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ANY QUESTIONS
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Journey of a Lifetime
Transcript: Any Questions? 20 February 2009

CHAIRMAN: JONATHAN DIMBLEBY

PANELLISTS:


RT Hon ANDY BURNHAM MP: Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport

RT Hon FRANCIS MAUDE MP: Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office

MINETTE MARRIN: Sunday Times columnist

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE: Author


From: New Broadcasting House, Oxford Road, Manchester M60



DIMBLEBY:
Welcome to Manchester and more precisely to Studio 7 at New Broadcasting House which is the home of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Founded with another name in 1922 its growth has matched that of the BBC from 12 players at that time to a full 90 today. It has a host of firsts to its name, the first broadcast of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and the Enigma Variations and similarly Holst’s The Planets. It has performed with some of the world’s most eminent conductors notably Sir George Solti and Sir Charles Mackerras. Yorkshire’s reputation for adventurous programming bringing new composers and new work into the public domain means that it has worked closely with composer conductors like Copland, Walton, Tippet, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and now James MacMillan. On our panel the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Andy Burnham, Francis Maude one of David Cameron’s front benchers and one of the Party’s most prominent modernizers. Minette Marrin is a columnist on the Sunday Times and a novelist she is also on the Council at the Centre for Policy Studies. Frank Cottrell Boyce has written episodes of Coronation Street and Brookside, he has written widely acclaimed screen plays for the cinema including Welcome to Sarajevo and as a children’s author he has won the 2004 Carnegie Medal and his most recent book was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Roald Dahl funny prize. Are you hoping to find much to laugh about this evening?

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
I am hoping so yes


DIMBLEBY
We shall see. He is the fourth member of our panel.

(APPLAUSE)

Our first question please.

COLIN COUTTS
I am considering buying a new car. Which make of vehicle would the panel suggest may still be in business long enough for me to enjoy the benefit of the manufacturers seal of warranty?

DIMBLEBY
Against the background of the Unite leader who has said that more than 6000 people may be losing their jobs shortly from an undisclosed car plant with many more potentially losing their jobs in the massive fall in car production year on year. Francis Maude?

FRANCIS MAUDE
Well the great thing about this is that it is unpredictable and while I hope that obviously all the car plants in this country thrive, they are all going through difficult times at the moment and hope they will succeed and the key to their success is going to be unleashing credit because it is people who aren’t able to buy cars who could afford it but can’t get the credit that is holding up things at the moment. There is more that can be done. But actually if you try to predict what is going to be around in 10 years, 20 years time we would all be wrong. There will be new car companies with new kinds of cars that none of us are able to predict at this stage and that is a healthy thing. There will be innovation, there will be cars that run on fuels that none of us have heard of at the moment and so I wouldn’t – go and buy your car and I am sure you will buy something that is ecologically very friendly and I hope that you can get the credit if you need it.

DIMBLEBY
Secretary of State does the Government know which UK car plant is allegedly threatened with the loss of 6000 jobs. Do you have any idea which car plant that Tony Woodley is referring to.

ANDY BURNHAM
Well to answer the question honestly Jonathan I don’t and I have to be honest and say I think it is irresponsible really to put an unfounded rumour of that kind into the public domain. It is quite clear to anybody with eyes and ears that the car industry is facing a very difficult time and the car industry is important to this region Ellesmere Port and Halewood. It is important to the North East people know the manufacturers there. It is important to the East Midlands and also the West Country. It is important to this country. It is not just the jobs in the car industry that is important the supply chain industry that feed our car industry are vital too so it is absolutely right that people should ask people like me and Ministers to do more for the car industry given its importance to the British economy and

DIMBLEBY
What more can you do that hasn’t been done for the car industry? I mean take our questioner here, Colin Coutts, that can help him at least buy a car if he needs that help for instance. What more

ANDY BURNHAM
I think Francis is absolutely right about getting credit flowing around the system and this is the problem that is at the heart of the economic difficulties that we are in. The lack of credit and normal banking practice and clearly for most people who buy a car they do have to take out some kind of, some kind of credit or loan so clearly that is absolutely fundamental. There are things that the government can do and there are discussions under way that Peter Mandelson has had with the industry but also it is true that it requires people to at some point say well actually I will take advantage of some of the good offers that are available and there are some good offers available.

DIMBLEBY
When you say, sorry to move on when you say it is irresponsible of the Trade union Leader to say this do you mean that he is, doesn’t know that there is such a plant or he does know and ought to say.

ANDY BURNHAM
Well I think it would send a you know shiver through anybody who works in the car industry or supplies the car industry and it kind of has an effect that you know without it being kind of sourced I think it is absolutely proper for industries, particularly manufacturers facing difficulties to talk to the government, approach the government about the position that they are in. I think just to have kind of unsourced claims floating round is not helping, I don’t think it is helpful in the current times. We all want to help the industry through these difficult times, the government is focused on providing real help now to the not just the car industry but other crucial industries but lets not make the job harder.

