09/12/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


09/12/2012

Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news and debate. With shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, Conservative Matthew Hancock and Nadine Dorries.


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Transcript


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Welcome to the Sunday Politics at the end of the week when we have

:00:40.:00:43.

had an Autumn Statement with a distinct winter chill. A The

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Chancellor said he would miss his debt target, that the country is

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going to have to borrow even more and that we are looking at

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austerity for as far as the eye can see. But business largely welcomed

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the Autumn Statement, with its lower taxes on profits, tax relief

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for investment and the binning of a rise in fuel duty. We'll ask the

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Shadow Business Secretary if he agrees.

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And, je ne regrette rien! I'm a Celebrity's Nadine Dorries tells us

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she'd happily do it all again and lashes out at her tormentors.

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The papers are full at of scurrilous lies about myself and my

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family. In 7.5 years, I have never taken a single parliamentary day

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away, not one. And on Sunday Politics Scotland,

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we'll be asking if plans for unconventional gas exploration in

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:01:42.:01:42.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1844 seconds

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Scotland are a cheap energy dream That is a huge achievement in

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politics. Is that all for the greater good of the Conservative

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Party or for Madine Doris? If you go ran my constituency with me, you

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would think it was for the greater good of the constituency. Other MPs

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are telling me they are hearing the same from schools in their

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constituency. Many schools in some constituencies, the pupils do not

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know the names of MPs, particularly Conservative MPs. But people now

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know who I am. It was for the greater good of Madine Doris?

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think it was for the greater good of the Conservative Party. It shows

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that Tory politicians are not afraid to go out and engage with

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people. What size will the Phoebe when you have to declare it on the

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Members' Register? -- fee be. interview every day, MPs, male MPs

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who have outside interests, have you ever asked them what their

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parents are? I have never your asking a male MP? Per haps he

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should listen to our programme more often. Would you like to have the

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whip restored? Of course I would. One of the issues he named his I

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had to speak to my association. I spoke to them last week and there

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was a 100% vote. You always have to, out in the street with me on my

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constituency to know what my constituents think. -- to come out.

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Would you do another television programme? A I think it is a once-

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in-a-lifetime thing. I do not think I am likely to be offered another

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reality TV programme. There are suggestions that if the Tory whips

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will not restore the whip or impose tough conditions, you might defect

:35:14.:35:21.

to UKip? I think you must be about the 20th person that has asked me

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that over the last year. I am looking forward to receiving the

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Tory whip back. I am a Conservative. Is it your intention up to fight

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your constituency in the next election as a Conservative? Yes. I

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very much hope so. And you wouldn't rule out running as a UKip

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candidate at the election? I am very much hoping that I will have

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my whip a restored in the not-too- distant future and I will fight

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this constituency as a Conservative MP because I love his constituency,

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I have given of my life to it for the last seven years. Do you think

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your political career is effectively over? No, not at all.

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It might just be beginning. What is the political ambition now for

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Nadine Dorries? I have always had cost us that I haven't that -- I

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have always had costs that I have championed such as reducing the

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time limit on abortions. I hope now that people will listen and know

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who I am. This is this Sunday Good morning and welcome to Sunday

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Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme.

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The Chancellor wants cheaper gas. Splits in the kirk over the

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ordination of gay ministers. We will be live outside the Tron

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Church in Glasgow as its breakaway members hold their final service

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before being evicted by the Church of Scotland.

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And would a new law to cut high hedges down to size end the misery

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of warring neighbours? We cannot see anything of the

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countryside and it would not spoil our neighbour's views if they were

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The Chancellor's autumn statement had a distinct wintry feel, but he

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tried to warm us up with the promise of cheaper energy bills. As

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we reach for the thermostat, the UK Government's gas strategy set out

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how to exploit so-called unconventional gas. Those are

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deposits buried deep below the ground. However, pilot projects are

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coming under fire as people object to pipelines running underneath

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their homes and concerns grow about the potential environmental impact,

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as Andrew Kerr has been finding out Data energy has been extracting

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coal bed methane at its test sites. It wants to expand the programme.

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am very excited about this. We have been watching the decline of the

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North Sea gas and that is very concerning. I am delighted we have

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a resource that we can bring it to continue with this country's

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progress and development. Chancellor published his gas

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strategy alongside the Autumn statement to make the best use of a

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low-cost gas, unconventional gas such as coal bed methane and Schuil.

:39:01.:39:10.

Fracking is used for shale gas extraction. -- coal bed methane and

:39:10.:39:20.
:39:20.:39:24.

This is No. 8 in the system. The company are keen to point out that

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the wellhead is unobtrusive, it will pump the methane into a gas

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pipeline which is currently under used at the moment because of a

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decline in North Sea gas. A key benefit of this exploration is the

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security of supply it could provide the UK, keeping prices stable.

:39:44.:39:54.
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Additional gas from the UK and security of supply, we would have

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it available all year round. despite assurances about health and

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safety from the company, local people are concerned. They have

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lodged objections to the planned development. In this ballot, they

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say the pipeline will go under their homes. They have been backed

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in their objections by nearby home builders and Network Rail. They one

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the developer to less -- they want Our concerns about water, about

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contamination of water, about methane gas in the ad was fear,

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about how methane may percolate through the ground levels and we

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feel that not enough has been done to raise awareness in at their

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local area. The application is licensed by the UK Government's

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Department for Energy. The local council decide on the planning and

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the Environment Agency makes sure that regulations are kept. People

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hear what the Scottish government to intervene. Ministers told us

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shale gas has and coal bed methane are not included in our energy

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plans for our national energy modelling. Environmental groups say

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it is not they did -- it is not needed in Scotland. It is not a

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economically viable unless the price of fossil fuel is very high.

