18/11/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


18/11/2012

Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, interviews and debate including conservative party chairman Grant Shapps and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Good morning. Welcome to the Sunday politics.

:00:39.:00:43.

As the stand-off between Israel and Hamas continues, the Foreign

:00:43.:00:47.

Secretary calls for restraint on both sides. Is anyone listening?

:00:47.:00:52.

That is our top story. After about be swept across England

:00:52.:00:58.

and Wales last week, if we will ask the Tory chairman, will the police

:00:58.:01:01.

commissioner's de back will Leeds David Cameron's dreams of firing up

:01:01.:01:05.

society? And his Ed Miliband getting a bit

:01:05.:01:11.

carried away after his party's victory? We will have the Shadow

:01:12.:01:14.

Home Secretary here to ask whether this triumph is anything more than

:01:14.:01:18.

a routine mid-term setback for Government?

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And is it time for prisoners to get the boat? It might increase the

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turnout! Under pressure, the Government will put options before

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Parliament. And on Sunday Politics Scotland...

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With funding cuts and mergers happening in the college sector, we

:01:31.:01:34.

look at how this is affecting Further Education students and ask

:01:34.:01:44.
:01:44.:01:44.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2177 seconds

:01:44.:38:01.

are the Universities benefiting Have a four year option it is not

:38:01.:38:07.

an option in this country. I would support South Africa. They have

:38:07.:38:11.

given us a very good message. They have been through an awful

:38:11.:38:17.

experience... You want all prisoners to get the vote? To yes,

:38:17.:38:23.

I do believe that. That is interesting. What happens if we

:38:23.:38:27.

don't give prisoners the vote and we end up having to pay millions of

:38:27.:38:32.

pounds in compensation to them? would not have to pay millions of

:38:32.:38:38.

pounds. Even if the court fined us, we would not have to pay it. In UK

:38:38.:38:44.

law, there has already cases before British courts and there will be

:38:44.:38:49.

more. If parliaments boats in the negative... That should be the end

:38:49.:38:57.

of it. It won't be the end of it. If you ignore the European Court,

:38:57.:39:03.

as you seem to want to do, then you were also ignoring UK law, because

:39:03.:39:08.

under the Human Rights Act, the European Court decisions are

:39:08.:39:17.

incorporated into UK law. This is bigger than a prisoner vote. This

:39:17.:39:21.

is a new thing that is being established. We are saying that the

:39:21.:39:26.

European Court is subservient to the British Parliament. Parliament

:39:26.:39:32.

will vote on its... The whole point is that it is that of Parliament.

:39:32.:39:36.

You can subject you are decisions to judicial review against certain

:39:36.:39:44.

principles that you have signed up to. Even United agree on this...

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doubt it. He is an intelligent, sensible person. You would accept

:39:52.:39:56.

that the independence of the judicial system from politicians...

:39:56.:40:01.

Yes, the British judicial system. The Supreme Court of this country.

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That is worth begins and ends. we have incorporated the convention

:40:05.:40:11.

into British law, then it is British law. And that is what this

:40:11.:40:15.

book will be about. He wants to float this island off somewhere

:40:15.:40:20.

else. Would you allow prisoners to vote on police and crime

:40:20.:40:26.

Commissioner elections? Obviously. You vote for MPs to make laws,

:40:26.:40:31.

councillors implement laws, European MPs to vote... Even though

:40:31.:40:39.

you are a criminal...? You can vote if you're a remand prisoner at the

:40:39.:40:44.

moment... Is prisoners were allowed to vote, it might actually increase

:40:44.:40:50.

the turnout in these elections. one thing Ella from the Police and

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Criminal elections is, you do not have elections in November. Maybe

:40:55.:40:59.

we just don't elect police commissioners. On that shock

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agreement here on the Sunday politics, we will leave it there.

:41:03.:41:08.

It is the closest we have got to an agreement in the past six minutes.

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Good afternoon and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up

:41:16.:41:19.

on the programme... The political point scoring over

:41:19.:41:22.

Further Education College Budgets' played out at Holyrood this week,

:41:22.:41:32.
:41:32.:41:33.

when it turned out the sums were wrong. This figure should have been

:41:33.:41:39.

556 million, not 545 million. I apologise to the chamber for this

:41:39.:41:42.

error. We look behind the verbal sparring

:41:42.:41:48.

at the substantial changes happening in the college sector. I

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will be on the farm to see how the rural sector is coping after a

:41:53.:41:57.

terrible summer. And how easy is it to slide into

:41:57.:42:02.

poverty? We look at the numbers and ask why they are important.

:42:02.:42:05.

What a torrid time in Scotland's Further Education Sector. The First

:42:05.:42:08.

Minister had to apologise to Holyrood for using incorrect

:42:08.:42:10.

funding figures while calls continue for an inquiry into the

:42:10.:42:14.

role of the Education Secretary in a college chairman's resignation.

:42:14.:42:18.

But behind the sound and fury, what is the reality for colleges and

:42:18.:42:21.

their students. Are they being sacrificed to keep the university

:42:21.:42:31.
:42:31.:42:32.

sector sweet? Our reporter has been crunching the numbers.

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Away from the politics, away from that talk of spy-pens, this is what

:42:39.:42:44.

our college students are doing - gaining a skill in the midst of a

:42:44.:42:47.

new world of worry. And it is not just about getting a job. It is

:42:47.:42:52.

about whether their course will survive the cuts. At the cuts are

:42:52.:42:57.

coming in now. Am I going to be able to stay here? Is it worries me,

:42:57.:43:00.

because I feel that this is my time to better myself and help my

:43:00.:43:10.

children. Let's look at her college maths. Since 2000, the number of

:43:10.:43:15.

students in our further education colleges has fallen by around 16%.

:43:15.:43:20.

In October, it was announced that just over 21,000 students were

:43:20.:43:25.

still on waiting lists. Around half of them were 16 year-olds to 19

:43:25.:43:28.

years old. The Scottish Government is not sure of these figures and

:43:29.:43:34.

has announced and all that. There are fears that those who need it

:43:34.:43:37.

most are missing out on further education. We are talking about

:43:37.:43:42.

single parents, people with care responsibilities. If these people

:43:42.:43:46.

are not given the opportunities in education, there are losing out.

:43:46.:43:50.

They will not get back into employment and Scotland is losing

:43:50.:43:55.

talented people. Three-quarters of the further education budget comes

:43:55.:43:59.

from the Scottish Government. But all that Scotland has predicted

:43:59.:44:07.

that grant will fall. From 545 million this year to 471 million in

:44:07.:44:14.

