tv British House of Commons CSPAN December 29, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EST
other second term presidents faced while in office. later, another opportunity to see "q&a" with radio talkshow host hugh hewiit. >> the world is on fire. things are moving extremely fast. my education expires after five to 10 years. everything is new, the cloud is new, facebook is new. , new of new things programming that wages. historically what we have done is replace human life into four slices or five slices. phase, a resting phase afterwards. eventually, dying. what i think we should do is lay, we should learn, we should work and rest at the same time. the world moves so fast today, we can't really afford anymore. we have to stay up-to-date. >> new year's day on c-span,
just before 1:00 p.m. eastern and throughout the afternoon, ceos of you density, twitter and others on the future of higher education, robotics and data as the new industrial revolution. senator kay bailey hutchison on the women who helped shape texas. , daughters of civil rights leaders and a segregationist share their memories of the civil rights era at 8:30. >> the british parliament is currently in recess. prime ministers questions will not be shown tonight. instead, we bring you bbc parliament's westminster review which takes a look back at some of the notable events in the british parliament within the last few months. ♪
>> hello and welcome to our look at the autumn term in parliament. it was a term when the field was set by a shot fired at the september conference. >> we will freeze gas and electricity prices until the start of 202017. >> not to be outdone, the first minister of scotland was setting the agenda north of the border. it is about fundamental democratic choice for scotland. the people's right to choose a government of their own. [applause] politicians were not backwards about coming forward. even the security services made a brief foray out of the shadows with the reactions to recent security leaks. >> our adversaries are rubbing their hands with glee. >> al qaeda is lacking it up. -- the firsted
healthy green shoots of recovery were coming into sight according to figures. as the coalition claimed, it also showed its austerity program was working. labor politicians had to change tack. they concentrated on the cost of living. in particular, household energy bills. labor leader ed miliband a pledge that came to dominate much of the next few weeks. >> the system is broken. we are going to fix it. 2015,win that election in the next labor government will freeze gas and electricity prices until the start of 2017. >> the first of what turned out to be a series of price rises by the gas and electricity companies came to winsett and energy secretary answering questions in the commons. >> during the course of these questions, they have announced that they will increase gas
prices by 8.4%. and electricity prices by 10.4%. that has company passed on the highest share of its profits to its shareholders while making the least amount of investment. >> that is extremely disappointing news for british gas customers. british gas will need to adjust -- justified the decision openly and transparently. at primefter week minister's questions, the labor leader just kept talking about energy. >> the prime minister said there is a certain amount you can do, freezing energy prices, while the chancellor said in his conference speech, it was something out of "das kapital." is freezing energy prices a good idea or a communist plot? -- andtood at this
produced policy after policy, regulation after regulation, target after target, all of which put energy prices up. he confirmed that opposing the freeze, he has on his side the big six energy companies. supporting a freeze, we have consumer bodies and small energy producers and the vast majority of the british people. >> if an energy price freeze was such a great idea, why didn't he introduce it when he stood at this platform? the fact is, it is not a price freeze. it is a price con. >> advance at this point took an unexpected twist after retirement -- john major. >> there certainly is a crisis and energy. many people are worried about it. the price increases we have seen are beyond anything that i think is acceptable. >> he said he feared people this winter might have to choose between heating and eating.
