29/09/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


29/09/2013

Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil interviews Foreign Secretary William Hague and Labour's Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint.


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do with the lack of talent, it is Sunday Politics. David Cameron

:00:20.:00:45.

rushes out a scheme to help house-buyers with deposits. Is he

:00:45.:00:49.

merely stoking a new house price bubble? As Tory activist 's gather

:00:49.:00:53.

merely stoking a new house price in Manchester, we will have the

:00:53.:00:58.

results of our exclusive survey of Conservative councillors. I will be

:00:58.:01:00.

speaking to Foreign Secretary William Hague. And Ed Miliband made

:01:00.:01:06.

headlines with his pledge to freeze energy prices for 20 months after

:01:06.:01:08.

headlines with his pledge to freeze the next election. But does the new

:01:08.:01:11.

And coming up here - a drama, a Energy

:01:11.:01:15.

And coming up here - a drama, a crisis or a little local difficulty?

:01:15.:01:19.

We hear live from the Secretary of State. And could some Northerners

:01:19.:01:23.

get a vote for the next President of Ireland?

:01:23.:01:24.

Underground should be made illegal, something the Prime Minister doesn't

:01:24.:01:26.

rule out. With me are a trio of top political

:01:26.:01:43.

commentators. All three will be tweeting their thoughts, or in some

:01:43.:01:48.

cases just their thought through the show, using the hashtag #bbcsp. The

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Conservative Party conference gets under way in Manchester this

:01:54.:01:59.

afternoon. We have already been bombarded with a series of policy

:01:59.:02:02.

announcements, a tax break for married couples of up to £200 per

:02:02.:02:07.

year, more money on life extending cancer treatments and, last night,

:02:07.:02:11.

the news that the second stage of the Chancellor's Help To Buy scheme

:02:11.:02:14.

will start next week. That is brought forward from the start of

:02:14.:02:18.

next year. David Cameron says it is all about helping hard-working

:02:18.:02:24.

people. Right now, you can't get, it's very difficult to get, a 90% or

:02:24.:02:29.

95% mortgage. That means a typical family with two people earning

:02:29.:02:34.

20,000, 25,000, they are being asked, to buy an average house, they

:02:34.:02:36.

20,000, 25,000, they are being are being asked to find a £40,000

:02:36.:02:41.

deposit. They can afford the mortgage payment, but they can't get

:02:41.:02:44.

the mortgage. They can't buy their flat or house. As Prime Minister,

:02:44.:02:47.

I'm not going to stand back while people's aspirations to get on the

:02:47.:02:51.

housing ladder, to own their own flat or home, is being trashed. That

:02:51.:02:57.

is why we need to act. A predictable attempt by party leadership to

:02:57.:03:02.

kick-start the conference with eye-catching policies. The polls

:03:02.:03:05.

show a big bounce for Ed Miliband and the Labour Party, with decent

:03:05.:03:09.

numbers for UKIP. What do party activists think about David

:03:09.:03:13.

Cameron's leadership and the challenge posed by UKIP? Adam

:03:13.:03:18.

Fleming has been meeting Tory councillors as they travel to their

:03:18.:03:23.

party conference. For the Conservatives this weekend,

:03:23.:03:27.

all roads and trams lead to Manchester for their party

:03:27.:03:35.

conference, and as a scene setter we asked ComRes to survey councillors

:03:35.:03:36.

are Finland and Wales. Councillors asked ComRes to survey councillors

:03:36.:03:43.

like Tom, packing for conference at home in Wellingborough. Immigration

:03:43.:03:48.

is an issue for him. He thinks there are pros and cons. But we found that

:03:48.:03:53.

54% of his colleagues feel immigration has had a negative

:03:53.:03:58.

impact on the UK. I think it reflects into this wider issue of

:03:58.:04:01.

our relationship with Europe. People are very concerned about the

:04:01.:04:06.

possible influx of ovarian and Romania emigrants. Obviously the

:04:06.:04:13.

issue of Europe is very big. -- Ukrainian. His colleagues in Corby

:04:13.:04:20.

are worried about the rise of the UK Independence Party. In our survey,

:04:20.:04:25.

nearly a quarter of Conservative councillors thought that their party

:04:25.:04:30.

should make a pact with UKIP. The concern is, yes, will they take

:04:30.:04:37.

votes away from ourselves in 2015? If that happens, maybe we don't get

:04:37.:04:41.

back in. Maybe a partnership is the way to go. It depends what they want

:04:41.:04:45.

and we want. But we should be talking about them. A pact? Depends

:04:45.:04:50.

what they say, anything is possible. What would you like to see? Ideally,

:04:50.:05:06.

from my point of view, a national pact. David Cameron arrived in

:05:06.:05:10.

Manchester last night. Around the same time as these activists from

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London. I broke the news to them that in our survey just 26% of Tory

:05:14.:05:23.

councillors think that the prime ministers in touch with the lives of

:05:23.:05:28.

ordinary people. The same at all Conservatives, you don't judge

:05:28.:05:32.

people by their background. It's not where they come from, it is where

:05:32.:05:34.

they are going to. It is not a where they come from, it is where

:05:34.:05:38.

problem that he is a bit on the posh side? Cull you might describe him

:05:38.:05:42.

like that, I would not use those words. Explain your T-shirt, it is a

:05:42.:05:49.

phrase that a senior Cameron person is alleged to have used about you?

:05:49.:05:56.

It is a humorous way of letting the party now that we are here to say

:05:56.:05:58.

what we think. Members are important. We are not going away any

:05:59.:06:03.

time soon. A sentiment you will hear a lot at this conference, because

:06:03.:06:07.

just 22% of councillors in our survey said that David Cameron was

:06:08.:06:11.

any good at listening to the people that work hard for his party. That

:06:11.:06:18.

was Adam. Joining me now from the Conservative Party conference in

:06:18.:06:21.

Manchester, Foreign Secretary William Hague. Welcome to the Sunday

:06:21.:06:26.

Politics. Good morning. Over one in five Tory councillors in our survey

:06:26.:06:34.

support a pact with UKIP at the next election. Why do you think that is?

:06:34.:06:39.

If it is one in five, it means a large majority did not want a pact

:06:39.:06:43.

with UKIP at the next election. They have noticed that UKIP, in local

:06:43.:06:47.

elections, has been receiving votes, some of which would otherwise have

:06:47.:06:50.

been for the Conservatives. I think we have to make sure that people

:06:50.:06:53.

understand that at a general election they are choosing between a

:06:53.:06:58.

Conservative and Labour Government, as David Cameron as Prime Minister

:06:58.:07:01.

or Ed Miliband. If people want to get a referendum on Europe, the only

:07:01.:07:07.

way to do that is to have David Cameron as Prime Minister. I think a

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general election is different from the local government perspective. It

:07:11.:07:14.

is pretty unusual, some might say unprecedented, for a large chunk of

:07:14.:07:19.

one of the big parties in this country to want to go into coalition

:07:19.:07:21.

one of the big parties in this with a smaller party before an

:07:21.:07:24.

election. When has that ever happened? Looking at your survey,

:07:24.:07:32.

three times as many didn't want to do that. As ever, with a survey,

:07:32.:07:36.

with statistics, you can highlight it whichever way around you want to.

:07:36.:07:40.

The point is, we are not having pacts with other parties, electoral

:07:40.:07:45.

pacts with other parties. You rule it out? That is not going to happen.

:07:45.:07:48.

What we do want is to have a pact it out? That is not going to happen.

:07:48.:07:52.

with the voters, if you like, as we have often done in the Conservative

:07:52.:07:57.

Party. We have won over the voters of other parties to support our

:07:57.:08:01.

policies and Prime Minister. That is important with those people that say

:08:01.:08:05.

they want to vote for UKIP. By default, they would produce a Labour

:08:05.:08:08.

government in the exact opposite of many of the things they intend, if

:08:08.:08:12.

they would otherwise vote Conservative and decide to vote for

:08:12.:08:16.

UKIP instead in a general election. That could help to produce a Labour

:08:16.:08:23.

government. The chairman of the 1922 committee, the elected voice of

:08:23.:08:28.

Conservative backbenchers, he says your party should spell out what had

:08:28.:08:32.

once back from the European Union before next year's European actions.

:08:32.:08:37.

Do you agree? We will be spelling out some things in the European

:08:38.:08:43.

elections. I will be talking about this later on today. For instance,

:08:43.:08:52.

about the need the UK and the European treaties the concept of

:08:52.:08:57.

ever closer union, a concept that in Britain we have never really

:08:57.:09:00.

believed in. We would like that to be changed, with all of the

:09:00.:09:03.

consequences that would flow from that. We will be setting out the

:09:03.:09:07.

examples and principles of the changes we want to say. Certainly

:09:07.:09:12.

over the next year, not only before the European actions but the general

:09:12.:09:16.

election, if you are saying, let have the exact list of anything that

:09:16.:09:19.

we are going to be able to negotiate, that is difficult because

:09:19.:09:24.

there will be a negotiation of a new deal in Europe if David Cameron as

:09:24.:09:27.

