12/01/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


12/01/2014

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

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

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

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

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

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European Court of Human Rights. He joins me.

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

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will they house-building up a gear, but how

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And coming up here: With the political fall-out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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and then say that the welfare will not make any additional

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contributions from their taxes if there is a Conservative government

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

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

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

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

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pork will be asked to make additional sacrifices to fill the

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remaining buckle in the public finances.

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

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understand it is called aggressive differentiation. Will it work for

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

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

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

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

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

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is interesting it has been combined with aggressive flirtation with Ed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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taking these ostensibly on popular positions and it only makes sense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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problem. Chris Grayling is a busy man, he has

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

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and unhappy probation officers taking industrial action.

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

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

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Traditional Tory policy on criminal justice and prisons has been tough

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

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

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

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

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everything else within today's financial realities. The Justice

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

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

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more and more people for longer without actively seeking to change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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training prisoners inside, and outside they offer jobs to

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

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

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dramatic change positively, working with prisoners, particularly in the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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from size and types of prisons to probation services, reoffending

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:10:58.:11:00.

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

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

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

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

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

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reforms need closer inspection? Chris Grayling joins me now.

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

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

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European Convention of human rights? It will contain a promise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Conservative government that will mean wholesale change in this area.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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on this? Look at what the Attorney General says.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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in my view the public in this country are overwhelmingly behind

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the Conservative party. 95 Conservative MPs have written to the

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

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

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

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

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

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

:16:29.:16:33.

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

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

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

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convinced we can have a situation where one Parliament can prevent

:16:47.:16:49.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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clear correlation over public and private prisons and whether there

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

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

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

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

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

:18:57.:19:00.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:19:38.:19:44.

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

:19:45.:19:49.

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

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

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

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

:20:11.:20:14.

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

:20:15.:20:19.

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

:20:20.:20:26.

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

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

:20:33.:20:36.

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

:20:37.:20:40.

magistrates courts were operating normally. We are having to take

:20:41.:20:45.

difficult decisions across government, I have no desire to cut

:20:46.:20:50.

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

:20:51.:20:56.

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

:20:57.:21:01.

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

:21:02.:21:07.

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

:21:08.:21:14.

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

:21:15.:21:19.

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

:21:20.:21:25.

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

:21:26.:21:31.

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

:21:32.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:39.

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

:21:40.:21:48.

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

:21:49.:21:55.

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

:21:56.:21:59.

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

:22:00.:22:10.

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

:22:11.:22:16.

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

:22:17.:22:22.

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

:22:23.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:37.

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

:22:38.:22:41.

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

:22:42.:22:53.

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

:22:54.:22:56.

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

:22:57.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:05.

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

:23:06.:23:11.

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

:23:12.:23:16.

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

:23:17.:23:26.

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

:23:27.:23:33.

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

:23:34.:23:37.

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

:23:38.:23:42.

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

:23:43.:23:48.

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

:23:49.:23:52.

often decided to his more appropriate to give a community

:23:53.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:02.

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

:24:03.:24:08.

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

:24:09.:24:13.

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

:24:14.:24:24.

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

:24:25.:24:28.

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

:24:29.:24:34.

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

:24:35.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:43.

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

:24:44.:24:49.

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

:24:50.:24:57.

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

:24:58.:25:03.

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

:25:04.:25:07.

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

:25:08.:25:13.

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

:25:14.:25:19.

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

:25:20.:25:24.

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

:25:25.:25:28.

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

:25:29.:25:34.

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

:25:35.:25:40.

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

:25:41.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:25:57.

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

:25:58.:26:03.

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

:26:04.:26:10.

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

:26:11.:26:16.

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

:26:17.:26:20.

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

:26:21.:26:24.

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

:26:25.:26:29.

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

:26:30.:26:33.

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

:26:34.:26:41.

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

:26:42.:26:45.

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

:26:46.:26:51.

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

:26:52.:26:55.

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

:26:56.:27:04.

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

:27:05.:27:09.

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

:27:10.:27:12.

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

:27:13.:27:18.

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

:27:19.:27:23.

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

:27:24.:27:30.

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

:27:31.:27:34.

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

:27:35.:27:37.

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

:27:38.:27:40.

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

:27:41.:27:43.

in the run-up to the next general election.

:27:44.:27:45.

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

:27:46.:27:48.

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

:27:49.:27:56.

peacetime since 1920. The Office for National Statistics estimates that

:27:57.:27:58.

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

:27:59.:28:05.

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

:28:06.:28:08.

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

:28:09.:28:17.

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

:28:18.:28:22.

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

:28:23.:28:26.

