02/03/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Mark Carruthers with the latest political news. Andrew Neil interviews shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt and minister of state for skills Matthew Hancock on apprenticeships.

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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Fears that Ukraine could face invasion escalate this morning as


Russian forces take control of Crimea. President Obama and his


European allies tell President Putin to back off. It doesn't sound like


he's listening. Shadow Education Secretary Tristram


Hunt has started spelling out Labour's plans for schools. So


what's the verdict - full marks, or must try harder? He joins us for the


Sunday Interview. And all the big political parties


are desperate to broaden their appeal. We'll look at some


changes. And tightening household finances.


And with me, as always, three journalists who'd make a clean sweep


if they were handing out Oscars for political punditry in LA tonight.


But just like poor old Leonardo DiCaprio they've never won so much


as a Blue Peter badge! Yes, it's Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan


Ganesh. Instead of acceptance speeches they'll be tweeting faster


than the tears roll down Gwyneth Paltrow's face. Yes, that's as


luvvie as we get on this show. Events have been moving quickly in


Ukraine this weekend. The interim government in Kiev has put the


Ukrainian military on full combat alert after Russia's parliament


rubber-stamped the deployment of Russian troops anywhere in Ukraine.


Russian troops seem already to be in control of the mainly


Russian-speaking Crimea region, where Russia has a massive naval


base. President Obama told President Putin that Russia has flouted


international law by sending in Russian troops but the Kremlin is


taking no notice. This is now turning into the worst stand-off


between Russia and the West since the conflict between Georgia and


Russia in 2008, though nobody expects any kind of military


response from the West. Foreign Secretary William Hague is on his


way to Kiev this morning to show his support for the new government,


though how long it will survive is another matter. We can speak to our


correspondent David Stern, he's in Kiev.


As things look from Kiev, can we take it they've lost Crimea, it is


now in all essence under Russian control? Yes, well for the moment,


Crimea is under Russian control. Russian troops in unmarked uniforms


have moved throughout the peninsula taking up various positions, also at


the Ismis which links Ukraine into Crimea. They've surrounded Ukrainon


troops there. Three units have been captured according to a top


officials. We can say at the moment Russia controls the peninsula. It


should also be said, also they have the support of the ethnic Russian


population. The ethnic Russians make up the majority of the population.


They are also not entirely in control because there are other


groups, namely the Tatar as and the ethnic Ukrainian speakers who are at


least at the moment tacitly resisting. We'll see what they'll


start to do in the coming days. David, I'm putting up some pictures


showing Russian troops digging in on the border between Crimea and


Ukraine. I get the sense that is just for show. There is, I would


assume, no possibility that the Ukrainians could attempt to retake


Crimea by military force? It seems that the Ukrainians are weighing


their options right now. Their options are very limited. Any


head-to-head conflict with Russia would probably work against the


Ukrainians. They seem to be taking more of a long-term gain. They are


waiting for the figs's first move. They are trying not to create any


excuse that the Russians can stage an even larger incursion into Crimea


or elsewhere, for that matter. They also seem to be trying to get


international support. It should be said, this is a new Government. It


has only been installed this week. They are trying to gain their


footing. This is a major crisis. They have to count on the loyalty of


the army they might have some resistance from solders from the


eastern part of the country who are Russian speaking. They probably


could count on Ukrainian speakers and people from the centre and west


of the country as well as regular Ukrainians. A lot of people are


ready to fight to defend Ukrainian Terre Tory. Where does the Kremlin


go next? They have Crimea to all intents and purposes. There's a weak


Government in Kiev. Do they move to the eastern side of Ukraine which is


largely Russian speaking and there's already been some unrest there?


That's the big question, that's what everybody's really asking now. Where


does this go from here? We've had some unrest in the eastern part of


the country. There have been demonstrations and clashes. More


ominously, there have been noises from the Kremlin they might actually


move into eastern Ukraine. Putin in his conversation with Barack Obama


said they might protect their interests there. It should be said,


if they do expand, in fact, they've also said they are dead against the


new Government seeing it as illegitimate and fascist. It does


contain risks. They will have to deal with international reactions.


America said there will be a deep reaction to this and it will affect


Russia's relations with Ukraine and the international community. They


have to deal with the reaction in Ukraine. This may unite Ukrainians


behind this new interim Government. Once Russia moves in, they will be


seen as an invading force. It plays on historical feelings of Russia


being an imperial force. Joining me is MP Mark Field who sits


on the security Security and Intelligence Committee in the House


of Commons. What should the western response be to these events? I can


understand why William Hague is going to Kiev tomorrow to stand side


by side whizz whoever's in charge. They need to CEOP sit numbers and


also President Putin. The truth is we are all co significant fatries to


the Budapest Memorandum of almost 20 years ago which was designed to


maintain the integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea. There needs to


be a discussion along those lines. The difficulty is President Putin


has watched events in recent months, in relation to Syria, it is palpable


President Obama's focus of attention ask the other side of the Pacific


rather than the Atlantic. The vote in the House of Commons, I was very


much against the idea of military action or providing weapons to the


free Syrian army. My worry is, events proved this, the majority of


the other options toed as sad are rather worse. It is clear now we are


in a constitutional mess in this country. We cannot even contemplate


military action without a parliamentary vote that moves


against quick reaction that is required from the executive or, I


suspect, there will be very little appetite for any military action


from the West over in Ukraine. We are corn tours under the agreement


of less than 20 years ago. We may be but we've guaranteed an agreement


which it is clear we haven't the power to enforce. You wrote this


morning, Britain is a diminished voice. Clams Iley navigating the


Syrian conflict we relick wished decisions to the whims of


parliamentary approval. That may or may not be but the Kremlin's not


watching how we voted on the Syrian issue? In relation to Syria, it was


where is the western resolve here. The truth ask Putin's position is


considerably less strong. In diplomatic terms. He had a victory


in Syria in relation to chemical weapons and in relation to the


West's relationship with Iran. Putin is a vital inter locking figure. In


demographic and economic terms, Russia's in very deep trouble. The


oil price started to fall to any degree, oil and gas price, given the


importance of mineral wealth and exports for the Russian economy,


Putin would be in a lot of trouble. It requires an engagement from the


EU and the EU are intending to look at their internal economic problems


and will be smarting from the failure within a matter of hours of


the deal they tried to broker only nine days' ago.


