only assume that they're looking at the kind of plans which they floated some years ago. >> did you know about it when it happened? >> yes but if they're -- >> we didn't know. it only came out today. that's what she means. something you discovered and worked on in coalition which has been kept secret until today. it's a way of attacking the tory
party. >> last summer george osborne made a speech at the conservative party conference and he said that the conservative party in a radical departure from the sensible way which we've adopted over the last five years to balance the books, are not going to ask the very wealthy in society to pay a single extra penny in tax to balance the books and instead only the working-age poor are going to pick up the tab for the mistakes made by the bankers. i think that's unfair. they've said they want to take the equivalent of 1,500 pounds off the 8 million poorest families in this country. they won't tell you how they'll do that. 12 billion pounds is about exactly as much as we spend as a country on disability living allowance. are they going to scrap disability allowance? are they going to scrap it? it's about the same as we spend on employment support allowance. are they going to scrap that? i think the point that danny was making quite rightly is we've had five weeks of this election campaign. the conservators have a very unfair plan to balance the books
which departs from what we've done in coalition. and i think we are entitled to say what are you going to do? who are you going to hurt? who's going to bear the pain? >> the woman back there. >> i don't think voters want to hear reasons why not to vote for another party. we want reasons why to vote for your party. >> sure. [ applause ] that's fair. but i think also voters want to know what the choices are. and i think at the moment the fundamental choices are a conservative plan which i've just described which i think wants to ballot books, which we must do, but wants to do so unfairly, and a labour plan which still won't give you any time table or any detail or any plan about how to balance the books in the first place. i think one of the most important things, whoever is in government, in whatever combination -- and by the way, unlike ed miliband and david cameron i'm not pretending i'm going to be prime minister next thursday. i wish it were otherwise, but i doubt it's an impending prospect. i think they know they're not going to be prime minister.
they're not coming clean with you. that they're going to have to make compromises as well. all i'm saying is in the decisions about how we govern ourselves after next thursday when you cast your vote one of the most important questions is how do you finish the job of wiping the slate clean so that our kids and our grandkids don't continue to pay the price for our generations' debts but you do so fairly. and that's why i think the center-ground position from the liberal democrats makes more sense than excessive cuts or excessive borrowing. >> somebody's got to be prime minister. who are you going to make prime minister? hang on. if you were in a position to decide. >> here's the most unsurprising assertion of the evening. either david cameron or ed miliband are going to be prime minister. >> it may be no prime minister. it may be so badly mashed about by the election nobody can form a majority. >> everybody's got to behave in a grownup responsible way even if they don't --
>> we heard ed miliband here say he wouldn't depend on the scottish national party. >> should i try to answer the question? >> yes. >> david cam sxron ed miliband are going to walk into number 10 as prime minister. i don't think that's much in doubt. you have to decide which of those two. the real question is who's going to go in alongside them? alex hammond? is it going to be nigel farraj? or is it going to be me and the liberal democrats? my great fear as i said earlier is if you have david cameron to the tune of nigel farraj or the swivel-eyed brigade on the right wing of the conservative party or you have ed miliband basically the beck and call of alex hammond you lurch off to the right and the left which is not what we need as a country. >> you sir. [ applause ] then i'll come to you. >> that's all well and good. but you've just told us that in 2010 you had to make a very difficult decision on tuition fees. how do we know that you won't have to make a very difficult decision again around the things you're promising us tonight? >> and that's a totally fair challenge. and that's why i've been much clearer and crisper, i hope
maybe you didn't hear it about the red lines without which the liberal democrats simply won't go into any coalition government. for instance, education spending, you just heard ed miliband say that the labour party wants into crease education spending to keep up with prices. what he didn't tell you is that there were going to be 460,000 new youngsters going into education system. so you need to increase spending to help them as well. the conservatives want to do the referring, keep up with increased pupil number but not with prices. both amount to a cut, a multibillion-pound cut to the money that goes into our nurseries, our schools and our colleges. i cannot be more clean than you -- with you. the liberal democrats will not go into any coalition, any government. we won't sign a coalition agreement unless -- if either of those parties insist on those cuts to our education system because i think that really is short-changing the little children of today, who should be given just as much -- >> you mean you want more than just a standstill because you've said there are, what is it
400,000 people coming into education. you want a big expansion of the education budget. >> i think the increase of the budget needs to keep pace not only with prices but also with the increase of the numbers. >> do you have any idea what the cost of that would be? >> it would be another 5 billion pounds by the final year of the next parliament. >> and you can find that? >> yes. >> you think. you, sir. >> i just wondered if you've got plans for a new job after next week when youunemployed and it becomes irrelevant. >> charming. no i don't. >> all right. david jackson. question from david jackson, please. >> nick. how do you feel about the huge increase of people driven to use food banks many of them in work poverty or falling foul of >> well, i think like everybody here i don't -- it's very -- it's very distressing to see an increasing number of people move into food banks. and that's why every day that i've been in government over the
last five years as we had to clean up this unholy mess we inherited, this massive black hole in our public finances, a broken banking system the biggest heart attack in our economy in a generation i've always tried to take decisions where we spread the burden as fairly as possible. so for instance i have resisted time and time again much, much deeper cuts to benefits to the help given to the most vulnerable, those who fall on hard times as advocated by conservatives in government. when people get back into work particularly those on low pay, i'd be very anxious to make sure they keep more of the money they earn. when i came into government, everybody here, all of us would start paying income tax the moment you earned 6,400 pounds. on the front page of your well-thumbed copy of the 2010 liberal democrat manifesto you would have seen an absolute leading commitment which we did stick to which was that we would raise the point at which you pay income tax. sow pay no income tax on the first 10,600 pounds you earn. that has actually meant 3 million people over 3 million
people on low pay pay no income tax for the first time ever. the final thing i would say is about the benefit sanctions which you mentioned. i do -- i have become persuaded listening to the trestle trust and others who provided evidence about the reasons people are using food banks. i have become persuaded that we need in effect a kind of yellow card system that some of the sanctions that applied to people who don't meet the conditions of their benefits shouldn't be imposed quite as harshly and automatically as they are. and that is a change i would want to introduce in the next parliament. [ applause ] >> good evening, nick. i do think you're an honorable man, but what you're forgetting is that all these sanctions are in place because you put cameron into number 10. you didn't have a majority. so there would be no work program, nowhere near as many benefit sanctions and you could have made a different choice, and that's why people don't trust you. people like me that voted for you in the election did not vote liberal democrat to put cameron in number 10. >> hang on.
