03/03/2017 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.

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The Prime Minister is fighting on two fronts.


Not content with hitting the EU head on over Brexit,


she's taken a huge swipe at the Scottish Government.


Politics is not a game, and government is not a platform for


which to pursue constitutional obsessions.


A tunnel vision nationalism, which focuses only on


independence at any cost, sells Scotland short.


Is this how you talk to a neighbour supposedly


We ask the SNP and the Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland.


Also tonight - she was a serving officer for 13 years, the face


Now she has quit spectacularly on Facebook saying the stress


and anxiety brought on by falling police numbers and lack of care


And later we'll be live from Belfast, from the Northern Ireland


elections where Sinn Fein look like they are having their best


showing ever and the leader of the Ulster Unionists has resigned.


Few would dispute that we are in a constitutional maelstrom


in the UK at the moment, but today that vortex intensified.


We had a bruising referendum campaign about the future


of the United Kingdom in the EU, but now the fight within the UK


Today, Theresa May took the Brexit gloves off with a speech to the Tory


Party in Scotland which accused the Scottish Government


of an obsession with Independence stoking up endless constitutional


grievance, and tunnel vision nationalism.


Is this the same Prime minister who arrived in Scotland's capital


the day after she won the Tory leadership in July assuring


the Scottish government that she wanted it fully engaged


Are we heading for a rematch, Indi Ref II?


The Brexit referendum has turned what was supposedly a once


in a generation decision into a live question once again.


The Prime Minister was at the Scottish Conservative Conference


today, accusing the SNP of using the EU vote to reheat


arguments that the Scottish people have already rejected once.


Politics is not a game and government is not


a platform for which to pursue constitutional obsessions.


It is about taking the serious decisions to improve people's lives.


A tunnel vision nationalism which focuses only on independence


The SNP government has been pressing for what it calls a differentiated


settlement for Scotland post-Brexit, staying in the EU single market


Today, the Prime Minister ruled out such an arrangement.


I am determined to ensure that as we leave the EU,


we do so as one United Kingdom which prospers outside the EU


That means achieving a deal with the EU which works


for all parts of the UK, England, Scotland, Wales


And for the United Kingdom as a whole.


The truly irritating thing about it all is that there are deals


There is a deal with Nissan, a deal for the City of London.


There's probably going to be a deal for Ireland,


maybe one for soft fruit farmers in East Anglia.


And yet the one group of people who have voted so


emphatically to want a deal to stay in the EU and the single


market are the Scots, and there's no deal available for us.


For our precious union, of nations and of people. Theresa May's defence


of the union went down well in the hall, but how strong is it in the


hearts of Scottish voters? At the independence referendum in 2014,


44.7% of Scots voted yes. After that, the pro-independent side got a


boost into the high 40s but it settled down to mostly occupy the


40, 40 5% zone. Then came the Brexit vote. The fact Scotland was being


taken out of the EU against its will created a slight in the


pro-independence polling numbers, but then it settled back down to the


same zone it was in before the Brexit vote. There has been a


significant number of voters, about 15% have, according to the polls


move to yes. But that has been balanced by a significant number of


voters moving in the opposite direction. So there has been a fair


amount of churn. It hints at something deeper and longer


standing, which is nobody really knows exactly how a second


independence referendum, if it were to happen in 2018 or in 2019, if it


happens at all, would play out. Scotland's economic standing has


worsened. North Sea oil prices have dropped. And according to the


Scottish Government's own figures, Scotland runs a fiscal deficit of


9.5% of GDP, or ?15 billion a year. But in politics these days, other


arguments seem to carry more weight than simple economics. Another


potentially important change since the independence referendum was the


wiping out in Scotland of the Labour Party. In 2014 they were confident


of delivering their voters for the no side. Since then, those voters


have deserted them. Jeremy Corbyn's apparent willingness for abandoning


the notion Labour could be a plausible party of government at


Westminster, opens the door to Conservative rule in London from


2010 to 2030. The SNP think that is something that will powerfully


concentrate Scottish minds and make independence see more plausible and


unappealing motion. Securing Scotland's place in the EU was a key


plank of the 2014 anti-independence campaign. Now it is a key part of


the nationalist case. How decisive it might be in changing minds,


depends on the Brexit we end up with.


David Mundell is the Secretary of State for Scotland.


He'll make his speech at the Tory Party Conference


Good evening to you. David Mundell, a good photo call with Nicola


Sturgeon two days after she became leader, great sound bites. This is


the real Theresa May, it was an attack on a national government with


its own mandate? It is not anything of that kind. What it is, it is


asking Nicola Sturgeon to take the issue of independence of the table.


What your report didn't cover was the fact that all polling that has


taken place in Scotland indicates the overwhelming majority of people,


whether they are for or against independence, are against having


another independence referendum at this time. They believe we have made


the decision, they think another referendum would be divisive. It is


about saying, let's not talk all the time about independence, let's focus


on the day job, the issues with health and education. Education,


where standards have slumped in Scotland. And on the issue of


Brexit, let's come together, work together and get the best deal for


Scotland. Working together you assume, means taking a well


considered substantial document produced by the Scottish Government


before Christmas, giving it credence, having a discussion about


it. Why does the reason may not think this is a legitimate document?


There is nothing to suggest it is her view. Have you had a formal


response? She has said and I have said, we take this document as a


serious contribution to the debate. That is why officials from both


governments have been working assiduously together to look at the


areas in that document where we have common ground and there are a large


numbers of areas where we have common ground, workers' rights,


criminal justice, and security. But not the single market? What the


position is in relation to the single market, the SNP position is


to have membership of the single market. Our position is to have


access to the single market. In so many areas, the ends we want to


achieve the same. If we can agree on those, it seems to me there is a way


forward. Why does Theresa May think her voice in Scotland is more


legitimate than the First Minister in a country where there was only


one Conservative MP returned in the whole country, and that was you. She


doesn't think her voice is more legitimate, but she is the Prime


Minister of the whole of the United Kingdom. She is entitled to say to


Nicola Sturgeon, stop banging on about independence all the time. The


people of Scotland made their decision in 2014. They made it clear


in all the polling they don't want to have another... I don't think


Theresa May started talking about independence three hours after the


declaration of the result in the EU referendum. It is the first time


Nicola Sturgeon mentioned independence and she has mentioned


it every single day since the 24th of June. You cannot say she has


mentioned it every day, so let's leave that. Why does the government


reject the idea Britain cannot go it alone outside the EU, and uses the


same arguments for why Scotland cannot go it alone? We have had a


referendum in Scotland and people have decided to remain decisively,


part of the United Kingdom. The overwhelming view of people in


Scotland is they should move on from this constitutional debate. I think


people want to see both governments working together so we can get the


best possible deal from the EU as we exited. That is what we are trying


to achieve. In the possibility there is another referendum on Scottish


independence, who is going to run a better together campaign? Argument


remains, there could be another independence referendum, but we


don't believe there should be and we will continue to make the argument


we should not have another independence referendum. But the


Theresa may put herself on the front of a better together campaign? What


Theresa May is doing is emphasising her commitment to the United


Kingdom, setting out the benefits of Scotland being in the United


Kingdom, but calling on Nicola Sturgeon to take this divisive issue


of the threat of another independence referendum of the


table. Let's not talk about the independence referendum, Theresa May


said she would not be triggering Article 50 until she had a UK


approach. The truth is, you don't have a UK approach yet? What doing


is continuing to work with the Scottish Government and other


devolved administrations to take on board issues and concerns they have


raised, so we can go forward into these EU negotiations with a team UK


approach. That is the approach that will get is the best results and


that is why we want the Scottish Government and the government in the


other part of the UK on board, so we can work together. That is how we


will get the best approach and that is Theresa May's approach.


Stephen Gethins is the SNP's Europe Spokesperson.


Theresa May has called Nicola Sturgeon's bluff, so why not just


call a referendum and be done with it? Well, in the interview you have


just had, we have had David Mundell saying it is still alive document.


The biggest crisis we face right now is being taken out of the European


Union in a Tory hard Brexit. It could cost thousands of jobs. The


most detailed document was produced by the Scottish Government, looking


for a compromise that would bring in Northern Ireland and Scotland who


voted to remain overwhelmingly. I think trying to pull together that


compromise was the right thing to do. It is a serious document. If


Theresa May has made it clear she is not interested in an approach which


allows you to differentiate and remain in the single market, if she


has made it clear and it seems that she has, why not just call the


referendum? As soon as she has triggered Article 50? Let's give


them the opportunity to come back, David Mundell said it is still live


so let's take them on their word. Theresa May had an extraordinary


speech lashing out at a government when she doesn't have other problems


to seek right now. This is the biggest crisis of this time right


now, it could cost 80,000 jobs if we are taken out of the EU. David


Mundell talks about independence, Theresa May talks a great deal about


independence. People like me are happy with that. When the Scottish


Government said we could put that to one side, we can try and compromise,


we can look at the deal across the United Kingdom, that is an


opportunity they should have seized. We have a situation in the UK where


we are getting very few details nine months on. We know there is chaos in


a number of Whitehall departments about what happens next. That should


be the Prime Minister's priority right now. If you are getting


signals in the key plank of your document, which is remaining in the


single market, is not a runner, Nicola Sturgeon will look weak if


she doesn't call a referendum now and you will be letting down the


people who expect you to take one forward? Our first responsibility is


about maintaining jobs in the economy. If you look at my own


constituency, the University of St Andrews, which relies heavily on its


relationship with the European Union, we have to try and seek the


least worst option. This is a problem and this is chaos of


Westminster's making. It was a Gross responsibility of believe campaign


who campaigned on a blank piece of paper. How will the Scottish


Government make the decision that concessions, whatever they are or


what ever they are not, are sufficient or insufficient enough to


call a referendum, when will we have some clarity on this from the SNP.


The uni 's Prime Minister is talking about independence, but Nicola


Sturgeon did raise it within a month of the referendum. Why not tell


people what will govern your decision?


Rather than coming up north to Scotland and indulging in some sabre


rattling, maybe Theresa May would have been better to work in terms of


partnership, take the document seriously. It sets out how we can


deal with problems. Remember, this EU decision will have an impact and


each and every one of us in terms of our rights, livelihoods, in terms of


every single part of the economy. This is the biggest crisis we are


facing and it will have an impact on each and everyone of us. There a


live document at the moment that came from the Scottish Government


that came from the Scottish Government that has more detail than


we have seen so far. We want the Westminster government to take that


more seriously, and try to work in partnership.


Laura Beal joined Devon and Cornwall police 13 years ago when she was 19,


She was regarded as such a good officer that her face was


on the Constabulary's Annual Report and on posters advertising


But this week she did something no other serving


She quit very publically, publishing her resignation


In it she talked about her mental breakdown.


She says she was left disillusioned and suffering from stress


and anxiety as a result of the increasing


Falling police numbers in the Constabulary took its toll


on her capacity to do her job and crucially, she says


Good evening. Thank you for joining us. You had a tough time, but do you


remember back when you first wanted to be an officer? Very well and very


fondly. I used to hear so many fantastic stories from my father.


Who was an officer for ten years. Yes. The day I got in wasn't


drastic, I was so proud. You were in the force for 14 years, do you


remember when he started to feel unwell? It is probably a year or two


after the cuts came in, there was the Windsor report and Theresa May


did drastic cuts about two years after that. What actually happens to


you, what were your symptoms? It ranged from just struggling to get


out of bed, and the stereotypical ones where you struggle, it's got to


a point to even going shopping was too much. So you just come back.


What happened when you were actually on the beat, what impact did your


stress levels have on you then? Dramatically. You put your uniform


on and put a face on, and that's what everyone is able to do, but it


got to the point where even putting your uniform on, which is kind of a


mask, you can't even do it any more, and I wasn't able to do it any more,


and it was affecting me too much. Did you feel exposed out in the


field? Yes, I didn't feel safe. There's not enough of us. I didn't


feel safe to drive the vehicle is so quickly in a night and so far. They


were expecting us to do so much and there is no support for mental


health. The procedures we have to go through, if you say you are not


coping well, they sent you to occupational health, who ask if you


have seen your doctor, and you'll only get six counselling sessions.


If you can't have those sessions, they say you have to find your own


route to getting well. Did you feel, as it were, when I say exposed in


the field, did you feel frightened or in danger or putting others in


danger? I was too professional to feel like I was putting others in


danger. The reason I went off sick was because I felt I couldn't do my


job properly. I wouldn't put myself at other people in danger because I


couldn't do my job properly. You made a career, 13 years, how did you


come to the decision? When you are thinking about going into work and


it's a sad thing, it shouldn't be said. The whole point of being alive


is to be happy, I think. When you go into work and you are making out you


are trying to be happy and you can't, it's so suffocating. Even the


thought of putting on my uniform was suffocating. How did your family


deal with that? How did your father help you, was it difficult for him?


My family and friends have been my rocks. I doubt has been so


supportive. He has been my inspiration to join, and also to


have the courage to leave and say, no, you need to be happy, and that's


most important. You have made quite a lot of serious criticisms of


police numbers, the way the police are deployed and so forth. Some


people might say a stressful job isn't the job for you. I wouldn't


have been doing it for 13 years if that was the case. Stress is


something you can manage. It is manageable, and I loved my job and I


was damned good at it, and you just have to see the comments put on


there, it's not just me. A lot of messages of support. So many. All of


them resonate about mental health, they were so stressed, they were


telling supervisors they were stressed and not coping. What


happens is as a result of that they go off sick, and they can't go off


sick. These are colleagues in the police that have contacted you. They


can't go off sick, and because they are stressed little things happen,


they make mistakes, then they are penalised and forced out of the job


that weight and all because of their mental health. Do you think there


are circumstances you would go back into the police force? No, it's too


broken for me. I found my way out and I'm starting to find happy


happiness again. I'm doing mobile dog grooming now. Completely


different! If you see officers in the same circumstances as you,


should they stay and fight for change or should they quit? It's all


on an individual basis. You know yourself, be honest and true with


yourself. It's not as daunting as you think it's going to be and you


owe the police force nothing. You are your own boss. Thank you very


much indeed, Laura. A spokesperson for Devon


and Cornwall told us... "We do hear concerns from officers


and staff and recognise It requires skills and personal


resilience which are often We are a supportive force


and will always assist an officer It's been another tumultuous


week for Donald Trump. Days after a senior member


of his team had to resign because of his contacts


with a Russia diplomat, the President's top legal official


Jeff Sessions also became embroiled in a similar row, leading him


to distance himself from any official role in investigating


Russian links to I have now decided to recuse myself


from any existing or future investigations of any matter


relating in any way to the campaigns So, the Presidency mired


in another week of scandal. But to one leading American


Academic, Timothy Wu, there is no such thing as a bad


headline for Mr Trump. Earlier I asked him why the


president thrives on negative press. He has a completely different


strategy and different way His main interest is always


getting attention first, always being the centre of every


headline, dominating all the news. I think as far as he's concerned,


if he does that, he wins. But did he come upon this


by accident or design? You know, I think certain things


are just people's intuition. He's an entertainer, however,


he understands that the show with the greatest ratings


tends to win. And I think what he understands


is that the American public's Got a million things


going on and most of all And if he actually gets to reach


people with his messages, In a sense, his own unpredictability


is exciting, are you suggesting? You know, the things that really get


people hooked are unpredictable Whether it is on purpose or not,


he seems to have more of America paying attention to the presidency


than any time maybe since So, he has really succeeded


in a very unusual method that most So the idea is, you don't


necessarily have to win a quick hit, you just have to keep going and be


out there the whole time and by even It's kind of counterintuitive,


but it suggests that ultimately it is a contest for attention


and the win-lose All that matters in the end is who's


getting the most attention, who's getting their message


across and by that metric, Donald Would that also suggest


that there is no such thing as bad publicity or is there something that


could be his downfall? You know, for him I really


believe his downfall will not be through normal means,


but more like by being Not like Richard Nixon,


but more like Paris Hilton where people just get sick of him


and forget about it and then His power comes from


a very different place But you could forget


about Paris Hilton, it's a little bit more difficult to forget


about the president, isn't it? He will have other forms of scrutiny


than Paris Hilton had. That's why I think it's safe to say


he's hacked the media. Even the story we are doing


here, it's irresistible, he is the President,


you can't ignore him He's hacked the power


of the media and he's using it Even if that means losing -


losing in the superficial sense - he's trying to win in


the deeper sense. So, is the kind of counterpunch then


to have the media ignore a lot of what he says,


which would presumably I think that's the only


way for him to really have his downfall is if the media,


and frankly the public, just get sick of him,


kind of like an act that's gone one It seems strange, he is


still the president, but I think it's possible people


could get sick of the whole shtick. Indeed, surely if there was some


crisis that befell America, something which required


the president to step up to the plate and he fell short


in that, would that not be I think he could be impeached


and that would be a turning point. I think his absurd handling


of some crisis in some very strange way would,


by his metric, not damage him as much as it would


damage anybody else. Now we bring you the very latest


on a very significant night As the votes come in for


the Northern Irealnd Assembly elections, the Ulster Unionist Party


leader Mike Nesbitt has resigned, and Sinn Fein are on their way


to their best night ever. The BBC's Ireland correspondent


Chris Buckler joins us There are still about 15 of the 90


seats to be filled and counting continues, but it's clear Sinn Fein


has had a very good election. They went into this vote campaigning


about what they said was the DUP's arrogance, a botched green energy


scheme and issues like the Irish language, and there is no doubt that


motivated their vote to come out, and they have given them a great


deal of support. In fact, they have narrowed the gap between their form


a coalition partners, the DUP, two fractions of a percentage point


whenever you look at the share of first percentage vote. Saying that,


the DUP have done relatively well, they have shored up their position


and it will be a very tight result. However, speak to some Democratic


Unionists politicians and privately they say it's a bad day for


unionism, partly because UUP President Mike Nesbitt has resigned


because of his party's poor performance. We have seen the middle


ground getting squeezed and this divisive election, this sectarian


election, has led to success for Sinn Fein in particular and also the


DUP. What do you think the most likely formulation will be at the


end? The big problem is trying to form some sort of power-sharing


government. That will not be easy. We have already had Sinn Fein set


out a red line saying they want Arlene Foster to step aside, not


become First Minister, if they are going to go back into government


with the DUP, at least as long as a public enquiry lasts into the


botched green energy scheme. She was the minister in charge of that


scheme when it was set up inexplicably without cost controls.


That'll put pressure on Arlene Foster and the DUP. I think trying


to put a deal into power-sharing back. They have three weeks to get


eight First Minister and Deputy First Minister elected. Frankly,


that's looking like a tough ask. It raises the possibility that


Westminster might have to step in and take over, effectively what's


known as direct rule, where they run things in Northern Ireland while


there isn't a functioning executive. Neither Sinn Fein nor the DUP want


that, but tonight it doesn't look like they want to work with each


other at this stage either. Thank you, Chris.


But before we go, Nintendo launched a new games console today.


No doubt it'll render Mario in ever more detail than before


But a part of us wonders whether the energetic plumber


Quite a wet start to the day for Scotland and Northern Ireland. It


will be windy and quite cold as well. Any rain doesn't last too long


in eastern England. There


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