2014. That is a real-terms cut of 24%. Discovers Government hopes to

:44:14.:44:18.

achieve all this by merging colleges. 37 colleges will become

:44:18.:44:25.

no more than 23. The thought of these cuts proved too much for one

:44:25.:44:31.

former principal and Labour Party member. I did not want to spend the

:44:31.:44:34.

last five years in the college dismantling what it had taken 20

:44:34.:44:41.

years to build. I got out. believes the focus on full-time

:44:41.:44:46.

courses will exclude some students. If you say to them, come for a year

:44:46.:44:51.

and you will get a qualification. A year is a long time. However, if

:44:51.:44:55.

you can come for six weeks and then come for another six weeks and

:44:55.:45:00.

maybe another 12 weeks after that, then you start to make progress and

:45:00.:45:07.

young people getting gauge -- get engaged and stay. This opportunity

:45:07.:45:16.

is not being restricted, says the SNP. The whole idea of this is to

:45:17.:45:20.

focus and ensured that Scotland's young people to have a good future.

:45:20.:45:26.

But some believe vocational courses are being sacrificed to fund our

:45:26.:45:30.

universities. If you cut universities, there will be the

:45:30.:45:34.

chattering parties in the elites who will start to make political

:45:34.:45:40.

trouble. But the people in the East End of Glasgow, they will be the

:45:41.:45:42.

politically dispossessed or the politically illiterate and

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therefore, even if they do object, they will not know how to fight it.

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For the last week, further education colleges have been a

:45:51.:45:55.

party political playground of accusations and counter allegations

:45:55.:46:03.

on both sides. These students just want clarity about their future and

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the future of our education system. We asked the Scottish Government if

:46:06.:46:09.

the Education Secretary, Mike Russell, could come on the

:46:09.:46:11.

programme today. They said he was unavailable. Instead they gave us

:46:11.:46:13.

this statement: "The Scottish Government is

:46:13.:46:16.

committed to the role of Scotland's colleges in building the economy.

:46:16.:46:18.

Our college sector is being reformed to bring colleges closer

:46:18.:46:21.

together on a regional basis to cut out inefficiency and duplication,

:46:21.:46:24.

as well as improving links with employers. In the face of

:46:24.:46:26.

substantial cuts from the Westminster government, we have

:46:26.:46:28.

maintained high levels of investment in a sector which has

:46:28.:46:31.

been neglected over a number of years to ensure Scotland's young

:46:31.:46:34.

people can maximise their chances of finding employment following a

:46:34.:46:43.

college course". So instead, we are joined by

:46:43.:46:51.

Scottish Labour's Education spokesperson, Hugh Henry. We have

:46:51.:46:54.

just heard this morning that the Liberal Democrats are saying there

:46:54.:46:58.

must be much greater clarity on funding before the budget vote next

:46:58.:47:03.

month. They're saying they want a fresh vote on college funding. They

:47:03.:47:06.

also want the education committee to have an inquiry into over all

:47:07.:47:11.

strategic funding of colleges. Does Labour support that?

:47:11.:47:15.

These are helpful suggestions. It is unfortunate the Cabinet

:47:15.:47:19.

Secretary would not come on the programme. Twice, he has made a

:47:19.:47:23.

untruthful statements to us and we need to get to the bottom of this.

:47:23.:47:25.

The Liberal Democrats are suggesting that we cannot make

:47:26.:47:29.

decisions without accurate figures. We need to know why wrong figures

:47:29.:47:34.

were given to the Scottish Parliament. It is fundamental to

:47:34.:47:39.

the Budget decision making and the credibility of the Parliament.

:47:39.:47:43.

Were the correct figures not given it to the Education Committee?

:47:43.:47:48.

Yes, but Michael Russell knowingly give wrong information. In June, he

:47:48.:47:53.

said there were no cuts. In October, accurate figures were given to the

:47:53.:47:57.

education committee. He did not take the opportunity to come back

:47:57.:48:02.

to Parliament and apologise. Last week, he said that he had never

:48:02.:48:06.

said that there were no cuts. We need to know why he did this. But

:48:06.:48:10.

also, we need to know where the First Minister then give an

:48:10.:48:13.

accurate information last week when the information was in the public

:48:13.:48:18.

going into the education committee in October? The credibility of both

:48:18.:48:23.

those ministers is under question. It could be argued that human

:48:23.:48:27.

beings make mistakes. The actual written statement was given to the

:48:27.:48:30.

Education Committee, so you could argue that there was no intent to

:48:30.:48:35.

mislead you. Let's find out of it is. I have

:48:35.:48:38.

written to the First Minister to ask if he will present to

:48:38.:48:40.

Parliament all the written information that he had when he

:48:40.:48:43.

stood up to make that statement to Parliament.

:48:44.:48:47.

Is it your concern that the autonomy of further education

:48:47.:48:51.

colleges has been eroded? I think it is. Forums are bringing

:48:51.:48:56.

in unwelcome changes. The Cabinet Secretary of Education promised

:48:56.:48:59.

college principals and boards that the appointments to the new boards

:48:59.:49:04.

would be done through the Public appointments system. He then

:49:04.:49:08.

grenades done that and he has made the appointments himself. What we

:49:08.:49:15.

have is a number of people whose being now depends on the Cabinet

:49:15.:49:18.

Secretary. That will intimidate them into thinking twice about what

:49:18.:49:22.

they say. They are in turn influential in the. That of

:49:22.:49:27.

principles. This brings him quite a significant degree of if

:49:27.:49:31.

ministerial control and interference.

:49:31.:49:35.

What would it affects the? The minister could determine who is

:49:35.:49:39.

running Scotland's colleges on a day-to-day basis. And if they say

:49:39.:49:42.

or do something that a minister doesn't like, there will be hauled

:49:42.:49:47.

over the coals. We have already seen the representatives from

:49:47.:49:51.

Scotland's colleges all then to be given a grilling by the Cabinet

:49:51.:49:54.

Secretary because they had the temerity to say that there was

:49:54.:49:57.

waiting list and students were being affected. We cannot have

:49:57.:50:01.

colleges scared to speak out because the Cabinet Secretary might

:50:01.:50:05.

not like it. What you think the effect of

:50:05.:50:12.

mergers will be? Of what will that effect be on students?

:50:12.:50:17.

Be in some areas, it might make sense to merge some colleges. But

:50:17.:50:21.

the Cabinet Secretary has decided to leave some colleges on their own.

:50:21.:50:27.

In my part of the world, he has decided to merge Clydebank with

:50:27.:50:32.

three other colleges. Heidi students from Clydebank get to

:50:32.:50:36.

Greenock if they want to study a specific course? They have to go to

:50:36.:50:40.

the city centre in Glasgow and then get the train. We're often talking

:50:40.:50:43.

about students from low-income families who are struggling to go

:50:43.:50:47.

to college in the first place and then on top of that, we give an

:50:47.:50:52.

added burden. There is no cohesion in the way that this has been done.

