30/03/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey and Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 30/03/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Can Ed Davey keep the lights on? Can he ever deliver cheaper power? Or


the investment our energy market badly needs? We'll be asking the


Energy Secretary. Why has the anti-independence Better


Together campaign suddenly got the jitters? We'll be quizzing Scottish


Secretary Alistair Carmichael. And whatever happened to the BNP?


And in Northern Ireland - another They could be heading for electoral


And in Northern Ireland - another week where the health service has


been making the headlines. Is it crisis time for the politicians


charged with looking after the system? Join me in half an hour.


which runs the capital's Fire Service. The Mayor has a political


move designed to silence his critics.


And with me, as always, the most useless political panel in the


business, who we're contractually obliged to insult on a weekly basis.


But not today, because they are our chosen ones. They are the brightest


and the best, we've even hired a plane to prove it: Helen Lewis,


Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.


Right, left and centre of the Westminster Establishment have been


unanimous in saying there would be no chance of monetary union with the


rest of the UK for an independent Scotland. Then an unnamed minister


spoke to our Nick saying that wasn't necessarily so, and that made the


Guardian's front page. The SNP were delighted and the anti-independence


campaign rushed to limit the damage. The faux pas has come at a time when


the Better Together side was already beginning to worry that things were


going the Nationalists' way. Let's speak to a leading light in that


campaign, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, who's in


Aberdeen at the Scottish Liberal Democrat spring conference.


Alistair Carmichael, why is there a sense of crisis now engulfing the no


campaign? I think that is something of an overstatement. What you have


got is, I am getting my own voice played back in my ear. What you have


got here is one story from an unnamed source, a minister who we


are told, we do not know for certain, who has speculated on the


possibility of a currency union actually happening. I do not think


that is helpful but it is not any big deal. You have to measure it


against what we have got publicly named on the record. We have got a


detailed intervention of the Governor of the Bank of England,


Mark Carney, outlining all the reasons why a currency union would


not be a good idea. And then you have got independent advice from the


permanent Secretary of the Treasury himself saying actually, this is


such a bad idea, that I would never advise a chancellor to go ahead with


it. You set one against the other and you see that pretty much the


force of argument is very much against those of us who want to


remain in the United Kingdom. All the minister was saying is come the


day, if Westminster is negotiating with a new independent Scotland, a


deal is to be done, Faslane where the nuclear deterrent is, there is


nowhere else in the UK to put that is, certainly not for the next 20


years, a deal would be done, the nuclear weapons would stay in


Faslane and Scotland would get a monetary union with the rest of the


UK. That is perfectly plausible, isn't it? No, I'm sorry, it is


simply not plausible. The economy is more important than anything else.


What you have had here is very clear advice from the treasury officials


saying it is not in the economic best interests of the people of


England Wales, Northern Ireland, any more than it is in the interests of


people in Scotland. Where do you put the nukes? The outcome will not


change. Where do you put the nukes when the Nationalists kick you out?


I do not believe that will be a problem because I do not believe


Scotland will vote for independence. But you might be asking the Scottish


Nationalists, who are apparently promoting this, are they then not


sincere when they say they want to remove nuclear weapons from


Scotland? It seems to be a curious mixed message. As you know, I have


not got the Nationalists, I have got you, so let me ask you the


questions. You are widely seen as running a campaign which is too


negative. The Nationalists are narrowing the gap in the poll found


you are squabbling among yourselves. This campaign is going pear shaped,


isn't it? No, let's deal with the polls. All the polls show that the


people of Scotland want to stay as part of the United Kingdom. Yes,


there were a couple of polls last week that said the gap was narrowing


a little. The most recent poll of all, the poll on Wednesday which


actually polled people's voting intentions on the question come


September showed that only 28% of people in Scotland were prepared to


say they were voting yes, as opposed to the 42% who were on our side of


the argument saying they wish to remain part of the UK. That poll


said women were skewing towards a yes vote and it showed that the


don't knows were beginning to skew towards a yes vote. That is why you


yourself wrote this morning that if your campaign does not get its act


together, you would be sleepwalking into a split to quote yourself. No,


to quote myself I said it was not impossible that the Nationalists


could win that. That is absolutely the case. The biggest danger for the


United Kingdom camp in this whole argument is people will look at the


polls. They show us with a healthy lead consistently. As a consequence,


they think this will not happen. It can happen. I have got to tell


everybody that it could, not least because the Nationalists have an


enormous advantage in terms of the amount of money they have at their


disposal to buy momentum. They will be advertising in cinemas, in


football matches and on social media. We have got to realise what


is coming and as a consequence, we have got to get our arguments in


place and our campaign as sharp as theirs. Thank you for joining us.


Nick, this unnamed minister who gave you the story, did he or she know


what they were doing? I do not think they were sitting there wanting to


blast this out there, because the agreed government position was there


will not be a currency union, if there is a vote for independence.


