07/10/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with political news including defence secretary Philip Hammond from the Conservative Party Conference and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.

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Watch out Birmingham, Conservatives are coming. To all scruple asked


what people really think up the party and the Prime Minister. --


our poll will last. I still think he is a bit aloof. What about the


party faithful? We will ask the Defence Secretary about a state of


the party. And Ed Miliband made his party happy, but what about the


voters? We last-day shadow Foreign Secretary. And here in Scotland,


could the train wreck that is the west coast rail franchise derail


future Scotrail bids? We'll go live to the Conservative conference and


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1912 seconds


We opened up a franchise system so that there would be more


flexibility, its flexibility that we believe passengers wanted. The


problems are not in the design or specification, there in the


Is it not time that ministers took some... Up the franchise system is


not discredited then why are they are two investigations into?


understanding is that the investigations and into the process


that was used, the methodology, used to evaluate. I have not heard


anything to suggest that the change in the franchise specifications,


the way in which the franchises are designed, has been challenged by


these reviews. The former Director General of train-operating


companies calls it a shame four- line. -- shameful. Should ministers


take responsibility for a shambles? To ministers obviously take over


all responsibility for what happens in their apartment but we have


moved on from the days when ministers were expected to manage


every detail of the work in their apartment. They have to hold their


civil servants to account. Ask questions. Of course they do. But


they cant be involved in the -- in every last aspect. Thank you, Mr


Hammond. What do you make of that? That will not have been


uncomfortable viewing for Greening. He did not complete the sentence


after saying he was shown the pictures anonymously. Unlike


Justene Greening, who clearly did not keep as close an eye as he


should have done. I am glad you gave him a real grilling. The


impression of incompetence has been created by this Government. Over


and again we get these types of major failures. But Conservatives


can speak about whatever they like at their conference but unless they


repair the impression of incompetence or policy, they will


not get boats. Mr Hammond was responsible for the franchise


system and it has not worked. and I agree that greening is in an


even more difficult position. I have never bought into the idea


that civil servants are beyond criticism but it is impossible to


conceive of the situation without ministerial involvement. You are


Welcome to Sunday politics Scotland. Our politicians that best people to


prioritise and target universal benefits? The former Auditor


General says not necessarily. And the warning from an academic of


unintended consequences for rape victims. I am concerned this will


lead to more acquittals. That Judy's will put the complainant and


pink, she was drinking, wore revealing clothing. The Scottish


Greens have voted to join the campaign for Scottish independence.


And calls for the Government to change the way it awards rail


franchises after the decision to scrap the West Coast Main Line


Should the taxpayer money be spent and public services without charge?


Or should it be targeted for those most in need? That debate has just


taken place at the heart of Scottish politics and the former


Auditor-General, Robert Black, has said that Holyrood's spending


commitments have become unsustainable. For 12 years he was


the top public spending watchdog official. He has recently retired


and free to talk candidly. He is questioning whether it is


sustainable to keep providing a range of public services to


everybody without charge. And even if it is, is that the most


effective use of public funds? affordability must be questioned.


Every round on three services as a PoW and that is not there for other


things. -- every pound. It sparked a heated debate. Talks about


securing public services and three everything. But he has already


brought into �0.7 billion worth of cuts. Robert Black says that


promises were not properly costed and in the menials budgets should


be cuts. For instance, travel fare concessions rising towards �0.5


billion per year. The NHS Ellis double what it was a decade ago.


The cost of care of elderly rises annually. Whether Scotland votes


for independence or not these spending pressures will not go away.


