22/10/2012 Newsnight Scotland


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 22/10/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



ethical mistakes and certainly not On the programme, did the SNP's


conference managed to complete the lengthy process of positioning the


party for the referendum campaign? Some strategists reckon at the NATO


policy change was the final component in a package of changes


designed to set the SNP on course for the most significant vote in


its history. Good evening. That may have been the most eventful SNP


conference in recent years. Most party members probably hoped the


excitement would be repeated any time before the referendum, at


least. While the SNP vote on NATO policy, setting SNP against -- MSP


against MSP, it also seems to have completed the party's policy


position in time to get stuck into the proper referendum campaign.


Suzanne Allan has been investigating the extent of the SNP


has completed and jigsaw of policy elements suitable for their


independence campaign. -- completed a jigsaw.


The clock is ticking down to an independence referendum in two


years' time. These delegates are in a hurry, eager to fast forward to


Yesterday, the captain fell on an historic SNP conference in Perth. -


- the curtain fell. Fresh from signing an agreement with David


Cameron on Monday, Alex Salmond urged delegates to make a U-turn on


NATO. Does this mean the SNP have their ducks in a role? Has the


final piece of policy jigsaw fall into place? I think the SNP will


not have any other major U-turns in policy this side of the referendum,


but they still have a lot of work to do. They have to give us a lot


will detail on a number of policy areas, much more detail on economic


affairs, but substantively I don't think there will be a major change


of policy, just more detail. What is the SNP's vision of an


independent Scotland? The Queen - in her Diamond Jubilee


Year, the Queen and the royal family in general are more popular


than they have been for years. Speaking last week on the daily


politics, Andrew Neil Prest Alex Salmond on past party's support for


a referendum on whether to keep their clean or not. Alex Salmond


said it was always SNP policy to keep the monarch as head of state.


-- to keep the Queen or not. It was always the policy to retain the


king, and now the Queen, as the head of an independent state of


Scotland. You argued we had a different


policy, and I am saying we have along history of uproar monarchy


policy, which we certainly embrace with great enthusiasm. -- off a


pro-Iraqi policy. Stirling - policy is now the pound,


but it was not ever thus. The euro was once the preferred option. When


did it change? Or did it change officially?


Things have changed substantially. When the facts change, you change


your mind, you did -- changed her mind for what is right for the day.


What is right for today is the support for the optimal currency


area. Wealth fear - what would Scotland's


welfare system look like? With for the -- would free prescriptions and


pensioner travel stay? The things that have come to find


the benefits of having a Parliament in Scotland - free personal care


and the freedom for fair -- freedom of fear for our Elder Lake of


having a personal care guarantee, the ability to travel, the rights


of young people to free education, the rights of all of us to have a


health service free at the point of need - these are vital social games


-- these fatal social gains that have defined the Parliament are now


at risk. Not because we see so, but because our opponents say so.


Defence - this has been one of the most controversial policy U-turns


in recent times. Traditionally, the party has opposed NATO as well as


nuclear weapons. Many members are still against it and made this


clear at the conference. A we can agree with friends and


neighbours like Denmark and Norway that Scotland's position makes it


in their interests and our interests to be part of a mutual


defence organisation on and on nuclear bases.


A in two years' time, what the electorate will want is to know


where the SNP want to take Scotland, not what its policies are at the


moment but its aspirations for the future. The vote for independence


is for a new state, a new constitutional situation. It is not


just about the kind of policies and SNP Government will pursue. To


contrast that with where the United Kingdom is heading, it is not so


much the detail alone people will be looking for, though that will be


important, but the sense of direction - where are we going?


