25/01/2018 Question Time


25/01/2018

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LineFromTo

Tonight, we're in Dumfries,

and welcome to Question Time.

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On our panel, the Conservative peer

and former Secretary of State

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for Scotland who is a passionate

advocate of both the Union

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and Brexit, Michael Forsyth.

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A close ally and admirer of

Jeremy Corbyn in the Shadow Cabinet

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until two weeks ago,

former bricklayer, the Labour

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MP, Chris Williamson.

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Speaking up for culture

and tourism in Scotland

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we have the SNP's Culture Secretary,

Fiona Hyslop MSP.

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The co-convener of the Scottish

Greens whose MSPs prop up the SNP

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government at Holyrood,

Maggie Chapman.

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And journalist and broadcaster,

former chief political commentator

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for the Daily Telegraph,

now writing for the Daily

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Mail, Peter Oborne.

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APPLAUSE.

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And remember, you have the freedom

of Twitter and Facebook

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to comment on all of this,

our hashtag is #bbcqt.

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Let's take our first question

from Gail Murray, please.

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Gail?

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Do you agree that Theresa May

was correct to slap Boris Johnson

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down for wanting more money

for the NHS.

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Boris Johnson who famously this week

said he was going to ask

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for £100 million a week in Cabinet

and the Prime Minister

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appeared to get everybody

else to gang up on him.

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And he never actually

asked for it in the end.

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Michael Forsyth?

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Well I don't think he was slapped

down for asking for more money

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for the NHS, I think he was slapped

down for saying he was going to say

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that in Cabinet when discussions

in Cabinet are supposed to be kept

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private and where people have

an opportunity to air their views.

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But I actually think

Boris was right.

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I mean, the whole vote Leave

campaign was based on the fact

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that we contribute a net

contribution of £10

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billion a year to Europe.

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The other £10 billion,

we are told how to spend,

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and a large slice of that money,

if we were outside

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of the European Union,

should be spent on the Health

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Service.

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APPLAUSE.

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And I think he's right about that.

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I think one of the oddities

about the present Cabinet is,

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I mean we've got it tonight,

we have got the Chancellor

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of the Exchequer appearing to say

something that's completely at odds

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with what the Prime Minister said

in her Lancaster House speech.

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So I think Theresa May needs to get

a grip on the Cabinet

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and the Cabinet need to get

behind her because we are about

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the nation's business

on this Brexit matter.

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It's essential that

we all pull together.

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That means across parties as well,

in order to get the best opportunity

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for us to benefit from being able

to determine our own laws,

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our own borders and to decide

how we spend our money,

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according to our own national needs.

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APPLAUSE.

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Chris Williamson?

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The NHS is in absolute crisis

and let's remember that

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Boris Johnson promised us

£350 million a week

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for the National Health Service.

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Where has that gone?

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But, you know, there

is a major problem in relation

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to a number of aspects

of the National Health Service too.

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The internal market

that was originally created

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by the Conservatives back

in the late 1980s is currently

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costing in the order

of £10 billion a year.

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So we obviously need to reform

the National Health Service,

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we need to get rid of that internal

market, in my opinion.

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We need to properly resource

the National Health Service

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and Labour has promised to fund

the National Health Service

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to the tune of £30 billion extra

over the life of the next Parliament

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because we can't go on with this

crisis that the National Health

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Service has confronted.

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What do you make of what was going

on in the Cabinet this week?

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The terms of?

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The questioner who said,

was Theresa May correct

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to slap down Boris Johnson?

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Well, clearly no.

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What was going on, in your view?

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Well, there's a power struggle going

on between the Conservative Party.

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The Conservatives are riven

between the Brexiteers and those

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that oppose that and want to remain

inside the European Union.

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Theresa May is struggling

to negotiate with her own Cabinet,

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let alone negotiate with the EU

and Boris Johnson going off piste

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like this is an indication of

the crisis the Conservative Party's

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in at the moment and there's

all sorts of rumours now that she'll

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be facing a leadership challenge

before very long.

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But let's not lose sight of the fact

that the Health Service is in crisis

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and when the Tories say that they've

never been better prepared

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for the winter crisis,

well I just ask them to look around

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and see the ambulances queueing up.

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You notice how quickly he's trying

to change the subject.

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The fact is Labour is

a shambles on Brexit.

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It's facing every direction.

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You don't even try and answer

the lady's question,

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the first thing you did was change

the subject to the

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National Health Service.

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Labour want to leave

the European Union, join

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it, be part of it...

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APPLAUSE.

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But Peter, the point was,

the lady never asked

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about the National Health Service,

the fact that Boris Johnson

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talked about money for

the National Health Service.

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Brilliantly consistent.

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He campaigned on that basis

when we campaigned for Brexit.

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Where's the consistency, Peter,

between £100 million a week he's

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offering now and the £350 million

he was telling us during

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the referendum campaign?

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The £350 million...

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APPLAUSE.

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All right.

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Maggie Chapman?

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Frankly it's difficult to take

anything the Conservatives say

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about the National Health Service

seriously.

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It's almost impossible to run

a Health Service in a sick society

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and our society is sick

because our economic society

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is set up to channel money

from the poor and normal people

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to the very, very wealthy.

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That's the cause of this.

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I think it's also quite rich

for Michael to sit here and say

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actually everything will be

fine under Brexit.

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Because of the Tory's

immigration policies,

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we cannot attract the nursing

students that used to come to us

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from the European Union.

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APPLAUSE.

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And because of the quite,

quite meaningless limits set

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on what people can earn,

we can't attract junior doctors

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from around the world

because they won't actually earn

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enough to meet the minimum

income requirements.

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Fiona Hyslop speaking

for the SNP, what is your view

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about what happened in Cabinet

and of the state of

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politics at Westminster?

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I think there are two

aspects to the question.

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One is, should there be more money

in the Health Service and of course

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in Scotland the health service

is devolved and the Scottish

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Government runs that.

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We have a budget next week

and there is more money

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for the Health Service

there and we challenge the Labour

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Party to support that budget.

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Your question I think

was also about the politics

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of this within the Cabinet.

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I think we have an attention-seeking

Foreign Secretary who wants

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desperately to be sacked.

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OK.

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Just on that point

on the Health Service,

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you might just want to explain why,

if we take from 2012 to 2016,

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expenditure on the NHS

in England went up by 10%,

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but in Scotland it

only went up by 5%.

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Why was that?

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Because we have regularly increased

investment in the Health Service

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since the Scottish Government

came to power.

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Investment in the Health Service has

gone up £4 billion to £13 billion.

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Just in this town alone, Dumfries,

there's been a brand-new

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hospital worth £256 million

and the Health Service in Scotland

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by any regard is far more

resilient and is not

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going the privatisation route.

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APPLAUSE.

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You've got 20% more per head

because of the money that

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comes from England under

the Barnet formula.

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That's from taxpayers.

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And you spent that money which came

from the increase in expenditure

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in the Health Service

on other things.

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Hang on a second.

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Isn't there a bit of kettle and pot

here, because didn't you support

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the £350 million a week coming in?

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£350 million a week is what our

gross contribution is to the EU.

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If I give you £10...

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Thank you...

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LAUGHTER.

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£10.

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Now, you give me £20.

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Certainly not!

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And by the way, I'm going to tell

you how to spend that £10.

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Yes.

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That is the deal which we have

with the European Union.

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And Mark Carney's said that 0.9%...

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I'll keep that.

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The 0.9% GDP depression that we've

got in our growth and the problems

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that's causing just now

is worth £350 million.

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Let me go to members

of the audience.

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And that's now.

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I'll come to you in the blue, there?

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I'm a GP here in Dumfries.

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You are a GP?

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I'm a GP, yes.

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I would like to know

what the Scottish Government

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is going to do about the lack

of consultants in Scotland.

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There are 430 consultant positions

that are unfilled in Scotland

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at the moment and in the local

hospital, there are

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current vacancies -

24 consultants are missing,

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that's a percentage of 24%.

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That's unprecedented.

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So you don't think it's

any big deal, that.

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What do you say, Sir?

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If part of the question

is about slapping Boris down

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for asking the question

about where is the money come

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from the Health Service.

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Given we have talked

about being in crisis

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and there being unprecedented

demand, when is the time

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to talk about it?

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And you think this is a good time?

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Absolutely.

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Yes.

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He's been told, there

is a Cabinet collective saying,

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do not talk about this now,

it's a debate for later but clearly

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the pressures are now,

the debate later won't solve

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the problem that we have today.

