01/04/2012 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


01/04/2012

Andrew Neil and Tara Mills present. Including an interview with health secretary Andrew Lansley about his proposed reforms to the NHS and what they would mean for patients.


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It was a short, sharp campaign and now the Ulster Unionists have a new

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leader. Join me in half an hour when I'll ask Mike Nesbitt to put

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2164 seconds

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some flesh on the bones of his Hello and welcome to The Sunday

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Politics in Northern Ireland. The three-week contest to become Ulster

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Unionist leader came to a dramatic climax yesterday. More than 600

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party members gathered to cast their votes at a hotel on the

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outskirts of Belfast. The bookies put Mike Nesbitt ahead right from

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the close of nominations. And they were right. He won a decisive

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victory. We'll hear from him shortly. Also on the programme:

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Remember enterprise zones? The Chancellor has brought them back.

:38:05.:38:13.

But why are there none in Northern Ireland? There has been more rapid

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progress in England, Scotland and Wales and some of these ideas could

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apply to Northern Ireland. calls for one MLA to leave his post,

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another to leave his party and a third to deliver. A baby, that is.

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It's been a busy week. But first, with me for the next 20 minutes are

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Liam Clarke, political editor of the Belfast Telegraph, and

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Professor Graham Walker from Queen's University. Many other

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delegates we spoke to yesterday said that it was because Mike

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Nesbitt was good in the media. Is that what it boiled down to? People

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I spoke to, 10 people coming out of the hall, most of them had been up

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their mind before they went to vote that they did comment on Mike's

:39:04.:39:10.

speech, they said that he walked around the podium, he was fluid and

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he was a good communicator. One comment at John was that he was

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like a Traditional Unionist speech, rousing, but it was a polished

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performance that they needed. history of the party has always

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been division over the Liberal agenda. Can this be a fresh start

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for the Ulster Unionist Party? will have to be. The main challenge

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is to stop the slide into the margins of politics. The UUP has a

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long history of covering Northern Ireland and the long history of

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being the centre of initiatives to resolve the conflict. The party has

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a great problem in adjusting to not being at the centre of things and

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this leadership issue is crucial. He will be the third Ulster

:40:01.:40:05.

Unionist leader in as many years. But can he unite the membership?

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Before we hear from Mike Nesbitt, how did his victory go down among

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the party faithful? Today is fantastic for us, there is a lot of

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excitement and they did not know if anybody has realised. Mike Nesbitt

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will be fantastic. I hope he we energises the people to come out

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and vote because a lot of Unionists are not voting and we need to bring

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more young people into politics. is a very good media performer. He

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declared his campaign early, which helps, and he is a very strong

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leader with great personal qualities and he made a great

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effort in going around the country. Both candidates are very positive

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and they would bring great things to the party but they chose John

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mainly on his speech and his conviction in wanting to bring

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opposition into the party and trying to bring an alternative to

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people. Mike Nesbitt, some delegates we spoke to said that

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even though they voted for you, there was more substance with John

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McCallister. When will we get real policies from you? I did not hear

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John's speech. I cannot comment. was standing for opposition.

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Actually, there is no opposition so he was standing on taking the

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Minister out of the executive. I will be clear, we need to be more

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cohesive as the inept and coherent inner cities. What does it actually

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mean in real terms? What are you doing that is different from the

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DUP? You want to ask these questions today and I want to say

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that what we did 14 years ago is now over. It was the heavy lifting

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that brought peace. We had a vote yesterday which said that the party

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accepts that is over and the challenge and what the electorate

:42:01.:42:06.

is looking for is who will do the next heavy lifting? And the big

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challenge is delivering the social justice agenda in the Belfast

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Agreement which has not been delivered, bringing about a shared

:42:13.:42:17.

future and that is where we will draw a line between ourselves and

:42:17.:42:22.

the Democratic Unionist Party. previously said Holmes, not houses

:42:22.:42:29.