You say if Mr Putin decides to increase the stakes and moves into


the east, takes over the whole place, our Government, you say, will


find itself with another colossal international headache. Some people


watching this will be thinking, what's it got to do with us? It's a


long way away from Britain. We haven't a dog in this fight? We have


in this regard for the longer term here. I think if there were to be


some military action in Ukraine, the sense of Russia taking over, it


could have a major impact on the global economy in very quick order.


You should not deny that. There will be move to have sanctions against


Russia. The escalation of that will be difficult. The other fact is


looking at our internal affairs and reform, partners, the Baltic states,


Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, they will be looking at a resurgent


Russia now and think they'll need to hold as tightly as possible to the


EU institutions and the power of Germany at the centre of that. This


whole appetite for the reforms politically and economically will be


closed very much within a matter of a short period of time. It has


longer term implications. Mark Field, thank you.


We're joined now by BBC News night's Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban. Is


there any prospect of a western military response? Clearly at the


moment, it is nil. The boat has sailed with the Crimean. It has been


per performed by Russian forces. It is now a matter of coordinating a


plate cal line. European foreign ministers tomorrow. To say what will


our future limits be? Where could we possibly draw red lines? To try to


think a couple of steps down this, what happens if Russia interrupts


energy supplies to EU member states ornate owe countries? These are the


important steps they have to think about. It is quite clear we are in a


different world here now. Also, Ukraine is facing a urgent foreign


exchange crisis. Within literally a few weeks they could run out of


money. All of these are rushing towards decision makers very fast.


There is an interim and I suggestion unstable Government in Kiev. Crimea


semi-to be under Russian control. There are clashes between the


reformers and Russian nationals in the east of the country. What does


Mr Putin do next? He has lots of options, of course. He has this


carte blanch carte blanch from his Parliament to go in to the rest of


Ukraine if he wants to. His military deployment suggests the one bite at


a time, just Crimea to start with. See what response comes from the


Ukrainian Government. Of course, so far, there hasn't been a coherent


response. The really worrying thing about recent months, not just recent


days, are the indications that the future of Ukraine as a unitary state


is now in doubt. Look at it from the other side of the equation. The


President when faced with demonstrations, many extremists, he


was unable to deal with that. Now we have the other side, if you like,


the Russian speakers, the other side of the fight, Russian nationalists


showing they can get away with unilateral action more or less with


impunity. The Ukrainian chiefs have been sacked. I think there are


considerable questions now as to whether Ukraine is falling apart


and, if that happens, we're into a Yugoslav-type situation which will


continue posing very serious questions for the EU and NATO for


months or years to come. So, Janan, Ukraine is over? Where the west to


concede to the Russian in Crimea, it would perversely be a net loss for


Russia. You'd assume the rest of Ukraine would become an un


unambiguously a member of the the EU, maybe NATO. On top of that a


Russian dream of Eurasion dream, they will look at Putin's behaviour


and is a, no, thanks, we'll head towards the EU. It is a short-term


victory for Putin which backfires on his broader goals in Well, many


people said if he grabs Crimea, he loses Ukraine, which is your point.


We have seen violent demonstrations in the big eastern cities in Ukraine


yesterday. People taking control of certain buildings. The risk is there


of spreading beyond Crimea. I think the lack of any unified or visible


response from Ukrainian armed forces... They allowed Russian


troops to walk into the bases in Crimea. They have supposedly gone on


red alert but they have done absolutely nothing. We don't see


them deploying from barracks. There are serious questions about whether


they would just fall apart. Putin is not going to let them split away. I


would have thought he would like the entire Ukraine to come into the


Russian ambit. Barack Obama is saying this will not stand. He has a


90 minute conversation with Vladimir Putin and what is his response? I am


suspending my cooperation in the run-up to the Sochi Summit. What is


the EU doing? Nothing. There is nothing they can do and Putin knows


there are a series of lines that he is able to cross and get away with


it. Why should Berlin, London, Washington be surprised by the


strength of Vladimir Putin's reaction? It was never going to let


Ukraine just fall into the arms of the EU. That is the interesting


point. And who does he listen to? Paddy Ashdown was saying sent Angela


Merkel because she is the only person who can talk to him and I


find that response worrying. We need to speak with a united voice but


nobody knows what we should be saying. Military intervention is out


for the West so we go to economic sanctions. Doesn't Vladimir Putin


just say, oh, you want sanctions? I have turned off the gas tap. Yes, it


is move and countermove, and it is difficult to predict where it will


end up. In all these meetings that are being held, they do think a step


or two ahead and try and set out clear lines. Thank you for coming in


this morning. Labour has been struggling since


2010 to decide exactly how to take education secretary Michael Gove,


one of the boldest reformers of the coalition and most divisive figures.


Ed Miliband appointed TV historian Tristram Hunt and many thought


Labour had found the man to teach Michael Gove a lesson. But how much


do we really know about the party's plans for England's schools? Wales,


Scotland and Northern Ireland are a devolved matter. Child has been back


to school to find out. A politician once told me, do you know why


education secretaries changed schools? Because they can. Michael


Gove might dispute the motive but he is changing schools, like this one.


