15/09/2014 Daily Politics


15/09/2014

Jo Coburn looks at recall powers with Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, and the Scottish referendum with Lord Reid and Blair Jenkins.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:35.:00:37.

With just three days left until Referendum Day, Scots are warned

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We'll bring you the latest on the campaigns.

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After the brutal murder of David Haines - and threats

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on the life of another British Hostage - how should Britain and its

:00:56.:00:58.

Want to kick your errant MP out of the commons?

:00:59.:01:02.

The government's introducing a new law it says will make that easier.

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But one Conservative MP says voters are being conned.

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And are promises of more powers for Scotland, if it stays part of the

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All that in the next hour but let's start this morning with Scotland.

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The independence referendum is on Thursday

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A year ago the No campaign had a comfortable lead

:01:27.:01:32.

but that has now all but disappeared with the latest poll of polls

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Let's talk now to two commentators who've been paying close attention

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to this campaign, journalist and broadcaster, Lesley

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Riddoch, and Alex Massie who writes for the Spectator among others.

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Looking at the way the polls have developed in the last ten days, can

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they be trusted at this point to give any clear indication about who

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will win on Thursday? They can to the degree that it is very close,

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and I would not be one that said the polls have been wrong in the last

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few months. I think the mistake has been to assume that people who have

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said they were no work immutably know. I've heard it referred to as a

:02:24.:02:27.

deferred yes, and that might sound like nonsense, but it is proven to

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be the case. One survey done by academics at Edinburgh University

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found that the more no vote has been engaged, the more they have moved

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towards yes. So the people who at the beginning might been distant are

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hearing certain stories coming from every outlet, because Bear in mind

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only one newspaper supports independence, and those people when

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they heard another side of the story and were able to engage, they have

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felt calmer about the arguments and have moved their vote. We have a

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situation now where both sides are claiming victory. Is that being done

:03:03.:03:08.

just for public appetite, or it -- is it what they believe? Both sides

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do believe it. Whether they basing it on something credible rather than

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a hunch is a different matter. The no campaign is a bit more

:03:20.:03:22.

confident. The Yes campaign do believe that victory is possible. It

:03:23.:03:27.

is one of those people that might be shocking for people, but it wouldn't

:03:28.:03:31.

be no longer considered surprising. It is reasonable to say that even at

:03:32.:03:35.

this late stage, more things need to go right for the Yes campaign to

:03:36.:03:39.

prevail and they need to get lucky, if you like and hit the cards three

:03:40.:03:44.

times in a row. Whereas the no campaign still has a bit more margin

:03:45.:03:48.

for error, for things going wrong, but at the same time, that is a

:03:49.:03:52.

little margin for error, because everybody assumes that on the day

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the Yes campaign will have a more efficient vote out operation. Isn't

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it true, that whatever I anyone says, to anyone, however loud, it

:04:06.:04:10.

will make less difference than both sides getting their people to the

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polling booths to put the cross in the right box for them. The ground

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war is now absolutely critical. That is true, but I know the narratives

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of things being loud, and that is inevitable when you come to this

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kind of conflict, and it's not a conflict, this is democracy. What is

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likely to persuade people are softer words, and our conversations with

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families or friends. There are a lot of people, and I know it sounds

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extraordinary given we have had two years of debate, there are some

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people who think they will vote no one day and yes the next. Taking

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your point though, even things like the weather, it is a grey day today

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and we understand the weather will pick up by Thursday, and as Alex

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said, the yes organisation has traditionally been with the backing

:05:04.:05:06.

of the SNP a slick operation are getting local organisations going,

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and the local aspect of the Yes campaign is anyone might agree is

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where it has scored hugely until now. Taking that point on, it is

:05:17.:05:22.

about the ground war, but what about persuading those people who have

:05:23.:05:27.

either changed their minds or are soft on voting one way or another,

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conversations in families, or people coming to the door. It is impossible

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to measure how those people will vote until they are standing in the

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booth. Of course, that is the case. I think a lot of people are

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surprised that this is going to be as close as it is, and they

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shouldn't be surprised. The baseline constituency for independence was

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all raise around 35%, and there was always another 10% of people who

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could easily be converted to voting yes. This means that the battle has

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really been over the final 10%. Now how they will vote, nobody knows.

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Partly because the most significant group of voters are not so much

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undecided or Labour voters as the half of the population who did not

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vote in the last Holyrood election, who do not usually vote in

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elections. The assumptions are that these people are from poorer areas

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and somehow more likely to vote yes. I think that is a slightly

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simplistic reading because many are from middle-class areas and just as

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likely to vote no. Again, that simplifies things, but the thing is,

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nobody really knows anything. Let's look to the day after, Leslie, God

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forbid, you will have a divided country. Scotland will be divided

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because they are divided on this question and because of the way the

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vote is being taken and cast. Are you worried that half the folk in

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the country could be resentful and unhappy whatever the result? Having

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had a situation where Scotland as a function of its population has got

:07:09.:07:13.

pretty good experience of not getting the results it once, and

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that has fuelled the independence campaign, we kind of about used to

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it. I do take the point that there will be a huge disappointment,

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because some people have put their lives on hold, seen their earnings

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collapse, but on the other hand they have seen fabulous new friendships

:07:30.:07:32.

and had a tremendous sense of solidarity. And that suddenly goes

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on the 19th as well. And there is a withdrawal of business as usual for

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a number of people, never mind the slightly overwrought emphasis on

:07:44.:07:46.

division. I grew up in Northern Ireland and that is an area that has

:07:47.:07:50.

managed to achieve huge amounts of reconciliation. Scotland, by

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contrast, has had the most civilised debate to determine something on a

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constitutional level anywhere in Europe, and that is the real story.

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We have to end it there, but thank you to both of you.

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John Reid is a former Labour Cabinet Minister.

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He was Secretary of State for Scotland in 1999 when the Scottish

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Parliament was re-established and he joins us now from Glasgow.

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Welcome along. We heard yesterday, and you might have done as well,

:08:18.:08:22.

from George Galloway who said that Labour was on its deathbed in

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Scotland, it is finished because of the way the lead by the Better

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Together campaign has collapsed during the campaigning, and because

:08:31.:08:34.

of the number of Labour voters now intending to vote yes. Is that a

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question? Yes, is he right? On issues like this, no party or party

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leader will dictate to the Scottish people. There will be movements

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across, and some Labour voters who will vote for separation, and about

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20% of SNP supporters who are against separation. This is an

:09:00.:09:03.

exercise in democracy. The only thing we know until the people

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actually vote is that it is very close. And

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people are concentrating their minds on the long-term effects,

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particularly on the positive benefits of being part of a bigger

:09:27.:09:31.

state, and the dangers of separating pensions, paid, jobs and so on. Is

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it so close because labour is failing in Scotland? You have heard

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about accusations of complacency, but at the end of last week, the

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latest Guardian poll suggested that 42% of Scots who voted Labour in the

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2010 election were minded to vote yes. Surely proof of Labour's

:09:51.:09:56.

decline of influence in Scotland. I've just answered your question.