Prime Minister after the next election. To some extent, that has

:09:27.:09:34.

to be negotiated. Only 11% of your own councillors feel that people in

:09:34.:09:38.

their area think that George Osborne is in touch with ordinary people.

:09:38.:09:44.

Why is he seemed to be so aloof? It is not for me to explain why people

:09:44.:09:50.

say what they say in surveys. The important thing is what we are

:09:50.:09:55.

delivering for the country. What George Osborne is delivering his

:09:55.:09:59.

renewed economic growth. 1.4 million new jobs in the private sector, help

:10:00.:10:05.

for hard-working people, by reducing the tax for 25 million of them. The

:10:05.:10:09.

Help To Buy scheme that we are highlighting today. That is what

:10:09.:10:14.

really matters to people, actually, I think you will find. Let's talk

:10:14.:10:19.

about helping ordinary people. Ed Miliband is guilty freeze energy

:10:19.:10:25.

prices. What are you going to do about energy prices, we already

:10:25.:10:29.

asked energy companies to put people on their lowest tariffs. This has

:10:29.:10:41.

not been amended. -- implemented. Why not? This is going to happen

:10:41.:10:47.

within this government. It is going to happen within this government

:10:47.:10:55.

when the... Why hasn't it happened now? People are suffering now from

:10:55.:11:00.

rising energy prices. It has not happened because my colleagues have

:11:00.:11:04.

been implimenting it. In the case of Ed Miliband's policy, if you are

:11:04.:11:08.

asking why it has not yet happened under this Government, it didn't

:11:08.:11:13.

even survive a few our's scrutiny in opposition. In a few hours he had to

:11:13.:11:17.

concede that if there was a big change in oil prices then the policy

:11:17.:11:21.

would not work. The trouble is, it would dry up some of the investment

:11:21.:11:29.

in the energy industry. I don't think it is a credible promise. For

:11:29.:11:33.

a party that presided over council tax bills doubling in the next

:11:33.:11:40.

government, -- last government, it's not very credible. Why is George

:11:40.:11:48.

Osborne going against the European Union to protect banker bonuses?

:11:48.:11:51.

Well, we don't want to see the European treaties used in a way that

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they should not be used. It's not necessarily over this particular

:11:56.:12:00.

issue. It is over the power that the European Union has over our lives

:12:00.:12:04.

and over this country. Can the bankers look after themselves? We

:12:04.:12:08.

should be able to decide those things in our own country. We have

:12:08.:12:17.

never signed up to such matters in European institutions. If you allow

:12:17.:12:20.

one thing that wasn't meant to be decided to be decided, you find

:12:20.:12:23.

one thing that wasn't meant to be there are another ten or 20 things

:12:23.:12:25.

that affect many other people. We are very vigilant about what we call

:12:25.:12:32.

competence creep, with the European Union taking more powers than it was

:12:32.:12:36.

meant to have. That is one of the reasons why people do want a

:12:36.:12:39.

referendum, do want a new deal in Europe. That is what we intend to

:12:39.:12:44.

give them. Let's look at in competence creep. A big city

:12:44.:12:51.

institution, ICAP, fined for fixing the LIBOR rates. The founder of that

:12:51.:12:55.

company has donated £5 million to your party. Shouldn't you give it

:12:55.:12:59.

back? Aren't you ashamed to accept that money? He has donated his own

:12:59.:13:04.

money to the Conservative Party. Which he made out of ICAP. As people

:13:04.:13:09.

have to other parties, people are free to do that and they should be

:13:09.:13:13.

free to do that. I am not aware of any plan for that to be repaid.

:13:13.:13:18.

Because you can't afford to. Let's recap this. We have seen Tory MPs

:13:18.:13:22.

parrot propaganda lines from the energy companies this week. We have

:13:22.:13:27.

the Chancellor going to court to fight for unlimited banker bonuses.

:13:27.:13:29.

We have a top Tory donor the centre fight for unlimited banker bonuses.

:13:29.:13:33.

of yet another city scandal. Ed Miliband is right when he says you

:13:33.:13:36.

lot are on the side of the vested interests so the rich and powerful,

:13:37.:13:40.

isn't he? Well, again, look at the record. I just did! 1.4 million

:13:40.:13:48.

extra jobs in the private sector, 25 million people with a tax cut, a

:13:48.:13:54.

Help To Buy scheme which is going to help so many people, particularly

:13:54.:13:57.

young people have the house that they need and deserve for the

:13:57.:14:03.

future. Council tax bills held down, welfare reform so that it pays to

:14:03.:14:08.

work. Actually, this is a government achieving things for hard-working

:14:08.:14:10.

people and that will be highlighted to this conference.

:14:10.:14:21.

While President Laugharne he's talking about peace, the Iranians

:14:21.:14:27.

are speeding up their nuclear weapons programme. -- is talking.

:14:27.:14:35.

It would be hard to say from week to week whether it is speeding up

:14:35.:14:38.

or slowing down but they are continuing with it. That is why we

:14:38.:14:45.

say the new message - the new words - from Iranian leadership are very

:14:45.:14:50.

welcome. I said that to the Foreign Minister in New York over the last

:14:50.:14:54.

few days but it is the actions that will count. At the moment, the

:14:54.:14:58.

nuclear programme continues. We have agreed to commence

:14:58.:15:03.

negotiations on that and that will be a very important test as to

:15:03.:15:06.

whether actions will match the words. When will we know it if we

:15:06.:15:12.

are being strung along? He has strung as a long in the past as a

:15:12.:15:17.

nuclear weapons negotiator. When will we know if he is not just

:15:17.:15:22.

doing that again? Over the next few weeks, it will be a very important

:15:22.:15:27.

time. He has said there should be more transparency over the Iranian

:15:27.:15:32.

nuclear programme. It is not transparent in many regards at the

:15:32.:15:36.

moment. The atomic agency is asking for information that is not being

:15:37.:15:42.

given. One test is, in the coming weeks, will they give more

:15:42.:15:47.

information? The information that the international of authority is

:15:47.:15:51.

asking for about their nuclear programme. We will be able to form

:15:51.:15:55.

a view of this in the coming weeks or months. It is important we test

:15:55.:16:00.

their new willingness to talk to us and negotiate with us. It is

:16:00.:16:04.

important to find out whether they are serious about it. You are

:16:04.:16:09.

asking, is the nuclear programme really continuing? Are they really

:16:09.:16:13.

going to be realistic about negotiations and offer something

:16:13.:16:17.

they have not offer before? Speaking of being strung along,

:16:17.:16:21.

what sanctions would President Assad face if, in six months - the

:16:22.:16:31.

Year, Syria still has a chemical weapons arsenal. In the resolution

:16:31.:16:36.

we voted through the UN Security Council on Friday night, is the

:16:36.:16:41.

commitment that the Security Council will take measures under

:16:41.:16:45.

Chapter seven of the UN Charter in the event of non-compliance. Does

:16:45.:16:52.

that allow full force? I did not catch that. Does that allow for

:16:52.:16:58.

force? It is similar to the Security Council resolution about

:16:58.:17:02.

Iraq, which most people concluded in not allow full force. It does

:17:02.:17:10.

not specify that. It talks about terms seven of the charter. That is

:17:10.:17:16.

a message of the whole UN Security Council that there will be measures

:17:16.:17:20.

- there will be consequences - if the Assad regime does not comply.

:17:20.:17:27.

Russia has a lot riding on this. It has a big commitment. I have spent

:17:27.:17:31.

a lot of time at my Russian counterpart over the last week.

:17:31.:17:35.

Russia has said, this is something you will have to do. We will work

:17:35.:17:41.

with Russia and others very closely to check there is compliance will

:17:41.:17:45.

this resolution. Given the progress that has been made, you must be

:17:46.:17:51.

very glad that the British House of Commons stopped your rash to force

:17:51.:18:05.

against Syria. -- rush. The reason has happened is because there was a

:18:05.:18:12.

credible threat of military action. President Obama did not get it

:18:12.:18:18.

through Congress. They have not had the vote in Congress. There is no

:18:18.:18:22.

other explanation as to why the policy changed. It was because

:18:22.:18:26.

there was a debate about military action in the West that the policy

:18:26.:18:32.

changed on theirs. That is why it changed. We were not in a rush for

:18:32.:18:37.

military action. The boat put to the House of Commons was to have

:18:37.:18:41.

another Aotearoa after the inspectors reported. It was before

:18:41.:18:47.

we got to that point that the Russian and Syrian policy changed.