just explain what did you expect? what did you want? >> i'm sorry. >> what did you want? >> my preference would have been for him to have continued negotiations with labour, which i think a lot of liberal democrat natural voters would vote for labour that protested. >> qi just make -- there's just the little matter of democracy. >> you could have chosen. >> no. >> you did choose. >> no. >> accept responsibility. you did choose. that was your choice. >> that's not actually the case. after the last election no one won a majority. whether you and i like it or not, the liberal democrats did not win. i'm not prime minister. i lead a party of 8% of mps in the house of commons. and it was the conservatives that won the most votes and seats. >> you're slagging each other off. david cameron said you were a great team and now you're slagging each other off. >> and he keeps talking about darkened rooms, ed miliband. if either of them thinks they're going to win a majority they need to go lie down in that darkened room.
the point -- [ applause ] the point i'd like to make to you and to everybody is this, is that you are the boss. right? we are your servants. you give us through the way you vote next thursday our marching instructions. and last time the marching instructions were very, very clear. the only way we could create a stable government at a time of economic firestorm which could engulf this country, we could have been the next domino to fall after greece and portugal and spain was the conservatives -- >> it's nothing like greece, our economy. and you know it. our economy is nothing like greece. comparing this country to the economy of greece. you're not that stupid. >> no, i don't. with the greatest respect, please don't be complacent about the state of the british economy. our banking crisis was considerably worse than greece's. our deficit was just as bad -- >> what about our assets? >> if you want to see what happens where people don't step up to the plate, however controversial it is, to provide
stable government, look at the 50% youth unemployment in many other european countries where governments haven't got to grips with the economic crisis. i will never apologize never apologize. whatever the short-term political effects. on the liberal democrats. for having stepped up to the plate in a very plucky and brave way to put the country before party. [ applause ] >> all right. >> i don't know whether the color of your pullover is -- >> yellow. >> it does say something does it? >> no. >> your question. >> good evening, mr. clegg. you mentioned about democracy. do i assume from that that when the phone rings on friday morning, next friday morning, that the first person you will speak to will be the person who has most seats? >> yeah. i think the party that gets the biggest mandate from you, in other words, the party with the most votes and the most seats, even if they haven't got a slam
dunk result, has in a democracy the result -- the right forgive me, to make -- if you like the first move to reach out to other parties to assemble a government if they so choose. it may not work out. other parties may not reciprocate. and then other arrangements might need to be arrived at. but i think in a democracy it just seems to me a pretty old-fashioned principle that the party that's got its nose ahead of the other parties because of the way you vote even if they haven't got an outright majority, has got the mandate to try and put together a government. >> all right. before we go into another question, does anybody else want to speak about food banks? specifically. which was the question we had. taken point. no? all right. let's go on to a question from grace davis please. grace davis. >> is free movement within the uk creating a problem -- in the eu creating a problem in the uk? >> free movement in the eu, is it creating a problem in the uk? i think it did create a problem when free movement became kind of the same as the freedom to claim. i don't think the freedom to
move is the same as the freedom to claim. so even though i am pro european, not because i think it's perfect but i think it makes sense for an open economy to be part of the world's largest marketplace even though i am pro european, i decided as deputy prime minister in this coalition government to break that link so that people couldn't arrive here from elsewhere in the european union and claim benefits, no questions asked, on the first day they arrive. by the way, i would also point out it is a two-way street. there are roughly about as many brits living and working elsewhere in the european union than there are europeans working in our country. we've got to remember it's also a freedom which many of us, british people also benefit from in europe. >> where do you stand on the question of a referendum? because we had david cameron saying there was no way he'd do any kind of deal which didn't allow a referendum on europe after the negotiation -- >> so david cameron and i together actually in coalition government legislated for the circumstances in which a referendum will take place.
>> you're happy with that? >> i am happy with that. he appears to have changed his mind. i agree. it's perfectly sensible to say to you in law that in future if your palace -- if the sovereignty of our nation is in any way shared or pooled with the european union at that point it should be your choice whether we carry on in the european union or not. it shouldn't be the choice of the parliament or the government of the day. we shouldn't be able to give your powers away behind your back. that is what we legislated for in 2011. and there are stirring speeches by william hague and david cameron in the house of commons saying this is the right approach. within months the ink was barely dry on the legislation. the conservatives have now changed their mind again and again and again. but i remain of the view, as i always have done, that we should have a referendum on whether we should stay in or leave the european union when new powers are given up to the european union. and i will, by the way -- again shock, horror. always argue that we must remain part of the european union.
