22/09/2016 Daily Politics


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It's been one year since the Government passed a law


to ensure "English votes for English laws" at Westminster.


But will it make any difference when it comes to big issues


There's anger at the treatment of British troops accused of war


crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan - but are investigators coming under


Following the Brexit vote, there were reports of a rush


to a second referendum on Scottish independence.


We'll be asking when and if it might happen.


It's not the hard left, more the soft left ? yes,


you can even bring your teddy to Momentum's new activity


We'll be getting the view of children's author Michael Rosen.


You could bring your teddy bear, couldn't you? You have more than I


have! And with us for the whole


of the programme today, He used to be a TV presenter,


you know, although he was never as famous as me and JoCo,


and that might be why he gave up this life of unstinting


sacrifice and public service for all the glamour,


fame and riches that I think I've got that


the right way round. Welcome to the show,


John. First today, the Government has said


it is committed to introducing a new law to pardon gay men


convicted under historical The legislation has been referred


to as the Alan Turing Law, after the World War II code breaker


who was pardoned in 2013, decades after he was convicted


of gross indecency in 1952. Relatives of Mr Turing,


whose work was critical in Allied efforts to read


German naval messages, have led a high-profile


campaign to secure pardons for the 49,000 other men convicted


under those laws. The Government promised to act


in last year's election manifesto, and our guest of the day has already


introduced a private member's bill to get the Turing Law


onto the statute books. Are the proposal from the Government


actually going to do what you would like to see in terms of pardoning


these 49,000 men? I don't quite know yet. I won the Private members draw,


and I decided with Government support that I would introduce the


Turing law. The idea is that pardons would be given to all the people


found guilty of a crime which is no longer a crime. It was interesting


in terms of the politics, because you and Andrew know, I am a new MP,


and when I won this, I was invited in to see the Tory whips. You walk


down this corridor with posters of great Tory victories on either side,


and you are taken into see the deputy Chief Whip. She said, I am


keen for this to reach the statute book, if you run with it, there will


be no tricks or games from the conservative side. That's


reassuring! I felt like a lack -- I was in a scene from House Of Cards.


One of the other whips said, you are delightfully naive, Mr Nicolson.


Will it get the statute books? I don't know any more than you do


about what the Government has said. My bill will be introduced on the


21st as a Private members Bill. It is great to forgive all the people


who are now dead, but it is kind of sentimental. I am interested in the


people who asked alive and who have lived with this for decades. Would


that include those people too? Yes, so my bill says that there will be


pardons for anyone found guilty, alive or dead, of any crime that is


no longer on the statute book. Typically, for example, if you were


21 and you had a boyfriend who was 20, you could have been found guilty


of having underage sex. We think that is absurd now, but these guys


have criminal convictions will stop they lived with that, and it was a


great shame for their families. That's right. So I think it is good


to pardon those who have died, for the sake of their families, but it


is important to pardon those who are still alive. I wonder why it is


taking so long. I remember the apology from Gordon Brown in 2009


for what happened to Alan Turing and others, and yet here we are in 2016


and it is not there get. I made a film in 1992 for the BBC called A


Question Of Consent, and I took Edwina Currie to Amsterdam to look


at a quality in action. It was the first time she became interested.


She had James Anderson -- James Anderton, God's copper. I remember


him. His job was to come on to gay men in and if they responded, they


would be arrested. It would be called entrapment now. I said it was


a prurience thing to want to do with police time. He defended it and said


it was the right thing to do. People caught by him still have criminal


convictions, and I want to give them some peace. Keypads in touch with


what happens with the bill. -- keep us. It is time for our daily quiz.


The question for today is about an hour-long documentary


It was released online yesterday and it was made


At the end of the show, John will give us the correct


You hope! I think we know who it wasn't!


"English votes for English laws" was the mechanism introduced


by David Cameron's government to answer concerns about the ability


of Scottish MPs to veto legislation that applied only


It's known at Westminster by the menacing-sounding acronym


Evel, and it's been in place for a year.


Theresa May's government says it is going to review the


So, what exactly is it, and is it working?


Think back two years ago to the morning after the Scottish


David Cameron stood on the steps of Downing Street and said


new powers for Scotland should be balanced by "English


It was an attempt to answer the so-called "West Lothian


Question", which concerns Scottish MPs voting on matters that


Under rules introduced last October, the Speaker, John Bercow,


now decides if each new law applies only to England,


A new stage in the law-making process was also created,


the Legislative Grand Committee, where only MPs from


The changes came into effect in January.


So far, the Speaker has certified 11 bills under what is known as Evel,


including on housing and policing and crime.


And there have been 14 divisions on other pieces of legislation


in which only English or English and Welsh


But the controversy hasn't gone away.


