14/07/2011 Dragon's Eye


The last Dragon's Eye of the political term looks at the latest on the phone hacking scandal. And politicians give their own end of year reports on the Welsh Government.

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A fire storm engulfing the press, the police and politicians. Tonight,


the Welsh people caught up in the hacking scandal. This is Dragon's


Good evening. After similar -- simmering away on the back burner,


the phone-hacking scandal has now blown away any murk at around the


police, MPs and newspapers. News Corporation it was asked to drop


its bid for BSkyB. And it did. The police investigation continues and


many potential victims wait to find out whether their privacy was


After years of managing to keep a lid of sorts on the phone-hacking


allegations, in the last week, everything boiled over. It was to


see one of the world's biggest news organisations shaken to its very


foundation, threatening its business and reputation around the


world. Stories about phones being hacked have been dropping out for


years. Some have taken legal action against News International and have


been paid handsomely by the corporation. But it was when it was


found that the family's and victims of crime, those who had been caught


up in terrorist attacks and the families of British troops killed


in action had been hacked that the corporation lost control. This


lady's son was serving in Afghanistan. She was angry when she


heard that the phones off the families of men and women serving


in Afghanistan and may have been hacked boss Bob it is at the worst


possible time in their life. They are going to hear an awful lot of


grief. A lot of bewilderment. A lot of not knowing what to do next or


how to do it. I just don't see how that can equate to making a story


that's going to hit the headlines. Richard was the 200th of the


British Armed Forces to die in Afghanistan. She has set up a


charity in his honour. But the police are not able to say whether


her phone was tapped. The very papers who supposedly have a great


deal of support for the military services go and do something like


this. To me, that is the ultimate betrayal of those men. It is


literally having somebody stab you in the back when you thought


somebody could trust to -- when you thought it was somebody you could


trust. It is totally unfair, underhand and incomprehensible. It


makes you feel sick to your stomach. The Government, spurred on by


Labour, started an inquiry to look back at what went wrong. Lord


Justice Leveson has been appointed to oversee the inquiry into the


News of the World scandal and media regulation. He will have the powers


to call proprietors, politicians and editors to give evidence.


of the depth of the depravity to which this newspaper went was not


known to us until quite recently and some of the things that have


been trying to save the last year in Parliament about the way the


news of the well-behaved, I knew or I guessed, but we could not prove


it, another proof is out there. There was a rough ride from a


committee, as with previous inquiries. Politicians in the


spotlight on taking action. I am on the News of the World's database. I


don't know exactly what these twisted minds get up to. So


basically I am just covering myself. I don't know what lines of inquiry,


current inquiry, will lead to. Either in wrongdoings or alleged


wrongdoings, and what will emerge. A few years ago, I was being called


incessantly by News of the World, and I was so convinced there were


hacking my phone that I told people at the time but it was not a big


story and people were not interested. But now it looks likely


that my phone was hacked. It is thought it could go back to 1999.


This man accidentally discovered how easy it was to listen to


voicemail on any mobile phone. Two tabloid newspapers were shown at


this simple procedure. They were amazed. They were gobsmacked.


Basically, they could not believe what we told them. They said they


would come back to me after they had tried it out. They rang me back


after a short time and said, yes, it works, it is brilliant! Leave it


with us. This is going to be massive headlines, a front page


story, but we have got to do work with at first. Those torpid and


local news a national radio at the time -- those on a local news.


think I may have inadvertently started this. It is clear but the


latest police investigation is intent on shining light where


others did not. And that means in the weeks and months ahead, it will


be possible to see where this will end.


