12/05/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


12/05/2013

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate, guests include defence secretary Philip Hammond.


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We'll hear Boris Johnson's advice to our politicians on Corporation Tax.

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And we're discussing striking the right balance between protest and

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1935 seconds

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promotion at the G8. Join me in half say on Northern Ireland. He was in

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Ballymena last week to pick up his Boris buses and business editor in

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Fitzpatrick caught up with him to find out what he thinks about

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Northern Ireland. You believe in devolution and more powerful London.

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Should there be more powerful regions like this? I certainly want

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London to be able to do what we need to do, especially buying new buses

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like this one. They have done a fantastic job. You are campaigning

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for extra powers for London, store mod is interested in that too. You

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would have to look at the issues that the tax competitiveness

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questions and the cost. I am not so much interested in things that would

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be costing the Treasury money. What we need in London is stable and

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continuous financing, it is more about certainty than quantum. We

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need to predict that London will get �1.8 billion a year over a long

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period to invest in transport infrastructure. The fatal mistake

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has been that we do stop start, stop start. It is less about making money

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off the Treasury and stability. What is your advice to store mod? I would

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hesitate. It's important that if you want to persuade the Treasury of

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anything, persuade them to save money. That's the only way forward.

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Or that it is revenue neutral or the way to make the oven fly is to say

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if you devolve us this power or this tax, we will grow the economy in

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such a way to deliver more revenue. It is about getting the Treasury

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more money. And one thing that has stalled progress on some issues like

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devolution of Corporation Tax has been issues of Scottish

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independence. Should Westminster worry about what is going north of

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border? The Scottish independence thing will be radically revolt --

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resolved in favour of the UK. think there is a case for devolved

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government having the ability to raise locally what they spend

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locally. That must make sense in a devolution settlement. You will not

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persuade the Treasury of that, you will not persuade the Treasury of

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that unless they can see it is revenue neutral or it will deliver

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such a growth in revenues as to be positive for them. What about

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Europe, the only part of the UK with a land border with the eurozone and

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now a debate on Europe is hotting up. If things don't go well... You

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need an exit strategy because you cannot go into negotiations where

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the bottom line is surrender. need to be able to walk away. It has

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changed in my lifetime. I do not feel that it is as much an

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existential question for Britain whether we are members of the

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European Union, we are part of the global economy. This us, to drag the

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subject back to what matters, this bus we will sell to markets in Asia.

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And that is where the growth is coming in the world and you should

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think globally. What about for the Conservative party, not a big force

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in Northern Ireland, hasn't had much success growing the base. Nor has

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the Labour Party! They have tried a bit harder. What would you do to

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energise voters here? I think there are long and complicated reasons why

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that has never taken off. I don't want particularly to insert myself

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into politics here in Northern Ireland except to say how pleased

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and proud I am that we have been able to investment through DFL to

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get the best bus in the world is coming from Northern Ireland, it has

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British technology and is delivering jobs. Finally, London Olympics, a

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huge success. We have a big event coming here. What is your advice? Do

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not listen to the Gloomadon-poppers. I am sure it will go Apsley

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swimmingly. It will go swimmingly. Let's get some reaction from my

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guests, Alex Kane and Cathy Gormley-Heenan from University of

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Ulster. Gloomadon-poppers seems to be a word Boris Johnson is

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preaching, a one-man campaign. It is a pity because the word can mean

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many things to many people. It would have been useful on Thursday night

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to refer to the guests then as Gloomadon-poppers. It is something I

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will pick up and try to run with. Will it make its way into your

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column? I will try to claim it as my own! It is an interview where he

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didn't say much at all other than buses but he inserts this word and

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we have a conversation. No matter what he says, you come away and you

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like the guy. That's what he's about. Hats off to write bus for

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doing such a remarkable job so the buses on a global stage. Boris

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Johnson is a huge ambassador. He is. That is valuable and it's a good

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connection between Ballymena and Boris and London and the

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Conservative party, good links. Sometimes I listen to Boris talking

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about buses and I wish I could hear from the First Minister with the

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same enthusiasm and same sense of fun about what business can be like.

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The interesting thing is despite Jim Fitzpatrick's best efforts, Boris

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Johnson did not say anything about Northern Ireland. I understand that.