The Government was forced to shelve a vote last summer on relaxing


the fox-hunting ban in England and Wales,


after the Scottish National Party pledged to vote


Now, there are suggestions the SNP could attempt to block


Theresa May's plans for grammar schools in England.


And the Government is now carrying out a review of the process.


Leader of the Commons David Lidington told MPs the details


Well, to discuss this, we're joined by the Conservative MP


Chris Philp, and of course, John Nicolson is still here.


Chris, is it working? It is a good start in the sense that it means


that for the first time English MPs have effectively a veto over


measures that only affect England, which did not exist before, and it


is a small step to stop the unfairness whereby Scottish MPs can


vote on matters that affect only England but England's's MPs don't


have the reciprocal right. When you say a beta, what do you mean? I


thought the purpose was not a veto but -- veto. It is still subject to


a vote by the whole house. Even if English members vote for something,


it could still be voted down by the house as a health. It has not


happened so far, but it is a power of veto, not to positively


legislate. The ban on fox hunting, which was only for England and


Wales, the Government withdrew that when the SNP said they would vote


against it. Is that not a huge hole in the middle of what you're trying


to do? In that situation, if the whole house could vote against it,


it would not progress. Nicola Sturgeon said clearly in February 20


oh that's right 2015, the SNP members would not be voting on


England only matters. Come July 2015, just a few months later, she


did a U-turn and decided that fox hunting in England was of such


critical importance in Scotland that they would vote on it after all,


which I thought was shamelessly opportunistic. What was the logic of


the SNP voting on it? Did you worry that you would be inundated with


leaking Fox's? PHONE RINGS


I was inundated with Tory MPs asking us to vote on that, actually. A lot


of people don't realise how many Conservative -- I was inundated with


Tory MPs. People don't realise how many Conservative MPs were against


it. She did change her mind, Nicola Sturgeon, which I think politicians


are allowed to do. My view was, I am strongly against blood sports, and I


thought we were right to vote on it. Although you mention Fox's crossing


the border in jest, the hunt do not respect the border. There used to be


a rule which was broadly adhered to by the Scottish Nationalists that


you didn't vote on what you would regard as England only matters. That


seems to have gone by the wayside. What is the rule now? Since I have


been in the House of Commons, the issue as always been whether or not


it has a knock-on financial effect, with the exception of the fox


hunting one which you raise. I say to you why we said we would vote on


that. You could not have carried the Tory backbenches on it anyway, in


errant irony. A Barnett consequential would be the thing we


would vote on. If it comes to the House, will you vote on Theresa


May's plans on grammar schools for England? We don't know yet. It will


depend on whether there are financial implications or not.


Whether it is done on the existing education budget or a bit more is


added to the budget to greatly schools, which of course you would


get benefit from, even though you want be introducing grammar schools?