But what I was managing to get hold of whether thoughts that are in the


deeper recesses of people's minds, when they are looking at the polls


which have been narrowing, or there was Alistair Carmichael quite


rightly says, the pro-UK vote is still ahead. People are looking down


the line, what would happen after the 18th of September this year, not


just the next day but the next year, in those very lengthy


negotiations that would take place, when there would be a lot of moving


places on the table. You talked about Faslane, what would happen


then and that is what I managed to get hold of, that there are thoughts


about all those pieces that would be on the table. It is not surprising


that some in Westminster think that. Let's take the Shadow


Chancellor Danny Alexander at his word, they do not want a monetary


union. But if they are faced with giving the Scots a monetary union in


a post-independent Scotland, or having to remove the nuclear


submarines from Faslane, where they have nowhere else to put them,


probably except North America, there is a deal to be done. I think


whatever minister gave Nick his story is probably onto something. If


the Scots vote for independence, of course a deal will be done about the


currency because it is not in London's interests to have a


rancorous relationship with Edinburgh. Even if the deal is not


done, how does one country stop another country using its. That is


different. All London can really do is prevent Scottish intervention on


the monetary policy committee. The interest rate would be set without


any regard to the Scottish interest. Even that is only a fatal problem if


the Scottish economy becomes so out of sync with the UK economy. Except


it is a problem for Scotland's financial system because if you go


down that route there is no means of injecting liquidity into the


financial system in the financial crisis. That is why they would


rather have a monetary union. Is it not remarkable to hear the Secretary


of State for Scotland here that the Nationalists are spending too much


money, when he represents a campaign which brings together all the major


parties in the UK and all the resources of the UK and he is


bleating about the Nationalists having more to spend? I did think


that was a funny line and it was in the Observer. It lays into Alex


Salmond's plucky upstart idea that he's taking on this big


establishment. I thought it was a bizarre open goal, I am losing my


football metaphors, forgive me. The polls are so in favour of a no


vote. But the trend has been going their way. We have six months left


which is not enough to close the gap. They always tell you Alex


Salmond is a strong finisher. The plucky upstarts have this funding


from a millionaire. The Better Together campaign are being


incredibly cautious about where they get their money from. They do not


want to go to the City of London Police say, give us a couple of


million. Being Energy Secretary used to be a


bit of a dawdle, especially when North Sea oil was flowing. Now it's


very much a hot potato as Ed Davey has been finding out the hard way.


High household energy bills have been top of his inbox. The big six


energy companies account for 95% of the market. Off Johnson -- Ofgem


said there had been possible tacit coordination in the timing of price


rises and ordered an investigation by the competition and markets


authorities which will look at whether the big six should be broken


up. Where does that leave investment? The boss of Centrica


made the point that you would not spend money building an extension if


you knew in two years time your home might be bulldozed. The spare


margin, that is what is left in the generating system to cope with a


surge in demand on a cold winter's night, is due to drop to


historically low levels in 2016, according to Ofgem. Normally at


around 15%, capacity could drop to 2% after the next election and that


could lead to a surge in the sale of candles. Now where is that light


switch? Energy Secretary Ed Davey, joins me


now. Oh, we have found the light switch! The gap between a peak


winter demand and generating capacity could possibly reach 2%


next winter or the winter after. We will keep the lights on, that is for


clear. When we came to power, energy investment had been relatively low.


The Labour Party had failed to deal with the energy deficit. From day


one we have been pushing up massively. Investment has been 8


billion a year. Last year was a record. Spare capacity is now


heading to 2%. Why are you allowing it to get that no? Because we have


been increasing investment massively, last was a record level,


we will be able to keep the lights on. Some of the figures you are


showing suggests we are not doing anything. We have not only done


enough in our last three years, we have put in measures to stimulate


huge amounts of extra investment. We have the healthiest pipeline


investment in our history. We will come onto investment in a minute.


None of that change is the fact that we will be close to 2% next winter


or the winter after that. We have one major power station shut down,


or a cold winter away from having major problems with energy supply.


It is still 2%. Let me explain. The figures assume we are not doing


anything but we are doing something. Look at the National Grid. They are


able to bring in energy from interconnector is because we are


connected up to Europe. They are able to create a reserve so if we


get to problems, they will have a mothballed plant they can bring on.


You have not agreed with anybody on that. The decision was taken last


July. But no supplier has agreed to under mothball its plant. We would


not expect them to do that yet. Our plan is in place. On time, on


schedule, as we already thought it would be. But you have not got a


single agreement with a power supply who has mothballed plant to on the


ball it. We did not expect to. Our plan is in me National Grid will do


an election to allow those plants to come on. There is a huge amount of


interest. There are gigawatts of power that can come in to come on.


There is a huge amount of interest. There are gigawatts of power that


can come into that auction and we are not other measures we can take


and that is just in the short term. We have a plan for the medium-term.