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You won't get a different answer because you've raised the question

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differently. It is more evidence. It is not. It is unbalanced. The

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balanced evidence shows that 20% of SNP supporters, and their central

:10:12.:10:14.

premise of being that supporter is separated, 20% of them is voting to

:10:15.:10:21.

remain in the UK -- is separation. I understand why people on the

:10:22.:10:24.

television get really involved about the process, but actually, rather

:10:25.:10:28.

than listen to the polls, I would rather listen to the arguments, and

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the essential thing in the next few days is whether or not we take a

:10:33.:10:37.

country which has a rich and proud history and culture and control of

:10:38.:10:41.

its affairs, and will have more, and give it the stability it has had for

:10:42.:10:47.

three centuries of a wider economic unit, like the United Kingdom, or

:10:48.:10:51.

whether it goes its separate way with all the undoubted risks that

:10:52.:10:56.

have been illustrated in the past week on questions of paid, prices

:10:57.:11:00.

and investment and pensions. That is what is going to concentrate the

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mind, with great respect. You say that, but it was the Westminster

:11:06.:11:10.

parties who reacted to one particular poll that put the Yes

:11:11.:11:14.

campaign ahead, if you are accusing the media of reacting to polls. They

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cancelled Prime Minister's Questions and went up the Scotland because

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they were so worried about the collapse of the lead by the Better

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Together campaign which has been led by a senior Labour figure, Alistair

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Darling, and people will be asking why it is. I have been arguing and

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debating this as a mess -- member of what you call the Westminster

:11:40.:11:44.

parties, which plays into the Alex Salmond dogma, and he is dog

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whistling the sentiment of the English parties. I have been

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debating this issue on the streets for 30 years, not the last few days.

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And the essential question remains the same, which isn't about this or

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that aspect of the campaign, it is about the integral arguments. Do you

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want to have the richness of Scottish heritage and culture within

:12:11.:12:14.

the stability of aid bigger economic unit like the UK, or do you want all

:12:15.:12:18.

the dangers of separation. That is what people are arguing about.

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Arscott generally worried about what will happen in the general election

:12:25.:12:29.

next year -- our Scottish people? Tommy Sheridan articulated what many

:12:30.:12:35.

Scottish people felt about Westminster leaders, when they are

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three millionaires united in one thing, that is austerity. It won't

:12:40.:12:45.

matter to Scottish people if Ed Miliband wins the next election

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because he signed up to Tory spending cuts. They are not getting

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what they voted for, so they are looking favourably on independence.

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Do you understand that? You are quoting Tommy Sheridan, a great

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character, a great celebrity and a leader of various revolutionary

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socialist parties that have no support whatsoever in Scotland. But

:13:06.:13:10.

does his sentiment ring true, that actually Scottish people think they

:13:11.:13:13.

don't get the government they are voting for and they want a social

:13:14.:13:17.

democracy, and they want what they say is a fairer society and they

:13:18.:13:20.

don't think it can be delivered by the Labour Party? There is no doubt

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the frustration of voting Labour and not getting a Labour government is

:13:24.:13:28.

felt by many people. Incidentally, many people in Manchester, in

:13:29.:13:35.

Liverpool, in Newcastle, as well as in Scotland, that is called

:13:36.:13:39.

democracy. It's also true that over the past 20 years for instance, we

:13:40.:13:43.

have had a majority Labour government and next year we will

:13:44.:13:47.

have another Labour government, so sometimes you win, sometimes you

:13:48.:13:51.

lose, but balanced against the frustration is the fact that we have

:13:52.:13:56.

had enormous assistance in financial stability, economic strength,

:13:57.:14:00.

individual opportunity and social justice because of being part of the

:14:01.:14:04.

partnership of the United Kingdom. The National Health Service, the

:14:05.:14:07.

welfare state, competence of education, race relations, the

:14:08.:14:11.

minimum wage, the minimum pension, these are the products of not only

:14:12.:14:15.

Scottish values but British governments. And in the main,

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British Labour governments and people in Scotland know that. Let's

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think a bit more about devolution. You said yesterday that you support

:14:23.:14:26.

devolution for the rest of the UK in the event of a no vote in Scotland.

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How far do you want to take that devolution? I'd personally, having

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fought all of my life for devolution to the Scottish Parliament, I want

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to see it extended or offered to the people of England on a regional

:14:40.:14:43.

basis. When we went to the first referendum, people in the north-east

:14:44.:14:47.

said no, so that didn't work. However, there is a possibility, I

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believe, of recognition that the centralising more powers to city

:14:54.:14:57.

regions, local enterprise companies, and so on, is the way that we should

:14:58.:15:03.

go in the UK. Not an English parliament? It is an overcentralised

:15:04.:15:06.

state, and the more you can devolve things, the better. An English

:15:07.:15:12.

parliament is part of the argument, but decentralisation is not just

:15:13.:15:15.

about parliaments, it's about passing power to localities within

:15:16.:15:20.

the UK, to the nations of the UK, but also downwards to the likes of

:15:21.:15:23.

cities and regions like London. What would that mean for a future

:15:24.:15:31.

Labour government. In Ed Balls is reported to have said that if we

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give the whole tax raising power to the Scottish Parliament, how can

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Scottish Labour MPs vote for a Labour budget in England? First,

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let's take the question of passing it to the Scottish Parliament. That

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doesn't just give the Scottish Parliament more power, it gives it

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more responsibility. Because the more you are obliged to raise the

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money you are spending, the more responsible and accountable to the

:15:57.:16:01.

Scottish people you will be. That is not just an argument of more powers.

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In terms of devolution throughout the UK, that discussion will take

:16:09.:16:13.

place. Why? Because there is a distinction between the Scottish

:16:14.:16:16.

referendum, which is whether you want to be a member of the club or

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not. That is a matter for the Scottish people. Having decided you

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want to be a member of the club, we then discuss the rules of the club

:16:26.:16:30.

and that is a matter for not just the Scottish people, but the Welsh

:16:31.:16:32.

and the Northern Irish and the English. That would be dangerous for

:16:33.:16:40.

Labour, because if Scotland votes no, given greater autonomy, Scottish

:16:41.:16:44.

MPs continuing to vote on English education and health and welfare,

:16:45.:16:48.

they get more power over tax and spending, how can they be allowed to

:16:49.:16:52.

vote on a budget that would not have anything to do with them? If we are

:16:53.:16:58.

talking about exclusively English matters, then of course there will

:16:59.:17:03.

be a discussion about how those discussions are reached if we

:17:04.:17:07.

devolve tax raising power to the Scottish Parliament. I don't think

:17:08.:17:12.

these issues are dangerous. When you have a government at the moment, you

:17:13.:17:17.

have a Conservative government in the UK. You don't have such a

:17:18.:17:21.

government in Scotland. You have an SNP government. You don't have such

:17:22.:17:24.

a government in Northern Ireland. You may not have such a government

:17:25.:17:30.

in Wales. That is not dangerous. That is democratic. The more you

:17:31.:17:34.

decentralise the state, the better it is in a modern world in my view.

