Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news and debate including the Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Strathclyde, on plans to reform the second chamber.
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Good afternoon. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. David Cameron
opens the door to live referendum on of the relationship we the E. We
ask Nigel for arch if the Prime Minister has stolen his party's
most popular political tune. Should the party is apologise for their
own record on regulation? We ask Rachel Reeves to come clean. With
all that and the economic crisis, you would think that the Government
would have a enough on its plate. Not so. We asked the Leader of the
lots whether they can win the fight to save the second chamber.
And on Sunday Politics Scotland, how Scotland is failing its
children in care and what is being done to help them. With the
campaigns launched, where now for the referendum debate? We will be
speaking to the new chief executive of the Independent's campaign,
Good afternoon. The prime minister has suggested the possibility of a
referendum at some time in the future on the relationship with
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1457 seconds
We are still in very early days. There is just over a week to go
before the House of Commons has to take a decision on a House of
Commons motion. Decisions will take place and discussions will take
place between the parties. They have not told us how many days they
want. A 10 you proceed with that
situation? I think it will be very difficult
to spend weeks and months. We must not second-guess the House of
Commons. Most of them want to get down to discussing the important
issues of what is happening in the second chamber, rather than relying
on a Labour Party tactics to delay discussion again and again.
People will find it very strange that in the middle of these crises
and events in Syria and elsewhere that the Commons floor is dominated,
week after week, by laws reformed. -- by Lords reform.
I think that is why we will see support for a sensible programme of
development by government. We have had referendums on all
sorts of issues recently, why not a referendum on this major
constitutional change? We have had very few national
referendums and at the last general election all three party manifestos
agreed that there should be a democratic reform. They have agreed
over the last decade or so. They said they would try to find a
consensus, not that they would do We are yet to see whether we can
achieve a consensus. Referendums are expensive. �80 million on,
ostensibly, asking the people to agree something that the political
parties have already agreed. I think this is a political tactic.
This was put in their manifesto at the last minute before the last
election. They never mentioned it in the past and they did not have
won in 1999 when they threw out hereditary Peers.
There does need to be some discussion within government about
the most appropriate way of continuing.
Speaking of a referendum, at the same question as that that I put to
Nigel for arch, I'll be closer to a referendum on Europe after the
Prime Minister's article? We are closer than we were but we
are not yet clear on what the basis of that referendum will be. He
understands what the need is for a referendum but we must decide what
it is about first before making that historic decision.
They do you very much for joining us. It is approaching 12:30pm. You
are watching the Sunday Politics. Good afternoon and welcome to
Sunday Politics in Scotland. Coming up on the programme. He stood
behind the First Minister at the launch of the Yes campaign, now
Blair Jenkins steps up to lead the campaign foreign independent
Scotland. Also coming up, Scotland's secret
shame. The scandal of how badly we are failing our children in care.
And tackling the country's second biggest killer. We asking why
coronary heart disease is still taking so many lives.
The campaigns on both sides of the referendum debate are officially up
and running so how will each side go about trying to win your support
between now and polling day? Earlier this week, Blair Jenkins,
the former head of News at BBC Scotland, was named the chief
executive of the Yes Scotland group. He is tipped to join me now.
Congratulations. -- he is here to try me now.
How do you stop this campaign becoming just an SNP campaign?
This is going to be a big umbrella campaign. The yes campaign is for
anyone in Scotland to come together and fight on this one issue which
is a hugely important issue. While the SNP, as one would expect, will
be very active in the campaign and prominent in it, it will be a much
bigger and broader alliance. Where does the fund income from for
this? How much of the funding, looking at the practicalities, will
come from the SNP? If there is a lot of funding from them, or will
there not be an impression that it is about their agenda if they are
bankrolling its? The large for yet Scotland came
partly from the money that came from Edwin Morgan. Some of the
funding from those people have been done using the launch period. --
had been used in the launch period. I want be yet Scotland campaign to
be self financing. You have a limit on the amount that
people who are not on the electoral roll in Scotland can donates. How
much is it and why was that decision-taking?
