24/11/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers present the latest political stories, with Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and a look at Ed Miliband's choices for Desert Island Discs.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Labour's been hit hard by scandals at the Co-op. Ed Miliband says the


Tories are mudslinging. We'll speak to Conservative Chairman Grant


Shapps. Five years on from the financial


crisis, and we're still talking about banks in trouble. Why haven't


the regulators got the message? We'll ask the man who runs the


City's new financial watchdog. And he used to have a windmill on


his roof and talked about giving hugs to hoodies and huskies. These


days, not so much. Has the plan to make


Coming up here - the DUP leader, make the


Coming up here - the DUP leader, Peter Robinson, on the challenge of


making unionism more open and inviting, union flag protests and


the debate over running a second Euro candidate. Join us


homelessness and population ships. What is the evidence?


And as always, the political panel that reaches the parts other shows


can only dream of. Janan Ganesh, Helen Lewis and Nick Watt. They'll


be tweeting faster than England loses wickets to Australia. Yes,


they're really that fast. First, some big news overnight from


Geneva, where Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities


in return for the partial easing of sanctions. Iran will pause the


enrichment of uranium to weapons grade and America will free up some


funds for Iran to spend. May be up to $10 billion. A more comprehensive


deal is supposed to be done in six months. Here's what President Obama


had to say about this interim agreement. We have pursued intensive


diplomacy, bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our


partners, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China,


as well as the European Union. Today, that diplomacy opened up a


new path towards a world that is more secure, a future in which we


can verify that Iraq and's nuclear programme is peaceful, and that it


cannot build a nuclear weapon. President Obama spoke from the White


House last night. Now the difficulty begins. This is meant to lead to a


full-scale agreement which will effectively end all sanctions, and


end Iran's ability to have a bomb. The early signs are pretty good. The


Iranian currency strengthened overnight, which is exactly what the


Iranians wanted. Inflation in Iraq overnight, which is exactly what the


is 40%, so they need a stronger currency. -- information in Iran.


France has played a blinder. It was there intransigence that led to


this. Otherwise, I think the West would have led to a much softer


deal. The question now becomes implementation. Here, everything


hinges on two questions. First, who is Hassan Rouhani? Is he the


Iranians Gorbachev, a serious reformer, or he's here much more


tactical and cynical figure? Or, within Iran, how powerful is he?


There are military men and intelligence officials within Iran


who may stymie the process. The Western media concentrate on the


fact that Mr Netanyahu and the Israelis are not happy about this.


They don't often mention that the Arab Gulf states are also very


apprehensive about this deal. I read this morning that the enemies of


Qatar and Kuwait went to Saudi king. -- the MAs row. That is the key


thing to watch in the next couple of weeks. There was a response from


Saudi Arabia, but it came from the Prime Minister of Israel, who said


this was a historic mistake. The United States said there would be no


enrichment of uranium to weapons grade. In the last few minutes, the


Iranian Foreign Minister has tweeted to say that there is an inalienable


right -- right to enrich. The key thing is the most important thing


that President Obama said in his inaugural speech. He reached out to


Iran. It failed under President McKenna jab. Under President


Rouhani, there seems to be progress. There is potentially now what he


talked about in that first inaugural address potentially coming through.


In the end, the key issue - and we don't know the answer - is the


supreme leader, not the president. Will the supreme leader agreed to


Iran giving up its ability to create nuclear weapons? This is the huge


ambiguity. Ayatollah Khamenei authorise the position that


President Rouhani took to Geneva. That doesn't mean he will sign off


on every bit of implementation over the next six months. Even when


President Ahmadinejad was president, he wasn't really President. We in


the West have to resort to a kind of Iranians version of the study of the


Kremlin, to work out what is going on. And the problem the president


faces is that if there is any sign... He can unlock these funds by


executive order at the moment, but if he needs any more, he has to go


to Congress. Both the Democrat and the Republican side have huge


scepticism about this. And he has very low credibility now. There's


already been angry noises coming from quite a lot of senators. It was


quite strange to see that photo of John Kerry hugging Cathy Ashton as


if they had survived a ship great together. John Kerry is clearly


feeling very happy. We will keep an eye on this. It is a fascinating


development. More lurid details about the


personal life of the Co-op Bank's disgraced former chairman, the


Reverend Paul Flowers. The links between Labour, the bank and the


wider Co-op movement have caused big problems for Ed Miliband this week,


and the Conservatives have been revelling in it. But do the Tory


allegations - Ed Miliband calls them "smears" - stack up? Party Chairman


Grant Shapps joins us from Hatfield. Welcome to the programme. When it


comes to the Co-op, what are you accusing Labour of knowing and when?


I think the simple thing to say here is that the Co-op is an important


bank. They have obviously got into difficulty with Reverend flowers,


and our primary concern is making sure that that is properly


investigated, and that we understand what happened at the bank and how


somebody like Paul Flowers could have ended up thing appointed


chairman. You wrote to edge Miliband on Tuesday and asked him what he


knew and when. -- you wrote to Ed Miliband. But by Prime Minister's


Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron claims that you knew that


Labour knew about his past all along. What is the evidence for


that? We found out by Wednesday that he had been a Labour councillor,


Reverend Flowers, and had been made to stand down. Certainly, Labour


knew about that, but somehow didn't seem to think that that made him


less appropriate to be the chairman of the Co-op bank. There was no


evidence that Mr Miliband or Mr Balls knew about that. I ask you


again, what are you accusing the Labour leadership of knowing? We


know now that he stood down for very inappropriate images on his


computer, apparently. You are telling me that they didn't know. I


am not sure that is clear at all. I have heard conflicting reports.


