30/09/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, and interviews with deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman and the Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 30/09/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Good morning and welcome to this Sunday politics. Does anyone it


really know what the leader of the Labour Party really stands for? The


biggest union boss wants to purge of the party of New Labour Blairite.


He wants to the Labour leader to support calls for a general strike.


Should he? Nick Clegg told the Lib-Dems are


they are now the third party of government, but can be really


clawed their way back into contention for the next election?


Will it Johann Lamont's policy shift into votes at the ballot box?


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1783 seconds


And the cuts to the police civilian It can been done entirely within


the law. It will show the government that they have to think


again. The reason we see that is because the people we represent all


that if we do not oppose what is happening, they will regret it for


decades to come. You think the government will say that they will


stop this course and will have a new plan because of a strike? It is


inconceivable. If you had the whole of the public behind you, it is


feasible that might happen. But you will not. It is not going to happen.


There is not the Wellspring of support. To simply go out on strike


generally, you will not that everybody to do so, within Nineties,


you will be coming back with nothing achieved. You have a very


pessimistic outlook. If that we tell you something about the people


I represent. The majority of am earn less than �20,000 a year.


Their living standards have collapsed. End of the civil service,


their jobs are going. If that is true, why did only 20% bother to


vote about a strike this summer? a result of the threat to strike,


1100 extra permanent jobs were won in the Home Office. If things are


so bad, why do your members not even bother to vote? One of the


reasons why I think there is a problem with turnout is that if you


look at the political parties, nobody is offering any alternative


or any hope. Many people are affected by the gloom and despair.


I am convinced that when people realise that 80% of the cuts are


still to come, not only will the support industrial action, I


believe it will be popular with members of the public. The last


time we had a massive strike, most people supported the strike even


though we had been demonised in the media. It is unfair to say that


most people are not offering a hope. Ed Miliband will be making a speech


this week about responsible capitalism and despair sing wealth


better. -- disbursing. The biggest union has called for a purge on


Blairites. How long will the unions pay for the Labour Party and of get


what they want? They will carry on paying for the Labour Party. The


task for the Labour Party is to supplement that muddy with extra


Buddy. As Labour becomes a more likely to form part of a government,


you will find more money coming to the Labour Party. Ed Miliband has


to resist Mr McCluskey. His chances of being Prime Minister are reduced


if he does not. What is the point of supporting the Labour Party if


unions do not go much in return? century ago, the Labour Party was


founded by the unions to speak up for working people. There are still


some in the Labour Party -- in the union movement who believe that


link is worth maintaining. Ed Miliband has to understand he does


not enthuse or inspire anyone when his slogan is that he will cut


slightly less, slightly less fast. People want to be inspired. We need


to say that the markets are dictating social policy in Britain


will be challenged. I understand that, it is not what I asked, but


never mind. Is there any chance of a general strike? It is part of the


fantasy left. There will not be a general strike. I do not get


fixated on the labels. And it will be for more than a day if we do not


see a change of direction. You are watching this Sunday


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up on the


programme. The new Head of the Police Service admits more civilian


job losses are on the way. Over 8% of back office jobs have already


been cut. So is there a tipping point where bobbies on the beat end


up becoming bobbies on the seat? We'll be live in Manchester at the


Labour Party Conference with Douglas Alexander.


A former kirk minister and now Princeton professor tells Wigtown


Book festival that Scottish public life is in crisis. The civic


solution - a space in the debate where everyone can be a bit braver


and a bit more more respectful of each other.


And as the women for independence campaign launches, we ask if female


voters really need special attention?


Stephen House, the clear favourite, has become the Chief Constable of


the new Police Service of Scotland. He will take up his duties soon in


advance of the amalgamation of the existing eight forces on April the


1st. But already he has sparked controversy with his admission that


more than 3,000 civilian staff may have to lose their jobs. The


Government is of course pledged to maintain the number of police


officers. It has alarmed unions and they are seeking a meeting with the


new Chief Constable later this week. Our Home Affairs Correspondent,


Reevel Alderson reports. Athan blue line, not if the


government has its way. It is pledged to maintain police officer


levels at 1000 more than when it took office. So far, it has managed


But their new chief constable, Stephen House, knows that he must


cut spending and he has admitted that up to 3200 civilian staff may


go. It has been a process of that Can more cuts be made without


hitting police operations? It makes logical sense that staff can be cut.