Most people in Scotland do feel quite strongly that the referendum
campaign should be determined by those who live in Scotland and will
make this decision. We will not accept donations above �500 from
anyone who is not on the alleged oral register in Scotland. That is
important to make sure the people taking the decision instalments are
contributing to the campaign. Could it be a tactical error if the
no campaign it is funded by a large donors in England?
I hope they will be as transparent about their funding as we will be.
Is it appropriate that you asked people to sign a declaration of
independence. This may not be the case. It was reported that you had
conceded it was a mistake to asked 1 million Scots to sign this
declaration of independence? That is absolutely not true.
Can you clarify your position on whether there should be a second
question? My position is that I am leading
the Yes Scotland campaign. We will only be campaigning for
independence. That is the campaign I am leading. Most people in
Scotland at the moment need to keep an open mind of the discussion. I
have an interesting experience over the last few weeks were I have
spoken on political issues and a lot of people have been in search
to say they agree with me and others are not sure. Let us meet
for coffee and talk about it. I have been drinking a lot of coffee
recently. My experience is that people are open to the conversation
and are highly persuadable of the arguments for an independent
Scotland. That is what we need to Will you be putting forward policy
ideas? I think people contributing to the
debate will put forward policy ideas. I am sure the SNP and the
Greens and the s and -- the SSP will be making policy contributions.
The Yes Scotland position is we will be campaigning for a Yes vote
in the referendum in 2014 and it is not to the political parties
thereafter in the general election to set out their policy agenda for
people in Scotland. It is useful to clarify that
earlier. Because that has been quite widely reported. It is
interesting how the media has been interacting with S. I hope this
quote is accurate. You said it you hoped we could have a sensible and
mature debate free from Punch and Judy confrontations and one
Scotland can be proud of. Do you have a concern that that it is not
just winning that matters but how you win because of the residue of
what could be left in scutter society in general if this is not a
decent campaign? -- in Scottish society.
Some journalists in the week did invite me to make adverse comments
about the people in the no campaign on and off The Record. I will not
be criticising individuals in the no campaign. The important thing to
recognise here is that the day after the referendum in 2014, all
the people involved in the no campaign will become citizens of
the new Scotland and will be determined at along with the worst
of us to make Scotland the country it could be. I think everyone wants
a really good, positive, constructive campaign. One of the
things I want to bring to this is a lot of high quality information to
as many people as possible so it is a well informed debate.
Do you think that is what we are seeing now in the social media? Do
you think the arguments that are entirely constructive?
It is not. We are really in the early days of social media. I do
not think the ground rules have been properly sorted out. I do not
think anonymous posting is a good idea as it encourages people to get
into negative territory. If you look at America website, you get
much more vicious, hostile and aggressive things said thing you do
here. What people are using social media for is to engage with people
in the campaign. A lot of people who asked me what they can do to
help, I say to them something concrete. I say to them, if in the
next two years you can convince one other person you know from your
family and friends are your workplace who is currently not
intending to vote for independence, that will make for a clear majority
in favour of an independent Scotland.
Do you accept that there is a newspaper bias as the SNP claimed?
It do you think that will be an issue in getting the message out?
The media message is important in creating the need music of any
campaign. It is a free country. Some newspapers blur the difference
between news and opinion. It is a free press and we will engage with
that press. What will be the role of BBC
Scotland? We needed to be an honest broker
and continue to provide high quality information.
Are you satisfied it is doing that as it exists now?
I have nothing to declare to the contrary.
Joining me now from Edinburgh is Richard Baker one of the five
directors of the Better Together campaign. Thank you for coming in.
Can we look first at the funding issue. Penny give us more clarity
today about who will be playing for your campaign? -- paying for your
campaign? There are no rules governing
donations as yet. Despite that, we will voluntary abide by the
appropriate legislation which is the elections and referendums Act
which means we will not be accepting foreign donations and we
will be publishing on our website all donations over �7,500. When
Blair Jenkins talked about transparency in that, I am happy to
agree with him about that and we will have the same level of
donation transparency. Do you think it will be like the
Yes campaign, a limit on the amount people can give.
We will publish the names of all donors over �7,500. But she will
accept money from anyone anywhere in the UK?
Will not accept foreign donations but we do not regard the rest of
the UK as a foreign land. We are campaigning to keep the UK together.
The SNP have a track record of accepting donations from overseas.
