03/11/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Mark Carruthers looks at the political developments of the week and questions policy makers on key issues.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 03/11/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. It began as


Plebgate, now it is Plodgate. The evidence of three police officers to


MPs is branded a great work of fiction. They tried to intimidate


the Grangemouth bosses, but in the end it was the union that


capitulated. I will ask Len McCluskey about Unite union's strong


arm tactics at Grangemouth and Falkirk. They preach women should be


sidelined and confined to the private sphere. They argued they


should be covered up. And she'll: We talked to some of


those who have been at the table this week and ask what the chances


investing thousands of pounds in a GPS tracking system to keep tabs on


its staff. With me as always, the best and the


brightest political panel, Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt


who will be tweeting their humiliating climb-down is what they


got wrong last week in the programme. If this can happen it to


a Cabinet minister, what hope is there for anyone else? Thus the Home


Affairs Select Committee concluded what many already thought about the


treatment of Andrew Mitchell by three self-styled PC plebs. They met


him to clear the air over what did or did not happen when he was


prevented from ramming his bike through the Downing Street gates.


But the officers gave the media and inaccurate account of that meeting.


Two of them are even accused of misleading the Commons committee.


The Independent Police Complaints Commission will now reopen there


enquiry. This is not a story about Andrew Mitchell, it is about the


police. Keith Vaz is often in high dudgeon and this is the highest dad


and I have seen him in for some time. They could be held for


contempt of Parliament and technically they could be sent to


prison. It has blown up into an enormous story. I do not know what


is worse, the police trying to stitch up a Cabinet member and try


to mislead the media or the incompetence they have done it from


day one. That is quite good. I would sleep more soundly at night if I


knew the pleas were good at this. It is the incompetence that shocks me.


And this is just a sideshow. We are still waiting on the main report as


to what exactly happened outside Downing Street gates. But that not


will be good for the police either. The file has gone from the


Metropolitan police to the CPS, so we are limited about what we can


say. This is about the police Federation. They were set up under


statute in 1990 as a deal in which a police would not go on strike. This


is a political campaign to get a Cabinet minister out and the legacy


of this is the police Federation will have to be reformed. We will


keep an eye on it. They were Ed Miliband's union backers, they swung


the Labour leadership for him in 2010. Now the Unite union looks like


his biggest headache. The Sunday Times has seen extracts of the


report into the alleged vote rigging to select a Labour candidate in


Falkirk. There was evidence of coercion and Gregory as well as


deliberate attempt to frustrate the enquiry. We will be speaking to Len


McCluskey, the Unite union's General Secretary, in a moment. First out


the saga began an almost ended up with the loss of 800 jobs at a


petrochemical plant in Grangemouth. Unite were key players in the


Grangemouth dispute and the union headed by Len McCluskey has come


under fire for its intimidator Tariq tactics. In one instance


demonstrators complete with an inflatable rat picketed the home of


a INEOS director. The police were called. It was part of a strategy


the union called leverage. But turning up at people's houses seems


to represent an escalation. At the centre of the rout was Steve in


deals -- Stephen Denes. INEOS launched an investigation into him


as he was suspected of using company time to engineer the selection of


labour's candidate in Falkirk. That candidate was Karie Murphy, a friend


of Len McCluskey. Stevie Deans resigned last week and denies any


wrongdoing, but it capped a dramatic climb-down by Unite union. Len


McCluskey joins me now. Thanks to the Sunday Times we now know what is


in this labour report on the Falkirk vote rigging. Forgery, coercion,


trickery, manipulation. You must be ashamed of how Unite union behaved


in Falkirk. The Sunday Times article is lazy journalism. There is nothing


new in the article. This was all dealt with by the Labour Party in


the summer. We rejected those allegations then and we said we had


done nothing wrong and both the Labour Party and the police in


Scotland indicated there had been no wrongdoing. The report itself says


you were trying to thwart the investigation. First you tried to


fix the selection of a candidate to get your woman in and then you


thwarted the investigation into the dirty deeds. The reality is the


Labour Party report was deeply flawed. The Labour Party then


instructed a solicitor, a lawyer, to do an in-depth investigation and


during that investigation they got to the bottom of what had happened


and they decided there was no wrongdoing whatsoever. At the time I


was so confident we had done nothing, I called for an independent


enquiry. They were forced to conclude there was no wrongdoing


because the people who originally complained changed their evidence


and we now know they did so because Unite union officials helped them to


rewrite their retraction and Stevie Deans approved it. That is not true.