DIMBLEBY
Perhaps Tony Woodley would like to ring into Any Answers after the Saturday broadcast of this programme and tell us which he has in mind if he has a particular plant in mind as he says. The number if he or anyone else wants to ring on any of these issues that we are going to be discussing this evening the number is 03700 100 444 and the email address any.answers@bbc.co.uk. What is your thought about this Minette Marrin going back to the question?

MINETTE MARRIN
The trouble with what we are facing today is constant uncertainty. Whichever part of your life or your spending or your saving you are looking at and it would be just as difficult to decide if you had any savings what to do with them even if you didn’t want to buy a car. Before this sort of international financial collapse most people buying a car might not have thought what is in the interests of the British car industry? They would have thought what is in my best interests what is my best deal? There has been a shift of mood and I think people are beginning to think if I am going to buy a car, if I need a car if I can raise the money, perhaps I should buy British so to answer your question I know so little about cars and I have so little and in fact I have no ability to predict the future of the industry or of any industry in this country that I cannot possibly answer your question (APPLAUSE)

DIMBLEBY
Frank Cottrell Boyce.

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
You should probably buy a mini because that is the greenest car on the market and now we can’t make any more so it would have a collectable value as well I think that would be a good investment. (LAUGH)

DIMBLEBY
Has this all been very helpful to you?

COLIN COUTTS
Yes it has in fact my wife has just bought a mini and I had it delivered last night so

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
Well you are doing your bit and well don

DIMBLEBY
And we aren’t doing any advertising because you didn’t name what kind of mini it was and you don’t need to. We will go to our next question please.


LUCIE CHILD
With the number of repossessions on the increase why can’t the government increase support for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages any sooner than April?

DIMBLEBY
This is the home owners support scheme which was announced in December which was promised apparently by the Prime Minister to start early in the New Year and has yet to come into place. Secretary of State how do you explain this failure?

ANDY BURNHAM
Well the first thing I would say is that the government is indeed bringing forward a scheme to help people with their mortgages and I would say that is a significant difference between this period and the early 1990’s where quite honestly people weren't given such help. I think in this situation that we are in there is a balance of course between speed and speed is important I recognise that and getting things right so you know not announcing things that can’t be delivered in practice and this is a difficult balance for the government in this particular moment just to be absolutely honest with you. It is important to act quickly and take measures that will have an impact and will help people, really give them real help but at the same time that they are workable, that they are deliverable through the financial system and they actually do the job and they give people schemes that they want to use. Now the government has really made progress with the scheme. I checked today and you know I am sure it is ready will be ready to go in April the figures today are not encouraging they are difficult figures but equally we are not in the same position that we were in the 90’s.

DIMBLEBY
The 40,000 repossessions with people saying they are going to go up to 75,000 next year.

ANDY BURNHAM
Yes they are not good figures but help is coming and I think that is the hallmark of what the government is trying to do. we are trying to put in place, do the right thing, give people real help, give them breathing space and respite that is exactly what they need in the circumstances that we are in. And I would argue there is a very big difference between this period we are in and the period we went through in the early 1990’s. Yes it does take time to get it right but I think people wouldn’t thank us if we rushed it out and it was ill conceived and it wasn’t what it said on the tin and that is what we are trying to get right.

DIMBLEBY
Minette Marrin

MINETTE MARRIN
Ill-conceived and rushed are exactly the words that come to mind. If I were a person facing repossession at the moment I would be pretty hacked off with the government for announcing so quickly and so magnificently I think it was in November wasn’t it?

DIMBLEBY
December 2nd I think was the date

MINETTE MARRIN
December was it? That they were going to give people in this terrible position more or less instant help and now we are approaching Easter and there is still no sign of it. It is not in place. This was grandstanding seeking headlines, making a gesture and it was all the more wicked because people have been depending for weeks, and weeks and weeks wondering when it was going to happen and of course for many of them it will be too late and I think it was shameful.

(APPLAUSE)

DIMBLEBY
Frank Cottrell Boyce

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
I am just glad to hear that it is a scheme coming directly from the Government because whatever we think of them I trust them more than the market or the system or what you just call the financial system. I am one of those people who turns down the sound when the Money programme comes on, my ears bleed when I think about money and I discovered there are millions of us like that and we have trusted men in suits with the money thinking that they are cleverer than we are and thinking that they understand money and the system will somehow work and we have discovered that yes the market does regulate itself but it regulates itself through disaster. That is its preferred mechanism and that these people who we have trusted with our money turn out to be well just inept really. These are people who met a man called made off and gave him all their money. These are people who met a man called Sir Allen Stanford who was content to hear himself described as a larger than life Texan I mean who landed on the lawn with a big vat of fake money and they gave him the money. I wouldn’t have asked that man to wash my windows.