i think as we quit we've book poorer. unemployment goes up and investment goes down. [ applause ] >> the logic of what you say in view of what david cameron said earlier on this program is you can't go into coalition with him because you will only allow a referendum if powers are given to the european union. he wants to repatriate some hours and then have a referendum. >> you should have taken the opportunity when david cameron was here to ask him about the conservative position. >> you should explain it. you heard him. you were listening in the back room. >> conservatives say they want to renegotiate but -- >> sometimes they say 2016. sometimes they say they're going to leave the european union if they don't get what they want. sometimes they say they'll stay. i don't know what they're going to think on your next tuesday let alone on may the 8th. i think there should be a referendum. i say this is a pro european
whether they stay in or go out, when new powers are given up by us as a country to the european -- >> only when new powers are given up. i think you've spoken already. then i'll come to you. yes, sir. >> we've got eight countries. we've got eight countries that are about to possibly leave the european union and we've got stilt eurozone crisis lying underneath. >> eight countries about to leave. >> yeah. we've got spain. we've got cyprus. they're in danger of leaving. there's a chance that they will leave soon. we've got the eurozone debt crisis still underneath the surface and we've got 30% government bonds european government bonds trading at negative interest rates. and germany, the heart of the eu, 70% of its government bonds are trading at negative interest rates. i want to know how bad does it have to get before you would think perhaps now we should leave? >> i don't by the way, think eight countries will leave. >> possibility. >> well, everything's a
possibility. but i don't -- i absolutely don't think it's going to happen. i'll tell you why. because in a globalized world where we have big borderless threats like climate change, you know, human traffickers and crime which crossed borders, we have these massive corporations that sort of go from one continent to the other, you've got capital flows going from one -- a corner of the planet to the next it makes sense. i think we become stronger when we do things together. i just think we can fight crime we can fight climate change we can regulate big global corporations better when we do it together. by the way, it's a very similar argument to why i so passionately believe in the country, the united kingdom, that i love so much and i don't want to see it pulled apart. because i think we are just quite simply stronger when we do things together rather than when we fall apart. >> but it still isn't an answer to my question, which is how bad would it have to get? for example, if greece was to leave the european union and then if france which looks set to possibly -- >> i'm sorry.
can i interrupt? >> france could possibly vote in the euro-skeptic national front in. and if they do they would full out. >> okay. the description -- >> how bad does it have to get? >> is there other circumstances in which you would say britain should -- >> since i think those circumstances aren't remotely going to happen i cannot envisage circumstances where i think it's sensible for the united kingdom to leave. what is the world's largest borderless marketplace? 500 million shoppers who buy our manufactured products, our services, our goods. do you really think japanese car manufacturers, big investment banks, big legal firms big you know aerospace firms would invest in our country if we were bobbing along somewhere in the mid-atlantic, friendless unable to sell into our own european neighbor? of course not. jobs are at stake. >> we've heard your point. sorry not to keep with you but i want to go to the man up there. >> if you believe in true democracy like you've mentioned a few times you'd give the british people a say on the european union.
[ applause ] >> i've explained the reasons, not only -- when a referendum will take place, but more than that i'm the first deputy prime minister, we're the first government to ever put that into law all right? >> let's go on to another question. brenda hammonds, please. we haven't got much time left. brenda hammonds. >> with rising tension in russia and the middle east, will you support the need for the trident nuclear deterrent? >> where do you stand on the trident nuclear deterrent? >> so i think we should keep the nuclear deterrent in this unsafe world. but i don't think we need to keep it on the same basis on which it was originally designed to flatten moscow at the press of a button. and this comes down to basically whether the trident nuclear system has four nuclear submarines or three nuclear submarines and whether you need a nuclear submarine absolutely 24 hours a day, 365 days of the whole year going around the world. i personally think we can step down the nuclear ladder while
keeping ourselves safe. and that i think is a sensible balanced way to keep ourselves safe but not spend huge amounts of money on a cold war replacement to the nuclear trident system which just doesn't fit the post-cold war world we live there. the kind of threats we face aren't like the cold war. they're stateless groups extremist groups, terrorist groups. the civil war we're seeing raging in syria and elsewhere. those are the big threats. they're not solved by having four nuclear submarines rather than three. >> you, sir at the back. you've spoken already but have another go. >> you're talking about keeping the country safe. when was this country last time attacked by another country? >> well, we are under threat from people who don't want to attack in the conventional sense but want to attack us maim fellow citizens -- >> it's because we're meddling in their countries. >> well i don't actually think there's any excuse that any rational or reasonable person could give to those people who want to kill innocent british citizens through terrorist acts
in our cities. [ applause ] whilst as a good old-fashioned liberal i'm the first person to defend our civil liberties and our freedoms i will -- i think there's no inconsistency between defending our freedoms and keeping ourselves safe. we don't make ourselves any less free by making ourselves any less safe. >> one last thing if i could ask you this. you've said you want the liberal democrats to be the heart for the conservatives the brains for labour. if neither of those works and you can't form a coalition would you remain leader of the liberal democrats or would you see your job as over? >> look, i want to carry on. i'm 48 years old. i've got bags of energy. i believe in what the liberal democrats stand for which is to strike the right balance between creating a strong economy but doing so fairly. i don't think that's represented on either the right or the left of british politics. but look -- >> i have to stop you there. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> a nice brief answer.