We have had 1000 e-mails thrown into the public arena and what is that


all about? Who is leaking this? They showed the Unite union was rewriting


the retractions. This interview would go a lot better if you are


allowed me to finish the question that you asked. These e-mails were


put into the public arena by the PR company from INEOS. Why are they


doing this? The truth of the matter is that all of the investigations


that took place demonstrate there was nothing to answer. This idea


that the Unite union has rewritten and the evidence from the families


has been withdrawn, the families are a part of Stevie deems' family. They


clarified the position. Do you deny that union officials were involved


in the retractions? I deny it completely. This is important.


Independent solicitors to witness statements from the family and they


are the ones that were influencing the Labour Party with the position


is clarified and there is no case to answer. Do you deny Stevie deems saw


their retractions? It is his family. So you do not deny it? It is his


family. This is an ordinary, decent family who were faced with the full


weight of the pleas, a forensic solicitor. Of course they spoke to


Stevie Deans. This whole thing is a cesspit. Does it not need an


independent investigation? This is a trap being laid by Tory Central


office. They are making all the demands. The media, the Daily Mail,


the Sunday Times, the Conservative mouthpiece, they are laying tracks


for Ed Miliband and Ed Miliband should not fall into them. Since


when did it become part of an industrial dispute to send mobs to


the home of company families. This is a legitimate form of protest and


it is a silent protest. We believe if faceless directors are making


decisions that cripple communities, they cannot expect to simply drift


back to their own leafy suburbia and not be countable. This is silent


protest. It is lawful. It may be silent in Grangemouth, but it was


not silent elsewhere. You went with a giant rat, loud-hailers telling


everybody the neighbour was evil. No, we did not. You had


loud-hailers, you even encouraged passing children in Grangemouth to


join in. That is nonsense. Look at the rat. The reality is the


Grangemouth community was going to be decimated, Grangemouth was going


to become a ghost town. I reject totally this idea there were


loud-hailers and children involved. That is a lie perpetrated by the


Daily Mail. But you have used these tactics in other disputes. We have


used the tactics in other disputes, but we have not used loud-hailers at


people's homes. Because the labour laws are so restrictive we have to


look at every available means that we can protest. It is an outrage, an


absolute outrage, that this is happening to British workers in the


21st-century. It could not happen elsewhere. Is not intimidation the


wider hallmark of your union? You were quoted as saying to do whatever


it takes during your attempts to take over the Labour Falkirk


constituency. You were instructing to dig out the nasty stuff on your


opponents. That is not true. Let's see these e-mails? This is a con


trick. Nobody is looking to dig out... This is the words of your


legal services advisor. Unite has tried to instigate a revival of


trade union values within the Labour Party. That is what Ed Miliband


wanted us to do. As soon as we started to be in any way


ineffective, there were screams and howls of derision. When the company


started to investigate Stevie Deans, your friend, your campaign manager,


that he was using company time to moonlight on the job, you called


INEOS and said unless you stop the investigation we will bring


Grangemouth to a standstill. I never said that at all. You brought it to


a standstill. We never brought it to a standstill, the company did. Who


says that I said that we would bring it to a standstill? You have read it


in the newspapers. You should not believe everything. I did not make


that threat to the management. You carried the threat out. You


instigated an overtime ban and a work to rule. And that is what


Grangemouth to a standstill because the company decided to close the


petrochemical site down. Because Stevie Deans was suspended due


introduced industrial action? Our members in Grangemouth felt he was


being unfairly treated. In the end you're grandstanding almost cost


Scotland is most important industrial facility. The day was


saved by your total capitulation. Grandstanding, capitulation and


humiliation are grand phrases. There is nothing about capitulation. Len


McCluskey did not wake up one day and decide to have a dispute with


INEOS. The workers in that factory democratically elect their shop


stewards to represent them and to express to management their concerns


and their views. That is what happened with INEOS. Jack Straw has


condemned your union's handling of Grangemouth as a catastrophe. Have


you considered your position? Jack Straw and others in the Labour


Party, you have to ask them what their agenda is. I am not interested


in what he says. The truth of the matter is we responded to the


requirements and needs of our members. At a mass meeting last


Monday 100% supported their shop stewards and their union. We will


continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our members when they


are faced with difficult situations. You have lost all the union rights.


You have had to agree to a no strike rule, you have lost pension rights.