Where would the negative consequential be? I will have to see


the detail, which I don't yet know. You are kind of making it up as you


go along. No, really. The financial implications are key. Can you point


me to other examples where the SNP has intervened? It is not in our


voting record in the last year. Sunday trading was something you


were accused of turning into an opportunistic example of voting on


something that would not affect you directly. It did not go beyond


preliminary discussions. There was a vote on it, and the SNP voted


against the Government's motion. As a result, Sunday trading laws in


Croydon had been affected by your vote. I can't vote on Sunday trading


in your constituency, so it is not fair. Barnett consequential are made


up as a tiny figleaf to excuse basically troublemaking. I like it


that if we don't help you get your legislation through we are


troublemakers. You can't carry your backbenches. They are hostile. That


is his problem. It is his problem. You are not there to help the Tory


party, so why are you making the point? Because he is talking as if


the Tory party is united on these issues and it is only a bunch of


troublemakers in the air sent P Hu... There could be an issue. -- in


the SNP who... Do you agree that if a vote on grammar schools comes


before the Commons and it is clearly an English only matter, if the


Scottish Nationalists are able to vote under the EVEL rules, there is


a coach and horses through EVEL that makes it relevant? It was only ever


a veto, but it would expose the weakness you are talking about. It


would mean that English MPs alone cannot get something through. It


would be good to strengthen the reform not to make it just a power


of veto but a power of legislation as well, where the Scots did not


have a veto. On fox hunting, I may well have voted against it, as you


did or would have done. That is not the point. The point is that it is


not fair for Scottish MPs to vote on matters that do not affect them at


all. Can I just clarify - is it your


desire to toughen this up? Well, I think there is a case for looking at


that. If the SNP show... Governments are always tinkering. But I think if


the SNP respect the spirit of what is intended and leave the grammar


school legislation and similar things alone, then I think we could


say the system is working. If on the other hand they abuse the current


arrangements, and I would put it as strongly as abuse, then we need to


look at it. I'm not sure what that means you should do! Because this is


very complicated, this business. I think it was William Hague, of


course, he's not there any more, but he put it together. If this is the


way you want to go roster whether that's right is another matter - but


if it was the way you wanted to go, what would be wrong with the Speaker


designating a bill as England only, and you simply say, Scottish MPs


cannot vote on that matter? That's effectively what I'm suggesting we


would need to look at if they, as it were, misbehave and abuse the


current system. The danger is that you start creating an English


Parliament by the back door. You need to think carefully before you


tinker with the constitution. Scotland has got a parliament, Wales


has got a parliament. We're all being moved out of the crumbling


House of Commons. It's the perfect time for you to set up an endless


Parliament and resolve this issue. And place it in the north of


England? Which would be even more fabulous. Some would say we have got


enough Parliaments already. You're creating more lords, you will have


more lords than MPs. Cut them. Whether Scotland ends up independent


or not, the whole trend of British constitutional policy is for further


devolution - devolution to Scotland, more powers for Wales and Northern


Ireland and devolution to some extent, although more


administrative, within England itself, in Manchester and all the


rest of it. If that's the direction of travel, which it seems clear it


has been since before Mr Blair, would it not make sense to look at


an English Parliament? As I say, I think you mess around with the


constitution with caution. These are complicated, long-standing


traditions. We have enough politicians already, local councils,


county councils, a huge number already. The reason the SNP are keen


to see an English parliament is because they think it will pick the


ties... I don't think you're giving me friendly advice, I think you're


trying to unpick the ties. Anyway, we've run out of time! I'm just


saying it's a good idea. We will come back to Evel, however you


pronounce it. Evel sounds less sinister! And anyway, you don't


spell evil like that! Theresa May has been under pressure! You might


pronounce it like that! She has been to a grammar school, hasn't she? No,


actually! Theresa May has been under


pressure this week to scrap the Iraq Historic Allegations Team,


which is handling some 1,500 allegations of murder,


abuse and torture carried out by British soldiers


during the conflict in Iraq. This morning's Daily Telegraph


reports that a further 550 historic allegations of crimes committed


by British troops in Afghanistan are also under investigation,


leading to claims from senior political and military figures that


many of the allegations The prime minister was asked


about the claims on her trip to the United Nations this


week, and she said... "We should all be proud


of our armed forces." We can be proud of the disciplined


way in which our armed Ihat, the Iraq Historic Allegations


Team, will be able to focus on cases where there may be


questions of allegations." Well, we're joined


now by Tim Collins. He led the 1st Batallion Irish


Regiment in Iraq, and he has said that many of the allegations are


being made by "parasitic lawyers". Welcome to the programme - how do


you distinguish between a legitimate and vexatious claim? Well, I think


that throughout the conflict, not just in Iraq but in Afghanistan as


well, and remember we also have large caseload of investigations


from Northern Ireland, is Russian forces operations there. And I think


certainly looking at Iraq, the military police on the ground have


already investigated these things. But if someone saw an opportunity to


make a fast buck, and that was facilitated by government, and now


it has become a runaway train. When you look at the depth and the


complicity of the lies that we are told in these enquiries, you have to


say, enough. At it is difficult to distinguish between the two - you


don't I presume want to shop down the jet claims of abuse and torture


as per international treaties wanted it is a bit like, do you keep


looking at these things until you get the answer you want, like the


referendum? You have described it as an industry. It is an industry. And


in terms of the numbers cases reported today, 550 - is that what


makes it an industry as well as the money that's involved? Well, I think


again, it's a runaway train. There is 550 cases, 157 complaints, ?7.5


million has been put into its. There's 124 MPs investigating it. So


far they have dismissed 16 cases and there has not been a single case of


wrongdoing found. But would it be right not to look at them at all? If


you're saying this is an industry... They're look that at a certain


level. The bottom line is, and I think it reaches a wider spectrum,


that this industry depends on applying the rule which applies on


the street here in London to the battlefield elsewhere. If that's


what we want, then we should not be deploying troops. And furthermore, I


