30/03/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


30/03/2014

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.


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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:36.:00:41.

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

:00:42.:00:45.

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

:00:46.:00:49.

Energy Secretary. Why has the anti-independence Better

:00:50.:00:52.

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

:00:53.:00:58.

Secretary Alistair Carmichael. And whatever happened to the BNP?

:00:59.:01:01.

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

:01:02.:01:05.

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

:01:06.:01:08.

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

:01:09.:01:11.

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

:01:12.:01:15.

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

:01:16.:01:18.

move designed to silence his critics.

:01:19.:01:24.

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

:01:25.:01:28.

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

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

:01:34.:01:37.

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

:01:38.:01:44.

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

:01:45.:01:50.

Right, left and centre of the Westminster Establishment have been

:01:51.:01:53.

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

:01:54.:01:56.

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

:01:57.:02:01.

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

:02:02.:02:07.

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

:02:08.:02:11.

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

:02:12.:02:15.

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

:02:16.:02:20.

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

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campaign, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, who's in

:02:23.:02:25.

Aberdeen at the Scottish Liberal Democrat spring conference.

:02:26.:02:36.

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

:02:37.:02:42.

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

:02:43.:02:50.

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

:02:51.:02:55.

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

:02:56.:03:00.

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

:03:01.:03:04.

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

:03:05.:03:08.

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

:03:09.:03:12.

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

:03:13.:03:16.

detailed intervention of the Governor of the Bank of England,

:03:17.:03:19.

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

:03:20.:03:24.

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

:03:25.:03:27.

permanent Secretary of the Treasury himself saying actually, this is

:03:28.:03:31.

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

:03:32.:03:35.

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

:03:36.:03:42.

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

:03:43.:03:46.

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

:03:47.:03:50.

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

:03:51.:03:54.

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

:03:55.:03:58.

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

:03:59.:04:03.

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

:04:04.:04:07.

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

:04:08.:04:10.

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

:04:11.:04:17.

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

:04:18.:04:21.

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

:04:22.:04:25.

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

:04:26.:04:29.

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

:04:30.:04:35.

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

:04:36.:04:42.

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

:04:43.:04:49.

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

:04:50.:04:53.

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

:04:54.:04:57.

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

:04:58.:05:02.

sincere when they say they want to remove nuclear weapons from

:05:03.:05:06.

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

:05:07.:05:10.

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

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

:05:15.:05:26.

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

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

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

:05:33.:05:37.

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

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

:05:44.:05:48.

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

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actually polled people's voting intentions on the question come

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

:05:59.:06:01.

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

:06:02.:06:06.

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

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

:06:13.:06:18.

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

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

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

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

:06:34.:06:36.

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

:06:37.:06:40.

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

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

:06:46.:06:49.

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

:06:50.:07:05.

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

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

:07:08.:07:09.

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

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

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

:07:17.:07:21.

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

:07:22.:07:28.

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

:07:29.:07:34.

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

:07:35.:07:41.

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

:07:42.:07:45.

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

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

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

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which have been narrowing, or there was Alistair Carmichael quite

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

:08:04.:08:08.

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

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

:08:13.:08:16.

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

:08:17.:08:20.

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

:08:21.:08:24.

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

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

:08:29.:08:32.

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

:08:33.:08:36.

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

:08:37.:08:42.

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

:08:43.:08:46.

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

:08:47.:08:50.

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

:08:51.:08:55.

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

:08:56.:08:59.

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

:09:00.:09:03.

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

:09:04.:09:08.

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

:09:09.:09:11.

rancorous relationship with Edinburgh. Even if the deal is not

:09:12.:09:15.

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

:09:16.:09:26.

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

:09:27.:09:29.

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

:09:30.:09:33.

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

:09:34.:09:38.

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

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

:09:44.:09:48.

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

:09:49.:09:52.

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

:09:53.:09:55.

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

:09:56.:09:59.