Do you have any concerns that, at as the current speculation has been,
most of the donations will confront a Conservative donors in the south.
Do you have concerns that the perception will be that the
campaign is bankrolled by so many interests, as opposed to the Yes
campaign which is funded by donations from people in Scotland.
This is the start of our campaign. We have had a very successful
launch last week, based on people living in Scottish communities. We
will push had for donations in Scotland. I hope we will see
sizable donations from within Scotland.
If we look at what the Better Together campaign is offering
people, what will that be? If it is no to independence, what is it?
Clearly, it is Scotland's remaining in the United Kingdom. We will put
together a very positive case on why Scotland benefits in being part
of the UK in terms of our position in the world, economy and shared
society. We will put forward that positive case about the important
question of whether Scotland remains in the United Kingdom.
Blair Jenkins has said that he has no campaign based on any other
question. It is about the fundamental question of remaining
part of the UK. If it is yes, economically and
socially, what vision do you offer. The Yes campaign say this is what
Scotland will look like in 30 years. What is your patient of what
Scotland will look like in 30 years' time?
People can see now the benefits we have had from the UK, particularly
in troubled economic times. The Bank of England's bailed out our
banks. I have to say, when we look at the SNP of Blair Jenkins's
campaign for independence, they are entirely unclear on how Scotland
will look in 30 years. Now they say we will keep the Bank of England
and the pounds and we will even still be British. A lot of people
are saying, what is the point? We need far more clarity from the
campaign to break up Britain about We have no clarity from sure
campaign about increased powers, there is no clarity there. Without
that, all what do you offer? There are campaigns about Scotland
remaining in the United Kingdom. The question of extra powers is for
other forms. To clarify this point, I have you saying that there is not
a specific vision you can offer? If you do not have a specific vision,
if what you are offering is Stanion the United Kingdom and muddling
along in a managed decline. What is your positive alternative for
Scotland and when will we know the details for that? I think that
staying a the United Kingdom is a positive alternative from
independents, and people know what the United Kingdom means. We know
the strengths of the UK and we know the challenges. I have to say to
you, and you were not asking Blair Jenkins to define his vision for
independence, there are huge unanswered questions about what
independence will actually mean. The SNP have been changing their
few week in week it. He did not ask Clare Jenkins whether he believes
that an independent Scotland should remain in or out of NATO. To
suggest that we have a lack of clarity of vision that the SNP have
is simply absolute nonsense. We come to a second question, it
should be quite clear that this is a fundamental issue which until
recently all the main parties agree should be a clear a single question
about whether Scotland should be in or out of the United Kingdom. Alex
Salmond is taking his mind on that because he knows he will not get
the answer he wants from the first question that people will now be
asking why he is running chicken from the clear debate that we
should have in this country over the future of Scotland and I want
to engage in that debate. I think that Blair Jenkins was looking to
engage that the bid constructively as well. I want to ask you about
that any moment, but just for the avoidance of doubt, Blair Jenkins's
job is not to articulate specific policy areas as you suggested, he
makes that clear in his interview. He will not promote specific
policies because the policies in the Independent gripping, the
parties that support that, they could have different policies. His
job was to put forward the argument for an independent Scotland, but
not policy specific. There is no point in asking them for policy
specifics. He wants an end to Punch and Judy politics, will that be
possible? Can be put forward a positive case for Scotland being in
the United kind? There is a positive case. We must move beyond
process questions and on to a clear debate about the future of Scotland.
I hope we can move on to that clear debate as quickly as possible. We
will put forward a positive case for Scotland remaining in a the
United Kingdom and will be arguing that England-Wales and the Northern
Ireland and Scotland all benefit by being part of the United Kingdom. I
do think that we will have a substantial debate and that the
media will allow us to have this debate.
The most discriminated against Great in our society, that is how
one charity described children who are taken from their homes
principally because of abuse and neglect and put into care. MSPs are
now investigating why these children who are most acutely in
need of stability permanency and loving relationships are
systematically denied the structures and support which would
enable them to thrive. Holyrood has just launched an inquiry into when
children should be taken into care prompted by shocking findings from
an earlier report into how look after children fare in school.
