11/03/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with political news and interviews, including work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

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Welcome to the Sunday politics. Has a government commission on a


British Coal operates at been erected by the Justice Secretary?


The explosive allegation of a member of the Commission on the


verge of resigning his post this morning. And as the Government's


welfare reforms become or will the changes really transform Britain?


The Work and Pensions Secretary joins us. All that, and Danny


The First Minister Alex Salmond joins us on the second day of the


party's spring conference. And what really makes kids happy? How


materialistic have our children become? UNICEF is putting parents


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1667 seconds


Peak weekend say that when Universal Credit concern everybody


all it will be better than it -- better off than they wear on


benefits. Supposing Act Institute comes to


see you for advice. He is offered a promotion which would take him over


the higher rate of threshold and as a result would lose child benefit.


How do you advise, take the job or not?


Always. Even if you lose �1,700?


You are always better off if you take a job that improves your


options. The interplay with child benefit is a simple fact of life.


You are dealing with the way it is about to be set by the Budget. It


will be withdrawn from people on higher income. That is a reality


for those people. But the Government does not have a huge


amount of money and we need to pay off our deficit. So there is only


Can I ask you for a brief reaction to the idea of a UK Bill of Rights,


the claims that there is no need for the commission, what do you


say? These meetings are not in the


public domain and I do not know what was on by closed doors. All I


can say is that my Permanent Secretary is to a pet -- fair and


decent man, someone who has given a lot of his life to public service,


in my experience he was straight and had no attempt -- made no


attack took -- made no attempt to It is just after 11:30am. You are


watching the Sunday politics. Welcome to the Scottish edition.


Coming up: the SNP faithful queue at a conference to here that home-


rule is better than Conservative rule. Alex Salmond is with us live.


And a politician who did most to expose the phone hacking scandal


says that Alex Salmond should distance himself from Rupert


Murdoch. He is the only Western leader that


Rupert Murdoch seems to be cosying up to. It is not in the interests


of the Scottish people. Minimum pricing for alcohol is back


on the legislative agenda, this time with backing from the


Conservatives. And what makes hour family is


happy? The latest video games, or more time with the family?


Alex Salmond has warned Scots they face a clear choice in the


forthcoming referendum - independence or Conservative rule


from Westminster. I will be talking to the First Minister in a few


minutes. What a difference be here makes. Last year's spring


conference saw the SNP behind in the polls and potential losers. 12


months on they have a majority government and are pursuing a


independence referendum. This conference is a very busy indeed.


They have been queuing for two hours to get in and see Alex


Salmond. They are looking to hear a vision on how the First Minister


can deliver the party its historic aim, independence.


I have been in favour of independence ever since I was a


small child. I do not want to see any more of the Conservatives.


Accentuating the positive aspects of independence, reassuring the


electorate of the economic argument. The message was simple and familiar


when it came. Independence could, London, Westminster, the


Conservatives, bad. The Prime Minister tried to dictate


the terms but I have a message - the days of politicians and London


telling Scotland what to do and think, they are over.


This was a clear attempt to detoxify the pro-union brand.


Little wonder the referendum date is six months... It was almost as


if the Scottish Parliament and its powers did not exist but then he


came to the more subtle side of the argument. Look at our record any


areas of crime and health. A we're showing our friends in


England that there is an alternative. Let me be clear,


because of the independence we have over the health service in Scotland


this Government will ensue if that Scotland's National Health Service


is never for sale. As a measure of independence on health, education,


law and order, we have made Scotland a better place. Think what


we could do with Scottish control of the economy, of international


representation, and of security. Apart from the issue of


independence this was a very Labour speech - that was not much that


traditional Labour voters would disagree with. Why did he focus on


such traditional Labour values? I wonder. This is the SNP's newest


member. The party's popularity has never been greater but Mr Salmond


will be to continue recruiting even more to his cause. Labour voters


appear to be in his sights. Good morning, First Minister. You are


getting very good reviews. Have you read them?