We will be running the first auction for new capacity. The final decision


will be taken and we have learned lessons from what they do in North


America and other European countries so we can stay minute mothballed


plants and new plants to be built. I am absolutely clear there is not a


problem. You only build 9000 megawatts of new capacity from


2011-13. You have closed almost 22,000 megawatts. Why would you be


so cavalier with a nation's power supply? The last Government was


cavalier because we knew those figures are happening because we've


known for a long time a lot of power plants were coming to the end of


their life, coal power plants, nuclear power plants, and we had to


increase the rate of investment, but we... That shows clearly you are


closing twice as much, you have to date, closed twice as much as you


have opened, hence the lack of spare capacity. We knew a lot of them are


coming back for the last Labour Government knew. We have increased


the new so that's increasing significantly, far faster than under


the last Government but also remember, you were very wrong at the


beginning of your clip, margins at 15% are very own usual. They are


historically high. The average margin was 25%. That was wasting a


huge amount of money. But since privatisation, we've had margins


between 5% and 10%. Normally, high margins historically, which is


costly. Now we will have historically low margins. People


have to pay for that, so we make sure the lights stay on, we have a


short-term policy I have described to you, and medium-term policy and a


long-term policy. The long-term policy comes huge investment between


nuclear and optional, policy comes huge investment between


on. Ofgem, Independent, says the chance of blackouts by 2016 has


increased fourfold under your watch. What they say, if you read the


report, if we did nothing, they would be problems. But we have been


working with Ofgem. We have been working with National Grid, and we


have agreed that there will be a reserve capacity which can come on


if we get to the peak for the Best not just on the supply side but


demand and into connectors. You talk about industry having to move to


off-peak times. We say, they are prepared to that you paid for it,


and it makes commercial sense for them, it's a sensible thing for the


Wii will pay them to move to off-peak. You have huge diesel parks


for the you talk as if that something new but it's been around


for a long time for the 200 these contracts out there. We want to


expand that. You have hundreds of diesel generators to click into,


haven't you? There's a whole range of generators. Diesel generation,


dirty fuel. There's a of mothballed gas which can come. If you look at


the increase of the independent generators, many companies, a range


of power companies who are building a new power station and want to


build new ones. This is a healthy situation. You say you made over 100


billion new investment between now and the end of the decade to restore


capacity and meet renewable targets. Now you have referred the


Big Six to the competition commission, how much of that to


expect to come from them? We will see what the market delivers. We


have always expected independent generators to do a lot more than is


happening in the past. How much from the Big Six? It's not for me to say


it's going to be best from that company. The real interest is we


have huge amounts of companies wanting to invest. If you look at


independent analysis, they say Britain is one of the best places to


invest in energy in the world. We are the worldly do in offshore


wind, one of the best for renewables, one of the only


countries getting nuclear power stations. Rather than the bleaker


picture you're painting, the reverse is the case. We are seeing an


investment renaissance. You say that. Let me give you some facts.


Under this Government, only one gas plant has been under construction,


only one started under your watch for the others were done under


Labour. You have none in the pipeline. The Big Six has pulled


back from further investment including new offshore wind


investment and none of what you're talking about will come before 2020


anyway. That's simply not true. The balance reserves I've talked about,


the reserve planned: Making sure the mothballed plant could come on, I


capacity market incentivising new power, will happen way before 2020,


so that's not true. But doesn't answer the extra capacity. You have


no answer between now and the end of this decade. We have three answers.


Let me repeat them for you. I said permanent, not the short-term ones


you are putting in place to try to do with spare capacity. We have a


short-term plan, of course, that's very sensible. Medium-term plan,


auctioning for new power stations. That can lead to both mothballed


plant and when you plant, permanent plant being built, and the long-term


plan, to stimulator long-term investment, some of which will be


built and come online way before the end of the decade. I'm afraid, it's


a far rosier picture than your painting. It's also far more


expensive, too. Let's look at how you are replacing relatively cheap


energy with much more expensive sources of energy. Wholesale prices


is ?50 per megawatt. You have done a deal with EDF, nuclear, ?92 50. You


have indexed it for 30 years at 2012 prices.


All of that puts up our bills. First of all, the support of the low


Carbon is just 4% on bills. What has been driving peoples bills over the


last decade has been wholesale gas prices. No one knows what guys


prices are going to be in the future -- gas prices. When you look at the


Ukraine and other market indicators, many people are worried that by the


time nuclear power stations come online for example, the price of gas


could be significantly higher. You have indexed linked that for them by


the time you get any power from this, it'll be up to ?125 per


megawatt hour. The price of gas been going up far higher. Not recently.


Despite Iran, Ukraine, Libya, not recently. The long-term forecast,


Andrew, it's going to go higher but more importantly than that, this is


an area we could disagree on but it's very important that power


plants pay the cost of pollution. In those prizes, all of those prices


except the wholesale out a steep price, you have those power stations


paying the cost of air pollution. If gas and coal where paying the proper


carbon price, you would see nuclear and renewables as competitive. It's


very important that we ensure that power plants pay the cost of the


pollution. When you were last on this programme to talk about this in


May 2012, you said that the price of offshore wind was coming down fast.


You told me it would be down by 30% in the next few years. That figure


is 155, and for the deeper stuff, it's going to be ?165. That's the


first year of a limit control framework which had it coming down.


If you talk to many companies, Siemens had invested with their


partners, ?310 million with two new factories. They are talking about


lower prices because what they are saying to me is that, rather than


the 30% cost reductions I talked about, I was wrong, they are


targeting 40%. You said prices would come down 30% in two years for that


that was 2012 and they have gone higher. I absolutely did not say


that. Your exact quote was 30% in the next few years. Your exact few


years. You said two years, I sell a few years. I haven't changed a


single moment that you said two years, I said a few years. That's


what we are projecting. They will come down. You have to invest in


technology. Let me give you this example. When people invest in


mobile phones to start off with, they were expensive, and they were


clunky and the costs were going down for the one final question. You put


the Big Six into investigation because they made a 5% return on


investment and you're done a deal with EDF, nuclear power, which will


guarantee them a return of 10% - 15% every year for 30 years. Doesn't


that underline the shambles of your energy policy? You have mixed up two


separate things. The 5% Ofgem are talking about is on the supply


retail side. The percentage you quoted for EDF is in the wholesale


side of two different markets. It's the same return. It's not. You are


comparing apples and pears, dangerous thing to do. You have to


do have a high return but in the retail market, with a 5% stake,


there is less risk, says a low return. Ed Davey, I'm sorry we


haven't got more time. Thank you. Have me back. We will. Whatever


happened to the BNP? The far right party looked as if it was on the


verge of a major breakthrough not so long ago. Now it seems to be going


nowhere. In a moment we'll be speaking to the party's press


officer, Simon Derby. But first here's Giles. His report contains


some flash photography. For a moment in 2009 Nick Griffin and the BNP had


a spring in their step, smiling at their success of winning two seats


in the European Parliament. They already were the second largest


party in a London council and had a London Assembly seat. Despite


concerns from mainstream parties their vote was up. Our vote


increased up to 943,000. Savouring success was brief that morning as


anti-far right protestors invaded and egged the press conference and


forced the BNP MEPs into a hasty retreat. What is more significant is


that, in the years since, that retreat has been matched internally,


electorally and in the minds of those who had given them that vote.


