tv American Politics CSPAN November 23, 2009 12:30am-2:00am EST
later on the queen will be sending her attendant, black rod, to the commons to summon the mp's to hear the speech, and black rod will form one of the most famous beauties. he would bang on the house of the -- the door of the house of commons to demand interest. this will be his first day opening and i ask him about his post. >> the title black rod arrives from a black rod. >> it does. >> which you have here. explain to us a little about it. >> this rod dates from 1883. it has been passed on now to me. it is made of ebony, about 3 feet long, you can hit doors with it and it does not snap. that is my nightmare scenario -- the rod stamps. at the top, the lion with a
shield, and a garter there. the business and is in a gold cup. it dates from 1904 that is the bit that hits the door. the boilers it is a fantastic show a pageantry and ceremony. that is what is about. >> this is the biggest event in the year for this place. and it has to be right. for me, perfect will do. so we have to be sure that we treat it as a new event every year. >> you are really the most prominent back door in the show, if i can put it like that. you have a very big duty. >> there is up directly over 350 years. so the relationship between the monarch as the head of state and
her government', and it is important we remind ourselves about why we are the nation we are. it is symbolic of our nation, the way our democracy and government has grown up. so, i guess, it is very important but i would not emphasize too much my role in it. >> the very modest new black rod. there we see him at the head of the royal staircase, chatting to some of the heralds. at buckingham palace, the queen and the duke of edinburgh are on their way. they're traveling today in the irish state coach. the queen will mean making her way along whitehall, by which,
at everything will be ready and the crown will be taken by all or chamberlain into the robing room, it just to the left of the royal gallery 3 that is where she will prepare for the procession of state. that is a good look for us at the cap and the sword, because these two are on display in the royal gallery as well as the symbols of the sovereign authority. the cap of maintenance, as it is called, and tradition dates that this was a cap given by the pope to monarchs that he favored. henry vii received one of these caps. the cap is still around as one of the symbols of power. the sword of state first used at the core notion of james ii -- the coronation of james ii.
>> the thing that occurs to me now at all times is the role of the military in every aspect of this. they take those great offices like bichloride. not just in their uniforms but they are a part of parliament. when people are agonizing about the decisions in afghanistan and elsewhere, it is striking to see the central role that they still play in the central like the polish debt -- of parliament. -- the central life of parliament. >> it is not about the pomp but the actuality about how mp's respond to their constituents. i think it is those people that people want to reform. when i was listening to the interview with black rod, the black rod coming in banging on the door and summoning be mp's
where we assert our independence. there might be a bill in the queen's speech to reduce executive power. particularly on a day like this when we are enacting the pomp of independence. in that, we're not very independent. >> on the way to the spot where the queen will be greeted. we have the earl marshal their breeding board mendelson -- there greeting lord mendelson. he is not a leader of either chamber, only to the lords. following in the footsteps of his grandfather who between 1945 and 1951 was also a board
president. there is a bit of a family connection. just looking at the lord their, again, quite a remarkable transformation. dollars to think that he would be back in the cabinet let alone an effective prime minister. what was not on camera is that he went straight from the studios to hold an election- style news conference. it look like announcement and sounds like one. they want this to start. but what the campaign to begin because -- they want the campaign to begin. >> the lord speaker is on her way. she has been imposed since 2006. a rather different role to the speaker of the house of commons. she is really an ambassador of the house of lords.
she has a different duties. but she is possessed -- processing through the royal gallery and she will be in a welcoming party for the queen at the norman staircase itself. as we look at these pictures, that intervention, if i could put it that way, it does strip away any pretense. we're going to have an election. >> starting an election campaign, but we are setting out for the speaker in this country what the government has done and what the government has done very particularly to protect people at a time of unprecedented economic downturn. so that is the purpose, making sure that people understand that there is a role and purpose for government on the days of the queen's speech, which launches the legislative program.
>> this is a government that has been in power for 12 years. much of what we will hear today we occurred many times before. it is a government that now is overtly moving toward a general election campaign. to brush these measures through before the general alleging comes, this is a government that has had 12 years to do the things it all was necessary. it isn't and mission of its failure. the fact that it has not done the things that its promise. >> you have to make a long journey from a position where there were outside laboratories for children in public schools back in 1997 when we relation to a position today where we can say that parents and children are not succeeding at stew. -- at school. dollars many school -- >> many schoolchildren are leaving that began school when this government took power.
>> let me take you to my constituency where in 199717% of children got -- 1997, 17% of children. >> the important thing to do is to reduce class time. that would make a real difference rather than a piece of legislation. >> we will be back with you and a second. the lord chancellor is on his way, jack straw, and he of course taking his place as well at the head of the welcoming party. an important role for him because he is carrying the speech itself, or he will be later. he has someone to help them, at purse bearer. but later on he will present the speech to the queen, a speech written by the government, and he will deliver the speech to
her majesty when she takes her place on the throne and will retreat after the speech has been delivered. he to taking his place at that top of the staircase. now that the queen is on her way, we can see that people are preparing for the arrival. the prime minister and his wife beating down in st. -- leading downing street. as we have been recognizing, to be launching a legislative program within months of an election campaign is probably not the easiest thing in the world to be doing three that will be part of the debate that will continue in the commons and in the lords of the next few days. textron talking to the earl marshal. -- jack straw talking to that role marshall. an important figure in all of these important occasions.