Earlier, I spoke to a member of a Select Committee who were asked a


number of police officers why the first investigation failed to find


out the scale of the phone-hacking. I was very dissatisfied with the


answers. Clearly, some had some 17 investigations on the go at the


time. Other answers were simply incredible and I think this is a


long way to go. It is important to note there is now an investigation


by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the


allegations that police officers had been paid for information, and


that first is a very important first step. But we have to look at


the wider issues as well. And of course, there is another


investigation going on and we were invited to look at the scale of


that investigation in some of the evidence you heard? Yes, it is very


clear that the new investigation with a new senior investigation


officer is now seen as very important. It is some reassurance,


given that the -- the Met seemed to get it wrong. What other questions


that you would like to see the enquiry answering? There are


questions about why the first investigation did not make use of


all the the nation that was available to it. What were the


relationships between the Metropolitan Police and there


seemed to be... And the media, and there seem to be new facts and


revelations coming out as time goes on. I don't think we know the whole


of the story just yet. And there's the question of just how these


sorts of techniques were able to develop and how far they extended


more broadly within journalism at Fleet Street. All of these are very


important questions. And are you happy with the terms of reference


that have been set out by the Prime Minister? They do seem to cover the


important questions, although I would hope that the inquiry would


follow the evidence where it leads. If fresh questions emerge, the


inquiry will be constrained from following the evidence. The Prime


Minister said he hopes that part one of the inquiry, which has


largely addressing the questions you have outlined, will report back


within a year. Do you think that his ambitious? I do not think it is


over-ambitious. That is very be undertaken quickly and we must


come to conclusions. The problem with old-style inquiries is that


there are very slow and bureaucratic and may find out


everything at the end of the day but almost by the time it is too


late to do anything to change practice and culture, and, when


necessary, lead to change in legislation. I think this is a


watershed moment and a moment that needs to be seized. Parliament, I


think in the last week, has seize that opportunity. It is very


important inquiry takes us where we need to go and it is not any cause


for delay. On the point of this been a watershed moment, there have


been people who said it represents a permanent shift in the power


dynamic between politicians and the press. But given that Rupert


Murdoch is not the first press baron who has had arguably too much


employ and several politicians, how convinced I knew that you can say


with confidence this represents a permanent change? -- how convinced


that I knew? I think we felt the tectonic plates moving within this


week and that is why it is so important we do not take our eye


off the main issues. The issue is, how much power does a commercial


organisation or individual have in the UK and it is a question not


pursued vigorously enough in the past. It now has to be pursued very


vigorously. We now have the opportunity to do so because there


will be a permanent shift and journalists will note that they


have to stay within the bounds. I think good journalists who want to


be responsible investigators, who want to get to the truth, and make


sure things come out in the public interest are very distinct from


those who just want to be in and do what their bosses want them to do


in terms of selling papers. I think this is a moment which actually


will free up decent journalists. That involves the Press Complaints


Commission being re-established on a totally different bases. The


current one is a laughing stock. We need an Independent Press


Complaints Commission of some sort but it needs to be genuinely


independent, underpinned by legislation and able to do its job


fearlessly in the interests of both the public and decent journalists.


Thank you. The Conservatives in the Assembly


have a new leader. He beat the rival contender next Ramsay by 53%


to 47%. The sea was lost previously, in spite of the fact that he won it


previously. -- the seat. We are now joined by Mr Davies.


Congratulations to you. A few weeks ago on this programme, the Deputy


Leader of the Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament said his party


had a lot to learn from the Welsh Conservatives and the way they


approached politics. What sort of lessons do you think your party's


reasons success has to teach? think we have got a great brand


here are Wales. And that is whether we are working in Westminster or


the local Assembly. This shows how many members want to engage with


the National Assembly and the Assembly group. We have had over 20


meet and greets, two mail shots and members of really embracing the


devolution aspect. How do you intend to build on recent success?


Above all, to deliver a positive message. Were have a great country


we live in, a good economy we can build on and actually we need to


make sure NHS and jobs are top of the priority list. Sadly, we have


not been able to deliver to people and Wales what they want. I want to


make sure we are proud about being Welsh and proud of being part of


the United Kingdom, and we will accentuate that at every


opportunity. Labour have just one of the elections, so that would


suggest they are delivering what people want? They did not come back


with a majority, which is something that Carwyn Jones set himself. They


are not delivering on education and the international indicators show


that Welsh education performance targets are at the bottom of the


league tables and the economic indicators show Wales is at the


bottom of that as well. I want to make sure we turn that around and


people look to Wales and say, we are proud to be Welsh. Very


recently, the four parties have agreed to terms of reference to


look at the way Wales is under it. What is your position on fiscal


devolution? Are you a supporter? Ultimately, my colleague was in


discussions yesterday and a letter was sent on behalf of the joint


leaders of the group in the Assembly to the Secretary of State.


I have been imposed for a few hours... But you must have given


the opposition during the campaign? Will you set it up for us here on


Dragon's Eye? Well, I will make sure Wales gets the resources it


requires and that it has a campaign... And that above all it


develops these services here in Wales to provide economic stability,


opportunity and the jobs that will keep young people here in Wales.


And when you look at the Government's legislative programme,


not one reference to business or economics. I am not clear on your


answer to my question. Where do you We will have the Calman Commission.


We delivered the referendum and power was to the Assembly. We are


standing up for Wales. The people here want a real alternative. We


will succeed. Thank you. On Tuesday in the Prime Minister was welcome


to Cardiff Bay. He confirmed there would be a commission looking at


the way the Assembly was funded and suggested that Wales could learn a


thing or two from the reforms to public services in England. People


are looking to you to improve their lives. Let me be frank, like a many


other parts of the UK, or some public services in Wales are too


bureaucratic. I believe that now is the time to modernise a were public


services and in England that is what we are doing. After Mr Cameron


left the chamber, there was another big speech. The first minister


detailed laws he wanted passed in the next five years. The opposition


said he overlooked things like the A plan to promote economic, social


wealth. The Welsh government says the laws it will introduce over the


next five years world create healthy people and vibrant


communities. There are a lot of people out there that should be


allowed to have a site like this said they can develop it, like I


have done here, and everyone has an opportunity to get out of the house


and garden. It gives a sense of achievement to people when they


grow their own stuff. It is a great money saver. Your own vegetables


always taste the best! And getting more people out in the fresh air at


tending plots like these is part of the vision. There are 20 people on


the waiting list of this allotment. That government says it will


introduce a law that will free up more land to meet the demand.