>> mr. speaker, the prime minister said that anyone who wanted to intervene directly in the market was living in a marxist universe. [laughter] can he tell the house, how does he feel now that the red peril has claimed sir john major? >> we are intervening. . want more companies i want better regulation. i want better deals for consumers. yes, we also need to roll back the green charges that he put in place as energy secretary. >> high time that mps heard from the big six. the energy companies stepped out at the energy committee. >> this market is competitive. acknowledge we are not trusted. we need to have a very thorough competition commission
investigation. believe it would be really helpful to depoliticize this debate, get experts in to look at it. --this is not just about consumers can no longer afford their energy bills. never mind politicizing things. what are you going to do for the consumers? let's try to answer. >> that would be helpful. >> first, are those profits there? >> how can these profits be fair when people cannot afford? >> the second part is what you do with the profits. the reason it is fair is because if i don't make a 5% profit in my business, i can't afford to keep employing my 20,000 people. -- it is less
than supermarkets make. it is a fraction of what mobile phone companies make. it is a big number. >> realizing they had to produce a policy, coalition ministers finally came up with a 50 pound reduction of average energy bills. >> the government has reviewed the cost profile and i can today announced proposals that would reduce the average household bill next year by 50 pounds on average. companies havegy not confirmed, there will be no need for price rises in 2014 unless there is a major change in wholesale network costs. some have gone further to hold prices down for longer. >> just to be clear, can he if the average increase in energy bills this winter is 120 pounds, that even if the companies do pass on the
reductions, the average household bill will actually be 70 pounds higher than last winter? >> what of the economy in general? the chancellor delivered a mini budget, better known as the autumn statement to attack house of commons. there was a spring in the chancellor's step. it set an upbeat tone. five years on from the global financial collapse that sent the u.k. economy into a downward spiral, things were on the way back up. still, some way to go. >> mr. speaker, britain's economic plan is working. it is not done. we need to secure the economy for the long-term. that comes risk to from those who would abandon the plan. >> we have held our nerve while those who predicted that there
would be no growth until we turn the spending tax back on have been proved comprehensively wrong. thanks to the sacrifice and the endeavor of the british people, i can today report the hard evidence that shows our economic plan is working. >> the shadow chancellor struggled to make himself heard. >> the chancellor is in complete denial about the [indiscernible] under this chancellor and this , for most people in our country, living standards are rising. they are falling here year-over- year. he is borrowing 198 billion
pounds more than he planned in 2010. for threewing to pay years of economic failure. more borrowing in just three years under this chancellor than under the last government in 13 years. >> you do wonder what he has been up to with his time. he gave a clue in the newspaper interview this week. he said this, i have had to cancel my grade three piano exam because it is exactly the time when george osborne is standing up to do is autumn statement. i think he should have gone away -- gone ahead with the chopsticks rendition. >> george osborne clashing on the day of the autumn statement. i am joined in the studio by norman smith. welcome to the program. that energy price pledge by ed miliband, how big an impact did that have politically? >> it was probably the defining
moment of the year in that it changed the terms of trade over the economy. suddenly, it gave labour a compelling narrative at a time when we all know the economy was beginning to pick up. it seemed labor talk about plan a not working. it ishey shifted to say all about the cost of living. they focused on energy prices. that did two things. one is it was very much in sync with public opinion and it enabled ed miliband to ride the crest of public outrage at his colossal increases in energy prices. it also through the government on the back foot. i had to scrabble around and find some sort of repressed -- rep -- repast. >> do you think ministers were quick enough? >> there were clawing and
scrabbling and stumbling their way to some sort of repast and came up with a 50 pound cut by lopping off the so-called green levies. it be honest, 50 pounds on an average energy bill of maybe 1400 pounds is not going to make many households feel much better off. it was a very limited repose. they genuinely intellectually believe the only way to tackle the cost of living is to get the economy growing. that is the only way you create jobs. people get paid better wages. businesses grow. everything else is a short-term fix. they were sort of pushed into coming up with the 50 pounds off. that is not how they view the cost of living argument. theys a defensive move but were limited because they don't really believe those short-term measures are the way to address the cost of living. >> onto the autumn statement, we saw the shadow chancellor struggling against a wall of noise. -- heat because he is
wasn't challenging george osborne? >> i think it reflects two things. one is, there is now a serious weakness in the labor stance on the economy. now to get upd and say, plan a is not working. that argument begins to look increasingly thin. 'hat is shown in ed balls response. he was looking for some sort of argument to put and he didn't have it. the second thing, you remember -- i think it was in the budget, again, he got into difficulties that it was put down to a stamina. i wonder, both these big occasions when he is faced with huge backing from the tory , he is actually thrown off quite a lot by that. it is partly i think a personal
difficulty he has coping with that sort of noise. reflects a weakness in labor's argument on the economy. >> we will be coming back to you later in the program. the global financial crash five years ago may be slipping into history but bad news stories about banks have kept on coming. this year we learned a collaborative bank was faking a huge -- cooperative bank was facing a huge financial shortfall. they no longer control their own bank. the former boss told mps the loss of majority control was a tragedy. >> i don't believe that i could have changed the whole governance of the cooperative movement which was established in 1860. it is a democratic organization. its whole ethoes is democracy. >> you could have flagged up to them. this is an unsustainable business model. we have to do something about it. we can have this organization
run by a farmer, a telecoms engineer, computer technician, a , and, a minister culturalist. >> that was the nature of the beast. as chief executive, of course i could comment on the way that the co-op was being developed and its history and so on. but there is no way i could have had the power to say, you need to stop electing members, chronically to the board. >> the working of banks in general -- the government was suffering defeats on its legislation to change the banking system. alterations to the financial services bill were aimed at improving bankers' professional standards. a member of the commission on banking standards is the archbishop of canterbury.