think it is now got to a point where we are about to see the worm


turning. Think there is going to be military people bringing cases


against the Government for harassment, and then it is going to


turn into an awful dogfight. The problem is, the leadership of the


military have so lost confidence of the rank and file, it might even be


time that we need a union in the military to start dealing with this,


because that's what would happen in industry. If we're going to apply


industry standards, then we've got to apply unions. If you don't want,


as you say, the laws of the street, what levels of law being applied to


troops should be there? Well, what we've done for the last couple of


hundred years, we have military law. It's what we did in the Second World


War, it's what we did in Korea. We've moved the goalposts and


discovered why we shouldn't have moved the goalposts - it's time to


move them back. What would your response be? The law society has


responded, saying that everybody needs protection. And some of these


cases are being put forward by the most vulnerable. And there have been


cases of alleged torture and abuse by British troops which need to be


investigated, and they've got a point? They do have a point, because


Tim also has a point - we have a duty of care to these soldiers,


these very young soldiers. Many of them are going from the UK, they


have never been abroad, and suddenly they are expected to switch roles,


aren't they, from being warriors to be in police, in very different


circumstances? Tim knows better than anybody else how difficult it is to


tell these young soldiers that although they've been fighting an


enemy, under all circumstances they've got to treat the enemy with


respect. I think it's very important for us to remain there that we have


a duty of care to these soldiers. Of course we must absolutely respect


the law. Equally, we must run with a terrible strain the soldiers have


been under. But that is the onus on the military, to train the armed


forces so that they understand that, as well as to protect them from any


miscarriage of justice which might be thrown their way? There not being


protected from miscarriage of justice. Is that because the


military isn't doing it? The military commanders are so


frightened of the lawyers. Of course the lawyers are the ones who will


gain from this. Of course the law society want that in their pocket.


The bottom line is, it's easier for a commander now to take a risk with


a soldier called life, and lose a soldier dead, that can be explained.


But if you take the opportunity to protect your men and you do the


wrong thing, you will go to court. That can't be right. The balance has


tipped, according to Tim Collins, so how do you redress it? There have


been much publicised cases people dying in military custody, one of


them many years ago, back in 2003, and a public inquiry said it was an


episode of serious, gratuitous violence. It's important to


remember, it's not the law versus the army. I've interviewed many,


many soldiers, and decent, honourable soldiers are not


supporting the bad apples. Where there have been cases of abuse or


illegality, soldiers want these to be rooted out. Soldiers want these


people to be prosecuted. Or accusations of cover-ups? Soldiers


do not want there to be a cover-up. When they behave honourably, they


want to be defended by their commander, and where there are bad


apples, they want them to be uncovered. You make a very valid


point. These people are not turning up at a police station in Iraq or


Afghanistan to complain. These allegations are all being made by


someone from within the military, to say they saw something, and that's


when the vultures come in to start picking at the corpse. I take your


point that people in the military are more frightened of the lawyers


than they would be, perhaps. Whistle-blowers, reporting these


things. But the point is, the chap we were talking about was a


notorious bomb maker. He is looking for compensation from our courts, a


reward for killing soldiers. Are we going to give him that? Yes, we


probably are. In terms of the amount of money that's been spent, six will


say, it's costing millions in the context of a war which is costing


billions is that not a small price to pay to make sure human rights and


international law is upheld. In my house, I tell my children to turn


the lights off to stop wasting money. I don't care if it's one like


or every light in the house. You don't leave the tap running, this is


public money, it can't be wasted. What do you think should happen,


then? How do you stop this industry spreading? It's a very difficult


question. We've seen a huge rise in ambulance chasers in the last 25 in


30 years, it was not something that I remember from years before. I


think Tim is fundamentally right. I think soldiers have got to feel with


certainty that when they go to their commanding officer, they will be


taken seriously. If they whistle-blower, they will be


defended, it will not be considered dishonourable. The military has got


to protect its own, and the legal system also has got to protect


soldiers and also, where necessary, victims. Thank you.


Now, leaked documents published today show that


new Home Secretary Amber Rudd used to be a director of two offshore


There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Mrs Rudd, but her critics say


the revelations are embarrassing for the Government, which has


prioritised cracking down on tax havens.


A spokesperson for the home secretary told the Guardian that it


is a matter of public record that Amber had a career in this area


before joining politics. Joining us now is Molly Scott Cato


MEP for South-West England, and a member of the European


Parliament's inquiry committee Molly Scott Cato, what has Amber


Rudd Dunne? We have heard that she was a director of two of these


companies, notorious tax havens. So what we're calling for a day is for


Amber Rudd to come and make a much fuller statement, probably a


statement which include details of what the directorships was about and


how much money she made from them. The suspicion is, when people set up


a company in the Bahamas, they're not doing it because... They are


doing it because it is at the heart of a nexus of tax avoidance and it


is totally inappropriate for a government minister to be involved


in something like that. Do you have evidence that Amber Road was


involved in tax avoidance or tax evasion through these directorships?


These are the questions that need to be answered. Do you have evidence?


We have evidence that she was eye rector of two asset management


companies. That in itself is not illegal but it does not smell right,


when Theresa May came into power, she said you wanted to work for the


many, not the few. She was going to clean up capitalism and so on. I


think she needs to be asking Amber Rudd questions and we need more


information in the public domain. You have said that it is difficult


to see how the Prime Minister can continue to have confidence in Amber


Rudd, but you can give us no examples this morning of any


illegality or any dodgy tax work by Amber Rudd, so why? What evidence do


you have? Is this just an attempt to get some publicity? What evidence to


you have that she has done anything wrong? An awful lot of this is about


appearance, and the appearance here is all wrong. The companies were


based in the Bahamas. There's reasons for that... It was 1998!