DIMBLEBY
You never know just without exploring it further that we may be coming to something which touches on Allen Stanford. Our panellists do not know what questions are coming up in this programme

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
But clever people in suits who came up with very complicated financial mechanisms and it turned out that you know in terms of understanding money I think partly because they had too much themselves and therefore never needed to learn to understand money they make the Carry On Team look like the Los Alamos project. You know as messed up as the Government seems to be I trust them more.

DIMBLEBY
Francis Maude

(APPLAUSE)

FRANCIS MAUDE
Well a lot of people did put their trust in a man in a suit called Gordon Brown and they believed that he understood the money and would look after their money well and the result is that we have got national debt increasing at a massive rate and the country in a terrible mess. I mean the fact is the point that Lucie raises about the homeowners support scheme being delayed this was announced by Gordon Brown in his speech on the Queens Speech Debate beginning of December as if it was something that was going to come into effect immediately and the truth is that they haven’t worked it out, they haven’t actually talked to the banks who are actually going to have to administer the scheme about how it was going to operate. It was launched exactly in a desire to get a headline, it was initiative-itus and I have some sympathy. It is a rare event for me to have sympathy with Peter Mandelson but I did when he spoke earlier this week in New York, prudent he went to New York to make the speech, he complained about a frenzy of initiatives being issued by Governments. He said it is not about initiatives of course it is not it is about delivery and the fact is that you should not raise people’s hopes by talking about these schemes unless you have really worked out how you are going to do it and how you are going to make it happen.

DIMBLEBY
Well how would the Tories have done it and made it happen? What would you have done in order to ease the plight of those that are threatened by repossession on the scale that they are now facing?

FRANCIS MAUDE
Well we have talked for example today; we have issued a pack for people who are facing repossession. How you deal with it.

DIMBLEBY
You waited until the day the story gets big enough for it to be politically exploited?

FRANCIS MAUDE
No that is a very uncharacteristically unfair comment from you if

DIMBLEBY
It was a question

(LAUGH)

FRANCIS MAUDE
If I may say so and this is all of a piece actually with the whole headless chicken syndrome that we see. The rushing around announcing initiatives, the previous question about the car industry support for the car industry, we have been arguing for some time now for a national loan guarantee scheme which would enable particularly those finance companies associated with the car industry to get credit moving so that people who do want to buy cars and can afford it can go ahead and do it. That hasn’t happened. What Peter Mandelson announced recently was a very timid scheme, too little, too late so we need more actual action to help people who are faced with all of these really terrible effects of a serious recession, less headline grabbing, less initiative-itis more real delivery.

DIMBLEBY
Just before you say what you want to say in response to what you have heard Secretary of State why did the Prime Minister say in December that the lenders were signed up to this when since then there has been this prolonged negotiation which has meant that early in the new year is now April

ANDY BURNHAM
The lenders are signed up to it and that is why it is coming into place and one of the points I was going to make in response

DIMBLEBY
But they weren’t signed up to it at the time were they? He said they were signed up and clearly there has been this long negotiation

ANDY BURNHAM
Well they are, they are signed up and the point I was going to make in response to Minette is in Government terms this is pushing the system very hard in terms of delivering a national scheme within that time frame. I mean for those of us who work inside Government this is really working the system hard and putting in place a scheme that in quite a short time frame. And the criticism actually would have been the opposite if we were doing this in secret and not announcing anything. It is right to say that the government’s intention, the policy intention is clear and then to work out the detail before the scheme is launched and just to if I may a comment on what Francis said. I mean repossessions were at a much significant higher level in the early 1990’s people were given you know sod all help to be honest in this region and people suffered real hardship for many many years afterwards because they were left with nothing and they were left without their homes and we are not going to have that situation where people are just simply cut adrift and given no help whatsoever. I don’t mind actually if it takes a little longer to get it right.

MINETTE MARRIN
But that

ANDY BURNHAM
It is a government that is putting real help in and that has got to be the right thing to do in the circumstances that we are in and what we never hear from the Tories is exactly what they would do because the truth is they would do absolutely nothing.
(APPLAUSE)

FRANCIS MAUDE
That is a very tired old line. Andy you haven’t been keeping up to date with your Labour briefing lines because that line the Tory do nothing line has just been dropped some time ago because it is manifestly not the case. The fact is that we put forward a series of things the National Loan Guarantee Scheme was one, the Subsidy for new jobs scheme which was rubbished by your Party when we proposed it back in the Autumn and now you have come forward with a timid pale reflection of it. We have been proposing a whole range of things to palliate to limit the effect of the damage of the recession and sadly you

DIMBLEBY
But sorry can I, I touched on it before you said you have got this pack what if you are in threat of repossession what you need is money don’t you? So would the conservatives give money and quickly if you were in power to those people who are facing repossession in some similar way or other way to that being proposed by the Government?