and homes to be enjoyed. That was described as some as motherhood and

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apple pie. What is wrong with being aspirational? What I would like us

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to do is return to where we were a decade ago and become contributors

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to the Treasury. To do away with the block grant. Why not aim for

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that? If we're going to grow the private sector, why not have it as

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good as in the golden era? What DUP policies do you a pose and really

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differ from? Shared a verses shared out future. Something broader

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between us. Look at this week, there was a debate over whether

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George Galloway's shocking success was the final proof that the

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electorate in the UK are now totally disconnected from Korea and

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professional politicians and if that is the case, we are in a

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position where we have an act as someone who isn't a career

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politician and we can become attractive. He is very well-known,

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the targeted at particular area and some people say the same things

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about you! Was that not good politics? To get a good turnout and

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a decisive vote? Is that not but I was supposed to do? To come out

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with a large mandate? It's interesting about the turn out

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because we were told in the run-up to the leadership vote that there

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were 2000 party members that could vote but only 663 voted yesterday.

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Around that figure. You were elected on 30% turnout? Tom Eliot

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had 930 turnout. The it is down. That was a Wednesday night and

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people had not paid their subscriptions this year and over

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100 people turned up who did not have a vote. The new people you're

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talking about, if you cannot motivate those party members across

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Northern Ireland, to come to Belfast and vote for you, it isn't

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that decisive, he won in terms of the people who were there. 1400

:44:40.:44:44.

people stayed at home. If you want to say to the members of the party

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that what happened yesterday was not good enough, do that, but I am

:44:48.:44:52.

happy. When it comes to the education committee and what you

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will do in the future, when you step down? I do anticipate that.

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When you see yourself as being bigger and Minister? Not in the

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short term but I would anticipate going in before the next election,

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it would be good for the leader to be in the executive but that is a

:45:11.:45:15.

very long way down the line and there is plenty of movement and

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objectives to accomplish between now and then. World Danny Kennedy

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stay? He will be the first person to know the answer to that.

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have not told them, but you will not say that he will stay? He will

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be the first to know. When it comes to Unionist unity, during the

:45:33.:45:39.

campaign you commented to the Newsletter there was a soft No two

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Unionist unity in terms of electoral pacts. But you said

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yesterday that there is no such thing as Unionist unity. Are you

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finally saying, we are the Ulster Unionist Party, we are not the DUP

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and there will be no arrangements at elections. We are. I said after

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the Westminster election, when we had the alliance with the

:46:02.:46:07.

Conservative Party, that in future we would always stand as the Ulster

:46:07.:46:11.

Unionists, with our own name and believes, and that is where it is.

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In politics, never say never, but I cannot imagine any circumstances

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when it would be good for the party and pro-Union people and for

:46:21.:46:26.

politics to have an electoral pact. He said yesterday you wanted

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electoral success. Which suits could you possibly win back? If you

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had given the near 600 people who turned up a blank sheet they would

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have written down Upper Bann and South Antrim for Westminster.

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woes are the top priorities? would say those other seats that

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you would are automatically say would be topping the list to look

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at. I have not started doing that, I have a lot of things to do. I am

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concerned about the cohesion of the party, yesterday with 81% going for

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one vision. There is huge cohesion. We will build on that and move into

:47:03.:47:10.

coherence and the message. And look at enhancing the European vote and

:47:10.:47:14.

what to do after local government, what we will target to get more

:47:14.:47:19.

councillors. Liam Clarke, it is interesting the distinction between

:47:19.:47:23.

the DUP and the Ulster Unionists. Is there any point in the Ulster

:47:23.:47:29.

Unionist Party now? That is what might have to struggle to establish.

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He did say in an interview when a speech by Peter Robinson was quoted

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to him, he thought he might have said that himself. The UUP are on

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the DUP ground, can Carson -- it is sometimes hard to see any

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distinction. There is bad blood between the parties but I do not

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know that you will get any distinct message to the voter. I was struck

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by Mike saying that the party was like a business. And prop it was

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par. I do not know if that conveys any great distinction from the DUP.

