12/05/2016 Question Time


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.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 12/05/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



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


Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland,


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


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


Labour's leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


but the Conservatives moved into second place and Labour was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


independence joined shoulder-to-shoulder with a


Conservative Party that brought forward the most broughtal,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


people in Scotland wanted an effective on ziingts in the Scottish


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE. And people who voted Conservative


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


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


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


to the Scottish Parliament election. People voting Conservative got a


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


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


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


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


change although there is a misconception about Scotland being a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


centre right Government. APPLAUSE.


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


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


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


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


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


Public Services. What happened last week is that my


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


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


referendum and those arguments around the constitution came to the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


concentrate in proving the economic condition in Scotland? Especially in


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


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


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


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


incompetence to govern, they want another reference Dutch. They


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it's the UK Government. APPLAUSE.


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


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


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


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


increase in that area. OK. APPLAUSE.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


opposition. It needs one very, very badly.


APPLAUSE. Out occurred to me that if I were


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it needs a strong opposition. Scotland is more Conservative than


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


talk within the mainstream media about how much the Conservatives


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


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


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


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


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


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


you think? People have been obsessing about that and not


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


happened in Scotland this time is what the electoral system was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


someone like me to be socially Conservative but ideologically on


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


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


Tory victory, go and look at the results.




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


Conservative. More people voted Conservative in the Scottish


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


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


turn out supporters to back Nicola Sturgeon and return a majority


government in the Scottish Parliament. And I think that was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


stated that the European Union favours the haves over the have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Portugal, Spain and Italy. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


deliberate policy but it certainly favours large companies over very


small companies and this matters enormously when it comes to growth


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


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


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


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


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


company that the giant company has, and supranational organisations like


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


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


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


now happening is something economists call internal


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


wages and pushed down living standards until they become


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


using social justice in general as an argument.


APPLAUSE It would imply there is something


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


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


Police Scotland by the black Triangle campaign for covering up a


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


Jude to the work capability assessment, done three years before


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


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


managed to spin the disability benefit cuts as beneficial somehow


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


else going on there. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


other European nations on equality and the terms and conditions of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to do that. APPLAUSE


Iain Duncan Smith says that EU migration causes downward pressure


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


the negative sentiment that has dominated this referendum campaign


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


small British companies over bigger companies because of the costs of


conforming to those guidelines. Wouldn't fishermen do better


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


absolutely. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


40 years. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


how would you get your view across? APPLAUSE


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


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


responsibility for fisheries and agriculture goes to the parliament


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


particularly actually from the Prime Minister and George Osborne who


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


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


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


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


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


to talk about another referendum on Scottish independence in the context


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


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


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


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


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


about it and stop talking about another independence referendum.


APPLAUSE. Let me come back briefly. Since


David started talking on this programme, he's mentioned


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


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


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


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


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


watching this from outside Scotland will hear that the remain campaign


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


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


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


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


takings back to the Scottish referendum and the inability of both


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


should countries without a fishing fleet tell us thousand do our


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Scotland had a vote for independence again and the European Union


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




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


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


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


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


entitled to have a private conversation? The Queen overheard at


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


our British point of view. They stopped people from demonstrating


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


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


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




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


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


really was headline news. Kezia Dugdale? Imagine what Prince


Philip said? ! LAUGHTER.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that making remarks about countries that are fantastically corrupt but


forgetting that sometimes their own country is fantastically corrupt.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Is the named person scheme unacceptable intrusion by the state


into family life? I think this is a fascinating


topic... APPLAUSE.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


I didn't know that. Stranger and stranger.


APPLAUSE. And the named person, I quote from


the Scottish Government website "only offers advice or support when


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


whatever a social worker attached to them?


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


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


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


gardener, which seemed extraordinary. We have lots of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


people. APPLAUSE


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


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


children will fall between the cracks, especially if you are


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


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


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


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


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


charity after charity came and explained to me that this was


absolutely critical, not to protect the most vulnerable children in


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


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


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


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


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


should ask the children's commissioner who in principle


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE What is bad about it? It was put


through by a majority SNP government with an ineffective Labour


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Holyrood parliament can properly legislate on issues like this. For


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


with the other parties in Parliament. Everyone wants to look


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


parents but ensure that those children who need looked after


actually get looked after. OK. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


coverage and political support? APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


decommissioning process, contrary to what one of the participants said


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


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


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


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


is one area where the UK and Scottish governments have worked


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


no money comes back. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


so that... APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


with Yvette Cooper for Labour, Amber Rudd for the Tories


and the broadcaster We'll be in Ipswich


the following week. To join the audience, Walsall


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


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


with Yvette Cooper for Labour, Amber Rudd for the Tories


and the broadcaster We'll be in Ipswich


the following week. The debate continues on Radio 5 Live


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


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


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


well, and good night.


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.

Download Subtitles