he called for more separation between high street banking and investment banking. the second reserve power is a vital component in the structural reform of our banking sector. i urge the noble lords and ministers to look again at this recommendation. the possibility of full separation in the review. it is only a further small step at a reasonable one. recognize that we are trying to build a banking system for the next half-century, not for the next five years. retail bankingof and the culture in investment banking, these are two quite separate cultures. quite separate. be a culture of caution and prudence. the other is a culture of creativeness which is very desirable.
and risk-taking of a totally different order. >> as well as putting pressure on credit, the downturn and cut backs, the government introduced a change to housing benefit that it called the spare room subsidy reduction. opponents called it the bedroom tax. it came in in april. debate raged in the commons. >> it was the labour party and government that introduced the bedroom tax and the private sector. --the 19th of january, 24 2004, labour ministers said they hoped to implement a flat rate housing benefit system in the social sector similar to that anticipated in the private rented sector. when did you change your policy? >> it will be interesting to say.
his own party conference has said that this is an unfair tax. will he vote with the conservatives or with his own party? let me be very clear. this will be the first thing i will do -- reverse this unfair and pernicious tax. >> people in scotland didn't vote for the bedroom tax. it is a nasty problem from a nasty party. it is didn't elect it and imposed by liberals who should frankly know better. i commend them for their efforts not to mitigate this policy -- >> i think it is outrageous that so many young men in our society feel they can go out, get when pregnant, allow them to have children, and then just disappear. it is utterly shocking. i hope that the ministers will take note of this. get hold of some of the specters.
drag them off. make them work. but them in chains if necessary. make them pay back society for the cost of bringing up the children they chose to bring into this world. i met a young couple, 17 years old, neither of whom had ever worked in their lives. toy were being expected suffer some inconvenience by moving into a studio flat. i think the minister -- you would be generous in many instances. why should the state be paying for two people to set up in a teenage love nest? when i was 17 years old, if i wanted to see my girlfriend, i would go see her on a park bench in newport. why does the government pay for them to have a flat all by themselves? moste of the coalition's ambitious changes to the welfare system has been the introduction of universal credit which replaces six existing benefits with a single monthly payment. inspiration of iain duncan
smith. when the rollout of universal credit began to fall behind schedule, nearly all the criticism came his way. he admitted uc wouldn't be ready by 2017. of spending onds i.t. software for the project had been wasted. the minister attempted an explanation. >> when you are dealing with software for issues and policy problems, it is not an exact science. you try and resolve something through a series of code changes. then itown the road and doesn't completely resolve the issue. what you were trying to do becomes a dead end. we have to look at another way to do that. sometimes it just doesn't simply come to the conclusion. gone on long before
i.t. was around in building all sorts of things. people reach a point where it doesn't work. >> the next day and commons, labor stepped up the pressure. >> the secretary of state is in denial. he would deny that he is in denial. [laughter] we all know that until he fesses up, no one will have any confidence in his management of this program. that thesurprise chancellor says, there are some ministers who improve in office and others like iain duncan smith who show that they are just not up to it. >> i said all along and i repeat, this program is going to be on time. 2017, some 6.5 million people will be on the program, receiving the benefits. >> he promised universal credit i may 2014. that they would
be assessing the simplest claims by the end of october. they aren't. why should anyone believe him when he says universal credit is now on track? >> we intervened early when there were problems. we did not let this program rollout so that anybody was damaged. >> the people of somerset put it as a mark of a statesman to take a collaborative and intelligent approach to these problems. rush it in a typical socialist fashion. i wonder if he agrees with me that his critics have forgotten to read their bible and remember the line on beams. they have a veritable forest in their i.t. suggestions. -- roman smith is with me once again. universal credit not coming up to scratch. how big of a setback for the government is this?
