18/06/2013 Spotlight


18/06/2013

Ahead of the G8 summit in Fermanagh, Noel Thompson chairs a debate covering global and local issues with a panel of public and political figures in front of a studio audience.


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of the world have been on Northern Ireland with eight leaders soaking

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up the sun in Fermanagh and grappling with global oblongs. The

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G8 summit will feature the ceiling as the audience puts questions to

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the panel, among politicians who make more local decisions. Tonight -

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David McWilliams, the economist and author. Eamon McCann, who was on the

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protest line in Fermanagh. Colin Eastwood, the SDLP MLA. Arlene

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Foster, the enterprise minister and DUP MLA. She greeted the Obamas when

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know what you think about the big talking points of the day. Text us

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twitter. The details are on the from Ryan, a management consultant

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from Castlederg. Was the G8 beneficial or just a very expensive

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private party? Oh, yes. The G8 Summit! The home county of Arlene

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Foster. Was it a success? It was not a private party. The eyes of the

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world were very much on a part of the world I am proud of and I think

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we really have played our part and we are very serious about these

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discussions and we played host to those leaders and we did very well.

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We had an opportunity to show the world that Northern Ireland has a

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completely different narrative than in the past, we are positive, open,

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we want to do business with the world, we got that message across.

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�50 million postcard? Not at all. We shall have a very nice announcement

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tomorrow in relation to new jobs and the Japanese Prime Minister with the

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source -- was with us. Having said that, this is a great advertising

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and for Northern Ireland to do business in and for tourism, we

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could not have paid for those shots. They almost looked

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computer-generated, they looked so well! Eamon McCann, whatever the

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reality and the hard talking, it has been good news for Fermanagh?

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Fermanagh looked very well what it always does. Not when it is raining!

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Sometimes even then. I came down yesterday to Enniskillen on a bus

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from Derry and one thing that struck me was quite a lot of people said

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they had never been in Fermanagh before and people from Dublin, he

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said he had never been there before. Before we think about other things,

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happy days if it does good for tourism. I don't think... Another

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thing I noticed is that in Enniskillen, the pubs were empty and

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the cafes and the local store had dropped because they said people

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from across the border were nervous because of all of the hype. And the

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possible video of violence. If some people did make a few extra bob,

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terrific. But if you look at the Presidents, Toronto, Gleneagles in

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Scotland, none of the G8 meetings in those places left behind any great

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legacy in terms of inward investment. There is no evidential

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basis for believing that. Basil McCrea? You can applaud him if you

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like! I thought it was fantastic. It makes you pride to beat Northern

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Irish. -- pride. Those pictures of Fermanagh and Belfast, but put us on

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the map again and we had an unfortunate winter and this has

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turned it all the way around and when you look at these benefits for

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the future, people know who we are and Arlene Foster will be announcing

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jobs and this is all to the good and you could not buy the type of

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goodwill we have got. The G8 Summit was incidental? They do important

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work and we shall talk about that but what is the benefit to us? I

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entertained eight motorcyclists from Southampton and they had been on

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their bikes to give some escort and they looked around and they said, it

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is beautiful, here. And what we should be proud about is they said

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they could not get over how friendly the people here are. We are worth

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talking about and people are talking. Lots of you will have

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something to say! Opera gives applause. -- applause. That is great

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and Orrin Foster talked about jobs. But as you can see, eight men from

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around the world, from great power. -- Arlene Foster. The thing is, all

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you can see is beset stage for the medium and for the country it goes

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on to. You don't see anybody in the economy or in society turning around

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and being involved because they are away from society, they are put on a

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pedestal and if leaders want to lead, and really show our country,

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because it told us any to bring down walls, but they do. Instead of being

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a here, they need to come down to this level. It was a great event for

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Northern Ireland and shows just how far we have come in 15 years. Lots

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of maturity on behalf of David Cameron and for the Executive. It

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was just a great event. I agree. It has been fantastic that the Prime

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Minister decided to host this in Fermanagh, fantastic, but it must be

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disappointing for the politicians around the table that they will

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never be able to take part in this because they belong to parochial

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parties and it must be the only country that has hosted the G8

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Summit, where nobody in that country can actually ever aspire to be a

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part of that. Are you depressed about that? I have no ambitions to

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be the British Prime Minister. None at all! Ask the Unionist members!

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Go-ahead. There are two sides to this, it cannot be a bad thing to

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have the world looking at us and these good pictures being beamed

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around the world. We have had negative pictures around the world

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and this is a good thing, and we can talk about whether this will be good

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for the rest of the world in terms of the outcomes and they hope it

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will be. David? As a slight outsider? It seems to be that it is

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so obvious that this can only be good for Fermanagh and for Ireland.

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In general, the whole country. These events, if you look at the history

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of these events, they don't lead to much actual change in economic

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policy. Lots of talking and lots of full to opportunities and it is not

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really a case that we shall see some huge change in the way the world is

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governed by these seven men and one woman. That said, it has to be good

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for Northern Ireland to have Fermanagh looking beautiful, the

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whole event executed professionally and also, a very benign coverage in

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the papers and the media that really matters in terms of influencing

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public opinion. Financial, if you look at the financial Times,

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Northern Ireland today. That rarely happens. And that helps. I am not

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saying this will change the world, but I think that all of these

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statements, they tend to change the brand of Northern Ireland and the

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brand is what it will tend to remember from the outside.

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Internally, it must have done a power of good for people to see

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these men coming here. And I am sure that we shall discuss the

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nitty-gritty as we go along but as a get-together, I cannot see anything

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but advantages. The gentleman over their... People are supposed to be

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represented as of the most important economies and it is out of date, we

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should have had representatives from China and India and Brazil. We have

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G20 later in the year. That is a slightly different thing. The young

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man. It is great to look at the impact this will have for Northern

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Ireland but we cannot escape the impact it will have globally, which

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I think will be very little. It is great to look at these people coming

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together, very little has happened in the last G8 Summit and this will

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be no different. Very sceptical but this is the truth. The front row...