That's right. It is historic evidence. And the law on tax


avoidance was totally different from what it is now! It comes together to


bring a picture of a government which is not living up to the


standards it set itself. If Amber Rudd can come forward and defend


these allegations, let her do that. This government says it is focused


on tax transparency, and ending tax avoidance, but we have someone who


came forward to doom defend David Cameron where his name cropped up in


these allegations, but she did not say anything about herself at that


time. So because somebody was a director of a company for two years


over 16 years ago, that makes them unfit to be a government minister,


even though you can bring no sense of illegality or wrongdoing to this


argument? You may think that's fine, Theresa May may think it's fine, but


I can tell you, the people I represent are scandalised that this


sort of behaviour goes on, whether it's rich companies all rich


individuals avoiding tax. But do you have any evidence that she actually


earned any money from these two offshore funds for two years?


That is what protects people, secrecy. She was encouraging


transparency. Should you not have encouraged her to come forward


before you deigned to call for the Prime Minister to get rid of her?


The fact she has been the director of two companies in the Bahamas is


bad enough, because it has the wrong type of tone. That this qualifies


even though it was 16 years ago and there was no issue of illegality? It


is a question for Theresa May to answer. I am asking you because you


brought it up. It is important to be critical of Government and allow


them to account their past behaviour as well as their present behaviour.


I am not impressed by a senior member of the Government profiting


from activity in a tax haven. So if we find that any Green party member


has had an ass -- an historic connection with offshore tax havens,


going back 15, 20 years, they would have to leave the Government or the


party? Surely the attitude is the same. If it is wrong to do it if


you're a Government minister, it must be wrong if you are Ray Green


activist campaigning against tax avoidance. Of course it is wrong.


Amber Rudd is supposed to be upholding high standards of this


new, clean form of capitalism that works for us all, and her past


business record does not live up to it. She has called for reforms on


the offshore system now. She says it is important and as you will know,


since 2000, there have been huge changes to make tax havens more


transparent. There are OECD agreements, EU agreements. You are


on the committee, so you must know. She herself has said it is time that


we put 25 new measures in place by 2021 to get transparency on tax


matters. What is your problem? The words sound good, but current and


past actions don't live up to them. Can you let me get to the end of


one... The Government has taken the lead on OECD recommendations. That


is action. The recommendations don't go far enough. We need full


information to come out, and we still have tax havens where the


information is being concealed, and there are still close relationships


between those havens and the City of London. That is what does not smell


right from a Government that says it will set itself higher standards. If


you discover that a Green party donor has had legitimate and legal


directorship of an offshore company an attack saving, will you hand the


money back? If it were down to me, I would. It is not legitimate to


accept money who it -- money from people who have been involved in tax


havens. Even if it were 20 years ago? We all, in public life, need to


live up to the higher standards and we need to expect the highest


standards from donors. This is the Home Secretary, someone who sets the


tone. She has nothing to do with tax policy. She is one of the key


ministers in Government. I do think it is good enough. Let's hear from


her and let the public decide. You have already made up your mind. The


public are not happy with people with that level of responsibility


acting in any way that smacks of tax avoidance. There is a great deal of


unhappiness out there on this issue. Thank you for joining us.


Now, there's still plenty of speculation in Scotland


if and when Nicola Sturgeon might call for a second


Immediately after the Brexit vote, the First Minister said a second


referendum was "highly likely", but with the polls not showing


clear public support, in recent days it's been suggested


that the SNP has put another vote on the back burner.


Well, we're joined now by our Scotland Editor, Sarah Smith.


Nice to see you again. What do the polls say at the moment on Scottish


independence? If Nicola Sturgeon was relying on a Brexit bounce to in


increase support for independence, she will be disappointed. There was


a poll showing support independence over 50% just after the Brexit vote.


The most recent poll was published on Sunday, to coincide with the


second anniversary of the independence referendum, and it


showed support at 48% of top it is not easy for the First Minister to


make a decision because she has previously said she would not want


to call another referendum unless there was sustained support at


around the 60% mark. We know that polls are not always entirely


accurate, but if it is polling below 50%, it is hard to see how she could


call another vote. What is the policy at the moment? Is it to have


another referendum as soon as possible, or to wait until the


Brexit deal is done, and we all then know the terms of the divorce, and


then have the referendum? Is there any clarity on the timetable for the


principles that could govern a second referendum? There is a debate


going on within the party about that. Senior SNP figures are keen to


go for a vote soon, some of them. They are talking about 2018. The


reasoning would be that if Scotland votes were independence before the


UK exits the EU, Benny Howell that maybe Scotland could be a continuing


member and never leave the EU. There are others who think that would be


too soon. -- then they hope that maybe Scotland. There are people who


think that maybe if the Conservatives were to win another


general election in 2020, and the Tories still have only one MP in


Scotland at the moment, that that would look like more of a democratic


deficit and would show that the rest of the UK and Scotland are going in


different political directions, and that might be a better Rodman for


independence. Sarah Smith, in a sunny and beautiful looking Glass


School. It was always thus! You and I know that is not true!


