07/11/2011 Inside Out West Midlands


07/11/2011

Mary Rhodes asks whether a centuries-old tradition is about to end on health and safety grounds. And Jasper Carrot meets radio presenter Ed Doolan as he prepares to retire.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to Inside Out, with stories you need to know about

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Tonight, protests from Black Country horse keepers, as the

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bailiffs move in to catch the wild horses of Sandwell and remove

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tethered horses from council land. They're part of us. If the horse

:00:22.:00:27.

isn't here, there's nothing for us really, cos that's all we've got.

:00:27.:00:32.

Anti-capitalism or anti-government cuts? We go behind the scenes of

:00:32.:00:34.

some new protest movements and meet others who say austerity measures

:00:34.:00:41.

have not gone far enough. Time for us to get real! Let's face up to

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the truth. Our public finances are in a total shambles. Britain is

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skint. And Jasper Carrott has the story of

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a radio legend, as he catches up with the consumer crusader from BBC

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local radio. That's all coming up on tonight's Inside Out, with me,

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:01:11.:01:22.

Horses have been a feature of our landscape for more than two

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centuries. The origin of the Black Country horse is the need for

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industry to have some kind of infrastructure, which means haulage

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and logistics in modern terms. They're a legacy of days gone by,

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but at one time, these horses were the power behind the Industrial

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Revolution. All these were carrying goods between pits and forges and

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foundries and ironworks in the Black Country, and of course moving

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the finished goods out of the Black Country. But horse-ownership, like

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the industries they once powered, could soon be a thing of the past,

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as Sandwell Council has decided that grazing on public land will no

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longer be tolerated. On public open space, the council will not allow

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any horses to be tethered or loose. And so the horse owners of Sandwell

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have become locked in battle with the council, as they fight to

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preserve their way of life. The sight of horses tethered and

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grazing on open spaces in parts of Sandwell is a common feature of the

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:02:37.:02:39.

landscape. They're part of us. If the horse isn't here, there's

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nothing for us really, cos that's all we've got. Horses have been in

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Malcolm's family for generations. He grew up with horses as a young

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boy. It's something he hopes his children will also be able to do.

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can remember my grandad giving me a horse when I was younger, and he

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said, "This is your horse". I basically worked myself up. Now

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I've got six horses, so I've done it all myself. They're my life to

:03:09.:03:14.

me, to be honest. That's all I work for, all I live for. My family and

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my horses. The horses are more than an old tradition. They represent

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quality family time. It's a commitment and responsibility they

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learn at a young age. If my mate's saying, "Do you want to come out to

:03:30.:03:33.

play?", and my dad asks me if I want to ride the horse, I'd rather

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ride my horse, basically. All these kids here being in trouble, playing

:03:37.:03:41.

out too late. I'm missing that, getting out of trouble, keeping out

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of trouble. I want my children to have what I've had. Cos I've been

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brought up with horses the old- fashioned way, I've learnt a lot of

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respect for people and animals. So I want my children to be brought up

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exactly the same way as me. Put them in the stable. Good lad.

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while some horses are tethered, others have been set loose. Locals

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told us they were dumped years ago and have been roaming free and

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breeding ever since. They say the tethered horses are not the problem.

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But the council disagrees. We've been using this land for... It's

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been over 60, 70 years, the land's been used for horses. Horses was

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around here before the councillor was even born, I suppose, and

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houses was built. So I don't agree with trying to change the way it is

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in the Black Country. That's all we do. Horses, horses, day and night,

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that's all we do. Mix with the horses. We don't drink, we don't go

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out. But the horses are not a welcome sight for everyone. Many of

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the residents in this area believe they pose a danger and a nuisance

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to the community, and want the council to act. On the grounds of

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public safety, earlier this year, Sandwell Council introduced a

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strict no-grazing policy across all of its parks and green spaces.