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

:10:00.:10:02.

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

:10:03.:10:06.

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

:10:07.:10:10.

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

:10:11.:10:14.

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

:10:15.:10:18.

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

:10:19.:10:22.

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

:10:23.:10:29.

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

:10:30.:10:37.

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

:10:38.:10:41.

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

:10:42.:10:46.

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

:10:47.:10:53.

from a millionaire. The Better Together campaign are being

:10:54.:10:56.

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

:10:57.:10:59.

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

:11:00.:11:03.

million. Being Energy Secretary used to be a

:11:04.:11:06.

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

:11:07.:11:10.

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

:11:11.:11:17.

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

:11:18.:11:25.

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

:11:26.:11:32.

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

:11:33.:11:37.

rises and ordered an investigation by the competition and markets

:11:38.:11:40.

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

:11:41.:11:44.

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

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

:11:50.:11:52.

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

:11:53.:11:57.

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

:11:58.:12:01.

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

:12:02.:12:08.

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

:12:09.:12:12.

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

:12:13.:12:18.

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

:12:19.:12:22.

switch? Energy Secretary Ed Davey, joins me

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

:12:29.:12:35.

winter demand and generating capacity could possibly reach 2%

:12:36.:12:40.

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

:12:41.:12:46.

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

:12:47.:12:50.

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

:12:51.:12:54.

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

:12:55.:13:02.

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

:13:03.:13:06.

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

:13:07.:13:11.

been increasing investment massively, last was a record level,

:13:12.:13:16.

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

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

:13:20.:13:24.

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

:13:25.:13:29.

huge amounts of extra investment. We have the healthiest pipeline

:13:30.:13:33.

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

:13:34.:13:37.

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

:13:38.:13:42.

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

:13:43.:13:49.

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

:13:50.:13:57.

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

:13:58.:14:01.

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

:14:02.:14:05.

able to bring in energy from interconnector is because we are

:14:06.:14:09.

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

:14:10.:14:16.

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

:14:17.:14:21.

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

:14:22.:14:28.

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

:14:29.:14:33.

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

:14:34.:14:39.

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

:14:40.:14:43.

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

:14:44.:14:51.

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

:14:52.:14:56.

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

:14:57.:15:00.

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

:15:01.:15:03.

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

:15:04.:15:07.

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

:15:08.:15:11.

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

:15:12.:15:16.

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

:15:17.:15:32.

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

:15:33.:15:34.

America and other European countries so we can stay minute mothballed

:15:35.:15:37.

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

:15:38.:15:46.

problem. You only build 9000 megawatts of new capacity from

:15:47.:15:53.

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

:15:54.:15:56.

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

:15:57.:16:01.

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

:16:02.:16:04.

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

:16:05.:16:09.

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

:16:10.:16:11.

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

:16:12.:16:19.

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

:16:20.:16:23.

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

:16:24.:16:27.

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

:16:28.:16:31.

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

:16:32.:16:33.

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

:16:34.:16:38.

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

:16:39.:16:46.

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

:16:47.:16:50.

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

:16:51.:16:56.

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

:16:57.:17:02.

costly. Now we will have historically low margins. People

:17:03.:17:05.

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

:17:06.:17:09.

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

:17:10.:17:13.

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

:17:14.:17:15.

nuclear and optional, policy comes huge investment between

:17:16.:17:39.

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

:17:40.:17:46.

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

:17:47.:17:55.

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

:17:56.:17:59.

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

:18:00.:18:03.

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

:18:04.:18:08.

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

:18:09.:18:14.

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

:18:15.:18:18.

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

:18:19.:18:22.

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

:18:23.:18:25.

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

:18:26.:18:30.

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

:18:31.:18:33.

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

:18:34.:18:39.

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

:18:40.:18:42.

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

:18:43.:18:49.

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

:18:50.:18:54.

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

:18:55.:19:05.

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

:19:06.:19:09.