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The G8 has done one purpose, apart from economics, that is possibly

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persuading government put in to stop arming Syria. -- President Putin.

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I. You. They have not bleed on anything to change what the men and

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women in Northern Ireland will have. We have serious issues in terms of

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unemployment and poverty and global issues. Global issues around

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trafficking and issues around people not having enough to eat. They had a

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real opportunity to make some impact on that but instead, they rushed out

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the same old around tax, transparency, around trade.

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Everything that means a lot to the rich and the powerful and nothing

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whatsoever for those people living line, even though there weren't very

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many there, protest is an important part of democratic society? It is. I

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don't think - I have heard lots of people saying today - there were few

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people there, it must have been disappointing. Very few people what

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the PSNI were saying. We involved in recognising it reckoned there would

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be 1,000 to 2,000. Most of the estimates were 1500. We knew nobody

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would come from Belfast because it was decided we would have the march

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on Saturday and the musical event. There was no mobilisation across the

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water. Matt Baggott talked about 5,000 people coming from over the

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water. There were spaces on the Ferris and planes. It wasn't

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intelligence led, it was stupidity. I am glad we were there. What we

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were trying to do was to be positive. To say there are

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alternatives to austerity. There are alternatives to importing arms into

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Syria and the rest of the Middle East. Not just Putin to Assad, we

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see western powers lining up talking about which factions and opposition

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they will arm. We are going to talk specifically, we are specifically

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going to talk about Syria. I will stop you there. The gentleman in the

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checked shirt? We have to look at the significance of the G8 coming to

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Northern Ireland as a vote of confidence in the British government

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who in previous years the only thing they would have sent here were extra

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troops due to the violence. That is an important point. We shouldn't

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forget the significance of this event. To David's point about it

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doing nothing only good. There is an element of civic proud to try to get

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people of Northern Ireland proud of this place and where they lived and

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all of that. I really do think - can I say this to Eamonn ace his

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colleague I protect the right of Eamonn to protest at an event like

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that. We live in a democratic society. That is the right thing to

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be able to do. I'm so delighted that it was peaceful. I do also say,

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Eamonn, I don't think it was stupid to be prepared. You do need to

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prepare in these instances. A lot of the police officers who came over in

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mutual aid will have been saying to us, they have found Northern Ireland

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to be a beautiful place they will come back as tourists. It is a

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benefit. I'm not stretching it now. Quickly. Were you sitting there the

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whole two-days thinking, "I wish I was Angela Merkel?" ? No I'm glad to

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be Arlene Foster and represent such a beautiful part of this united

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kingdom. I'm very proud of the fact we have a devolved administration in

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Northern Ireland that I'm a minister of. You may make faces of me, the

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devolved administration in Stormont is making a difference we are proud

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to be part of the United Kingdom and proud to bring the G8 toNorthern

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Northern Ireland. You get an answer? I think it was beneficial and it

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showed Northern Ireland in an excellent right, only all but good

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can come from it. Question two, this comes there from Colin Harvey an

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academic from Belfast. Still many more miles to go. Was President

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Obama right yesterday about our process and what are the next steps

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here? Peace comes dropping slow, said the President, as he addressed

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the audience, mostly of young people at the Waterfront Hall yesterday.

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Was he right? I think he was right. It was a well crafted speech. It was

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aimed at young people. I think young people need inspiration, need to

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realise that they need to play their part as much as we do. The important

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thing is, this Assembly is in government now. We need to get on

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with the job of finishing the peace process. There is a body being set

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up, I think it's starting to meet next week, to address all the issues

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of the past, the thorny issues. We will play our full part in that. We

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don't believe you can move forward unless you deal with the difficult

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issues of the past. We failed to do that to date. We need to put our

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shoulders to the wheel. Obama was right in that terms. I think it's

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good that young people get inspiration from him. There is

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another side to this, it's sometimes difficult to listen to people

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preaching peace when some of their own actions, in terms of the Middle

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East and drones and other things, leave a lot to be desired. In terms

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of the spirit in which it was meant, we will take that and I think it was

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positive. Did he tell us anything we didn't already know He had a serious

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speech, I thought, which was to remind us that we had lost momentum

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from where we were perhaps 15 years ago. I think what the whole event

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has shown is, do you know what, we are better than this. We can move

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forward. What did I take out of it? I was taken with his discussion

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about individuals. The fact we don't have to ask permission to do

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anything. We can reach out and do it yourselves. We don't have to wait

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for anybody else to do it -- ourselves. Our future is in your

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hands. And, he made a couple of other really telling points, I

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thought, which was about young people saying that the change of

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attitudes that come in society, it may not happen in more mature

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generations because they fixed their ideas, quite rightly, but the young

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people are what moves us forward. The inspiration -- inspirational

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talk from Hannah and Michelle Obama, we have to say we can't change and

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start demanding that we do. The future is in our hands, we should

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take it. OK, you are a young person. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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What did you think? As a young person I take no inspiration from

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Barack Obama. He knows nothing about living at an interface area. My

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inspiration comes from community workers who work on the interface

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not those who know nothing about conflict - He said his parents

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marriage would have been illegal in some states. He has come through a

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lot... He hasn't come through a 40 year conflict which was sectarian

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conflict. The tensions at the interface was the high highest we

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seen them. This country is never going to move on unless it comes

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from the grassroots up. People are being left outside. Fair point.The

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Obama made a point yesterday that, in terms of the peace process, can

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we export inspirational Northern Ireland format to the world?

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Northern Ireland to commercialise the experience they make here in

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Northern Ireland. Would you be willing to make peace world an then

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to forget your conflict? We will address that. Jat here. We had

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President Obama endorse integrated education. Surely it's time our

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politicians focussed on prioritising this. Those may come up. Arlene, was

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President Obama stating the obvious yesterday? I think sometimes it's

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good that other people come and look at what is going on in Northern

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Ireland. We are living through everything here in Northern Ireland.

