10/11/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news. With deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and a look at calls to remove the Sun's Page 3.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Ed Miliband's on


the war path over pay day loans, your energy bill and what he calls


the bedroom tax. His spinners say he's resurgent though the polls


don't show it. We'll be talking to his right hand woman, Labour's


Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman. From resurgent to insurgent. Nigel Farage


won an award this week for being a political insurgent. We'll be


talking to the UKIP leader. And Harriet hates, hates, hates page


three. She wants rid of it. But what do you think? We sent Adam out with


some balls. Stay. It is good fun for the guys.


And coming up here: Alasdair the guys. What


And coming up here: Alasdair McDonnell joins me to discuss his


attack on the DUP and Sinn Fein and moving into opposition. Plus, the


Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore, on engaging with Northern Ireland. Join me


later. row over the super sewer rumbles on.


And with me, fresh from their success at yesterday's Star Wars


auditions, Darth Vader. Obi Wan Kenobi and R2D2. Congratulations on


your new jobs. We'll miss you. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh.


First, the talks with Iran in Geneva. They ended last night


without agreement despite hopes of a breakthrough. America and its allies


didn't think Iran was prepared to go far enough to freeze its nuclear


programme. But some progress has been made and there's to be another


meeting in ten days' time, though at a lower level. The Foreign


Secretary, William Hague, had this to say a little earlier. On the


question of, or will it happen in the next few weeks? There is a good


chance of that. We will be trying again on 20th, 21st of November and


negotiators will be trying again. We will keep an enormous amount of


energy and persistence behind solving this. Will that be a deal


which will please everyone? No, it will not. Compromises will need to


be made. I had discussions with Israeli ministers yesterday and put


the case for the kind of deal we are looking


the case for the kind of deal we are interests of the whole world,


including interests of the whole world,


the world, to reach a diplomatic agreement we can be confident in in


this issue. This otherwise will threaten the world with nuclear


proliferation and conflict in the future. The interesting thing about


this is that it seems future. The interesting thing about


prepared to go far enough over the Iraq heavy water plutonium reactor


it is building. The people who took the toughest line - the French.


France has always had a pretty tough line on Iran. They see it as a


disruptive influence in Lebanon. I am reasonably optimistic a deal will


be done later this month when the talks reconvene. Western economic


sanctions have had such an impact on Iran domestic league. They have


pushed inflation up to 40%. Dashes-macro domestically. The new


president had a campaign pledge saying, I will deal with sanctions.


I actually think, by the end of this year, we will see progress in these


talks. Should we be optimistic? The next round of talks will be at


official level. The place to watch will be Israel. The language which


has been coming out of there is still incredibly angry, incredibly


defensive. They do not want a deal at all. Presumably John Kerry has to


go away and tried to get Israel to be quiet about it, even if they


cannot be happy about it. They cannot agree to a deal which allows


the Iraq reactor with plutonium heavy water. You do not need that


with a peaceful nuclear power programme will stop that is why the


Israelis are so nervous. If there is an international deal, Israel could


still bomb that but it would be impossible. The French tactics are


interesting. It says the French blocked it in part because they are


trying to carry favour with Israel but also the Gulf Arab states, who


are really nervous about and Iranians nuclear capability. Who is


that? Saudi Arabia. Newsnight had a story saying that Pakistan is


prepared to provide them with nuclear weapons. You are right about


Saudi Arabia. They are much more against this deal than Israel. Who


is Herman van Rompuy's favourite MEP? It is probably not Nigel


Farage. He plummeted to the bottom of the EU president's Christmas card


list after comparing him to a bank clerk with the charisma of a damp


rag. And he's been at it again this week. Have a look. Today is November


the 5th, a big celebration festival day in England. That was an attempt


to blow up the Houses of Parliament with dynamite and destroy the


Constitution. You have taken the Dahl, technocratic approach to all


of these things. What you and your colleagues save time and again - you


talk about initiatives and what you are going to do about unemployment.


The reality is nothing in this union is getting better. The accounts have


not been signed off for 18 years. I am now told it is 19 and you are


doing your best to tone down any criticism. Whatever growth figures


you may have, they are anaemic. Youth unemployment in the


Mediterranean is over 50% in several states. You will notice there is a


rise in opposition dashed real opposition. Much of it ugly


opposition, not stuff that I would want to link hands with. And Nigel


Farage joins me now. Let me put to you what the editor of the Sun had


to say. He says, UKIP will peak at the European election and then it


will begin to get marginalised as we get closer to 2015 because there is


now that clear blue water between Labour and the Tories. What do you


say to that? There may be layered blue water on energy pricing but on


Eastern Europe, there is no difference at all. When Ed Miliband


offers the referendum to match Cameron, even that argument on


Europe will be gone. The one thing that will keep UKIP strong, heading


towards 2015, is if people think in some constituencies we can win. I


cannot sit here right now and say that will be the case. If we get


over the hurdle of the European elections clearly, I think there


will be grounds to say that UKIP can win seats in Westminster. You are


going to run? Without a shadow of a doubt. I do not know which


constituency. The welcome I got in Edinburgh was not that friendly.


Edinburgh is not everything in Scotland. I think we have a


realistic chance of winning those elections. If we do that, we will


have the momentum behind us. You might be the biggest party after the


May elections. The National front is likely to do very well in France as


well. They have won the crucial by-election in the South of France.


Have you talked about joining full season in Parliament? The leader has


tried to take the movement into a different direction than her father.


