22/01/2012 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Andrew Neil and Tara Mills present. Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna on Labour's plan for the economy and is it time to leave the European Court of Human Rights?

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Good afternoon and welcome to the Sunday politics. George Osborne


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wants Britain to play its part to In Northern Ireland bombs in


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Londonderry to the shine off the Bombs in Londonderry took the shine


off the launch of a new tourism strategy so can N I 2012 and the


Titanic signature project achieve the step-change promised by its


architects? Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.


Might studio guests this week our from the Sinn Fein and their


opponents. In terms of people who have not yet been brought to


justice over these bombs, we seem to have this time after time


following big incidents and that throughout the Troubles of the


police not doing a particularly effective job if you're can


statistics. You have to ask what the police were trying to achieve


during the Troubles. They had to hold their line and try to keep the


lid on things. I have a good deal of sympathy with that. We can


indeed do better and there is a huge degree of frustration. If you


study republicanism and there is always what they would call a


militaristic tendency in it. We should not assume that the


militaristic wing will ever go away so we do need to focus on that.


the events of Friday and the press conference that was given yesterday,


is that uncomfortable viewing for Sinn Fein? I do not think so. I


think we will leave these matters to the courts. I would not really


call into question the judgment of the courts and second-guessed them.


We want to improve our courts and policing and Prison Service. The


last thing I would say is that I think as we move forward the war is


over. I think we are moving into a period when the police have become


entrenched. I would like to think of a time when there is no violence


even from these micro groups is close at hand. I would not be quite


so pessimistic about deaths. will discuss that a bit further. --


pessimistic about the best. -- this. There is a school of thought in


Government and business that says build it and they will come. There


it is. The Titanic signature project. Undoubtedly many will come


particularly in this the one hundredth year of the sinking of


the Titanic. But will become insufficient numbers to give


Northern Ireland the boost it needs? This man is the head of the


tourist board. Surely he is feeling the pressure of expectation?


think in terms of the regeneration of Belfast and the regeneration of


Northern Ireland there has never been a better opportunity. Largely


due to the recession the number of overseas visitors has been falling.


Figures for 2011 have not yet been published. Between January and


September over one million people came here, an all-important 343,000


were on holidays. That was 12 % down than on the previous years.


The tourist board says 833,000 extra visitors will come here and


more than 3,500 jobs will be created. This type of project is


something that will draw people to Belfast. We should not forget that


deep tourist has anywhere else in Europe to choose from. They will


only come here if there is something special to visit.


areas of disadvantage and need and high unemployment are concentrated


in north and west Belfast. In order for people to benefit from that


huge public investment we need to have a transport system.


Titanic Quarter has to be seamlessly connected with the city


centre. Belfast cannot risk having different quarters across the city


which do not connect. It is not easy for tourists or local people


to get around. There are just over 300 people currently working on the


side but there -- the job is already done. The grand opening


will be in April. Titanic Foundation predicts that around


306,000 people each year will visit the building. They need 290,000


visitors each year to break even. But the poll thought the long-term


future of the building will be doubtful. We must raise our game


and be confident about ourselves. The Audit Office report cannot have


helped. I think it is wrong of any organisation to come out and knock


a project out before it has even opened its doors. A Rugby player


once said he did not do doubt, I think it is time for Northern


Ireland to stop doing doubt. Joining us now is the enterprise


minister. Let's deal with some of the points raised in the film.


Jennifer McCann was concerned about infrastructure. I think it is


important to get the infrastructure right. That is why we are working


right across Government to make this possible. The Department of


regional development will be key. Also, in some of our other key


events this year including the Irish Open. It is very important


that we work across Government to make sure that everything is in


place for the tourists when they come to Northern Ireland.


opening is not that far away. The Titanic launched is even closer.


Nothing will beat down in time for the actual anniversary. I do not


know what you mean, it will be in place. In terms of infrastructure.


We have already invested a huge amount of money in the tourism


industry across Northern Ireland. You will see us coming together as


a Government and Executive to take advantage of the local opportunity


which has been presented to us. What I was seeing in the Assembly


is that everybody needs to grasp this opportunity and make a


difference for Northern Ireland in 2012. You think those figures, 12 %


down last year, will increase this year? Those figures are incorrect.


I put out a press statement on January fest this year welcoming


the fact we had increased our figures by 6% over the same period


as last year, January to September. I am not quite sure where she is


getting her figures. I know we have increased the number of visitors


who have come to Northern Ireland and our revenue spend which is up


in the region of 20%. Were we just not quicker off the mark in terms


of some of these projects? That is what the Audit Office report has


said. I beg your pardon? The audit office said they had difficulty


with the timeline that we had taken, it deficiencies in governance and


project planning. I was actually very bemused by the Audit Office


report because some of the things they were seeing do not stand up to


scrutiny. They say they are concerned in relation to the number


of visitors we are concerning, it is the same number of visitors that


the Belfast Zoo gets annually. Blue I cannot see how this project which


is based on a global brand could not attract the same amount or more


visitors. In relation to the point made by Jennifer McCann and she


made it in the Assembly last week as well about the fact this was a


project situated in the east of the city and how would it impact on the


rest of the city? When we held a joint jobs via West Belfast City


Council last October half of the people who registered were from


west Belfast. I think people are grasping and we just need to get


all of our politicians to grasp the opportunities that are there as


well. What sort of jobs are recreating he didn't -- within the


tourism industry? Should we be looking more at creating


entrepreneur's who will create new industries? Of course it is both.


