30/03/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey and Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael.

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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Can Ed Davey keep the lights on Can he ever deliver cheaper power? Or


the investment our energy market badly needs? We'll be asking the


Energy Secretary. Why has the anti-independence Better


Together campaign suddenly got the jitters? We'll be quizzing Scottish


Secretary Alistair Carmichael. And whatever happened to the BNP?


in the north`east and Cumbrha we as They could be


in the north`east and Cumbrha we as the Scottish Nationalists if


independence as a threat or an opportunity to


which runs the capital's Fire Service. The Mayor has a political


move designed to silence his critics.


And with me, as always, the most useless political panel in the


business, who we're contractually obliged to insult on a weekly basis.


But not today, because they are our chosen ones. They are the brightest


and the best, we've even hired a plane to prove it: Helen Lewis,


Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.


Right, left and centre of the Westminster Establishment have been


unanimous in saying there would be no chance of monetary union with the


rest of the UK for an independent Scotland. Then an unnamed minister


spoke to our Nick saying that wasn't necessarily so, and that made the


Guardian's front page. The SNP were delighted and the anti-independence


campaign rushed to limit the damage. The faux pas has come at a time when


the Better Together side was already beginning to worry that things were


going the Nationalists' way. Let's speak to a leading light in that


campaign, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, who's in


Aberdeen at the Scottish Liberal Democrat spring conference.


Alistair Carmichael, why is there a sense of crisis now engulfing the no


campaign? I think that is something of an overstatement. What you have


got is, I am getting my own voice played back in my ear. What you have


got here is one story from an unnamed source, a minister who we


are told, we do not know for certain, who has speculated on the


possibility of a currency union actually happening. I do not think


that is helpful but it is not any big deal. You have to measure it


against what we have got publicly named on the record. We have got a


detailed intervention of the Governor of the Bank of England


Mark Carney, outlining all the reasons why a currency union would


not be a good idea. And then you have got independent advice from the


permanent Secretary of the Treasury himself saying actually, this is


such a bad idea, that I would never advise a chancellor to go ahead with


it. You set one against the other and you see that pretty much the


force of argument is very much against those of us who want to


remain in the United Kingdom. All the minister was saying is come the


day, if Westminster is negotiating with a new independent Scotland a


deal is to be done, Faslane where the nuclear deterrent is, there is


nowhere else in the UK to put that is, certainly not for the next 0


years, a deal would be done, the nuclear weapons would stay in


Faslane and Scotland would get a monetary union with the rest of the


UK. That is perfectly plausible isn't it? No, I'm sorry, it is


simply not plausible. The economy is more important than anything else.


What you have had here is very clear advice from the treasury officials


saying it is not in the economic best interests of the people of


England Wales, Northern Ireland any more than it is in the interests of


people in Scotland. Where do you put the nukes? The outcome will not


change. Where do you put the nukes when the Nationalists kick you out?


I do not believe that will be a problem because I do not believe


Scotland will vote for independence. But you might be asking the Scottish


Nationalists, who are apparently promoting this, are they then not


sincere when they say they want to remove nuclear weapons from


Scotland? It seems to be a curious mixed message. As you know, I have


not got the Nationalists, I have got you, so let me ask you the


questions. You are widely seen as running a campaign which is too


negative. The Nationalists are narrowing the gap in the poll found


you are squabbling among yourselves. This campaign is going pear shaped,


isn't it? No, let's deal with the polls. All the polls show that the


people of Scotland want to stay as part of the United Kingdom. Yes


there were a couple of polls last week that said the gap was narrowing


a little. The most recent poll of all, the poll on Wednesday which


actually polled people's voting intentions on the question come


September showed that only 28% of people in Scotland were prepared to


say they were voting yes, as opposed to the 42% who were on our side of


the argument saying they wish to remain part of the UK. That poll


said women were skewing towards a yes vote and it showed that the


don't knows were beginning to skew towards a yes vote. That is why you


yourself wrote this morning that if your campaign does not get its act


together, you would be sleepwalking into a split to quote yourself. No,


to quote myself I said it was not impossible that the Nationalists


could win that. That is absolutely the case. The biggest danger for the


United Kingdom camp in this whole argument is people will look at the


polls. They show us with a healthy lead consistently. As a consequence,


they think this will not happen It can happen. I have got to tell


everybody that it could, not least because the Nationalists have an


enormous advantage in terms of the amount of money they have at their


disposal to buy momentum. They will be advertising in cinemas, in


football matches and on social media. We have got to realise what


is coming and as a consequence, we have got to get our arguments in


place and our campaign as sharp as theirs. Thank you for joining us.


Nick, this unnamed minister who gave you the story, did he or she know


what they were doing? I do not think they were sitting there wanting to


blast this out there, because the agreed government position was there


will not be a currency union, if there is a vote for independence.