:50:52.:50:57.

This is a crude attempt to save money and he is destroying and

:50:57.:51:01.

undermining morale. In a tight budget settlement, money

:51:01.:51:06.

has to be saved. How would you balance the books?

:51:06.:51:11.

There are a number of things that the Cabinet Secretary has to do.

:51:11.:51:14.

Some of the consequences are results of decisions he has made.

:51:15.:51:20.

We are cutting colleges but we are spending �75 million per year to

:51:20.:51:27.

fund to new students. That figure will rise to �225 billion per year

:51:27.:51:31.

if that Scotland leave the UK. McGurk's bar told the Parliament he

:51:31.:51:37.

would sort that out. And university tuition fees?

:51:37.:51:44.

Yes, but he has failed to come back. University tuition fees?

:51:44.:51:49.

We need to have an honest debate. We are helping well-off people in

:51:50.:51:54.

this country, people such as myself and the First Minister and Michael

:51:54.:51:57.

Russell, and we are making my constituents, who are low-income

:51:57.:52:04.

families, paid dearly. Because of SNP cuts, we have seen disabled

:52:04.:52:08.

people being charged to go to adopt a centres.

:52:08.:52:12.

If we just focus on the education issue, are you saying that in some

:52:12.:52:18.

ways, the further education sector is suffering because there shoring

:52:18.:52:22.

up the university sector? Further education has been

:52:22.:52:26.

penalised at the expense of universities. We need world-class

:52:26.:52:36.
:52:36.:52:39.

universities, but not at the Farmers in Scotland are counting

:52:39.:52:44.

the cost of a washout summer. NFU Scotland have given us initial

:52:44.:52:48.

results of a survey which suggests that one-third of farmers still

:52:48.:52:52.

have crops left and harvested. As farmers lose money hand over fist

:52:52.:52:57.

there is pressure in Europe to cut subsidies.

:52:57.:53:01.

As autumn rolls into winter, the effects of the terrible weather are

:53:01.:53:06.

still being felt on farms on the east coast. It has been a difficult

:53:06.:53:11.

here. The weather in summer and autumn has been atrocious. Securing

:53:11.:53:15.

all the crops has been very difficult. They yield happen much

:53:15.:53:20.

more, 50 or 60% of normal crops. Andrew received thousands of pounds

:53:20.:53:24.

per year from the EU Common Agriculture Policy. He is still

:53:24.:53:29.

making a loss of �1,000 per week. It is a common experience this year.

:53:29.:53:34.

Initial results from an NFU survey suggests that one third of animal,

:53:34.:53:39.

potato and vegetable farmers have crops left on harvested, a lot of

:53:39.:53:46.

work for no return. 10% of arable farmers still had more than half of

:53:46.:53:51.

their crops in the field. Cereals and crops are title to the industry.

:53:51.:53:57.

We have had extra cost, that is the reality of these conditions. Drew's

:53:57.:54:02.

yield and quality has played a lot of money from our industry. He will

:54:02.:54:06.

get a survey, 40-45% of respondents believe they will have to extend

:54:06.:54:09.

their credit lines just to secure the money to plant the crops next

:54:10.:54:13.

year. For struggling dairy farmers, poor

:54:13.:54:18.

weather piled on the misery. situation is difficult, all of the

:54:18.:54:22.

input costs that we need to run the farm have risen due to factors

:54:22.:54:27.

outwith our control. The price we're getting for milk his average

:54:27.:54:30.

to poor. We need more money to cover the cost.

:54:30.:54:35.

As farmers here in five try to make a living from the land, key

:54:35.:54:38.

decisions about their livelihoods are made far away and across the

:54:38.:54:42.

North Sea in Brussels. David Cameron will be there next

:54:43.:54:48.

week to try and secured a freeze in the EU budget. That could further

:54:48.:54:52.

reduce the money available to farmers, which has already been cut.

:54:52.:54:56.

What we're seeing at the moment is a significant cut in direct

:54:56.:55:00.

payments of seven or eight or even 9%. And then even greater cut in

:55:00.:55:05.

rural development of something close to 20%.

:55:05.:55:10.

The Common Agricultural Policy Hoovers up 39% of the EU budget.

:55:10.:55:15.

Labour and the SNP MPs voted to actually cut the total budget, not

:55:15.:55:19.

just freeze it. The Rural Affairs Secretary had this promise to

:55:19.:55:22.

farmers. A new funding formula is being

:55:22.:55:27.

proposed that could eventually deliver a massive up with of �150

:55:27.:55:32.

million per year for Scotland. That is equivalent to �6,000 for every

:55:32.:55:37.

farm in this country. But there is a catch. Scotland will only qualify

:55:37.:55:41.

for this up with it if we remain a member state in their own rates.

:55:41.:55:46.

Where will that cash come from? It seems that the UK do not want to

:55:46.:55:50.

access that fund as it would affect the rebate. Although the European

:55:50.:55:53.

Commission told us that they were not sure that Mr Lockett's figure

:55:53.:55:57.

came from. Four other struggling industries watching this debate

:55:57.:56:01.

there is a hint of jealousy. Over the last number of years we have

:56:01.:56:05.

always been seen that we have been unfairly treated, especially in

:56:05.:56:10.

light of the high fuel costs. The farmers get the Common Agricultural

:56:10.:56:15.

Falk -- Common Agricultural Policy. Subsidies are currently being

:56:15.:56:19.

reformed. Any large drop in payments could have a significant

:56:19.:56:22.

effect on farmers, even if the sun shines next year.

:56:22.:56:26.

Joining us now from Elgin is the rural affairs and Environment

:56:26.:56:31.

Secretary Richard Lochhead. In Aberdeen studio there is the

:56:31.:56:35.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone who also has a family farm. Thank you

:56:35.:56:39.

both for speaking to us. Mr Lockett, please give us some in

:56:39.:56:45.

for where this figure of �6,000 per farmer comes from. Is this based on

:56:45.:56:48.

an independent Scotland having every date Award convergence

:56:49.:56:57.

criteria, which is equally noble? At the moment, support for Europe

:56:57.:57:02.

is very important for Scottish agriculture. If we were a member

:57:02.:57:06.

state in our own right, the formal which has been proposed as part of

:57:06.:57:09.

the current negotiations for the next six or seven years would

:57:09.:57:14.

actually deliver more payments and support at to Scotland, and that

:57:14.:57:19.

will not be a case via the UK at the moment. At the moment we have

:57:19.:57:22.

the fourth lowest level of single farm payment in all the countries

:57:22.:57:26.

in Europe. For the Rural Development Fund in general, we

:57:26.:57:30.

actually get the lowest within the UK and the UK gets the lowest in

:57:30.:57:34.