Each force has an HR department, payable staff and admin. These will


all be merged. But there are other civilians whose jobs directly


support uniformed officers. will not be able to maintain order


officers on the street if there is an absence of support in the offers.


People lead to find out about warrants. They IFS no one doing


that administrative work. The same goes for intelligence work. --


there is no one doing. The Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed


the single for Los and see it will be a retrograde step if police


officers have to do these jobs again. You have to make sure you


have the right people in the right places. Police officer should not


be in the back Office to do jobs that prevent them from getting out


on the front line. Government supporters see rationalisation is


inevitable. They argue the process could be wider than just the police


service. They are opportunities collected with collaborative work


in other authorities. The fire service for instance and ambulance


service. We do not need all the posts that presently exist.


government has also said there will be there all outsourcing of


functions to a private companies to reduce the Staff head count. But


how can services be maintained with these reductions? In our Inverness


studio this morning is Chief Superintendent David O'Connor.


He is the President of the Association of Scottish Police


Superintendents, that's the national body which represents


operational commanders across Scotland.


Thank you for joining us. That Sunday Herald is reporting that the


single force will involve cuts of 300 million over the next three


years, 550 staff will go immediately and �26 million will


come out of terms and conditions for police officers. But these


figures that you recognise? These figures have not been discussed at


the Police Reform Group. The article today makes a reference to


the Police Reform Group. I am a member of that particular group and


I have not had an opportunity to scrutinise these figures.


understand they have come principally from across. -- Actos.


How concerned would you be? We have backed a single police service


across Scotland. We also have opposition that we believe in the


balance of a workforce. That is about police officers delivering


local and national policing, supported by support staff in a


whole range of functions. We would like to have an early meeting with


Stephen House and the convenor of the new police authority to discuss


this particular balance. It is unfortunate if you have already


said that this is a good idea in principle, and as it turns out, do


you have any reservations at all? We always supported the concept of


a single police service for Scotland. It was about maintaining


police officer numbers as a part of a balanced workforce. It was about


removing duplication. One of the factors there was involved was the


downturn in the economy and the need to make efficiency savings.


But what will it mean for policing in that Scotland? Their new policy


model will have to have a balance between police officers and police


staff. That will involve the types of officers in forensics and


custody suites, in detention centres. This is people's jobs we


are talking about. The report says that redundant posts will be filled


by police officers. Policing is a complex business. It is a mix of


skills, experience and power. We want the right person with the


right scale doing the right job at the right time. I have to labour


this point. Policing is about a balance to work force. There is a


great deal of rhetoric about front line policing. We need to move


forward and agree and develop a model for policing for Scotland.


That comprises police officers and police staff would to provide a


very important job. In principle, if police officers are taken of


frontline duties, is that appropriate for their role at what


we all expect them to do? Is it appropriate that they are not on


the beat it and doing something behind the desk? We as commanders


wanted to see police officers who are highly trained and highly


experienced out doing the job in their local communities. You have


spoken about the demarcation lines between his some forms of police


work. Does there need to be greater clarity about who is in the fraud


team, the drugs team, the forensic team? Should they be lend him with


the civilian staff when it comes to these cuts? -- linked in. I think


there needs to be a very clear debate and a clear understanding of


what these terms actually mean. Sometimes these terms can be


unhelpful. What is the point of having a debate now of the deal is


already done? It is back to the point that I was making earlier. We


accept that savings have to be made, but we still need to have the


opportunity as a staff association and the unions still the to have a


meeting in relation to the figures that are being provided to allow


them to represent the interests of their members and, more importantly,


to develop a new policing order for Scotland. Does at the new structure


allow you to do that as efficiently as you could have done before? For


example, the former Highlander chief constable is saying that the


new authority, the support staff, the budgets, none of that will be


decided locally, it will all be decided centrally. One of the


things that we have got a challenge with is the constraints of time.