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We do not need it because there are plenty of renewable resources.

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During these cold dark days, tuba bills that would be welcomed. But

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this controversial new process makes some people feel it will have

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a real impact on their lives. Joining me now in the studio is co-

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convenor of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie MSP, and in

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our Oxford studio, Labour's shadow energy Minister, the MP, Tom

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Greatrex. Before we go into this in detail,

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what are the potential benefits? They have not been proved. There is

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a lot of excitable commentary on both sides, but we do not know what

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the potential actually is. We will not know until we have a proper

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investigation. We just do not know. Some of the things that George

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Osborne was saying last week are misplaced. Were you able to get

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their reassurances that you think would lead into a secure and safe

:42:48.:42:57.
:42:58.:43:00.

supply? I think we could look at to extract unconventional gas. But it

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has to be done in the right order. Suggesting that activities could

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commence before a proper regulatory processes are in place, and there

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are a lot of different elements to this, and many authorities involved

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in this, planning authorities in Scotland around clear where their

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responsibilities lie, so we need to clear all that up and get it into a

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very clear place to give reassurance to those people who are

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quite rightly concerned about this. There has been a very poor

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experience in the US. Are there any reassurances at all that would

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persuade you this is a good way to go? There are many question-marks

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about the local environmental impact and with the UK Government

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looking to create incentives to explore the possibility of this

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kind of extraction across 20,000 square, just in that Scotland, it

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is likely that there will be different answers to that question

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in different parts of the country. But one thing does not change. One

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factor does not change weather it is fracking, coal bed methane, or

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North Sea gas. We are adding to the problems of fossil fuel. We cannot

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afford to burn fossil fuels if we are serious about climate change.

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Every member of the Scottish Parliament is supposed to be

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serious about climate change. A new -- for gas would not only loch in

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dependence on gas, it will, I believe, take away from the

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momentum that has been built up around of renewable energy. It

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would replace them will also with gas -- renewables. But it would

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mean cheaper gas bills and energy security, which is an increasingly

:45:17.:45:27.
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problematic area. Will that not up a political balance? -- tip. I

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think it is more likely to be around security of supply than

:45:32.:45:42.
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price. We used a lot of gas in terms of heating, despite moves to

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district heating schemes and energy efficiency. If we can have an end

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deja the supply as opposed to at importing more, that would be a

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good thing. I'm not sure that I by the argument about price. That

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seems to be an extrapolation of the experience in the United States. It

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is more to do the security of supply. It may help to stabilise

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the price. I share some of the concerns of Patrick Harvie has

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expressed about the -- for gas -- the dash for gas. We are subject to

:46:29.:46:39.
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the fluctuations in gas prices. And that has fed through to consumer

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bills that has caused the concern we have spoken about before.

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terms of renewables, would it not be argued that gas is the least

:46:50.:47:00.

worst of the fossil fuels and it could play a transition role?

:47:00.:47:05.

does have a transitional role, but for a period of time, they will

:47:05.:47:11.

continue to need some element of gas on the grid. Even at the UK

:47:11.:47:17.

Climate Change committee accept some need for gas. But they are

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very concerned that the UK Government is building far too much

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gas into their assumptions about the future. The Scottish government

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says that unconventional gas does not figure in their models, but

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they consistently refused to rule out supporting unconventional gas

:47:34.:47:44.
:47:44.:47:49.

extraction in that Scotland -- in that Scotland. If we build into

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much gas, we will still bust the climate targets, we will not be

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able to achieve that trajectory. We do need some gas on the grid, but

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it needs to be a declining trajectory. In Scotland, we can do

:48:05.:48:09.

that with the growth in that renewables. We must not risk that

:48:09.:48:19.
:48:19.:48:20.

momentum. The responses from local communities, do you think some of

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this has gone under the radar? Some of the papers today our leading

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with the story and potential problems, but it has not had a huge

:48:32.:48:39.

public profile. Are you surprised by that? I am surprised by that. I

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have been talking about this for quite a long time now, but I think

:48:44.:48:54.
:48:54.:48:57.

the trigger has been the gas strategy. If we are ever going to

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use this technology, there needs to be public understanding and you

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will not get that until people understand the issues. That is why

:49:13.:49:19.

I welcome a wider debate on this. Vast areas of Scotland could be

:49:19.:49:25.

involved here. Is that the case? Yes, a very large number of people

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have heard something about this, if they have an interest in climate

:49:31.:49:35.

change, but most people will have heard nothing. There are huge

:49:35.:49:45.

swathes of central belt Scotland, heavily populated areas, that are

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under threat of this development. They will experience this as an

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immediate threat and find that with the UK Government, potentially

:49:57.:50:01.

Scottish government, lining up in favour of the technology and local

:50:01.:50:08.

planners not really able to make use of the climate change argument,

:50:08.:50:13.

it will lobby for the local planners to be able to approve or

:50:14.:50:19.

not. It will be very hard for those communities to marshal a successful

:50:19.:50:24.