he organizes coronations, state funerals, and of course a big role to play on the state opening. patiently waiting, hundreds of members of the house of lords. 92 her predatory appears left in the house of lords. -- hereditary peers left in the house of lords. when the lord chancellor was a powerful figure, it was a different role in those days. the chief rabbi is also here. and lord fenton-davis on the right. i think that as lord west, the security minister. a former liberal democrat leader. the former attorney general. and there we have another view
of the church leaders. chatting in a very friendly way to the senior judges. dollars you get a sense that nothing changes. as you look around the house of lords, it is clear that things have. he said that the role of the lord chancellor change. the judges 1 a lot% on those benches and the house of lords to give their release. they have the wrong court building. one of the interesting things is whether there is any appetite for whichever government comes in to do it. david cameron has to come to grips with house of lords reform. he said it will be a third term priority. dollars let's enjoy the scene outside the palace of westminster. we have four divisions of a
hostile calgary -- of the household calvary on the way. and down towards the state stevens entrance. -- st. stephen's entrance. it will be the end of the grenadier guards will pay -- played the national guard when the queen to purchase the palace. -- the national anthem when the queen approaches the palace. as we enjoy the scene, but to reflect on one remarkable statistic, the 58 state opening of the queen's reign. the fourth of november, 1952, the first.
making their way into the royal gallery. in a very distant age, they were really royal messengers. today they're in charge of all the records and creation of new arms. the lord privy seal, the lord president, and jack straw, the lord chancellor. the earl marshal, the duke of norfolk, and the queen preparing for yet another state opening. they turned to go in to the robing room. the imperial state crown will be ready. she is wearing the georgiae iv diadem.
so as they make their way through the royal gallery, very soon we will see another first. a new speaker of the house of commons, john burke out, will be taking part in his state opening -- john bercow, will be taking part in his first day opening. i spoke to him about the importance of what is happening today. >> i think the event is important. i think it does have merit. of how parliament ought to be and what its constitutional significance is. yet we were simply to preserve the traditional vacation, but to do nothing to atone for the sins which have caused such massive public thanks to, that would be
a disaster -- public agnstngst, that would be a disaster. more importantly, if you have to demonstrate that you are tackling the problems of the problem -- of the present, recognizing the need for wholesale change in the way in which we manage our affairs. >> a year ago, what are you doing on state opening day? it is a big change. how do you feel about it? >> i am a slightly nervous. i think it would be hubris' not to be. it is a big occasion. my first day opening in this role. i year ago, i was the conservative backbench member, very proud to be. i simply attended the event with my colleagues. it is a big change and i am anxious. i want to put my best football
word and be a decent ambassador for the house. and above all, i am absolutely passionate about parliament. i want this to be the start of a session in the course of which we began to put in place those building blocks of recovery. we start the process of restoring our trust, and restoring the public's sense that parliament is upright, and honest, and ready to work the job. >> mr. speaker, john bercow, looking for to his first day opening in being very honest in saying that he is very nervous. this is the scene in the central lobby. that is where we will be seeing a little later the police been telling all the strangers to remove their hats. that is when you see the speaker
processing through the central lobby and into the members' lobby of the house of commons, ready for black rod to come along and bang on the door and tell them that the queen it is ready and waiting. just watching bercow there, he is the emblem of a lot of change. >> he is only in the job because they decided to turnout's speaker martin who was perceived to have failed to restore the reputation of the government. you are going to hear more. you what it amounts of money that each and every mp has been asked to pay back three you would get their response to that. it will have a debate about read the their refusals to have their redundancy money curbed. and so the whole that series of steps, the detailed proposals for how expenses should actually be reform, rather than the ideas.
but with all of that, it will take this all the way through christmas and beyond $3 there is a real sense of the last few months -- and beyond. >> there is a real sense that you cannot expect us to be doing our job properly if we are having lots of legitimate expenses curtailed in this way. that is a fairly general view or not? the boilers we have to restore confidence in parliament. i don't think that the speaker or any one person is the emblem of change. i think we all should be. we will not be able to move on until two things have happened. a new system properly and fully in place, and we've been through a general election and every general mp have been able to seek re-election. that is what has to happen. the general lection will come in a few months' time. we should look today in the queen's speech is if we had within it the next?
to finish the job. if they are not there, but government will have some explaining to do. >> we would not have to do it in a hurry now on the back of a great deal of public anger. we have ourselves to blame, really. the biggest issue was around the flipping of mortgages, the worst of the offenses that was it -- was committed. i suspect that the public will continue to be frustrated by that. >> many are saying that they expect it to come but not at the expense of -- if the change hampers our ability to do the job properly. >> i actually agree with chris on this. the kelly proposals have got to be implemented.
this will not simply and with the implementation of calais and the parliamentary authorities beginning their work. i think that we will see this process of change continue over the next parliament. >> some smiles in the state lobby because the policeman is waiting for the speaker's procession. he is on his way. >> hats off, strangers!
>> i had sought are off and the speaker is on his way to the chamber of the house of commons, led by the serjeant-at-arms, and members of his staff. in to the members' lobby, and mr. speaker wearing the grand robe. he was keen to tell us that he is not wearing the silk stockings and all the rest of it. he is wearing a morning suit, which is an element of modernization.