We have not lost rights at all, we are still working with the company


to implement its survival plan. The Prime Minister is always attacking


unions and just lately he has taken to praising the automotive


industry. Jaguar Land Rover, Foxhall, BMW at Cowley, they are all


Unite union members were the shop stewards are engaged positively to


implement survival plans and to make a success for the company. That is


what we do, but by the same token we stand shoulder to shoulder with our


members who are in struggle and we will always do that and we will not


be cowed by media attacks on us. Is your leadership not proving to be as


disastrous for the members as Arthur Scargill was for the NUM? My


membership is growing. I am accountable to my members, two are


executive, and the one thing they will know is that when they want me


standing shoulder to shoulder with them when they have a problem, I


will be there, despite the disgraceful attacks launched on us


by the media. "A country ready to welcome your


investment which values your friendship and will never exclude


anyone because of their race, religion, colour or creed." The


words of the Prime minister at the World Islamic Economic Forum which


was hosted for the first time in London this week. The PM's warm


words are sure to be welcomed by British Muslims who have endured a


spate of negative headlines. There's been the controversy over the


wearing of the veil, attitudes to women, and the radicalisation of


some young British Muslims. In a moment I'll be talking to the


Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad.


First - here's Giles Dilnot. The call to Friday prayers at the east


London Mosque which has strong links with the Muslim Council of Britain,


one of the more vocal groups amongst British Muslims. Despite the fact it


frequently happens, it is neither helpful nor accurate to describe the


British Muslim community. There are so many different sects,


traditions, cultures and nationalities, it is more accurate


to describe the British Muslim communities, but there is one


question being put to them - are they doing enough internally to


address some challenging issues? Are they willing to confront


radicalisation, attitudes to non-muslins, two women, and cases of


sexual exploitation in a meaningful way? A number of them say no, not


nearly enough. This former jihad de has spent ten years telling young


Muslim teenagers how they can reject extremist radicalisation, using


Outward Bound courses and community work, but he and others doing this


work thing -- think some elders are failing the youngsters. This has


been going on for decades, one figures -- thing is said in public


to please people but in private something very different is being


said and the messages are being confused. Some of the young people,


it pushes them further into a space where they are vulnerable for


radical recruiters. For many Muslim youngsters, life is about living 1's


faith within an increasingly secular society, a struggle not helped if


rigid interpretations of the Koran are being preached, say some


sectors. Some practices often don't make sense in 21st-century Britain,


and you are perhaps creating obstacles if you stick to those and


it is perhaps better to let go of those cultural problems, especially


when they need to clear injustices like forced marriage, reticence to


talk about grooming for example, or discrimination against women. There


is a long list but I am very clear that in fact the bad Muslim is the


one who sticks to unflinching, narrow dogmatic fundamentalist


perception of religion. One issue often focused on is the wearing of


minicab. Polling suggests 80% of Britons would favour a ban in public


places. -- the niqab. Many people don't seem to recognise the legacy


of the niqab. Many people preach that women should be sidelined and


that they are sexual objects that should be covered up and the


preservation of morality falls on their shoulders. The Muslim Council


of Britain recently got praise for holding a conference on combating


sexual exploitation. In the wake of abuse cases that had involved


predominantly Pakistani men. For one man who has followed the story for


some years, the Muslim Council of Britain needs to do much more. We


need to get along together and if things like attitudes towards the


normal slim girl in stark contrast to the expression of honour and


chastity of the Muslim girl, your sister or daughter, are such that


actions that would be an fought off with a slim girl becomes permissible


with a white girl, then we are all in trouble. To some, attitudes to


women are not limited to sexual interactions at the very structures


of life in Muslim communities and indeed the Muslim Council of Britain


itself. I would like to ask the Muslim Council of Britain what they


are doing about the fact that very few mosques give voices to


are doing about the fact that very the fact that someone women are


experiencing female genital mutilation and forced marriages,


what about the women who are getting married and their marriages are not


being registered and they are being left homeless and denied maintenance


rights, what about the fact there are sharia rights that have been


found to be discriminating against women, and the fact there are men in


this country who continue to hold misogynistic views about women, what


are you doing? The occasional press release will not solve this problem


of a deeply patriarchal community. That all of these issues can be


exploited to the point of Islam phobia is not doubted, but many


Muslims feel that unless the communities do tackle this openly, a


big cultural gap will exist between the two.