Politicians only read reviews and they are good ones, so obviously


the answer is yes. You said that the days of


politicians in London telling Scotland what to do and think are


over, but if we keep the pound, post-independence, actually will be


a monetary policy of the Bank of England telling us what to do.


In monetary policy, but not fiscal policy. I made a speech in the


London School of Economics with I outlined six areas of fiscal policy,


taxation policy, that will make a very substantial difference within


the context of a Stirling zone. So my argument would be within the


context of that Swan -- sterling zone, which have a very powerful


impact. For example, air passenger duty, that would provide a boost to


tourism. That is an example of something we could do while still


having control of key areas of fiscal economy. -- fiscal policy.


But given what is going on in you that nobody would argue that you


can disentangle monetary policy from fiscal policy. If the Bank of


England was their lender of last resort it will not agree to a


fiscal policy it thinks is irresponsible. Other economists say


that because of keeping the pound there will be little room for


manoeuvre. Do you accept that? I do not. That's why I made a


speech. But I think there is a fundamental


difference incidentally between a stare lingers on in Scotland and


England. -- sterling zone. This is totally different to the Euro zone.


Certainly any quarter Asian and the stability pact but you would still


be able to have to eat terminations. -- certainly you need co-operation.


But in terms of the march and you have been talking about not


exceeding 3% of GDP. -- margin. We know that George Osborne has a


tight fiscal regime. You want to loosen the fiscal regime. So there


is obviously a contradiction - when you say there is as packed I am


trying to work out whose priorities would be most persuasive?


I take the example of 3% of GDP and borrowing over the long term. That


is an essential discipline any country needs at any time. But take


last year. Figures recently published show a �2.6 billion


surplus relative to the UK figures. That is �510 for every man, woman


and child in Scotland. But if we bought the same as the UK we would


be �510 per person better off. -- If we borrowed the same. You


certainly could have made life in Scotland substantially better for


its people by marrying Scotland's resources to the talent and ability


of its people. So people ruse that fiscal policy does not make a


difference belie the reality. -- people that say.


But you agree there would need to be a stability pact and a pact on


the borrowing? Within their monitory zone, yes.


But as I have set out and substantial detail, the fiscal


independence with in that position would allow you to boost to growth


in the Scottish economy. That is real independence in the modern


world. Control of resources, taxation, the ability to make you


economy more competitive and society more fair.


But only to the point that your lender of last resort agrees with


the fiscal policy. Are you arguing that the Bank of England will


bankroll a fiscal policy it thinks is irresponsible?


That is not what it does. If it is lender of last resort...


That is determined by your Treasury. It is the same in England. Monetary


policy, not fiscal policy. The Bank of England is independent from the


Chancellor of the Exchequer and never mind any Scottish minister.


So does to people say we would give up control of monetary policy


conveniently forget that Gordon Brown already did so in 1997. We


would be no different position relative to the Bank of England


than the UK Chancellor is at the moment. There is a difference


between the monetary policy framework and the fiscal policy -


control taxation. All I am suggesting, First


Minister... It is not just that.


But there will have to be some sort of pact. You cannot just run a


fiscal policy that is out of step with what the lender of last resort


Pinks is OK to secure its credit ratings and his interest.


But the Bank of England does not determine fiscal policy. You would


have a fiscal stability pact because you do these things anyway.


People cent over the long term of GDP is no more than any prudent


country anywhere would have any way. -- 3%. I am saying that control of


taxation and spending is absolutely critical to boosting the Scottish


economy, increasing our competitive position, and building a fair


society. Your comments then, control over


our own finances would be by his �2.6 billion better off, �510 per


man, women, and child. -- the fiscal balance is �33.5 billion in


the red. Those saving, known vesting, just slightly less debt.