Argoud unless the Scottish government is willing to change his

:50:24.:50:34.
:50:34.:50:37.

An acrimonious split in the Church of Scotland over the ordination of

:50:37.:50:42.

gay ministers has resulted in a breakaway by one of the

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congregation's best-known churches, St George's Tron in Glasgow.

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Officers have been sent to secure property. We can cross to our

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reporter who was absurd the church. What is happening this morning?

:50:59.:51:04.

Good morning. Yes, it is a day of change for the congregation here at

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the St George's Tron. Some of them have been attending church here

:51:08.:51:13.

every Sunday for 60 years, but this will be the last time. There is

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about 20 minutes ago of the last service. They moved the evening

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service to the new building. It follows what has really been a

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bitter and unholy row since the congregation here decided to leave

:51:26.:51:30.

the Church of Scotland. They voted in June, as a result of last year's

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decision by the kirk to allow ordination of gay ministers. They

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say that is a contradiction of the Bible. As a congregation, we feel

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very strongly that the Church of Scotland has walked away from God's

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word, and we were not prepared to walk away with them. As a church

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family, we voted to leave the Church of Scotland and sought to

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find some way we could continue to make good use of this building. We

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are a big congregation and there are lots of things going on all

:52:01.:52:07.

week, and we really wanted to keep on serving the city of Glasgow from

:52:07.:52:12.

here, but it just did not seem possible to come to an arrangement,

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and so here is our last service today. What has been the reaction

:52:16.:52:25.

from the Church of Scotland leadership to this?

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It is more or less justified and explained. The row has escalated in

:52:32.:52:40.

the last six months, culminating in this week with Sheriff officers

:52:40.:52:43.

interrupting prayer. The church says it is trying to get back some

:52:43.:52:49.

of its property of this breakaway - - that this breakaway group is in

:52:49.:52:55.

possession of. They dismiss any claims of intimidating behaviour

:52:55.:53:00.

and say they are trying to protect their interests. People the in the

:53:00.:53:03.

congregation at St George's Tron have a different approach to that

:53:03.:53:08.

and they say that this is scandalous for this to be done.

:53:08.:53:12.

They claimed they put in something like �2 million, their donations

:53:12.:53:16.

that have paid for the prayer books and so on, and they should get to

:53:16.:53:19.

keep them and that the Church is being heavy-handed. It is

:53:19.:53:25.

disgraceful. It seems like they have no grasp of the way the

:53:25.:53:29.

gospels should affect Christians. We have sunk �2 million into the

:53:29.:53:32.

building, but if we are asked about to walk away from it, we will do

:53:32.:53:38.

that gladly. We'll still be here and make sure our -- we fulfil our

:53:38.:53:43.

city's motto, they Glasgow will flourish. That is about what the

:53:43.:53:47.

congregation is all about, reaching everybody in the city with the good

:53:47.:53:51.

news of Jesus. The issue of the ordination of gay ministers and

:53:51.:53:56.

homosexual marriage seems to be an issue right across society. It is

:53:56.:54:02.

one, as we come up to Christmas, which needs some further dialogue.

:54:02.:54:05.

Neither of B-sides were able to come to an agreement, and in the

:54:05.:54:09.

end, they had to sort it out through legal means, and that is an

:54:09.:54:13.

interesting precedent. Thank you very much.

:54:13.:54:16.

Now, from our Edinburgh studio, we are joined by the kirk historian

:54:16.:54:21.

Harry Reid. Thank you for coming in. Given the Church has not yet have

:54:21.:54:25.

an official position on gay ministers, what do you make of how

:54:25.:54:30.

both sides have been behaving here? Am afraid to say that I do not like

:54:30.:54:36.

either side's behaviour. The congregation at St fraught as Tron

:54:36.:54:39.

-- St George's Tron have been precipitate, but I think the Church

:54:39.:54:43.

has been heavy-handed as well. This is supposed to be the season of

:54:43.:54:51.

peace and goodwill, and we are seeing little of that in this

:54:51.:54:58.

disputes. -- this dispute. There will be other congregations to want

:54:58.:55:03.

to leave, I am afraid, and they will probably leave in a fairly

:55:03.:55:07.

chaotic manner, so I am sorry to say I think it is going to get

:55:07.:55:13.

worse. Would this BB be evangelical wing

:55:13.:55:17.

of the Church that is more likely to leave now? Yes, the evangelical

:55:17.:55:23.

wing. There are some people in the evangelical wing he won not at all

:55:23.:55:27.

happy with the way St George's Tron have behaved. They think they have

:55:27.:55:32.

been precipitate, so you always have a split within a split --

:55:32.:55:36.

almost have a split within a split, but certainly in the Highlands

:55:36.:55:40.

There are many congregations who, before too long, will certainly be

:55:40.:55:46.

thinking about following St George's Tron. In all of this, do

:55:46.:55:50.

you think that the Church of Scotland still speaks as the

:55:50.:55:56.

national church, and if so, to whom does it speak? Excellent question.

:55:56.:56:00.

I do not really think it does manage to speak to Scotland, or

:56:00.:56:05.

indeed to speak for Scotland, the way it could do even one generation

:56:05.:56:11.

ago. Obviously, the more split it becomes, the less authority it has

:56:11.:56:16.

when it seeks to speak. I know that many people within the Church of

:56:16.:56:19.

