12/01/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


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

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Good morning, welcome. 2014 is barely under way, and the


coalition is fighting over cuts. Nick Legg says Tory plans to balance


the books would hit the poorest hardest. He will not say what he


will cut. That is the top story. Chris Grayling called for a


completely new deal with Europe as he battles will rings from the


European Court of Human Rights. He joins me.


Labour promises to shift house-building up a gear, but how


will they house-building up a gear, but how


And coming up here: With the political fall-out


continuing after the Haass talks, we hear live from the five parties who


failed to reach a deal on flags, parades and the past. Join me in


half an hour. parades and the past. Join me in


be serious. Have cuts left to the service being overstretched?


With me for the duration, a top trio of political pundits, Helen Lewis,


Jan and Ganesh and Nick Watt. They will be tweeting faster than France


or long scoots through Paris. Nick Clegg sticks to his New Year


resolution to sock it to the Tories, the is how he described Tory plans


for another 12 billion of cuts on welfare after the next election.


You cannot say, as the Conservatives are, that we are all in it together


and then say that the welfare will not make any additional


contributions from their taxes if there is a Conservative government


after 2015 in the ongoing effort to balance the books. We are not even


going to ask that very wealthy people who have retired who have


benefits, paid for by the hard-pressed taxpayers, will make a


sacrifice. The Conservatives appear to be saying only the working age


pork will be asked to make additional sacrifices to fill the


remaining buckle in the public finances.


Nick Legg eating up on the Tories a, happens almost every day. I


understand it is called aggressive differentiation. Will it work for


them? It has not for the past two years. This began around the time of


the AV referendum campaign, that is what poisoned the relations between


the parties. They have been trying to differentiation since then, they


are still at barely 10% in the polls, Nick Clegg's personal ratings


are horrendous, so I doubt they will do much before the next election. It


is interesting it has been combined with aggressive flirtation with Ed


Balls and the Labour Party. There was always going to be some sort of


rapprochement between them and the Labour Party, it is in the Labour


Party's interests, and it is intent macro's interests, not to be defined


as somebody who can only do deals with the centre-right. A colleague


of yours, Helen, told me there was more talk behind closed doors in the


Labour Party high command, they have to think about winning the election


in terms of being the largest party, but not necessarily an overall


majority. There is a feeling it was foolish before the last election not


to have any thought about what a coalition might be, but the language


has changed. Ed Miliband had said, I cannot deal with this man, but now,


I have to be prismatic, it is about principles. Even Ed Balls. Nick


Clegg had specifically said that Ed Balls was the man in politics that


he hated. He said that was just a joke. Of course, it is about


principles, not people! When Ed Balls said those nice things about


Nick Clegg, he said, I understood the need to get a credible deficit


reduction programme, although he said Nick Clegg went too far. The


thing about Nick Clegg, he feels liberated, he bears the wounds from


the early days of the coalition, and maybe those winds will haunt him all


the way to the general election. But he feels liberated, he says, we will


be the restraining influence on both the Conservatives, who cannot insure


that the recovery is fair, and the Labour Party, that do not have


economic red ability. He feels relaxed, and that is why he is


attacking the Tories and appearing pretty relaxed. He could also be


falling into a trap. The Tories think what they suggesting on


welfare cuts is possible. The more he attacks it, the more Tories will


say, if you gave us an overall majority, he is the one it. He keeps


taking these ostensibly on popular positions and it only makes sense


when you talk to them behind the scenes, they are going after a tiny


slice of the electorate, 20%, who are open to the idea of voting Lib


Dem, and their views are a bit more left liberal than the bulk of the


public. There is a perverse logic in them aggressively targeting that


section of voters. In the end, ten macro's problem, if you do not like


what this coalition has been doing, you will not vote for somebody who


was part of it, you will vote for the Labour Party. The Tories are too


nasty, Labour are to spendthrift, Lib Dem, a quarter of their vote has


gone to Labour, and that is what could hand the largest party to


Labour. That small number of voters, soft Tory voters, the problem for


the Liberal Democrats is, if you fight, as they did, three general


elections to the left of the Labour Party, and at the end of the third,


you find yourself in Colour Vision with the Conservatives, you have a


problem. Chris Grayling is a busy man, he has


had to deal with aid riot at HM Prison Oakwood, barristers on strike


and unhappy probation officers taking industrial action.


Prison works. It ensures that we are protected from murderers, muggers


and rapists. It makes many who are tempted to commit crime think twice.


Traditional Tory policy on criminal justice and prisons has been tough


talking and tough dealing. Not only have they tended to think what they


are offering is right, but have had the feeling, you thinking what they


thinking. But nearly two decades after Michael Howard's message, his


party, in Colour Vision government, is finding prison has to work like


everything else within today's financial realities. The Justice


Secretary for two years after the election had previous in this field.


Ken Clarke. Early on, he signalled a change of direction. Just binding up


more and more people for longer without actively seeking to change


them is, in my opinion, what you would expect of Victorian England.