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

:19:10.:19:13.

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

:19:14.:19:17.

capacity and meet renewable targets. Now you have referred the

:19:18.:19:21.

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

:19:22.:19:26.

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

:19:27.:19:30.

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

:19:31.:19:36.

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

:19:37.:19:41.

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

:19:42.:19:45.

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

:19:46.:19:49.

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

:19:50.:19:53.

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

:19:54.:19:57.

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

:19:58.:20:00.

countries getting nuclear power stations. Rather than the bleaker

:20:01.:20:05.

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

:20:06.:20:09.

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

:20:10.:20:15.

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

:20:16.:20:20.

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

:20:21.:20:23.

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

:20:24.:20:28.

back from further investment including new offshore wind

:20:29.:20:30.

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

:20:31.:20:36.

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

:20:37.:20:40.

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

:20:41.:20:44.

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

:20:45.:20:50.

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

:20:51.:20:54.

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

:20:55.:20:59.

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

:21:00.:21:03.

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

:21:04.:21:08.

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

:21:09.:21:12.

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

:21:13.:21:16.

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

:21:17.:21:21.

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

:21:22.:21:25.

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

:21:26.:21:30.

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

:21:31.:21:34.

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

:21:35.:21:38.

energy with much more expensive sources of energy. Wholesale prices

:21:39.:21:44.

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

:21:45.:21:51.

have indexed it for 30 years at 2012 prices.

:21:52.:22:01.

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

:22:02.:22:11.

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

:22:12.:22:15.

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

:22:16.:22:19.

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

:22:20.:22:23.

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

:22:24.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:31.

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

:22:32.:22:34.

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

:22:35.:22:40.

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

:22:41.:22:49.

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

:22:50.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:05.

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

:23:06.:23:11.

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

:23:12.:23:14.

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

:23:15.:23:20.

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

:23:21.:23:24.

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

:23:25.:23:28.

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

:23:29.:23:33.

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

:23:34.:23:38.

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

:23:39.:23:44.

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

:23:45.:23:52.

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

:23:53.:23:58.

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

:23:59.:24:04.

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

:24:05.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:19.

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

:24:20.:24:24.

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

:24:25.:24:28.

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

:24:29.:24:33.

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

:24:34.:24:38.

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

:24:39.:24:43.

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

:24:44.:24:46.

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

:24:47.:24:55.

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

:24:56.:25:00.

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

:25:01.:25:04.

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

:25:05.:25:10.

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

:25:11.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:19.

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

:25:20.:25:23.

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

:25:24.:25:28.

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

:25:29.:25:32.

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

:25:33.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:41.

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

:25:42.:25:49.

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

:25:50.:25:54.

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

:25:55.:25:58.

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

:25:59.:26:02.

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

:26:03.:26:04.

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

:26:05.:26:07.

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

:26:08.:26:11.

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

:26:12.:26:14.

in the European Parliament. They already were the second largest

:26:15.:26:17.

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

:26:18.:26:20.

concerns from mainstream parties their vote was up. Our vote

:26:21.:26:32.

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

:26:33.:26:35.

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

:26:36.:26:38.

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

:26:39.:26:43.

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

:26:44.:26:45.

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

:26:46.:26:56.

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

:26:57.:26:59.

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

:27:00.:27:03.

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

:27:04.:27:05.

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

:27:06.:27:10.

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

:27:11.:27:13.

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

:27:14.:27:19.

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

:27:20.:27:22.

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

:27:23.:27:25.

council and Government and picking up on immigration and housing

:27:26.:27:34.

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

:27:35.:27:37.

nationality people moving in the area, they are taking over

:27:38.:27:41.

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

:27:42.:27:47.

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

:27:48.:27:53.

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

:27:54.:27:57.

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

:27:58.:28:02.

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

:28:03.:28:05.

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

:28:06.:28:10.

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

:28:11.:28:14.

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

:28:15.:28:21.

