10/02/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


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

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And coming up on Sunday politics in that Northern Ireland...


Basil McPhail and being found guilty of indiscipline. Three MEPs


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2465 seconds


on the latest Brussels budget. Join Welcome to Sunday politics in


Northern Ireland. As a McGhee was found guilty of two counts of and


disciplined. Is everything rosy indeed DUP garden?


After more than 24 hours of gruelling budget talks, EU leaders


have agreed a compromise deal. David Cameron might be happy that


spending might be reduced. It looks like the EU peace programme budget


for Northern Ireland will be cut by 75 million euros. I will be talking


to our three local MEPs. Joining me with insights into the state of


Europe by am joined by eight Nick Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrae has


been found guilty of indiscipline by an Ulster Unionist Party


committee and given them a formal warning. He spoke out last week


against party policy. The two complaints against him were upheld,


so does the decision to give them a slap on the wrist rather than expel


him mean an end to the matter? He is with us now, thank you for


joining us. You must be disappointed he did not throw the


book at you? I am disappointed they did not find


in my favour. A spokes on party policy, I did not attack anybody


come at I acted in the best interests of the party and I


provided them with lots of detail on the record to see this was what


was said, so why am at a loss to how they have come to that


conclusion. They handed out the most lenient punishment available


to them. The fine you guilty but gave you a formal warning. Has that


row fitted you? A lot of people said that you wanted to be made a


martyr. If you'd -- they had thrown you out of the party you could have


moved on. I do not know what a formal warning


implies. Does that mean I am only slightly guilty or that I was not


guilty at all of there are other issues? The you are absolutely


guilty, they are clear about that. The I don't understand the


conclusions, you were guilty but we're not going to throw the book


at you. This seems strange. My ultimate responsibility is to the


electorate. The people that put me into power, the people that Ford


for me... What exposition of the party's


position do you have at this stage? Have they gone through it point by


point in great detail? One of the really disappointing


things about this process is that I have had no detail about the way


they are thinking. You would have thought a party that has been


around for 100 years with lots of experience in disciplinary


procedures would have a better procedure than this.


This is what I have. This is one page, handwritten. This is the


investigative report, all there is. There is nothing else. That is not


the finding, is it? No Mac, that is the investigative


reporter that decides whether I have a case to answer or not. It is


half a page of A4 paper, handwritten. It provides no detail,


and until they are able to explain to me and the public what is going


on, then I have to say I still think I have a good case. Do you


dispute the findings? You still maintain that the evidence you gave


points to one conclusion only, that they were not guilty of the two


charges you were facing? That is correct. It is not a matter of


opinion, this is fact. This is tram scripted. You can beat this. With


respect, you're the defendant, not the judge. You are standing in the


dock, the judges, your fellow party members, listens to the evidence


and looked at the facts, and they made a ruling that you may not like


but it disagrees with your point of view.


I do not understand how they have reached their conclusions. Also,


they seem to have something of a problem in this regard. There is a


pattern emerging about dealing with disciplinary procedures. The number


of people that have left the party in the last number of years, we do


not appear to have got this right. A am confused about how they are


thinking, I do not think I have done anything wrong and would stand


by my case. If you still maintain your


innocence and none of us are any the wiser because we have not seen


the details of what precisely you have been charged with and how you


answered those charges, while good do not call their bluff by


publishing the evidence that you say makes you innocent, put it in


the public domain and let voters decide for themselves who is right?


The first thing I am going to do is speak to my local association and


explain to them what is going on, and I will give them all of the


details, the document I have and the charges against me. I am also


of a mind because of the electorate being the ultimate arbiter of need,


that I will publish what I have and invite the party to publish what


they have. I am not an employee, I am an elected representative. The


public have a right to know, I will stand by my case and put it out


there, and I will -- ask them to do the same.


If you publish your side of the story, people will find in your


favour? Do I have been clear to the party,


they asked me to sign a confidentially -- confidentiality


agreement twice and I refused. I intend to tell the electorate and I


will publish it. Will you pull this decision?


I certainly want to address the issue.


-- will you appeal this decision? I reiterate that I have at all


times acted in the best interests of the party...


Are you going to sit down and appealed this or let it go? You


must have a view of the longer term, whether or not Basil McCrae will


remain in the party or not? I will take advice, but I am not


happy with the decision that has come out, and an appeal is


certainly open to me. It is most unfortunate party officers are


making public statements already that seemed to prejudice the case.


The entire process is compromised, and that is part of the problem.


The party has to find a better way of dealing with it and I hope I


will be able to help them deal with that.


We will leave it there for now, thank you for joining us.


We will hear the views of my guests on the state of the Ulster


Unionists shortly, but first, from horse making beefburgers to Adam


and Eve, it is all in the week in He meet and what we eat made


headlines again and it came with a warning.