There are 16,000 looked after children in Scotland. A recent
report by the education committee looking at their educational
achievement levels revealed stark findings.
He suggested that youngsters in residential care and foster homes
if performed about ten times worse in school than the average child in
Scotland. The report also found that looked after children left in
their family homes perform about ten times worse in exams than their
counterparts in residential and foster care.
The last finding particularly surprised MSPs, as their
expectation had been that it looked after children left in the family
home would do better educationally than those who went into other
homes. Politicians concluded that the decision-making process leading
to where a child is placed for care has a crucial impact on a child's
life chances. The Education Committee's latest
inquiry will look at whether the speed of decision-making in cases
is appropriate, whether there is a presumption that children whose
parents have addictions should be removed from the home, and it will
also look at the balance of the Visa sign of children's care and
ask whether the child's rights are being put before the parents. MSPs
will now spend the next six months taking evidence that they hope will
shine a light on where the state system is failing children in care.
With me now he's the convenor of Holyrood's education committee and
the President of the Association for social work and the chief
executive of the charity, who cares Scotland?
First of all, you charity exists to give children in care a voice, what
do you think that we have to hear at this stage that we are not
heeding yet? Nelson Mandela said, the most revolutionary aspect of a
society's soul has hit its bed -- is how it treats its children and
young people. We believe that Scotland has some soul-searching to
do when it comes to her looked after children in care. We have it
comes that we cannot be proud of, and we believe that our society as
well as our politics and civil servants need to question their
awareness of this issue. These are our children when we take them into
care, their society's children. They go into care because there is
not the stability, the loving caring and nurturing environment
that would allow them to prosper and thrive, therefore rethink we
can do better. I have a child and from the age of 16 she has a one-
in-three chance when -- Sea has a one-in-three chance if she left
home to become homeless, would I be happy if she has a one-in- 10
chance of having a mental health issue? And if the education system
could fill the to such a degree? That is not to say that these young
people are so different, they're just as capable as other young
people, we have taken them to summer school and Everest base camp.
They have been massively discriminated against by the
communities. A damning indictment for our society is that these
children feel stigmatised because of their life in care. We asked
what that was from, and they said that from the age of five they were
never invited to another child's birthday party. It is things like
that which exacerbates the situation. There are areas, then,
when you look at statistics like health and education on the
criminal-justice system, children in care are disproportionately
represented there, but apart from what he will discuss in more detail,
the immorality of not looking after them properly, or we are wasting a
lot of potential for society as a whole. They are massively talented
people. The resilience it takes to go through the care system is
phenomenal, if you go into care, what we require as human beings,
and we do not often reflect on this, but it is the relationships that
guide us through life. Parents often act as a social and moral
rudder to guide us to understand what is going on. How to be present
that for children and young people? They can have up numerous numbers
of adults or parents are placements that do not give them the stability
which they need to thrive. He said that one child had 50 placements
before she had turned 18. We should begin this by saying that
this is an incredibly difficult area for social workers to work in,
and nobody was going to social work in this area for an easy life. But
when we look at the structures in place, for example, children who go
into care because they have had to be taken from their homes because
they are being abused or neglected, these are little ones to have done
nothing wrong, but children who need immediate intervention. In a
care home, they can have anything between 16 and 31 carers on one
shift. If we look at something very basic, how difficult is it for
these children to form the sort of permanent, stable and nurturing
relationships that any other child can take for granted? I should
start by saying that I wholeheartedly agree with Duncan's
sentiments. We must be ambitious with children, particularly those
who I believe are discriminated against, we must make sure they are
looked after. It is difficult. As Duncan says, the resilience of
these young people is something that Dele -- something that
surprises me daily. We must just get these young people the tools
they need to achieve their goals. I think that we need to look
sometimes at how the system does work for some young people,
particularly those who give a fair to. They begin in incredibly
challenged circumstances and then come into care services and
sometimes the care services really do transformed their lives for the
better. But we must do better. I think one of the keys to do better
is that we work together. Part of it is about ensuring that our
society does not discriminate, except positively in favour of
these young people. It is about teaching staff, it is about the
public, it is also about employers in particular giving opportunities
to young people for employment when they leave the care system. That is
a huge issue given the recessionary impact on the economy in Scotland.