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It is good people come in and look and see from their perspective what

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is going on. It did strike me that Hannah that spoke, Hannah Nelson was

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only 16, was born long after the ceasefires and hadn't lived probably

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through some of the difficulties we have just heard from this young man.

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It is important to remember that there are still young people living

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in circumstances where it is very difficult to live. They have a

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challenge in front of them. Whilst, for other young people, most young

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people, I do have to say nowaday, live in circumstances where they do

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know the other, where they can engage with the other. There has

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been tremendous progress in Northern Ireland. He is right, there is still

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much to do. I think you are right in saying that it must come from the

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community grassroots upwards. Obviously, what he was saying as

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well was that politicians negotiate and make decisions, but it's

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important that individually everybody plays their part as well.

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That is important that when we do anything in Northern Ireland we take

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everybody with us as we move forward. Eamonn, when they are

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building towards a united community, we have a 15-year target for taking

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down peace walls, that is coming from the top, not from the bottom.

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Is it wishful thinking? It is. There are a large element of wishingful --

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wishful thinking. Barack Obama said bring down the walls that are

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dividing it. If he said, we should bring down the wall that the

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Israelis have built, an Israeli state armed to the teeth by the

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United States, if he had said that I would take him seriously when he

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talks about walls here. The speech with Hannah yesterday, I stood on a

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platform yesterday and heard a young woman of 16 or 17 speak without

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notes for 15 minutes she made a point which Obama wouldn't make -

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what is going to dictate the future life is the question of youth

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unemployment, the services that will be available. There is the question

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of the quality of education. Youth unemployment across Europe is at a

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horrendous rate a direct result of austerity programmes imposed by Mrs

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Merkel and the rest there behind the wonderful scenery at Fermanagh. The

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G8 will not tackle that. That point would not have been made in County

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Fermanagh yesterday had it not been for the people outside marching

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against austerity, against the arms trade, against fuelling conflict -

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Against that, when the united community talks about 10,000

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placements for young people that is moving in the right direction?

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will wait to see them. I still say this, the structural unemployment,

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particularly among young people, not just in Northern Ireland, but in

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Spain and Italy and Greece and in Germany indeed, that is the problem.

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Nothing that was done in Fermanagh yesterday by the G8 addresses that

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problem at all. Much less sort it. Much as I take your o point about

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the Middle East and Obama seriously, does that not suggest to our young

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people we shouldn't do anything, what is the point, because there are

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bigger fish to fry? Of course not. Does it not create apathy in our

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young people? I hope I can come back to that. It's interesting we talk

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about youth unemployment in the context of Germany. I agree with

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what of Eamonn says. Germany is the country where youth unemployment is

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far and by the way the lowest in the world. Why is this? The Germans have

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a 6% youth unemployment rate, Greece over 50, Spain moving towards 40%,

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Italy has a huge unemployment problem. What the Germans do is they

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have a very old system of apprenticeships. So if you leave

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school, you go into an apprenticeship. It means young

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people are trained to do something. They can actually do something at

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the age of 20, number one. Number two, it means that where there is a

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demand for the jobs... What happens in a lot of our countries, we

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educate people for nothing actually. They can't do anything. When they

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come out of university or what have you, even if they don't go to

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university, there is no-one that takes a kid by the hand at the ages

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of 17, 18, the Germans figured it out. I want to bring the discussion

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back to the question about the next steps forward here? I'm interested

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that most of the question and discussion are about the economic

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side of it rather than the sectarian side. Let me bring a couple of

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people in. Yes, sir, just to your left hand side there. There is a lot

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of talk about taking down peace walls, but are we going to be

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confident we will address the wider issues in those poor neighbourhoods?

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And their connection to the jobs and educational opportunities in the

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centre of the city. We have different barriers in this country

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which we don't recognise, such as roads? The gentleman in the back

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row. It's great the usual rhetoric from Barack Obama it sounds great.

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Let us make something clear, he could do with building peace in his

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own country. I was talking to an American yesterday who said America

:24:54.:24:58.

is almost at civil war because of Barack Obama, he needs to build

:24:58.:25:02.

bridges in his own country, but also the Middle East as well. A lot of

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young people see through it. Young people need inspired I don't think

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Barack Obama is the person. Talking about take taking down peace walls,

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how would the people attacked seven nights in a row with petrol bombs

:25:17.:25:23.

would feel if that wall was to come down or neem Tiger Bay who are

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attacked as well? How would they feel? Everyone needs to feel safe

:25:26.:25:30.

before they are brought down. You wanted to address integrated

:25:30.:25:34.

education aspect? I did want to. That is the point I was trying to

:25:34.:25:37.

make in relation to the communities must be comfortable with those walls

:25:37.:25:41.

coming down before they do come down. It's right we have an

:25:41.:25:46.

aspiration the walls should come down we will be more peace in those

:25:46.:25:50.

interface communities. We can't just go in and take the walls away that

:25:50.:25:54.

would be, as far as I'm concerned, the wrong thing to do having lived

:25:54.:25:59.

in a border area all my life. I want to address the integrated education

:25:59.:26:03.

piece. One of the disappointing things for me yesterday was the fact

:26:03.:26:06.

that they didn't have the opportunity, Barack Obama and the

:26:06.:26:11.

Prime Minister, to go along and see Fermanagh Community Learning Project

:26:11.:26:15.

that takes place across all of the schools in Fermanagh. All of the

:26:15.:26:18.

schools in Fermanagh come together in a shared education environment.

:26:18.:26:22.

They work very well together. Instead they took the easy option of

:26:22.:26:27.

going to an integrated school whereas they could have even real

:26:27.:26:32.

sharing, if they had of choosen to go to that sort of context. I was a

:26:32.:26:35.

little disappointed with that Noel, I have to say.

