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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  November 26, 2009 2:00am-6:00am EST

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will redouble our efforts to integrate the policy ramifications noted here, to reduce the public health burden of disease and reduce health disparities and improve health equity worldwide and also promote prevention and early instead of focusing on treatment which is often delivered late. so, we are thrilled to celebrate the release of these key findings today. they are a cornerstone for a new foundation that we are building together with local partners and as i end let me say we are very very hopeful that this new data, this new science and the new partnerships we are building, the viewability for all of us to speak in the same language can help us fully engaged all partners of around this country, around the world, to promote prevention, to promote public
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health and to advance science in our increasingly interdependent and interconnected world. thank you very much and i would be delighted to take a question or two before have to leave. [applause]
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stands outside of the consensus and the scottish government can continue to boycott this entire support. >> order, questions to the prime minister. dr. roberta blackman woods. >> mr. speaker, before listing my engagements this week, i'm sure the whole house will wish to join me in paying tribute to sergeant robert lachman dixon from the fourth regiment royal military police who has died in afghanistan. the debt of gratitude we owe to him is permanent and we send our sincere condolences to his family and friends. he and the sacrifice he has made will not be forgotten. all of us, i believe, mr. speaker, will also want to pay tribute to police constable bill barker who served the
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community he was so committed to the and the individuals who lost their lives during the recent floods and our thoughts are with all families and friends and with all those affected by the serious flooding who will have our support now and into the future. let us as a house also pay tribute to the emergency services, the armed forces and all those organizations who have been doing an outstanding job working around-the-clock to help those areas of our country affected by the floods. >> so roberta blackman woods. >> can i begin which associating myself the prime minister made about the death of sergeant lachman dixon. in the last week we have witnessed appalling flooding and near-misses in many other places including in my own constituency. we know that the emergency services are providing excellent support at present but could the
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prime minister reassure that help will be available so long as it's needed to get people back on their feet and help prevent flooding in the future? >> yeah, i'm grateful to my honorable friend who's taken an interest over these matters over a number of years. these floods were the worst that we have seen. and let me say this was a terrible time as i found out and many people from this house have found out when they visited this area, and i want to pay tribute to the local m.p. who has done so much to comfort and help people. it might be helpful if i update the house and what is happening and assure that our support will continue right throughout the troubles that the area faces. 39 bridges are now still closed. we're examining a temporary bridge and a temporary station. this morning a team of military engineers are assessing a temporary pedestrian bridge across the river. the department will fund bridge and road repairs. there are, i believe, 40 in rest centers consultations with the
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insurance industry are taking place to ensure that people can return to their homes or have as a result of action by the council alternative accommodation. the flood and water management bill which deal with some of these issues will come before the house before christmas and let me praise all the emergency services who have done so much to help people in their time of need. >> mr. david cam machine. -- cameron. >> thank you, mr. prime minister. can i pay tribute to sergeant lachman dixon. i want to pay tribute to p.c. bill barker protecting the lives of others from those dreadful floods. he was as the prime minister said part of an extraordinary effort by emergency services and voluntary groups who worked day and night to keep people safe. as the prime minister and i both have seen the community spirit shown by residents in dealing with these floods is a real inspiration.
