05/05/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


05/05/2013

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

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Ulster Unionist leader, Mike Nesbitt.

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2224 seconds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Davidson and Steven McCaffery join me also.

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

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

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residents and their families revealed the extent of their

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distress. Finally the Health Minister who had apologised for that

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distress and branded the handling of the decision disastrous took drastic

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action. We are discontinuing the current consultation process. It

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

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the elderly care. The current process and consultation that is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Poots speaking to our health correspondent Mike Louise Connolly

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on Friday. Mike Nesbitt and the economist John

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

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interview, you called for the Minister 's resignation.

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

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and the other with the implementation of it. Although he

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

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

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

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

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

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People are looking at transforming care and wondering is this about

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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different recommendations, thank goodness the trusts have the ability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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easy to fix the communication problem. Two words from the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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monitoring grounds. Health should not benefit from monitoring rates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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message that suggests that the opinion of the Commissioner has no

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

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

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improvement here. I believe that she will say that.

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Let us hear from our two commentators today. PR consultant

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Sheila Davidson and Steven McCaffery from The Detail. Sheila,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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communications, policy or the implementation of the policy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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issues and policies they are introducing. There is still plenty

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

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It is not an issue of equality but redefining marriage.

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

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

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:54:57.:54:59.

was this a shut from Martin McGuinness?

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Mark Devenport reporting. David Cameron once things are said,

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

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local elections in England are anything to go bike might

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

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

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

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

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

:55:41.:55:45.

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

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

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

:55:56.:56:06.
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is that I detect that it is the same in Northern Ireland. They are fed up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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another issue which is pretty interesting and Northern Ireland

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

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

:57:50.:58:00.
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Northern Ireland. You do not believe UKIP voted for -- you do not believe

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

:58:06.:58:09.

that UKIP penetrated the Conservatives. They have also

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

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

:58:21.:58:26.

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

:58:26.:58:30.

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

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

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

:58:37.:58:44.

his performance. What about this realigning of British politics.

:58:44.:58:48.

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

:58:48.:58:51.

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

:58:51.:58:55.

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

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real evidence that this electoral result is fundamentally going to

:59:00.:59:05.

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

:59:05.:59:12.

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

:59:12.:59:15.

point about the coalition government is extremely interesting. It looks

:59:15.:59:21.

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

:59:21.:59:24.

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

:59:24.:59:28.

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

:59:28.:59:33.

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

:59:34.:59:38.

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

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

:59:43.:59:50.

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

:59:50.:00:00.
:00:00.:00:03.

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

:00:03.:00:07.

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

:00:07.:00:10.

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

:00:10.:00:16.

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

:00:16.:00:20.

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

:00:20.:00:23.

of the effect on Labour and the Tories.

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

:00:28.:00:33.

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

:00:33.:00:38.

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

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it seems to be a manifestation of frustration with conventional

:00:42.:00:46.

politics and the same things that people see between political parties

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and that kind of frustration that people feel regarding delivery by

:00:49.:00:55.

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

:00:55.:01:04.

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

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

:01:11.:01:15.

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