05/05/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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The fallout from that U-turn on closing care homes. We hear from the


Ulster Unionist leader, Mike Nesbitt.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2224 seconds


And on the rise of UKIP, the party's Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics


in Northern Ireland. The problem was the process, not the policy, so said


the Health Minister Edwin Poots as he called a halt to the closure of


care homes. We will hear from the cold -- politician who called for


his resignation and economist with a wider impact on that decision. Nigel


Farage lead UKIP to major gains in England's elections.


The parties only MLA will hope for some company on the dangers. Sheila


Davidson and Steven McCaffery join me also.


First came the announcement one by one that health trusts here revealed


plans to close their homes. Then came the backlash is elderly


residents and their families revealed the extent of their


distress. Finally the Health Minister who had apologised for that


distress and branded the handling of the decision disastrous took drastic


action. We are discontinuing the current consultation process. It


will be organised shortly. We will do everything we can to deal with


the elderly care. The current process and consultation that is


taking process will no longer continue. What does that mean for


the public, what happens now? The implementation of the policy has


changed. I have said from the outset I was not happy with this. It has


caused stress to elderly people and the last thing we want to do is


cause distress to them. We must provide better quality care for


elderly people and that is what we will continue to engage in. Edwin


Poots speaking to our health correspondent Mike Louise Connolly


on Friday. Mike Nesbitt and the economist John


Simpson join me. On one point on Friday, before you give that


interview, you called for the Minister 's resignation.


Did you think he should go? There are two issues, one with the policy


and the other with the implementation of it. Although he


says he has fixed that, I do not think he has gone far enough. No


current resident has been given a guaranteed that they will not be


forced out of their home. Given the unnecessary distress it has caused,


that is believed he owes those people and families. The bigger


issue is the policy which has now been corrupted by this episode.


People are looking at transforming care and wondering is this about


delivering better health service or about saving money? He has, I am


afraid, corrupted the system, he must go. He said it has never been


about saving money. But the public no wonder what it has been about, it


has been a shambolic episode. a commissioner who said it was


shameful and this was due to a abject la leadership. Older people


are looking for politicians and people like Edwin Poots to see how


much store they are putting in the opinion of the champion. I be going


to listen to him? That is the big question. He says he has listened to


what residents and their families have said and that no resident will


be forced out of their home. Mark, this is about devolution, which we


were told would be better than direct ruled government. Can you


imagine how the DUP would react if a direct rule minister had flown in


and presided over the last two weeks, reducing a 92-year-old woman


into tears on television because she feared she would be turfed out of


her home? He went back and spoke to that women and reassured her.


not good enough. There is no guarantee that in the future she


will not be forced out. We need a guarantee. John Simpson. I've been


in a different direction to make in this argument. I think what we have


seen in the last week... He is correct to say it has been a


distortion of transformation of care. There are issues we must be


and we're not because of this. This is a very small part. Given what has


happened, there has been a certain failure of communication. Do I blame


the media, the press or do I blame the officials involved? For example,


the different boards came up with proposals that were reported to say


that they would close all of the residential care homes, . Full is


the that was never going to be true. There are always going to have to be


consulted. There was going to have the ministers permission and that


was never going to happen. Legally, the minister was still in charge and


he was being badly served by reporting that he would not be able


to fill his promise. He did not look like he was in charge. That is


slightly unfair. When he was asked he contributed to the discussion.


You and I may have used more forceful language, but he did


ultimately see that no one would be forced out against their will. John,


he told me on Thursday night that he did not know the trust were going to


announce 100% closures at that point in time. The trusts were not


announcing a decision for 100% closures. They were announcing a


recommendation that would go to the Minister. Surely we should still


have discussed it with him beforehand? Just one minute.Are the


trusts just guess men or people who can't think for themselves? At the


trusts came up with recommendations which were not what the minister at


originally thought, and there is a question that they read the


instruction book, as they read the instruction book, is taken up with


different recommendations, thank goodness the trusts have the ability


to think independently and the Minister then has the ability to say


stop. Mike, you do not agree? No, not at all. The Minister should have


looked at that and outline the sensitive parts and said not to do


anything without his seasonal. buck stops with him. In the


Southeast one care home says they will maintain at least one care home


in the area. That is part of the communications problem. It is very


easy to fix the communication problem. Two words from the


Minister, "I quit." He has been given advice from his trusts and he


has said that this device is unacceptable. He has said that they


have not read the instructions properly. He's had said that more


than 50%... Of course, it was never meant to include 100%. The Minister


has a rightful complaint to the general philosophy of the trusts. He


should say to them to put him in his place that they were just


recommending and not deciding. Poots has had �75 million on


monitoring grounds. Health should not benefit from monitoring rates.