Scotland are worried that the Catholic Church does seem to be

:56:19.:56:23.

able to speak with more authority, and indeed more clarity, on many

:56:23.:56:28.

issues, possibly people don't agree with it, but at least it speaks

:56:28.:56:32.

clearly and lively and people here. The Church of Scotland often seems

:56:32.:56:38.

very confused, and it often seems rather slow in responding to things

:56:38.:56:42.

that are happening. So, I think for various reasons, the Church has

:56:42.:56:47.

lost the ability to communicate with the people of Scotland, and I

:56:47.:56:52.

think its status as a national church is very much in question.

:56:52.:56:57.

What about the sort of people who may set up another church,

:56:57.:57:01.

potentially? Is that a realistic possibility? We have heard the St

:57:01.:57:06.

George's Tron congregation put in �2 million of their own money. Is

:57:06.:57:09.

there a possibility that they could genuinely be a completely separate

:57:09.:57:16.

church set up? It is a possibility, and there have been plenty of

:57:16.:57:23.

precedents in Scottish history. The greatest one, of course, was the

:57:23.:57:28.

destruction in 1843. About 400 ministers and 40% of the membership

:57:28.:57:31.

of the then Church of Scotland actually split, and there was a

:57:31.:57:41.
:57:41.:57:41.

quite amazing period of new church building, new Banks's -- manses,

:57:41.:57:45.

and a new church was created. But things are obviously very now --

:57:45.:57:51.

very different now. Something might happen, albeit on a much smaller

:57:51.:57:55.

scale. But it is pretty unedifying if what you're talking about his

:57:55.:57:59.

Christian witness, and people are talking about looking at this from

:57:59.:58:04.

the outside. Do you agree? Yes. The Church of Scotland has always had a

:58:04.:58:09.

tendency to split. It has a fissile tendency, is the phrase that some

:58:09.:58:17.

people use. It does not look good to the wider public and it makes

:58:17.:58:21.

things very difficult for ordinary decent churchgoers in their

:58:21.:58:24.

congregations. My own view is that sooner or later, the Church will

:58:24.:58:30.

have to accept that it is not the national Church of Scotland and to

:58:31.:58:35.

allow a loose federation of congregations to form. Some of the

:58:35.:58:42.

congregations are very strong. They are going well. There are plenty of

:58:42.:58:45.

people still in the Church of Scotland your active and

:58:45.:58:49.

enthusiastic members. I often say that the political parties in

:58:49.:58:52.

Scotland would give anything for the membership of the Church of

:58:52.:58:58.

Scotland, but the problem is that this membership cannot cohere as a

:58:58.:59:02.

cohesive national body. It is an interesting dynamic which has

:59:02.:59:08.

changed to die man -- dramatically over the years, where the laity and

:59:08.:59:14.

the leadership is divided. I am not so sure about that, Isabel. I think

:59:14.:59:18.

the problem is that the Church leadership keeps changing. The

:59:18.:59:22.

moderate changes each year, just when he or she is getting into

:59:22.:59:27.

their stride. A new one comes along and we'll have to get used to renew

:59:27.:59:37.
:59:37.:59:37.

on -- to a new one. The same in the presbytery. But I don't think there

:59:37.:59:47.
:59:47.:59:57.

is necessarily a split their. -- a split there. A lot of

:59:57.:00:04.

congregations... OK, thank you. Possibly, it is lawyer's in all of

:00:04.:00:08.

this. Now, we crossover for the lunch

:00:08.:00:18.
:00:18.:00:29.

Good afternoon. The President of Egypt, Brown -- Mohammed Morsi, has

:00:29.:00:32.

withdrawn a degree he issued last month which meant that judges could

:00:32.:00:37.

not to test -- contest his decisions. The decree sparked

:00:37.:00:40.

protests and led to accusations that Mr Morsi was behaving like a

:00:40.:00:46.

because Ho -- a dictator. Egypt was in for a long siege after

:00:46.:00:52.

the opposition rejected President Morsi's latest concession. The army

:00:52.:00:55.

has been bolstering defences outside the presidential palace as

:00:55.:00:59.

the protests continued. The president needed some -- met some

:00:59.:01:03.

opposition leaders yesterday, but most of them boycotted. The

:01:03.:01:06.

Government agreed to withdraw the decree giving President Morsi

:01:06.:01:14.

sweeping new powers. TRANSLATION: It is decided that the

:01:14.:01:22.

constitutional decree issued in November is cancelled as of today.

:01:22.:01:25.

But the President offered no compromise on the issue of a

:01:25.:01:27.

referendum on the new constitution, which will still go ahead next

:01:28.:01:32.

Saturday. The opposition protesters are still here in Tahrir Square

:01:32.:01:36.

today. As far as they are concerned, the President has not agreed to

:01:36.:01:40.

their main demand, which is the postponement of a referendum on the

:01:40.:01:43.

new constitution, and they are determined to continue their sit in

:01:43.:01:47.

as long as it takes. Protesters today are as angry as ever.

:01:47.:01:51.