The key to keeping people out of prison now, it seems, is giving them


in a job, on release. Ironically, Ken Clarke was released from his job


15 months ago and replaced by Chris Grayling. But here, within HM Prison


Liverpool, Timpson has been working since 2009 with chosen offenders to


offer training and the chance of a job. Before you ask, they do not


teach them keep cutting in a category B prison. The Academy is


deliberately meant to look like a company store, not a prison. It


helps. You forget where you are at times, it feels weird, going back to


a wing at the end of the day. It is different. A different atmosphere.


That is why people like it. Timpson have six academies in prisons,


training prisoners inside, and outside they offer jobs to


ex-offenders, who make up 8% of their staff. It has been hard work


persuading some governors that such cooperation can work. I have seen a


dramatic change positively, working with prisoners, particularly in the


last five years. They understand now what business's expectation is.


Timpson do not just employ offenders, but as one ex-prisoner


released in February and now managing his own store says, the


point is many others will not employ offenders at all. From what I have


experienced, on one hand, you have somebody with a criminal conviction,


on the other, somebody who does not have one, so it is a case of


favouring those who have a clean record. Anybody with a criminal


conviction is passed to one side and overlooked. That, amongst myriad


other changes to prison and how we deal with prisoners, is on the desk


of the man at the top. Ever since Chris Grayling became Secretary of


State for Justice, he has wanted to signal a change of direction of


policy, and he is in a hurry to make radical reforms across the board,


from size and types of prisons to probation services, reoffending


rates, legal aid services, and there has been opposition to that from


groups who do not agree with him. But what might actually shackle him


is none of that. It is the fact that he is in government with a party


that does not always agree with him, he has to abide by the rulings of


the European Court of Human Rights, and in those famous words, there is


no money left. We would like to go further and faster. I would like him


too, but we are where we are. If the Liberal Democrats want to be wiped


out at the next election based on what they believe, that is fair


enough. We accept there has to be savings, but there are areas where


we feel that there is ideological driven policy-making going on, and


privatising may not save any money at all, and so does not make any


sense. The question is, we'll all of that means some of Chris Grayling's


reforms need closer inspection? Chris Grayling joins me now.


Welcome. We have a lot to cover. If you get your way, your own personal


way, will be next Tory manifesto promise to withdraw from the


European Convention of human rights? It will contain a promise


for radical changes. We have to curtail the role of the European


court here, replace our human rights act from the late 1990s, make our


Supreme Court our Supreme Court, they can be no question of decisions


over riding it elsewhere, and we have to have a situation where our


laws contain a balance of rights and responsibilities. People talk about


knowing their rights, but they do not accept they have responsible it


is. This is what you said last September, I want to see our Supreme


Court being supreme again... That is clear, but let's be honest, the


Supreme Court cannot be supreme as long as its decisions can be


referred to the European Court in Strasbourg. There is clearly an


issue, that was raised recency -- recently. We have been working on a


detailed reform plan, we will publish that in the not too distant


future. What we will set out is a direction of travel for a new


Conservative government that will mean wholesale change in this area.


You already tried to reform the European Court, who had this


declaration in 2012, do you accept that the reform is off the table?


There is still a process of reform, but it is not going fast enough and


not delivering the kind of change we need. That is why we will bring


forward a package that for the different from that and will set a


different direction of travel. We are clear across the coalition, we


have a different view from our colleagues. You cannot be half


pregnant on this, either our decisions from our Supreme Court are


subject to the European Cup or not, in which case, we are not part of


the European court. I hope you will see from our proposals we have come


up with a sensible strategy that deals with this issue once and for


all. Can we be part of the Strasbourg court and yet our Supreme


Court be supreme? That is by point, we have to curtail the role of the


court in the UK. I am clear that is what we will seek to do. It is what


we will do for this country. But how? I am not going to announce the


package of policies today, but we will go into the next election with


a clear strategy that will curtail the role of the European Court of


Human Rights in the UK. The decisions have to be taken in


Parliament in this country. Are you sure that you have got your own side


on this? Look at what the Attorney General says.


