24/10/2017 Spotlight


24/10/2017

Noel Thompson presents as a studio audience put questions on the week's big talking points to a panel of decision makers.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to Spotlight Special,

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where members of our studio audience put questions

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to our panel of politicians on the week's big talking points.

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DUP MLA Edwin Poots, a former Health Minister at Stormont.

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Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd, a former Education Minister

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Also her party's spokesperson on Brexit

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is the SDLP's Claire Hanna, MLA for South Belfast.

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Steve Aiken is an Ulster Unionist MLA for South Antrim.

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And the Alliance Councillor, Nuala McAllister,

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And, of course, you at home can take part.

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Here's how you can get in touch with your thoughts

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You can text your comments throughout the programme to 81771.

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Texts will be charged at your standard message rate.

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You can also phone us on 030 30 80 55 55.

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Standard geographic charges from landlines

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You can also email us and tweet your comments to us

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And you can follow the programme on Twitter -

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Let's get straight in. Our first question is from Adam Walker mad

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administrator from Belfast. What will it take to make devolution

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work? Well, we were told we had six days to save Stormont before

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Westminster makes its actions. Can Stormont be salvaged? What will make

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Stormont work? There are three stages to any negotiations. There is

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negotiation itself, the agreement and then negotiation. Each of those

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is as important as the other as they won't work without the others. We

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are now seeking a rumination on the agreements. That will make Stormont

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work. All other parties have signed up to it in various ways, the

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process we have been involved in. We are signed up to the principle of

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power-sharing and equality and a rights -based society. That is now

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how we get an Executive that Robert is all areas -- that represents all

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aspects of society. We are now down to the mentation. In eight months of

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talks on and off, you haven't made any ground? There has been progress,

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but there hasn't been sufficient progress or we would be back in the

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Executive. At this stage, we are better to get it right than cobbling

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together something which may fall apart in a number of weeks or

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months. As a non-MLA, what is the view from outside the hill? The view

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from outside and from the people of Belfast in particular, because as

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Lord Mayor that is why represent and advocate for, they are far ahead of

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the politicians. In my job, I get to represent a great city, and people

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who want to see Belfast do fantastically well. The MLA 's will

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say they want that as well. What we need. Want to work as a confident

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government. We need people to act in respect of each other and in respect

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of the people of Northern Ireland. They have to get on and compromise

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and think of what is best for all of Northern Ireland. Compromise, a

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dirty word? Absolutely not. Our party has not been setting red

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lines, we are prepared to go to Stormont tomorrow morning and get on

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with the is business that needs to be done. There are issues that

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people want us to deal with. We would encourage parties to... Would

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not change anything that was going on before? It had its difficulties.

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But it is working better than having ten months of doing nothing in terms

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of dealing with issues. As a consequence of that, there are

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issues about health and education that are not being dealt with,

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social housing, projects that should be starting in terms of

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infrastructure that are not starting. This is ten months of

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paralysis brought about by one party is not good for Northern Ireland,

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not good for the people of Northern Ireland... Does not take two parties

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to cause paralysis? All of the other parties would be willing

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participants if we would get rid of these red lines. I will let you come

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back on that in a moment. But is that how you see it? Where there is

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consensus, the DUP have brought us at this point in terms of their

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failure to grasp the two consensus among whom? One party is keeping us

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here. It will take political will, and that is what we have heard. One

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party Brodeur said, the DUP, and one party is keeping us here, the Sinn

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Fein, is that what you mean? Not everybody has the same identity, and

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that is a large part in recent years. People have not seen the

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value of devolution but if the political will is there, we don't

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know what the sticking points are because this ten months negotiation

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has happened largely behind closed doors. The fact is, it has to work

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because it is the only show in town. Direct rule will not solve any of

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our problems and devolution and the institutions of the Good Friday

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Agreement, the relationships here, nobody has come up with a better

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idea. It has to be made to work. We have overcome bigger challenges with

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people putting their own specific goals to one side and focusing on

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the common goals. We have done more challenging things than this before

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and we have do. Argue part of this consensus that it is the DUP's

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fault? No. For the last ten months, we have been going around and around

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again. How many times have people heard the same arguments from

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politicians, back and forth, it is them and us, we need to do this and

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that. In the last ten years, I will Northern Ireland government has

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failed. What we are doing is not working. Sinn Fein and the DUP are

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as bad as each other. They are not getting anything done. We need to

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move on. We are 20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement and we need to

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try something else. It is not sustainable. I have no faith

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whatsoever that Sinn Fein have any interest in getting the Northern

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Ireland government back up and running. The real issue here is we

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need to move and try and do something else. That is why we as

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the Ulster Unionist Party are pushing strongly and we need to

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start thinking about voluntary coalition is because he can't keep

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on doing this year in, year out. There is another solution. Please!

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We would call on the British government to legislate in

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Westminster for the reform of petitions of concern. That would

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only come once there was an Assembly. No, because it is in their

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entitlement to legislate. There would need to be a point in doing

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that. Just to stick to the question. But this is relevant to the

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question. It is not in my view at the moment. I will take it back to

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John O'Dowd. I want you to come back on the point from both the Unionist

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parties that you do not want to come back into the Northern Ireland

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government. We see it as a way of amending and building relationships

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on this island. It is an integral part of what Sinn Fein believes in.

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One thing we haven't tried, and Steve says we have failed in this

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last ten or 20 years was at the DUP and others have failed to increment

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the Good Friday Agreement. We should now increment that -- implement

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that. They are moving further and further away from the Good Friday

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Agreement. Any notion of voluntary coalition will exclude Sinn Fein. It

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is the largest nationalist party in this part of the Ireland. You will

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never exclude that party again. Who said anything about excluding the

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nationalist party? When did he say that? It is all about sidelining

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Sinn Fein. We need to be talking about voluntary coalition, it needs

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to have community support. What is wrong with that? We are the major...