The man she beat, to become leader, actually attended the BNP


conference. The problem she has with her party and we have with her party


is that anti-Semitism is too deep and we will not be doing a deal with


the French national government. You can guarantee you will not be


joining such groups. I can guarantee that. Let's move on to Europe. Let's


accept that the pro-Europeans exaggerate the loss of jobs that


would follow the departure of Britain from the UK. Is there no


risk of jobs whatsoever? No risk whatsoever. There is no risk at all.


There have been some weak and lazy arguments put around about this. We


will go on doing business - go on doing trade with Europe. We will


have increased opportunities to do trade deals with the rest of the


world and they will create jobs. The head of Nissan, the head of Hitachi


and CBI many other voices in British business, when they all expressed


concern about the potential loss of jobs and incoming investment, we


should just ignore them. With Nissan, the BBC News is making this


a huge story. The boss did not say what was reported. He said there was


a potential danger to his future investment. They have already made


the investments. They have built the plant in Sunderland, which they say


is operating well. We should be careful of what bosses of big


businesses say. This man said they may have two leaves Sunderland if we


did not join the euro. I do not take that seriously. As for the CBI, they


wanted us to join the euro and now they do not. Even within the CBI,


there is a significant minority saying, we do not agree with what


the CBI director-general is saying. The former boss of the organisation


is saying we need a referendum and we need a referendum soon. It


depends on the renegotiation. There is not the uniformity. What we are


beginning to see in the world, is, manufacturing and small businesses


are a lot more voices saying, the costs of membership outweigh any


potential benefit. If you look at the polls, if Mr Cameron does


repatriate some powers and he joins with Labour, the Lib Dems, the


Nationalists in Scotland and Wales, most of business, all of the unions


to say we should stay in, you are going to lose, aren't you? In 1975,


the circumstances were exactly the same. Mr Wilson promised a


renegotiation and he got very little. The establishment gathered


around him and they voted for us to stay in. I do not think that will


happen now. The scales have fallen. We do not want to be governed by


Herman Van Rompuy and these people. These people are Eurosceptic but


they do not seem to feel strongly enough about it that they are going


to defy all the major parties they vote for, companies that employ


them, unions they are members of. I am absolutely confident there will


be a lot voices in business saying, we need to take this opportunity to


break free, give ourselves a chance of a low regulation lowball trader.


-- global trade. In 1970 53 small publications said to vote yes. I am


not contemplating losing. The most important thing is to get the


referendum. If UKIP is not strong, there will not be a referendum.


Earlier in the year, your party issued a leaflet about the remaining


sample parents being able to come to this country. The EU will allow 29


million Bulgarians and remaining is to come to the UK. That is


technically correct but we both know that is not the case. It is an open


door to these people. Why take the risk? By make out there are 29


million people? I stand by that verdict. It is an open door. 29


million are not going to come. They can if they want. Also 29 million


people from France can come. After these countries have joined, we will


do another leaflet saying that Mr Cameron wants to open the door to 70


million people from Turkey. That is scaremongering. I would not say


that. We have a million young British workers between 16 and 74


without work. A lot of them want work and we do not need another


massive oversupply in the unskilled labour market. Why did you have such


a bad time on question Time this week? The folk that did not buy your


anti-immigration stick. Do you think that group of people in the room was


representative of the voters of Boston? What would make you think it


was unrepresentative? When the county council elections took place


this year in Boston, of the seven seats, UKIP won five and almost won


the other two. I don't think that audience reflected that, but that


doesn't matter. How an audience is put together, how a panel is put


together, on one programme, it doesn't mean much at all. It shows


that your anti-immigrant measure doesn't fly as easily as you hoped


it would? The opinion polls which will be launched on Monday that we


are conducting and nearing completion, they show two things.


Firstly, an astonishing number of people who think it's irresponsible


and wrong to open the doer to Romania and Bulgaria, secondly and


crucially, a number of people whose vote in the European elections and


subsequent general elections may be determined by the immigration


issues. This does matter. It would be the perfect run group the


European elections in May for you if a lot of Bulgarians and remainians


flooded in. You would like that to happen? I think it will happen.


Whether I like it or not, it will happen. You think it will be good


for you, it will stir things up? If you say to people in poor countries,


you can come here, get a job, have a safety net of a benefits system,


claim child allowance for your kids in Bucharest, people will come You


are ready with the arguments already? You will be disappointed if


only ten turn up? Whether lots come or not we should. Taking the risk


and yes, we are going to make it a major issue in the European


election. Let's leave it there. Thank you very much, Nigel Farage.


The summer of 2013 was not good for Ed Miliband, with questions over his


leadership, low ratings and complaints about no policies. He


bounced back with a vengeance at the Labour Conference in September,


delivering a speech which this week won the spectator political speech


of the year aword. In that speech he focussed on the cost-of-living and


promised a temporary freeze on energy prices. Even said this. The


next election isn't just going to be about policy. It's going to be about


how we lead and the character we show. I've got a message for the


Tories today. If they want to have a debate, about leadership and


character, be my guest And if you want to know the difference between


me and David Cameron, here is an easy way to remember it. When it was


Murdoch v the McCanns, he took the side of Murdoch. When it was the


tobacco lobby versus the cancer charities, he took the side of the


tobacco lobby. When the millionaires wanted a tax cut as people pay the


bedroom tax, he took the side of the millionaires. A come to think of it,


here is an easier way to remember it. David Cameron was a Prime


Minister who introduced the bedroom tax. I'll be the Prime Minister who


repeals the bedroom tax There we go, that will go down with the party


faithful on Tuesday. There will be a debate on the bedroom tax. Labour's


Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, joints me now. Let's begin with the


bedroom tax or bedroom subsidy. Nearly 11% of people who've come off


Housing Benefits all together after their spare room subsidy was


stopped, isn't that proof that reform was necessary? No. I think


that the whole way that the bet room tax has been attempted to be


justified is completely wrong. What it's said is that it will actually


help take people off the waiting lists by putting them into homes


that have been vacated by people who've downsized by being


incentivised by the bedroom tax, so basically if you are a council


tenant or Housing Association tenant in a property with spare bedrooms,


then because the penalty is imposed, you will move to a smaller property.


