29/10/2015 Question Time


29/10/2015

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Edinburgh. On the panel are Keith Brown MSP, Annabel Goldie MSP, Kezia Dugdale MSP, Billy Bragg and Merryn Somerset Webb.


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Transcript


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Welcome, whether you're watching or listening, to our audience here,

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Former Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Annabel Goldie.

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The Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for

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Infrastructure, responsible among other things for the Forth Road

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Labour's newly-elected Leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale.

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The Editor of MoneyWeek magazine, Merryn Somerset Webb.

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And the English musician who campaigned

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for Scottish independence, one of many campaigns he has put

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If you want to text or tweet, our hashtag is BBCQT.

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Text comments to 83981, and press the red button to see what

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Our first question, please. I would like to ask the panel, is the House

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of Lords more in tune with the British public than our elected

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representatives in Westminster? This is, of course, over the tax credit

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issue, when the House of Lords voted down the House of Commons. Among

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those voting was the newly ennobled Annabel Goldie. Is the House of

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Lords more in June with public opinion? I think the important issue

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to remember is that the House of Commons is the elected parliament,

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the Parliament voters elect MPs to. The house of lords is unelected.

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Some might want to get rid of it, but I think it does a good job of

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reviewing legislation and is needed as a secondary chamber at

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Westminster. But I voted with the government on Monday night because I

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thought it was wrong that an unelected House of Lords should be

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overflowing the duly processed decisions of an elected House of

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Commons. So I think there is a point of principle in there, but that is

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not to say that the House of Lords proved to be a very both useful and

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a very well-informed forum for addressing an issue which clearly

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has generated a great deal of interest, great deal of passion, and

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a great deal of concern, which is the matter of reforming tax credits.

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You are saying they should not have done this and now you are beginning

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to say they are in tune with public opinion, as the question was asking.

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I am saying there is a conflict between assuming that an unelected

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body like the House of Lords should be in a position to overthrow the

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decisions of the elected parliament, the House of Commons. I believe

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strongly that is an issue of principle. I am saying I think the

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House of Commons is the correct place for decisions to be made. That

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does not mean the House of Lords does not have a role, and I was

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explaining why I think it performed a useful role. But that the end of

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the day, and I would not hide from this, I also voted with the

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Government on Monday night because actually I do approve of what the

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Chancellor is trying to achieve, in terms of turning our economy round

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from a high welfare, high tax and low waged economy. I want to see us

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give people decent wages without having to subsidise wages with tax

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credits, which I don't think it's healthy. We are talking about who

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has the ear of the British public, the House of Commons or the House of

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Lords. Kezia Dugdale. They don't look like or sound like the rest of

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the country but I am glad they were there this week. Annabel said this

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was a point of principle. I'm a late -- afraid it wasn't. In the TV

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debates during the election David Cameron told us he would not cut tax

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credits. It was not in his manifesto and now he is trying to cut ?3000

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from families across the country. I think the Lords voted this week to

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try to hold David Cameron to what he told the British public and I'm glad

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they did that. That is a really good thing that that legislation has now

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been sent back to have another look at, because this will hurt working

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people across the country. So you do believe they are more in tune than

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the House of Commons? No, I don't. I want to scrap the House of Lords. It

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is important to have a second chamber to go over the details when

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the government gets it wrong but it does not have to be full of Lords in

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ermine robes and cloth caps. We can do it differently and it is high

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time that we should. APPLAUSE

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For me, I don't think the House of Lords should be there, they should

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be abolished and elected. But practically, my mother relied on tax

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credits for both me and my brother. If I was brought up now, that would

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mean she would lose that money. If there was an emergency in my

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household, say a car breaks down, washing machine, where do you turn

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when you have no safety net? George Osborne says he wants to get rid of

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the debt, but what actually happens is payday loans. My mum would have

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to get a payday loan, she is in debt, and it is fine for the

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millionaires, isn't it? APPLAUSE

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I approve of having a second house and every democracy should have won,

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which is why I am concerned Scotland does not have one. In this case, the

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Lords did exactly the right thing, thinking -- given what they think

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about the tax credit debacle. But I am not convinced that means they are

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in tune with the country on this issue or any others. If you look at

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the polls on this matter, there was huge public support and remains

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public support for change to the tax credit regime. So in this case you

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could say the Lords were more in tune with media opinion than with

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population opinion. The woman in the front, in the 2nd row. I have to

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disagree. Scotland does have a second tier, called the public. If

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the government does not do what we ask, we vote them out. The Lords is

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completely unelected and needs to be scrapped straightaway. The money we

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save, why don't we use that to go towards what will be missing from

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tax credits? There is no need for people to go without tax credits

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while waiting four years on their wages to hit a living wage. It is

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disgusting. APPLAUSE

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On the political point, the House of Commons, after all the Tories have a

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majority there and they were elected by the UK, do you think it is right

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that the House of Lords, you don't want a House of Lords? I don't

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believe in the House of Lords. Because it is not proportional

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representation, the House of Commons is unfair anyway. Let's change it,

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get proportional representation, as in Scotland, and when we are not

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happy, we change the government. Kezia would know about that. The

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first thing is that the House of Lords is a democratic abomination

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and we should not have it. It costs a lot of money. If it does something

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we agree with, that does not justify it and we should get rid of it.

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There is another democratic element. The point that was made before is

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that David Cameron was asked by you on a programme before the election

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if he would lower tax credits and he said he would not. Lo and behold,

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?4.5 billion of cuts comes forwards. These cuts to family tax credits

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will help to pay for the tax reduction for those who pay

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inheritance tax. The poorest will be subsidising some of the most well

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off. That is not democratic either. There is a good Scots word, and when

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George Osborne put it in a statutory instrument hoping to squeeze it

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passed, he was rumbled. None of this justifies the House of Lords, but

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there is no way for justifying the cut to tax credits. We talk about a

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ladder of opportunity and the Tories are about taking away the bottom

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three rungs for ordinary people. APPLAUSE

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I should say, your leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, said the

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tax credit cuts were not acceptable. We can't have people

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suffering in this way. So you were voting against the wishes of the

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Tory leader in Scotland on this occasion. What Ruth made clear was

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that she supports the aim of the changes, but she felt there was a

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need to look at those who might be most disproportionately affected.