[laughter] wanted jollity and the house of commons -- a lot of jollity in the house of commons. the chancellor at the dispatch box. the mace is now in place. and ready and waiting for that signal from the house of lords, black rot. -- black rod. this feud give you a sense of the perspective. -- this view gives you a sense of the perspective. the patient waiting in the royal gallery. waiting for the signal that the queen is ready to start the
procession. jack straw and peter mendelson taking their place in the procession. the doors at the far end are the doors to the robing room, and when the queen emerges, the state trumpeters will sound of fanfare, and the procession will begin. just a few minutes' time. we will be straight back into the road hour to watch the grand procession take place. it is a very special site because we do not see the procession of state at any other event. only on the state opening day. an act and to see now that the lord great chamberlain is emerging from the robing room, and is making his way into the royal gallery, and he is the one who will tell everyone that her
which is formed of great officers of state attending the lord present -- president, of course the earl marshal and the lord great chamberlain, and now we see the cape of maintenance and the sword of state being carried by lady royal, the leader of the house of lords, and the sword of state being carried as well by one of the senior military figures involved in the recession itself. -- in the procession in itself. the queen and the duke, followed by the pages of honor.
into the chamber of the house of lords, the queen will take her place on the throne. the throne based on the design of the coronation chair of edward i, which can be seen at westminster abbey. taking their places on either side of the thrones. when the queen is wedding -- ready, she will ask members of the house of lords to be seated and she will give personal for black rod to be dispatched to the commons. -- her signal for black rod to be dispatched to the commons.
the great fun of this procession is always to see what gordon brown says. you can easily tell from their expression on their faces who gets to talk the most as well. and the crush is under way behind the leader. and into the flock with gordon brown and the camera looking very serious. william haig and alvin and other senior members of the commons, john naples there. we would hardly point out there's room for 650 m.p.'s in the house of loords. so they'll all have to crowd up to the bar, the rail of the house of lords, to listen to the
queen's speech itself. as we looked at the pictures, it is a bit of a push. >> this would be the first time f ever seen the queen. at 4'10", i don't get a chance. [laughter] >> tessa, you're with us today and as cabinet minister, you have quite a place. what is the experience like when you get in? >> rather -- it is a bit of a crush. and you know, i'm 5'3", but i have to stand on my tiptoes. i was saying to nick earlier, it was the best view i have had as 80 creers as a member of parliament. and bringing a minister, doesn't give you the front rank in the queue. >> let's look at the -- at the house of lords. gordon brown is the speaker and william haig are already in waiting.
we'll next see the lord chancellor, jack straw preparing to deliver the speech to the queen. signal has been given by the doorkeeper. rah r-and the marshall tells them that the queen is ready to receive the speech. and yet another break with recent tradition, the lord chance lore steps backward, always a pin of interest for us at this stage. >> my lord, the members of the house of com upons.
my government has been with priority to share stained growth and have a prosperous economy as the british economy recovers from the global economic downturn. training and employment programs restructuring the financial sector, and strengthening the national infrastructure and providing responsible investment, my government will foster growth and employment. and my government will also strengthen key public services. and insuring that individual entitlements guarantee good services and will work to build trust in democratic institutions. my government will seek effective global and european collaboration. and through the g-20 and the european union. and to sustain economic
recovery. and to combat climate change including at the copenhagen summit next month. the duke of edinboro and i look forward to the visit to bermuda and the state visit to trinidad and to the common wealth heads the government meeting, in this the common wealth 60th anniversary year. we also look forward to receiving the president of south africa next year. my government will continue to reform and strengthen regulation of the financial services industry. to insure greater protection for savers and taxpayers. legislation will be brought forward to enhance the governors with the financial sector and it control the system of awards. as the economic recovery is established, my government will reduce the budget deficit and
insure that national debt is on a sustainable path. legislation will be property forward to carve the deficit. my government will introduce a bill to enable the wiser provision of they personal -- free personal care to those in the highest need. and legislation will be brought forward to introduce guarantees for pupils and parents to raise educational standards. and my government will legislate, to protect communities to make sure that parents take responsible for their children's anti-social behavior and by tackling young gang crime. my government will introduce a bill to insure the communication infrastructure is fit for the digital age. and support future economic growth and deliver competitive commune catheses and enhances
public service broadcastinging. legislation will be brought forward to support carbon capture and storage and help more of the most vulnerable households with the energy bills. and my government will respond to proposals for high-speed rail services between london and scotland. and legislation will be intruffed to protect communities from flooding and to improve the management of water splis. and my government is committed to insuring everyone has a fair chance in life. and will continue to take forward legislation to promote equality and narrow the gap between rich and poor, and tackle discrimination. the bill would also introduce transparency in the workplace. and help address the differences in pay between men and women.
and my government will continue to enshrine if law its commitment to apolish child poverty by 2020. and my government will legislate to provide agency workers with the right to be treated equally, with permanent staff on paid holidays and other basic conditions. legislation will continue to be taken forward on constitutional reform. and my government will also publish draft legislation on proposals, for a reform second chamber of parliament, with a democratic mandate. and a bill ill be introduced to strengthen the law against bribery. my government will continue to work closely with the administration in the interest of all people of the united kingdom. and my government is committed
to the law and political process and will continue to work with other leaders to complete policing and justice and to insure its success. and in scotland, my government will take forth proposals in the final report of the commission on scottish deevolution. my government will continue to devove more power to wails. members of the house of commons, estimates if the public services will be laid before you. and my lord and members of the house of commons, my government will work for security, stability and prosperity in afghanistan and pakistan and for peace in the middle east. legislation will be brought forward to ban cluster munitions. and my government will work
toward creating the conditions for a world without nuke here weapons, including addressing the challenges from iran and north korea. draft legislation will be published to mick binding my government's commitment to thin 7.4% of national income on international development, from 2013. and other measures will be laid before you. and i -- my lord and the members of the house of commons, i pray that the blessing of almighty god will rest upon your council.