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as was said one of the biggest issues is the state of the bridges. communities have been cut in half, trips to school that used to take five minut áa' i believe from the information i've had this could be done fairly quickly that we await the
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military engineers who working with the local authorities as we speak this morning. i hope we'll be able to get further information on the secretary of environment will get further information this afternoon. let me say absolutely that the costs of these repairs will be met by the department of transport. >> david cameron. >> thank you. we're very glad about the offer and the assurance about the funding. with christmas coming it will be incredibly hard on those families who can't get back in their homes. whether it's contacting the insurance companies so they pay out quickly, commuting fund or contacting public and private landlords so empty homes are made available that everything can be done will be done to help those families in the run-up to christmas? >> the minister of our communities met the insurance -- the association of british insurers yesterday. she received from them a full assurance that they would act quickly on all claims that were
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being made to them particularly those claims that required the provision of emergency accommodation during a period of time when people are out of their homes. now, obviously we hope that people will get back to their homes as quickly as possible. what we know is that the insurance industry will act for those people who have claims that allow the payment of money for temporary accommodation. in these circumstances in which the local authority has to act and provide accommodation for people, it will do so. he will recall from being there yesterday that a large number of the people affected were very elderly people and live in elderly accommodation. we're determined to make sure that is up and running and able to meet their needs as soon as possible. it is true houses are flooding for people to get back. i think we're doing everything in our power to get people back into their homes as quickly as possible. and i also talked to the leader of the council, jim mccannan, and he has satisfied himself that we are doing what we can. >> mr. david cameron. >> thank you. i'm very grateful for those
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answers and the people in the area will be too. i turn to a completely different subject one that i raised two years ago. i asked the prime minister about the extremist group and why despite an explicit promise by tony blair that it would be banned and it still hasn't been banned. the constitution states that non-muslims are, and i, quote, competence in the battlefield their blood is mobile as property. can the prime minister at least assure me that this extremist group hasn't received any public money? >> well, i'm not aware of them receiving any public money. it is evidence to that. perhaps he will give it to me. >> mr. david cameron. >> right not give it to him now. but my right honorable friend -- what is extraordinary is that my right honorable friend the shadow school secretary wrote to his honorable friend the school's minister a week ago about this issue.
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let me draw the prime minister's attention to the fact that two schools have been established by an extremist islamist foundation, the isf, that is a front organization for them. they have secured a total of 113,000 pounds of government money. some of which was from the pathfinder scheme whose objective is meant to be preventing violent extremism. can the prime minister explain how this completely unacceptable situation came about? but i'm told -- i'm told that the two schools that he referred to have been inspected. i will look at what the results of these inspections are. and i will write to him. i think in circumstances where we're dealing with grants he said of 130,000 pounds of public money and dealing with two schools i don't know the name of i shall look at very, very carefully. >> david cameron. >> there can't be any doubt that this organization is a front organization. two of its four trustees are
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members of the group and the head teacher and the proprietor are the head of the school. i don't know why the prime minister doesn't know about this given that we were asking -- given that we -- >> government backbenches are becoming far too excitable today. let the opposition be heard. >> given that the opposition has been asking questions in parliament for almost about a month about this issue and the shadow school secretary wrote to his a week ago, how can this government have an antiextremist fund to local authority handing out money to extremists. this is a school set up by extremists, passed by and approved by the charity commission but in receipt of public money. doesn't this prove that we need a much bigger inquiry into how things like this can happen?
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>> mr. speaker, let me say everything that he has said will be investigated in great detail. let me say that the letter written a few days ago will be replied to. let me -- let me also say the vast majority -- let us be clear about this. the vast majority of muslims in this country are part of the law-abiding majority of this country. and i do not want it to be said that those people who are citizens of our country who hold the muslim faith are to be held responsible for acts of terrorism. where there is -- where there is abuse it will be investigated. we have investigated at the group and looked at it. it is not a prescribed organization. if he should have new evidence, we shall look at this again. as far as the school, it will be -- the two schools, they will be properly inspected and every argument that he makes will be looked at closely.
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but he would not expect me without looking at the evidence to draw early conclusions. >> the prime minister talks about investigating the group. this is an organization that said, and i quote, jews should be killed wherever you find them. that's what this organization says. let me ask him about another organization because there is a sense that this government just hasn't acting grip on the issues of islamic extremism. take the group islam for u.k., the leader of the group claims that the 9/11 bombers were magnificent people carrying out their islamic responsibility. they have apparently called blood on the streets of london. and why hadn't this group been banned as well. we got a government that wants to prevent extremism yet its money is funding extremists. we have a government that we shouldn't have extremist-led schools and yet we have those schools.