We are now joined by former Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth,


and the SNP's John Nicolson is still here.


John Nicolson, what is your view? When do you think there should be,


if you think there should be a second referendum? I believe in


independence so I think there should be. Sarah's analysis is spot on.


There are a lot of new members who have joined the party, over 100,000


members, and a lot of these people have come across from the Labour


Party in particular and they are desperate to see a referendum as


soon as possible. When would you like to see it? We are in a bit of a


phoney war at the moment, because we voted for Brexit but we don't know


the deal that is on the table. Sarah is right - the polls still show less


than 50% of people supporting independence. So you don't want one


now? You don't want to hold a referendum until you think you're


going to win it. People. To focus on what Brexit actually means, and I


don't think the Prime Minister can keep up this line she uses, which


is, we are not prepared to give a running commentary on the


negotiations. People south and north of the border are going to want to


know what the deal is. I understand that, but I know that your party has


several views on this. I'm trying to determine yours. OK. Should you have


a referendum during the Brexit negotiations, or should you wait


until you know the shape of the deal and then call a referendum? On


balance, I think we should know the shape of the deal so that people


know of what they are broadly conform. -- voting for. That would


be the fairest thing, so that the question they are being asked is put


with the most information possible on the table. So not before another


two years at least? That is my view. Michael Forsyth, is it not


inevitable, since Scotland voted to remain in the EU, that this Scottish


independence business is back on the agenda? I don't think so at all. If


the SNP want to hold another referendum, they should fight an


election with a manifesto that makes that clear. Their manifesto actually


said, we believe that the Scottish parliament should have the right to


hold another referendum if it's clear that more than half the people


in Scotland want independence. We have Alex Salmond saying something


different from Nicola Sturgeon. And the most striking thing is the


contempt that the SNP show for the clear decision, 55% of the Scottish


people voted to remain part of the UK. In their manifesto, they said,


in 2014, we held a referendum that got people across the country


talking about what kind of nation we want to be and how we want to be


governed. No, we didn't. We took a clear decision which Alex Salmond


holders was a once in a generation chance. They are damaging Scotland,


creating uncertainty and reinforcing the view that you can't believe


anything politicians tell you. What politicians, Unionist politicians,


told the Scottish people was that the only sure way of remaining


inside the EU, which was the settled will of Scotland, was to vote for


the union. An independent Scotland could not be guaranteed to be inside


the EU, and now that sure way has turned out to be a sure way to the


door. Because of a decision made by the British people. I have to say,


the only argument I can think of in favour of independence that would


have been the vote for it was as a way of getting out of the EU. As


with many of your views, that is a minority view in Scotland. Indeed,


it is. When you say it is a minority view in Scotland, it is a properly


held view among Scottish Nationalist. If you look at Dundee,


the most nationalist town in Scotland, 40% of the people there


voted to leave the EU, because there are a lot of people who believe that


Scotland should have more control of their own affairs and realise that


staying part of the EU is a contradiction. John Nicolson, if you


were to have this referendum, so the Brexit deal is done, and Britain is


on the way out, and we know the terms that we are out on, I've guess


we're talking about 2019 -- I guess. Could you go to the Scottish people


and guarantee that if Scotland voted to leave the UK, it would


automatically be a member of the EU? We don't know that yet.


Certainly,... You could end up being out of both? Michael Forsyth is


laughing. It takes some hot spot for a Tory politician -- it takes some


nerve for a Tory politician to laugh when they promised it was how to


stay in the EU. But you could be -- you could be out of the UK and out


of the EU. People know that the UK as a whole is leaving. There is a


lot to be said for rewarding Scotland for being good Europeans


and for allowing Scotland to continue to be Europeans. The


European Union is then -- is in the business of expanding, as Euro


sceptics point out. And the expansion for new members includes


taking the euro, and it includes becoming part of the Schengen area.


In an independent Scotland, if it were to be part of Schengen, there


would have to be border controls at Carlisle and Berwick. It is


uncharted territory. INAUDIBLE


It is. In Northern Ireland, -- it is. In Northern Ireland, they are


having a debate about open borders. The Government has made it clear to


Irish politicians that there would not be a hard border. Because we're


not a member of Schengen, but you might have to accept Schengen


membership in order to be part of the EU. You rightly say that a lot


of these issues are upper negotiation. It is early days. It


would be a huge gamble, would it not, for Scotland to vote to leave


the United Kingdom, particularly given the economic sub oil these


days, without being sure that you would be able to join the European


Union, and again, to tell the Scottish people, because this was


one of the reasons you've lost last time - what will be the currency?


You're right, we have to be rock-solid on the economy this time.