For a number of years they were performing better than the UK


Independence Party and other smaller parties like the Greens and respect.


The problem for the BNP if they didn't make any inroads into other


groups, they didn't go into the middle class, the young, they didn't


go into women and ethnic minorities for obvious reasons. So the party


was quickly handicapped from the outset. Not that you would have


known that at the outset. In 2006 in Barking and Dagenham, the party won


12 council seats against a back drop of discontent with the ruling Labour


council and Government and picking up on immigration and housing


concerns in the borough. It's because of all the different


nationality people moving in the area, they are taking over


everything. My Nan and grandad lived there all their lives. I thought I


would vote for BNP. Hopefully, yeah, they will get elected over here.


When I came to Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge in 2006, the BNP with a


second largest party in one of the local councils. You can even find


non-white people who voted BNP. Now they have no counsellors, and even


though can when you talk to people, you will find among the older white


working-class population concerned that the BNP claim to represent,


everyone says they are nowhere. So what happened to that about? On


behalf of all the people in Britain, we in Barking have not just beaten,


that we have smashed the attempt of extremist outsiders. The local


Labour MP was as clear in 2010 as she is now. I always knew if we


could manage to ensure that wasn't a single BNP councillor left on the


council and I won my seat, it would stop the process of disintegration.


But what beat the BNP here in 2010 was a mobilisation of the Labour


vote. And today it is not hard to find the same discontent over the


same issues. It's just finding a new political home. A couple of years


ago, I used to vote Labour. Obviously, they haven't done nothing


around here as much now, with jobs and unemployment, and housing and


stuff like that about, basically, BNP ain't around here no more. Now


it's more about UKIP and I believe that these UKIP are saying are true.


If I thought BNP would make the difference, I would vote but is not


in the people behind them. They all get bandaged with the same brush.


I'm going to vote UKIP because BNP didn't get anywhere. What they say


in UKIP, with a bit of luck, they will get somewhere. It's not racist


but it's just that our kids haven't got jobs. Nick Griffin's dislike of


UKIP is mutual but his once fellow MEP Andrew Brons who's now left the


party issued a statement to this programme saying BNP failure is


closer to home post 2010. It was after that election discontent arose


amongst sections of the membership. Those members who left or were


thrown out by Nick Griffin had already felt let down by his


appearance on Question Time. It was a national platform for the BNP,


something they felt they had the right to through electoral success.


This was no big breakthrough moment for Griffin, unlike it was for John


Marina pen when he appeared on national television in France. He


went on to mobilise a national force. Despite there being some


voters tuned to their message, for the BNP, becoming such a force here


has never looked quite so difficult. And Simon Derby from the BNP joins


me now. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. It was not long ago you


had 55 councillors up and down the land, you now have two. You are on


the brink of extinction. That is not true. I have watched the film. It is


very negative as I would expect. The party has faced a few problems. The


main thing to bear in mind is that the issues, the problems the country


faces have gone away. We won nearly a million votes in the European


elections. We brought that mandate to the establishment and we were


denied. Let's face it, we would -- were denied any opportunity to take


place in the political apparatus. You have been destroyed by a pincer


movement. UKIP has taken away or more respectable voters and the EDL


is better at anti-Muslim protests and street thuggery. The EDL is not


a political party. I take your point about UKIP. The power structure took


a look at us and so we were a threat to power. We were not making this


stuff up, we meant it and they have co-opted our message. This shameless


promotion of UKIP, you have evenly had him presenting the weather on


this programme. That is unbelievable. That was a joke.


Across Europe, in France, your sister party the National front will


probably do very well. You can see the rise of the far right across


Western Europe so why are you in decline? We are not far right, I


reject that label. How would you describe yourselves nationalists and


Patriots. Why are you in decline and other similar parties to yours are


on the rise? You mentioned Barking and it is very interesting because I


was involved in that campaign. What Margaret Hodge and her Labour Party


did, they replaced the white indigenous population in Barking and


Dagenham with Africans, that is how they won that election. For that was


true, you would be doing well elsewhere. You have now got a leader


who is declared bankrupt and your party is heading for bankruptcy.


No, it is not. It is over. You would like that. What I would like is


irrelevant. Your membership is in deep decline. All parties have highs


and lows. In 2009 they said it is no way you will win any seats in the


European election. We did. And then you lost them. Parties win and lose


seats. The Lib Dems will be annihilated. You deny you are far


right. People used to say the BNP were neo-Nazis. Then Nick Griffin


appeared with Golden Dawn. They are not neo-Nazis, they are Nazis. It is


part and parcel of being in politics. You have to appear with


them? Of course we do, we have to speak to ordinary people. I am


perfectly happy speaking to you at the BBC, the BBC have a terrible


reputation but I am happy to be here. Mr Griffin has asked me, when


will the BBC apologised for trying to put him in prison twice, merely


for exposing a Muslim scandal. Why can't Nick Griffin appear on TV and


self? He would not appear. He was in Syria. He literally flew out to


Damascus and prevented a war. We decided we would not interfere in


Syria. The BBC never covered that. Please do not make out we are just


an ordinary political party you cover like everybody else. It is


completely different. All the signs are, membership, performance at the


polls, performance at elections, the problem with your leadership is you


are now going the way of the National front, heading for


oblivion. As I said to you before, that may be the case, if all the


problems we had not highlighted and how we got a huge vote so many years


ago, six years ago now, five years ago, in 2009, if they were not


around. These things are only going to get worse. We are looking at a


prototype Islamic republic that is going to be set up in this country.