That is the justification for it. But actually, something like 96% of


the people who're going to be hit by the bedroom tax, there isn't a


smaller property for them to move into. I understand that. Therefore


they are, like the people in my constituency, if they have got one


spare bedroom, they are hit by ?700 a year extra to pay and that is


completely unfair As a consequence of people losing the subsidy for


their spare room, they have decided to go out and get work and not


depend on Housing Benefit at all? 11% of them. What's wrong with that?


Well, they are going to review the way 2 the bedroom tax is working.


What is wrong with that? But that's not working. That's the result of


Freedom of Information, 141 councils provided the figures, 25,000 who've


come off benefits, of the 233,000 affected, it's about 11%. These


people were clearly able to get a job was having the Housing Benefit


in the first place? But of course the people who're on the benefits


who're not in work are always looking for work and many of them


will find work which is a good thing, but for those who don't find


work, or who find work where it's low-paid and need help with their


rent, it's wrong to penalise them on the basis of the fact that their


family might have grown up and moved away and so you have either got to


move out of your home, away from your family and your neighbourhood,


or you've got to stay where you are and, despite the fact that you are


low-paid or unemployed, you have got to find an extra ?700 a year because


of your rent. So it's very unfair The Government that was


commissioning independent research on the impact of this work change


and welfare policy, particularly on the impact on the most vulnerable,


some of which you have been talking about there, shouldn't they have


waited until you have got the independent research, that


independent investigation before determining your policy? No. In


fact, the Government should have waited until they'd have done their


independent research before they bought into effect something and


imposed it on people in a way which is really unfair. They could have


known. Why didn't you wait? What they could have done is, they could


have asked councils, are people going to be able to Manifest into


smaller homes if we impose the bedroom tax and the answer from


councils and Housing Associations would have been no, they can't move


into smaller homes because which haven't got them there. They should


have done the evaluation before they introduced the policy. We are


absolutely clear and you can see the evidence, people are falling into


rent arrears. Many people, it's a terrifying thing to find that you


can't pay your rent, and some of the people go to payday loan companies


to get loans to pay their rent. It is very, very unfair. The


justification for it, which is people will move, is completely


bogus. There aren't places for them to go. On the wider issue of welfare


reform, a call for the TUC showed that voters support the Government's


welfare reforms, including a majority of Labour voters. Why are


you so out of touch on welfare issues, even with your own


supporters? Nobody wants to see people who could be in a job


actually living at the taxpayers' expense. That's why we have said


that we'll introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee, so that if you are a


young person who's been unemployed for a year, you will have to take a


job absolutely have to take a job, and if you have been unemployed as


somebody over 25, there'll be a compulsory thing after two years of


unemployment. So if you have been on welfare two years? So the main issue


about the welfare bill actually is people who're in retirement who need


support. We have said for the richest pensioners, they shouldn't


have to pay their winter fuel allowance. My point wasn't abouts


the sub stance, it's about how you don't reflect public opinion --


substance. The Parliamentary aid said the political backlog of


benefits and social security is "not yet one that we have won. Labour


must accept that they are not convincing on these matters,". Well,


redo have to convince people and explain the policies we have got and


the view we take. So, for example, for pensioners, who're well off, we


are saying they don't need the Winter Fuel Payment that. 's me


saying to you and us saying to people in this country, we do think


that there should be that tightening. For young people, who've


been unemployed, they should be offered jobs but they've got to take


them. So yes, we have to make our case. OK. The energy freeze which we


showed there, on the speech, as popular. The living wage proseles


have been going down well as well. Why is Labour's lead oaf the


Conservatives being cut to 6% in the latest polls? Ed Miliband's own


personal approval rating's gotten worse. Why is that? I'm not going to


disdues ins and outs of weekly opinion polls with you or anybody


else because I'm not a political commentator, but let me say to you


the facts of what's happened since Ed Miliband's been leader of the


Labour Party. We have got 1,950 New Labour councillors, all of those...


But you're... All those who've won their seats against the


Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats and no, Andrew you don't


always get that in opposition. In 1997 after Tony Blair was elected,


the Tories carried on losing council seats. Exceptional circumstances and


these days Mr Blair was 25% ahead in the polls. You were six. The economy


grew at an annual rate of 3% in the third quarter just gone. Everybody,


private and public forecasters now saying that Britain in this coming


year will grow faster than France, Italy, Spain, even Germany will grow


faster. Your poll ratings are average when the economy was


flatlining, what happens to them when the economy starts to grow?