Mr Black also asked, his Holyrood costing too many -- passing too


many on costed laws? And why do we have such a clutter of public


bodies and over-complex partnerships? Do we really neat 32


councils? He says that he speaks for other public sector leaders who


I am joined by the former health minister and a representative from


the Scottish Council up all up -- voluntary -- the Scottish Council


voluntary organisations. Robert Black is saying that it ever party


is in power, some things are just not functioning. It is amusing how


much a couple of speeches have blown open a debate that should


have been happening for their 13 years. And a real world a great


many people asking why politicians have not been having a more


measured debate about affordability, priorities. And why this assumption


that if you throw lots of money, government money, at a problem, it


will fix it? We have 13 years of devolution under our belt and


should be asking hard questions about the limitations of the


decision-making during that period. Why has that not happened?


reaction of labour to the SNP speech was interpreted as Labour


imposing Conservative cuts. There was no consideration of long-term


implications. Susan is correct, the elephant in the financial room has


been universal benefits. Middle- class benefits. The very poorest in


our communities are not benefiting from universal services. Poverty


and inequality has increased since the Scottish Parliament came in. So


people are not part of that process. And a lot of people don't gain from


universal services. I do not want to dwell on this but lots of these


benefits came in under Labour. Rock lack has argued that they were not


costed probably. How do you frame their conversation in a way that


does not allow your opponents to say you have just trying to deprive


people in need? There is a responsibility that it expands over


the whole the Holyrood bubble, including commentators and the


media. I hear people saying, that is just politics, it has got to be


this way. We did not say that when the banks went wrong. We did not


say that when there were questions about the media, we happily a


person inquiry. We should shine a light on how hour politics


functions. Part of the dynamics during a debate in this country is


the fear that it will be perceived as an electoral liability to speak


honestly and openly, or you will get some headlines screaming at you


from a newspaper. But we spent a long time creating an institution


in Edinburgh that was meant to be open to ideas. We have not got that


and that is a very serious issue. Robert Black said that MSPs do not


understand we the voluntary and private sectors operate and risk


cutting funds from organisations doing a good job. Not just MSPs but


councillors. I imagine you think that is fair comment. I think it is.


People in communities can make decisions. It links to your


question, when you involve people in designing services and making


decisions about the services and priorities they want, then actually


we can make the hard choices about budgets and universal services.


About what we need to seek to sustain communities. The fact is,


that has not happened and there as a distinct lack of understanding


about the way the charity and private sectors operate. In the


third sector we're still time to procure people services. -- trying.


So the whole system needs a culture change. You can have the best


legislation in the world but it is what happens in practice at a local


level, in terms of implementing legislation, if that is key for


business and the voluntary sector. We needed to have more space.


Adjacent to the political process. Yet that can still influence it, a


bit more like and do it less heat around issues. But we have to be


careful that we do not let the political parties off the hook.


There had been a lot of commissions, a lot of data has been amassed


around public spending. An independent financial review was


published two years ago and it is only now we're starting to talk


about some of the things raised. The former Auditor General also


said that spending pressures will continue regardless of how the


independence referendum goes. And he said we cannot wait for the


debate. Do you agree? I do, because it is about the future of Scotland


and what we can afford in terms of public services. The problem of


this debate is we're having it in the context of a block grant, and


not in terms of a progressive taxation system for Scotland.


People seem to want Scandinavian levels of public services and pay


American levels of taxation. That is frankly unaffordable. We need a


full and frank debate. I agree with Susan, needed better space, but


frankly, Commission is not the way forward. If it is about tax-raising,


tax spending powers, to recover level, would that forced a more


mature debate? I think the fact that we have had a spending only


Parliament in place has not helped, it has been too easy for every


party to say that they will spend more than the other lot. That has


got to stop. But the whole question of taxation is not the only one at


least here. We need to move away from talking about a affordability


and how much money we have and move and took priorities and what would


make a difference. The other thing we have learned over the years is


that a lot of multi- million-pound government back policies have not


done up in the changes in this country that we intended. My


experience is that people outside of the political poll are up for


that conversation much more so than As civil servants to prepare to


depend a look decision to hand the West Coast Main Line franchise to


FirstGroup the need a critical discovery, mistakes had been made


and the minister had to pull the plug. The whole do battle has


proved embarrassing and raised questions about compensate of the


Government. -- good tackle. -- debacle. We are well used to delays


on a British Railways. But not detained or cancellation we saw


this week. The UK Government had to concede there were serious flaws in


the way the West Coast franchise had been a lot at. The put back


FirstGroup had been seriously miscalculated. Two investigations


have been ordered. One will look at what went wrong with the West Coast


franchise, the other will look at the wider franchise programme.


