tv International Programming CSPAN November 29, 2009 9:00pm-9:30pm EST
>> then a look at how the economy is impacting the city of youngstown, ohio, with mayor jay williams. and then the latest on the global climate change treaty with ned helme. >> the prime minister has said that we are 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 the corrupt government. these are contradictory messages that are sending out mixed signals. can the prime minister now square that circle? >> 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 offenses in our country. >> now from london, "prime minister's questions" from the british house of commons. this week gordon brown answered questions on the british involvement in afghanistan. mr. brown announced this week that 10 nato nations are ready to send about 5,000 troops to afghanistan. they questioned about the iraq secrecy and asked about how the government was responding to recent floods in the u.k. >> doctor, refer to blackmon woods. >> before listing my engagements this week, i am sure the house will wish to join me to paying tribute to
sergeant robert dixon from the fourth regiment, who has died in afghanistan. the debt of gratitude we owe him is permanent, and we send our condolences to his family and friends. he and the sacrifice he has made will not be forgotten. all of us i believe will want to pay tribute to police constable big barker who tragically died in the course of duty, serving the community he was so committed to. and we remember 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 the organizations who have been doing an outstanding job
helping the areas with the floods. >> i will again by associated myself with the comments that the prime minister has made about the sergeant in afghanistan. as the prime minister said in the last week we have witnessed appalling flooding and near-misses in other places including in my own constituency. we know emergency services are providing support at present, but can the prime minister reasure that help will be available for as long as it is needed to get people back on their feed and to help prevent flooding in the future. >> i am grateful for my honorable friend who has taken an interest in these matters over many years. these floods are the worst before seen. this is a terrible time, always i found out, and many people from the house found out when they visited this area. i want to pay tribute to the local m.p. who has done so much
to help and comfort people. it might be helpful to update the house and assure that our support will continue right throughout the troubles that the area faces. 39 bridges are now still closed. we are examining a temporary bridge and a temporary station. this morning a team of military engineers are assessing a temporary pedestrian bridge. the department will fund bridge and road repairs. there are, i believe, 40 still in rest centers. consult consultations with the insurance industry are taking place to ensure people can return to their homes, or have gone to alternative accommodation. the dealing for the longer term will come before this house before christmas. let me praise the emergency services who have done so much to help people in those time of need. >> mr. david cameron. >> thank you. can i join the prime minister in paying tribute to sergeant
dixon, killed last week. our thoughts should be with his family. and i join him in paying tribute to p.c. bill barker, who died in the line of duty, protecting others from the floods. he was part of an extraordinary effort by emergency services and voluntary efforts who worked day and night to keep people safe. as we have seen, the community spirit shown by residents in dealing with these floods is a real inspiration. 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 minutes now take an hour and a half. the are prime minister spoke what being done on a national bees, including mobilizing army resources, and he spoke about a temporary bridge. could owe tell you how quickly that will be put up. >> the whole range of emergency services is on whom we depend.
we realize the importance of all the public services and voluntary services that help our country. as i did say, we are examining whether a temporary bridge could be put across the river. we are of course looking at how we can fund at finance the construction of a contrary rail station that will allow transport in the area. i believe from the information i have that this could be done fairly quickly, but we await the report of the military engineers who are working with the local authorities as we speak this morning. i hope we will be able to get further information this afternoon. let me say absolutely that the costs of these repairs will be met by the department of transport. >> we are grateful for that answer and assurance about the funding. with christmas coming, it is going to be hard on those families who can't get back into their homes. can the prime minister assure us that whether it is
contacting the shurps companies so they pay out soon, security funds or contacting public and private landlords so that everything that can be done to help the families in the run-up to christmas? >> again, the minister of communities met the association of british ensurers yesterday. she received from them full assurance that they would act on all claims for them, particularly those claims that required the provision of emergency accommodation during a period when people are out of their homes. obviously we hope that people will get back to their homes as quickly as possible. what we know is the insurance industry will act for those people who have claims that allow the payment of money for temporary accommodation. where the local authority has to act, it will do so. you will recall from being there yesterday that a large number of the people affected
are elderly people and lived in elderly accommodation. we are determined to make sure that is up and running and able to meet their needs as soon as possible. it is true that it does take time when houses are flooded for people to get back, but i think we are doing everything in our power to get people back into their homes as quickly as possible, and i have also talked to the leader of the council, and he is has satisfied himself that we are doing what we can. >> david cameron. >> thank you. i am grateful for those answers. i will turn to a completely different subject, one that i raised two years ago. i asked the prime minister about the extremist group, and after a promise by tony blair that it would be banned, it hasn't been banned. non-muslims are exe tint in the battlefield, their blood is lawful. while he hasn't been able to ban them, can he assure me that this extremist group hasn't
received any public money? >> well, i am not aware of them receiving any public money. if you have evidence to that, perhaps you will give it to me? >> i will not only give it to him now, but my right honorable friend -- [inaudible] what is extraordinary is my right honorable flend, the shadow school secretary wrote to his honorable friend, the schools minister a week ago about this issue. let me draw the prime minister's attention to the fact that two schools have been established by a an extremist islamist foundation, and they have secured a total of 113,000 pounds, whose objective is to be preventing violent extremism. can the prime minister explain how this has come about?
