11/03/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with political news and interviews, including work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

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In the North East and Cumbria: The two Teesside doctors who have


run 40 miles to the Liberal Democrat conference in Gateshead.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1807 seconds


It is to lodge their protest over Hello and a warm welcome to your


local part of the show. Coming up: these hospital consultants have run


from Middlesbrough to Gateshead to show their opposition to the


coalition's NHS plans. We will hear from them and get our response from


Cumbrian MP Tim Farron, who is at the Spring Conference. My guests


are Labour MP Julie Elliott and conservative campaigner Graham Robb.


Lots of economic news this week. The good was Nissan's's decision to


build a new model at its Wearside plant, bringing 400 new jobs. Nick


Clegg was keen to be in Sunderland on Friday. He was also at one of


Nissan's suppliers Unipres. It is hoped 1,600 jobs will be created in


the supply chain. Vince Cable describes this as a clear vote of


confidence in the UK's manufacturing sector. Julie Elliott,


is this a sign of good things to come? Hopefully it is. Nissan are


exceptional, growing in the strengths of this region. Hopefully,


the rest of the world, with changes in currency and problems countries


are having, manufacturing is becoming more of an option. We have


the track record, the skills, an excellent history in manufacturing


and we have some very cutting edge manufacturing companies in the


North East. Reduces yes policies are working? -- would you suggest


policies are working? Nissan are investing on the basis of that


grant. And that is good, but we need more. Graham Robb, record


exports for North East businesses, good news, but 50% were from the


sun. Is there no danger of too many eggs in one basket? -- 50% were


from Nissan. We need to look at growing the private business sector.


If you look at headlines, there have been 44,700 new jobs announced


by local firms and the North East, not just big firms, may be small


businesses. As those jobs go from announcement to hiring, you are


seeing a real enterprise culture re-emerging. You talked about the


Regional Growth Fund. Millions has been allocated to the North East


firms from that fund. It is about factories, manufacturing, targeting


public investment. Not as much as there was for other complex,


bureaucratic systems... It is not all roses. We have had some bad


news. It is not all roses at there are public sector job losses. When


you look at the number of jobs created in the future from just the


firms given funding, you are talking about 16,000 direct jobs


and 26,000 indirect jobs. We will have to leave that at the moment.


The Liberal Democrats are in Gateshead this weekend for their


conference. But not everyone gave them a friendly welcome. Hundreds


of people joined a trade union rally in Newcastle yesterday,


marching to protest at cuts to local services. One of the most


difficult issues is the Health Bill. Many would like to see it ditched.


We will get the view of Cumbrian MP Tim Farron. But first, I went to


Teesside. These men are usually doctors fighting cancer, but with a


secret identity as St pounding campaigners battling the NHS bill.


This dynamic duo have run across . The Royal College of Nurses have


come out against it, various groups. The Government just is not


listening. You have to go to extreme measures. The doctors ran


42 miles from Teesside to Gateshead as part of their protest. They are


believing that these plans should be blocked for the good of patients


at the party. It will be disastrous, the NHS will be privatised over


time, it will be hugely unpopular and will finish off the Liberal


Democrats long term. It is electoral suicide and they should


listen to NHS professionals. Redcar could be one place where the


backlash could be felt. Their candidate took the seat from Labour.


Going into Government was always going to be a gamble for the


Liberal Democrats. You could get some losses with everyone mac.


There are some worrying signs for the party in Redcar and their


honeymoon with voters is well and truly over. Mrs John Hannon, who


used to be a Lib Dem, quitting after 2010. -- this is. He won a


by-election for Labour. Now he is convinced the tide is turning


against his former colleagues. think there will be an up row with


NHS reforms. I do not think people from the Liberal Democrats expected


to be in this position. The people who brought us in in 2012 assure


that the Liberal Democrats have more or less joined the Tory party,


becoming their Withdean boys. That is what the people think. The Lib


Dems have not been swept away just yet, continuing to do community


campaigning they are so famous for. The party insists supporting red


card is holding up. But even amongst these activists, opinion is


divided on NHS reforms. My concern is the element of profit. We do not


want to go down an American style health care system. There were some


concerns in the first instance. Last spring, at the party


conference, we raised some concerns and amendments. I think it is


developing into something potentially effective. And the Dems


will tell you being in Government is about difficult choices. -- and


Lib Dems will tell you. But there are protests within and without the


party telling them they could be about to make a huge mistake. Mark


Denten is at that conference. We have had the result of the vote


on the NHS in the last hour. have. Nick Clegg has walked past me.


