09/06/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


09/06/2013

The latest political news, interviews and debate in Northern Ireland.


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a great opportunity to showcase Fermanagh or an unwanted intrusion

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by leaders who represent big business? We'll ask the Sinn Fein MP

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2139 seconds

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for the area what she thinks. Join to go before the leaders of the

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world 's eight richest countries arrive in Fermanagh for a two-day

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summit, while the G8 be a great opportunity to showcase the county

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or an unwanted intrusion by breeders who some say only represent big

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business. As thousands gather in London to demand local leaders to do

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more to end world hunger, we hear from Concern and Christian Aid.

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And while the newest little party shake-up the status quo in politics?

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I speak to Jane Morrice and Sam McBride.

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When it was announced last November that the G8 summit was to be held in

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Fermanagh, the First Minister and Deputy First Minister opted not to

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publish a joint statement. Some saw that as being a significant

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surprise. The did not sit well with Sinn Fein is a economic agenda? Is

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Sinn Fein caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to

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welcoming the leaders of the world 's eighth richest nations? Sinn Fein

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MP for Fermanagh Michelle joins me now. Thank you for joining us. You

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are the MP for the area. Has this been a tricky issue for you to

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navigate? I do not think so. We would also is welcome investment and

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tourism into Fermanagh. From that point of view the G8 as a positive.

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I think we have been over the course of the last year since it was

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announced that the G8 was coming, we have seen different spends being put

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on the G8. We saw hugely inflated figures for the economic benefit.

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When you look at what happened in Scotland the economic benefit has so

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far not been that impressive. There is a short-term benefit, a lot of

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businesses are doing well this week and next week at some businesses are

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certainly struggling, even tourism businesses which do not have a foot

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on the G8 ladder and they are not getting their usual customers, never

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mind a boost from the G8. That must be taken into consideration. Some

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have talked about a boost of hundreds of millions for the local

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economy. Your party colleague, they get the chair of the trade and

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investment committee at Stormont, Phil Flanagan, he has said that

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since the announcement was made we have been forced to listen to one

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ridiculous claim after another. Throughout the process he has been

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outspoken and critical of the event it seems to a lot of people and to

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some of the claims that have been made. Do you agree with him or is

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there a difference? I think he has a point. Being on that committee he

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has access to information and has asked a number of pertinent

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questions. He is correct in what he says. We also want to see the

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positives in this as well. There are a lot of negatives, however. Lot of

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young people have to get buses much earlier in the morning because of

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the structure into their exams. Some people have chosen not to come to

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Fermanagh because of the likely disruption that there will be.

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most important eight countries coming to the world into Fermanagh

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and people are arguing? ! You might not agree with everything they say

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or do but they are important and the focus of the world 's media will be

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on Fermanagh, is that not a good thing? Yes, and one of the positives

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was the two-day youth conference that was held in Fermanagh which

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involve young people from across arrogant. That two-day conference

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issued a youth community. They were 40 things, equality for all, health

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and access to health, poverty and addressing poverty and they want the

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G8 leaders to do more to address poverty around the world, and peace.

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They are looking at conflicts in places like Syria and Palestine and

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the belief that it is a fusion important issue. That will be

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translated into other languages and given to each set of leaders. As

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part of the problem that Sinn Fein is a pretty left-wing economic party

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with a similar agenda and their importance is talked up by a global

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business structure? That is not to constantly with the Sinn Fein

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agenda? I do not think it is a problem. David Cameron has been

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talking about world hunger. What he must understand is that you cannot

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talk out of both sides of your most on this. Welfare reform is actually

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bidding to people going hungry in Fermanagh and South Tyrone and

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across Northern Ireland. It is not that we are a left-wing party, but

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we do stand up for the vulnerable and those without a voice. We have

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people struggling at the moment to pay their bills and because the

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economic leaders of the world have not got their act together on this,

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we are still seeing people living in poverty, people unemployed, 50% in

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the South and nearly 80% in the North. Is that the First Minister,

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is this a real challenge for Mr McGuinness to meet these different

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leaders of the world? I do not think it will be a challenge for him.