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Peter Oborne, you are

a political commentator.

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What do you make

about what is going on?

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You have spoken briefly,

but what do you think's gone

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on in Cabinet between May

and Johnson and Philip Hammond

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saying he's the Foreign

Secretary and all of that?

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I completely agree with

what the gentleman just said there,

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it's a serious point.

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I think we are at a very,

very grave moment in the history

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of this Government and I hadn't

understood how grave

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it was until the events of today.

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We do clearly have a massive clash

and we have needed it maybe around

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the shape of what Brexit

is going to be like.

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Clearly, Mr Hammond,

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary,

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and the Civil Service are very,

very strongly wanting

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Britain to basically stay

in the European Union in various

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major significant ways.

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And against that, Mr Johnson,

the Foreign Secretary, and allies,

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are arguing that if we leave Europe,

we have got to leave it,

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we can't remain part of it

subject to its rules,

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but having no say on

how the rules exist.

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This has glared up today

into a major, major row and it

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reminds me a little bit,

I have to say, of Heseltine

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versus Thatcher in 1986, a major

clash between the Prime Minister

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and one of the major

figures of her Government.

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So I don't think we should

underestimate that.

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How is it going to be resolved?

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Well, it's going to be resolved

by doing what the Prime Minister's

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set out in her speech

at Lancaster House,

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which is returning to us the ability

to decide our own laws,

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decide how we spend our money

and decide on who we allow

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to come into our country.

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One of the reasons there's enormous

pressure on the Health Service

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is because Labour lost control

of immigration, the population went

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up by more than two million.

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You cannot put your population up

by two million and not expect

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pressure on our roads,

on our schools and on our hospitals

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and we need to be able

to control our borders and decide

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what our rules are.

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APPLAUSE.

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To pick up on that point.

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I'll come to you in a second

but Peter says this

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is a major turning point

and the Cabinet is divide.

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Do you see a divided Cabinet?

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Do you think Philip Hammond

is going to be able to come

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to an agreement with Boris Johnson

and the Prime Minister

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on the way Brexit goes?

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I think that the Cabinet have got

to reach a collective view

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and they have to support the Prime

Minister which the vast majority

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of Tory MPs do.

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If people don't agree with

the policy of the Prime Minister,

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then they leave and resign.

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What they don't do is remain

in the Cabinet and go off briefing

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and making speeches which give

ambiguity and which undermine

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our national interest

because of our negotiate...

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Oh.

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Does that show how weak

she is as Prime Minister though.

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Who're your candidates

for resignation then?

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Well, whoever's not actually

going to get in behind what we stood

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for election in our manifesto to do,

which was to leave the single

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market, to leave the customs

union which, by the way,

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discriminates against the poorest

countries in the world

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and makes our food and our clothing.

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We know the policies.

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Michael, you have just

alleged that the problems

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of the National Health Service

are to do with the previous

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Labour Government but when Labour

left office in 2010,

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satisfaction in the National Health

Service had never been

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higher and we, on average,

invested £5 billion extra

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into the National Health Service,

£5 billion more than

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the Conservative party.

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The problem of the National Health

Service is the lack of investment

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from this Government.

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That's where they're at fault.

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All right.

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The woman in this third row?

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We are going off in two

directions at once.

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The woman in black-and-white

there, yes?

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I work for the NHS, have done

for nearly 30 years and I think

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that our MPs who represent us need

to stop trying to outdo each other

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and need to actually have

some honest discussions.

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APPLAUSE.

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OK.

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You, over there?

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I think they also need to stop

discussing everything around Brexit,

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we have day-to-day business

we need to manage.

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APPLAUSE.

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So what do you think about Brexit?

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Did you take a back seat or do

you think other things are more

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important than Brexit?

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I think you can't forget

the day-to-day policies,

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the likes of what's happening

in the NHS and the crisis

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we are in in the NHS at the moment.

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There are workers across the country

who're doing their absolute utmost

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to provide a service for our public

which they've expected

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for many years.

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That's been forgotten at times.

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Fiona, do you think the Government's

been misled by the Brexit argument

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and ignoring other things

they should be concentrating on?

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Certainly in Scotland our main

focus has to be and has

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been on public services,

health and education.

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On health we've had,

as you will know if you work

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in the health service,

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an unprecedented winter

in recent history.

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I think we all have to thank

everybody that has helped.

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I have had personal relatives that

have been in the health

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service over recent weeks,

and I think in terms

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of the challenges we have, yes,

we've got challenges.

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We are investing more

than ever before.

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We've got 12,000 more folk working

in the health service.

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What about Brexit?

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She was saying Brexit has taken

over in Westminster.

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Clearly in Holyrood,

you don't have direct control over

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Brexit so you can't.

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Well, there are issues around Brexit

currently being discussed

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in the Scottish parliament

which is about precisely making sure

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that we do have a say

in what happens in Brexit,

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particularly around

our devolved areas.

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You, sir, in the spectacles.

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And I want to make the link

because I think it's absolutely

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right we have to do the day-to-day

job, and that's all we're doing,

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and we're doing it with a lot

of pressures, everyone is trying

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to do it very, very well.

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But the link with Brexit is just

about how much money will be

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available for our health service

in the future.

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And only last week

the Scottish Government,

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which is the only ones who have

produced an economic analysis said

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if there is a hard Brexit there'll

be 9% at least reduction in GDP.

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And that's the future tax take that

will fund our health service,

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and that's where the link is.

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The man in spectacles there.

0:16:170:16:19

There's a link between Brexit

and the National Health Service,

0:16:190:16:22

and the difficulties they are having

in finding future funding.

0:16:220:16:24

Why is it that instead

of playing political

0:16:240:16:29

football with these issues,

the parties don't get together

0:16:290:16:33

in a coalition of expertise?

0:16:330:16:35

APPLAUSE

0:16:350:16:42

Very briefly, I will ask

the politicians here why

0:16:420:16:47

that isn't possible,

because it's often

0:16:470:16:50

raised in Question Time.

0:16:500:16:51

A kind of yes or no.

0:16:510:16:52

Could there be cross-party

agreement, without going into Labour

0:16:520:16:54

policy and Tory policy?

0:16:540:16:55

Is there any meeting point that

you could, between you...

0:16:550:16:58

I think the difficulty is that there

is an ideological divide, sadly,

0:16:580:17:01

between the parties.

0:17:010:17:02

And the problem is that for far too

long, and actually this

0:17:020:17:05

affected New Labour as well,

public services were seen as a cash

0:17:050:17:09

cow for the private sector.

0:17:090:17:11

This is why it led to

the Carillion disaster.

0:17:110:17:13

And what we need to

do is to stop that.

0:17:130:17:17

And I've already mentioned the issue

about the internal market.

0:17:170:17:20

We need to be investing

in our public services.

0:17:200:17:22

Public services should be

exclusively about delivering public

0:17:220:17:24

service to the public,

not generating private profit

0:17:240:17:27

for the private sector.

0:17:270:17:29

APPLAUSE

0:17:290:17:35

Do you believe there

is merit in the argument?

0:17:350:17:39

I agree entirely with

what the gentleman says.

0:17:390:17:41

There clearly is a crisis

this winter and you hear terrible

0:17:410:17:44

stories coming from the hospitals.

0:17:440:17:47

And I think there's going to have

to be a great deal more spent

0:17:470:17:50

on the National Health Service.

0:17:500:17:52

Now, I think you're right,

the parties must come together.

0:17:520:17:56

They have to agree.

0:17:560:17:57

And I think the time has come

for a royal commission

0:17:570:18:00

of all three parties,

four, five parties, to go

0:18:000:18:03

into these great issues.

0:18:030:18:07

Won't that just delay solutions?

0:18:070:18:11

Not at all, because if

you look at the history

0:18:110:18:13

in the National Health Service,

it's been an amazing success.

0:18:130:18:15

Look at the history of royal

commissions, on the other hand!

0:18:150:18:18

What they do, though,

is, they may be long

0:18:180:18:22

and drawn out but they bring

about political consent.

0:18:220:18:25

The Beveridge settlement in 1944

created the structure for

0:18:250:18:29

the welfare state which followed.

0:18:290:18:31

Nobody can say that that

has been a failure.

0:18:310:18:34

It's been a marvellous thing.

0:18:340:18:35

And I believe that all the parties

should get together now and make

0:18:350:18:38

the decisions about how much tax,

how much investment,

0:18:380:18:42

the role of the private sector,

all these vexatious issues.

0:18:420:18:46

All right.