But what I was managing to get hold of whether thoughts that are in the


deeper recesses of people's minds, when they are looking at the polls


which have been narrowing, or there was Alistair Carmichael quite


rightly says, the pro-UK vote is still ahead. People are looking down


the line, what would happen after the 18th of September this year not


just the next day but the next year, in those very lengthy


negotiations that would take place, when there would be a lot of moving


places on the table. You talked about Faslane, what would happen


then and that is what I managed to get hold of, that there are thoughts


about all those pieces that would be on the table. It is not surprising


that some in Westminster think that. Let's take the Shadow


Chancellor Danny Alexander at his word, they do not want a monetary


union. But if they are faced with giving the Scots a monetary union in


a post-independent Scotland, or having to remove the nuclear


submarines from Faslane, where they have nowhere else to put them,


probably except North America, there is a deal to be done. I think


whatever minister gave Nick his story is probably onto something. If


the Scots vote for independence of course a deal will be done about the


currency because it is not in London's interests to have a


rancorous relationship with Edinburgh. Even if the deal is not


done, how does one country stop another country using its. That is


different. All London can really do is prevent Scottish intervention on


the monetary policy committee. The interest rate would be set without


any regard to the Scottish interest. Even that is only a fatal problem if


the Scottish economy becomes so out of sync with the UK economy. Except


it is a problem for Scotland's financial system because if you go


down that route there is no means of injecting liquidity into the


financial system in the financial crisis. That is why they would


rather have a monetary union. Is it not remarkable to hear the Secretary


of State for Scotland here that the Nationalists are spending too much


money, when he represents a campaign which brings together all the major


parties in the UK and all the resources of the UK and he is


bleating about the Nationalists having more to spend? I did think


that was a funny line and it was in the Observer. It lays into Alex


Salmond's plucky upstart idea that he's taking on this big


establishment. I thought it was a bizarre open goal, I am losing my


football metaphors, forgive me. The polls are so in favour of a no


vote. But the trend has been going their way. We have six months left


which is not enough to close the gap. They always tell you Alex


Salmond is a strong finisher. The plucky upstarts have this funding


from a millionaire. The Better Together campaign are being


incredibly cautious about where they get their money from. They do not


want to go to the City of London Police say, give us a couple of


million. Being Energy Secretary used to be a


bit of a dawdle, especially when North Sea oil was flowing. Now it's


very much a hot potato as Ed Davey has been finding out the hard way.


High household energy bills have been top of his inbox. The big six


energy companies account for 95 of the market. Off Johnson -- Ofgem


said there had been possible tacit coordination in the timing of price


rises and ordered an investigation by the competition and markets


authorities which will look at whether the big six should be broken


up. Where does that leave investment? The boss of Centrica


made the point that you would not spend money building an extension if


you knew in two years time your home might be bulldozed. The spare


margin, that is what is left in the generating system to cope with a


surge in demand on a cold winter's night, is due to drop to


historically low levels in 2016 according to Ofgem. Normally at


around 15%, capacity could drop to 2% after the next election and that


could lead to a surge in the sale of candles. Now where is that light


switch? Energy Secretary Ed Davey, joins me


now. Oh, we have found the light switch! The gap between a peak


winter demand and generating capacity could possibly reach 2


next winter or the winter after We will keep the lights on, that is for


clear. When we came to power, energy investment had been relatively low.


The Labour Party had failed to deal with the energy deficit. From day


one we have been pushing up massively. Investment has been


billion a year. Last year was a record. Spare capacity is now


heading to 2%. Why are you allowing it to get that no? Because we have


been increasing investment massively, last was a record level,


we will be able to keep the lights on. Some of the figures you are


showing suggests we are not doing anything. We have not only done


enough in our last three years, we have put in measures to stimulate


huge amounts of extra investment. We have the healthiest pipeline


investment in our history. We will come onto investment in a minute.


None of that change is the fact that we will be close to 2% next winter


or the winter after that. We have one major power station shut down,


or a cold winter away from having major problems with energy supply.


It is still 2%. Let me explain. The figures assume we are not doing


anything but we are doing something. Look at the National Grid. They are


able to bring in energy from interconnector is because we are


connected up to Europe. They are able to create a reserve so if we


get to problems, they will have a mothballed plant they can bring on.


You have not agreed with anybody on that. The decision was taken last


July. But no supplier has agreed to under mothball its plant. We would


not expect them to do that yet. Our plan is in place. On time, on


schedule, as we already thought it would be. But you have not got a


single agreement with a power supply who has mothballed plant to on the


ball it. We did not expect to. Our plan is in me National Grid will do


an election to allow those plants to come on. There is a huge amount of


interest. There are gigawatts of power that can come in to come on.


There is a huge amount of interest. There are gigawatts of power that


can come into that auction and we are not other measures we can take


and that is just in the short term. We have a plan for the medium-term.