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They can always handle himself well wherever he goes. He did not issue a

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joint statement with the First Minister have ever. That is because

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it may not be shared by the DUP and other right-wing parties. Perhaps he

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should have taken himself out of it then? He is not going to snub eight

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people from around the world. eight people were coming for a

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caravan holiday in Fermanagh you would not snub them, you are not

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good to snub resident Obama and the likes of him. You cannot compare the

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leaders of the eight most powerful countries to people going on a

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Caroline Hawley, can you? At the end of the day, if there are positives

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we want to tap into them. We must understand the negatives and the

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difficulties and we must ensure that people have a decent quality of life

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and that we stop the immigration because the figures that I have

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quoted do not reflect the flat -- the fact that so many of our young

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people are in Canada, New Zealand and Ireland the world. I think you

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were stretching the analogy the! have seen a great deal of you in the

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last 12 months. You are now concentrating on your role as a

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Westminster MP. You are an abstentionist MP, you are at the

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heart of it. Uber agriculture minister, the chair of the Health

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Committee, very hands of, -- very hands on, you must now have a lot of

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time on your hands? I spent a lot of time in my constituency and a lot of

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time between London, Belfast and other areas. There is a different

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approach to what I do. In my previous jobs I made a real

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difference and if all the MPs were truthful, I think they would save

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other they are extensions or not, it is much harder to make a positive

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impact when you're outside the Assembly than when you are in it. I

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would like to take my seat back in the Assembly. Did the party make the

:45:15.:45:25.
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wrong call on your behalf? There are new people in the Assembly, five MPs

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are freed up to do other things. That is a good thing. I was in the

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Assembly for 14 years and I did enjoy it. Regardless of what

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committee I was on, I tried to be as proactive as I could be. Any of the

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MPs would tell you that London is a different animal. The Assembly is

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where it is at. Sam McBride and Jane Morrice now

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Johnny. Sam, is it a real challenge for Sinn Fein how the G8 summit is

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handled? It is certainly a challenge, one of many that come

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with being in power. Sinn Fein 's approach to some of these economic

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issues is quite similar to that of new Labour in some ways. They are

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demanding and tried to say to the people who would want to go in there

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and smash up the summit, we are broadly in agreement with your

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disdain of these people. There are also saying to those who like the

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filthy look of capitalism, you do not need to be frightened about us.

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How did you read the build-up to G8? It is fascinating that we are

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talking about global politics. just what the G8 is going to bring

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to Northern Ireland and Fermanagh, but these young people that are

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willing to take the sessions in a global world, it is opening up a

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whole domain for a lot of us. final thoughts from you, Jane, do

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you have some sympathy for Michelle wished that you read from the

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hothouse of the politics and the Assembly and did not go back into

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it. Uber Depat the Speaker for a time at the Assembly, did you have

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an adjustment to make with a lot of time on your hands? Definitely, I

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was only for five years but losing an election is a big thing. It is

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hard to get over. It takes a little while to adjust to it. To change

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your whole outlook and approach is very difficult. I look on the

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positive, I was able to spend more time with my son and family. Thank

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you both for joining me. Thank you, Michelle. Northern Ireland has a new

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political grouping after the launch of NI 21.

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The party set up by two Ulster Unionist MLAs, John McCallister and

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his colleagues. Basil McCrea. They see this new party will feel

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directly -- they say this new party will appeal directly to those felt

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loaded by the other parties One of Belfast and newest

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buildings, John McCallister and Basil McCrea wanted to send out a

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new message that the party was modern and fit for the 21st-century.

