12/05/2016 Question Time


12/05/2016

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Aberdeen. The panellists are David Mundell MP, Humza Yousaf MSP, Kezia Dugdale MSP, Jim Sillars and Merryn Somerset Webb.


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Transcript


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Welcome to you, whether you're watching or listening,

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Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland,

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and the party's only MP north of the border, David Mundell.

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The Scottish Government's Minister for Europe, Humza Yousaf of the SNP.

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Labour's leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale.

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The former Deputy Leader of the SNP, now campaigning to leave

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And the editor of MoneyWeek magazine, Merryn Somerset-Webb.

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Before we take our first question, don't forget Facebook, Twitter,

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or text 83981 to comment on what's said here.

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Our first question from Lewis Keller, please? Does the recent

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election result show that Scotland isn't as left-wing as we thought?

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The recent election result last week in Scotland where the SNP came first

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but the Conservatives moved into second place and Labour was

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trounced. Hamza Yousaf? No, I don't think that's why the Conservatives

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had the election that they did. First of all, it's worth mentioning

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that the SNP very much as the left of centre party won the election not

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marginally. Why do you call yourself left of centre party? That is

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because we are. You are going to put taxes up? No. What is there left to

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be done? Abolition of university fees, for example. Scrapping

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prescription charges sothat people don't have to pay prescriptions, so

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there is not a tax on the ill. For example, we didn't give a tax cut to

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the highest earners. The question I want to address is, and I imagine

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where you question comes from, why did the Conservative Party do bad.

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The fact the Labour Party did so poorly wasn't because they weren't

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left-wing enough, it was because people still felt betrayed

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post-referendum. The Labour Party in their blind hatred of the SNP and of

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independence joined shoulder-to-shoulder with a

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Conservative Party that brought forward the most broughtal,

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horrendous cuts to the disabled, most vulnerable in our society. For

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that, they are absolutely punished last Thursday and will continue to

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be. So the Conservative vote went up? Yes. So the Conservative vote

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went up. Why are the Tories getting votes if what you say is true, they

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didn't Tom to you, but they went to the Tories? Ruth Davidson ran an

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effective campaign. -- didn't come to you. It's abundantly true that

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it's more tocks tick become a Labour supporter in Scotland than it is to

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become a Tory and I never thought I would see the day. David Mundell,

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why do you think what happened happened? It's very clear that

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people in Scotland wanted an effective on ziingts in the Scottish

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Parliament. Labour had had nine years to demonstrate how they would

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carry out the role of opposition and frankly they never laid a glove on

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the SNP during that period. So it wasn't because they were

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Conservative? They wanted to say no to having a second referendum.

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APPLAUSE. And people who voted Conservative

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here in the north-east, across Scotland, that's what they achieved.

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Voting Conservative denied the SNP a majority, their number of MSPs is

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down, the vote was down. 400,000 it was down from the general election

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to the Scottish Parliament election. People voting Conservative got a

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strong opposition, made sure the SNP didn't have a majority and hopefully

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we have stopped that second referendum. OK. Lewis Keller, do you

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think this is a see change in politics when you ask the question

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about Scotland not being as left-wing? I wouldn't call it a see

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change although there is a misconception about Scotland being a

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lot more left-wing than the rest of the UK. That's what a lot of the

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argument is about for Scottish independence. When you look at the

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argument for the election campaign right there, it's about tax, the two

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parties said they wouldn't increase tax, the Tories and SNP did the

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best, and the SNP have been calling to get the tax powers for so long

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and now they've got them they refuse to put taxes up and we have seen

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cuts. On balance, it doesn't really look like we have a left from centre

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consensus in Scotland, looks like we have a centre right opposition to a

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centre right Government. APPLAUSE.

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And are you a Labour man yourself? I didn't vote Labour this time. You

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didn't vote Labour? No. Dare I ask how you did vote? I voted Green on

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the regional list. Can I start by saying I take exception to Humza

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saying my party is fuelled by hey tremendous. I disagreed with that

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when you refused to ask the richest to pay for tax so we can protect

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Public Services. What happened last week is that my

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party were sorely defeated and the people of Scotland spoke and send us

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a strong message that they wanted to make sure that they opposed a second

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referendum and those arguments around the constitution came to the

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foreagain. I thought that campaign on trying toving Mo on from the

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referendum arguments of the past, I believed that Scotland wanted to

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move forward, whether we are yes or no, we wanted to talk about our

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future -- trying to move on. It wasn't your tax promises to raise

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income tax that did this? I don't think so. I studied the polls, it

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showed the Tory party was in trouble on the front-page. When you looked

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at the second page, it was overwhelming support for Labour's

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policies on tax. The idea of asking the richest 1% to pay more tax, we

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could protect our public service. The message didn't really win people

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over? I agree, that is to my great regret, but there were 500,000

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people who voted Labour, proud to campaign to stop the cuts to invest

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in Scotland's future and it's new duty to speak up for them. I'm

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interested by the tax thing. Does it make you wonder whether Labour in

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the UK as a whole at the next general election ought to be

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promising to raise tax, or from your rather harsh lesson here, that they

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shouldn't? I don't accept our manifesto was rejected. I think the

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arguments around tax have been well received around the country. I'll be

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the first leader who doesn't rip up the manifesto immediately after an

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election manifesto defeat. So you have a manifesto rejected. I do.

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Look, it was a terrible election for my party. 100 years. 1910 or

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something when Labour did as badly? I lost a third of my colleagues. It

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wasn't a bad night for my party. The people of Scotland also sent Nicola

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Sturgeon a message saying they wanted her to be First Minister, to

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carry on, but she wasn't to have it her own way and Hamza, a little bit

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of humility on your part would go a long way in that regard.

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APPLAUSE. You, Sir, at the front, there? Why,

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after the referendum, do the SNP threaten another referendum? Your

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record in Government isn't particularly good. Why don't you

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concentrate in proving the economic condition in Scotland? Especially in

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Aberdeen with the oil and gas industry in 2 crisis it's in? There

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are more jobs to be lost in this city and it's a very valuable

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business to the Scottish Government. You think they aren't focussing on

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the right things you mean, the SNP Frankly, it's a diversion from their

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incompetence to govern, they want another reference Dutch. They

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usually say it's not our fault, it's Westminster, don't blame me.