Well, I've just said to you, I'm not a political commentator or a pundit


on opinion polls. We are putting policies forward and we are holding


the Government to account for what they are doing and we think that


what they did opt economy pulled the plugs from the economy, delayed the


recovery, made it stagnate and we have had three years lost growth. I


understand that, but it's now starting to grow. Indeed. If you are


no political commentator, let me ask you this, you anticipated the


growth, so you switched your line to no growth to this is growth and


living standards are rising. If the economy does grow up towards 3% next


year, I would suggest that living standards probably will start to


rise with that amount of growth. What do you do then? We have not


switched our line because the economy started to grow. All the way


along, we said the economy will recover, but it's been delayed and


we have had stagnation for far too long because of the economic


policies. We have been absolutely right to understand the concerns


people have and recognise that they are struggling with the


cost-of-living. Sure. And we are right to do that. What kind of


living standards stuck to rise next year? -- start to rise next year. I


hope they will. For 40 months of David Cameron's Prime Ministership,


for 39 of those, wages have risen slower than prices, so people are


worse off. I understand that. You will know that the broader


measurement, real household disposable income doesn't show that


decline because it takes everything into account. Going around the


country, people feel it. They say where's the recovery for me. Living


standards now start to rise? If that happens, what is your next line?


There is a set of arguments about living standards, the National


Health Service, about the problems that there is in A, which caused


-- are caused by the organisation. I can put forward other lines. All


right. Let me ask you one other question If no newspapers have


signed up to the Government-backed Labour-backed Royal Charter on press


regular lace by 2015 and it looks like the way things are going none


will have, if you are in power, will a Labour Government legislate to


make them? They don't have to sign up to the Royal Charter, that's not


the system. What the Royal Charter does is create a recogniser and


basically says it's for the newspapers to set up their own


regulator. They are doing that. My question is... Let me finish. If


they decide to have nothing to do with the Royal Charter that was


decided in Miliband's office in the wee small hours, will you pass


legislation to make them? The newspapers are currently setting up


what they call... I know that, Harriet Harman. Just let me finish.


OK. Because the newspapers are setting up the independent Press


Standards Organisation. Right. If it is independent, as they say it is,


then the recogniser will simply say, we recognise that this is


independent and the whole point is that, in the past when there's been


skaen deals a tend press have really turned people's lives upside down


and the press have said OK we'll sort things out, leave it to us,


then they have sorted things out but a few years later they have slipped


back, all this recogniser will do is check it once every three years and


say yes, you have got an independent system and it's remained independent


and therefore that is the guarantee things won't slip back. Very


interesting. Thank you for that. That's really interesting that if


they get their act right, you won't force the alternative on them. We


want the system as set forward by Leveson which is not statute and


direct regulation. I want to stick with the press because I want to


ask, is this a British institution or an out-of-date image for a by


gone age. The Sun's Page 3 has been dividing the nation since it first


appeared way back in 1970. That's 43 years ago. Harriet Harman's called


for it to be removed, so we sent Adam out to ask whether the topless


photographs should stay or go. We have asked people if page three


should stay or go. Page three. What do you think? Nothing wrong with it


at all. I think it is cheap and exploits women. It is a family


newspaper. Should it stay or go? Go. I will look like the bad guy. It


should go. You have changed your mind. It is free choice. Girls do


not have to be photographed. Old men get the paper just for that. Know


when your age does that? Not really. Dashes-macro know what your age.


Page three girls, should they stay or go? I am not bothered. There are


other ways of getting noticed. Page three of the Sun newspaper every


day, there is a woman with no top on. We got rid of that about 40


years ago in Australia. I am not in favour of censorship. It has been


long enough. It can stay there. What is wrong with it? We want to


encourage children to read the newspapers. I do not want my


children to look at that. It is degrading. Do you think we will see


the day when they get rid of it? Yes, I do. I am wondering if I can


turn this into some kind of a shelter. It is tipping it down. I


think the council should do something about their car parks!


Mother nature, the human body. It should stay. Is some people like it,


that is fine. I have nothing against it. You know what has surprised me,


lots of women saying it should stay. Maybe they are seeing it as


empowering. As I have a baby daughter in there, I am happy to see


it go. Imagine my grandad opening up his paper and they're being my bats!


It should go. There is nothing wrong with it. He wants it to go. What


about people who think that page three should be banned? Idiots. Do


you know a girl called Lacey, aged 22, from Bedford? Good luck to her.


I do not know her as a person that I have heard she is nice. What about


her decision to be on page three? Nothing to lose. Do you think she


has made Bedford proud? That is not hard. What have we learned? More


people want page three to stay down for it to go. Most people do not


really seem to care, do they? You have heard a range of views. I am


not arguing it should be banned. I have not argued for it to be banned


but I have disapproved of it since the 1970s. You do not think it


should be banned? I do not think there should be dictating content


but I do think, if you arrive from outer space in this country in


21st-century Britain, and asked yourself what was the role of women


in society... To stand in their knickers and nothing else, I think


women have more to aspire to than to be able to take their clothes off in


public. The sun no longer has the circulation, or the political


importance, that it had in the 1980s when page three was at its height.


Aren't people just voting with their feet anyway? The market is sorting


this out. Half the number of people buy it now than they did 20 years


ago. Until the time the sun does not have page three any more, I am


entitled to my view that it is outdated and wrong. I am happy to


establish that you do not want to ban it. What should happen? Should


people boycott the paper? I have never implied or said it should be


banned. I have always been forthright. Should people boycott


the paper? I have not called for a boycott. The women's movement, of


which I am part, and this is not about politicians censoring the


press. I am part of the movement which says women can do better than


taking off their clothes and being in their knickers in the newspapers.


Why don't you do something about it? I am doing something about it by


saying it is outdated. I am not doing anything more about it. Should


people buy the paper as long as there is a page three? Would you


like to say to viewers, as long as page three is in the sand, you


should not buy it? Dashes-macro be Son. I am saying, wake up to what


the role of women in society should be, which is more than page three.