>> i am happy to say this will be looked into in every detail. i am told the two schools he referred to have been inspected. i will look at what the results of the inspections are, and i will write him. i think when we are dealing with grants of 130,000 pounds of money, and two schools, i shall look at this very carefully. >> i am grateful for that. first of all, there can't be any doubt that this is a front organization for them. two of the trustees are members, and the head teacher and proprietary are members of that group. i find it hard why the prime minister doesn't know about this, given we were asking -- [inaudible] >> government backed ventures are becoming far too excited today. >> given that the opposition
has been asking in parliament a month about this issue, and his shadow secretary wrote about a week ago. how can they have an extremist fund result in a labor authority handing out money for an extremist. it is in receipt of public money. does this prove that we need a much bigger inquiry into how things like this can happen? >> mr. speaker, let me say everything that he has said will be investigated in great detail. and let me say also that the letter that was written by the shadow schools minister a few days ago will be looked into. let me also say the vast -- let us be clear about this. the vast majority of muslims in our country are part of the law-abiding majority of this country. 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 abuse, it will be investigating. why the case of this organization, we have looked into it. it is not a proscribed organization. if he has new evidence, we will look at it again. the two schools will be properly inspected, and every argument he makes will be looked at closely. but he would not expect me, without looking at the evidence, to draw early conclusions. >> the prime minister talks about investigating. this is an organization that said, and i quote, jews should be killed wherever you found them. that is what this organization says. let me ask him about another organization, because there is a sense that this government just hasn't got a grip on the issue of islamic extremism. take the group, islam for u.k. the leader of this group claims
that the 9/11 bombers were magee if i have sent are are -- megan any of sent people. programs he can tell us when he replies for the last time why this group hasn't been banned as well? what people are going to see is this. we have a government that says it wants to prevent extremism, yet its money is funding extremism. we have a government that says we shouldn't have those schools, and yet we have those schools. and above all, when is the prime minister going to tell us when he is going to get a grip on this issue? >> mr. speaker, to proscribe an organization, we need full evidence, and that evidence needs to be looked at in 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 terrorist incident. 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 into this country have to hold. we are using the d.n.a. data base to check up on people, much against the advice of other parties. 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 should be on the basis of evidence that is 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 two today, that it is
time to reassert the british model of approachable, impartial and accountable polices force for major events such as the g-20. >> i absolutely agree that it is important that policing is of the best. where mistakes are made and there are question marks, they have to be answered, and we have procedures for doing so. i know events at the g-20 caused a great deal of anger and sadness for people when we had the casualty. it is very important that we take the action that policing will always be fair. >> i always would like to add my own expression of sympathy and condolence to the family of sergeant dixon who died in afghanistan this week. i would like to add my own tribute to p.c. bill barker who lost his life in the line of duty in dealing with the
floods, and our hearts go out to his wife and four children. it is at times like this that we all remember it is the brave men and women of our emergency services that keep us safe when it really counts, and we thank them for it. mr. speaker, it is vital that the iraq inquiry, which started its work this week is able to reveal the full truth about the decisions leading up to the invasion of iraq. so could the prime minister confirm that sir john chill kotte and his colleagues will be able to publish all information available to them with the seoul exception of information essential to national security? >> i have set out a remit, and brought it to this house of commons. he is given the freedom to conduct this investigation how he choose chooses.