I would be asking Strasberg a different question to that. If the


best in class, he is saying is enough is enough, actually somebody


in Strasberg should be asking if this has gone the way it should have


done. I would love to see wholesale reform in the court tomorrow, I'm


not sure it is going to happen which is why we are going to the election


with a clear plan for this country. Would you want that to be a red line


in any coalition agreement? My mission is to win the next election


with a majority. But you have to say where your red lines would be. We


have been very clear it is an area where we don't agree as parties, but


in my view the public in this country are overwhelmingly behind


the Conservative party. 95 Conservative MPs have written to the


Prime Minister, demanding he gives the House of Commons the authority


to veto any aspect of European Union law. Are you one of the people who


wanted to sign that letter but you couldn't because you are minister? I


haven't been asked to sign the letter. We need a red card system


for European law. I'm not convinced my colleagues... I don't think it is


realistic to have a situation where one parliament can veto laws across


the European Union. I understand the concerns of my colleagues, but when


we set out to renegotiate our membership, we have got to deliver


renegotiation and deliver a system which is viable, and I'm not


convinced we can have a situation where one Parliament can prevent


laws across the whole European Union. So you wouldn't have signed


this letter? I'm not sure it is the right approach. I support the system


I just talked about. Iain Duncan Smith has suggested EU migrants


coming to work in this country should have to wait for two years


before they qualify for welfare benefits, do you agree? Yes, I think


there should be an assumption that before you can move from one country


to another, before you can start to take back from that country's social


welfare system, you should have made a contribution to it. I spent two


and a half years working in Brussels trying to get the European


Commission to accept the need for change. There is a groundswell of


opinion out there which is behind Iain Duncan Smith in what he is


saying. I think we should push for a clear system that says people should


be able to move from one country to get a job, but to move to another


country to live off the state is not acceptable. You are planning a new


2000 capacity mega prison and other smaller presence which will be run


by private firms. After what has happened with G4S, why would you do


that? No decision has been made about whether it will be public or


private. What do you think it will be? I'm not sure yet. There is no


clear correlation over public and private prisons and whether there


are problems or otherwise. Oakwood is in its early stages, it has had


teething problems at the start, but the rate of disturbance there is


only typical for an average prison of its category. If you take an


example of Parc prison in Wales, a big private run prison, run by G4S,


when it was first launched under the last government it had teething


problems of the same kind as Oakwood and is now regarded as one of the


best performing prisons. Why would you give it to a private company


then? We have only just got planning permission for the so we will not be


thinking about this for another few years. Some of the companies who run


prisons are under investigation with dreadful track records. In the case


of G4S, what we have experienced is acceptable and they have not been


able to go ahead with a number of contracts they might have otherwise


got. They are having to prove to the Government they are fit to win


contracts from the Government again. They are having to pay compensation


to the Government and the taxpayer. What has happened is unacceptable.


So why would you give them a 2000 capacity mega prison? Or anyone like


them? It cannot be said that every private company is bad. In addition


to problems at Oakwood, you are quite unique now in your position


that you have managed to get the barristers out on strike the first


time since history began. What happens if the bar refuses to do


work at your new rates of legal aid and the courts grind to a halt? I


don't believe that will happen. When the barristers came out on strike,


three quarters of Crown Courts were operating normally, 95% of


magistrates courts were operating normally. We are having to take


difficult decisions across government, I have no desire to cut


back lately but we are spending over ?2 billion on legal aid at the


moment at a time when budgets are becoming tougher. You issued


misleading figures about criminal barristers, you said that 25% of


them earn over ?100,000 per year but that is their turnover, including


VAT. 33% of that money goes on their expenses, they have to pay for their


own pensions and insurance. People are not getting wealthy out of doing


this work. I don't publish figures, our statisticians do, with caveats


in place explaining the situation. Where you have high-cost cases,


where we have taken the most difficult decisions, we have tried


hard in taking difficult decisions to focus the impact higher up the


income scale. But do you accept their take-home pay is not 100,000?


I accept they have to take out other costs, although some things like


travelling to the court, you and I and everyone else has to pay for


travelling to work. That is net of VAT. We have had a variety of


figures published, some are and some are not. Let's be clear, the gross


figures for fees from legal payments include 20% VAT. On a week when even


a cabinet minister can be fitted up by the police, don't we all need


well-financed legal aid? There is no chance that as a result


well-financed legal aid? There is no changes people will end up in court


unable to defend themselves. We have said in exceptional circumstances,


if you haven't got any money to pay, we will support you, but there is no


question of anyone ended up in court, facing a criminal charge,


where they haven't got a lawyer to defend them. Let's look at how so


many dangerous criminals have managed to avoid jail. Here are the


figures for 2012. Half the people for sexual assault found guilty, not


jailed. I thought you were meant to be tough on crime? Those figures


predate my time, but since 2010 the number of those people going to jail


has been increasing steadily. If you put the figures for 2010 on there,


you would see a significant change. We will never be in a position where


everybody who commits violence will end up in jail. The courts will


often decided to his more appropriate to give a community


sentence, but the trend is towards longer sentences and more people


going to jail. That maybe but it is even quite hard to get sent to jail


if you do these things a lot, again and again. In 2012 one criminal


avoided being sent to jail despite having more than 300 offences to his


name. 36,000 avoided going to jail despite 15 previous offences. That


is why we are taking steps to toughen up the system. Last autumn


we scrapped repeat cautions. You could find people getting dozens. As


of last autumn, we have scrapped repeat cautions. If you commit the


same offence twice within a two-year period you will go to court. You


still might end up not going to jail. More and more people are going


to jail. I cannot just magic another 34,000 prison places. You haven't


got room to put bad people in jail? The courts will take the decisions,


and it is for them to take the decisions and not me, that two men


in a bar fight do not merit a jail sentence. These figures contain a


huge amount of offences from the most minor of offences to the most


despicable. Something is wrong if you can commit 300 offences and


still not end up in jail. That's right, and we are taking steps so


this cannot happen any more. Nick Clegg said this morning you are


going to make 12 billion of welfare cuts on the back of this, he is


right, isn't he? People on the lowest incomes are often not paying


tax at all, the rich... But these cuts will fall disproportionately on


average earners, correct? Let's look at the proposal to limit housing


benefit for under 25s. Until today, after people have left school or


college, the live for a time with their parents. For some, that is not


possible and we will have to take that into account, but we have said


there is a strong case for saying you will not get housing benefit


until you are some years down the road and have properly established


yourselves in work. And by definition these people are on lower


than average salaries. Give me a case in which those on the higher


tax band will contribute to the cuts. We have already put in place


tax changes so that the highest tax rate is already higher than it was


in every year of the last government. The amount of tax...