You are wrong about that. What matters is what our position would


have been if we borrowed the same as the United Kingdom. The figures


show that we're too �0.6 billion better off. In other words we could


have borrowed or invested that. -- �2.6 billion. It is the comparison


between your relative standing with the United Kingdom. If we borrowed


and spent at the same level we would have been that much better


off. As you rightly say, �510 per man, woman, and child. That gives


you the choice to Bordeaux, save more, or invest in the future. --


Bordeaux. Scotland is indisputably in a better position than the


United Kingdom at the moment. -- borrow.


When will we be in a position to save money from North Sea oil


revenues? Norway started and or oil fund


whilst it was running a fiscal deficit. All the sleet you do it


when fiscal circumstances allow -- obviously. But during the last five


years we would have been �8 billion better off if we had been running


our own finances. -- 8,000 billion. Comparing our position, we with the


United Kingdom. I know it is inconvenient for our opponents but


these official figures have These figures show subsidy has been


flowing from England -- Scotland to England. You set 25,000


apprenticeships every year and each linked to a new job. That is the


important point, a Modern apprenticeship is up employed. The


completion rate is extremely high. Give a have a job at the end of it?


The majority goes into employment. This is a great strength of this


system. The job retention rate is extremely high. We what percentage


get a permanent job? The completion rate as up into the 70 %. I can


check the figures, but the key thing is when someone gets a trade,


they are able to be employed. The challenge we have is that people


have not the opportunity to get a trade. Some initiatives are driving


at how we can help people in that category. There's a statutory


guarantee of nursery care next year. Can you guarantee that for rural


areas? We put it into statute next year. It will be a statutory


guarantee so will apply all over Scotland. Every family will be


entitled to 600 and day towers of nursery care as an allowance. It is


a huge social advance, liberating many young parents into the


workplace. Eating guaranteed whenever the Louth they will be


able to access that? Yes. constitutional issues, we speculate


on the scenario that after a referendum, people say yes. Do you


stand MPs for all Westminster at the next election in 2015? We will


stand MPs as long as Scotland is government by the Westminster


Parliament. If Scotland becomes independent, there would be no


Scottish MPs and the House of Commons. How long can that take?


The target date is the next Scottish parliamentary elections in


four years time. The think the legislative framework can be worked


out in four years time? Yes, I do. This law Mac dissolution take


approximately that timescale. look at the 2016 Holyrood election,


if you have not come back to the people with another way of testing


opinion to say this is the deal, when you get to 2016, what if the


auteurs used that as a red -- as a referendum, what have they don't


like it and there is not a majority SNP government? And the


circumstances of the people they believe in independence getting a


referendum, it is reasonable that independence supporters would be in


a strong position. Last time we were in this position, if I


remember correctly, you said, you are behind in the polls, two months


later, we had the support of the Scottish people. Her track record


is impressive. I think I may have been misquoted. You must have stood


alone in the Scottish press. anally, at the comments of Tom


Watson, he says your relationship with Rupert Murdoch could be


damaging. Tom Watson is the best chairman of the Labour Party. They


are hypocritical about this matter. Today's English The Sun On Sunday,


there was a court of... But how would you describe your


relationship? There is a huge professional -- commercial fit


print in Scotland. I have not changed my mind on these matters. I


have supported the inquiries. I have never understood why these


matters have never been a investigated. You met Rupert


Murdoch in Edinburgh in February. The day before that, Leveson


inquiry discovered shocking revelations. One woman said the


paper had tried to police -- intimidate police officers. The


next day, you met Rupert Murdoch. Why shouldn't that meeting have


been taking by someone on your team? I supported the police


inquiries. I supported the Leveson inquiry I have done that north and


south of the border. As for the meeting, I released publicly the


meeting had taken place. It was all above board. I did it from the


consistent position that I put forward. I recognise that companies


have major footprints in Scotland. News International have said they


will change their ways, but it was OK for them to meet News


International while we're on their malpractice. The Labour Party's


attitude to this has been questionable. The MP who led the


charge on the phone hacking scandal has said this relationship is


potentially damaging for Scotland. The media interests are coming


under scrutiny. His BSkyB a fit and proper owner of a broadcasting


licence? The lesson of the hacking scandal


is that politicians just got too close. There has to be a distance.