0:18:460:18:47

Maggie.

0:18:470:18:49

It's interesting, here in Scotland,

with a minority SNP government,

0:18:490:18:51

parties do work together.

0:18:510:18:54

The government has to,

in order to get anything through.

0:18:540:18:56

And as Greens, we've been very,

very clear that we want to see a pay

0:18:560:19:00

rise for public sector workers

and we want to protect

0:19:000:19:02

public sector services.

0:19:020:19:04

And Kezia Dugdale herself said,

if nurses and teachers get a pay

0:19:040:19:10

rise in this coming Scottish budget

it will be down to the Greens,

0:19:100:19:13

because we are working

constructively with another

0:19:130:19:15

political party.

0:19:150:19:16

That's what politics

should be about.

0:19:160:19:18

APPLAUSE

0:19:180:19:23

We need to move on,

but Michael Forsyth,

0:19:230:19:25

just on that narrow - it may not be

a narrow point -

0:19:250:19:28

on the single point

of a Royal commission,

0:19:280:19:30

the way Peter Oborne was suggesting,

do you think there's

0:19:300:19:33

any future in that?

0:19:330:19:34

Do you think, despite

the differences?

0:19:340:19:35

I agree with Peter,

because some of the things that

0:19:350:19:37

will come out of it will be

politically very unpopular.

0:19:370:19:40

Like, for example, why should people

who are perfectly able to pay get

0:19:400:19:43

free prescriptions when that money

could be diverted into patient care?

0:19:430:19:46

I mean, there are a whole...

0:19:460:19:48

And this public versus private,

actually, the government which did

0:19:480:19:51

most to advance private

was Tony Blair's government,

0:19:510:19:53

and they did that in order to build

the hospitals and schools.

0:19:530:19:57

You signed for a PFI

hospital in Edinburgh.

0:19:570:20:01

See what I mean?

0:20:010:20:02

We need to actually be able

to have a grown-up discussion.

0:20:020:20:07

Should people have to pay

if they don't turn up to their GP

0:20:070:20:10

for their appointment?

0:20:100:20:11

There are a whole range of things...

0:20:110:20:13

It might have escaped

your attention, Michael,

0:20:130:20:14

but the Labour Party's

under new management.

0:20:140:20:16

OK.

0:20:160:20:17

It's going to go well,

this royal commission, I can see.

0:20:170:20:20

I'm going to move on.

0:20:200:20:21

Just before I do, Question Time

comes from Grantham next Thursday.

0:20:210:20:24

The week after that

we are in Darlington.

0:20:240:20:26

Grantham and then Darlington.

0:20:260:20:31

On the screen is how to apply.

0:20:310:20:33

I was going to...

0:20:330:20:40

Let's have this question

from Marion Thompson, please.

0:20:410:20:43

What does the Presidents Club tell

us about Britain today?

0:20:430:20:45

You all know what the Presidents

Club is, I assume, the party

0:20:450:20:48

at the Dorchester to raise funds

for charity, in which women were,

0:20:480:20:51

according to the Financial Times,

which sent an undercover reporter,

0:20:510:20:55

were abused in various

ways during the evening.

0:20:550:20:58

What does it tell us

about Britain today?

0:20:580:21:00

Maggie Chapman?

0:21:000:21:02

No, I think I'll go to Fiona Hyslop,

because we heard you just last.

0:21:020:21:05

Well, what we've seen

on our screens, and I congratulate

0:21:050:21:09

the FT journalists that undertook

a very brave exercise.

0:21:090:21:12

I think it's appalling.

0:21:120:21:19

It's just absolutely appalling.

0:21:190:21:20

So what does it say

about Britain today?

0:21:200:21:22

We're not as progressive as we think

we are when it comes to the rights

0:21:220:21:25

of women and how men

want to use their power.

0:21:250:21:28

APPLAUSE

0:21:280:21:33

And yes, there are good,

decent men in our society.

0:21:330:21:37

But it's society generally that

still has that sexism.

0:21:370:21:41

And the idea that you could have

institutionalised a ticket price

0:21:410:21:46

for license for sexual harrassment

in this day and age is unbelievable.

0:21:460:21:51

In terms of what that means,

I agree with Carolyn Fairbarn

0:21:510:21:58

from the CBI director-general,

because she made the point that this

0:21:580:22:01

is symptomatic of how power

and influence and networking happen

0:22:010:22:05

more broadly, particularly

in the City of London,

0:22:050:22:07

but perhaps elsewhere

in other areas.

0:22:070:22:11

And if we really want a change,

then these men, and they are men,

0:22:110:22:15

the men at that men-only

Presidents Club, are the leaders

0:22:150:22:18

of their businesses and sometimes

political life and other areas.

0:22:180:22:22

And they are also responsible

for our daughters, our sisters,

0:22:220:22:26

our wives, and indeed our mothers,

as their employees.

0:22:260:22:30

Now, we want women at the top

but we are going to have to get

0:22:300:22:33

the change in the culture of how

people respect women,

0:22:330:22:35

and a change in that balance.

0:22:350:22:37

And I think that's what

the Presidents Club tells us,

0:22:370:22:40

it's got to change.

0:22:400:22:41

Women do not have to put

up with this any more.

0:22:410:22:44

APPLAUSE

0:22:440:22:47

You, sir, over there.

0:22:470:22:53

So how inappropriate was it, then,

that the Minister for Children

0:22:530:22:58

and Families was in attendance

at the Presidents Club?

0:22:580:23:00

Completely inappropriate.

0:23:000:23:04

I mean, quite frankly

I think the whole thing

0:23:040:23:06

is an utter disgrace.

0:23:060:23:07

And for Theresa May to say,

she has done repeatedly over

0:23:070:23:10

the last few months,

that she supports equality, gender

0:23:100:23:12

equality and rights for women,

to not turn round and then sack

0:23:120:23:15

Nadhim Zahawi for being at such

an event, I think it shows just how

0:23:150:23:19

little she really cares

about genuine equality and that

0:23:190:23:24

culture change that Fiona

has been talking about.

0:23:240:23:27

If we don't get real leadership

from our Prime Minister,

0:23:270:23:29

then what on earth are we supposed

to be telling our young people,

0:23:290:23:34

women and children all around us?

0:23:340:23:37

If the Minister for Children

and Families goes to a place

0:23:370:23:41

where you can, where

you are bidding for a lot to

0:23:410:23:45

"add spice to your wife",

0:23:450:23:49

cosmetic surgery for men

to buy for their wives,

0:23:490:23:51

I'm sorry, that is an utter

disgrace and he has no place

0:23:510:23:54

in the British government.

0:23:540:23:55

APPLAUSE

0:23:550:24:02

Let me just, can I just

repeat Marion's question?

0:24:020:24:05

It wasn't just, was it wrong,

the Presidents Club,

0:24:050:24:10

it was what does it tell us

about Britain today?

0:24:100:24:12

Peter Oborne.

0:24:120:24:13

I think what it tells us is that

Britain is changing very fast.

0:24:130:24:16

I mean this deeply distasteful

event passed by without

0:24:160:24:19

notice ten years ago.

0:24:190:24:23

And suddenly there it is, and it

stares at you and it's completely

0:24:230:24:27

horrible and unacceptable.

0:24:270:24:31

That said, if I'd been

Ormond Street Hospital and received

0:24:310:24:36

600,000 or something courtesy,

I cannot for the life

0:24:360:24:40

of me understand why

they've given it back.

0:24:400:24:42

APPLAUSE

0:24:420:24:46

But it also says something quite

important about how our public

0:24:460:24:49

services, Ormond Street Hospital

and the NHS, is funded.

0:24:490:24:54

If it relies on charity

donations from such dinners,

0:24:540:24:57

what kind of world do we inhabit?

0:24:570:25:00

Actually, there is a role

for charities in supporting great

0:25:000:25:07

institutions and saving lives

like the Ormond Street Hospital.

0:25:070:25:10

And one of the saving graces of this

ghastly event is that some money

0:25:100:25:13

has gone to charity,

20 million, we hear,

0:25:130:25:15

and gone to the Ormond Street

Hospital.

0:25:150:25:18

And to the Evelina Hospital

at Saint Thomas',

0:25:180:25:21

the other children's hospital.

0:25:210:25:22

And have they given it back as well?

0:25:220:25:24

They say they are going to give

it back and any gifts

0:25:240:25:27

they've had before.

0:25:270:25:28

The one saving grace of this

ghastliness is that it

0:25:280:25:30

would have saved lives.