:17:35.:17:38.

Thank you very much. "They are not Muslims,

:17:39.:17:42.

they are monsters". Those were the words of

:17:43.:17:44.

David Cameron yesterday as he responded to the beheading

:17:45.:17:48.

of British aid worker David Haines The chilling video, which emerged

:17:49.:17:51.

over the weekend, included a threat on the life of another

:17:52.:17:54.

British aid worker, Alan Henning, who's from Salford and was captured

:17:55.:17:57.

in Syria in December last year. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

:17:58.:18:00.

will meet ministers from other countries at

:18:01.:18:02.

a special conference in Paris today So far Britain has stopped short of

:18:03.:18:17.

committing planes as part of US air strikes against Islamic State which

:18:18.:18:20.

were announced by Barack Obama last week in response to the murder of

:18:21.:18:25.

two American citizens. David Cameron has to form two coalitions. First he

:18:26.:18:33.

has to build a democraters tick coalition -- domestic coalition in

:18:34.:18:36.

Westminster. However, the Prime Minister will tread carefully after

:18:37.:18:40.

losing last year's vote over action on Syria and he has hinted any air

:18:41.:18:45.

strikes would have to have majority support from Parliament. Although a

:18:46.:18:48.

recall of MPs seems unlikely this week. On the international stage,

:18:49.:18:51.

there is the question of whether to bomb IS in Iraq and Syria or just

:18:52.:18:57.

Iraq. In Paris the Foreign Secretary will try to build support for a

:18:58.:19:02.

US-led coalition, including Australia and some Arab states. We

:19:03.:19:14.

are joined by a panel of MPs. Mark Field, Labour's Owen Smith, and

:19:15.:19:21.

Liberal Democrat Tom Brake. Mark Field, do you support the idea of UK

:19:22.:19:26.

air strikes in Iraq and Syria or just Iraq? I think the right

:19:27.:19:32.

approach and David Cameron's approach has been to build up a

:19:33.:19:37.

patient coalition of interthat will thought. That is the --

:19:38.:19:39.

international thought. That is the UN and the EU and NATO. I think

:19:40.:19:44.

there is a distinction between what happens in Iraq and Syria, given the

:19:45.:19:50.

vote we had last year in the House of Commons and any action in Syria

:19:51.:19:55.

would require the approval of Parliament. Do you think you would

:19:56.:20:02.

get that? We probably would, I think compared to last year when there was

:20:03.:20:07.

a head long rush without thinking through the implications, thinking

:20:08.:20:11.

we will recall Parliament and they will fall into line. You have to

:20:12.:20:17.

praise David Cameron's patience and Barack Obama. The truth is we know

:20:18.:20:22.

this issue in relation to Isil or Islamic State will not be a matter

:20:23.:20:28.

for the next few weeks or months. It will take many years. There is a

:20:29.:20:33.

distinction between what is happening in Iraq and Syria. Not

:20:34.:20:38.

least because of the complication that Isil is part of group against

:20:39.:20:47.

president ass sat. -- Assad. That sounds like you're not supporting

:20:48.:20:52.

it. I'm still to be persuaded. In Iraq, yes. We heard Mark Field say

:20:53.:20:57.

David Cameron has been patient. Some may say slow to react. Bearing in

:20:58.:21:01.

mind we have had the beheading of a British he is Taj and a second man

:21:02.:21:08.

-- hostage and a second man is being held. Do you think that prince is

:21:09.:21:13.

progressing -- that Britain is processing too slowly? No, I don't

:21:14.:21:17.

often have words of praise for the Prime Minister, but I think he has

:21:18.:21:20.

been right. The world has been right. The west has been right to

:21:21.:21:25.

wait and try to build a broad coalition of countries and in lots

:21:26.:21:32.

of respects it shows we are learning lessons of past. Labour helped to

:21:33.:21:35.

learn the lessons. Or held back David Cameron, because of the worry

:21:36.:21:39.

that Labour wouldn't support them? No, I think President Obama has led

:21:40.:21:46.

this and he has articulated the need for building a broad coalition. The

:21:47.:21:50.

west can't act in isolation in the Middle East. When we have done that

:21:51.:21:59.

there have been malign consequences. The death of this man and these

:22:00.:22:04.

other people is barbaric and awful. We are all shocked. But the worst

:22:05.:22:10.

thing we could do for everybody involved would be to jump to action

:22:11.:22:16.

without having a clear, clarity about what we are trying to achieve

:22:17.:22:20.

and the long-term consequences. We have been told a number of Arab

:22:21.:22:24.

states are willing to join a coalition and the process is under

:22:25.:22:29.

way. The Foreign Secretary is meeting with counter parts. If all

:22:30.:22:35.

of that is got through positively, will you sign up to air strikes

:22:36.:22:45.

against Iraq? Against IS? We would need to know what the premise was

:22:46.:22:50.

and the nature of the coalition that had been brought together and to be

:22:51.:22:55.

clear on the objectives. Hypothetically yes if all those

:22:56.:22:59.

things were clear and there were agreement in Labour and in

:23:00.:23:02.

Westminster. That is a possibility. Does that fill you with confidence?

:23:03.:23:09.

It should do. That there would be a consensus if let's say Parliament at

:23:10.:23:12.

the end of the Labour Party conference is called to debate this

:23:13.:23:16.

with the issue of air strikes on the table? What the difference of course

:23:17.:23:21.

is that if there was an agreement that went beyond just the UK and the

:23:22.:23:25.

US and involving Arab state, that would give people the confidence

:23:26.:23:31.

that they needed to see this not as being a western intervention. But

:23:32.:23:34.

being an intervention that had wide support. That is essential for

:23:35.:23:38.

securing the support in Parliament. Where is your party on this? I think

:23:39.:23:44.

my view and my party's view is that I think if that agreement was there,

:23:45.:23:50.

not just the US and the UK and if Parliament was behind it, I think

:23:51.:23:53.

the Liberal Democrats would be behind action. So the point about

:23:54.:24:01.

Syria, is it in your mind legal if the discussion is broadened to

:24:02.:24:04.

include air strikes against Syria. Would it be legal for the UK to bomb

:24:05.:24:12.

IS there? I would need to see the detail and what UN support there

:24:13.:24:19.

was. You would want a UN resolution? Without that it is problematic. But

:24:20.:24:24.

we need to take action that crosses borders, otherwise they will cross

:24:25.:24:28.

from one border to the other. Would you want a UN resolution before any

:24:29.:24:33.

agreement by the British Government to bomb in Syria? It would always be

:24:34.:24:40.

to the UK Government's advantage to secure that. But would it be

:24:41.:24:44.

necessary, you would argue humanitarian reasons, just like the

:24:45.:24:50.

British government did in Kosovo and you would say Assad was not a

:24:51.:24:56.

legitimate government. It wouldn't strictly be necessary. People look

:24:57.:24:59.

at the terrible death of David Haynes and I suspect, although I

:25:00.:25:06.

don't know it, how many hostages we have, I fear there are other British

:25:07.:25:15.

citizens who have been taken hostage on the Turkish border. The truth is

:25:16.:25:19.

that if you take the Daily Express type view that we should regain the

:25:20.:25:28.

Lord Palmerston days of gun boat dim Lome si. Those -- diplomacy. Those

:25:29.:25:33.

days are long gone. Rescue attempts are not possible. We have tried

:25:34.:25:39.

that. Of course communication and negotiations go on when we have

:25:40.:25:44.

citizens at bay there. But the truth we know this is going to be a long

:25:45.:25:48.

haul. And we need to build up that coalition throughout the

:25:49.:25:51.

international community and the best of that through the UN ideally and

:25:52.:25:55.

certainly through NATO. What about boots on the ground. That is not

:25:56.:26:00.

being discussed. Is that what some of you would like to think is

:26:01.:26:06.

necessary to defeat Isis. Yes, at some point there will be, whether it

:26:07.:26:11.

is Special Forces or humanitarian people, as part of a UN force, but

:26:12.:26:17.

it may be that to defeat them, it will require boots on the ground.

:26:18.:26:22.

But that is a long way ahead. This is about defeating them. It is a

:26:23.:26:27.

balance between bringing even on board, but the public, many of them,

:26:28.:26:32.

if not a swrort in favour of air strikes, want to see Isis defeated.

:26:33.:26:37.

Yes the public view is changing. I think a couple of years ago there

:26:38.:26:43.

was clearly a diminishing app site for British -- appetite for British

:26:44.:26:48.

military engaging. I think that is changing, because of Isis. And the

:26:49.:26:51.

security threat? And the pure evil of the nature of the individuals we

:26:52.:26:57.

are dealing with. I'm not a pacifist. Britain has a role to play

:26:58.:27:04.

and that does require on occasions hard power. The principal lesson to

:27:05.:27:09.

learn from Iraq is if you don't know how it is going to turn out, or you

:27:10.:27:15.

don't have a good idea, don't start it. Should Parliament be recalled?

:27:16.:27:22.

If there is a proposal for major military engagement, that would have

:27:23.:27:24.

to happen. I think we are not at that stage. We should be supporting

:27:25.:27:29.

people like the Kurds and the Iraqi Government to take the military

:27:30.:27:32.

action. That is the starting point. You don't think there has been a

:27:33.:27:35.

delay, because of Scottish referendum? No, there v this has

:27:36.:27:40.

been a painstaking sense of trying to build that coalition. And the

:27:41.:27:45.

truth is that the public recognise and dare I say it the dreadful

:27:46.:27:51.

watching these murderers, they're British citizens and could return

:27:52.:27:55.

and be a danger to us all. Thank you.

:27:56.:28:00.

Well the Government's introduced a bill to Parliament it says will

:28:01.:28:05.

The Recall Bill was unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister,

:28:06.:28:08.

But the Conservative MP, Zac Goldsmith - who's been campaigning

:28:09.:28:11.

for the right to fire your MP - has called the Bill a Con.

:28:12.:28:15.

Why is the bill a Corne? It is the same as the bill he introduced some

:28:16.:28:29.

years ago. It is a con, because it is an attempt to convey an

:28:30.:28:32.

impression that they will have powers to hold their MPs to account

:28:33.:28:40.

between elections. But they won't. According to criteria in the bill,

:28:41.:28:44.

just six MPs would have been affected. So I think if anyone is

:28:45.:28:48.

left with the impression that after this Bill goes through they will

:28:49.:28:52.

have the power to hold their MP to account, they're mistaken. Except

:28:53.:28:58.

even if it didn't allow the sort of powers that you suggested, the Bill

:28:59.:29:02.

would have resulted in the removal of MPs such as Patrick Mercer. It is

:29:03.:29:10.

not as toothless as you suggest if MPs breach the code of conduct they

:29:11.:29:15.

would come before the authorities. It is not a complete con? I think it

:29:16.:29:20.

is a dangerous thing that the Government is doing. In particular

:29:21.:29:23.

the Deputy Prime Minister, it is dangerous, because I think people

:29:24.:29:26.

will imagine, just as they were promised before the election that we

:29:27.:29:30.

would have recall power, I think they will imagine that they will

:29:31.:29:33.

have the power to hold their MP to account. But it is almost impossible

:29:34.:29:37.

to imagine an MP being recalled on the back of Nick Clegg bill. One

:29:38.:29:46.

reason is in the Nick Clegg bill, unless every where elsewhere it

:29:47.:29:51.

happens, Parliament needs to make the decision. Instead of handing the

:29:52.:29:55.

power to voters, it hands it up to the House of Commons and that is the

:29:56.:29:59.

opposite of what recall should be. The criteria are so narrow and

:30:00.:30:06.

focussing on financial irregularity, if your MP didn't turn up at

:30:07.:30:11.

Parliament for five years, they would be untouchable. Let me put

:30:12.:30:21.

that to you, Tom, if an MP does those things listed, you can't do

:30:22.:30:25.

anything about it? I'm afraid some of what Zac Goldsmith has said is

:30:26.:30:31.

incorrect. There are two main changes. The first changes that any

:30:32.:30:36.

MP who receives a prison sentence of 12 months or less automatically a

:30:37.:30:40.

recall position is triggered. That is at the extreme end. Serious

:30:41.:30:46.

wrongdoing, according to the code of conduct for MPs, and equally if the

:30:47.:30:52.

commission of standards agrees they have committed serious wrongdoing,

:30:53.:30:56.

then the recall petition comes out. But Zac Goldsmith is saying that you

:30:57.:30:59.

are an MP who goes abroad every year and never speaks to constituents,

:31:00.:31:04.

can't do anything. We have a fundamental principle at stake here,

:31:05.:31:07.

and that that is people elect their member of Parliament to represent

:31:08.:31:11.

them. They elect them to take decision on their behalf. Sometimes

:31:12.:31:15.

they might not like those decisions but would what Zac is proposing, a

:31:16.:31:20.

petition could be triggered every time a member of Parliament takes a

:31:21.:31:26.

decision that a constituent does not support. What is the point of

:31:27.:31:29.

electing them to serve a five-year term? That is always the fear, that

:31:30.:31:34.

it will be vindictive. I know you say that there are triggers and a

:31:35.:31:39.

high bar before recall could happen. Is it 5%? Just quickly on

:31:40.:31:46.

those comments, what he said is not true. I have read the bill and I'm

:31:47.:31:50.

surprised he hasn't. It's not just about being sanctioned by Parliament

:31:51.:31:53.

or the committee on standards, you have to be expelled from the house

:31:54.:31:59.

for a minimum of 21 days and it never happens. It's a serious

:32:00.:32:03.

thing. To qualify the recall, it is either a custodial crime, or being

:32:04.:32:09.

thrown out of the house for a minimum of 21 days. It is very, very

:32:10.:32:13.

unlikely to capture anyone. I don't even think the jail criteria should

:32:14.:32:18.

be set by Parliament. It is possible to imagine MPs going to jail for

:32:19.:32:25.

noble reason. Terry Field went to jail for refusing to pay the poll

:32:26.:32:29.

tax. He was adored by his constituents. It shouldn't be down

:32:30.:32:32.

to Parliament. That is an interesting point. First of all,

:32:33.:32:36.

have you read the bill? As one of the ministers responsible, yes I

:32:37.:32:40.

have. Just checking because Goldsmith thinks I haven't, or

:32:41.:32:43.

you've misinterpreted. You have read it. What do you say to that point?

:32:44.:32:50.

It is an interesting one. If a prison sentence is the bar that is

:32:51.:32:55.

used, it could be unjustified. What Zac has highlighted is exactly one

:32:56.:32:58.

of the things we have built into the bill. If you had a scenario where a

:32:59.:33:04.

member of Parliament, such as the poll tax riots, and an MP was

:33:05.:33:09.

sentenced to eight prison templated -- prison sentence, there would be a

:33:10.:33:14.

rebate, but that MP's constituents could choose whether they thought

:33:15.:33:17.

that was something that required their MP to be thrown out or,

:33:18.:33:21.

alternatively, if they had some sympathy with the decision taken.

:33:22.:33:25.

How many of your colleagues are supporting new or agree with you? I

:33:26.:33:29.

put together an alternative recall bill with 22 MPs on a panel from

:33:30.:33:34.

seven different parties and we could have had 100, but when you get

:33:35.:33:37.

beyond 20 it's an unworkable committee. There is a huge support

:33:38.:33:41.

in parliament for the real deal recall bill that gives power to the

:33:42.:33:45.

institution to decide who gets to comment is not the kind of recall

:33:46.:33:50.

that people want. It's not what people outside of Parliament one.

:33:51.:33:55.

This is a recall Bill, and it will be put before you and your

:33:56.:33:57.

colleagues. Will you try to amend it? I think it needs a profound

:33:58.:34:02.

amendment. I hope the Conservative Party will apply a light whip and

:34:03.:34:06.

allow Parliament to do the job and until that is the case, I heard the

:34:07.:34:08.

Liberal Democrats will trust their own members to do the job of

:34:09.:34:14.

improving legislation, and likewise the Labour Party. It remains to be

:34:15.:34:17.

seen of Parliament is properly allowed to scrutinise the bill. If

:34:18.:34:21.

it is pushed through on a whip, we will get what we want. Is that true?

:34:22.:34:27.

Is the Chief Whip, Michael Gove, going to step back from this and

:34:28.:34:33.

actually say, you go ahead, you vote against this Liberal Democrat bill.

:34:34.:34:40.

Obviously it's a government bill but brought forward by the Deputy Prime

:34:41.:34:44.

Minister, and you can support Zac Goldsmith's amendments. It is

:34:45.:34:47.

Minister, and you can support Zac coalition bill. I have some sympathy

:34:48.:34:49.

with what Zac Goldsmith is saying because it seems to

:34:50.:34:52.

with what Zac Goldsmith is saying promise made when the coalition was

:34:53.:34:52.

formed promise made when the coalition was

:34:53.:34:55.

has been massively watered down. If we end up with a bill like this we

:34:56.:35:00.

might as well have no bill at all. So you would vote against it? I will

:35:01.:35:05.

listen to the debate and look at some of the amendments put through.

:35:06.:35:10.

The concern I have, at one level, you do not want to have vexatious

:35:11.:35:15.

individuals who through Internet petitions make life incredibly

:35:16.:35:18.

difficult on minor points. I can see what Tom says about that to that

:35:19.:35:24.

extent. But where Zac is right, the idea of entrusting it to the

:35:25.:35:28.

standards committee, and let's be candid about this, the coalition was

:35:29.:35:33.

very keen to go down this route and the first person to be subject to

:35:34.:35:37.

this recall and probably thrown out of the House of Commons was Tom's

:35:38.:35:42.

colleague, and now back in the government, David laws who

:35:43.:35:45.

misappropriated ?50,000 of money. And from thereon in, there was a

:35:46.:35:50.

view that we should get the standards committee in and water it

:35:51.:35:52.

down, because there was a realisation that the best will in

:35:53.:35:56.

the world, this wasn't the best idea. Is that part of the reason you

:35:57.:36:02.

have watered it down? No, what we have come forward with is a bill

:36:03.:36:08.

that reflects when serious action needs to be taken. Mark himself has

:36:09.:36:12.

admitted that one of the problems with the bill from Zac Goldsmith is

:36:13.:36:16.

that people can almost, willy-nilly, launch petitions and sometimes of a

:36:17.:36:22.

politically motivated nature against their opponents. Imagine what will

:36:23.:36:25.

happen in every marginal constituency. Political opponent --

:36:26.:36:29.

opponents will launch petition of the petition to unseat the opponent.

:36:30.:36:33.

You are nodding your head, and I will come back to you. But I must

:36:34.:36:37.

bring Owen Smith in. You are nodding your head, so you agree that you

:36:38.:36:43.

will support the bill. I was in favour of recall. Which version? I

:36:44.:36:50.

am more in favour of something akin to Zac Goldsmith's. The recall Bill

:36:51.:36:58.

currently looks pretty thin. The problem is is that it leaves recall

:36:59.:37:01.

still largely in the hands of Parliament, and the whole point

:37:02.:37:05.

about recall is that we need to make sure that the public is central to

:37:06.:37:08.

the decision. But it's not easy, because Tom is equally right, if you

:37:09.:37:13.

set the threshold at too low a level you will end up with MPs being

:37:14.:37:18.

attacked. Frankly, the public doesn't really like is it all right

:37:19.:37:27.

now. You might say that there are some amazing constituency MPs. But

:37:28.:37:29.

even the amazing once would have people who don't like them. Let Zac

:37:30.:37:37.

have a word, because he wanted to come back. Who is presenting this

:37:38.:37:43.

programme? You or me? As it stands, you would not support the bill?

:37:44.:37:48.

There is nothing in the bill about the standards committee, so I

:37:49.:37:50.

presume the government will say something about it. We have run out

:37:51.:37:55.

of time, but go ahead. Simply to say there is a safeguard, 20% threshold.

:37:56.:38:00.

There are 40,000 people who took part in the online petition, quite a

:38:01.:38:04.

detailed one, who believes that 20% is the right level, so for me to be

:38:05.:38:09.

recall from my constituency, 15,000 people would have to sign the

:38:10.:38:13.

petition and then there would be a recall referendum. That would not

:38:14.:38:17.

happen unless I had badly let my constituents down. There is nothing

:38:18.:38:18.

to fear from recall. Now, if they vote

:38:19.:38:20.

"Yes" on Thursday Scotland will Well, last week, motivated

:38:21.:38:22.

apparently by a tightening in the polls, the parties supporting a

:38:23.:38:27.

"no" vote came together to promise the swift transfer of additional

:38:28.:38:30.

powers to the Scottish Parliament. But will any post-referendum

:38:31.:38:32.

settlement be fair to people Giles wheeled out

:38:33.:38:34.

his moodbox onto the streets You could not get a more binary

:38:35.:38:51.

question in the Scottish referendum, yes or no, but that's not what we're

:38:52.:38:54.

asking this morning. The Scots have been offered if they vote no

:38:55.:38:57.

something called Devo Max which means they don't have to make cuts

:38:58.:39:01.

to the NHS or welfare benefits and they would get tax raising powers.

:39:02.:39:07.

So the question is, is that fair or unfair to the rest of the UK? From

:39:08.:39:14.

what I know of it, probably unfair, slightly, to the rest of the UK.

:39:15.:39:20.

Better for the Scots. Pop your ball in the unfair slot of the mood box.

:39:21.:39:26.

The Scottish referendum. I don't know anything. That's a big question

:39:27.:39:34.

on Monday morning with a hangover. I think it's fair to the rest of the

:39:35.:39:40.

UK. I think other parts of the UK should probably be offered a similar

:39:41.:39:45.

deal if that happens. Yes. For a hungover man, that's a smart point.

:39:46.:39:52.

I think it is the incompetent politicians trying to bribe the

:39:53.:39:55.

Scots. I am very much for the union, but I think this is a pathetic

:39:56.:39:57.

attempt to win a few votes. They should have more power to

:39:58.:40:06.

decide where they want to spend their money, whether it is the

:40:07.:40:09.

National Health Service or universities. But within the UK? In

:40:10.:40:14.

the UK. I think they should stay in the UK. Technically, it might not be

:40:15.:40:20.

fair, the way the vote is constructive. It has caused so much

:40:21.:40:24.

conversation and the offer of an expanded sense of devolution, so

:40:25.:40:27.

that is useful for everybody. You are very much in the fair camp. Pop

:40:28.:40:31.

that in the box for me. Don't walk off with the ball. Sorry, I'm not

:40:32.:40:37.

paying attention. Doesn't sound like a fair deal for us. Seems like they

:40:38.:40:41.

are getting a big slice of the cake and we are left with the crumbs. Any

:40:42.:40:49.

colour? Any colour you like. No significance to the colour of the

:40:50.:40:52.

balls. Probably fair because it's just extra powers, not a lot of

:40:53.:40:58.

difference. Probably slightly unfair. A bit of a knee jerk

:40:59.:41:01.

reaction from the government, trying to placate the Scots at the last

:41:02.:41:03.

minute. I know the Scottish are having a

:41:04.:41:11.

vote, so should the rest of the UK have a vote? I think it's really

:41:12.:41:18.

unfair. You give them more powers, if they decide that way. Unfair.

:41:19.:41:24.

The only thing we can be confident about the Scottish referendum is

:41:25.:41:29.

that it is going to be very close, and it looks on that border of

:41:30.:41:35.

50/50. And the irony is, so is this. The interesting thing is the

:41:36.:41:38.

different reasons why people have gone fair or unfair but we have

:41:39.:41:43.

counted, and unfair as just, just got it. -- has just. Owen Smith, has

:41:44.:41:56.

it been a bribe on the back of a panic and too much offered to

:41:57.:42:00.

Scotland that will lead to resentment in the rest of the UK if

:42:01.:42:05.

Scotland votes yes? Not at all. Labour had a devolution commission

:42:06.:42:08.

in Scotland eight months ago and proposed that we would have new

:42:09.:42:12.

powers for Scotland over taxation, welfare and housing benefit, and at

:42:13.:42:15.

the same time we announced we would provide the same offer to Wales,

:42:16.:42:19.

putting Wales on the same footing as England in respect of the model of

:42:20.:42:22.

powers, and only three months ago, we had a report and a speech from Ed

:42:23.:42:27.

Miliband talking about devolution to the English regions. We've been

:42:28.:42:31.

talking about it for a long time. I started writing about it in 2000. I

:42:32.:42:35.

will point you to the publication. Please do. I cannot wait. If

:42:36.:42:39.

Scotland votes no and gets the powers is there an appetite in Wales

:42:40.:42:43.

for the same level of autonomy? There's an appetite for the same

:42:44.:42:48.

sort of powers. Devolution, but is their independence desire? No, but

:42:49.:42:54.

there's appetite for power. How much would they like, in terms of

:42:55.:42:59.

tax-raising powers, for example? We think the Welsh people would have to

:43:00.:43:02.

be given a vote on it. We think Wales should have the same

:43:03.:43:06.

tax-raising powers as Scotland. 15p in the pound, the ability to set a

:43:07.:43:10.

progressive rate, as we propose that Scotland, but unlike in Scotland

:43:11.:43:13.

where we never had a vote on tax-raising powers, we would have to

:43:14.:43:17.

have a referendum to determine if Wales would be better off under the

:43:18.:43:19.

scenario and whether the Welsh people wanted. Gosh, another

:43:20.:43:25.

referendum. It's important stuff. Crumbs, I heard, and England left

:43:26.:43:30.

with the leftovers to coin a phrase. Is that how you see it? Do you agree

:43:31.:43:33.

with John Redwood that it is Is that how you see it? Do you agree

:43:34.:43:37.

for an English parliament? There cannot be all this autonomy for

:43:38.:43:41.

Scotland, possibly Wales and Northern Ireland in the future and

:43:42.:43:45.

Scotland, possibly Wales and England gets nothing? It was a bit

:43:46.:43:48.

of a panic measure, watching Gordon Brown, who has no mandate for any of

:43:49.:43:52.

this, a man who led his party to 29% of the vote at the last election and

:43:53.:43:57.

was thrown out, and suddenly announced on the back of an envelope

:43:58.:44:00.

that these are the new powers you will get. He didn't offer as much as

:44:01.:44:06.

the Conservatives. The truth is, there has been desperation from the

:44:07.:44:09.

political establishment to make sure we get the right result. David

:44:10.:44:14.

Cameron probably sanctioned it. I think he went along with it after.

:44:15.:44:19.

There will be resentment from England in particular, I think about

:44:20.:44:23.

the idea of more powers. The idea of having this referendum is to make it

:44:24.:44:26.

clear once and for all, you go independent or not, and if you

:44:27.:44:30.

don't, we will have similar powers. My own view, and I do agree with

:44:31.:44:35.

John Redwood, we now need to think about the idea of having a

:44:36.:44:37.

federalised United Kingdom, have an English Parliament, and the truth

:44:38.:44:42.

for all of us as politicians is this, if we don't grasp the nettle,

:44:43.:44:47.

I can tell you one person who will, that is Nigel Farage that when be in

:44:48.:44:50.

the interest of the political class or the constituents we represent. If

:44:51.:44:55.

we are going to extend the devolution plus group of powers to

:44:56.:45:01.

Scotland, at the self same time, I'd like to see the bill bringing

:45:02.:45:04.

forward making it clear that there would be powers for England, Wales

:45:05.:45:10.

and Northern Ireland. For some it would be absurd to continue having

:45:11.:45:17.

Scottish MPs voting on English-only matters if they have more power and

:45:18.:45:22.

have powers over tax and spend that they should be voting on what could

:45:23.:45:26.

be an English budget? Well this is a problem that has to be solved. What

:45:27.:45:33.

is your view? I think first, it will require devolution to Wales and more

:45:34.:45:37.

devolution to Wales and more devolution to England. I am not sure

:45:38.:45:42.

about whether the English Parliament is the solution. What the Liberal

:45:43.:45:46.

Democrats have been advocating is devolution which is something that

:45:47.:45:52.

people opt into in England in terms of regions like Cornwall. What does

:45:53.:45:57.

that mean? Well some cities want to take on, have wanted to take on

:45:58.:46:01.

responsibilities for certain aspects of their infrastructure and training

:46:02.:46:05.

that we allow them to do that at a pace that is needed. But I accept

:46:06.:46:10.

that the question of Scottish MPs voting on English matters is one

:46:11.:46:16.

that, to which a solution is needed. What has been interesting is that it

:46:17.:46:21.

has forced the pace for the Conservative the Labour Party and

:46:22.:46:24.

the Liberal Democrats to find a collective position on this. But

:46:25.:46:29.

should your Scottish MPs be able to vote on issues that do not affect

:46:30.:46:37.

their constituents. If slapped votes no -- Scotland votes no would it be

:46:38.:46:44.

fair to let that continue? It becomes something that people in

:46:45.:46:48.

England understand less and less the more power that is devolved to

:46:49.:46:53.

Scotland, but they play a key role. So you don't think it is fair. It

:46:54.:46:58.

something we would need to work on quickly having made the commitment

:46:59.:47:01.

from a day after the referendum to move in relation to Scotland. Do you

:47:02.:47:06.

agree it could be particularly pertinent for a Labour Party,

:47:07.:47:09.

talking to John Reid about this, if you have a Labour Government that is

:47:10.:47:15.

reliept on Scottish -- reliant on Scottish Labour MP and tries to push

:47:16.:47:23.

through a budget which is only affecting England and English

:47:24.:47:27.

constituencies it would be ridiculous to have Scottish Labour

:47:28.:47:32.

MPs voting. It would be if it was as simple as that Well it is. But what

:47:33.:47:39.

you would have is a Scottish rate that would demur from an English

:47:40.:47:43.

rate and the English rate would be relevant. All health and public

:47:44.:47:47.

services spending in Wales and in Scotland is because of the Barnett

:47:48.:47:51.

formula contingent on how much is allocated in England. So no more

:47:52.:47:55.

austerity for the NHS in Scotland that would be protected. Nobody is

:47:56.:47:59.

talking about devolving these things. What did you mean... This is

:48:00.:48:04.

not simple and it is not as you describe it. You're not giving

:48:05.:48:08.

powers to Scotland. What I'm trying to get to what is it that is being

:48:09.:48:14.

offered to Scotland, because if they're not going to get powers,

:48:15.:48:19.

that is a different and to some extent the yes campaign are right.

:48:20.:48:24.

That is not what I said. I want to make this point. It is important for

:48:25.:48:31.

voters to understand what is being offered. If the parties are saying

:48:32.:48:36.

we will protect the nature fres austerity in Scotland -- the NHS

:48:37.:48:40.

from austerity in Scotland why not here? That is a different question.

:48:41.:48:44.

You asked what are we offering Scotland. We are offering Scotland

:48:45.:48:51.

the ability to change rate rates and make 60% of all the monies spent in

:48:52.:49:00.

Scotland raised in Scotland. However English tax rates UK-tax rates would

:49:01.:49:06.

be relevant, because they would be shifting from an English rate. All

:49:07.:49:10.

of those things would be voted on by Scottish or Welsh members and be of

:49:11.:49:15.

relevance to the people of Scotland or Wales. It is not as cleanly

:49:16.:49:19.

divided as you are making out. On that note I will have to say goodbye

:49:20.:49:29.

to you all. Now back to Scotland. I am not sure we went far from it. We

:49:30.:49:35.

spoke to John Reid earlier in the programme. We can speak n to Blair

:49:36.:49:47.

Jenkins of the yes campaign. Do you think people will vote yes, because

:49:48.:49:52.

they want a more left-wing and fairer society in Scotland? I think

:49:53.:49:56.

fairness has been a big part of the debate. The idea that as an

:49:57.:50:01.

independent country we can have a more socially just society has been

:50:02.:50:05.

a powerful part of yes campaign. I know a lot of people who have come

:50:06.:50:10.

into the deep and broad yes movement have only come in or have largely

:50:11.:50:15.

come in because of the idea of a more equal society and greater

:50:16.:50:21.

equality and that than a big part of the campaign. Do you think a 3% cut

:50:22.:50:26.

in corporation tax will result in a fairer Scotland? That is an SNP

:50:27.:50:30.

policy. I'm not in the SNP. I understand that but I'm asking for

:50:31.:50:34.

you view on that policy. Do you think that would result in a fairer

:50:35.:50:40.

society? I give can you my views as an individual. If you reduce

:50:41.:50:45.

corporation tax you bring in investment and create thousands of

:50:46.:50:49.

new jobs. So this is something that will have to be put by the SNP in

:50:50.:50:55.

the manifesto in the first election to an independent Scottish

:50:56.:50:59.

Parliament. Do you think it is fairer? Will it help poorer people

:51:00.:51:03.

in Scotland and help working people in Scotland or will it result in a

:51:04.:51:09.

race to the bottom on corporation tax to attract investment and

:51:10.:51:14.

actually is seen as a tax cut for very wealthy? It is not a tax cut

:51:15.:51:22.

aimed at individuals. It will be judged good if people felt it would

:51:23.:51:26.

create more well paid jobs in Scotland. So it is only one of a

:51:27.:51:31.

number of thing we think we can do. There is a view we should raise the

:51:32.:51:36.

minimum wage to the level of living wage and only with independence can

:51:37.:51:42.

we protect public services. This is again, these policy issues are

:51:43.:51:46.

things that all of the parties in Scotland, the Scottish Labour Party

:51:47.:51:51.

and others will have to put to the electorate. The notion of an

:51:52.:51:58.

independent Scotland could set a greater Pars to social justice is a

:51:59.:52:02.

big part of the campaign. What do you say to George Galloway who said

:52:03.:52:07.

that Alex Salmond will cut the taxes on companies to 3%, business will

:52:08.:52:11.

only be attracted to come here, a country of five million people if

:52:12.:52:15.

there is low regularration and low levels of taxation. You can't have

:52:16.:52:24.

Scandinavian levels of tax. He is out of touch with the debate in

:52:25.:52:30.

Scotland. There is a strong view that we can aspire to be more like a

:52:31.:52:34.

Scandinavian society, but it is possible to have both and have

:52:35.:52:39.

successful economy and strong public services and a high degree of

:52:40.:52:44.

commitment to public services. So I don't think there is a need to be

:52:45.:52:49.

engaged in a race to the bottom. You wouldn't get elected in Scotland if

:52:50.:52:53.

you propose to reduce wages. You would have no chance of being

:52:54.:52:58.

elected. If we look then at working people again, Gordon Brown wrote

:52:59.:53:04.

over the weekend the sharing of welfare, health and pensions is best

:53:05.:53:08.

served by staying in the union and Scotland is being sold a lie about

:53:09.:53:12.

independence when looking at the economics. That doesn't stack up.

:53:13.:53:19.

You know we know the total cost of social protection including pensions

:53:20.:53:24.

is a smaller proportion, a smaller share of the total Scottish GDP than

:53:25.:53:30.

the UK as a whole. Pensions are more affordable in an independent

:53:31.:53:34.

Scotland. In the years of devolved Scottish Parliament under successive

:53:35.:53:37.

administrations, the Labour and Liberal Democrat administration and

:53:38.:53:40.

the SNP administration, we have demonstrated a greater commitment to

:53:41.:53:43.

social protection and to looking after one another and I think the

:53:44.:53:47.

Westminster agenda, where increasingly it seems public

:53:48.:53:51.

services are regarded as a regrettable ex-pension, that is not

:53:52.:53:55.

part of -- expense, that is not part of Scottish debate and people here

:53:56.:54:00.

are confident we can do better and the UK state pension is about the

:54:01.:54:04.

worst in Europe. So we believe we can do better. There is a belief

:54:05.:54:10.

here that we can set our our priority and we believe we can grow

:54:11.:54:14.

our economy and improve the living opportunities, the life

:54:15.:54:17.

opportunities of more of our people. Let's turn to something else and the

:54:18.:54:25.

protests against the BBC. Did the yes campaign organise those? No,

:54:26.:54:31.

what you saw outside the BBC was a spontaneous demonstration, social

:54:32.:54:34.

media has lots of things on it and one thing you can do is gather

:54:35.:54:39.

people together quickly. It was a spontaneous protest by people who

:54:40.:54:45.

felt that the BBC was not reporting the referendum impartially. They're

:54:46.:54:50.

entitled to do that. Let's see the pictures. People got together if you

:54:51.:54:58.

didn't sanction it, do you condemn the protests? No, to the best of my

:54:59.:55:05.

knowledge and I spoke to BBC staff here today, and everyone said the

:55:06.:55:12.

protest was good natured and not intimidating, it was a thing that

:55:13.:55:16.

people do in a democracy, that is when they have a feeling they want

:55:17.:55:21.

to vent they vent it. It is a big rally. I don't know if it was

:55:22.:55:25.

intimidating, do you think it will work in your favour? I don't know.

:55:26.:55:32.

Because we didn't organise it. It was something that happened. A lot

:55:33.:55:35.

of what is happening in Scotland now, we are the, the yes movement is

:55:36.:55:41.

the biggest grass movement Scotland has seen. A lot it self-generated by

:55:42.:55:48.

local yes groups. So I think what you saw yesterday was an expression

:55:49.:55:55.

of anger and hurt that some people felt the BBC wasn't doing its job.

:55:56.:56:01.

Over what though exactly? Is the BBC particularly being condemned for

:56:02.:56:06.

drawing attention to things the yes campaign does not want to hear. Does

:56:07.:56:11.

it not questions being put to somebody like Alex Salmond who is

:56:12.:56:13.

more than capable of dealing with them? I am sure Alex Salmond, as a

:56:14.:56:19.

journalist I have found him he is robust in dealing with journalists.

:56:20.:56:24.

So you are afraid of being questioned? I don't think anything

:56:25.:56:31.

could suggest that. People are reflecting the sense that there has

:56:32.:56:37.

been an unwillingness of part of London-based journalists to

:56:38.:56:41.

understand what is happening here the local BBC journalists get elowed

:56:42.:56:45.

aside by the network journalists by the view that there is something

:56:46.:56:49.

strange going on. And those who follow the debate understand it is

:56:50.:56:56.

an open and democratic process and it has been a fantastic thing to go

:56:57.:57:01.

through. The different people have different views, there has been a

:57:02.:57:06.

lot of tension as it got closer, you would expect that that tempers

:57:07.:57:10.

running high and we have seen Jim Murphy being pelted with eggs. We

:57:11.:57:16.

have seen rallies and these things are legitimate in a democracy, but

:57:17.:57:22.

are you confident that there haven't been threats made to businesses who

:57:23.:57:26.

want to speak out against independence and that the media are

:57:27.:57:33.

not being stopped from asking awkward questions? What we notice

:57:34.:57:38.

pressure that is being applied to companies and businesses to

:57:39.:57:41.

intervene is being applied from the no side and it is David Cameron

:57:42.:57:44.

having people around to dreetd to encourage them -- Downing Street to

:57:45.:57:49.

encourage them to intimidate people out of voting yes. The campaign

:57:50.:57:55.

here, it has been a good natured campaign. The very, very small

:57:56.:57:59.

number of occasions where one or two people on either side have behaved

:58:00.:58:04.

inappropriately should not distort the nature of the campaign. The

:58:05.:58:08.

whole world is watching Scotland and the reporting is of a amazele we can

:58:09.:58:15.

-- amazement we can have a debate in such a respectful way. I'm proud of

:58:16.:58:18.

debate in Scotland and I think people on both sides have handled it

:58:19.:58:24.

well. Thank you very much. Only a few more days to go.

:58:25.:58:27.

And if you want more on the Scottish Referendum there's a Panorama

:58:28.:58:30.

Special on tonight presented by my colleague Alan Little looking

:58:31.:58:32.

at what has happened in the past four decades to transform the

:58:33.:58:35.

The One o'clock News is starting over on BBC One now.

:58:36.:58:46.

I'll be here again at noon tomorrow - do join me then.

:58:47.:58:49.

The guns fell silent on November 11th 1918, but the shadow

:58:50.:59:12.

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