There is a much bigger argument about what they knew and when. There


was a much bigger issue here. This morning, Ed Miliband has


was a much bigger issue here. This they don't have to answer these


questions and that these smears. This is ludicrous. These are


important questions about an important bank, how it ended up


getting into this position, and how a disastrous Britannia -- Italia


deal happen. -- Britannia deal happened. And we need to know how


the bank came off the rails. To be accused of smears for asking the


questions is ridiculous. I am just trying to find out what you are


accusing Labour of. You saying that the Labour leadership knew about the


drug-taking? Sorry, there was some noise here. I don't know what was


known and when. We do know that Labour, the party, certainly knew


about these very difficult Labour, the party, certainly knew


circumstances in which he resigned as a councillor. I think that the


Labour Party knew about it. We knew that Bradford did, but not London.


Are you saying that Ed Miliband knew about the inappropriate material on


the Reverend's laptop? It is certainly the case that Labour knew


about it. But did Mr Miliband know about it, and his predilection for


rent boys? He will need to answer those questions. It is quite proper


to ask those questions. Surely, asking a perfectly legitimate set of


questions, not just about that but about how we have ended up in a


situation where this bank has made loans to Labour for millions of


pounds, that bank and the Unite bank, who is connected to it. And


how they made a ?50,000 donation to Ed Balls' office. Ed Balls says that


was nothing to do with Reverend Flowers, and yet Reverend Flowers


said that he personally signed that off. Lots of questions to answer.


David Cameron has already answered them on Wednesday. He said that you


now know that Labour knew about his past all along. You have not been


able to present evidence that involve Mr Miliband or Mr Balls in


that. So until you get that, surely you should apologise? Hang on. He


said that Labour knew about this, and they did, because he stood down


as a councillor. If Ed Miliband didn't know about that, then why


not? This was quite a serious thing that happened. The wider point is


about why it is that when you ask that happened. The wider point is


perfectly legitimate questions about this bank, about the Britannia deal,


and about the background of Mr flowers, why is the response, it is


all smears? There are questions about how Labour failed to deal with


the deficit and how it hasn't done anything to support the welfare


changes, but there is nothing about that. Let us -- lets: To the wider


picture of the Co-operative Bank. Labour wanted the Co-op to take over


the Britannia Building Society, and it was a disaster. Do you accept


that? The government of the day has to be a part of these discussions


for regulatory reason. The government in 2009 - Ed Balls


for regulatory reason. The very pleased... But you supported


that decision. There was a later deal, potentially, for the Co-op to


buy those Lloyds branches. There was a proper process and it didn't go


through just recently. If there had been a proper process back in 2009,


would the Britannia deal have gone through? First, you accept that the


Tories were in favour of the Britannia take over. Then your


Chancellor Osborne went out of his way to facilitate the purchase of


the Lloyds branches, even though you had no idea that the Co-op had the


management expertise to become a super medium. Correct? The


difference is that that deal didn't go through. There was a proper


process that took place. Let's look at the process. There was long


indications as far back as January 2012 that the Co-op, as a direct


result of the Britannia take over which you will party supported, was


unfit to acquire the Lloyds branches. By January 2012, the


Chancellor and the Treasury ignored the warnings. Wide? In 2009, there


was political pressure for the Britannia to be brought together.


Based on the information available, this was supported, but that process


ended up with a very, very problematic takeover of the


Britannia. Wind forward to this year, and when the same types of


issues were being looked at for the purchase of the Lloyds deal, the


proper process was followed, purchase of the Lloyds deal, the


time with us in government, and that purchase didn't go through. It is


important that the proper process is followed, and when it was, it


transpired that the deal wasn't going to be done. But it was the


Treasury and the Chancellor who were the cheerleaders for the acquisition


of the Lloyds branches. But there was a warning that the Co-op did not


have enough capital on its balance sheet to make those acquisitions,


but instead of heeding those warnings, your people went to


Brussels to lobby for the requirements to be relaxed - why on


earth did you do that? Our Chancellor went to argue for all of


Rajesh banking, not specifically for the Co-op. He was arguing for the


mutuals to the Co-op. He was arguing for the


ruling. The idea was to make sure that every bank in Britain could


have a better deal, particularly the mutuals, as you say. That is a


proper thing for the Chancellor to be doing. We could go round in


circles here, but in the end, there was not a takeover of the Lloyds


branches, that is because we followed a proper process. Had that


same rigorous process been followed in 2009, the legitimate question to


ask is whether the Co-op would have been -- would have taken over the


Britannia. That is a proper question to ask. It is no good to have the


leader of the opposition say, as soon as you ask any of these


questions about anything where there is a problem for them, they come


back with, oh, this is all smears. There are questions to ask about


what the Labour government did, the debt and the deficit they left the


country with, the way they stopped work from paying in this country.


The big question your government has two answer is, why, by July 2012,


when it was clear there was a black hole in the Co-op's balance sheet,


your government re-confirmed the Co-op as the preferred bidder for


Lloyds - why would you do that? Well, look, the good thing is, we


can discuss this until the cows come home, but there is going to be a


proper, full investigation, so we will find out what happened, all the


way back. So, we will be able to get to the bottom of all of this. Grant


Shapps, the only reason the Lloyds deal did not go ahead was, despite


the Treasury cheerleading, when Lloyds began its due diligence, it


found that there was indeed a huge black hole in the balance sheet and


that the Co-op was not fit to take over its branches. That wasn't


that the Co-op was not fit to take it wasn't the Government, it was not


the Chancellor, it was Lloyds. You were still cheerleading for the deal


to go ahead... Well, as I say, a proper process was followed, which


did not result in the purchase of the Lloyds branches. At that proper


process been followed with the purchase of the Britannia, under the


previous government... Which you supported. Yes, but it may well be


that under that previous deal, there was a excess political pressure


perhaps put on in order to create that merger, which proved so


disastrous. The Tories facilitated it, Grant Shapps, they allowed it to


go ahead. I have said, we are going to have a proper, independent


review. What I cannot understand is, when you announce a robber,


review. What I cannot understand is, independent review, the response you


get to these serious questions. The response is, oh, this is a smear. It


is crazy. We are trying to answer the big questions for this country.