Those people need to be brought to book by the law.


An Ulster said no group open the police and fire jeans.


Ireland's multi-billion debt deal was hailed by some as a success...


Are Government is on doing the disastrous banking policies that


brought this state to the brink of national bankruptcy.


The road to a united Ireland seemed longer than ever.


It looks like one that will lift the spirits of almost everyone in


this House, because we believed in a United Kingdom and we believe in


Northern Ireland been part of that United Kingdom.


Gay weddings got Westminster's blessing but some could not admit.


A In the Garden of Eden, it was adamant and Steve, it was not Adam


and Eve... It was not Adam and Eve. Stephen Walker reporting. Let's


hear for the former director of communications for the Ulster


Unionist Party, Alex Kane and PR consultant and commentator Nick


Garbutt. Welcome. The long-running sketch -- Sagar of bars, Gray's


this entanglement from the Ulster Unionist Party continues. What did


we learn this morning? At do not think we learned anything new.


It was a classic fudge. They found him guilty. The actually passed the


whole thing over to Nisbet. This will now become a clash of two


miniature titans. The whip is the only one who can give this whip


back. He will have conditions, he will DEC, basil, I will give the


whip back but I want a public admission that you will tour the


line. Battle will not give that. The other thing is they said it was


the most lenient punishment they could give him. It was informed by


the fact that Mike has the whip, but also that Basil intends to


leave the Unionist Party no matter what happens in all of this.


Nick Garbutt did you think Basil McCrae is preparing the way to


depart? I think it is inevitable. I do not think this is doing the


party any good at all. Alex Kane is talking about a fudge, they do not


need fat at the moment. If you look at a good successful party, it has


three key element - great organisation, strong leadership and


discipline and compelling messages people can buy into and support.


Sadly, at the moment, the party does not have any of those.


It is difficult to recover from a situation like this, isn't it?


trouble with the Ulster Unionist Party, they need a number of things,


but they also need a clear sense of direction. The problem is, it is a


party of two haves, three thirds, there is no unity and direction. It


does not matter how good the message or organisation is, if you


cannot knock adored and asked people what he Ulster Unionist


Party believes income unless you can get a clear answer it goes to


the party that has the clearest message.


Hope might make -- Mike Nesbitt react to Basil McCrae saying this


morning that he will put in the public domain information that a


punter will now the public has not seen that he says will underscore


his case and undermine the party? The trouble is, it was interesting


for the first few weeks when you had someone saying he was standing


up for party policy. The general public, the media, they have no


good interest in the mind you shy. Most people have accepted, but will


want to leave the Ulster Unionist Party. -- have no interest in the


minute detail. They may as well just cut it and go.


Nick, you are involved in the motion of crisis management, and we


will come onto that as far as Europe and horsemeat is concerned,


but in terms of the party, what advice would you give? It is hard,


because the smaller our party and weaker our party becomes the less


power and influence you can trade with senior members, and the more


difficult it is to control people. If you were talking about Labour in


opposition, you have all the shadow Cabinet posts, a look for people to


lose if they step out of line. But the Ulster Unionists, there are not


be too many cards for Mike Nesbitt to play. It will be interesting to


see what happens when they go back to Stormont tomorrow. We will be


back with you later in the programme.


Europe has agreed to more funding supporting scores of community


groups here, as well as high- profile projects like the Peace


Bridge across the River Foyle and the planned Conflict Resolution


Centre at the form at Maze Prison. But the Peace IV package has been


reduced to 150 million euros, on the back of the first ever real-


terms cut on the eve -- overall EU budget. I am joined by a All-Star


Unionist Jim Nicholson and the DUP's Diane Dodds, and we're joined


from our Foyle's studio by Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson. Diane


Dodds, first of all, let me ask you about the Budget. It is the first


real terms budget cut as far as the he is concerned in these days of


austerity. Is that the right thing for Europe to be doing? First of


all, I welcome the budget negotiation de Prime Minister came


back with. It is an important message we have to send to the


European Commission that they cannot continue to spend while at


home national budgets and family budgets are under severe


restriction. That is an important message. We also have to recognise,


under the very complex funding formula for the European Union,


between what we pay in and get out, the United Kingdom will continue to


contribute more to the EU with a large structural funds going to


eastern Europe. For as at home, we have to continue to fight for an


adequate share of the Common Agricultural Policy budget, support


our farmers and food industry, which has continued to rise in


times of recession. It is very, very important.


What about the fact that Peace IV has been secured, money for


community groups and some of the project I mentioned. That is


secured, and there was a lot of talk that was not going to be the


case. Yes, it has been reduced by 75


million euros. We are 150 million euros better off than we thought we


would have been three years ago when it looked as if they would


have been no Peace Fund. My friends in Europe ask, how long does it


take to make peace in Northern Ireland? This has been going on


since 1994. It is a good question. The UK, I have to say, in the


events of recent weeks, has brought it back to people saying to us,


what is happening? We thought you were moving on. Why have these


things happening on the streets? Bid you think people resent the


fact they are still paying for something they thought had been


resolved and frankly should have been resolved?