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Did you feel that? A view which I share. So why did you vote in

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favour? Because I supported the principle of what we are trying to

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achieve, but I have a concern about the impact for certain groups of

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people on the lower end of the earnings scale, and I have written

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to the Chancellor about that. Nevertheless, because you thought it

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was wrong for the House of Lords to overrule George Osborne and the

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Government, you voted in favour of no change. Had you won the day,

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there would have been no change. I disagree. The Chancellor had made

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clear he was in listening mode, and I think that was absolutely right.

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He did not say that until afterwards. He said before that he

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was in listening mode, and I think what has happened is a sensible

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response to this. The Chancellor will look at this and I think that

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is right. And he will try to ensure the transition is eased so that the

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people the gentleman was referring to, that and I is kept on that and

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appropriate steps are taken. Do you agree with what Keith Brown said

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that Cameron did say that he was not going to do this and then changed

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his mind? What the Conservatives said in the manifesto was, they laid

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out how they wanted to continue with the economic recovery. That is why I

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want to come back to Keith, who is indicating we are living in some

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sort of economic nightmare. We are not, we are transformed from five

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years ago. We are transformed in terms of the many more thousands of

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people, millions of people who have jobs. The question was about the way

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in which you bring down the deficit and whether Cameron had given the

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promise. In the manifesto the Conservatives put to the electorate

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in May, they said we have to keep going with the economic recovery. It

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is still fragile, we can't walk away from it. That means saving money in

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a variety of areas. So what you say on Question Time in the run-up to an

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election does not matter. What you say to David Dimbleby does not

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matter. That never matters! Everything matters on your

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programme, David. Billy Bragg. I think that what has happened really

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is a slight of hand by George Osborne on a number of levels.

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Firstly, by seeking to appropriate Labour's clothes by announcing a

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living wage, and then finding out that he has announced a living wage

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does not really cover in any way the amount that has been taken from

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people by cuts in tax credits. That has left him rather embarrassingly

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exposed. The 2nd sleight of hand was to use a statutory instrument to

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deprive the Labour Party and the SNP and other parties opposed to these

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tax cuts any time to hold the Government to account over this,

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wing it into the House of Lords and get it sorted out. This is part of

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the reason why we need to make the 2nd chamber elected. It is not only

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because it is the biggest assembly in any democracy in the world, it

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has 816 members. David Cameron has been the worst for this. He has put

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more new members in there than any Prime Minister since life peerages

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were implemented in 1958. He has put 236 peers in there. Still outvoted

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by the other parties. Now he is turning round and saying what a bad

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idea it is. The point of the House of Lords is not to represent the

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people, it does not represent us in any way. But what was proven the

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other night is the necessity of a revising chamber. We need someone to

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stand as a backstop in our democracy, but they must be elected.

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They must be elected. APPLAUSE

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The reason they need to be elected, and I believe they should be

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indirectly elected, but the reason they need to be elected is because

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they need to stop governments, and Blair did this as well, using things

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like statutory instruments to deprive our elected representatives

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of the right to hold the Government of the day to account. If the 2nd

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chamber had teeth, there is no way the Government could whiz stuff

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through the House of Commons. Reforming the House of Lords helps

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the House of Commons. The woman at the back. If David Cameron did not

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lie to everybody, this would not be an issue, would it? If I go for a

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job and I lie and get found out I would expect to be sacked. Why is he

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not getting sacked, quite frankly? On the gangway, for throw up. I do

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agree with the principle that the government should not be topping up

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low wages but I am confused as to why the cuts in tax credits are

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coming now and are not coming with the increase in wages. Merryn, what

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is your view of that? Do you think the timing is wrong? It should have

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been done at roughly the same time. There is an important point that has

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not been discussed in the conversation about tax credits,

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which plays to your point about your mother, which is that we are not

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just paying tax credits to people in the lower percentage of income, but

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right up the way, to people in the 2nd and third quintile. It is

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possible on tax credits, working child credits and others to have a

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high income. We are paying vast amounts of welfare to what we would

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consider the middle classes, not just to the lower parts of society.

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That has not been recognised in the media debate and was not recognised

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in the Lords either. So this reform is absolutely vital. There has to be

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considerable reform to welfare. The money we are paying to what most of

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us consider the middle classes is money that is not being spent on the

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NHS, pension disasters, education. We have to make choices and right

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now we are making the wrong ones. APPLAUSE

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Why isn't the free market paying a proper wage? There is a fundamental

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failure in the free market paper per wages, because over the years the

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rights of people to organise in the workplace have been taken away from

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them. People need more cooperation in the workplace. What is the

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problem, what is wrong with capitalism? There are lots of

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problems and one of them is welfare. If a company knows wages will be

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topped up by the state and taxpayers they have licensed to pay less. You

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would not shop in Tesco if the people behind the tills were

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starving to death, of course not. So they would have to pay higher wages.

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They do not have too because we are topping it up. This is a fundamental

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problem. There has been a big shift from Labour towards capital but it

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is shifting back. Capitalism moves in big cycles and we are seeing a

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proper shift back towards Labour and away from capital. In the 2nd row

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from the back. I think this situation is ironic.

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The House of Lords has the chief executive of next saying a person

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can live in a certain amount of money if you are told your policies

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are too harsh, how out of touch is the elected government and not how

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out of touch the is House of Lords? We must go on. Before I take another

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question, we are going to be in Tottenham next Thursday and Stoke on

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Trent the Thursday after that. On the screen is the way to apply. I

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will give the details at the end of the programme. With Jeremy Corbyn as

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leader, will the Labour Party be saved in Scotland? This is being

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watched with great interest south of the border. Keith Brown... All the

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evidence suggests not. Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected, there are a

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number of reasons for that. We expected to see something different

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and that has not transpired. One of the big promises was on Trident. We

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were going to see a real debate in the Labour Party which did not

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happen at the conference in England. It might happen this weekend in

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Scotland. Jeremy Corbyn will not be there to see that. We end up with a

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difficult situation for the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn, whether it

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is of his making or his party's. He said, I would never press the button

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for nuclear weapons. It is immoral. You cannot perceive the situation

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way should be pressing a button. For a party that wants to spend ?160

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billion on nuclear weapons the leader says he would never use is

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utterly immoral. Some of the promise which was there and many people

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brought into that, some literally for ?3 in order to cast a vote.