There is no more expected of the rich. We will clearly look at future


policy and work out how best to distribute the tax burden in this


country and it is not for me to second-guess George Osborne's future


plans, but we need to look at for example housing benefit for the


under 25s. Is it right for those who are not working for the state to


provide accommodation for them? Thank you for being with us.


All three major parties at Westminster agree there's an urgent


need to build more homes for Britain's growing population. But


how they get built, and where, looks set to become a major battle ground


in the run-up to the next general election.


Although 16% more house-builds were started in 2012/13 than the previous


year, the number actually completed fell by 8% - the lowest level in


peacetime since 1920. The Office for National Statistics estimates that


between now and 2021 we should expect 220,000 new households to be


created every year. At his party's conference last autumn, Ed Miliband


promised a Labour government would massively increase house-building. I


will have a clear aim but by the end of the parliament, Britain will be


building 200,000 homes per year, more than at any time for a


generation. That is how we make Britain better than this. The Labour


leader also says he'd give urban councils a "right to grow" so rural


neighbours can't block expansion and force developers with unused land to


use it or lose it. The Government has been pursuing its own ideas,


including loan guarantees for developers and a new homes bonus to


boost new house-building. But David Cameron could have trouble keeping


his supporters on side - this week the senior backbencher Nadhim Zahawi


criticised planning reforms for causing "physical harm" to the


countryside. Nick Clegg meanwhile prefers a radical solution - brand


new garden cities in the south east of England. In a speech tomorrow,


Labour's shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds will give more details


of how Labour would boost house-building, and she joins me


now. It is not the politicians to blame, it is the lack of


house-builders? We want a vibrant building industry, and at the moment


that industry is dominated by big house-builders. I want to see a more


diverse and competitive industry, where self build plays a greater


role. In France over 60% of new homes are built by self builders,


but small builders build more homes as well. 25 years ago they were


building two thirds of new homes, now they are not building even a


third of new homes. That's because land policies have been so


restrictive that it is only the big companies who can afford to buy the


land, so little land is being released for house building. I


agree, there are some fundamental structural problems with the land


market and that is why we have said there doesn't just need to be


tinkering around the edges, there needs to be real reforms to make


sure that small builders and self build and custom-built have access


to land. They are saying they have problems with access to land and


finance. At the end of the day it will not be self, small builders who


reach your target, it will be big builders. I think it is pretty


shameful that in Western Europe the new houses built in the UK are


smaller than our neighbours. But isn't not the land problem? France


is 2.8 times bigger in land mass and we are and that is not a problem for


them. There is a perception we are going to build on the countryside,


but not even 10% is on the countryside. There is enough for us


to have our golf courses. There is enough other land for us to build on


that is not golf courses. The planning minister has said he wants


to build our National Parks, I am not suggesting that. The single


biggest land border is the public sector. It is not. There are great


opportunities for releasing public land, that is why I have been asking


the government, they say they are going to release and of public land


for tens of thousands of new homes to be built, but they say they are


not monitoring how many houses are being built on the site. When your


leader says to landowners, housing development owners, either use the


land or lose it, in what way will they lose it? Will you confiscated?


This is about strengthening the hand of local authorities, and they say


to us that in some cases, house-builders are sitting on land.


In those cases, we would give the power to local authorities to


escalate fees. This would be the compulsory purchase orders, a matter


of last resort, and you would hope that by strengthening the hand of


local authorities, you could get the house-builders to start building the


homes that people want. Would you compulsory purchase it? We would


give the local authority as a last resort, after escalating the fees,


the possibility and flexible it is to use the compulsory purchase


orders to sell the land on to a house builder who wants to build


houses that we need. Can you name one report that has come back in


recent years that shows that hoarding of land by house-builders


is a major problem? The IMF, the Conservative mayor of London and the


Local Government Association are telling us that there is a problem


with land hoarding. Therefore, we have said, where there is land with


planning permission, and if plots are being sat on... Boris Johnson


says there are 180,000 plots in London being sat on. We need to make


says there are 180,000 plots in London being sat on. We need to make


sure the house-builders are building the homes that young families need.


They get planning permission and sell it on to the developer. There


is a whole degree of complicity, but there is another problem before


that. That is around transparency about land options. There is


agricultural land that house-builders have land options on,


and we do not know where that is. Where there is a need for housing,


and the biggest demand is in the south-east of England, that is where


many local authorities are most reluctant to do it, will you in


central government take powers to force these authorities to give it?


We have talked about the right to grow, we were in Stevenage


recently. What we have said is we want to strengthen the hand of local


authorities like Stevenage so they are not blocked every step of the


way. They need 16,000 new homes, but they do not have the land supply.