If they changed it in Australia, which is where Rupert Murdoch came


from, why can they not change it in this country? You're watching the


Sunday Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes... I'll be talking


Hello, and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland. What


now for the SDLP as the issue of moving into opposition appears to


divide the party? If I had my way, we would be in opposition by


Christmas. We had 60 years in opposition and we know what it is


like. The party leader, Alasdair McDonnell, joins me live in the


studio. Plus, he's described claims the Irish government has become


disengaged from the political process here as petty and unhelpful.


I'll be joined by the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tanaiste,


Eamon Gilmore. To discuss all of that and more, the journalist and


author Susan McKay and political blogger Alan Meban are my guests


today. Hundreds of SDLP delegates gathered


in Armagh this weekend for the party's annual conference. The party


leader claimed the DUP and Sinn Fein had let people down, delivering bad


politics and poor government, and the SDLP insists it can do better.


But will the voters agree? Our political correspondent, Martina


Purdy, was at the conference. There are some flashing images in her


report. A hug for luck from his daughter, but our voters ready to


embrace Alasdair McDonnell and the SDLP? He insist they are, claiming


the DUP and Sinn Fein have failed to deliver. People feel badly let down.


A lot of people out there, the DUP and Sinn Fein by the parties of


disappointment, false promise, of poor government and bad politics.


The SDLP leader blamed Eulas for the flanks deadlock and told Republicans


the shocking revelations about state collusion with loyalist


paramilitaries were no excuse for a violent past. The IRA must tell the


truth as well. No IRA atrocity can ever justify Unionist politicians


dismissing collusion. Such talk is insulting to victims, survivors and


is insulting to the hundreds of honest RUC officers who hunted down


loyalist killers as well as IRA killers. As for the SDLP, he told


the conference it was ready to confound critics who claimed its


best days are behind it. Together, we shall overcome. Alistair


McDonnell seized the leadership of the SDLP with a promise to rebuild,


and the test of that will come in six months time and European and


local government elections. He says success will depend on a new


generation of voters, a generation very much in evidence. I joined the


SDLP this year because I am a very strong socialist and I was


interested in joining a party that was committed to being against


balance. When you see the number of motivated people around me today,


you can see they are on the rise. This MLA help improve the party's


vote and Ward the SDLP must not change course by going into


opposition. If you go into opposition without having a clear


strategy, to work from a position of influence, you cannot go into the


political wilderness. It is a view echoed by one of the party's


bounders. No, we had what over 60 years in opposition and know what it


is like. This thing is imperfect in the way it is being led but we will


stick in there and we take on the issues and the people who are making


the issues. But the deputy leader thinks differently. So does the


leader for Southdown. That is what a democratic system is based on,


opposition leading for change, and if I had my way we would be in


opposition by Christmas. Alex Attwood, the party's candidate for


Europe, incest the SDLP will prevail. The leader of the SDLP,


Alasdair McDonnell, is with me now. You talked about the core values of


the SDLP being reconciliation, social justice and prosperity. It's


a catchy headline, but what does it actually mean? It means we believe


there has to be reconciliation between the people and to define


that further, there has to be a reconciliation or a coming together


with the North, between the north and South of Ireland and between


Ireland and Britain, and old animosities and hostilities must be


left behind. It is clear that people don't reconcile easily and we need


to create a tolerance and a space for a accommodation and then embrace


the change and indifference. What will the SDLP do to facilitate


that? I suspect party leaders would disagree with the language. Attack


would not disagree, but what will the SDLP do to achieve at? I


continuously reach out to people in all walks of life, church leaders


and give them the benefit of support, and there is no quick fix.


We have been stuck with this for a number of years. There should have


been a more robust reconciliation. We depend on the government for a


shared integration strategy that has not appeared, or an effective one


has not appeared. We have to bring down the barriers between people, I


do not want people to be all the same but we have to bring down some


barriers that have been thrown up over the last 40 years. You talk


about a prosperity process. What is the meat on the bone as far as that


is concerned? Where does the money come from? The Irish government does


not have much in the British government has made clear everything


we get will come from the block grant. You can steal without


effectively in isolation. There are young people and we saw plenty of


that in loyalist protests last year, young people have no hope in this


city. There are young people with no hope, high levels of unemployment


and immigration. We have talked about peace and the political


process but what we have to do is ensure there are job opportunities


for people and that the ordinary people out there get some benefit


and derive some benefit from peace. We were promised by the various


prime ministers that they would be a fund here, we had all the debate


around corporation tax yet nothing has come to pass, there has been no


special funding initiative to pump our economy here and boost our


economy to a situation where people feel secure. I am deeply concerned


about young people on the margins across our society who have no hope


and to feel that peace has not brought them much benefit. The issue


of opposition seems to be one that is causing a problem to your party.


There are mixed messages, demands from some in the party to move into


opposition are louder, Margaret Ritchie said the party should be in


opposition by Christmas, others like Seamus Mallon and Patsy McGlone said


you have to stay and change things from the inside. What is the SDLP's


formal position? We are an open, democratic political party, we don't


take dictation from the top and I don't want to dictate from the top.


This issue has been raised over the last 18 months and there are people


in frustration at times who think we would be better disassociation


ourselves from the poor government and the failures of the Executive.