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They've employed the services of a horse bailiff to issue notices and

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remove illegally tethered or roaming horses. Malcolm's father

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Philip says they understand the council's safety concerns, but

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argue that the problem is not with their horses. I agree with the

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loose horses. They are dangerous, yeah. I totally agree with the

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loose horses. But our horses are never, never loose. If they're

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loose, they're tied up within two or three minutes. There's somebody

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always here to put them back on the tethers. They've never had hassle

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with us on the city, never. They've never caused no accidents or

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nothing, our horses have. We've had them all our lives. Since early

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this year, the council has introduced bailiffs to enforce

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their policy and seize horses illegally grazing on council land,

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whether loose or tethered. But the horse owners have serious concerns

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over the practice of the bailiffs and told us: The bailiffs are

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targeting tethered horses are failing to tackle the horses

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roaming loose. The bailiffs are removing tethered horses without

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giving owners the required notice or opportunity to move the animals

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themselves. And the bailiffs are impounding horses at night,

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something the owners believe is unnecessary and causes great

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distress to their animals. This footage was given to us by one

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horse owner. She didn't want to be identified, as she was afraid her

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horse would be taken again. We're unable to verify its authenticity,

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but she claims it shows the bailiffs taking her horse at night,

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breaching government and industry guidelines. It got taken of the

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night time. The bailiffs came and take him at 11.30pm at night.

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you have any warning? No. They said they warned us but I know for a

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fact that they never cos I went over there every day. How much did

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you have to pay? It was about �4 short of �2,000. Nearly �2,000?

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Yeah, definitely. Rossendales refused to take part in the

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programme, but in a statement told us: The Local Authority tells

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Rossendale's which sites to attend and loose horses are removed first.

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Notice is always given, but if ignored, there is no alternative

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but to remove them. Of 14 animals taken, only one was reclaimed.

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Horses taken at night are handled by qualified officers who treat

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them with the utmost care. residents we spoke to tell us

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they're willing to help deal with the stray horses, and simply want

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somewhere safe to graze their animals. The council keep saying

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they've got no money and then want to get rid of pieces of land. We're

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willing to pay for pieces of land. We're willing to pay for this over

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here to keep our horses on. Today, the horse owners are taking their

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battle to the Council House, in the hope of speaking to someone. We've

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emailed them, we've been up there, we've phoned them. We've done

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everything and nobody wants to speak to us. We handed a petition

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in with about 350 signatures, and still nobody has come back saying

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what's happened to the petition or if anybody's going to do anything

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about it. If it comes to it, I'll do them every week until the

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council talk to us and sort something out. So how did you get

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:08:44.:08:46.

on? No reply. Just been to the council, asked them if somebody

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could come out and talk to us. And he's just said straight, point

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:09:05.:09:06.

blank, no. Nobody's coming out to see us, point blank. What do you do

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now? Just keep doing these till something gets sorted out.

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Somebody's got to talk to us. They've got to compromise halfway

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somewhere along the line. But later on that afternoon, there was

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someone available to talk to us. Councillor Ian Jones started by

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explaining the council's position. They are breaking the law. We have

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employed bailiffs, which all the horse owners know, because they've

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petitioned. They are fully aware that on public open space, the

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council will not allow any horses to be tethered or loose. Resident

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and horse owners say the council ignore their complaints if the

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stray horses are on private land. You will see horses on private land.

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And on private land, the council is not responsible for those horses.

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So it is these loose horses that are causing the problem, and yet

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the majority that have been taken by the bailiffs are the tethered

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ones, and I appreciate what you're saying, that it's a safety issue...

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Well, no, no. It's the loose horses that are causing the problems.

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They're the ones that should be taken? We should do both. One of

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the issues with the tethered horses, as I've said, and the government

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regulations from DEFRA about no tethered horses around rights of

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way and other public footpaths means that they are breaking the

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law. So how many of the stray and roaming horses have the council

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taken? I think it's about three or four at the moment. How many of the

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tethered horses? About 12. owners have been in touch with the

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bailiffs and the bailiffs have said, "There will be a charge to return

:10:30.:10:35.

your horse". The owner pays the �2,000, gets their horse back.

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You're back to square one? that's where responsibility comes.

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If the horse is back on the land, you haven't solved the problem?

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don't have to solve the problem. The council does have grazing land

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that horse owners can hire at Sandwell Valley Country Park. But

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it's full and there's a five-year waiting list for places. So with no

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alternative sites available, and both the horse owners and council

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refusing to back down, this is one battle that could take a long time

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to resolve. We had a very rich family life but the horses are all

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we've got and the tethering's all we've got as well. We won't stop

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having them. They'll never, never stop it. Never. They can do what

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they want. We'll never stop. So what do you think? Is it fair to

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tether horses, and what can the council do to round up the ones

:11:19.:11:29.
:11:29.:11:31.