And the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq


Murad, joins me now. One visible sign that sets muslins aside is the


veils that cover women's faces. Do you think it makes them impossible


to be part of mainstream society? The niqab is not an obligatory


requirement. But do you accept that those who wear it are cutting


themselves off from mainstream society? Some people do, and whilst


wearing niqab, some of them are working in various walks of life


successfully and it is seen as a faith requirement, but it is a red


herring in the sense that it applies to such a small number of Muslim


girls. For many Muslim preachers, isn't separation precisely the point


of the niqab? Certainly not, if you look at the Muslim women in the


public sphere, we have many very successful women. But not the ones


who are veiled. Not in the public arena as such, but the veil is a


practice which is practised by a very small number. Do you favour


it? I personally think it is not a requirement. But do you think women


should wear the veil? I think it is wrong to force women to wear the


veil. I asked if in your opinion women should wear the veil? It is


important not to force women to wear the veil. Should they of their free


choice where the veil? A lot of individuals do things out of their


free choice which I do not approve of, I don't think it is conducive it


helps their cause, but I do not have the right to take their choice away


from them. I am still unsure if you think it is a good thing or a bad


thing. Are not many Muslim women in this country being forced by Muslim


preachers and often their male relations who want to keep Muslim


women their place? As I said, it is wrong for anyone to force Muslim


women. But how would we ever know in a family if a woman was being


forced? Exactly, we don't know what is going on in people 's homes and


what pressure is being applied. I want you to look at this picture,


very popular on Islamic websites, and it shows the women who is


wearing the niqab having a straight route to heaven, and the other


Muslim woman dressed in western gear condemned to hell. Do you consider


that a proper message for Muslim women? Not at all, I don't. So any


Islamic websites in Britain... The Muslim Council of Britain is an


organisation of five affiliates from across the country and this is not


coming from any of them. As I said, those minority views propagated by


individuals should not be used to represent Muslim community. So that


would not have the support of the Muslim Council of Britain? It would


not have the support. What about the Muslim free school that requires


children as young as 11 to wear a black veil outside of school? Do you


agree with that? I am not sure exactly what the policy is... I have


just told you, do you agree that girls as young as 11 should wear a


black burka outside of school? I don't think it should be imposed on


anybody. But this is the desired dress School of the Muslim females.


I am asking for your view. I said it at the beginning that I do not think


it should be imposed. Would you send your daughter to a school that would


wear a black burka at the age of 11? Would you? No. It seems that some


muslins are determined to segregate young Muslim girls right from the


start to very early from society. It is not their segregation as such, I


would say that there are faith schools, if you look at an Islamic


girls school in Blackburn in a traditional setting, it has come the


top of the league table this year in the secondary school league tables.


But it doesn't make 11-year-olds wear black burkas. Many of those


girls go on to have a successful career. Not wearing black burkas. I


am sure there are examples of women who do have successful careers.


There is a very conservative movement from the continent on


Islam, and the issue supposedly based on Islamic law on their


website. Here is one of their recent judgements. The female is encouraged


to remain within the confines of her home as much as possible, she should


not come out of the home without need and necessity. What do you


think of that? We need to say the whole context of that quote. They


are saying they should stay at home as much as possible, do you agree


with that? I see many Muslim women who are walking about... But this is


what the mosque is recommending women should do. The practice is


quite the contrary. Let me show you another one. Another Fatwa. Do you


agree with that? These have been picked out from material dating back


to different cultural settings and in practice they are not applied.


This is advice being given as we speak. This is not being practised.


Do you agree with it? No, not at all. These are from the DL Monday


mosques, how come 72 of these mosques are affiliated to your


counsel? There may be publications from one of their scholars, but they


have been written in countries abroad and translated. This is


advice being given to young women now. They are affiliated to the


Muslim Council of Britain. Do you ever speak to them about that? The


Muslim Council is a very broad organisation. We are working on lots


of common issues to create a community which positively


integrates. Did you ever speak to them to say this is not appropriate


for British Muslims? There may be certain ad buys and publications


available, but people make their choices. So it is OK for your


organisation to issue things like that? Many of these things will fall


under scrutiny and we need to create that. Why do only 26% of British


mosques have facilities for women? If you go back to the requirement of


prayer, it was not obligatory for women to come to the masks to


prayer. When a poorer community began putting up mosques at the very


beginning in terraced houses... Did you have a policy to encourage them?


Is it on your website? It is in our practices that 20% of the council


have to be female. Coming out of this movement there is a conscious


stream of superiority between Muslims and non-Muslims. Look at


this quote. He is a well-known picture in this country.