What about the authorities that do not want to do it? They should be


forced to sit down and agree with the neighbouring authority. In


Stevenage, it is estimated at ?500,000 has been spent on legal


fees because North Hertfordshire is blocking Stevenage every step of the


way. Michael Lyons says the national interest will have to take President


over local interest. Voice cannot mean a veto. The local community in


Stevenage is crying out for new homes. Do you agree? There has to be


land available for new homes to be built, and in areas like Oxford,


Luton and Stevenage... Do you agree with Michael Lyons? The national


interest does have to be served, with Michael Lyons? The national


will put the five new towns? We have asked him to look at how we can


incentivise local authorities to come forward with sites for new


towns. You cannot tell us where they are going to be? I cannot. We will


have to wait for him. When you look at the historic figures overall, not


at the moment, Private Housing building is only just beginning to


recover, but it has been pretty steady for a while. The big


difference between house-building now and in the past, since Mrs


Thatcher came to power a and including the Tony Blair government,


we did not build council houses. Almost none. Will the next Labour


government embark on a major council has programme? We inherited housing


stock back in 1997... This is important. Will the next Labour


government embark on a major council has programme? We have called on


this government to bring forward investment in social housing. We


want to see an investment programme in social housing, I cannot give you


the figures now. We are 18 months away from the election. Will the


next Labour government embark on a major council house Northern


programme? I want to see a council house building programme, because


there is a big shortage of council homes. That is a guess? Yes. We got


there in the end. -- that is a yes? We will be talking to Patrick homes


in the West Midlands Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics


in Northern Ireland. It was a good deal, says Richard


Haass, so why could our politicians not reach an agreement at the end of


their marathon talks process? We've got the five parties gathered


together to find out what stopped them getting a deal across the


finish line. And we talk to the Secretary of


State to find out if she can do anything at this stage to secure


consensus on the key points. And despite the gloom, what brought


about this reaction from Richard Haass?


Find out later in our week in 60 Seconds.


A lost opportunity or a firm foundation to build on? What are we


to make of the Haass proposals now that he's gone home, amid


disagreement and retribution? Sinn Fein and the SDLP have backed the


package, the two unionist parties haven't, while Alliance is


supportive of some proposals but very unhappy with others. In a


moment, I'll be talking to representatives of the five main


parties, but first our correspondent, Martina Purdy,


examines the political drama over the latest proposals to tackle


flags, parades and the past. Richard Haass, you are very welcome.


This is a very serious attempt to find a solution. I would not be here


unless that. I believe that the process is on life support.


Some commentators have displayed -- declared the Haass process dead, and


are already on the postmortem. We have a process that runs for many


years, and are too many issues needing to be solved. Even one of


those issues being resolved would have been a miracle, but expecting


three of the issues to be done in that time frame was a nonsense right


the start. Others have a more optimistic prognosis. I think there


is still life there. The emphasis is on the local parties to find a


remedy to the problems in the process. That requires all of them


to buy in. Whether that means that there will be discussions or


full-scale negotiations, we are yet to see.


In the meantime, the drama can be excruciating. Some parties seem to


be re-trench in now. It sends a bad example out internationally. It is


embarrassing to explain this to my colleagues. On the back of the


conference that we did a few months ago, will we are now having to say


that we cannot get our act together, and that sends a bad message. Since


the talks have ended, Unionists have complained about the process. There


is a code of conduct, and they say that the balance is against the


state forces and do not like the fact that the word terrorist is not


in the tech will stop Richard Haass is saying that it is unrealistic to


expect everything that you want in negotiations.


I do not understand why anyone would ink that is not moving ahead would


be preferable. I think it is unfair to the victims and survivors who


deserve better full is. I think it is very bad for Northern Ireland.


Republicans want Haass indicated, not more negotiations, but are being


urged to return to the table with Unionists. If there is a consensus


to spend some time ironing out the issues, fine. You want to avoid


where basic issues are opened up and renegotiation is an excuse not to go


ahead and stop that will become apparent soon enough.


Some expect that the DUP call for more talks is about buying more


time. People are concerned about the electoral advantage, and the whole


next year. They have their eye on that prize,


and they would love to win East Belfast back. The problem for the


DUP is the extent to which there are Dale tales wagging on that dog, and


the concern about the feeling in the heartland areas and whether that


will cause electoral damage. Even loyalists believe the Haass


proposals for a much-needed examination of victims issues. All


is not lost stop we try to get what we thought were reasonable


suggestions. Someone listen to and not. But we do


feel that there is an opportunity to move forward. Martin McGuinness is


that there is a destructive elements who do not want to move on. That is


a bit rich. If I'm not mistaken, Martin McGuinness is one of the


people 's will for what happens in the past, one of the people


responsible. Some warned about division, and street violence like


this unless it on flags. I think there will be more


negativity, more disillusionment and cynicism. Probably that will end up


in Wall Street having more tensions involved. -- many street. I worried


that the two Divinity School parts. And there are economic consequence


is. -- the two communities grow apart stop some of the things are


happening near our office is, so it is obvious that people are


concerned. It is regrettable, to say the least


stop church leaders have urged our politicians not to give up.


As politicians are due to meet next week, one of the options is to


implement Haass in stages. Well joining me now are Sinn Fein's


Gerry Kelly, the SDLP's Alex Attwood, Jeffrey Donaldson from the


DUP, the Ulster Unionist Party leader, Mike Nesbitt and the


Alliance Party's deputy leader, Naomi Long.


Welcome to the programme. Naomi, can be clever one thing. Did your party


endorse or reject this package? -- can we clear up.