0:25:300:25:32

I think we need an explanation of

why they are giving the money back.

0:25:320:25:35

You, sir.

0:25:350:25:37

I'd like to ask the lady

calling for the resignation

0:25:370:25:40

whether she feels responsible

for my behaviour at this event?

0:25:400:25:43

I think somebody who

is there representing,

0:25:430:25:47

who is a representative

of the British government,

0:25:470:25:49

as Nadhim Zahawi is,

attending one of these events,

0:25:490:25:53

I think that's a disgrace.

0:25:530:25:55

He is not just there

as an individual.

0:25:550:25:57

He is there as a minister,

the Minister for Children

0:25:570:26:00

and Families, no less.

0:26:000:26:01

For the Minister for Children

and Families to be at an event

0:26:010:26:04

where women are being groped,

where women are being invited

0:26:040:26:07

upstairs to men's bedrooms,

because they think that's fair game,

0:26:070:26:10

they think that's appropriate,

for women to be asked

0:26:100:26:12

whether they are prostitutes

is completely unacceptable.

0:26:120:26:16

APPLAUSE

0:26:160:26:22

There are only men with their hands

up in the audience to

0:26:220:26:25

speak for the moment.

0:26:250:26:26

Maybe some women

would like to speak.

0:26:260:26:28

Let me come to Michael Forsyth.

0:26:280:26:29

I will come to you.

0:26:290:26:30

Clearly, this was a revolting event

and there were a number

0:26:300:26:33

of men behaving badly.

0:26:330:26:36

But I don't know what went on there,

other than what I've

0:26:360:26:40

read in the newspapers.

0:26:400:26:42

And the Minister has said

that he went along thinking

0:26:420:26:44

it was a charity event.

0:26:440:26:46

He didn't see anything

untoward happening.

0:26:460:26:48

He felt uncomfortable

and he went home.

0:26:480:26:51

And I think really it's

a bit childish to call

0:26:510:26:53

for his resignation.

0:26:530:26:54

I mean, he's condemned the event.

0:26:540:26:56

The event has been closed down.

0:26:560:26:59

What does it say about our

country was the question.

0:26:590:27:02

It just makes me feel

sick to my stomach.

0:27:020:27:06

What it says is that people

are drinking too much

0:27:060:27:09

and behaving very badly,

and that there are still gross

0:27:090:27:11

attitudes towards women,

and that the behaviour of those men

0:27:110:27:14

is at last we have universal

condemnation, and people

0:27:140:27:16

are getting the message that

it's not acceptable.

0:27:160:27:19

It's Burns night.

0:27:190:27:23

I would just describe them

as a parcel of rogues in a nation.

0:27:230:27:27

You, sir.

0:27:270:27:34

With regards to the charity

giving the money back,

0:27:340:27:38

there is such a thing

as dirty money.

0:27:380:27:40

And when he says what does it

mean about our society,

0:27:400:27:47

it means that our society has got

a misconstrued moral compass.

0:27:470:27:50

It doesn't seem to matter.

0:27:500:27:53

Sometimes money seems

to talk to everyone.

0:27:530:27:55

To say they should not give

the money back was wrong.

0:27:550:28:00

I think it's absolutely spot on.

0:28:000:28:02

The woman up there.

0:28:020:28:05

Yes.

0:28:050:28:08

I just think that with you saying

that he's left and he's

0:28:080:28:13

embarrassed about it,

why didn't he say anything?

0:28:130:28:15

He was there.

0:28:150:28:17

I think it's ridiculous

to assume that he was there

0:28:170:28:20

and he didn't see anything.

0:28:200:28:22

What was he doing, walking around

with his hands over his eyes?

0:28:220:28:25

How many girls were at that party?

0:28:250:28:27

OK, he left embarrassed,

but why didn't he blow the whistle,

0:28:270:28:29

why didn't he say something?

0:28:290:28:32

Well, I think what it says to me

is that there are very rich,

0:28:320:28:35

powerful people in this country

who still think they have a sense

0:28:350:28:38

of entitlement to abuse and exploit

people at their whim.

0:28:380:28:41

And Maggie made a really

important point.

0:28:410:28:42

APPLAUSE

0:28:420:28:47

What kind of country do we want,

when a great institution

0:28:470:28:50

like Great Ormond Street Hospital

is reliant upon charity from these

0:28:500:28:52

types of individuals?

0:28:520:28:55

And there is another

point I want to make

0:28:550:29:01

which is really important,

I think, and it is this.

0:29:010:29:04

Many of those very wealthy

individuals attending that the event

0:29:040:29:07

will no doubt have employed smart

accountants to avoid their taxes.

0:29:070:29:12

Rather than actually

avoiding their taxes,

0:29:120:29:14

they should be grateful

to pay their taxes to support

0:29:140:29:16

our public services.

0:29:160:29:18

Clem Attlee summed

it up beautifully.

0:29:180:29:21

Let me just read a very

short quote from him.

0:29:210:29:23

He said, "Charity is a cold,

grey, loveless thing.

0:29:230:29:27

"If a rich man wants to help

the poor, he should pay his taxes

0:29:270:29:30

"gladly, not dole out

money at a whim".

0:29:300:29:35

And I think this thing

at the Presidents Club absolutely

0:29:350:29:38

sums up what is wrong with this

society at the moment.

0:29:380:29:40

APPLAUSE

0:29:400:29:44

Yes, you.

0:29:440:29:46

I think it's just "lad culture"

with very rich men who are able

0:29:460:29:49

to pay for this kind of thing.

0:29:490:29:51

If any girl has been to university,

they are very clear what this type

0:29:510:29:54

of culture is, and you are kind

of just told to accept it.

0:29:540:29:57

So it's just part of

the bigger issue that we need

0:29:570:30:00

to tackle in society, surely.

0:30:000:30:01

OK.

0:30:010:30:05

APPLAUSE.

0:30:050:30:10

We'll move on to another question.

0:30:100:30:11

Peter Court, let's

have your question?

0:30:110:30:13

Is the Labour Party being taken over

by Momentum extremists?

0:30:130:30:17

Well, Chris Williamson

was a Corbyn supporter,

0:30:170:30:21

a member of the Shadow Cabinet

until a week ago,

0:30:210:30:23

a couple of weeks ago.

0:30:230:30:28

I will come to you, Chris,

but Peter Oborne, what do you think,

0:30:280:30:32

has the party been taken over,

whatever that means,

0:30:320:30:34

the majority of it been taken over?

0:30:340:30:36

I think it's a little

bit too early to say.

0:30:360:30:38

I think a lot of the reporting

of this is hysterical.

0:30:380:30:41

And there's one area at least

where I'm rather in favour

0:30:410:30:46

of Momentum and that's in Haringey.

0:30:460:30:49

You are reading everywhere

about the horror of these mad

0:30:490:30:54

people, these Marxist Lennonists

seizing control in Haringey,

0:30:540:30:58

but what's actually happening

in Haringey, I have lots of friends

0:30:580:31:02

there, is that this horrible private

partnership development invented

0:31:020:31:07

by the Labour Blairite council

bringing in billions of private

0:31:070:31:11

sector money is wiping out

huge areas of Haringey,

0:31:110:31:14

destroying it, ruining communities

and it's not just demented

0:31:140:31:19

lefties who're against it,

loads of sensible people

0:31:190:31:23

are against this thing

which is going on in Haringey.

0:31:230:31:25

I'd just like to be a little

bit suspicious of some

0:31:250:31:30

of the things which I'm

reading about Momentum.

0:31:300:31:34

OK.

0:31:340:31:35

Fiona Hyslop?

0:31:350:31:36

The answer is, I don't

know if Labour is being

0:31:360:31:40

taken over by Momentum.

0:31:400:31:43

I think it's more potentially

what is happening in England,

0:31:430:31:46

rather than what's necessarily

happening in Scotland.

0:31:460:31:48

I think in terms of where Labour is,

I think people don't know

0:31:480:31:51

where they stand on so many things.

0:31:510:31:53

That's the problem because I think

a lot of the young people,

0:31:530:31:56

not in Scotland but in England voted

for the Labour Party thinking

0:31:560:31:59

that they would stand up

against what was happening

0:31:590:32:01

in Brexit, whereas Jeremy Corbyn

is actually siding with

0:32:010:32:04

the Conservative Party on so much

of the Brexit issues.

0:32:040:32:07

So I think there's a great deal

of I think smoke and mirrors.