The changes he is ringing in our encouraging them to be academies,


free from local authorities to control their own budgets, ushering


in free schools, focusing on toughening exams and making them the


core of the curriculum with less coursework, and offering heads more


discretion on tougher discipline. And he is in a hurry to put all this


in place. But has that shut out any chance for a Labour Government to


change it all themselves and do they really want to? Any questions?


Visiting a different school, first in line to get a crack at that


would-be Labour's third shadow education secretary since 2010,


Tristram Hunt. In post, he has not been taken about fine tuning


previous direct opposition to free schools and he has also suggested


teachers in England would have to be licensed under a Labour Government,


allowing the worst to be sacked and offering training and development to


others and of course ending coalition plans to allow unqualified


teachers into classrooms. Full policy detail is still unmarked


work. Your opinion about evolution? What is very clear is that Labour's


education policy is still evolving. We are learning that they have some


clear water, but we also seem, from the sting at the back, to get the


feeling that there is not a great deal of difference from them and the


current Government on types of schools and the way education should


proceed. -- from listening at the back. So what exactly is different


about their policy? What Tristram Hunt's job is to do is to be open


and honest about the shared agenda between us and the Tories. There are


a lot of areas where there is clear water between us and Tristram Hunt


as to turn his back, shared agenda, stop fighting it, and forge our


agenda, which I think people will be really interested in. The art of


Government, of course, is to balance competing pictures of policy, even


inside your own party. It is fair to say that if Labour reflects and


draws its own visions of a shared agenda, it might have to square that


idea with teaching unions, who are already unhappy with the pace and


tone of change that the Government had sketched out. What we sincerely


hope is that if Labour were to form the next Government, that they would


look at a serious review of accountability measures. That is


really what ways on teachers every single day. Actually they would look


at restoring the possibility, for example, of local councillors to be


able to open schools. That seems eminently sensible. If they are not


going to move back from the free schools and academies programme, at


the very least they need to say that academy chains will be inspected


because at the moment they are not. Labour have balls in the air on


education and are still throwing around precise policy detail. There


are areas that they could grab hold of and seize possession. A focus on


the rounding of the people, developing character, the impact of


digitalisation on the classroom. Also the role and handling of


teachers in the system and the interdependence of schools. That is


all still to play for. Currently I think the difference between the


parties is that the coalition policies, while we do not agree with


all of them, are clear and explicit, and Labour's policies are yet to be


formulated in a way that everybody can understand clearly. I don't


think that Tristram Hunt or Miliband will want to pick unnecessary fights


before the election. I think we will have quite a red, pinkish fuzziness


around the whole area of policy but after the election there will be


grey steel from Tristram Hunt. But if fuzzy policy before the election


is the lesson plan, it does rather risk interested voters being left in


the dark. Tristram Hunt joins me now for the


Sunday interview. Welcome. Thank you. Which of Michael


Gove's school reforms would you repeal? We are not interested in


throwing a change for the sake of it. When I go round schools,


teachers have been through very aggressive changes in the last three


years, so when it comes to some of the curriculum reforms we have seen,


we are not interested in changing those for the sake of it. Where we


are interested in making change is having a focus on technical and


vocational education, making sure that the forgotten 15% is properly


addressed in our education system. What we saw in your package was an


interesting description of how we have seen structural reforms in the


names of schools. Academies, free schools, all the rest of it.


International evidence is clear that it is the quality of leadership of


the headteachers and the quality of teaching in the classroom that


transforms the prospects of young people. Instead of tinkering around


the names of schools, we focus on teacher quality. Viewers will be


shocked to note that this Government approves of unqualified teachers in


the classroom. We want to have fully qualified, passionate, motivated


teachers in the classroom. It sounds like you might not repeal anything.


You might build on it and you might go in a different direction, with


more emphasis on technological education but no major repeal of the


reforms of Michael Gove? I don't think you want to waste energy on


undoing reforms. In certain situations they build on Labour


Party policy. We introduced the sponsored academy programmes and we


began the Teach First programmes, and we began the London challenge


which transformed the educational prospects of children in London. We


want to roll that out across the country. You have said there will be


no more free schools, which Michael Gove introduced, but you will allow


parents let academies, which just means free schools by a different


name. No, because they will be in certain areas. We want to create new


schools with parents. What we have at the moment is a destructive and


market-driven approach to education. I was in Stroud on


Thursday and plans for a big new school, in an area with surplus


places, threatened to destroy the viability of local, rural schools.


We want schools to work together in a network of partnership and


challenge, rather than this destructive market-driven approach.


You say that, but your version of free schools, I think, would only be


allowed where there is a shortage of places. That means that where there


is an excess of bad schools, parents will have no choice. They still have


to send their kids to bad schools. And we have to transform bad schools


and that was always the Labour way in Government. At the moment we just


have an insertion of new schools. Schools currently underperforming


are now underperforming even more. Children only have one chance at


education. What about their time in school? Our focus is on the


leadership of the headteacher and having quality teachers in the


classroom. So they cannot set up new better schools and they have to go


to the bad schools. Tony Blair said it should be easier for parents to


set up new schools where they are dissatisfied with existing schools.