:18:47.:18:55.

We need to make sure that works in practice. Thank you. What do you

:18:55.:19:04.

make about this rushing forward with the help to buy scheme which

:19:04.:19:08.

was meant to start next year - coming forward mad to the next

:19:08.:19:14.

couple of weeks? I think it is a terrible policy. The Treasury

:19:14.:19:21.

Select Committee, Perez a fundamental problem with the

:19:21.:19:24.

Government having an interest in mortgage lending. -- there is a

:19:24.:19:30.

fundamental problem. It should have been set much lower to exclude

:19:30.:19:35.

London and the South East where houses are dramatically overvalued.

:19:35.:19:40.

Many economists think freezing energy prices is a terrible policy.

:19:40.:19:46.

These policies can be popular. If you have no chance of getting a

:19:46.:19:50.

deposit, the Government will make that possible because it will

:19:50.:19:55.

guarantee a big chunk of the deposit. Do not forget George

:19:55.:19:58.

Osborne tried every single lever. It looked like he could not do

:19:58.:20:03.

anything to get the economy moving. It is moving. They have pulled it

:20:03.:20:11.

forward and there are signs it is recovering. The reason why they are

:20:11.:20:14.

doing this is they want to show this week at the conference there

:20:14.:20:18.

are real sort of understandable issues you can explain very simply

:20:18.:20:22.

that really up going to improve people's lives. The Conservatives

:20:22.:20:28.

were slightly spooked by Ed Miliband's speech last week. The

:20:28.:20:34.

language used by David Cameron this morning was that the tax policy was

:20:34.:20:44.

nuts. Much more cautious and -- language about the energy price

:20:44.:20:48.

freeze. They are nervous that Ed Miliband may be touching a nerve on

:20:48.:20:54.

that one. What we will get this week, I suggest, his Tory populism

:20:54.:21:02.

to counter Miliband populism. I think we will see that and it will

:21:02.:21:04.

be a mistake. As long as it is think we will see that and it will

:21:04.:21:10.

about The Picture, they are on relatively strong ground. When the

:21:10.:21:17.

political conversation changes to more fiddly things, particularities

:21:17.:21:22.

of energy prices or living standards, things that are some way

:21:22.:21:25.

below that picture, I do not think they can win a bidding war with the

:21:26.:21:31.

Labour Party. It is about borrowing against a party that stands for the

:21:31.:21:36.

rectitude at against a party that stands for the

:21:36.:21:39.

It is about getting the conversation back to where

:21:39.:21:41.

It is about getting the before the Labour conference, which

:21:41.:21:46.

is unemployment, GDP growth and the warming economic picture. That does

:21:46.:21:54.

not pay energy bills. Does not sound that the Tories have anything

:21:54.:21:57.

not pay energy bills. Does not to counter the price freeze. -- it

:21:57.:22:02.

does not sound. They have had a week to think about a great attack

:22:02.:22:07.

line and they do not add anything. They have just said, the lights

:22:07.:22:11.

will go out. Now they're saying, it will not

:22:11.:22:27.

the credibility test. Ed Miliband said, if there were a big spike in

:22:27.:22:32.

energy prices, he would not be able to keep his freeze in those

:22:32.:22:36.

circumstances. it is about credibility. Being seen

:22:36.:22:45.

as serious and grown-up is worth it is about credibility. Being seen

:22:45.:22:52.

more than any burst of popularity. My worry about the announcement is

:22:52.:22:55.

more than any burst of popularity. with the election campaign, it

:22:55.:23:01.

begins to lose credibility, begins to seem a banana republic. It looks

:23:01.:23:09.

a lot less wise than it did last week. I disagree. Every time energy

:23:09.:23:13.

bills go up and they will continue to go up, it will be a reminder of

:23:13.:23:18.

how much people are being hit in the pockets. People know by energy

:23:18.:23:23.

prices are going up. There is a structural change in the world that

:23:23.:23:28.

was not there before - China and India. These energy companies may

:23:28.:23:32.

be making huge profit but, at the end of the day, what is driving up

:23:33.:23:39.

the cost of fuel is China and India. Ed Miliband, great man that he is,

:23:39.:23:45.

I am not sure he can take on the people Sammir on that one. How dare

:23:45.:23:52.

you! -- the People's Army. Ed Miliband came out fighting at

:23:52.:23:54.

Labour's Conference in Brighton last week. Dogged by criticism over

:23:54.:23:57.

the summer of his leadership style and lack of policies, Mr Miliband

:23:57.:24:00.

tried to demonstrate his strength of character with a series of bold

:24:00.:24:02.

announcements, and attempted to position himself on the side of

:24:02.:24:08.

ordinary Brits. The Labour leader told party members he would stand

:24:08.:24:13.

up to the strong and take on the vested interests that hold back our

:24:13.:24:15.

up to the strong and take on the economy. In a speech in which he

:24:15.:24:19.

jokingly referred to himself as an action hero, Mr Miliband promised

:24:19.:24:21.

to switch the forthcoming business action hero, Mr Miliband promised

:24:21.:24:26.

tax cut from large firms to smaller businesses. He said he would force

:24:26.:24:30.

big firms to train at an apprentice every time they bring in a worker

:24:30.:24:35.

from outside the EU. He hinted that increasing the minimum wage would

:24:35.:24:40.

be increased. He bowed to take on developers with a use it or lose it

:24:40.:24:47.

threat to landowners and pledged to build 200,000 homes each year by

:24:47.:24:52.

2020. He promised to freeze energy prices and reset the energy market.

:24:52.:24:56.

The next Labour government will freeze gas and electricity prices

:24:56.:25:03.

until the start of 2017. That provoked a rash of headlines -

:25:03.:25:08.

hailing the return of red Ed macro. It has also given him a spike in

:25:08.:25:13.

the polls. And Labour's Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint

:25:13.:25:16.

joins me now for the Sunday Interview.

:25:16.:25:25.

Ed Miliband says, our energy market is broken and does not work. In

:25:25.:25:33.

what way is that market to date different from the one Labour left

:25:33.:25:40.

behind in 2010? We have six companies that dominate the energy

:25:40.:25:45.

sector. It is the same. They generate energy, and sell it on to

:25:45.:25:52.

us. What we recognise and Ed Miliband recognised when he was

:25:52.:25:55.

Secretary of State and asked for more information from the company

:25:55.:25:57.

Secretary of State and asked for is on hold serve costs and profits,

:25:57.:26:00.

all the things we have done to mitigate against that in terms of a

:26:00.:26:04.

warm front programme and everything else has not dealt with the

:26:04.:26:08.

fundamental problem that the Horsell market is too secretive and

:26:08.:26:14.

it is too much about such supply. - - the wholesale market. We have

:26:14.:26:18.

been raising with the Government in a co-operative way the argument for

:26:18.:26:25.

resetting the market. It has got worse in terms of speed at which

:26:25.:26:31.

prices have gone up. Labour put wholesale and retail together. It

:26:31.:26:37.

was the start this dates back to Margaret Thatcher and the

:26:37.:26:40.

privatisation. We took some reforms to reset the market. We have

:26:40.:26:45.

realised it was not working and it was broken and we need to reset it.

:26:45.:26:50.

Ed Miliband will be the first to say we did not do enough from 2005

:26:50.:26:54.

onwards. Let's have a look at what happened to energy prices under the

:26:54.:26:59.

Labour government. Electricity up 67%, gas up 139%. Overall prices up

:26:59.:27:08.

by 48%. The market was broken and the Government as well. From 2005,

:27:08.:27:13.

we saw prices biking as wholesale prices went up. The tick action on

:27:13.:27:21.

the one Front programme, decent homes for social housing. -- we

:27:21.:27:28.

took action on per warm front programme. Trying to do things

:27:28.:27:32.

around social obligations needs to be looked at. Gas and electricity

:27:32.:27:38.

bills are high partially as a consequence of the market you

:27:38.:27:42.

presided over but as a consequence of Labour policy. Beds have a look

:27:42.:27:48.

at the breakdown of dual fuel - gas and electricity bill. -- let's have

:27:48.:27:55.

a look. The supply costs of getting it to us and so on. The policies

:27:55.:28:01.

that were introduced by your government - Green levies - are

:28:01.:28:05.

adding almost 10% to has told energy bills. £112 on average bill

:28:05.:28:14.

of 1188. You have put the bill up. Eight -- social and green

:28:14.:28:24.

obligations amount to £112. That helps the poorest insulate homes.

:28:24.:28:29.