That will lead to huge problems. Only the British National Party are


prepared to say that and deal with it. Word leaked out that I was doing


this interview with you before the weekend. Isn't it a sign of how


irrelevant you now are that not a single person has turned up at New


Broadcasting House this morning to protest? Used to be hundreds would


turn up when we said the BNP were on. That is the left for you, they


put the clocks forward and they could not be bothered to get out of


bed. I think they are still in bed. Thank you.


You're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland. Another week of


headlines for hospitals here - 24 hour waits at the Royal's emergency


department and an investigation into 11 deaths in the Northern Trust.


So what is needed to resuscitate the health service? The chair of


Stormont's Health Committee, Maeve McLaughlin, joins me to discuss the


situation. Plus - from true blue to green. I would have said when I was


younger I would have been a flag-waving unionist.


We hear from the election hopefuls at the Green Party's weekend


conference. And with their thoughts on all of that - academic Deirdre


Heenan and newspaper editor Jim Flanagan.


Problems within the health service have dominated our news agenda for


weeks. Long trolley waits in emergency departments, issues over


nurses' salaries and then, on Friday, a statement confirming the


deaths of five babies, are among eleven under investigation at the


Northern Health Trust. Our health correspondent, Marie-Louise


Connolly, asked the Trust's director, Greg Furness, to explain


what went wrong. It is one of the things the turnaround team have


looked at to see what is the culture. It is a culture of


reporting, a culture of taking things extremely seriously and


working hard to get a quick resolution as to what went wrong. It


is a culture which is... Takes a while to develop. Why wasn't it in


place five years ago? I can't answer. It is serious. Yes. We now


and have been for the last many months addressing that period in the


trust to turn it around. It is shocking to know in a trust like


this that the proper procedure was not being adhered to. Why not? I am


asking you, how could something so serious and important not be in


place and followed? I really can't answer that. The procedures were


there, people did not do it. Who was checking? Exactly. This system that


was there had a governance committee which was looking at any incidents


coming through but it has failed. We are talking about lives. Yes. Anyone


held accountable? It is not for me to talk about accountability of


people in the past or present. What I can say is the assurance is we are


making changes now. Marie-Louise Connolly talking to Dr Greg Furness


of the Northern Trust. With me now is the chair of Stormont's Health


Committee, the Sinn Fein MLA, Maeve McLaughlin. You have called the


situation alarming and said serious questions need to be answered. What


other key issues? The statement on Friday indicated this is similar


issues in another trust and we need to be mindful that we are dealing


with families, there is a degree of sensitivity we need to bring.


Clearly, there are issues in the delivery of the health system which


is putting points on crisis. It is unacceptable that we're dealing with


cases where we hear 20 cases in the Northern trust, the care that was


delivered was under standard. Are you concerned this could be the tip


of the iceberg? There are many many more cases to be explored. Something


in the region of 20,000 X-rays that had to be examined. There are many


more cases in the system coming to light. What do you make of Greg


Furness's explanation of not putting serious incidents properly? How can


they not be reported? It is of concern and listen to his response,


we should all be able to answer who is accountable. There are issues


about governance and accountability. It seems ironic that


the minister for health and the recent deaths... There is something


badly wrong when the minister who leads the department ultimately, the


buck stops with him and he doesn't know about serious adverse


incidents. We continuously here we will learn from mistakes, we will


learn the lessons but here we are again with another set of


circumstances which is shocking. If those serious incidents are not


properly reported, how would he know? Absolutely. The minister has


promised a root and branch review and the health Department are coming


down with reviews currently but people on the ground need and the


wider public and professionals need action around these issues and they


need the minister to step up and deliver. This latest set of figures


was uncovered by a team sent in by the minister to look at issues


because he was unhappy. That is why the turnaround team was sent in. He


deserves credit. But many people would say it is too little too late.


This is nothing new. The College of emergency medicine, the RCN have


been counting these issues for months. This was clearly on the


agenda and flagged up as potential crisis, particularly in emergency


departments but equally this is only the front window of the system and


there needs to be a system approach to the review. This is in many


people's minds and issue of public confidence and it is clearly an


issue for so many people, particularly front line staff, too


little too late. Does that show a shortcoming on your part because you


are meant to hold the minister responsible, if he isn't doing his


job properly, that means you are not. We have been flagging up for


some time the process in transforming care, the vision of


transforming care is a good vision. People accept 82 million from acute


to community care is positive however where this has failed has


been the action to implement that and the lack of practical outcomes.


You don't get a sense that shifting 83 million will have positive


outcomes across many sectors. Let's move onto another issue, Accident


and Emergency issue. Janice Smith said recently an unacceptable


situation exists, the RCN seriously concerned targets have become more


important than people. Do you share that view? I do increasingly. I have


moved to the view that targets in some cases, we can be so focused on


not breaching 12 hour targets in departments that it becomes the


focus and not the patient. I am sure there are cases will come to light


where a patient is moved as a result of not breaching the 12 hour


target. I think there is a genuine concern that we are too focused on


targets and I also point out the RCN at their evidence session were vocal


in saying there is something systematic within the system that is


preventing staff and front line staff being heard. Do you think your


committee is sufficiently well equipped to get to grips with its


responsibilities, can you hold the minister and Department properly to


account? Several professionals were grilled, did you give them a tough


enough time? I think we did. Ultimately we know the remit. This


issue was being suggested from the minister from January, it wasn't a


crisis, we have moved the minister to the point he accepts there is


something dramatically seriously and systematically wrong in a system.


Clearly, the committee has stepped up to the plate and will continue to


do so. We seem to be staggering from one crisis to another. Hardly a week


passes but some other revelation is brought to our attention. Is that


what it looks like to you? Yes, that is the reason I pointed out the


context for transforming care. It is causing many issues in the system.