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Either he is a prisoner of a party that does not want to change, you do

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not see much evidence of the kinder, nicer politics from others. I do not

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think the changes which people expected are being followed through.

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Who knows over time? There is no evidence as yet. A poll came out

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which said, since being elected, he has gone down in the polls. If that

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continues and there is no sign of a Labour revival across the UK, what

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we are facing in Scotland is virtually perpetual Tory government.

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There is only one way we can avoid that happening in the future. I do

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not think that Jeremy Corbyn will oversee an increase in terms of the

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Labour Party in Scotland. We're not seeing that so far. At every

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opportunity, the Labour Party says the SNP is bad for everything it has

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done. I cannot see anything positive. I do not see a bounce.

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APPLAUSE Kezia Dugdale before the election,

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it you said about Jeremy Corbyn, you have to convince me he can be Prime

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Minister. You had rather a low view of him. Now he is leading the Labour

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Party, what is your view of him? Lots of people have said it was a

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disparaging remark. I desperately want there to be a Labour government

:19:58.:20:01.

in this country. I want the Tories out. I see Labour as the only party

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across the whole of the United Kingdom that can stand up for

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working people. When I cast my vote for who should be Labour leader, I

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had to focus on the idle could be Prime Minister, uniting this country

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and making it fairer for everyone. I voted for Yvette Cooper. What I

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would say to you, I have never said that publicly before but ask a

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straight question and you get a straight answer. Straight talking,

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honest politics, as Jeremy would have it. I have spent a lot of time

:20:33.:20:37.

with Jeremy over the past you weeks. He is a man of tremendous

:20:38.:20:42.

principle. He feels the pain of working families across this country

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in his bones and he will transform this country with a message about

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why it does not have to be this way. Tomorrow can be better than today.

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He has the vision we need. I am excited about what he might set out

:20:55.:21:00.

in the months ahead. If I can express your questions specifically,

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you asked whether the Scottish Labour Party has the future. We are

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in terrible trouble. It is why I went for the job. The values of the

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Labour Party are as relevant as they ever have been. Believing in the

:21:15.:21:17.

potential of people and using the power of government to realise that

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potential, that is the Labour way. I want to build a fairer and more

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equal country. In the next few months we were see Labour policy

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platform coming forward to inspire you once again. That was met with

:21:30.:21:39.

silence. Annabel Golding. I think the problem for Labour in the United

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Kingdom, and in Scotland, people do not know what they stand for. As far

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as I can understand, on the 1 hand, Jeremy Corbyn wants to espouse a

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type of socialism which, in terms of his right to do that guy is totally

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legitimate. It is a form of socialism going back 40 years to the

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days of Harold Wilson which proved to be completely unelectable. If you

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look at what Jeremy Corbyn has been talking about, he believes in...

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Harold Wilson won election after election. No, he did not. He

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eventually lost. He retired. APPLAUSE

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What Harold Wilson did was to lead an economic legacy, which was the

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product of Labour's economic policies, which were a complete

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failure. It was all about how not to run an economy, how not to generate

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wealth, create jobs and give people opportunities. That is why we are

:22:44.:22:49.

headed -- we headed into the disaster of the 70s. The

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International Monetary Fund ran the country. The thing about Jeremy

:22:53.:23:01.

Corbyn, he is, I think, completely incredible on the issue of defence.

:23:02.:23:05.

For me, economy and events are two of the most important obligations

:23:06.:23:09.

for government. I respect that Keith has a view about Trident. I respect

:23:10.:23:14.

his view and there is a clarity about the SNP position, it does not

:23:15.:23:19.

want Trident. Jeremy Corbyn does not believe in Trident, he does not

:23:20.:23:24.

believe in the nuclear deterrent. He is not keen on military forces. He

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has Shadow Cabinet colleagues who do believe in Trident. In Scotland no 1

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knows what Labour believes. Kezia Dugdale Trident. Is that true? You

:23:34.:23:45.

cannot run a party like that. Do you believe in Trident? I am a

:23:46.:23:51.

multilateralist. I stood on a platform to lead by party, to lead a

:23:52.:23:57.

more democratic party. I am given the power to decide our party

:23:58.:24:00.

position to our membership this weekend. I think there are mixed

:24:01.:24:04.

views on this position regardless of party politics. The good thing to do

:24:05.:24:08.

is to be honest and frank about it. My party is not in trouble because

:24:09.:24:11.

people do not know where we stood on the issue of Trident, my party is in

:24:12.:24:21.

trouble... I got this message loud and clear from the general election

:24:22.:24:24.

result, people thought we were run from Westminster and the Scottish

:24:25.:24:26.

Labour Party did not put Scotland first. I am going to turn that

:24:27.:24:28.

around. That is why have been talking about a more autonomous

:24:29.:24:31.

Scottish Labour Party determining our future in Scotland. You will

:24:32.:24:39.

have two parties? It is not an independent party, it is an

:24:40.:24:42.

autonomous party. There are lots of examples of this across Europe. If

:24:43.:24:47.

this does not work at the elections in May and the Tories get more votes

:24:48.:24:53.

than you... In Scotland? I think you will find that is very unlikely.

:24:54.:24:58.

Would your position as leader be on the line? That is not really for me.

:24:59.:25:06.

It would be great you could say, I am resigning. I do not expect the

:25:07.:25:12.

fortunes of the Labour Party in Scotland can be turned around

:25:13.:25:19.

overnight. Let's just hear from some members of the audience. Let's go to

:25:20.:25:24.

you over here, in the spectacles. When considering the question, we

:25:25.:25:29.

should consider it on two grounds, the crucial need for a voice in

:25:30.:25:32.

Scotland in the Westminster Parliament and a need for a party to

:25:33.:25:37.

take into consideration Scottish issues and needs. And reiterating

:25:38.:25:46.

them in the Westminster Parliament. When considering Corbyn as Leader of

:25:47.:25:52.

the Labour Party, the problem, and I think it has been clearly shown in

:25:53.:25:58.

the media of the incompetency he has of running the Labour Party. As the

:25:59.:26:04.

panel has most kindly said, the problem he has with the Shadow

:26:05.:26:08.