You are not saying that. Even where they are dissatisfied with existing


schools, they cannot set up free schools and you are reneging on


that. We live in difficult economic circumstances where we have got to


focus public finances on the areas of absolute need. We need 250,000


new school places. 150,000 in London alone. We have to focus on building


new schools and where we have to put them. And secondly... Absolutely


not. Focusing on those schools. Making sure we turned them around,


just as we did in Government. We have had a remarkable degree of


waste under the free school programme. If you think of the free


school in Derby, the Academy in Bradford, and as we saw in the


Telegraph on Friday, the free schools in Suffolk, a great deal of


waste of public money on underperforming free schools. That


is not the Labour way. We focus on making sure that kids in schools at


the moment get the best possible education. Except that in your own


backyard, in Stoke, only 34% of secondary school pupils attend a


good or outstanding school. 148 out of 150 of the worst performing local


authorities and it is Labour-controlled. Still terrible


schools and yet you say parents should not have the freedom to start


a better school. We have great schools in Stoke-on-Trent as well.


We face challenges, just as Wolverhampton does and the Isle of


Wight and Lincolnshire. Just like large parts of the country. What is


the solution to that? Making sure we share excellence among the existing


schools and making sure we have quality leadership in schools. Those


schools in Stoke-on-Trent are all academies. It is not a question only


of structure but of leadership. It is also a question of going back to


the responsibility of parents to make sure their kids are school


ready when they get to school. To make sure they are reading to their


children in the evening. We can't put it all on teachers. Parents have


responsibilities. I understand that but you have told me Labour's policy


would not be to set up new schools which parents hope will be better.


Parents continue to send their kids to bad schools in areas like Stoke.


Labour has had plenty of time to sort out these schools in Stoke and


they are still among the worst performing in the country. You are


condemning these parents to having to send their kids to bad schools.


Where we have seen the sett ing up of Derby, Suffolk, we have seen that


is not the simple solution. Is simply setting up a new is not a


successful model. What works is good leadership. I was in Birmingham on


Friday at a failing comprehensive is not a successful model. What works


is good leadership. I was in Birmingham on Friday at a failing


comprehensive school and now people are queueing round the block to get


into it. You can turn around schools with the right leadership,


passionate and motivated teachers, and parents engaged with the


learning outcome of their kids. In the last few years of the Labour


Government, only four kids from your this Government would set up the new


school. In Birmingham, they got in a great headmaster and turned the


school around and now people are queueing round the block to get into


it. You can turnaround schools with the right leadership, passionate and


motivated teachers, and parents engaged with the learning outcome of


their kids. In the last few years of a Labour Government, only four kids


from your area of and you had plenty of chances to put this right but


only four got to the two and you had plenty of chances to put this right


but only four got to the two leading universities. Traditionally young


people could leave school at 16 and walking two jobs in the potteries,


the steel industry, the traditionally young people could


leave school at 16 and walking two jobs in the potteries, the steel


industry, the but also to get an apprenticeship at Jaguar Land


Rover, JCB, Rolls-Royce. That is why Ed Miliband's focus on the forgotten


15%, which we have just not seen from this Government, focusing on


technical and vocational pathways, is fundamental to Your headmaster


was guiles Slaughter. Was he a good teacher? He He never taught me.


Over 90% of teeners in the private sector are qualified. They look for


not simply teachers with qualified teacher status. Teachers with MAs.


Teachers who are improving them cephalitis. Becoming better


educators. cephalitis. Becoming better


teaching. You were taught by unqualified teachers. Your parents


paid over ?15,000 a year for you being taught by unqualified


teachers. Why did you make such a big deal of it? Because we've seen


right around the world those education systems which focus on


having the most qualified teachers perform the best. It cannot be right


that anyone can simply turn up, as at the moment, have schools at


veritising for unqualified teachers teaching in the classroom. We want


the best qualified teachers with the deepest subject knowledge, for the


passion in learning for their kids. It is absurd we are having arguments


about this. Simply having a paper qualification doesn't make you a


great teacher. Let me take you to Brighton college. It is gone from


the 147th to the 18 18th best private school in the land. Fllt the


headmaster says: This is the top Sundaytimes school


of the year. The school in derby where this Government allowed


unqualified teaching assist taints. We had teachers who could barely


speak English. That is because if you have unqualified teachers you


end up with a dangerous situation. The problem with that school was not


unqualified teachers. People were running that school who were unfit


to run a school. We have an issue about discipline and behaviour


management in some of our schools. Some of the skills teachers gain


through qualifications and learning is how to manage classes and get the


best out of kids at every stage. It doesn't end with a qualified teacher


status. That's just the beginning. We want our teachers to have


continue it will development. It is not good enough to have your initial


teacher trainingaged work through your career for 30 years. You need


continual learning. Learning how to deal with digital technology.


Refresh your subject knowledge. As an historian I help teachers. You've


taught as an unqualified teacher. Not in charge of a subject group. I


give the odd lecture. I'm-y to go to as many schools as possible. I don't


blame you. It is uplifting. Would you sack all unqualified teachers?


We'd want them all to gain teacher status. What if they say no? If they


are not interested in improving skills and deepening their knowledge


they should not be in the classroom. If a free school or academy hired a


teach thinking they are a great teacher but unqualified, if they are


then forced by you to fire them, they will be in breach of the law.


They are being urged by us to make sure they have qualified teacher


status. We've lots of unqualified teachers as long as they are on the


pathway to making sure they are qualified. But if they say they


don't want to do this, will you fire them? It is not an unreasonable


suggestion is that the teachers in charge of our young people have


qualifications to teach and inspire our young people particularly when


we face global competition from Shanghai, Korea and so


we face global competition from teacher of Brighton college finds


incredibly inspeechational teachers who don't' necessarily have a


teaching qualifications. It is a different skill to teach ten young


nice boys and girls in Brighton to teaches 20 or 30 quids with


challenging circumstances, special educational needs, different


ability. Being a teacher at Brighton college is an easy gig in comparison


to other schools. Where we want teachers to have a capacity to teach


properly. Do you think Tristram could ever lead the Labour Party? I


think Ed is a great leader, the reforms yesterday were a real sign


for his leadership. And the fact David Owen, the man with a


pre-history with our party is back with us. It is great. Even Gideon


had to change his name to George. Have you thought of switching to


Tommy or Tony? Maybe not Tony! Michael Foot was called Dingle Foot.