thank you. [ applause ] sorry to -- sorry to cut mr. clegg short, but we do have to stop because we have exactly 90 minutes for this program. that ends, incidentally of course as you would guess, this edition of question time. we're going to be back not next thursday when we have the election results but on friday evening at 9:00 when we'll be looking back at the election and seeing what's happened. the first chance to talk about it. so from here my thanks of course to our party leaders and particularly to all of you who came to take part in this in leeds. good night. [ applause ]
>> woe'm hear argue in glosssive versus gross. >> mr. chief justice and may it please the court. oklahoma chooses to execute our clients with a three-dug formula that includes a pair littic and potassium chloride, drugs that cause intense pain and suffering. the second and third drugs are constitutional. only if a prisoner will not feel the pain and be aware of the suffocation caused by those drugs. the district court erred as a matter of law and as a matter of fact when it found that medalazam as a this first drug is constitutionally tolerable. >> why is that a matter of law? as i see it just a fact question and the district court
found that it did eliminate the pain do we do that kind of thing. >> justice scalia there's a question of law and a question of fact. >> the question of law? >> the question of law includes the district court found the three-drug formula was to bible in spite of medical consensus this drug can not be used as -- >> that's a question of fact. you're saying -- the question of law is that the district court ignored two facts. ignoring two facts dot not make it's question of law. it's stale question of fact. >> if if can justice scalia, the second point is the question of law involves the district court found that this drug creates a
greater risk of harm than sodium pentoh but could not quantify. i found this drug that creates a greater risk of harm it could not quantify and had before it evidence this drug is not used for the purpose that which the state intendeds it to. >> could you good, the way i thought of this -- animal in your brief you think de novo review goes to everything. if i disagree with you. if i think that i have to give deference to the district court's factual finding on how this drug works. the medalazam but that it's a legal question it's a legal question whether it creates a risk of harm that is suggestally
intolerable. is that how you divide it up? >> yet, justice sotomayor. >> the factors -- now let's go to my real question. okay? that a judge ignores facts does not necessarily mean abuse of discretion or clear error. what are the clear errors in terms of the reasoning that the district court used? >> the clear errors in this case we have to look at what this case is about. this case is about known information and undisputed facts before the court. this drug, medalazam is in a different class than bash bit tattoos. it's not a bane -- pain reliever. the district court recognize these two facts. it's known that this drug has a effect so there's -- ceiling
effect. the district court recognize that at 78 the state's expert recognized that. the petitioner's experts recognized that. >> the district court determined is that it was not able to tell precisely when the ceiling effect kicked, in precisely when they hit the ceiling. right? that's your theory for when pain is possible when it lets the ceiling. >> what the district court found, mr. chief justice is whatever the ceiling effect may be it takes effect only at the spinal cord and that 500 mill grandmothers of medalazam while quote, create aphone knock which is not anesthesia but effectively pair lineses the brain and eliminated awareness of pain that finding we have to look at what undisputed facts were before the court in making that finding. >> unentitled fact? i thought you had the burden of showing the determineses were
erroneous. >> i'm sorry if i missmoke. was we have to look at before in order to show why the was an erroneous find is the indisputed facts before the district court. >> the state doesn't propose that their doctor was right. they're not defending it. they don't say it's true. they -- i conceded, is a read their brief that it does not work the way the doctors said it worked. that it does not paralyze the brain. >> correct? >> that is correct. >> so it's clear error. now we have an admission that the expert was plainly wrong so what else -- nothing else that the district court could have base evidence its conclusion on, correct. >> that is correct.
the district court reached this decision based on no scientific evidence and with a medical consensus to the contrary, that this drug is not able to pharmacologically do what the state's expert said it could do, and that clear error is combined and as the district court said, at joint appendix 47, that this is partially a mixed question of fact and mixed question of law. >> miss conrad, can i make sure i understand this. i read that the part of the opinion that you are referring to and i couldn't figure it out. so is it that the court said, we don't know what the ceiling effect is? generally? but the ceiling effect only goes to how something operates at the spinal cord level doesn't go to how it operates at the brain and this takes what we care about is how it operates at the brain so we don't have to
worry.the ceiling effect. is that right? >> that is -- >> is that what the court said. >> that is what the district court found based on the testimony of the state's experts, not support bid any scientific literature, any medical information, and in fact it's inconsistent with the state's expert's own testimony because he testified and explained that the way this drug works is it works throughout the central nervous system. he -- >> you are saying we do have to worry about the ceiling effect there isn't this die come my between the drug at the spinal cords and the drug at the brain and it's actually crucial what kind of ceiling effect this drug has. in contradiction to what the court said which is we didn't have to worry about the ceiling effect. is that hough it goes. >> yes. >> did you introduce any evidence to show the doseam at which the ceiling effect would occur?
>> we had testimony from our expert who indicated it could be calculated but was not. justice alito that doesn't matter because what matters is we know the drug has a ceiling effect -- >> what is the ceiling effect is a thousand milligrams? >> there is know evidence in the record to support that, and -- no. any evidence to show it is any amount below 500? >> it doesn't matter. it doesn't -- >> of course it matters. >> proof we do have is the wood execution. that is the one that was botched. mr. wood was given 750-milligrams. correct? >> yes justice sotomayor. >> and he laid writhing in pain for 20 minutes, 25 minutes. >> mr. wood was two hours -- >> i'm sorry two hours. now, there's been some defense that the 7 other -- 6750 wasn't
immediately delivered but it was still 750 that went into his system and caused that kind of pain. correct? >> yes and our expert testified that mr. wood's execution demonstrates the ceiling effect, that giving more of this drug is not going to put a prisoner into a -- >> how many executions have been carried out using this drug? >> using midazolam. >> yes. >> 15. >> you're talking about one. >> no, we're actually talking of several executions that -- the execution in this case in oklahoma that haven't happened a year ago of mr. locket demonstrate why midazolam is does not put a prisoner in a coma. >> the administration of to the drugs, the nature of the veins and so forth. i got a different one in the locket case?