TRANSLATION: President Morsi's cancellation of his decree has come

:01:51.:01:54.

late in the game. It should be the case that every time we demand

:01:54.:02:00.

something, it comes only after bloodshed. Meanwhile, supporters of

:02:00.:02:05.

the President have been protesting on the outskirts of Cairo. They

:02:05.:02:11.

accuse the private media of being biased towards the President and

:02:11.:02:16.

the Muslim Brotherhood. They are pressing the President not to make

:02:16.:02:21.

any concessions. -- they are worried that the media is biased

:02:21.:02:30.

against the present. -- president. Scotland Yard has contacted police

:02:30.:02:35.

in Australia over the hoax call made by a Sydney radio station to

:02:35.:02:38.

the hospital which was treating the Duchess of Cambridge. The nurse who

:02:38.:02:42.

answered the call, Jacintha Saldanha, was found dead and is

:02:42.:02:47.

believed to have taken her own life. An inquest is due to open this week.

:02:48.:02:50.

The presenters of the radio show are said to be receiving

:02:50.:02:55.

counselling. Senior Conservatives have formed a

:02:55.:02:59.

group to campaign for gay marriage. Legislation to allow churches and

:02:59.:03:03.

other religious venues in England and Wales to opt into holding

:03:03.:03:06.

ceremonies is expected to be introduced in Parliament before

:03:06.:03:10.

Easter. The Prime Minister has given his full backing to the

:03:10.:03:13.

proposals, despite intense opposition from within his own

:03:13.:03:17.

party. England's cricketers have won the

:03:18.:03:21.

third Test against India by seven wickets. They needed just 41 runs

:03:21.:03:28.

for victory after bowling out the home side for 247. England Mallaig

:03:28.:03:34.

b series 2-1. Alastair Cook said his players have been outstanding.

:03:34.:03:42.

There will be more news on BBC One at 5:35pm.

:03:42.:03:46.

Good afternoon. Worship is drawing to a close this lunch time at a

:03:46.:03:49.

Glasgow kirk where the congregation is splitting from the Church of

:03:49.:03:55.

Scotland. The minister and members of St George's Tron in the city

:03:55.:03:58.

centre voted to leave in a row over the appointment of gay ministers.

:03:58.:04:01.

The Church of Scotland has established a commission to look

:04:01.:04:06.

into the issue. Worshippers today said it is mixed emotions today.

:04:06.:04:11.

Very sad, really, that the situation has come to this, that as

:04:11.:04:15.

a church family, we are having our last service here this morning. We

:04:16.:04:20.

are sorry it is finishing in this way and that it has not been

:04:20.:04:24.

possible to come to some sort of arrangement with us.

:04:24.:04:27.

The Scottish Conservative leader is amongst a group of prominent Tories

:04:27.:04:31.

to have formed a group to campaign for same-sex marriage. Ruth

:04:31.:04:35.

Davidson is backing the policy, which will be unveiled for England

:04:35.:04:39.

and Wales this week. Many in the party's traditional wing to oppose

:04:39.:04:43.

it. There are plans for a Bill to allow same-sex marriage in Scotland.

:04:43.:04:50.

Off-peak train fares will rise by 1% below inflation from 2016. The

:04:50.:04:53.

Scottish Government is writing a condition into the contract for the

:04:53.:04:57.

next rail franchise to peg off-peak fares. ScotRail has said the cost

:04:57.:05:02.

of its tickets would rise by 3.9% next month.

:05:02.:05:05.

Hundreds of runners are taking part in this year's Santa Dash in

:05:05.:05:09.

Edinburgh and Glasgow. The annual ritual turns the roads into a sea

:05:09.:05:13.

of red to raise money for charity. People in Aviemore will have the

:05:13.:05:16.

chance to don the Santa Claus kit in two weeks.

:05:16.:05:24.

It is a bit of a mixed bag, as far as the weather is concerned this

:05:24.:05:28.

afternoon. For much of southern and central parts of the country, it

:05:28.:05:33.

will remain dry with lovely spells of sunshine. Further North, it is

:05:33.:05:36.

generally cloudy with frequent showers for much of the far North

:05:36.:05:40.

and the North East. These will be wintry on the hills, with one or

:05:40.:05:45.

two wintry showers on love levels for the likes of Shetland. There

:05:45.:05:49.

will be some brisk north-westerly wind in the West, and also a strong

:05:49.:05:52.

to gale-force wind for part of the far North.

:05:52.:06:02.

That is all for the moment. Back to Now we have heard of road rage, but

:06:02.:06:04.

the latest kind of rage being complained about at Holyrood is

:06:04.:06:07.

hedge rage. Disputes about how high a neighbour's hedge is may sound

:06:07.:06:11.

trivial, but those who suffer say it has made their lives a misery.

:06:11.:06:14.

They are hoping a bill at Holyrood will create a law that will end

:06:14.:06:16.

their plight. Christine MacLeod reports.

:06:16.:06:24.

Our living room window faces these leylandii trees. We cannot see

:06:24.:06:30.

anything of the lovely Angus countryside. It would not spoil our

:06:30.:06:36.

neighbour's views. Palmer has spent 13 years trying to get her

:06:37.:06:41.

neighbours to cut back the hedge. Her efforts to communicate them it

:06:42.:06:50.

with -- communicate with them personally have all failed. We did

:06:50.:06:53.

not know how fast they were going to grow. When they did start

:06:54.:06:58.

growing, we complained to our neighbours, ask them nicely if they

:06:58.:07:05.

would cut them down. They declined. She says it has left her mentally

:07:05.:07:10.

and physically drained. Her last hope is a change it to the law.