Waiting lists have grown since he took over. Thousands of people


having to read more than 12 hours since last March. The target of 95%


under four hours was not met. These were pressures that your colleague


Michael McGimpsey faced when he was the Health Minister. Mr Poots has


failed to deliver. How would the DUP have reacted if a direct rule


minister at the edge is gaining the-year-old woman into tears? The


personal pain of a 90-year-old is obviously, that, but hard cases do


not make good law. The fact is there is a general consensus that we are


going to change the emphasis from residential care too other times. Is


that the correct policy in your view? I believe that is a good


policy provided the alternatives are in place. The trans from your clear


policies will be discussed over the next 12 months. What is happening is


a big report on how to deal with the major issues get swallowed up


because of one bad decision. It is one issue that has been handled


badly but I do not want to blame the Minister, I want to blame those


responsible for the communications system. I want to give the Minister


credit because he has tried to put an end to this. Use the buck stops


with the Minister and have called for his resignation. The one way to


guarantee in politics that someone will not go is they sometimes call


for his resignation. Because you have done this and he has had a


tough time, Peter Robinson may well throw his arms around him and make


sure he stays. He does not want you to set the agenda. That sends out a


message that suggests that the opinion of the Commissioner has no


value whatsoever. We must take account of the proposed shift. The


Commissioner rejected this shift? She will say that there is room for


improvement here. I believe that she will say that.


Let us hear from our two commentators today. PR consultant


Sheila Davidson and Steven McCaffery from The Detail. Sheila,


Communications is the business you are involved in. Our previous guests


sat said whatever the issues they disagree with, they agree that the


communications has been poor in this instance. Do you agree? That is


absolutely correct. In the fall of the public sector there is a


perception that any investment in communications is a waste of money,


it is spin doctoring, it is trying to bite people astray. When in


actual fact, if you get your communications right, at the very


point where you are making decisions and talking to people, it is not


about what is going into the media, it is about how you are


communicating decisions for the people who are affected. It is not


about that. It is about the communication of the Trust to the


people in its care. They got that horrifically wrong. They did not


even begin to factor in what the level of communication was. Let us


take this down to its lowest common denominator. The person who sat in


front of the Commissioner and said you will have to find somewhere else


to go. Where was the communications thought process that went down at


that level? We are debating better policies, we are debating everything


except the thing that actually went wrong here. At the end of the day,


perhaps the thing we should be talking about for a population the


size that we have, we have all of these trust boards, I health and


social care board, the department, and the level of opportunity there


is for all of that communication to go wrong is terrific. We are talking


about saving money? Maybe we should be looking at taking up this chain


of command and delivery and charting its to a point where what we are


delivering to ordinary people are something we want and we need and


the accountability line is very clear. Stephen, is it about


communications, policy or the implementation of the policy?


know from what the minister said on Friday it is not about policy.


has just pulled responsibility for that into his office. The other big


issue that spins off from this and it was back to what they had been


talking about in terms of the work of the government, Mr McGuinness is


preparing to present Northern Ireland on a bigger stage. I hope


that these decisions will show the executive and a good light and that


they are quietly working away in the background to and mental welfare


reform, Ruislip policies that will affect huge numbers of people, much


more than the affected by the care home issues will stop this had --


this has muddied the water and the angry finger-pointing to words


Stormont. Is this made life more difficult for the executive and


you're part of the executive, your party? I was at a rally last night


to stop the DUP are not popular in that area. Stephen Cazlake to


identify welfare reform. We were told by the Minister that if we did


not get this done and dusted by the end of March the sky would fall in


and the social funding would collapse. Here we are in the still


waiting for the Minister to bring it to the House for a debate. The


fundamental problem is that he has cut and pasted the legislation of


Westminster. They will idea of devolution is that you reshape it to


sit this part of the kingdom. were to discuss the measure Minister


is made of the A5, we would expect that the DUP would be angry with you


and your party this morning? That was an executive decision, not a


ministerial one. The serious issue here is about legal hearings of the


executive. I go back to the point that the communications that went


wrong here have had a much wider rippling out effect. We do not


appreciate yet how great that effect will be. That is an issue that did


not need to go the way it went. The instructions made it clear to reduce


within five years by 50%. That is a policy that is not in dispute. When


you notice that over the week that actual policy is not what people are


trying to throw it, we are talking about the speed when we should not


have been down that road at all. Does this kind of political crisis


which seems to be all absorbing, will switch people onto politics or


turn them off? It encourages the kind of policies that we saw


recently when, I think we may not was Peggy Dewey, people do not care


whether I am laughing or crying. Here more of those kind of comments


at times like this and that is what is profiting UKIP across the water.