We reserved our chance to be highly critical of what was in the


document, because people expect from our party that would we are very


strong about our future, and honest about our assessment of the package


and what it will deliver. We were very honest about that. It was clear


listening to Doctor Haass that he interpreted that you rejected the


package. That may have been his interpretation, but I was very clear


in the room and that is not what we did. The package fell well short of


what we had called for, which was an ambitious document that addressed


all the issues. In the document, there was no agreement on a flags. I


won not stand in the way of the commission and stop us from making


progress. In the past, I have agreed with Richard Haass and we have a


obligation to move it forward. On parades, I agree with his analysis,


some improvements made and a way to go.


Richard Haass was clear that the parties who did not sign up to the


deal that the parties who did not sign up need to clarify why they did


not do so full. Why did the DUP not sign up?


We want the best. Where I do agree with Richard Haass is that it has to


be good for victims and survivors. He says not signing up is not good.


It's quite specific about that. Yes, but I want the best for them, and


what is on the table at the moment is not stupid and a even a 90% of


people in the right fact that government cannot acknowledge that,


by that, in the case still have a ways to go to address what is have


in mind of evil is clear in the document that there was something in


the document for everyone including Unionists.


You failed to clear the bar. It does require compromise. How do


you compromise on something as the fact that 90% of the deaths in


Northern Ireland were caused by terrorism and Doctor word-mac cannot


even -- Doctor Haass cannot even acknowledge that. If he went and


talked to the victims of 911 and described the victims of that


atrocity but did not include that it was an act of terrorism, he would be


chased out of New York. But you are also turning your back


on some things that Richard Haass say are good for unionism, that


should be what you want. We are not turning our back on


anything. We need dialogue to turn the gap. We have made progress in


terms of how we would deal with the past. We have made progress on


parades. And on flags, we didn't get agreement there. But the opportunity


is to take forward a discussion that everyone can getting gauged in.


There are positives there. -- can get in gauged in. The DUP is not


walking away from the table. -- can become involved in.


What is agreed, and what needs to be discussed? All the five parties of


the executive wanted Richard Haass to do this. We wanted to be able to


do this. He listened to everyone and brought us closely guarded from the


outside. -- closely gathered. All the parties were involved. We


brought him in. There was a statement from the four churches


saying that we should agree to the implication and we have had


something that we are glad to hear about. That night it was not clear,


but it is very clear now. We have three parties here, we should


implement the proposals. She still wants negotiation on other


points. Let me be clear. I believe that what is in the document should


be implemented, but I worry that when we go to implement on parades,


there is no common understanding. We need to close the gap. What Richard


Haass has given us is a prescription for more torque, but I do not think


it is a good prescription. You are playing with words. Naomi


did not say renegotiate. She said let's implement this. Are there


difficulties? Yes, there are. He said that 80 or 90% happy with the


programme. When you are talking about five parties, if we could all


say that, we would be doing very well will stop that was during the


process. So a revised position then. He has


made that clear. We do have an agreement. Now, the British and


Irish governments need to get involved and talk about it in terms


of implementing it. They need to say whether they are for or against the


agreement. The bottom line is that what you have to do surely is


reaching agreement with the Unionists, not with Richard Haass.