We have done all of that, and we are out of time. The Reverend Flowers'


chairmanship of the Co-op bank was approved by the regulator at the


time, which no longer exists. It was swept away by the coalition


government in a supposed revolution in regulation. But will its


replacement, the Financial Conduct Authority, be different? Adam has


been to find out. Come with me for a spin around the Square mile to find


out how we regulate our financial sector, which is almost five times


bigger sector, which is almost five times


annual income. First, let's pick up our guide, journalist Iain Martin,


who has just written a book about what went so wrong during the


financial crisis. The FSA was an agency which was established to


supervise the banks on a day-to-day basis. The Bank of England was


supposed to have overall responsible at for this to Bolivia the financial


system and the Treasury was supposed to take an interest in all of these


things. The disaster was that it was not anyone's call responsibility, or


main day job, to stay alert as to whether or not the banking system as


a whole was being run in a safe manner. And so this April, a new


system was set up to police the City. Most of the responsibly delays


here, with the Bank of England, and City. Most of the responsibly delays


its new Prudential Regulation Authority. And the Financial


Services Authority has been replaced with the new Financial Conduct


Authority. Can we go to the financial conduct authority, please?


Canary Wharf, thank you. Here, it is all about whether the people in


financial services are playing by the rules, in particular, how they


treat their customers. This place has got new powers, like the ability


to ban products it does not like, a new mandate to promote competition


in the market, the concept being, more competition means a better


market, plus the idea that a new organisation rings a whole new


culture. Although these are the old offices of the FSA, so maybe not


quite so new after all. It has also inherited the case of the Co-op bank


and its disgraced former chairman the Reverend Paul Flowers. The SCA


will be part of the investigation into what happened, which will


probably involve looking at its own conduct. One member of the


Parliamentary commission into banking wonders whether the new


regulator, and its new boss, are up to it. I have always said, it is not


the architecture which is the issue, it is the powers that the regulator


has, and today, it does not seem to me as if there is any increase in


that. And with the unfolding scandal at the Co-op, it feels like the new


architecture for regulating the City is now facing its first big test.


And the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, the


SCA, Martin Wheatley, joins me now. Welcome to The Sunday Politics. The


failure of bank regulation was one failure of bank regulation was one


of the clearest lessons of the crash in 2008, and yet two years later, in


2010, Paul Flowers is allowed to become chairman of the Co-op - why


have we still not got the regulation right? We have made a lot of changes


since then. We have created a new regulator, as you know. At the time,


we still had a process which allowed somebody to be appointed to a bank


and they would go through a challenge, but in the case of Paul


Flowers, there was no need for an additional challenge when he was


appointed to chairman, because he was already on the board. But going


from being on the board to becoming chairman, that is a big jump, and he


only had one interview? That is why today, it would be different. But


the truth is, that was the system at the time, the system which the FSA


operated. He was challenged, we did the time, the system which the FSA


challenge him, and we said, you do not have the right experience, but


at the time, we would not have opposed the appointment. What we


needed was additional representation of the board of people who did have


banking experience. You can say that that was then and this is now, but


up until April of this year, it was still the plan for the Co-op, under


Mr Flowers, and despite being seriously wounded by the Britannia


takeover, to take on 632 Lloyds branches. That was the Co-op's


plan. They needed to pass our test as to whether we thought they were


fit to do that, and frankly, they never passed that test. It was not


the regulator that stopped them? It was. We were constantly pushing


back, saying, you have not got the capital, you have no got the


systems, and ultimately, they withdrew, when they could not answer


our questions. You were asking the right questions, I accept that, but


all of the time, the politicians on all sides, they were pushing for it


to happen, and I cannot find anywhere where the regulator said,


look, this is just not going to happen. I cannot comment on what the


politicians were doing, but I continue what we were doing, which


was constantly asking the Co-op, have you got the systems in place,


have you got the people, have you got the capital? And they didn't.


But it only came to a head when Lloyds started its own due diligence


on the bank, and they discovered that it was impossible for them to


take over the branches, it was not the regulator... In fairness, what


we do is ask the questions, can you do this deal? And we kept pushing


back, and we never frankly got delivered a business plan which we


were happy to approve. Is the SCA going to launch its own inquiry into


what happened? -- the FCA. The Chancellor has announced what will


be a very broad inquiry. There are a number of specifics which we will be


able to look at, relating to events over the last five years. Could


there be a police investigation? I think the police have already


announced an investigation. I am talking about into the handling of


the bank. It depends. There might be, if there is grim low activity,


which we do not know yet. You worked at the FS eight, didn't you? I did.


Some of those people who were signed off on the speedy promotion of Mr


Flowers, are they now working there? Yes, we have some. I came to


join the Financial Services Authority, to lead it into the


creation of the new body, the SCA. We had people who were challenging


and they did the job. There was not a requirement to approve the role as


chairman. There was not even a requirement to interview at that


stage. What we did do was to require that he was interviewed, and that


the Co-op should get additional experience. One of the people from


the old organisation, who signed up on the promotion of Mr Flowers to


become chairman is now a nonexecutive director of the Co-op,


so how does that work? Welcome he was a senior adviser to our


organisation, one of the people who made the challenges, and who said,


you need more experience on your board. Subsequently he then went and


joined the board. Surely that should not be allowed, the regulator and


the regulated should not be like that. Well clearly, you need


protection, but we have got to get good people in, and frankly, we want


the industry to have good people in the industry, so there will be some


movement between the regulator and industry. We all wonder whether you


have the power or even the confidence to stand up if you look


at all of the really bad bank decisions recently, politicians were


behind them. It was Gordon Brown who pushed the disastrous merger of


Lloyds and RBS. It was Alex Salmond who egged on RBS to buy the world.