There is now concern that the ScotRail franchise could be put


back. It is due for renewal in 2014. There could be a delay at the


inquiry does not give us answers to the questions being asked at the


moment. It could be the case that not just ScotRail but many


franchises across the UK could be delayed. Peps transport Scotland


say the timetable will not slide. The process is led by an expert


team who are drawing an external expertise and and when required.


Passengers are being reassume that when Virgin's franchise ends,


services will still run. I am extremely angry and apologetic. We


must get to the bottom of it. will cost taxpayers �100 million.


As the franchise system is scrutinised aviation policy is also


being questioned. Could a her roots are critical for Scottish financial


health. His concern businesses are being strangled by a lack of


Services at Heathrow will be given over to a longer haul flight


overseas. The Government has postponed a decision on Heathrow's


third runway until after the 2015 election. Meanwhile, passengers are


not impressed at the amount of tax they have to pay for flights.


Airlines and travel agents want a review of air passenger duty.


an expensive tax for outbound and inbound travellers. Our concern is


the inequality of it, trying to dispense with many people being hit


twice. The UK Government has been on a difficult journey this week.


Passengers and business would smooth and efficient links. They


demand ministers and officials delivered just that.


Listing to that at the Conservative Party conference is the Scottish


Cup -- Scotland Office Minister and MP David Mundell. Thank you for


joining us. With the West Coast rail fiasco, the Transport Minister


says it was deeply regrettable and unacceptable. How would you


describe it? It was completely unacceptable. It was not followed


in the procedure that it should have been. That is why there are


two inquiries into it. The West Coast Main Line is a very important


route, not just for my own constituency and Scotland, but for


the whole of the United Kingdom. When we go through these


complicated procedures, they have to be absolutely in order. The


Government has put its hand up. Richard Branson said that he was


not pleased with the way it had been done but that he was pleased


with the honesty of the governor's approach in think it was wrong and


unacceptable. The Government has not put its hand at, but simply


blamed the Civil Service, which is a shabby thing to do. It used to be


ministers who would take it on the chin and admit it was their fault.


This is a very complicated and detailed process. What is clear is


that it was some of the calculations in that process that


were at fault in terms of getting the wrong assessment. Different


bidders were given different information, which clearly is


completely unacceptable. It is important that we have these


reviews so that we know exactly what did go wrong and learn from


that and get ahead and get the franchise awarded, either to the


existing holder or to a new bidder, because the West Coast Main Line is


extremely important for Scotland and the United Kingdom, and we


wanted working as effectively as possible. What assurances can you


give that this will not affect the ScotRail franchise bid?


There is no reason to suggest it would affect the ScotRail franchise.


You have heard that in your package. The benefit of the ScotRail


franchise is that it is a very discreet franchise because it


essentially covers the Scottish geography. Yes, but it is the model


that is the problem. The Government is now saying that it could take a


year to work out an appropriate franchising model for this. They


could be delays on that. Can you give a guarantee that the 2014


deadline will not be affected? not have any reason to think at


this time that it will be affected. The Scottish Government themselves


and Transport Scotland, who you have just spoken to, seemed very


confident they will be able to do it, and they do not think that


anything that will come out of this review will impact to delay the


ScotRail franchise. You may have got it right now when saying that


you will review it, but UK matter that from a bad place. You did but


actually initiate this yourself and you had no concerns ourselves, and


it was only when Richard Branson said it would be a judicial review.


Your conference this week is about reassuring voters that you are a


competent government, but this itself, even if you do not add in


claims about the economy, hardly speaks to competent governments.


Nobody is suggesting that this was a good thing. We have put our hands


up and said it was unacceptable. We have said that we will take forward


a review of it. It is not the first time that there has been a serious


issue with the rail network. Under the last Labour government, the


East work French-led -- the East Coast network franchise collapsed.