>> that completes the queen's speech for 2009, the final session of the current particle the, the 15th parliament of the queen's reign. queen and the duke leave the chamber of the house of lords. and will pass through what is the prince's chamber which is the small room next door to the house of lords. and then into the royal gallery once again. that's the signal for the members of the house of commons,
led by the speaker and the sergeant at arms, to return to their chamber, ready to debate the green speech later today on the days ahead. the harold at the head of the procession, through the royal gallery -- lord craig with the -- with the sort of state. and in the center of the procession, just moving on to the left of our friend there, that is the guard of queen of
arms, peter gwen jones. and among those processing the head of the armed forces and the jock ster underlining what was said early on about the nature of the events. the military presence is evident at almost every stage. and being at the other end of the palace of westminster and relaxed and a few more smiles, david cameron and gordon brown knowing the next queen's speech will be after the next election, which is probably next june or july. well, we enjoyed -- the ceremony
and there's plenty of politician for us to talk about. nick, you first of all, let's pick out what you think are the most notable elements of the speech. >> i will pick something notable. somebody told gordon brown to smile and laugh, because one year he couldn't do it. and his aide said, you do realize that the only image is of you looking grumpy. he went out of his way to look jolly and what a joke it was. he certainly did it. i think the things we're going to notice as voters, the continuing debate about the financial deficit. we have a bill that the government commits itself to do so in half but we don't have the measures. we will get those december 9th, and we're promised in the budget report and it'll feel like and have the status of the budget. yes we know the debate about regulating the innocencal industry will be important fop many people the reforms for education would be a central part of the political debate
whether the government delivers them or whether you believe parents and teachers are left to have more autonomy to deliver them themselves. and the beginning of the debate is how to describe it, about carefully. and the truth is the government is taking a relatively small, important for the people it effects measures and they're promising a big proposal if they're reelected saying they will in effect find a way to cover us all president cost, if we or our loved ones get ill in old age. the truth that would require a vast tax increase or a foorm of new national insurance or some technique that is not yet revealed. but today all we get is a proposal to spend a few hundred million pounds on the greatest in need. these are big meaty discussions. >> and how much of a risk is it for your party to talk about blocking things in the house of lords in the months to come. we have heard that today and yesterday. when we are talking about potentially improving care for the elderly and these that are vulnerable.
it is -- it is seen by some as a rather bizarre initiative. we haven't seen any bills yet and haven't seen the detail. and i think what people expect is the parliament to submit measures property forward for proper scrutiny. if you take one example, nick highlighted the situation of social care. the government is planning to pay for the reforms that they're bringing forward today by cutting benefits for the disabled and we think that's wrong. we will oppose those measures. we think it is wrong to pay for the set of reforms by cutting benefits for the disabled. and i think that is a view that is shared by the group that is represent the disabled up and down the country. that's a point of difference between us. we will do as we always do, look at every measure orn its merits and above all, particularly the record of getting things wrong and the current raw over the safeguarding of children. the plan is to vet 11 million parent that is volunteer in activities rhetted to their own children. that problem has arisen because
the legislation that came through parliament is too loosely drafted. parliament has to do a proper jock r job in scrutinizing measures. the government had 12 years to get it right. we'll be supportive where it is appropriate, but we don't think parliament should rush things through the house of commons. >> what are you going to be supporting and opposing? >> there are things that we can -- they should have done years ago p-and goodness gracious. i remember ka campaigning at land mines when i was a student a few years ago and the government is in power for 12 years and yet they haven't banned cluster bombs. this is what they're putting into the final queen's speech. they're big headline issues that are about reducing the deficit. just produce a piece of legislation and half the deficit is complete none sense, there's a mechanism. what we're arguing for is a banking levy so the banks use profits to pay something back to the taxpayer to help with the
problems they have. in the sense, the gun, i don't know what is in the prebudget report but just to produce a piece of legislation claiming to fix the problem is not going to fix it, without the mechanisms to do it, are going to make any difference to the people on the ground. unfortunately, this is the way the government does things. if they just produced a piece of legislation, everything will fall into place. society doesn't work like that. you have to come forward with concrete proposals. >> is that fair? >> no, it is in the fair. the proposals are concrete. and i think that -- this is a queen's speech that speaks very direct my to the kinds of things that my constituents and -- and people in constituencies i visit around the country raise with me and raise with their members of parliament and i think nick is absolutely right, about the -- the relationship -- the relationship between the role of government and parents and communities and -- the point is,
that this -- this makes a very clear statement about the role of government. there are certain changes that can only come about in people's lives and the privacy of how children do in classrooms and how well elderly people are looked after in their own homes, if government sets the framework, make it possible and then of course, teachers and parents have a major responsibility for making it happen. >> great. wait for a second to see what is going on inside the palace. the queen now is back in the robing room and the imperial crown on its way soon pack to the tower of london and -- and the duke of eden pore row having a chat with jack straw about the contents of the lord's chancellor's purse. and having a fiddle with this. at least the speech was in the purse. that's a help.