Alex Salmond seems to be the only Western leader who wants to get


close to Rupert Murdoch. I think it is probably a mistake for Scotland.


He is to a powerful media more goal. He exerts too powerful an influence


or institutions. When real look at Leveson inquiry,


is spreading north of the border? It is likely we must all the


evidence. How do you think this applies in


Scotland? I do not want to pre-empt Leveson. He is digging deeply into


tabloid journalism. If he comes up with chords of conduct, it is


something that should be considered by the industry in Scotland. There


could be a legislative framework? few thinks there are no protections


and law, we have to consider that. It is too early to pre-empt what he


does. With the Press Complaints Commission saying a robust


independent regulator being set up. I think the PCC is the most damaged


brand and the United Kingdom. I feel it has not got a future. I


think it is presumptuous and insulting to Lord Leveson. What you


think it says about their attitude to the public? The general approach


of the PCC historically is one of dumb insolence. We're seeing


editors coming up with discussions about... The idea that the PCC will


be a vehicle that delivers that reform after so many failures as a


mistake. They have lost trust. couldn't be any public confidence


in any form? Again, it is too early to tell. A model of self regulation


that has some powers based on statute might work. It is not too


late to look at self regulatory models but we should not pre-empt


Leveson. It can be good to partner with the industry. If they do not


play ball, that will be down to politicians. Do we have that


courage? It is too early to tell. There is intent after the Millie


Dolan episode. At some point, David Cameron will have to act on Leveson.


I hope that the unity displayed remains. There is a question mark.


Is there a difficult balance between regulating and restricting


press activity? Yes. No one wants politicians and government to and


newspapers. Do we not want newspapers proprietors all were


influencing government? You need a propriety to the relationship.


Minimum pressing for roll-call is getting closer. Holyrood will


debate the Government's plans. Targeting low-cost, high-strength


rent remains divisive. -- a drink wine tasting night in an Edinburgh


off-licence. This sells for just under �5. It me


or �5 with minimum pricing. The order cents it will not affect the


business. Minimum pricing is a good idea. It will prevent alcohol being


used as a weapon by some retailers to get customers into them. It will


be good for the health of the nation and independent retailers.


It will probably be good for the public. Minimum pricing was not to


everyone's taste. It might work as a disincentive but, as a whole, it


will hurt people who drink responsibly. I have heard it have


under-aged drinking before. It is worth a shot. In 2010, minimum


pricing measures were voted out of the last alcohol bill. The SNP did


not have a majority them. Now read the bought their new law will be in


place by the summer. Their health committee has been scrutinised. New


research suggests a minimum price of 45 pence per unit would reduce


consumption by 4.3 % rather than 4.7 % previously predicted. The SNP


backed 45p. This time, they will suggest a specific minimum price


later in the process. Nicola Sturgeon agreed to a five-year at


sunset clause it would result in David Cameron is considering


similar measures south of the border. But it is still scepticism.


The Scottish grocers Association represents convenience score goals


like this one. -- convenience stores.


This measure will not be helpful in terms of targeting problem drinkers.


It is indiscriminate and disproportionate. It will affect


our customers and there were businesses.


Customers are divided. To be more expensive the alcohol


the less problems our young people will have in the future.


It is a good idea. It will put off those who drank most nights of the


week. All evidence suggests that it will


hit jobs harder than it will hit teenagers drinking in the street.


So it remains a contentious issue. But drinkers will soon get used to


it. -- soon have to get used to it. I am joined by representatives of


the SNP, Labour, and the Conservatives. Why have the


Conservatives changed their mind? We remain sceptical but we have


changed her mind because we have been negotiating with the Scottish


Government. We have succeeded in bringing in a sunset clause so if


it proved to be ineffective the measure will be dropped in five


years. We have gained concessions that there will be voluntary


notifications of the European Union to see if this as a legal measure.