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and above all, when is the prime minister going to tell us he's going to get a grip on this school? >> to prescribe an organization, we need full evidence and that evidence needs to be looked at in front detail in the cold light of day. and i think he may regret some of the remarks he has made this morning. as far as our activities against terrorism in this country, we have doubled the security staff that is available to deal with terrorism. we have doubled the number of police who are dealing with potential terrorists incidents. we have put 100 people into prison as a result of terrorist acts since 2001. we are monitoring very closely people who enter in this country including the identity card that foreign people coming to this country have to hold. we are using the dna database to check up on people much against the advice of the other party.
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mr. speaker, we are doing everything in our power to deal with the terrorist threat in this country. and i thought it was a matter of all party consensus that proscription, proscription should be on the basis of evidence that was clearly proven about advocating violence. that is the position that both parties accepted. that is the position that we will continue to follow. >> does my right honorable friend agree with the comments of the constablery today that we ought to reassert the traditional british model approachable, impartial accountable policing in the g20? >> i think it's important that policing is the best and whether mistakes are made and question marks and we have procedures to do so. and i know events at the g20 caused a great deal of anger for people when we had the casualty.
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it is very important that we take the issue that policing will always be fair. >> mr. speaker, i would obviously like to add my own expressions of sympathy and condolence to the family and friends of sergeant robert lachman dixon of the royal military police who tragically died in afghanistan this week and i would like to add my own tribute to p.c. bill barker who lost his life in the line of duty dealing with those terrible floods. and our hearts go out to his wife and four children. it is at times like this that we all remember that it's the brave men and women of our emergency services who keep us safe when it really counts. and we thank them for it. mr. speaker, it is vital that the quarry which started its work this week is able to reveal the full truth about the decisions leading up to the invasion of iraq.
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would the prime minister confirm -- when the colleagues come to publish the final report they'll be able to publish all information available to them with the sole exception of information essential to national security? >> i have set out a remit and brought it to the house of commons. sir john tealcot has been given the freedom to conduct the inquiry as he wants. he will choose how to bring his final report to the public. it is a matter for the inquiry. >> mr. nick clegg. >> it's not a matter for the inquiry because his government -- his government has just issued this protocol. i have it here. two members of the inquiry governing the publication of material in the final report. and this protocol, if he reads it, includes nine separate reasons why information could be suppressed, most of which has nothing to do with national security, and outrageously and outrageously gives departments
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individual rights of veto over the information in the final report. why did the prime minister not tell us about this before? and how on earth are we and the whole country going to hear about the full truth of the decisions leading up to the invasion of iraq if the inquiry is being suffocated on day one by his government's shameful culture of secrecy? >> that is not what sir john -- that is not what sir john has said. the issues -- the issues -- the issues affecting the inquiry that would cause people to be careful are national security and international relations. as i understand it, these are the issues that are referred to there. and i believe that sir john and his team are happy with the way that they're being asked to conduct the inquiry. >> mrs. madeline moon. >> thank you, mr. speaker. britain's top bankers rewarded their own financial greed and incompetence with large bonus
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while imposing huge banking charges on those who because of need not greed often went into the red. i'm sure many members were dismayed at today's supreme court judgment. what will this government be doing to ensure fairness for ordinary people, ordinary customers within the banking system? >> she's absolutely right to raise the anxieties that people have had about the system of bank charges in our country. and while the court judgment has not upheld the case of the office of fair trading it is right how to examine all cases who are banking customers in this country. as far as the bank that we are responsible for at this moment, we have asked them to -- and they have reviewed their overdraft charges over the last few weeks so that they can be fairer to the customers who are part of their banks. as far as the financial services bill, however, which is now
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before the house, there is a fund to be set up with banks to deal with customers of overcharging. there is a possibility of class actions being held in court something that could not happen before so that a group of customers can take banks to court and there is power now given to the financial services authority for the first time so that it can impose settlements where banks have to repay where they've overpaid customers so the legislation that will come before the house will strengthen as we have sought to do over the last two years, strengthened the rights of customers so that they get a fairer deal from the banking system as they should from this country. >> when did the prime minister first realize that he was infallible? >> mr. speaker, i deal with the issues as they arise and i deal with them as best i can. and i believe that over the recession we have dealt with the issues and we have dealt with them in a way that has been far
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better than the advice we the government has compiled a secret lists of sites and
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thinking of dumping nuclear waste off the side. many communities are concerned that their communities are on the secret list. will the government publish today the risk of secret sites so that a public debate can take place? >> mr. speaker, i've followed this issue in the 26 years i've been a member of parliament and it has been an issue for all the years. the question whether the nuclear dismantling and nuclear waste from submarines should be placed in this country. it is right consult the local mps and consult local representatives on this issue. and i understand that the ministry of defense is talking to mps and elected representatives in those areas where there are potential sites. so this is not happening behind closed doors. members of parliament are being asked about their views on those very matters.