Europe. We are the lowest of the lowest when it comes to the rural

:57:34.:57:39.

development in Europe. That is a poor deal for Scotland. Alex

:57:39.:57:44.

Johnstone, to these figures add up? I think as we have seen in a number

:57:44.:57:50.

of areas, the SNP's figures do not add up. The truth is we do not know

:57:50.:57:54.

what position we would be and if Scotland became independent.

:57:54.:57:57.

Ironically, every time you read this in Parliament SNP argue that

:57:57.:58:01.

Scotland is already a member of the UK and we already know what the

:58:01.:58:05.

Thames would be. When it suits their purpose to suggest that it

:58:05.:58:10.

would be different if Scotland were independent, we can see that this

:58:10.:58:15.

is not consistent with the general approach. What we do know is that

:58:15.:58:18.

will the Westminster Government does not want to secure the rebate,

:58:18.:58:22.

Scottish farmers are losing out. The UK Government are very

:58:22.:58:27.

concerned about the rebate, but the direction of travel is that support

:58:27.:58:30.

for agriculture is being put into the eastern European and southern

:58:30.:58:33.

European countries where the effort will be focused in years to come.

:58:33.:58:38.

The idea that Scotland can somehow buck the trend and reverse the

:58:38.:58:42.

movement of resources and bring more money to Scotland is one that

:58:42.:58:46.

would surprise at great many small countries across Europe.

:58:46.:58:52.

Richard, is it not the case that the SNP wants the budget freeze and

:58:52.:58:56.

given that the Cap is about 39% of big European budget, that would

:58:56.:59:01.

have a massive effect? We have this crazy position at the moment what

:59:01.:59:05.

the UK Government just lost a vote in the House of Commons all over an

:59:05.:59:10.

increase in the EU overall budget. At the same time in Brussels and

:59:10.:59:13.

Europe they are arguing over a substantial cut in the cap money

:59:13.:59:17.

that goes to Scotland's farms. This could put thousands of farms in

:59:17.:59:21.

Scotland out of business. It seems a strange position for the UK

:59:21.:59:25.

Government to be in. Alex Johnstone's party was defeated in

:59:25.:59:30.

House of Commons, but they actually won a substantial cut within the

:59:30.:59:35.

farming budget. The whole of industry in Scotland is behind us,

:59:35.:59:39.

tried to resist this movement from the UK Government in Brussels.

:59:39.:59:43.

Scotland faces additional challenges, you have been speaking

:59:43.:59:47.

about the weather, for instance. We have one of the lowest levels of

:59:47.:59:53.

support. Both the Palace of cat, up below one is direct payments and

:59:53.:59:57.

pillar to is the general payment fund. We have a raw deal. The UK

:59:57.:00:01.

Government has not negotiated a good deal for Scotland. If Alex,

:00:01.:00:05.

moving on to the practical impact for farmers, what NFU are telling

:00:05.:00:10.

us about the large number of an harvested crops, the ground is to

:00:10.:00:15.

read for farmers to get the winter or over winter crops in and not

:00:15.:00:17.

knowing what is going to happen in sprinting, how serious is the

:00:17.:00:21.

problem? Agriculture is one of these

:00:21.:00:25.

businesses that will always be exposed to the weather. The problem

:00:25.:00:29.

is very serious and their crops that are on harvested. The ground

:00:29.:00:33.

is wet and difficult to work on, particularly better still potatoes

:00:33.:00:37.

to be lifted. The way to deal with that as far as the Government is

:00:37.:00:41.

concerned is to ensure that they do their bit correctly and ensure that

:00:41.:00:45.

support payments are paid in a timely way and we do not get the

:00:45.:00:48.

disgraceful position we have had in previous years were some farmers

:00:48.:00:52.

are left without their payments at almost with no knowledge as to when

:00:52.:00:57.

they will come. The Government have proved they can do this without --

:00:57.:01:00.

can do this effectively. Let's ensure there are no mistakes.

:01:00.:01:04.

Richard, what is the Government's response at this stage? What would

:01:04.:01:11.

be appropriate? And staggered by Alex Johnson's comments, given that

:01:12.:01:16.

Scotland has the best records in the whole of the UK given that we

:01:16.:01:23.

have -- when it comes to payments from the EU on our farms. I am

:01:23.:01:26.

having regular discussions with farming representatives just now

:01:26.:01:30.

about the impact of the weather and again you report referred to how

:01:30.:01:32.

the National Farmers' Union in Scotland carried out their own

:01:33.:01:35.

survey and have promised to bring their resolve to us so we can

:01:35.:01:39.

discuss that. There is a chance that the lack of supply in some

:01:39.:01:43.

sectors may lead to a rise in prices. Old boy that will mitigate

:01:43.:01:48.

some of the financial impact. -- hopefully that will mitigate

:01:48.:01:53.

financial impact. Richard, would this also lead to a rise in prices

:01:53.:02:00.

for consumers? Of course, if there is a lack of supply of some

:02:00.:02:04.

products, vegetables or from the arable sector, that will impact on

:02:04.:02:08.

prices. That is not only a Scottish situation but throughout the whole

:02:08.:02:12.

of Europe and the rest of the world. Many countries are suffering from

:02:12.:02:15.

drought which is leading to an increase in prices that is hitting

:02:15.:02:21.

the poor. It is a very difficult issue and that is why negotiations

:02:21.:02:23.

over the Common Agriculture Policy are so important. That is about

:02:23.:02:27.

support for food production in Europe in the years ahead. We must

:02:27.:02:35.

make sure this support is there. This is part of a much bigger

:02:35.:02:39.

debate. Alex, we hear repeatedly from farmers that the debt problem

:02:39.:02:43.

is that when they go to banks and say that we're not getting returns

:02:43.:02:47.

expected this year because of the weather conditions, for Light

:02:47.:02:53.

Harvest, revenues jingling then, we need to extra money to tide us over

:02:53.:02:56.

and the banks are reluctant to give this. How can this be turned

:02:56.:03:01.

around? Is that the experience you hear? Yes, I hear that very often.

:03:01.:03:05.

It is essential that we are sure that the banks are aware that there

:03:05.:03:08.

is an expectation that they will insure that farming is allowed to

:03:08.:03:12.

continue from one year to the next. Farming is a business where

:03:12.:03:14.

everyone expects they have difficult years from one reason or

:03:14.:03:18.

another and weather is the biggest cause of that. But you must be

:03:18.:03:21.

prepared to watch from one year through to the next as the banks

:03:21.:03:23.

must be prepared to work with their customers.

:03:23.:03:30.