We will be running the first auction for new capacity. The final decision


will be taken and we have learned lessons from what they do in North


America and other European countries so we can stay minute mothballed


plants and new plants to be built. I am absolutely clear there is not a


problem. You only build 9000 megawatts of new capacity from


2011-13. You have closed almost 22,000 megawatts. Why would you be


so cavalier with a nation's power supply? The last Government was


cavalier because we knew those figures are happening because we've


known for a long time a lot of power plants were coming to the end of


their life, coal power plants, nuclear power plants, and we had to


increase the rate of investment but we... That shows clearly you are


closing twice as much, you have to date, closed twice as much as you


have opened, hence the lack of spare capacity. We knew a lot of them are


coming back for the last Labour Government knew. We have increased


the new so that's increasing significantly, far faster than under


the last Government but also remember, you were very wrong at the


beginning of your clip, margins at 15% are very own usual. They are


historically high. The average margin was 25%. That was wasting a


huge amount of money. But since privatisation, we've had margins


between 5% and 10%. Normally, high margins historically, which is


costly. Now we will have historically low margins. People


have to pay for that, so we make sure the lights stay on, we have a


short-term policy I have described to you, and medium-term policy and a


long-term policy. The long-term policy comes huge investment between


nuclear and optional, policy comes huge investment between


on. Ofgem, Independent, says the chance of blackouts by 2016 has


increased fourfold under your watch. What they say, if you read the


report, if we did nothing, they would be problems. But we have been


working with Ofgem. We have been working with National Grid, and we


have agreed that there will be a reserve capacity which can come on


if we get to the peak for the Best not just on the supply side but


demand and into connectors. You talk about industry having to move to


off-peak times. We say, they are prepared to that you paid for it,


and it makes commercial sense for them, it's a sensible thing for the


Wii will pay them to move to off-peak. You have huge diesel parks


for the you talk as if that something new but it's been around


for a long time for the 200 these contracts out there. We want to


expand that. You have hundreds of diesel generators to click into


haven't you? There's a whole range of generators. Diesel generation,


dirty fuel. There's a of mothballed gas which can come. If you look at


the increase of the independent generators, many companies, a range


of power companies who are building a new power station and want to


build new ones. This is a healthy situation. You say you made over 100


billion new investment between now and the end of the decade to restore


capacity and meet renewable targets. Now you have referred the


Big Six to the competition commission, how much of that to


expect to come from them? We will see what the market delivers. We


have always expected independent generators to do a lot more than is


happening in the past. How much from the Big Six? It's not for me to say


it's going to be best from that company. The real interest is we


have huge amounts of companies wanting to invest. If you look at


independent analysis, they say Britain is one of the best places to


invest in energy in the world. We are the worldly do in offshore


wind, one of the best for renewables, one of the only


countries getting nuclear power stations. Rather than the bleaker


picture you're painting, the reverse is the case. We are seeing an


investment renaissance. You say that. Let me give you some facts.


Under this Government, only one gas plant has been under construction,


only one started under your watch for the others were done under


Labour. You have none in the pipeline. The Big Six has pulled


back from further investment including new offshore wind


investment and none of what you re talking about will come before 020


anyway. That's simply not true. The balance reserves I've talked about,


the reserve planned: Making sure the mothballed plant could come on, I


capacity market incentivising new power, will happen way before 2 20,


so that's not true. But doesn't answer the extra capacity. You have


no answer between now and the end of this decade. We have three answers.


Let me repeat them for you. I said permanent, not the short-term ones


you are putting in place to try to do with spare capacity. We have a


short-term plan, of course, that's very sensible. Medium-term plan


auctioning for new power stations. That can lead to both mothballed


plant and when you plant, permanent plant being built, and the long term


plan, to stimulator long-term investment, some of which will be


built and come online way before the end of the decade. I'm afraid, it's


a far rosier picture than your painting. It's also far more


expensive, too. Let's look at how you are replacing relatively cheap


energy with much more expensive sources of energy. Wholesale prices


is ?50 per megawatt. You have done a deal with EDF, nuclear, ?92 50. You


have indexed it for 30 years at 2012 prices.


All of that puts up our bills. First of all, the support of the low


Carbon is just 4% on bills. What has been driving peoples bills over the


last decade has been wholesale gas prices. No one knows what guys


prices are going to be in the future -- gas prices. When you look at the


Ukraine and other market indicators, many people are worried that by the


time nuclear power stations come online for example, the price of gas


could be significantly higher. You have indexed linked that for them by


the time you get any power from this, it'll be up to ?125 per


megawatt hour. The price of gas been going up far higher. Not recently.


Despite Iran, Ukraine, Libya, not recently. The long-term forecast,


Andrew, it's going to go higher but more importantly than that, this is


an area we could disagree on but it's very important that power


plants pay the cost of pollution. In those prizes, all of those prices


except the wholesale out a steep price, you have those power stations


paying the cost of air pollution. If gas and coal where paying the proper


carbon price, you would see nuclear and renewables as competitive. It's


very important that we ensure that power plants pay the cost of the


pollution. When you were last on this programme to talk about this in


May 2012, you said that the price of offshore wind was coming down fast.


You told me it would be down by 30% in the next few years. That figure


is 155, and for the deeper stuff, it's going to be ?165. That's the


first year of a limit control framework which had it coming down.


If you talk to many companies, Siemens had invested with their


partners, ?310 million with two new factories. They are talking about


lower prices because what they are saying to me is that, rather than


the 30% cost reductions I talked about, I was wrong, they are


targeting 40%. You said prices would come down 30% in two years for that


that was 2012 and they have gone higher. I absolutely did not say


that. Your exact quote was 30% in the next few years. Your exact few


years. You said two years, I sell a few years. I haven't changed a


single moment that you said two years, I said a few years. That s


what we are projecting. They will come down. You have to invest in


technology. Let me give you this example. When people invest in


mobile phones to start off with they were expensive, and they were


clunky and the costs were going down for the one final question. You put


the Big Six into investigation because they made a 5% return on


investment and you're done a deal with EDF, nuclear power, which will


guarantee them a return of 10% 15% every year for 30 years. Doesn't


that underline the shambles of your energy policy? You have mixed up two


separate things. The 5% Ofgem are talking about is on the supply


retail side. The percentage you quoted for EDF is in the wholesale


side of two different markets. It's the same return. It's not. You are


comparing apples and pears, dangerous thing to do. You have to


do have a high return but in the retail market, with a 5% stake,


there is less risk, says a low return. Ed Davey, I'm sorry we


haven't got more time. Thank you. Have me back. We will. Whatever


happened to the BNP? The far right party looked as if it was on the


verge of a major breakthrough not so long ago. Now it seems to be going


nowhere. In a moment we'll be speaking to the party's press


officer, Simon Derby. But first here's Giles. His report contains


some flash photography. For a moment in 2009 Nick Griffin and the BNP had


a spring in their step, smiling at their success of winning two seats


in the European Parliament. They already were the second largest


party in a London council and had a London Assembly seat. Despite


concerns from mainstream parties their vote was up. Our vote


increased up to 943,000. Savouring success was brief that morning as


anti-far right protestors invaded and egged the press conference and


forced the BNP MEPs into a hasty retreat. What is more significant is


that, in the years since, that retreat has been matched internally,


electorally and in the minds of those who had given them that vote.