What is wrong with us that this is not just an automatic response to
these children? What is wrong with us as a collective? First of all,
we must recognise that they are there. The fact is that today beset
with the highest number of children looked after in Scotland for 30
years. 16,100 young people are cared for in Scotland, with the
majority being cared for at home. What we have to do is make sure
they are not hidden from sight, secondly be must include them
positively in all the opportunities that my children will benefit from
in Scotland's society today, and I think that is a bit better
healthcare, more factories were saying that is clear and a long-
term, not short-term funding. It is about training people in the
culture that actually forces them and enables them to recognise that
young look after people are ambitious and achieving young
people. We know that in Denmark, it comes
across education Health, attainment, everything else would children in
care, are pretty much the same as for children who grow up with their
own parents in their own families to adults it, given what has just
been said, hardly at all comfortable with the way that
restructure her responses to these children? That I am not in the
least that comfortable, I think that one of the things that we want
to achieve is to highlight the situation, to give and the
publicity to get Scotland thinking about the problems that these young
people face, and that is the first thing that we want to achieve.
Hopefully through programmes like this and others, we can bring some
attention to the details. Clearly, as you said, there is a small
Scandinavian country that is do much better than BR. If they can do
it, surely we can as well. Although there have been marginal
improvement in the past 10 or 15 years, various experts and
governments have made a marginal on Britain, that is not good enough.
Why is that? Why the think, as you see, it is almost not that people
do not want to change, it is not that people are not aware of it,
why does nothing changed? Why does it changes so slowly? That is part
of the reason we're holding this inquiry, to find it what is
happening in the process that is ending up with children failing to
achieve not just educational, but also with other things in life.
They are a higher proportion of the prison population than average,
they hire problem with drugs and alcohol. We must ensure that we get
to the bottom of this particular problem. We have known about this
for so long, there have been many reports. It is as though people
more of the problems but do not want to engage with them. It is a
difficult and complex issue, it is so sensitive that people do not
want to face up to some of the realities here. We have a decision-
making process that we have been told that the first evidence has
come and that it is too slow and complex. It takes far too long.
Even if they tell was not yet born and we know there is a high risk
factor with the family, it is taking too long to achieve
permanence in a solution for those child. We know how critical those
first two years are for the life chances of that child.
We are almost out of 10. The key issue is that I am not sure we have
given the right message to society. Society does not know the nature of
this problem. They do not understand the roots of the style
that where they come from. How many local authorities have consultant
as to whether a residential did can be placed in the committee? They do
not open their arms, they treat it like nuclear waste. Who are these
young people? What has put them in this place? With relatively small
investment, they will respond positively. Every match will step
we take that they consume in their daily lives, they feel more
marginalised. We must accept that citizens of this country need to
give a stronger mandate for us to help these children. We're out of
time today, but the programme will go back and look at specific areas
here, because the evidence that is emerging to the committee is quite
shocking. We will look at healthcare as children in the
justice system and in care children in the healthcare system. We will
have you back very soon to look at these things.
Coronary heart disease is the second biggest killer in Scotland
after cancer. �150 million a year is spent on tackling cardiac
problems yet Scotland still has the highest rates of heart disease in
Western Europe. Gilly Mathieson has been to Drumchapel where the
Scottish parliament's public audit committee have been engaging with
locals asked them what is going Physios from dar Naval Hospital are
working with the community to help those suffering from heart disease
to remain fit and well. Glasgow is the capital of heart disease in
Western Europe. I was out walking the dog one
Sunday afternoon and I felt breathless. I phoned NHS 24 and
described my symptoms and the next thing they said was that I should
sit down and the end of -- and the ambulance is on his way.
I did not think it would happen to me. I did the smoke. I attended
cardiac classes were over 90 per cent of people who had heart
problems smoked. In Scotland, at 8000 people a year
die of heart disease and �150 million is spent on hospital
treatment. A recent survey highlights the barriers preventing
people from more deprived areas from being diagnosed early and
treated quickly by the NHS. NHS 10 to -- men tend to turn up in
the emergency room. In the more deprived areas particularly, people
have less access to health information.