Thank you both very much indeed for that. Richard, before we let you go,

:03:30.:03:32.

this week further Government they got their college funding figures

:03:32.:03:35.

wrong, the First Minister must apologise. The Education Secretary

:03:35.:03:41.

must apologise. Headlines say the Education Secretary is a bully.

:03:41.:03:46.

This is not a good week for you. It is always challenging been in

:03:46.:03:49.

Government, particularly he current time with these budget cuts through

:03:49.:03:56.

Westminster. In terms of Mike Russell, who is Education Secretary,

:03:56.:03:58.

might wake up every day with a massive challenge to deliver the

:03:58.:04:03.

best possible future for Scotland's young people. We have record

:04:03.:04:08.

numbers of people attending further and higher education. I am

:04:08.:04:11.

surprised that you any cast doubt over his commitment to education.

:04:11.:04:15.

Mike Russell is committed to free education and is partially

:04:15.:04:18.

responsible for making sure that the people in Scotland do not have

:04:18.:04:24.

to pay for education. Thank you very much indeed.

:04:24.:04:27.

Coming up to the news, how to redefine what it means to live in

:04:27.:04:34.

poverty in Scotland? Over to the Newsham.

:04:34.:04:38.

-- over to the news room. The Israeli military attacks on

:04:38.:04:43.

Gaza have now claimed more than 50 lives according to health officials.

:04:43.:04:46.

Overnight, an air strike on the home of a senior Hamas commander is

:04:46.:04:51.

reported to have killed two young children living nearby., has

:04:51.:04:55.

renewed its missile attacks into his Royal this morning. Rockets

:04:55.:05:01.

were fired at places like Tel-Aviv. Attacks on Israel have been so far

:05:01.:05:07.

claimed three lives. There have been brief moments of

:05:07.:05:15.

carnage here. And they never last for long. -- brief moments of Caen.

:05:15.:05:23.

This morning in overnight, Israel once again pending Gaza with tanks.

:05:23.:05:27.

Among the building's character, this one and another where local

:05:27.:05:31.

and foreign journalists are based. Several were wounded. One lost a

:05:31.:05:36.

leg. Israel said they were aiming at a mass communication equipment.

:05:36.:05:42.

The number of injured and dead across Gaza is mounting. Emergency

:05:42.:05:47.

services are at full strength. Hospitals, too, are struggling to

:05:47.:05:51.

cope. As you will again ramped up its

:05:51.:05:55.

operation last night. Not only were attacks coming in from the air, but

:05:55.:06:00.

also from the sea. Israeli warships pending northern desert with

:06:00.:06:06.

artillery rounds. The -- pending in northern and gas at.

:06:06.:06:10.

In Israeli cities, people are scrambling to reach bomb shelters.

:06:10.:06:14.

This was after an eight-hour break which led some to hope for a

:06:14.:06:18.

ceasefire. Rocket fire resumed. The damage inflicted is not on the same

:06:18.:06:26.

scale, but on both side, civilians are suffering. Back in Gaza, Israel

:06:26.:06:36.

are showing their military strength. There is no end in sight.

:06:36.:06:38.

That is the Secretary Vince Cable has said more must be done to

:06:38.:06:43.

tackle companies who are legally able to avoid their corporation tax

:06:43.:06:47.

liabilities here in the UK. Speaking on Andrew Marshall this

:06:47.:06:50.

morning, Mr Cable said that their practices were unfair to British

:06:50.:06:54.

businesses. Well they are here if they make profits then they should

:06:54.:06:58.

pay tax on it. There is nothing more galling to small or medium-

:06:59.:07:03.

sized companies that they take to their tax to the British Government

:07:03.:07:06.

that we have found people dodging. There are ways to deal with this.

:07:06.:07:11.

Her own tax authorities must be tough on royalty payments. This is

:07:11.:07:15.

where the subterfuge comes in. The big question is whether you can get

:07:15.:07:25.
:07:25.:07:27.

The operator at A-Level crossing in Egypt has been arrested. Reports

:07:27.:07:32.

say that the man left the barriers are open and was asleep. Distraught

:07:32.:07:34.

families and angry demonstrators have prevented members of the

:07:34.:07:38.

Egyptian Government from visiting the site.

:07:38.:07:42.

The British car maker, Jaguar and Land Rover, has had the go-ahead

:07:42.:07:46.

for his first manufacturing site in China. Sales are up 80% so far this

:07:47.:07:52.

year. The project, based North of Shanghai, will be in partnership

:07:52.:07:57.

with the Chinese car maker. The two companies will assemble models

:07:57.:08:04.

tailored specifically for the Chinese market.

:08:04.:08:07.

Good afternoon. Scottish Labour are calling for a

:08:07.:08:11.

review of Holyrood's parliamentary procedures. This comes after the

:08:11.:08:13.

First Minister apologised to the chamber for using incorrect figures

:08:13.:08:19.

on college funding. Labour's Paul Martin wants a code of conduct,

:08:19.:08:22.

which he says would compel ministers to be accurate. The

:08:22.:08:24.

Presiding Officer has repeatedly told MSPs she's not responsible for

:08:24.:08:31.

the veracity of statements. The remains of what's believed to

:08:32.:08:34.

be one of Scotland's earliest homes have been found during building

:08:34.:08:37.

work for the new Forth crossing. This artist's impression shows how

:08:37.:08:41.

the site in South Queensferry could have looked. It dates from 10,000

:08:42.:08:48.

years ago, when settlers came to Scotland after the last ice age.

:08:48.:08:51.

Jason Kenny has withdrawn from the sprint competition at the Track

:08:51.:08:55.

World Cup in Glasgow. The Olympic champion crashed in the Keirin last

:08:55.:09:02.

night, hitting the track at 75 kilometres an hour. His coach said

:09:02.:09:06.

he's feeling very sore. Philip Hindes is now Britain's sole

:09:06.:09:13.

representative in today's Now let's take a look at the

:09:13.:09:20.

weather. Here's Judith. And a lot of fine weather this

:09:20.:09:25.

afternoon. Make the most of it. Wet and windy conditions coming tonight

:09:25.:09:30.

and tomorrow. Decent sunshine across the central, southern and

:09:30.:09:35.

eastern Scotland. We will continue to see some showers across North

:09:35.:09:42.

Argyll. Cable becomes you as the day progresses. They will turn this

:09:42.:09:50.

no over higher ground. Breezier That's it for the moment. I'll now

:09:50.:09:53.

hand you back to Isabel. How do we know if a child is poor?

:09:53.:09:56.

At the moment, statisticians measure it by household income, but

:09:56.:09:59.

the UK government says this doesn't give the whole picture and wants

:09:59.:10:02.

the focus to shift towards other factors, such as how many parents

:10:02.:10:05.

are living in the home and educational success. So is it

:10:05.:10:08.

useful to redefine how we measure poverty or is it, as critics claim,

:10:08.:10:18.
:10:18.:10:20.

a distraction? This snakes and ladders board is

:10:20.:10:25.

just a game. It shows how easy it can be to slide into poverty.

