20/01/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


20/01/2013

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


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Hello and welcome to the Sunday Politics. The first major event of

:39:52.:39:55.

the Derry - Londonderry UK City of Culture gets under way this evening

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with the Sons and Daughters concert. With the Executive promising

:39:58.:40:01.

investment of �30 million, will the year deliver on the economic and

:40:01.:40:07.

cultural legacy promised? The Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin

:40:07.:40:11.

is with me. And presidents and Prime Ministers praise his

:40:11.:40:13.

leadership, but back home there are fewer plaudits as political

:40:13.:40:22.

opponents put pressure on the Taoiseach. It did make reckless

:40:22.:40:26.

promises in advance of the election and they have broken almost every

:40:26.:40:31.

promise at this stage. People feel somewhat betrayed. And to discuss

:40:31.:40:34.

this and much more, journalist and commentator Susan McKay and

:40:34.:40:43.

Economist Neil Gibson. Liverpool's year as European

:40:43.:40:46.

Capital of Culture earned the city around �800 million in extra income,

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half of which came directly from tourism. It's been estimated that

:40:50.:40:53.

up to one million visitors could visit the north west this City of

:40:53.:40:57.

Culture year. As the first major concert kicks off this evening,

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what can the city expect? And can it deliver? With me is the Culture

:41:01.:41:08.

Minister Caral Ni Chuilin. Obviously it is a big night tonight

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and in some ways the proper launch of this year. Sons and Daughters,

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no better way to launch the programme than this evening, and we

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hope they can get to Derry with the weather. Now it has started, and

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with all the expectation and build up, tonight a lot of people will be

:41:31.:41:35.

biting their nails but I think it will be great. I think there will

:41:35.:41:39.

be some negativity along with the excitement and celebration of the

:41:39.:41:46.

year. When it comes to the marketing, there seemed to have

:41:46.:41:52.

been a few issues - what role has your department taken? We meet

:41:52.:41:58.

directly with Derry City Council and the issues have been sorted out.

:41:58.:42:04.

They have a licence for the city of Culture, taking the operational

:42:04.:42:08.

day-to-day responsibility including marketing, but negativity, I had

:42:09.:42:13.

this with the Olympics and the Paralympics last year and look how

:42:13.:42:19.

that turned out. �30 million from the Executive, about 12 million

:42:19.:42:25.

from your department, what will we get back? For the north-west has

:42:25.:42:28.

not received the Investment it should have over the last decade

:42:28.:42:34.

and we will get investment back. It will increase tourism and leave a

:42:34.:42:41.

legacy that was not there before. In what way? Will it be jobs? We

:42:41.:42:47.

didn't get the hotels we expected to be built. There will be jobs,

:42:47.:42:52.

retail, tourism, arts and crafts and music that were not there

:42:52.:42:57.

before and that in itself will help people with talent who were not

:42:57.:43:02.

recognised through the economy. There has been some criticism of

:43:02.:43:05.

the musical instruments forever child and there needs to be more

:43:05.:43:10.

than that. What can you offer people as reassurance what they

:43:10.:43:15.

get? When you look at the figures for Liverpool, �800 million, an

:43:15.:43:20.

enormous amount of money and visitors say that you still get the

:43:20.:43:27.

vibe. And you will get that in Derry. It is about introducing

:43:27.:43:34.

music, arts and culture, and if people have a career in that that

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is well and good. I think supporting local artists were there

:43:39.:43:46.

was not employment before, this is what Derry has to offer. When it

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comes to Infrastructure, you said yourself you can't control the

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weather obviously, but we didn't get the flights we thought a few

:43:53.:43:58.

years ago that might be introduced to get people to Derry. If they

:43:58.:44:03.

come to Belfast up the road, we have discussed the difficulties are

:44:03.:44:09.

with certain areas and the weather, did the recession scupper things?

:44:10.:44:14.