That is what he wants to stop. I disagree with that. We believe we


live in this society and Muslims in any society of the world, and they


have historically lived as minorities in many countries... You


would this associate yourself from that? Why do you allow people like


that to be affiliated to you? The requirement is for any organisation


to be affiliated is that they are bound by the Charity commission's


rules and regulations. We only accept those who are under the law


of this country. This is a matter of taste. Let me move on to a bigger


issue. In 2009 you signed the Istanbul dash-mac the Istanbul


declaration was signed. Do you still support it? No, we never signed it


or supported it. One of your leading lights signed it. In the media


mainstream he defended his position. You have this associated yourself


from it? What is wrong with that? I am not sure about the declaration


because we disassociated ourselves. Before reading it? We did not sign


it. You have not read it? I do not know all the aspects of the


declaration, but at the time in the national newspapers and media there


was a discussion and a debate and it was highlighted that that was not


what was meant by the declaration. When did you decide so is the


yourself from the declaration? From day one. We never signed it. The


East London Mosque which you are personally closely associated with


is the venue for a number of extremist speakers, who espoused


extremist positions. In 2009 the mosque posted a video and


presentation by somebody described by the UN Security Council as an


Al-Qaeda leader supporter. Another speaker described Christians and


Jews as Phil. You have had a jihad is supporter of the Taliban there.


Why do you do nothing to stop extremists like that at this mask


with which you are associated with? We do not have anything to do with


any rhetoric that condones or supported violence. We issue


guidelines and the mosque itself is a registered charity which has its


own rules and regulations, but it is a very large mosques and lots of


organisations book and come and told their gatherings. We rent out the


facilities. You were prepared to speak alongside a man who saluted


suicide bombers, and said 9/11 was a Zionist conspiracy. Why would you


share a platform like that? I did not share a platform like that.


Different organisations come and have conferences here. Why did you


agree? I did not agree with that. I completely reject that. When you add


all this up the attitude to women, the alliance with the most


fundamentalist Islamic mosques, the toleration of intolerant views, a


willingness for you to be counted among them, why should anybody of


goodwill, either a Muslim or a non-Muslim, regard the MCB as a good


force? It is an organisation which embraces different organisations


which are affiliated in the Muslim community. You have taken snippets


of certain individual views which are not the views of our affiliates.


It would be unfair to represent our view based on those which you have


highlighted in this programme. The work that we do is quite clear and


is on our website. They are all associated with you, but we will


have to leave it there. You are watching the Sunday Politics. Coming


up: I will be talking to joke Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics


in Northern Ireland. Time to break the deadlock in parades and the


past, it is picking up pace. Is in decade about to announce a


referendum on same-sex marriage in the Republic? I will reflect on all


that. I am joined by two newspaper editors. So, Richard Harris was by


in Northern Ireland this week to break the impasse on flags and the


leading in the past. This week he has been meeting some of the smaller


parties. John McAllister and Stephen Agnew are with us. Also with us is a


woman who helped draft the report on dealing with the past. What was your


engagement with the team like on Monday? Very encouraging. There were


a few key messages. The Good Friday Agreement, it is about getting


people back to basics. Northern Ireland does exist, let us break at


work. -- let us make it work. It is a crisis we have entirely managed to


create with the DUP and Sinn Fein. Were you able to get anything back?