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

:28:22.:28:26.

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

:28:27.:28:30.

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

:28:31.:28:38.

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

:28:39.:28:41.

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

:28:42.:28:44.

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

:28:45.:28:48.

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

:28:49.:28:52.

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

:28:53.:29:00.

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

:29:01.:29:04.

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

:29:05.:29:08.

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

:29:09.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:17.

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

:29:18.:29:22.

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

:29:23.:29:26.

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

:29:27.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:34.

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

:29:35.:29:39.

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

:29:40.:29:42.

party issued a statement to this programme saying BNP failure is

:29:43.:29:51.

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

:29:52.:29:53.

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

:29:54.:30:10.

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

:30:11.:30:14.

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

:30:15.:30:17.

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

:30:18.:30:27.

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

:30:28.:30:33.

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

:30:34.:30:37.

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

:30:38.:30:40.

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

:30:41.:30:44.

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

:30:45.:30:52.

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

:30:53.:30:56.

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

:30:57.:31:02.

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

:31:03.:31:08.

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

:31:09.:31:12.

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

:31:13.:31:19.

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

:31:20.:31:24.

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

:31:25.:31:34.

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

:31:35.:31:39.

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

:31:40.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:51.

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

:31:52.:31:58.

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

:31:59.:32:02.

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

:32:03.:32:08.

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

:32:09.:32:13.

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

:32:14.:32:16.

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

:32:17.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:27.

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

:32:28.:32:32.

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

:32:33.:32:38.

reject that label. How would you describe yourselves nationalists and

:32:39.:32:56.

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

:32:57.:33:01.

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

:33:02.:33:05.

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

:33:06.:33:10.

did, they replaced the white indigenous population in Barking and

:33:11.:33:14.

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

:33:15.:33:17.

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

:33:18.:33:23.

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

:33:24.:33:29.

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

:33:30.:33:35.

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

:33:36.:33:40.

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

:33:41.:33:46.

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

:33:47.:33:54.

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

:33:55.:34:00.

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

:34:01.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:16.

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

:34:17.:34:23.

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

:34:24.:34:27.

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

:34:28.:34:32.

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

:34:33.:34:36.

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

:34:37.:34:43.

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

:34:44.:34:51.

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

:34:52.:34:56.

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

:34:57.:35:02.

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

:35:03.:35:06.

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

:35:07.:35:12.

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

:35:13.:35:17.

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

:35:18.:35:22.

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

:35:23.:35:26.

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

:35:27.:35:31.

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

:35:32.:35:35.

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

:35:36.:35:41.

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

:35:42.:35:45.

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

:35:46.:35:49.

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

:35:50.:35:53.

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

:35:54.:35:58.

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

:35:59.:36:03.

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

:36:04.:36:08.

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

:36:09.:36:13.

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

:36:14.:36:17.

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

:36:18.:36:21.

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

:36:22.:36:24.

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

:36:25.:36:26.

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

:36:27.:36:41.

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

:36:42.:36:44.

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

:36:45.:36:49.

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

:36:50.:36:52.

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

:36:53.:36:57.

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

:36:58.:37:07.

younger I would have been a flag-waving unionist.

:37:08.:37:10.

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

:37:11.:37:13.

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

:37:14.:37:16.

Heenan and newspaper editor Jim Flanagan.

:37:17.:37:20.

Problems within the health service have dominated our news agenda for

:37:21.:37:26.

weeks. Long trolley waits in emergency departments, issues over

:37:27.:37:29.

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

:37:30.:37:32.

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

:37:33.:37:39.

Northern Health Trust. Our health correspondent, Marie-Louise

:37:40.:37:41.

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

:37:42.:37:48.

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

:37:49.:37:52.

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

:37:53.:37:59.

reporting, a culture of taking things extremely seriously and

:38:00.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:10.

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

:38:11.:38:18.

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

:38:19.:38:25.

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

:38:26.:38:31.