Cabinet, the problem he has with members of his party standing

:26:09.:26:11.

against him and public are giving statements against things that he is

:26:12.:26:20.

saying that the party should be focusing on. In effect you are

:26:21.:26:23.

saying he cannot restore Labour in Scotland. I am saying there is a

:26:24.:26:30.

competency in his leadership. You, sir. One of the biggest problems

:26:31.:26:35.

with this entire thing is the fact that 60% of members in Labour voted

:26:36.:26:38.

for Corbyn yet there are so many MPs within Labour who are not publicly

:26:39.:26:47.

yet, but voting against him. It shows how divided Labour is. They

:26:48.:26:49.

need to show more togetherness rather than having a broken apart

:26:50.:26:57.

party. Togetherness means, who wins? I think they should back the leader

:26:58.:27:03.

and have a debate that, at the same time, I think there should be more

:27:04.:27:07.

togetherness. Labour is a party that is very much supposed to be about

:27:08.:27:11.

togetherness and I feel it has gone against that. Both those comments

:27:12.:27:18.

have touched on Kezia Dugdale is a real problem. The silence you heard

:27:19.:27:23.

after your first comment is the sound of scepticism. The people of

:27:24.:27:27.

Scotland are not stupid. They recognise that where Teva Corbyn

:27:28.:27:31.

says and stands for, it does not have the support of the

:27:32.:27:34.

Parliamentary Labour Party. He can come up with some great ideas but

:27:35.:27:38.

they cannot be carried through. He has the support of the leadership

:27:39.:27:43.

but he does not have the support of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

:27:44.:27:48.

Until that is resolved, that will not happen. You cannot expect the

:27:49.:27:52.

leader of a British mainstream political party to talk about

:27:53.:27:56.

independence. That is not possible. Corbyn must have something to say

:27:57.:28:00.

about self-determination to the people of Scotland. I do not

:28:01.:28:04.

understand why he is not talking about federalism. The answer to the

:28:05.:28:08.

West Lothian question is not English votes for English laws, the answer

:28:09.:28:12.

is, if you have a Scottish parliament, you have to have an

:28:13.:28:15.

English Parliament. I really think if the Labour Party could come out

:28:16.:28:22.

in favour of federalism, not only would they have something to talk to

:28:23.:28:25.

people in Scotland about, they would also be able to speak to a lot of

:28:26.:28:28.

people who feel disenfranchised in England. A new Assembly would surely

:28:29.:28:33.

be elected under proportional representation, to give

:28:34.:28:37.

representation to the people who are disenfranchised and voting Ukip at

:28:38.:28:40.

the last election. I do not know why they are not talking about it.

:28:41.:28:46.

APPLAUSE The man with the spectacles on.

:28:47.:28:53.

Jeremy Corbyn will go down as the man who consolidated the two parties

:28:54.:28:57.

in Scotland and England into two-party state. He is that

:28:58.:29:04.

unpopular. The SNP and the Conservatives in England. You think

:29:05.:29:08.

that will happen? It has already happened. I would not write him off

:29:09.:29:18.

yet. Hang on. Look at what he has faced, the media onslaught, people

:29:19.:29:22.

raking through his bins, cameras in his face when he goes out to collect

:29:23.:29:27.

the papers. Empty of people do not want him to do well. I look beyond

:29:28.:29:32.

the Parliamentary Labour Party and I see a growing political movement,

:29:33.:29:35.

660,000 people signed up to be a member of the party, to support the

:29:36.:29:40.

Labour Party. That is a tremendous step forward. I have said tonight I

:29:41.:29:50.

did not vote for him but I am 100% loyal to him because I believe in

:29:51.:29:53.

the Labour Party and I believe in what it can do to transform the

:29:54.:29:54.

fortunes of this country. I wouldn't write off Jeremy Corbyn.

:29:55.:30:05.

It doesn't take much for a crisis to change people's mines, and there are

:30:06.:30:09.

many potential crises out there. Going back to Scotland, the

:30:10.:30:13.

interesting point is that Scotland is not as left wing as it thinks it

:30:14.:30:17.

is. The social attitude surveys which are done in Scotland and

:30:18.:30:20.

Britain, if you flick through those, they are statistically

:30:21.:30:25.

significant, and you can see that on almost every issue the Scottish, as

:30:26.:30:28.

a whole, tend to think about things in the same way as the English.

:30:29.:30:33.

Scotland is not, by its nature, as left wing as it likes to think it

:30:34.:30:38.

is. What do you mean as it likes to think it is? When you read Scottish

:30:39.:30:43.

newspapers, talk to the Scots, or if you ask them if they are more

:30:44.:30:46.

left-wing than the English, they say yes. But the social attitude surveys

:30:47.:30:51.

do not tell you that, they tell you that generally the Scottish and

:30:52.:30:54.

English think about things in a remarkably significant way. The only

:30:55.:30:59.

significant difference is the EU. My point being that it is very hard for

:31:00.:31:04.

there to be two parties in Scotland that are perceived as left wing, the

:31:05.:31:09.

SNP and Labour. They cannot really coexist. If you are going to have

:31:10.:31:13.

separate parties, there has to be a third party. Is the SNP perceived as

:31:14.:31:20.

left wing? You have certainly taken the left very firmly from Labour, no

:31:21.:31:23.

doubt about that. They certainly present as. We have this quite a

:31:24.:31:29.

lot, and we often get it from the Labour Party that you are not

:31:30.:31:33.

redistributive, not anti-austerities. To give concrete

:31:34.:31:36.

examples, but we have put to the parliament is free school meals,

:31:37.:31:40.

which was opposed by the Labour Party in the parliament. We have

:31:41.:31:45.

also led in terms of the council tax benefit, made sure the bedroom tax

:31:46.:31:50.

did not hurt people in Scotland, unlike Wales where Labour are in

:31:51.:31:53.

control. So there is a lot we do that is redistributive. We are also

:31:54.:31:58.

pro-business, especially small business. The crucial point is the

:31:59.:32:02.

point that Kezia made, if the Labour Party this weekend discusses trident

:32:03.:32:07.

and comes out against spending ?167 billion of your money on Trident,

:32:08.:32:13.

will Kezia then say to Ian Murray, the sole remaining Labour MP in

:32:14.:32:16.

Scotland, when you go to London you must vote against Trident? That will

:32:17.:32:20.

be the test of whether we have an autonomous Labour Party. Generally

:32:21.:32:29.

speaking, most left wing Scott 's identifiers nationalists and

:32:30.:32:32.

therefore vote SNP, regardless of whether or not they are as left wing

:32:33.:32:36.

as they say they are. I don't understand how Scottish Labour can

:32:37.:32:39.

move to the left and expect to pick up these nationalists who vote for

:32:40.:32:43.

the SNP because they are nationalists. Therefore, the only

:32:44.:32:47.

place you can pick up voters from the centre and the right, and Jeremy

:32:48.:32:51.

Corbyn is not going to win them. All that Jeremy Corbyn is doing is

:32:52.:32:55.

failing to win voters that have gone to the SNP and driving others to the

:32:56.:32:59.

Tories, who by the way were one percentage point behind Labour last

:33:00.:33:08.

time I checked in the polls. Nobody thought that sending a parliament to

:33:09.:33:14.

Scotland would lead towards a more independent Scotland. Everybody

:33:15.:33:17.

thought that it would kill the issue of independence. It didn't. Nobody

:33:18.:33:22.

thought that 45% of the Scottish people would vote in favour of

:33:23.:33:25.

independence but they didn't. So to sit there and tell me what is going

:33:26.:33:29.

to happen to Jeremy Corbyn, mate, I think you have another thing coming.

:33:30.:33:34.

I look forward to the landslide, Billy. What people want from

:33:35.:33:39.

politics is changing. It is easily visible in Scotland, not yet in

:33:40.:33:43.

England, but Jeremy Corbyn is a representative of that urge for

:33:44.:33:48.

change. This is grassroots Labour. The reason Ed Miliband did not win

:33:49.:33:51.

last time was because that was the old way of doing things, a hollowed

:33:52.:33:55.

out party, top-down orders and the membership disregarded. All of this

:33:56.:33:59.

is changing and the sort of excitement I saw in Scotland during

:34:00.:34:03.

the independence campaign, and I was fortunate to be in Scotland on the

:34:04.:34:06.

day the yes campaign were first put forward to win, we are starting to

:34:07.:34:10.

feel that excitement in England because Jeremy is the leader. We

:34:11.:34:15.

just have to convince first the parliamentary Labour Party and then

:34:16.:34:18.

everybody else that he really does represent genuine positive change.

:34:19.:34:23.

You can't convince your own party, you can't convince the electorate.

:34:24.:34:28.

As I said, we first have two convince the party and I hope they

:34:29.:34:31.

are all watching this and thinking about this. A few more points and

:34:32.:34:43.

then another question. At the end of May when I was looking at the four

:34:44.:34:47.

Labour leadership candidates, I looked at them all, Burnham, Cooper,

:34:48.:34:52.

Kendall, and I joined the Scottish Green Party. I can't bear to vote

:34:53.:34:59.

for any of these people. This is not the Labour Party I want to be even

:35:00.:35:04.

affiliated with. And then Corbyn got nominated and, well... But I don't

:35:05.:35:09.

know if Jeremy Corbyn can save the Scottish Labour Party because I

:35:10.:35:13.

don't know if his MPs will let him, but I do know that none of the

:35:14.:35:16.

leadership candidates had a chance, and I like Jeremy Corbyn, he has

:35:17.:35:20.

popular, middle-of-the-road left-wing opinions. Polling says

:35:21.:35:26.

what Jeremy Corbyn once domestically, rayon mashed

:35:27.:35:29.

novelisation, save the NHS, is what people want. -- rail

:35:30.:35:38.

nationalisation. Firstly, when they had a huge

:35:39.:35:42.

majority in Westminster, Labour ignored Scotland and took Scottish

:35:43.:35:45.

MPs for granted and thought they would always get 50 MPs up here.

:35:46.:35:50.

Secondly, they did the dirty work for the Tories during the referendum

:35:51.:35:53.

campaign. As simple as that. APPLAUSE

:35:54.:36:01.

I think we should go to another question.

:36:02.:36:06.

Was it right to bail out the banks but not the steel industry? There

:36:07.:36:13.

are various measures being proposed to help the steel industry but no

:36:14.:36:19.

bailout. Merryn. And unpopular answer but yes, we absolutely were.

:36:20.:36:26.

I think it is generally good to try and avoid bailing out industries,

:36:27.:36:30.

but there is a good case for bailing out industries that are in

:36:31.:36:32.

short-term trouble and systemically important to an economy and will

:36:33.:36:36.

definitely return to profit. That has been the case with the banks,

:36:37.:36:40.

approve or not of the way the financial industry works. It has

:36:41.:36:45.

returned to profit. It is a long-term, sustainable business.

:36:46.:36:50.

Other businesses are not necessarily long-term sustainable and the truth

:36:51.:36:53.

is that the steel industry falls into that group. It has been in

:36:54.:36:56.

trouble for a long time and is in trouble now, and I can't see it

:36:57.:37:01.

being the case in five years, seven years, ten years that we suddenly

:37:02.:37:04.

have a profitable steel industry that can last for the long-term. So

:37:05.:37:09.

we should not, I don't think, be looking to bail out that kind of

:37:10.:37:13.

industry. What we should be doing is looking to help the people that are

:37:14.:37:16.

suffering as a result of that industry. So we can't help the steel

:37:17.:37:21.

industry but we can help the steelworkers afterwards. Kezia

:37:22.:37:29.

Dugdale, do you agree? No. I really don't. If you look at the two plants

:37:30.:37:35.

in Scotland, they do road steel plate. As I understand it those

:37:36.:37:39.

plants are profitable. The reason they are closing down is that Tata

:37:40.:37:41.

want to make savings across the whole of their bases. I think the

:37:42.:37:48.

plants in Scotland have a viable future, there is a positive future

:37:49.:37:51.

for steel production in this country but we have to take steps to realise

:37:52.:37:56.

that. We need some new assets in those plants so they can make more

:37:57.:38:01.

than one thing. We have to protect the highly skilled engineers that

:38:02.:38:04.

work in the plants. Short time working would do that, letting these

:38:05.:38:08.

jobs stay for a few days per week until we can get a new company into

:38:09.:38:14.

the plant to operate it. And we should use Scottish steel in

:38:15.:38:17.

Scottish products, put it in the heart of our infrastructure and

:38:18.:38:20.

everything we are the building. I think there is a viable future for

:38:21.:38:24.

this industry that we have to believe it, not just manage the

:38:25.:38:28.

decline. That is not acceptable. APPLAUSE

:38:29.:38:32.

What is the Scottish Government's review? It is difficult but not

:38:33.:38:38.

impossible. A few months ago, the last shipbuilding concern on the

:38:39.:38:41.

Clyde was about to go to the wall. Through a lot of effort that has now

:38:42.:38:45.

been saved and it is now prospering in terms of orders for new ferries.

:38:46.:38:51.

You also had Prestwick airport which was going to the wall with the loss

:38:52.:38:55.

of thousands of jobs in the West of Scotland and we did essentially

:38:56.:38:59.

nationalise that. Coming back to the point about the banks, why did we

:39:00.:39:03.

bail out the banks? We were told they were a cornerstone of the

:39:04.:39:06.

system and you need the banking system. But the perception for most

:39:07.:39:10.

people was that you were keeping the banks so that they could continue to

:39:11.:39:14.

lend to people and businesses. But they used the money they got from us

:39:15.:39:18.

to build up their capital sheets. Even now they are not lending to

:39:19.:39:22.

small businesses. There is a contrast today with David Cameron in

:39:23.:39:30.

Iceland. Ice and jailed the bankers. -- Icelander. Corrupting the LIBOR

:39:31.:39:34.

mechanism, the cornerstone of the capitalist system, corrupting that,

:39:35.:39:39.

and they are now looking to ease back on the regulations. These were

:39:40.:39:42.

huge crimes, nobody has gone to jail for that. There is a court case

:39:43.:39:48.

ongoing but nobody has gone to jail. In Iceland, they jailed the bankers

:39:49.:39:51.

when they were found to be corrupt and we should have done the same

:39:52.:39:52.

thing. APPLAUSE

:39:53.:40:01.

Are you going to bail out the steel plants? As I said, the Scottish

:40:02.:40:05.

Government has started working, there was a meeting today for the

:40:06.:40:09.

first time with the concerns. We want to keep it viable. One last

:40:10.:40:14.

word on the banks. You have said a lot on the Goldie. I think it is

:40:15.:40:21.

important that politicians are realistic about what we can do in a

:40:22.:40:25.

difficult situation like this and equally realistic about what we

:40:26.:40:30.

cannot do. I am struck by what Keith Brown is saying because it is a

:40:31.:40:34.

departure from the line of the Scottish Government, which has said

:40:35.:40:37.

that if the two steel plants in Scotland can find a commercial buyer

:40:38.:40:40.

it will do everything to assist that. I think that is sensible and a

:40:41.:40:46.

realistic way to go forward. I think what government can also do, as is

:40:47.:40:50.

happening with the UK Government, they are attempting to ensure that

:40:51.:40:56.

projects within this country will procure British steel. I think that

:40:57.:40:59.

is a very good way to go forward. They are providing help to people

:41:00.:41:04.

affected at the moment. But I think we have to be very clear about how I

:41:05.:41:10.

think not viable it is for a government to buy a failing

:41:11.:41:14.

industry. If it is failing because there is not a demand for product

:41:15.:41:17.

out there at a price that will keep the industry going. That is the

:41:18.:41:22.

difficulty. Steele has global oversupply and the price has

:41:23.:41:26.

plummeted. That is bitter, harsh and difficult for the workers in the

:41:27.:41:29.

plants affected, but it does mean that when you talk, as Kezia did,

:41:30.:41:36.

about trying to take it over because it is basically profitable, well, it

:41:37.:41:40.

is not profitable if actually market prices will not give the company the

:41:41.:41:43.

return it needs to keep the thing going. And that is the dilemma and I

:41:44.:41:48.

think politicians have to be utterly realistic about where they can help.

:41:49.:41:53.

They can help in many ways but they have two be realistic about what is

:41:54.:41:57.

not viable. You cannot take over an industry that has not apparently got

:41:58.:42:03.

a viable commercial future. It is not fair to taxpayers, not fair to

:42:04.:42:07.

public services, because you create a drain on the public purse by using

:42:08.:42:11.

money, sadly, for something that cannot give a return. You have made

:42:12.:42:20.

the point. You, on the right. Is it possible for British industry, such

:42:21.:42:24.

as the steel industry, to compete with China, India, those economies?

:42:25.:42:30.

Is it your view that it is possible? I don't really think it is. I just

:42:31.:42:40.

wonder if there is a way that we can produce higher quality goods and

:42:41.:42:42.

encourage our industry to do that, rather than just shelving the

:42:43.:42:55.

plants. Well, Adams and, going for some local colour, said there was an

:42:56.:42:59.

invisible hand, capitalism worked with an invisible hand that would

:43:00.:43:03.

deal with, like the laws of the jungle, would deal with businesses

:43:04.:43:07.

that are not viable. This is what is being given to the steelworkers. The

:43:08.:43:11.

invisible hand of capitalism is strangling their hopes for the

:43:12.:43:15.

future. Whereas the bankers at RBS, the invisible hand just tickled

:43:16.:43:21.

them. By the rules set down by Adam Smith, those banks should have

:43:22.:43:25.

failed. We could not let them fail because of how important they are to

:43:26.:43:29.

our economy. But having rescued the banks, we are letting them get up

:43:30.:43:33.

and do exactly the same thing as before. We need to be making sure

:43:34.:43:39.

that the banks we have nationalised, particularly the biggest, RBS, we

:43:40.:43:42.

should have made it into a national bank and said, it is not going to

:43:43.:43:46.

speculate on the stock market, it is going to help small to medium

:43:47.:43:51.

businesses, help the community. But the Tories have a total rejection of

:43:52.:43:55.

any kind of nationalisation. They see that the free market should go

:43:56.:44:01.

into places like Redcar, Motherwell... You would nationalise

:44:02.:44:06.

the steel industry? It should not be socialism for the bankers and

:44:07.:44:10.

capitalism for the steelworkers. APPLAUSE

:44:11.:44:20.

Does he convince you? Working in the financial services industry myself,

:44:21.:44:24.

recently for RBS, I think it is not quite as clear-cut as that. It never

:44:25.:44:31.

is for bankers! I am not a banker, I work for bank. I am just saying, for

:44:32.:44:36.

bankers it is or was blurred, they never quite did it themselves. There

:44:37.:44:42.

is the casino banking side of things, then there is the retail

:44:43.:44:47.

side. There has been legislation trying to separate those two. Would

:44:48.:44:54.

that be viable? I think it is. What about his answer on the steel

:44:55.:44:58.

industry, because you made the point that it could not sell because of

:44:59.:45:03.

Chinese and Indian steel? It is difficult to compete on a global

:45:04.:45:08.

market. How can we expect workers in this country, with the

:45:09.:45:10.

quality-of-life and lifestyles that we have, how can we expect them to

:45:11.:45:15.

work for as little as people are prepared to in developing countries?

:45:16.:45:19.

That is not to say it is acceptable for people in developing countries,

:45:20.:45:22.

but their cost of his much lower. The man in the pink.

:45:23.:45:33.

I think it is appalling the bankers were bailed out. Those at the bottom

:45:34.:45:41.

of the heap are struggling. Why don't they refinanced and restart

:45:42.:45:46.

the major British industries and give people a meaningful employment

:45:47.:45:50.

like they have before. The Germans still have a perfectly good steel

:45:51.:45:54.

industry and so do other European countries. Why can we not do that?

:45:55.:45:58.

The cost of power in this country is massive.

:45:59.:46:06.

APPLAUSE That is a very important point. You

:46:07.:46:12.

are quite correct. Industries like steel have been suffering hugely

:46:13.:46:19.

with energy charges. The bottom line remains. If global prices and

:46:20.:46:23.

pressures mean you do not have a market for what you're doing at a

:46:24.:46:26.

price you can sustain it, you have a problem. I was wanting to pick up

:46:27.:46:33.

particularly on what you said about banking being a sustainable

:46:34.:46:40.

business. I do not want to direct this question just a Cuba industries

:46:41.:46:46.

in the UK seem to be disappearing more and more. One of the

:46:47.:46:53.

extraordinary things about this discussion is there is a lot of

:46:54.:46:58.

grandstanding. Steel is something special. Why aren't accountants

:46:59.:47:05.

special? Why aren't journalists special? In my industry, jealous are

:47:06.:47:12.

losing jobs every day. Two local newspapers shut down in Scotland

:47:13.:47:17.

every week. I do not see anyone stepping in to save us,

:47:18.:47:20.

nationalising the newspaper business. That is not happening.

:47:21.:47:28.

Manufacturing is considering to be something everyone can grandstand

:47:29.:47:32.

about. A still working job is not superior to an accountancy job, a

:47:33.:47:38.

financial services job, a journalist job, working for a printing

:47:39.:47:43.

company, it just is not and we should not behave as though it is.

:47:44.:47:51.

Kezia Dugdale this is more than a job, it is an iconic Scottish

:47:52.:48:00.

industry. That is grandstanding. You cannot protect the past at the

:48:01.:48:03.

expense of the future. Every time you say and industry is iconic... I

:48:04.:48:10.

listened to your point of view, let me say mindful that the reason the

:48:11.:48:14.

cost is so low is because the Chinese are dumping steel onto our

:48:15.:48:19.

markets. We can build a viable future for this industry for years

:48:20.:48:22.

government money to help diversify the kind of products they make. What

:48:23.:48:30.

do you mean by iconic? It is the skyline of central Scotland, to see

:48:31.:48:34.

the steelworks, the pride people have in the jobs. When the steel

:48:35.:48:38.

industry goes, a whole generation of Scottish history goes with it. I am

:48:39.:48:42.

not prepared to see the light go out without a fight. I believe there is

:48:43.:48:49.

a viable future for the industry. I applaud your passion. Nobody doubts

:48:50.:48:54.

for one moment your sincerity about the issue. Under Labour 16,000 steel

:48:55.:48:58.

jobs were lost under the last government. Why was this policy and

:48:59.:49:02.

support not adopted then? APPLAUSE

:49:03.:49:09.

The original question was about fairness and justice and how we have

:49:10.:49:13.

treated bags and how we are currently treating the steel

:49:14.:49:16.

industry. Until we deal with the legacy of the banking crisis and

:49:17.:49:23.

hold those to account properly, and it includes possibly sequestering

:49:24.:49:27.

the assets that are owned by key individuals who are responsible for

:49:28.:49:31.

that, we could be using that money to finance a whole number of

:49:32.:49:36.

different things. Somebody in the fourth row has had her hand up for a

:49:37.:49:42.

long time. If we let the steel industry fall by the wayside, what

:49:43.:49:46.

are we going to do to plug the gap? It sounds a lot like the

:49:47.:49:50.

conversation we had in the 1980s under Thatcher when the coal

:49:51.:49:54.

industry declined and thousands and thousands of jobs were lost yet,

:49:55.:50:00.

still today, there are whole communities across the whole of

:50:01.:50:03.

Scotland, the north-east of England and Wales, who are still depressed,

:50:04.:50:08.

without jobs, nothing. If you are going to let the steel industry

:50:09.:50:11.

fail, you need to replace it with something.

:50:12.:50:18.

APPLAUSE Can a country like Britain afford to

:50:19.:50:23.

lose its manufacturing base? That is what you are talking about. Can we,

:50:24.:50:28.

as a modern economy, afford to have no manufacturing base? Aye first I

:50:29.:50:36.

would say, a job is a job is a job. It does not matter if it is

:50:37.:50:41.

manufacturing or not. We still have a manufacturing base. We have a high

:50:42.:50:47.

quality manufacturing base. If you look at the North of England, there

:50:48.:50:51.

is solid manufacturing and it is growing. The man in the blue shirt.

:50:52.:50:59.

Why is the Forth crossing not being made with British Steel?

:51:00.:51:06.

APPLAUSE Just briefly, we have a number of

:51:07.:51:12.

questions. It is Scottish steel being used in the bridge. The main

:51:13.:51:16.

part of the steel contract, there was no bid from anywhere in Scotland

:51:17.:51:20.

was not made in Scotland. That steel is not made in Scotland any more.

:51:21.:51:24.

The last point I want to make is about the banks. When they sold off

:51:25.:51:30.

the shares of Lloyds, they took -- we took a ?1 billion hit. We sold

:51:31.:51:34.

them off for less than they were worth all to imagine what we could

:51:35.:51:38.

have done for the steel industry if we got the right rate. That shows

:51:39.:51:42.

the way we treat manufacturing differently. It is not because it is

:51:43.:51:47.

iconic, it is about a 50-year-old male, for example, a steel worker.

:51:48.:51:53.