There are basic initiatives that can be taken that have been counted,


recruitment, the fact we have an ageing infrastructure, looking at


the filtering system and the workforce planning. There are issues


that have been pointed up that can be actions to alleviate these


problems, we need a sense this will deliver better health outcomes for


all of the communities and we didn't see that. Stay with us. Let's bring


in today's guest commentators. Professor Deirdre Heenan from the


University of Ulster and Jim Flanagan from the Ballymena


Guardian. Is it not being rolled out in the way that was envisaged? We


are conflating two issues, the information from the Northern trust


is alarming and there is no two ways around that. That is information


that points to the fact we do need a radical transformation of health and


social care and that is what the vision is around transforming care.


That is why transforming your care said incremental changes will not


do. We need a radical overhaul. This dates back to 2008, it is worrying


and the minister should be commended because he sent in the turnaround


team when he became aware of the issues and his statement is detailed


and Frank. He is trying to change a culture that is about moving to more


transparency and accountability, nothing is being swept under the


carpet. He says there are a number of issues and I am dealing with the


issues. It was a bizarre interview with ahead of the trust to set I


don't know what happened or how we got to this stage. He did not seem


to have any answers. He talked about the culture in the health and social


care system, transforming your care is coming along because it says the


system is under unprecedented challenges, an ageing population,


growing population set against a backdrop financial constraints. It


looks like the safety net isn't there. It is the cart before the


horse because while it works in principle, all of the other bits of


the jigsaw are not in place. There aren't enough minor injuries units


or the proper GP care to take their instead of and E. The beds are being


closed in hospitals. In context, we are spending ?10 million a day on


health and social care. We have 100,000 users a day. It is a complex


system and you are trying to systematically change a system


that's been in places 1948. It is not easy or short-term. And if you


look around at the successes under transforming your care, you will see


the developer of primary-care hubs. They are delivering the things you


are talking about. They are there to ensure the focus is on primary care,


the people are not coming to A because there's no all Terlizzi. The


pressure point is at a and he. It will be slow, complex but but most


importantly it needs political support. We don't need knee jerk


reactions. Jim, fortuitous we have you here today. This latest


development is at the heart of your patch. What is the reaction in


Ballymena and North Antrim to the latest development? What we heard


from the minister is a devastating account of failure of management and


Edwin Poots is to be commended for his openness. He is brushing things


from under the carpet but more potently trying to do something


about it. There is this line in his statement talking about clinical


staff not being properly supported or engaged and to me that is an


indictment of the regime hitherto but the most important thing is what


is being done. There is a root and branch review. X-rays are being


reviewed and we need to be careful because you are talking about


people's lives and families. We have not heard the end of it yet. Lawyers


were being gauged a lot in the detail in a statement. Both of you


take the lead minister should be commended for openness but the other


way of looking at it is this is a man who is being open about the


problems he has put aside it over. He is not across his brief. To be


fair, many of these problems he inherited and health is not an easy


portfolio and previous ministers said there isn't a problem or there


is a problem but it's too difficult to deal with. His party was a


critical of his predecessor who said he needed to get his finger out to


sort it out. They haven't sorted it out. To be fair, he said there is an


issue, she brought in a review team, he set out a long-term vision


because what he was clear about is incremental change will not deal


with the issues. We are repeatedly seeing issues because the way we


deliver health and social care is not suitable for the challenge is


being presented. What do you make of what the minister needs is no knee


jerk reactions and proper political support to get us through? Is that


likely to happen? The minister needs to lead through the process and part


of his leadership will require that the vision that is transforming your


care, that everybody has brought into, has a very clear outcome


framework and it doesn't have a strategic outcome to date. That is


missing and that is why we are staggering from crisis to crisis.


How can transforming your care assist in terms of enablement,


assisting in terms of emergency care departments, there are real


questions of the need to be answered. By showing the leadership


which was his vision in transforming your care, let's see the outcomes,


give the public a sense of confidence that this can deliver


what it has set out to do. There is an outcome framework and it is


clear, it is multidimensional, multilayered and qualitative, the


number of people now receiving personalised care packages, the


number getting care in the community, before transforming your


care, 60% of care was in hospitals, 40% in the community, we have


reversed those figures and it's a huge change with community mental


health teams delivering what people want in their community. We could


continue long into the afternoon but thank you. The leader of the Green


Party in Northern Ireland has called for greater transparency when it


comes to political donations. Stephen Agnew says all parties


should make donations public. Northern Ireland is the only area of


the UK where political donations remain secret. The MLA for North


Down was speaking at his party's annual conference - and our


Political Reporter, Stephen Walker, was there.


In the urban heart of East Belfast, a touch of green. Party members came


to the Newtownards Road for the annual get-together. Green party


members have come to discuss and debate issues like the environment,


education and the economy, subjects they hope will chime with the


electorate. There are only two councillors across Northern


Ireland, activists hope after the May elections that number will


automatically increase. Ross Brown is hoping for a council seat and is


the parties European candidate. In his youth he was a Unionist, he did


work experience with the DUP and school he talked -- topped the poll


as a DUP candidate. At that time when I was younger I would have been


a flag-waving unionist. Are you still Unionist? I don't really care


on the issue of the union. The only union I'm concerned about is the


European Union. As well as the economy and education, the


conference also discussed equality. We are seeing the growth of a


political class but it isn't bringing people along with them. We


are not sing ethnic minorities included, young people, disabled


people. It is the same people with the same conversations for the same


reasons and we need to reform. 15 council candidates have been chosen


by the party, the youngest is 19-year-old. Why is she standing for


the Greens? They are more progressive and a party for the


future rather than not popular with young people. The sole MLA Stephen


Agnew talked about political donations. He thinks Northern


Ireland has to change. The Green party is the only party that


publishes its donations over ?500 or though we are not required to. We


want other parties to step forward, other parties to deliver


transparency because we need faith in politics. The Greens occupy a


small foothold on the political landscape but in two months time we


will discover if their ideals have wider appeal.