Now, they've been camping out in cities across the world. Anti-

:11:31.:11:33.

capitalist and anti-cuts protesters outside St Paul's Cathedral in

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London were mirrored by smaller tented protests, including one here

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in Birmingham. Earlier this year, Tony started filming some of the

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new protest movements which have sprung up in response to the

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:11:52.:11:54.

economic crisis. Here's his report. CHANTING: Topshop! Pay your tax!

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Whose money? Our money! They call themselves UK Uncut. Cut back!

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Fight back! Cut, cut, cut back! Fight, fight, fight back! For a

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year now they've been arranging to meet through Twitter, Facebook and

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old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Their mission is to disrupt and protest,

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to make a point about the cuts being imposed. They say cut back!

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We say fight back! Their concern is the people who don't normally have

:12:21.:12:29.

a voice as loud as theirs. Miss Selfridge! Pay your tax! I feel

:12:29.:12:35.

like I'm a nothing. That I don't count anywhere in this world.

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embarking on some very bleak, sad times. You probably hadn't heard of

:12:39.:12:42.

UK Uncut until these disturbances in London in March. The violence

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and vandalism made the headlines at an anti-cuts protest involving half

:12:45.:12:50.

a million people. Most of those arrested that day were the 145 who

:12:50.:12:54.

held a peaceful sit-in at the luxury food store, Fortnum & Mason.

:12:54.:12:57.

They were protesting over alleged tax avoidance by the business's

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owners. So we decided to follow the activities of UK Uncut over the

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summer. We'd also get the alternative view from those who

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believe a policy of cuts is right. Indeed, there are those who think

:13:09.:13:19.
:13:19.:13:22.

the cuts should be deeper. It is about time that government started

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to stand up for hard-pressed British taxpayers. It looked like

:13:25.:13:29.

we were heading for a summer of discontent. April - a warm day in

:13:29.:13:35.

Nottingham. UK Uncut supporters gather on a street corner dressed

:13:35.:13:45.

as nurses and hospital workers. It's a busy Saturday morning. They

:13:45.:13:49.

have a list of targets but the police don't know where they are.

:13:49.:13:54.

All of a sudden, there's a quick march to a bank. Lloyds TSB, a

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bailed-out bank, which is 41% owned by taxpayers. This government is

:14:00.:14:07.

taking the NHS and, in effect, privatising it. They go in to

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protest at news the banks made �2 billion profit and paid no tax. And

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spent 200 million on staff bonuses. We wanted to know what motivates

:14:18.:14:28.
:14:28.:14:40.

someone to get involved in action Can mummy help colour? On that one.

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Sam Dixon has lost her job because of the cuts, but says that's not

:14:43.:14:49.

why she has decided to give up part of her weekend to protest. I'm more

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outraged that people are losing services and people's lives are

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going to be put at risk. I'm going to be able to find another job and

:14:56.:15:06.

These are the people Sam means. Those helped by a programme called

:15:06.:15:11.

Supporting People. It's upset me regarding what's happening to sort

:15:11.:15:13.

of frontline services, because these people are either going to

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end up sort of dying, or needing some severe statutory intervention,

:15:16.:15:26.
:15:26.:15:29.

which I find is a complete and utter false economy. May, a rainy

:15:29.:15:33.

day in Lincoln. Sam and the UK Uncut protestors from Nottingham

:15:33.:15:37.

are on a day trip gathering new supporters. This time they're

:15:38.:15:42.

dressed as bankers. We are here to facilitate your peaceful protest,

:15:42.:15:52.

OK? First time I come across this, but it's very worthwhile. I think

:15:52.:15:55.

it's a good thing they're doing it. Hopefully some people will listen

:15:55.:15:59.

and something will change. Once more, it's a peaceful march around

:15:59.:16:03.

the city. The police keep a watchful eye, but not everyone is

:16:03.:16:11.

happy with the demonstrations. They're wasting tax payers' money.

:16:11.:16:14.

Wasting police time as well. If they paid taxes, they'd have an

:16:14.:16:19.

argument, wouldn't they. They don't pay taxes, they're all students.

:16:19.:16:25.

Idiots. They're not all students though. They are. I can tell from

:16:25.:16:28.

here. How can you tell someone's a student by looking at them? I can

:16:29.:16:33.

tell. It's a week later on a sunny Saturday morning in Loughborough.