And we're also asked for a review comparing and a rare -- comparing a


region like the North of England so we can see a like for like. And


lastly we want more work done on the culture and relationship of


Scots with alcohol. We drink 20% more than in England but the price


is the same. So by gaining these concessions we have decided to


support the Bill. It was going through anyway so we think we have


helped improve it. You could have second-guessed most


of these amendments anyway. The substantive arguments have not


changed. Do you regret delay in what could have been a significant


health improving policy? North. We remain sceptical and have


serious concerns about whether this will work. -- no. Alcohol


consumption is falling but the problems relating to it continue to


rise. Internet sales could lead Scotland and go elsewhere and we


also think that more people will buy across the border in England


but we have negotiated with Nicola Sturgeon for three months and feel


that the sunset clause which the minority government had and which


was taken out when the became a majority, we have helped to bring


that back in. We think we're moving forward and a sensible manner.


Labour are now isolated on this quote. You have turned your back on


detailed medical evidence you have...


Sorry! There is no evidence. It says that harmful rather than


moderate drinkers can be tackled effectively with the changes. Are


you suggesting that it was not medical opinion which said, let's


try this, even with a sunset clause? Your not CDs are suggesting


that there was a swathe of medical opinion that supported this? -- you


are not seriously suggesting. I have spent a quarter of my life


working with alcoholics and would not have suggested voting against


this if I believed it would work. It will not tackle the young and


binge drinkers who are the critical problem we have. This is the third


time in its history that Scotland has faced Algol problems and it is


always a cultural issue. -- alcohol. In Sheffield they aimed to drink


just over half a pint less per 100 pts. That will not tackle this


problem. Would it not therefore be sensible


then to try and figure out at what level the minimum pricing works,


rather than at write it off altogether?


But the windfall to the retailers goes up. At 45p it is �100 million.


The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that the market response


will be critical - if the price is reduced above the minimum price


level so that the purchase a basket of each individual is roughly even


doubt, the policy will be nullified. And this will only affect the


poorest 30% of the community. It will not affect the middle class,


who are drinking too much, and there are more hazardous drinkers


in the middle group of the population. They will not be


affected. Let's talk about that accusation


that you are targeting the pool. It is untrue. The doctor is in a


minority. You looking at more income groups, 80% either do not


drink at all or drink too moderate levels and are unaffected by price


rises. Only 20% will be affected. At the price difference between


them and higher income groups is 0.7 %. There is even evidence to


show that supermarkets inflate the price of their food to cross


subsidise the alcohol in their stores. It will benefit those in


low income groups and the most harmful drinkers. All the evidence


shows that. It acknowledges that the welfare benefits of minimum


pricing will be substantial. Or as a point of principle you have


your reservations. But there is a body of evidence that says it could


work. Why would you not, given their is a sunset clause, why would


you not say, give it and go, see what happens? Other eyes it looks


like opposition for the sake of opposition. -- otherwise.


They SNP have put out that lie from the outset. I have put forward


cogent arguments. Can I finish? If you drink 14 or 15 units per week,


well within deceive deadlines, this as a tax of �120 per year on your


drinking. Why should a poor person be punished this way?


It is nonsense. You must be reading reports that do not exist. Quite


frankly Richard is desperately searching for evidence that does


not exist. What do you think David Cameron


will do on this? The truth as I do not know Phil's


got surprisingly enough we decide here in Scotland what we're going


to do. Jackson has been negotiating with Nicola Sturgeon since January.


He came to our group at a fortnight ago. We had a robust discussion and


we all came to the agreement, 15 of us, that we would support minimum


pricing on the basis of the concessions we have one.


But you advice would be it is a good thing to do? To have this in


the south rather than go, I speak - - as has been suggested, tackling


it through the tax system? I am left Richard Simpson on this


one. We would prefer that it was done through duties. But David


Cameron does not tell us what to do nor do we tell him. If it goes


through duties the money goes to the taxpayer and to fund public


services. Richard makes a very good point. This will raise the profits


for retailers and he is correct also that there was no evidence in


Sheffield as regards Genscher drinking and middle income earners.