the queen ready to leave and being escorted to the main entrance here at the tower by -- tower, by the marshall and chamberlain, who are the two men in charge of the ceremony today. and the lord great chamberlain, the marcus of chummably is known as the keeper of the palace and he's in charge of royal sections of the palace. and that white wand he's carrying is a symbol of his authority and he also carries a big gold key, another symbol. the harle -- herald on their way down as well, so they can be present when the queen leaves. black rod and he performed his duties sufficiently and effectively. says his good-byes and marcus chummably. and the irish state coach is
parliamentary calendar and the queen on the way back to buckingham palace. very soon the crown and the reg gailia will be on the way, thought back to the palace but back to the tower of london. if we look inside the royal gallery now, we'll see that the crown is on its way, imperial state crown, being carried through the gallery as it was initially by lieutenant colonel andrew ford. and -- the captain of maintenance and the sword of states being taken with it. must be seeing these elements together because the three of them symbolize the power and authority of the sovereign.
crown. and once that is safely inside, the regalia procession will make its way from the palace. all of this taking place at the base of the victoria tower and as some visitors know, lots of people not aware of t the tower itself which is an enormous structure, full of original pieces of legislation and it is -- it is -- it is a wonderful place to visit, lots of scrolls and lots of ancient documents but full of -- of legislative documents from the past five centuries. it is -- it is -- it is a great thing to see.
so the regalia on their way soon and escorted from eight troopers from the regiment. and they'll pass the guard of honor outside, and the company and the guards will bring the second start today. the first guard of honors at buckingham palace. and a great view of the crowd and we'll see it sparkling in the distance, in the coach itself, so it is -- it is a great sight. and they're sticking out to some other carriages coming along too. and let's have more reaction to the queen's speech and we could go to the central lobby, where m.p.'s are governing. lawyer ra, over to you. >> indeed hue and members of the
public, they have been packing in the lobby, many waiting to see the procession and try to spot their own m.p. perhaps, and they come from recall over the country to see this huge event here in parliament. joining me is the leader of the scottish national party. your reaction to the speech? >> i think there's more in the next legislation, very little of this will pass through. one has to welcome eneffort to clear up the mess after the crash. of course, regulation is a matter dealt by the u.k. government and it was the chancellor who was responsible. they're trying to clear up their own mess and they hope it works. beyond that, there's little in this that has anything to do with scotland whatsoever, it is a missed opportunity. there so much that could have been delivered in the speech. agreement across the parties and the common commission has made proposals. we agree with some proposals and happy to see them go forward. and the u.k. government has
ignored that. that's a shame. >> how dow jones industrial average this will actually move through parliament. there's talk of torries trying to block this. and how much realistically do you think parliament would allow you to get done. >> to be honest, i think some might proceed, but you can't legislate for much in this program. and it is more about positioning for the general election, and labor is on a sticky wicket and they're trying to say there's something different between them and the torries, when there's little difference between labor and the torries, there's a missed opportunity and so much more that could have been done. and brown missed yet another opportunity. >> and it is a tremendous my tumultuous year. do you think today would provide a fresh start and allow people to get on with things? >> the only start would be a general election and with we should have had one and people would have their say then and have it soon and i'm sure the m.p.'s that abused their expenses and not in favor of reform will be in trouble. it'll abgeneral election that
sorts that out. >> leader of the scottish national party. thank you for joining us. that's pretty much the formal part in parliament over to today. and as angus is indicating, the debate over what is going to be passed and what will end up with a buffer starts now. >> thank you so much. and nicolas, let's start by talking about what -- what is it like in parliament over the next four or five months? what are we debating? >> a huge dominance of the mill scene, which will be determined centrally by the budget that comes before an election. you'll get these debates about the role of government, too big and too small and so on that will be debated. there are things, though, in the speech that will not be the center of politician but in a year or five years time have people cheering, good old harry on the equality bill or cursing aaron, aying not more political correctness. it is easy to forget really big
pieces of legislation, like the equality bill. this is a culmination of a quarter of century's dedicated work. and for which, she s i celebrated and she know that is. she's fault and fought to get legislation that gives more rights, she would argue for women and older people. i sust -- i suspect in five years time, we will argue was that a good thing or another piece of interfering legislation. we forget in the tumult, there's really things that matter to people. >> and the political correctness, of -- of five years ago, is a conventional wisdom of today. and that's why you need people who are absolutely pioneers -- pioneers, like her who has devoted her mill life to securing equality between men and women. we still have a gender pay gap which is why an equality bill is important.