He knows if the steel industry goes he will not get a chance to get

:51:54.:51:57.

another job. It is nothing to do the iconic nature of the industry, it is

:51:58.:52:02.

an iconic industry and it is about safeguarding people stop. It is very

:52:03.:52:06.

difficult in those communities to get another job. That is why we have

:52:07.:52:09.

to save them. APPLAUSE

:52:10.:52:15.

Time for a question from you, Jackie. Should there be any enquiry

:52:16.:52:21.

into that the delay of the Chilcott enquiry and, if so, how long with

:52:22.:52:24.

this take? APPLAUSE

:52:25.:52:32.

We are going to get it by June or July. Billy Bragg... I really think

:52:33.:52:42.

there should be. I think the process of asking people to respond to what

:52:43.:52:46.

is there, I do not see why it has taken such a long time. It is

:52:47.:52:51.

relatively straightforward. Consideration should have been given

:52:52.:52:54.

to the sensibilities of families of service men and women who have

:52:55.:52:57.

served there, some of whom never came back. The fact it has taken so

:52:58.:53:03.

long as less so much speculation. It has only been bad for the idea that

:53:04.:53:06.

ultimately if we do find out what Chilcott thing for those who made

:53:07.:53:12.

mistakes, those who are responsible, will be held to account. We have

:53:13.:53:15.

already seen Tony Blair tried to get his to Penrith in before it all

:53:16.:53:19.

comes back. I am sure the Americans do have a big part to play as they

:53:20.:53:26.

supplied the original intelligence which led to the dodgy dossier.

:53:27.:53:30.

Whether they are trying to hold it back, I do not know. The British

:53:31.:53:34.

public really does deserve to know the truth about what happened, why

:53:35.:53:39.

we were involved in Iraq. The issue still divides people very heavily.

:53:40.:53:43.

The sooner it comes out and the sooner we can talk about it, the

:53:44.:53:47.

better it will be, not just as, but more importantly for the families

:53:48.:53:55.

who lost loved ones. Kezia Dugdale has it been and Julie delayed?

:53:56.:54:02.

People have said that Tony Blair might have tried to hold it up? It

:54:03.:54:07.

certainly feels that way for the it should be published at the earliest

:54:08.:54:11.

possible opportunity, and that should be yesterday. It does account

:54:12.:54:17.

to 2 million words. It will be huge and will take people a long time to

:54:18.:54:21.

get their heads around it. People need to know what has happened. Our

:54:22.:54:29.

experience of Iraq has clouded our approach and attitudes towards UK

:54:30.:54:32.

foreign affairs for a decade. As a country, I do not think we can ever

:54:33.:54:38.

move on until we have this report. It needs to be published now. The

:54:39.:54:47.

British public needs to know. Can you imagine, if you are a soldier

:54:48.:54:51.

going to Iraq, you are told you are going there because of weapons of

:54:52.:54:54.

mass destruction, can imagine seeing your mates being killed and then

:54:55.:55:00.

finding there were no weapons of mass destruction? That would have

:55:01.:55:05.

been horrific. In personnel. These families are trying to find out

:55:06.:55:11.

answers. The second point... Ayew critical of the delay? I think the

:55:12.:55:18.

delay is appalling. -- Ayew critical? For years later, a half

:55:19.:55:24.

promise which may come out next year. We are told it will be vetted

:55:25.:55:33.

for national-security reasons. What was said? Is the stuff going to be

:55:34.:55:37.

lifted out of the process? APPLAUSE

:55:38.:55:44.

At the very least, there has to be a democratic oversight of anything

:55:45.:55:49.

that is taken out. Summary needs to look and needs to make sure they're

:55:50.:55:54.

not just covering someone's embarrassment. Are you worried about

:55:55.:56:00.

the announcement they will have a security check about what has been

:56:01.:56:06.

said by Chilcott? I totally and stand the best racing and anger

:56:07.:56:10.

about the delay. I know it has been complex and a huge form of enquiry.

:56:11.:56:17.

The Prime Minister vented that frustration. He said to Sir John

:56:18.:56:20.

Chilcott, we need to get this done and dusted. There are interests of

:56:21.:56:26.

families, of service men and women who are over there, interests of the

:56:27.:56:30.

public to know what happened and why decisions were made. As to the

:56:31.:56:35.

security issues, we have still to bear in mind we have service men and

:56:36.:56:39.

women engaged in conflicts elsewhere. We have a difficult

:56:40.:56:44.

situation at the moment in relation to Syria. Yes, I think there may be

:56:45.:56:54.

intelligent security issues. What the public is wanting and making a

:56:55.:56:58.

demand for, we need this enquiry produced now, please get in public

:56:59.:57:05.

as quickly as possible. We will not work -- know what is taken out for

:57:06.:57:10.

security reasons, are you concerned about that? I am concerned about the

:57:11.:57:16.

whole thing. I am amazed it was not time-limited in the first place. The

:57:17.:57:21.

main thing that I think politicians should be considering here, trust

:57:22.:57:26.

has gone from politics in the UK. It has gone across the board, not just

:57:27.:57:30.

in the UK but across much of the world. This is exactly the kind of

:57:31.:57:36.

reason why. You asked a simple question, you think you can get an

:57:37.:57:41.

answer in less than 2 million words and you cannot and you do not.

:57:42.:57:46.

We're in North London next week with writer and broadcaster Victoria

:57:47.:57:54.

Coren, Chuka Umunna for Labour, and Justine Greening for the Tories.

:57:55.:57:57.

The following week we'll be in Stoke-on-Trent.

:57:58.:58:06.

To be in the audience for either programme - London or

:58:07.:58:09.

Stoke - apply by going to our website, or call 0330 123 99 88.

:58:10.:58:12.

If you are listening on Radio 5Live, you can continue the debate

:58:13.:58:15.

We will debate in our own way what we have been hearing but the

:58:16.:58:29.

programme has to come to an end. My thanks to the panel and all of you

:58:30.:58:33.

and everyone he has come here to take part. Thank you very much

:58:34.:58:37.

indeed. Until next Thursday, from Question Time, good night.

:58:38.:58:41.

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Edinburgh. On the panel are cabinet secretary for infrastructure in the Scottish government Keith Brown MSP, former leader of the Scottish Conservatives Annabel Goldie MSP, leader of Scottish Labour Kezia Dugdale MSP, singer and campaigner Billy Bragg and editor of MoneyWeek Merryn Somerset Webb.


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