0:32:070:32:10

The fact that in Scotland,

and I think in England,

0:32:100:32:13

they don't want to tell people

what their position is on what Peter

0:32:130:32:16

and indeed Michael Forsyth's

described as one of the biggest

0:32:160:32:22

issues facing the country

for a generation.

0:32:220:32:24

If you are aspiring to Government,

people have to know where you stand

0:32:240:32:29

and I think that's the difficulty

people have with Labour just now

0:32:290:32:32

but it's their private grief,

it's a different party,

0:32:320:32:35

it's up to them to

explain themselves.

0:32:350:32:38

I think people are confused

as to what Labour stand for but it's

0:32:380:32:41

very dangerous if they're siding

with the Conservatives on a number

0:32:410:32:44

of issues while pretending to be

in favour of the working class

0:32:440:32:47

and defending their interests

and sometimes I think we should be

0:32:470:32:49

asking more probing questions

and I think that's something the

0:32:490:32:57

media could do far more of as well.

0:32:570:32:59

Peter Court, what do you think?

0:32:590:33:00

After Jeremy Corbyn was elected

as leader of the Labour Party and it

0:33:000:33:04

seems to have been infiltrated

by the far left who're

0:33:040:33:07

there to protect him from those

who're against him within the Labour

0:33:070:33:10

Party.

0:33:100:33:11

I think the Labour Party's going

so far left it's gone off the page.

0:33:110:33:15

Jeremy Corbyn is a Marxist,

John McDonnell wouldn't deny

0:33:150:33:19

that he was a Marxist

when he was interviewed

0:33:190:33:22

by Andrew Marr.

0:33:220:33:25

And Dianne Abbott,

I don't know where she is,

0:33:250:33:30

but I would never let her run

a bath, never mind a party.

0:33:300:33:36

APPLAUSE.

0:33:360:33:37

OK.

0:33:370:33:38

Chris Williamson?

0:33:380:33:39

Look, Momentum are not

extremists, absolutely not.

0:33:390:33:42

And if you look at the Labour Party

now, it's an exercise in democracy.

0:33:420:33:45

We are now a mass movement.

0:33:450:33:47

The Labour Party has more members

than all of the other parties put

0:33:470:33:51

together by some distance.

0:33:510:33:53

When you say we are extremists,

is it that the Labour Party

0:33:530:33:59

is putting forward now.

0:33:590:34:00

One thing is, we are opposing

austerity unlike the SNP supported

0:34:000:34:03

by the Greens who're implementing

austerity here in Scotland.

0:34:030:34:05

We're not.

0:34:050:34:06

We are on the side

of the British people.

0:34:060:34:08

If you look at the opinion polls,

where the British people are at,

0:34:080:34:11

the British people want to see

the utilities brought back

0:34:110:34:14

into public ownership.

0:34:140:34:15

They want to see

tuition fees scrapped.

0:34:150:34:23

They want to see the economy working

for ordinary people.

0:34:230:34:25

They want to see investment

in our National Health Service,

0:34:250:34:27

they want to see investment

in our schools and education.

0:34:270:34:30

We want to give people a stake

in our economy, we want to build

0:34:300:34:33

the houses people want.

0:34:330:34:34

We can create...

0:34:340:34:35

Where's the money coming for this?

0:34:350:34:37

How much will it cost

to renationalise the industries?

0:34:370:34:39

It's a free ticket essentially, Sir,

because they are revenue-generating

0:34:390:34:41

bodies aren't they, so any cost

would be met by the revenue

0:34:410:34:49

which we have generated.

0:34:490:34:50

For example take the railways,

what we have said with

0:34:500:34:53

the Train Operating Companies

is that we'd take them back

0:34:530:34:55

into public ownership

as the franchises come

0:34:550:34:57

up for renewal.

0:34:570:34:58

It's not Labour Party policy,

it's Momentum that's interesting

0:34:580:35:00

and one of the things

you and Momentum want

0:35:000:35:02

is for candidates to face mandatory

reselection for instance,

0:35:020:35:06

which is always used as a kind

of code for changing the nature

0:35:060:35:09

of the Labour Party.

0:35:090:35:11

You are in favour of

mandatory reselection?

0:35:110:35:13

Well, that's not Momentum policy

as I understand it certainly I've

0:35:130:35:16

spoken in favour of mandatory

reselection because,

0:35:160:35:18

if you think about it,

there's no other elected position

0:35:180:35:21

in this country which doesn't have

to face a periodic endorsement.

0:35:210:35:23

Do you think half the Labour Party

are on the wrong tap,

0:35:230:35:26

the ones who oppose Corbyn?

0:35:260:35:27

Listen, I've been in

the Labour Party...

0:35:270:35:29

I'm talking about the

MPs in Westminster.

0:35:290:35:33

Yes OK but they are not

the Labour Party are they, they're

0:35:330:35:37

the Parliamentary Labour Party,

they're Parliamentary Labour Party,

0:35:370:35:40

they're an important part

of the Labour Party.

0:35:400:35:42

But the Labour Party comprises

for getting on for 600,000 members.

0:35:420:35:44

When you take into account

registered members,

0:35:440:35:46

it's 800,000 members.

0:35:460:35:48

The Labour Party's never been more

united and we are on the side

0:35:480:35:52

of the British people,

we want an economy that

0:35:520:35:55

works for everyone.

0:35:550:35:57

No, no, no, it's not

about being far left.

0:35:570:35:59

If you are talking about being far

left, Sir, we actually support

0:35:590:36:02

bringing the railways back

into public ownership.

0:36:020:36:04

You have said all of that.

0:36:040:36:05

I'm going to stop you.

0:36:050:36:06

That's where the British people

are at, that's what they want.

0:36:060:36:09

Let me repeat the question -

is the Labour Party being taken over

0:36:090:36:12

by Momentum extremists was the word.

0:36:120:36:13

Michael Forsyth?

0:36:130:36:14

That's certainly their objective

which is why they want reselection.

0:36:140:36:17

If I talk to me friends

at the Labour Party in Westminster,

0:36:170:36:20

who're what I would describe

as reasonable, old-fashioned Labour

0:36:200:36:22

people, they're terrified

at the prospects and they're

0:36:220:36:26

under great pressure.

0:36:260:36:27

That is the objective

and Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell

0:36:270:36:32

are dangerous left-wingers who'd

ruin this country and take

0:36:320:36:36

us back to the 1970s.

0:36:360:36:39

APPLAUSE.

0:36:400:36:41

However, I would just like to thank

the Scottish Nationalist party

0:36:410:36:49

because twice in my lifetime,

the Scottish Nationalist party,

0:36:490:36:53

their policy on the constitution

back in the late 70s,

0:36:530:36:58

they brought down a Labour

Government and made it possible

0:36:580:37:02

for us to get Margaret Thatcher

as Prime Minister.

0:37:020:37:04

Rubbish.

0:37:040:37:07

And at the last general election,

by insisting on a second referendum,

0:37:070:37:10

we managed to get 13 Conservative

MPs, 13 Conservative MPs elected

0:37:100:37:14

to Westminster which saved us.

0:37:140:37:19

APPLAUSE.

0:37:190:37:26

We won the election.

0:37:260:37:28

APPLAUSE.

0:37:280:37:30

The question is not about the SNP,

it's about Labour and Momentum.

0:37:300:37:32

Maggie?

0:37:320:37:33

Just to pick up a couple of things

that have been said.

0:37:330:37:36

I think it was George Osborne

who said he wanted to reduce public

0:37:360:37:39

sector spending to 1930s levels,

so I mean, that kind of austerity

0:37:390:37:43

that we've experienced at the hand

of the Tories doesn't

0:37:430:37:47

bear thinking about.

0:37:470:37:49

I think many people support quite

a lot of what Momentum

0:37:490:37:52

and Jeremy Corbyn are trying to do,

but to say that the Greens

0:37:520:37:55

are propping up an austerity

Government in Scotland is ludicrous.

0:37:550:37:58

APPLAUSE.

0:37:580:37:59

In Scotland, last year,

the Scottish Greens got

0:37:590:38:02

the biggest ever concession out

of a Scottish Government

0:38:020:38:06

in the budget process.

0:38:060:38:08

We stopped £160 million worth

of cuts in Scotland.

0:38:080:38:11

Labour sat by and did nothing.

0:38:110:38:13

We put income tax up

for the highest owners,

0:38:130:38:16

the vast majority of people

in Scotland will pay less tax.

0:38:160:38:19

Scotland will be the lowest taxed

area of the UK for normal people.

0:38:190:38:22

APPLAUSE.