FRANCIS MAUDE
Well we are looking at a whole range of ways that help might be given but the one thing we are not going to do is announce a scheme with great sort of, we are not going to announce a great scheme with a lot of fanfare and as Minette says raise people’s hopes that there is something actually being done to help them and then say well actually it is not going to be introduced for 4 or 5 months afterwards.

ANDY BURNHAM
It sounds like you have no scheme at all and it is very easy to sit there and criticize us we have a scheme it is launching soon and I think people would prefer that than waffle which is what you have just given.

DIMBLEBY
We will allow the audience to judge and go to our next question.

ROBERT LOBELL
Do the panel think that a £2500 pay out to Abu Qatada will represent good value if he actually is deported to Jordan?

DIMBLEBY
That £2500 is the money allocated to him as a result of the finding under the Human Rights Act by the Judges. Minette Marrin?

MINETTE MARRIN
Somebody wrote in the paper today, I can’t claim this comment, but I really love it it will get him a first class ticket and that will be well worth it. He shouldn’t be getting any money at all of course. It seems all wrong and this whole case seems to have been all wrong but at least if we can get the man out of the country for that sum of money. However I must say though I would love to see the back of him and I wish he weren’t here I do not agree with the Law Lords finding I think they are wrong to agree that he should be sent back to a place where he is at risk of being tried in a way that would be considered unfair in this country. It is a horrible position to be in to want to support the rights of somebody like him but rights are indivisible I think and what strikes me as quite extraordinary is that on the one hand he gets the money which, he gets a little money which is right, but on the other hand he gets sent back which is wrong. It all seems topsy turvy to me.

DIMBLEBY
Do you also believe, if you believe that that the European Court finding that the detention breached their rights because they were under 3 parts of the European Rights Convention, that that finding was correct whether you like the fact that the money is going to them that they were wrongly detained.

MINETTE MARRIN
What was quite interesting about the finding was that it said it gave small amounts of money because it was mindful or some other legal word of the fact that the British Government had been trying to balance this very difficult thing between public safety and respect for these people’s rights not to be deported where they would be wrongly treated or to be, the Court most unusually recognised that the British Government was trying to do a very difficult balancing act and that is why they made these low awards so that is good news I suppose.

DIMBLEBY
How do you see it Frank Cottrell Boyce?

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
I kind of think obviously I am not thrilled that he is getting that money but it is a derisory amount of money, it is a very tiny amount of money. I think we have got this terrible mix because underneath you know all across Europe we have got these lovely enlightenment values of fair play and justice and Habeus Corpus and we have kind of recently laid on top of that, this chaotic model of a whole set of laws that have been produced in a panicky way, about a perceived threat and you know civil liberties have been kind of suspended for certain types of people which they can’t really be and you end up in this kind of Alice in Wonderland situation where you are deporting someone and giving them money and it is kind of completely crazy. If we just stuck to our own values if we hadn’t tried the gang secret, if we hadn’t lumped his court case with three anonymous other Algerians if we knew the hell what was going on instead of all it all being kept secret then we wouldn’t be in this crazy Alice in Wonderland situation.

(APPLAUSE)

DIMBLEBY
Do you accept Secretary of State that the European Court of Human Rights was proper in finding that the government was at fault or that their detention had been unlawful or had breached their human rights and therefore some compensation was appropriate.

ANDY BURNHAM
I am not a lawyer Jonathan but I am prepared to believe that technically they could make a strong case for what they have done. I think it was Christian Blunt I think on the radio yesterday, who I kind of agree with, saying that even if they technically found in his favour they could have given him a completely nominal amount and obviously £2500 is not a lot but it is a lot of money to people who are the people we have been talking about since the programme began and I think it will stick in their throats to be quite honest. I understand what Frank is saying. I do understand it. But I was in, a Minister in the Home Office the day of the London bombs and I can just tell I can say to Frank and to others who criticize some of the actions the Government has taken that making sense of the legal system we had coupled with the new threat that the country was facing was a very very difficult challenge indeed and what all the measures tried to do, that the Government has introduced, is there has been some ludicrously lengthy proceedings that people could take to thwart extradition or to thwart legal proceedings and it is not about trampling over peoples rights as this is often caricatured. When I was the Extradition Minister I was often accused that we had put in place a system that was trampling over peoples rights. It was not about that. But the system had to work better to deliver workable proposals that would work in the interests of national security so I found the award actually you know deeply regrettable and it stuck in my throat too. I think this individual needs to be out of the country as soon as possible, the new provisions that the Government, the provisions about deportation with assurances were tested by the Law Lords this week and they unanimously found in the Governments favour which was the good news this week and obviously he was immediately served with a deportation order. It is still frustrating for me anyway that he is still in this country but tat the same time for those of us who accused the government of not following due process we do follow due process and will now take the case further.