:26:35.:26:43.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Let us move on. Question number

:26:43.:26:50.

three. Should we arm the Assyrian rebels, knowing what armed groups

:26:50.:26:57.

can do. We know that G8 has said they will exercise maximum

:26:57.:27:04.

diplomatic basher to get all of the parties to the table in Geneva with

:27:04.:27:08.

no timetable or definition of what everyone 's role should be. That is

:27:08.:27:15.

what they have come up with today. Eamon McCann? Should we arm them?

:27:15.:27:22.

No, we should not be putting arms into Syria at all. There are enough

:27:22.:27:26.

people being killed and Vladimir Putin, representative of gangster

:27:26.:27:32.

capitalism. Arming the regime, largely because of trade relations

:27:32.:27:39.

but mostly because they haven't big naval base, they are. -- they have a

:27:39.:27:45.

vague naval base there. France are champing at the bit to get arms into

:27:45.:27:49.

the hands of the rebels, some pretty unsavoury people. They talk about

:27:49.:27:56.

peace. Arming Saudi Arabia, that feudal dictatorship, armed to the

:27:56.:28:01.

teeth by the West and meanwhile, the Israelis are being armed, all being

:28:01.:28:10.

armed. It is a big Bazaar in the Middle East. What the protesters

:28:10.:28:16.

said yesterday, unlike G8, they said stop pouring petrol on the fire that

:28:16.:28:22.

is consuming the people of the Middle East. 93,000 people estimated

:28:22.:28:26.

killed in Syria. Should people draw back and let them kill each other?

:28:26.:28:36.
:28:36.:28:36.

No, not willy-nilly. After all, the intervention of outside forces,

:28:36.:28:39.

lacking the regime, and the brutality of the Assad dictatorship,

:28:39.:28:46.

and his father, who murdered on an even bigger scale, at one point

:28:46.:28:50.

murdering 20,000 people in a single time. The powers outside, not just

:28:50.:28:56.

the arms, they are manipulating and playing one country off another and

:28:56.:29:00.

it is a great game for Middle Eastern oil and that has been going

:29:00.:29:04.

on for a long time and that is the basic problem. And in the Middle

:29:04.:29:09.

East. And the first thing that ought to be done is a should not be more

:29:09.:29:15.

arms coming in but Alan Babu of all sides. For the Americans to stop

:29:15.:29:21.

arming Israel and Saudi Arabia and all the rest of them. -- and arms

:29:21.:29:29.

embargo. I am no expert but we talk about this great game and it strikes

:29:29.:29:37.

me like the Balkans in 1914 at every power as a vested interest in some

:29:37.:29:42.

side and everybody is fighting this proxy war, we all want peace but the

:29:42.:29:45.

reality is, if you look at people 's actions, you have an enormous

:29:45.:29:50.

financial incentive coming in from Qatar in the Gulf of Mexico, arming

:29:50.:29:55.

the rebels. They have been doing that for a very long time, Russia on

:29:55.:30:01.

the side of resident aside, the Israelis saying they are doing

:30:01.:30:06.

nothing and say they will keep out of this but ultimately, Leben on

:30:06.:30:10.

will be dragged into this. As Europeans, what is interesting is

:30:10.:30:15.

this represents a watershed because what strikes me is this reinforces

:30:15.:30:21.

the extent to which look cannot project its will any more in the

:30:21.:30:27.

Middle East and this is a first time in my lifetime when I have seen the

:30:27.:30:30.

Europeans second but third fiddle and this is the is the way the world

:30:30.:30:34.

has changed. You have the Middle East, which has oil, and everybody

:30:34.:30:39.

wants to secure that Boyle. And ultimately, Europe does not have the

:30:39.:30:47.

muscle any more to be a big player. Questions? In the West were very

:30:48.:30:52.

quick to put down Vladimir Putin 's understanding and appreciation of

:30:52.:30:57.

the situation in Serbia and Russia 's form policy has been invariably

:30:57.:31:03.

far more effective than that of the West since the fall of communism and

:31:03.:31:08.

four Vladimir Putin, the issues are very much domestic. They share a

:31:08.:31:14.

land border. As tragic as it may be, I can understand his motivation for

:31:14.:31:19.

trying to put down the rebel insurgency. Should we encounter

:31:19.:31:24.

that? -- counter that? I believe that Russia will prevail and they

:31:24.:31:28.

will sustain President Assad, it is the lesser of evils, we are creating

:31:28.:31:38.

a power vacuum. When we arm rebels, it is a race to destruction. Russian

:31:38.:31:42.

foreign policy, in the Middle East, and we, the Middle East but in

:31:42.:31:49.

Moscow, they call it the site. They see Chechnya and beyond and they

:31:49.:31:58.

have had a much more consistent approach. The young lady? This is

:31:58.:32:04.

addressed to Eamon McCann. What is your alternative to negotiating with

:32:04.:32:08.

governments and corruption is the only thing they have ever known?

:32:08.:32:15.

gentleman in the second row? real tragedy in Syria is that almost

:32:15.:32:20.

100,000 people have been killed and there are an estimated 4.5 million

:32:20.:32:25.

people have fled their homes. The equivalent of the population of

:32:25.:32:28.

Northern Ireland leaving the country. What is needed is a

:32:29.:32:33.

political settlement and not more arms. And an agreement that aid can

:32:33.:32:38.

be delivered to some of the people whose lives have been destroyed.

:32:38.:32:48.
:32:48.:32:50.

the lady? If any country arms Syria, what we have is like in Iraq, the

:32:50.:32:56.