:16:33.:16:37.

Jago Pearson is up early for a student. He's off to London, to a

:16:37.:16:41.

demonstration in favour of cuts. It's organised by the Taxpayers'

:16:41.:16:48.

Alliance. There are people here who believe the cuts don't go far

:16:48.:16:53.

enough. We're not even going to start paying back this debt until

:16:53.:16:56.

five years' time, at the current rate. And the interest payment is

:16:56.:16:59.

going to get bigger and bigger and that's money we can't spend on

:16:59.:17:03.

anything else. What they want are deeper cuts to public services, to

:17:03.:17:10.

get the economy back on track. is time for us to get real. Let's

:17:10.:17:15.

face up to the truth. Our public finances are in a total shambles.

:17:15.:17:23.

Britain is skint. I'm not a public schoolboy. State educated. We've

:17:23.:17:26.

got to accept that everyone's going to get hit in various different

:17:26.:17:30.

ways by any cuts that are happening or any further cuts maybe we are

:17:30.:17:33.

calling for, but the fact is that we can't let our vested interest

:17:33.:17:37.

get in the way of what's good for the country and what's good for,

:17:37.:17:40.

say, our grandchildren in 50, 60 years' time and for the future of

:17:40.:17:45.

the country. June. Nottingham, and around the country the teachers are

:17:45.:17:48.

on strike over pensions, and UK Uncut are supporting them on a

:17:48.:17:58.
:17:58.:17:59.

March. This is another example of the mess the bankers have left us

:17:59.:18:02.

in, and the Government are expecting the taxpayer to foot the

:18:02.:18:06.

bill. But a decision has been taken to save money on the public sector

:18:06.:18:10.

pension bill. And for people like Jago Pearson that's the right thing

:18:10.:18:17.

to do. There are people out there who do believe the cuts are right,

:18:17.:18:20.

and we could be going further in some cases. Take away the

:18:20.:18:23.

bureaucracy, and of course the most important thing, the European Union,

:18:23.:18:26.

we spend billions of pounds every year on the European Union. It's

:18:26.:18:36.
:18:36.:18:36.

just about time that stops. August. Riots in London. Disturbances and

:18:36.:18:40.

arrests in Nottingham. While there's injustices and inequalities

:18:40.:18:43.

taking place on that scale then I'll be taking part in whatever

:18:43.:18:49.

actions I can get to. October. Westminster. UK Uncut from

:18:49.:18:54.

Nottingham join in. And now they occupy the Old Market Place in

:18:54.:18:58.

Nottingham. A movement of outrage, which isn't showing any signs of

:18:59.:19:08.
:19:09.:19:09.

going away. Finally tonight, we pay tribute to a BBC local radio legend

:19:09.:19:13.

who's giving up his daily consumer show on Radio WM, and just like Sir

:19:13.:19:16.

Terry Wogan severely cutting back on his broadcasting hours. This is

:19:16.:19:26.
:19:26.:19:26.

the story of Ed Doolan, brought to you by Jasper Carrott. It's 11.50

:19:26.:19:33.

and Ed Doolan is getting ready to go live on air. He's done this more

:19:33.:19:37.

than 9,000 times. But today, for the first time in four decades,

:19:37.:19:46.

he's nervous. He's hiding it, but he is quite upset about today. I

:19:46.:19:49.

think there'll be a few moments later on in the programme. Ed is

:19:49.:19:52.

one of the longest serving radio presenters in the world. He's

:19:52.:19:55.

interviewed the grandest and the greatest. But this is his last show

:19:55.:20:00.

before going into semi-retirement. There's a certain nervousness which

:20:00.:20:07.

I'm not used to, because I don't get nervous. I used to. For 40

:20:07.:20:10.

years Ed has used his microphone to stick up for Brummies and challenge

:20:10.:20:13.

authorities. When he gets on to you, you're going to get a tough time.

:20:13.:20:20.

We had some fearsome rows. I was scared stiff. Ed is our voice. He's

:20:20.:20:25.

fearless. He was even named one of history's 100 famous Brummies, but

:20:25.:20:28.

what few realise is that Ed isn't from Birmingham at all. He's

:20:28.:20:38.
:20:38.:20:46.