All three main parties wanted the Co-op to buy Britannia, even though


they did not know the debt it would inherit, and all three wanted the


Co-op to buy the Lloyds branches - how do you as a regulator stand up


to that little concert party? Well, that political pressure exists, our


job at the end of the day is to do a relatively technical job and say,


does it stack up? And it didn't, and we made that point time and time


again to the Co-op board. They did not have a business case that we


could approve. The bodies on left and right -- the politicians on left


and right gave the Co-op special support. They may have done, but


that was not you have made a warning about these payday lenders, but I


think what most people would like to see is a limit put on the interest


they can charge over a period of time - will you do that? We have got


a whole set of powers for payday lenders. We will bring in some


changes from April next year, and we will bring in further changes as we


see necessary. Will you put a limit on the interest they can charge?


That is something we can study. You do not sound too keen on it? Well,


there are a lot of changes we need to make. One change is limiting


rollovers, limiting the use of continuous payment authorities.


Simply jumping to one trigger would be a mistake. Finally, an issue


which I think is becoming a growing concern, because the Government is


thinking of subsidising them, 95% mortgages are back - should we not


be worried about that? I think we should if the market has the same


experiences that we had back should if the market has the same


- oh wait. We are bringing a comprehensive package in under our


mortgage market review, which will change how people lend and will put


affordability back at the heart of lending decisions. -- 2007-08. You


have not had your first big challenge yet, have you? We have


many challenges. It was once called the battle of the


mods and the rockers - the fight between David Cameron-style


modernisers and old-style traditional Tories for the direction


and soul of the Conservative Party. But have the mods given up on


changing the brand? When David Cameron took over in 2005, he


promoted himself as a new Tory leader. He said that hoodies need


more love. He was talking about something called the big society. He


told his party conference that it was time to that sunshine win the


day. There was new emphasis on the environment, and an eye-catching


trip to a Norwegian glacier to see first-hand, supposedly, the effects


of global warming. This week, party modernise and Nick bone has said


that the party is still seen as an old-fashioned monolith and hasn't


done enough to improve its appeal. The Tories have put some reforms


into practice, such as gay marriage, but they have put more into welfare


reform band compassionate conservatism. David Cameron wants


talked about leading the greenest government ever. Downing Street says


that the quote in the Son is not recognised, get rid of the green


crap. At this point in the programme we were expecting to hear from the


Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker. Unfortunately, he has


pulled out, with Downing Street saying it's for ""family reasons"".


Make of that what you will. However, we won't be deterred. We're still


doing the story, and we're joined by our very own mod and rocker - David


Skelton of the think-tank Renewal, and Conservative MP Peter Bone.


Welcome to you both. I'm glad your family is allowed you to come? David


Skelton, getting rid of all the green crap, or words to that effect,


that David Cameron has been saying. It is just a sign that Tory


modernisation has been quietly buried. I do think that's right.


modernisation has been quietly Modernisation is about reaching out


to the voters, and the work to do that is now more relevant than ever.


We got the biggest swing since 1931, and the thing is we need to do more


to reach out to voters in the North. We need to reach out to non-white


voters, and show that the concerns of modern Britain and the concerns


of ordinary people is something that we share. And what way will racking


up electricity bills with green levies get you more votes in the


North of England? We have to look at ways to reduce energy bills. The


renewable energy directive doesn't do anything to help cut our


emissions, but does decrease energy bills by ?45 a year. We should


renegotiate that. That is a part of modernisation and doing what


ordinarily people want. And old dinosaurs like you are just holding


this modernisation process back? I am very appreciative of covering on


this programme. The Tory party has been reforming itself for more than


150 years. This idea of modern eyes a is just some invention. We are


changing all the time. I'm nice and cuddly! So you are happy that the


party made gay marriage almost a kind of symbol of its modernisation?


Fine Mac the gay marriage was a free vote. David Cameron was recorded as


a rebel there because more Tories voted against his position than ever


before. It was said that this was a split between the old and


before. It was said that this was a it actually was a split between


those who were religious and nonreligious. It is a


misinterpretation of what happened. Is a modernisation in retreat? I


think modernisation is an invention. Seven years ago, in my


part of the world, we got three councillors elected, two were 80 and


one was 21. A few months ago, a 25-year-old was chosen to fight


Corby for the Conservative Party. He came from a comprehensive School. He


was one of the youngest. The Tory party is moving on. So you found


three young people? Hang on a minute. You can't get away with


that. Three in one batch. Does modernisation exist?


that. Three in one batch. Does is about watering our appeal and


sharing our values are relevant to voters who haven't really thought


about voting for us for decades now. Modernisation is about more than


windmills and stuff, it is about boosting the life chances of the


poorest, it is about putting better schools in poorer areas. It is also


saying that modernisation and the Tory party... When has the Tory


party been against making poorer people better off? Or against better


schools? Do you think Mrs Thatcher was a moderniser when she won all


those elections? The problem we have at the moment is that UKIP has


grown-up. If we could get all of those people who vote UKIP to vote


for us, we would get 47% of the vote. We don't need to worry about


voters on the left. We need to worry about the voters in the north, those


people who haven't voted for us for decades. Having an EU Referendum


Bill is going to get people to vote. We have to reach out to


voters, but not by some sort of London based in need. You have to


broaden your base. I agree with you on that. We have to broaden our


appeal, but this back to the future concept is not going to work. We


need something that generally appeals to low and middle-income


voters, and something that shows we genuinely care about the life


chances of the poorest. Do you think that the people who vote UKIP don't


support those aspirations? We are not doing enough to cut immigration.


support those aspirations? We are We don't have an EU Referendum Bill


stop we have to get the centre right to vote for us again. Do that, and


we have it. Tom Pursglove, the 25 euros, will be returned in Corby


because we cannot win an election there. -- the 25-year-old. Whether


you are moderniser or traditionalist, people, particularly


in the North, see you as a bunch of rich men. And rich southerners. You


are bunch of rich southerners. We need to do more to show that we are


building on lifting the poorest out of the tax. We need to build more


houses. There is a perception that the leadership at the moment is


rich, and public school educated. What we have to do is get more


people from state education into the top. You are going the other way at


the moment. That is a fair criticism. Modernisers also say


that. I went to a combo hedge of school as well. -- do a


comprehensive school. We need to show that we are standing up for low


income. Thank Q, both of you. You are watching the Sunday Politics.