>> no. mr. chief justice -- >> that was not then -- were there issues about -- i thought there were issues involve thing veins and the ability to make a intravenous connection. >> there were problems with the catheter but mr. lockett received enough miiidazolam and the discussioner found he was unconscious and regained consciousness and that is the key issue. here -- >> not if he didn't receive the proper dosage. you're saying it's okay that he didn't receive the proper dosage so long as he was unconscious? >> he received -- >> i don't see how that follows. if in fact the execution was not properly conducted i don't see how you can blame it on the drug. >> what we know about this drug, justice scalia, is that it can never paint the deep coma-like up consciousness necessary to prevent a prisoner from feeling
the painful effects of this -- >> how do we know that? ing thought that what we knew was just that we can't know. in other words that there's this huge range of uncertainty about what happens when somebody is given this drug. you're suggesting something more than that. which is that we know what happens, we know the drugs can't maintain deep unconsciousness which is right? >> justicing aingkagan, we know because of the properties on the drug. the way when the drug was being tested and being introduced, it is not used for the sole purpose of preventing somebody from feeling pain during a painful procedure. >> i thought it wasn't used for that purpose just because we don't know whether it's capable of being used for that purpose. as opposed to, we know it's incapable of being used for that purpose, if you see the
difference. >> i do see the difference. i think what is important here is this court in bays explains it's important to re-emphasize that a proper dose sodium penthol is that the prisoner will be sufficiently sedated giant why is oklahoma not using that drug? >> it isn't using it -- you could ask my friend here, but -- >> you don't know? >> the findings here is it was unavailable at that time of the hearing. >> let's hebe hon about what's is going on here. executions can be cared out painlessly. there are many just dirkses -- jurisdictions in this country and abroad that allow assist evidence suicide and i assume they're carried out with little if any pain. oklahoma and other states could carry out executions painlessly. now, this court has held that the death penalty is
constitutional. it's controversial it's a constitutional matter, it certainly is controversial as a policy matter. those who oppose the death penalty are free to try to persuade legislatures to abolish the death penalty. some efforts have been successful. they're free ask the court to overrule the death penalty. until that occurs is its appropriate for the judiciary to countenance what amounts to a guerrilla war against the death panel? which consists of efforts to make it impossible for the states to obtain drugs that could be used to carry out capital punishment with little, if any pain, and the states are reduced to using drugs like this one, which give rise to disputes about whether in fact every possibility of pain is eliminated. now, what is your response to that? >> well, justice alito the purpose of the court is to
decide whether a method of execution or the way that the state is going to carry out an execution issue is in fact constitutional. and whether we're going to tolerate is it objectively intolerable to allow the states to carry out a method in this way, and so -- >> i guess i would be more inclined to find that it was intolerable if there is even some doubt about this drug. when there was a perfectly safe other drug available. but the states have gone through two different drugs and those drugs have been rendered unavailable by the abolitionist movement putting pressure on the companies that manufacture them. so that the states cannot obtain those two other drugs. and now you want to come before the court and say well, this third drug is not 100% sure. the reason it isn't 100% sure is because the abolitionists have rendered it impossible to get
the 100% sure drugs and you think we should not view that as relevant to the decision that you're putting before us? >> justice scalia, i don't think that it's relevant to the decision as to what is available because what this court needs to look at is whether the drug that the state is intending to use to cause what they say is a -- put the prisoner in a place where he will not feel pain, that drug is good enough. >> i understand -- >> is any state using a lethal injection protocol without this questionable drug? we know that two are not available. is there another combination that has been used by states? it doesn't involve the question of law drug. >> yes, justice ginsburg. there have been 11 congratulations using pentohol
bash toll -- that doesn't answer question question. the question is what bearing if any, should we pit on the fact there isn't a method but it's not available because of opposition to the death penalty. what relevance does that have? none? >> justice kennedy the fact that the state chooses a certain method should not have bearing on whether that method is constitutional -- >> i would like an answer to the question. you have been interrupted several times. you still haven't given -- is it relevant or not? >> no. it's not relevant. the availability of an -- >> there are other ways to kill people regretably. >> there are. >> that are seamless, doesn't have to be a drug protocol we elect that has a substantial risk of burning a person alive. who is paralyze. correct? >> that is correct.
>> i know you'll get up and argue that the other ways are not constitutional either, potentially, but people do that with every protocol. but the little built of research i've done has shown that the reason people don't use the other methods is because it offends them to look at them. like you could use gas. that renders people not even knowing that they're going to sleep to die. and people probably don't want to use that protocol because of what happened during world war ii. but there are alternatives. oklahoma found some. it's used the firing squad now. so i don't know what the absence of a drug -- what pertinence it has when alternatives exist? >> i would agree justice sotomayor --
>> doesn't a firing squad cause pain? >> justice ginsburg, we don't know. we don't knoll how if the state chose to carry out an execution by firing squad whether in fact it would cause -- rise to the level of unconstitutional pain and suffering. >> well, you don't know. do you have a guess? there is a reason states moved progressively to what i understand to be more humane methods of execution? hanging, firing skewed electric chair, gas chamber and you're not suggesting that those other methodses are preferable to the method in this case, are you? >> i'm not suggesting that, mr. chief justice but the reason why states moved to more humane methods is as we learned more and as we learned more about science and developed then does a society we moved forward. we have evolving standards -- >> you have no suggestion what would be an acceptable alternative to what you propose. right now for oklahoma. >> do you've have any -- the case comes to us in a posture
where it's recognized your client is guilty of a capital offense. it's recognized your client is eligible for the death penalty. that has been duly imposed and yet you put is in a petition with your argue. that he can't be executed, even though he satisfies all of those requirements. you have no suggested alternative that is more humane. >> i actually disagree with the characterization that he can't be executed. oklahoma has just passed a new statute and they are continue obviously looking for methodses and ways -- >> what is the new statute provide? the new statute provides if the ehly that injection protest cal is found unconstitutional or drugs are unavailable then they can go to other methods. >> what other method. >> they go to nitrogen gas and then go to -- >> are you suggesting that's okay with you? jibing i don't know anything about that protocol. they have not not --
>> what do you think? do you of an instinct whether or not the gas chamber is preferable to this lethal injection or not. >> mr. chief justice it's hard for know say whether it's preferable. the legislature has said that this could be a painless method. i don't know. they haven't come out with any information about how -- >> suppose it were true. the facts here, your client was already in jail with a life sentence. right? for murder. some while in jail on that life sentence he stabbed and killed a prison guard. and that is the crime for which oklahoma is seeking to execute him. is that the fact we have before us? >> one of the petitioners here before the court. >> there is that larger question that if in fact -- for whatever set of reasons it's not new. didn't purposely hide these other kinds of drug. if there is no method of executing a person, that does
not cause unacceptable pain, that in addition to other things might show that the death penalty is not consistent with the eighth amendment. is that so or not in your opinion? >> that perhaps could be true, justice breyer. >> is that your arguement? >> no. >> you can make one of two arguments, and one is that the death penalty is unconstitutional because there is no method that has been used in the past or that can be devised that is capable of carrying that sentence out without inflicting some pain. pain that is unacceptable. that's an argument you can make. but i don't understand you to be making that argue. am i right? >> you are correct. >> you want us to reverse a finding of fact of the district court on the ground that it is clearly erroneous. when is the last time we did that? >> the court in comcast, decree it wouldded -- cited that
opinion a few years ago and explained where there are clearly erroneous findings in this case, this is obviously an exceptionally erroneous looking at the findings based on no scientific evidence no studies and all of the evidence shows that this drug does not work in the way that the state -- >> 500-milligrams is a lethal dose? capable of causing death? >> that is -- i don't know, justice alito. if the expert who testified for the state talked about a potential toxic dose but there's no information of, yes this dose will cause death. >> is a therapeutic dose? it evers a mr.ed in that quantity for any therapeutic reason? >> no. >> the fact that something is a lethal dose necessarily mean
that it's not incredibly painful? >> no, justice kagan. >> could be a lethal dose and be -- >> that's not the point. o'then it is if it's a lethal dose and how do you do a study to determine whether in fact it renders the person insend said. >> you don't need to do a study because we already know from science and the pharmacological of the drug, how the drug works and so that is what the district court got wrong ask there's clear error here -- >> maybe -- >> identity lied to dirk. >> just kagan, it's your turn. >> please go ahead. >> i since we're on the narrow question the narrow question that you want to present i would like too hear the argue; as far as i know, we held in bays in this context that if the person is not rendered unconscious where when the two drugs come in there's a
constitutionally unacceptable risk of suffocation and pain. that's the holding. and in this case, the court of appeals says that the district court found that this drug that you're talking about midazolam will result in suppression rendering the person unconscious and insensate during the procedure, that's his finding. you had an expert testify that that is not the case. the expert said, citing an article, said it would not reliably put the person in a coma. >> that's correct. >> the other side produced the expert which just said the
contrary. so you have to say that conclusion namely, quote the 500-milligrams will be at -- will make it a virtual certainty that he will be at a sufficient level of unconsciousness to resist the stimuli of the other two drugs. so i'm sorry you don't -- i'm run out of your time. maybe i'll ask the other side the same questions. ...