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Just wait for the microphone, please? So We are waiting for the UK

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Government to clear their energy bill. Yes. So we've got oil and gas

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authority floating around there that we don't have any kind of clear

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response from the UK Government on the crisis in the North Sea and also

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the cancelling of the obligation to renewables. OK. So there isn't a

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dove tailed UK policy on this. This gentleman here's blaming the SNP,

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it's the UK Government. APPLAUSE.

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Hold on a second, David. The woman at the back, second row from the

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back, yes? Just talking about how left-wing Scotland is, I think it's

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important not to forget that the Green Party increased their vote and

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the number of seats they had in Scotland so the left-wing vote did

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increase in that area. OK. APPLAUSE.

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We do have social attitude studies going back for years which show us

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that Scotland is Conservative with a small C as the rest of the country

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when it comes to welfare, taxation et cetera, they respond in the same

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way as the UK. To suggest that Scotland is more to the left than

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the UK is generally wrong and if you look back, you know when the Tories

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weren't so toxic in Scotland as there's the now not again. Even in

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Thatcher's day when everyone pretends they could haven't hated

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any more more but she was pulling 31, 28, 24%, numbers that weren't

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that awsmt that is a big part of it, that Scotland is not as left-wing as

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it likes to think it is which is a very strange dynamic for a political

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environment. But the other reason I think that the Tories did so well in

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this election is because Scotland really, really does need a strong

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opposition. It needs one very, very badly.

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APPLAUSE. Out occurred to me that if I were

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Nicola Sturgeon, I would cast my second vote for the Tories because a

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good Government has got to have a strong opposition and what we've

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begun to see in Scotland over the last few years is bills going

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through, laws coming through that are, whether you agree with their

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premise or not, they're bad laws because they are not being watched

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properly. Why do you think Kezia couldn't have done that job? I don't

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know, but the fact is she didn't. It's the named person thing which

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English viewers may not know much about. The opposition could have

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been stopped in their tracks and said, this is rubbish, it won't

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work. It would be hard to implement. As we don't have a revising chamber,

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it needs a strong opposition. Scotland is more Conservative than

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it thinks and Scotland understands how important it is in a democracy.

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It wasn't Labour's message that was the problem, it was the fact we

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didn't trust Labour politicians any more, we didn't feel they were being

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honest. It was as if they just changed policy completely. What are

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you thinking of? It's just they didn't seem to be as anti-austerity

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as they were, because it was a popular view that they took on that

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stance. I see. The man in the blue shirt? I think there's been a lot of

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talk within the mainstream media about how much the Conservatives

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have done so well. In reality, they've only got 22% of the vote.

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Also, 11% of the electorate. There needs to be a lot more

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congratulations for what the SNP have done in getting the three terms

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again. So much massive bias from the BBC and I don't want to make too

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much of an issue about that there, but there's not been spoken much

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about how much the SNP have done. Obsessing about Labour and Tory do

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you think? People have been obsessing about that and not

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bothering about the SNP Maybe, yes, but there should be more

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congratulations I think. Jim Sillars will give some applause then? The

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election result was nearly 47% for the SNP and 22% for thetories. I

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certainly say Ruth Davidson fought a very good election. She had the

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no-vote bringing her to only 22%. If you analysed in the central belt the

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SNP went up on their vote under the majorities time after time after

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time. In fact, in Glasgow, the only seat that did not happen was because

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Patrick Harvie who is left-wing for the Greens came second. What's

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happened in Scotland this time is what the electoral system was

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designed to make sure happen, that is a party doesn't get an overall

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majority. Last time when we got an overall majority in the SNP, it was

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a very unusual circumstance. We had the total collapse of the Liberals

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and the slide beginning in the Labour Party. That has not happened

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this time and in fact Scotland's gone back to the Scotland I knew

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before devolution which is the borders were non-Labour, non-SNP,

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the north-east tended to be Tory, the Highlands was a mixture and the

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central belt from Dundee right across to north air Ayrshire was on

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the left of Scottish politics. Now it's perfectly possible to be

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someone like me to be socially Conservative but ideologically on

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the left. I think that's the case with a great many people in

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Scotland. Anybody who thinks that somehow or other we have had a great

:15:24.:15:27.

Tory victory, go and look at the results.

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APPLAUSE. .

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I have looked at the results and half a million people voted

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Conservative. More people voted Conservative in the Scottish

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parliament elections than in the UK general election last year. In terms

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of the SNP, the vote was down 400,000 votes. The SNP could not

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turn out supporters to back Nicola Sturgeon and return a majority

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government in the Scottish Parliament. And I think that was

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partly due to the lack of excitement created in the campaign, but it was

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also due to the fact that SNP government has not delivered on

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domestic issues, and people do understand that. We have had caught

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of an hour on this and we only have four of those in the programme. --

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quarter of an hour. What do you mean by socially Conservative? People

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don't like a lot of change. We tend to believe that family life is a

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very, very good thing. A number of people were very unhappy, I wasn't,

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about same-sex marriage and things like that. So you will find, I am

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talking about the central belt, which I know best, that people are,

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in a sense, that way socially Conservative, don't like much

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change, really don't like some of the liberalisation that is taking

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place. But ideological E, and that is the key issue, they are on the

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left wing. I am going to move on even though there are hands up.

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We're in Walsall next week and Ipswich the following week.

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If you want to join our audience, apply through our website,

:17:17.:17:19.