Coming up in just under 20 minutes, I


Hello, and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland. Peter


Robinson's critics might speculate about his future as leader and who


will succeed him. We'll hear from the the DUP


will succeed him. We'll hear from Minister on his plans to carry on


doing what he calls his "duty". And they may be minnows in the Assembly


with just one MLA, but they've big plans to build on their numbers


here. We'll have a special report from the UKIP conference. Joining me


to discuss that and more are PR consultant Sheila Davidson and


journalist and commentator Steven Mc Caffery. The DUP has been the


largest political party here for ten years - a milestone it was keen to


celebrate at its weekend conference. The party faithful were told that to


build on that success, unionism is at its best when it's open and


inviting, not narrow and exclusive. With a senior Catholic priest


invited to take part in the conference, our Political


Correspondent, Martina Purdy, went along to find out more.


I think it is slim in the short term. One catholic told me he was


voting for the D U P and was doing it to move into teachers about


abortion. One catholic priest who made history by taking part in a


diversity debate had its own reservations. Does it present a more


confident sense of unionism and the better thing for society if you can


avoid any sense of sectarianism, then I think there will be Catholics


who will find in the DUP, the policies are social and moral


policies on abortion and same-sex marriage who might be inclined to


vote for them. Conference delegates were open to the idea. We have held


events were catholic people have come along to it. I think the


hardline nationalist areas, it's hard to break him, but for the more


moderate people are more open to discussion and moving on, then yes,


there can be more voters. Sammy Wilson joked that change might be in


the air. Look at that. Can't you have it in green, white and gold?


There is one thing the DUP that are very serious about.


Well Peter Robinson isn't able to join us live on Sunday Politics this


morning, but immediately after his speech Mr Robinson did talk to me. I


started off by asking him about the forthcoming European Election. As we


heard in Martina's report the party still has to decide if it will run a


second candidate alongside its current MEP, Diane Dodds. I put it


to Mr Robinson that running another DUP candidate is potentially a very


risky strategy. There are strong voices in the party, it has to be


said, who want to put in a second candidate. But for me it always has


to be about whether we can win the two seats for unionism, and will it


be a better opportunity to have two Democratic Unionist party


candidates, or whether other party should have a


candidates, or whether other party rather than have a mother


nationalist or Republican getting elected. Over the next few weeks and


months we will talk to the members of the party to see what the best


strategy will be. Do you accept it is risky? There is the potential


with a second candidate to further shred the Unionist vote and perhaps


restrict Unionist representation to just one seat and allow the SDLP and


Sinn Fein to take the others. That has to be a real risk. That is a


risk on one side, but the risk on the other is that the last opinion


poll showed that the UUP was down to 10%, and you need 25% to get a


European seat. Do we risk leaving it as they are capable of winning a


seat, or do we take a decision to run a second? There is a risk


whichever way we do it. We have to take whatever is the most likely


outcome to get the Unionists to return. You said today unionism was


its best when it was not narrow and exclusive. Are there some people in


the DUP who, frankly, either don't know what you mean by that might


even disagree? I think there are very few who will not know what I


mean. I think the issue is that we have come from a very difficult and


entrenched position, coming through decades of violence in Northern


Ireland. Therefore it is difficult for people to leave behind the


baggage of those difficult years and two move forward and be embracing


and encouraging, but I think that's the way forward for Northern Ireland


-- to move forward. The opinion polls had a third of the community


wanting to have a united Ireland. polls had a third of the community


Sinn Fein could barely get a majority on its own support base, so


people want to remain in the UK which allows us to look at a wider


rising. You were -- wider horizon. You were clear earlier in the week


that John Larkin was wrong to raise the debate and draw a line under the


pre-1998 troubles and their related crimes. Is it not the case though


the politicians are allowing victims to be the arbiters of public policy,


and what John Larkin was at least doing was allowing space for a


serious debate to take place. I think before anybody wants to


comment on those matters they should do the kind of thing I did a number


of days ago. I went down and spoke to the victims, and here we were,


of days ago. I went down and spoke ten, 20, 30, 40 years after some


have them had lost their loved ones and the tears were still flowing.