>> potentially a massive setback. perhaps not in time for the general election. massive because this is the linchpin of the government's welfare reforms. if it falls apart, that whole agenda falls apart. there is mounting nervousness not just in the treasury but in other parts of government about what on earth is going on with universal credit. the deadline has slipped and slipped and slipped. the only person we have seen relatively conference -- confident is iain duncan smith. withrack record of success these massive computer schemes is pretty catastrophic. -- they have all ended in tears. universal credit is the mother of all i.t. schemes. it will involve around 19 million different claims. it is a live system. the potential for it to go wrong is colossal. i think that day of reckoning
will not finally come until after the election. >> thanks a lot. when history comes to be written, 2014 just could come to be viewed as a landmark year, the year when one part of the u.k. voted to make its way to the exit door. the scots are having a in september. a yes vote will undoubtedly mean a shrunken u.k. it was on the 26th of november that the leaders of the scottish national party unveiled their blueprint for independence. document was designed around questions about how an independent scotland would operate. vowed prime minister has to fight for the united kingdom with his heart and soul. [indiscernible] you now have the blueprint for independence. [indiscernible]
>> i am enjoying the debate we are having now. that is where the debate should take place. there should be a debate, including televised debates. this is a debate between people in scotland. this is not a debate between the leader of the conservative party or even the u.k. prime minister and the scottish first minister. it is a debate between the leader of the no campaign and the leader of the yes campaign. >> talking of debating the issues, that is what they were doing at the scottish parliament. straight after the blueprint was launched -- >> within an hour of this publication, they described it -- which amazed me. i must congratulate that man on speed rating. by my estimation, that is 3000 words per minute.
>> his speech, entirely in tune with his worldview, rooted in negativity -- >> in the white paper, there was not one single example, not one single example of anything that even might be slightly difficult under independence. >> no longer will the people of scotland be ruled by government in westminster whom we did not elect. never has the future of our country been so carefully planned. -- not aone certainty certainty which gets much attention. it is there. i am referring to job losses and defense. there are many excellent scottish companies who support defense technology. nothing -- i think it
is unlikely that we will ever see that document. in my opinion, that document --ld be the agenda austerity, decline and decimation of the welfare state that we all know and love. >> as the white paper sets out, for 34 of the 68 years since 1945, we have been ruled by government that had no majority in scotland. i challenge any speaker on the government to tell us what they would do in the result that the rest of the u.k. decided not to enter into a union. >> on the 18th of september next year, scotland has the opportunity to gain the stewardship of the -- for the benefit of the nation. on the eu, nicholas said yesterday that she didn't want special arrangements applying to scotland. just the arrangements that apply to us now. it may have a skate her
intentions but the u.k. has special arrangements within the eu. it has the opt out. leave that country and you leave those special arrangements behind. >> independence is the natural choice of scotland. children is growing up in poverty. it is not a positive case to remain within the union. >> the speculation on what the referendum might look like intensified. thinking in the house of lords is becoming seriously theoretical. >> in the event that scotland votes to secede from the u.k. in september of next year, with the general election still take place in scotland in may of the following year? [laughter] if so, at what point will the scottish mps elected to the house of commons be asked to leave?
if it is before the general election emma would it not result in the disintegration of the coalition? [laughter] >> my lord, those who have been elected as parliament have received their summons. i don't think that tells them to go. clearly in the unhappy event that scotland will decide to leave the united kingdom, there is no legislation that would stop the united kingdom general election 2015 applying throughout. >> what scottish peers are foreign nationals -- would a scottish peers who are foreign nationals be able to retain their seats? [laughter] >> my noble friend, that is a very interesting question. that question 564
on page 558 of the document says, arrangements for the house of lords will be for the united kingdom to decide. norman smith is with me once again. that independence campaign is certainly raging north of the border, but precious little debate in the rest of the u.k.. don't you think this whole scottish independence question -- when do you think this whole scottish independence question is going to hint -- top hit? >> i don't think it will. there is a concern in the unionist parties that they should not be seen interfering in a debate happening in scotland. it was very notable david cameron kept his red right before the parapet. thething which i think coalition and labor fear could tip things alex salmons way is if this becomes a fight between scotland and tory england.