For a number of years they were performing better than the UK


Independence Party and other smaller parties like the Greens and respect.


The problem for the BNP if they didn't make any inroads into other


groups, they didn't go into the middle class, the young, they didn't


go into women and ethnic minorities for obvious reasons. So the party


was quickly handicapped from the outset. Not that you would have


known that at the outset. In 20 6 in Barking and Dagenham, the party won


12 council seats against a back drop of discontent with the ruling Labour


council and Government and picking up on immigration and housing


concerns in the borough. It's because of all the different


nationality people moving in the area, they are taking over


everything. My Nan and grandad lived there all their lives. I thought I


would vote for BNP. Hopefully, yeah, they will get elected over here


When I came to Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge in 2006, the BNP with a


second largest party in one of the local councils. You can even find


non-white people who voted BNP. Now they have no counsellors, and even


though can when you talk to people, you will find among the older white


working-class population concerned that the BNP claim to represent


everyone says they are nowhere. So what happened to that about? On


behalf of all the people in Britain, we in Barking have not just beaten,


that we have smashed the attempt of extremist outsiders. The local


Labour MP was as clear in 2010 as she is now. I always knew if we


could manage to ensure that wasn't a single BNP councillor left on the


council and I won my seat, it would stop the process of disintegration.


But what beat the BNP here in 2 10 was a mobilisation of the Labour


vote. And today it is not hard to find the same discontent over the


same issues. It's just finding a new political home. A couple of years


ago, I used to vote Labour. Obviously, they haven't done nothing


around here as much now, with jobs and unemployment, and housing and


stuff like that about, basically, BNP ain't around here no more. Now


it's more about UKIP and I believe that these UKIP are saying are true.


If I thought BNP would make the difference, I would vote but is not


in the people behind them. They all get bandaged with the same brush.


I'm going to vote UKIP because BNP didn't get anywhere. What they say


in UKIP, with a bit of luck, they will get somewhere. It's not racist


but it's just that our kids haven't got jobs. Nick Griffin's dislike of


UKIP is mutual but his once fellow MEP Andrew Brons who's now left the


party issued a statement to this programme saying BNP failure is


closer to home post 2010. It was after that election discontent arose


amongst sections of the membership. Those members who left or were


thrown out by Nick Griffin had already felt let down by his


appearance on Question Time. It was a national platform for the BNP


something they felt they had the right to through electoral success.


This was no big breakthrough moment for Griffin, unlike it was for John


Marina pen when he appeared on national television in France. He


went on to mobilise a national force. Despite there being some


voters tuned to their message, for the BNP, becoming such a force here


has never looked quite so difficult. And Simon Derby from the BNP joins


me now. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. It was not long ago you


had 55 councillors up and down the land, you now have two. You are on


the brink of extinction. That is not true. I have watched the film. It is


very negative as I would expect The party has faced a few problems. The


main thing to bear in mind is that the issues, the problems the country


faces have gone away. We won nearly a million votes in the European


elections. We brought that mandate to the establishment and we were


denied. Let's face it, we would -- were denied any opportunity to take


place in the political apparatus. You have been destroyed by a pincer


movement. UKIP has taken away or more respectable voters and the EDL


is better at anti-Muslim protests and street thuggery. The EDL is not


a political party. I take your point about UKIP. The power structure took


a look at us and so we were a threat to power. We were not making this


stuff up, we meant it and they have co-opted our message. This shameless


promotion of UKIP, you have evenly had him presenting the weather on


this programme. That is unbelievable. That was a joke.


Across Europe, in France, your sister party the National front will


probably do very well. You can see the rise of the far right across


Western Europe so why are you in decline? We are not far right, I


reject that label. How would you describe yourselves nationalists and


Patriots. Why are you in decline and other similar parties to yours are


on the rise? You mentioned Barking and it is very interesting because I


was involved in that campaign. What Margaret Hodge and her Labour Party


did, they replaced the white indigenous population in Barking and


Dagenham with Africans, that is how they won that election. For that was


true, you would be doing well elsewhere. You have now got a leader


who is declared bankrupt and your party is heading for bankruptcy


No, it is not. It is over. You would like that. What I would like is


irrelevant. Your membership is in deep decline. All parties have highs


and lows. In 2009 they said it is no way you will win any seats in the


European election. We did. And then you lost them. Parties win and lose


seats. The Lib Dems will be annihilated. You deny you are far


right. People used to say the BNP were neo-Nazis. Then Nick Griffin


appeared with Golden Dawn. They are not neo-Nazis, they are Nazis. It is


part and parcel of being in politics. You have to appear with


them? Of course we do, we have to speak to ordinary people. I am


perfectly happy speaking to you at the BBC, the BBC have a terrible


reputation but I am happy to be here. Mr Griffin has asked me, when


will the BBC apologised for trying to put him in prison twice, merely


for exposing a Muslim scandal. Why can't Nick Griffin appear on TV and


self? He would not appear. He was in Syria. He literally flew out to


Damascus and prevented a war. We decided we would not interfere in


Syria. The BBC never covered that. Please do not make out we are just


an ordinary political party you cover like everybody else. It is


completely different. All the signs are, membership, performance at the


polls, performance at elections the problem with your leadership is you


are now going the way of the National front, heading for


oblivion. As I said to you before, that may be the case, if all the


problems we had not highlighted and how we got a huge vote so many years


ago, six years ago now, five years ago, in 2009, if they were not


around. These things are only going to get worse. We are looking at a


prototype Islamic republic that is going to be set up in this country.