They were still hurting. They still felt that people were not giving


them the justice or truth that they needed. I believe we do need to have


a big Tim Centre approach to the future. -- victims centred. It means


that we bring victims along, allow them to be the centre of the


progress in Northern Ireland, but to recognise the very real hurt that


they have the entitlement they have had to keep open the hope that


ultimately justice will be done. How do you think you can realise your


vision for a more inclusive society when the relationships at the heart


of the executives and government between Sinn Fein and the DUP looks


so very toxic at the moment? There is a tendency on the part of the


press and the media to accentuate any difficulties we have in the


process. We have taken almost 1000 decisions as an executive. There is


only a handful of those that have ever caused division in the


executive. But that is a handful that you guys always concentrate on,


instead of showing the positive things that are done, all the


agreements made, all the achievements we have made. The


progress that is there. Let's get our priorities right and get some


perspective on what we're doing. The executive is a very successful. And


I hope that the BBC, amongst others, will be prepared to publish the kind


of list that the DUP has published today to let people see what has


been achieved in their name and see that not only the DUP, but the


executive as a whole is delivering. Some of that might be the case, but


with respect, the disagreements between you and Martin McGuinness


and others in the executives tend to be about fundamental issues, which


is why people are so interested in them and how you intend to resolve


them. You can't just wish that away. When we take 1000 decisions and you


find difficulty with one two, the first thing you need to have is some


focus on the successive -- successes. You never mention them,


you move on the areas with problems. Of course there are problems, we


come from different backgrounds and we have had decades of division and


conflict in Northern Ireland so of course there are difficulties to


overcome. But one thing we consistently do is that where there


are difficulties we keep working on them until we resolve them. Let's


look at the key issues like flags, parades, the past,


look at the key issues like flags, Richard Haass who was invited by the


media, it was you and Martin McGuinness. And why did we do it?


Because where there are real problems we keep that the matter. We


have agreed everything in the good relations strategy with the


exception of those three issues, and we did not say we could not get them


resolve, we said we could bring in outside facilitation to help unravel


the areas of difference again, so we continue to work at those matters


which are outstanding, which is the way forward in Northern Ireland.


Recognise the difficulties, but keep working to resolve them. Just a


final thought about next week's flag protest in the centre of Belfast.


What is your definitive position on what should happen, and what the


pitfalls potentially are for people taking part? I think we are past the


stage because the parades commission have indicated they are giving


permission. All I would ask the organisers to do, and as people who


want to see Northern Ireland succeeding, who don't want to damage


the Northern Irish economy, I asked them to carry out the protest, which


is a legitimate right, to show that one year on they are still opposed


to the flags decision of Belfast City Council, but I ask them have


their protest that does the least possible damage to the traders of


Belfast. You looks like you were enjoying yourself during the speech.


Commentators might say you have had a tough time over the last year or


two. Are you back on top of your game? The party has always been


supportive. There is a tendency on the part of the media to look at the


Democratic Unionist party as if it is just any other political party.


It is not. It is a very special creation. It is a family more than a


political party. You do not have the backstabbing and so forth in -- like


another political support -- parties. We have a lot of support,


we have a good relationship. The fact I am endorsed unanimously by


the executive shows a degree of support and the collective do --


connectivity and unity in the party as a whole. Peter Robinson talking


to me yesterday. Let's hear now from my guests public relations


consultant Sheila Davidson and journalist Steven McCaffery. Steven


and Sheila were both at the DUP Conference. Looking from the studio


here, it looked fairly slick affair. Was it like that on the ground? It


certainly was a slick affair, very well choreographed and there was a


very genuine support in the audience. But I was interested


very genuine support in the see Peter Robinson talking for


however long it was about all the negativity when you had given him


every opportunity to talk about all the positives they did produce


there. They brought out the two documents which will be interesting


to see if they appear as an insert in the Belfast Telegraph Tom paid


for by the party policy people, but they had an opportunity, an


opportunity to articulate the positives but he still kept talking


about the negatives and going back to the old ways. I would love to


have seen the kind of positivity that was in the speech reflected


back in the interview that happened, because no one is going to listen to


that speech for its entirety, but what they will look at is the media


output from it. And there needs to be some coordination between that


confidence in the speech and the confidence in terms of how they are


putting forward the confidence in terms of how they are


says they have achieved. Stephen, you were there, what did you make of


the idea that it was the fault of the media for not focusing on the


positives because the negative things are small in number? But they


are important, and that was the point I made. There may not be as


many of them, but flags and parades are what people need to see


resolved. Absolutely. It's no accident that the American


government in the last 12 months have re-engaged substantially in the


peace process, that speaks volumes where things are at. I thought the


speech was very impressive. Very professional. When you seek other


leaders shuffling bits of paper and staring down at their notes, this


was a political leader who addressed his audience, was using the


autocue. A very positive speech as well. I felt it was a single issue


speech though, all about confidence. It was essentially a pep talk of the


party after a difficult year. With the European election, how big a


debate is that, for them to run or not run a second candidate? It's


been kicking around a long time that they think they have the numbers in


the party to put up a second candidate, but it's hard to resist


this -- the conclusion that they are dangling the possibility of a deal.


Peter union -- Peter Robinson saying Unionism at its best when it's open


and inviting, not exclusive, that was presumably meant for the hall,


but also people outside. Do you think it will strike a chord with


the ball populace? I think it will -- broader populace. I think people


recognise that the DUP is the biggest Unionist party and they want


them to reflect the ones that they biggest Unionist party and they want


will engage with and if they vote, they can carry forward. We will talk


to you later in the programme, but for now, thank you very much. . The


DUP wasn't the only party to hold a conference this weekend. At the


Stormont Hotel, local members of the UK Independence Party came together.


Membership of the eurosceptic party has been growing here - and UKIP


believes it can achieve success in elections to the European


Parliament, councils, and Stormont. Chris Page reports.


Once an Ulster Unionist, David McNarry now leads a branch of the


party surging. There, UKIP has attracted thousands of former


Conservative voters. Given that the Tory vote is small though, how will


UKIP grow support in Northern Ireland? We are growing because of


the effect of the Unionist, and people who would vote Unionist


naturally are fed up with the lack of politics and the poverty of


politics there is. But it is across the board also. There are people


from a nationalist background at the conference today, belonging to the


party. They are just as fed up with what they are getting, which is


nothing. At the moment, David McNarry's is the only UKIP member of


the assembly and the party has just one councillor here, but the members


gathering for their conference over their belief that UKIP is only roll


across the UK, and they think the party is well placed to benefit in


Northern Ireland -- on a roll. This council is running in the European


Parliament next year -- councillor is running. He is upbeat about his


chances and thinks in 2016 UKIP could win several seats in


Stormont. I really think we can do it. In my constituency in Southdown,


and in North Down, those constituencies where we can return.