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Many of their party members have never been involved in politics

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before. Tina McKenzie is new to the political world. Experienced in

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business, she is the party 's chairwoman. I have worked

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internationally and across the UK. am the mother of three. I have never

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got involved in politics and I think most people in Northern Ireland feel

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disengaged from the process. I am speaking to those people to try to

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get them involved. What about the name NI 21? It was chosen to

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symbolise Northern Ireland and the 21st-century. Will it find favour

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with the electorate? It seems to me like a road number. Take the end 21

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West. Does it sound like apolitical party? No, it does not.It is not

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very exciting but I think it works. It is a break from some of the other

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type of names that are used. It is OK, it does not put me off but I

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would need the 21 explained. Basil McCrea and John McCallister say the

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party is pro union, supports the Belfast agreement and they argue

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religious persuasion should not defined political beliefs. But can

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they really make a political impact. The challenge is to try and carve

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out a distinctive area or space for themselves between the Alliance and

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the Northern Irish Conservatives. Many people have said they are

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overlapping with those parties. That is definitely a challenge. They are

:50:07.:50:12.

looking for a voter that is socially in the know, financially

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conservative. Can NI 21 attract people? Especially those who have

:50:17.:50:25.

felt let down by politics before? Kirsty McKay is 21 and the law and

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politics graduate. It is new and fresh and will engage people who

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have not been engaged before. McCallister and Basil McCrea are the

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new face of this party. The summit that relationship will be critical

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in the months ahead. Stephen Walker reporting. Sam

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McBride and Jane Morrice are still with me. Sam, how crucial is that

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relationship between those two men? It is fundamental. One of my friends

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who has no interest in politics was asking me what Northern Ireland 21

:51:04.:51:08.

stands for, that is very important. They must get across the clear

:51:08.:51:12.

message. That did not happen the day after the launch were Basil McCrea

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on the radio discussed for several minutes issues and was not clear

:51:18.:51:25.

about them. They must present themselves better. But there was a

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real vibrancy about the opening event. Lots of young people

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present. Quite a different demographic. Jane, you know all of

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the challenges of setting up a new party with the set-up of the Womens'

:51:39.:51:47.

Coalition, could this workout for NI 21? Back in our day things were very

:51:47.:51:52.

different. People were desperate for change. Since the Good Friday

:51:52.:51:54.

Agreement, things have been moving along and we have come to the point

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where there is a new desperation for change and for a much more

:51:59.:52:04.

progressive type of politics. If they represent that, I wish them

:52:04.:52:07.

well as I would any party that is going for change, positive change in

:52:07.:52:14.

Northern Ireland. As the territory there for them? The Alliance Party

:52:14.:52:19.

is under 8%, basil and John say there is an opening for them, do you

:52:19.:52:24.

believe that? The territory that they must get if they are going to

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be successful is to get the young people on board. They need to get

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those people who have not voted before on board as well.

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Next weekend as world leaders travel to Fermanagh for the G8 summit,

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anti-poverty campaigners will be gathering in Belfast to promote

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their message. David Cameron yesterday led a high-level summit

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where delegates committed to supporting historical reduction in

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undernutrition. He is committed to giving an extra �375 million to feed

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the world 's poorest children but is that enough for those to be taking

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their message to the G8 next week? Dominic MacSorley from Concern and a

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colleague from Christian Aid joining in. This was a significant moment.

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Bill Gates also made an announcement and his foundation has committed

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something to the tune of �800 million. The European Union has

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committed 3.5 billion over a number of years. The money is significant

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and close to what we were looking for. What we must ensure is that

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this money is actually committed and that the mechanisms are in place.

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The bottom line is that it is not just about money but money is

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important. Yesterday 's conference highlighted if you prioritise

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nutrition and if you are able to get the kind of programmes that will

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insure a child actually develops as it should up until the first two

:54:02.:54:07.

years, the chances of that child going to school and into education

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and becoming a significant contributor to a national economy is

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huge and that is how we are going to solve global poverty. That is the

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key driver to ending global poverty. How does what was agreed in London

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yesterday, Rosamond Bennett, how does that tie into what you are

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hoping to achieve at the G8 summit? Did David Cameron take the wind out

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of your sales? Not at all. What happened yesterday in London was

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brilliant. We have our big if event next Saturday and it is all about

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making sure the government is more committed to eight. It is about tax

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dodging as well. It is putting pressure on the G8 to say that they

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must look at ways in which we can stop tax dodging. Christian Aid

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estimates that 160 billion US dollars are lost every year through

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tax dodging. That could go straight to having world hunger. It depends

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what you mean by tax dodging. Tax avoidance or tax aviation. Some of

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that is perfectly legal. Some of the big companies are not breaking the

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law, you believe that needs to be looked at again? Tax avoidance may

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be legal but it is not necessarily morally correct. When you look at

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where a lot of those big companies are, we are going into some of the

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poorest countries in the world, taking out all of the natural

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resources and not paying a penny in tax. That may be legal, but in my

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eyes and a lot of other people 's' has, that is unethical. Do you share

:55:50.:55:52.

that view and that international companies that line to support the

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IF campaign, and it was revealed yesterday by another charity, some

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of them are not paying the taxes that we as ordinary people would

:56:00.:56:06.

expect them to be pain? The problem that we are trying to is enormous.

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The traditional view when I started this work 30 years ago was if the

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government give the money to the international GE owes and it is much

:56:19.:56:24.

more complex than that. It will require significant investment from

:56:24.:56:29.

the private sector. You work with these oil companies and they are

:56:29.:56:36.

starting to recognise that if they can support health initiatives, they

:56:36.:56:39.

can get a better workforce, they can build up their own infrastructure

:56:39.:56:44.

and ultimately it is smart business sense. How do you get traction with

:56:44.:56:47.

ordinary people watching this programme today and who will be

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watching the G8 leaders in Fermanagh the week after next that they should

:56:51.:56:54.

support your campaign when they are themselves living through very

:56:54.:57:01.

austere times? Hunger is not something that just applies as

:57:01.:57:07.

Michelle said earlier to poor countries, it is around the world. I

:57:07.:57:12.

would advise people to go online and sign up to the petition is available

:57:12.:57:18.

to show support against tax dodging and send them to David Cameron. The

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more money that can be put into the tax system here and into our own

:57:23.:57:26.

infrastructure will help people in the UK as well as those in

:57:26.:57:30.

developing countries. What about the lobbying that may take ways in

:57:30.:57:36.

Fermanagh in Belfast? How do you set out your stall without looking like

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anti-capitalist demonstrators who will also be lobbying and Themis

:57:39.:57:47.

Trading next weekend? I love to hear about the kids in Fermanagh I get

:57:47.:57:52.

involved. People are interested in these issues and we all know these

:57:52.:58:02.
:58:02.:58:03.

are tough times. This is not about asking for significant increases,

:58:04.:58:08.

but how we use the money to insure that we as international

:58:08.:58:10.

organisations can use that as effectively as possible is very

:58:10.:58:15.

important. Thank you both for joining me.

:58:15.:58:21.

Now for a look back at the political bite and 60 Seconds with Stephen

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Walker. After hours of debate the special

:58:29.:58:39.
:58:39.:58:39.

advisers Bell was finally passed. This bill will be very successful is

:58:39.:58:45.

passed. Lord Laird was accused of doing parliamentary work for payment

:58:45.:58:49.

but he denied any wrongdoing. Northern Ireland 's newest party was

:58:49.:58:54.

unveiled. People are disillusioned with

:58:54.:58:57.

politics but not this interested. They want something better and

:58:57.:59:05.

different. We aim to do that. Belfast got a new first citizen.

:59:05.:59:10.

I want to create jobs. In the sweltering heat Stormont, one MLA

:59:10.:59:20.

got hot under the collar. Would the speaker be minded to look

:59:20.:59:23.

at the guidance on riding jackets and the Assembly, it is very hot

:59:23.:59:33.
:59:33.:59:34.

today. They were allowed to take off their

:59:34.:59:40.

jackets! Sam, a quick final word from you. Looking ahead to the G8,

:59:40.:59:43.

doesn't have the ingredients be successful as far as Northern

:59:43.:59:48.

Ireland is concerned? It will be successful in terms of publicity but

:59:48.:59:51.

there are not that many people in Northern Ireland that are massively

:59:51.:59:57.

excited about this. It is meant to be in secret and geeky people make

:59:57.:00:03.

-- people like me and you away from the event. Jane you spent a lot of

:00:03.:00:08.

time in Brussels, are people talking about the G8 coming to Ireland?

:00:08.:00:12.

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