No, we are not finished yet. The people of the North are very hardy,

:44:14.:44:21.

they will get to Derry. We have also root on the hour, every half-

:44:21.:44:25.

hour, and people will get to Derry not just for this evening but for

:44:25.:44:30.

the rest of the year. Is it too late to be tweaking some of those

:44:30.:44:35.

issues on the year it is happening? I'm not aware of any tweaking that

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needs to happen. We need to look at the flexibility and make sure the

:44:41.:44:46.

success of Derry is felt across the north-west. When it comes to some

:44:46.:44:51.

of the funding, the report after Christmas that the �6.5 million,

:44:51.:45:00.

some of that will be handed back. That is not a good sign, is it?

:45:00.:45:08.

It's not, but over �600 million will be spent so it is on target.

:45:08.:45:14.

When it comes to the concert, it is a big event. I have seen some of

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the pictures, it looks very impressive but it is only temporary.

:45:17.:45:22.

There will be no legacy from the venue. But the venue can be used

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elsewhere. That is an important thing. Every space has been opened

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up, it has brightened up the city, opened up the city. It is good news.

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Let's hear now what our Guests of the Day think. Neil Gibson, you

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carried out this report in 2010, half a million extra visitor

:45:44.:45:49.

nights', for �2 million additional visitor spending, and it is

:45:49.:45:57.

difficult because we are not at the end of the year yet but how much of

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that has come to fruition? It is difficult to say but we are already

:46:02.:46:06.

seeing significant event planning going ahead. None of the

:46:06.:46:16.
:46:16.:46:16.

significant events have not materialised. This is a difficult

:46:17.:46:20.

time to gather international money, but I am encouraged that the

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signature events we were hoping for are still scheduled so we should

:46:25.:46:28.

still get significant tourist impact and most crucially bring

:46:28.:46:34.

some people to the City who have never been before. They may be

:46:34.:46:38.

future residents, future investors, and that is the real potential for

:46:38.:46:43.

the legacy. That, and bringing people into their own city for the

:46:43.:46:48.

first time to get involved. The legacy will be the responsibility

:46:48.:46:53.

not just of experts and politicians, but also the responsibility of the

:46:53.:47:01.

people of the city. Susan McKay, is it on the radar in Dublin? I think

:47:01.:47:07.

maybe it has fallen down a little bit on that marketing outside Derry.

:47:07.:47:12.

I didn't see it listed in a lot of the big UK destination events over

:47:12.:47:16.

Christmas but it will be an overwhelmingly positive thing for

:47:16.:47:23.

Derry. I am from Derry, I have a great loyalty to it, and I think

:47:23.:47:26.

the City is a great venue for international events. People are

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always surprised how lovely it is, the Donegal mountains, but one of

:47:32.:47:36.

the best things about the city of Culture is that it is not just the

:47:36.:47:40.

big set-piece events which are only going to appeal to a minority of

:47:40.:47:44.

the population, it is the fact that culture company has gone to great

:47:44.:47:49.

lengths to make sure kids in disadvantaged areas will get some

:47:49.:47:54.

benefit. They have got the music, staying, but when they have world-

:47:54.:47:58.

class performers coming over they are making sure they do some work

:47:58.:48:05.

with children in primary schools. They are involving talented young

:48:05.:48:10.

people in Derry with world class people they would not normally be

:48:10.:48:14.

exposed to. They are making it work for the whole city, not just a

:48:14.:48:20.

cultural elite. Interesting about the marketing - is it on the radar

:48:20.:48:27.

in London? In Dublin? It doesn't seem that it is. I think it will be.

:48:27.:48:35.

There have been challengers for example I spoke to people in Dublin

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talking about the flag coming, but not talking about anything else.

:48:41.:48:44.

People will pick certain things out but we need to know what the

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overall package is. Susan has raised this, the people in Derry

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know what is coming and they should be involved in the planning, the

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benefit. We need to get people from Dublin and London and Belfast.

:49:01.:49:09.

Belfast people will not travel to Derry and invest.

:49:09.:49:17.

It is interesting - it is a lot of money to go to one project. But why

:49:17.:49:25.

not? Why not more than that? It is the whole balance in the economy.

:49:25.:49:31.

Disadvantaged areas are like people waiting on a bus. In deprived areas,

:49:31.:49:37.

the bosses don't past at all. Derry is an area where the boss has not

:49:37.:49:47.
:49:47.:49:49.

passed at all. With your economist hat on, well people in other areas

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look at this and think that is money well spent and miss out on

:49:54.:49:59.

events in my area this year? what hope they will. What happens

:49:59.:50:04.

often here is that people disagree about where money... And nothing

:50:04.:50:12.

occurs. That is one of our major urban centres and people will be

:50:12.:50:19.

curious to see it. What I have to think is, if I was in the manner,

:50:19.:50:25.

how might I get visitors to come and see me as well? Let's get

:50:25.:50:28.

people to come down because most importantly we need new people

:50:28.:50:32.

coming into the island who might potentially have money in the

:50:32.:50:38.

future, or may be want to bring their family to. It is always a

:50:38.:50:42.

game in which some will get, some will not. There will be future

:50:42.:50:47.

investments that might have a different pattern, but there can't

:50:47.:50:52.

think why did I not get. Let's celebrate and look for other

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opportunities. Susan, the message was that we need to be proactive.

:50:57.:51:05.

You were in Derry on Friday, did you feel the vibe in the City?

:51:05.:51:09.

was extremely cold, and as it happens I was talking to young

:51:09.:51:12.

people in one of the most disadvantaged parts of Derry and

:51:12.:51:17.

they felt there was nothing in it for them. There is a serious issue

:51:17.:51:23.

of poverty in Derry, but at least the minister is correct that making

:51:23.:51:27.

an investment of the kind the end to kitted is making, it is correct

:51:28.:51:33.

in historic legacy of neglect and that is important. Thank you for

:51:33.:51:39.

In the Republic, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been praised abroad as a

:51:39.:51:41.

heavyweight for putting the Republic's bailed-out economy back

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on track, but criticised at home as the Taoiseach whose government is

:51:44.:51:50.

introducing measures that hit the poor and vulnerable. And now the

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abortion debate has returned. Here's our Dublin correspondent

:51:52.:52:02.
:52:02.:52:05.

Shane Harrison. Kenny house until relatively recently, a relatively

:52:05.:52:15.
:52:15.:52:17.

unremarkable political career, been blessed with good fortune. That

:52:17.:52:21.

continued good luck marked his first year in office, according to

:52:21.:52:29.

John Downing, a political columnist. The previous government were so

:52:29.:52:33.

wildly unpopular he had to be popular. He was very lucky in the

:52:33.:52:37.

timing of his criticism of the Church. The public had just had

:52:37.:52:43.

enough. For rape and the torture of children were downplayed or managed

:52:43.:52:48.

to walk hold instead the primacy of the institution, its power, its

:52:48.:52:53.

standing and its reputation. He was very lucky in the arrival of Queen

:52:53.:53:01.

Elizabeth II and that whole visit also of Obama. We have the republic

:53:01.:53:08.

meeting its targets, there has been praised from abroad. By one to

:53:08.:53:11.

applaud the Irish government under your leadership for making some

:53:11.:53:16.

very tough decisions to shore up the Irish economy. The Taoiseach

:53:16.:53:22.

has got the time magazine front cover treatment, and was recently

:53:22.:53:25.

given a special award for putting the country back on the path to

:53:25.:53:32.

recovery. But the Dublin correspondent of the newspaper here

:53:32.:53:38.

is a sceptic. The journalists think Kenny is doing a good job because

:53:38.:53:45.

the success story has come out of Ireland, and they compare it with

:53:45.:53:50.

Greece where nothing seems to work. I don't think there austerity

:53:50.:53:53.

programme is going to work because it hits the poorest people the

:53:53.:54:02.

hardest. It is true there was little Christmas could chip in the

:54:02.:54:07.

Budget last month, but the Labour coalition would argue that during

:54:07.:54:10.

this recession by and large it is those who can afford it who have

:54:10.:54:16.

taken the biggest hit. How much more can people take in the form of

:54:16.:54:23.

tax rises and spending cuts? Especially as the seismic game

:54:23.:54:29.

changer under the banking debt has yet to materialise. The Fina for

:54:29.:54:34.

leader says it is a different story at home although he has been lauded

:54:34.:54:41.

abroad. Principally I think the promises have been broken. They did

:54:41.:54:45.

make reckless promises in advance of the election and have broken

:54:45.:54:49.

almost every promise at the stage and people feel somewhat betrayed.

:54:49.:54:54.

They thought it was going to be the dawn of the new year, wonderful

:54:54.:54:59.

change, none of that has happened. What has happened is the return of

:54:59.:55:08.

abortion as a political issue. The coalition seemed set on introducing

:55:08.:55:14.

legislation. The credible threat of suicide seems set to be included as

:55:14.:55:22.

a grounds for termination. Unlike the Labour Party, many here believe

:55:22.:55:29.

that could lead to abortion on demand. The party's Meyer

:55:29.:55:33.

constituency colleague of the Taoiseach opposes a liberal

:55:33.:55:38.

abortion law. The have to sit down and tease this through and that is

:55:38.:55:42.

a challenge to us to show leadership in the years of the

:55:43.:55:46.

economy when we have to make tough decisions, and in relation to this

:55:46.:55:54.

particular issue that we have to make a tough decision on. How he

:55:54.:55:59.

deals with both abortion and the economy will determined Kenny's

:55:59.:56:07.

future. To date, as Taoiseach fate has been fortunate and he will hope

:56:07.:56:12.

he can remain a looking leader. Obviously the tricky abortion

:56:12.:56:16.

debate will be difficult given the promise before the election. It was

:56:16.:56:21.

very foolish and wrong of the Taoiseach to make that promise

:56:21.:56:26.

before he was elected because we have known for a long time that

:56:26.:56:29.

successful governments have avoided legislating for abortion when they

:56:29.:56:37.

were clearly required to do so 20 years ago in the X case. He is

:56:37.:56:42.

living with the consequences of that. We have since had a European

:56:42.:56:46.

Court of Human Rights ruling which puts pressure on the government to

:56:46.:56:50.

regularise the situation and we had an outpouring of public sympathy

:56:50.:56:55.

late last year in the case of the Indian lady living in Ireland who

:56:55.:57:03.

died during a pregnancy. What about the 25,000 people who went out,

:57:03.:57:08.

pro-life campaigners, yesterday? Will that make the politicians more

:57:08.:57:15.

nervous when they see the strength of feeling? A lot of the anti-

:57:15.:57:18.

abortion people are willing to go on the streets to demonstrate their

:57:18.:57:22.

position and they have been given some strong backing by the Catholic

:57:22.:57:26.

Church, but the polls have shown that the majority of Irish people

:57:26.:57:33.

are now in favour of some degree of liberalisation of the abortion laws.

:57:33.:57:37.

Not abortion on demand but in circumstances where for example a

:57:37.:57:43.

woman has been raped, she is carrying a foetus that is not

:57:43.:57:48.

viable, a child has been raped and so on. There are these situations,

:57:48.:57:52.

but they don't want to go out and demonstrate on that. A lot of

:57:52.:57:56.

people who support a woman's right to choose abortion don't want to go

:57:56.:58:01.

out on the street and shout about it. They think it is a private

:58:01.:58:04.

thing for a woman to make her own decision. There has been a

:58:04.:58:09.

civilised debate within the committee system on this, and I

:58:09.:58:13.

think most people hope they can introduce the legislation in that

:58:13.:58:18.

kind of temperate manner without seeing a return to the very nasty

:58:18.:58:23.

scenes that we saw back in the 1980s. And Neil, in terms of the

:58:23.:58:28.

economy, do you think he is doing a good job? The Germans think he is

:58:28.:58:33.

doing a fine job. The tough hand he has been dealt. It is a much better

:58:33.:58:41.

time across the western world to be in opposition, but Ireland is not

:58:41.:58:47.

in the same position as the UK. It can't print its own money, it has

:58:47.:58:57.

to have someone to lend the money, so this is extremely important.

:58:57.:59:02.

it fair to compare Greece to Ireland? No, Ireland has a much

:59:02.:59:08.

stronger economy, a higher skills profile, and also as a have seen it

:59:08.:59:12.

has been able to make changes. Its people have taken some

:59:12.:59:16.

responsibility for the difficulties they have found themselves in. The

:59:16.:59:21.

most fundamental difference is Island has a route to future

:59:21.:59:27.

economic success in a way that is not so easy to see in Greece.

:59:27.:59:33.

with us. Thank you. There was a bad-tempered return to

:59:33.:59:35.

Stormont this week after the festive break. Stephen Walker looks

:59:35.:59:45.
:59:45.:59:45.

back in 60 seconds. A veteran Ulster Unionist joined the DUP and

:59:45.:59:51.

said his former party were finished. I think it is politically exhausted.

:59:51.:59:57.

I don't think it has any new ideas. Alex musky found himself in the

:59:57.:00:05.

firing line in a war of words about stone-throwing. Traders said profit

:00:05.:00:09.

was being damaged. Is trouble brewing in the Executive? There

:00:09.:00:14.

were strong words in the Short Strand. This is an occasion where

:00:14.:00:19.

we need to be seen to be standing together. Politicians sat round the

:00:19.:00:28.

table but Peter and Martin would not face the pressed together. The

:00:28.:00:33.

Secretary of State visited Alliance party offices and the flag issue

:00:33.:00:38.

was not far away. The want to know when this flag is going to go up in

:00:38.:00:43.

Belfast? Because it is going back to the 70s, and my childhood was

:00:43.:00:52.

ruined. So far so good in terms of the violence but the protests are

:00:52.:00:58.

continuing. What do you may covet? I think it shows a dreadful failure

:00:58.:01:03.

of leadership within Unionism. I was at the protest yesterday and I

:01:03.:01:07.

was listening to stuff I have been listening to as a journalist for

:01:07.:01:12.

decades. This no surrender politics, no compromise, they are getting

:01:12.:01:17.

everything, we are getting nothing, completely sectarian, abuse being

:01:17.:01:22.

shouted at the police along sectarian lines, and I think the

:01:22.:01:28.

Unionist leadership needs to tackle the sectarianism going on and stop

:01:28.:01:33.

people feeling that... It has got to be made clear that the Executive

:01:33.:01:37.

has left Northern Ireland with areas of extreme deprivation, but

:01:37.:01:43.

they are in republican and nationalist parts as well as

:01:43.:01:47.

loyalist parts. When you have major spokespersons for these protesters

:01:47.:01:51.

talking about part of the problem being that too many Catholics are

:01:51.:01:57.

in the police, Unionism has got to speak out against that kind of

:01:57.:02:03.

thing. It is unacceptable and dangerous. Neil, we have had a lot

:02:03.:02:09.

about the economy, what real impact is this having? It is devastating

:02:09.:02:13.

in many ways because it comes at a difficult time for things like the

:02:13.:02:18.

retail sector at the minute. Whilst not wanting to trivialise the

:02:18.:02:23.

political and cultural issues, from an economic point of view, for the

:02:23.:02:27.

business owner and the international investor, violence

:02:27.:02:35.

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