A question from Christopher Cromer. Was Iain Duncan Smith right when he

:17:20.:17:40.

stated that the European Union favours the haves over the have

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nots? Iain Duncan Smith said that the EU favours the haves over the

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have-nots. Jim Sillars. You were speaking, but why don't you start on

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this one? I actually don't agree with that at all. I am for Brexit,

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but I will not accuse the EU of being in favour of the haves in

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stead of the have-nots. I think, in their pursuit of the project of the

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United States of Europe, and using the eurozone as a major step towards

:18:14.:18:21.

that, they have been very, very unfair to lots of people in Greece,

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Portugal, Spain and Italy. APPLAUSE

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And in that sense he may be right. But I don't think that was a

:18:33.:18:38.

deliberate policy. I do not think they said, we will screw the Greek

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folk. That is a consequence of them pursuing a particular project. Well,

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that is Iain Duncan Smith taken care of! Merryn, do you think he was

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right to make this point? Yes, I think there are lots of ways in

:18:58.:19:00.

which the EU favours the haves over the have-nots. I hope it is not a

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deliberate policy but it certainly favours large companies over very

:19:06.:19:08.

small companies and this matters enormously when it comes to growth

:19:09.:19:12.

and competition. It favours people who can manage vast amounts of

:19:13.:19:15.

regulation, people who can spend a lot of money on lobbying. It favours

:19:16.:19:20.

people who can make large systems work for them, and that tends to be

:19:21.:19:24.

big companies, not small companies. Over the last couple of decades we

:19:25.:19:28.

have seen the rise of the giant company and the huge amount of

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company that the giant company has, and supranational organisations like

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the EU are supportive of that. So in that sense, it is true. I would also

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say that the euro has been a terrible thing for the have-nots.

:19:43.:19:49.

The eurozone has destroyed economies of peripheral nations, and what is

:19:50.:19:54.

now happening is something economists call internal

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devaluation, which is that countries around the edges have to push down

:19:57.:20:01.

wages and pushed down living standards until they become

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competitive with richer countries. This is terrible. This is an

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appalling way to treat countries in a currency union. Do you believe the

:20:09.:20:14.

number of immigrants that come in under EU regulations has pushed down

:20:15.:20:20.

wages for people already living in Britain? In the UK? Yes, if that

:20:21.:20:25.

were Iain Duncan Smith was driving at? There is not enough evidence to

:20:26.:20:32.

say absolutely but I think it probably is true to a degree. If you

:20:33.:20:35.

have a large number of people coming into Labour market looking for work,

:20:36.:20:39.

it is obvious on a basic supply and demand argument, that the price of

:20:40.:20:44.

the things should come down. So it makes sense to think that has been

:20:45.:20:47.

one of the things pushing down wages in the UK. One more thing on that is

:20:48.:20:52.

that it is not just that. One thing that keeps wages low is our welfare

:20:53.:20:57.

system, our tax credit system, so you can't blame migration completely

:20:58.:21:02.

when we have a welfare setup that appears to be designed to keep wages

:21:03.:21:06.

low at the same time. That was a competent in answer to a simple

:21:07.:21:13.

question, sorry. I would have some concerns over Iain Duncan Smith

:21:14.:21:16.

using social justice in general as an argument.

:21:17.:21:17.

APPLAUSE It would imply there is something

:21:18.:21:26.

going on in the background, given that in the last couple of weeks it

:21:27.:21:30.

has been reported that he and Chris Grayling have been reported to

:21:31.:21:33.

Police Scotland by the black Triangle campaign for covering up a

:21:34.:21:38.

report into the coroner 's report into the prevention of future deaths

:21:39.:21:43.

Jude to the work capability assessment, done three years before

:21:44.:21:45.

the one that made headlines last year. So the idea that Iain Duncan

:21:46.:21:51.

Smith can be making an argument based on social justice, when he has

:21:52.:21:59.

managed to spin the disability benefit cuts as beneficial somehow

:22:00.:22:03.

to disabled people so well, it concerns me that there is something

:22:04.:22:06.

else going on there. APPLAUSE

:22:07.:22:10.

The lady in the front row is right, Iain Duncan Smith has a cheek to be

:22:11.:22:17.

trying to pretend to stand up for the have-nots. It takes the biscuit,

:22:18.:22:22.

in that sense. I think there is a particularly socialist case for why

:22:23.:22:26.

we should stay in the European Union. It has brought a lot of

:22:27.:22:29.

workers rights, protections and freedoms. We do not compete with

:22:30.:22:34.

other European nations on equality and the terms and conditions of

:22:35.:22:38.

jobs. It is a good way to grow the economy. But much of this debate so

:22:39.:22:43.

far has been very rational, focused on economic arguments, which are

:22:44.:22:47.

given is I am proud to make. But I think we should revisit the idea of

:22:48.:22:50.

Europe and be more emotional about why being part of the European Union

:22:51.:22:56.

is a good thing. We share this union with 27 nations around the idea of

:22:57.:23:00.

cooperating, we share the freedom and prosperity that comes from that

:23:01.:23:04.

union. We should protect it and I intend to campaign with every sinew

:23:05.:23:06.

to do that. APPLAUSE

:23:07.:23:09.

Iain Duncan Smith says that EU migration causes downward pressure

:23:10.:23:18.

on wages. Do you believe that? I don't accept that. I think it fuels

:23:19.:23:23.

the negative sentiment that has dominated this referendum campaign

:23:24.:23:27.

too much, like the dog whistles on immigration we keep hearing. Do you

:23:28.:23:32.

think he is right? I don't agree with him on this. He is passionately

:23:33.:23:37.

in favour of leaving the EU and will play a significant part in the

:23:38.:23:41.

campaign. But what the EU delivers for Scotland and Britain is jobs. It

:23:42.:23:51.

delivers work. 330,000 people here in Scotland have jobs partially

:23:52.:23:54.

dependent on membership of the EU. And it is those people that we need

:23:55.:23:57.

to speak up for during this campaign. The EU is a positive for

:23:58.:24:06.

Scotland. Iain Duncan Smith, like so many of the people that are in the

:24:07.:24:10.

vote to leave campaign has not set out for us exactly what it would

:24:11.:24:18.

mean to be out with the EU. In fact, different people in the campaign set

:24:19.:24:22.

out very different visions. We cannot take that leap in the dark

:24:23.:24:26.

unless we know what it is that is being proposed. I will go to the

:24:27.:24:35.

audience. Where shall we go? The man over there on the left. You were

:24:36.:24:42.

talking about how the EU is more beneficial for big companies over

:24:43.:24:49.

small companies. My argument against that is that if we were outside the

:24:50.:24:54.

EU, like Norway, we would still have to conform to the regulations and

:24:55.:24:57.

guidelines that go with making goods, for example. The Norwegian

:24:58.:25:03.

fish market still have to conform to EU guidelines. That will damage

:25:04.:25:08.

small British companies over bigger companies because of the costs of

:25:09.:25:12.

conforming to those guidelines. Wouldn't fishermen do better

:25:13.:25:20.

outside? The fishing quotas is just a travesty. I think they are

:25:21.:25:25.

necessary, but that is neither here nor there. The man in the checked

:25:26.:25:30.

shirt. What is going to happen is exactly what Merryn was saying.

