Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, interviews and debate including cabinet minister Eric Pickles on the government's NHS bill.
Browse content similar to 12/02/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.
The Prime Minister insists this morning he is at one with Health
Secretary Andrew Lansley over the troubled NHS reform. But is the
rest of the Cabinet? Eric Pickles tells us in our Top Story.
As Greece suffers and Syria bleeds, where does Labour stand on the big
foreign policy issues of the day? Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas
Alexander joins us for the Sunday Interview.
And with the Murdoch empire reeling from yet more high-profile arrests
at the Sun, we're joined by the media tycoon's chief tormentor,
Labour MP Tom Watson. On Sunday politics in Scotland, or
we will be speaking to the Scott and others about those referendum
negotiations tomorrow. And with St Valentine's Day coming up, what are
the political chat up lines to sweep you off your feet and what
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1524 seconds
has to running in the opposite And Fri did not claim that. That is
slightly wrong. He would have known that because it was in the public
domain. Parliament give its... For most people, it was not in the
public domain. I doubt if anybody would do that now, given the
climate of fear. I am certain they would do that now.
If I was fiddling my expenses, every tabloid newspaper would be on
it like a shot. To be all right to pay a Commons
official to do so? There is a public interest in all
of these. There is a public interest defence for hacking a
phone due to the level of seriousness.
Would you like to see Rupert Murdoch dispose of his remaining
newspaper and depart these shores? I would like Rupert Murdoch to
stand up for clean investigated journalism and I would like him to
clean up what went on in News International.
The seed and wanted a sell-out? I think that is down to new score?
I just want him to take responsibility. He is flying into
London this week and has to take his share of responsibility. If
people are charged as a result, is he a fit and proper person to hold
the sky licence. I do not think he is. Off, have to
apply a test to him, but over many years, wrong doing took place. He
is the boss of the company and he is responsible for corporate
governance. He is not a fit and proper person to run a television
company under the rules as they stand.
When it comes to paying the police or other public officials, this is
not confined to Rupert Murdoch's papers and this practice has been
prevalent across Fleet Street. A everyone tells me that. The only
evidence that I have seen personally is what went on at News
International. Clearly, we have to judge an inquiry that can do that.
How did we get here? It is Rupert Murdoch who appoints these big
institutions of national newspapers of repute. He is responsible for
the personnel but allow these things to happen. He must take
responsibility for it. So you do not rely did could be
happening elsewhere? I do not know.
You're watching the Sunday politics. Good afternoon and welcome to
Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme...
The Scotland Office Minister David Mundell is with us ahead of the
referendum negotiations tomorrow. How much longer can the talking go
What are the chances of getting a job these days if you're young and
Scottish? Are the politicians' youth employment strategies
working? Why new legislation to end
homelessness by 2012 could make it more difficult for people to find a
permanent home. We are none prioritised due to being single and
homeless. We have to grin and bear it. The lack of housing is unreal.
And from Bartlett's Whitehouse to Salmond's Scotland. The West Wing's
Toby Zeigler tells us what our politicians can learn from the US
when it comes to persuading voters. If the Scottish politicians were to
watch the American campaigns right now, at hopefully at opposing sides
will learn it is not necessary to get so negative. It is ultimately a
destructive factor. They are warming up in their
respective corners and round-one of the referendum negotiations get
underway tomorrow when the the First Minister meets the Scottish
Secretary Michael Moore in Edinburgh. There could be a round
two later in the week with the Prime Minister. The main sticking
points seem to be: one or two questions, and should 16 and 17-
year-olds get to vote. We spoke to Nicola Sturgeon earlier and she
told us that tomorrow's meeting is a welcome step forward. I think
there is no broad consensus in Scotland about the timing of the
referendum. We look forward to hearing views about the questions
that might be in that referendum and on issues such as to 16-year-
old and 17 year olds have the right to vote. The sooner we can get
beyond the issues of protest -- process and into the issue of
substance, which is why Scotland would be better off with an
independent country, the better. We asked for an SNP Minister to
speak to us, but nobody was available.
In our Millbank studio, we have the Conservative MP and Scotland Office
Minister, David Mundell. Will the Prime Minister the up later this
week to talk to the First Minister? The Prime Minister said he might be
in Scotland soon because he is the Prime Minister of the whole United
Kingdom and does come to Scotland on a regular basis. If he is here,
he will be speaking with the First Minister. But the discussions in
relation to the referendum will essentially be conducted by the
Scotland Office with the Scottish Government. That process is
starting tomorrow. I do not expect that tomorrow will be the final and
conclusive discussion on this issue, but it is the start of a positive
process where we can get the detail of the referendum sorted out and
for once, I actually agree with Nicola Sturgeon. We need to get on
to the substance of why a Scotland is better off in Britain.