there is a substantial or tolerable risk to feel the pain from the second and the third drugs and with that finding a fact coat of appeals. there were three subsidiary findings to under lay this conclusion. the first is the one that we talked a little bit about. and the second is the idea that 500 milligrams of this would likely kill a patient in 30 minutes or an hour. and that seem to be
irrelevant given that a lethal dose is consistent with the unbearable. and the third is that the dose would keep a patient unconscious while a needle is inserted into his thigh. which also seems irrelevant given the -- what everybody understands to be the much much, much greater potential of pain of potassium fluoride. so those were the three findings and one of them nobody thinks is anything other than nonsense and the other two are irrelevant. is than the case? >> the third is irrelevant. and the amended complaint. describe the setting of the invasive procedure involving pain. and and to have a needle put into the thigh. to please the descriptions
of what has done. and burned alive sound to be considerably more than put a needle in the thigh. no one will argue. and they did cause pain upon injection this. is a sedative here. and so and lethal or not is irrelevant. that would involve great page. the lethal dose would not cause pain. and a lethal dose of that. it will take 30 minutes in the meantime. could be wreaking extraordinary pain on the individual. so in that sense. the fact that this is a lethal dose has nothing to do with the question that is before us. whether before the 30
minutes or the hour passes. potassium is wreaking unbearable pain on the individual. the question for the court is whether this district court findings would be unconscious. and to say that it is erroneous and on that point. to look at the record case that petitioners would put on before the district court. there was three reasons why it was inappropriate. and they said that the paradox reactions and those that have disappeared from the case. would you not see them in the supply group this. he are extraordinarily rare and to the extent that they will happen the trained medical staff will catch those and never call the person unconscious. and secondly. they said that the lack of opponenting out. the sodium. and the that is never relevant to the question. the question is that does the drug render them unconscious. so, pain relief medication. what is the third point that you had. i was anxious to hear the third point. response to justice kagan's
question. yes, yes. i forget right now. the second point here. the second unpinning. there is a fact that this is a lethal dose again completely consistent with the possibility of the potassium clear idea that is causing grave pain. there is a fact that it will render and keep a patient unconscious with a needle. completely consistent with that not keeping a patient unconscious. with the potassium clear idea running throughout body. and again, this statement that nobody can figure out about the feeling of the effects. the effects that i want to focus on. what the district court said is whatever the feeling effect may be, what we are concern about the, is whether this will keep somebody unconscious and unaware of pain. when you talk about that phenomenon that is not anesthesia. what he was referring to is their expert. doctor in the medical sense to have true anesthesia you need to have unconsciousness. inability to have pain and
immobility and the district tort is saying a that what we care about is will this render them unable to feet pain. under that essex pert in the medical sense this. is the constitutionally relevant question. and what do we do with this professor in the state. it will not continue with unconsciousness. in several effects it would reduce unconsciousness. that is something that nobody agrees with. and induction of anesthesia is a commonly can i have the ask the same question. that is as i read this record that you would remember what i say is a standard. you remember what i said of the district court findings that i believe that what it is a you will about is whether the finding is erroneous. what i have are two
sentences. the first sentence is from their expert. and he quote, had you could be unconscious, he means that this drug is an anti-anxiety drug like xanax and people use to go to sleep every night. it can render you unconscious. and not reacting to minor stimulus that is their expert. but, when major stimulus such as the intro dusks the next two drugs that we are talking about here come into play, you are jolted into consciousness and you are quite aware and you wake up. if we stop there we will lose. right? we stop there. if any of that were spotted he pointed to two articles and base that had statement. and i will look at the two articles and seemed that he
was facing a statement on medical articles and okay. we will have to look at the support for that. all right. and the other side. your side says -- he says right here. and that it will put knew a coma. that is his point and the reasoning was that if you take enough of thank you will be dead. then he says and this is essentially the extrapolation from a toxic effect. of which he means that if you take a lot, you will be dead. but before you are dead you will be in a coma. that is a reason. i did not find any other reasoning. 2 a lot of things kill you without putting you into a comb a such as the next two
drugs. lots of things do. and he did not support anything that putting it into coma. it was just an extrapolation. that is what i want for to you focus on. if what i said is correct, i this i that there is no support in that record for his conclusion. if what i have said is incorrect there may be support. a couple of thing. first that would assume a deep coma like level of consciousness is the relevant question. they argue that court's cases in the constitution would require that that is beyond a surgical plain of anesthesia to use in the operating radio many to remove one of the limbs. and a coma is brain dead. doesn't want the patient to suffer pain.