At the moment, you and Richard Haass are singing of the same song sheet,


but the Unionists are not there. The Unionists have to explain why they


are not there. I have difficulties with this as well. Even within the


British system, within the system they defend, the Welsh language act


is protected, the Scottish language act is protected and there seems to


be this pathological hatred of Irish. In the hall, this is a


document we can move on with. That is what three of the parties are


seeing. This is a political agreement. Every single agreement we


have had, the biggest difficulty was implementation. We are dealing with


three issues which were already dealt with in the Good Friday


agreement and the St Andrews Agreement. You said you thought you


were 80 or 90% there. Then what changed? I said the ten or 20% not


over the line represented serious issues for us. Gerry Kelly is


misrepresenting my position. It was an initiative from the First


Minister and Deputy First Minister. The other three parties bought into


it. Who would not agree to enter into a process that would see better


outcomes on these issues? The most important and significant


intervention since Richard Haass went home came on Friday when the


Irish foreign affairs minister, in response to the -- to the debate on


who was responsible for the car bombs, said it was an act of


terrorism against innocent victims. If it is good enough for Dublin, why


isn't it good enough for bloody Friday in Belfast? The British were


involved in that. Was it terrorism? I am not talking about who was


responsible. You asked me a question. Terrorism can come from


governments as well. Let's move on. Is it worth sinking the entire


process which Richard Haass says would be good for everyone in


Northern Ireland on the basis of trying to get Jerry Kelly to sign up


to your narrative and use of language? It is not my narrative. It


is the rule of law. The 2000 Terrorism Act gives a definition of


terrorism. I uphold the rule of law. Richard Haass says this would be


good for victims and survivors. Many victims and survivors have


encouraged me not to go near these proposals. They didn't want it. You


are the leader of a political party which represents an awful what of


people. Some of them are victims. Are you not have a mandate to take


difficult decisions and then explain them to people who support you and


don't support you based on the decisions you have taken? That is


political leadership. I have agreed with the victims I have spoken to


that it was not a good deal because it was airbrushing terrorism out of


history. My leadership was to say I would not allow that to happen. You


are not undermined by your party Executive? You didn't find the rug


pulled from under your feet? A lot of people think that happen. The


words of the motion are the words that I wrote. We have some optimism


because we have a meeting on Tuesday of the five parties. I think that


should happen and it should be a quiet conversation. The big story


this week is not the fallout from Haass, it is the fallout from


closure of accident and emergency units. You can't pretend that Haass


isn't also a huge issue. Let's do it quietly and get on with it the way


we are supposed to do, at Stormont. Dealing with the issue of language,


Gerry Adams has recently described some IRA activities as murder. I


don't have any issue with saying that there was terror imposed on


this island by paramilitary organisations. Did this document


deliver a possibility for both sides to agree on those issues? Everybody


agrees the position of greatest strength in Haass is the proposals


that dealt with the past. Mike mentioned the comments made by the


minister in Dublin. He also said that his understanding of Haass was


the Irish state, if there was a truth and recovery process, would


have to give all the information. That demonstrated the Irish


government is now thinking about the implementation of Haass. That is


something the British government should now think about. Are they


prepared to say that when it comes to Haass and its implementation, all


British records will be made available. Those are the questions


we should be concentrating on, in order that we don't let down the


victims and survivors again. They have suffered the most and they


deserve the most. What compromises did the SDLP make? Unionists said


they were not prepared to make the compromises which were being


demanded of them. What did you give up on that was geared to you? We


have been loyal defenders of the parades commission. Another is


described the parades commission as cheerleaders for sectarianism, the


SDLP access it as the rule of law the parades commission. We had


conversations with Jeffrey Donaldson that we were prepared to look again


at the architecture around parading. But the other parties could not


compromise on that important access between rights, responsibility and


relationships which was at the core of resolving the dispute on parades.


So we did compromise. There are issues in this document were rethink


through implementation we can get even better. But do not know put in


jeopardy the best chance since 1998 to deal with some of the biggest


issues we have never faced up to the four. There has been a lot of


discussion over the last ten days about what went wrong and what


people couldn't agree on. Let's focus on where we go from here.


Naomi Long, is this now down to the two governments? Do we need to see


David Cameron and Enda Kenny step in to be more proactive? My reservation


about the proposals on flags are that if we couldn't even discuss


those issues when they were on the table, how do you take that


forward? The governments need to be involved. They are not by


standards. They are protagonists in the troubles and the need to be


involved. I think we are starting to see some evidence of that happening.


I am sceptical about how hands only want to be. Important thing Richard


Haass said was that more time will not solve this, it is more of


leadership that is required. I don't want the parties to be involved in


another process which will be rehashed the last six months. I


think the public are tired of our arguments. They want to see


delivery. The real progress will be who can deliver these agreements. We


cannot resolve this unless we can get some issues off the table. Some


parties want to implement what is there and you want to renegotiate


what is there. How do court that circle? There isn't agreement. You


can't implement something that is not agreed. There needs to be


agreement between the five parties. Don't yet have an agreement. For


people to talk about implementation when we don't have an agreement is


an very best premature. We need to close the gap on whether our areas


where there is not agreement. I believe that can be done. Based on


the discussions we had during those talks... Jerry Kelly has said he


does not except your narrative. I have said there are a series of


narratives. One of the things which came out of the Haass talks is an


acceptance by all that there is not a single narrative. Unfortunately


Mike continually wants to say there is a single narrative. If it is good


enough for Aidan Gilmour and Irish government and for Gerry Adams to


use the term murder in relation to some of the activities of the IRA,


why isn't it good enough for you? I didn't say it wasn't good enough for


me. Mike has reduced this down. Terrorism is mentioned in the


document. One of the issues is language. We are prepared in all of


this to deal with the issue of language. I repeat this again and


again. There are a series of narratives. He is confusing


narrative and facts. Those car bombs were acts of terrorism. Let's end on


looking to the future rather than the past. Give us a timescale for


sorting this out. Tuesday will tell a tale. Peter Robinson once a


working group to resolve differences. Martin McGuinness once


a working group to implement Haass. They have to work jointly and it is


up to them to implement this. Will the British government confirm that


whatever they are prepared to fund and show leadership, I think that


will be a position of strength. Irish government have already shown


leadership. We need to leave there. No doubt we will need to return to


these important issues in the future.


Thank you all very much. I'm joined from London by the Secretary of


State, Theresa Villiers. Thank you for joining us and we appreciate


your time. The detailed point that was recently made we will come back


to in a moment. Has the time now come for the two governments to step


up to the plate and take ownership of this issue? Both governments have


been supportive and involved from the outset. Before this process was


set up, myself, my predecessor and the Prime Minister continually


pressed and encouraged the Executive to move forward on a range of issues


to help heal sectarian issues. We were delighted when these proposals


were published. I thought it was a good idea to have this further


process on three of these enormously difficult issues. Throughout, I have


worked with the parties in Northern Ireland to support that process and


encourage everyone to find a way to move forward on these difficult


issues. You deliberately adopted an arms length approach during


negotiations. They have failed. If you want to avoid political drift,


you need to re-engage ready quickly. I am engaged and will continue to


being gauged. I think it is wrong to say that it has failed. Even with


the robust discussion you have just had. A lot of the parties are seeing


the parties are saying there is a willingness to continue the


conversation. What came out from the discussion you have had is that the


meeting between party leaders on Tuesday will be very important. That


is an opportunity for them to keep this process alive and keep working.