How much longer could this drag on for?
I hope that it can be concluded as quickly as possible. I think we
have made great progress in the last few weeks, because at the
start of the year, we knew nothing about the SNP Government's
proposals for the referendum. We have a deeper, detailed suggestion.
The major step forward, an acknowledgement that there has to
be a legal basis for the referendum and that can only be with the
involvement of the UK Government. Now it, we need to get the details
sorted out and tomorrow's discussions will move that forward.
What are the lines in the sand for you?
We have always said that we want the referendum to be de Gaulle,
fair and decisive. There is an acceptance that to be legal, it
must involve the UK Government parts. Fairness clearly involves
the Electoral Commission and not necessarily changing the rules
specifically for this referendum. That will be one of the issues
around the franchise. It is an entirely separate debate as to
whether 16 year-olds and 17 year- olds should have the vote or
whether they should be given a vote for this specific issue.
There is a line-up in the sand for 16 holes and 17 year-olds are
voting. You want one question only, is that a deal breaker?
I will not conduct the discussions on this programme. It is wrong to
suggest that individual issues are deal breakers. It is clear that
everyone, it would appear, apart from the First Minister, want a
single question. That is the position of the coalition parties
in the UK level. The First Minister says he wants a
single question as well, but he wants to respond to said that
Scotland who may want another question on the ballot paper or how
it is defined. If there is a devilish and Max question on the
ballot paper, will the Government in Westminster refused to recognise
the legitimacy of the referendum? To a simple yes or no would answer
The simple question for the people of Scotland should be, do they want
to remain part of Britain or not? We need to have that question
answered and then we can move on to discuss the future of the devolved
arrangements if people opt to stay within Britain.
That is an interesting point. Michael Moore himself has said in
an interview in The Times this week that the Scotland Bill is only the
beginning of the powers that will come to Scotland. He said there
could be higher so like further taxation and that sort of things.
Do you agree with him? If we say no at this stage, or will the Scotland
Bill be just the beginning? The Scotland Bill is a very
important series of powers that is being transferred to Scotland. The
most significant financial powers since the act of Union in 17 07. It
is a significant development in devolution. In relation to post
referendum discussions on devolution, it is quite clear that
different parties will go for it with different proposals.
A but what is your party's proposal on this? What is the Conservative
Party's attitude of more power is coming to Scotland if there is a no
in the referendum to independence? We were going to the 2015 general
election with a set of proposals for Scotland.
But what are they? Ruth Davidson has said this far and no further.
What Ruth Davidson has said is that she is setting up a review of all
the policies of the Scottish Conservative Party, but nothing is
off the table. What is clear is that we will have proposals going
into the 2015 election in relation to how we see the devolution
settlement moving forward. At this time, or what we see is the
Scotland Bill being enacted Oakley within the next few months, which
will bring to Scotland than most significant financial powers since
the act of Union and other changes which command widespread support in
Scotland, such as the regulation of their guns.
In the not answering that question, in the not answering -- having a
clear policy at this stage than we are so far into the bit, do you
understand why the electorate might think that you're acting in bad
faith? You can tell us what you plan to do. It is a line in the
sand or it is not. If it is not, what other parts might you
consider? The Liberal Democrats have got a consultation under way
at the moment. Bruce Davidson has said no, there will be nothing.
Mixed messages are coming out all the time. If you are acting in good
faith, argue consulting on further powers and what will they be?
That is a total misrepresentation of my position. You're not
listening to what I have said or what Ruth Davidson has said. Ruth
has made it clear that she will review all the Conservative
policies and ahead of the 2015 election, we will set out their
policies. What powers could there be?
What is fundamentally important is that we settle the issue of whether
Scotland remains in the United Kingdom or not.
What powers would you consider? Sorry to interrupt. What more
powers would you consider? What I want to understand is
whether people in Scotland want to stay within the United Kingdom.
If they do and they want more powers, would you grant devolution
Max? If they want to stay but they want more powers, high when you
respond to that? The political community in Scotland
has always responded to calls for more powers, but that has to be a
defined package of powers. At the moment, devolution Max is undefined.
What grips like reform Scotland think it is and what the Scottish
Trades Union Congress think it are completely different things. What
we need to do at the moment is to settle the issue once and for all.
Is Scotland in the United Kingdom or not, and then move forward if
the answer is yes with the devolution settlement.
In that the terms of the question come all was the SNP Government
have in their consultation, the question is, do you agree Scotland
should be an independent country? Ruth Davidson has said she thinks
this is a fair and decisive legal question. Do you agree with that?