:07:10.:07:13.

Under proposed legislation, if mediation fails, councils can be

:07:13.:07:23.
:07:23.:07:28.

cold him -- called in. Some councils are already welcoming the

:07:28.:07:34.

idea. At the moment, a council has nothing they can do if and Labour

:07:34.:07:41.

complains. The best we can do is recommend that they take out a

:07:41.:07:44.

civil action against their neighbour, which creates more

:07:44.:07:49.

problems. We think this will go vastly cut the number of complaints

:07:49.:07:58.

we get because it will change people's behaviour. But some

:07:58.:08:03.

lawyers need convincing of this, saying it a new a lot could be too

:08:03.:08:07.

bureaucratic in practice and could prolong the agony of disputes and

:08:07.:08:11.

also make them at more expensive are. They have introduced a system

:08:11.:08:17.

which is multi- staged. There has to be an attempt at an agreement.

:08:17.:08:22.

If that does not work, they have to go to the council. If you are

:08:22.:08:29.

aggrieved at that decision, you can appeal. This new process, will it

:08:29.:08:34.

speed things up or slow things down? I am not sure or convinced

:08:34.:08:39.

that it will make things better. The Bill has the majority backing

:08:39.:08:43.

of the Scottish government and is set to become law by next spring,

:08:43.:08:47.

bringing Scotland into line with the rest of the UK which already

:08:47.:08:51.

has legislation to tackle high hedges.

:08:51.:09:01.
:09:01.:09:14.

In our Aberdeen studio. .. In our studio, the SNP MSP who

:09:14.:09:20.

proposed the bill Mark McDonald. can have such an impact on

:09:20.:09:23.

individuals and given that Scotland is the only part of the UK that

:09:23.:09:26.

does not have legislation in place to deal with this, it is long

:09:26.:09:32.

overdue. How will it work in practice? Is it to do that location,

:09:32.:09:39.

the height of the hedge? The light issue is the issue that we have

:09:39.:09:42.

used in the legislation as the determining factor. In terms of

:09:43.:09:49.

height, the one thing to get clear is it does not prescribe a height

:09:49.:09:58.

which every hedge in height must comply with. If there is a dispute

:09:58.:10:03.

that is and resort, an application can be made added will be Hedges of

:10:03.:10:08.

the real heights above two metres that people have a dispute with. I

:10:08.:10:12.

am not recommending that people Cup their hedges down where there is no

:10:12.:10:18.

disappeared. I believe this legislation will help with disputes.

:10:18.:10:23.

We have heard from a lawyer that this could be many stages involved

:10:23.:10:29.

in this bill. It could extend the problems that people have to put up

:10:29.:10:35.

with all this. It could also be very expensive. I was interested by

:10:35.:10:39.

the comments the there. At the moment, there is not a resolution

:10:39.:10:46.

to the process, so how can it slowdown any resolution to the

:10:46.:10:51.

dispute? The options that were open to me was a solution involved with

:10:52.:10:59.

a local authority, or one going through the courts? Accord based

:10:59.:11:05.

solution would have led to a significantly higher costs. -- a

:11:05.:11:15.
:11:15.:11:25.

quarter court based. It is up for local authorities to decide what

:11:25.:11:33.

their costs for will be. I do not think this is our piece of

:11:33.:11:40.

legislation for revenue raising. The Scottish Parliament Information

:11:40.:11:45.

Centre believes the cost could be around �500? A if you look at

:11:45.:11:48.

evidence south of the border, we have looked at what is being

:11:48.:11:54.

charged in England and Wales, it does be a up to several hundred

:11:54.:12:04.
:12:04.:12:04.

pounds with an average fee of five of around �350. Where there is cost

:12:04.:12:11.

capping, everybody charges of the maximum they can charge. It is

:12:11.:12:15.

expected that all reasonable steps will be taken to resolve matters,

:12:15.:12:22.

could that not be difficult to define it legally? At what happens

:12:22.:12:27.

if a council cannot get their money, they will have to go back to court?

:12:27.:12:32.

I think it is important to look south of the border for instruction

:12:32.:12:40.

as to how this might pan out. Down south, when the legislation came in,

:12:40.:12:44.

most cases dealt with themselves because the ones legislation is

:12:44.:12:48.

introduced, people tend to modify their behaviour. There were a

:12:49.:12:52.

number of cases were complaints had to be made and enforcement notice

:12:52.:13:01.

has given -- notices given. Only a very small number of cases did

:13:01.:13:08.

local authorities get involved further. I am not going to

:13:08.:13:11.

prescribe or one solution. It is for local authorities to determine

:13:11.:13:16.

the best way to enforce this legislation and recover their costs.

:13:16.:13:25.

Thank you very much. It is International Human Rights

:13:25.:13:28.

Day tomorrow and that is when negotiations get under way on a new

:13:28.:13:31.

action plan for Scotland. What do you think when you hear human

:13:31.:13:34.

rights? A chancer's charter or the guarantor of a fairer society? Or

:13:34.:13:37.

nothing to do with you? Human rights are running through every

:13:37.:13:39.

area of our everyday lives whether it is welfare, housing, fuel

:13:39.:13:42.

poverty, education, policing. The list is endless. The Scottish Human

:13:42.:13:45.