Sunni Moslems, fighting with each other. We have religious disillusion

:32:56.:33:04.

and political division and the oil wells are pumping. The oil wells

:33:04.:33:10.

pumping. And into Syria, pro-and anti-President Assad fighting with

:33:10.:33:15.

each other. Fighting for how many years and the oil wells keep on

:33:15.:33:25.
:33:25.:33:28.

pumping. And women, children and men will be dying and starving. This was

:33:28.:33:34.

not dominating politics and Iraq prior to the invasion. Some

:33:34.:33:41.

observations. 93,000 people have been killed and I do not know if

:33:41.:33:47.

anybody saw the footage about the families massacred in their homes,

:33:47.:33:52.

mothers cradling children and babies and the humanitarian response is

:33:52.:33:59.

these people are undefended, they are being slaughtered and it is very

:33:59.:34:04.

well for us to sit here and talk about G8 or President Assad or these

:34:04.:34:08.

people, the humanity involved in this comes out, we want to try to do

:34:08.:34:14.

something. And I look here and the challenge that I have put back is I

:34:14.:34:20.

do here in the McCann, angry at everything, negative at everything,

:34:20.:34:23.

everything is wrong, the question for all of us is, what are you going

:34:23.:34:29.

to do about it? How would you fix it? No point in just venting your

:34:29.:34:33.

spleen. I do support some sort of diplomatic solution, I do think G8

:34:33.:34:39.

were right in saying we want the Geneva conference together and is an

:34:39.:34:43.

issue around here about saying, if we arm people, we will end up with

:34:43.:34:50.

some escalation, like in Iraq. But anybody who has been around and

:34:50.:34:54.

looked at Kosovo or other places, we all said, somebody please do

:34:54.:34:59.

something. And I come back to this point and I put this challenge to

:34:59.:35:03.

you, all of those people who talk about oil and gas and how bad it is.

:35:03.:35:09.

Remember, it is the oil and gas that keeps your lights on, it actually

:35:09.:35:16.

drives your car. And we have is a Sidey but is dependent upon it and

:35:16.:35:25.

how can people respond to these issues? -- we have a society. It is

:35:25.:35:29.

not that we can impose our solution on anybody else but we can show

:35:29.:35:34.

people that success is possible. And success comes through dialogue with

:35:34.:35:39.

people willing to put things together. That is what I is a port.

:35:39.:35:45.

Diplomatic manoeuvres and something has to happen at Geneva. -- what I

:35:45.:35:53.

support. This is a humanitarian catastrophe and the figures are

:35:53.:35:56.

different from different places but they are huge in terms of the people

:35:56.:36:00.

killed and I have never known it catastrophe that could do with more

:36:00.:36:06.

goals. Within hours, those guns will be in the hands of people who are

:36:06.:36:13.

very closely and public are lined with Al-Qaeda. -- publicly aligned.

:36:13.:36:17.

I ran say they will have 4000 Republican guards coming in as the

:36:17.:36:23.

first force. Hezbollah are already involved. This is a major issue. The

:36:24.:36:29.

last thing we need is more weapons being pumped into this. We do need a

:36:29.:36:34.

political solution and we also need to be consistent and the West picks

:36:34.:36:38.

good and bad guys and they change every six years. That is no way to

:36:38.:36:44.

do foreign policy. The West should be more honest about who they deal

:36:44.:36:53.

with. And one of the risks is that we might be arming extremists but we

:36:53.:36:59.

should also consider that we need to consider intervention, perhaps not

:36:59.:37:05.

with arms, to support moderate voices so they do not get sidelined

:37:05.:37:10.

in any civil war. That is right and when you look at what is happening

:37:10.:37:16.

in Syria, it would be easy to think that we need to send arms in to

:37:16.:37:21.

support the rebels. They are having such a horrendous time. But I

:37:21.:37:24.

fundamentally agree with all of the panel members that sending more arms

:37:24.:37:30.

into that tinderbox would be fundamentally the wrong thing to do.

:37:30.:37:33.

And I have to say that Vladimir Putin, on the other side, needs to

:37:33.:37:40.

pull back as well in relation to his comments on foreign policy. I do

:37:40.:37:43.

think that despite everything that has been said about the G8 Summit

:37:43.:37:47.

achieving absolutely nothing, we have seen the Lough Erne

:37:47.:37:51.

declaration, enquired and I am very proud that that name is attached to

:37:51.:38:01.
:38:01.:38:04.

it. --, enquired. And we hope and pray for sense to prevail. And we

:38:04.:38:08.

need to not just look at the simple solutions, we need to look at the

:38:08.:38:17.

longer term, if these things were to take place. I welcome Geneva and the

:38:17.:38:22.

fact that an aid package has been set aside for Syria as well and it

:38:22.:38:26.

is in port and that gets to the right people. And it is exercised in

:38:26.:38:34.

a proper way. The lady talked about tax and transparency. -- it is

:38:34.:38:40.

important. These issues have a real impact on whether countries are able

:38:40.:38:50.

to feed their population and I was at a service with John Sentamu on

:38:50.:38:54.

Sunday and he was very strong on this issue of having the proper tax

:38:54.:39:01.

regimes in place and I welcome all of those things. But Syria is

:39:01.:39:05.

important, too. They are interlinked. Should be armed rebels

:39:05.:39:10.

or not? I don't think we should, when you look at Obama coming over

:39:10.:39:15.

here and he has talked about our past, and we know what happens in

:39:15.:39:18.

every guns fall into the wrong hands. This is turning into a

:39:18.:39:25.

sectarian war. And I think it is daft. Not that long ago rogue --

:39:25.:39:31.

long ago, if we had more goals, what would have happened here?

:39:31.:39:38.

Christopher? With your claim that you are a move away from sectarian

:39:38.:39:42.

politics, was a decision to designate yourselves as Unionist and

:39:42.:39:52.
:39:52.:39:59.

a steak? The brand-new party, a party for Mr and Mrs. And Basil

:39:59.:40:06.

McCrea is a leader. A brand-new world of politics? By the way, we

:40:06.:40:16.
:40:16.:40:21.

are Unionist as Mac -- we are unionists! The first thing is we do

:40:21.:40:29.

not like labels. What is nationalist or Unionist? We don't like labels

:40:29.:40:36.

but what is Unionist or nationalist? UR interrupted! Let us do with this.