What she has said is that there is tremendous progress that we are
moving forward to have a proposal... As a matter of fact in Holyrood, of
what Ruth Davidson said was that -- it was a fair and decisive leader
questioned. Do you agree with her? Ruth has said that it is a matter
of progress that we move forward and have the simple question of the
sort that ask people whether or not they want to say in the United
Kingdom. Do you agree with that specific
wording? I hope there is agreement from the
SNP Government and the subject will be the Electoral Commission. That
is very important that that happens as part of this process. We need to
get it clear that we're having a fair question. That is the basis on
which I hope we will proceed. Thank you.
The latest figures show 105,000 young people in Scotland are
looking for work at the moment. Politicians of all parties launch
strategies, put forward proposals and hold summits to try to tackle
this problem. So what are they delivering on the ground? Here's
Laura Bicker. They are calling it a lost
generation. Thousands of 18 to 24 year-olds are searching for a
chance, or even a hope of some employment.
There are no jobs out there. I want to be in a trade, but tradesmen are
not taking on apprenticeships. You try so hard on the application and
do not get a return from them. The 18-year-old Sarah Thorne is
part of St League, a project to give her sports coaching skills.
She has been unemployed for two years.
I have done some courses to help me get ready for it, but never gained
anything out of them. It was 12 weeks help and then struck back to
do your own thing again and go back up and signed that book every two
weeks and you're on your own. It was horrible.
22-year-old Daniel Terry has always dreamed of being a sports coach.
Politicians could organise more programmes for people to get
qualifications so employers cannot say you were not qualified. They
should organise more programmes to get people into work in groups so
they could get their confidence up. That is a big issue that says a
month's people that do not have jobs.
This is where some of those young people hope to find work. This is
the national indoor sports arena. It has been built for the
Commonwealth Games in 2014. There are thought to be around 55 job
opportunities here, but the Scottish Government says there are
105,000 under 25 year-olds looking for work. They say they are
creating apprenticeships working with employers to create
opportunities, but the young people we have spoken to say they need
The youth employment minister Angela Constance was not able to
come on, instead we have Marco Biagi of the SNP who sits on a
Education and Culture Committee. And with me in the studio, Sarah
Thorne, who you saw in the film. Also Jo Swinson the Liberal-
Democrat MP, and Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour's youth employment
spokesman. What is your strategy for youth employment? The powers of
the Scottish Parliament are used. You see 25,000 apprenticeships
every year. That is 60% up on 2007. The important thing about
apprenticeships in Scotland rather than England, is that they happen
in the workplace. You have 20,000 training opportunities every year.
In Scotland we have a minister for youth employment co-ordinating
activity. Are you doing all you can? We are doing all we can with
the powers we have. Our main lever to tackle youth unemployment is
through education and training, but that does not stop us being
creative in other areas, such as securing money and using public
sector power. Is that good enough? I do not think
so. How could you do it differently? We would not cut
college budgets. The SNP have cut. 1.5 billion a year they are putting
into post 16 education when budgets are restricted. Is it about money
or the strategy? It is about all of theirs. We want to see them using
the buying power of government more effectively. The big debate about
the Forth Road Bridge. How many jobs will it create for young
people? There are questions for the SNP. Also hospitals and schools
they plan to build. The is probably not enough co-
ordination some voluntary groups say. One had 15 people funding it.
Is this a subject where party politics could be set aside?
think so. There are welcome signs that is starting to happen. From
the UK Government perspective we have the youth contract and �1
billion to invest in wage subsidies to create jobs and work experience.
There is often a lack of qualifications that can make it
difficult for young people to secured jobs. We are making sure we
work alongside the Scottish government to make sure initiatives
to Oftel. It could always be done better.
Sarah Thorne, you were in a project you found useful. What skills did
you learn? The first one I attended was a
trust that helped me build skills and gain confidence. The next step
was M I technologists who put me on a work placement that I did not
enjoy. I was not confident. I was working crazy hours the same as
anyone else and I was paid �1 per hour. It is not means tested.
would be the biggest thing politicians could do that would
mean people like you would feel they had a chance of a job? I want
on a course that is a charity. I walked in, no confidence, three
weeks ago, and I am now on national television speaking up. Just to
back and help people get into work. I will leave with six
qualifications. The downside is that it is not what I want to do,
it is care. Trying to get into a course when I don't have the
qualifications is awful. Three years I have wanted to do care.
Is there a point that could work is done through the voluntary sector.