Legislation will give guidance to councils and individuals. If there


was a genuine need for more plots, individuals can go to the council


and followed the legislation that has been put in place. The First


Minister also said there would be legislation to tackle


underperforming schools and to change the system of organ donation


so that people opt out of it rather than opt in. There are plans to


make councils provide cycling routes in key areas. Also, parents


will need to give their consent before a child has a cosmetic


piercing. This is the most detailed programme to be presented to the


Assembly and since the referendum in March, he can push on without


asking permission from Westminster. But does he programme meant the use


of the talk at his disposal? It is not going to set my own or anyone


else's past alike. People will be helpful to have them, but it's


nothing great. And on fundamental issues like the economy, some claim


they is a lack of focus. You cannot make laws of that create jobs. You


do it through the use of France and loans and creating a policy that


makes Wales attractive to investments. The first minister


needs to show some leadership. We need to turn the corner from


focusing on the social economy. We need to talk business. The First


Minister says other parties have a part to play in nurturing new


policies. He says there needs to be scrutiny, but warned against


political point scoring. Without a clear majority in the Assembly he


is likely to need other parties to muck in and give their support.


Some proposals may be nipped the but, but others may reach fruition.


I am joined to discuss all of that by representatives from all parties.


Welcome to Dragon's Eye. So, what is the big idea? A I was proud to


be in the chamber when it Wales set out its legislative agenda without


having the permission of Westminster. We have four themes.


Sustainability is that the heart of everything we want to do. There is


also the improvement of health, justice, or social care and


government issues that will free up sectors of the economy in Wales. We


have a huge green agenda to push forward as well. What did you make


of it? I think deep disappointment was in terms of the economy. Carwyn


Jones is right. You cannot legislate to get jobs, but you can


legislate to give the talks to local government to create jobs. We


can create her Welsh stock exchange, used Business rates to create jobs.


It was a glaring omission and it shows back the priorities of this


government is not about finance. you legislate you cannot legislate


for job creation, why is it on the agenda? Well, there was nothing to


encourage people to come to Wales in the statement. We have nothing


that gives us any flicker of hope as far as employment is concerned.


Isn't this really a programme from a government that does not have a


majority? Yes, it is historic, but we wanted to see more detail. We


have been waiting a long time for this statement and I think we need


to have much more detail. For example, the hysterics -- historic


buildings Bill. That is not coming in for a while. I still think there


is arrogance there with the Labour Party. They need our support if


they want to get bills through. Where was their emphasis on job


creation? Our emphasis is on sustainability and getting things


right and generating economic renewal which will make Wales a


better place to come to to invest, to live and to be. That is across


an enormous range of things like tourism, social welfare, making our


environment at the centre of everything we do, to invest in our


tourism industry and make Wales attractive. Fiddling around the


edges with business rates, which does not need legislation by the


way, and sorting out issues regarding enterprise zones, we have


only got �10 million to put into that area. We will be doing that,


but in a way that get the most out of our money. The First Minister


taught about the responsibilities on opposition parties to be


constructive and to find consensus of where possible. What do you


regard as the largest opposition party are the obligations on you to


facilitate or otherwise be programme of the government?


have any late -- a new leader from today, so we will be sitting down


and discussing our agenda. We will not be destructive, but we will


challenge where we need to. What are your thoughts on the roles of


the opposition parties with the arithmetic as it is? They need to


be constructive. We need to deliver an agenda and a government that


have the best interests of the people of Wales at heart. We will


try to make sure that the bills that go through of the best for the


people of Wales. We do need to refocus on the economy, however.


it is possible, in theory, that your party or Peter Black's party


could find itself in coalition with the government. How does that


impact on your party? What is disappointing is that we have been


calling for a plan of government for some time and I think the lack


of respect in terms of giving us concrete evidence if Carwyn Jones


want a coalition of the future, he needs to be more respectful of


Plaid Cymru. I don't think we are getting at the moment. Carwyn Jones


has less power than Alex Salmond. We need to get access to Alan


natural resources, it changed the planning laws. There's their areas


he needs to look at. The plan has been viewed as underwhelming. Is it


due to unrealistic expectations? do not think it is disappointing.


We set out a comprehensive programme across a for big fines


for Wales. They are all important. We have a consensus on fiscal


devolution. It is very important and drives economic change. What


are your thoughts, very briefly. Was it oversold during the


referendum? I don't think it was, but people want to see that


government putting their words into action. We had been so long in


waiting for action people are disillusioned. A I think it has


been oversold by Carwyn Jones. He has talked it up and when it


finally came it was a disappointment. I had been waiting


a long time to be where I am. It is tied to get down to business.


far all the opposition parties, this is entirely down to the Labour


Party. Julie Jones, I will give you the final word. I think we have


done so well so far. I hope we have scrutiny from the opposition, but


also consensus. Thank you. That is it for this week and this term. We


will be taking a break over the summer. It has been a very busy


The last Dragon's Eye of the political term looks at the latest on the phone hacking scandal. And politicians give their own end of year reports on the Welsh Government's legislative programme.

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