:10:25.:10:29.

could be in a job and made redundant. Your money could run out.

:10:29.:10:34.

You might not find another job. Having a low-paid job could see you

:10:34.:10:38.

slide right back down to square one when it comes to the poverty game,

:10:38.:10:42.

but how should policy makers measure how well off we are? At the

:10:42.:10:46.

moment, poverty is just some household income. Those earning

:10:46.:10:55.

less than 60% of the median income of �416 a week. By that measure, up

:10:55.:11:00.

170,000 children are living in poverty in Scotland's. 17%. But the

:11:00.:11:05.

UK Government says this definition is too narrow. I believe that

:11:05.:11:10.

understanding the nature of family life, the nature of your debt, are

:11:10.:11:15.

you actually in a family that there is serious addictions and?

:11:15.:11:18.

Understanding does give you a much better picture of whether that

:11:18.:11:24.

child is likely to be living in poverty. Both Westminster and

:11:24.:11:28.

Holyrood signed a commitment to eradicate child poverty by Twenty20.

:11:28.:11:31.

Charity see what to see them achieve this are sceptical about

:11:31.:11:36.

the UK government's Milan Mandaric call for change. We're seeing a

:11:36.:11:41.

real risk of child poverty rising over the next few years as a direct

:11:41.:11:45.

result of the current Government's policies and decisions. The worry

:11:45.:11:49.

is, they have been distracted from review their policies by reviewing

:11:49.:11:53.

the way they measure child poverty. But some social researchers welcome

:11:53.:11:59.

the debate, saying income is just one part of the story. You may have

:11:59.:12:04.

parents with poor health, parents out of work, peril what -- parents

:12:04.:12:08.

with poor qualifications. These other factors which are having a

:12:08.:12:11.

significant impact on the sorts of pathways that children take through

:12:11.:12:16.

their lives. Oxfam Scotland is also looking beyond money when it comes

:12:16.:12:21.

to measuring quality in life. It's humankind index surveyed more than

:12:21.:12:25.

3,000 people to find out what matters most to them. We need to

:12:25.:12:29.

think about the context in which people pursue their lives and great

:12:29.:12:33.

well-being for its other point At the top of that his health and

:12:33.:12:36.

housing and that goes right down to things like having enough skills

:12:36.:12:41.

and education to participate, having good transport. For those

:12:41.:12:44.

whose job it is to analyse the figures, in, still the most

:12:44.:12:50.

reliable tool. You change the measure, you haven't got

:12:50.:12:52.

consistency of retirement to cart track are well the Government is

:12:52.:12:55.

performing. The current measure does a very good job of capturing

:12:55.:13:01.

the core of what it means to be in poverty. This woman says poverty is

:13:01.:13:05.

a reality for her and it is what is done about it rather than how it is

:13:05.:13:10.

measured that what it that matters. There's too much scapegoating from

:13:10.:13:15.

the Government. They tend to say that it is our own fault, that we

:13:15.:13:20.

infected it. So why is measuring poverty important? It feeds into

:13:20.:13:24.

Government policy and how it helps people living in poverty to cope

:13:24.:13:28.

with whatever life throws at them. Joining me today is Judith

:13:28.:13:31.

Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland. Scotland's Commissioner for

:13:31.:13:33.

Children and Young People, Tam Baillie, and Professor Ailsa McKay,

:13:33.:13:43.
:13:43.:13:48.

who is a Professor of Economics at Whatever way he looked at it,

:13:48.:13:53.

poverty is about lack of money, lack of income. We have measured

:13:53.:13:58.

that saying this way for many years. We're not the only country to

:13:58.:14:02.

measure it that way. You are able to compare it yourself not only

:14:02.:14:07.

over a period of time, but also you are able to compare how these UK

:14:07.:14:10.

and Scotland figures in the European and world setting. It is

:14:10.:14:14.

not perfect and we know it is not only about income, as has been

:14:14.:14:19.

indicated. He must keep the focus on income and in fact we are off-

:14:19.:14:24.

target to eradicate child poverty for 2020 and two medal round and to

:14:24.:14:29.

play around with that the measures at this point in time could be at -

:14:29.:14:33.

- to be read as a cynical move to move this target without affecting

:14:33.:14:39.

the lives of the children. You feel strong that the existing

:14:40.:14:43.

mechanisms must be maintained? Whatever other assistance you make?

:14:43.:14:47.

The other measures are actually a good indication of where we should

:14:47.:14:53.

be targeting air time and energy, we know that the consequences of

:14:53.:14:58.

poverty are things like low attainment, things like higher

:14:58.:15:06.

instances of children and adults and mental well-being. We must take

:15:06.:15:10.

those into account in terms of measures putting into -- measures

:15:10.:15:14.

going into place to eradicate tell poverty. This is about how much

:15:14.:15:18.

money is going into your household. What this means to your child is

:15:18.:15:22.

that they are aware of the fact that they do not have the sources

:15:23.:15:26.

for engagement in sports activities. It might be the child who does not

:15:26.:15:32.

have a holiday. They know that they are shopping in the cheaper shops

:15:32.:15:37.

for the clothing. We pick up on the stresses and strains on the parents.

:15:37.:15:44.

The stress of not being able to pay bills, the stress of the mental

:15:44.:15:50.

well-being of their parents or carers, the stresses of, here we

:15:50.:15:53.

are leading up to Christmas. Many families and parents will be

:15:53.:15:58.

dreading the Christmas coming up. And in fact, all we know now, the

:15:58.:16:03.

research on stress on the household, stress on parents affect the child.

:16:03.:16:07.

Judith, the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts 800,000 children

:16:07.:16:12.

will be picked into poverty as a direct result of the Westminster

:16:12.:16:17.

Government's welfare reform. There is an obvious cause and effect here.

:16:17.:16:20.

What is your attitude on whether or not the existing measures should be

:16:20.:16:26.

changed? I would agree with ham that the measures which looks at

:16:26.:16:32.

income is important, it gives you an indication of a clear -- it

:16:32.:16:38.

gives a clear indication on how families are doing. From her

:16:38.:16:43.

perspective, we like to look at what are the causes of poverty?

:16:43.:16:46.

Changes to welfare reform will push more families and young people into

:16:46.:16:52.

poverty. That is clear. We're in this situation where a large

:16:52.:16:56.

sectors of society are not actually getting the opportunity, the

:16:56.:17:00.

economy has systematically field full -- economy has failed to

:17:00.:17:04.

provide opportunities for families to get out of poverty. The Turkey

:17:04.:17:09.