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How could you include a scratch -- how could you exclude us? You can't

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pick and choose. If we don't have strand one, internal elation ships

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in the institutions, and strand to with relationships between North and

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South... Let's do the audience. I feel it is still going to fail.

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Since the Good Friday Agreement, you have failed. There are schools

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closing, people waiting for cancer treatment. What you should do is

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strip the model back and look at the Scandinavian model of democracy,

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which is viewed as the most successful model. You have failed

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and I can't understand why as citizens we are so passive to this.

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In any other part of the world, we would be demonstrating. People are

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dying. Thank you, sir. People are waiting. We will come to all of

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those topics. For union is, we have reached out to Sinn Fein and they

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take, take, take. In terms of the Irish anguish, there is no reason

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why it should stop us from going forward. You could sort all this

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out. In terms of the Irish language, the Good Friday Agreement is clear,

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I don't see why there is a hold-up. Sinn Fein can't talk about equality

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because the DUP are no longer the majority in the Assembly. These

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reasons are no excuse for holding up the Government. Thank you. We no

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longer need the legacy parties to negotiate an hour -- on our behalf.

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We can have normal democratic politics with normal democratic

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hearties. For example, the Northern Ireland Conservatives.

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LAUGHTER Didn't win in the yellow tie here.

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-- the gentleman in the yellow tie. Everyone says that the DUP has no

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red lines. In my opinion, the DUP has a red light, which is no Irish

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land which. Give Northern Ireland and Irish land which act and let's

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get this show on the road again. Let's get storm and running. This

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guy is not going to fall and the bosses will not break down on the

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roads if we have an Irish ten two act.

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-- and Irish language act. Clearly you have no objection to the

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language. Why not have an act and get us on a level footing with

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Scotland and Wales. We are relaxed about all of these issues. You are

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happy to have an Irish language act? Arlene Foster said they can start

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the Assembly straight away and have a form of timescale with dealing

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with issues and talks. We could have been dealing with health and cancer

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and education, justice and all of these things. The SDLP rejected it.

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Sinn Fein rejected it. Let's get on with the job. We will happily do

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legislation but it will not be the Irish language act legislation that

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has been set aside. That type of legislation would be unacceptable,

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expensive and respiratory against many people in Northern Ireland. Why

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do you insist on a stand-alone act? Why not have something along the

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lines which the DUP are suggesting? I will not start negotiating on air.

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Just elucidate the principle. I am seeking the same rights as every

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other British citizens in this island. In Wales or Scotland, you

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have equal marriage and Lang which rights. I am looking to have

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citizens having equal rights as they do across the rest of the islands.

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We have do make these institutions sustainable. We have do increment

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the principals. -- implement. Interesting that we talk about the

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Irish language act. We don't need one. The Irish language act, what do

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you want to have in it? Mark Sheen said to me, let's get the act and we

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will negotiate what happens in it afterwards. I said to him, what have

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you got against the Scottish system, which is a rights -based approach?

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We have to have an Irish language act and then negotiate what will be

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in it. Nobody knows what they are talking about it behind-the-scenes.

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No information has been released. How bad could it be question market

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is putting yourself on the same footing as everyone else in the

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United Kingdom. It isn't, because we don't know what is in it. To have

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our places defined by road signs. Is that how we want Northern Ireland to

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be seen going forward? What is wrong with recognising the Irish land

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which as it is, what is wrong... ? Don't hide it away. He is talking

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about the fact of the order that language is will appear on signs. I

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you might like to change the size about? I don't mind what order they

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come in. What he is talking about... Some people don't want them at all

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in Irish. What they want to do is hide the language away. It is not

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using public, but it is OK in Northern Ireland. That is not where

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we are at as a society. There significant people using the

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language on a daily basis. There are thousands of people being taught

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through Irish and there are more every year. The Irish language

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should be open, transparent and part of our society. It is a shame that

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Sinn Fein have politicised a language. Where should Irish be in

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the pantheon? I think we could have an Irish language act as a

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stand-alone act but what Steve did say about Sinn Fein not saying what

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is in the act until we get it, we actually discussed that on the floor

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of the assembly. If we had an assembly. But for us in the Alliance

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party it is not an Red Line issue because we don't think public

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services should be dwarfed by the red line issues but we think that we

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should set aside these until we get into the assembly but have

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meaningful and proper respect for discussion and if we do get the

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reform with the petition of concern we can easily solve, easily solve

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the Irish language act, we can solve marriage equality if we just ensure

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we have that respectful debate. The gentleman in the suit. I would like

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to ask Edwin if he could explain in explicit terms what it is that the

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DUP cannot agree to with Sinn Fein, since he's said that Sinn Fein

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demands are the barriers to get the government back. The man in the

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back. My folks are in Hong Kong and have Cantonese, Mandarin, are

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English to match and outlives all the time. I speak Chinese and French

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and English and I'm learning Irish. Doesn't make me less of a person

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dart very good point! I don't it make you to negotiate an air but

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let's get an idea of the stumbling blocks. One of the red lines with

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the Irish language, when you looked at what was being proposed, totally

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unacceptable. The issue about signage, non-Irish speakers, whether

:19:13.:19:16.

it should be right based, and if it is writes space to bend court will

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interpret that, cost imposed upon the government as a result and money

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stripped away from health and education to be is spent on the

:19:25.:19:31.