DIMBLEBY
Francis Maude


FRANCIS MAUDE
Well I think it is deplorable that he has been given this money. It maybe a small amount, a relatively small amount of money but it will seem to most of us quite a large amount of money. And he shouldn’t be getting it. It is good that the Law Lords have at long last permitted him to be deported, it is a pity that it has taken so long to get to that stage because he has been in this country and he is one of a number of people who promulgate hatred. I, a couple of weeks ago visited Auschwitz, Berkenhof in Poland and you see there, with the Holocaust Education Trust and you see there the hideous place that hatred and prejudice, if it is unchecked, can take us to. And we mustn’t allow that. Freedom of speech is very important but the promulgation and the stirring up incitement of hatred and the incitement of violence which is what he and his kind have been doing should not be allowed to take place in this country and we should have more ability and frankly the government should have acted more speedily to rid the country of people of his kind who are the preachers of hatred.

DIMBLEBY
How could they have acted more speedily if they required what has remained controversial an undertaking of what Minette Marrin was talking about, an undertaking from the Jordanian government that he would be treated properly according to the standards of for instance the European Court of Human Rights.

FRANCIS MAUDE
Well my understanding is that they have had that. They have had that

DIMBLEBY
So what would you do now? You would put him on a plane now?

FRANCIS MAUDE
Yes absolutely. Which is what I understand the government is planning to do.

ANDY BURNHAM
Let me just ask about this because I think if I can say this your leader and some of your party are facing two ways on this. One is pointing to the civil liberties agenda and saying it is all so important and then another you are saying they should go on the first plane. You cannot I am afraid reconcile those two positions because under the European Convention there are rights that have to be followed. There is a due process. It is frustratingly slow. It is frustratingly slow

DIMBLEBY
Minette


MINETTE MARRIN
There are two questions that have always arisen for me and I don’t know the answer but perhaps as a member of the government you do. Given that this man is known to have done terrible things that are against the law in this country why wasn’t it possible to put him in jail legally and keep him there? Why wasn’t it possible to give him the alternative which other people took of leaving the country? Why did we have to go, why was he re- arrested when he tried to leave the country he was actually re arrested. He was re arrested for breaking his parole by trying to leave the country. Why wasn’t he allowed to leave the country?

ANDY BURNHAM
There are questions in terms of the admissibility of the evidence that is held on him. I mean he came into the country in 1993 on a fake passport some considerable time ago. The point I was just making is you cannot come on a radio and say he should be on the first plane and then say but we do everything to respect civil liberties if you, you do one or the other and one requires to derogate from the European convention if you want to take that course it is not possible to trample over those procedures. Yes they are frustrating but they are there for a purpose but the government is clear it makes its case to remove individuals like this at the earliest possibility.

FRANCIS MAUDE
But he wasn’t, it hasn’t happened at the earliest possible opportunity. You talk about derogating from the European convention well the government has sought to do that in some cases. Some very limited cases but the fact is that there is massive evidence here that this is a man who was preaching hatred, who was breaking the laws of this land and we shouldn’t allow that to continue to be the case. Of course there is no conflict at all between insisting that the laws which prevent the promulgation of hatred should be enforced and a robust defence of civil liberties and proper process but this has been going on for far too long and should have been brought to an end way before this.

DIMBLEBY
Robert Frederick Lobell you asked the question what is your own feeling about it?

ROBERT LOBELL
Well obviously we have been through the due process now and Jordan have given certain undertakings of he won’t be tortured and things like that so I don’t see why he shouldn’t go and I would ask Andy Burnham if his ministerial colleague Jacqui Smith could perhaps contribute the £2500 (LAUGH) to make some recompense.

(APPLAUSE)

DIMBLEBY
Our next please.

ANDREW GREEN
Does the panel think that it is the duty of the England and Wales cricket board to conduct due diligence on the financial affairs of Sir Allen Stanford?