Activists have given him a battering, voting to remove a


section backing health reforms. One described it as a High Speed Train


crash. I have been getting reaction of the party President Tim Farron.


We know the Health Bill is something we would not have drawn


up in power on our own. But Reid at less than 20 for a present of the


vote. -- but we got less than 20% of the port. Andrew Lansley brought


in a bill last January which many people were concerned about. It


would bring in even more marketisation than Labour brought


in. We have spent 14 months dismantling it. Y are you going to


the wire, risking your reputation over something not in the


agreement? People talk about that, many of the things governments do


is reacting to events, such as Libya. I am not happy with the bill.


One thing we have to deal with is that the NHS is getting costlier


and costlier. That is for good reasons, we are living longer with


better medicines. People in your constituency will not have read


this. You are saying, just us, this will privatise the NHS. -- trust us.


I have no doubt that is what it will do. You get irritated when in


my position. I love Andy Burnham, but when he was Secretary of State


for Health, he privatised GP services across the North East,


privatised surgery for instance. This is about doing the best thing


for the National Health Service. You think doctors are wrong that


this will be a disaster and destroy the NHS? And do not think so. One


person living here do not understand what this is. We have a


public NHS which is paid for by the tax payer and will be free at the


point of use. What we have insured is that, at this is far from


perfect, we have ensured that marketisation will be put in its


box. The competition there will benefit patients. When contracts


come up bought out of hour GP services, the cheapest but will


Midlands Today -- the cheapest it will win, thanks to Labour. With us,


it will be the best. Howe is the political marriage going? It is a


very peculiar thing. It is important you behave in a


collegiate way. I am a northerner, spending four years at university


here. I know that the relationship with the Conservative Party for


most of us born in this neck of the woods is not good. But with


arithmetic across the country, if you have to former Conservative --


form a coalition, you have to work with them. Tim Farron talking to


Mark Denten. Julie Elliott, do you believe this is a better bill?


Not at all, it is an nonsense. It is a marginal bill, with them


voting for everything in his bill, not voting against it in the


chamber. It is absolute hypocrisy. Graham Robb, the problem for


Liberal Democrats and Conservative is every single problem in the NHS


over the next few years will be blamed on that bill. You have major


sells a hostage to fortune. That is a good political point. There are


two things at this art. It makes GPs the kingmakers indeed -- in the


NHS. You could have done that within the NHS. It enshrines that,


seeing GPs do not have to buy from established NHS organisations. I


have a close relative who has late- stage cancer, sadly. When she has


got to see doctors at nurses in the NHS, it has been brilliant. Other


things have not been. Things like tests that take a long time. GPs


could get them from other areas. When she has gone to the hospital,


the Macmillan Cancer Cure system is there, ready to help, but only


through voluntary arrangements. -- care system. This means that GPs


can contract with organisations, which has to be a good thing. Some


of the hyperbole about privatisation is inappropriate.


Labour did bring the private sector into the NHS. Was that a mistake?


It was broad hint marginally. This is a wholesale privatisation. -- it


was brought been marginally. GPs have to come to grips with changes


happening, going out to anybody. There will be little if any


monitoring of organisations. Their ethics of the organisations might


be completely adrift to the ethics and history of the NHS. This has


not been sold well. I would agree with that. What she is saying is


not true. Monitoring will be done. There will be proper


responsibilities. GPs are not a wholesale against it. 90% are


against. There are 44,000 GPs and not many voted -- not many signed


against it. Only 2,600 out of 44,000. I have not met a GP in


favour. There was one on the radio on Friday. What are you for in the


NHS? We are for a publicly funded health service that is there at the


point of need without question of profit. I am not saying the health


service and systems we had were perfect. Everything needs to change


for changing the. There was no need to bring in legislation like this.


Thank you. Now, a new case is being made for


regional government in the North, eight years after John Prescott's


plans were comprehensively rejected by voters in a referendum. The


Hannah Mitchell Foundation held its public launch in Bradford on Friday.


It called for a radical voice for the North, including directly-


elected regional government. Supporters say the prospect of


Scottish independence makes the case for a Northern parliament


stronger. But many MPs who backed the idea in 2004 are wary of


reopening the debate. But what about the voters? Fergus Hewison


spoke to people in Darlington, where nearly nine out of 10 voted


against a regional assembly in 2004. Are not independence, but the


evolution would make sense. There is an imbalance of finance


and others. We tried it once and turned it down. I do not honestly


think it will work any better this time. It is a good idea. We will


always have a say. Things are different down there to up here. It


would be a good idea. And non scientific survey, surely. Do you


think this idea has come and 2012? Let Labour advocated, it is


political suicide. This is politicians talking shop. What we


need a more factories, not another talking shop. Is this a serious


point? Vince Cable said, imagine a situation where you had Alex


Salmond, our First Minister for the North, with 15 million people


behind him going to Ten Downing Street. He would be hard to ignore.


It should be hard to ignore 30 MPs from the North. Vince Cable put the


Green investment Bank of Scotland, a bad idea. I would like people in


this region arguing for that. record for that locally. -- I


argued for that and vocally. I sponsored meetings, did interviews.


It was actually one of the things we could not put in a regional bid.


There were a number across the region. We are being sidetracked.


You were one campaigner burnt by this. Has this change? I do not


think there is -- this is the time to revisit this. I believe in it,


but the vote was overwhelming. I believe that you are looking at a


period of 20 years before a book issue can be revisited. Maybe have


a serious work with Labour MPs from this region backing this? I have no


problem with people opening up the discussion. But in the North East,


I am more interested in trying to raise the profile of the region,


raise the profile to bring jobs and investment. She is quite right. She


knows from experience. The problems is that frustration can build up.


In Scotland, we have something like that. There could be frustration if


this carries on. That is how democracy works. We need more of


MPs for this region. I would say more Conservatives. Just because


the Labour Party lost the election we should not have a super regional


expensive regional Government. People might feel it will be


ignored. It is up to the North to shout loudly at make its case. The


Regional Growth Fund we talked about, a large proportion of that


comes to the North. Sadly, a lot of Transport spent close to the South.


There are swings and roundabouts. Julie Elliott, do you think this


will happen? Hopefully in future, but not at the moment. It is a


missed opportunity. For now, we do not even have to Regional


Development Agency. That brought more investment than the Regional


Growth Fund. We need mechanisms to bring in investment. Thank you very


much. We like to get full value for money


from Mark. So he has just run all the way from the Sage to do his


regular gig, bringing us the rest of the week's political news in 60


seconds. And he is not even out of breath.


The North East will not be home to the new Green investment Bank.


Sunderland, Durham and Teesside for all bidding, but ministers decided


to get water it in Edinburgh. Somebody up will have two councils,


one for the North and south, according to one Carlisle MP, and


writing to Eric Pickles board reviewed. Many services for


disabled people will close. It will get other jobs. Some ministers do


not believe that will happen. not convinced that the people in my


constituency are other parts of the North East will gain employment


easily. And aluminium sector will close at the end of the month with


many losing their jobs. And the former Redcar MP has confirmed she


wants to be the newly elected Northumbria Police Commissioner.


She is hoping to be Labour's candidate, amongst others. That is


about all from us. BBC Newcastle's bricks to sue or


comes from the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.


Euro MP Martin Callanan will be taking listeners' calls after nine.


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

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