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He was here in his capacity as Mayor of London. There are things that

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suit his own agenda, including the devolution of scat -- tax varying

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powers. If he had tied that in better than he did into the

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conversation and how it might relate to Corporation Tax, that might have

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worked better but he was slightly caught on the hop anti turns the

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conversation back to what he wants to talk about by being open. I

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suppose the parallel is Corporation Tax if it happens, the reduction in

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Corporation Tax comes at a price potentially to the grant, any

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changes in taxation for London will also come as part of a risky

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strategy. I think that's true. not sure what Boris Johnson is

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running with this because Cameron has said nothing will happen until

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the Scottish referendum is over. In terms of Northern Ireland, we've

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been talking about this for five years. I do not see it happening at

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all. More from you in a moment. a smokescreen for a major attack on

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civil liberties or a terrific opportunity to showcase Northern

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Ireland? Two contrasting views on the G8 summit which takes place in

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county Fermanagh next month.This week the Chief Constable unveiled

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details of how he's planning to police the expected protests

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surrounding the summit... We are expecting demonstrations in

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Belfast. There was one planned in relation to cracking. There will be

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demonstrations voicing concerns about property and we expect

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something in Ellis Killin as well. There will be a number of

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demonstrations as is normal with any event. In terms of the numbers

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coming and the size, I think that is a work in progress and we are

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monitoring it carefully. Clearly the ridiculous planning draws upon the

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experience of previous G8 summits and what that looked like and the

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numbers. It looks at their current situation in terms of global issues

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and protests and we have planned for every eventuality. So, our job is to

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facilitate legitimate lawful protest, if others choose to come

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here with a different purpose we will be prepared and equipped. That

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is why we are working closely with the Met Police with their

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experience. Matt Baggott. Business leaders welcomed the potential

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benefits of the G8 predicting a significant boost for tourism and

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investment. Had we ensure we get the balance between promotion and

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protest, with me are Eamon McCann and Ian Coulter from the CBI. Ian

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Coulter, why is the G8 good for Northern Ireland? In 2002, Alberta

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in Canada generated 200 million US dollars to the local economy

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short-term. 2005, Gleneagles 750 million sterling benefits. At the

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moment, the numbers are not to be sniffed at. We believe there is good

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short-term and long-term gains economic league and how we are

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perceived. Were there signs of the investment in Northern Ireland with

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less than a month to go? No, it is not as simple as that. The

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investment comes over 12 months from tourism, retail and hospitality. It

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starts from after the G8. In the run-up to the summit, any signs of

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benefit to your members? I am sure there are small businesses in

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Fermanagh seeing benefits -- seeing benefits already. Over time you will

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see more. This is a mid-to long-term plan. How could you argue against

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that? I question the basis of the figures. The main beneficiaries will

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be hoteliers and hospitality industry and good luck to them in

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the short-term. The figures for long-term improvement and economic

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prospects are questionable. You quoted in Italy and Canada, you will

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find that the calculations are off extra money and growth based on

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media coverage. That is speculative as to whether it is a real figure or

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not. People imagine the tourism industry will develop because people

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will see the lovely lakes and landscapes, what they will not say

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-- they will not see that. They will see it but they will not focus on

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it. I am not sure they will see it because the news bulletins in the US

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and Europe will focus on the policy matters and how to coordinate

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austerity programmes and what they would do about arms spending,

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probably nothing. It is policy matters which are the constant face

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on the media not the beauties of Fermanagh. I do not think there'll

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be a long-term improvement in the economy. I do not expect it. That's

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interesting because if you look at Italy, who knows where that is?

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don't disagree. It is a short-term initiative, is it better to have it

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than not? Yes. Will it fix endemic problems? Of course not. On the

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perception issue, if we think back, this is probably the most global

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coverage Northern Ireland gets since the Good Friday Agreement. How sure

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are you that Eamon McCann will spoil the party? They won't.There is

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always protest at the G8. It will be managed. The G8 will come and go and

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there will be a positive message going out. Are you happy for that

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happen or do you want to try to spoil the party? It is not a

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question of spoiling the party. believe there was a right to protest

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and it is necessary to protest against the G8. They represent the

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ruling classes of the world, they are most responsible for the

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appalling state of the world is in, threats to environment, war zones,

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and the RUC has obtained two drones without any discussion. Of

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course... These are not the drones used in Pakistan. They will not be

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used like that to drop bombs on Fermanagh as far as we know! There

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is no suggestion of that. It is remarkable these measures, these

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security measures are supported by a party which a week ago objected to

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children's playgrounds opening on Sunday. It is better to be prepared

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for a problem. It is forward planning in case of difficulty.