:40:36.:40:46.
:40:46.:40:46.

We don't like labels. It is so last century. It is the thinking of the

:40:46.:40:55.

past. Here is the thought process. How did we come up with this name?

:40:55.:40:59.

We started looking at names like proceed and that was stolen by

:40:59.:41:04.

somebody and progressive was used, I am much if they were progressive.

:41:04.:41:09.

Different things. We came up with a name that said, we want to be for

:41:10.:41:17.

Northern Ireland. And you want to be 21st century. That is the name. We

:41:17.:41:20.

were determined, we said at the start, we would not have Unionist in

:41:20.:41:25.

the name and it would not have flags in the literature, that is what we

:41:25.:41:31.

believe. You get to the stage where we have to designate. It is part of

:41:31.:41:38.

legislation. We wondered about that. You could be other? If you asked me

:41:38.:41:44.

the question... This is the issue, we could make the decision and we

:41:44.:41:51.

believe that Northern Ireland is best served by being part of the UK.

:41:51.:41:55.

But not everybody believes that. Here is what we will do. We will

:41:55.:41:59.

introduce legislation, John McAllister and do this very soon,

:41:59.:42:03.

saying we do not want such a renewables of the past applied to

:42:03.:42:07.

the system, we don't want people forced to be Unionist or nationalist

:42:08.:42:14.

or anything else. But we are going to do that anyway? This is really

:42:14.:42:20.

important. Couple of words.We will do what it takes to move Northern

:42:20.:42:24.

Ireland forward, away from the sectarian labels of the past and

:42:24.:42:28.

build a brave new world for our young people and in the meantime, we

:42:28.:42:31.

will have to put up with what is not a good system but we will change

:42:31.:42:41.
:42:41.:42:45.

married a girl from Dundonald, that was confusing enough. I remain

:42:45.:42:49.

confused. I do sometimes feel... I have been coming to the North for a

:42:49.:42:56.

long time. Both my kids were born in Dundonald Hospital. We come up,

:42:56.:43:01.

unusually for a southerner, we are up here all the time. And, we... I

:43:01.:43:07.

have seen this country change over the last 16 odd years. And, I just

:43:07.:43:10.

welcome, again, I welcome the idea that somebody says - we will have a

:43:10.:43:14.

political party. We are hoping it will not be sectarian. What we will

:43:14.:43:21.

not do is not hang our coat on the sectarian... But he has. That is

:43:21.:43:27.

where the confusion - No, he has not. You will have a chance to come

:43:27.:43:32.

back. Don't know, I was listening to him there. I can see somebody

:43:32.:43:38.

beginning to deal in his head with how does this country move in this

:43:38.:43:43.

direction? OK. That, it's interesting listening here, that

:43:43.:43:49.

will take all sorts of compromises. You are going to make mistakes and

:43:49.:43:53.

do stupid things. It has to be, again, I come back to it, it has to

:43:53.:43:58.

be a good idea you are moving in that direction. You are so last

:43:58.:44:03.

century! I'm a unionist and I'm proud of. It I don't take that away.

:44:03.:44:09.

I'm confused about Basil. He says he believes in the UK. Then he says he

:44:09.:44:13.

doesn't want to be tagged as a unionist. You either believe in the

:44:13.:44:18.

UK or you don't believe in the UK. I believe fundamentally in the United

:44:18.:44:22.

Kingdom. What about the people who believe you are Northern Irish and

:44:22.:44:27.

be a nationalist or unionist? That is fine for them. I believe in all

:44:27.:44:32.

the benefits that come with being with the United Kingdom. I get

:44:32.:44:37.

confused with Bass sill if he wants to say... You should join me.

:44:37.:44:42.

should join you if I'm confused, that's right!

:44:42.:44:45.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Thankfully, I'm not confused.

:44:45.:44:50.

you sure you you are not confused? couldn't be clearer about being a

:44:50.:44:55.

unionist. I'm the only person on the panel who is, apparently, quite

:44:55.:44:59.

comfortable with it. A gentleman in the back row, please. I have to say

:44:59.:45:05.

I quite like the idea of Basil's new party, I like the name. I like the

:45:05.:45:10.

logo. I have been on the website. It looks good. I have struggled to see

:45:10.:45:16.

the detail of the policy behind the razzle dazzle, Basil. We don't have

:45:16.:45:22.

time to get into NI21's policies tonight. It is the name. Lady in the

:45:22.:45:28.

third row? Attitudes like like Arlenes that will keep us stuck in

:45:28.:45:33.

the pass and stop us progress progressing onto the future? Being a

:45:33.:45:42.

unionist? No.Are you denying my right to be a unionist. Party

:45:42.:45:49.

believe, we believe... "We believe." I like it! Gentleman here. I feel

:45:49.:45:55.

there should be one unionist party. This is what our unionist party is.

:45:55.:45:59.

There are too many unionists parties. Because they couldn't

:45:59.:46:03.

become kingpins they decided to go their own way. I said play-the-ball,

:46:03.:46:10.

not the man. Third in there please. Is there anything new you can bring

:46:10.:46:13.

to the communities that have a disconnection to the two main

:46:13.:46:17.

unionist parties? I will give him a chance to do that. Another hand that

:46:17.:46:21.

I hadn't seen before, I have now lost. That chance has gone. Eamonn,

:46:21.:46:26.

what do you think the problem, too many unionist parties, is that the

:46:26.:46:31.

problem with Northern Ireland? don't care how many unionist or

:46:31.:46:36.

nationalist party there are. I'm not a unionist or a nationalist. One of

:46:36.:46:42.

the interesting things said with about our sectarian decision was

:46:42.:46:49.

said by Jim Wells he said to Mrs Lowe - it doesn't matter what you

:46:49.:46:55.

say. When we take a vote on this you won't matter. Only because there is

:46:55.:46:57.

a Petition of Concern. Only nationalist and unionist votes will

:46:57.:47:01.

matter. The sectarian identification, even in Stormont, is

:47:01.:47:06.

privileged over people who want to call themselves "others" if we were

:47:06.:47:10.

serious in breaking down sectarian barriers we would look at those

:47:10.:47:14.

occasions in our history, including our recent history, when sizeable

:47:14.:47:18.

numbers of people detached themselves from the community to

:47:18.:47:23.

which they so to speak belong and join hands to do something else.