DIMBLEBY
Frank Cottrell Boyce

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
Due diligence, you know the guy landed on the cricket pitch with a big vat of fake money, you wouldn’t even need due diligence just a little bit of common sense really. I kind of think we have done this kind of weird thing where we have become over the last 20 years besotted with people in business and we have used, we have kind of worshipped them as though they know more than the rest of us and we have put them in charge of all kinds of other things and said you know people with managerial and business skills should be running schools, should be running hospitals as though these skills are transferable and actually I think the last few weeks have really shown that these people are as deluded and romantic and bizarre as the most kind of addicted absinth toting poet of the Paris Left Bank in the 19th century. These people are completely out of control You know (APPLAUSE) It is as though if someone turns up wearing a suit we kind of believe them and I think it would be great if we just stop that you know we should know that from other things if you try to run a football club like that, if you try to run a football club on a managerial model you end up with Chelsea (LAUGH) but if you try to run a football club, if you put someone in charge of a football club who loves football and will learn about management because they love football you will end up with Manchester United

ANDY BURNHAM
Everton

DIMBLEBY
There was no other option in that was there than to say Manchester United. Secretary of State

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
It is true you get that stability and expertise and love and passion and you end up with 17 years of supremacy you know.

DIMBLEBY
Secretary of State. Should the England and Wales cricket board conducted due diligence on Allen Stanford? Everybody is putting Sir in inverted commas because there is some question about the character of the knighthood.


ANDY BURNHAM
I said at the time when the tournament took place that I felt it was a hollow exercise and I don’t think there is a single; I don’t think anyway that the national team should ever be associated with an enterprise like that. Cricket fans, and I am one, I have followed Lancashire County Cricket Club for many years and I just felt it was a position that the game should never have been in. You know the game has meaning when the integrity of competition comes first, when national pride comes first and people want to follow cricket when national pride is at stake not millions of pounds or dollars. So I am afraid I have to say I take a hard line on this I agree with lots of what Frank said that your sport brought in money over the last 15 or 20 years and it has helped in many ways it has gone into the grass roots and we have stronger sporting grass roots than we have had for many years and that is a good thing but I do feel that the time has definitely come for sport to reassess its relationship with money and that applies to cricket. It applies to football too and I have said as much about football. (APPLAUSE)

DIMBLEBY
When you didn’t like the look of the Stanford support did you call in the Chairman and the Chief Executive of the English Cricket Board and say I don’t like this. Did you say to them are you sure you know what you are doing?

ANDY BURNHAM
I was asked for my view on the tournament at a conference and I gave my view and I said that the exercise had been hollow and I then discussed the issue with cricket, with people in cricket but I stick to that view now.

DIMBLEBY
What did they say it is alright for you Minister we need the money

ANDY BURNHAM
Now Jonathan it is a really important point here. Sport in this country is not run by the government. It is independent and it is autonomous and for as long as I am doing this job and the Secretary of State with the responsibility for Sport that will remain the case. Football supporters want me to run football any more than they want me to run cricket however at times I feel it is my job to voice the public interest as it applies to sport. I did so there I think with cricket because I felt that cricket should never have been in that position is my own personal view. But I have said the same about football. The integrity and health of the competition must always come first to the commercial side. I think at times those things have got out of balance in the last 10 years and I have said it clearly. I will say again tonight the time has come for sport to reassess its relationship with money. Money should support the sport it should never overtake it.

(APPLAUSE)


DIMBLEBY
On the particular issue do you think that either the Chairman or the Chief Executive who got as it were into bed with Stanford should consider their positions as they say?

ANDY BURNHAM
I have got lots of respect for both and actually I think they had and have good intentions for the development of cricket they have brought forward a chance to shine which is a really good initiative about getting cricket back into state schools. I played cricket all my life in school. I am passionate about cricket in state schools and they have done great work to get money into schools and this Stanford initiative was bringing money into grass roots cricket so I don’t doubt their motives at all but I did say that I felt that this was something they should not have done.

DIMBLEBY
Minette Marrin

MINETTE MARRIN
This phrase due diligence is one we hear all the time now and was only used in specialist circles before but when you think about there is a big difference between doing due diligence when you are looking after somebody else’s money when I am advising some person to invest money with Mr Madoff and I haven’t done my due diligence about him. That is one kind of due diligence when you accept money to use but when you are just receiving money which I understand this to be you are not required to be so diligent I should have thought it comes under the heading of looking a gift horse in the mouth. It is not your fault if a whole lot of crooks and shysters are throwing their money at your Polo Club or your swimming team

DIMBLEBY
Or in this case alleged crooks, alleged whatever the other term was you used

MINETTE MARRIN
I was speaking of a purely hypothetical

DIMBLEBY
In general hypothetical

MINETTE MARRIN
If it were the case that all sorts of strange rich people whose income was possibly questionable in some cases threw their money at all sorts of sports then I don’t think the sports organisations would be really to blame in any serious sense and certainly not in the sense that due diligence normally means.