0:38:220:38:25

OK.

0:38:250:38:29

I do understand why but we keep

sliding away from the Labour Party

0:38:290:38:33

at Westminster and Momentum

into Scottish politics, but does

0:38:330:38:35

anybody want to say a word about...

0:38:350:38:37

We are in Scotland.

0:38:370:38:38

I had noticed that funnily

enough and it's Burns

0:38:380:38:40

Night for that matter.

0:38:400:38:42

We are knowingly in Dumfries.

0:38:420:38:43

You, Sir, in the second row?

0:38:430:38:47

I would like to ask a Labour MP,

if your party is so big

0:38:470:38:50

and powerful in coming forward,

how come the best you have got

0:38:500:38:54

to offer is Jeremy Corbyn?

0:38:540:39:01

APPLAUSE.

0:39:010:39:02

In my humble opinion,

Jeremy Corbyn is the best leader

0:39:020:39:04

that the Labour Party's ever

produced and would be

0:39:040:39:06

the greatest Prime Minister this

country's ever seen.

0:39:060:39:10

He'll have a reforming agenda that

will make this country work

0:39:100:39:13

for ordinary people and eradicate

poverty and have an economy that

0:39:130:39:16

actually gives people a stake

in society, a decent future,

0:39:160:39:19

decent pension and decent

public services.

0:39:190:39:21

What's not the like about that?

0:39:210:39:26

I can remember what it was like

when the Labour Party

0:39:260:39:30

left office in 2010.

0:39:300:39:36

Debt, bills not paid and notes

to say good luck Conservative.

0:39:360:39:38

There's no money left.

0:39:380:39:40

APPLAUSE.

0:39:400:39:43

I'm old enough to remember

what it was like when the public

0:39:430:39:46

utilities in the '70s were in most

of Labour's hands, strike

0:39:460:39:50

after strike after all-out,

all-out and everything

0:39:500:39:54

in the intercity.

0:39:540:39:57

You talk about trains.

0:39:570:39:58

Intercity.

0:39:580:39:59

You've got a short memory.

0:39:590:40:01

The Conservatives doubled that.

0:40:010:40:05

The man at the back?

0:40:050:40:06

Then we'll move on.

0:40:060:40:09

Utilities are actually state-owned.

0:40:090:40:12

The energy market is owned

by the French government mainly,

0:40:120:40:15

your railways are owned by the Dutch

and German government

0:40:150:40:20

and the Royal Mail's part owned

by the German government

0:40:200:40:23

so they are state owned, just not

Great Britain that owns them.

0:40:230:40:26

APPLAUSE.

0:40:260:40:27

OK.

0:40:270:40:31

All right, let's go on.

0:40:310:40:33

David James, let's have

your question, please?

0:40:330:40:36

During Brexit we'll

have a pro-British US President.

0:40:360:40:39

Isn't that tremendous?

0:40:390:40:44

OK.

0:40:440:40:45

This is in the light presumably

of Donald Trump at Davos today

0:40:450:40:48

saying there is going to be

a tremendous increase in trade

0:40:480:40:54

between Britain and America

and we love your country.

0:40:540:40:56

Who'd like to start on this?

0:40:560:40:57

Peter Oborne?

0:40:570:40:59

Absolutely tremendous.

0:40:590:41:01

I think that it's in the national

interest that we should

0:41:010:41:05

have excellent relations

with the United States of America.

0:41:050:41:07

They've long been our closest

allie, they are going

0:41:070:41:09

to be our trading allie.

0:41:090:41:15

Mr Trump, massive issues

about Mr Trump, he's

0:41:150:41:18

a foul, he's a racist...

0:41:180:41:19

APPLAUSE.

0:41:190:41:24

He's a danger I think in particular

to America more than the world

0:41:240:41:28

I think actually but it does not

mean that Britain should not

0:41:280:41:32

welcome him in which we are hearing

there'll be a visit later this year.

0:41:320:41:37

I can't help noticing,

when you read the grand

0:41:370:41:41

media of panjandrums.

0:41:410:41:44

You are one of them aren't you?

0:41:440:41:45

Not quite.

0:41:450:41:48

Not the grandest?

0:41:480:41:50

And President Macron of France,

he announces he's going to a state

0:41:500:41:54

visit with Trump, everybody said

isn't Macron marvellous

0:41:540:41:57

and sue superb, isn't

he brilliant at pursuing

0:41:570:42:03

visit with Trump, everybody said

isn't Macron marvellous and superb,

0:42:030:42:06

isn't he brilliant at pursuing

French national interests.

0:42:060:42:08

But when it's suggested that

Theresa May should do

0:42:080:42:10

the same thing with Trump,

exactly the same people condemn her.

0:42:100:42:13

APPLAUSE.

0:42:130:42:14

Do you think Trump is pro-British

in the sense that it will help us

0:42:140:42:19

with trade deals despite...

0:42:190:42:23

For all of his many faults,

Trump's got a Scottish mother.

0:42:230:42:59

Bot and the significance of that?

I've got a Scottish mother, it's

0:43:000:43:03

significant, I

0:43:030:43:03

I think the idea that somebody else

will have preferential treatment

0:43:080:43:12

will be secondary, absolutely to the

protectionism of Donald Trump for

0:43:120:43:17

his interests. And whatever it may

be. The issue we have on trade, and

0:43:170:43:21

this is the real problem, is if it's

a race to the bottom on whether it's

0:43:210:43:28

workers rights, regulations or

whether it's on agriculture, premium

0:43:280:43:31

agriculture that we have, if we have

flooded US produce that could ruin

0:43:310:43:37

our ago cultural sector, that is

something that is a very serious

0:43:370:43:41

implication, not just of our

relationship with Donald Trump but

0:43:410:43:44

what type of deal would the UK try

to pursue with Donald Trump because

0:43:440:43:48

they'll be desperate to get one

because it looks as if there is no

0:43:480:43:53

prospect for all the wonderful free

trade deals. It doesn't seem as

0:43:530:43:57

though that will be an option.

Single customs union will protect

0:43:570:44:02

our interests and agriculture and

economy as well.

0:44:020:44:13

economy as well.

You there?

I agree

with Fiona. I think Donald Trump

0:44:130:44:19

will be bad for business. I'm

thinking of Bombardier. That's the

0:44:190:44:24

thin end of the wedge. Agriculture

and things like that, they'll force

0:44:240:44:29

the type of food on that we do not

really want in this country.

0:44:290:44:34

The woman at the back?

0:44:340:44:39

As an American citizen, I urge you

to watch your backs.

Why so?

Because

0:44:430:44:50

I think Trump is a villain and I

think he will manipulate Britain

0:44:500:44:54

into trade deals they can't

extricate themselves from, and

0:44:540:44:57

Britain will be the loser.

0:44:570:45:00

David James, what do you think?

0:45:000:45:01

I see Mr Trump as a fairly

emotional person.

0:45:010:45:05

I think we have a great opportunity

here because of his Scottish

0:45:050:45:08

and British connection.

0:45:080:45:09

I think if we are friendly to him,

he will be a better friend to us

0:45:090:45:13

than Jean-Claude Juncker has been.

0:45:130:45:14

OK.

0:45:140:45:15

Chris Williamson.

0:45:150:45:19

Well, you know, I'm very suspicious,

and I think wise words

0:45:190:45:22

from our American friend at the back

of the audience there.

0:45:220:45:25

I remember at his inauguration,

Donald Trump saying,

0:45:250:45:27

remember, "America

first, America first".

0:45:270:45:28

We are in a parlous position,

and this government is in a parlous

0:45:280:45:32

position, a very weak position,

if we think our salvation

0:45:320:45:37

is negotiating a trade deal

with the United States

0:45:370:45:39

of America under Donald Trump.

0:45:390:45:42

It would be a disaster

for this country.

0:45:420:45:44

And we need, in my view,

to work more closely

0:45:440:45:46

with our colleagues in Europe,

to ensure that we have access

0:45:460:45:49

to the single market.

0:45:490:45:52

That is the biggest

market in the world.

0:45:520:45:56

That's what we need to be doing,

rather than this nonsense of trying

0:45:560:45:59

to negotiate some sort of a deal

with the Americans.

0:45:590:46:03

Michael Forsyth.

0:46:030:46:07

Isn't it tremendous

that we have a pro-British US

0:46:070:46:09

President during Brexit,

was the question.

0:46:090:46:11

Actually, in the main,

US Presidents are pro-British.

0:46:110:46:14

We have a very strong alliance

with the United States.