Thank you for joining us. It has been a week dominated by that care


homes controversy. There is Mark Devenport 's the in 60 Seconds.


The disaster speak for Edwin Poots is elderly people had back at


planned home closures. Over the past few days I have been horrified at


how it has translated. The Secretary of State promises economic gain at


Stormont delivers a shared future. They are thinking and ambitious ways


about how to bridge long-standing secretarial issues and I welcome the


issues and policies they are introducing. There is still plenty


of division when it comes to legislation on same-sex marriage.


It is not an issue of equality but redefining marriage.


Who is responsible for removing flies, the police said, "not us."


Gerald Kelly said it was not acceptable. Was this a fraudulent --


was this a shut from Martin McGuinness?


Mark Devenport reporting. David Cameron once things are said,


"fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists". But if the results of the


local elections in England are anything to go bike might


reconsidering that view. UKIP polled strongly shown it can cause upsets


in Tory and Lib Dem heartlands. David McNarry is with me. Thank you


for joining me. Is this a staging post on the road to the aligning


British policies or just a blip? I do not think it is a blip. I have


just arrived on the scene. Mike Nesbitt who was sitting in the seat


was trying to accommodate and lead to my expulsion from the Ulster


Unionists party. It put me on a journey as to where I was going to


go. I must say, I seem to have made a good choice. The reason for that


is that I detect that it is the same in Northern Ireland. They are fed up


like the other people in the UK. They are fed up with an inefficient


government and we have reached an extent that the blip is eradicated.


This is quite a since Asian woman by UKIP, 25% of the overall vote. The


difficulty is going to be in getting Westminster seats. In between that


they have the European election. If people get accustomed to voting one


way and they have shown that and we will show it in Europe, they will


continue that way. I do not think the blip as a matter of fact. I do a


one trick pony? That is what a lot of the leaders have been seeing in


the papers. They say that people voted for UKIP on one issue only and


that was immigration. From my point of view, I am not a one trick pony


and not interested in one trick pony politics. UKIP have been accused of


being sectarian and racist when neither play no part in any thing


that we do. What we are developing now... Very interestingly, it is


about the connection and I think that is an important word in


politics today. It is the connection with UKIP and the public. Even over


another issue which is pretty interesting and Northern Ireland


Terence. I am making waves and always have in my support for


grammar schools. It is a big interest. That might be an issue in


Northern Ireland. You do not believe UKIP voted for -- you do not believe


people voted for UKIP on that issue alone? No, but you cannot take away


that UKIP penetrated the Conservatives. They have also


penetrated the Lib Dems and push them into fourth place again. They


came seventh in a by-election. UKIP are also drawing support from Labour


supporters. They are tapping into people who are fed up with the


delivery of government, just as people, and you heard it in your


earlier debate, just as people here are fed up with the delivery of


government. The executive we have in Northern Ireland is lamentable and


his performance. What about this realigning of British politics.


as long as I can remember people have talked about a 2-party state


becoming a three or four party state. It has never really happened.


I know the coalition government has slightly changed it. But there is no


real evidence that this electoral result is fundamentally going to


change the landscape. I think you are correct. At this stage you could


not make that claim. Some within UKIP are making that claim. Your


point about the coalition government is extremely interesting. It looks


like we are going to have another form of coalition. It could be a


voluntary as opposed to a mandatory coalition that we are forced to


have. You only really have Nick Clegg turning around and seeing that


he might go into power and equality with Ed Miliband. You have the


lamentable David Cameron said after the abuse that he gave to UKIP


people and voters then seeing that we must treat them with respect.


That is a result! Yes. But no one believes the Prime Minister any


more. You are neither a fruitcake, nor a loony or a closet racist?


not at the! I have had a great run in the last few days visiting


different parts of Northern Ireland. Thank you for Johnny, David. Sheila


and Stephen are still with me. I use a prize at this UKIP success?


No, I am not surprised and it should not be taken that seriously in terms


of the effect on Labour and the Tories.


I think that it has a bigger effect on the Lib Dems and that UKIP


appeared to be filling their protest gap. I do not think it is a big fear


for the Labour or Conservative Party. Time will tell. At the moment


it seems to be a manifestation of frustration with conventional


politics and the same things that people see between political parties


and that kind of frustration that people feel regarding delivery by


politicians. We have had is uprising week in politics. AQAP portal crisis


in Northern Ireland and this big UKIP surprise. Hasn't had a big


impact on the political debate? think what has been really good


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