We have to build a case. I'm glad Michael is having a good time. Some


snorting down the line! I remember he said when we sent the Stone of


destiny back to Scotland we would settle all this. He made a film for


Newsnight. I'm trying to tell an amusing anecdote! You are right that


the case on the economy has to be rock-solid, which is why Andrew


Wilson is heading up a commission to answer these questions. Michael


Forsyth, to some extent, as a staunch Unionist, have you not


already lost the argument in that there is no question that Scotland


and England are going their separate ways? They may stay within the


United Kingdom, which is a different matter, but they are becoming very


different countries, very different in many ways from the time when you


were Secretary of State for Scotland. And even your own party,


Ruth Davidson is styling herself as an independently minded, Scottish


Conservative. Michael Forsyth, that was to you.


Yes, of course, that is an inevitable consequence of


devolution, which was one of the reasons why I opposed it back in


1996. You actually said there was no demand for it, I remember. I


interviewed you and you told me there was no demand for it from the


Scottish people. And unlike you guys, we had a referendum and I


accept the results of democratically held referenda. And so we have got a


Scottish Carmont, which has got more powers. And that has changed the


position. And of course, we're going to have to look at how that affects


other parts of the United Kingdom. And people are looking at having a


more federal kind of structure, which will maintain stability. But


what worries me is that all this chatter about having independence in


Scotland, when there is a deficit of some ?15 billion, is hugely damaging


to Scotland's investment, in an area where business is not going to


invest. We need to end it there. But I'm sure the argument is clearly not


going away, so we will be able to come back to it in the weeks and


months and probably years ahead. Your loving it! Carry on! When a


political party is not exactly doing brilliantly nationally, it is not


unusual for them to say, look how we are doing in the regional elections.


The Liberal Democrats made the claim at their conference this week. So we


thought we would see if there is any truth to it.


It sounds like the football scores I'm doing here! To work out what all


of that means, we're joined by the man who is lucky enough to follow


this sort of thing for a living - and thank goodness somebody is, it's


Tony Travers! Is it correct, then, to say that Liberal Democrats are


doing well, albeit at local council by-election level? Well, they're not


doing that well in the opinion polls, but they are, as you have


just shown, doing surprisingly well, certainly surprisingly compared with


the 2015 general election debacle, at the local level. Not in every


seat but in a number of seats and particularly against Labour, it must


be said, they are getting swings of 10%, 20%, even 30% from one party to


the other. So I think they can realistically say, although these


are straws in the wind, but there are some straws. So is that the


basis for any sort of Liberal Democrat fightback? Well, it's the


basis of the basis. If we remember the history of the Liberal Democrats


- after the decline of the old Liberal Party and the period in the


1950s and 1960s when they're used to be jokes about the Liberals' party


conference, being able to fit in a phone box, then we moved onto the


building of the Liberals, then the social and Liberal Democrats, and


then the current party, as a new force in the middle of politics.


They did that by building up local areas first, so-called pavement


politics, getting new members, going out and knocking on doors, getting


people interested, building up in local areas, winning councils and


then hoping to win an MP in Parliament. It took 30 or 40 years,


that was the trouble. As you say, it could be a long journey back for the


Liberal Democrats locally, never mind nationally. But should Labour


particularly be worried? Some of the examples which we have been talking


about say it is Labour that they are taking some of these by-elections


from, and in safe Labour areas? Indeed. The result is that you just


put up for Labour are frankly abysmal for the main opposition


party at this point of Parliament. The Conservatives in one way or


another have now been in power for six years - their results are not


that bad. The Lib Dems as we have said are making some progress,


significant in some by-elections. But for the main opposition party in


England to be losing seats net is pretty bad. Will that give the


Liberal Democrats a rich seam than looking towards the Conservatives


eats or areas that they lost in the south-west, for example, where Tim


Farron seems to be looking, but there is no enthusiasm the


pro-European stance of the Liberal Democrats, there? Don't know yet


whether, when we get to the next general election, whenever that is,


it could be next year, it could be 2020, it could be in between,


whether the EU will play a major dominating role or not. It may just


be back to the economy and the normal stuff with the EU as a bit


player - we will have to wait and see. But I think going back to the


progress the Lib Dems are making, we now know, because we live in


multiparty politics, increasingly, all over Britain, that if the Lib


Dems are doing better, even against Labour, it could harm the


Conservatives in some parts of the country. And so as the Lib Dems


start to pick up, it will be very interesting to see for example in


the county elections next year and the local elections in Scotland and


Wales, whether as it were, a beginning of a Lib Dem fightback


damages only Labour or Labour and the Conservatives. It could do


different things in different parts of the country. Whether that feeds


to a general election, we would have to wait and see. Thank you very much


for giving us that detail. I will not ask you about why the SNP lost


that one local by-election. How did that happen? I was going to ask. The


Lib Dems had to close the count because it was so empty, the hall.