i can tell you in fine years time, this will be celebrated in the country as it -- as a practical benefit are felt by men and women and disabled people. and i don't think that's a constituency that would ever get -- and daily mail readers, we would take very seriously indeed and actually a lett of daily mail readers who are women will absolutely back this bhaw they're on the -- on the -- on the butt end of a lot of discrimination that women still suffer at work. >> and chris, is that something you would be applauding? >> again, there are issues and some things we support and some things we don't. if you look at where we are now and the government put cards on the table today, in terms of the elderly and education and other bills, what we'll do is not come out and interrupt that we're going to oppose this or block this and block that. actually what we're going to do is what a responsible opposition should do, is when the government publishes the details, we look at what is there a on the table and judgment about what we should accept and seek to modify and
what parliament should say. it would work better if you did it this way. that's the job of responsible opposition. we'll carry on doing this over the next few months. the the reality is what the government put forward today is the tail end of a parliament program that would not come through fruition, it is about the labour party and the messages the government wants to accepted out and the reality is this is a government that has been in power for 12 years and has not delivered already on most issues. why would anyone believe it'll deliver now. >> what will you if he can cuss on? >> with the main extremely -- extremely frustrated that the bill is just a drop. it is still just a drop. i think chris said during one of the package pieces that it was in the queen's speech in 1996 and yet, still here we are. it is just a draft bill. it very frustrating, there is no way to deal with big money in politician. why can't we get it out in time for the election.
something in thierry the government signed up for fp haven't been prepared to do that. why don't we reform the electoral system and make votes fairer. in theory, there's supposed to be people if the government that signed up for this and lots of talking. this anding in in today's queen speech to deliver that. that's a huge frustration and a real wasted opportunity. the last queen's speech before an election. if we had an opportunity to clean up politician and give a legacy, and the government blew it. >> interesting point. it was debated at the cabinet and there were people that wanted electoral reform, a referendum to be in the queen's speech and it wasn't. >> we're going to birmingham, and we were talking to the students there earlier. let's join clair again. >> they will let me introduce you again. and you have all watched the queen's speech. and what was in it for you? >> it was brief and prmsing. especially looking at economic things and -- european
concentration and equality acts and more generally looking at things like the arms trade and -- and making sure that -- that all all policies are going to be difficult and it was a short program. but things such as child poverty and reform of the second chamber, which is a big step forward. >> okay. tom iy, what was in the queen's speech for you? >> not much. there was obviously brief mentioning, but i don't think it is something that a normal young person could engage with and nonetheless disappointing. especially not the role of the queen's speech. anything i get out of it is probably things about the labour party in the next election, should they retain power. >> and you? >> i thought the queen's speech had various issues but one i found -- prominent was the environmental aspect of it and it seemed to be entwined with a large number of bills and
mentioning the copenhagen summit which i believe will be a pressing issue and the environment and the sustainability of the planet, is i feel, after the queen's speech being more recognized by politician as i feel it should be and -- i think we will hear a lot more in politician in the future. >> i'll encourage you all to sit down and watch it. you represent a laryng number of students. do you think the students here will actually care about the speech? >> one big point, and the politician and especially reform of the second chamber, and a hot of students feel passionate about that. there was a few issues that students can rally around, such as the environment and equality, i do feel that students maybe motte now during the speech but when i see those policies coming in place, they will reap the benefits. >> thank you so much. and the views of young people from birmingham university, now back to you. >> and clair, thank you so much. thank you to your guests in birmingham. and really it brings us to a
discussion about what is the next six months going to be like in terms of the wider political debate as we approach the next election? what are people going to be focusing on? what kind of election campaign are we actually looking at? >> we already noaa the themes are of the two big parties, and the question is whether it breaks up or interrupts their capacity to get that. we have been hearing again and again from chris, they have had 12 years. they have had their chance, and government has money it essentially. we hear that government has an important role in people's lives and a torre government would not give the money or the support that labor argues they need. we're hearing from the liberal democrat, look there's important reform that neither of the parties are committed to. that's the narrative. they have written the scripts and their ad agency are preparing the commercials and writing the leaflets and the speech is written. the question is what real events break that up and remember, every time you think, nothing will, it will go like this. if we had been talking a year
ago, lehman brothers has only just gone down and the afghan war was not regarded as contentious. it was regarded a a consensual subject among politicians in the room. a huge amount can change before a general election. events that are unpredictable and the way the public responds. i think the cost is danger frankly of the people saying the same thing for six months as they try to get heard. the public will force their way through and demand that things that matter to them are paid attention to and the politicians address pack. >> are we factor in the one big constant in all of these things after a government has been in power, and people simi want a change. you can try to convince them of anything really but if they just simply want to change, that's what is going to happen. >> when people want change, if they don't think that the government is reflecting, and is -- is actually in the same place as they are. and doesn't live in the same world as they are.
a government that brings forward bills which are going to deal with the -- with the underrelation of the financial sector and stabilize the economy and build on the record of government intervention, to -- to get young people into work, and -- to protect people in downtown, living in their own home, some 300,000 people having benefited from that and then also, to focus on what -- you know, a universal dilemma for families in the country. the care of our elderly relatives, making sure they're well looked after, and then also the impact of disrupted and anti-social pelafere, in just destroying the quality of people's lives and -- as you know, the government that talks about that a government that says we have a role in making the changes happen. is the government i think that is going to be listened to. >> is the government saying those things after 12 years in power. that's not the problem. >> let me take this on.
look at what we have brought about changes in social care. we have brought about changes in anti-social behavior. and legislation i have to say that was voted against by the conservatives and by the liberal democrats but which has transformed the quality of life, for people, living on estates that were blighted by gangs of young kids reming around and actually talking about this and very often, what people want to feel is that there are no-no go areas that there aren't silent fields that they that the government doesn't articulate and the point is -- that a lot of this change has to be gradual because circumstances change. and sarah is wrong. and absolutely wrong that we have done nothing to reform the house of lords. >> we have a couple of minutes left. >> i think what is interesting, is how many times she uses the word talk or articulate. it is all about the government talking but that's not what people want. they want the government to do something. >> and legislation makes action.