This MEP thinks the flagship policy of withdrawing from the European


Union is a crucial part of the electoral strategy. Because we are


not in the European Union and we don't have to follow the energy


policy and the agricultural policy. We don't have to have the fisheries


run by the European Union. All of these things mean you can be


different, genuinely different. Whether that chimes with the voters


here will become clear when the party is tested at the polls in the


spring. Sheila and Steven are still with me.


A much more modest affair than the DUP conference, but do you think


UKIP has a future in Northern Irish politics? If you look at the other


parties who have politics? If you look at the other


Sea and tried to plant a flag, mostly the Conservatives with a huge


resources, basically weren't able to, so for that reason I think it


will be difficult. I don't think the European issue has the same


traction. We have a different relationship with Europe than


perhaps the farming and wider community might have in England,


Scotland and Wales. I think they will struggle but they do have a


seasoned campaigner at the four with David McNarry, who is obviously a


strong -- strongly supported politician. Where could you could


potentially pick up any votes? I'm not sure that they are -- where


could UKIP? If we are in a situation with the protest was open to them,


maybe they might pick up some on that basis. I think a lot of the


parties are putting people forward. The SDLP, and Jim Nicholson as the


old warhorse for the UUP, I think the political parties are taking the


European elections very seriously in terms of positioning themselves for


the council elections, and then the elections for Stormont later. I


think the idea that they will just pick up votes is not necessarily


going to work out for them. Unless they bring in Nigel Farage and have


the big national personality vote that might come along with that. But


I don't think it's going to be enough to make a difference. If the


DUP are questioning if they can pick up two seats, I doubt that UKIP will


make any big inroads. It is certainly building up to being a


fascinating election battle as far as the European elections are


concerned. Let's pause now for a look at the week in 60 seconds with


Martina Purdy. The Attorney General John Larkin


provoked a week of political debate with this proposal. The time has


come to think about drawing a line, set at Good Friday, 1998, with


respect to prosecutions. As somebody who represents the law and the rule


of law, I think to suggest that kind of amnesty process has actually


undermined his credibility. And once again, the MLAs are told to mind


their language. I cannot allow members to make those contributions


and be so offensive that it is unbelievable. Alan Reid, who acted


as a conduit between Republicans and the government in the peace process,


has passed away. Reports say policing the past will cost ?190


million over the next five years. policing the past will cost ?190


And a laugh raised in the assembly. Physical powers, fiscal powers,


sorry. Let's have a final chat with Sheila


Davidson and Steven Mc Caffery. Stephen, we have the death announced


on Friday father Alex Reid who made a huge contribution to the peace


process. Absolutely, and when the pain of victims has been at the


front of political life here, his passing was a reminder of what we


have achieved in the past and what we can achieve in the future.


Individuals like Father read skate the troubles, and perhaps with the


right commitment we can escape the shadows of the trouble -- father


read escaped the troubles. Lamented by many people, including the First


Minister. Absolutely. We can never get away from the image of him


kneeling beside the soldiers, giving them the last rites of the kiss of


life, doing what he could, and if ever there was a personification of


how the church or any of the churches can do something positive


in terms of bringing people together, then I think it was with


him. Just a final sentence on Richard Haass. Notable that he was


not mentioned at all in the speed from Peter Robinson, but the issues


are there, so that is where the agenda goes. Sheila, positive? I


think we are being managed about the expectations that will come out of


Haas, and there needs to be that caution. That's it


those people who want to cycle. We will be returning to this one. Thank


A little bit of history was made at Prime Minister's Questions this


week. A teensy tiny bit. It wasn't David Cameron accusing one MP of


taking "mind-altering substances" - they're always accusing each other


of doing that. No, it was the first time a Prime Minister used a live


tweet sent from someone watching the session as ammunition at the


dispatch box. Let's have a look. We have had some interesting


interventions from front edges past and present. I hope I can break


records by explaining that a tweet has just come in from Tony McNulty,


the former Labour has just come in from Tony McNulty,


minister, saying that the public are desperate for a PM in waiting who


speaks for them, not a Leader of the Opposition in dodging in partisan


Westminster Village knock about. So I would stay up with the tweets if


you want to get on the right side of this one! We are working on how the


Prime Minister managed to get that wheat in the first place. What did


you think when you saw it being read out? I was certainly watching the


Daily Politics. I almost fell off my chair! It was quite astonishing. He


didn't answer the question - he didn't do that the whole time. But I


stand by what the tweets said. I have tweeted for a long time on


PMQs. Normally I am praising Ed Miliband to the hilt, but no one


announces that in Parliament! Because the


announces that in Parliament! on what you said, it unleashed some


attacks on you from the Labour side. It did, minor attacks from some very


junior people. Most people were supportive of what I said. They took


issue with the notion of not doing it until 12:30pm, when it wasn't


available for the other side to use. Instant history, and instantly


forgettable, I would say. Do you think you have started a bit of a


trend? I hope not, because the dumbing down of PMQs is already on


its way. Most people tweet like mad through PMQs! Is a measure of how


post-modern we have become, we have journalists tweeting about someone


talking about a tweet. That is the level of British politics. I am


horrified by this development. The whole of modern life has become


about observing people -- people observing themselves doing things.


Do we know what happened? Somebody is monitoring the tweets on behalf


of the Prime Minister or the Tory party. They see Tony's tweet. They


then print it out and give it to him? There was a suggestion that


Michael Goves had spotted it, but Craig Oliver from the BBC had this


great sort of... Craig Oliver was holding up his iPad to take pictures


of the Prime Minister, which he then tweeted, from the Prime Minister.