I think there is a lot to be said for trying to narrow down the issues


of difference between the parties to try to focus on a further discussion


to see if we can get this agreement across the line. I suppose my


question is, if that something you expect the parties to do on their


own in a room around a table? Or are you an Irish government going to


help facilitate that discussion? They didn't manage to sort those


issues with Richard Haass Meghan O'Sullivan, clearly relations are


not good on some issues. A realistic expectation could be that they do


that on their own? We are prepared to facilitate, but


we will only get a solution if there is a cross-party agreement within


Northern Ireland. In many senses, that was the whole point of


devolution, so that decisions on crucial issues like this could be


made by the people elected by the people of Northern Ireland. Explain


what you mean when you say that you want to encourage and facilitate


agreement and discussion. What does that mean? Does that mean that you


will chat discussions of that is necessary, that she will call them


together, or you will sit on the sidelines and let them get on with


it on their own? If I was asked to comment cherry


process, I would. -- to chair a process. I hope that they will


respond to the many comments in Parliament this week when MPs from


across the house and size to how important it was to seize this


opportunity. I think considerable common ground was built up between


the parties, even the parties who cannot accept proposals yet seem


willing to continue to have a conversation to try and resolve


those outstanding issues. That is the important thing for the party


leaders to bear in mind. If those issues were easy to resolve, they


would have been fixed years ago. What about Alex Attwood's specific


point, are the British Government prepared to fund and implement the


Haass proposals? The British Government says that the proposals


should largely be funded by the block grant, which we already


provide to Northern Ireland. We already provide other funds to the


Irish government. If they want to come to the British Government, and


ask for more funding, we will consider that seriously, but the


deficit that we inherited from the Labour government means that the


budget is constrained. I cannot give Alex act would -- Alex Attwood be


promised that he asked for, because we think that the funding should


already come from the ground that they already get from the executive.


I am joined by Alison Morris from the Irish News and Neill clerk from


the Belfast Telegraph. That was a very clear answer from Alex


Attwood's question. No additional funds at this stage. These


potentially expensive bodies would have to be paid from by the block


grant. She's did not say no, she said at


this stage. There is some room, but it was one thing that was not


counted for when they did the Haass negotiations. It was not considered


how much it would cost to implement. It was all right not counting the


cost during the Good Friday negotiations because Tony Blair was


there to foot the bill with the booming economy. Stopping violence


is something that the economy should focus on, and it is a bit disturbing


that it is not being focused on at the moment, they are focusing on


whether or not words like terrorism are included.


Is it surprising that it is the language that is dividing people at


the moment? You do not get the sense from the


two Unionist representatives, they are painting themselves into a


corner. It is unlikely that you could get Sinn Fein to agree to the


word terrorism. It was said that the people who were acting illegally had


to bear the greatest responsibility for the Troubles.


We have parties who want to implement and others who want to


negotiate. Where did we go from here? It will be very interesting to


see the outcome of the leaders meeting. We did find out there was


an issue involving the use of language and the word terrorism.


When you look at what Haass could have implemented which would have


brought relief to the survivors and victims, I think many of them will


be disappointed that the issue of language is halting what could give


them a recovery process. It is a good example of politics in


Northern Ireland, that if it is good for one side the other side you not


think it is good for them. Is it that simple? I think that once Sinn


Fein agree to it, it is difficult for the DUP to give it to their


electorate. People wanted to bring it into the commission and give them


an opportunity to get rid of it before the next elections. What they


have done is halt that process. We will hear more from you soon. We


will look at the political week gone past in 60 seconds.


Heavy rain and strong winds brought fears of flooding and there were


stormy seas to navigate. The idea that this agreement can keep on


being negotiated and sometimes positions will change dramatically


and the parties will change dramatically is not realistic.


Tributes were paid to Paul Goggins who died on Wednesday. I first met


him when he was Northern Ireland Minister, and he was outstanding.


There was a major incident at the Royal Victoria Hospital due to a


backlog of patients in a Haass. We -- in A Mac. We have had an


unreasonable amount of patience. And might we see Richard Haass again?


Would you come back if it sorted it out once and for all?


The few final thoughts from Alison Morris and Liam Clarke. That laugh


was very telling. He is not up for another six months, and I don't know


if he would come back. I do get the impression that Richard Haass would


intervene again, but not on that long-term basis. Was he ruling


himself out about being axed back -- asked back? I do not think there is


a point in him coming back. The parties need to agree with each


other, not with Doctor Haass. They need to get the Unionist parties on


board and the few concerns that the Alliance Party have.


Will we ever going to see agreement? They agreed the


devolution of policing and justice before an election. It is possible


that if the politicians want to do it that it would, but the mood is


not very good at the moment, and we have Monday and Tuesday's meeting.


What would you be hoping for in that meeting? Any sort of group that is


setup is currently seen as a delaying tactic. The concerns have


to be met before the election. That way, they can say that they are


working on the issues, without committing themselves to anything.


And he for joining us on the programme. That is it for today. I


will be back tonight. Mont Today. Thank you for joining us. Goodbye.


-- for storm want today.


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