Then you police service for Scotland will be up and running in


April. -- the their new police service. Thank you very much for


Johann Lamont set the cat among the pigeons this week with a surprise


and radical policy shift. She said that the idea that Scotland could


remain in a nation where everything was free is a lie propagated by the


SNP. A commission is looking into the affordability of universal


benefits such as free care for the elderly, tuition fees, bus passes


and others. We went to meet some of the people who benefit from these


policies. People at this coffee morning are


dipping into their pockets for charity. This is a leafy suburb to


the South of Glasgow. They are digesting the news that Johann


Lamont wants to overhaul universal benefits, but they seem attached to


get free bus passes and prescription. I worked on my life


and I do not get any other benefits. I worked until I was 70. I have


paid in, so why not? I have paid for it! We should all have to pay


something. We are having a problem financially, so we should pay


something. When it comes to benefits, most people here feel


they are entitled to their slice of the cake, but Labour are sounding


the alarm, saying the plate is empty. The idea that Scotland is a


land where everything is free is alive. Somebody always pays for it


in the end. A council tax freeze costs. It is cheap to say, but


expensive to fund. An expert has been charged with examining the


affordability of universal benefits. One party estimate is that they


cost �1 billion every year. Labour say the current financial situation


means that 30,000 public-sector jobs have been lost in their class


to 18 months. These are people who are leaving their posts. That takes


spending power out of the economy. We cannot have a recovery while


that is happening and while other services are being protected.


Nothing is off the table in this review, but it led to allegations


that Labour were betraying their socialist principles. It is


actually quite tragic to. Johann Lamont, a poster girl for be Tories,


whatever happened to Labour? We used to have new Labour, and now we


have Johann Lamont, New Blair. have to live with the reality of


the public finance situation. They are difficult decisions to be made


and we have to find a way of delivering social justice in these


times. Despite what most people at the coffee morning said, the social


service -- attitude suggests a fifty-fifty split over whether or


not people should play -- pay for prescriptions and personal care.


Their stance could be a gamble. SNP went through the same thing.


They do think in their heart of Hearts that a lot of Scottish


people would see the need and the reason behind small cuts. When it


came to it, they said thanks, but no thanks. The party may think that


honesty is the best policy, but when it comes to goodies, voters


may find it hard to resist temptation.


Listing to that at the Labour Party conference is the Shadow Foreign


Secretary and MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Douglas


Alexander. Thank you for talking to us. If we look at this issue of


universal benefits festival, whatever the merits of the argument,


it is a risky political discretion to have, so it is imperative that


these are kids are presented coherently and credibly from the


beginning. Has this happened? think what Johann Lamont did this


week was to start a serious conversation about a serious issue,


which is, how do you deliver social justice in tough times against a


backdrop of real fiscal head wins - - winds when many will be in short


supply after 2015? That has provoked a strong reaction from the


SNP, but that is because the SNP feel they have been winning in


Scotland. The dynamic has been between Scotland and the rest of


the United Kingdom. Johann Lamont was opening up a different


conversation, saying there is still an important left right


conversation in the country. That will cause difficulty for the SNP,


but it is a timely conversation and a necessary one, because my own


patch in Paisley, we are seeing annual cuts of almost 10%. Why


should young children in Paisley be suffering as a direct taught --


consequence of the SNP's decisions? You say it is a timely and


necessary conversation, but the question I ask you was, in a week


in which we have seen the Scottish Conservatives are meeting to say


they are glad to see Johann Lamont come on board with their ideas, has


a complex argument been put forward clearly enough at this stage tee?