That's quite sad, isn't it? There was a mixture of approval


and mockery this week when the Corbyn-supporting campaign


group Momentum announced that it was setting up


an activity group for children. Called Momentum Kids,


it's intended to provide childcare for parents who want to get involved


in political activism. Some thought this was an entirely


sensible idea, but others weren't exactly keen on the idea that it


might involve politicising children. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron dubbed


the group Tiny Trots, and the idea may not have been


helped by an advert for an event at this weekend's Labour conference


featuring a "Teddy Bear Children were invited


to bring their favourite toy, imagine what party it might join,


think about what their teddy stands for, its values and how it might


make positive changes. So, is this revolutionary


brainwashing or an entirely harmless way to get more people


involved in politics? Well, I'm joined now


by the childrens' author Michael Rosen, and by Laura Perrins


from the website Conservative Women. Welcome to both of you. Michael


Rosen, is it ideological brainwashing? No, it's exactly what


the Government recommends. If you look closely at the government's


British values site, it says that schools should encourage children to


demonstrate how democracy works. It's is those exact words -


demonstrate how democracy works. That's what all schools should be


doing. And what's wrong with that? Well, I think this is another great


example of how the left, it's a rather sinister example of sort of


grooming and for treating a very young child's mind onto a very


leftist agenda. And we've always, there are plenty of examples of


that. If it was just avoiding childcare, there's nothing wrong


with that, but the idea that we are empowering children, very young


toddlers and children to hold up placards, it's going little bit too


far, I think. Didn't have the bit you read out say that they get to


choose which party? Yes, if it was a right-wing grassroots organisation,


perhaps like your own, what would be wrong with providing childcare and


perhaps talking about politics? I think you have to be careful in


terms of not trying to go behind the backs of parents and as I said,


influencing the minds of very, very young children. Other parents not


going along? Look, the parents will be politicking with the children


separated in the crash. While they are out protesting. Michael Rosen,


why is it necessary to have it with a political backdrop? If families


want to talk politics at home or take their kids out on protests,


they can do that, why does there have to be a political thing? There


does not have to be at all. Why say, we will in some ways in Dockrell


eight your children? There does not have to be at all. I belonged to


left-wing groups when I was a child. I might have been indoctrinated!


When you were very young children and I was no good at making


placards! But the carrot is the free childcare. So it's quite clever, you


could argue that it is never for a political party to offer free


childcare and recruit new people, not people who are already


indoctrinated like yourself! I feel very indoctrinated, thank you. But


you could say, as people do, you cant things to children and show


them things and demonstrate how democracy works, which is what the


government recommends, and some children will walk away because


they're bored stiff. Whatever they do it will have to be fun, because


they are not at school, it is not punishment. It's always fun,


indoctrination! What's the difference between sitting at the


dinner papal with your family, putting the same newspapers in front


of you all day basis, you're being indoctrinated from a fairly early


age by your parents, so what would be wrong with extending that


slightly? That's if you think parents and politicians are exactly


the same ridge of course they're not. Let me finish, other people


have a view. Of course political discussion around the dinner table


should be encouraged, and I do it at home a lot. But that's very


different to separating children, very young children, five and six,


from their parents, hooding them in a room and setting about this, as I


said, what is essentially indoctrination. It shows how extreme


Momentum are. Would the SNP do it? I'm sitting here listening to this


teddy business and it's a bit like Chairman Mao goads to Brideshead,


isn't it? Jeremy Corbyn joins the Pooh Sticks society. I read the


website, it wasn't exactly full with fun. What about children's books,


lots of children's books have moral messaging in them? And I have one


here, let's celebrate 25 years since the great Dr Zeuss died. What is the


message? The message is that if you are poor and downtrodden, you should


fight back. Have you read it? I've read a lot of yours, Michael Rosen,


and I'm disturbed about this book being used to indoctrinate children.


I read it to my kids all the time. All the family are underneath the


duvet, and this is what the ordinary Labour Party members will be on


Saturday. Are you reading some of this into everything here?! That's


where middle Britain is, hiding under the covers! And sharing a bed


as well, with an animal. I feel like this is a sort of Jackanory session.


Andrew has fallen asleep. I was just reading the Harvard business review!


Meanwhile, the answer to our quiz question...


There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.


The question was which award-winning director has made a documentary


I would love to see the Quentin Tarantino version, myself. You might


see that this weekend! But I suspect it might be Ken Loach. And you're


right! The One O'clock News is starting


over on BBC One now. I'll be here on BBC One tonight


after Question Time for the return of This Week, with Ed Vaizey,


Lisa Nandy, Ken Livingstone, Miranda Green, Quentin Letts


and Katie Price. If there is nothing new,


then the Court of Appeal aren't going to change


their decision.


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