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What I'm saying is that you can have the best policies but if you

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don't have control of the leaders, what is the point? I want our party

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to serve the people but you need to be in government. When you go to

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the doors coming to the next election, when you say that I want

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you to vote for me, you have to have something different to offer.

:48:32.:48:37.

If you go back to Tony Blair in 1927, they would do the health

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service differently and cut red tape. You must have policies? --

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1997. When he was that my position, 24 hours into the job, he said this

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party was not fit to govern and we have to take a party that people

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believe isn't electable and make it electable. It is about politics and

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also organisation and we need better policies and communicators

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but better organisation and better resources. When I first announced

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they were standing for Westminster, the first blog that I read was Mike

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Nesbitt could turn out to be a good politician but that does not matter.

:49:18.:49:22.

We don't know who the DUP will put up against him and that doesn't

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matter, he will not win because the DUP have a better electoral machine.

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And they did win. That is the bottom line? It is knocking on

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doors and getting members and councillors into the grass roots?

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The UUP has lost touch with a lot of people, particularly end less

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well-off constituencies. A recent report highlighted the low

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educational attainment rates in Unionist working-class areas, for

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example. There is a huge challenge. And maybe you would need to put

:49:56.:50:00.

forward some distinctive policies to address particular issues like

:50:00.:50:05.

that. Another question that came to my mind is that you mentioned

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yesterday looking across the water at Scotland, England and Wales and

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of course one of the great questions emerging is the future of

:50:12.:50:17.

the Union. There is a great challenge for you in showing how

:50:17.:50:22.

Ulster Unionism can relate to that debate, particularly around the

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Scottish question and the question of any referendum in Scotland.

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will you campaign in terms of? Leave the Scots to make up their

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own mind? The if I take that first point, there was a radio debate

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about how we have not delivered on social justice since 1998. I grew

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up in leafy suburbs in North and East Belfast and that been

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relatively easy for me to be here today. If I was born one mile down

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the road, closer to the city centre, you might never have heard of me.

:50:55.:50:59.

What I am thinking as we are not connected and what any to do is

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find a family who will adopt me for 24 hours and live in an area of

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social deprivation because they think it is important to get some

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feel for what it is like. The last two weeks, we have been debating

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about whether we should be in or out of government at Stormont,

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Stormont isn't relevant to a lot of people and there is a big debate on

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the future of the union and there has not been any better time to

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debate the benefits of the UK and we have to get out there and

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promote that. Not just across Northern Ireland but into Scotland

:51:32.:51:42.
:51:42.:51:44.

and Wales and particularly into England. Thank you all very much.

:51:44.:51:46.

What have England, Scotland and Wales got that we haven't?

:51:46.:51:49.

Enterprise zones, for a start. The Chancellor revived the scheme last

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year in a bid to boost economic development across the UK. So why

:51:52.:51:55.

hasn't the Executive asked the Treasury for money to set them up

:51:55.:52:05.
:52:05.:52:09.

here? Yvette Shapiro has been London's Canary Wharf is the most

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successful of the 40 enterprise zones set up across the UK in the

:52:13.:52:17.

1980s. Companies locating in North Belfast's Duncrue Industrial Estate

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30 years ago got a rates exemption and other incentives. One of those

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attracted to the area was this major sportswear retailer. Units

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went very quickly in those days, the late '80s and early '90s. The

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rates holiday was up until the mid '90s so people wanted to take

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advantage of this and the area grew very quickly. Most people who

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located here have been successful. We've been here for almost 25 years.

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We started here, we grew here and we intend to stay here. Economist

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John Simpson watched the development of the zones in Belfast

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and Derry. Those enterprise zones of the 1980s had the effect When we

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look back on it, what they did was they shifted business from one part

:53:00.:53:07.

of the city to another. They moved business rather than brought in new

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business so they weren't really deemed to be a success. There may

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be mixed views, but the Tories have revived this Thatcherite idea,

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offering tax breaks, rates holidays and speedier planning approval for

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firms locating in enterprise zones. 24 enterprise zones are going ahead

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across England. We look forward to the first in Northern Ireland.