:25:31.:25:33.

Barack Obama came over a few weeks ago and said what is going to happen

:25:34.:25:38.

to Europe. That is that there is going to be this trade organisation

:25:39.:25:44.

treaty which will come in, and that is exactly what it does. It is going

:25:45.:25:52.

to allow corporate, basically management of Europe, and you will

:25:53.:25:57.

get the same system. It is an American introduced system whereby

:25:58.:26:01.

they basically run the show. What is your plan, to leave or stay? Leaves,

:26:02.:26:04.

absolutely. APPLAUSE

:26:05.:26:10.

How would you deal with the United States? Blow them up, or something.

:26:11.:26:21.

Not entirely constructive! The woman in pink at the back. The issue with

:26:22.:26:28.

this campaign is that you get one argument and there is a way is a

:26:29.:26:31.

counterargument. That is what makes it so difficult to make these

:26:32.:26:35.

decisions. For example, we were talking about wages going down. That

:26:36.:26:41.

is true but the counterargument is that it becomes more competitive,

:26:42.:26:45.

there are more people who are providing services. And for the

:26:46.:26:48.

consumer it becomes more competitive. My personal view, it is

:26:49.:26:53.

a storm in a teacup. It does not make much difference whether we stay

:26:54.:26:58.

in all we leave. There is an art and four and against. You make a

:26:59.:27:01.

decision, we go for it, and it will be fine either way. So will you toss

:27:02.:27:09.

a coin to decide? Why not? What are you going to do? In general, I think

:27:10.:27:15.

it is better to be in something than out, so I would vote to stay in.

:27:16.:27:23.

You, sir. I have been a fisherman for 30 years and I hardly think

:27:24.:27:26.

anyone on the panel has enough time in the day make to me change my mind

:27:27.:27:31.

to vote to stay in the union when we have been discriminated for the last

:27:32.:27:33.

40 years. APPLAUSE

:27:34.:27:39.

And if the UK voted out, what with the consequence be? We would be in

:27:40.:27:47.

power of our own destiny, making choices to benefit Scotland or the

:27:48.:27:53.

United Kingdom. In 2002, there were 525 white fish boats in Scotland.

:27:54.:27:59.

Today, there are 125, and yet the European Union give grants to Spain

:28:00.:28:04.

to build a fleet that in 2022 will be able to fish within 50 yards of

:28:05.:28:09.

the beach outside that front door. You want to stay in, despite that? I

:28:10.:28:18.

will address that. I have plenty of problems and issues with the Common

:28:19.:28:20.

Fisheries Policy, just as much as you. But let me say this. The

:28:21.:28:25.

problem with the UK Government negotiating on our behalf, if they

:28:26.:28:30.

are not negotiating well, my suggestion would be to get someone

:28:31.:28:33.

else to do it and change the Prime Minister and the government as

:28:34.:28:38.

opposed to coming out of Europe. But the SNP want to stay in Europe.

:28:39.:28:41.

Successive UK governments have done this. I will quote the exact words.

:28:42.:28:51.

Scottish fishing, by the UK Government, was seen as expendable.

:28:52.:28:55.

That is utterly atrocious. If you did not have the European Union and

:28:56.:28:59.

every country was going alone, yes, within quotas, but managing their

:29:00.:29:03.

own quotas, I am not convinced you would have a fishing industry to

:29:04.:29:07.

pass on to the next generation. Let me try to address the issue... Hang

:29:08.:29:14.

on, do you agree? No, I don't agree. Even in an independent Scotland, you

:29:15.:29:18.

would maybe have 30 representatives of Europe in a parliament of 170, so

:29:19.:29:22.

how would you get your view across? APPLAUSE

:29:23.:29:28.

We are in Aberdeen, we have a fishing port, stick with that point.

:29:29.:29:36.

One of the advantages of Brexit is that when the UK comes out,

:29:37.:29:42.

responsibility for fisheries and agriculture goes to the parliament

:29:43.:29:48.

at Holyrood. That means for the first time since we joined the EU,

:29:49.:29:53.

we would have our own fisheries policy in relation to our own

:29:54.:29:55.

resources and our own fleet. I want to come on to Christopher's

:29:56.:30:09.

original question. The lady in the front said as well, this is the man,

:30:10.:30:12.

Iain Duncan Smith, the ark ticket of the disability cuts, the man

:30:13.:30:16.

responsible for the proliferation of food banks, to think he's suddenly

:30:17.:30:23.

lecturing us on the haves and have notes is like Trump lectures us on

:30:24.:30:29.

xenophobia. Although I'm from the remain campaign and will continue to

:30:30.:30:34.

advocate for that, the campaign has been utterly depressing. The tone of

:30:35.:30:37.

the campaign has been awful. On both sides? Yes, from both sides but

:30:38.:30:41.

particularly actually from the Prime Minister and George Osborne who

:30:42.:30:47.

advocate for remain, it's been hyperboll I believe, apocalyptic

:30:48.:30:50.

nonsense, it's the resurrection of project fear. It will drive more

:30:51.:30:55.

people towards the exit door and it's an insult frankly to every

:30:56.:31:01.

voter in the country. What have you and the SNP doing, instead of run

:31:02.:31:04.

ago positive campaign you are always lecturing us about, you have started

:31:05.:31:09.

to talk about another referendum on Scottish independence in the context

:31:10.:31:15.

of the EU. This is a referendum about whether Scotland remains in

:31:16.:31:18.

the EU, it's not another referendum on whether Scotland leaves the UK,

:31:19.:31:22.

and that's all you seem to want to talk about. So if there is, if

:31:23.:31:26.

you've got a positive case and I believe there is a very strong

:31:27.:31:30.

positive case to make for Scotland staying in the EU, start talking

:31:31.:31:35.

about it and stop talking about another independence referendum.

:31:36.:31:41.

APPLAUSE. Let me come back briefly. Since

:31:42.:31:45.