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is overhyped. I was at Gleneagles, a vast security apparatus. There was

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no violence at all. There were no raised fists. They were helicopters

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overhead, drones, special courts open. The British police coming in.

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I do not believe the measures will go away with Barack Obama. A couple

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of points there but too much security is his charge and who knows

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if it will all be dismantled at the end? The leaders of the world are

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coming, of course there is security. We do not have the luxuries to talk

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about -- we have unemployed people, anything that can be done to credit

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jobs and opportunities should be grabbed and it will be grabbed. Stay

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with us because I want to hear from our commentators. Do you think a

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balance can be struck between protest and promotion? Absolutely

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but what we are seeing is a diversion of focus away from what

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the G8 is about, many people do not know what the key aims of G8 are.

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Trade, transparency, tax, the agenda on the table. The local and national

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media have not refocused in much on the issues that these world leaders

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will be talking about and there's too much emphasis on the potential

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benefits to the place or the threat of protest. It doesn't help the

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economy or the tourist industry to say come to Northern Ireland, your

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prison bed awaits having put the measures in place. I think if the

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focus shifts to the key issues it will politicise people in a positive

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way and we are not seeing that. Do you think it helps to sell Northern

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Ireland and the G8 to people here and on a world stage to have Obama

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coming? Or is it irrelevant? I fit into the Boris description of the

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Gloomadon-poppers. I really don't see what the difference is. The big

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issues should be discussing here in the local papers and they are not.

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He is right, you should protest, these are big issues, these are the

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eight most powerful men in the world who have made horrendous decisions,

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morally and politically but also they bring trillions of debt and say

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they will solve it and isn't Fermanagh lovely? It doesn't matter

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what happens, MTV, YouTube, it is great to Northern Ireland but they

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go away and nothing, the dreary steeples are back. You have to

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remember the word, it is Gloomadon-poppers. I made up my own

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word. Is Obama coming to Belfast helping from your perspective?

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big point is we should not be trying to affect things we cannot control

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globally, how can we leveraged the conference to grow Northern Ireland

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and put it in the best place possible to get youth employment up.

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You talk about Obama, 12,000 jobs from foreign investment, much it

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from the US. Will we see that between now and the G8? Is a good we

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have a US leader here in a positive light, it is positive. Let's deal

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with it and grab the opportunity. Positive or reservations about the

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Obama trip? Huge reservations about the trip. Obama has over 100 people

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on hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay, more than half have been cleared for

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release by the American authorities. They are being tortured, I hope

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there will be placard saying support he hunger strikers. We will leave it

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there. We will come back to this in the next few weeks. Politics is

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often a fine balancing act as one minister found out, it is all in 60

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seconds with Martina Purdy. The future of care homes and

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children's heart surgery, the story that will not go away. Edwin Poots

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showing the strain when he appeared before the health committee.

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Together building a united community, the First Minister and

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Deputy First Minister revealed community relations strategy. This

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is the most ambitious set of proposals that have been brought

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forward. But far from united, the other parties felt excluded by the

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DUP and Sinn Fein. I didn't know anything about it until it was

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announced today. The health Minister and his southern counterpart white

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united in a search for cross-border solutions even if James Riley did

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not look steady on his feet. And the new party, no name but high hopes,

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Martina Purdy reporting on spills and drop catches for the

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politicians. A final word from Cathy and Alex. Shared future was the big

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issue at the end of the week, proposals from the ministers,

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useful, did they move us forward? Did not move us anywhere,

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integration and shared society to something else and every time they

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change the make -- name they are in the same place. They have now

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electoral dividend but they have a dividend financially in pretending

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they are doing something. We have a new strategy, building a united

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community together. You have written about this, you have talked about

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this, you have recently compiled a report for the office of the First

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Minister and Deputy First Minister, does it take us forward? And we're

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not dealing with a critical issues will stop we will be and I don't

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want to be a Gloomadon-poppers to keep the phrase going, I do think

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anything is better than nothing. what we have is a start, we will see

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the strategy into more weeks. We can look at the detail and have

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something to build on, the fact Obama is coming, if there is one

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positive thing, that can galvanise public sentiment and support for

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moving things forward. I am not so fussy on the detail of 10,000 places

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here and 100 students in summer placements, that sort of detail, I

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am more interested in what will be independent chaired working group

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look like and who will it be because it cannot be someone party political

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and what they plan to do to push the agenda forward? Finally, Alex, the

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Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate, guests include defence secretary Philip Hammond.


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