for that reason, the one thing which alex salmon wants, and the one thing david cameron is absolutely not going to give him , is a debate. that, i think, would be a game changer. that actually could change the dynamic and potentially give alex salmon the momentum, which so far he has lacked. hascampaign, which scotland called the better together campaign, has been accused of being quiet, low profile. i don't think that as a criticism actually. that is a positive. a lot of people view alex the darling is rather a clever counterpoint to alex salmon in is aense that alec salmon very pugilistic, smart, quick- witted, fast-talking politician. allison darling is sort of the earnest uncle, much more sober,
much more levelheaded. i think there is a view. that place to the argument that the better together campaign they are trained to put -- why breakup something which is working so well? why do you need to do this? tore is a view if they were try to engage alec salmon by having a much more abrasive character, that would actually play to alex salmon's advantage. in a funny sort of way, although there have been rumblings about allison darling, i think most people involved in the campaign act shall he think he is rather rather a clever counterpoint for alec salmons. >> there isn't that much joy in the opinion polls. 32%, 33%. >> that is absolutely true. the big caveat is that alec salmon has been here before. in elections to the scottish parliament the whole -- parliament. the whole system is rigged to
make sure you can never have a administration. he defied the system. if you talk to people in the snp, they would say, where we are is no worse than where we were for the elections of the scottish parliament. he has been your before. i think they are trying to kind of diffuse many of the crunchy issues. say,ve had alex salmond don't worry, we will keep the queen. don't worry, we will keep sterling. we will still have the same television programs. in other words, to try to play down the enormity of the event. reassure voters. there is no getting away from it. he's got an awful lot of ground stilton makeup and not a vast amount of time. >> thanks a lot. we will be coming back in a moment. talking of referendums, a conservative backbencher is doing what he can to bring us closer to the day when we can all have a vote on the european union or at least britain's membership of it. you might have thought something
so important would be steered through by the government. in fact, the reality of coalition life means it has been left to this man introducing his own bill, bringing in a referendum by 2017. his bill cleared the comments at the end of november. >> it is right for the people to be given their say. it is right for a british government to seek a new settlement in europe. it is right for us to put that on the statute both now -- a book now. it is been outstanding that my honorable friend have put this before the house. this bill deserves the support of the house on its third reading today. >> this bill is not about giving the british people a choice. it is about managing the internal divisions within the conservative party. as has already been said, it is not possible in this parliament to commit a parliament which will be elected in 2015. >> it is clear that this house believes that it is the right thing to do to go back to europe to try to get the best possible deal that we can do it whatever
that you looks like, to put that to the british people in a in- output. >> that is not the end of it. his bill has to be scrutinized by the house of lords. his peers are likely to have plenty to say. europe is bound to be a big subject in 20 for two of the reasons. at the end of may, elections to the european parliament are taking place, and before that, what are known as the accession rules means the first time memberns across eu states -- the u.k. independence party, at a party that wants britain to say goodbye to the eu, has protected a mass influx. there have been warnings in parliament. >> i do think it is a dereliction of duty of her majesty's government to not even attempt an estimate of the numbers who may come in from romania or bulgaria on the first of january. i can understand politically why they have decided not to publish an estimate because they do not
want to make the horrendous mistake of the previous labor government, which said that the numbers from the eastern european countries would only be 13,000 a year. the populationat that has come in is 1.1 million. >> amid the growing nervousness of the mass influx suggestions -- influx, suggestions -- >> the opportunity that is ahead of us to reform the european union, i think we should take that opportunity to look at free movement. there are concerns across europe in another -- in a number of other countries about free movement. i think it is right we should look at the accession treaties, countries coming into europe, and within that, we could look at the question of whether we should have flexibility rather for this period of time transitional control. maybe it should be in place until the national income of the country has reached a certain
percentage of the main countries national income, or indeed if migration reaches a certain level. >> that is extremely helpful. >> joining us in the studio once again, norman smith. we saw conservative backbencher saying the government has no idea about the numbers that could be coming from romania and bulgaria. do you think that is right? >> what is certainly right is they have given no one any clue as to whether they've got an idea. they have actually refused to engage that whole argument. i think the bulgarians and romanians have put it down to tens of thousands. not on the scale we had under the previous labor government, but what we have seen, i think, is an attempt by the government to show that it is aware of just how much anxiety there is over the issue regardless of whether these fears actually materialize. therefore, we have seen a plethora of suggestions and ideas and briefings to indicate that the government is actually doing something. we have had all these proposals