David started talking on this programme, he's mentioned

:31:46.:31:48.

independence four times, I've mentioned it see row times. This is

:31:49.:31:56.

a man, for somebody who says he hates independence, he talks an

:31:57.:32:01.

awful lot about it. I've never said I hated independence. I said I don't

:32:02.:32:06.

agree... You said stop talking about it and all you've done is talk about

:32:07.:32:15.

it. There is going to be a campaign started for independence. People

:32:16.:32:18.

watching this from outside Scotland will hear that the remain campaign

:32:19.:32:25.

is bitterly divided. Sounds crazy. You are saying they are screwing it

:32:26.:32:29.

up? I want the SNP to come forward and campaign positively for Scotland

:32:30.:32:34.

to remain in the EU. They say that's what they want, I don't understand

:32:35.:32:38.

why they can't just get on and do it. Merryn? This is fascinating,

:32:39.:32:44.

takings back to the Scottish referendum and the inability of both

:32:45.:32:49.

sides to be able to work together. We saw nit the No Campaign where

:32:50.:32:54.

they weren't able to articulate a common vision for the future because

:32:55.:32:57.

they couldn't agree what it should be. We are seeing it with the

:32:58.:33:02.

European referendum with people on the remain and leave side, they

:33:03.:33:07.

can't articulate a proper vision for their futures because they don't

:33:08.:33:09.

agree on what it is that they want the EEving U to be so they are

:33:10.:33:14.

unable to come up with a vision, just a lot of apocalyptic visions

:33:15.:33:20.

which are generally nonsense. So do you agree with the woman at the back

:33:21.:33:25.

who said that in the end it's so finely balanced? I absolutely do,

:33:26.:33:29.

from an economic point of view I would say it doesn't make any

:33:30.:33:32.

difference either way, absolutely not a jot. So unemployment will

:33:33.:33:44.

rise? All the forecasts from the OECD, the Bank of England and the

:33:45.:33:51.

IMF, they go back 20 years. You will remember what economists were

:33:52.:33:56.

forecasting 20 years ago, whoops, they weren't forecasting deflation,

:33:57.:34:01.

a financial crisis or interest rates being so low for so many years. So

:34:02.:34:06.

forecasting beyond a couple of years is nonsensical. A small bit of

:34:07.:34:13.

volatility for a couple of years. Let's hear from one or two people,

:34:14.:34:17.

then you Sir in the middle? Two points. First point being, why

:34:18.:34:27.

should countries without a fishing fleet tell us thousand do our

:34:28.:34:32.

fishing? With weeks to go now, when's project fear going to kick

:34:33.:34:36.

in? Project fear which you think has not kicked in? Not yet. But you

:34:37.:34:43.

think it will come do you? Yes. OK. The woman on the gangway? Are we

:34:44.:34:51.

such a small country that we can't go and trade with other countries,

:34:52.:34:56.

that we can only trade with Europe, that we can't trade with the rest of

:34:57.:35:02.

the world? Is everybody going to up sticks and leave if we decide to

:35:03.:35:05.

leave Europe? I don't think so. APPLAUSE.

:35:06.:35:11.

You, Sir? You with the pink tie on? I have a concern that if in fact we

:35:12.:35:16.

vote to leave the European Union, Britain leaves the European Union,

:35:17.:35:22.

it could lead to the collapse of the European Union itself. A number of

:35:23.:35:25.

folk have said this would be the case. Nigel Lawson said when asked

:35:26.:35:30.

about this, that it would be no bad thing. I think that would be

:35:31.:35:35.

absolutely disastrous if that were the effect. The other thing is, if

:35:36.:35:41.

in fact that happened or we voted to leave the European Union, and then

:35:42.:35:46.

Scotland had a vote for independence again and the European Union

:35:47.:35:50.

collapsed and Scotland all on its own, where does that leave Scotland

:35:51.:35:54.

then? OK. APPLAUSE.

:35:55.:35:58.

Hands are still up, but we should move on because we've got a lot more

:35:59.:36:04.

questions. Let's just take a break and turn to a completely different

:36:05.:36:09.

point. Zoe Pearson makes it. Zoe, please? Was the BBC right to

:36:10.:36:14.

broadcast the Queen's comment about the Chinese, or is the Queen

:36:15.:36:17.

entitled to have a private conversation? The Queen overheard at

:36:18.:36:23.

the garden party saying the Chinese were very rude to the British

:36:24.:36:26.

Ambassador. Should that have been broadcast? We don't need to spend a

:36:27.:36:35.

long time on this. David Mundell. It came about because Buckingham Palace

:36:36.:36:39.

released a tape on which that material was present. So it was

:36:40.:36:43.

deliberate you mean? I very much doubt that. But I think the Queen is

:36:44.:36:48.

entitled to have a private conversation, we are all entitled to

:36:49.:36:53.

have private conversations. I don't think that it was news worthy in the

:36:54.:37:01.

way that that it got the level of attention and therefore I wouldn't

:37:02.:37:06.

have seen it as a headline news item or a lead item on BBC Online. I

:37:07.:37:13.

think the Queen is entitled to her views and opinions and they should

:37:14.:37:19.

be kept private. Jim Sillars? I think they were quite right to

:37:20.:37:23.

broadcast it. Why shouldn't we know what the Queen thinks about various

:37:24.:37:31.

subjects? Do you think she thinks for Brexit as was reported by the

:37:32.:37:34.

Sun a while back, is that why you say this? No, that's not the reason

:37:35.:37:42.

at all. Why should we say - well I'm a Republican, so just registering

:37:43.:37:47.

that with you. I don't see why we shouldn't know what the head of

:37:48.:37:53.

state says on a number of occasions. If she thought the Chinese or the

:37:54.:38:01.

organisers from China were very rude, I find it quite interesting to

:38:02.:38:05.

know that and it's also important to transmit to the Chinese as well. We

:38:06.:38:11.

are in a diplomatic circle. If you come to the United Kingdom, and if

:38:12.:38:20.

you remember the conduct of some of the Chinese heavies during the

:38:21.:38:27.

Chinese President's official visit, was actually quite outrageous from

:38:28.:38:34.

our British point of view. They stopped people from demonstrating

:38:35.:38:43.

for example. When we go to China, we don't tell you to overturn your

:38:44.:38:46.