Overwhelmingly, looking at your graph and the figures I have,

:28:29.:28:34.

wholesale costs are worth more than half. What we have seen, based on

:28:34.:28:41.

figures we now have, in Eni macro, a wholesale costs fell by 39% and

:28:41.:28:48.

that was not reflected in our bills. Do you have plans to do anything

:28:48.:28:54.

about the £112? If you took that off, you could cut bills by 10%

:28:54.:29:00.

tomorrow. Or if you were in power. It is important that restimulate

:29:00.:29:04.

the opportunity to grow clean energy. It -- we stimulate. If we

:29:04.:29:11.

do not have clean energy, we will be beholden for ever-more to fossil

:29:11.:29:15.

do not have clean energy, we will fuels that are depleting. It will

:29:15.:29:20.

create jobs and bring in investment will start in the last few years,

:29:20.:29:24.

we have seen investment in renewable energy half. -- in

:29:24.:29:30.

investment. If I could go back to competition in the markets,

:29:30.:29:34.

whatever advance there are, looking at whether the money raised through

:29:34.:29:39.

energy companies to deliver energy efficiency, is that doing as well

:29:39.:29:43.

as it might? Could it be better delivered by another agency? They

:29:43.:29:48.

are fair questions. We need to get ahead of that and look at the

:29:48.:29:53.

market. Can we make the market will competitive make sure when there is

:29:53.:29:56.

downward pressure on wholesale prices, that is reflected on our

:29:56.:30:02.

bills? That is the bigger picture argument. Also the freeze to help

:30:02.:30:04.

people during that period. As you complain about the energy

:30:04.:30:17.

prices, it was as a result of your actions. Ed Miliband introduced the

:30:17.:30:20.

climate change act. He admitted prices would have to rise to pay for

:30:20.:30:26.

decarbonisation. He said, we are going to minimise the costs as much

:30:27.:30:30.

as possible, but it is true there is not a low-cost energy future out

:30:30.:30:35.

there. It is important that we address the pressures on bills, but

:30:35.:30:38.

also recognise that if we are going to build a better future where we

:30:38.:30:41.

can have more home-grown British energy and, in the long-term,

:30:41.:30:44.

cheaper, we need to invest in renewables. Truth is it is about the

:30:44.:30:48.

market. I acknowledge I acknowledge eyes what you say about the 112. I

:30:48.:30:57.

am not going to disagree. But wholesale prices have fallen. They

:30:57.:31:03.

fell in 2009, we got a reduction in bills of 5%. Which are saying that

:31:03.:31:09.

the big companies are overcharging customers. We are seeing profits

:31:09.:31:14.

going up, but we haven't seen the amount of investment suggested by

:31:14.:31:20.

those profits coming through. But that £125 is going to get worse,

:31:20.:31:23.

because your leader said in his speech in Brighton that Labour will

:31:23.:31:28.

have a world leading commitment in Government to take out all carbon

:31:28.:31:32.

from energy generation by 2030. That is not that far away. By 2030, no

:31:32.:31:37.

more coal generation, no more gas generation, only much more expensive

:31:37.:31:42.

nuclear and much more expensive renewables. It cannot be done

:31:42.:31:47.

without bills going up even further? Hang on a second. The 2030 target to

:31:47.:31:52.

remove carbon from the electricity supply, we have said we should set a

:31:52.:31:56.

target now because, actually, it gives us more time to plan ahead and

:31:56.:32:00.

also allows investment to come in. There is plenty of people with cash

:32:00.:32:03.

in their pockets not want to invest what they are stalling because of

:32:03.:32:07.

the Government's hesitancy over this. I just want a clarification

:32:07.:32:12.

here. My understanding is that your commitment is to get rid of all

:32:12.:32:16.

carbon from power generation by 2030? From the letters city supply.

:32:16.:32:21.

Only electricity. We will still have gas? We have always said we will

:32:21.:32:26.

need gas for decades to come. So we are clear for that. But you will be

:32:26.:32:36.

increasingly dependent on expensive nuclear. EDF are currently demanding

:32:36.:32:40.

twice the market price to build plans in this country. Renewables

:32:40.:32:47.

are two or three times the market price. Bills are going up under your

:32:47.:32:51.

policies, and the coalition policies? On nuclear, we took a

:32:51.:32:55.

decision under the Labour Government that we needed to revitalise the

:32:56.:33:00.

sector, to hit targets on clean that we needed to revitalise the

:33:00.:33:05.

energy and make sure it can do the heavy lifting. The Government at the

:33:05.:33:08.

present time are engaged in heavy lifting. The Government at the

:33:08.:33:11.

discussions with EDF about what the strike price should be. It's

:33:11.:33:14.

important, because I don't know what it's going to be, it is important

:33:14.:33:18.

that stands up to scrutiny in terms of value for money. At the same

:33:18.:33:23.

time, I go back to market reforms. We will not just have a target for

:33:23.:33:30.

difference, the jargon for nuclear, we will have it for renewables as

:33:30.:33:35.

well. That is even more important, that we have a transparent market so

:33:35.:33:37.

that we can have a robust target price to be judged against. Michael

:33:37.:33:43.

Gove recognised in question time that the market was not working. The

:33:43.:33:47.

Telegraph said in its editorial, they used the term cosy cartel. We

:33:47.:33:55.

have former advisers to David Cameron saying something needs to be

:33:55.:33:58.

done. I'm surprised David Cameron doesn't acknowledge that. You are

:33:58.:34:04.

going to freeze prices for 20 months and will come up with a new

:34:04.:34:08.

regulator to replace Ofgem. Will that regulator have the power to

:34:08.:34:10.

regulator to replace Ofgem. Will control prices? The new energy

:34:10.:34:17.

watchdog will have a strategy responsibility to monitor the

:34:17.:34:19.

wholesale costs and prices, which it currently doesn't have at the

:34:19.:34:21.

moment. As a result of that it will currently doesn't have at the

:34:21.:34:26.

have the power that, if the wholesale prices fall, it can force

:34:26.:34:28.

the energy companies, if they don't, wholesale prices fall, it can force

:34:28.:34:35.

to pass on reductions in bills to consumers. It will not have what we

:34:35.:34:38.

see in some parts of the European Union, 15 of them, that have a

:34:38.:34:43.

variety of price controls that set things at below inflation and what

:34:43.:34:47.

have you. France, Spain, Italy. It will not do that. Why? Because we

:34:47.:34:54.

are looking at a temporary price freeze to reflect a reduction in

:34:54.:34:56.

are looking at a temporary price wholesale prices, to give the

:34:56.:35:00.

British public respite from ever climbing bills while they get

:35:00.:35:03.

reforms into the market. At the end of this, what we want is a more

:35:03.:35:07.

competitive market that can be trusted, that is more transparent.

:35:07.:35:12.

We do believe it is right that, actually, we need a regulator that

:35:12.:35:16.

has much more of a role in making sure the market is managed

:35:16.:35:19.

effectively. Are you accusing energy companies of profiteering? EU I am

:35:19.:35:29.

accusing them of overcharging and not passing on wholesale reduction

:35:29.:35:32.

costs to the customer in a fair way. Of making Carter -- cartel profits?

:35:32.:35:44.

I do believe that the level of profits they have passed on to their

:35:44.:35:49.

shareholders is high, compared to the reductions they could have

:35:49.:35:52.

provided to consumers. Let's look at the evidence for that. Here are the

:35:52.:35:59.

British owned companies, SSE and Centrica. In the last fiscal year

:35:59.:36:03.

they made combined earnings of £4 billion. But they invested £3

:36:03.:36:10.

billion. The remaining money went to debt servicing and paying dividends,

:36:10.:36:15.

which go into pension funds. Where in these figures is the

:36:15.:36:18.

profiteering? My figures that I got through their reporting to Ofgem and

:36:18.:36:28.

work done by other organisations, Witch and others, it shows that in

:36:28.:36:33.

Centrica's case they have something like 8% return in profit margins on

:36:33.:36:38.

the retail side. That goes up to 24% on the generation side. They have

:36:38.:36:40.

passed on, in terms of profits, something I70 4% through evidence to

:36:40.:36:46.

shareholders. But these figures don't show that. They have invested

:36:46.:36:54.

£3 billion. I am reporting what has been reported by Ofgem. Ofgem has

:36:54.:36:59.

not accused them of property in. They may well be, but we don't have

:36:59.:37:03.

the evidence. I would accuse Ofgem of not doing the job they should be

:37:03.:37:06.

doing, and they have held back from tackling the issue. It is

:37:06.:37:12.

acknowledged, across the sector, across the big six, something like

:37:12.:37:16.

50% of profits has gone over to dividends to shareholders. In

:37:16.:37:21.