0:46:140:46:16

We depend on each other for security

in Europe and the Western world.

0:46:160:46:21

But I think we need to look

just beyond America.

0:46:210:46:24

I mean, it's Burns Night, and his

address to the Dumfries Volunteers,

0:46:240:46:31

do you remember it?

0:46:310:46:33

"Be Briton still to Britain true,

among ourselves united.

0:46:330:46:37

"For never but with British hands

will British wrongs be righted".

0:46:370:46:42

We don't need the President

of the United States in order

0:46:420:46:44

to survive as a country.

0:46:440:46:46

When we've left the European Union,

we will be able to do business

0:46:460:46:50

with the rest of the world.

0:46:500:46:51

And just as Donald Trump

wants to do his best

0:46:510:46:54

for America, so we should

do our best for Britain.

0:46:540:46:56

That's my view.

0:46:560:46:57

APPLAUSE

0:46:570:47:04

Maggie Chapman.

0:47:040:47:05

I think some of the real

danger of potential trade

0:47:050:47:07

deals with America are,

as Fiona says, a reduction

0:47:070:47:11

in environmental standards,

a reduction in human rights,

0:47:110:47:15

in workers' rights.

0:47:150:47:17

Because, as the woman at the back

as well said earlier,

0:47:170:47:22

Trump will negotiate

in his interests and

0:47:220:47:23

his interests alone.

0:47:230:47:25

They are not going to be

in the interests of workers here.

0:47:250:47:28

They are not going to be

in the interests of companies

0:47:280:47:31

and providers and people who support

the British economy.

0:47:310:47:33

It's his bottom line that matters

to him, and that is it.

0:47:330:47:39

And are you impressed

by the accord there seemed to be

0:47:390:47:41

between the Prime Minister

and the President today at Davos?

0:47:410:47:44

Does it impress me?

0:47:440:47:46

Are your withers wrung by that?

0:47:460:47:47

No.

0:47:470:47:49

No, OK.

0:47:490:47:50

Does anything impress you?

0:47:500:47:51

Lots impresses me, when it's worthy

of being impressed by, yes.

0:47:510:47:56

The person up there

on the far left, yes.

0:47:560:47:59

In Scotland, we've already got our

own two mini Trump trade deals.

0:47:590:48:03

We've got two golf courses that

don't make any profits,

0:48:030:48:08

that have failed to deliver

on the jobs that they were promised,

0:48:080:48:11

and that are actually claiming small

business rates relief,

0:48:110:48:18

so they are not contributing at all.

0:48:180:48:20

And you, sir, on the gangway here.

0:48:200:48:21

The man in the white shirt.

0:48:210:48:25

By the time this government's

got Brexit sorted out,

0:48:250:48:27

Donald Trump will be long gone.

0:48:270:48:29

All right.

0:48:290:48:30

OK, let's go on to another question.

0:48:300:48:34

All right, a brief

point from you, sir.

0:48:340:48:36

Do we really need to be negotiating

with a man who would have

0:48:360:48:39

attended a men-only event,

and also would allow it

0:48:390:48:41

in one of his hotels?

0:48:410:48:42

Right.

0:48:420:48:50

I want to go on to this question

from Robert Jardine, please.

0:48:500:48:53

It's a question that

we've had in a number

0:48:530:48:55

of places on Question Time.

0:48:550:48:56

We've never actually addressed it.

0:48:560:48:57

Let's have your question.

0:48:570:49:01

Should the closing of the bank

branches not be more

0:49:010:49:04

than a commercial decision,

especially in a rural

0:49:040:49:06

area like this?

0:49:060:49:08

APPLAUSE

0:49:080:49:16

We know that the closure

of banks is causing real hardship

0:49:160:49:21

and trouble to people.

0:49:210:49:24

Should it be more than

a commercial decision?

0:49:240:49:25

Should there be some intervention

to stop it happening?

0:49:250:49:28

Michael Forsyth, you're a banker.

0:49:280:49:29

I don't know whether you bank

in that kind of banking world.

0:49:290:49:32

Am I allowed to do a show of hands?

0:49:320:49:34

If I did a show of hands...

0:49:340:49:36

No, you aren't.

0:49:360:49:37

You know what happens

to people who try and do show

0:49:370:49:39

of hands on this programme.

0:49:390:49:40

They are expelled.

0:49:400:49:41

If I had been allowed

to do a show of hands,

0:49:410:49:44

I would have asked people to say how

many people had visited

0:49:440:49:47

their branch in the last month.

0:49:470:49:48

Maybe they haven't got a branch.

0:49:480:49:50

Well, indeed.

0:49:500:49:51

They do have a branch of their bank,

and the fact is that increasingly

0:49:510:49:54

we are not using bank branches.

0:49:540:49:56

But having said that, in rural

areas, just like post offices,

0:49:560:49:58

the banks are really very important.

0:49:580:50:00

And what we need to do is to try

and get some arrangement

0:50:000:50:07

where we can get services,

perhaps through a community shop

0:50:070:50:09

or other, and remove

some of the rigidities

0:50:090:50:11

there are between services.

0:50:110:50:12

That's the best I can offer.

0:50:120:50:13

But you can't expect the banks

to run services which people

0:50:130:50:16

are no longer using.

0:50:160:50:17

More people are online.

0:50:170:50:22

More people do not go

to their bank as such,

0:50:220:50:24

and I just think it would be great

to have the past, but it's

0:50:240:50:27

just no longer possible

because the world has changed.

0:50:270:50:29

RBS are closing 259.

0:50:290:50:31

We had the RBS

chairman in last week.

0:50:310:50:33

We didn't get the question.

0:50:330:50:34

You, sir, what do you think?

0:50:340:50:37

I think closing all these banks,

if you take this area

0:50:370:50:40

from Stranraer to Berwick,

you mentioned the Royal Bank

0:50:400:50:46

of Scotland, I think there is only

going to be either one

0:50:460:50:49

or two in that area,

the whole width of Dumfries

0:50:490:50:51

and Galloway and the Scottish

Borders.

0:50:510:50:53

The people that use those

banks are probably not

0:50:530:50:55

people that use online.

0:50:550:50:57

Disabled, people who are out

in the country with no

0:50:570:51:01

connection to online.

0:51:010:51:02

And I think you're taking away

from the rural area.

0:51:020:51:06

But could we not do something

with the post offices?

0:51:060:51:09

Maggie Chapman.

0:51:090:51:12

There are a couple of issues in this

and I absolutely agree with you.

0:51:120:51:16

This is an example...

0:51:160:51:17

RBS, which is actually a public bank

at the moment, remember that.

0:51:170:51:22

RBS has been slimmed down so it can

be flogged off at rock bottom prices

0:51:220:51:25

to the private sector,

just like the British government

0:51:250:51:27

did with Royal Mail.

0:51:270:51:32

Remember, George Osborne's best man

benefited from the sale

0:51:320:51:35

of Royal Mail to the tune of tens

of millions of pounds.

0:51:350:51:40

That's what I'm really,

really concerned is happening here.

0:51:400:51:43

Sorry, you've lost me there.

0:51:430:51:46

I don't know what George Osborne's

best man has got to do with it.

0:51:460:51:51

We're talking about banks and...

0:51:510:51:52

It's been slimmed down

so it can be sold off.

0:51:520:51:54

The public are currently the biggest

owners of Royal Bank.

0:51:540:51:59

Yes.

0:51:590:52:00

Do they want it to

make a profit or not?

0:52:000:52:02

Do you want to see RBS

make a profit or not?

0:52:020:52:05

If it's slimmed down like this,

it's not going to be

0:52:050:52:08

able to make a profit,

and therefore it

0:52:080:52:10

will be flogged off.

0:52:100:52:11

The other real concern that

I have is branches that

0:52:110:52:14

are being closed down,

particularly in rural areas.

0:52:140:52:18

It's all very well to say

people are moving online.

0:52:180:52:21

It's rural areas with the weakest

broadband, with the slowest

0:52:210:52:23

internet connections.

0:52:230:52:24

Where is the infrastructure

investment for that?

0:52:240:52:26

APPLAUSE

0:52:260:52:31

Fiona Hyslop.

0:52:310:52:32

Well, in terms of the Royal Bank

of Scotland, they've already closed

0:52:320:52:35

a good number of branches.

0:52:350:52:40

I think the issue is that people

are moving on to online banking.

0:52:400:52:43

But there are basic issues around

what businesses can do,

0:52:430:52:45

particularly in rural areas,

small businesses, reliant

0:52:450:52:47

on regular deposits,

and what they can do there.