Government, for example. Sometimes it's very good for the diplomatic

:38:47.:38:50.

tongue to actually make a mistake and let the public hear.

:38:51.:38:52.

OK. APPLAUSE.

:38:53.:38:56.

What do you think? I think it was probably broadcast basically because

:38:57.:39:05.

the Queen very rarely makes faux pas like that. I don't think however it

:39:06.:39:09.

really was headline news. Kezia Dugdale? Imagine what Prince

:39:10.:39:14.

Philip said? ! LAUGHTER.

:39:15.:39:21.

Look, the Queen is 90, she's had 60 years doing the job that she does,

:39:22.:39:29.

immaculate public service, she's entitled to say exactly what she

:39:30.:39:33.

likes. It was probably news and we were probably right to hear it and I

:39:34.:39:39.

say good on her. Hamza? You are a Republican or Monarchist? It had to

:39:40.:39:47.

be a surprise. For the purpose of independence, we said we'd keep the

:39:48.:39:50.

Queen as the head of state. What I would say about Kezia, I would

:39:51.:39:55.

agree. In some respects, we've all got the older relative that probably

:39:56.:39:59.

says things they shouldn't. I don't think the Queen should be punished

:40:00.:40:07.

or we should be too harsh on her for saying that. If you aren't willing

:40:08.:40:13.

to say something in public, then saying it in private around cameras

:40:14.:40:17.

is probably not a wise idea. People get quite annoyed if people say one

:40:18.:40:21.

thing in public and say a very, very different thing in private. Be

:40:22.:40:23.

prepared to say it in public. The Prime Minister's been caught out on

:40:24.:40:27.

that making remarks about countries that are fantastically corrupt but

:40:28.:40:32.

forgetting that sometimes their own country is fantastically corrupt.

:40:33.:40:35.

APPLAUSE. Merryn? Oh, the Queen. What do you

:40:36.:40:43.

mean "oh, the Queen". I'm not sure I wanted to know what she thought

:40:44.:40:48.

about anything. Are you a Republican? I don't mind either way.

:40:49.:40:55.

I like having a monarchy. I love that she said that. I loved hearing

:40:56.:41:04.

her talk properly and now when I see her shake hands at garden parties I

:41:05.:41:11.

know she's talking gossip. I'm desperate to lip read. I don't know

:41:12.:41:17.

whether any of you caught this but a famous man who lived a long time in

:41:18.:41:21.

Hong Kong who was on Newsnight last night, he said, what people don't

:41:22.:41:26.

understand about this is, when you speak Chinese, it's a very rude

:41:27.:41:30.

language compared with English and he gave the example that when he

:41:31.:41:35.

leaves in the hotel a message for an early morning call, instead of

:41:36.:41:39.

saying hello good morning it's your morning call, you pick up the

:41:40.:41:45.

telephone and they said "get out! ". You should try coming to Glasgow!

:41:46.:41:52.

OK. I want to take this question from Jason Bapty, please?

:41:53.:41:59.

Is the named person scheme unacceptable intrusion by the state

:42:00.:42:01.

into family life? I think this is a fascinating

:42:02.:42:04.

topic... APPLAUSE.

:42:05.:42:10.

It's a... For English and Welsh viewers, I should explain that this

:42:11.:42:17.

is an SNP scheme that by law every family will have to name somebody

:42:18.:42:22.

outside the family to look after, offer advice or support when asked,

:42:23.:42:29.

about every child. So you have a child, outside Scotland people don't

:42:30.:42:33.

know this, so you have a child and godparents and all of that, but you

:42:34.:42:37.

have to name a schoolteacher or somebody who acts as a... No, you

:42:38.:42:41.

don't name them. You don't even name them? The state gives you one.

:42:42.:42:47.

I didn't know that. Stranger and stranger.

:42:48.:42:55.

APPLAUSE. And the named person, I quote from

:42:56.:42:58.

the Scottish Government website "only offers advice or support when

:42:59.:43:03.

asked or when well-being needs are identified". What's this about?

:43:04.:43:10.

Well, I mean, you're not right actually in some of what you said.

:43:11.:43:17.

The advice is only provided when or if a child or indeed a parent needs

:43:18.:43:21.

it for the well-being of the child. This is not a state guardianship

:43:22.:43:30.

scheme. Some of the high -ly and misconceptions are not only vacuous

:43:31.:43:38.

but put children's lives in danger. I had two foster nephews until

:43:39.:43:42.

recently. The children were passed from pillar to post, to pillar to

:43:43.:43:47.

post. The named person's scheme already exists in many parts of the

:43:48.:43:52.

country and has run successfully across many parts of the country.

:43:53.:44:01.

The Labour Party supported us because of the elections... That's

:44:02.:44:05.

not true. We had position and support of other left of centre

:44:06.:44:09.

parties like the Green Party on this. It's a simple scheme. If a

:44:10.:44:14.

child feels they need to talk to somebody, if a parent feels they

:44:15.:44:18.

need to talk to somebody, instead of speaking to five or ten different

:44:19.:44:21.

agencies about the issues they are having, they have one point of

:44:22.:44:30.

contact. Hold on a second... So in effect you are saying that

:44:31.:44:36.

every child born in Scotland will have until presumably they are 18 or

:44:37.:44:40.

whatever a social worker attached to them?

:44:41.:44:45.