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>> would the prime minister agree with me that in all such cases it's important that we listen because if you proscribe an organization, how much we abhor their views, and we do, they stay the right side of the law because they're quite clever like that. and the danger is you would only create a recruiting sergeant and lead to a judicial review as well so it's important that we actually listen to the group before we decide to proscribe these organizations and the right honorable gentleman should do likewise. >> he's absolutely right. any decision business proscription should not be on the basis of a few exchanges in the house of commons but on a detailed assessment of what is right and what is wrong. and part of that is taking police evidence into account. and he is absolutely right. that we my not get into position where the decisions we make act as a recruiting sergeant for militants in this country.
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we are taking every action we can to deal with the terrorist threat in this country and i think on an all-party basis we should be united to do what we can to make sure that that al-qaeda threat -- that the leader of the opposition of the she had a chancellor say something about money, we have doubled the amount of money on security. it would not happen under a conservative government because they would not be prepared to make the funds. and when, mr. speaker, why will they persist? why will they persist? when we are dealing with the issue of spending? why will they persist on their policy of inheritance tax. which means -- which means -- who's benefitaries who's leader of the opposition includes their christmas card list. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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the democracy proposed the establishment of a citizens convention to look at renewing faith in this house in parliament. is the prime minister willing to support that in tomorrow's ballot a private member puts forward that bill. will he give it government time? >> well, mr. speaker i welcome the report that is coming from the member about the reform of this parliament. it is right that we look at how our select committee system can be better reformed for the future and it's also right that we look at how government -- nongovernment businesses is dealt with and we look at also how we can improve the workings of the house and i believe it will be a warm welcome back of the proposals put forward in that report. as far as our house being more open to the views of people from the outside, he is absolutely right that we need to consult widely. we have the youth parliament meeting here only a few weeks ago and we will continue to have an outreach to members of the community that is absolutely essential in a modern participatory democracy.
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>> i want to thank the prime minister for his words of comfort and encouragement to the people in the area of the devastating floods of last week. in 2005 my constituency was flooded and the government was very generous providing resources for the flood defenses. if you look at what is up in the area it will cost at least 40 million pounds just to rebuild the bridges and probably the same again to build the roads. will the prime minister give assurance today that he will be able to help -- the government will be able to people because the people in the area can't afford to pay that bill. i u$ere are hundred of flood protection schemes have been put if place. one is where 40 million pounds is being spent to make sure that there is proper protection against the floods which did so much damage the last time. and i understand around 3,000 properties were prevented from being flooded in the recent times as a result of these new flood defense arrangements. we will look at what we've done
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i've said that the defenses lies to 800 million of 2010 and '11 and our commitment is to make sure that the whole of the country is protected from flooding. >> is the prime minister aware of his school secretary's prebudget statement to the annual youth justice convention techniques ago. if so, what cuts will be made to accommodate this cost departmental commitment? >> mr. speaker, it is his party that wants to cut massively spending and they want to cut it this year and next year. in fact, they're the only -- they're the only major party in europe that wants to withdraw the fiscal stimulus now when it's absolutely necessary to keep the economy moving forward and i were him i would be asking the leader of the opposition why his policy is so designed to cut money from policing, from
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education, and from all the areas that the public depend upon now. >> dr. alan whitehead. >> mr. speaker, can i congratulate the prime minister on his early decision to attend copenhagen, a lead which is now being followed by 60 prime ministers and presidents from around the world. when have he's in copenhagen will he seek to harness that high level attendance to ensure the best possible package of clean development funding is on the table to ensure the sign-up of developing countries to a workable climate change agreement? >> i want to praise my honorable friend for the work he has done in promoting a climate change agreement. and for the work of members of all parties who want to see a success of copenhagen. i will go to the conference this week to try to build a consensus between rich countries like australia and ourselves and some of the poorest countries in the world. about how we can finance climate