i have a real problem with whatever you are reading. i will have to go back to the article. i am substantially disturbed that in your brief that you made the factual statements supported by the sources and contradicting. i will give you just three small examples among many that i sound. nothing that i say or read to me will i believe frankly. if i see it with my own eyes. the context. the three examples. and pages 4 and an of the brief. and it cites the fda approved label. mild sedation.
and deep levels of sedation. virtually, equivalent to the state of the general anesthesia with the patient that may require external support for vital functions. this quote was not on a general use but it came from the section of the fda label where it was saying that this drug's effects, when taken with other drugs that suppress the central nervous system. that this can happen. that to me, is really. there is no other central nervous system drug. at play in the protocol. on do you have an answer to that one? justice sotomayer. in the brief we explain that the fda label says that the effects of the drug depend upon three things. the rate of infusion. and mant navents rate the
dosage and the rate of infusion and whether it is others to see in us. ja 217. they caused a fatality. sure. he said that. with other people. you know. there have been 80 deaths from theraputic doses of this drug. this is almost like you saying because 8 0 people have died from the use of one aspirin. that means that if i give people a hundred aspirins they are going to die this. is just not logical. obviously people die from anything if anything that
you give them it. that is why there is a procedure and 80 among the millions given the drug do not die. the point is that the fda is saying that the general anesthesia will effect and when have you a central nervous drug. and central nervous system drug. the fda has said no such thing and they put it into that section. they described the potential affects. and they described. they said three things matter when you look at the affects. how much of the drug you are getting the rate of which you are giving it. and given with another drug. >> all right. the mel kin study says that this is how it happens. it gave this drug in doses of.02 to.06 and what it
showed is that.06 dose that there was less affect than.02. and this suggests that there is a ceiling effect to the drug. that it is less potent as you will go in higher doses. now you quoted for saying. and you took up -- you quoted by saying that the melvin study for the position that studies on humans have found that the anesthetic affect increased with the dosage and the estimates that 2 milligrams is enough for the full surgical anesthetic. what was said after pointing out that the ceiling effect is shown by his study. he said but presuming that
there was no ceiling effects extrapolation of the data suggests that such a dose would be sufficient. you took out that -- respectively. what they were comparing is a dose of a different drug to the milligram dosage. they said that we would have expected it to have a greater effect than the other drug which is more poetant than the other drunk. but there are two things going on. either there is a dose dependent relationship with the other drug or they said that there may be a ceiling effect here. they talked about maybe. and they say there is no extrapolating what we know about the drug that you would get that anesthesia. and is there a ceiling effect. let's talk about the evidence. neither are going to say what ceiling effect will occur. and it is not whether it is or is not a ceiling effect.
all drugs and the ceiling effect at some point. what matters is that there is a ceiling effect that will kick in before we get to the level where there they are unconscious and unaware of the pain that is the constitutionally relevant inquiry. and this point they presented to the district court with two-pieces of evidence and the material data safety sheet that is in the brief that mentions the ceiling effect. if the court had a said look we do not think that you presented kick in at this point. right? that is not what the court said. the theory that it did not have to concern itself with whether the ceiling effect had kicked in. that is saying that you know. you know to defend as well. that is what the court said. that is not how we read the district court's pnl. you recount the explanation
of what the ceiling effect was. ja 77 or 78 and he said what ever it may be with respect to the anesthesia that occurs with the spinal cord level. and whatever it is all we have to whery about is brain and not spinal court and the brain there. is no ceiling effect. that is just wrong. you know that is wrong. yeah. we know that a central nervous system depressant works throughout. so this is affecting the receptors that are located in the spinal court and in the brain. now the point was perhaps that the recent ors may be fully saturated at the spinal cord level. and the brain level. and in his words we paralyzing the brain that the extent that the person is unconscious and unaware of the pain? and he thought that the evidence was sufficient to could notting clued that it was. and we look at the evidence. i read that. i just think that if we go back to read it that it will show that what he was saying is that we just do not have to whery about the ceiling effect. because the brain level, the
ceiling effect has no relevance. let me ask you another question. maybe this is one that we will agree on. maybe not. i am not sure. do you think that if we conclude that there is just a lot of uncertainty about this drushgs another in other words, you may be right or miss conrad may be right this. is just impossible to tell. given no studies on the drug. we simply cannot know the answer to the questions. do you think that this is the violation of the 8th amendment to use it? if there is a risk of pain that mentions intolerable. we will give you the set of we just do not know. it may be substanltial pain. it may not be.
we can't quantify it at all. but shifting the burden to the state to show that there is medical concensus that a drug in fact can do it at the doses. just put yourself in the district judge. who can tell. what is the district court going to do at this point. in the 9th circuit court. and temporary challenge to the injection drugs and vacated. temporary and granted by the lower courts to show that they will likely suffer from the harm. so it is a burden that they bear. have i not found a place. and that seems to be quite something that would be like something. people say that this
potassium clear idea is like being burned alive. burned at the stake, and everybody agrees that it is cruel and unusual punishment. suppose that we said, we are going to burn you at the stake. and before we do that we are going to use an anesthetic of completely unknown properties and unknown effects. maybe you will not feel it. maybe you will. we can't tell i this i that the petitioner in in that case would have no problem satisfying the court. showing that it is a substantial risk of objectively untolerable risk of severe pain.
that is going to be easier to make in that case. i am saying you do not know about the anesthesia. and maybe the anesthesia will cover all of that pain of being burned at the stake or maybe it will not. the court does not know. and it is not the world. and the district court lived in. we know. we know for a fact. this is the conceded facts. and experts say that this dosage is going to be rendering the petitioners unconscious, 60 to 90 seconds. and i know. that induction of anesthesia. it is a creag. and maintenance is keeping it at the state for so many hours for surgery. or the time it takes for potassium clear idea to kill somebody.
