Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including the Sunday Interview with Conservative party chairman, Grant Shapps MP.
Browse content similar to 14/04/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
In the North East and Cumbria: A region divided over Mrs Thatcher's
legacy, we speak to her admirers and to the critics.
Plus who'll come out on top in the county council elections? We report
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2183 seconds
Hello and welcome to your local part of the show. What was Mrs
Thatcher's legacy to the region? We will be asking her admirers and
critics. And in 18 days, voters go to the polls but can the Liberal
Democrats stay in charge in Northumberland? We will have the
names of the candidates who want to be David Miliband's successor in
South Shields. Where will you be when the funeral
of Margaret Thatcher takes place on Wednesday? Many people want to pay
tribute to what one more piece Conservative this week called the
greatest leader of our age. But others in the former mining
communities of County Durham will be celebrating her passing. This is
the publicity for that party, it should have happened 50 years ago,
better late than never, join us to celebrate the demise of one of the
most hated figures in British politics. Is that tasteless and in
appropriate? I understand people's views with regard to Margaret
Thatcher, she was one of the most reviled politicians in the UK. It
was the press who said she was loved or loathed in equal measures.
I am in the latter category, I loathe her as a politician, because
I was a young man fighting not for money and wages but for a future in
my children and children's children. She took everything away from my
communities. But that show a lack of respect? I am not sure who wrote
that, it would not be the words that I would use. Your thoughts on
parties to mark Margaret Thatcher's death? It demeans people that they
have comments such as that. I understand their opinions on both
sides, at the end of the day, she was an old lady, 87 years of age.
She has children and grandchildren. To write comments like that is, it
says more about the people who produce the comments like that.
Most of them are too young to have remembered her legacy. They are
judging it from false myths and news reports, they never lived
through the Times. A lot of people would be the offended by the cost
of the funeral. She was a prime minister she is entitled to a
ceremonial funeral, I am sure other leaders will have the same. Most of
the cost is about the security because of the anarchists and left
wish -- left-wing demonstrators. There a lot of world leaders coming
in for the funeral, they are entitled to protection. Other prime
ministers have not have that in the past. The last from was Winston
Churchill. Where should we draw the line between protest, even
celebration of her death, and respect? It is reasonable that
people respect -- protester during her time as Prime Minister, there
were things that they disagreed with. Like the poll tax, although
it sometimes went to violence, it was every reason to protest at a
been grossly unfair. But when the woman dies many a year later, she
is entitled to this respect. The Labour Party had time to reverse
things that Mrs Thatcher did, they chose not to do so, because some
other things were necessary, and others... We will discuss some of
what she did and her legacy in a murmured. It is bitterly contested,
the trade unions blame her for the closure of suedes of industry,
whether it be steelmaking, coal- mining or shipbuilding. Her
supporters say that the industries were dying anyway and she
represented New Investment, for example in the Nissan plant. What
would remain of the North's industrial base if Mrs Thatcher had
Margaret Thatcher divides opinion, perhaps she always will. One thing
is for certain. After she was Prime Minister, the North really did not
look the same. Shipbuilding disappeared, mining went as well.
Where I am standing now, there was once a steel works employing 4000
people. Now we have got a cycle way and two rather interesting booking
statues. What did the North East's industrial landscape have looked
like without Margaret Thatcher? Near Sunderland, in the 1970s, this
local pit employed 1300 workers, producing 3000 tonnes of coal a day.
It closed in 1986. The blade and MP Dave Anderson used to work there
and says without Mrs Thatcher and, it would be a thriving coal
industry. She destroyed organised labour in this country, and that
was mine workers. We had huge reserves of coal that could have
still been tapped. We could have been working now. He would have at
least had -- he would have had three pits in the north-east, there
are four collieries that could have still produced coal. 25 miles away,
an empty field, also once part of the north-east mining industry. It
was Fishburn coke works. In the late Seventies, it provided 80% of
male employment in the area. In 1986, it closed with the loss of
250 jobs. Some say the mining industry would have declined
without Margaret Thatcher. Durham coalfield was in decline for
a very long period of time, since the end of the First World War. The
Labour Party was tremendously involved in the pit closure
programmes, particularly in the period in the late 1960s. Huge
numbers of pits closed, people put out of work. What was the key
difference in the way it was handled under Margaret Thatcher?
was the speed at which the decline came in the 1980s and Nineties, the
speed of decline was enormous. A for 115 years, the skies over
concert were field with a haze of iron and oxide dust, a visible mark
of the steel industry. Closure of the industry of the town with 35%
and employment but clearer skies. Today there are shopping centres
and houses instead of steel making. Mrs Thatcher's supporters say the
area just had to move on. Margaret Thatcher was not responsible for
the closure of the steelworks, that has already -- that was already
decided by the British Steel Corporation, a nationalised
industry. If you look around now, it has a boom town with an
unemployment rate was 4%. In 1927, the apparent golden age, -- golden
age, it was 28%. You see an economic legacy left by Margaret
Thatcher which has transformed this country for the better. Many of the
North's archive industries are the safest -- stuff of archive film. --
traditional industries. Good Margaret Thatcher kill them off
before their time or hasten the inevitable? -- did Margaret
Thatcher kill them off before their time or hasten the inevitable?
cannot pin is all on Margaret Thatcher, the decline map -- began
much earlier than the 1970s. closed last tranche of my eyes, she
took a beating heart of the community as well. -- of the 9th.