Should you be associated with the Conservatives? Let me make the


point that you quoted the Conservatives and I could quite an


eerie and Bevan. Johann Lamont was opening up a conversation about


what Scotland's priorities were for building be good society. I do not


know why these aside -- Gethin be is scared of the debate. Is there a


time to draw a line and say that you can be clear about the


timescale and tell people what the priorities are before the


referendum vote? We are very early into the new Scottish Parliament.


It is said to recognise that Labour suffered a bad defeat last year. I


think now is the time to set out her stall and are thinking. We have


been midwinter Commission which will look at all these issues of


affordability. The other point worth making is that we have always


believed in a welfare state that balances universalism with targeted


support. That is why we have the state pension, but also the pension


credit. We have child benefit, but also child tax credit. And not


clear as to the are to be that says there needs to be a line of clarity,


because in Scotland we have had years of universal and targeted


support. The balance between those two is a legitimate debate to be


had in the years ahead. If you are saying that at the time of the


referendum, Labour going saying we have to have a debate about it,


your opponents can attach anything they want to it as they have done


this week. I am not complacent about the referendum, but I


understand the desperation in the nationalist camps. It has been


fortified years that the SNP have been polling about 30% in support


of independence. That remains the case despite their historic victory


last year. I understand the appetite amongst journalists and


politicians to try to attribute every move in a Holyrood on its


impact on referendum figures. The numbers have not shifted one iota


since Alex Salmond was elected in 2007. I think our job is to make


the case that Scotland would be best it within the United Kingdom,


but also to get on with the task with recognising the fact that


Scottish Labour is thinking hard about what are tough questions.


Bill Clinton sped to the Democrats a couple of weeks ago and said that


his issues in terms of the budget was not tied into ideology but


arithmetic. What Johann Lamont was saying in Edinburgh this week was


not just related to ideology but also to the basic arithmetic. The


SNP will be cut in services, but they do not want to have a


conversation about which services those will be. All the universal


benefits that I enjoyed in Scotland at the minute are up for grabs.


Means testing is inevitable now in this debate, isn't it? In the


welfare state that we have had for many years, there has been a


conversation -- combination of universal and targeted support.


That will be the case still. There will be universal benefits, but


also targeted support. The logic of that argument is that the the


wealthiest people should pay for their NHS treatment tee No. As I


have said, we recognise the principle of access to the NHS. Let


me make my point. When we came to power in 1997, we face a judgement


as to whether to put the additional revenues we were generating into


the basic state pension or target that money towards the poorest


pensioners through the pension credit. I am not ashamed of the


decision to target the poorest pensioners first with extra help.


That was the right decision for social justice, and that is the


kind of conversation that Johann Lamont was beginning this week.


That is the point that I'm trying to make to you. The electorate have


a right to know what these principles are and what these


distinctions are that you will draw and what you're spending priorities


will be before they go to be referendum vote. He seemed very


relaxed about the timing of this. Arthur midwinter has his work to


take forward as is always the case. The Scottish Labour Party was set


at our thinking at the time of be manifestos before the election.


There will be further opportunities for Johann Lamont to set at her


thinking. I welcome the idea that there is a serious conversation to


be had about a serious issue that is already affecting my


constituents. Renfrewshire has already suffered a cut in its


funding while other better off areas have had increases in its


funding. -- in their funding. This issue is happening now. This debate


demands to be had now. I welcome the fact that Johann Lamont started


this week. I take the rather hysterical reaction of some


nationalists as evidence that despite the posts and the bluster,


they do not have good chances in this debate. Today in the


newspapers, it says that Labour seeks more powers for Holyrood.


Labour has established at a commission on further devolution.


You have been calling for a further devolved vision for Scotland. Have


they been too slow to get out of the blocks on this one? I welcomed


the devolution commission that Jeilan has announced. -- that


Johann Lamont has announced. We have been talking about the tough


choices that are faced in delivering social justice. It is


right to look at the issue as to what is the best constitutional


settlement for Scotland. We do not accept that a separate state is the


best way forward, but I think that in a pragmatic or calm and


reasonable fashion, we should look at the devolution settlement and


whether that offers the best balance of powers which can give


Scotland the opportunity to grow and succeed in the future. Douglas


Alexander, we have to leave it there. Thank you for joining us.


Coming up later on the programme, we will be hearing from William


Storrar, the theological professor from Princeton University. We'll


also be finding out what we need for independence are up to. That is


all after the lunch time news at 12pm with Tim Willcox and Andrew


Good afternoon. The Labour leader Ed Miliband has said he will stand


up to powerful interest groups on behalf of the hard-working majority.


Speaking ahead of the start of the Labour Party conferences after


being, Ed Miliband said he would take on the banks and his own trade


union supporters as he seeks to rebuild the British economy. Arts


correspondent reports. The slogan is, rebuilding Britain.


That Labour also has to rebuild the trust it loss at the last election.


They need to convince voters that Ed Miliband is a potential Prime


Minister. He was recognised by this writer this morning, but although


his party is ahead in the polls, his own ratings remain poor. He


says that Labour has to change, but he will remain trees to himself.


I'm going to do it my own way. I think in the end people respect


somebody who has seriousness of purpose. It is not just Labour's


conference which is getting a makeover. The task is to find


policies which are distinctive for be -- from the coalition --


distinct from the coalition but do not cause a crash. Ed Miliband is


prepared to break up the banks to protect High Street customers from


investment operations. That is a massive difference in priorities


between a Prime Minister that I aspire to beer, -- aspire to be, to


help people who cannot get by on their own, and a government which


just wants to cut taxes for the rich. The unions make a big


financial contribution to the Labour Party, and they want to use


their muscle to influence party policy. Ed Miliband says he will


not give into his party pay masters on the subject of pay. We are


tackling the subject of pay rises, bit it is the way to keep jobs.


The number of American service personnel who have lost their lives


in Afghanistan since the beginning of the conflict in 2001 has reached


2000. A US soldier was shot dead yesterday in a so-called green-on-


blue attack by a member of the Afghan security forces.


A fire in the Syrian city of Aleppo has destroyed many of the medieval


markets there as a fighting rages between government troops and


rebels. Fires tour through many areas of the old city, a UNESCO


heritage site. It is the final day of playing the


Ryder Cup which gets under way in Chicago in America. America's of us


are just 4.5 points short of victory over the Europeans.


That is all the news without. There will be more on BBC One at 6:35pm.


Good afternoon. Hundreds of people were delayed at Glasgow Airport


overnight because of a UK Border Force computer failure. Passengers


on three planes travelling from Greece and Egypt were forced to


wait for several hours. The system eventually returns to normal, with


queues taking about three hours to clear.


The school della blogger Martha Payne has arrived with her family


in Malawi to see how the thousands of pounds she raised on a website


is being spent. She commented on her in-flight meal on a read.


Donations to their website soared after a controversial ban was


imposed on the block by Argyll and Bute Council. 2000 children are


being fed every day in one kitchen which has been set up.


Golf, and in the final days of the Ryder Cup, the European team are up


against it. The Scottish player has played in two matches and has lost


both so far. USA lead lot -- Europe by 10 points to six. Here is the


The weather will get better as we go through his afternoon. There


will be some showers in the North and West. The rain will eventually


cleared, turning bright for most, with some lovely spells of sunshine.


It is a windy afternoon, particularly in the North West.