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

:38:32.:38:35.

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

:38:36.:38:42.

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

:38:43.:38:48.

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

:38:49.:38:54.

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

:38:55.:39:01.

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

:39:02.:39:08.

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

:39:09.:39:17.

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

:39:18.:39:22.

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

:39:23.:39:28.

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

:39:29.:39:31.

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

:39:32.:39:34.

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

:39:35.:39:43.

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

:39:44.:39:49.

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

:39:50.:39:54.

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

:39:55.:40:00.

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

:40:01.:40:04.

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

:40:05.:40:10.

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

:40:11.:40:15.

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

:40:16.:40:22.

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

:40:23.:40:27.

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

:40:28.:40:33.

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

:40:34.:40:37.

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

:40:38.:40:47.

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

:40:48.:40:52.

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

:40:53.:40:57.

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

:40:58.:41:02.

about governance and accountability. It seems ironic that

:41:03.:41:07.

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

:41:08.:41:14.

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

:41:15.:41:17.

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

:41:18.:41:21.

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

:41:22.:41:25.

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

:41:26.:41:30.

circumstances which is shocking. If those serious incidents are not

:41:31.:41:34.

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

:41:35.:41:41.

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

:41:42.:41:45.

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

:41:46.:41:50.

wider public and professionals need action around these issues and they

:41:51.:41:54.

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

:41:55.:42:01.

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

:42:02.:42:07.

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

:42:08.:42:13.

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

:42:14.:42:20.

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

:42:21.:42:24.

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

:42:25.:42:28.

agenda and flagged up as potential crisis, particularly in emergency

:42:29.:42:34.

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

:42:35.:42:39.

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

:42:40.:42:43.

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

:42:44.:42:47.

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

:42:48.:42:53.

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

:42:54.:42:56.

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

:42:57.:43:00.

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

:43:01.:43:06.

some time the process in transforming care, the vision of

:43:07.:43:10.

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

:43:11.:43:16.

to community care is positive however where this has failed has

:43:17.:43:20.

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

:43:21.:43:27.

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

:43:28.:43:32.

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

:43:33.:43:40.

and Emergency issue. Janice Smith said recently an unacceptable

:43:41.:43:49.

situation exists, the RCN seriously concerned targets have become more

:43:50.:43:53.

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

:43:54.:43:59.

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

:44:00.:44:04.

not breaching 12 hour targets in departments that it becomes the

:44:05.:44:09.

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

:44:10.:44:14.

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

:44:15.:44:18.

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

:44:19.:44:25.

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

:44:26.:44:30.

in saying there is something systematic within the system that is

:44:31.:44:34.

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

:44:35.:44:38.

committee is sufficiently well equipped to get to grips with its

:44:39.:44:42.

responsibilities, can you hold the minister and Department properly to

:44:43.:44:48.

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

:44:49.:44:53.

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

:44:54.:44:59.

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

:45:00.:45:05.

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

:45:06.:45:07.

something dramatically seriously and systematically wrong in a system.

:45:08.:45:13.

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

:45:14.:45:19.

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

:45:20.:45:23.

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

:45:24.:45:29.

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

:45:30.:45:34.

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

:45:35.:45:39.

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

:45:40.:45:44.

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

:45:45.:45:50.

the filtering system and the workforce planning. There are issues

:45:51.:45:54.

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

:45:55.:45:59.

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

:46:00.:46:04.

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

:46:05.:46:14.

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

:46:15.:46:17.

University of Ulster and Jim Flanagan from the Ballymena

:46:18.:46:23.

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

:46:24.:46:28.

are conflating two issues, the information from the Northern trust

:46:29.:46:33.

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

:46:34.:46:38.

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

:46:39.:46:41.

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

:46:42.:46:46.

That is why transforming your care said incremental changes will not

:46:47.:46:53.

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

:46:54.:46:57.

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

:46:58.:47:02.

