14/07/2011 Dragon's Eye


14/07/2011

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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Transcript


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

:00:06.:00:11.

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

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

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

:00:35.:00:43.

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

:00:43.:00:48.

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

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many potential victims wait to find out whether their privacy was

:00:52.:01:02.
:01:02.:01:08.

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

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

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

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foundation, threatening its business and reputation around the

:01:21.:01:27.

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

:01:27.:01:31.

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

:01:31.:01:35.

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

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

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up in terrorist attacks and the families of British troops killed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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literally having somebody stab you in the back when you thought

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

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

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

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

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Justice Leveson has been appointed to oversee the inquiry into the

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

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to call proprietors, politicians and editors to give evidence.

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

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

:03:44.:03:48.

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

:03:48.:03:53.

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

:03:53.:04:03.
:04:03.:04:03.

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

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committee, as with previous inquiries. Politicians in the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This man accidentally discovered how easy it was to listen to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:05:44.:05:52.

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

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

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latest police investigation is intent on shining light where

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

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be possible to see where this will end.

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

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number of police officers why the first investigation failed to find

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

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

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

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

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by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the

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allegations that police officers had been paid for information, and

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

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

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

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

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clear that the new investigation with a new senior investigation

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

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

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

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questions about why the first investigation did not make use of

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

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relationships between the Metropolitan Police and there

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

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

:08:04.:08:10.

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

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

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

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

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

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important questions, although I would hope that the inquiry would

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

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inquiry will be constrained from following the evidence. The Prime

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

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largely addressing the questions you have outlined, will report back

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

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

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

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there are very slow and bureaucratic and may find out

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

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

:09:18.:09:22.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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dynamic between politicians and the press. But given that Rupert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:10:23.:10:28.

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

:10:28.:10:31.

will be a permanent shift and journalists will note that they

:10:31.:10:36.

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

:10:36.:10:39.

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

:10:39.:10:43.

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

:10:43.:10:49.

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

:10:49.:10:54.

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

:10:54.:11:01.

will free up decent journalists. That involves the Press Complaints

:11:01.:11:05.

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

:11:05.:11:10.

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

:11:10.:11:14.

Complaints Commission of some sort but it needs to be genuinely

:11:14.:11:19.

independent, underpinned by legislation and able to do its job

:11:19.:11:23.

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

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Thank you. The Conservatives in the Assembly

:11:28.:11:38.
:11:38.:11:39.

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

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

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

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

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Leader of the Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament said his party

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

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

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

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

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

:12:24.:12:29.

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

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

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

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

:12:47.:12:52.

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

:12:52.:12:59.

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

:12:59.:13:04.

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

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

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the United Kingdom, and we will accentuate that at every

:13:10.:13:15.

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

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

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

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are not delivering on education and the international indicators show

:13:32.:13:35.

that Welsh education performance targets are at the bottom of the

:13:35.:13:38.

league tables and the economic indicators show Wales is at the

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

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

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

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

:13:57.:14:02.

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

:14:02.:14:06.

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

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

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

:14:18.:14:23.

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

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

:14:28.:14:33.

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

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develops these services here in Wales to provide economic stability,

:14:38.:14:42.

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

:14:42.:14:46.

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

:14:46.:14:52.

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

:14:52.:15:02.
:15:02.:15:05.

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

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

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

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:15:31.:15:31.

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

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

:15:35.:15:41.

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

:15:41.:15:51.
:15:51.:15:52.

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

:15:53.:15:58.

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

:15:58.:16:05.

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

:16:05.:16:10.

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

:16:10.:16:15.

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

:16:15.:16:21.

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

:16:21.:16:26.

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

:16:26.:16:36.
:16:36.:16:54.

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

:16:54.:16:57.

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

:16:57.:17:03.

next five years world create healthy people and vibrant

:17:04.:17:10.

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

:17:10.:17:14.

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

:17:14.:17:19.

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

:17:19.:17:25.

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

:17:25.:17:32.

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

:17:32.:17:36.

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

:17:36.:17:41.

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

:17:41.:17:47.

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

:17:47.:17:54.

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

:17:54.:18:02.

Legislation will give guidance to councils and individuals. If there

:18:02.:18:07.

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

:18:07.:18:11.

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

:18:11.:18:15.

Minister also said there would be legislation to tackle

:18:15.:18:18.

underperforming schools and to change the system of organ donation

:18:18.:18:24.

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

:18:24.:18:32.

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

:18:32.:18:37.

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

:18:37.:18:42.

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

:18:42.:18:49.

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

:18:49.:18:54.

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

:18:54.:19:03.

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

:19:03.:19:10.

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

:19:10.:19:17.

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

:19:17.:19:23.

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

:19:23.:19:28.

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

:19:28.:19:38.
:19:38.:19:39.

makes Wales attractive to investments. The first minister

:19:39.:19:49.
:19:49.:19:53.

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

:19:53.:19:58.

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

:19:58.:20:04.

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

:20:04.:20:11.

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

:20:11.:20:14.

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

:20:14.:20:18.

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

:20:18.:20:28.
:20:28.:20:31.

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

:20:31.:20:41.
:20:41.:20:46.

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

:20:46.:20:51.

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

:20:51.:20:57.

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

:20:57.:21:01.

having the permission of Westminster. We have four themes.

:21:01.:21:07.

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

:21:07.:21:12.

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

:21:12.:21:20.

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

:21:20.:21:26.

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

:21:26.:21:32.

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

:21:32.:21:37.

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

:21:37.:21:45.

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

:21:45.:21:51.

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

:21:51.:21:59.

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

:21:59.:22:06.

government is not about finance. you legislate you cannot legislate

:22:06.:22:16.
:22:16.:22:26.

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

:22:26.:22:31.

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

:22:31.:22:38.

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

:22:38.:22:42.

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

:22:43.:22:50.

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

:22:50.:22:54.

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

:22:54.:23:03.

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

:23:03.:23:08.

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

:23:08.:23:11.

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

:23:11.:23:16.

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

:23:16.:23:21.

creation? Our emphasis is on sustainability and getting things

:23:21.:23:26.

right and generating economic renewal which will make Wales a

:23:26.:23:31.

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

:23:31.:23:38.

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

:23:38.:23:43.

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

:23:43.:23:48.

tourism industry and make Wales attractive. Fiddling around the

:23:48.:23:53.

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

:23:53.:24:00.

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

:24:00.:24:04.

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

:24:04.:24:11.

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

:24:11.:24:16.

taught about the responsibilities on opposition parties to be

:24:16.:24:20.

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

:24:20.:24:25.

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

:24:25.:24:29.

facilitate or otherwise be programme of the government?

:24:29.:24:39.

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

:24:39.:24:46.

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

:24:46.:24:52.

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

:24:52.:24:56.

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

:24:56.:25:04.

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

:25:04.:25:08.

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

:25:08.:25:14.

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

:25:14.:25:19.

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

:25:19.:25:25.

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

:25:25.:25:35.
:25:35.:25:38.

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

:25:38.:25:43.

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

:25:43.:25:47.

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

:25:47.:25:55.

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

:25:55.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:09.

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

:26:09.:26:15.

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

:26:15.:26:19.

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

:26:19.:26:29.
:26:29.:26:33.

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

:26:33.:26:43.
:26:43.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:48.

We set out a comprehensive programme across a for big fines

:26:48.:26:58.

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

:26:58.:27:03.

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

:27:03.:27:08.

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

:27:08.:27:14.

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

:27:14.:27:19.

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

:27:19.:27:25.

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

:27:25.:27:29.

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

:27:29.:27:34.

finally came it was a disappointment. I had been waiting

:27:34.:27:40.

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

:27:40.:27:45.

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

:27:45.:27:49.

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

:27:49.:27:57.

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

:27:57.:28:03.

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

:28:03.:28:09.

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

:28:09.:28:13.

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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