Young people go on courses and have a proven track record and then beat
funding is withdrawn. What continuity can you guarantee?
of the funding opportunities are decided at local government. In my
constituency in Edinburgh, there is an increase in funding available
for voluntary sector projects. That was passed this week. There is
recognition these projects are valuable and need to be funded. I
have met young people who have been through the project, such as the
Canon Gate Youth Project, who talk about the boost to confidence that
provides and how it helps them to find work. The more doom-laden
stories about how the situation is bleak, the more hope can be knocked
down. It is important to have the message that there is a chance for
young people and for young people with reasonable levels of
qualifications, unemployment is on the way down.
When we look at the effect of programmes at the moment, an
apprenticeship used to be done for years, rigorous training. The
current programme focuses on 16-19 year olds. And after that you have
a mass of young people who cannot get work. What is the answer to
longer term unemployment? There is an opportunity for the Government
to address structural issues in the system and tackle that in the jobs
market. That is about investing in young people, getting them involved
in things, giving them sustained experience of work and supporting
them. Where does the money come from? It is more a matter of what
you do if you do not invest now because the cost to the future is
greater than anything invested now. Do you have any sense that possibly
we are not getting the education balance right? Business often say
there is emphasis on encouraging people into college courses and we
should be stepping back and looking at what might be more relevant.
think you get that complaint from businesses sometimes that young
people do not have the qualifications and experience they
require. That is why the youth contract is important. Nick Clegg
has pushed for that investment to enable people to have experience.
That also gives employers to see the talent out there. Sarah Thorne
is an excellent example. It gives young people the experience of what
it is like to be in the workplace. What it is like rather than having
the academic experience early. I'm glad to see that under pressure
from the Liberal-Democrats, cuts to colleges in the Scottish Parliament
were reduced this week. It is important places are available for
people who want to get a qualification so they can get into
the jobs market. Do you have any concern... You have
worked hard. You have been successful at what you have tried
to do, but have you concerns that you will put effort into a college
place, get there and get your qualification... And not have a job
by the end? I do. I dropped out of school. I wanted to prove it was
not because I was not clever enough. -- my brother dropped out. He
worked hard for five years to become a trades man, timing, and
now there is no work for him. your friends, how disheartening is
it that you do the best you can and give it everything, and there is
nothing? It knocks you down a level. What is the point of building
confidence, for it not to be recognised? It is degrading. Also,
you get a job diary at the JobCentre. You have to fill that in.
You worry your benefits will be sanctioned. We will not go down
that road just now! That is a point, nobody sitting around here,
whatever political so -- political persuasion, that somebody can give
so much and then been knocked down. I am asking about the priorities
you are choosing. Is it right to focus on the apprenticeships and
16-19 year olds, when older graduates are also struggling for
jobs, and is it right not enough money is going into the early
years? Why are you choosing the priorities you are choosing?
The 16-90-year-old age group is important. When people leave
compulsory education they have to ensure they have an opportunity.
The opportunities for all programme will be a landmark, offering to
everybody in that age bracket he does not have employment, education
or a training place. If you can stop people being unemployed at
that stage, you can have serious benefits further run. I would not
say there is no emphasis on early years. Spend has been a hallmark of
the Budget in that area. Many apprenticeships do include those up
to 24. There is a commitment across the board. There is a recognition
that full young people, in good economic times even, it is hard for
them to find work. Is that the bottom line, in hard times, young
people will suffer more? Yes. He talks about the 16-19 year olds the
gender. They have a bold step to give every young person an
opportunity, but it must be meaningful. In my experience, it
can be as little as two hours a week. People just want a job and a
chance. We have to leave this here. Thank you for that.
Before you go, you have a statement saying the SNP should drop plans to
allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum. We understand
you are meeting the campaign group promoting votes for this age group.
I am a supporter of votes at 16 and I will continue to campaign. I do
not think with the voting franchise we should pick and choose. The SNP
plans are incoherent. They are not planning a new canvas. It would be
votes for 16 and three-quarter year olds. I do not supported for one-
off referendums. I think all those who support votes at 60 should work
together to get it changed for good and for all elections.
Housing charities warned that unless more affordable
accommodation is made available, a growing number of people will be
stuck in temporary homes. We report on why new legislation to end
homelessness by 2012 could make it more difficult for those in need to
find a permanent home. Andrew is homeless and living in a
hostel -- run by a Christian housing trust. They concentrate on
finding homes for people who need help the most. You are not
prioritised being single and homeless. You have to grin and bear
it at the moment. It is unreal. wants to get back to work. He says
finding affordable private sector accommodation is a challenge.
was a job that was ideal, unfortunately, the accommodation
around that area, where I was wanting to be, was on affordable.
This man is also home this. He has lived in his car in the Borders.