Without breaking any confidences of the discussion there were some very


probing questions. He was keen to know what we were standing for, what


we thought on the three main issues of flags. He was interested that we


were supportive of designated days and tackling flags being left for


whether to bring down and the demarcation of territory on other


issues. We have been supportive and still are supportive of some kind of


police committee. It needs to be regulated and he accepted that. What


was the Green party pitch? We talked about success, are detox helpful, we


believe they are. Something that is key for us. -- the talks. The Good


Friday Agreement was the people's agreement. Whatever happened at St


Andrews they did so without the people, it took place after an


election. I welcome this week that it has been said there will be a


mechanism to involve the people. We welcome that the cause we believe


that politicians have taken the peace process and made it veers but


actually it needs to involve wider society. The protests and troubles


we have seen on our streets. Did you get a sense that there is a great


understanding of what is happening here? I certainly think the gravity


of the role is recognised. It is for politicians to find the solutions


but it is for this man to find the encouragement for them. The past is


likely to be the most difficult part of the remake, what is the main


thrust of your argument? We do see this very much as a people 's


process, something where the public and the academics of society can


participate. We were generally uneasy about the way the current


debate has been framed. It is a very narrow once more to the South


African model. We do not think that would work for our variety of


reasons. The main reason is that the truth recovery minimises the grief


and injury experienced here over the last 40 years and longer. We would


argue that are much more rigorous evidence -based look at the past


that can be gleaned through the political archives and the


government archives and through the marked and unmarked graves of this


country and beyond. That would provide us with the opportunity to


recover truth but also respect and acknowledge the suffering that has


come before the Good Friday Agreement. You were talking about a


commission of historic recognition. That sounds very academic. It is


academic. Consulting with the archives gives an opportunity to


bring together at much more robust and Regulus and principled approach


to the past. -- rigorous. Does that mean reducing the role of the


politicians? It means opening the archives held in London, Belfast and


Dublin. Opening those archives and allowing investigation, assessment


and analysis. It means then bringing that analysis or in a much more


rigorous way than it has been used. It sounds like a robust academic


approach rather than an emotional approach, might that be a good idea?


We certainly have to find some way of drawing the elliptical line under


hot we were dealing with in the past. -- drawing at political line


under what we were dealing with in the past. Has that been helpful in


the healing process? I would suggest not. We need to look at what we can


do on the ground to help people, to make it there until -- personalised


and individual. That is what I would like to see. My concern is that when


you look at the archives in London, Belfast and Dublin, what do you do


with other main participants in the Troubles, the IRA, the Loyalist


paramilitaries. You are still in this 2-tier approach. I still do not


see how you get round drawing a political line but carrying on the


good work on the ground with victims. How would that work? Other


archives would either not be open or do not exist. We would speak to


people and have word of mouth. Is there something of interest to you


in what we are hearing? I certainly think the academic view is important


but we need to move away from a controlled narrative at the top. It


needs to be a democratic history and it is not one narrative will stop it


needs to come from how people experienced it. We need all of those


rather than trying to narrow it down will stop thank you all very much


indeed. The editor of the Ballymena Guardian and the Irish News are with


me. The notion of opening archives and approaching this in at different


way, the past is likely to be the most difficult challenge. What you


think? Some of the material in the archives might not be suitable. We


have to recognise that we have official government security files


which are not necessarily connected to the paramilitary organisations so


there will be talk of collusion. There are going to be notifying of


any worth which will move the whole process or. It is a very difficult


and complex area. It is clearly determined to be an inclusive


process. People have different ideas about the past and how it should be


dealt with. I would be optimistic that it will be teased out with this


current process. What about the smaller parties, there have been 400


submissions from civil society and other interest groups. Is that part


of the solution or does it ultimately come down to the two key


parties? We have to hear from as many voices as possible. The two


main parties made a mess of the process. It does come down to the


two main groups but there has been some talk about a referendum. We


need to be cautious about that. Unless it was worded very carefully


there is a danger of a circadian headcount which could be damaging in


terms of community relations. Politicians have not behaved well


over flags, parades and the past. At wider engagement has to be a


prospect. It would be great if a sense of mature ditty -- mid surety


descends on Stormont. The more views that are on the table the better. I


am not quite sure what the endgame is here. Well there be deals with


flags, parades and the cast? Is it all or nothing or will progress be


made on each aspect? Do you get a sense at all that there will be some


resolution by Christmas? It is possible but these issues have been


with us forever. There was a good solution which did not down so well


at City Hall but surely there is a way of coming round? We could get


over parade but the past might take longer. Now, their grandfather was


one of the most famous men in Northern Ireland, Edward Carson 's


granddaughters were special guests at Stormont. We have always known he


was responsible for Northern Ireland existing at all. Every one goes, in


places like South Africa, the say grandfather could have been shot as


a traitor. This was not really what he wanted? He was eight union man


and he wanted Ireland as a whole, that was not how it was to be. I


have heard your father was a product of Lord Carson's first marriage. He


described them as a wrong lot. I read that too. There were four of


them, two girls and two boys. We never knew him. You don't think he


directed that comment at your own father, do you? He could have done.


He was very much at practical joker. Have you found today overwhelming?


Very interesting. Saying we have seen things we have only read about.