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

:28:27.:28:30.

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

:28:31.:28:33.

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

:28:34.:28:37.

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

:28:38.:28:40.

including loan guarantees for developers and a new homes bonus to

:28:41.:28:44.

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

:28:45.:28:48.

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

:28:49.:28:50.

criticised planning reforms for causing "physical harm" to the

:28:51.:28:56.

countryside. Nick Clegg meanwhile prefers a radical solution - brand

:28:57.:29:00.

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

:29:01.:29:14.

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

:29:15.:29:17.

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

:29:18.:29:19.

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

:29:20.:29:24.

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

:29:25.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:34.

diverse and competitive industry, where self build plays a greater

:29:35.:29:40.

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

:29:41.:29:46.

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

:29:47.:29:51.

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

:29:52.:29:56.

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

:29:57.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:04.

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

:30:05.:30:09.

agree, there are some fundamental structural problems with the land

:30:10.:30:12.

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

:30:13.:30:16.

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

:30:17.:30:21.

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

:30:22.:30:25.

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

:30:26.:30:30.

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

:30:31.:30:37.

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

:30:38.:30:41.

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

:30:42.:30:49.

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

:30:50.:30:54.

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

:30:55.:31:03.

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

:31:04.:31:07.

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

:31:08.:31:17.

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

:31:18.:31:21.

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

:31:22.:31:24.

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

:31:25.:31:28.

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

:31:29.:31:34.

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

:31:35.:31:40.

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

:31:41.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:54.

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

:31:55.:32:00.

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

:32:01.:32:07.

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

:32:08.:32:12.

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

:32:13.:32:15.

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

:32:16.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:27.

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

:32:28.:32:35.

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

:32:36.:32:38.

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

:32:39.:32:44.

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

:32:45.:32:49.

the possibility and flexible it is to use the compulsory purchase

:32:50.:32:52.

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

:32:53.:32:57.

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

:32:58.:33:00.

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

:33:01.:33:04.

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

:33:05.:33:08.

Local Government Association are telling us that there is a problem

:33:09.:33:12.

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

:33:13.:33:16.

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

:33:17.:33:22.

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

:33:23.:33:25.

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

:33:26.:33:26.

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

:33:27.:33:34.

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

:33:35.:33:38.

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

:33:39.:33:43.

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

:33:44.:33:47.

agricultural land that house-builders have land options on,

:33:48.:33:52.

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

:33:53.:33:56.

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

:33:57.:34:02.

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

:34:03.:34:07.

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

:34:08.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:21.

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

:34:22.:34:26.

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

:34:27.:34:31.

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

:34:32.:34:35.

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

:34:36.:34:40.

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

:34:41.:34:44.

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

:34:45.:34:47.

fees because North Hertfordshire is blocking Stevenage every step of the

:34:48.:34:53.

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

:34:54.:34:58.

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

:34:59.:35:03.

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

:35:04.:35:09.

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

:35:10.:35:15.

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

:35:16.:35:17.

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

:35:18.:35:39.

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

:35:40.:35:44.

incentivise local authorities to come forward with sites for new

:35:45.:35:49.

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

:35:50.:35:55.

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

:35:56.:36:00.

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

:36:01.:36:04.

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

:36:05.:36:07.

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

:36:08.:36:11.

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

:36:12.:36:15.

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

:36:16.:36:20.

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

:36:21.:36:26.

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

:36:27.:36:33.

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

:36:34.:36:36.

this government to bring forward investment in social housing. We

:36:37.:36:41.

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

:36:42.:36:45.

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

:36:46.:36:50.

next Labour government embark on a major council house Northern

:36:51.:36:56.

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

:36:57.:36:58.

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

:36:59.:37:07.

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

:37:08.:37:09.

in the West Midlands Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics

:37:10.:37:24.

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

:37:25.:37:27.

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

:37:28.:37:30.

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

:37:31.:37:34.

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

:37:35.:37:36.

finish line. And we talk to the Secretary of

:37:37.:37:40.

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

:37:41.:37:43.

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

:37:44.:37:46.

about this reaction from Richard Haass?

:37:47.:37:50.

Find out later in our week in 60 Seconds.

:37:51.:37:59.

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

:38:00.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:06.

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

:38:07.:38:09.

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

:38:10.:38:11.

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

:38:12.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:18.

parties, but first our correspondent, Martina Purdy,

:38:19.:38:20.

examines the political drama over the latest proposals to tackle

:38:21.:38:30.

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

:38:31.:38:35.

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

:38:36.:38:42.

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

:38:43.:39:02.

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

:39:03.:39:06.

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

:39:07.:39:14.