Australian. G'day. So, how come a complete outsider from Down Under

:20:46.:20:51.

became one of this city's most famous adopted sons? Let's find out.

:20:51.:20:58.

We're going to be having our usual consumer phone-ins. I'm itching to

:20:58.:21:01.

know why Ed ended up in Brum in the first place, leaving Sydney's sun-

:21:01.:21:06.

drenched harbour behind. So why would a snotty nosed kid from the

:21:07.:21:10.

suburbs of Sydney want to come to Birmingham and do local radio for

:21:10.:21:14.

the BBC? Well, what I wanted to do was to do radio. I was obsessed

:21:14.:21:22.

with radio from about the age of four or five. A typical evening in

:21:22.:21:25.

the Doolan household was to sit down and watch my mother doing the

:21:25.:21:27.

ironing, and listen to the transcription service, the BBC

:21:27.:21:35.

transcription service that they were sending through. And they'd be

:21:35.:21:38.

broadcasting people like Frankie Howerd, The Goons and Take It From

:21:38.:21:48.
:21:48.:21:49.

Here and Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh. I loved it. For the ninth time this

:21:49.:21:55.

season, Much-Binding takes the air. Inspired by a notion that British

:21:55.:21:58.

radio was the place to be, a fresh- faced Ed Doolan journeyed to our

:21:58.:22:01.

shores. Soon he got his chance on Birmingham's brand-new commercial

:22:01.:22:04.

station, BRMB. BRMB, playing Birmingham's best mix of the 80s,

:22:04.:22:14.
:22:14.:22:20.

90s and today. I've brought Ed back to see how things have changed.

:22:20.:22:24.

Gone are the pictures of David Essex and ABBA. In those early days,

:22:24.:22:27.

Ed was an outsider and desperately needed to get Brummies on his side.

:22:27.:22:34.

He told friends he had a plan. remember Ed telling me he heard a

:22:34.:22:37.

show in Australia on radio that changed his life. It was somebody

:22:37.:22:40.

trying to get social justice and trying to change things and make a

:22:40.:22:43.

difference to people by a radio show. Ed thought "I would like do

:22:43.:22:46.

that, I would like to have my programmes make a difference to

:22:46.:22:56.
:22:56.:22:58.

people." Across the West Midlands, on 95.6FM, Lunch with Ed Doolan on

:22:58.:23:07.

BBC WM. Ed's programme certainly made a difference to listener Sam.

:23:07.:23:10.

I've been listening Ed Doolan for nearly 30 years and one day he

:23:10.:23:14.

saved my life. Sam heard Ed talking on air about a rare health

:23:14.:23:18.

condition called abdominal aortic aneurysm. Concerned, he booked a

:23:18.:23:27.

scan. The scan showed up that I had a large aneurysm and I needed to be

:23:27.:23:30.

dealt with immediately, and the next two days I was with the

:23:30.:23:35.

consultant at Heartlands Hospital. But Ed really made a name for

:23:35.:23:37.

himself when he started helping listeners with their consumer

:23:37.:23:46.

problems. Back then it was pioneering stuff. Hello, this is

:23:46.:23:51.

the city's engineers department. Thank you for calling to report a

:23:51.:23:57.

defect. Hello. This is the Ed Doolan Show, on Radio WM. Mr Day

:23:57.:24:01.

from Edgbaston would like to record a message. Yes. There is a blocked

:24:01.:24:04.

drain blocked up by the Severn Trent Water authority. For three

:24:04.:24:07.

months. For three months. If you don't know what the hell's going on

:24:07.:24:11.

in your own city, there's no help for you. You've got some work to do

:24:11.:24:14.

with the customers. We have indeed. If there's a problem, he says let's

:24:14.:24:18.

find the person who can sort that problem out, and he's on the phone,

:24:18.:24:22.

"Get me the phone number for Fred," whoever it is at the Town Hall. And

:24:22.:24:25.

he's on the phone. "Fred, it's Ed Doolan here, a lot of people have

:24:25.:24:28.

been worried about..." and you think he just jumps in with all

:24:28.:24:38.

four feet, you know. So becoming a consumer champion may have made Ed

:24:38.:24:41.

popular with Brummies, but it put him on headbutting terms with some

:24:41.:24:44.

of the most powerful leaders in the region. Isn't that so? Are you

:24:44.:24:47.

saying there are people working for Birmingham Council who are

:24:47.:24:51.

frightened that if they say what is going on, that they will be sacked?