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

:47:03.:47:07.

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

:47:08.:47:12.

transparency and accountability, nothing is being swept under the

:47:13.:47:16.

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

:47:17.:47:22.

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

:47:23.:47:26.

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

:47:27.:47:32.

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

:47:33.:47:36.

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

:47:37.:47:40.

system is under unprecedented challenges, an ageing population,

:47:41.:47:45.

growing population set against a backdrop financial constraints. It

:47:46.:47:50.

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

:47:51.:47:56.

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

:47:57.:48:00.

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

:48:01.:48:06.

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

:48:07.:48:16.

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

:48:17.:48:21.

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

:48:22.:48:28.

system and you are trying to systematically change a system

:48:29.:48:33.

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

:48:34.:48:38.

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

:48:39.:48:43.

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

:48:44.:48:47.

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

:48:48.:48:52.

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

:48:53.:48:59.

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

:49:00.:49:02.

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

:49:03.:49:11.

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

:49:12.:49:17.

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

:49:18.:49:22.

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

:49:23.:49:28.

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

:49:29.:49:33.

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

:49:34.:49:40.

from under the carpet but more potently trying to do something

:49:41.:49:44.

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

:49:45.:49:49.

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

:49:50.:49:53.

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

:49:54.:49:59.

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

:50:00.:50:06.

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

:50:07.:50:10.

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

:50:11.:50:17.

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

:50:18.:50:21.

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

:50:22.:50:25.

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

:50:26.:50:30.

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

:50:31.:50:35.

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

:50:36.:50:38.

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

:50:39.:50:42.

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

:50:43.:50:48.

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

:50:49.:50:54.

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

:50:55.:50:59.

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

:51:00.:51:04.

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

:51:05.:51:09.

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

:51:10.:51:13.

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

:51:14.:51:21.

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

:51:22.:51:26.

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

:51:27.:51:31.

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

:51:32.:51:37.

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

:51:38.:51:40.

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

:51:41.:51:45.

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

:51:46.:51:50.

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

:51:51.:51:55.

How can transforming your care assist in terms of enablement,

:51:56.:52:01.

assisting in terms of emergency care departments, there are real

:52:02.:52:03.

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

:52:04.:52:09.

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

:52:10.:52:13.

give the public a sense of confidence that this can deliver

:52:14.:52:19.

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

:52:20.:52:24.

clear, it is multidimensional, multilayered and qualitative, the

:52:25.:52:29.

number of people now receiving personalised care packages, the

:52:30.:52:31.

number getting care in the community, before transforming your

:52:32.:52:37.

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

:52:38.:52:41.

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

:52:42.:52:47.

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

:52:48.:52:50.

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

:52:51.:52:57.

Party in Northern Ireland has called for greater transparency when it

:52:58.:53:00.

comes to political donations. Stephen Agnew says all parties

:53:01.:53:02.

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

:53:03.:53:05.

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

:53:06.:53:08.

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

:53:09.:53:11.

Political Reporter, Stephen Walker, was there.

:53:12.:53:18.

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

:53:19.:53:25.

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

:53:26.:53:29.

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

:53:30.:53:33.

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

:53:34.:53:40.

electorate. There are only two councillors across Northern

:53:41.:53:42.

Ireland, activists hope after the May elections that number will

:53:43.:53:48.

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

:53:49.:53:53.

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

:53:54.:54:00.

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

:54:01.:54:06.

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

:54:07.:54:14.

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

:54:15.:54:21.

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

:54:22.:54:25.

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

:54:26.:54:30.

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

:54:31.:54:33.

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

:54:34.:54:41.

are not sing ethnic minorities included, young people, disabled

:54:42.:54:46.

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

:54:47.:54:51.

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

:54:52.:54:56.

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

:54:57.:55:02.

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

:55:03.:55:08.

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

:55:09.:55:15.

Agnew talked about political donations. He thinks Northern

:55:16.:55:19.