Do you agree with them? Should you consider our position? There are


discussions in the party, I have produced a bit of paper but it is in


a very early stage, I have asked others to produce their ideas and


over time, the SDLP will come to terms with this, but I am large, we


have gone into politics and I agree much with what Seamus Mallon said,


we had years in opposition, we went into politics to be constructive and


play our part. So your gut feeling is you should stay there are? A week


is a long time in politics and you cannot anticipate what stupidity is


down the road. What would be the issue that would force you out of


government? I cannot anticipate a breaking point down the road, but if


the DUP and Sinn Fein continue the route of exclusion where the rest of


us are pushed to the margins, where there is little or no consultation


on any issue, and a sort of thing that people are very angry about and


why it has surfaced again is planning. Would that be distraught


that breaks the camel's back? The planning Bill has annoyed the hell


out of people and people are saying there was a good planning Bill going


through but the public want to be consulted more Ireland planning


issues. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness decided to throw a


torpedo in and end up turning a good planning Bill into a toxic Bill


where they were taking over control of big planning projects and riding


roughshod over ordinary people. But doesn't the SDLP have to take a bit


addition, shouldn't you as leaders say we are clear on this, if the


following happens we will government, because at the moment it


looks like you are not sure. Politics is the art of the


possible. Those circumstances have not arrived. I will not make wild


threats about leaving government or doing this or that, we will take


them as they arise. The danger is, we are in aid talks process at the


moment where we are trying to put some past issues to bed and we are


trying to deal with them and there is no point of trying to put a gun


to someone's head. You lost a broadside against the DUP and Sinn


Fein. They will continue to bully you eat as you will not do anything


about it tells you don't have a bottom line. That is not true. We


will see what they will do. They are pushing hard, aren't they? You are


guessing what they will do. We will push hard back and we will push hard


on the issues that matter to ordinary people. Whether be a deal


done as far as Richard Haass is concerned by Christmas? I think


there will be progress. Whether there is a deal done, we are keen


that the wider population, this started as a small thing, only a


subcommittee at Stormont, and we asked to get the whole public


consultation, something like 400 or 500 people. You are optimistic? I am


very optimistic. We will leave it there. Alistair MacDonald, thank you


for joining us. Now, the Assembly was back this week


after its half-term break. Let's take a look at the week gone past in


60 seconds with Gareth Gordon. A documentary on the period puts more


pressure on Gerry Adams. I had no act or part to play in the killing


or the burial. The party that brought this board are more


interested in covering up for their paedophile protecting President.


Edwin Poots turns it based on his gay blood bank into another attack


on Mr Adams and annoys Sinn Fein. I think the Minister's approach was


highly unprofessional. And the rule of the Attorney General is the size


by a former Stormont minister. A lot of people think the office has got


too big and it has gone into places where best not to go. And the


regional element minister rebuilds a liking for Lycra. Members were


discussing whether I was ready for racing myself in Lycra. I can tell


you that I am. Let's hear from our guests, Susan


McKay and Alan Meban. Picking up on what Alasdair McDonnell have to say,


the big issue as far as opposition for the SDLP is concerned seems to


be something the party has to deal with. There are divided issues.


Allen, do you accept that the party needs a definitive position? It is


something they have been talking about for the last two years, part


of the last leadership election, it came up again with Dolores Kelly and


this year Margaret Ritchie added, you need to have an internal


discussion to decide their strategy otherwise it will become like the


DUP and one of those -- like the UUP and drive them apart. My point was


the need to state their bottom line or the other parties will push


because they think they can get away with anything. You don't have to say


your bottom line out loud but you need to know what it is. Do you


think the SDLP knows what it's bottom line is? No, I think they are


hoping the planning Bill is not the bottom line but the only have one


minister and very little power to stand up and fight against the rest


was that it is a tricky problem for the party. Yes, I think in the


present circumstances where Sinn Fein has gone peaceful, it is


difficult for the SDLP to see what it is therefore because in many ways


Martin McGuinness sounds more like John Hume then Doctor McDonald, and


I think his speech was dull, it was too long, even in his interview


today he was clearly caught by the divisions within the party and that


just makes the party look weak and confused. There is obviously this


gap in the party where there is a generation missing, where there


wasn't a proper succession from the early party leaders are the John


Hume and Seamus Mallon generation, and now you have young people coming


in but not that middle-aged group of people who have been building their


positions firmly. Alan, we had that banner headline, reconciliation,


social justice, prosperity. It sounds good, it made it onto the


news, but what did it mean? There was very little substance that said


here are things we will do, things you will see on your doorstep,


little about putting money into people's wallops, it did not have


those specific things to sell to an electorate. And getting money from


the Republic is just unrealistic at the moment. We will talk to you


later. On this Remembrance Sunday, leading politicians from the


Republic have joined services here to honour the war dead. The


Taioseach, Enda Kenny, was in Enniskillen. And earlier this


morning, the Tanaiste and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs joined


the Secretary of State and other dignitaries to lay a wreath at the


Cenotaph in Belfast. Eamon Gilmore is with me now. Thank you for


joining us. Has the public understanding of remembrance and the


wearing of the poppy changed in the Republic? I think it has. There is a


stronger sense that we need to commemorate our history together.