>> and legislation without any action in it doesn't have anything. plenty of action in the legislation. >> i promise you. >> and limitation to carve the deficit. sure my we would make an indentation for the deficit if we didn't print the bills. >> we're enshrining it in legislation. >> it is complete myly pointless. >> the reality of this, the government has been in power 12 years, it is now reforming the reggettory system of the financial services sector that it set up gordon brown set up and it hasn't worked. it is now passing legislation to cut a testify sit that this government has created. so it is actually passing legislation, or proposing to pass legislation to pick up the piece it is has itself left behind. that's the reality of government after 12 years. >> and this is completely untrue. the reason, that we have two bills in the queen's seach, to deal with the financial sector, is because -- of the unprecedented impact of the
global economic downturn. >> understood. >> and the final thought, though,, i have to say, you look in the faces of those two men walking outside, and chamber of the house of commons, the two membership listening to her majesty. in the end people decide, which of those people to we want to write the next speech, gordon brown? or david gambler. >> i hope you have been watching it here. and thank you, and the state of the parliament over for a year. we'll be back next summer, in june or july following the general election. we have had a taste of the debate already and we'll see what u new my elected government has to of. thank you. and from all of the bbs team, at westminster, good-bye.
let me begin by sharing with the audience what you said. captain. t b wit >> my question is why we are pursuing this war and to what end? >> what is the purpose and where is this taking us to? we're in the fighting lcdland there, al qaeda should be our priority, but they're not present in afghanistan and they don't exist in any form or manner that will be defeated by army brigade combat teams, our troops are fighting men who are fighting because we're occupying their villages. additionally, we're taking part in a civil war. it is a civil war that has been going on for 30, 35 years in a a violent fashion and the only way to end the civil war is by
political settlement. adding more troops or keeping the same troops we have in this right now, will not end the civil war, it'll prolong it because it doesn't provide incentive to settle. >> the president was telling reporters in asia this past week, he does not want to leave this to his successor and they asked him, what is the end game? how would you answer that? >> i think the end game is find a political settlement and a political solution. right now, i believe our forces in afghanistan, one they provide, they provide support, they basically prop up the regime. because of our support, the karzai regime has no incentive to negotiate with the opposing side. additionally our presence as a foreign occupiers so inflames the opposing side, the royal side, that they will not, they will not settle or negotiate until we leave the country or begin to leave the country. so in order for us to get to any
political settlement to end the civil war, we need to consider withdrawing our troops. >> let me share with the audience that was found this morning. and this is a piece from the "new york post," you indicated our top authority should be destroying al qaeda and stabilizing pakistan and you go on to say that al qaeda has not been this afghanistan since 2001. >> correct. since 2001, al qaeda evolved. they were evolving before then i believe. they're an organization that does not require territory. they don't require ground and base camps. and it would be wonderful if they did, because then we would bomb them but however, they're an organization that exists on the internet. i keep using the term ideological cloud because they float on the internet. they recruit individuals and independent and autonomous, disassociated with cells that don't require vast amounts of land that don't need or want, safe havens.
and if they went a safe haven, they have got safe havens available if a half-dozen failed states or more. the idea that -- that our presence on the ground, in afghanistan is going to do something to defeat al qaeda or affect lcd lg is specious. >> and this came up on the newsmakers program, and rick mays of the army times has a question. >> any possibility you see at this point that there would not be a troop increase out of the white house? >> i don't know what is going to come out of the white house, i have opposed a mc, while other factors are focused on us so we could see a transition to afghan control of their own fate. the afghan army has got to grow a lot faster. it is not growing fast at all recently. there's got to be a much better effort on equipment and so forth. i just don't know, what if any additional combats what number of additional combat troops if ian be -- any would be coming,
what would be other nato countries. it is something i do not know. and i can't predict with any confidence. and i can only do what i have been urging on the administration to both afghanize and natoize this effort. >> and senator levan airs at 10:00 eastern time on c span about the president's announcement, we're hearing it will come the week of november 30th. >> i have no greater insight in this. i think the president is the only one that understands and knows when to make the decision. however, i will say, i'm pleased that the president has taken the time, there's a real honest debate in the white house, regarding our strategy and -- in afghanistan and i was very disappointed over the summer and that's one of the reasons why, i pushed myself to resign, was because i felt it was a done deal and i felt it was going to be a troop increase in
afghanistan and more importantly, that we were going to have some type of -- of open-ended commitment to afghanistan that would never resolve the issue of the civil war there. and -- that's one of the reasons why i resigned. i'm pleased to see that. there's a debate going on, in that. we're not going to -- we're not going to continue this march of folly in more years of conflict. >> what was your thought process and what was your reaction inside the state department. >> sure. and you know, i went there with some doubts and reservations but this is what i've been doing, as my career and i expected my career to be, and i had never, i had not been to afghanistan, soy need to experience and see it myself. and -- it was a -- a continue yul process for the five months i was there in both the east and the south of seeing different examples of why didn't it make sense for us to be there and, why, why our presence in afghanistan was not doing anything to make the united states safer and our troops are fighting people that were not fighting us for any, any