:47:23.:47:27.

Going back 100 years or three years are owe kiegss when people joined

:47:27.:47:30.

together to fight for the economic rights for the people at the bottom

:47:30.:47:33.

of the society. There are no other examples. People never do it when

:47:33.:47:37.

they are preached at. They do it when they come together on a basis

:47:37.:47:40.

which has nothing to do with the community you come from. That is the

:47:40.:47:44.

way forward. In Fermanagh yesterday and elsewhere down through the years

:47:44.:47:48.

that is what people like me are fighting for. The I don't think will

:47:48.:47:53.

is anything wrong with being a unionist, or equally I don't think

:47:53.:48:01.

there is anything wrong being a nationalist. I don't think I'm

:48:01.:48:05.

(inaudible) to strive for a united Ireland or strive to keep the union.

:48:05.:48:09.

I don't know what Basil is afraid of. He is clearly a unionist heaven

:48:09.:48:13.

should not be afraid to say. It I have no problem in supporting the

:48:13.:48:17.

right to be there. It's not the same thing to say people, if you are a

:48:17.:48:20.

unionist you are sectarian or nationalist you are sectarian. We

:48:20.:48:24.

have built a society where we can hopefully work together for the

:48:24.:48:29.

betterment of all our people. I will never cease to be an Irish

:48:29.:48:37.

Nationalist. I can work with anybody from the unionist parties. You are

:48:37.:48:42.

not going to back down. I will challenge a couple of points. Colin

:48:42.:48:47.

says he is clearly a unionist. Who gives you the right - You did. You

:48:47.:48:53.

just designated yourself as a unionist. You designated yourself a

:48:53.:48:57.

unionist. Eamonn pointed out there are stuckure problems you have to

:48:57.:49:00.

deal with. There are structural problems which we will change, they

:49:00.:49:07.

are not working right. The second thing, people asked me about the PUL

:49:07.:49:09.

community what we will do is different. Something different has

:49:09.:49:13.

to happen. You are not in a good place at the moment. Whatever advice

:49:13.:49:16.

you have been getting, where ever you have gone you need to do

:49:16.:49:20.

something different. We need to tell people this is the way forward. When

:49:20.:49:23.

it comes to where is Northern Ireland going to go forward, we are

:49:24.:49:27.

not interested in the old labels of the past. We are going to move

:49:27.:49:31.

forward. I'm stuck with a system I don't like. NI21 will do something

:49:31.:49:34.

different for Northern Ireland. Christopher, what do you think, were

:49:34.:49:38.

they right or wrong? Arlene's point that if there is nothing wrong with

:49:38.:49:44.

being a unionist. When you attach that label to yourself and base your

:49:44.:49:48.

politician on that idea that is sectarian you are dividing your

:49:48.:49:54.

self- - No. Sorry. The fundamental concept of unionism is that we have

:49:54.:50:00.

civil and religious liberties for all, how can it be sectarian. It's a

:50:00.:50:05.

nonsense. New hands. A lot of people seem to be afraid to express their

:50:05.:50:09.

cultural identity. I'm a unionist. I work with nationalists every day. I

:50:09.:50:14.

know they are nationalists. We can work together. You don't have to

:50:14.:50:19.

hide your identity like Basil says. You don't have to hide it. So much

:50:19.:50:25.

to discuss so little time. Now, question five from Nadine Campbell a

:50:25.:50:31.

fundraising manager from en skillen. -- Enniskillen. The G8 focussed on

:50:31.:50:35.

tax and transparency. If Northern Ireland adopts a lower rate of

:50:35.:50:41.

corporation tax are we in danger of becoming a tax haven island albeit

:50:41.:50:48.

without the good weather? Indeed. Your Finance Minister accused the

:50:48.:50:54.

Republic of stealing UK taxes. Because they have a low-tax rate,

:50:54.:50:58.

corporation tax rate, if we had one, would we be stealing UK money as

:50:58.:51:04.

well? I think you misunderstood was Sammy was saying. He was refrjing

:51:04.:51:08.

the fact that the exchequer had put a considerable amount of money into

:51:08.:51:11.

the Irish banks at the time of the whole break down. What he was saying

:51:11.:51:15.

is that they needed to get a clear vision of what was happening in

:51:15.:51:18.

relation to the taxes that were being paid in the Republic of

:51:18.:51:22.

Ireland. That is not what he said. He said they were stealing it?

:51:22.:51:26.

That is the background to what was happening in relation to Sammy. Can

:51:26.:51:29.

I say, there does need to be more transparency in relation to what

:51:29.:51:33.

happens in the Republic of Ireland because, as you know, we go out, we

:51:33.:51:36.

look for jobs, we look for investment in Northern Ireland. We

:51:36.:51:40.

play by the rules that have been set for us by the European Union

:51:40.:51:45.

sometimes frustrating rules they are too, I have to say, Noel. It does -

:51:45.:51:48.

it is interesting to see the way in which the Republic of Ireland seems

:51:48.:51:51.

to be able to bring in these companies in a way which we are not

:51:51.:51:55.

clear as to how they are doing all of that. If it naes relation to

:51:55.:51:59.

corporation tax, that is fine. It's one of the reasons we want to a

:51:59.:52:02.

devolution of corporation tax for Northern Ireland so we can match or

:52:02.:52:08.

indeed go lower - Compete with the Republic in being equally tax

:52:08.:52:12.

havenish? It's about everything else connected to it. That is why we need

:52:12.:52:15.

to have transparency in relation to the whole issue so we can all play

:52:15.:52:18.

in a level playing field am we are all members of the European Union.