Rights Commission says we still have big gaps in important areas

:13:45.:13:48.

like health and fair pay and the new action plan will fire up some

:13:48.:13:53.

solutions to that. And there is a big pat on the back today for the

:13:53.:13:56.

work of the Scottish Commission. It has been singled out for praise by

:13:56.:13:58.

the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi

:13:58.:14:06.

Pillay. The Scottish Human Rights

:14:06.:14:10.

Commission is one of the most dynamic human rights commissions in

:14:10.:14:15.

Europe and currently chair of the European group of national human

:14:15.:14:20.

rights institutions. It is helping draw up a national action plan for

:14:20.:14:28.

human rights as a central means to ensure the implementation of the

:14:28.:14:38.
:14:38.:14:40.

universal human rights in practice. With me now in the studio is the

:14:40.:14:43.

Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission Professor Alan Miller.

:14:43.:14:47.

Do you think human rights always get the credit they deserve?

:14:47.:14:54.

always. I think certain government ministers in the United Kingdom

:14:54.:15:02.

often call for an -- for a repeal of the Human Rights Act. In

:15:02.:15:06.

Scotland, in the time that I have been chair of the Scottish Human

:15:06.:15:10.

Rights Commission, I have never had a door closed to me. I have found

:15:10.:15:15.

everywhere I have gone and everyone I have worked with, a basic sense

:15:15.:15:19.

of fairness and of decency and an increase recognition that human

:15:19.:15:24.

rights has a place in that strengthening those in our society,

:15:24.:15:27.

giving more guarantee and definition to what is fair in

:15:27.:15:33.

Scotland. In health and social care, there is a very open welcome to

:15:33.:15:39.

human rights strengthening the policy agenda there of increased

:15:39.:15:45.

personal care. Him at Dumfries and Galloway, police were carrying out

:15:45.:15:54.

our criminal exploitation a of foreign migrant workers and the

:15:54.:15:59.

spokesman said our primary objective is to uphold the rights

:15:59.:16:04.

of foreign migrant workers. That is different from what we hear from UK

:16:04.:16:12.

ministers. Later this month, there is to be a report from another

:16:12.:16:16.

commissioner set up by the UK Government as to weather to

:16:16.:16:19.

introduce a Bill of Rights and replace the human rights act. My

:16:19.:16:26.

view is that I do not think this side of the next UK election, I do

:16:26.:16:30.

not think anything will, of that. It is Westminster rhetoric which

:16:30.:16:36.

does not go down internationally or in Scotland. Tomorrow, when we are

:16:36.:16:41.

getting people round the table, it will be a much more people centred

:16:41.:16:47.

and practical, prioritised discussion. The practical

:16:47.:16:54.

application of human rights in terms of discrimination, fear pay,

:16:54.:17:04.
:17:04.:17:05.

education, there are so many areas that we should be looking at

:17:05.:17:11.

practically in Scotland. We have just finished doing a mapping of

:17:11.:17:18.

their realisation of human rights in Scotland. What we have found is

:17:18.:17:23.

that Scotland, particularly since devolution, has much to be proud of,

:17:23.:17:30.

but could do better. In a traffic light system, our laws, get a green

:17:30.:17:40.
:17:40.:17:44.

light. Strategy is green to amber. But in red, where we had read his

:17:44.:17:52.

in outcomes. How people are living under the welfare cuts. We have to

:17:52.:17:56.

ensure that return good intentions into good practice. Some of these

:17:56.:18:00.

are beyond the powers of Scotland because of the constitutional

:18:00.:18:04.

arrangements. I think the National Action Plan from Scotland's pointed

:18:04.:18:08.

you is that when these cuts are introduced by the UK Government,

:18:08.:18:12.

there must be a human rights impact assessment done before these

:18:12.:18:19.

decisions are made. There must be a flop budgetary analysis as to what

:18:20.:18:29.
:18:30.:18:30.

should be -- there must be a thorough budgetary analysis. People

:18:30.:18:39.

who cannot find work still have the right to a life of dignity. When we

:18:39.:18:49.
:18:49.:18:52.

read about human rights, it is usually about a tabloid headline

:18:52.:18:57.

relating to prisoners. I think there is a problem with that.

:18:57.:19:02.

Certain sections of the press for historical reasons thought him and

:19:02.:19:07.

writes it would be a threat to a free press. But now they are

:19:07.:19:13.

finding out that human rights could be the best friend to the press.

:19:13.:19:23.
:19:23.:19:24.

But I think the influence of those sections of the press and

:19:24.:19:29.

politicians can be overplayed. Most people understand that they do need

:19:29.:19:38.

human rights. Any object of opinion poll that is done, asking people to

:19:38.:19:42.

rate the Human Rights they think are important, there is widespread

:19:42.:19:52.
:19:52.:19:56.

report for free speech, fair trial, privacy, health care. People keep

:19:56.:20:04.

saying about European Human Rights, but it is courts of law. It is not

:20:04.:20:12.