Edward Carson's granddaughters speaking to our reporter on their


first visit to Northern Ireland. It was said there are hopes for a


referendum to be held in 2014. I am joined now by the Irish affairs


editor. This seems to be a key policy in the government. It is a


key policy along with the abortion legislation. Same-sex marriage has


been described as a human rights issue. It is very much the key


message for Labour. A referendum will be held. What we are less


likely to get next week is the dominant party in the quality and


telling us where they stand in general. What we are even less


likely to get is a potential date for the referendum. We have heard it


denied that the Labour Party is split on the matter. How big a job


might he have keeping his party together? He may try to get himself


personally out of any difficulty. It has been very difficult because he


lost seven Parliamentary members when he pushed through abortion


legislation. It was very divisive. He was bruised by the fact he has


already lost two referendum in the life of this government. What he may


do, even if he decides to hold a referendum, he has been very coy


about where he stands on the issue but what he may do is hold a neutral


position within the party and allowed people within the party to


hold the own views. The women who are being discussed, whose lives


were being affected, were not very vocal but there are several members


of the Parliamentary party who are openly gay and it would be much more


difficult for able to oppose that. We have had some important steps.


Three years ago we introduced civil partnership which granted marriage


style rights on issues such as tax and social welfare but what it left


out was the legal start is, the legal relationship for same-sex


couples and their children. The government may attempt to resolve


that by producing legislation in advance of the referendum. Perhaps


politically to see themselves the type of advice on abortion


legislation they might agree to hold a referendum. What about the


timescale in terms of clarifying what might or might not happen? If


there were to be a referendum when would that be? Some wanted to be run


with next year's local and European elections when you might have a


better chance of a turnout. If it is pushed out into late 2015 you are


then running into a general election. I think we would be


unforgiving if the decision to have the referendum was held but not


until a general election. Now let us pause the fleet. -- let us pause


briefly. I carried a thermometer with me to calculate the mood. A


ball and was sent to the secretary of state. For me the fact it had my


name on it was not a significant issue. I was just doing my job. And


civil servants. We must not worry that civil servants do not take sick


days. And Tony Blair's spin doctor. Pushing and one below. -- pushing


and envelope. Now a final few thoughts from my guests. That letter


bomb addressed to the secretary of state was the latest device of its


kind to be made safe. There was a pipe bomb sent to the police. The


security situation obviously remains a big concern. A threat remains


high. Politicians have been in the firing line on the number of


occasions. In fairness to them, they have stood firm and are determined


to get on with their own jobs and attending to democracy. It has not


gone away, that is for sure. Now it has not what it is no coherent


elliptical strategy again. There is a danger that these devices could


come through. As we look ahead to what could be a very difficult


business period they are worried if one get through. The security cost


has to be taken into consideration, people being forced away from the


city centre. Some of the figures have been discussed and they are


substantially different. At the end of the day it is a survey but if you


take into account the security costs, it is a massive development.


You had mentioned a figure with a reference to the flags. What is your


opinion on what should happen during a busy business season? Many are


literally keeping the wolf from the door at the minute. Some businesses


did go to the wall last time. I think it is important that the


traders do get the normal Christmas this year.


traders do get the normal Christmas Thank you for coming,


traders do get the normal Christmas this year. Thank


traders do get the normal Christmas Thank you for coming, great to see


you. Andrew, back to you. Labour 's relationship with Unite and other


issues all to be discussed in the Week Ahead and we're joined now by


the shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna. First I would like to get


your reaction to the interview I did earlier with the General Secretary


of the union Unite - Len McCluskey. Let's look at what he said. This is


a trap being laid by Tory Central office. They are making all of the


demands and the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, are you telling me


they are not the conservative mouthpiece in the media? They are


laying traps for Ed Miliband and he should not fall into them. Though it


is all a Tory plot. Len McCluskey denies a lot of the allegations put,


but let me be clear in an industrial dispute, the use of aggressive or


intimidatory tactics by either side is totally unacceptable. Do you


think it is wrong for Unite to send its members to the homes of


managers? I don't know what happened in that particular case, but I think


you should keep people 's families out of these things and if you are


doing something that can upset particularly children, that is a bad


thing. I know he denied a number of things you put to him. We now know


some of the content of Labour 's own report into what happened at Falkirk


and they found all sorts of things - forgery, coercion, trickery and even


that their own investigation was being thwarted by Unite. What should


Labour do next? I have not read the report. We are told that the latest


allegations that have been made is something that the police are


looking into so that is not something I think would be


appropriate for me to comment on. We learned Labour Party members in the


Falkirk constituency have complained to the leader of the Scottish party


about a lack of action by the Labour Party on what happened in Falkirk. I


am not part of the Scottish party and that is news to me. But the


police have indicated they are looking at the new information that


has come to light. It is a bit like the 1980s and there was an


electrifying moment when Neil Kinnock took on the militant


tendency in Bournemouth in 1985. Ed Miliband has sort of tried to take


on the Unite union, but it has not worked. Does then not need to be an


electrifying moment for Ed Miliband? Your own paper has praised him for


seeking to address the issues we have in politics and the


disconnection from people. In many respects the situation in Falkirk


categorises the process of further ongoing change where we are trying


to establish a better relationship with individual trade union members.