At the moment the tourism industry supports around 40,000 jobs in


Northern Ireland. We want to see that increase. We believe it can


increase right across Northern Ireland. When we are talking about


events such as the Samuel Beckett Festival in Enniskillen, that will


bring new jobs. There will be a huge amount of interest in the city


of Culture. We do want more entrepreneur's and innovators but


we also want more people involved in the tourism industry because


this is not just about jobs but changing perceptions of Northern


Ireland. How do you do that when we have things like bombs in


Londonderry? We cannot be deflected by those who would seek to drag us


back to the past. I was very pleased with the event we had last


week to say to Great Britain which is our largest market for tourists,


that Northern Ireland has changed, it is a confident place and we want


you to visit us. Look at all of the events and the products we have for


you. I was pleased with that event and I hope we can build on it to


bring those tourists back over to Northern Ireland particularly in


this huge year for us. How do we deal with the dissident threat and


the impact of their actions in terms of bringing tourists to


Northern Ireland? I do not think we make it our priority. I think we do


the job of setting out our tourism stall. I think we should not be


distracted by the threats. These groups are getting out to try and


destroy events. I think the Titanic building will be a time -- stunning


success. If you look at the wonderful book in time art museum -


- do behind. The local people embrace that. Bilbao now loves that


art museum. The second thing I think about tourism is how we


convince people that in Belfast we want 22.4 million overnight


visitors, we have to convince people that it will improve their


lives, we will provide jobs which will make an impact. Our tourism


product cannot just be the Titanic building. We can have a museum in


Belfast in the Crumlin Road jail. It is all to play for in my view.


take it you have all of these other projects under consideration but


you do not have all of your eggs in one basket? One of the strengths


about tourism is that it is a product that happens right across


Northern Ireland so whether you are in the Lakes or in County Armagh or


in the Sperrins you can partake of the beauty which is Northern


Ireland. I have made it one of my priorities to build up the tourism


sector right across Northern Ireland and not just in D major


cities. Of course deeply a huge role in attracting tourists into


Northern Ireland but when they are here it is important we have things


right across the country for people to see and do. The point is that


the Royal Portrush Golf Club is one of the best on Planet Earth. We


cannot move that to West Belfast because it is an area of high


unemployment. We should celebrate the fact we have one of the best


courses in the world and get on with it. Should we make sure there


is private money going into that so that public money can be spread


around? We have joined up common sense Government that recognises if


you are going to have a Titanic project not everyone is going to


benefit from it so other departments are involved. They're


our jobs creation and tourism in terms of bringing the Irish Open to


Royal Portrush. That goes across a number of Government departments. I


also agree with the minister that it is time to be confident. I


reserve the right to scrutinise and criticise where necessary but also


too pleased where appropriate. We should be confident about Northern


Ireland going forward. We will leave it there. Thank you for


joining us. Now for a our regular look at things in the 60 seconds.


Stars came out in London this week to help promote a new image of


Northern Ireland but back home in Derry the old image returned with a


bang. Two bombs went off causing damage close to the city centre.


The damage these devices will have done to the reputation of the city


cannot be understated. Lord Trimble attacked the present Ulster


Unionist leader with the rejection of the Tories. He is entitled to


his opinion. Another relationship in Stormont was also under pressure.


While for at least one of his colleagues changes to pre-school


education was in flopped. I could come down there and kiss them but


it is probably inappropriate! to see there is still some


opportunity for us you were out there on the hill. Your party


leader does seem to spend a lot of time on the back foot defending


things? It is only 16 months since 1,000 people turned up for the


leadership vote. He got a massive mandate. The biggest in modern


Ulster Unionist history, bigger than Lord Trimble. Leading from the


front, the way it has transpired is that he has to defend what he has


said and it does seem on occasions a bit of foot in mouth. In politics


it is very important to communicate and often that means telling them


and telling them again. He is safe in leadership in your view?


Absolutely. There have been lots of issues at Belfast City Council, in


terms of tourism and looking forward, how do you think we can


sell Belfast as a city that is comfortable and comparable to other


British cities? Belfast has a lot to offer. 60% of tourists who come


here are a cultural tourists. We need to provide them a product to


come and visit. We have to tackle the high levels of joblessness.


Over 30 years we have failed to do that. Next month we will launch a


�150 million capital investment programme. We want to try to sort


out a lot of work in the neighbourhoods. People have not


Andrew Neil and Tara Mills with the latest political news with Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna on Labour's plan for the economy and is it time to leave the European Court of Human Rights?

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