am joined by three guests to discuss the future shape of


Scotland with or without independent. I have no idea how


they will vote at all. Professor Robert Wright specialises in


demographics. Think-tank director Ross Martin specialises in public


service reform. Economics Professor Professor Ailsa McKay specialises


in equality and inequality issues. In three, and though we have seen


the SNP shift policy -- Ross Martin, now we have seen the SNP shift


policy on NATO, do we have a clear idea of what Annissa -- independent


Scotland would be like? I think we have an idea of the pieces of the


jigsaw puzzle, but not the nuts and bolts that would impact on every


body's everyday lives. Public service reform is clearly going to


be an area that need more detail. Professor Ailsa McKay, much of what


the SNP has emphasised thus far has been about what will be kept - the


Queen, Stirling, NATO membership. It is an odd place to start, isn't


it? Bearing in mind the immense changes that what happened? Yes, I


would like to see more emphasis on keeping the public sector and the


changes that have happened in recent years have basically cut off


a life-support system for many communities in Scotland, as recent


evidence has indicated the levels of deprivation are increasing. I


would like to see a real investment in a public sector that works for


Scotland's economy. Professor Robert Wright, the debate is a


binary 1, yes or law. Do you support the Union or opt for


independence? -- Yes or no. Where does that leave the ideas that


generate debate? That is a tough question, because there are some


real serious problems that will be here after we become independent or


not. For example, we will have to pay for the ageing population, the


youth unemployment is a big issue at the moment, used on


employability is a big problem. Restructuring at the higher


education sector to make it stronger financially, these things


will not go away and we have to think about how to actually do this.


I don't think it will necessarily be any easier or more difficult if


Scotland is independent, because these are big issues. Professor


Ailsa McKay, do you sense there is an appetite for debating issues


like the welfare system, like poverty? What are the pitch to


decide in a debate like this? -- or are they pushed to the side. They


are as an opportunity to have these debates and generate new ideas.


The global financial crisis is a crisis of ideas. We do not want to


go back to the economics that failed us. The Scottish Government


seems to be explicitly Becky dies in the models they used to frame


their economic policy is failing. - - the Scottish Government seems to


recognise. They have the next few months to come up with some new


ideas about the economy. There are new ideas and the a, it is just a


question of whether people want to come from thin, I suppose. And how


the two big parties in particular go about articulating that message,


and how they Catt -- characterised the kind of Scotland Day want to


see. We have seen Johann Lamont and the Labour Party moving in on the


universal provision agenda, and at the same time coming from the other


side we have seen Alex Salmond moving into words a lot of Labour-


type language in his speech. -- moving in towards a lot of Labour.


It will be quite an energetic fight. On that point, it is there a danger


that so many of the issues that have to be confronted economically


and in terms of welfare and all the rest of it just get left out?


Absolutely, that is the real issue. Some of these larger issues we have


mentioned here will be ignored because of the referendum. We know


these issues will not go away, so we need the details of the policies


they have sketched out recently. How will they attempt to address


these problems either under the status quo or under independence?


Hopefully, that will be part of the debate for the next to you and I


have, but I don't know how seriously we will take this. A lot


of things will have good change, and that is not a clever thing to


do when you're trying to get someone to vote for an idea. That


is one of the problems, isn't it? He were trying to get people on


board if you are pushing towards a particular goal. It is tempting to


say, I am not going to change very much here, just to play it safe.


I've think there have been positive news in terms of change. It was


quite a bold move in the last spade and and it has been in the last


four Budget rent. The last on employment statement indicated a


new and innovative approach. He did it change much, though? It is early


days. The First Minister in your minister -- in your video quoted


John Maynard Keynes. He also said that recovery is treating the


symptoms, of what you need is reform. I would like to see a


debate in the next 18 months looking at reform of our economic


systems, changing the underlying assumptions that inform economic


policy. Particularly regarding women and the economy. On that


issue - reform. Is there any scope for that? Independence is not going


to allow Scotland to do what it wants. They want to stay in the


European Union, we are a small economy and affected by things that


happen out with our shores. On the economy there are a limited number


of things we can do a loan. However, there are some things we can do one


a were warned that we can probably do better under independence. For


example, immigration policy, we can do that better. Defence, it is


impossible given a our sized, so it is trade offs. You talk about


demographics. Just how great a challenge is that? How bad is that


problem? I think it is the main problem, the main challenge. It is


not a problem if you're prepared to allow people to have a low standard


of living. We don't want that and politicians don't, because people


with a low standard of living do not vote for you. People have free


care, they have a favourable attitude towards immigration, these


are all good things. It would work better under independence, but it


is a massive financial challenge. Just how big? In terms of money? By


I don't know, I have fared an estimate that the ageing app


population in the UK it is the same as the cost of recapitalising the


bike. -- the ageing population. Is the same as the cost of


recapitalising the banks. One that point, you see that services are


ripe for reform, presumably to address some of these issues?


interesting thing is a lot of reform is happening under the radar.