When you have been sleeping in your car, you feel nobody will give you
a chance. Hello. He is now moving into short-term housing while
borders Council find him a home. Shelter Scotland say the council is
one of nine local forages who have met the 2012 commitment. This is
the biggest challenge we have had in 20 years. It has required a root
and branch approach. We have changed policy comprehensively. We
had to change the ethos in the service to put more focused on
prevention of homelessness and sustaining 10 ounces. The bottom
line is that we will continue to need more affordable housing --
tenancies. With a lack of affordable housing and no sanctions
for councils to do not deliver, can any commitment be fulfilled? It is
important to have a goal like the Scottish howff of ending
homelessness in 2012. -- they have. You still have to have resources
there. You have to have the support system in place to enable people to
sustain housing. It is not enough to have the statements, although
they are important. By the end of 2012, local-authority is will have
to class every unintentionally homeless person as a priority and
give them access to a home. The challenge will be to make sure
people like Andrew are not stuck in With me here is the Editor of The
Big Issue, Paul McNamee. And in our Edinburgh studio, we have Graham
Brown, the director of the homeless charity Shelter Scotland.
What do you think this 2012 legal commitment is actually worth?
I think it is a great idea. Anything that grabs this and tries
to do something about the ongoing issues of homelessness is fantastic.
But something that Dennis touched on gets much closer to the problem.
It is not really enough just to build houses. You will not end
homelessness like that. Kit sounds contradictory, but that is at the
base here. There is something much broader and much more societal. You
cannot eradicate polio, and you have to get right down to the base.
Why it sort of structures are needed? You say it seems obvious
that you can put someone in a house, but what is the bigger picture
around that? With The Big Issue, we offer people
a way to get self-respect and make a living. That is a good start. But
you have to remember that these people, a lot of these people, have
incredibly different, fractured lives. They might not know how to
look after themselves properly or pay bills or make sure they are
connected to the mains. There is an awful lot of things that keeps
people in this situation. In the previous item, people were talking
about youth unemployment. If the word hope came up a couple of times.
The need hope and ambition and some kind of future. You need to work
out why that is not there for people who are falling through the
cracks and what we can do to address that.
Given what Paul has just said, are the much wider issues for a
particular section of people who are repeatedly homeless? It in the
general picture, do you think we have enough houses to meet the
current needs or planning enough for the future?
Clearly not. The 2012 commitment is a staging post. It is a process. It
is not the end in itself. There needs to be much more done and we
are all agreed about that. We welcome the Scottish Government's
commitment to bring empty homes back into use. They have been
funding programmes to do that, which makes a lot of sense. We also
welcome the additional �80 million they have invested this week in an
-- into affordable housing. It is quite clear that at the moment that
the danger is we are going to put a lot of people into temporary
accommodation. Some people can end up in temporary accommodation for
over two years. That is not a solution. We need to invest in more
affordable housing. What about this non-privatisation.
We heard in the report that if you were a single man or if you were a
childless couple that you were not made a priority. What you think
will be the effect of this legal obligation in practice that there
should be non-privatisation and everybody should get equal access?
This is the significance of the 2012 commitment. We have not just
have to use teens procedure, a be a fat to change the ethos and working
culture and attitudes towards housing and homelessness
departments and local authorities. Local authorities across Scotland
have been working hard and the Scottish Government to do that.
That will be one of the big pay- offs of this commitment. Can I just
remind people that when this commitment was made, it was made
with all-party support across the entire political spectrum and the
Scottish Parliament. What about securing tenancies and
initiatives like that? What kind of role will the private sector have?
Do you think we are imaginative enough about actually Freeman that
properly? We probably aren't, but it is
something to do with housing stock and how big can get access to that.
As has been touched on, when this came around in 2003, we did not
know about the financial catastrophe that was coming. Access
to a tenancy probably would have become a bit easier. To a lot of
things that have happened since then have meant that it is not
quite as straightforward as just putting a couple of bits of policy
into place. Is there a different experience for
people in rural areas and in cities, or how does that actually contrast?
Between rural and city, and also in different regions across the
country. The people that sell The Big Issue in London, you will find
many and younger men. In some parts of Scotland, it will beat people
who are a bit unsure about whether or not they can meet the next
payments on the rent and they are fearful of falling into
homelessness. They may have a family. There is no one single kind
of person that comes under homelessness.
Thank you. Now in homage to St Valentine, it's
political seduction time. They are all going to sweet talk you. Look
at what a lovely future you could have with them, and, oh, their
competitors? Not your type at all. Those referendum party strategists
have their eye on you and Hayley Jarvis has been checking out what
they are going to do about it. We need to start building a big
community for this client... family advertising company takes
pride in its power to persuade. It is in their business of selling
products and ideas and says politics is no different.