Jackie is taking part in the keep well programme which works with
locals in Drumchapel to address factors addressing their help. She
suffers from heart disease but finds it difficult to make healthy
choices. If you buy a wholemeal loaf, it is
dearer than a white lie. If healthy food was cheaper, people would levy
a lot longer. Today she is telling MSPs about her
experience. It is part of the inquiry into the experience of
services. We can bang on about things as much
as we want but if we do not provide healthy food in local shops and
affordable a, will not see that a change.
How to encourage people to buy health defeat when fast food is
seen as the cheaper option is challenging officials here.
We need to build on the minimum pricing far alcohol led to station
and build on that. For example, at more information about the
healthiness of fruit. The emphasis is on getting the
message out to have to read -- too hard to reach groups. They will
address that in the report they publish after the summer recess.
Gilly Mathieson there. Public trust in bankers has taken a battering in
the past week and we will have more on that later in the programme but
how much stronger is our trust in politicians and the political
process? Some say it would be stronger if there was more
transparency and scrutiny. I am joined now from our Edinburgh
studio. Do we need more lobbyists?
Yes, lobbyist do ads to be democratic process and provide
briefings for MPs and MSPs and informers on a number of subjects.
It is a legitimate part of the democratic process. However, they
also work behind the scenes to influence legislation and policy
and budget decisions. I think we should be shining a light on that
process. So what are you suggesting
specifically? You have mentioned a transparency register. What would
have to be detail that the public consumption?
It is a very simple process. We want an open register for people
who fulfil certain criteria. We do not want to have the local Scout
group of the Girl Guides having to fill in their in a form and
register. That is fairly insignificant if they are talking
to Parliament or their local representatives about something.
Companies that are lobbying in a significant farm, they will fill in
a form and say who they meet and what they met about ants provide
some financial information. You have also said there must be
independent oversight of this and credible sanctions. What you mean
by that? The credible sanctions I think I
need people to comment on. I do not want to create an expensive layer
of bureaucracy to oversee this. The possibility is that and a existing
organisation, for example the Information Commissioner as they're
suggesting in England, could oversee this so we do not at an
expensive bureaucracy. What was other points?
There should be a degree of sanctions. If there are major
breaches of what was proposed, in theory, a lobbyist could be struck
off at the extreme end. If there were minor breaches it could be a
warning letter. Though sanctions would be able to be seen. They
would be publicly available. You feel that these levels of
transparency are necessary to restore faith in the political
process. You feel that strongly about it?
I think politicians are perhaps not the lowest form of life in public
opinion at the moment. I think you will find that his
journalists. Not even journalists. It is bankers
at the moment. Are standing is not at the lowest at the moment but my
view is that because there has not been any lobbying scandals in
Scotland like there have been in England, we should not be
complacent and think there may not be problems here. I think it is
better that we take proactive steps to put in place systems that would
prevent the reputation of Parliament being damaged, rather
than trying to recover a reputation will damage once it occurs.
Thank you very much indeed for that. Now the lunchtime news with Andrew.
Proposals to change the drink-drive limits will be open for
consultation in the coming weeks by the Scottish government. Ministers
have bowed to lower the limits as a priority. The new responsibilities
are among powers being transferred from Westminster as a Holyrood
under the recently passed 2012 Scotland Act.
A 20 minute ultrasound scan which could detect those at an rest of
abdominal aortic aneurysms have been rolled out across Scotland.
Men over 65 are believed to be most at risk. It is thought the
screening programme -- screening programme could save many lives a
year. Andy Murray made history at
Wimbledon last night as he made it 3-the 4th round at the men's
singles. He raced against the clock to beat Marcos Baghdatis, finishing
at the latest ever time of 11:02pm. This June has been one of the
dullest, wettest and coldest on record. Let us see of the first day
of July brings us better news. Here Sunshine and showers is the picture
today. The sunshine part is pretty hard to come by first then this
afternoon. There are showers particularly an East but through
the day we will see dry and brighter conditions feeding in from
the West as by the ends of the afternoon most places will be dry
with late brain has to end the day. Temperatures 13 to 17 Celsius. That
is the forecast. That is all for now. Our next
bulletin is at 5:45pm. Back to is It has been a turbulent week in the
banking world. This week the Prime Minister is expected to announce an
independent review of regulations. Let us look at the potential fall-
I am joined by a financial journalist.