No, I think Europe has been very generous towards Northern Ireland


and understanding, and that is why the fund was brought about all of


those years ago. It has contributed to bringing us to where we are. We


now have to look at the challenge as to where we're going in the


future, and there are still problems, we know that. Because


Europe's Gies has moved towards the east -- Europe's agrees have moved


towards the east, we're not on the screens across BBC World or Sky


News, there are these atrocities happening everywhere no beamed


across the world. Do you take the view that the glass


is half full in that the money is secured, or have empty in that it


is not as great as it has been in the past?


First of all, I fundamentally disagreed with Diane Dodds's


analysis of David Cameron's actions. If it had been up to David Cameron


we would not have had a peace forum. The ministers in the south of


Ireland where the people who picked Peace IV on the table. We also need


to take into account that what happened last week is a bad deal


for Ireland. Agriculture, growth and fisheries is down 47.7 billion


euros. That is going to have a knock-on effect on all of those


parties in Westminster who voted for a cut in the EU budget. They're


going to have to address that between those people here, needing


a single farm paid in -- payments, those people needing the Rural


Development Fund. We do not know the impact of this �47.7 billion --


47.7 billion euros cut. But a we have to live within our budget, in


Ireland, in the UK and in the European Union, as well.


Austerity has kicked in and we cannot keep spending money that we


have -- that we do not have. The contribution from the member-


states amount to 67p per person per day. You pay more for a cup of tea.


The total contribution spread out over a seven-year period, when you


look at the deficit in the USA, it is more for one here and the seven-


year budget for the EU. I think there has been a lot of


scaremongering and unfortunately we are going to see agriculture,


development, fisheries, peace and the cohesion and social funds, the


structural funds, that have also been cut. Regarding peace, we need


to look at what the first and Deputy First Minister would bring


in Brussels last week, showcasing the project that benefit from peace.


22,000 project from 1995 until the present day. At the last round,


900,000 participants. Her baby you respond to that? That


is a very different view from yours. There are others, clearly, within


the European Union, who would share Martina Anderson's analysis?


European Parliament, for example, will continuously vote for budget


rises. It seems to think it lives in a


parallel universe, that what is happening in member states, what is


happening with families is not what happens to them. It will be a


disgrace next session if the European Parliament vote to have a


private vote on whether to support the budget or not. In terms of


peace, it is hugely important that we have got this piece money. This


was by no means certain. This is a result of a huge amount of work at


that has been done since 2009 with the commission, with the committee


in order to secure that. We need to set -- it goes to the real victims


of terrorism and support our young people.


The Quick Word on the horsemeat. I do not know if it is a scandal


order controversy at this stage. We were told it was not a food scare,


but if the day that passes it looked more and more like a food


scare. I think this is becoming a tragedy for the whole food industry.


And there is a big European dimension. Yes, and Europe will


have good deal with this. We have always said you have controlled the


standards of the food we eat and water we drink. Now we do not know


what is going into it. I have set for a long time, there is no such


thing as cheap food. Food costs a lot to produce and people are


cutting corners. If this is criminals, if it is being driven


down by the retailers trying to sell four burgers for a pound, I am


sorry, you cannot get meat as cheap as that.


At how good we sort this problem and it?


When we are told -- we are told that there is a breach in the EU


food labelling laws and that needs sorted. We're also told of the food


is safe to consume, but that is only if the horses themselves have


not had better remain medicine administered. -- veteran any


medicine. -- veterinarian medicine. Our I fear that we're going to get


further news, if we listen to the Secretary of State. We will get


further news on this this week. It is a scandal of mammoth proportions,


but we should differentiate between the traceability systems our


farmers use and quality produced they have in Northern Ireland.


Jim Nicholson, Diane Dodds, Martina Anderson, thank you for joining us.


Let's hear a final thought from Alex Kane and Nick Garbutt.


Can we deal with this food scare? Day by day, this is getting more


worrying for consumers. Yes, and I think they are right, this is a


serious problem. Trust and confidence is what we were trying


to defend. How can you possibly have trust now in what is in that


burka and confidence about how safe it is? We have been told it is a


labelling issue and not a food safety issue, but how do we know


that? Would be these horses come from? We do not know. There has


been evidence of identity theft going on recently. It is also a


problem for Northern Ireland. It is a Europe-wide problem, but it is a


problem for our producers here at. Yes, but what concerns me about


this, all the big suppliers like Tesco, I assumed because they are


the primary be to work they will have checked.


From the main supplier but also from the seven or eight sub-


contractors. That does not seem to have been done. When you are


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