it is commonly used for painful and that of an iv. and example is a good example. and we have pointed out that the drug is regularly. and routinely used. we have experts saying that as i just said that this drug will not keep you sleep, when two others are introduced you will be jolted into consciousness that is the testimony. i believe he supported that arlt klz that looked to be the same. and if support weed have to look to the other side to see what was refuting. what is refuting it on 327. i agree with you that this ceiling effect is a big here when it would go against it was that he said that there is an extrapolation in the conclusion that 500 milligrams will cause death. so if that much is likely to cause death, it will cause a coma. that could prevent a person from paying. and evidence for that is zero. we know that in fact lots
of drugs can kill people without putting them into a coma so we will look to see what he thinks is if this kills you will first put knew a coma. and when i look or asked the clerks of those to look. we found zero. that is the question. what is it that i think will pick up the key reputation of an expert rests upon zero. that is what i am asking you. that is what i have tried to ask perhaps. but now it is more articulate. again. have i to make this point whether it will create a coma or not is not the contusionly relevant question. based on how the nervous system depressant works. i think that will what he was driving a your expert is
that you were in a state such that you would feel no pain. and the ran that he thought that 500 mg would kill you. and if it is going to kill you, it must of course at least first, to put you in that state. so i am asking the same question. and i would use that word state for the word comb amount of because of how the central muse nervouser is system works i am not asking you forks i really want to know in the record will he provide the support for that statement that the state proceeds the death caused by this drug. you described a couple of thing. first the action of which the drug works as a central nervous system depressant. by causing death. if it works by paralyzing the brain to such an extent
that you your respiratory drive is knocked out. it starts right there, because the reason evans thought that is that they worked on the spinal cord. nobody argue that's it works on the spinal cord. this is not a central nervous system drug. and this is works very differently than it. it is this is not. but they have. and so central nervous system depress ants. that is undisputed on the record. i don't know where you are
getting. justice breyer said. the proof of that. it is a conceded fact on the record. that it will render them unconscious in a matter of 60 seconds that means that the central nervous system is working to paralyze their brain and to render them unconscious this. is a conceded fact that they will be that will not tell me that you are not feeling pain or the knoxous stimulant like being burned alive will not cause pain. look at what happens with the paralyze your throat them. give you a drug. and they are paralyzing your throat. that has its own effect. and pain relief. so what you're arguing. is very different from what is happening here. putting a chemical in the inside of you that it is burning you to death. this is the most obknox
read what it actually says. benzodiazepine exhibit in effect which includes depression after full administration. intravenous administration can produce anesthesia. that is what the text actually says. the fact they are not commonly used is because we have better choices not because the drug is incapable. remember here is where they
started. they said because of this affect the drug is incapable of producing it,. we it. we said someone forgot to tell the fda because the warning is right there. they have retreated now to where it cannot reliably produce a, the read if it can get someone to a where is the ceiling effect? 's are some basic pharmacological principle that prevents this drug? we have established that there is not an ask you to look at the cases. an anesthesiologist -- >> out of this argument because you presented a lot of things i was not before either the district court for the court of appeals. i believe that your experts have proven there.'s.
why don't we let the district court sort out whether it still holds to its opinion based on the plethora of materials you have given us. >> too quick responses. the record that they presented. we put presented. we put plenty of rebuttal evidence of enough to support the district court finding. there is know district court here. >> the extent that it is unusual listening rather than talking. happy to give you an extra five minutes. >> hopefully we will have a chance to hear what you have to say. >> i appreciate that. i will told you about the 1st source the material safety data sheet.
nothing in the reply brief. a study about rats. we read that study. no mention of the ceiling effect. no responsible i'm brief. that is the evidence they put before the district court on what they said clearly demonstrates. after the fact their experts submitted an additional declaration. two more sources cited the study. took five dogs and give them a big dose's. the study concluded we season. the effect of the drug slows at a certain time. but that study concluded if you take the results and extrapolate out once you get
to 30 grams per kilogram you have achieved full surgical anesthesia's. there are other experts the proposition there is a ceiling effect. then it goes on to say this drug has been used for general amnesty was. the profile came along. that was the record case. will they stand up and say that they clearly demonstrated that there was in fact a ceiling effect they are just wrong. never submitted to the district court. .3 mg per .3 milligrams per kilogram were never given to the patients. about what happens if you have .1-milligram per
kilogram of varying doses. we pointed that out. nothing in the reply. their evidence is indefensible. you go and read the sources and they just don't say what he said they say. paradoxical effects again we have pointed out it is only relevant if someone is not unconscious. they just can't avoid the fact the district court made this factual finding a virtual certainty. they cannot establish a substantial probability. thank you. >> justice kagan, i want to address your hypothetical in this case if the risk from using the land if
petitioners of petitioners are correct manifests itself them there will be unconstitutional pain-and-suffering. my friend admitted that. if, in fact a person is burned alive they didn't have appropriate anesthesia it would be unconstitutional >> if the person was burned alive would that be unconstitutional? >> it would be. the.is that the district court below found that there is a greater risk of using that but it was unquantifiable. if that risk manifests itself there will be a constitutionally intolerable execution's. the drug formula that issue was using them soviet by bentall. >> rendered a person completely unconscious.
with that be cruel and unusual punishment? >> i think the problem is not rendering someone unconscious. the problem is and is necessary is to ensure the person maintains a deep a deep level. >> anesthesiologist called in to make sure this person feels no pain whatsoever. but that not be a violation anyway? >> being burned alive from the inside. >> that is exactly what it is, justice kagan. >> you think there are certain phases in which burning someone at the stake would be consistent with the 8th amendment? you are not certain about that? >> the founder say burning at the stake is unconstitutional. it's in your hypotheticals
a deep coma like a consciousness. the reason that is important, it does not matter that they don't have analgesic properties because we know the will reliably induce a deep like a consciousness. those support for the ceiling for. the cited study in exhibit two shows the emacs curve explained his testimony. no explanation, no support for the testimony that he presented when he testified he did not have data to cite. he was incorrect. he made a mathematical error again to all of this court needs to understand is that given the drug even if it