Stephen Walker reporting from this weekend's Green Party conference in


Belfast. Deirdre Heenan and Jim Flanagan. A quick word about


transparency. It has been running for a long time. There is history in


Northern Ireland for good reason is that it is difficult to be totally


open but we are moved -- we are moving on. What about the Green


party position in Northern Ireland, one MLA, two councillors, 15


running? They deserve credit for ploughing a lone furrow. The


Democratic Unionist party is fielding 13 in Ballymena alone. It


gives you a sense of scale and the uphill battle but they fight their


corner well. Stephen Agnew has formed well. A word about capturing


the youth vote. It is quite right and where they should be looking to


find votes. In schools and the post primary curriculum, the bar at is a


key issue. And I agreed the Green party have able performers, it is


difficult to get space in politics but they are to be admired and have


performed well. Let's pause for a moment and take a look back at the


political week in sixty seconds. Gerry Adams told a solicitor to


contact police to see if they want to interview him about the murder of


Jean McConville. The comments led to questions on Stormont.


Can you tell the house redesignated as a nationalist?


Should the come to Belfast? Some say no.


You have turned around and said spiritual leader should not come to


this city, he should go about the border whether or Roman Catholics.


He is a man of big faith, he wants to reach out.


At the moment. to reach out.


but things can change. Rhyme and reason, one MLA went all


poetic. Have you got the money to fund the


expression or will you let it float away in another depression? A


rhyming couplet from David McNarry ending that look back from Stephen


Walker. Belfast City Council debates the


apparently vexed issue of whether or not an invitation should be extended


to the Pope on Tuesday? The battle lines have been drawn. Jim Rogers


dug a hole and kept digging. It is depressing but also quite amusing.


At any given point, we seem to revert to type. We can't move on.


What was the problem saying, of course, if the Pope was to visit, he


will be welcome. And that is what the Ulster Unionist party said in a


second statement. He seemed to be out of step. He did and the party


was quick to come in on it. It is a free country and to ever wants to


come here can come. There are issues around the visit that need to be


taken into consideration but why not? Are you expecting smoke? Fire


and brimstone? I wouldn't have thought so. They will be more


measured. We will see. Thank you both. That's it


boundaries. Sorry, run out of time. Thanks very much indeed. Andrew,


back to you. Now let's get more from our


political panel. If the BNP finished? They were never


spectacularly successful to begin with but one of my childhood


memories was a huge fuss in London about the fact that they won a few


council seat on the Isle of dogs back in 1993. That was enough to


cause a panic. As if they are falling from a great tit and I think


the big difference with the National front in France is that they are


building on decades of successful that they finished second in the


presence of elections in 2002, I think. And, even in the 60s, they


were versions of their politics. So they are building on a lot whereas


the BNP are working with incredibly few raw materials in this country.


It is interesting that the BNP does seem to be in decline in terms of


its membership and financially, but in France, the far right party, not


as far right as the BNP, but pretty far right, will probably do well in


the second round of the French local elections. You could say the same


about Golden Dawn in Greece. Parties prosper when the picture is


pre-rolled for them. If mainstream parties talk endlessly about


immigration, saying you cannot get a council house because it has gone to


an immigrant instead of saying it is because there are not enough council


houses, that creates the conditions in which the far right can thrive.


We are lucky that all the members of the BNP fell out with each other. As


extreme members of the far right and left do. You can see that with the


comedian in France, he has got a lot of support from people on the left


as well. I asked Simon Derby was here victim of a pincer movement


that UKIP were taken away voters and EDL has captured the Street protest.


Yes, and Giles still not mention that the Labour Party has got its


act together. They got the act together in Dagenham. Margaret Hodge


and Jon Cruddas did a very good job. I think UKIP would say, not a racist


party but they are picking up votes from people who would once have


voted BNP. But it is interesting the difference between Britain and


France. Why is it that the Front Nationale came second in 2002 when


they are not far right? I think they were on a five-year cycle because


the next election was 2007. 2002 they came second when Jean-Marie Le


Pen came second. They are not as far right as the BNP. Marine has put


them -- cleaned them up a bit. Diplomatically there is a much


harder vote which spreads further across the electorate in France than


there is in this country. This is a much more tolerant country. If


Marine Le Pen does well today, she will not win that many because the


centre-right and centre-left will always gang up against terror in the


second round, but it sets the tone for the European elections. It does


and for the next French presidential election as well. I think what she's


doing masterfully is combining a far right politics with what you might


call a far left economic politics. She's not just picking up votes from


xenophobes, she is picking up votes from who feel victimised from


globalisation. They are people who would be voting for socialists but


are put off by the current president. That is what I do not


think the British far right parties have been able to do. You sort Simon


Derby try to tell you that the BNP are not far right party. I think he


was going to say if you look at issues of protectionism, standing up


against globalisation, they are quite statist. That is where the


phrase National Socialist comes from. That is why a little bit of


electoral success is often a killer for far right parties. They get a


few council seats and then they are rubbish. They are not getting


people's bins collected so they become part of the system that


people were voting against in the first place. Lets go on to the


Labour Party. If you are a Labour Party supporter and you want to be


cheered up, you pick up the Sunday Times where you see a poll where the


leader is up to seven points. If you are Tory Lib Dem and you want to be


cheered up, you pick up the Observer, the left-wing paper, where


the Labour leader is still 1%. I have read in the paper that there is


quite a lot of of the record briefings going on at the top of the


Labour Party. Give us a sense of the mood. Clearly, they are unsettled.