These things happen. Peopling government have to take them in


their stride, move Ford and learn from this experience is. Let's look


at some stories in the papers today. The Sunday Telegraph has the story


that the Prime Minister is promising a for council tax freeze.


On BBC today, he spoke about that as well. That is a fantastic idea


that your colleagues in Scotland should be rushing to embrace?


you know and your viewers know is that they -- is that issues like


council tax are devolved matters in Scotland, and therefore will be


decided in Scotland. The council tax freeze as is being set out, it


is up to the Scottish Government whether or not that continues. I


welcome the debate that Johann Lamont has instigated in Scotland


about different measures in Scotland. I think it will move


forward the political debate. That debate is already happening in


England in terms of what we can afford against the resources we


have, and if we move forward and have that debate in Scotland,


Scottish politics will take a step forward. Having had the debate,


David Cameron says the council tax freezes a very useful thing to do


for people on lower incomes. Isn't the principle just the same? It is


a debate to be had in Scotland on a devolved issue. We supported the


council tax freeze as it has been applied in Scotland, because it has


helped those on low incomes. There is a debate to be had in Scotland


in relation to the use of resources that we have available and what is


the best use of those resources. I welcome that debate in Scotland,


because in the past, the Conservatives tried to take that


debate forward and were met with a wall of negativity. Other parties


in Scotland are now waking up to the fact that there is a limited


amount of money and you have to make decisions about how to deploy


a those resources. I hope to see those debates happening in the


Scottish Parliament. From another newspaper article today, you are


quoted in Scotland on Sunday saying the SNP referendum plan well let


teenagers down, because you are saying 16 and 17 year-olds would


have to have a separate register which could be difficult to


implement, and therefore it is not fair for those who would not be


able to take part in the independence referendum. Should be


not just see that as a clear steer that this is of the table now?


don't think so. We are looking to reach agreement with the Scottish


Government in the near future on the basis that the referendum can


go ahead. We have set from the start, David Cameron has been very


clear that he was willing to facilitate the referendum according


to the SNP mandate in be manifesto last year. We have been working


closely with them. There have been detailed negotiations which I have


been involved in. We are close to getting in a -- agreement on the


referendum taking place. 16 and 17 year-olds is one of the issues. The


SNP position has been that they would give the vote to people who


were on the electoral register. That means that not all teenagers


would get the vote. That is a matter for them to explain to those


teenagers in Scotland as to why they have decided to go down that


route. I still don't support 16 and 17 year-olds voting, because I do


not think you should change the franchise for a particular election.


Let me ask you, when we have spoken about the debate which has been


raised in Scotland about universal benefits, do you think the way it


has been framed at the moment is the most constructive way to bring


it forward? I think it is very helpful that we have that debate.


We cannot continue in Scotland to pretend that everything can be free


for everybody. But his the something for nothing tag fair or


not? I think what is clear is that there are consequences to decisions.


The consequences I see in my own constituency of free higher


education is that there are Colleges suffering. If people make


decisions that money will be spent in one area, they have to stand up


and be prepared to accept the consequences in other areas, and we


have not had that in Scotland. We have had an approach where


everybody has joined in a communal view that everything can be for


nothing. It can't. David Mundell, thank you very much.


And now we can have a catch up with A church service has taken place in


Machynlleth this morning to remember the missing five year-old


April Jones. She was a do to close to her family's home last Monday


evening. A 46-year-old man, Mark Bridger, has been charged with her


abduction and murder. In the warm October sunshine, they


came in their hundreds. Virtually a whole town, walking quietly deep in


Then into the church for a special service for April. A poem for her


mother in praise of motherhood. she is a sadness dealer, a cut knee


he lair, had me tighter wrongness writer, Kerouac and chocolates --


carer and chocolate Sheriff. While... Sometimes.


Then the Lord's Prayer, into languages, but with one message.