:52:18.:52:24.

We are all supposed to be playing by the same rules. David?

:52:24.:52:28.

Republic's policy of low-tax on capital came from the fact that we

:52:28.:52:33.

didn't have any capital. We had to make it attractive to come into the

:52:33.:52:36.

Republic. You make it cheap you don't tax it as much as your

:52:36.:52:44.

neighbours. That was the first idea. And, I think now we are in danger...

:52:44.:52:49.

There is a big difference between a country regarded as a country with

:52:49.:52:53.

low capital gains tax... Low corporation. There is a huge leap to

:52:53.:53:00.

a tax haven. With that all sorts of other issues because there is good

:53:00.:53:05.

money and bad money in the world. OK. By that I mean, if you attract

:53:06.:53:12.

in - if the Republic does, companies whose only explicit reason is to not

:53:12.:53:16.

pay their fair share of tax in the countries where they generate their

:53:16.:53:22.

revenue, then I believe we would, in the long run, not benefit from this

:53:22.:53:28.

because I was very instreegd. Remember recently in Cyprus where

:53:28.:53:31.

the Cypriot depositors were told they would have to pay for their

:53:31.:53:36.

banks. One of the spins against the Cypriots was that, Cyprus is really

:53:36.:53:40.

just a money laundering place for Russia. OK. When they went looking

:53:40.:53:44.

for friends the sip Premier League yots they didn't have any. Why?

:53:44.:53:48.

People felt they were harbouring Russian money. Now, I think that is

:53:48.:53:56.

a very interesting lesson for the likes of the Republic because if you

:53:56.:54:05.

go down the road of beggar my neighbour, your neighbour will get

:54:05.:54:09.

feddup. I agree. The future is not about taxation, the future is about

:54:09.:54:13.

skills. If I had �300 million to spend from the corporation tax I

:54:13.:54:17.

would be trying to restrain all of our people for the future. I do not

:54:17.:54:21.

want to be chasing low paid, low skilled jobs. It's about giving

:54:21.:54:25.

people the opportunity to compete in the world. So, when you talk about,

:54:25.:54:29.

it I will not say much about it, the issue that the G8 brought out about

:54:29.:54:34.

the tax avoidance or the aggressive tax manipulation I agree with. You

:54:34.:54:39.

have to find some way where you get a level playing field for people to

:54:39.:54:44.

compete. It is OK, I think, for countries that are on the periphery

:54:44.:54:49.

of certain blocks like Europe to have a tax rate to encourage

:54:49.:54:53.

investment. What is not appropriate is for large multinational

:54:53.:54:57.

corporations to exsplot those tax loopholes to the detriment of all of

:54:57.:55:02.

us. Colin I don't think the comments were helpful to start with when we

:55:02.:55:05.

are going to the British treasury asking them to lower our corporation

:55:05.:55:09.

tax or to allow us to do that. I don't think that the Republic is a

:55:09.:55:14.

tax haven. They are entitled to have the tax regime that they wish. I

:55:14.:55:20.

think it's more than about the tax issue. Corporation tax is important

:55:20.:55:24.

- The questions about the tax issue? It is. We need to ensure that while

:55:24.:55:28.

we wait on this corporation tax bill coming down-the-line we do all the

:55:28.:55:33.

other things that an economy needs to do. We invest in the road and

:55:33.:55:36.

rail network. That we invest in the skills of our young people. I come

:55:36.:55:40.

from a city that has too too high an unemployment rate. We need to tackle

:55:40.:55:44.

that. We can tackle it without corporation tax being devolved.

:55:44.:55:50.

Gentleman here. Is the last Soviet left in the western world. Until we

:55:50.:55:57.

get 72% of the population not rely - our GDP not public funded we will go

:55:57.:56:07.
:56:07.:56:08.

nowhere. We will also go nowhere with 30% of the population education

:56:08.:56:12.

Ali inefficient. What are your thoughts? If we collected all the

:56:12.:56:20.

taxes we should do it would equate to three times the worth of aid and

:56:21.:56:26.

the money we are giving. It's part of a bigger issue. It is. That is

:56:27.:56:30.

absolutely right. What is happening is that we are being ripped off by

:56:30.:56:36.

the rich. We are being ripped off for billions of pounds. With no say

:56:36.:56:39.

of anything being done about it. We talk about regulation and cracking

:56:39.:56:43.

down on this. We remember the phrase - light touch regulation. We don't

:56:44.:56:47.

actually interfere. We heard it over and over again from British

:56:47.:56:50.

politicians not only Conservative politicians, Labour politicians as

:56:50.:56:55.

well. If you try to interfere with or impose some sort of order, impose

:56:55.:57:00.

rules on the big financial companies they will go to Frankfurt. They will

:57:00.:57:04.

flee, therefore you have to let them do. That is the key to the

:57:04.:57:07.

development where by they pay as much tax as they like. They have

:57:07.:57:12.

meetings with the Head of the Revenue and Tax - I want to bring

:57:12.:57:16.

you back to the question. Do you think Northern Ireland should go for

:57:16.:57:22.

12. 5 corporate tax rate would that make us as bad or good as the

:57:22.:57:26.

Republic? I don't think it will make a difference. A company in the south

:57:26.:57:32.

paying 12. 5%, is either very foolish or more likely they have bad

:57:32.:57:37.

accountants. I hate to give you the last word, I have to. I was dieing

:57:37.:57:42.

to ask you which of the G8 ministers would make the next best Doctor Who.

:57:42.:57:47.

We don't have time for it. Thank you to all my guests and to a vigorous

:57:47.:57:50.

As the leaders of some of world's richest nations meet in Fermanagh for the G8 summit, join Noel Thompson to debate the biggest issues of the day - from global issues to local politics - with a studio audience and panel of public and political figures.


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