Irish language. It was figured out that it would be 2 million a year

:19:32.:19:37.

for five years, past ?9 million for the infrastructure. The DUP said

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that was fair apparently. The civil service have rubbished those figures

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to us. A set of figures have been bought up, and in a ?10 billion

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budget eyes and large but the civil service has rubbished them. -- isn't

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large but have been rubbished. I certainly haven't heard any civil

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servant rubbishing those figures. Will you both publish what are the

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sticking points? Feel free to check our website. This is daily reading,

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the SDLP website. It is something the SDLP have tried twice to bring

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forward. So is cancer waiting times, a rights issue, so our kids making

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sure not doing five exams. Those are all right this use and parties pick

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issues they know will cleave a long community background, and sectarian

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eyes. The point is we don't have do have one or the aria... Are you

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prepared to go back on the Executive in the absence of the Irish line

:20:54.:21:00.

would act? This is not now. Claire hasn't accepted this position. This

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is the thing, one will pick an issue and the other will oblige and divide

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them and they know that they can't do this... The SDLP for the last

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election dart can I do say I don't understand how we can acquit Ulster

:21:19.:21:22.

Scots to the Irish language. We had domination in this part of the

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island and 50 years, not thing believe one thing was done about. I

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do understand why it's an issue now. I wasn't born at the time so I can't

:21:35.:21:40.

fully commented but... Ulster Scots was never, ever put to the

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forefront, never legislated on, so why are Sinn Fein and many others

:21:46.:21:55.

bringing up the Irish language, and Ulster Scots, and it is the typical

:21:56.:21:58.

tit-for-tat we see in the country. The point is indirect rule... We

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won't get an act. APPLAUSE What is your party position? Excuse

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me! Lesson! I'm tragic yet the audience involved. -- I'm trying to

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get them involved. I think we have wasted a ridiculous the money paying

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you all to do nothing over the last ten months. We have been talking

:22:30.:22:36.

about the budget. APPLAUSE The gentleman over there. Nuala was

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right earlier talking about the position of concerns. I would like

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to ask John if he would try to resolve those. Gentleman here in the

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blue shirt. All I have heard from you is about the St Andrews

:22:59.:23:04.

agreement will stop John. We haven't heard a single Irish language act.

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Section 15, the St Andrews agreement... This is what it says.

:23:09.:23:19.

I'll read it. Quickly! 20 A:D.. Strategies related to the Irish Lang

:23:20.:23:23.

Jack and the Ulster Scots baggage. The Executive committee shall adapt

:23:24.:23:27.

a strategy. We don't have time to read it out. At I shall make it

:23:28.:23:31.

short. Two sections you keep talking about in the St Andrews act, two

:23:32.:23:36.

sections, one from the Loris language act, to the Ulster Scots

:23:37.:23:40.

act, so please stop taking the money that we pay you, get in the assembly

:23:41.:23:45.

can get rid of your veto and then sits down and discuss the Irish

:23:46.:23:51.

language act. And the Scots act. We must move on. Lots to get through

:23:52.:23:56.

tonight. Another question from Banga. What should special status

:23:57.:24:02.

really mean for Northern Ireland in the context of budget negotiations?

:24:03.:24:09.

Jeremy, you might be jumping that gun. We don't have a indication of

:24:10.:24:14.

special status yet. It is talked about certainly, something needs to

:24:15.:24:21.

be done about the border so special status, John, something Sinn Fein is

:24:22.:24:24.

keen on so what does that look like from your point of view? We had to

:24:25.:24:28.

remain in the single European market, and the customs union. Also

:24:29.:24:34.

in terms of giving the number of European citizens that live in this

:24:35.:24:37.

part of the world they should also be represented in the European

:24:38.:24:41.

Parliament and occasional presentation if we get the Executive

:24:42.:24:46.

running, for the Executive ministers are presented in the various

:24:47.:24:50.

elements of European structures accessed. Those are the broad thrust

:24:51.:24:55.

of designated special status. I think it is possible. Basically

:24:56.:25:01.

ignoring Brexit. I would like to. But you can't. You are right. It

:25:02.:25:06.

will have a significant detrimental effect on the island economy. Report

:25:07.:25:12.

after report points to that. We have set forward a proposal which we

:25:13.:25:16.

believe recognises the Democratic wishes of the people here,

:25:17.:25:21.

recognises the Good Friday Agreement, recognises our

:25:22.:25:23.

circumstances and allows us to continue free trade and an economy

:25:24.:25:28.

across the island of Ireland, and an economy and free movement of people

:25:29.:25:33.

and trade... So free movement of people and goods and services

:25:34.:25:36.

throughout the island of Ireland, and therefore into the United

:25:37.:25:42.

Kingdom. The United Kingdom is an important trading partner with us,

:25:43.:25:45.

no one wants to turn back on them. That's our proposal. Steve? I think

:25:46.:25:54.

what we are looking at and what is negotiated in Brussels at the moment

:25:55.:25:58.

is a tone of special status and what we need is 86% of the trade in goods

:25:59.:26:06.

and actual staff between the Republic of Ireland and the United

:26:07.:26:10.

Kingdom, all six 5 million euros of it, staying on this island. And what

:26:11.:26:14.

we should do is move towards a new Anglo-Irish Treaty that makes it all

:26:15.:26:19.

a free-trade zone on these islands, and it can be done. Because that

:26:20.:26:23.

sort of innovative solution we look for, and in case anybody thinks it

:26:24.:26:29.

is... Said the EU has to give you very special status. But they are

:26:30.:26:32.

already talking about that. The key issue here is looking at it, you say

:26:33.:26:39.

they are talking about it, they say they are talking about being

:26:40.:26:43.

imaginative not just special unique status fully Republic of Ireland in

:26:44.:26:47.

the free-trade. There are already discussions going on at the moment

:26:48.:26:51.

in Brussels about how do is you are the 65 billion euros worth of trade

:26:52.:26:57.

a year continuing, and the key is the agricultural business centre,

:26:58.:27:00.

and because they were robbing of Ireland, 66 divide percent of the

:27:01.:27:06.

work public Ireland business sector is in the United Kingdom and if

:27:07.:27:09.

there are barriers put up and particularly tariffs and

:27:10.:27:13.

regulations, but if they are barriers put up the entire Irish

:27:14.:27:20.

agri- business sector is going to collapse and that is in nobody 's

:27:21.:27:24.

interest. So behind the scenes there are discussions going about the all

:27:25.:27:30.