Centrica's case it is 74%. On the Centrica example, even though they

:37:21.:37:24.

have had the highest profit margins, they have invested the least. It is

:37:24.:37:28.

fair to question. We are running out they have invested the least. It is

:37:28.:37:34.

of time. None of us really know what the true price of energy is that is

:37:34.:37:39.

Labour's policy to reform his crucial. That is because he merged

:37:39.:37:42.

the market and we can't tell the difference. If they continue putting

:37:42.:37:46.

prices up, even after your price freeze, if they don't invest in a

:37:46.:37:51.

way that they do, do you rule out wholesale nationalisation?

:37:51.:37:54.

Absolutely. I want a more competitive market and that is why

:37:54.:37:59.

we are resetting it. You are watching Sunday Politics. Coming up

:37:59.:38:02.

in just over 20 minutes I will be looking at the week ahead with our

:38:02.:38:03.

political panel and Hello, and welcome to the programme.

:38:04.:38:21.

Some more instalment is in crisis, others passed it off as pure drama.

:38:21.:38:26.

The Prime Minister warned of difficulties but insisted there was

:38:26.:38:30.

no power-sharing crisis. We will hear life from the Secretary of

:38:30.:38:33.

State, who is at the Tory party conference in Manchester.

:38:33.:38:37.

Could people on this side of the border be offered a chance to vote

:38:37.:38:41.

Could people on this side of the in Irish presidential elections? The

:38:41.:38:41.

body set up to recommend changes to in Irish presidential elections? The

:38:41.:38:45.

the Republic's condition votes on the issue.

:38:45.:38:50.

I am joined by the Belfast Telegraph's political editor, Liam

:38:50.:38:54.

Clarke, and the editor of the Irish News, Noel Doran.

:38:54.:39:03.

As Tories gather in Manchester for their annual conference this

:39:03.:39:06.

weekend, the party has rejected Labour claims that the Secretary of

:39:06.:39:11.

State Theresa Villiers is taking a semi detached approach to tackling

:39:11.:39:12.

State Theresa Villiers is taking a serious issues here. On Friday, Eva

:39:12.:39:18.

Taman sidestepped any suggestion he might have to intervene in the Haas

:39:18.:39:24.

talks. -- David Cameron sidestepped. You spoke to the Prime Minister in

:39:24.:39:28.

Downing Street at the end of last week. He says there is no crisis,

:39:28.:39:33.

but what is the mood among delegates in Manchester today? A despair to

:39:33.:39:36.

say Northern Ireland is not the talking point. People are talking

:39:36.:39:40.

about the economy and the announcement relating to housing,

:39:40.:39:47.

and welfare reform. It is not as high up on the agenda as it used to

:39:47.:39:55.

be. David Cameron said he does not think Stormont is in crisis. He said

:39:55.:39:59.

he is not going to intervene every five minutes. To find out if that

:39:59.:40:05.

analysis is shared by the Secretary of State, I am joined by Theresa

:40:05.:40:09.

Villiers. The Prime Minister says there is not a crisis at Stormont,

:40:09.:40:13.

ie in danger of underplaying it? Clearly, we have a mandatory five

:40:13.:40:20.

party coalition. There will be times when they do not agree with each

:40:20.:40:25.

other. That is a fact of life in any coalition. We know that in the

:40:25.:40:30.

Conservatives. I have had a very constructive meeting. There is

:40:30.:40:36.

important work going on in relation to the economic package. It is the

:40:36.:40:40.

case that there is work going on. There is always a need for closer

:40:40.:40:45.

cooperation and more progress and I will continue to press the case with

:40:45.:40:51.

all parties. The Labour Party say you should be more involved. Do you

:40:51.:40:56.

accept there is a danger you could be seen as semidetached? I do not

:40:56.:41:00.

accept that criticism. The Prime Minister and I have been very

:41:00.:41:05.

involved in the economic package, the G8, and the investment

:41:05.:41:10.

conference coming up. We believe passionately in rebalancing the

:41:10.:41:12.

economy in Northern Ireland and being on the side of hard-working

:41:12.:41:17.

people. That is why we have reduced income tax for many of them, why we

:41:17.:41:22.

have frozen fuel duty, and why are devastated and plan is aimed at

:41:22.:41:26.

boosting the Northern Ireland economy and helping people with

:41:26.:41:28.

household bills by keeping mortgages low. I have talked to every

:41:28.:41:35.

political party about the Haas process. That is why we are

:41:35.:41:38.

encouraging the First and Deputy First Minister to get this started

:41:38.:41:41.

in the first place and take hold of First Minister to get this started

:41:41.:41:46.

the important issues. What happens if you do not meet the deadline for

:41:46.:41:53.

the talks at Christmas? We should have faith in the process as it

:41:53.:41:57.

starts. We should not be looking at failure before it has even kicked

:41:57.:42:02.

off. I think Richard Haass is an impressive individual and the

:42:02.:42:06.

reality is, Northern Ireland's political leadership have

:42:06.:42:10.

demonstrated the ability to resolve difficult problems and have

:42:10.:42:13.

demonstrated an ability to make progress and they have transformed

:42:13.:42:17.

life in Northern Ireland. I believe they are capable of resolving these

:42:17.:42:22.

questions. On the three areas, flags, parading on the past, which

:42:22.:42:31.

of those steel think you could get agreement on most quickly? -- which

:42:31.:42:40.

of those do you think. Flags and parading are easier to build

:42:40.:42:43.

consensus on than the past. It is well worth pushing forward fresh

:42:43.:42:51.

thinking on all three issues. This week at the conference you are

:42:51.:42:53.

talking about doing things for hard-working people. What of those

:42:53.:42:59.

measures will apply to Northern Ireland and will there be special

:42:59.:43:05.

measures? A number of the measures are crucial - fixing public finances

:43:05.:43:13.

is the only way to rebalance the economy and boost the private sector

:43:13.:43:16.

in Northern Ireland. We are also helping with the cost of living,

:43:16.:43:22.

which is a big issue for many in Northern Ireland. That is why we

:43:22.:43:25.

have reduced income tax and fuel duty. We are also focusing on

:43:25.:43:34.

drawing in investment into Northern Ireland. That is why the Prime

:43:34.:43:38.

Minister will be back in Northern Ireland in a few days for a global

:43:38.:43:40.

Minister will be back in Northern investment conference, which is

:43:40.:43:42.

Minister will be back in Northern making the most of the fantastically

:43:42.:43:46.

successful G8 which was in Northern Ireland. What happens if Stormont

:43:46.:43:48.

successful G8 which was in Northern does not meet its welfare reform

:43:48.:43:53.

deadline? If Stormont decides they are not going to implement welfare

:43:53.:43:58.

reform, that does leave them with a bill rising to around 60 million a

:43:58.:44:03.

year. It is a very big decision to break with parity, so I hope they

:44:03.:44:07.

will recognise that we have worked hard to give them the flexibility

:44:07.:44:14.

that Nelson McCausland asked for. We understand the concerns about

:44:14.:44:16.

welfare reform and we are convinced reforms are the right way forward

:44:16.:44:19.

and we hope the Executive feel the same.

:44:19.:44:22.

Back to Belfast. Let's hear the same.

:44:22.:44:31.

thoughts of my studio guests, the Irish News editor Noel Doran and

:44:31.:44:34.

Liam Clarke, the political editor of the Belfast Telegraph. Noel Doran,

:44:34.:44:40.

no surprise that the Secretary of State would say she has every

:44:40.:44:43.

confidence that Northern Ireland's politicians are capable of coming to

:44:43.:44:48.

a resolution of the issues in Richard Haass's talks. Do you think

:44:48.:44:52.

she feels she has to say that order she believe it? We have not seen

:44:52.:44:55.

much of her in recent times. I she believe it? We have not seen

:44:55.:45:08.

suppose she would say that. We are in difficulties. There are tensions

:45:08.:45:10.

and relationships have been declining. Not so much of the last

:45:10.:45:17.

week or two, but last August and the latter confronting the Parades

:45:17.:45:24.

Commission which was not signed by Peter Robinson. A second draft

:45:24.:45:30.

emerged and that change the climate completely. You could argue that the

:45:30.:45:36.

Secretary of State is caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one

:45:36.:45:42.

hand, she cannot interfere in the Richard Haass talks and on the other

:45:42.:45:46.

hand she is accused of being semidetached? I think this is

:45:46.:45:53.

merited. Both are First and Deputy First Minister have not been seen

:45:53.:45:57.

together much and for her to grab the wheel while there is a moment of

:45:57.:46:01.

difficulty would undermine the institutions and the chance of

:46:01.:46:05.

getting a solution. She has to hold back. If things get really bad,

:46:05.:46:08.

people expect the Irish and British back. If things get really bad,

:46:08.:46:13.

government to intervene and you have got to keep the pressure on local

:46:13.:46:18.

players to do more. Interesting turn of phrase on flags and parades. She

:46:18.:46:22.

said they are two areas more susceptible to building consensus

:46:22.:46:33.

than the past. It is interesting. These are the issues that have

:46:33.:46:37.

tended to drag us down not over just the last year but many years.