ideological or reasons or any ties, or real ties toward the taliban or hatred of the west. the reaction i received trt state department was completely professional, it -- e i've actually received encouragement from the members of the state department and the members of the intelligent community and the members of the department of defense. i made people agree with me, but overall, even the folks that don't agree with me have been the -- they were nothing but professional and respectful for the last few months. >> we have seen your name in newspapers and the cable shows, you're a graduate of tufts university. share your background. >> sure, i graduated tufts in 1995 and i went to work for a couple of years after that, working in finance and publishing companies in boston and massachusetts and -- and basically was bored and so became an officer in the marine corps and became a combat engineer officer and was stationed throughout the united states as well as japan,
including time in the pentagon. i worked directly for the secretary and navy at one point. i was a combat engineer officer as i said and with that came the dehoiment to iraq. as well as a deployment as a u.s. department of defense civilian who was with a state department team that was imbedded with -- with a u.s. army division and to quit iraq. >> you resigned from the position in the state department on september 10th. was that significant? >> no. that was actually just, the way the timing worked out. and if there's one thing that pushed me over the edge, it was the resignation, it was the afghan elections, so after a week and a half, and that was august 20th, after a week and a half and two weeks of watching those events unfold, i spoke to my boss, beginning of september and said, i am really thinking of resigning, and i am at a point where i can't par take in this any longer. so it just turned out by the time i got to see my boss, and
by the time i wrote the letter it was september 10th, so that the timing in september 11th was buyer i -- entirely a coincidence. >> as always, we welcome your phone calls and e-mails. you could log on to twitter.com/c span wj. and on the democrat's line, good morning. caller: caller: >> i have a comment and then a question. my comment first is that -- where i stand at, i don't want either war. i think we need to be out of both of them because it has trained us financially and plus, i don't see an end -- i'm almost afraid it is going to be like another vietnam. and that's my comment. my question is, as we get out, i don't see where we could win either one of the wars. and can we get out of it somehow and don't look at being you know a failure even though we don't
complete the -- the mission that the president wants us -- where is the end game? that's what i'm trying to say. can we get out of both of them, as if we just took out and you know, left the country for them to do what they have to do because it is so much crookedness seemed like is going on and we not getting the support we need from the -- from the president there in afghanistan. everybody keeps saying they're crooked and they're doing things, and you know, that is not really helping our soldiers and we're there losing lives for people that is not helping us. >> mary, we'll get a response. and that word end game coming up again. >> and one thing i have realized about -- as i speak publicly, is that you tend to get characterized as being in or out and i don't think there's anybody wo reasonably is part of the debate and on the other side of the debate who is either all in or all out. and so -- in terms of end games
for afghanistan, what -- what i would like to see happen is like i said, stopping combat operations, and embattled villages, and we're occupying them. that combat is accomplishing nothing, except engendering more com pat. the main thing is a political solution, bringing both sides of the civil war to a table and getting them to negotiate and coming up with some type of political settlement so we could leave afghanistan within one or two or three or four years time. we could do so in a response nl manner and not -- not in aye and way that e are flects or reminds people the way the soviet union was in the late 1980's where they cut and ran. >> this issue is the cover of c.q. weekly. and pinning out that the war in afghanistan, the death toll approaching 1,000, we could see there within the next couple of weeks, according to c.q. weekly and mary joining us in georgetown south carolina. good morning. >> good morning and thank you so
much for taking my call. my name is mary thomas. i'm calling from georgetown south carolina. i would like to commend mr. hoh, for taking his stand to decide to step down from that particular job. he was there, and he saw what happened. and what i want to really say is that -- i empathize with people that on -- have children and sons and daughters that is over there fighting and many of them have lost their lives and --ee and many people don't know how it feels to have children to -- to lose their lives in battle and i also agreed that being over in afghanistan is not really proving anything and i really respect president obama for taking his time and hopefully, in the future, very soon, they can do as mr. hoh suggested, get together at a table and try to bring up peace, because regardless of how people worldwide play feel about the people of afghanistan, they're
human beings and they too, everybody needs to get together and talk and try to bring about peace, rather than continue on with the killing and also, i hope that -- democrats as well as republicans and independents would continue to respect president obama and for them to like try to continue to pull together, to make the united states a better place and also pulling out of the war -- >> thank you for your call. let me take the comment and turn it into a instruction for a viewer that says what is the scope of the defense, with regard to afghanistan and what are we defending? >> the state and purpose of our being there, the original purpose for afghanistan was to defeat al qaeda in the wake of september 11th, previously since the 2001 lcd hked has evolved and changed and the president -- the present combat troops won't defeat al qaeda. what we're doing, is we're propping up one side of a civil
war. we're prong up karzai and going back to mary, and i appreciate your kind words but going back to the call about lives being lost, in -- in the and the mission of what we're doing and the purpose of what we're doing, that begs a great philosophical and moral question i think that we need to have in this country, a debate on and the purpose of our troops being this. do we want our troops nighting and dying, our young men and women fighting and dying for a rescream that is illegitimate and corrupt and that does nothing to serve all actual national strategic interest or values. i think that's a great question. we need to ask ourselves is it worth our troops dying to proper up the karzai regime. >> that's one of the questions in this c.q. weekly poll comparing the mood of the public from february of this year, 41% of those questioned saying the war is for the worth fighting in afghanistan and that's up to 5