0:52:470:52:53

But the important thing

here is they are not even

0:52:530:52:56

doing it to save money.

0:52:560:52:57

We've had evidence this

week from the Royal Bank

0:52:570:52:59

that they are not doing it

to save money.

0:52:590:53:01

What are they doing it for?

0:53:010:53:03

They are doing it because they are

trying to respond to customers

0:53:030:53:05

who are moving more on digital.

0:53:050:53:07

Therefore, the point of the question

was should it be more

0:53:070:53:10

than a consideration

of commercial banking.

0:53:100:53:13

Well, if it was a 100% privately

owned bank, one thing,

0:53:130:53:15

but if a government majority

in terms of the ownership

0:53:150:53:18

of that bank, that's

a completely different question.

0:53:180:53:23

And that's why I think the interests

of the rural economies in particular

0:53:230:53:26

have to be borne in mind.

0:53:260:53:28

This idea that you can

rely on the Post Office,

0:53:280:53:31

I had a Royal Bank closed

in my constituency in

0:53:310:53:36

Whitburn in October.

0:53:360:53:37

They hadn't even spoken

to the Post Office at the beginning

0:53:370:53:39

of the process to make sure that,

one, there was disabled access,

0:53:390:53:42

that the Post Office could be

trained in all this.

0:53:420:53:45

And if it's the last bank in town,

remember that promise,

0:53:450:53:48

the last bank in town?

0:53:480:53:50

So I think there is a self interest

in ensuring we can keep

0:53:500:53:53

customers in rural areas,

and yes, it's important we make

0:53:530:53:56

sure that rural areas

in particular are protected.

0:53:560:53:58

I don't think they thought of that.

0:53:580:54:00

OK, you, sir.

0:54:000:54:01

I do use rural banks in this

area as much as I can.

0:54:010:54:07

And often I find that

actually there is a queue.

0:54:070:54:11

So the rural banks are

used quite extensively.

0:54:110:54:13

It seems really silly

that they would be removed

0:54:130:54:16

from local communities who really

need as many services

0:54:160:54:21

as they can get.

0:54:210:54:25

You, sir, up there.

0:54:250:54:27

I think the regulators need to be

held accountable and brought in more

0:54:270:54:30

responsibly to try and hold

the banks to account,

0:54:300:54:35

because clearly they are still

conducting themselves however

0:54:350:54:40

they see fit and self-interest.

0:54:400:54:41

Peter Oborne.

0:54:410:54:42

I can imagine a discussion

going on in Dumfries in 1840.

0:54:420:54:45

The railways have turned up,

and there is a vigorous discussion

0:54:450:54:51

about the need to keep horse

and carriage businesses

0:54:510:54:53

in operation.

0:54:530:54:57

And the world is changing

unbelievably fast.

0:54:570:55:00

And I think the answer is not

to try and sort of stay

0:55:000:55:05

in a structure which has gone,

but to look for creative solutions.

0:55:050:55:12

OK.

0:55:120:55:13

May I just make a point on that?

0:55:130:55:15

No.

0:55:150:55:16

Chris, very brief, if you would.

0:55:160:55:20

Closing bank branches is not

a creative solution, it seems to me.

0:55:200:55:23

Look, the banks in this country seem

to me to be behaving

0:55:230:55:25

like corporate scroungers.

0:55:250:55:26

It's not that long ago, is it,

that they had their hand out

0:55:260:55:30

for £350 billion of public money.

0:55:300:55:31

So surely it's time for them to put

something back, isn't it,

0:55:310:55:34

into the local community?

0:55:340:55:40

They make enough money,

and they could quite easily provide

0:55:400:55:42

this social service that is required

still, there are long queues,

0:55:420:55:45

as the gentleman has said.

0:55:450:55:46

Let's keep the bank branches open.

0:55:460:55:48

We have a minute and a half left.

0:55:480:55:50

I will take a question

from Doreen Reid, please and I'll

0:55:500:55:53

whizz round the panel with it.

0:55:530:55:55

In the current climate,

does the panel think £500,000

0:55:550:55:57

per week salary is appropriate

for a professional sports person?

0:55:570:56:03

This was the footballer who this

week, I think, was signed up...

0:56:030:56:06

Sanchez.

0:56:060:56:07

Yes.

0:56:070:56:11

Signed up for 500,000

a week for 52 weeks.

0:56:110:56:15

Peter Oborne.

0:56:150:56:17

What a week.

0:56:170:56:18

Jimmy Armfield, that great servant

of English football,

0:56:180:56:22

played for England, £20 a week,

honest as the day is long.

0:56:220:56:30

And then £600,000 a week being paid.

0:56:300:56:36

It is the market but it

makes me very, very uneasy.

0:56:360:56:38

Man U.

0:56:380:56:39

I should have had that figure there.

0:56:390:56:41

Sanchez.

0:56:410:56:42

Yeah, Sanchez has gone

from Arsenal to Man U,

0:56:420:56:44

he's being paid 650,000 a week.

0:56:440:56:46

It makes you feel a bit sick.

0:56:460:56:47

When you consider that most

of the people watching him play

0:56:470:56:50

are probably on about 25

grand a year.

0:56:500:56:52

They earn less in an hour

than he does in a week.

0:56:520:56:59

Is it appropriate?

0:56:590:57:00

Just round the table,

because we've got to stop.

0:57:000:57:02

No.

0:57:020:57:03

Is it appropriate?

0:57:030:57:05

Completely inappropriate,

and many of these Premiership clubs

0:57:050:57:06

don't even pay the living wage

to the people who actually keep

0:57:060:57:09

the club going, so no, it's wrong.

0:57:090:57:11

Is it the market,

or is it appropriate?

0:57:110:57:13

Well, provided he is paying tax

at 45% plus National Insurance

0:57:130:57:17

at 12% and employers

National Insurance at 16%, yes,

0:57:170:57:20

it is, because we need the money

for the health service.

0:57:200:57:22

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE.

0:57:220:57:28

Very brief.

0:57:280:57:29

Yes or no?

0:57:290:57:30

No, it's absolutely not appropriate.

0:57:300:57:31

We need a high pay commission,

because high pay actually

0:57:310:57:33

drives inequality.

0:57:330:57:35

And because it's not

taxed appropriately,

0:57:350:57:36

and that's what we need to change.

0:57:360:57:38

Inequality is the biggest problem

that we are facing at the moment

0:57:380:57:41

and that's what we need to tackle.

0:57:410:57:43

All right, thanks.

0:57:430:57:44

APPLAUSE

0:57:440:57:47

That's it, I'm afraid.

0:57:470:57:48

Time is up.

0:57:480:57:50

Next Thursday we're

going to be in Grantham.

0:57:500:57:53

Justine Greening, the former

Education Secretary,

0:57:530:57:56

who refused to be shunted

by the Prime Minister

0:57:560:57:59

at the recent reshuffle,

is going to be there.

0:57:590:58:01

The week after that we are going

to be in Darlington.

0:58:010:58:03

So Grantham, then Darlington.

0:58:030:58:05

There's the number

on the screen to call.

0:58:050:58:06

Or you can go to the website

and apply there, which

0:58:060:58:09

you may find easier.

0:58:090:58:12

If you want to have your say,

your further say on the things

0:58:120:58:15

we have been talking

about tonight, you can join

0:58:150:58:18

Question Time Extra Time,

which is on BBC 5 Live,

0:58:180:58:20

on Radio 5 Live.

0:58:200:58:23

Equally, if you want to see it

at the end of this programme you can

0:58:230:58:26

now press the red button and it's

there in vision as well.

0:58:260:58:30

Or you can go to the BBC iPlayer.

0:58:300:58:31

All that fun and games to go

on for the rest of the evening.

0:58:310:58:35

But here, on this Burns Night,

we are all waiting to go

0:58:350:58:39

and celebrate with the haggis

and a wee dram.

0:58:390:58:41

I thank the panel here

and all of you who came

0:58:410:58:45

to the programme tonight.

0:58:450:58:46

Thank you very much indeed.

0:58:460:58:47

Until next Thursday,

from Question Time, good night.

0:58:470:58:54

David Dimbleby chairs the debate from Dumfries, with a panel featuring Conservative peer and former secretary of state for Scotland Michael Forsyth, the Labour MP, and close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, Chris Williamson, the SNP's minister for culture Fiona Hyslop MSP, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens Maggie Chapman and Daily Mail journalist and commentator Peter Oborne.


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