Moody's in Scotland were third and 4th generations are not actually

:17:09.:17:15.

able to gain employment. -- there are situations in Scotland. 60% of

:17:15.:17:20.

those living in poverty in Britain, their families are in work. Welfare

:17:20.:17:25.

reform is a crucial factor, but the index was intended, we did that

:17:25.:17:28.

analysis based on people's own perspectives on what prosperity

:17:28.:17:34.

would be like. To get a sense to be able to say to Government there are

:17:34.:17:37.

many issues causing poverty and contributing to people's prosperity

:17:37.:17:42.

or lack of prosperity. One of our goals is that we actually do

:17:42.:17:47.

poverty proof policy. What difference will this policy make to

:17:47.:17:52.

people in poverty? The Institute for Fiscal Studies say that welfare

:17:52.:17:56.

reform will pursue 800,000 people, that was borne out in communities.

:17:56.:18:00.

That is something we must seriously addressed if we are going to seek a

:18:01.:18:04.

fairer society. What do you think economic Glee is the effect of

:18:04.:18:11.

generally avoiding income standards on assessments of poverty? I agree

:18:11.:18:15.

with what has been said by both panellists, income measures are

:18:15.:18:19.

crucial and for the purpose of consistency we must use income

:18:19.:18:23.

measures and national comparisons. Like GDP figures, they are not

:18:23.:18:29.

wrong, just badly used. They are wrongly used. We constantly look at

:18:29.:18:33.

average incomes and average incomes are on the up. They are rising. If

:18:33.:18:37.

you look at a typical income, typical in comes are stagnating or

:18:37.:18:43.

falling. It must be a dead relative income. It is not just about income

:18:43.:18:48.

measures but inequalities about -- inequalities across Scotland.

:18:49.:18:52.

People who are aware that they live in the poorest councils and scholar,

:18:52.:18:55.

he must look at that and her income are distributed across households

:18:55.:19:00.

in Scotland rather than just at that income measures. One very

:19:00.:19:04.

practical thing I wanted to raise before we don't have to time, we're

:19:04.:19:06.

discussing education funding in tertiary education funding, how

:19:06.:19:10.

much is going to universities and colleges, the fact is, when you

:19:10.:19:14.

look at the big returns, if you have an intervention programme and

:19:14.:19:18.

turning around to tell's life chances, that is investing at the

:19:18.:19:22.

nursery stage. Is that an area that has been overlooked? I absolutely,

:19:22.:19:25.

one of the biggest causes of poverty in families is the high

:19:25.:19:29.

cost of childcare which is prohibited, and prevent people

:19:29.:19:34.

accessing employment. He end up spending a high proportion of your

:19:34.:19:40.

income. Sometimes prohibitively high, so they do not take any job

:19:40.:19:44.

opportunity. We have an opportunity in Scotland's not only to improve

:19:44.:19:49.

her early years, not only to ensure we can provide quality childcare,

:19:49.:19:52.

and better Government plans for some extension to that, I believe

:19:52.:19:57.

it should go further, but it could also help free up families to

:19:57.:20:01.

enable them to seek employment to better their overall position. That

:20:01.:20:04.

is particularly important given what has been said about the

:20:04.:20:14.
:20:14.:20:17.

position of women. It will affect Investing in children is like

:20:17.:20:20.

stocking a sports team without teaching them how to play the game.

:20:20.:20:25.

If you ignore gender inequalities and invest in children, your

:20:25.:20:29.

investment will not have the returns you expect. Women are

:20:29.:20:33.

primarily responsible for the care of children. As we look at

:20:33.:20:36.

employment figures, since the start of the recession, women's

:20:36.:20:43.

employment has doubled from 4% to 8%. Women are losing a job steelier

:20:43.:20:49.

Grosskopf and's communities. If they're losing in comes, our

:20:49.:20:54.

children are losing in comes. I just wanted to check with you,

:20:54.:20:57.

what you think would be Inverkeithing is that should be

:20:57.:21:03.

done my to alleviate poverty? Practical, key responses?

:21:03.:21:08.

We need to address low wages, put resources into poor communities and

:21:08.:21:12.

ensure that those resources are going to women and into the poorest

:21:12.:21:16.

families. In Scotland, we would benefit from having a poverty

:21:16.:21:21.

Commissioner, someone whose job it is to assess policy and say, well

:21:21.:21:26.

as improve things for people or make it worse? That perspective

:21:26.:21:31.

will actually Oriented policy towards actually addressing policy.

:21:31.:21:36.

For final word. Poverty affects all levels of society. We have

:21:36.:21:39.

international evidence that tells us that has an impact on mental

:21:39.:21:43.

well-being on all strata of society and we have to learn lessons to

:21:43.:21:47.

make sure that we are living in a more equal society. It will benefit

:21:47.:21:51.

everybody. Now in a moment, we'll be

:21:51.:21:54.

discussing the big events coming up this week at Holyrood, but first,

:21:54.:22:04.
:22:04.:22:08.

let's take a look back at the Week The committee of MSPs voted

:22:08.:22:12.

unanimously in favour of the section 30 order which will enable

:22:12.:22:16.

the Hollywood to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. --

:22:16.:22:23.

Holyrood. It was a watershed moment in Scotland's home rule journey.

:22:23.:22:27.

Captain Walter Barry was shot dead in Afghanistan in an insider at

:22:27.:22:30.

tack, bringing the total of British service personnel killed by their

:22:30.:22:35.

Afghan colleagues this year to 12. The number of Scots looking for

:22:35.:22:39.

work went up by 4,000. The amount looking for employment across the

:22:39.:22:44.

rest of the UK fell. Hospitals in south-east England's -

:22:44.:22:47.

- Scotland said they were facing a shortage of trainee paediatric

:22:47.:22:51.

doctors. NHS boards say they are trying to find the best cure for

:22:51.:22:56.

the problem. And policy bear has managed to

:22:56.:22:59.

change the lives of disadvantage children are in Scotland this year

:22:59.:23:08.

by raising a provisional total of the 889,876 pts.

:23:08.:23:12.

Now it's that time of the day, where we take a moment to analyse

:23:12.:23:18.

the top stories. And joining me this week is the

:23:18.:23:21.

Sunday Times journalist, Gillian Bowditch. And in our Dundee Studio,

:23:21.:23:31.
:23:31.:23:34.

the Scottish Political Editor of Let's start with the papers this

:23:34.:23:41.

morning. More problems for the Education Secretary. Michael

:23:41.:23:44.