Temperatures are mild, at about 15 Celsius. A fine ends today in the


East and in the South, but there will still be showers in the North


West. Can we hope for a more public


spirited Scotland to emerge from the independence debate? That was


the big question to the Wigtown Book Festival from Professor


William Storrar, seasoned campaigner in bringing politics to


the people. William Storrar, academic and


Church of Scotland minister, has flown in from America where he is


the directors of the Princeton Center of Theological Enquiry. His


message to the audience is that the All player-power to challenge


corrupt capitalism s public spirit. He cites their attitude of three


men in particular. Magnus Magnusson, because he had the same courteous


respect for everyone. The trade unionist Campbell Christian who


knew how to charm, captivate misfits. And Sir Neil McCormick who


threw his intellect and generosity of character transformed the


Scottish public sphere. And Professor William Storrar is here


with me this afternoon. You were playing to a packed


audience? It was very exciting. The lady next door it was talking about


six in her book and we were talking about Scotland. -- sex. You were


talking about the contribution that was made by the men we have just


seen. What is happening now that was different when you were out on


the campaign trail to get a parliament for Scotland? I think


these are three remarkable Scots were the last of a generation of


politics where you work to through the big institutions, the BBC, the


STUC, that universities to lead a public debate. I think that now the


public life and the public spirit has migrated into all sorts of


initiatives. People who care about the environment, women's networks,


and I think we have got to be Advent a new kind of public


politics for ordinary citizens three those kind of met works a


rather than the big names. -- networks. How does that filter


through into traditional political avenues? We think how we can make


an impact on the politicians. Another great Scot, Steven Maxwell,


a brilliant thinker about citizenship and Scotland said that


you cannot have a healthier Holyrood unless you have a health a


civil society around it. The politicians, to do their job,


whatever happens after the vote, we need and a healthy, active group of


citizens who are having their own debate about the kind of Scotland


we want to live in. It is interesting what will happen after


that vote. You have said in your lecture that we need to know how to


carry ourselves in public. The world is watching and waiting. Not


so much to see the outcome of the board, but to see how we conduct


ourselves in public. Do you have concerned that if the court -- to


do you have concerns that if the tone of the debate is no right and


respect for, it will poison the well? Absolutely. How we start is


how we finish. If it we demonise ll the other side -- if we demonise


the other side as the end of the, we have already lost the vote. The


day after the vote, we will still be living in Scotland and working


for the common good. How we conduct ourselves and a -- as an Asian will


determine how we will live together and work together as a nation.


There are initiatives around the world to set up new democracies


were people have a stake and they want to see Scotland show the way,


whatever the result of the referendum. Do you think it will be


easier to conduct the right to beat out in the communities and rather


than in the tribal environment a Politics? Absolutely. We went out


in a minibus with a group of Scottish writers and poets and we


went to Aberdeenshire, down to Lesmahagow, outside the central


belt, into town halls and church halls, and hundreds of ordinary


citizens took part in a wonderfully rich of debate about what kind of


Scotland we were hoping for. We must do the same again. I hope that


communities will well, its back for the debate. You will be back on the


bus? Absolutely. I hope this time that we will have some of the


fabulous of young women in Scotland, who are absolutely active citizens.


And opposing viewpoints as well? absolutely. The group Women for


Independence launches today. It's not officially part of the Yes


Scotland Campaign but runs alongside it. We'll speak to one of


the organisers in just a second. But first Hayley Jarvis has been


asking in an age of equality if female voters really need special


attention? Flags at the pro-independence rally


in Edinburgh last weekend. Does the referendum debate need to be


tailored towards the female vote? A Why are women less likely to have


made up their minds? It is not to do with depth of feelings of


national identity. There is no evidence of that at all. There is a


marked difference between men and women been how confident they feel


about independence. It is central to the debate as far as women are


concerned, they are more risk- averse, more worried about the


prospect of independence. How will the Budget affect women in Scotland.


She feels that issues that affect remember voters have been sidelined.


We need to talk less about whether we are going to be in the tour and


talk about what we are going to do about the pick up. -- in NATO.


is long gone that women were overlooked because they were women


and did not know about these things. For most women, they would rather


be where the politics are at. That is where the decisions are a bit.