-- binge drinking. His duty a blunt instrument?


It is not necessarily the right way to do it. Also, so poor market


profits, I note that the Conservatives are opposing the


public health levy to tax supermarkets and Labour won against


the Tesco tax. Nobody has spoken against the 40 people whose lives


may be spared in the First Year that minimum pricing is brought an


end. Let's talk about the public health benefits.


I am sorry we're out of time. I just want Richard to have a final


work. Labour were raising taxes and the


conservative coalition are continually get. It means you do


not have over �100 million going to the retailers which will be spent


on more advertising and reducing the price of higher priced drinks.


Research for a UNICEF shows that children in the UK feel trapped in


a materialistic culture and do not spend enough time with their


families. We will be joined shortly by the author of the report. First,


we spoke to two families to find out what impact modern life has on


them. My tea realism has come to dominate family life in Scotland. -


- materialism. My son wants football boots priced


at �124. This was advertised just before


Christmas. C went on about it for weeks on end, begging for them.


Jennifer is a single parent who works full-time as a student nurse.


She had to save all week to buy her son a smart phone.


All his friends have won so why felt pressure so that he could fit


again. I see lots of expensive things and


I want them. If you want to get in with a good group of friends then


you need expensive stuff. When I didn't have an iPhone people would


call me poor and say that I couldn't afford one.


He a UNICEF report says that parents in the UK feel tremendous


pressure from society to buy goods for their children. They do not


call it retail therapy for nothing. Shopping makes me feel good. It is


a reward for a hard day at work. It makes me feel good about myself.


It is a pretty world and I like to fit and.


But could this consumerism affect It attracts people from really


paying attention to the things that would be better from their lives. -


- detractors. The research shows that parents in


the United Kingdom lose out on time together as if -- as a family due


to long working arose. They try to make up for this by buying children


Effort is a choice between an iPhone and a holiday next to the


Could children face pressure on all fronts. There is a strong image is


sending a message that this is what should be done. How people should


be. Where value lies. Getting away from that and getting back to focus


on relationships, friends and families, that balance needs to be


struck. It is not right at the moment.


With UNICEF reporting that inequality is greater in the UK


than in other countries should we be doing more to guarantee the


welfare of her children? The author of the report is here. Thank you


for coming and. If we look at when this Stark's, we heard from B race


people in the past that before your children are born you're being told


to spend a small fortune. Yes, it start before children are born.


Ridiculous things like baby perfume. They smell nice enough on their own.


But BA is huge pressure on parents to have all the latest things. --


one father there we spoke to had produced an entire football


strapped to pin up everywhere around the nursery. It comes from


A lot is not mediated by parents. Presumably, we have always wanted


things. What has changed? There is a lot more stuff out there. When we


did the work for Unicef, we filmed 24 families, we were falling over


the stuff. There is so much to buy. It is advertised. Our children


asking for it Ora parents using it of we were seeing sorry I am not


spending time with you? When we asked my children, they said time


with my family and friends. That is what children want. When the our


school, like that child said there, so once or has a nightspot. Parents


start to feel they are bad parents if they do not give children what


they want. The feel disenfranchised. They feel they are the only ones.


If parents got together, they would realise other parents were not


going to buy a these things. Solidarity might help. Do you think


there are sections of society who find it easier to save all? Those


in hiring comes often have more time. We found families who were


struggling, having to work lots of jobs, they did not have time to


explain to their children. If you can survive on one income, you have


a mother and father, you can set and talk -- top two children.


came out that some parents EU's but a dance. It raises the child's


expectation and plazas the lines between authority figures and the


child. They embody dad is interesting. Mothers and daughters


go to pamper parties. Some parents use their children as rents. The


authority has gone. We spot to mothers in Spain. They just say no


to their children. The children appreciated parents seeing off. One


little boy said he had saved for Russ Star Wars set. He said if you


do not save up, there is no Cherish mint. As bank loans become more


difficult to obtain, one bank which started in Bangladesh is loaning to


people in Scotland. The idea has been around for 30 years. Could it


work here? It began in Bangladesh, a country


where 63 million people live below the poverty line. It was here the


idea of micro finance began. This The idea is for the bank to offer a


small loans to people trying to set up businesses. The bank says it


promotes self-reliance. The poorest will create their own employment.


It is now coming to Scotland. This man has a Nobel Prize for his


banking model. He believes it can work here. We gave people to create


their own jobs. They'd do the things they know or how to do.


Sowing, making cakes, walking dogs. Here at St Paul's Church, local


women have started a lunch club. We see a small loan would help them do


it more quickly. We are doing better sewing and ironing. We're


hoping to get that up and running and get some machines in. Perhaps


we can get some washing machines and do some laundry. Some money


would help that. We are going to the basement. It is hoped this


launderette could employee some staff. This model for stamping out


poverty is not without its critics. Some people say it does not work.


We're set up by people who want to escape poverty. The idea is they


will automatically have clients. Unfortunately, that is not the case.


Poor people do not have money so will not be able to purchase items


and services. There is concerned people taking out loans would no


longer apply for benefits. The test will come over the next few months


as people take out loans. It can be years before we know or if it works.


Good afternoon. The finance Secretary will use his speech at


the conference and the next few minutes to say that Scots will be


better off living in independence. John Swinney will cite the figures


and will see they can afford independence. We have set out the


course that Scots pay more into the United Kingdom than be get tight.


It is �510 per person. That is a platform from which we wanted


Scotland to become independent. Local authority is warning that any


plan to move you clear spill from - - fuel from Dounreay should be done


by real. Highland councils say taking nuclear material by rail has


a poor safety record. Britannia's royal barge is


undergoing sea trials. The bought based that portion terminal a neck


and baroque was used to transport the Royal Family from the yacht


until it was decommissioned in 1987. It will feature and the Diamond


High pressure firmly in control. Further east, we should see more


brightness. It will be cooler further west. Tomorrow, not much


changed. Some brightness again further east. This week, mainly dry


and settled. Let us take a look back at the


Weeting 60 seconds. The UK's first green investment


bank would have headquarters in Edinburgh.


Tributes to Paul McBride found dead in Pakistan.


In a letter to the Prime Minister, Vince Cable mentioned breaking up


the Royal Bank of Scotland. A in terms of the new


qualifications, there is work to be done before schools can be


reassured. Eric Joyce has been fined �3,000 and banned from pubs


after admitting assaulting politicians. I have been duly


punished. I was lucky to avoid prison.


The top of the steamy, dominated by the party's spring conference


season. Joining me, Mandy roads. Former


special adviser to John Swinney. Good reviews for Alex Salmond's


speech. Very good reviews. He is often associated with economic


issues. He devotes his speech to social issues. The interesting


thing from yesterday's conference was talk of the Social Union. That


is significant. The SNP will be trying to say to people, you can


keep the bits you like. You can keeps airline. So we can get rid of


the things we don't like. It is that the road they are heading


down? It is odd for me that the conference is not discussing, is


not asking the membership bought Social Union means. There is a


danger that people ask what is different. Should there be a second


question? That question is absent. Devolved areas, the highlighted


that they were working. Is that not the danger? That is a danger. Some


say the SNP could be so successful and devolution that people will not


go on to independence. At the moment, there are huge spending


cuts down the line. Next year, the Lindsay there are record


investments in North Sea oil. Speed can do so much in devolution.


Meakin said -- they can save you can improve on the things you like.


Far be it from me to suggest they would fall late -- fault Holyrood


magazine. A few can short it has not just been under devolution,


there is an argument for discussing what we do differently. If that is


better, there is an argument other things can be done better.


sounds like a soft Labour vote. Mean or lots of people left Labour


to vote for the SNP. Labour are not for independence. It is about


getting that pitch right. A lot of the speech yesterday it was


important for that. How much autonomy you can run on fiscal


policy, this will have to be explored in more detail. The


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

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