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

:55:20.:55:24.

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

:55:25.:55:30.

want other parties to step forward, other parties to deliver

:55:31.:55:34.

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

:55:35.:55:38.

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

:55:39.:55:42.

will discover if their ideals have wider appeal.

:55:43.:55:44.

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

:55:45.:55:46.

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

:55:47.:55:53.

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

:55:54.:55:59.

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

:56:00.:56:03.

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

:56:04.:56:09.

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

:56:10.:56:16.

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

:56:17.:56:23.

Democratic Unionist party is fielding 13 in Ballymena alone. It

:56:24.:56:27.

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

:56:28.:56:32.

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

:56:33.:56:38.

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

:56:39.:56:44.

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

:56:45.:56:49.

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

:56:50.:56:55.

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

:56:56.:56:59.

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

:57:00.:57:10.

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

:57:11.:57:13.

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

:57:14.:57:22.

Jean McConville. The comments led to questions on Stormont.

:57:23.:57:30.

Can you tell the house redesignated as a nationalist?

:57:31.:57:33.

Should the come to Belfast? Some say no.

:57:34.:57:38.

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

:57:39.:57:42.

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

:57:43.:57:51.

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

:57:52.:57:52.

At the moment. to reach out.

:57:53.:58:01.

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

:58:02.:58:02.

poetic. Have you got the money to fund the

:58:03.:58:06.

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

:58:07.:58:14.

rhyming couplet from David McNarry ending that look back from Stephen

:58:15.:58:25.

Walker. Belfast City Council debates the

:58:26.:58:28.

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

:58:29.:58:32.

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

:58:33.:58:39.

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

:58:40.:58:44.

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

:58:45.:58:48.

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

:58:49.:58:54.

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

:58:55.:59:00.

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

:59:01.:59:06.

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

:59:07.:59:13.

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

:59:14.:59:16.

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

:59:17.:59:26.

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

:59:27.:59:31.

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

:59:32.:59:32.

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

:59:33.:59:34.

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

:59:35.:59:48.

political panel. If the BNP finished? They were never

:59:49.:59:53.

spectacularly successful to begin with but one of my childhood

:59:54.:59:56.

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

:59:57.:00:00.

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

:00:01.:00:03.

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

:00:04.:00:06.

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

:00:07.:00:10.

building on decades of successful that they finished second in the

:00:11.:00:14.

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

:00:15.:00:20.

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

:00:21.:00:23.

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

:00:24.:00:32.

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

:00:33.:00:37.

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

:00:38.:00:43.

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

:00:44.:00:47.

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

:00:48.:00:55.

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

:00:56.:01:00.

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

:01:01.:01:03.

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

:01:04.:01:07.

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

:01:08.:01:10.

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

:01:11.:01:14.

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

:01:15.:01:19.

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

:01:20.:01:26.

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

:01:27.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:40.

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

:01:41.:01:50.

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

:01:51.:01:54.

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

:01:55.:01:59.

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

:02:00.:02:05.

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

:02:06.:02:10.

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

:02:11.:02:16.

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

:02:17.:02:23.

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

:02:24.:02:29.

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

:02:30.:02:38.

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

:02:39.:02:49.

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

:02:50.:02:53.

harder vote which spreads further across the electorate in France than

:02:54.:02:57.

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

:02:58.:03:11.

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

:03:12.:03:15.

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

:03:16.:03:19.

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

:03:20.:03:25.

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

:03:26.:03:30.

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

:03:31.:03:35.

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

:03:36.:03:40.

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

:03:41.:03:45.

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

:03:46.:03:49.

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

:03:50.:03:52.

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

:03:53.:03:57.

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

:03:58.:04:02.

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

:04:03.:04:05.

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

:04:06.:04:12.

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

:04:13.:04:16.

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

:04:17.:04:20.

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

:04:21.:04:24.

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

:04:25.:04:27.