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change for developing countries. it's absolutely essential that we can get an agreement on finance if we can get an agreement to cut emissions in some of the poorest countries of the world. and i hope that all parties here will support thef1g british proposal that will mean 100 billion of their funding for climate change in the year 2020 as a result of the contributions of the european union, america and some of the richest countries of the world. we will do everything in our power to secure a climate change agreement in copenhagen. >> thank you, mr. speaker. whatever are the individual speakers on afghanistan there's clarity on the mission. the prime minister has said we're in afghanistan to protect british people against terrorism. and yet almost in the same breath threatens to pull out of the country if president karzai can't clean up his corrupt government. these are contradictory messages they are sending out mixed signals. can the prime minister now square that circle?vu
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>> we are in the country because of the threat to britain. a threat that has been seen over eight years as a result of projected and actual terrorist defenses in our country. three-quarters of which come from afghanistan and pakistan and mainly the borders of pakistan. that is why we are there to protect the streets of britain. i was right to ask president karzai to give us assurances about how in his second term he would tackle corruption. he has now announced an anticorruption task force. i gather 12 people have been arrested yesterday from within the core administration. at the same time, i've asked him to appoint district and regional governors and he has agreed to do so that are free of corruption and will deal with the problems of hand that the governor is dealing with helmand. the test i have sent to president karzai. he's met by speeches and now they have to be met by delivery. next week, i believe, we will see the american government and the rest of nato coming together
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in a strategy that will mean we will have the forces that are necessary so that we can create the space for a political solution in afghanistan that means our streets will be safer. i think it is as clear as that. >> tony lloyd. ? >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister will be aware of the warning of the top cop of the dangers and the widespread need about the investments in the police commissioners. can the prime minister tell the house whether this labour government will ever allow the police to be politicized as the conservatives propose? >> mr. speaker, the operational independence the chief police officers is of and has been and should continue to be an important constitutional principle. it must be clear that chief officers and chief officers alone are responsible for running their force. and i believe that the leader of the opposition should immediately withdraw his proposal that would mean the politization of the police and
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has been criticized by the chairman in the last few days. >> dr. evan harris. >> when the lord chancellor in march talked out my private members bill which would end the discrimination against catholics in the role of secession and women in the line of succession. the government recognized this discrimination should end. can the prime minister confirm that he is as the lord chancellor said is ready to consult the relevant commonwealth heads of government this week and can he say that he's confident that we can then sort this out so that the -- >> prime minister? >> mr. speaker, the act of succession is outdated. i think most people recognize the need for change. change can only be brought about by not just the united kingdom but all realms where her majesty is queen and making the decision to change. that is why it is important to
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discuss this with all members of the commonwealth with all countries such as australia and canada and that is the process that will be undertaken in due course. >> thank you, mr. speaker. is my right honorable friend aware of the growing evidence in the north hamton families and the recession. as a result of the recession women are doing more of the bred-winning and men of more of the caring and what further measures will his government take to support the flexible working arrangements that are needed for today's working families? >> mr. speaker, there are about 500,000 more families receiving working tax or child tax credit as a result of the help we're giving in a recession. i think people in this country have got to make a choice. do we want to help families and help children through these difficult times or do we -- or do we want to cut
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