If you can get a strong message out there that resonates with people,
if you can get that message out there, you can actually drive
somebody to go whitened actually vote. We did about four executions
and... That the agency has worked with
almost all of the political parties at some stage and in the case of
the success, it was the Conservative and Labour parties.
How easy was it to prevent a united front?
It was challenging to deal with two sets of people but they knew what
they wanted to do. The Independent's campaign will be
similar. So if politicians are in the
business of selling their brand, I will they reach out to us?
A winning campaign needs ideas and evidence and passion. Those are the
ingredients that any campaign seeks to bring to bear in its
conversation with the voters. The SNP believes positive
campaigning led them to victory last May. But party strategists
says he will take this approach again using the most up-to-date
marketing techniques along the way. Every campaign that we have run in
the recent past and have a confident campaign team and they
have used every single tool that one uses a modern campaigning and a
modern research to be as well informed as you possibly can be, to
consider high it is that you are communicating your message and to
deploy that message has effectively as you can.
Pro-independence bloc or Peter tends to communicate his message
face-to-face. He worked as a negotiator dealing with trade
disputes and he hopes to use his powers of persuasion at community
level. I hope to find people but share my
viewpoint and see if we can form a small nucleus to get something
moving in and my immediate village. But it has to be broadened to
people who have a different viewpoint and who may have a
diametrically different viewpoint and to people who have no foreign
view at all. It is judging how those undecided voters will be here
is that keeps these people busy. Positivity, apparently, is the key.
It is this middle ground that both the campaigns are going to be
fighting for. Negative campaigns tend to suppress the turnout of
those people in the middle. For the Unionists and the SNP, they have to
figure out how to get their message across in this positive ways.
Try telling that to make Ronnie's campaign team. Attacking the
opponents seems to be par for the course. But this negativity could
be stifling real debate. That is someone according -- according to
someone who has experience on and off the screen.
The Scottish should watch what we have done in this country. We have
destroyed the political process. Congress cannot even have a
conversation because it is so parties and. Everything is related
to the upcoming elections, whether it is the two year Congressional
elections. They're so better. This is because of all the negativity.
Nothing is accomplished here. Positive or negative, the parties
will be hoping their sales pitch will appeal to voters across the
spectrum in the run-up to the referendum. The real test of their
powers of persuasion is that they can stretch that far.
With me to shed some more light on the art of political persuasion is
the ex-Scottish Labour spin doctor, Simon Pia, the Communications
consultant to the SNP, and former special advisor to the First
Minister, Jennifer Dempsie. And the Professor of Political
Communication at Glasgow University, Sarah Oates.
If I were to ask you all very briefly, what makes the perfect
politician? Sarah. I would be in a far wealthier
position than I am today! The perfect politician is someone who
can communicate their message in an upbeat, positive way, respectful of
the voters's intelligence, a leading and not following,
proposing positive ideas for society while being realistic.
Obviously, I have described some on it does not exist!
What do you think? I agree with the positive part.
Some of his dynamic with the ability to change to react. Someone
that is very consultative and listens to ideas from wherever they
come from. And over all, some on his 100% dedicated and has a thick
skin. The perfect politician... I think
it is someone with the Big Idea, conviction, leadership, guts,
charisma, courage. And have you found all of those
things in any one person? No, I will not as good that! We are
constantly talking about a positive environment. And we also know that
you're out there checking the focus groups, the SNP are turning to
psychologists about voting patterns... How seriously do the
strategists take the kind of feedback they get and how far does
that actually changed where they might have been going?
Very seriously. We build a strategy based on the various things. The
obvious the use focus groups to look at opinion polls. We use our
Act of its system, which has all hour candidates information right
from the doorsteps. And obviously we take from media and what do
politicians are saying. There is a whole wide range of things. But
having that expertise to look at trends from people who are
psychologists and sociologists, it does help look at what the
direction of the country is going and what the mood is, particularly
with regards to the media. But doesn't that mean that we have
the politicians fog and public opinion than what they really hope
is that they will shape public opinion and advance to be it?
In democracy, it is an elaborate dance. It is between knowing what
the public wants and leading the public is something better.
President Barack Obama is the perfect type of that person. He
exploded onto the scene and did not follow politics as usual. Some of
his politics did not have a majority public support. But his
image of what the public should be and what the country should be was
revolutionary. Up the question in Scotland is, do we have a
politician who can also tap into that zeitgeist and at the same time,
create a new image of what it is to be Scottish, whether that is to be
Scottish within the UK or Scottish within an independent nation. That
is the challenge, I think, for the political parties in Scotland today.
How prescriptive can you actually be in high and individual interacts
with the public? It must come to some point for the do not look
pathetic. What has changed dramatically it is
that politics is less tribal and people say you rather than
identifying themselves as working class, they identified themselves
as Scottish primarily. This is to the advantage of the SNP.