Ireland steal. -- deal. That means no hard soft or wet borders. And

:27:31.:27:41.

that is very doable. APPLAUSE I do agree, and we do believe in

:27:42.:27:45.

alliance that there is a unique situation for Northern Ireland

:27:46.:27:48.

because it is central to us, sharing, interdependence, and what

:27:49.:27:52.

Brexit does is it creates more division, it creates more barriers

:27:53.:27:55.

and so for my generation in particular, the millennial

:27:56.:27:58.

generation, I see many in the audience tonight and we grew up in

:27:59.:28:02.

the post-Good Friday agreement era, the world is more connected, and we

:28:03.:28:06.

need to ensure that in Northern Ireland we do not go back, we don't

:28:07.:28:11.

go backwards, meaning that not only for society, our economy, too. We

:28:12.:28:14.

believe the UK should remain part of the customs union and the unique

:28:15.:28:20.

situation should be applied to Northern Ireland, and all Ireland

:28:21.:28:23.

opposed to the agri- food industry, 10% of our career and we need to

:28:24.:28:26.

protect people across the border every day, or cross the border twice

:28:27.:28:30.

a day to carry out their business. Lots some people are saying that

:28:31.:28:34.

stopped before it is and this is what Michel Barnier has been saying

:28:35.:28:38.

is we need gone grey proposals of how to that could be achieved and

:28:39.:28:41.

keep everyone safe and secure. We can't get those concrete proposals

:28:42.:28:46.

if we don't have an executive, if we don't have some sort of unity

:28:47.:28:51.

speaking... Have you got proposals? We do, we have already put forward

:28:52.:28:56.

many. We are meeting businesses every single day with community

:28:57.:28:59.

organisations every single day to ask what they cannot do outside the

:29:00.:29:03.

European Union and what we can do to ensure that Northern Ireland can.

:29:04.:29:07.

Doesn't sound like you got concrete proposals. Let me bring in the

:29:08.:29:12.

audience. I don't think we should shy away from words like special

:29:13.:29:15.

status, lots of countries outside the EU has special arrangements with

:29:16.:29:21.

Edgar Manso do countries inside stop -- and so do countries inside. There

:29:22.:29:28.

needs to be a special status for people in the United Kingdom even if

:29:29.:29:32.

there is no deal. It is up for negotiation to do that and it is not

:29:33.:29:36.

go to be catastrophic for Northern Ireland. Edwin me you have set you a

:29:37.:29:39.

hard against the special status. Why? In terms of the British GB

:29:40.:29:48.

market, it takes over 60% of Northern Ireland good exports, and

:29:49.:29:52.

therefore we won't have some sort of Seeboard, between them and the

:29:53.:29:58.

single market, and so we look and focuses towards the UK market first

:29:59.:30:01.

and foremost, our most important market. 90% of global growth

:30:02.:30:09.

recognised by the European Union bree recognised outside the UK. I

:30:10.:30:13.

want the UK to negotiate those deals with those other countries, to put

:30:14.:30:20.

Northern Ireland in the frame where we can trade internationally. That

:30:21.:30:22.

approach ignores the Irish border issue. How does that factor into

:30:23.:30:29.

your thoughts? To Reza may brought forward bezels and Europe rejected

:30:30.:30:32.

them. Those proposals were sensible but they were rejected by Europe.

:30:33.:30:41.

Europe are seeking to be punitive in terms of how they deal with the

:30:42.:30:44.

United Kingdom because they don't want people to leave it. They need

:30:45.:30:50.

to respect the people of the United Kingdom. How does that affect the

:30:51.:30:56.

border? They need to be bad to let the British and Irish government

:30:57.:31:01.

have their border, they don't want a customs border, Europe needs... You

:31:02.:31:06.

might not call it special status but it is. Europe needs to respect that.

:31:07.:31:11.

We have brought forward sensible prizes and I urged them to look

:31:12.:31:16.

again at them in Europe. I think those proposals were far from

:31:17.:31:20.

sensible. Special status, I don't care what you call it if people have

:31:21.:31:25.

set their face against that concept. I want maximum access to Europe as

:31:26.:31:29.

much as we can get and yes we respect the vote to leave, although

:31:30.:31:34.

leaving the single market and the customs union wasn't on the ballot

:31:35.:31:37.

bed and many people were told that they wouldn't have to do that but

:31:38.:31:40.

the fact, and the businessman who asked the question was assuming we

:31:41.:31:44.

were getting special status because it is necessary and inevitable, and

:31:45.:31:46.

there are special status is across Europe for others. It is basically

:31:47.:31:53.

doubling down. We aren't worried? We will be fine? In a matter of course

:31:54.:31:57.

we are worried, there are no zombie reposes du Dai here, we are

:31:58.:32:04.

increasing the chance that we are going to crash out. It is vital that

:32:05.:32:08.

we fight for it. We use the Good Friday Agreement, double down, we

:32:09.:32:16.

have double citizenship, we can be European and non-European, and there

:32:17.:32:19.

are lots of structures across the island, the likes of a border bank

:32:20.:32:23.

and if we had misused the Good Friday Agreement we would see it as

:32:24.:32:26.

a solution but it is absolutely vital and as has been said, and as

:32:27.:32:31.

has been said in Europe do we need to ask for it, we can't let Brexit

:32:32.:32:36.

wash over us. Arguing about it is not as important as Brexit.