DIMBLEBY
Thank you. And Francis Maude


FRANCIS MAUDE
Cricket of course isn’t a sport; it is an art form and a very very important one. And I slightly take issue with Andy. Andy said the Stanford thing has been a hollow, the big event the 20/20 has been hollow I think it has been a bit worse than that actually. I think the whole episode has damaged particularly English cricket a great deal and it is absolutely right that sport needs money and you know you do want to, you do have to bring money into the sport so I think Frank’s idealistic view that somehow you should shun the money I don’t think quite will work but actually what sports at grass roots level depends on much more than money is enthusiasm and volunteers people who will actually give time, enthusiastically to it. I think what happened with Allen Stanford and the ECB has damaged English Cricket I think its reputation across the world will take some time to recover. I deeply hope that it does because as I say cricket is much more important than Allen Stanford. I think the thing that should have sounded the warning bells with the ECB is this was a man who had no interest in cricket. He didn’t know anything about it; he wasn’t a lover of it. some of these big rich people have come in and bought football clubs very few of them have no interest in football, they are most of them have some kind of enthusiasm for it but Allen Stanford was very scathing about test cricket and you know if you are not into test cricket you can see that something goes on for five days and often ends up without a result can seem boring but if you are into it and you love it

DIMBLEBY
You are waiting for that last wicket to fall

FRANCIS MAUDE
And you are frustrated by the light as happened yesterday so I think that should have rung the warning bells that this was someone who was not in it for the cricket.

DIMBLEBY
Andrew Green you put the question

ANDREW GREEN
I think there is an awful lot of hindsight going on here. There is not a suggestion that Sir Allen Stanford didn’t pay over his $1million per person to the people who won the challenge last year, there was no suggestion that he wasn’t going to pay the money for the remainder of the contract. I think that a lot of people think of cricket as warm beer and sunny evenings, that is what leads to falling attendances, the England and Wales cricket board have to suffer the onslaught of the IPL and have to do something about it. They have to bring it into the 21st century, I think they may have been guilty of a bit of poor judgement but I applaud them for trying because the cricket that I have been hearing about today is not the cricket of the future it is the cricket of the past.

DIMBLEBY
Thank you very much. If you have got thoughts about that or any of the other issues we are discussing the number for the Any Answers programme after the Saturday broadcast of this is 03700 100 444 and the email address is any.answers@bbc.co.uk.
Our next question please.

MARK BREEZE
Will the panel be backing Harriet Harman or Yvette Cooper as a replacement for Gordon Brown or does the panel need to get a grip?

DIMBLEBY
The panel or the Cabinet?

MARK BREEZE
Sorry the Cabinet.

DIMBLEBY
Oh right. I am sure the panel feels it has got a grip

Does the Cabinet need to get a grip Secretary of State to use the words of Hazel Blears.

ANDY BURNHAM
Well I have been enjoying a good week in the North West with my kids and not in the Westminster Hall and to be honest I have read some of the stuff today and it is utterly irrelevant. I have had no conversations with colleagues and as far as I can tell there is no fevered kind of discussions going on

DIMBLEBY
But then forgive me why does the Secretary of State for Communities say my message to my colleagues is simple get a grip our first loyalty is to the British people. If they think they are more interested in our own jobs than theirs they will not forgive us

ANDY BURNHAM
I think that is absolutely true isn’t it.

DIMBLEBY
So get a grip

ANDY BURNHAM
At this moment in time I don’t think anybody wants to see somebody in my position or in any anonymous way or any other way talking to any newspaper about anything other than

DIMBLEBY
Because you have been out of it unfortunately having been half term all this political positioning just helps the Tories. So is she right in saying it is going on. Or you say, is it going on and has to stop?


ANDY BURNHAM
I think, I have to be honest I think that clearly Hazel was responding to some comments that she had read and she is right to say that there is only one priority and that is dealing with the issues that the country faces but I have to say again I don’t recognise this kind of sense of fevered debate that is going on at all actually amongst Cabinet colleagues we are focused. We have policy discussions; we are dealing with issues that Minette was raising before about getting in the practical schemes that people care about. I think there is a desire among some parts of the press to give the impression that we all like nothing more than talking about ourselves and our own jobs and our own prospects but quite honestly that is not the case. It certainly doesn’t apply to me and it does not apply to my ministerial colleagues.

DIMBLEBY
Minette Marrin

MINETTE MARRIN
Well in these very gloomy times it is nice sometimes to be able to have a laugh and I do think that it is very funny watching them reportedly fighting each other like ferrets in a sack. Now for all I know they are behaving perfectly impeccably and all this is made up by newspapers. I suspect Francis will know better than I do about the in fighting at Westminster. But I cannot personally decide which of the possible alleged contestants for the new job would be worse. I really think they are simply terrible all of them. (LAUGH)

DIMBLEBY
His name came up what if it is Andrew Burnham

MINETTE MARRIN
Oh well it is all alleged isn’t it.

DIMBLEBY
Do you think he is simply terrible?