That will lead to huge problems Only the British National Party are


prepared to say that and deal with it. Word leaked out that I was doing


this interview with you before the weekend. Isn't it a sign of how


irrelevant you now are that not a single person has turned up at New


Broadcasting House this morning to protest? Used to be hundreds would


turn up when we said the BNP were on. That is the left for you, they


put the clocks forward and they could not be bothered to get out of


bed. I think they are still in bed. Thank you.


You're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in


Scotland who leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here


Hello and the warmest of welcomes. Coming up fear deep's work for every


day's they. Is a living wagd of ?7 65 an hour something the businesses


in the region afford? I will ask their wrecked some MP. Would an


independent Scotland be a threat or an opportunity? The SNP spe`k to us


from Edinburgh. First, how luch does Labour agree with the coalition


off`line on welfare? The region s MP did vote to put a cap on well first


bending. `` welfare spending. There were some rebels who disagrde on


putting a limit on welfare spending. Graham Morris, yot were


there not for the vote, but she would have joined Labour rebels You


said voting for this dude `` showed that you could be trusted whth


public money. The idea of their benefit cap is built on a ntmber of


myths. It is extremely divisive The idea that somehow people on benefits


are being demonised by the present government, a suggestion solehow


they are immune from what is happening, is not the case. Benefits


have been capped at 1% incrdase When you take into account hnflation


at two x 7% and lost of livhng rises and fuel, people on benefits are


struggling to make ends meet. `` 2.7%. There is a number of ways we


could balance the budget. In relation to housing benefit, which I


think we should call the Lord benefit. The housing benefit bill


has been increasing dramatically. `` landlord benefit. That is bdcause


there are not any rent controls or rent caps. Rents in the private


sector are growing dramatic`lly Those in receipt of housing


benefit, the majority of whom are in work, are calling on greater support


from public funds. A few rebels apart, Labour MPs did vote for a


cap. They have opposed everx cut to spending throughout the Parliament


from 2010 to 2014. You have got to be frank here as Graham said, he


does not agree with his own party leader. The bottom line is theirs,


they would like to keep spending more and more money. The public can


have no trust and anybody who is saying that they would keep spending


on welfare, keep spending on benefits and circumstances when we


are to balance the books. Wd will have to move on in that state. We


will have to disagree. There is a little under six months


ago on whether Scotland dechde on whether to become an independent


country or not. MPs in the region put their arguments against the case


on whether they should becole independent or not. They met the


late `` Labour leadership in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is


offering the Scottish Parli`ment more powers over taxation if they


stay within the UK. Some fe`r greater devolution will put the


North East and Cumbria at a disadvantage when it comes to


attracting jobs. Bridget rejects and says risks come from an inddpendent


Scotland. My concern is what Scotland would become separ`te from


the rest of the United Kingdom. That could have an impact on jobs in the


North East. I think it is ilportant that we recognise the benefhts in


the north eased of Scotland as being part of the United Kingdom, the


shared industry and history that we have, and look on that relationship


and build on it than separate it. Christine Grahame is an SNP member


of the Scottish Parliament `nd she is in Edinburgh for us now. MPs in


the North East say we should be scared of an independent Scotland.


We will be your best friend. First of all, I am sure your listdners


will appreciate, it is a matter for the people of Scotland to ddcide


whether they want to be inddpendent or otherwise. I think that `n


independent Scotland is takhng full control over its affairs, bdcause we


have taken control of our domestic affairs for 15 years, will be an


ally of the North of England, because many of the problems of the


North of England are reflected in the problems in Scotland. I think we


will liberate the North of Dngland to making sure that they thdmselves


will be set about having more power, perhaps in the North of England


assembly. A Scottish governlent would be delighted if they topped ``


took jobs that could have gone to the North East of Scotland. That is


your aim? Scotland has suffdred from this union for a very long time as


has a lot of England. The dhfference for us is that we are a nathon, we


have our own Parliament, we are in a position to do something about it


and becoming independent as a way to do something about it. Therd is also


competition there. Scotland would be delighted if it got jobs th`t could


have gone to the North eased. `` North East. I think the North


East's problems out with thd size of England. `` the South of England. It


is not with problem, it is with the South. That is where there `re


problems come from. You would like to cut corporation tax, cut airport


duty. You want to make yourselves more competitive than the North of


England? There is nothing to stop the rest of the UK doing wh`t an


independent Scotland wants to do. That would be a matter for the


government. In your view, the North of England and Scotland can make


Common Cause? Even now I know that people in Berwick which is close to


the edges of my constituencx and look to the benefits that ddvolution


has brought Scotland. We have no prescription charges, we have no


tuition fees, we have free personal care for the elderly, these are


things that the Scottish Parliament have done that I think are socially


just. I know that people close to the Scottish border can see that.


The challenge for the North of England is to make sure that the


North of England people get what Scotland as an they could ghve


themselves the power to do that Thank you very much for that.


SNP voters `` will hope that voters will plump for independence. What


will the borders look like? The government has hinted there might be


border checkpoints to control immigration, claimed as


scaremongering by nationalists. There could be two sets of


currencies and two different nationalities.


I am driving into another country, there is no passport control,


nothing. This is the intern`tional border between the United Khngdom


that way and the Republic of Ireland just down there. Only the road signs


give you a clue that you have crossed into the Republic of


Ireland. With less than six months to Scotland's referendum, wd could


have one too. What lessons can we win from here? This family shopping


in a town close to the borddr. The shirts give you a clue of their


mixed roots. The closeness of the border means he carries a collection


of different currencies. Yot come into a shop like this, what you see


is that you will get the Sthrling prize and the euro price on the


goods. You can pay for that in sterling or euros. Supporters of


Scotland yesterday and say they would keep the pound. The government


say they cannot. If Scotland does Gratz Durling, he says therd are


lessons here for our governlent ` `` scrap sterling. You could do the


same thing if we had an inddpendent Scotland? If the adapt themselves


and when the exchange rate hs the right way round, they have ` great


of virginity. We are back in Newcastle. We are Northern Hreland,


just up the road from the Rdpublic, but this man does most of hhs


business elsewhere. He does not like dealing into currencies. Thdre is


trouble with getting euros converted everyday if you were going to do the


trade that way. It is easier to deal with UK`based companies on `


sterling basis. They did no business south of the border ten years ago.


In terms of currency fluctu`tions, if we put in for some busindss, we


can end up cheaper across`the`board. That helps us win


new business. When we are btying materials and from across the


border, it can be cheaper for us to buy. This creates a thousand jobs a


year. Business leaders say `n independent Scotland could be


Stourbridge and in the same way My advice is not to fear this border.


Very often we take things for ranted. It could present an


virginity itself. `` and opportunity itself.


A new international border light not mean border guards as well. It could


provide a virginity is for some and extra costs for others.


There is free movement, no guards. There would be a significant change.


Clearly it is a matter for the Scots people to decide. I believe we have


done everything from beating our common foes together. There is no


need for a press of border controls. Your government is scaring people


into believing that is true. There is looser immigration controls. They


would need to negotiate with all youth team `` 28 European


countries. Are you going to insist on there being border guards? An


independent Scotland is different from an Irish country which is part


of the EU. There is a different arrangement and they would have to


negotiate that arrangement. That is no done deal. Other leaders have


made it clear they would not be so welcome. That is to be disptted


Here you have MPs saying we are fine with devolution for Scotland. If


Scotland decides to vote no in this referendum. Would businesses be


worried about it? I have a lot in common politically, his str`w


industrially with Scotland than with other parts of England. ``


historically, industrially. My concern is that particularlx in


terms of what the economic hmpact will be for my region and the people


I represent. Does it matter if it is independence or devolution? Yes it


does. If it is the intention of the independent Scotland to abolish the


airport duty, if it is their intention to reduce corporation tax,


we could find ourselves at ` race to the bottom. I think that wotld be


nine interests. That is up to the North of England to sort out and


lobby London for that power up year. Labour have not made any proposals


to devolve the North East of England. We would be disadv`ntaged


if an independent Scotland dmbarked upon a policy of trying to `ttract


in word investment at her expense. In terms of what we could do to


counter that there is the formation of a strategic association of seven


local authorities. The hope is that they will have more power and


resources to address some of the historic deficiencies about the lack


of transport infrastructure in the North East of England. The reality


is if you are not admitted hnto the EU as was said, there may h`ve to be


border controls because your immigration policy may be dhfferent.


I appreciate, I hope I am not insulting MPs south of the border,


but we have heard this for xears. I know some are joining the ddbate on


independence. It is a nonsense that Scotland would not be part of the


European Union. We have been citizens of it for decades. Much of


it is absorbed into our law. We are a huge producer of oil and gas. I do


believe Europe does not want to turn its back on these assets. I think,


this is another part of the scaremongering which we havd heard


for months. Frankly it has been counter`productive. What yot have is


practical, the same thing whll happen between England and


Scotland, it is all scaremongering. As I say, keep doing it bec`use more


and more Scots are determindd to vote yes the more this is s`id. You


are driving Scots towards independence. I hope not. I hope it


is very much the case that ht is a matter of the heart and head. The


problem is for the North of England. Whatever happens in this


referendum, more powers will head to Scotland independently. You offer


nothing as a counter. Companies in the North East, just as thex showed


in the film, they are perfectly able to compete. They could do bdtter


than the Scottish companies who will be struggling with a more dhfficult


financial situation after bdcoming independent. There is an impact and


it would have potential problems to start with. I believe that the North


East could compete well with Scotland if we were in compdtition.


Thank you very much. Christhne Grahame, thank you very much.


We have heard a lot about cost of living. If you are in work, how much


do you need to make ends medt? The living wage is higher than the


minimum wage which is currently ?6.31. A growing number of


businesses in the North East of violence are decided to pay a higher


rate. `` have voluntarily ddcided. Paying people a living wage means


that people are putting out a better product of product. It is the right


thing to do. Personally and morally, but it is the right thing to do for


business. Several councils `lso support a living wage for their


staff. But not everyone welcomes it. Some say they cannot afford it. My


margin is not big enough to cover those wages at the moment. Ht is


probably less than what I al getting an eye to 80 hours a week. What


about the calls for other elployers to adopt this? I could not `fford to


keep paying it. The money h`s got to come from somewhere.


You support the living wage. You organise that conference. The market


trader is right? On Friday we had this fantastic coming together of


the living wage foundation, myself and various businesses coming


together and celebrating and supporting and selling the living


wage. There are no 20 companies who have registered. These stretch all


across from housing as soon as the agents to significant big companies.


Also third sector organisathons Can any company do this? Any colpany can


do this. We have a tea shop that has signed up to it. Can I and so the


point from the traders point of view. Productivity goes up. Your


staff retention goes up. Yotr 6 s go down if you pay the living wage and


the quality of the output from your staff goes up. Use weak to people


like Barclays `` you speak to people like Barclays, people competed for


those jobs and they enjoyed it. Is it not embarrassing that he has


organised this conference and not yourself? We have had massive


support across the Labour P`rty and across the trade unions that Britain


needs a pay rise. I agree ddal to does. `` that it does. I do think


that with the current cost`of`living crisis, that people are fachng


everyday with energy bills... Private companies can make their own


decisions, when it comes to public bodies, it will be the taxp`yer that


funds the fees. Does the taxpayer not meet the shortfall anyw`y? How


many people in work on low wages are having to claim housing bendfit or


subsidised taxes? Should it be compulsory? I think we should move


towards that. The question of where does the subsidy come from? Are we


content as a nation to subshdise wages, because we do that as well,


we do that through tax credhts, housing benefits. Some of the larger


companies, the compulsion should be amongst larger enterprises who are


well able to be a living wage who don't. Do people when the government


`` argument or does it need compulsion? You do when the


argument. There are more colpanies up and down the country comhng to


believe there should be a lhving wage. Our conference was very small,


there were only 20 accreditdd employers. They have built tp to 600


across the country. Local authorities who have not opted have


seen their sick rebates go down they have seen staff retenthon go up


and people commit more to the business. George Osborne topped


about raising the living wage, but did not raise it as much as he said


he would. `` George Osborne spoke about. It was set by the low pay


commission. Time to look at the other stories making the news.


All in one minute tour. `` this one minute tour.


Dozens of rural doctors surgeries and Cumbria are facing clostre


according to one MP. He used a debate to provide ministers to


provide extra help and warr`nt patient's safety was at risk.


Staying with railways, Jennx Chapman has asked for guarantees th`t


building HS2 will not mean put services on the these `` North East


train line. They are delighted that people in Leeds will soon bd able to


enjoy a good service, too. But they do not want it to happen at the


expense of the North East m`inline. Can he commit that it will not be


the case? We have new rolling stock for the North East mainline.


There is a fire engine to bd lost at this fire station.


That is about it from us. Wd have a special report looking for `


Hillsborough style enquiry to the miners strike 30 years ago. For now,


back to Andrew boundaries. Sorry, run out of time.


Thanks very much indeed. Andrew back to you.


Now let's get more from our political panel. If the BNP


finished? They were never spectacularly successful to begin


with but one of my childhood memories was a huge fuss in London


about the fact that they won a few council seat on the Isle of dogs


back in 1993. That was enough to cause a panic. As if they are


falling from a great tit and I think the big difference with the National


front in France is that they are building on decades of successful


that they finished second in the presence of elections in 2002, I


think. And, even in the 60s, they were versions of their politics So


they are building on a lot whereas the BNP are working with incredibly


few raw materials in this country. It is interesting that the BNP does


seem to be in decline in terms of its membership and financially, but


in France, the far right party, not as far right as the BNP, but pretty


far right, will probably do well in the second round of the French local


elections. You could say the same about Golden Dawn in Greece. Parties


prosper when the picture is pre-rolled for them. If mainstream


parties talk endlessly about immigration, saying you cannot get a


council house because it has gone to an immigrant instead of saying it is


because there are not enough council houses, that creates the conditions


in which the far right can thrive. We are lucky that all the members of


the BNP fell out with each other. As extreme members of the far right and


left do. You can see that with the comedian in France, he has got a lot


of support from people on the left as well. I asked Simon Derby was


here victim of a pincer movement that UKIP were taken away voters and


EDL has captured the Street protest. Yes, and Giles still not mention


that the Labour Party has got its act together. They got the act


together in Dagenham. Margaret Hodge and Jon Cruddas did a very good job.


I think UKIP would say, not a racist party but they are picking up votes


from people who would once have voted BNP. But it is interesting the


difference between Britain and France. Why is it that the Front


Nationale came second in 2002 when they are not far right? I think they


were on a five-year cycle because the next election was 2007. 200


they came second when Jean-Marie Le Pen came second. They are not as far


right as the BNP. Marine has put them -- cleaned them up a bit.


Diplomatically there is a much harder vote which spreads further


across the electorate in France than there is in this country. This is a


much more tolerant country. If Marine Le Pen does well today, she


will not win that many because the centre-right and centre-left will


always gang up against terror in the second round, but it sets the tone


for the European elections. It does and for the next French presidential


election as well. I think what she's doing masterfully is combining a far


right politics with what you might call a far left economic politics.


She's not just picking up votes from xenophobes, she is picking up votes


from who feel victimised from globalisation. They are people who


would be voting for socialists but are put off by the current


president. That is what I do not think the British far right parties


have been able to do. You sort Simon Derby try to tell you that the BNP


are not far right party. I think he was going to say if you look at


issues of protectionism, standing up against globalisation, they are


quite statist. That is where the phrase National Socialist comes


from. That is why a little bit of electoral success is often a killer


for far right parties. They get a few council seats and then they are


rubbish. They are not getting people's bins collected so they


become part of the system that people were voting against in the


first place. Lets go on to the Labour Party. If you are a Labour


Party supporter and you want to be cheered up, you pick up the Sunday


Times where you see a poll where the leader is up to seven points. If you


are Tory Lib Dem and you want to be cheered up, you pick up the


Observer, the left-wing paper, where the Labour leader is still 1%. I


have read in the paper that there is quite a lot of of the record


briefings going on at the top of the Labour Party. Give us a sense of the


mood. Clearly, they are unsettled. One pol looks OK but there has been


a run of polls where there is a lead over the Tories which is closing.