What women have a greater voice with engaging with their two main


campaign groups? The launch is in full flow at the


moment but the former SSP MSP, Carolyn Leckie has nipped outside


to join us. Do women identify it simply as


women? Not simply as women. I think people's identities are diverse and


complex. That is why be formed because women are not uniform. But


we do not bring that women's voices had been heard up to now. We want


to listen to what their views are, their ideals and aspirations before


we do anything. We think that the independence debate so far has been


very male dominated at as take him on the tone of a boxing match


already. We hope to seat a burgeoning of democracy a month's


remember. Women have a long history of self organising. They want to


make sure that our voices are heard. We are not waiting for permission


to be heard or asking to be invited to be heard. You might be going on


this bus with William Storrar? Possibly. We do not know where this


will take us. The women who have come together a very diverse. We


support independence. But what kind of Scotland B one-11, we want to


create a spade for women to him -- what kind of Scotland we wanted to


live in, we want to create a space of four women to discuss that.


are almost out of time. You are a campaigning group. Would there have


been met in creating a women only forum where the debate could be


created in a manner that you would consider more constructive and for


all parties? And we would participate in anything with any


groups in discussion. We want to approach it with a different tone


and more respectful and listen to people. Including remember,


particularly who do not support independence. -- including women. I


think they will learn a lot through that process.


Thank you for that. Now in a moment, we'll be


discussing the big events coming up this week, but first, let's take a


look back at the Week in Sixty Remarkable scenes followed severe


rainstorms. A budget moment for the pro-union better together campaign


when a JK Rowling kid down in favour of the Union. We are in a


stable, sound position. I didn't want to stabilise that.


MSP express their horror at the level of inequality of care


experienced by its travellers. Europe was checking the small print


And now it's time to take a look at the week ahead.


And joining me this week are the Spectator blogger Alex Massie and


the journalist Anna Burnside. What will be happening at the


Labour Party conference? It looks like what ever the relationship


with the unions, if they get into the unions, then they are in the


unions' pocket. It is hard to see who is going to come well out of


this. McCluskey wants all the playwrights out will stop --


playwrights -- Billy Wrights out. It is hard to see how are Ed


Miliband well, out of this. I agree entirely. It cannot end well. Which


is quite entertaining for everyone else. Whoever pays the piper calls


of the two. For as long as the Labour Party is 60% funded by the


unions, it is not unreasonable for the unions to wish to have an


influence on Labour Party policy. That causes a certain amount of


difficulty for Ed Miliband given that union membership is lower now


than it ever has been. The Labour Party is trying to run away from


Tony Blair as it possibly can add playwright has become a term of


abuse, -- Blairite. Ed Balls has been saying that an


incoming Labour government would be ruthless on budgets, but they are


trying to Saughton a line -- soften. They are trying to manoeuvre


Liberal Democrats out of the coalition. Going along with the


mansion tax is an obvious attempt to put a wedge in there. I thought


that was quite interesting. If we look back at what has happened in


Scotland over the past week. Johann Lamont's statements about universal


benefit. How do you think it was presented? I thought it was an


interesting repudiation of the last 50 Years of the Scottish Labour


party's approach to politics which has been essentially to be in an


auction with their SNP to dole out as many sweeties to the electorate


as possible. In a normal, go on a political culture, the notion that


you might have to raise taxes is not so controversial. But in


Scotland, this is a great betrayal. It is a depressing commentary on


public life in this country. Aggregate was a mistake to get


trapped in the relatively trivial things of free prescriptions, a


free bus passes. Those are not actually major items of expenditure.


What was much more interesting was their attack on the council tax


freeze which is a benefit for wealthy Scots at the expense, to


some extent, of poorer Scots. Particularly those who are more


dependent on council services. The wealthy 10 not to rely on council


services as much as the poor. -- tend not to rely. A council tax


free, there were a useful it is, does have an impact. For a Labour


politician to say we need to redistribute wealth, do you think


that comes across yet? How are people hearing this? That is the


most obvious thing for everyone to sit. It is terrible that these rich


people are getting these benefits, but obviously, I deserve education


for my children and somebody to look after my mother. People have


called her brave and bold, with inverted commas hovering in the air.


In a grown-up world, the possibly would not have to have that debate.


But politics is not like that. It is hard to see how people can sort


out from all the fuss there has been over this announcement that


actually come of the subtle things she was the end, with all the mud


slinging... It is an open goal. You cannot blame everybody for having a


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser.

Download Subtitles