:46:37.:46:41.

Obviously it is possible to come up with solutions but it has proved

:46:41.:46:48.

impossible in recent times. The thing is getting worse. It will take

:46:48.:46:55.

a fair bit of negotiating to get out of the tangle of parades and flags.

:46:55.:47:02.

Are we just aiming for a resolution of two of the three key areas, is

:47:02.:47:05.

that where we have lowered our sites? I think it is. There was a

:47:05.:47:14.

hope that Richard Haass would suggest a consultation on the past.

:47:14.:47:18.

There is optimism on parading, because it was agreed between people

:47:18.:47:34.

in 2010. We cannot have the Orange Order are saying that is a start for

:47:34.:47:39.

negotiations. If we can get that sort, because the drugs is dying

:47:39.:47:44.

every year. Having had a crisis in the past week? The crisis reference

:47:44.:47:53.

came from Gerry Kelly, who tends to find himself on the front line in

:47:53.:48:01.

circumstances you would not necessarily find Martin McGuinness.

:48:01.:48:06.

If we saw Martin McGuinness saying things like that we might be

:48:06.:48:09.

entitled to be more worried. There is no doubt that the relationship

:48:09.:48:12.

between Sinn Fein and the DUP has to climb. You think that -- do you

:48:12.:48:22.

think that Sinn Fein need to reflect on Castlederg? Yes. I do not think

:48:22.:48:32.

it is a crisis and I do not think either party needs to pull out of

:48:32.:48:38.

government, but there is no doubt it is harder for them to get business

:48:38.:48:43.

done and there is the potential for more obstruction later on. Moth

:48:43.:48:50.

emulator. -- more from you later. Now, 60

:48:50.:48:56.

Seconds. The week got off to a fiery start

:48:57.:49:00.

with a wry between the First Minister and Jim Allister. The

:49:00.:49:07.

member as the executor of a will is selling land to republicans in

:49:07.:49:11.

County Fermanagh to benefit his own family. That is fair game as a

:49:11.:49:18.

politician but my wife is not in politics. John O'Dowd says Sinn Fein

:49:18.:49:23.

politician but my wife is not in may reconsider republican

:49:23.:49:30.

commemorations. Lord Mara's human trafficking bill took a step closer

:49:30.:49:37.

to becoming law. -- Lord Morrow. We can help some of the most

:49:37.:49:41.

vulnerable men, women and children, who come to our province.

:49:41.:49:47.

The Prime Minister says power-sharing is working. They work

:49:47.:49:50.

hard at their relationship and they are doing the right thing by

:49:50.:49:53.

governing together. I would not call it that, but there are is more to

:49:53.:49:59.

come. -- but there is.

:49:59.:50:06.

People on this side of the border could soon be offered the chance to

:50:06.:50:08.

People on this side of the border vote in Ireland's presidential

:50:08.:50:12.

elections. It is part of a possible reform of the law in the public

:50:12.:50:16.

which is primarily aimed at allowing emigrants to vote for the head of

:50:16.:50:20.

the state, but would also allow people in the north to cast a

:50:20.:50:25.

ballot. With me, Alastair Ross and Barry McElduff. Why is this only an

:50:25.:50:36.

issue? It is not suddenly an issue. Since 2011 there has been an

:50:36.:50:40.

independent campaign, one vote, one voice. Even predating that, it is an

:50:40.:50:46.

issue for nationalists in the North. They want more meaningful expression

:50:46.:50:52.

of our constitutional right to our Irishness. Why is it an issue now?

:50:52.:50:56.

of our constitutional right to our It is in the Good Friday Agreement

:50:56.:51:01.

ad in the Constitution that we have a birth rate entitlement to an Irish

:51:01.:51:04.

national identity. It is in the Good Friday Agreement. Which was 1998.

:51:04.:51:12.

There has been a quiet campaign, and it came to light more following on

:51:12.:51:15.

from the presidency of Mary McAleese. It is a huge irony that I

:51:15.:51:32.

might resort to GAA talk now. Not of the footballers in 2003 had a vote

:51:32.:51:36.

at Croke Park, and Mary McAleese did not have a vote. We want meaningful

:51:36.:51:46.

expression. Is it also partly to do with the fact that Martin McGuinness

:51:46.:51:50.

expression. Is it also partly to do might have won in 2011 if he had had

:51:50.:51:56.

northern votes? There is northern interest but it is not confined to

:51:56.:52:02.

the nationalist and republican community. During Mary McAleese's

:52:02.:52:05.

presidency, I was a regular visitor to the presidential house. People

:52:05.:52:12.

from all sides wanted to be part of those delegations. But would you

:52:12.:52:19.

want people to vote in the South's presidential elections? The Irish

:52:19.:52:23.

president is the president of the Republic of Ireland has no

:52:23.:52:29.

jurisdiction over Northern Ireland. Distinction has been made and the

:52:29.:52:38.

office of the president has been a force for good, and I would not want

:52:38.:52:43.

there to be a backward step. You would not want to give the

:52:43.:52:45.

impression that the President has jurisdiction over Northern Ireland.

:52:45.:52:50.

But surely people who want to vote would have the right to do so? It

:52:50.:52:58.

would give the didymus the to the idea of having control over all of

:52:58.:53:02.

Ireland. -- it would give legitimacy. There are citizens in

:53:02.:53:07.

Northern Ireland who do not pay taxes in the Republic, have no stake

:53:07.:53:09.

in the outcome of the elections, who taxes in the Republic, have no stake

:53:09.:53:12.

do not live there, potentially having a say in the outcome of the

:53:12.:53:18.

election. But that happens all over the world, where expats are allowed

:53:18.:53:25.

to vote in presidential elections. If you get their way, somebody

:53:25.:53:30.

living in London or America with an Irish passport could vote but

:53:30.:53:32.

someone in Belfast could not. That Irish passport could vote but

:53:32.:53:36.

is not true, there is not an absolute right. If you live in

:53:36.:53:39.

America or Australia or somewhere for 15 years, you would not be able

:53:39.:53:45.

to vote in a UK election. You could have somebody living in Australia or

:53:45.:53:51.

America for the last 30 years who have no stake in what is happening

:53:51.:54:01.

here. The fact that they do not pay taxes would suggest that to me and I

:54:01.:54:04.

think people in the Republic would feel at. He is being perfectly

:54:04.:54:11.

reasonable when he says it is a step too far. It is not too far, it is

:54:11.:54:18.

hugely symbolic. It is for Alastair Ross! I would suggest there is a

:54:18.:54:26.

strong interest in the Protestant community, and certainly in the

:54:26.:54:32.

nationalist community, about wanting to access voting rights in respect

:54:32.:54:36.

of a presidential election. You think unionists and the North want

:54:36.:54:42.

to vote in -- in the North want to vote in the Irish presidential

:54:42.:54:47.

election? Where is your evidence? Mary McAleese opened up the doors,

:54:47.:54:57.

even on the 12th of July, two orange groups who might want to avail of

:54:57.:55:04.

the premises. -- to Orange Order groups. There is a significant

:55:04.:55:11.

interest in my part of world. I brought down a group of 49 mothers

:55:11.:55:21.

of autistic children. It is good to give meaningful expression to the

:55:21.:55:23.

Good Friday Agreement. You think give meaningful expression to the

:55:23.:55:29.

there are unionists in the North who want to vote in the Irish

:55:29.:55:33.

presidential election, who are they? I have attended meetings of the one

:55:33.:55:37.

vote, one voice campaign, which is non-party aligned, and there were

:55:37.:55:42.

members of the Protestant unionist community there. Often people are

:55:42.:55:46.

ahead of their politicians. Well, there you are. I have never met any

:55:46.:55:56.

of them. Barry McElduff has a better ear to the ground with grassroots

:55:56.:56:04.

unionism than you have. Well, my door is open to anyone who is

:56:04.:56:10.

interested in this. The surveys door is open to anyone who is

:56:10.:56:13.

lately would indicate that people are content with the constitutional

:56:13.:56:18.

position and do not take that much interest in politics down south.

:56:18.:56:23.

Under the Good Friday Agreement you are entitled to dual citizenship,

:56:23.:56:26.

and if you live in the north you are entitled to have a say in the Irish

:56:26.:56:29.

nation, if you wish to express it. entitled to have a say in the Irish

:56:29.:56:35.