The service was relayed by speakers to those outside. Deep down, they


know April is not coming back, but many here are still praying for a


miracle. As the Conservative Party


conference gets under way in Birmingham this afternoon, the


Prime Minister has confirmed the Government needs to find more in


welfare cuts by the next election. He said the rich will also has --


the rich will have to pay more to help reduce the deficit. But he has


rejected demands for a mansion tax on properties over �2 million a.


I do not believe that we should be a country where if you work hard


and saved and buy a house and to pay the mortgage and invested it, I


don't want to be a country that comes after you every year with a


massive tax, so that is not going to happen.


We can get more on this from our political correspondent who is at


the Conservative conference in Birmingham this lunch time. The


Prime Minister is very clear that that -- that there is still a lot


to be done to reduce the deficit. Yes, and he made it clear several


times that he wants the rich to pay their share, but he did not spell


out what he thinks that means. He is not going to take up the Liberal


Democrat idea of a mansion tax. He does not like the idea of new


council tax banding is either a. We have had a flurry of announcements


today about capping rail fares. All that begs the question of where


he's going to find the money. He has made it clear that the bid


target is the welfare budget, which means more cuts to benefits,


something that will be difficult and controversial when people are


already struggling. Thank you very much.


That is all the news for now. There is more on BBC One at 6:30pm this


evening. Good afternoon. Scotland's Health


Secretary has said that the 24 week limit for terminating pregnancies


should be reduced. Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, Alex Neil said


that legislation should be looked at in an independent Scotland, but


made it clear that his views were personal.


Jeremy Hunt has backed a reduction from the current 24 weeks to 12. Mr


Neil was quoted as saying that there was a case for reduction, but


that he did not know if 12 weeks was realistic.


Homeless young people are being failed by a lack of support, a


group of MSPs has claimed. A report by the equal opportunities


committee says that many youngsters were profoundly disadvantaged by


not having basic life skills such as cooking and budgeting. Some are


also place in sub-standard accommodation. The committee is


calling on the Scottish Government to check which councils like


strategies to deal with the problem. We are not asking the Government to


do anything that is not already there. We are asking them to work


with local authorities to make sure there is more of a uniform process


across the local authorities in Scotland so that it is not a


postcode lottery for support for young people.


More than �1 million has been given to local authorities to help


support people with autism. It is the first time cash has been


allocated since ministers launched their strategy last year. Around 30


organisations will benefit from the Government's Autism Development


Fund. Time to look at the weather


So far this weekend, the weather has been lovely in this part of the


country, which is because of this area of high pressure which


continues to dominate the forecast this afternoon and into the


beginning of next week. This afternoon is mainly dry across the


country with some lovely spells of sunshine. Further North West, some


cloud here at times with showers, feeling pleasant in the sunshine


with like winds. They Green Park are now officially


signed up to the S Scotland campaign. -- the Green Party. Our


political correspondent was at their conference. The Greens are


not normally obsessed with constitutional affairs. They care


more about the environment. But Scotland is due to make it back his


decision to the hundred Years In the Hat decided to be a farmer


their broad commitment to independence. -- its by his


decision in 300 years, the Green Party have decided. The debate


taking place buying these stores is so important. It started with a


chance for delegates to its tune. The after the political meditation,


his speeches. Patrick Harvie had previously accused the yes Scotland


movement as being dominated by their SNP but he said that progress


had been made. It has evolved into the kind of organisation should


have been on day one. I think it would be quite bizarre for us not


to be involved with the main campaign that is looking to achieve


that Yes vote. Being involved gives us the opportunity to put forward a


radically different agenda about what the yes vote is all about.