on tightening up of benefits, tightening up on access to the health service, limiting access to social housing to try and minimize the draw factor bringing people to britain. then, we have had david cameron kind of floating this idea of maybe even a cap on the number of migrants. it seems to me none of this is going to happen to stop bulgarians and romanians coming on january 1. the point of it is to put down a rhetorical marker to say to the great british public, we understand your concerns. we are doing something about it. we are addressing the issue. it is a rhetorical ploy to show, we understand, we are listening. >> a highlight of 2014 politically will be the european elections. ukip candidates, absolutely certain to do well. do you think the mainstream parties have written these european elections off? >> i think there is in tory ranks almost a fatalism that they are going to take a
just becausem ukip of what they saw, for example, at east lee -- a target seed for the conservatives, pushed into third by ukip,. the europe issue, that plays to their narrative. the one thing that matron them up is the candidates. they have had repeated difficulties with candidates coming out and saying things that they shouldn't have. land.ink of bongo bongo the list goes on. the problem nigel for roche's head is he has always wanted his party to be different. they are not like the others. we don't have this obsession with control and discipline. the consequence of that, sometimes your candidates go a little walkabout. that can land you in all sorts of difficulty. looked extraordinarily well-positioned in the run-up to the european elections, but you
cannot take away from the fact that they do have the potential to implode if some of their candidates go awol. >> norman smith, thank you very much for joining us on the program. when a building project is going to cost an estimated 50 billion pounds, you might expect some details of its environmental impact. that is what the government delivered when it published a high-speed rail bill complete with an environmental dossier, running to 50,000 pages. a printout warned documents would write -- would weigh about 1.5 billion tons. instead, it was all put on a memory stick. consultation ends in january. the campaign is complaining they only have 56 days to wade through the information mark roughly the equal -- information, roughly the equivalent of getting through 40 peace."f "war and the transport secretary told the transport committee he was fully up to speed on heist -- on the high-speed rail bill. >> yesterday, everyone will know that we did publish the hybrid
to fund almost -- bill, almost 50,000 pages of work. i think it is the first time i believe that the whole hybrid bill divided on the computer stick. this represents the entire workings of the 50,000-page document. thatld say that i believe this project is vital to our economy and future prosperity to the united kingdom. >> do we really know who is out there? and we scour the internet send electronic mac -- messages, the specter of big brother was raised in 2013 by former u.s. contractor edward snowden. mi5 and mi6 overstepping the mark in efforts to keep the country safe? this building, the top roots --
the top-secret gcqa surveillance center, do they know too much about our lives? when mps held a special debate this mpisclosures, spring to "the guardian"'s defe nse. theor technology changes in capacity of states and companies to collect and analyze data grows massively. we growing dangerously walking into a surveillance state. >> we are in a situation today where "the guardian," which had every right to report on this issue which has raised important , which has done so in a digital, a global way, an interesting way with good .ournalism
>> this focus on "the guardian" is really quite extraordinary, if you compare it to the fact that you were talking about "the guardian." in the u.s. they're talking important issues, citizens privacy. shouldn't we get onto talking about that? the secret state, the government acting without the knowledge and permission of its ofizens, a flagrant breach individuals moral and probably legal rights for what it believes is the common good. >> who is judge injury? a stage withre some site of oversight is a better judge and jury. the agencies recruitment and training procedures are all designed to ensure that those operating within the ring of secrecy can be trusted to do so lawfully and ethically. a culture of compliance with both a letter -- with the letter
of the law pervades everything that they do. >> britain's spy chiefs have invisible. public appearances have been few and far between, which meant there was intense interest when gchq came of mi% and to perlman for their first ever public questioning -- parliament for their first ever public questioning, the intelligence and security committee. spy chiefs were keen to get some things on the record. >> to clarify, we do not spend our time listening to the telephone calls or reading the e-mails of the majority. that would not be proportionate. it would not be legal. we do not do it. my duty is modified by saving the lives of british forces on the battlefield, finding terrorists, serious criminals -- by meeting that foreign intelligence mission, as well. although we appreciate you
may be limited in some details you may be able to go into today, i think the public are entitled to know more about this enormous damage that you say has been caused by the publication of classified material. coworkerr you or your give specific examples how this has been a gift to the terrorists? >> we have seen terrorist groups in the middle east, in afghanistan, and elsewhere in south asia discussing the revelations in specific terms, in terms of the communication packages that they use, the communication packages they wish to move to. >> do you mean this is online, or are you saying you have other ways of knowing? >> we have intelligence on it. we have seen chats around specific terrorist groups, including close to home, discussing how to avoid what they now perceived to be vulnerable communication methods, or how to select communications which they now perceive not to be exploitable.
i'm not going to compound the damage by being specific and public. argued thatetimes the people responsible for all these publications have not mentioned any names, have not mentioned any details. they have simply referred to general capabilities. is there any validity? it seems on the face of it that is bound to be must less damaging, if it is damaging at all. how would you comment on that? >> perhaps i could make a comment on that. i'm not sure that the journalists who are managing this very sensitive information are particularly well placed to make those judgments. that then tell you is leaks from snowden has been very damaging. they have put our operations at risk. it is clear that our adversaries are rubbing their hands with glee.
al qaeda is laughing it up. there is a consequence. >> you have made that remark. i think we need to hear why you feel you're entitled to say that. that is what you are assuming, but can you say more about why you believe that be true? >> i will repeat what my colleagues have said. they have clearly set out just how the alerting of targets and adversaries to our capabilities means that it becomes more difficult to acquire the intelligence that this country needs. cast is"the guardian" he responsible, the papers editor was called upon to defend his papers record when he came before the home affairs committee. >> all heads of the security services were very clear in her evidence to the intelligence and security committee that you had damaged this country as a result of what you had done. do you recognize what you have done? do you accept that this had damaged the country? this is severe criticism that i haven't seen before from the head of our security services.
a senior administration official -- >> a senior administration official of the obama administration. said, i last week, he have been impressed by the judgment and care you would expect from a great news organization. a senior white house official at the heart of the stories on september 9, i have not seen anything you have published today which has risked lives. >yo and i were both born outside this country. i love this country. do you love this country? [laughter] >> how do you answer that kind of question? >> we live in a democracy. most of the people working on the story are british people who have families in this country, who love this country. i'm suddenly surprised to be asked the question, but yes, we are patriots, and one of the things we are patriotic about is the nature of the democracy and the nature of a free press press and the fact that one can in
this country discuss and report these things. >> it is nothing "regarding guardian"-- "the published that -- >> it isn't about what you have published. it is about what you have community did. you have caused the communication of secret documents -- we classify things as secret and top-secret in this country for a reason, not to hide them from "the guardian," but to hide them from those who are out to heart -- to harm us. if you have indicated those documents. if you knew about the enigma code during world war ii, would you have provided that information? >> that is a red herring, if you don't mind me saying so. i think most journalists can make a dissension between the kind of thing you're talking about, the enigma code or the travel of ships -- this is very well-worn material that has been dealt with by the supreme court and that you learn when you deal in nctj courts.
>> there were lighter moments as well in the spying saga. the german chancellor angela merkel had been bugged for 10 -- by the u.s.. >> did you discuss with chancellor merkel the targeting of the intelligence services of her phone, and you can ash and can you tell us if his phone has been targeted, and if not, why not? >> there was a very good moment of the dinner when one eu prime minister said how disappointment he was they were more interested in his conversations. i will not reveal who it was. the point is this -- we do not comment on these issues. >> the british are nothing if not a nation of animal lovers. when the government embarked on the mass shooting of badgers into parts of the country, ministers knew they would be in for a backlash from badger- loving middle england.
stop thedered to spread of tb in cattle. plenty of politicians were on their side, and the badgers proved hard to find. number shot by the marksman fell well behind expected levels. then came the television moment that would haunt the environment secretary. >> you are moving the goalposts on all fronts. >> no, that is not right at all. the badgers have moved the goalposts. >> a remark inevitably picked up and the comments. >> last year, ash last week, the secretary of state cancel the call because there weren't enough badgers. can you explain what gloucestershire has also applied for an extension even though the trial hasn't even finished? is that because the badgers have moved the goalposts as well? >> her government try to sort the problem by only addressing the disease in cattle. that was a terrible mistake. >> it is actually morally reprehensible what is being done
in the west country to badgers. ineffective, inefficient, ignoring scientific opinion. why doesn't he resign? [laughter] speaker, he supported a government that did nothing on this. back to the policies of the government he supported -- 300- 5000 otherwise healthy cattle were hauled off to slaughter. >> the call and gloucestershire was held off with only 40% of the badger population eliminated. he doesn't matter what the evidence says. he will just simply argue that this has been a success. even by the government's own terms, it has been a catastrophic failure. shots have been fired. shots have been fired in the united kingdom over people going
about their lawful business monitoring the activities of a call set up by this government. disgraceful,ling, and certainly should be condemned. we haven't heard any condemnation from the government. >> this call has proved to be a success on two counts, in terms of humaneness and effectiveness. if the honorable member who proposed a debate, if he has a serious accusation that shots were fired about people's heads, he should report that to the police. they will investigate, and if people have do that -- have done that, they will have committed a criminal act. let him produce the evidence before he makes these statements. >> in light of the shambles around the current policy, there is a real danger the government is going down the route of gassing. gassing is incredible inhumane as well. the more effective answer is vaccinating badgers. >> please can the minister
listen to the views of the members, listen to the views of the public? it is not all about talking ugly creatures -- snuggly creatures. >> we are all in this one, and we have to find a solution to it. we've got to recognize that if there is an animal carrying a pernicious disease, it needs to be put down, not only for its own welfare, but for the well for of the cattle. >> if there were an easy answer to tackling this disease, we would have done it. there are no easy answers when it comes to reversing the spread of bovine tb. there are no examples in the world of a country that has successfully tackle tb without also dealing with disease in the wildlife population. >> just as badgers were proving to be rather thin on the ground n the weeks of the autumn,
extremely plentiful. 30 new ones were admitted, taking the total membership of the house of lords number should to 800. >> there were several new peers appointed, such as lady lawrence. a formerock, metropolitan police deputy assistant commissioner. lady jones, a green party politician in london. a formerelstein, associate editor of "the times." a former first sea lord had a noble suggestion to make. >> i wonder if the royal navy could maybe come to the nation's assistance again. having been scrapped earlier this year. i wonder if the house authorities would like to buy it to berth alongside the palace of westminster to accommodate the huge number of new peers being created? [laughter] >> in fact, the worship can
accommodate up to 700 people and has a bank, laundry, and shop. the death of nelson mandela was a moment that parliament could not ignore. the first black president of south africa and father figure for his nation came to parliament back in 1996 and spoke in westminster hall. he was fully aware of the anti- apartheid campaigns that ran in britain throughout his long time in captivity. when his death was announced, tributes were many and moving. >> when nelson mandela took his first steps to freedom, he made no call for vengeance, only forgiveness. he understood that dismantling apartheid legacy was about more than just removing the most explicit signs of discrimination and segregation. >> the man most responsible for the destruction of what people thought was indestructible, the apartheid system, the man who taught us that no injustice can last forever. inmy mother was often alone
the early section of the public gallery. when he entered the dock, he would always acknowledge her with a clenched fist, which she would return. >> a former foreign secretary gave a slightly different emphasis. >> it was not just nelson mandela who undoubtedly deserves the bulk of the credit, but there was also the south african de clerk. f.w. without both of them, it would not have been a peaceful resolution. let me say what i mean. it is a serious point. mandela was receiving power, which at that stage, most of the struggle had already been one -- won. clerke was persuading his own people to give it up. grateful for the
role model that was nelson .andela to me and so many like me, he provided a tremendous dignity and courage. why perhaps was the reason during the very difficult 1980s, we did not pick up molotov on ourls and cause chaos own streets. we chose another path. ♪ >> three days later, a less somber day. a celebration of nelson mandela's life and work in words, dance, and sung in the westminster hall which ended the term of parliament on a colorful and poignant note. >> ♪ mandela ♪ nelson
♪ people love you ♪ you make them ♪ strong ♪ raise our voices ♪ let's sing ♪ . >> prime minister's questions returns january 8 when members house of common sense will have returned from their winter holiday. you can watch it live or later in the week when question time p.m. sunday at 9:00 eastern on c-span. thinks, no what he matter what it is. nd sometimes i would get after him. because i think you have to be political in a certain way. you havebe