That is fair enough about me well be what happens. This debate would

:56:35.:56:38.

indicate that we do not have a right. It comes back to this point,

:56:38.:56:43.

do individuals living in Northern Ireland who do not contribute to the

:56:43.:56:48.

Republic of Ireland economy with taxation, who do not have to live

:56:48.:56:51.

with the consequences of the vote, should they have to live with the

:56:52.:56:55.

outcome of a vote that is not affect them? That is a key issue which is

:56:55.:57:03.

very important to ordinary citizens. I think this position is regressive.

:57:03.:57:06.

You said that other states and countries have this approach. In the

:57:07.:57:14.

French presidential election last year, almost 1 million people beyond

:57:14.:57:18.

the French state voted in apprentice presidential election. There are

:57:18.:57:26.

certain people who see this as a bit of a Trojan horse, this is the thin

:57:26.:57:30.

end of the wedge. You have got to be sensitive to that. It is about

:57:30.:57:38.

rights, and rights threaten no one. If Alistair did not want to avail of

:57:38.:57:46.

that it is his choice. But it could change people's notion of the status

:57:46.:57:49.

of Northern Ireland and its relationship to the Republic. Jana

:57:49.:57:53.

Mac President Michael D Higgins said he was a president for all of the

:57:53.:57:56.

Irish people, North and South, and for the wider diaspora. I do not

:57:56.:58:05.

think he is threatening. He is not the president for all of the people

:58:05.:58:09.

of Northern Ireland. His jurisdiction has been over the Irish

:58:09.:58:15.

Republic. I think relationships have been good and I would not want to

:58:15.:58:19.

jeopardise that. The Alliance Party took part in one vote, one voice.

:58:19.:58:26.

The Alliance Party might be divided. It will be interesting to hear what

:58:26.:58:30.

people say and to see what the result of the vote is when it

:58:30.:58:34.

happens later on today. A final word from our commentators.

:58:34.:58:37.

Do you think it is a burning issue, A final word from our commentators.

:58:37.:58:41.

are there are a lot of people in Northern Ireland who would like to

:58:41.:58:45.

avail of the opportunity to vote in an Irish presidential election? It

:58:45.:58:48.

is difficult enough to get them to vote in Northern Ireland! If they

:58:48.:58:54.

voted it would be on local issues. Research says 67% of Catholics would

:58:54.:59:01.

vote Sinn Fein. If Protestants are unionists vote against Sinn Fein,

:59:01.:59:05.

there is not an engagement with Southern political issues. There

:59:05.:59:08.

could well be resentment in the south of northerners had the vote

:59:08.:59:16.

and a factor that. I think there is a petition list attitude with Barry

:59:16.:59:21.

McElduff. There are always problems but it would be a fascinating

:59:21.:59:26.

prospect. I watched Michael D Higgins yesterday, he is a

:59:26.:59:30.

tremendously popular and revered figure. In terms of the impact on

:59:30.:59:37.

the southern electorate, Martin McGuinness was half a million votes

:59:37.:59:41.

behind Michael D Higgins. If the Sinn Fein electoral machine had

:59:41.:59:48.

delivered, Martin McGuinness would still have been third. I think some

:59:48.:59:52.

northern nationalists would not have voted for Michael D Higgins anyway.

:59:52.:59:59.

I think it is a fascinating prospect and has happened in other countries

:59:59.:00:04.

and the debate is eight report -- an important one. One last issue,

:00:04.:00:13.

Daniel Libeskind, responsible for the Maze-Long Kesh project, said he

:00:13.:00:18.

believes this by Peter Robinson's intervention that the project will

:00:18.:00:26.

happen. That is an interesting contribution at this time? It was a

:00:26.:00:31.

loss of nerve on the part of the DUP. Peter Robinson said it would

:00:31.:00:34.

not be a shrine to terrorism but he said he was finding that unionist

:00:34.:00:38.

victims group 's did not accept his argument. -- unionist victims'

:00:38.:00:48.

groups. Why would the son of a Holocaust victim want to build a

:00:48.:00:54.

shrine to terrorism? Yes, that needs to be taken seriously. I am not sure

:00:54.:01:00.

that everyone is enthusiastic about the project, but I think Sinn Fein

:01:00.:01:04.

believed they had a deal with Peter Robinson and when

:01:04.:01:05.

and Emily Thornberry. Back to you, Andrew.

:01:05.:01:16.

So, we'll David Cameron's marriage tax break win over voters? How will

:01:16.:01:21.

So, we'll David Cameron's marriage the Tories react to Ed Miliband's

:01:21.:01:26.

conference initiatives? And what is UKIP leader Nigel FarageFarage up to

:01:26.:01:39.

with the Tories in Manchester? Joining us now is UKIP's Diane

:01:39.:01:42.

James. She came second in the easterly by-election.

:01:42.:01:49.

On this business of a possible Tory- UKIP pact, in a general election,

:01:49.:01:56.

let's see what David Cameron had to say about that earlier. I am not

:01:56.:02:02.

looking for a packed. I think we need to give people a clear choice

:02:02.:02:05.

at the general election. The British economy has turned a corner. We are

:02:05.:02:09.

on the right track, we are seeing more jobs, new businesses, we are

:02:09.:02:12.

beginning to get things moving again. Do you want to stick with us,

:02:12.:02:18.

delivering an economy for hard-working people, or do you want

:02:18.:02:19.

to put it at risk with Ed Miliband hard-working people, or do you want

:02:19.:02:25.

and his crazy plans to tax business out of existence? That was the Prime

:02:25.:02:29.

Minister on the Sunday Politics. Is there any appetite on the UKIP side

:02:29.:02:33.

for a pact? In my experience, discussions around the country, I

:02:33.:02:39.

would say no. It's being discussed, then? EU no. It has not come up. It

:02:39.:02:50.

is the media that is pushing this. It has reflected what has happened

:02:50.:02:54.

with the parties since the conference season began. Labour are

:02:54.:02:59.

trying to reclaim what I would call the traditionalist socialist

:02:59.:03:03.

position. I'm not sure what the Liberal Democrats or two, but the

:03:03.:03:06.

Conservatives are trying to react to the threat that UKIP represents.

:03:06.:03:09.

There is this element, the accusation they are lurching more to

:03:09.:03:15.

the right, which the media wants to interpret as them possibly being

:03:15.:03:17.

able to do some sort of pact with UKIP. Have you given any thought to

:03:17.:03:24.

what shape it would take? Not whatsoever. It is not on the radar.

:03:24.:03:27.

I have read comments, including individual such as Douglas

:03:27.:03:32.

Carswell, the Eurosceptics, that they might form a potential, let's

:03:32.:03:39.

call it, you know, cabinet. If there were UKIP members, I don't doubt

:03:39.:03:43.

that Nigel Farage would be one of them. But I would reiterate it is

:03:43.:03:45.

not discussions that are taking place. I am thinking more of an

:03:45.:03:52.

electoral pact, not a coalition. I have responded to that by saying,

:03:52.:03:56.

the moment, there are no ongoing discussions. There is certainly

:03:57.:03:59.

nothing that has been discussed at a constituency level or coming out of

:03:59.:04:03.

the national executive. You don't believe any constituencies are

:04:04.:04:06.

discussing this with Tory Eurosceptics? I am not privy to what

:04:06.:04:14.

all 360 constituencies might be discussing. All I can do is give you

:04:14.:04:18.

the example of the few I have seen and know it is not on the agenda.

:04:18.:04:24.

Without a pact, it is perfectly possible that you could fail to win

:04:24.:04:29.

a single seat at the next election, but put Ed Miliband into Downing

:04:29.:04:34.

Street? Categorically not. There are a number of seats out there that are

:04:34.:04:46.

very clear marginals, just like Eddy Izzard was. I believe there could be

:04:46.:04:58.

an MP -- just like Eastleigh was. If you take enough votes away from the

:04:58.:05:01.

Tories, if you make sure that Labour wins? I will go back to the comment

:05:01.:05:07.

I made. If you take Eastleigh as an example, a Liberal Democrat held

:05:07.:05:12.

seat, even after that result, does not mean that UKIP is suddenly going

:05:12.:05:17.

to be focusing on Tory seats. We are out there because people resonate

:05:17.:05:20.

with our message. For the Liberal Democrats to make it abundantly

:05:20.:05:23.

clear that they will not support a referendum, that they will not

:05:23.:05:27.

support any discussion on leaving the queue, that could be a big

:05:27.:05:31.

turn-off for voters. David Cameron says there is not going to be a

:05:31.:05:35.

pact, Diane James says there is not going to be one. There might be one

:05:35.:05:39.

or at a constituency level. But it seems clear to me that there will

:05:39.:05:43.

not be a national one. So, does David Cameron have a UKIP strategy?