In parts of my constituency, some of the most deprived parts, we had


people queueing round the block to vote. I do not think the issue is


that people are not political, but they have never felt so far from


party politics as they do now and that is why Ed Miliband announced


this big chains about how we do things in the Labour Party, so we


change structures in the Labour Party that were set up in the 20th


century. The reform of the way in which we connect and our


relationship with the union puts us in a good position because we have


this relationship between the 3 million working people who ensure


our public services function. At Grangemouth INEOS stood up to


unite. At Grangemouth and Falkirk Labour rolled over to the Unite


union. I do not agree with that. I'd just explained the reason. I do not


think it is fair to ask people to give evidence in an enquiry on the


basis of the report will be confidential and then to publish it


after. But if somebody is trying to take over a Labour constituency to


send an MP of their choice to our Parliament, that should not be


secret, that should be public. Ed Miliband acted very decisively. That


constituency party is still in special measures as I understand it.


This idea that somehow the Unite union runs the Labour Party, they do


not. The special measures mean according to Eric Joyce, that an


ally of Stevie Deans is chairing the meeting. I am interested in the Tory


suggestion that they would offer free Tory party membership to union


members. I then moving onto your turf? We do not know exactly all the


facts and the truth of the allegations that have been made. On


your point I think it is healthy the Conservatives are looking to recruit


trade union members. A lot of their rhetoric is very negative in respect


of trade unions. If you look at Unison a third of the members vote


Conservative. In Unite union some of their members vote Tory. I think


trade unions have a lot to bring to our country. It is one of the things


many up and down the country will find very frustrating, a lot of the


good work that unions do if it gets tarnished with all the negative


stuff you see... Unite are working in partnership with GM and the


senior management in Ellesmere Port and the government ensured that we


kept that plant open. That gets overlooked by all of this. Do you


not think the bolshie behaviour from unions are motivated not by


strength, but by weakness. Unite know they cannot paralyse the


country in the way their forebears used to be able to do. Their


penetration rates in the private sector is 11%. The union movement is


weaker than it was before I was born. Some of that truck killers and


bad behaviour either death spasms of their movement rather than something


that is motivated by the fact they can't paralyse the country. You have


two increase the membership. But there is an issue about the public


perception of trade unions. It is right they should be a voice of


protest and anger and stand up for their members when it is necessary.


But people join unions for their aspiration. The unions do a lot so


that people can move up in their workplace. That profile needs to


come across as strongly as the protest part. I want to move on to


business. The head of the CBI has said that Labour's pro-enterprise


credentials have suffered a setback. He said that in relation to Ed


Miliband's speech. I was on the radio earlier. If you look at the


things in the speech, some of that was going to be uncomfortable for


some of the countries and they tend to be companies represented by the


CBI, like energy companies, like land developers, a lot of the big


business lose out from is not doing the corporate tax cut. The energy


freeze is going to help over 2.4 million businesses that have been


hit by high energy bills. The business community has said we had


to bring the public sector finances back into balance. That is why we


decided to switch the money being used to reduce corporation tax and


use that to help a much greater variety of businesses by doing a


business rate cut. It is all pro enterprise. They also seem to be


critical of your new idea of a living wage. They are not critical.


It would not be compulsory, but there would be a tax credit if they


paid it. It is good for business because if people are earning more


than they are more productive. It is good for the employee and good for


us as well because it means we are not having to subsidise people to be


paid to the extent we have with tax credits and benefits. Everybody


benefits from this. We all know after 2009 we need to have bold


change. Does Labour paid a living wage? We have got over 20 of our


councils signed up to doing so and we have made commitments in respect


to Whitehall. Does the Labour Party pay it? I believe so. Would it not


be worth checking? Do you get a living wage? Yes, of course I do. I


understand we paid a living wage. What does it feel like for Tristram


Hunt who has taken over your mantle as Labour's next leader? Is that a


relieved or are you angry? He is one of my best friends and at the end of


the day if we got obsessed with this soap opera stuff we would never get


anything done and we are working together to make sure we have got


the right skills in our workforce. That is all for today. The daily


politics is on all week. I will be here again next weekend at 12:25pm


after the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph. Remember if it is


Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.


Download Subtitles