I love the Labour because it accepts everybody from me to Len McCluskey.


We are a big, broad happy family on our way to Government. Thank you


very much. You're watching The Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us for Sunday


politics Scotland. In over 20 minutes I'll


On-the-runHello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.


The row over 'On The Runs', that saw the First Minister threaten to step


down, continues with claim and counter claim about who knew what


and when. The Justice Minister, David Ford, joins us live to discuss


the fall-out. Also today, as a bid is made in the


House Of Lords to extend libel reform to Northern Ireland, we hear


from both sides of the legal debate. And, joining me to share their


thoughts on those issues and more, my guests today are Newton Emerson


and Cathy Gormley-Heenan. In the end, it was a case of crisis


averted, but at one point this week the collapse of the Assembly looked


like it might just happen - again. The political storm blew up in the


wake of the collapse of the John Downey court case and the light the


court judgement shed on secret letters issued to IRA 'on-the-runs'.


As the blame game continues, where has this past turbulent week left


the political process and the ongoing attempts to resolve our


troubled past? Joining me now is the Justice Minister, David Ford. Thank


you for joining us. First of all, a development today. Peter Hain wrote


in the Sunday Telegraph and has called for the soldiers involved in


the Bloody Sunday killings not to be prosecuted. Do you agree?


It almost looks like playing a part in one pseudo- amnesty, he is now


try to play a part in another. When the Attorney General suggested we


should draw a line under the past it was almost universally rejected.


There are difficulties with evidence when you go back that far but it


does not mean we should abandon the opportunity if there is one in some


cases. There is an anomaly in the system and does that not need to be


addressed? The system is full of anomalies,


mostly because of the way the British government was making side


deals. That is the reality and we are living with those anomalies as


people like we try to get the justice system to work properly


today. You can understand why Unionists are


pretty angry. How people potentially involved in violent crime are given


a potentially "get out free card" as they describe it?


But the fact that somebody was on duty in one case doesn't mean they


did not commit a crime. That is the way very highest standards should be


held for those who are responsible as agents of the state. We have to


look at the practical realities as to what may not be possible without


saying we draw a line and effectively grant an amnesty without


an attempt to get justice where it is possible. What would your advice


to Peter Hain be? I am not sure his advice is being


particularly well received. Perhaps the best thing he could do is to


give a full account of everything he did to the enquiry.


In the Sunday Times, Peter Robinson accused Peter Hain of misleading


Parliament over the on-the-run letters in 2006 and 2007, but Peter


Hain refuted that. When you look at what he said in Hansard, it makes


for interesting reading, doesn't it? Some of the remarks appeared to be


less than the complete truth. He said that he said it had to be


addressed. I think he needs to examine his precise background and


perhaps that is something the judge will do in the coming months.


You got clarity on Thursday night, Friday morning that there are five


"live" OTR cases currently in the system for consideration. Should


they be stopped, as the DUP has demanded?


I simply don't have enough detail what the status of that is whether


they can be stopped. I have a track -- asked for legal advice as to what


the department can do. It is a really unclear position. You will


have heard the Secretary of State saying it is a devolved issue, but


it was never a devolved issue. The Northern Ireland Office continued


and accepted a call from a senior official on Friday that they were


still responsible for those five even though we are still four years


into devolution. So as far as you are concerned, you


are the justice minister but these five cases have not been devolved to


you? I have made it clear that I want no


part in Peterhead and's shabby scheme. -- in Peter Hain's shabby


scheme. It is unclear as to quote -- whether there was any right for The


Northern Ireland Office to continue to pursue them after devolution.


It looks like being scheme is continuing, doesn't it?


It appears to pay but whether it is legally the case is something on


which I am seeking advice. Presumably being plucked -- the


enquiry will clarify some of this, do you think?


It is not expected to report until the end of May. We know something


about the broad terms of reference but there are frequently differences


as to how they are interpreted. If a judge wants to get into the full


details of the case we will have a better chance. The select committee


in Westminster may well be looking at the detail if they don't think a


judge lead enquiry has gone far enough.


The most senior... It turns out that the most senior civil servant in


your department, Nick Perry, knew about what you've called "this


shabby, back door deal" all along. You did not!


I don't know how much Nick knew. The civil service code makes it clear


that civil servants serve the minister who leads the department


they are in. The day they move departments they have allegiance to


a different minister. And that is how it should be. It is the


principle of a nonpolitical civil service working in the interests of


the ministers who are there by the political process. I would be


annoyed if people who moved from the Department of Justice were telling


what went on in that department. You might think I would have wished to


know from Nick Perry, but there are much wider implications and his


behaviour has been proper. No one is suggesting anything to the contrary


but people might be wondering that it is not a good example of joined


up government? Files have markers put in them when


governments changed and when ministers changed saying, the


information below this is not to be revealed to the new ministers and


there are lots of complications around that.


What other wider political implications, do you think? Night --


Mike Nesbitt declared that as far as he is concerned, the Haass talks are


dead in the water and he is taking no part. Is that your position?


No, that was a foolish thing for him to say. It doesn't matter what


emerges from however many enquiries, five parties have the


responsibility for leading the executive. Collectively, we have the


responsibility to build a better shared future for Northern Ireland


and to ensure we put the past behind us in a way which deals with it


honestly and comprehensively and we can provide something for which I


children and grandchildren can be proud. If we say, I wash my hands of


it, we will not get anywhere. But this situation of the past 72


hours has fatally wounded that process, has it not?


Maybe the four of us will have to carry on without him.


Fundamentally, the people of Northern Ireland, through their


elected representatives, have to solve the problems whatever else is


happening. Do you think the DUP will stay in


the process? I think they have distanced themselves from Mike


Nesbitt. I am not sure he wants to be relevant, but certainly I want


the Alliance party to be relevant and I will continue to do a good job


in Justice. Those are the key things for Northern Ireland, moving forward


and not falling out over the past in a way which stops us moving forward


together. Thank you. Let's hear from our


guests now, the commentator Newton Emerson and Dr Cathy Gormley-Heenan


from the University of Ulster. Hard to know where to start, isn't it?


Let us talk about Peter Hain and the issue of whether or not soldiers


involved in Bloody Sunday should be prosecuted. You can understand it


will create another political altercation?


Yes, there is no reason why Bloody Sunday should be treated any


differently to any other atrocities. The Unionist position is


that special treatment shouldn't be given to the victims so why should


it be given to the perpetrators. It is an attempt to create another de


facto amnesty. The object of letting off the soldiers is that nothing


could be prosecuted from 40 years ago. Why would that be the case? We


are prosecuting radio celebrities from 40 years ago so are you saying


a multiple murder is less serious? It is revealing of a new agenda to


have a de facto amnesty but that is not legally or politically possible.


It is hard for people to pick their way through the minefield of this


latest row. You have Peter Hain saying that all of this was in the


public domain and people should have known about it and looked at what


was being said in Westminster and Stormont. Then Peter Robinson says


today in the Sunday Times and quoting answers Peter Hain gave that


he says were less than open and honest. How do you get at the facts?


Hopefully, that is what the enquiry will attempt to do. I have read


about the on-the-run letters years ago in a law journal. People


interested in the peace process probably did have a sense that


something was happening. It is like many things in Northern Ireland, it


flares up at a particular point. This past week, the issue has been


more than anything that there needs to be a renewed impetus on a process


with which we deal with the past. We have been dealing in with it since


1998 but in a piecemeal way. Maybe a bit too pragmatic and approach.


Briefly, Peter Robinson made it clear he would resign if he did not


get a satisfactory result -- response from the government. He


said he got the response he was looking for and his demands were


met, where they? I genuinely believe he was ready to


resign, but not to bring down the executive. He wanted to reassert his


mandate. That is why his credit -- threat was read -- credible. I


genuinely think he would have hit the button for an election. Not to


bring it down. Briefly, what about Haass? Is it dead in the water? Mike


Nesbitt thinks it is but it is an opportunity to decouple some issues.


The flags and parades were to difficult to include as a composite


block. It is an opportunity to decouple those things and it is a


new way to deal with the past. Thank you, both. Now, let's pause


for a moment as Conor Macauley takes a look back at a turbulent week in


local politics in 60 Seconds. The stormy weather makes life tough


for fishermen and they appealed to Stormont for help. We have had to


rely on charities based in England to come and help us says something


about our politicians and the executive.


A different type of storm is brewing on the hill as the case against the


man accused of the Hyde Park bombing collapsed. John Downey is one of


several on-the-run buts who were told they were not being sought by


police. Peter Robinson threatened to resign when he hand -- heard.


I am not prepared to be the head of a government kept in the dark. The


deputy called for calm claiming others did know.


We were the only people who knew about this.


David Cameron wants to know more and appointed a judge to lead a review.


I agree with Peter Robinson that it is right to get to the bottom of


what happened. Conor Macauley reporting. An attempt


in the House of Lords to extend libel laws to Northern Ireland was


last week withdrawn after a government minister warned that the


Stormont executive must have primacy on the issue. When the Defamation


Act wrote about first major changes to the UK libel laws since the 19th


century, Sammy Wilson halted its extension here. Joining me now to


discuss this is Lord Bew, who is part of that attempt in the Lords to


extend reform here, and the lawyer Paul Tweed who's opposed.


Why was the attempt made at Westminster?


When you get a Northern Ireland provisions Bill going through the


house, and it is a rare advent, it is inevitable people will make the


attempt. There is a lot of feeling in the House of Lords on this issue,


there is an attempt to have a debate about it at least. The truth is, the


matter is now over. The Minister made it clear for a number of


reasons that they will not intervene and it is now a matter for the


assembly. A report will be set up from the Law Commission with a


distinguished academic to work on it. That is where the debate and


focus now is. It was worth airing last week again at Westminster and


that concerns exist about freedom of expression here. It is now at a


weaker level than the rest of the UK.


What is your basic concern? The fundamental concern for me


personally as an academic, there is an issue about academic freedom and


what academics can save. It is also about political and historical


matters. This bill extends academic freedom. It defends the idea of a


public interest defence for the media as a whole. If we are going to


deal with the past, particularly here, one has to have the freest


possible discussion and there really isn't any question that historically


the courts have been used to limit in some way of the amount of


freedom... As far as all parties are concerned in London, it is supposed


to be the correct context for public debate. The absence of this


legislation curtails free and open discussion, critically about the key


issue of past? In my opinion, it was outrageous


that these peers attempted to impose legislation Northern Ireland which,


I should say, has been rejected by Scotland. The Republic of Ireland's


laws are broadly similar to our own as they currently stand so there is


no need for change whatsoever. As far as our libel laws are


concerned, there are plenty of safety mechanisms built in. I act


for both plaintiffs and newspapers and just before Christmas I acted


for a national newspaper in defending a case of so-called" is


libel tourism" . We successfully did that. So the law as it currently


stands is effective. My big concern is access to justice for the


ordinary man on the street. We talk about academics and scientists and


I'd sample size with those views. If he feels there is a genuine threat


-- I sympathise with those views. I would be happy to countenance


specific change in the law but not a whole scale introduction of an owner


is law that completely makes it impossible for the ordinary person


to take legal proceedings here in Northern Ireland. Finally, a key


change is the removal of the jury is. I sat on all the Ministry of


Justice panels in London when they debated the English change to the


law and I did not get one argument that convinced me that juries were


not doing a good job. It is very significant that the one thing the


press are worried about here are their readers, the general public,


deciding whether they have performed properly and fairly in terms of


their reporting. You, as a libel lawyer, may find


yourself very busy if the status quo is main stained -- maintained.


There will not be a rush of oligarchs coming to Northern


Ireland, believe me. I work from London, Dublin and Belfast and less


than 5% of my work takes place in Belfast. I don't mind. I will work


within the law and what the law gives to me but I cannot get justice


for the general public where they have no access to legal aid. We have


always been treated differently in Northern Ireland. We cannot recover


insurance premiums so we have always been treated differently.


How do you respond? He can understand your specific and concern


about academics but what about members of the public? He feels he


represents their best interests and an extension of this legislation


would not serve them? The whole problem with libel law is


the conflict between the need to have an -- a right to defend your


reputation and the freedom of debate. After a long process of


examination we have come up with a new position in Westminster. If you


say the Republic of Ireland is different, that is right. We see


massive scandals in the Republic of Ireland and there was not one


serious article in the press anticipating anything leading up to


the whole area of the collapse of the economy and bankers and so on.


Does this tell you you had the requisite level of freedoms of


discussion here? It is true that Scotland is different but it has its


own tradition of law which is elaborate. We have had UK law here


essentially. You are not asking our judiciary to operate on an old


second-hand car. The media in London will be operating according to the


new model and it creates a number of anomalies and difficulties for the


judiciary here in Belfast. We are not the same as Scotland,


what about that point, nor the legal system -- system in the Republic of


Ireland. Our law is broadly similar to Scotland and Ireland. Putting


this in perspective, the number of libel actions that have come before


the courts in Belfast over the last 30 years are probably to every


decade at Oaks. A survey was carried out in England about the so-called


libel tourism -- every decade at most. This is a non-issue. A


non-problem. The press are sensitive about it to protect their financial


issue -- interests but it is not an issue.


Thank you both for joining us. Newton says it is not an issue. I am


fed up defending libel reform because everyone thinks it is about


journalists. The Defamation Act is about protecting academics and


scientists. I follow alarming cases where scientists were pursued


because companies didn't like the results. There are thousands of jobs


like that in Northern Ireland in a university and Major Forbes --


firms. It will only take one of these ridiculous cases to make as an


international pariah and a similar risk applies to IT. Those industries


need to get off the face -- fence and defend their interests because


the media cannot do it alone. Mike Nesbitt's billows out for


consultation. We know that it is a big responsibility on our show


ministers shoulders? They should take his day from the deliberations


in the house of Lords because they have much experience in the reading


of these bills. We have no formal opposition or an effective


opposition, the media plays that role and anything that could happen


in the media that could stop holding our government to account is


Government to change it. Thank you both for being here. Andrew, back to


you. This week grant Shap said he wanted


to rebrand the Tories as the workers' party to show it can reach


out to blue-collar workers. One Conservative Party MP said they


should scrap what he said was their boring old logo. We asked him and


two other independent MPs how they'd freshen up their logos.


Aspiration's always been our core value. About helping people get on


with life. Giving people ladders of opportunity. That's why our symbol


must reflect our values of aspiration and why I'm calling for


our symbol to be changed from a tree to a ladder which symbolises social


mobility and stands up for everything conservatism represents.


I like an he will fanned, an animal that never forgets. We're the only


party which seems to remember what life was like before the NHS and


minimum wage and the global financial crash was caused by too


little regulation not too much. We have a leader who can spot the


elephant in the room, the lack of women on the Tory frontbench. The


republicans in America have had the same idea. Theirs is a suspicious


blue. Our would be deepest red. We love our Liberal Democrat bird. Mrs


Thatcher called it the dead parrot when we launched it. We won the


Eastbourne by-election off the Tories very soon aftered with.


Perhaps it feels like we're in a coalition cage but we're escaping


that soon. Why does it fly to the right? Most Liberal Democrats would


want it to fly to the left. I hope it will soon.


Interesting there. Let's stick with the Robert Hall pin one. He was


being serious. The others were fun. It is interesting that talking about


appealing to the blue collared vote, the upper working class, lower


middle class, curiously now neither Mr Cameron nor Mr Miliband has great


cut through with these people. But in wanting to be the Workers Party,


how do you square that with choosing five old Etonians to draw up four


next manifesto. Labour said one of the things was cutting inheritance


tax, after all their priorities they went to privilege rather than earned


income. Rebranding is not enough. The one question the modernisers


never asked themselves when they took party ten years ago is the


thing we know as the Conservative Party, salvageable as a brand? I'm


beginning to think it isn't. If you look at all public opinion research,


there are lots of people in this contrary with Conservative views.


They won't vote Tory or contemplate the possibility of voting Tory. Can


we get over the electoral problems by relaunching as a different


pro-business, pro-worker party. That means new name, new logo. It will


mean new people as well. If you say you're on the sides of what Thatcher


called the strivers, the people themselves want to see you have


strivers in the people who run your party so you know what we've been


through, the struggles we've had. How many of the six drawing up the


manifesto have had ever a mortgage. The one who's not an old Etonian


went to St Paul's. He's a day schoolboy! It is interesting and it


was funny you mentioned an elephant. Don't think of an elephant as the


title of that book. Calling it the Workers Party draws attention to the


Tories biggest electoral weakness. The idea they are a class apart. Out


of touch. I think it is interesting, they have identified their elections


are won or lost by this particular demo graphic of the C 1, and C 2.


Mrs Thatcher got them by the shed load, Tony Blair got them. His


failure in 2010 is the reason David Cameron didn't win an overall


majority. I'm disappointed with the ladder. You should have a hammer or


sickle! The Conservatives have a terrible brand problem. You heard


them explaining why they did badly in the Wythenshawe by-election,


saying there's quite a large council estate there In 1961, I think the


Conservatives won a by-election back then, they were getting through to


those sort of voters. There is not a single Conservative councillor in


Manchester. They have this terrible problem. You're right for them to


pick up on the five Etonians writing their manifesto. David Cameron sir


rounding himself with his own. He doesn't have to do that. I seas


things like isn't Robert Halpen great. He decides and has his own.


He has some more slightly common people from St Paul's! One of the


ways the Conservatives hoped to broaden their appeal is the tougher


line on immigration. We learned net immigration is rising substantially.


Back up over 200,000. Nigel Farage of UKIP wrapped up the rhetoric. In


scores of our cities and market towns, this country, in a short


space of time, has become N'Zonzi rkable whether it is --


unrecognisable. Whether it is the impact on local schools and


hospitals. In many parts of England you don't hear English spoken, this


is not the kind of the community we want to leave to our children and


grandchildren. Helen, maybe people, I assume, will love the sentiments.


Others will say, this is getting... It is going down a dangerous road.


Nigel Farage's wife is German and he shares a flat with Godfully Bloom,


nobody knows what he's saying half of the time. You can handle the


letters from Yorkshire. Alex Salmond does not make his case on Scotland


for the Scottish. Let's put aside whether the policy's right or wrong.


How bad, by the Tories own lights, is the fact the net figure for


immigration went up 60,000? It looks really bad. If I was a Tory


strategist, I'd be philosophical about it. Immigration, even if they


were meeting the target, I don't think the public would believe it.


It is like crime a few years ago, the crime rates had been declining


for the best part of 20 years but the fear of crime remains high.


There's such a degree of cynicism that regardless of your


administrative record in Government, the public will remain hostile to


you. This is where Nigel Farage can be potent. He said it is not about


numbers. It is about community. It is about people seeing their


communities change. And in the Sunday Telegraph, it was said this


isn't a dog whistle, a it is a meaty bone for a bull terrier. The problem


for the Government on these figures is we know why the net migration


figures are not looking good. They got down the non-EU figures but the


EU figures are going up. From Italy and Spain as their economies tanked,


people came here. If he hadn't made such a big deal of the numbers, the


Tories, I mean, you could present this as a huge success story. If you


believe immigration was good for the country. You would say it doesn't


matter what Labour says, the best and the brightest young people from


all over Europe are voting with their feet to come to Britain. But


you never hear that case being made and certainly not by Labour. They


acknowledge although immigration is best in the abstract for the


economy, people don't feel it in their daily lives. There's a huge


vacuum for the case where immigration should be in our public


life. I remember a time when the economy was in such decline there


was a rush to the door in the sixties and seventies. Now we are


claiming our economy's doing better than any of the other major


economies bar Germany, people want to join in our success. London was a


declining city until the mid-eighties. Theresa May cannot be


honest. She was proposing a cap on immigration. Not going to happen.


Today she is saying maybe people from poorer member states cannot


come in until their economies grow. That's future accession states.


That's Turkey in ten years' time It is causing divisions with the


coalition. She's bashing Vince Cable. You often see Liberal


Democrats bashing the Tories. You don't often see a Tory minister bash


Vince Cable. She does on the immigration figures. He thought they


were good news. Last week, Vince responded to the news by saying it


was a policy he was happy for the gift to flunk. The problem was going


for a cap. There are six moving parts. UK citizens leaving, coming


back. EU citizens leaving and coming back and then third party nationals.


And students coming to study. Of course. You only have control over


the EU citizens. Have you to clamp down on ace strayian, Chinese or


American graduates. They should have gone for the Australian points


system. I don't have a pure cap on numbers just background etc. Tim


Farran said in the European election either vogue Liberal Democrat or


UKIP. He turned that to his advantage. It is hopeful but he's


come up with a way to spin this. Labour has his special conference.


Was it or was it not an event? Not sure it was the biggest moment in


the party since 1918. But things fell apart in the special conference


in 1981. 2004 got another special conference. Who's on board? David


Owen who founded the gang of four. He's not joined but he's given them


money. He's not going to sit with them in the Lord's. He's given


money. They lost the gang of four. Back comes David Owen. Not historic?


Why would he want it to be more significant than it was. There's a


tendency to see him taking the fight to his party. Why would he want


that? The fact it has not pleased Grant Shapps is not a test to see


whether this has worked. It has been described as an historic moment and


incremental of what John did. The trade union block voters disappeared


a long time ago. They still have 50% of the vote. But 2,000 of union


members voting for this guy has gone. It is a reform from 20 years


ago. Welcome but not historic. Ed Miliband's stored up trouble. Len


McCluskey wants a million new homes and answered to the benefit caps is


not reconcilable with the deficit reduction strategy. In five years'


time if there is a Labour Government it becomes very difficult. We should


keep an eye on it? Always. Labour Party process is never ending.


Unlike this programme. That's all from us today. Continuing reports of


events in the Ukraine on the BBC News Channel. There's no Daily


Politics tomorrow because of cover Arg of the Nelson Mandela memorial


service at Westminster Abbey on BBC Two live. We'll be back on the Daily


Politics on Tuesday at midday. We'll be back here next week with the Work


and Pensions Secretary, Ian Smith. If it is Sunday, it is the Sunday




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