People will now be tweeting in the hope that they will be quoted by the


Prime Minister, or the Leader of the Opposition. I wasn't doing that.


Prime Minister, or the Leader of the just talking about the monster you


have unleashed! I hope it dies a miserable death. I think Tony is a


good analysis -- a good analyst of PMQs on Twitter. Moving onto the


Co-op. You were a Co-op-backed MP, white you? I was a Co-op party


member. There are two issues here about the Co-op and the Labour


Party. All the new music suggests that the Co-op will now have to


start pulling back from lending or donating to the Labour Party, which,


at a time when Mr Miliband is going through changes that are going to


cut of the union funds, it seems quite dangerous. There are three


things going on. There's the relationship that the


things going on. There's the politically with the Co-op party,


there is the commercial relationship you referred to, and then there is


this enquiry into the comings and goings of Flowers and everybody


else. The Tories, at their peril, will mix the three up. There's a lot


of things going on with a bang. Labour has some issues around


funding generally, and they are potentially exacerbated by the Co-op


issue. The Labour Party gets soft loans from the Co-op bank, and it


gets donations. ?800,000 last year. Ed Balls got about ?50,000 for his


private office. You get the feeling, given the state of the Co-operative


Bank now, that that money could dry up. We will see. There's lots of


speculation in the papers today. At the core, the relationship between


the Co-op party and the Labour Party is a proud one, and a legitimate


one. I don't think others always understand that. Here is an even


bigger issue. Is it not possible that the Co-op bank will cease to


exist in any meaningful way as a Co-op bank? Is the bane out means it


is 70% owned -- the bail out means that it is 70% owned, or 35% going


to a hedge fund, I think I read. Yes, there is a move from the


mutualism of the Co-op. But don't confuse the Co-op bank with the


Co-op Group. Others have done that. I haven't. Here's the rub. The soft


loans that Labour gets. They got ?1.2 million from this. And 2.4


million. They are secured against future union membership fees of the


party. What is Mr Miliband doing? He is trying to end that? You have this


very difficult confluence of events, which is, could these wonderful soft


loans that Labour has had from the Co-op, could they be going? And


these union reforms, where Ed Miliband is trying to create a link


between individuals and donations to the Labour Party... Clearly, there


could be real financial difficulties here. The government


careful, because George Osborne launched one of his classic


blunderbuss operations this week, which is that the Labour Party is to


blame for Paul Flowers' private life. No, it's not. And that all the


problems, essentially... Look at what George Osborne was doing in


Europe. He was trying to change the capital requirement rules that would


make it easier for the Co-op to take over Lloyd's. If there is to be a


big investigation, George Osborne needs to be careful of what he


wishes for. This is another example of the Westminster consensus. All of


the Westminster parties were in favour of the Britannia takeover.


This is how the Co-op ended up with all this toxic rubbish on its


balance sheet. All the major parties were in favour of going to get the


Lloyds branches. The Tories tried to were in favour of going to get the


outdo Labour in being more pro-Co-op. There was nobody in


Westminster saying, hold on, this doesn't work. It is like the


financial bubble all over again. Everyone was in favour of that at


the time. I think there is no evidence so far that the storm is


cutting through to the average voter. If I were Ed Miliband, I


would let it die a natural death. I would not write to an editorial


column for a national newspaper on a Sunday. That keeps the issue alive,


and it makes him look oversensitive and much better at dishing it out


than taking it. I agree about that. The Labour press team tweeted this


week saying that it was a new low for the times. And this was


re-tweeted by Ed Miliband. It isn't a great press attitude. It is very


Moni. Bill Clinton went out there and fought and made the case. So did


Tony Blair. If you just say, they are being horrible to us, it looks


pathetic. And it will cut through on Osborne and the financial


dimensional is, not political. I shall tweet that later! While we


have been talking, Mr Miliband has been on Desert Island Discs. He


might still be on it. Let's have a listen to what he had to say.


# Take on me, take me on. # And threw it all, she offers me


protection. # A lot of love and affection.


# Whether I'm right or wrong #. # Je Ne Regrette Rien. #.


Obviously, that was the music that Ed Miliband chose. Who thought --


you would have thought he would choose Norman Lamont's theme tune!


He chose Jerusalem... He has no classical background at all. He had


no Beethoven, no Elgar. David Cameron had Mendelssohn. And Ernie,


the fastest Notman in the West. -- fastest milkman. Tony Blair chose


the theme tune to a movie. Tony Blair's list was chosen by young


staffers in his office. It absolutely was. Tony Blair's list


was chosen by staff. The Ed Miliband this was clearly chosen by himself,


because who would allow politician to go out there and say that they


like Aha. I am the same age as Ed Miliband, and of course he likes


Aha. That was the tumour was played in the 80s. Sweet Caroline. It is


Angels by Robbie Williams. I was 14-year-old girl when that came out.


I thought Angels was the staple of hen nights and chucking out time in


pubs. The really good thing about his list is that the Smiths to not


appear. The Smiths were all over David Cameron's list. The absolutely


miserable music of Morris he was not there. What was his luxury?


miserable music of Morris he was not Indian takeaway! Again, chosen for


political reasons. I would agree with the panel about Aha, but I


would expect -- I would respect his right to choose. Have you been on


Desert Island Discs? I have. It took me three weeks to choose the music.


It was the most difficult decision in my life. What was the most


embarrassing thing you chose? I didn't choose anything embarrassing.


I chose Beethoven, Elgar, and some proper modern jazz. Anything from


the modern era? Pet Shop Boys. That's all for today. The Daily


Politics will be on BBC That's all for today. The Daily


lunchtime every day next week, and we'll be back here on BBC One at


11am next week. My luxury, by the way, was a wind-up radio! Remember,


if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


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