:24:51.:24:58.

That's exactly what I'm saying. it was with Midlands Transport

:24:58.:25:03.

Chief Phil Bateman that Ed had his most notorious battles. So come on

:25:03.:25:07.

Phil, how volatile were those early sets to with Ed? Oh, they were

:25:07.:25:11.

pretty volatile. They were pretty blood and guts - usually my blood,

:25:11.:25:16.

my guts. I didn't like him at first, that's the truth of the matter. I

:25:16.:25:20.

felt he was aggressive. Overly aggressive at times. What were the

:25:20.:25:25.

arguments about? You name it, he'd have an argument with you about it.

:25:25.:25:28.

He'd be very nice to start with. He'd engage you in conversation,

:25:28.:25:31.

and then the next minute, your mics went on, the red light went on and

:25:32.:25:34.

he changed, turned into the Tasmanian devil! Of course Ed

:25:34.:25:39.

normally came out on top. You ever wondered why you can catch a bus on

:25:39.:25:42.

Boxing Day? That's one of Ed's many victories, but in 1989 an

:25:42.:25:46.

extraordinary case came along that really tested the Aussie mettle.

:25:46.:25:50.

Here a prisoner who absconded from staff at jail gave himself up while

:25:50.:25:53.

taking part in a radio phone-in. made national headlines when he

:25:54.:26:00.

took a call from a prisoner on the run. Casting BBC health and safety

:26:00.:26:03.

rules to the wind, he agreed to escort Steven Winnery into custody

:26:03.:26:08.

safely. Winnery agreed to be picked up, provided no police were

:26:08.:26:17.

involved. He also agreed to the presence of cameras. Supposing you

:26:17.:26:22.

had found a gun, what would you have done? I never thought of that.

:26:22.:26:27.

I never thought I would. When we got in the car, he thanked me and

:26:27.:26:31.

said "I don't want to go to the prison. I want to go the nearest

:26:31.:26:34.

police station." And I said "Well, I don't know where the nearest

:26:34.:26:40.

police station is." He said, "I'll show you the way." You know, Ed

:26:40.:26:44.

didn't just help the man in the street, he also helped the man on

:26:44.:26:49.

the stage. $$NEWLINE# When I get my moped out on the road $$NEWLINE#

:26:49.:26:55.

I'm going to ride, ride, ride. # When I released Funky Moped in 1975,

:26:55.:26:58.

few people outside Birmingham knew who I was, but an appearance on Top

:26:58.:27:03.

of the Pops changed everything. That was thanks to Ed, who had been

:27:03.:27:13.
:27:13.:27:13.

promoting the record for weeks. It was my big break. Isn't that nice.

:27:13.:27:18.

Ed's not retiring completely. Oh no. New shows on Fridays and Sundays

:27:18.:27:21.

will keep him busy in Brum. But his last daily consumer prog, the show

:27:21.:27:24.

that made his name, is almost over. It's been an emotional two hours,

:27:25.:27:28.

so will he be able to stick to his script? The problem is when the

:27:28.:27:31.

emotions get involved he often discards it and speaks from the

:27:31.:27:34.

heart. I don't know whether he'll be able to stick to that, to be

:27:35.:27:40.

honest. As the clock creeps towards the hour, Ed delivers those parting

:27:40.:27:46.

words. I'll be back live, next Friday, at 12 noon. But now, until

:27:46.:27:51.

next we meet, thanks for listening. A professional to the end, Ed stuck

:27:51.:27:55.

to his script, word-for-word. After nearly 40 years of sticking up for

:27:55.:27:58.

the people of Birmingham, it's little wonder that we Brummies have

:27:58.:28:01.

made Ed Doolan one of our own. What an honour we have bestowed upon him.

:28:02.:28:05.

However, Birmingham and the Black Country have a lot to thank him for.

:28:05.:28:15.
:28:15.:28:27.

I know I have. Well, that's all for tonight. Join me again next Monday.

:28:27.:28:30.

Mary Rhodes asks whether a centuries-old tradition of horse keeping in the Black Country is about to end on the grounds of health and safety, plus a behind the scenes report on the Midlands groups protesting against government cuts, and Jasper Carrot meets the legendary radio presenter Ed Doolan as he gives up his daily show championing consumers.


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