One pol looks OK but there has been a run of polls where there is a lead


over the Tories which is closing. There are worrying number of people


who are what are called the 35s and they are people who thought all the


Labour Party needs to do is sit still because there are a number of


Liberal Democrat voters who hate the coalition. Because the Conservatives


did not get through the boundary changes they needed to win, we can


sit tight and it will all be fine. What a few wise old heads are


concerned about is they feel this has a feel of 1987 about it when the


Labour Party was united. They had a very good leader. The leader was


impressive, the party was united and then what happened? They met the


British people and an election. The British people said, terribly sorry,


you are not occupying the party political territory where we will


vote for you. There are some people from the Blair era who say it feels


a bit complacent and there may be a bit of a shock when they meet the


voters. We talk about people being unsettled but Ed Miliband is not


unsettled. His defining characteristic is you might call it


steadiness or you might call it a lack of agility. He could not


respond to the pension stuff in the budget which was thrown at him. But


he's very good at separating the signal from the noise. They may


think this will all change in me. The Tories may be on the back foot


after the European elections. He has the ability to set the political


weather. He did it with the price freeze. There is no doubt that Mr


Davey would not be referring these energy companies to the competition


authorities if it had not been for that speech by the Labour leader.


And we read today he has come up with another policy which will be


attention grabbing to cut student tuition fees. It is easy to forget


that before he announced the price freeze he was in as much vertical


trouble as he is now. I think the Labour poll lead will expand up to


five or 6% by the summer, assuming the Tories do badly. The question


is, is five or 6% enough? Nick through the analogy with 1987. This


reminds me of the Conservatives in 2009/10. You have a steadily sinking


poll lead, differences in what campaign they should be running and


personal animosity behind the scenes. It led to them throwing away


an election which seemed to be winnable. There is an important


difference with the 1980s which was because you did not know when the


election would be. Will it be in 87 or 88? They do not need to make up


their mind until next year. What they are telling the pollsters now,


we do not like this government because of course, you do not like


the government. But next January or February they will be making up


their minds. Is there a lot of animosity among the leading Labour


figures behind-the-scenes? It must be personal or tactical because


there are not big ideological differences between them, is there?


Yes and no. What is striking is how little support Miliband gets from


the shadow cabinet. He does not have outriders. That has been a


continuous theme. Said he feels he is on his own? That they feel they


do not get support from him. There was a column by Jenni Russell saying


he is distant and detached. And Andrew Walmsley touched on this in


the Observer. One of the divisions is Ed versus Ed. There is a terrible


structural problem between those two. It is a real problem. Ed


Miliband believes Ed Balls has not done enough to get economic red


ability. Ed Balls believes Ed Miliband is making airy fairy


speeches and it will not cut with the electorate. Neither Mr Cameron


nor Mr Miller band took part in the debate which happened earlier this


week between the Lib Dems and UKIP. We have got another one coming up on


the BBC on Wednesday night. Let's remind ourselves of what happened in


last week's debate. I will ask Nick to open the batting.


We are better off in Europe... Frankly not working any more. A


referendum on Europe. I agree with you. I agree with you. If you can


read the small print. Pull up the drawbridge, pool drawbridge up... We


have 485 million people... It is simply not true! Not true. Not true.


Not true. Identical with Nick. I don't agree with Nick. Based on


facts, facts, the facts, facts, the facts... Thank God we did not listen


to you. The food is getting better here. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. You


have never had a proper job. Great not little England. Good night.


I think it is seven o'clock BBC Two. Helen, what was the outcome of that


and how do we mark our card for this week? It was not a great time for


pundits. Everybody called the debate for Nick and then they said


actually, we think it has gone the other way. Consensus emerged later


on that Nick Clegg made a difficult argument. I think the most important


thing Nigel Farage said was he distinguished out the immigration


policy by saying we're not just closing day over, we want people to


come, we just do not want mass EU immigration. That is an important


thing for him to say to get away from the echoes of the far right. I


suspect Nick Clegg will not ask us to read the small print. That was 11


turn he took. It compounded his reputation for being sneaky. I


slightly disagree about the pundits. I say this as someone who thought


far it would win. -- Nigel Farage would win. The fact that the public


disagree with you and the public favoured Nigel Farage does not mean


the public were wrong. The question is, who is going to tune in for the


second one? What is the answer to that? Phil Collins argument is a man


who is on 8% is fantastic. It is a binary choice in this debate.


Clearly they need to brush up on opposite areas. Nigel Farage needs


to brush up on facts and Nick Clegg needs to brush up on the motions


because he did not connect very well. Where Nick Clegg may go after


Nigel Farage is when the -- when he said the EU has blood on its hands


with Ukraine. He then came back to talk about the vanity of EU foreign


policy and said European Union had made what was going on in Syria


worse. It is one thing to say I do not think the UK should be part of


the joint European foreign policy, it is part of another thing to say


that Europe which will act with or without the UK is responsible for


blood on the streets of Kiev and also responsible for exacerbating


the Civil War in Syria. Maybe an hour is too long for Nigel Farage's


shtick? That may be the case but Nick Clegg has precedence. He does


that show and he has had to deal with the worst thing with dealing


with what is thrown at him so he has honed his view consistently. We will


see what happens in part two. That's all for this week. The Daily


Politics is on BBC Two at lunchtime every day this week. I'll be here


next week at the every day this week. I'll be here


next week at the usual time of 11 o'clock. Remember if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics.


Download Subtitles