Over 200 people across the island of Ireland fought in the First World


War. By 1945, there were 50,000 people from the Republic fighting


fascism in the British uniform, and there is a strong sense we need all


of us, in our own way, to commemorate what people did and


these wars. Can I ask why you and the Taoiseach choose to come north


to take part in commemorations rather than fitting part in


commemorations in the Republic? We do have a day of commemoration in


July when we commemorate all the war dead. But today you were in the


North. Yes, we did this last year, we have done so again today because


we recognise there is a strong tradition of remembrance in Northern


Ireland and want to associate the arrows to Vermont with that. Can we


move on to broader politics? You have been criticised for not being


as fully engaged with the political process here as you might be a high


amongst others, Micheal Martin and other commentators like Brian Feeney


and Denis Bradley. Do you take those criticisms seriously? I think


criticism by opposition leaders in the South are just that, there has


been a tradition in the size that we would have an all-party approach to


Northern Ireland and I regret that Bain of oil appear to be playing it


for party advantage. -- Fianna Fail we have representatives in Northern


Ireland, both in Belfast and Armagh. I was here on Friday, the


North-South ministerial Council discussing issues relating to the


economy and health services, things that matter, I was here at the SDLP


conference with the Secretary of State and I am here today. You will


have heard Alasdair McDonnell say yesterday that any Richard Haass


deal that is forthcoming needs to be jointly guaranteed by the two


governments. You accept that? The two governments are the guarantors


of the agreements and we have to guarantee what emerges from the


house talks. I have met with Richard Haass on a number of occasions, I've


met last week in Dublin and previously in New York and we are


keeping in close contact, but he cannot deliver miracles. There has


to be engagement and I believe there is engagement either political


parties in Northern Ireland, and also by wider society because this


is not just a political process, it is also a process that business and


committee organisations and people in wider society need to be part of


this process. You agree that the sticking point in the process is


likely to be the past? That is the difficult issue to sort out? I think


it is important that agreement is reached on flags and parades and


that is important because of what we saw this summer and last year. The


issue of the past has to be addressed and they way has to be


found of dealing with the past because so many people in Northern


Ireland are attacked by the past and it continues to invade the political


process and discussions here. The plight of the Disappeared has been


at the top of the agenda because of the BBC RTE programme on Monday. Do


you think Gerry Adams has been damaged by the claim he was


responsible for the murder of Jean McConville? First we have to see the


bodies return. I met relatives of the Disappeared yesterday and today


and relatives of people affected by the atrocities described and they


need to have closure. I don't think there is a democracy in the world


where a programme of that kind was made about a political leader, the


leader would not have to address questions, but the immediate thing


is that the families get back the bodies and are able to conclude


their grieving. Thank you for joining us. Let's hear the final


thoughts of our commentators. Susan. I am pleased to hear the Tanaiste


talking in terms of the need for some kind of Comber fans of approach


to what happened in the past because it is every week now, some painful


scandal is emerging in relation to what happened to people, but it is


tremendously moving to see interviews with people who were


victims and as Eamon Gilmore said, the week before last we had victims


of collusion coming forward, last week we heard from families of the


Disappeared, but we knew about these families at the time that we signed


up to the Good Friday Agreement. We have known for a long time that the


accusation was out there that Gerry Adams was responsible. Nobody


believes Gerry Adams was not in the IRA, so if we don't deal with this


it will keep on coming back and it is intensely painful for the


families involved. We are being dishonest about it. We knew about


this when the Good Friday Agreement was signed. We need to move to the


next phase. Alan, you have a finger on the pulse of the political mood.


Do you think Gerry Adams was damaged? I don't think so, I think


it added to the material that suggests he is uncomfortable talking


about his past but I don't think it added anything new. He is a man who


things do not stick to, and if he says the same line, I don't think he


will change, I don't think the programme damaged him but I don't


think it helped them. Do you think he will continue to lead Sinn Fein?


I think he will wait until a quiet moment and then slide away. He will


not let himself be pushed. more equipment so they can see


cyclists. Back to you, Andrew. We learned this week that no more


warships will be built at Portsmouth, the home of the Royal


Navy since the days of the Mary Rose and Francis Drake. But has the city


been sacrificed to save jobs on the Clyde in Scotland? Is England the


loser in an effort to keep the United Kingdom intact? Let's speak


to Eddie Bone, he leads the campaign for an English Parliament. Is


England the loser in this attempt to keep the


doubt, Andrew. We would look at it from the campaign for the English


Parliament that the British governance is bribing the Scots to


stay with the union at the cost of English jobs. What is the best


outcome for England when Scotland votes in the referendum next year?


We have got to have an English parliament. What I mean by that is


an endless governor and with a first minister speaking on behalf of the


people of England. -- and English government. If Scotland votes for


independence, that is the union coming to an end. It will be


dissolved legally. England would be going to negotiating table without


true representation. The union continues but it continues without


Scotland. I want to come back to my... That is the constitutional


position. You may not agree with me but that is the constitutional


position. Do you want Scotland to vote for independence next year? We


want a fair deal with equality for England. If that can be maintained


or England can have a fair deal, within the union, that is brilliant.


Let's have a federal system are all the nations are treated equally. If


that cannot happen and Scotland decides to stay, if Scotland goes,


it is an independent England, isn't it? If Scotland votes to leave the


union, what is left of the United Kingdom would be so dominated by


England at Westminster would, in effect, Beale English Parliament,


wouldn't it? I do not agree with you. I think that is a British, deny


list approach. The act of union was a fusion with the King of England to


the King of Scotland. That would come to an end. The Welsh are very


concerned. They are a very small nation. If you have a botched


British come English Parliament, the Welsh would be in a very vulnerable


situation. They would not be listened to. Also a situation with


Northern Ireland. There are voices in Northern Ireland talking about


trying to reunite Northern Ireland. It would be a very volatile


situation. Would you prefer England to become an independent nation


separate from what was left of the UK, which would be Wales and


Northern Ireland? Would you like to see England have a seat in the UN? I


want their representation for the people of England. English jobs were


sacrificed because the British government wanted Scotland to


remain... You have answered that very quickly. I am -- very clearly.