However it is fair to say that the party are not overly enthusiastic


about independence. I am not a gung-ho about independence. It is


not for Christmas, at his for life. Yes Scotland later held a fringe


meeting. The their Greens have distinct arguments that favour


independence. Would they be joining up? The answer was yes. Patrick


Harvie is here now. Thank you for coming in. You're at decision to


run your own independence campaign as well as signing up to the yes


Scotland campaign would suggest that you still have reservations


that the SNP will dominate the campaign. I suspect they will do


the same thing and I think that is a perfectly reasonable thing for a


political party to do. It is important that we speak up for the


reasons why we support Scottish independence but also protect the


Green Party's independence. Our distinctive and much more radical


vision of what independence is about should come across during the


campaign. In areas where that could be depression - for example it is


important that you market your own territory - let's start by having a


look at a story today that could potentially be very divisive. Just


to get your opinion on it. Scotland On Sunday, the abortion law changed


after independence. If the health minister saying this is his


personal opinion. He believes that the 24 week when it should be


reduced. We have spoken to him this morning and he says it is not


government of party policy, either now or in an independent Scotland,


because it could be a matter of conscience. Although he personally


supports it. How divisive would that be? I certainly hope it does


not become as polarised an issue as it is in some countries. That does


not support either women's rights to access reproductive health


services, or the white one of the debate. I am very clear that


reproductive rights go hand in hand with reproductive health. My party


and by at committed to supporting and defending a woman's right to


choose. As soon as I read that article I immediately put in a


written question asking whether the government remains committed to


reproductive health services which are accessible and support


reproductive rights of women. That will always need to be defended.


But I think a new health secretary, so soon after being appointed,


should have been a bit more thoughtful about how his comments


would be interpreted. They will worry many people, that the SNP is


about to make a pitch for a set of policies that I don't think they


actually want to pitch for. This is an irresponsible way to present a


personal opinion so soon after becoming the new Health Secretary.


You also disagree with the First Minister that at there is a yes


vote then everything can be signed and sealed in times for the


Holyrood election of 2016. Do you think that is credible? I am very


concerned about that time scale and have met the Scottish Government to


discuss it. The idea that within 16 months you can not only conclude


negotiations with the UK Government - which are remember, will not


really begin until the summer after the referendum because it will be


you key election to get through, the new UK government would begin


negotiations in earnest - so what would become 89 months to conclude


that it was nations about legalities, mechanics, assets, debt,


liabilities -- eight of nine months, all of the organisational


architecture, reserve functions, as well as thinking about how the


Scottish Parliament must change, to be able to hold an independent


government to account, I think that the headlong rush. We would end up


making stakes on that time scale. So what would 2016 B? I would like


to see a normal Scottish Parliament election but a wider, civic process


much like a constitutional conventions but allowing people to


debate what kind of constitution the one for Scotland. To


participate it could need to involve all sides. So there would


need to be time for people to get over the shock of the result.


Because it would appear surprising result for some people. But


everybody needs to participate in the discussion about what can the


constitution we want. Once that is in place we can transfer of power.


At that point should it be a referendum about what has been


negotiated in the settlement? would be for the people to debate


in the civic process. I would want an absolute ban on nuclear weapons


operating on the Clyde but also participation in a nuclear defence


alliance like any talk. Others would oppose that but I think we


should debate the issues with participation from everybody in


Scotland. A much longer process than that which has outline by


their SNP. My view is that it been the to be. Statistics recently


published do about rape fall a long history of campaigns about sexual


violence. But has it succeeded in dispelling the myth that rape


victims are asking for it? Recent sadistic suggest not. A 23% thought


a woman was partially responsible act drunk when attacked. 17%


thought she was partially to blame if she were revealing clothing. 15%


shed she was partly to blame if flouting. 8% said rate could be a


woman's fault that she had lots of The pornography is increasingly


violent and extreme, and XTC lay it accessible. It tells young men and


women that they should increasingly be available for sex, never say no,


and always enjoy it. This has become part of the culture, and


normal way of looking at women. It is everywhere. Women fear these


prejudices could work against them and the courts. To the concern is


that this will be two more acquittals. That jurors will look


at the evidence, the complainant, and pink, she was drinking, she


wore revealing clothing, the therefore she is somehow


responsible. How can negative stereotypes be smashed? In a


ground-breaking project will be so trying to encourage older children


to make sure youngsters get the message that no means no. We wanted


to train the young and mentors to going to classes and to talk about


quite difficult subject. Rate, eight violence, other forms of


abusive behaviour. FOR the first time police are trying to get me


into top one another about where to draw the line. Will these attempts


change the prevailing culture of prejudice. I enjoy my a


representative of Rape Crisis Scotland. In Edinburgh is human


rights lawyer, John Scott. Thank you both are coming in. Women look


at this prevailing culture, why does it persist? I think attitudes


which really made a woman for every 10 to be put to lay engrained


within the Scottish Society and by the UK as a whole. Abbey efforts to


try to improve and challenge these attitudes. The 10 to focus on the


victims rather than the perpetrators. We need a much more


sustained approach. We need to transform attitudes within Scotland.


What is undoubted is that it stops people coming forward and the first


place because of fear of being blamed. Let me ask a legal point


that seems to be emerging. When that decision was made to end


corroboration and retrials, criminal trials, the idea that was


getting rid of it could be quite useful and boost the number of


convictions and. Now there's a sense that getting rid of co-


operation might have the opposite effect. If these attitudes, as we


have seen in the film, art displayed by jurors took rape


victims. There is a potential problem. The question of attitudes


is far more important than those of evidence, like for more


requirements for corroboration. The work of the pylons reduction Unit,


that is exactly the sort of thing that, along with improved media


coverage, which will have a greater chance of defecting attitudes. To


simply abolish corroboration - and the MRC that happen things which


this Government have done which I consider to be brave and right,


trying to do something serious about reducing prison overcrowding


and shot and prison sentences - but in relation to its a clear decision


to scrap or operation I think they are wrong and they will reconsider


I hope. With a potential consequence speedy -- what a


potential consequence de that more leeway would be allowed to ask more


interest and the appropriate questions? It is hard to say. The


legislation is there. I think legislation which prevents an


appropriate questions being asked, works. We need to have a whole


measure, a whole review of other safeguards as part of that. That


would undoubtedly mean reviewing the rate legislation. Moving on


from general attitudes to rape victims, once they're in the system,


who people are treated if they have been a victim, Strathclyde Police


are saying that they are going to set up women who will be trained to


offer counselling to victims and assist police with interviews.


Female only assistance teams. That announcement has been made in the


Herald today. Will that be helpful? Do me to look at the court process,


not just the culture? I think it is helpful. How do we get to support


complaints through the process? It is dramatic and difficult evidence


they have to go. The better evidence you will get the more you


support the victim. But I would like to go back to the


corroboration. Briefly. I can understand the concern about


whether it actually increases the focus. But I do think we need to be


realistic, already it is difficult to see how it could be worse than


it is. Because there is so much focus on the complainants behaviour


both leading up to and during the assault. I don't think we should


look at this in a vacuum. If we remove corroboration people will


say there is a concerned, but what about the role of judges? They have


a responsibility to make sure complainants are not abused and


humiliated. And also defence lawyers, wave their ethical


responsibility? Would you draw the line and took out what you're what


-- about what you put in a witness Would it be useful for us to talk


to juries about their attitudes? Research into juries would be


useful. In some other countries it is possible, and we know more from


elsewhere, like America and New Zealand, about how juries operate.


Some of what we discover might alarm us and some of what we


discover would undoubtedly reassure us. At the moment it is difficult


to know how they operate. In particular, with the availability


of prejudicial material on the internet, that is a real problem.


On the question of corroboration again, corroboration acts as a


safeguard. Many people think it has been watered down too much.


Corroboration and the existence of corroborating evidence in many


cases leads to people pleading guilty. Is corroboration is a


requirement, pressure of work and resources on the part of the police


will be -- will lead to corroboration not being sought.


That will lead to an increase in the number of miscarriages of


justice in the court. Sandy at Rape Crisis Scotland wants to see more


miscarriages of justice, but it is equally a miscarriage of justice if


somebody is wrongly convicted. Thank you very much.


In a moment, we will discuss what has made the newspapers today. What


is coming up in politics. Let's Good news on the jobs front after


the collapse of sports chain JJB. The owner of meet pressing -- a


meat processing plant said it will also close in a buyer is not found


by February. The American tycoon Donald Trump


was back in Aberdeen, saying his fight against plans for a wind farm


off his new Golf resort will not be thrown off course. Scottish


National Heritage drop his opposition.


Some of the country's most high- profile lawyers lined up to press


the off switch on televised criminal trials.


Chris Hoy opened the bedroom that bears his name as the push to open


be Commonwealth Games builds up. will attract people to get into the


sport and produce champions of the future.


Martha Payne's blog became an internet hit. She has been to


Malawi to see how the money she Now time to have a look at the week


The author Kirsty Scott and economic commentator Alf Young are


here in the studio with me now. The former Auditor-General. Does it


matter what he says? It matters in that the debate is moving into a


different debate. We had an early stage where we said that Johann


Lamont has blown it. She opened the door to the SNP and there was a lot


of horse trading in the chain that. But there is a debate to be had,


because, as I see it, every budget is finite. Every budget involves


choices, and in a real democracy, you talk about the choices and why


we have those choices. Why do we have some things that are free at


point of access, and what does it cost and other areas? We need to


have that debate. We are in a financial mess. The whole Western


world is in a financial mess. commission the best way to


regulated? We do need a debate, but I am not so sure about the


commissioner. Susan Deacon was saying it area as if she was


parking the issue, which might let politicians off the hook. A


journalist writing in the Sunday Herald today talked in broad terms


about the social contract between the Government and the people of


Scotland in which these universal benefits were enshrined, but he did


not seem to engage in the debate. Is it a difficult debate for which


to find the right language? It has got to be framed very carefully.


Has that happened? No. You have got the exchanges, you saw, I don't


think the arguments really take us anywhere. We need to have a debate


about what we are prepared to commit a social good and public


good in society, and what we expect in return. And you are saying, be


honest about the price tag. Yes, and the thing about the commission,


in a word, is that it is unaccountable. You do not want an


and accountable commission deciding what our priorities are for us. You


want a democracy where people make choices. And where politicians help


make those decisions with you. the Herald today, they lead with


Alex Neil saying that he thinks the 24th week limit on abortions should


be reduced. Already a massive storm on Twitter about this. I saw that


this morning, following on from Jeremy Hunt last week. What has


been missing from the debate is another middle-aged man with


religious leanings deciding what women should do with their bodies!


It is quite frightening, as a woman, to think we are going down this


path now. Are we heading, as Patrick Harvie was heading --


saying, towards the US culture on abortion rights? I saw a


distressing this morning to see that story, and for him to step


back and say it is a personal view is disingenuous, because he is the


Health Secretary. As an elderly man are entering into this debate, why


two men who do not know much about health are given responsibility for


running the health service in these different parts of the United


Kingdom, and the first public pronouncement they make is about


their own personal views on when women should be allowed to have an


abortion, it is just wrong politics, apart from anything else. They


should be learning about the system they are trying to improve and


doing that before they open their mouths. And they always catch it in


either ideological or scientific terms and in no way do they


discussed women's experience. absolutely agree. David Mundell is


in the newspaper saying it would be too difficult to get 16 and 17


year-olds in two specific registers for the referendum vote. That


really would not be unfair on the SNP's proposal. What does that mean,


it is of the table? It could mean that it is off the table, but I


always thought it was flawed and the first place. If you are going


to give teenagers the right to vote on the future constitutional state


of their nation, I have problems with that. But if you are going to


give them that, they need to be given the right to vote in every


election thereafter. Why not extend the franchise from 16 to 18? That


is the most sensible thing to do. The response from Nicola Sturgeon's


spokes people to this issue that David Mundell has raised, they said


that it has been a key part of what they have been discussing and it is


something they are keen to have. They do not sound completely


committed to it. We are close to a done deal? We need to get it done.


We need the legislation if we're going to have the vote at all.


There is still that lingering other story about whether it looks like


it will be yes or no. They might not want the fight happen anyway!


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, interviews and debate including defence secretary Philip Hammond from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.

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