It could be a teacher, health adviser. A social worker? Somebody

:44:46.:44:54.

outside the family who is supposed to oversee their well-being. I think

:44:55.:44:59.

it is a state Guardian, and I think the SNP described it as a head

:45:00.:45:03.

gardener, which seemed extraordinary. We have lots of

:45:04.:45:07.

gardeners and lots of plants but we need a head gardener to oversee the

:45:08.:45:13.

well-being. This is distressing for parents, when you think, who is in

:45:14.:45:19.

charge of children in my house. It is not in charge. Anybody who is a

:45:20.:45:24.

good parent, and the vast majority are exceptional, those who come from

:45:25.:45:28.

a loving household will not... So why do I have to have a named person

:45:29.:45:34.

if I am a good parent? You might be a good parent but... I was thinking

:45:35.:45:39.

about this the other day when I was driving in Italy. I got stopped and

:45:40.:45:44.

thought I had done something wrong. It was purely random because in lots

:45:45.:45:47.

of countries it is OK to stop a person even if they have done

:45:48.:45:52.

nothing. In the UK, if you stop a car, they have to have shown some

:45:53.:45:55.

sign of doing something wrong, you need Ariz and to stop them. The

:45:56.:46:00.

named person's policy, in my view, goes on to the Italian side where

:46:01.:46:04.

there can be a random stop, an assumption that you might have done

:46:05.:46:07.

something when there is no sign that you have. There are people watching

:46:08.:46:12.

you to make sure that you are supervising your child. Nobody is

:46:13.:46:22.

watching you. Hang on. We will explore this around the panel. They

:46:23.:46:26.

are not looking at whether your child eats or drinks... Weight. The

:46:27.:46:32.

woman there. I just don't understand. When we have a shortage

:46:33.:46:38.

in teachers in this country, so many people exporting the trade they

:46:39.:46:42.

learn here to countries like Dubai and Singapore, how are you going to

:46:43.:46:47.

be able to fund this? We have not got the infrastructure sorted out,

:46:48.:46:53.

so when you start putting more power in the hands of teachers, you are

:46:54.:46:57.

actually reducing the role of social workers. I can see quite quickly

:46:58.:47:01.

that what will happen is we are going to reduce how much help we get

:47:02.:47:06.

from the welfare state in Scotland at the expense of Scottish children.

:47:07.:47:11.

That is a problem. We need to look at that before we start looking at

:47:12.:47:19.

finding Guardian ships. Are you in favour in principle of a named

:47:20.:47:23.

person to protect a child's interests? The problem with the idea

:47:24.:47:27.

is that when you start saying that every child needs looking after, you

:47:28.:47:32.

are reducing the role of the parent or the foster parent, or these other

:47:33.:47:35.

people. APPLAUSE

:47:36.:47:40.

When you reduce their role, what you are doing is making it impossible to

:47:41.:47:48.

say where the fault lies. You are creating more red tape, meaning more

:47:49.:47:52.

children will fall between the cracks, especially if you are

:47:53.:47:56.

looking at rural communities, like the Highlands. If you have to travel

:47:57.:48:00.

ages to get to school, if you are at college and your place is cut, where

:48:01.:48:06.

do you go for support? Kezia Dugdale. I was the Labour education

:48:07.:48:11.

spokesperson when this bill was passed, and I supported it. I still

:48:12.:48:17.

support the principle of the named person and my reason is because

:48:18.:48:21.

charity after charity came and explained to me that this was

:48:22.:48:26.

absolutely critical, not to protect the most vulnerable children in

:48:27.:48:29.

society but those kids who maybe every other day come to school

:48:30.:48:33.

hungry, or dirty, or having had a sleepless night. Nobody is tying

:48:34.:48:37.

that together and understanding what that child might need. My problem

:48:38.:48:43.

with the SNP position is that they have utterly failed to explain the

:48:44.:48:46.

policy to the people of Scotland, which is why I have argued that we

:48:47.:48:50.

should ask the children's commissioner who in principle

:48:51.:48:53.

support the named person, to spend time running a campaign explaining

:48:54.:48:57.

what it is about and why it would benefit thousands of children across

:48:58.:49:02.

the country. You represent that as a flip-flop. Not at all. It is about

:49:03.:49:06.

understanding what we are trying to do. People have lost faith in this

:49:07.:49:11.

policy edit has to be rebuilt. David Mundell. This policy will be the

:49:12.:49:19.

test of whether Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are listening to the people

:49:20.:49:23.

of Scotland. People want this policy withdrawn. It was bad legislation.

:49:24.:49:28.

APPLAUSE What is bad about it? It was put

:49:29.:49:37.

through by a majority SNP government with an ineffective Labour

:49:38.:49:42.

opposition. The bad thing is that it applies to every child. It does not

:49:43.:49:46.

focus the resources on the most vulnerable. It applies to every

:49:47.:49:54.

single child. Why did the Tories abstain? I think people watching in

:49:55.:49:58.

other parts of the UK will find it incredible that every child in

:49:59.:50:04.

Scotland is to have a named person, regardless of any assessment of

:50:05.:50:08.

their vulnerability. We have made it clear, our position, during the

:50:09.:50:15.

election. It became clear that people in Scotland do not support

:50:16.:50:18.

this approach and it is time for Nicola Sturgeon to withdraw this

:50:19.:50:29.

policy. Jim Sillars. The named person is part of a large act of 103

:50:30.:50:40.

sections, and five schedules. It illustrates where the problem lies

:50:41.:50:43.

in Holyrood. I will come to the named person in a moment. Let's

:50:44.:50:50.

stick with that for the moment. I don't believe a nine to five

:50:51.:50:54.

Holyrood parliament can properly legislate on issues like this. For

:50:55.:51:03.

example, well-being. Well-being has several meanings, depending upon

:51:04.:51:05.

family circumstances and the rest of it. It would not have passed

:51:06.:51:12.

Westminster, let me tell you, on this basis, where the line by line

:51:13.:51:18.

and clause by clause is examined. This is a well-meaning act, but if

:51:19.:51:21.

you look at the sections that actually deal with the named person,

:51:22.:51:25.

there is ambiguity all over the place. My advice to my colleagues in

:51:26.:51:31.

the SNP would be to take away this section of the act and is discussed

:51:32.:51:35.

with the other parties in Parliament. Everyone wants to look

:51:36.:51:40.

after children. Discuss how this can be amended to meet the anxieties of

:51:41.:51:46.

parents but ensure that those children who need looked after

:51:47.:51:52.

actually get looked after. OK. APPLAUSE

:51:53.:51:56.

Briefly, you don't think by its nature it is intrusive for it to

:51:57.:52:03.

apply to everybody? Yes, I think if I were a parent I would think it

:52:04.:52:08.

intrusive. Stephen Hall. We need this question, please. With job

:52:09.:52:15.

losses in the oil and gas industry being significantly greater than in

:52:16.:52:18.

the UK steel industry, why hasn't it been given the same level of media

:52:19.:52:22.

coverage and political support? APPLAUSE

:52:23.:52:36.