MINETTE MARRIN
Well he has denied any knowledge of any such finagling whatsoever going on in Cabinet he says he is merely concentrating on the future of the country he is obviously not a contestant.

(LAUGH)

DIMBLEBY
Frank Cottrell Boyce


FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
Well I think it is very interesting that Andy says he has had no interest and he has been in Warrington for the whole time because that is what always happens just after a power struggle. Mark Anthony wasn’t in Rome (LAUGH) I wasn’t in Rome when it happened I have just, I wasn’t here oh tell me what happened, oh my goodness dead you know. (LAUGH) The same with the papers, there is always somebody who was not around I was not here, John Major was having his teeth fixed (LAUGH) maybe you are the next man for the job and you don’t want it which is a good qualification because anyone who wants it really needs to be locked away. (LAUGH) You obviously don’t want it so that is the first qualification you have got that.

DIMBLEBY
You do want it. You are not going to say you don’t want it at any stage are you Andy

ANDY BURNHAM
Don’t want what? (LAUGH)

DIMBLEBY
I know you are not allowed to use the word it begins with L. Leadership

ANDY BURNHAM
For somebody in my position I think I should be concentrating on cricket and other things

DIMBLEBY
Absolutely

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
He is blushing.

DIMBLEBY
Francis Maude

FRANCIS MAUDE
Well I think Andy has been very prudent to have established his alibi for the week and he also has to let you know that when someone answers the question that you have just asked Jonathan in the way that Andy has you know that he does want it and he is …The serious point is that this, there is a helluva lot of really bad stuff going on in the economy and the country is crying out for leadership and they want the politicians to be concentrating on the problems that the public have not on the possible future vacancy for the Leader of the Labour Party. So the country is crying out for leadership and call me old fashioned I would love to see a change of Prime Minister but I think the old fashioned conventional way of achieving that is to have a General Election and give the public a choice

(APPLAUSE)

ANDY BURNHAM
But Frances that is exactly what is happening. Just very briefly we have a Prime Minister that is meeting with fellow European leaders at the moment he is showing precisely the kind of leadership that is needed right now because the only way that we will come out of this together is by countries working together taking similar measures together around giving a boost to the economy and helping people through difficult times and that is the leadership that Gordon Brown is showing and that is the real story. It is just interesting

FRANCIS MAUDE
Well none of his colleagues with the possible exception of yourself are taking any notice of him because actually what they are doing is as Minette says fighting like ferrets in the sack for a vacancy that has yet to be disclosed.

DIMBLEBY
OK we must move rapidly on we can just squeeze in one more





EMILE RICHMAN
Should school children be learning more about Mozart than mathematics at school?

DIMBLEBY
This is the massive Cambridge University Report that suggests that they are being taught too narrowly in Primary School on the, as it were the three R’s and therefore their lives and education are being diminished accordingly. Frank Cottrell Boyce

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
I feel passionately about this. I don’t think it is a choice between maths and Mozart because maths can be fun as well. I think, I feel sorry for the government because I visit schools a lot as a children’s writer I can see a lot of resources and a lot of work has gone in but I think there has been a massive category error which is that fun has been left out of the agenda and that may sound like a trivial thing to say but I think fun and pleasure particularly around reading. Kids do literacy now they don’t read books. The UNESCO Report says that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of social mobility success at work and we have kind of driven that through a kind of grandian emphasis on SATS and testability and teaching to tests we have lost it and it is not about how many subjects we can squeeze into the curriculum. All parties are equally guilty of this it was the Tories who brought the national curriculum in, it was a disaster they gave our children’s education to Chris Woodhead. I mean a man whose name has hopefully become a kind of rude word, done for our children’s education what Stanford did for cricket.

MINETTE MARRIN
I don’t think it is as simple as that I think that most people here would agree that children do need a much much wider more creative education than they are getting it is horrible what is happening to them but the reason for the micro management that happened under the conservatives and then under Labour was a recognition although it was very badly dealt with that children weren’t getting basically literate and numerate. It was an attempt to deal with the failure at the bottom level of the teaching system and it is still failing so really while he is absolutely correct in his wonderful ambitions for children the first thing has to be to revolutionise the system so children can actually read because you can decode you cannot be creative you cannot study.

DIMBLEBY
I am very sorry we literally out of time so you have got to answer I am afraid Francis Maude Mozart or maths or both.

FRANCIS MAUDE
Both but you have got to be able to read and write and do the maths first

DIMBLEBY
And Andy Burnham I am very sorry but we are literally at the end


ANDY BURNHAM
Ditto how could a Culture Secretary not say Mozart as well though because that is important too.

DIMBLEBY
Thank you very much. I would love to discuss that longer but we are out of time from here in Studio 7 in Manchester Goodbye.



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