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

:39:15.:39:17.

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

:39:18.:39:22.

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

:39:23.:39:27.

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

:39:28.:39:34.

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

:39:35.:39:39.

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

:39:40.:39:43.

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

:39:44.:39:47.

full-scale negotiations, we are yet to see.

:39:48.:39:50.

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

:39:51.:40:00.

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

:40:01.:40:04.

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

:40:05.:40:07.

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

:40:08.:40:12.

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

:40:13.:40:19.

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

:40:20.:40:24.

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

:40:25.:40:29.

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

:40:30.:40:34.

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

:40:35.:40:41.

expect everything that you want in negotiations.

:40:42.:40:44.

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

:40:45.:40:50.

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

:40:51.:40:53.

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

:40:54.:41:01.

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

:41:02.:41:04.

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

:41:05.:41:11.

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

:41:12.:41:16.

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

:41:17.:41:19.

ahead and stop that will become apparent soon enough.

:41:20.:41:24.

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

:41:25.:41:31.

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

:41:32.:41:37.

next year. They have their eye on that prize,

:41:38.:41:41.

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

:41:42.:41:45.

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

:41:46.:41:53.

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

:41:54.:41:58.

will cause electoral damage. Even loyalists believe the Haass

:41:59.:42:04.

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

:42:05.:42:10.

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

:42:11.:42:12.

suggestions. Someone listen to and not. But we do

:42:13.:42:18.

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

:42:19.:42:23.

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

:42:24.:42:31.

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

:42:32.:42:35.

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

:42:36.:42:40.

responsible. Some warned about division, and street violence like

:42:41.:42:47.

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

:42:48.:42:50.

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

:42:51.:42:57.

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

:42:58.:43:05.

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

:43:06.:43:13.

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

:43:14.:43:20.

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

:43:21.:43:22.

concerned. It is regrettable, to say the least

:43:23.:43:27.

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

:43:28.:43:30.

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

:43:31.:43:39.

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

:43:40.:43:43.

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

:43:44.:43:45.

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

:43:46.:43:48.

Alliance Party's deputy leader, Naomi Long.

:43:49.:43:53.

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

:43:54.:44:00.

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

:44:01.:44:08.

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

:44:09.:44:11.

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

:44:12.:44:17.

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

:44:18.:44:20.

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

:44:21.:44:25.

listening to Doctor Haass that he interpreted that you rejected the

:44:26.:44:31.

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

:44:32.:44:35.

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

:44:36.:44:41.

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

:44:42.:44:47.

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

:44:48.:44:52.

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

:44:53.:44:57.

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

:44:58.:45:02.

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

:45:03.:45:07.

some improvements made and a way to go.

:45:08.:45:11.

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

:45:12.:45:15.

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

:45:16.:45:21.

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

:45:22.:45:28.

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

:45:29.:45:33.

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

:45:34.:45:41.

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

:45:42.:45:45.

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

:45:46.:46:05.

people in the right fact that government cannot acknowledge that,

:46:06.:46:11.

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

:46:12.:46:19.

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

:46:20.:46:25.

the document for everyone including Unionists.

:46:26.:46:34.

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

:46:35.:46:42.

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

:46:43.:46:47.

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

:46:48.:46:54.

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

:46:55.:47:02.

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

:47:03.:47:07.

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

:47:08.:47:12.

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

:47:13.:47:18.

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

:47:19.:47:23.

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

:47:24.:47:29.

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

:47:30.:47:33.

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

:47:34.:47:38.

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

:47:39.:47:45.

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

:47:46.:47:50.

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

:47:51.:47:59.

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

:48:00.:48:06.

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

:48:07.:48:15.

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

:48:16.:48:22.

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

:48:23.:48:32.

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

:48:33.:48:37.

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

:48:38.:48:42.

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

:48:43.:48:48.

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

:48:49.:48:56.

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

:48:57.:49:02.

implement the proposals. She still wants negotiation on other

:49:03.:49:09.

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

:49:10.:49:14.

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

:49:15.:49:19.

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

:49:20.:49:27.

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

:49:28.:49:35.

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

:49:36.:49:42.

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

:49:43.:49:49.

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

:49:50.:49:58.

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

:49:59.:50:01.

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

:50:02.:50:09.

process. So a revised position then. He has

:50:10.:50:14.

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

:50:15.:50:19.

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

:50:20.:50:27.

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

:50:28.:50:34.

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

:50:35.:50:37.

reaching agreement with the Unionists, not with Richard Haass.

:50:38.:50:42.

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

:50:43.:50:49.

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

:50:50.:50:52.

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

:50:53.:50:57.

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

:50:58.:51:03.

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

:51:04.:51:06.

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

:51:07.:51:16.

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

:51:17.:51:22.

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

:51:23.:51:26.

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

:51:27.:51:30.

three issues which were already dealt with in the Good Friday

:51:31.:51:35.

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

:51:36.:51:44.

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

:51:45.:51:51.

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

:51:52.:52:00.

misrepresenting my position. It was an initiative from the First

:52:01.:52:03.

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

:52:04.:52:15.

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

:52:16.:52:19.

outcomes on these issues? The most important and significant

:52:20.:52:24.

intervention since Richard Haass went home came on Friday when the

:52:25.:52:28.

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

:52:29.:52:35.

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

:52:36.:52:42.

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

:52:43.:52:47.

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

:52:48.:53:00.

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

:53:01.:53:09.

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

:53:10.:53:17.

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

:53:18.:53:20.

process which Richard Haass says would be good for everyone in

:53:21.:53:25.

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

:53:26.:53:28.

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

:53:29.:53:38.

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

:53:39.:53:44.

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

:53:45.:53:51.

good for victims and survivors. Many victims and survivors have

:53:52.:53:55.

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

:53:56.:54:05.

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

:54:06.:54:09.

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

:54:10.:54:13.

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

:54:14.:54:18.

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

:54:19.:54:22.

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

:54:23.:54:26.

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

:54:27.:54:31.

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

:54:32.:54:35.

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

:54:36.:54:42.

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

:54:43.:54:47.

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

:54:48.:54:51.

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

:54:52.:54:55.

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

:54:56.:55:00.

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

:55:01.:55:04.

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

:55:05.:55:15.

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

:55:16.:55:21.

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

:55:22.:55:27.

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

:55:28.:55:32.

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

:55:33.:55:39.

this island by paramilitary organisations. Did this document

:55:40.:55:52.

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

:55:53.:56:03.

agrees the position of greatest strength in Haass is the proposals

:56:04.:56:11.

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

:56:12.:56:16.

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

:56:17.:56:21.

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

:56:22.:56:27.

have to give all the information. That demonstrated the Irish

:56:28.:56:31.

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

:56:32.:56:35.

something the British government should now think about. Are they

:56:36.:56:40.

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

:56:41.:56:44.

British records will be made available. Those are the questions

:56:45.:56:49.

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

:56:50.:56:55.

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

:56:56.:56:59.

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

:57:00.:57:06.

they were not prepared to make the compromises which were being

:57:07.:57:09.

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

:57:10.:57:16.

have been loyal defenders of the parades commission. Another is

:57:17.:57:22.

described the parades commission as cheerleaders for sectarianism, the

:57:23.:57:31.

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

:57:32.:57:37.

conversations with Jeffrey Donaldson that we were prepared to look again

:57:38.:57:43.

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

:57:44.:57:48.

compromise on that important access between rights, responsibility and

:57:49.:57:53.

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

:57:54.:57:59.

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

:58:00.:58:02.

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

:58:03.:58:09.

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

:58:10.:58:12.

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

:58:13.:58:18.

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

:58:19.:58:21.

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

:58:22.:58:28.

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

:58:29.:58:33.

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

:58:34.:58:44.

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

:58:45.:58:48.

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

:58:49.:58:53.

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

:58:54.:58:57.

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

:58:58.:59:01.

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

:59:02.:59:07.

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

:59:08.:59:11.

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

:59:12.:59:16.

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

:59:17.:59:19.

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

:59:20.:59:24.

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

:59:25.:59:33.

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

:59:34.:59:43.

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

:59:44.:59:48.

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

:59:49.:59:53.

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

:59:54.:00:00.

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

:00:01.:00:12.

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

:00:13.:00:14.

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

:00:15.:00:21.

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

:00:22.:00:24.

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

:00:25.:00:30.

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

:00:31.:00:37.

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

:00:38.:00:41.

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

:00:42.:00:47.

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

:00:48.:00:52.

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

:00:53.:00:59.

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

:01:00.:01:06.

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

:01:07.:01:11.

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

:01:12.:01:19.

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

:01:20.:01:25.

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

:01:26.:01:29.

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

:01:30.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:45.

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

:01:46.:01:52.

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

:01:53.:01:56.

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

:01:57.:02:03.

working group to resolve differences. Martin McGuinness once

:02:04.:02:08.

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

:02:09.:02:14.

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

:02:15.:02:27.

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

:02:28.:02:34.

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

:02:35.:02:38.

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

:02:39.:02:43.

these important issues in the future.

:02:44.:02:48.

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

:02:49.:02:51.

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

:02:52.:02:59.

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

:03:00.:03:05.

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

:03:06.:03:09.

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

:03:10.:03:14.

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

:03:15.:03:19.

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

:03:20.:03:25.

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

:03:26.:03:30.

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

:03:31.:03:34.

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

:03:35.:03:39.

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

:03:40.:03:46.

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

:03:47.:03:50.

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

:03:51.:03:56.

issues. You deliberately adopted an arms length approach during

:03:57.:04:00.

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

:04:01.:04:06.

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

:04:07.:04:12.

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

:04:13.:04:16.

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

:04:17.:04:24.

the parties are saying there is a willingness to continue the

:04:25.:04:26.

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

:04:27.:04:30.

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

:04:31.:04:35.

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

:04:36.:04:39.

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

:04:40.:04:43.

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

:04:44.:04:50.

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

:04:51.:04:55.

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

:04:56.:05:01.

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

:05:02.:05:04.

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

:05:05.:05:09.

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

:05:10.:05:14.

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

:05:15.:05:22.

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

:05:23.:05:26.

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

:05:27.:05:32.

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

:05:33.:05:36.

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

:05:37.:05:41.

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

:05:42.:05:46.

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

:05:47.:05:51.

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

:05:52.:05:55.

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

:05:56.:05:58.

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

:05:59.:06:01.

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

:06:02.:06:11.

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

:06:12.:06:16.

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

:06:17.:06:22.

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

:06:23.:06:27.

opportunity. I think considerable common ground was built up between

:06:28.:06:32.

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

:06:33.:06:38.

willing to continue to have a conversation to try and resolve

:06:39.:06:41.

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

:06:42.:06:46.

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

:06:47.:06:51.

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

:06:52.:06:57.

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

:06:58.:07:04.

Haass proposals? The British Government says that the proposals

:07:05.:07:09.

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

:07:10.:07:12.

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

:07:13.:07:19.

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

:07:20.:07:24.

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

:07:25.:07:28.

deficit that we inherited from the Labour government means that the

:07:29.:07:31.

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

:07:32.:07:39.

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

:07:40.:07:43.

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

:07:44.:07:50.

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

:07:51.:07:56.

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

:07:57.:08:02.

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

:08:03.:08:07.

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

:08:08.:08:12.

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

:08:13.:08:18.

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

:08:19.:08:21.

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

:08:22.:08:28.

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

:08:29.:08:34.

cost during the Good Friday negotiations because Tony Blair was

:08:35.:08:36.

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

:08:37.:08:43.

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

:08:44.:08:47.

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

:08:48.:08:52.

whether or not words like terrorism are included.

:08:53.:08:57.

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

:08:58.:09:01.

the moment? You do not get the sense from the

:09:02.:09:07.

two Unionist representatives, they are painting themselves into a

:09:08.:09:11.

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

:09:12.:09:18.

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

:09:19.:09:23.

to bear the greatest responsibility for the Troubles.

:09:24.:09:28.

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

:09:29.:09:31.

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

:09:32.:09:35.

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

:09:36.:09:42.

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

:09:43.:09:47.

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

:09:48.:09:52.

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

:09:53.:09:56.

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

:09:57.:10:00.

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

:10:01.:10:07.

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

:10:08.:10:10.

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

:10:11.:10:15.

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

:10:16.:10:21.

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

:10:22.:10:26.

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

:10:27.:10:28.

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

:10:29.:10:35.

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

:10:36.:10:46.

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

:10:47.:10:50.

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

:10:51.:10:56.

being negotiated and sometimes positions will change dramatically

:10:57.:11:00.

and the parties will change dramatically is not realistic.

:11:01.:11:05.

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

:11:06.:11:12.

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

:11:13.:11:20.

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

:11:21.:11:26.

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

:11:27.:11:37.

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

:11:38.:11:41.

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

:11:42.:11:52.

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

:11:53.:12:01.

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

:12:02.:12:04.

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

:12:05.:12:12.

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

:12:13.:12:19.

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

:12:20.:12:24.

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

:12:25.:12:30.

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

:12:31.:12:36.

board and the few concerns that the Alliance Party have.

:12:37.:12:40.

Will we ever going to see agreement? They agreed the

:12:41.:12:45.

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

:12:46.:12:50.

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

:12:51.:12:58.

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

:12:59.:13:02.

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

:13:03.:13:10.

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

:13:11.:13:15.

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

:13:16.:13:20.

working on the issues, without committing themselves to anything.

:13:21.:13:24.

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

:13:25.:13:30.

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

:13:31.:13:38.

-- for storm want today.

:13:39.:13:59.

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