:32:37.:32:40.

Just one of your points there. The important thing is the transition

:32:41.:32:45.

period being as long as possible. I think two years is too short. The

:32:46.:32:50.

closer we get to five years, it will be better for everybody on these

:32:51.:32:53.

islands to get the best deal possible. Europe at the moment, I

:32:54.:33:06.

have been in Brussels fairly recently, the UK offered 20 billion,

:33:07.:33:17.

and the EU wants 60 billion, and the result will be about 40 billion.

:33:18.:33:20.

Once that prices paid, we will get the next stage. Jeremy, just to come

:33:21.:33:40.

back, but ... My proposal is simply the goods that originate in the UK

:33:41.:33:44.

as their country of origin should be Gareth free in the Republic only,

:33:45.:33:49.

and the goods that originate in the Republic should be tariff free in

:33:50.:33:53.

the UK. That is a very, very supporting to legislate. It doesn't

:33:54.:33:57.

get over the practical difficulties which are not insubstantial about

:33:58.:34:02.

having to track things, but it puts both sides on a reasonably good

:34:03.:34:04.

level playing field and that is what we need. It would be easy to do.

:34:05.:34:10.

Thank you. We will move on. The third question comes from a student

:34:11.:34:13.

from Newcastle. There is a serious lack of provision

:34:14.:34:20.

in our hospital. How will you fix our problems with waiting lists? We

:34:21.:34:24.

had these figures showing the worst of every area for our targets,

:34:25.:34:31.

including waiting lists. The Nuffield Trust said that things like

:34:32.:34:35.

ageing population, high expectations and better technology and more

:34:36.:34:39.

procedures are making us like further behind. 30,000 waiting for

:34:40.:34:48.

admission to hospital, 10,000 per year. I can read out a long list of

:34:49.:34:53.

statistics will stop our system is not fit for purpose, is it? The

:34:54.:34:59.

system needs reform and I recognise that from many years ago. Many

:35:00.:35:08.

parties who but up their hands to support it whenever it was brought

:35:09.:35:11.

forward then started to object to it when it was being applied. As did

:35:12.:35:16.

the trade unions and many people in the media. Every time we did

:35:17.:35:18.

something, you were told it was going to be disastrous when all

:35:19.:35:24.

other health professionals were saying it was what was needed. You

:35:25.:35:38.

are right, we do need reform. When I was health minister back in 2013,

:35:39.:35:43.

the waiting lists have almost doubled since that period of time. I

:35:44.:35:47.

was getting hugely criticised for waiting lists them. That

:35:48.:35:52.

demonstrates the problem. I would say that those problems started when

:35:53.:36:02.

ever Sinn Fein decided that reform is more important than... There have

:36:03.:36:09.

been reports for 20 years on reforming our Health Service. We

:36:10.:36:13.

were bringing waiting lists down. As a consequence, waiting lists started

:36:14.:36:17.

to go the wrong way and they have been going the wrong way ever since.

:36:18.:36:23.

We have had no minister for months and waiting lists are completely out

:36:24.:36:26.

of control. We need a Stormont back and we need to deal with these

:36:27.:36:30.

issues. All of the parties need to come together on health and start

:36:31.:36:36.

playing politics. I wanted to do something that was criticised for

:36:37.:36:40.

it. We actually stood back and allowed their health blister to get

:36:41.:36:46.

on with the job. They need to do their job. Close hospitals and

:36:47.:36:50.

things like that? Listen to the health fashion was as to the best

:36:51.:36:55.

way of doing it. Some hospitals might be better at providing chronic

:36:56.:37:00.

care and others might be better at providing current care. The first

:37:01.:37:05.

thing I would not do is handed over to the Tories under direct rule.

:37:06.:37:11.

People run size what direct rule will be doing. If you see what

:37:12.:37:15.

Jeremy Hunt is doing to the NHS in England, that is the last thing we

:37:16.:37:19.

want. One statistic today, 64,000 people waiting in Northern Ireland

:37:20.:37:23.

for a year for an outpatient appointment. That is a quarter of

:37:24.:37:28.

the people on the waiting list, for more than a year. In England, only

:37:29.:37:32.

1500 people on a waiting list for more than a year. They have 30 times

:37:33.:37:37.

the population but only 2% of the numbers that we have on a waiting

:37:38.:37:41.

list. The Tories attempted to be doing too badly in that sense.

:37:42.:37:46.

That's fine if you want to hand it over. The fact is, having an

:37:47.:37:49.

Executive will not be a silver bullet. Walking off from the job

:37:50.:37:54.

without securing a budget led to those cuts that went in last month

:37:55.:38:00.

that the role is to staff and worry people. The fact is we have an

:38:01.:38:03.

unprecedented level of political consensus. In the Assembly in the

:38:04.:38:10.

dying days, there was an agreement across the parties to take the

:38:11.:38:14.

politics out of hell. It doesn't need to take health out of politics

:38:15.:38:18.

altogether, it is not TB will not take -- it does not mean we will not

:38:19.:38:24.

talk about it. Both of these parties promised last May 1 billion for

:38:25.:38:28.

health over the next mandate. We were told in the Tory deal that

:38:29.:38:33.

there is 250 million for transformation there. The plans are

:38:34.:38:36.

there, we are told the money is there. We just need somebody to

:38:37.:38:41.

drive it. Can you address the question of why we seem to be worse

:38:42.:38:47.

at it in England? I don't have figures are covered for Scotland and

:38:48.:38:52.

Wales. Scotland is slightly worse than us and Wales is a lot worse

:38:53.:38:56.

than us. It depends on the regions. Regionally, it changes a lot. As an

:38:57.:39:03.

MMA, I've been reading the report and going through it and talking to

:39:04.:39:06.

a lot of health care professionals because I don't understand why

:39:07.:39:10.

Northern Ireland outcomes are so bad. It comes down to one of a lot

:39:11.:39:13.

of reasons. One of the things we need to do is to stop talking about

:39:14.:39:17.

it, stop doing reports and get on with it. We need, through

:39:18.:39:22.

transformation, to set up a delivery mechanism make it happen. Let's

:39:23.:39:26.

explain what you mean by transformation. If you look at the

:39:27.:39:30.

report, we need to move our health system and change how we do it.

:39:31.:39:36.

Luckily enough, we're living longer. But we also have differing health

:39:37.:39:39.

outcomes which means that what we are going to have to do increasingly

:39:40.:39:43.

is that to preventative measures and look to early intervention. What we

:39:44.:39:48.

will have to do is specialise in particular areas. Yes, it may be

:39:49.:39:53.

difficult but it is not about shutting down buildings and

:39:54.:39:59.

whatever, it is about key staff. Our staff are completely demoralised.

:40:00.:40:04.

Our hospital workers are completely dim or lies. They have had their pay

:40:05.:40:10.

capped. We need to get morale back in the Health Service and we also

:40:11.:40:13.

need to get on with transformation. That means we need to make... We

:40:14.:40:21.

have five health trusts. Wider we have 54 a population of 1.8 million?

:40:22.:40:26.

Why not have another delivery organisation to start getting on

:40:27.:40:28.

with transformation? It will take five or ten years. A lot of

:40:29.:40:33.

politicians think there is a magic bullet out there, but there isn't.

:40:34.:40:36.

It will take a decade to transport health but we need to get started.

:40:37.:40:42.

The only way we will do that is to have a Northern Ireland Executive up

:40:43.:40:48.

and running and do it now. Can you improve Health Service where Ralph

:40:49.:40:53.

before transformation? I think you can. You can get the Executive to

:40:54.:41:00.

talk about England and Wales and Scotland, that issue. In England,

:41:01.:41:06.

there are more specialised and local care and they are devolved to local

:41:07.:41:10.

government so a lot of bureaucracy is taken out of it. We need that

:41:11.:41:15.

transformation, but it goes hand-in-hand with the Executive.

:41:16.:41:19.

That does not mean we will not have any more waiting lists, decisions

:41:20.:41:25.

still need to be made. What we do not have is that centre focused on

:41:26.:41:31.

where the specialist focus should be. We're not health care

:41:32.:41:35.

professionals, we do not know best, but the professionals have told us

:41:36.:41:41.

what is best for people in Northern Ireland and we need to listen to

:41:42.:41:45.

them. We also need to get off of the not in my back garden, I know that

:41:46.:41:55.

there are protests about plans taking their whenever it came from

:41:56.:41:59.

your party as well. We all have our own difficulties with that. We need

:42:00.:42:02.

to agree that we will not go off into our silos and we will put what

:42:03.:42:05.

is needed for health first. Go ahead, sir. I have a question for Mr

:42:06.:42:19.

-- for Mr Edwin Poots. There is currently no health department up

:42:20.:42:24.

and active in this country because there is no agreement with Sinn Fein

:42:25.:42:27.

and in that affect you and your party partly responsible for the

:42:28.:42:31.

current health situation. What is that if not playing politics with

:42:32.:42:35.

health? The gentleman down the front again. Does the former health

:42:36.:42:45.

minister not feel guilt regarding nurse's wages? John O'Dowd, we had

:42:46.:42:55.

figures quoted last week, you need 80 million a year for for five

:42:56.:43:02.

years, plus as formation. How will that happen? The figures you have

:43:03.:43:14.

quoted I find interesting. The headline I saw was dying while

:43:15.:43:20.

waiting for a nebulous. Four the main trusts in England, their Chief

:43:21.:43:23.

Executive Sir said that they are heading back to 1999 waiting list

:43:24.:43:30.

scales. What is the common denominator? The Health Service in

:43:31.:43:32.

England is starved of funding and our Health Service is starved of

:43:33.:43:38.

funding. I hear the course for a return to the Executive. I have seen

:43:39.:43:42.

the budget for the next two years and it is frightening, absolutely

:43:43.:43:45.

frightening. The Executive if it does return will have serious, hard,

:43:46.:43:50.

difficult decisions to make. Our Health Service, we did promise ?200

:43:51.:43:56.

million a year and we did deliver that when the Executive was running.

:43:57.:43:59.

But that will be insufficient to deal with the pressures on our

:44:00.:44:03.

Health Service and it comes back to this. The Tories are starving our

:44:04.:44:13.

public services are of funding. And the Executive being back is a good

:44:14.:44:16.

thing but it will not solve all of the problems. What will direct rule

:44:17.:44:24.

due to help that? May I remind you, you fought the last election and

:44:25.:44:28.

note Executive without a rights... Whitey want to bring everything

:44:29.:44:37.

down... You are them they can manage the big picture? That's all Sinn

:44:38.:44:45.

Fein have said. I am being honest with people. But are any of those

:44:46.:44:51.

more important than handing over direct rule? England or Scotland or

:44:52.:45:01.

Wales have language act and a Health Service was up they have equal

:45:02.:45:04.

marriage and a Health Service would do not be bought up by this cry you

:45:05.:45:12.

-- by those who want back into the Executive. The Executive will not be

:45:13.:45:20.

able to resolve the issues. The last programme for government despite all

:45:21.:45:26.

of the papers, we tried to negotiate. Why did you rebuff? Did

:45:27.:45:39.

you think the legislation...? I would like to go back to the comedy

:45:40.:45:48.

made. I am a paramedic and I people every day, like people lying on the

:45:49.:45:56.

floor and dying for ten hours -- lying on the floor for ten hours and

:45:57.:45:59.

dying because they cannot get an ambulance. You work involved in a

:46:00.:46:04.

closure of a hospital. There was no investment in the Ambulance Service

:46:05.:46:08.

for top the cuts still came to the Ambulance Service. Do you feel

:46:09.:46:15.

guilty about any of that? You have got the wrong minister. You were

:46:16.:46:25.

involved in it as well. I was the minister after that. In terms of the

:46:26.:46:29.

Ambulance Service and all of these things, the DUP negotiated to get

:46:30.:46:34.

250 million additional four health. 50 million for reform, more for

:46:35.:46:42.

health. Could we not do with getting that money? We will only get that

:46:43.:46:46.

money either through an Executive or through direct rule. We need to get

:46:47.:46:52.

some movement on that issue and get down the 50 million set aside for

:46:53.:46:56.

mental health, a massive issue in this country. John believes that

:46:57.:47:01.

other issues are more reported than health. I have to say that I think

:47:02.:47:05.

health trumps the issues that John is talking about. We will leave it

:47:06.:47:07.

there. Thank you. Now to the next question. Penny. If

:47:08.:47:21.

abortionists are such a controversial issue, why don't we

:47:22.:47:29.

let the public debate it? It went to the Supreme Court in London today to

:47:30.:47:39.

try whether the law in Northern Ireland was against human rights.

:47:40.:47:48.

There are two sides do the argument but the Supreme Court today will

:47:49.:47:55.

decide why did we needed to go to the court, why couldn't Northern

:47:56.:47:59.

Ireland have its own view? It is going to the court, and first of all

:48:00.:48:06.

can I actually just say good luck to Angie and Christie, the women at the

:48:07.:48:10.

heart of the campaign, it's not easy for them to put themselves through

:48:11.:48:16.

this but I have such admiration for people. We shipped Sarah away, the

:48:17.:48:28.

woman with a Peters with a fatal if you. We have said that these women

:48:29.:48:32.

are not first class citizens and don't have equal rights so what we

:48:33.:48:36.

have in Northern Ireland parties who do not express comfort to these

:48:37.:48:40.

people, parties who say that we are for a quality but we won't let our

:48:41.:48:45.

members have freedom. We support equality when it comes to matters we

:48:46.:48:50.

believe in but when it comes to the women's fundamental right to choose,

:48:51.:48:53.

you can go to England and Wales because we don't want to deal with

:48:54.:48:56.

you here and I don't think that this is a society a fundamental success.

:48:57.:49:01.

It is ultimately wrong. Ball alliance it is a matter of

:49:02.:49:04.

conscience, it is right way for a giraffe Socratic party. I believe as

:49:05.:49:11.

a woman, personally, that the state should not interfere in the right of

:49:12.:49:14.

the woman to choose and we should respect the woman to choose without

:49:15.:49:19.

judgment and respect and help her here in Northern Ireland. APPLAUSE

:49:20.:49:25.

Is abortion part of the rights agenda for Sinn Fein? We aren't

:49:26.:49:32.

seeking the introduction of the 1967 act by any means but we do supports

:49:33.:49:43.

searching for places where women's health is at risk, and we do respect

:49:44.:49:48.

the Supreme Court. The assembly has thus far failed to protect women in

:49:49.:49:51.

the circumstances with fatal abnormalities. We have criminalise

:49:52.:49:55.

women for far too long in this regard. You will still do it if you

:49:56.:49:59.

don't decriminalise abortion. You will still do it if you only provide

:50:00.:50:05.

for it. All the parties will do it if we do not respect the women has a

:50:06.:50:11.

right to choose. Canada to clarify, Sinn Fein used to say it was not in

:50:12.:50:16.

favour of abortion. No, what I said was it is not in favour of the 1967

:50:17.:50:21.

act. Or extending the act do Northern Ireland. That was the party

:50:22.:50:27.

position if you years ago. I am not aware of that changing in recent

:50:28.:50:31.

years that we have always been cleared in the 1967 act should not

:50:32.:50:36.

be introduced here. It is right for women but as long as they have their

:50:37.:50:40.

abortions in England. No, in no way are we saying that. Women here

:50:41.:50:46.

should have the right to seek termination in circumstances of

:50:47.:50:49.

fatal fatal abnormality and circumstances of rape and sexual

:50:50.:50:52.

abuse and in circumstances where the woman's health is at risk, or the

:50:53.:50:57.

woman's life is at risk which is already the case. That is where our

:50:58.:51:02.

position. That isn't equality and bought a party that pays lip service

:51:03.:51:05.

to equality it is shameful that you think that this is a quality, it is

:51:06.:51:13.

not, it is a health care issue. The reason the referendum doesn't solve

:51:14.:51:16.

it as they say in the south is is because it is complex, it is not a

:51:17.:51:20.

yes or no answer because the legislation has to be decided and it

:51:21.:51:24.

is a legislation with people's deeply held beliefs and people's

:51:25.:51:29.

situation and people from our party we believe in life, we believe that

:51:30.:51:34.

life needs protection. Speaking personally and I have said this

:51:35.:51:37.

before we can't ignore and wish away the situation that people like Sarah

:51:38.:51:42.

Ewart are in and to buy Neary put it down between women's rights and a

:51:43.:51:45.

baby was right that is not a situation of right Les is right but

:51:46.:51:49.

a woman trying to do what is best for her baby and personally, this is

:51:50.:51:53.

a personal opinion, stigmatising her for that decision... Not a party

:51:54.:52:02.

position. No, it is not complex or fundamentalist, or misogynist do

:52:03.:52:05.

believe that there is a life there. It isn't convex or women who have to

:52:06.:52:10.

travel to England and Wales every single day. I accept your views.

:52:11.:52:19.

Bayard everybodyviews. We are forced to travel for abortion. If we were

:52:20.:52:24.

going to legislate, that is not the party view. The 1967 act is far

:52:25.:52:30.

outside of the parameters of most of the places in Europe. That is not

:52:31.:52:34.

what they are only finding in the south. It is the question of

:52:35.:52:38.

balancing views. What is your vision as opposed to your party but a

:52:39.:52:42.

vision? My point is that I am moved by Sarah Ewart's case. But a year

:52:43.:52:48.

and a half ago when the assembly decided to take soundings, get an

:52:49.:52:51.

expert report from clinicians who were supporting women, people who

:52:52.:52:56.

write legislation, looking at the human rights... You chose not to

:52:57.:53:03.

bring in abortion. It did vote to commission that research was

:53:04.:53:06.

shamefully that research hasn't been published. What is your position?

:53:07.:53:12.

What should women be able to do in Northern Ireland, should they have a

:53:13.:53:18.

abortion in case of fatal abnormality in Northern Ireland? In

:53:19.:53:26.

cerebral occasionally yes. What about rape and incest? Your party

:53:27.:53:34.

has tried to act framework for abortion. You approve of it in

:53:35.:53:42.

Northern Ireland for rape and incest and fatal faecal abnormality. Yes.

:53:43.:53:47.

Fatal faecal abnormality. Just to let you know, over 100,000

:53:48.:54:05.

lives have been saved by not extending the abortion act to

:54:06.:54:15.

Northern Ireland. I would like to ask John do you still believe in

:54:16.:54:20.

cherishing all the children of the nation equally and I would also like

:54:21.:54:25.

to say that it was the national Socialist German workers party that

:54:26.:54:29.

promoted the idea of life unworthy of life. Why must the state be the

:54:30.:54:38.

arbitrator in this disagreement? If you find the service than the

:54:39.:54:42.

individual still has the right to avail of that service or not avail

:54:43.:54:47.

of that service. Who protects the unborn child? Our party position is

:54:48.:54:51.

a matter of conscience. I am abundantly clear on the sea. I

:54:52.:54:55.

support abortion in the issues of the fatal foetal abnormality and

:54:56.:55:06.

crime. And I tell you why. I'm sure some of you have been to places in

:55:07.:55:13.

West Africa, Sudan, West Africa, where rape is used as a women leg

:55:14.:55:22.

weapon. -- it is used as a weapon. If one of my children was violated,

:55:23.:55:26.

one of my four daughters, a jihad to carry a child by rapist, I would

:55:27.:55:34.

support her donation of that child. 100%. It isn't a straightforward

:55:35.:55:38.

black and white issue. No matter what you may think will stop there

:55:39.:55:41.

are many things are many different things and I tell you what if you

:55:42.:55:45.

ever want to understand it, take yourself to Serbia or to Bosnia and

:55:46.:55:49.

talk to the women there that have had this issue forced upon them. Why

:55:50.:55:55.

not let the people of Northern Ireland decide? I would be happy to

:55:56.:56:07.

do it for them to be honest. Amnesty International is a supporter of this

:56:08.:56:12.

particular case and they came to the Justice committee of the assembly

:56:13.:56:16.

and they were questioned on their stance on abortion and believed that

:56:17.:56:20.

a termination of pregnancy should take place right up to the... Hold

:56:21.:56:28.

on. The cases being brought by the human rights commission! Date

:56:29.:56:34.

believed that a abortion could take place at to the point of birth. That

:56:35.:56:39.

is what is inhuman. It is absolutely wrong... That is not what we are

:56:40.:56:44.

talking about. That is not what we are talking about. It is murder one

:56:45.:56:55.

day and not the next. That is an ugly comment and you should simply

:56:56.:56:58.

not make comments like that. Six to the Supreme Court case. Fatal foetal

:56:59.:57:06.

abnormality and sexual crime. It is a comment made by Amnesty

:57:07.:57:09.

International representatives, I believe it is wrong and these

:57:10.:57:14.

organisations want to use... Address the specific issue, fatal foetal

:57:15.:57:18.

abnormality. I want them to use these hard cases to open the door.

:57:19.:57:23.

The government of California signed off on what he believed was tough

:57:24.:57:28.

legislation on abortion, his biggest regret, he said because it opens the

:57:29.:57:32.

door to abortion. We will have judges making decisions on our

:57:33.:57:38.

behalf because people and judicial cool Billy matter activism database

:57:39.:57:43.

on changes to the recession. There are abortions on the basis taken

:57:44.:57:50.

carefully in Northern Ireland. Some trusts choose to do it, some trusts

:57:51.:57:53.

chose not to under the same term will stop we can do many more things

:57:54.:58:04.

to protect the lives of the unborn. We are proudly people who stand for

:58:05.:58:07.

unborn children because they have a right to life will stop who stands

:58:08.:58:14.

for the woman? 8 million children have lost their lives in GB. No time

:58:15.:58:23.

for any more. A big thank you to the panel for their contributions and

:58:24.:58:24.

thank you for watching. A big thank you to our panel,

:58:25.:58:26.

to our studio audience, and, of course,

:58:27.:58:30.

to you at home for watching. You can continue the debate

:58:31.:58:32.

online, using #SpotlightNI Our next Spotlight Special

:58:33.:58:34.

will be on December 5th, so if you'd

:58:35.:58:36.

like to apply to be in the audience, you can email the programme -

:58:37.:58:38.

[email protected] - or phone the ticket line

:58:39.:58:40.

on 0345 300 3080. From the Spotlight Special

:58:41.:58:42.

team, a very good night. Strictly is inviting you

:58:43.:59:00.

to a spooky special this week.

:59:01.:59:05.

A studio audience put questions to a panel of decision makers on the week's big talking points. Noel Thompson presents.


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