She closed coal mines and call me at -- coal-mining communities. She
left them to wither on the economic wind, and communities are still
scarred to this day. They should have -- did she not just accept the
inevitable? No, she ripped out the heart of communities. She was a
conviction politician, she did not want to see the communities the
right. -- communities thrive. She got rid of the trade unions, she
wanted to see the demise of those communities. A it was all personal,
basically, and if she had not done that, it would we not have had
these pits producing valuable coal? No, you're 0.2 Ian was valid. Twice
as many pits closed in the 1970s under Labour than closed under
Margaret Thatcher. She did not close and, she said that -- she did
not close them, she just said that public subsidies were removed.
There is nothing to stop anyone opening a pit of now. The last ship
yard closed under Labour, the last steelworks in Teesside closed under
Labour, and then reopened under a coalition government. There is an
awful lot of myths talked about this. I understand it is paid for
fork thickly disease concerned but this -- painful for the communities
concerned, but this process of industrialisation in a long-term
process. You saw the whole of the Thatcher government from the
opposition benches, what in your view did it do to the north-east
was wrecked was it necessary -- and it's the north-east? Was it
necessary? She was determined to have a fight to the finish, and was
-- and Arthur Scargill did as well. We could have had a more gradual
closure programme and better investment. It was not just call,
it was shipbuilding as well. were so baffling -- suffering from
other parts of the world which were produced in ships moored people put
-- cheaply. The accusation from Ilie it -- Ian Lavery is that she
was callous about this. There was something quite personal about her
desire to see off Arthur Scargill, she did not want to see two or
three trade unions hold the country to ransom. It be can -- it became a
personal battle and he played into her hands and called a lot of
suffering to a miner families by playing into her hands. He is now
challenging his own trade union to keep privileges that they cannot
afford to pay four. Even if you think Margaret Thatcher was brittle
in the way she did this, did she not so the seeds of the things like
-- so the seas of the things like the Nissan plant? By constituency
has suffered greatly. Every time there is an issue raised about the
economics of the north-east, people referred to Nissan. The fact of the
matter is that Nissan could go like that if David Cameron and there
Tories get their way in terms of money you... Everyone tells you
about the devastation, but when you go to the town it has survive.
does not flourish like he suggested, it is not flourishing now.
Regardless of the cold by the communities, you mentioned the
shipyards and manufacturing. A lot of people who work in these
industries now have not had jobs for generations. Nor have their
children. As a result of Margaret Thatcher's vindictive policy is.
There is much still to do in the north-east, there are many areas of
deprivation, but the question that Ian has to alter, they had 13 years
of Labour government who made no attempt to open any of these
industries because they did not want to continue subsidising them
either. There is nothing stopping you open -- opening pits or
shipyards or ship -- steelworks. It is very difficult to compete in a
globalised environment so we have to look towards new industries.
Nissan is a long way from your constituency but there are also
hundreds of smaller companies that thrive... One of the problems is
that Margaret Thatcher believed anything -- everything could run
from London, she had no concept that the North could run anything
themselves. She also misunderstood what was happening in Europe. She
believed a the single market, she opposed German reunification. If
she had not been -- if we would not have been in Europe, we would not
have Nissan. 34% of people in the north-east voted for Margaret
Thatcher in 1983, 32% in 1987, more than now. If she was so bad, why
were people voting for her? We live in a democracy, people vote for who
they want. If you come to my constituency and have a ballot or a
poll on whether people supported Margaret Thatcher, it would not be
34%. I would invite you to do that. That is a reality on the ground
with the mining communities. There are different areas with different
views. What about the point that this carried on under Labour? This
carried on under Labour. What carried on under Labour?
decline of manufacturing. It was set into being by Margaret Thatcher
and his determination to get rid of the family silverware. She
prioritised, closed and Chris abide communities. We could talk --
crucified communities. We could talk for another 20 minutes, but we
have got no time. In a fortnight is the county
council elections come up for grabs our county councils in Cumbria,
Durham and North Yorkshire. But in Northumberland one of the fiercest
battles have been fought. Liberal Democrats have been running the
council since 2008, but with a slump in their national fortunes,
can they hold on to their last remaining stronghold in the north-
east? Than romantic views of Northumberland, rolling hills,
vibrant wildlife and bracing shores. The reality is rather more complex.
I missed it -- mixture of industrial areas amid the vast
rural expanse. It makes the Liberal Democrats job of running the
council challenging, not least for may say they have had to trim a
more than �100 million from the budget. We have had a council
taking over the functions of the seven previous councils, most
people would not have noticed the difference in the level of 76 --
service they got. They will be able to see that we can attract business,
and there is a housing company that has got a part here, and a paint
factory near by. This business park is an example of what the Lib Dems
say they have done for Northumberland. The Conservatives
believe rural areas have been starved of funds, leaving them at
run-down and neglected as embodied by the Hexham bus station. People
across Northumberland are telling me how their accounts are going
downhill. We are here in Hexham today, the pavements are not kept,
the place is dirty, the bus station has had a better at four for five
years. Our number one priority is to fix a broken roads we have got.
-- the bus station has had no investment for four or five years.
Northumberland was a Labour stronghold but they were beaten
into third place in the elections in 2008. They are determined to
take control in May, and they have put house building in the centre of
their plans for the county's future. We have got a terrific housing
crisis, 12,000 on the social housing waiting list. 4% of the
population of Northumberland. We would like to tackle that as Labour
over the next five years. It is a major policy decision of hours,
moving towards getting down the housing list. That is what the
politicians say, what about the voters? What issues matter to them?
Everywhere else gets leisure centre, although they have already got one,
there is nothing round here. We are in this area near Rothbury, and one
of the major trunk route into the area has been closed and well
before the next year as -- at least. One of the things that people are
aware of is that the town centres like a blithe and Ashingdon seem to
be run down and are getting worse. There is another big store going in
Blyth, no one wants to do anything about it. It appears that way. Amid
market issues, local issues are at the forefront of people's minds
when they go to the polls on 2nd May.
Let's raise one of those local issues, it is odd that the Lib Dems
seemed stand accused of spending too much money in Labour
strongholds. It depends where you go, in one area they saved the
areas are being spent -- the money is being spent in the other areas.
In Rothbury, there is a massive commitments to broadband because
that is so important in rural communities. The county have had to
save �100 million without closing a single library. Without closing any
Sure Start centres. Compare that with Newcastle, run by Labour,
which is closing facilities, slashing its arts and culture
budget. We have done a challenging job very well. Labour amalgamated
all these councils, we have had to pick up the pieces. You have had a
new leisure centre in your constituency, most services have
been kept going in tough times, should you congratulate the Lib
Dems? When you mentioned the new leisure centre, there has not a
brick been built yet. Hopefully that will come in the future. What
East Northumberland means -- meet his investment in growth and jobs.
We need more people employed and more people off the streets. What,
the Lib Dems do? -- Watts, the Lib Dems cannot do that? They set their
own agenda. We have a huge queues for jobs. I use saying that the
Labour council would save economic problems? One of the main things,
apart from housing, one of the main things we have got to focus on in
Northumberland is jobs. We need jobs and growth and investment.
Everyone will accept that. Come the local elections, you would not vote
Conservative, would you? Of course you would if you want an efficient
council. It is going to be a challenging financial environment
in local government because of the debts that Labour ran out. So what
we are going to do is concentrate the scarce resources on the
priorities that people want, car parking charges, road repairs, and
trying to bring economic development into the council.
is �4 million for three parking, hat -- where you go to find that?
You cannot change the basic economics of the country with one
local authority but their priorities that you can do and the
Conservative administration would. How big a blow to your prayers he
would it be if you lose seats and you end up -- a party if you close
seats has back I think we will gain seats in these elections. I think
we will gain seats from the Conservatives. There are seeds that
we can win from Labour. I think the record stands well and what we are
doing nationally plays into local things. Cutting people's taxes,
putting money into schools with the people premium. These are things
that people want to see happening. That is the case for the Lib Dems.
The Lib Dems are not contesting every single seat in the council.
There has been a jumping from the ship of Lib Dem representatives.
For example, Ashington town council, there are 19 seats, they had 14
last time, they have only got to nominated people. Where have they
gone? I am afraid we have run out of time. We will be hearing from
UKIP and and the Green Party in the next few weeks.
There was any report in the state of the north-east economy this week,
and by-election campaigning has begun in South Shields. Following
David Miliband's resignation. Benefit changes which will
eventually affect millions of disabled people started this week.
The north-east and Cumbria is piloting the switch from disability
living allowance to a new personal independence payments.
Meanwhile unions in Newcastle held a protest against government plans
to cap benefit increases to 1% in the next three years.
A review into the north-east's economy chaired by Labour peer Lord
Adonis has caught -- called for a North East Bank and more investment
in the north-east railways. Have we are going to sell the Regent
International, we need good connections, which means a direct
flight to the USA and better connections to other City is.
The parties have started selecting candidates to fight the South
The by-election is expecting on May septum -- the by-election is
Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including the Sunday Interview with Conservative party chairman, Grant Shapps MP. Also, former CBI boss, Lord Jones and TUC leader, Frances O'Grady go head to head on trade union reform, and former cabinet minister, John Reid, on Tony Blair's warning to Labour.