:05:43.:05:48.

The only encouraging thing for UKIP's successful David Cameron is

:05:48.:05:50.

that their support is so enormous UKIP's successful David Cameron is

:05:50.:05:52.

that the moment that he would only really need to win back maybe a

:05:52.:05:57.

third or a quarter of its to make a decisive difference to the Tory

:05:57.:06:00.

share of the vote in 2015. The question becomes, how much of that

:06:00.:06:04.

UKIP support is up for grabs? A poll last week suggested that 47% of

:06:04.:06:09.

current UKIP voters would consider voting Tory if it meant preventing

:06:09.:06:12.

Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister. That number goes up to 57% against

:06:12.:06:16.

the backdrop of an economic recovery. So, plausibly, there is

:06:16.:06:21.

quite a lot to play with. The secondary question is, what does

:06:21.:06:24.

David Cameron do to win over those people? He has tried a Europe will

:06:24.:06:29.

referendum and it didn't work. He tried travelling up his immigration

:06:29.:06:32.

policy and that didn't work. I wonder if it is time. You wait until

:06:32.:06:37.

the run-up to 2015, when they start to focus on the explicit choice

:06:37.:06:42.

between Ed Miliband and David Cameron, and that is what shifts a

:06:42.:06:45.

lot of UKIP support to David Cameron. We heard from William Hague

:06:45.:06:52.

earlier in the programme, the Tory line is that if you vote UKIP you

:06:52.:06:55.

could end up with Ed Miliband in Downing Street. That is the simple

:06:55.:07:01.

appeal, isn't it? Yes, and I think Diane is right, I think the European

:07:01.:07:07.

elections will show a good showing for UKIP. It is deemed the one where

:07:07.:07:12.

you can play away. I think it will be hard for people to get excited

:07:12.:07:16.

about that, I think that bounce will fade away. In Eastleigh, they had a

:07:16.:07:21.

good ground game, that is difficult for UKIP, that don't have that

:07:21.:07:27.

machinery sorted. How are they going to fund that operation? But the UKIP

:07:27.:07:33.

bounce could fade away after the European elections. Even if they go

:07:33.:07:37.

down to 6% or 8% in a general election, they are still immensely

:07:37.:07:40.

dangerous to the Conservative Party. But there is really only two things

:07:40.:07:45.

David Cameron can do. One is to be boring and talk about helping people

:07:45.:07:48.

with their mortgage, helping with bread and butter issues. The second

:07:48.:07:53.

thing is, those European actions, he tends to the natural Conservative

:07:53.:07:57.

voters and says, you have had your fun, next year do you want me or Ed

:07:57.:08:01.

Miliband us your prime and? The real danger with David Cameron is saying,

:08:01.:08:05.

of course, there is not going to be a pact, the danger is you will get a

:08:05.:08:11.

repeat of the 1977 election. John Major said, famously, do not bind my

:08:11.:08:15.

hands. A series of Conservative candidates said they would

:08:15.:08:18.

personally rule out membership of the euro, when the Conservative

:08:18.:08:23.

membership was wait and see. That looked like a Prime Minister not in

:08:23.:08:26.

charge of his party. The danger is you will get a repeat of that

:08:26.:08:30.

amongst Conservative candidates. Let's assume you do really well in

:08:30.:08:34.

the European actions and there is a widespread expectation that you

:08:34.:08:41.

will, even in Downing Street. They might be managing expectations. What

:08:41.:08:44.

stops you fading away as the general election approaches? A number of

:08:44.:08:49.

reasons. As has been mentioned, the whole issue of the referendum pledge

:08:49.:08:52.

has been proved to be an absolute nonsense. It is so contingent on if

:08:52.:08:59.

I am re-elected, if it's not a coalition government, is, if, if.

:08:59.:09:06.

That was fooled nobody. The issue of where voters are coming from, it is

:09:06.:09:09.

because they have lost faith in what David Cameron says. There is nothing

:09:09.:09:14.

he is going to say that is convince them to give him another chance. I

:09:14.:09:18.

think that is my view and the view of a lot of UKIP. I am told that

:09:18.:09:23.

they have expunged Nigel Farage from the fringes? It is a great scoop, on

:09:23.:09:31.

the front page. They are outside the ring of steel. Even so, they won't

:09:31.:09:34.

include him in the conference programme, so they must be worried

:09:34.:09:38.

about something. His people have paid money for adverts in the Tory

:09:38.:09:43.

brochure and his name has been taken out. Speaking of people the Tory

:09:43.:09:46.

brochure and his name has been taken leadership is worried about, Boris

:09:46.:09:50.

Johnson, are we in any doubt as a result of his Financial Times

:09:50.:09:52.

interview that he is now beginning his long march back to Parliament?

:09:52.:10:00.

He does express feeling slightly sad during the Syria debate that he was

:10:00.:10:04.

not there, on the political front line to participate. I still do not

:10:04.:10:10.

see why it is in his interest is to move before 2015. No, I don't think

:10:10.:10:15.

he will move before, I think he is sending a signal to the existing

:10:15.:10:21.

Tories in the Commons that when Call Me Dave goes, I will be back? He has

:10:21.:10:32.

the Vince Cable problem, if you say the same thing too many times,

:10:32.:10:35.

people get bored and factor it in. The interesting thing is him saying

:10:35.:10:40.

that people have seven years before the electorate get bored of them. He

:10:40.:10:45.

might be cresting that. He doesn't want to be Prime Minister, he is

:10:45.:10:48.

much more ambitious than that. He wants to be an emperor. He was

:10:48.:10:55.

asked, which Roman emperor would you like to be compared to? You said,

:10:55.:10:59.

Augustus, the first and most important. I don't think you are

:10:59.:11:05.

thinking big enough. See what I have to put up with, every Sunday? By

:11:06.:11:12.

virtue of being born in the US, he could be president. Unlike Arnold

:11:12.:11:15.

Schwarzenegger. How about a deal with Boris? He has made no secret,

:11:15.:11:25.

after Eastleigh, that he would be open to a discussion. Let's call it

:11:25.:11:28.

no more than a discussion. He has been adamant, however, he does not

:11:28.:11:34.

see any reason, any justification or any opportunity where he would be

:11:34.:11:36.

able to have that discourse with any opportunity where he would be

:11:36.:11:42.

David Cameron. Maybe it comes down to that on both sides. I've no idea.

:11:42.:11:47.

We know that the Tories will be even more Eurosceptic after the next

:11:47.:11:52.

election? I can't imagine David Cameron's successor will be somebody

:11:52.:11:56.

that supports EU membership in principle. If you look at the

:11:56.:11:59.

ideological direction of the party. The leadership contest will be about

:11:59.:12:05.

2018. If you are standing, when David Cameron renegotiate our

:12:05.:12:08.

membership, are you going to say David Cameron renegotiate our

:12:08.:12:11.

this is a great deal for Britain because the Prime Minister has

:12:11.:12:14.

turned to leave rapid change two words in the working Time directive,

:12:14.:12:16.

turned to leave rapid change two or are you going to become a leader

:12:16.:12:20.

by saying, I want out? What would be a good conference for David Cameron

:12:20.:12:27.

this week? A decent poll bounce. Ed Miliband have a good one. An

:12:27.:12:31.

eye-catching announcement related to living standards. May be a clearer

:12:31.:12:36.

line on energy prices? That would certainly help, that fightback has

:12:36.:12:41.

been rubbish so far. The thing we should be looking out for are not

:12:41.:12:44.

the polls immediately after, but the ones about the end of October, when

:12:44.:12:48.

everything gets to settle down and then we will see what happens. In a

:12:48.:12:53.

word, what is Nigel Farage out to get at the Tory conference? What is

:12:53.:12:57.

he doing, other than mischief? I could almost say revenge. Revenge on

:12:57.:13:05.

Mr Cameron? Yes. You know? Lord Ashcroft was there at the Labour

:13:05.:13:08.

conference, let's put it into conference. You call it mischief,

:13:08.:13:13.

but there is every reason why he should be there. We all call it

:13:13.:13:18.

mischief. Thanks for being with us. Join me on Daily Politics for live

:13:18.:13:22.

coverage of the Conservative Party conference tomorrow morning from

:13:22.:13:27.

11:30 on BBC Two. We will bring you George Osborne's speech live and

:13:27.:13:31.

uninterrupted. I'll be back next weekend when guests will include

:13:31.:13:35.

former Conservative Chancellor Kenneth Clarke. Remember, if it is

:13:35.:13:38.

Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.

:13:38.:13:40.

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