At local level, partly because of the electoral system we have in


local Government, where all parties are in bed with each other, it is


very difficult for them to criticise each other, so they can


get on with the process of reform under the radar. That is actually


happening. He yet, what we saw from Alex Salmond and from Johann Lamont


is a very, very divisive debate now taking place on the future of


public service reform. If we think there is going to be consensus on


it, we can forget that. The MEB consensus on direction, but not


presentation, and politics is 90% Her as we look to balance the


budget, deal with an ageing population, is there a platform for


a debate about it was fundamental ideals? Or are we seeing them shut


down as we look at the wider debate?


The wider debate gives us a platform for those issues. The


point about the ageing population, only today a report was produced


that indicated the gender gap in savings. It means that women save


less for retirement. We know they live longer. They are saving less


because of the squeezing of the public-sector. Women have been hit


harder by the recession. The longer term impact will be felt by the


Scottish economy. Do you see a need for higher taxes


to address these issues? That is one particular route.


Public service reform is another. There are many ways to skin a cat.


But we must take everything seriously. The budget was for jobs


and growth. That indicate we're still framing of thinking with a


mainstream economic approach - despite the rhetoric about


challenging and reforming of thinking. So there is a long way to


go off. The SNP have shed some


controversial policies. Have they found the mid-point, we admit


Scotland lies? The aspirations of your average Scot?


Regardless of their opinions it will be controversial and the


situation of whether people like it or not. It is not possible to


please everybody all the time. But you must be honest about tough


problems that require tough solutions and the must own up to


that. I am not convinced they are doing enough of that in the run-up


to the referendum. There is time and the SNP plan to


announce more detail for the next 18 months. What would you look for


from them? For a reconnection of people and


police. The SNP rose to power in the period from 2007 onward. -- a


reconnection of people and place. That reconnecting, engendering a


sense of civic pride and belonging, it is something that I think will


come through in a fairly imaginative way from both of the


camps. You talked about public service


reform. If there is one thing they could do, what we did be?


Take for example free tuition fees. You could take out either before of


university -- for the year of university or six a year of high


school. There is a pack disconnect between those two levels. You can


strip out inefficiency and the system and that be a good marker


for public services as a whole. Fair enough, we're talking about


independence, but public services, schools, health care, quite often


we take the easy path. We do not opt for tough, radical reform?


Nor, I think we're quite radical. But it is time for all parties to


embrace that challenge and think about what they mean by the economy.


Moved beyond narrow and exclusive indicators like a growth as a


performance measure for success. Use the framework and a more


realistic way and apply that to public sector reform.


Give us an example. Gross national happiness? That is a different


matter. How would you quantify success in independence.


It has to be home-grown. I think if we work realistically with it as


opposed to having just rhetoric and political statements, and apply the


National Performance Framework indicators to have a spending


allocations, that would be a good starting point.


If you take the concentration of town level, most Scottish towns


need to rain and that there footprint and start to think about


how we use town-centre as for different functions. -- bring back


their footprint. We need to use time centres for social and


cultural activity as well. I am not so optimistic. The next


four a case will be extremely expensive. An ageing population,


pain for independence, competition from Asia. -- the next four decades.


For that you will need a government expenditure and more money.


Increase taxes? Yes, they're going to have to increase taxes. It also


makes savings where savings can be made. Seoul, look for savings, and


public sector reform, etc.. But we need growth, because we need the


money. Particularly over the next four decades.


You ask if we are radical enough. I think if we are talking about and


you discourse about what we mean from the economy and value, I would


like to see the SNP and all political parties look at the


management and care of the Scottish household.


There we must leave it. Factual very much indeed. Before we go,


time for a look at tomorrow's papers. The Scotsman, Fleet


grounded after a helicopter ditches. That is the crash into the sea.


Download Subtitles