So what is less tribal with the voters?
What all political parties are after is the swing voter, the
persuader balls. We try and kid on that we don't follow America, but
America has led the way on this. What Jennifer was alluding to -
focus groups, they have fallen on hard times. New Labour's success,
fill up gold went to America and study into how Clinton encoder that.
Gordon Brown is a big fan of this. I know there is people in the SNP
who reviewer Philip Gould and they have his began their of us. They
use that. It is how you tap into that. A big key thing about 2011...
Barack Obama had more money than became. People do not think about
that. The SNP had a lot more money than Labour and they spent seven
times more than us in the 2011 Election. They had the ability to
do market research and spend three times more on advertising. That is
a problem. You do pick up on these trends and what people want and
it's you know what buzzwords and messages to be Dowds there. They
have been tried with the focus groups and have people react in a
positive way, that is the key. All parties are negative in certain
ways. Alex Salmond got the sun to do his negative smear campaign
after ingratiating himself with Sir Rupert Murdoch. The Daily Record
was a long-term supporter of Labour, the only people in Scotland. If you
want media backing, the SNP got numerous papers to back them. It
was a sea-change in Scottish You are getting tribal here.
Jennifer wants to fight for her side, I want to fight for mine.
you buy an election? Out absolutely not. Money is not everything. It
would be the easy answer. The fact is money does not mean anything if
you do not have the right product and brand and in this case the
right party and team and ideas and vision. If the SNP did not have
that platform in the recent election, they would not have won.
They did attract extra funding from supporters. It enabled us to target
people and follow the trends and where the shift in opinion was.
When somebody says the word brand about politics and the right
message, we are focusing this, do you have any feeling that whatever
happened to conviction politics, with people speaking from a heart?
I do not have that visceral reaction. Probably because I am
American. I feel like an anthropologist who has been dropped
into a local tribe to study. As much as I would like to say the
sciences everything, it is not. It sets your playing field. After that,
the players go out. Alex Salmond has out batted everybody. Alex
Salmond has his talent. But my view is the emperor has no clothes. The
S&P had their message that they were for Scotland. -- SNP. They
wanted to avoid independence at all costs. I am a Labour through and
through. The point is there was a single coherent positive message. D
you accept Labour did not get that? It did not come across. Our message
was fighting for what really matters. I would argue the general
election in Westminster, people voted on policy is more. The
Holyrood election is more about the feeling. The S&P message was that
they are for Scotland. -- SNP. think absolutely and I said it at
the beginning, do not underestimate the intelligence of the voter.
Sometimes it is emotion. We are almost out of time. Women voters,
do they have a distinctive voice? It turns out women are more
conservatively voting. It is a fight to get women. They vote with
their heads, not their Hearts, to buy into independence.
challenge will be for independence, and I think they can do that
because they have detailed messages to get across. We are giving the
women the last word, Simon. barged in as usual. People to vote
on emotions and feeling rather than reason, which his wife those pro-
union have to make... Simon, I am sorry, it looks like I am pulling
rank. But we are out of time. Thank you. Now time for the lunchtime
news. Good afternoon. The Scottish and UK governments say
they are hoping to quickly resolve outstanding wrangles over plans for
the independence referendum. First Minister Alex Salmond is due to
meet with Scottish Secretary Michael Moore tomorrow in Edinburgh.
While they have been disagreeing over arrangements to run the ballot,
proposed by the SNP for autumn 2014, both sides say there is now more
common ground. There is no broad consensus about the timing of the
referendum. We look forward to hearing views about the questions
that might be in that referendum. do not expect tomorrow will be the
final discussion on this issue, but it is the start of a positive
process, where we can get the details sorted out.
Bankers from the Royal Bank of Scotland have been arrested as part
of an investigation into alleged personal tax fraud. The arrests
include four current staff and one former employee from the Edinburgh-
headquartered bank. They were arrested at their homes across
London and the Home Counties on Wednesday.
Scotland's rugby squad are in Cardiff, taking on Wales at the
Millennium Stadium this afternoon in their Six Nations Match. They're
looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat last Saturday at
Murrayfield, where they lost to England by 13-6. Head coach Andy
Robinson says he believes Scotland can upset the odds and is urging
his players to maintain their composure. There is live coverage
composure. There is live coverage on this channel this afternoon. And
now the weather. Another cloudy day across the
country. It was misty first think. There will be mist around today.
Temperatures are not too bad. Colder in the south-east. Overnight,
there will be a change with the weather front pushing in that will
bring colder air and a strengthening north-westerly breeze.
It will be windier tomorrow. I will be back with more news this
In a moment we will discuss some of the big events coming up. But first
the Week in 60 seconds. Dundee United have come to Glasgow
and beaten Rangers! BBC Scotland has uncovered documents that
suggest that Rangers' owner may have lied under oath. John Swinney
secured backing for his Budget. have listened to views from across
the chamber. We have acted decisively. And islanders went to
parliament to protest about fishing grounds being decimated. There was
high drama at the biggest council in Glasgow when dissenting Labour
councillors threatened the approval of the Budget. I am thrilled and
delighted. And the view from Trump Towers. Donald Trump accuses the
Scottish government of being hell- bent on destroying Scotland's Coast
line with wind turbines. I enjoyed in the studio by two
prodigious political bloggers. Kate Higgens, otherwise known as A Burdz
Eye View, and Ian Smart, who has his own website and contributes to
Labour Hame. Let's talk about the referendum mechanics. How much
longer can it go on? Please, not much longer. The sooner we get out
of the political parlour and into the public arena, the better.
People will just switch off and stop engaging and stick their
fingers in their ears and hope it will go away and I think
politicians have to be wary of getting to that point. It is a
positive sign meetings are going ahead, but let's get the mechanics
sorted out sooner rather than later. I agree entirely. This is of
interest to political bloggers, but I'm not sure about the general
public. Should there be a news blackout until we know the
question?! He will oversee it, no more until we know what is
proposed? Presumably its horse- trading on screen? Presumably they
are flying kites. Alex Salmond will say things have not been finally
agreed because they will be finally agreed with the Prime Minister
later in the week. He will say a lot of progress has been made and
they will reach a consensus in due course. What are we missing when we
focus on this? We are very much missed in what independence might
do or what staying in the union might achieve. At the moment we are
at this stage of sorting out the mechanics and also there is
shouting going on, and with both side shouting and not making a lot
of sense. I made a decision this week not to talk about the
referendum for a week because it is boring and there is a lot of wrong
information out there. We need to get to the issues that people want
to know about to make an informed choice. If we are getting into
statistics, how informed? We have the same evidence and conflicting
interpretations. It will be tricky. One of the things that has to be
clarified is what is meant by independence. In the 1920s, when
the SNP was formed, nobody is suggesting that is the model of
independence. It is not clear what the alternative is. It was
suggested today it appears we will keep the Queen and Stirling.
need clarity. Do you think no party will come up with anything that
involves hard choices? Is that the chilling effect? Yes. I think it is.
It would be a missed opportunity. This is a once in a generation
opportunity. Party such as the Lib Dems and David Mundell was
suggesting today, let's have a yes or know, and then we will discuss
powers. Forget that approach. People do not want to spend ten
years talking about the constitution. Let's have a proper
informed debate about the issues. It is not fair to the Scottish
people, otherwise, to neutralise the issues to obtain party
advantage. This is the decision of the Scottish people and nobody else.
Glasgow, City Council, do you want to go about that? It is a private
beef. There is an element that the focus has been on people defecting
and maybe the real embarrassment for the Labour Party is how they
were Labour councillors in the first place. They are suggesting
they are going to stand as independents. The used to be said
in Glasgow you could put to Rangers have told a donkey and it would be
elected. He is a lawyer and he is heading down a road that is making
me uncomfortable. I am worried about defamation! I have not
mention names. -- mentioned. The persuasion peace. We know they are
looking at ways of gauging what we think and how to appeal. What about
the idea of different sections of society, women are in a specific
section, there is the youth vote. Some suggest if you are older and
affluent, you are less likely to vote SNP. What will may have to do
to challenge attitudes? We had a chat about this on the train coming
over. We decided we might not impart commercially sensitive
information. We have more elections between us than we care to remember.
What was really interesting in the discussion earlier work two words
missing, trust and respect. People vote for who they believe can make
a difference. There is a danger of applying too much science and
strategy. It is important. You need to have an approach that works and
appeals. But you have to have big ideas. Trust and respect are vital.
People will not vote for politicians they like the best
necessarily, but for those they feel they can trust to do the job.
We saw back in 2011 election. other thing, everybody says you
have to be positive. That is the official line. The reason negative
campaigning is used is because it works. It is not realistic to think
there would not be negative campaigning come the independence
referendum. If one side is relying heavily on negative campaigning,
well, it is interesting, there are advantages and disadvantages in
every argument. It would be condescending to focus on the
positive? Absolutely. It is how you do that. The SNP are clever in how
they put negativity into their positive message. They use
marketing tools and engagement tools to ensure the trip of
negativity is happening in a subtle way. I think they have issues,
particularly with women, but they are alert to those. They have time