There are worrying number of people who are what are called the 35s and


they are people who thought all the Labour Party needs to do is sit


still because there are a number of Liberal Democrat voters who hate the


coalition. Because the Conservatives did not get through the boundary


changes they needed to win, we can sit tight and it will all be fine.


What a few wise old heads are concerned about is they feel this


has a feel of 1987 about it when the Labour Party was united. They had a


very good leader. The leader was impressive, the party was united and


then what happened? They met the British people and an election. The


British people said, terribly sorry, you are not occupying the party


political territory where we will vote for you. There are some people


from the Blair era who say it feels a bit complacent and there may be a


bit of a shock when they meet the voters. We talk about people being


unsettled but Ed Miliband is not unsettled. His defining


characteristic is you might call it steadiness or you might call it a


lack of agility. He could not respond to the pension stuff in the


budget which was thrown at him. But he's very good at separating the


signal from the noise. They may think this will all change in me.


The Tories may be on the back foot after the European elections. He has


the ability to set the political weather. He did it with the price


freeze. There is no doubt that Mr Davey would not be referring these


energy companies to the competition authorities if it had not been for


that speech by the Labour leader. And we read today he has come up


with another policy which will be attention grabbing to cut student


tuition fees. It is easy to forget that before he announced the price


freeze he was in as much vertical trouble as he is now. I think the


Labour poll lead will expand up to five or 6% by the summer, assuming


the Tories do badly. The question is, is five or 6% enough? Nick


through the analogy with 1987. This reminds me of the Conservatives in


2009/10. You have a steadily sinking poll lead, differences in what


campaign they should be running and personal animosity behind the


scenes. It led to them throwing away an election which seemed to be


winnable. There is an important difference with the 1980s which was


because you did not know when the election would be. Will it be in 87


or 88? They do not need to make up their mind until next year. What


they are telling the pollsters now, we do not like this government


because of course, you do not like the government. But next January or


February they will be making up their minds. Is there a lot of


animosity among the leading Labour figures behind-the-scenes? It must


be personal or tactical because there are not big ideological


differences between them, is there? Yes and no. What is striking is how


little support Miliband gets from the shadow cabinet. He does not have


outriders. That has been a continuous theme. Said he feels he


is on his own? That they feel they do not get support from him. There


was a column by Jenni Russell saying he is distant and detached. And


Andrew Walmsley touched on this in the Observer. One of the divisions


is Ed versus Ed. There is a terrible structural problem between those


two. It is a real problem. Ed Miliband believes Ed Balls has not


done enough to get economic red ability. Ed Balls believes Ed


Miliband is making airy fairy speeches and it will not cut with


the electorate. Neither Mr Cameron nor Mr Miller band took part in the


debate which happened earlier this week between the Lib Dems and UKIP.


We have got another one coming up on the BBC on Wednesday night. Let s


remind ourselves of what happened in last week's debate.


I will ask Nick to open the batting. We are better off in Europe...


Frankly not working any more. A referendum on Europe. I agree with


you. I agree with you. If you can read the small print. Pull up the


drawbridge, pool drawbridge up. . We have 485 million people... It is


simply not true! Not true. Not true. Not true. Identical with Nick. I


don't agree with Nick. Based on facts, facts, the facts, facts, the


facts... Thank God we did not listen to you. The food is getting better


here. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. You have never had a proper job. Great


not little England. Good night. I think it is seven o'clock BBC Two.


Helen, what was the outcome of that and how do we mark our card for this


week? It was not a great time for pundits. Everybody called the debate


for Nick and then they said actually, we think it has gone the


other way. Consensus emerged later on that Nick Clegg made a difficult


argument. I think the most important thing Nigel Farage said was he


distinguished out the immigration policy by saying we're not just


closing day over, we want people to come, we just do not want mass EU


immigration. That is an important thing for him to say to get away


from the echoes of the far right. I suspect Nick Clegg will not ask us


to read the small print. That was 11 turn he took. It compounded his


reputation for being sneaky. I slightly disagree about the pundits.


I say this as someone who thought far it would win. -- Nigel Farage


would win. The fact that the public disagree with you and the public


favoured Nigel Farage does not mean the public were wrong. The question


is, who is going to tune in for the second one? What is the answer to


that? Phil Collins argument is a man who is on 8% is fantastic. It is a


binary choice in this debate. Clearly they need to brush up on


opposite areas. Nigel Farage needs to brush up on facts and Nick Clegg


needs to brush up on the motions because he did not connect very


well. Where Nick Clegg may go after Nigel Farage is when the -- when he


said the EU has blood on its hands with Ukraine. He then came back to


talk about the vanity of EU foreign policy and said European Union had


made what was going on in Syria worse. It is one thing to say I do


not think the UK should be part of the joint European foreign policy,


it is part of another thing to say that Europe which will act with or


without the UK is responsible for blood on the streets of Kiev and


also responsible for exacerbating the Civil War in Syria. Maybe an


hour is too long for Nigel Farage's shtick? That may be the case but


Nick Clegg has precedence. He does that show and he has had to deal


with the worst thing with dealing with what is thrown at him so he has


honed his view consistently. We will see what happens in part two.


That's all for this week. The Daily Politics is on BBC Two at lunchtime


every day this week. I'll be here next week at the usual time of 1


o'clock. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


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