Ian, let us look at the Miss selling scam. What do you think all
this means about the average bank customer?
I would imagine most bank customers are shocked and disgusted to
discover that the leading banks, including Barclays and RBS and
Lloyd's and other banks, have been engaging in systematically
manipulating interest rates to benefit their own bottom lines. I
think most customers will be really appalled but this has been going on.
It has been going on for about five years, since 2005. The regulators
did nothing to stop it. And in terms of what people might
have lost financially, particularly in the insurance mists selling scam,
do you think people will be looking for compensation?
Berry definitely. The compensation claims could be so great it could
bring down some of the banks. In the USA there are huge glass action
lawsuits against banks that combines to try and rape of the
global rates. I have spoken to two or three lawyers to represent small
businesses who had been cheated by their banks and they are
considering their positions. George, how do you think this could
develop? Could there be expensive court cases and what effect could
that have? The we have really not seen the
worst of it yet. There were two glass actions launched in the
United States and those damages could run into billions. It is very
serious problems ahead. Although there is legislation in the words
at Westminster to improve the strength of banks and safeguard
depositors. That legislation is not likely to be on the books since --
until at least 2019. You could fight a World War in that time. The
politicians are talking a lot but they are not doing anything very
quickly. Do you think there should be an
inquiry? That would again postpone what should be done. Do we not know
what the problem was here? It was an over-complex system,
deliberately manipulating its, with derivatives traders running a
marked? We are suffering from a disease our
inquiries in this country. We are looking at more navel-gazing.
Do we need criminal sanctions in this country?
In America, if you fix prices you go to jail. In this country we just
find the banks. At some point in the future the banks to recoup the
money by putting the prices up. There is a moot point about whether
or not he could take sanctions against those involved in this
rigging? The first thing I would soon before thinking about an
inquiry would be to phone of the Fraud Squad and get the people
investigated to engaged in this activity.
I know you have an opinion that there could be legal proceedings
against people in this country but what is the role of the
shareholders in all of this? Shareholders have failed abysmally.
They sat quietly whilst banks were engaging in these activities. It
was widely known in the markets that this was being manipulated.
They could have tapped Bob Diamond on the shoulder and suggested he
look at it. Overall, the shareholders do not come out of
this selling -- smelling of roses. They have been pretty complacent
and unaware of things that they ought to have been aware of. There
is now this thing called a shareholders' spring where
shareholders have been voting down excessive pay packages in a number
of UK plc is and that is encouraging. There are signs
shareholders are waking up from 20 years of sleepwalking. Both are
what more is to come here? If I was Fred Goodwin of Bob
Diamond, I would be pleading with the Crown Prosecution Service to
prosecutes me because there is a high chance there will be
prosecuted by the US authorities. The US authorities will seek their
extradition. Not necessarily those to put it could be them of the
bankers who are Bayern's to have a active role in manipulating global
rates. I imagine that is one that outcome as I wrote in today's
Sunday Herald. There are lots of different outcomes. I sincerely
hope one outcome is that the Government wakes up to the fat are
banking sector has been wholly as a control, corrupt, dishonest,
deceitful and so on for far too long. What they have done to date
has been utterly, utterly unlikely to change anything. The most recent
report is like a sticking plaster on a gaping wound. It will not
resolve the matter. We need a fundamental change of culture, as
Vince Cable has been discussing. How you achieve that, I do not know.
It would almost be better if the existing banks were allowed to fail
and then we could start again from a clean sheet of paper and rebuild
a some banks which were decent and which saw their purpose as been
looking after the interests of their customers and of society,
rather than the other way around. Vince Cable, the business secretary,
has said this was a cesspit essentially. Is this the last
banking scandal we will hear? Could there be more waiting?
I would not be surprised if there was more. It just gets worse and
worse. It is because of the culture. Rigging prices, conning the
consumer and screen out of much does the system as you can, that
was the atmosphere. People have to go to jail.
The is that likely to happen? the public mood does seem to be
changing. My worry is that because banking is
the largest industry we have in this country, the politicians will
always came into them. Part of the problem lies with the politicians.
Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser.