15/09/2014 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics.


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


We'll bring you the latest on the campaigns.


After the brutal murder of David Haines - and threats


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


Want to kick your errant MP out of the commons?


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


But one Conservative MP says voters are being conned.


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


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


The independence referendum is on Thursday


A year ago the No campaign had a comfortable lead


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


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


to this campaign, journalist and broadcaster, Lesley


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


only one newspaper supports independence, and those people when


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


said, the yes organisation has traditionally been with the backing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


managed to achieve huge amounts of reconciliation. Scotland, by


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


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


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


John Reid is a former Labour Cabinet Minister.


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


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


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


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


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


Together campaign has collapsed during the campaigning, and because


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


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


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


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


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


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


actually vote is that it is very close. And


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


particularly on the positive benefits of being part of a bigger


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


parties who reacted to one particular poll that put the Yes


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


whistling the sentiment of the English parties. I have been


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


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


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


want to have the richness of Scottish heritage and culture within


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


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


Arscott generally worried about what will happen in the general election


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


Scottish people felt about Westminster leaders, when they are


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


matter to Scottish people if Ed Miliband wins the next election


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


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


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


character, a great celebrity and a leader of various revolutionary


socialist parties that have no support whatsoever in Scotland. But


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have had a majority Labour government and next year we will


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


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


had enormous assistance in financial stability, economic strength,


individual opportunity and social justice because of being part of the


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


welfare state, competence of education, race relations, the


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


Scottish values but British governments. And in the main,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


believe, of recognition that the centralising more powers to city


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


talking about exclusively English matters, then of course there will


be a discussion about how those discussions are reached if we


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Thank you very much. "They are not Muslims,


they are monsters". Those were the words of


David Cameron yesterday as he responded to the beheading


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


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


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


in Syria in December last year. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond


will meet ministers from other countries at


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


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


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


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


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


Westminster. However, the Prime Minister will tread carefully after


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


a head long rush without thinking through the implications, thinking


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


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


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


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


distinction between what is happening in Iraq and Syria. Not


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


clear on the objectives. Hypothetically yes if all those


things were clear and there were agreement in Labour and in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


necessary, you would argue humanitarian reasons, just like the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and be a danger to us all. Thank you.


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


The Recall Bill was unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


commission of standards agrees they have committed serious wrongdoing,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


with what Zac Goldsmith is saying because it seems to


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


formed promise made when the coalition was


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


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


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


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


individuals who through Internet petitions make life incredibly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


politically motivated nature against their opponents. Imagine what will


happen in every marginal constituency. Political opponent --


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to fear from recall. Now, if they vote


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


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


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


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


settlement be fair to people Giles wheeled out


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


I think it is the incompetent politicians trying to bribe the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


minute. I know the Scottish are having a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


scenario and whether the Welsh people wanted. Gosh, another


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


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


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


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


Scotland, possibly Wales and Northern Ireland in the future and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Democrats have been advocating is devolution which is something that


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


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


responsibilities for certain aspects of their infrastructure and training


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


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


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


has forced the pace for the Conservative the Labour Party and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


agree it could be particularly pertinent for a Labour Party,


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


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


through a budget which is only affecting England and English


constituencies it would be ridiculous to have Scottish Labour


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


corporation tax you bring in investment and create thousands of


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


the manifesto in the first election to an independent Scottish


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


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


race to the bottom on corporation tax to attract investment and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


successful economy and strong public services and a high degree of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Scotland. In the years of devolved Scottish Parliament under successive


administrations, the Labour and Liberal Democrat administration and


the SNP administration, we have demonstrated a greater commitment to


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


Westminster agenda, where increasingly it seems public


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


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


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


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


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


our economy and improve the living opportunities, the life


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


been an unwillingness of part of London-based journalists to


understand what is happening here the local BBC journalists get elowed


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


want to speak out against independence and that the media are


not being stopped from asking awkward questions? What we notice


pressure that is being applied to companies and businesses to


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


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


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


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


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


inappropriately should not distort the nature of the campaign. The


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


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


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


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


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


Special on tonight presented by my colleague Alan Little looking


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


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


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


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


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