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There has been much more rapid progress in England, Scotland and

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Wales on enterprise zones and I think some of these ideas could

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apply to Northern Ireland. We should try to use every tool in the

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box but it's very much a devolved responsibility as to whether to go

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ahead. This has been on offer since the budget last year. Privately,

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Northern Ireland Office officials say they're surprised that the

:53:49.:53:51.

Executive has not sought funding for enterprise zones in Northern

:53:51.:53:56.

Ireland. But local ministers are currently locked in talks, not only

:53:56.:54:06.

on reducing corporation tax but on a looming economic problem. Under

:54:06.:54:11.

current rules, companies that want to expand in Northern Ireland can

:54:11.:54:14.

receive grants from Invest Northern Ireland. Because the province has

:54:14.:54:20.

what is called 100% status for regional aid. But under proposals

:54:20.:54:25.

from Vince Cable, that could be removed. Meaning that only

:54:25.:54:29.

companies based in economically deprived areas of Northern Ireland

:54:29.:54:32.

will receive financial assistance. The minister says the time is not

:54:32.:54:38.

yet right to set up enterprise zones here. The Treasury came

:54:38.:54:41.

forward to say they will give us the power to vary capital

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allowances in certain zones and that would be great, we will use

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that money, but we cannot do that at present because we do not know

:54:48.:54:53.

what the story is in relation to the regional picture so it is like

:54:53.:54:57.

the chicken and the egg. That is why we have been pushing the

:54:57.:55:00.

Treasury hard to make some decisions in relation to

:55:01.:55:04.

rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy. What will they do about

:55:04.:55:07.

Corporation Tax? But some of the key business organisations are more

:55:07.:55:11.

in tune with the Secretary of State on this issue, urging the Executive

:55:11.:55:13.

to explore the possibilities. need a number of micro enterprise

:55:13.:55:19.

zones. To redress the economic imbalance of Northern Ireland,

:55:19.:55:23.

particularly West of the River Bann with many areas effectively star at

:55:23.:55:28.

other investment for quite a very long period of time. It can also be

:55:28.:55:33.

applied to helping regenerate town and city centres. It is important,

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it is some time when it to focus on in terms of having enterprise zones.

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It's the traditional cry of a leader in waiting. I will deliver.

:55:43.:55:46.

And, as it turned out, John McCallister did, though not the way

:55:46.:55:49.

he expected to. Here's Stephen Walker's political week in 60

:55:49.:55:55.

seconds. Health grabbed the headlines with a call for the

:55:55.:56:03.

minister to become a political casualty. His head should roll. He

:56:03.:56:07.

is the person who has not delivered. But he stayed put and instead took

:56:07.:56:17.
:56:17.:56:17.

a swipe at the Alliance Party. McCartney, in true star, dead be

:56:17.:56:23.

here for a very opportunistic way. -- did be here. Political geography

:56:23.:56:30.

got MLAs excited, with some unexpected language. He did not win

:56:30.:56:36.

the occupied Six Counties?! Ballycastle said goodbye to horses.

:56:36.:56:39.

The UUP said cheerio to David McNarry for nine months. John

:56:39.:56:42.

McAllister's nine-month wait was over as he delivered a very young

:56:42.:56:50.

unionist. The baby arrived into my arms. There was a beautiful moment.

:56:50.:57:00.
:57:00.:57:02.

100 years on, we remembered our most famous ship. Just one final

:57:02.:57:06.

word. Interesting, some of the points that Mike Nesbitt put

:57:06.:57:11.

forward. His Danny Kennedy out of his job? He signalled that he isn't

:57:11.:57:17.

sure. He has to think about it. I do fear that Mike Nesbitt isn't

:57:17.:57:22.

very keen on this idea of DUP ministers attending the DUP

:57:22.:57:28.

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