it is a matter for the inquiry. >> as he knows, it is not just a matter for inyeary. i have it here. goveraging the publication of material in the final report. this prote doll, if he reads it, includes nine operate reasons why information can be spreffed, most chf have nothing to do with national security. and outrageously gives departments, individual rights of veto over information in the report. why did the prime minister not tell bus this before? how on earth are we and the whole country going to hear the whole truth about the decision leading up to the invision of iraq if the inquiry is being suffocate f.d.r. day one by his government? >> that is not what he has said. 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 referred to there, and i believe that they are happy with the way they are being asked to conduct the inquiry. >> thank you, mr. speaker. britain's top bankers rewarded their own financial greed and incompetence with large bonuses 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 commerce within the banking system? >> she is 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 that we examine how there can be fairness in all cases to people who are banking customers in this country, as far as the banks that we are responsible for as this montana, northern rock, and h. boss lloyd's, and r.b.s., we have asked them, and they have reviewed their overdraft charges in the last few weeks so they can be fairer to their customers. as far as the bill before the house, there is a damages funneled that will be to be set up by banks to deal with complaints by customers of overcharging. there is the possibility now for class actions to be taken in court, something that has not happened before, so that customers can take banks to court. and power is giving to the authority for the first time so that it can impose settlements where the banks have to repay. so we have sought to strengthen
the rights of customers so that they get a fairer deal from the banking system, as they should in 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 in a way that is far better than we receive from his party. >> how important is the word of the northwest development agency in delivering things as part of the specific ongoing regeneration. >> mr. speaker, one of the biggest mistakes that could be made is to abolish the regional
development in this country. in every region of this country, the small businesses organization, local employees and the regional those say the agencies are doing a job that helps their businesses through recession, create new job opportunities for people, and i think the conservative party would make a terrible mistake if they decided in an act of vindictive ideology to abolish redevelopment agencies. >> the government has compiled a list of sites for dumping nuclear waste from submarines. many communities are concerned that their community is on the list. will the government today publish the list of sites so that debate can take place? >> i have followed this issue in the 26 years i have been a member of parliament, and it has been a -- an issue for 26
years. it is where the nuclear waste from submarines should be placed in this country. it is right to consult the local m.p. and local representatives on this issue, and i understand that the ministry of defense is talking to m.p.'s 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 these very matters. >> would the prime minister agree with me that all such cases, it is important that we listen first. if you proscribe an organization, however much we abore their views, and we do, they stay the right side of the law because they are quite clever like that. and the danger you would only create a recruiting sergeant and lead to a judicial review as well? isn't important that we listen first but we vote to proscribe
these organizations, and the other side should do likewise? >> my honorable friend brings a great deal of experience to this, and he is absolutely right. it should be on a detailed assessment of what is right and what is long, and part of that is taking evidence into account. and he is absolutely right that we must not get into position where the decisions we make act as a recruiting srget for militants in this country. we are taking every action we can to deal with the terrorist threat in this country, and i think on an ault party basis we should be united in saying that we are doing everything we can that the al qaeda threat is being dealt with. we have doubled the amount of money we are spending on security. it would not happen under a conservative government. 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? [inaudible] >> who beneficiaries resemble the leader of the opposition christmas card list. [inaudible] >> what about the establishment of a citizens convention. is the prime minister willing to support that if 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 is always right
that we look at how non-government business is dealt with. and we look also at how we can improve the workings of this house. i believe there will be a warm welcome for some of proposals put forward in that report. as far as the house being more open to the views from outside, he is right. we had the youth parliament meeting here a few weeks ago, and we will continue to have an outreach to members of the community that is essential in a participating democracy. >> thank the prime minister for his words of comfort and encouragement to the people today after the devastating floods of last week. in 2005 my constituency was flooded, and the government was very generous in providing resources. if you look at what has happened this week, it is going to cost 40 million pounds just to rebuild the bridges and probably the same again to rebuild the roads.
will the prime minister assure that the government will be able to help if the people in the area can't afford to pay that bill? >> he is absolutely right. there have been 100 flood protection schemes brought into place. 40 million pounds could be spent to prevent the damage. i understand that around 3,000 properties were not flooded, as a result of these new flood defense arrangements. it is a sign of our commitment to making sure that the whole of the country is protected best against flooding. >> thank you, mr. speaker. is the prime minister aware of his school secretary's prebudget statement to the annual youth justice convention two weeks ago when he protected the youth justist budgets for the next two years?
if so, what cuts will be made to accommodate this commitment? >> mr. speaker, it is his party who wants to cut massively public spending. they are the only major party in europe that wants to withdraw the fiscal stimulus now when it is absolutely necessary to keep the economy moving forward. and if i were him, i would be asking the leader of the opposition why his policy is so designed to cut money from fleecing, from education, and all the areas that public depend upon now. >> thank you, mr. speaker. 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 he is in copenhagen, will he seek to harness that high-level attendance to ensure that the best possible package of clean development funding is
on the table to ensure the sign-up of developing countries to a workable agreement. >> i want to thank my colleague for the work he has done and for the work of all parties who want to see a success in copenhagen. i will go to the commonwealth meeting this weekend to build a consensus about how we can finance climate change for developing countries as well as developed countries. it is absolutely essential that we can get an agreement on fps if we are going to get an agreement to cut emissions in some of the poorest countries in the world. i hope all parties here will support the british proposal, which will mean $100 billion in funding for climate claims by "20/20." we will do everything in our power to secure a climate ge