Would you want England, without Northern Ireland and Wales to become


a separate nation state? If that is what it takes for people of England


to have their representation - representation that looks at


policies of the NHS, education very different from Wales and Northern


Ireland - then so be it. Independence will need to be the way


forward. We have a small window of opportunity that the federal system


might still work. D1 indenting have a system like Scotland? -- do you


want England to have a system like Scotland? What we need to do now is


implement the process is to get their representation for England. I


would urge your viewers to join our campaign because it is the only way


to protect jobs in England, protect the NHS, protect education.


Otherwise we will see the people in England continually penalised by the


British government is trying desperately to save the union by


giving more to Scotland and Wales. Nice to talk to you. Helen, on this


business of the Clyde versus Portsmouth, it would have been


pretty inconceivable of the British government that believes in the


union to have allowed the Clyde to close. That would have been a


disaster. It would have been. It's dumped Nicola Sturgeon. Hang on a


minute, if there was Scottish independence, England were not allow


its warships to be built in a foreign country. She was unable to


admit there were any downsides to Scottish independence. It would be


dangerous for Scotland to talk about this. You have a Lib Dem and a


Conservative MP with reasonable majorities. They will find that a


killer on their doorstep in the next election. There are no results in


this for Mr Cameron. He has one MP and he will be lucky to have two.


And the South of England, I know Portsmouth is quite an industrial


area, but the South of England is overall Tory territory. He has


backed the Clyde where there are no Tory votes. The Tory problem in


Scotland is crucial. The trend to look out for is the rise of English


nationalism within the Conservative Party. They have the word Unionist


in their official title. If, in election after election, they failed


to win a significant presence in Scotland, and they are failing to


win a majority in Westminster because of that, it is not hard to


imagine that in ten years time that would be a party which has more


autonomy. One person we know who does not sign up to that. David


Cameron is a romantic Unionist at heart he may say that are not any


vote in Scotland but he want to keep the union together. With the Clyde,


you saw a rival together of economic and political interests. It is


economic or the case the greatest shipbuilding capability in the


United Kingdom is in the Clyde. It is politically very helpful for this


government to say to people in Scotland, look at the benefits of


being in the United Kingdom and, under their breath, or in the case


of Alistair Carmichael to a camera, look what might go if you leave!


That came together very conveniently to the government. Now, how do you


like your politicians? Squeaky clean with an impeccable past? Or are you


happy for them to have a few skeletons in the closet? Well, last


week the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted smoking crack cocaine. He


said he took the drug about a year ago whilst in a drunken stupor. So,


what impact do confessions have on a political career? In a moment, we'll


hear what our panel has to say, but first, take a look at this. Yes I


have smoked crack cocaine. Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it?


Probably one of my drunken stupor is, about a year ago. I have used


drugs in the past. I have used class a drugs in the past. About 30 years


ago at university, I did smoke cannabis. I took cannabis is a few


times at university and it was wrong. Have you snorted cocaine? I


tried to but unsuccessfully years ago. I sneezed. The people around


you who took cocaine, they went... Is it better to confess or the that


get you into even more hot water? It is absolutely better. The confession


by Jacqui Smith was without glamour. Finding a Labour politician who once


smoked cannabis 25 years ago... I do not think it makes you think that


she cannot be a serious politician. Politicians should brace thing about


them which everyone knows. In the case of Ed Miliband, he should not


deny being geeky. That would reek of in authenticity. The Tory MP meant


to be regarded as a rising star, turns out he was claiming to heat


his horses stables at the expense of the tax payer. He had made a


generous claim for energy bills in his constituency home. He went


through the papers and found he had been using it to heat the stables


and he laid it all out and did the right thing. He was completely


honest. Is that the end of it? It will still haunt in because energy


is such a big issue. He was right to be honest about it. Helen was


saying, absolutely, you need to be honest about your past. Harriet


Harman said she smoked pot at university. If you have smoked pot,


you can have a front line career. If you have taken class a drugs, you


cannot have a front line career. There is the politician confessing


and the remarkable willingness of the public to forgive. It is


enlightened and progressive to forgive a politician for an affair


or taking soft drugs at university. To smoke crack cocaine and demand be


mad of following the Mayor of Toronto does astonishes me. There


was an example in America a few years ago. It was crack cocaine. He


was elected having confessed to smoking crack cocaine. I draw the


line around class a drugs. We will put the team on to investigate him.


Help to Bible come back into the headlines again. Mr Cameron will


surroundings by the people who are benefiting from buying their homes


on this scheme in the benefiting from buying their homes


on this scheme in the same way that this is that you used to visit those


who had bought their council houses. It will become hugely politicised.


The Bank of England thinks that unemployment will drop late 2014,


early 2015. They will put interest rates up. Those with 95% mortgages


will have two find an extra ?400 a month to pay them off. I would not


be surprised if David Cameron is setting up himself with this


trouble. They will not want to raise interest rates. Mark Carney was very


careful to give himself three get out clauses. If unemployment hits a


certain level, Key has three measures which have to be fulfilled


before he goes ahead and raises interest rates. As a Tory


strategist, would you rather go into the election with low and implement


or low interest rates? I think they would stick to low interest rates.


-- low unemployment. It is not just panellists who are raising questions


about it, it is senior figures - people in senior economic positions.


They are saying the scheme is fine at the moment. David Cameron will be


surrounded by people who have taken mortgages out at low levels and it


is all fine right now but if interest rates go up, it will not be


cosy. That's all folks. The Daily Politics is back tomorrow on BBC Two


at midday. I'll be back next Sunday at the normal time of 11am.


Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


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