Russell under tense meeting over college waiting list. This is

:23:44.:23:48.

another story in the Sunday Herald. How do you think this is going to

:23:48.:23:52.

play out? There are some inevitable tensions

:23:52.:23:56.

when you have a policy whereby you want to widen access and increase

:23:56.:24:00.

the number of young people going to colleges, and that is really good

:24:00.:24:03.

thing. We know that will help the poverty situation you have been

:24:03.:24:08.

talking about. But you also have this policy that the Government is

:24:08.:24:11.

pursuing a which means that they're going to pay for all the tuition

:24:11.:24:16.

fees. Inevitably, at a time of economic crisis, they're going to

:24:16.:24:19.

be -- there are going to be squeezes on budgets and there will

:24:20.:24:23.

be less money around and the colleges are having to make do with

:24:23.:24:28.

much less and some are saying that that they are the poor relations of

:24:28.:24:32.

the universities. We have some world-class education

:24:32.:24:34.

establishments and Scotland. The bottom line has to be that we

:24:34.:24:39.

cannot let these establishments slip and going to decline. It is a

:24:39.:24:47.

global market place. The story in her old styles as today that their

:24:47.:24:52.

21,000 young people in Scotland waiting for places in colleges.

:24:52.:24:56.

That is 21,000 lives on hold, 21,000 people the need these

:24:56.:24:59.

qualifications to get jobs. The Government needs a solution for

:24:59.:25:03.

this. At the heart is the Government policies education

:25:04.:25:08.

policy is this paradox, that there is not this money to do what needs

:25:08.:25:11.

to be done. There is obviously this be

:25:12.:25:14.

substantial argument here at the moment. We're hearing that the Lib

:25:14.:25:17.

Dems want another vote on college funding and want the education

:25:17.:25:21.

committee to look at the strategic bombing of colleges. They say there

:25:21.:25:26.

must be much more clarity before the Budget. The Labour education

:25:26.:25:30.

spokesman says that is a good idea. What are the substantial issues

:25:30.:25:35.

facing the Government? The opposition parties are entitled

:25:35.:25:40.

to demand another bite at this cheery. They were cheated at that,

:25:40.:25:43.

especially at first Minister's Questions last week, when Alexander

:25:43.:25:50.

-- Alex Salmond put up to say black to white. Crowed the whole issue of

:25:51.:25:58.

college funding, and the squeeze is only just beginning to bite. It is

:25:58.:26:02.

going to get an awful lot worse than it already is. But you for

:26:02.:26:05.

money is the thing that will count more for more than anything else. I

:26:05.:26:10.

have done a lot of research on this coming into this programme today. I

:26:10.:26:14.

couldn't find a college that isn't offering a course on hairdressing

:26:14.:26:19.

and beauty therapy. You would have to think that Scotland would have

:26:19.:26:24.

to be an essentially oddly nation if we needed that many of them!

:26:24.:26:27.

Whatever the course is that you structure to get people have to the

:26:27.:26:30.

door, some people from certain areas to not have the confidence to

:26:30.:26:34.

say they can commit two years of their life to a college course. You

:26:34.:26:38.

get them over the door, you get them engaged, then you move up a

:26:38.:26:42.

gear. That's right. More needs to be done

:26:42.:26:45.

law down. We need to be getting young people who are confident, who

:26:45.:26:49.

can going to situations and speak their voice, and to feel that they

:26:49.:26:54.

can go to college and learn. One thing that collars us is instil

:26:54.:26:58.

confidence. But actually, the schools should be instilling

:26:58.:27:02.

confidence. The people going into colleges should be ready for a

:27:02.:27:06.

college education. The problem is that there is of his the 21,002

:27:06.:27:10.

cannot get it. If we look at the pure politics of

:27:10.:27:15.

all of this and all the sound and fury, how damaging has this been

:27:15.:27:18.

four were Michael Russell and for the Government?

:27:19.:27:25.

Last Thursday was dreadful. It was appalling. We're going to see this

:27:25.:27:29.

as an increasing part of the narrative for the anti-

:27:29.:27:34.

independence parties. BS and he has depended not on people who are keen

:27:34.:27:37.

on independence, but people who look to them as being a competent

:27:37.:27:42.

Government. On Thursday, the wheels came off completely. For four cars,

:27:42.:27:45.

the position of the Scottish Government was they did not know

:27:45.:27:51.

what was happening to college funding. That is unacceptable. The

:27:51.:27:54.

anti- independence parties will turn to that again and again to

:27:54.:27:59.

conflate the idea that independence is the SNP and the SNP is not up to

:27:59.:28:09.
:28:09.:28:10.

If the Government can say that this was a mistake made a good fake and

:28:10.:28:13.

the figures had been submitted to the education committee, we would

:28:13.:28:18.

not have had a chapter and verse on writing on that. This will be more

:28:18.:28:21.

interesting if there are questions on the tetramer and disposition,

:28:21.:28:26.

the way he conducts himself on -- as the Education Secretary. He's

:28:26.:28:32.

the best time and again with the SNP Government, they have talented

:28:32.:28:35.

individuals, in this case the head of education as the head of Stoke

:28:35.:28:38.

College, but we have seen public figures named by senior ministers,

:28:38.:28:48.
:28:48.:28:49.

by Alexander himself,, the principal off Glasgow Uni. People

:28:49.:28:52.

are feeling that if they disagree with the Government they will be

:28:52.:28:55.

singled out. We need their independent experts to be able to

:28:55.:28:59.

tell us what the situation is. If they do not feel they can speak out

:28:59.:29:04.

or if they do speak out they will be in some way finger, that is a

:29:04.:29:11.

real problem. Andy, is this robust interaction some just politics or

:29:11.:29:19.

something more? The key quote which has not been used is that he said,

:29:19.:29:24.

I would sack you if I could. He acknowledged in that quote that he

:29:24.:29:29.

could not sack him. By that I mean the chair of Stow College. If he

:29:29.:29:34.

could not sack him, what is the issue? He could have been forced to

:29:34.:29:38.

resign. I have not planning new powers to allow them to do that?

:29:38.:29:43.

Indeed, but not yet. Richard Stow College what before that happened.

:29:43.:29:49.

Argue reassured by that? That the powers are not in their? Given what

:29:49.:29:56.

has happened this week? And the row that has come up. I think it might

:29:56.:30:00.

be a bit more difficult, even given the SNP's majority, to get that

:30:00.:30:05.

through. There is demand for a rethink. It is painful to say but

:30:05.:30:12.

the truth is that when the SNP were a minority Government, Fiona Hyslop

:30:12.:30:15.

as Education Secretary was moved to one side and replaced by Mike

:30:15.:30:22.

Russell for a far smaller road in this, the threat of a parliamentary

:30:22.:30:27.

lack of confidence in her. There has been a certain type of

:30:27.:30:28.

political arrogance that has gone with this.

:30:28.:30:33.

I am very sorry, we are out of time. Schedule both very much indeed for

:30:33.:30:39.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser.


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