Employment in oil has obviously dropped, the price of oil has

:52:37.:52:42.

dropped. David Mundell, there is a lot of government action around

:52:43.:52:47.

steel, why not around oil? There is a lot of government action around

:52:48.:52:51.

oil as well. The Prime Minister was in Aberdeen earlier in the year,

:52:52.:52:55.

listening to what the oil industry had to say in relation to how the

:52:56.:53:03.

job situation could be helped. And in the Budget, we saw major tax,

:53:04.:53:09.

major tax changes. We saw looking at how we can take forward the

:53:10.:53:13.

decommissioning process, contrary to what one of the participants said

:53:14.:53:17.

earlier. We now have the legislation through which created the oil and

:53:18.:53:23.

gas authority, which will look, importantly, at how costs can be

:53:24.:53:26.

reduced within the industry, how we can get more collaboration. This

:53:27.:53:32.

matter, and because we have seen some argy-bargy on the panel, this

:53:33.:53:36.

is one area where the UK and Scottish governments have worked

:53:37.:53:41.

very closely together will stop and one of the outcomes was announcing

:53:42.:53:45.

the ?250 million Aberdeen city deal which will see money go into the

:53:46.:53:51.

harbour, which will see a technology centre in Aberdeen, four example. So

:53:52.:53:54.

we are very possessed of the urgency of this matter. Aberdeen has been a

:53:55.:54:00.

lifeblood of the UK and Scotland for far too long. For decades we have

:54:01.:54:08.

oversupplied the country with money. The thing is, Aberdeen's economy is

:54:09.:54:16.

?82 billion a year, against Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee altogether

:54:17.:54:19.

don't come near it. The taxes that come out of this part of the world,

:54:20.:54:23.

no money comes back. APPLAUSE

:54:24.:54:31.

I am sorry had to rush you. The Labour Party supported the case for

:54:32.:54:40.

tax cuts for North Sea oil and gas but you can only offer tax cuts when

:54:41.:54:43.

companies are making a profit and many companies in the North Sea are

:54:44.:54:47.

not just now, which is why the Labour Party was advocating using

:54:48.:54:50.

public money to almost nationalise key pipelines and protect them. That

:54:51.:54:57.

is the kind of thing we need to do to protect North Sea oil and gas for

:54:58.:55:00.

the short, medium and long-term, so that price rises can grow again. One

:55:01.:55:08.

thing you can't do is assume the oil price will rise again and make

:55:09.:55:12.

everything OK. The oil industry is declining, the price of oil may stay

:55:13.:55:17.

low for many decades. It might go up to $60, it might go back down to

:55:18.:55:24.

$30. You can't rely on this. What really needs to be done in Scotland

:55:25.:55:28.

is to find other ways to boost the economy. This is where the SNP has

:55:29.:55:32.

fallen down over the last eight years. The Scottish economy has

:55:33.:55:37.

barely grown since 2008 while the UK economy has grown significantly.

:55:38.:55:43.

Focusing on oil is a mistake because it is a declining industry that will

:55:44.:55:47.

end at some point. You cannot call it a mistake when it is the

:55:48.:55:52.

lifeblood of Aberdeen. You cannot fix it, you have to replace the

:55:53.:55:55.

jobs. Perhaps eventually the SNP will opt looking at the -- start

:55:56.:56:00.

looking at the scientific evidence and look at fracking again, because

:56:01.:56:04.

that is where an awful lot of jobs in the oil industry can conceivably

:56:05.:56:11.

be replaced. There are still very substantial fields in the North sea.

:56:12.:56:18.

BP boasted that one would last for the next 40 years. It might sound in

:56:19.:56:26.

modest, but I came here in 1977 and suggested that 50p of every barrel

:56:27.:56:31.

should actually go to an investment fund in the north-east of Scotland,

:56:32.:56:36.

so that... APPLAUSE

:56:37.:56:39.

So that if problems arose there was capital to be employed to make sure

:56:40.:56:45.

that that was partly overcome. I was laughed at them. I would suggest to

:56:46.:56:52.

folk in Aberdeen and Grampian, you want to start arguing that case

:56:53.:56:58.

again. Hamza Yusuf. I agree with a lot of what the panel and audience

:56:59.:57:02.

have been saying. We will step up and that is why the First Minister

:57:03.:57:06.

immediately put together an energy task force. The task force will not

:57:07.:57:11.

do anything, which is why we had to put money in and work with the UK

:57:12.:57:15.

Government and other partners. But I agree with the gentleman in the

:57:16.:57:19.

audience that Aberdeen has been used as a cash cow by successive UK

:57:20.:57:23.

governments, and it is about time the UK Government gave back to

:57:24.:57:28.

Aberdeen. And let me say to Merryn, that despite the differences and

:57:29.:57:31.

difficulties that people in Aberdeen have, and we will support and put as

:57:32.:57:36.

much finance as we can to support people, rushing to fracking is

:57:37.:57:40.

certainly not the answer. It is certainly not rushing. Apologies to

:57:41.:57:45.

those who have their hands up. We're in Wallsall next week,

:57:46.:57:49.

with Yvette Cooper for Labour, Amber Rudd for the Tories

:57:50.:57:53.

and the broadcaster We'll be in Ipswich

:57:54.:57:56.

the following week. To join the audience, Walsall

:57:57.:58:00.

or Ipswich, go to our website, I have lost the telephone number.

:58:01.:58:03.

Here we are. We're in Wallsall next week,

:58:04.:58:32.

with Yvette Cooper for Labour, Amber Rudd for the Tories

:58:33.:58:34.

and the broadcaster We'll be in Ipswich

:58:35.:58:36.

the following week. The debate continues on Radio 5 Live

:58:37.:58:49.

until the early hours of the morning so you can follow the arguments

:58:50.:58:54.

there. As far as we are concerned in Aberdeen, I hope you had a good

:58:55.:58:57.

evening. Thank you, and on till next Thursday, thank you to our panel as

:58:58.:59:00.

well, and good night.

:59:01.:59:04.

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Aberdeen. The panellists are Conservative secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell MP, the SNP's minister for Europe Humza Yousaf MSP, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale MSP, former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars and editor-in-chief of MoneyWeek magazine Merryn Somerset Webb.


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