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

:04:28.:04:34.

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

:04:35.:04:38.

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

:04:39.:04:43.

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

:04:44.:04:46.

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

:04:47.:04:52.

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

:04:53.:04:56.

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

:04:57.:05:01.

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

:05:02.:05:07.

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

:05:08.:05:17.

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

:05:18.:05:23.

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

:05:24.:05:27.

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

:05:28.:05:32.

Liberal Democrat voters who hate the coalition. Because the Conservatives

:05:33.:05:36.

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

:05:37.:05:40.

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

:05:41.:05:46.

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

:05:47.:05:51.

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

:05:52.:05:55.

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

:05:56.:06:00.

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

:06:01.:06:05.

you are not occupying the party political territory where we will

:06:06.:06:09.

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

:06:10.:06:13.

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

:06:14.:06:20.

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

:06:21.:06:24.

unsettled. His defining characteristic is you might call it

:06:25.:06:27.

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

:06:28.:06:31.

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

:06:32.:06:35.

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

:06:36.:06:39.

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

:06:40.:06:44.

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

:06:45.:06:48.

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

:06:49.:06:55.

Davey would not be referring these energy companies to the competition

:06:56.:06:59.

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

:07:00.:07:03.

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

:07:04.:07:06.

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

:07:07.:07:12.

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

:07:13.:07:16.

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

:07:17.:07:23.

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

:07:24.:07:30.

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

:07:31.:07:35.

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

:07:36.:07:40.

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

:07:41.:07:44.

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

:07:45.:07:48.

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

:07:49.:07:55.

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

:07:56.:07:59.

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

:08:00.:08:04.

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

:08:05.:08:08.

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

:08:09.:08:11.

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

:08:12.:08:17.

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

:08:18.:08:22.

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

:08:23.:08:25.

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

:08:26.:08:32.

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

:08:33.:08:37.

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

:08:38.:08:42.

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

:08:43.:08:46.

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

:08:47.:08:54.

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

:08:55.:09:00.

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

:09:01.:09:04.

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

:09:05.:09:09.

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

:09:10.:09:14.

ability. Ed Balls believes Ed Miliband is making airy fairy

:09:15.:09:17.

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

:09:18.:09:23.

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

:09:24.:09:27.

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

:09:28.:09:32.

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

:09:33.:09:37.

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

:09:38.:09:45.

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

:09:46.:09:51.

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

:09:52.:09:58.

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

:09:59.:10:08.

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

:10:09.:10:14.

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

:10:15.:10:22.

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

:10:23.:10:27.

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

:10:28.:10:35.

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

:10:36.:10:43.

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

:10:44.:10:47.

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

:10:48.:10:53.

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

:10:54.:10:57.

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

:10:58.:11:05.

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

:11:06.:11:08.

thing Nigel Farage said was he distinguished out the immigration

:11:09.:11:12.

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

:11:13.:11:17.

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

:11:18.:11:20.

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

:11:21.:11:25.

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

:11:26.:11:33.

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

:11:34.:11:37.

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

:11:38.:11:42.

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

:11:43.:11:48.

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

:11:49.:11:55.

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

:11:56.:12:00.

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

:12:01.:12:07.

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

:12:08.:12:12.

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

:12:13.:12:16.

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

:12:17.:12:19.

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

:12:20.:12:25.

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

:12:26.:12:29.

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

:12:30.:12:33.

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

:12:34.:12:38.

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

:12:39.:12:41.

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

:12:42.:12:46.

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

:12:47.:12:50.

blood on the streets of Kiev and also responsible for exacerbating

:12:51.:12:54.

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

:12:55.:13:02.

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

:13:03.:13:05.

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

:13:06.:13:10.

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

:13:11.:13:14.

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

:13:15.:13:18.

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

:13:19.:13:20.

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

:13:21.:13:23.

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

:13:24.:13:25.

it's the Sunday Politics.

:13:26.:13:32.

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