European law, it is got here law -- it has got slot. The rupee and

:20:12.:20:21.

convention in Scots law. Yes, you are right. -- the European

:20:21.:20:28.

convention is Scots law. Now in a moment, we'll be discussing the big

:20:28.:20:31.

events coming up next week but, first, let's take a look back at

:20:31.:20:38.

the Week in Sixty Seconds. The Chancellor confirmed austerity

:20:38.:20:48.
:20:48.:20:51.

measures will go on 2018 to 2000 AD team. I welcome the fact that the

:20:51.:20:59.

Scottish government's argument has been accepted by the Chancellor.

:20:59.:21:04.

This evidence has been steering him in the face for two years. He

:21:04.:21:14.
:21:14.:21:15.

should have taken this decision earlier. Hunterston nuclear power

:21:15.:21:25.
:21:25.:21:26.

station gets and extend it lifeline -- extended.

:21:26.:21:30.

Chanel showcased his latest collection in the move go.

:21:30.:21:40.
:21:40.:21:42.

And this is the first anniversary of the plan does. -- pandas.

:21:42.:21:46.

And now let's take a look forward to the next seven days. Joining me

:21:46.:21:49.

today is Professor Murray Pittock, the Vice Principal and Head of the

:21:49.:21:52.

College of Arts at Glasgow University. And the writer and

:21:52.:22:00.

commentator Katie Grant. Let's start with gas. It is in the

:22:00.:22:07.

papers today and we had been covering it. Do you think the story

:22:07.:22:17.
:22:17.:22:24.

about unconventional gas supply is widely understood? No. I think some

:22:24.:22:31.

people are showing anxiety about this already, but the indication is

:22:31.:22:37.

that the implications have not been worked through. There is possibly a

:22:37.:22:47.
:22:47.:22:47.

lot more to come. I think the key issue here is that we are going to

:22:47.:22:57.
:22:57.:22:59.

be in our resources paradox soon. There is a need for greater

:22:59.:23:05.

reduction in fossil-fuel views, but there is a greater need to exploit

:23:05.:23:15.
:23:15.:23:17.

for also fuels -- fossil fuels. have had a lot of coverage about

:23:17.:23:21.

cost of our fuel bills. But this has not been married it together

:23:21.:23:25.

with a new exploitation. It is a funny sort of thing that is going

:23:25.:23:29.

on. I think we will see much more confusion about people who are

:23:29.:23:33.

quite keen about the idea of renewables, but are terrified of

:23:33.:23:41.

their own fuel bills. I think people will want to know more about

:23:41.:23:47.

this unconventional gas exploitation. We are nervous about

:23:47.:23:57.
:23:57.:24:03.

it. Reread commentators at it is like seeing, if we only drive... --

:24:03.:24:07.

reread commentators and it is like saying we should all be dry that 20

:24:07.:24:17.
:24:17.:24:26.

miles per hour. Prices keep rising. Some religious stories. Parliament

:24:26.:24:36.
:24:36.:24:40.

is like mural to Christians. These What Cameron is saying about same-

:24:40.:24:46.

sex marriages in churches, about gay clergy, can that really be

:24:46.:24:50.

equated to the obscenities, torture and persecution of Christians under

:24:50.:24:54.

Nero? No. That is where the Catholic Church gets it extremely

:24:54.:24:58.

wrong. When concentrating on religious issues, they come out

:24:58.:25:04.

with wild statements, equating day marriage to slavery, peculiar

:25:04.:25:09.

analogies drawn. Bidders but do the Church any credit. The Church has

:25:09.:25:12.

an argument to make whether you agree with it or disagree with it,

:25:12.:25:16.

but I do not think this is very helpful, and it makes the Church

:25:16.:25:21.

look a bit bonkers. When I first saw this comment, I thought it was

:25:21.:25:26.

about Cameron doing nothing in the face of a continuous recession. As

:25:26.:25:31.

a statement to describe allowing minority group to campaign for a

:25:31.:25:36.

gay marriage, it probably sounds completely in excess of the facts,

:25:36.:25:41.

such as they are. In a sense, this goes back to your St George's Tron

:25:41.:25:45.

story. There is still a desire, a clerical desire, that somehow

:25:45.:25:50.

government should represent the UK or Scotland as a Christian country.

:25:50.:25:54.

And the Government is not capable of doing that because it is a large

:25:54.:26:00.

and secular society. But the annoyance comes out in exaggerated

:26:00.:26:06.

rhetoric. But there is a lot of fear because everybody knows that

:26:06.:26:10.

once you start down this road, there will be challenges. In the

:26:10.:26:14.

end, gay marriages going to be accepted. It is going to be in the

:26:14.:26:20.

churches, and that is going to be the law. It is a sign of the Times,

:26:20.:26:25.

as Jesus himself said. We're going to see much more of this rather

:26:25.:26:30.

frantic campaigning by the Church in order to make their point, and

:26:30.:26:33.

the rhetoric will get wilder and wilder, or the where we go from

:26:33.:26:38.

hero, I am not sure! I suppose the political influence of the church

:26:38.:26:42.

is an interesting question. Despite the profile it has had to and the

:26:42.:26:46.

pressure to reply, can you think of an instance in which it has had any

:26:46.:26:51.

significance in Midlands recently? I'm thinking of Section 28, you

:26:51.:26:56.

know what I mean. I think probably the Catholic Church has succeeded

:26:56.:27:05.

in speaking for Scotland in the way the kirk of Scotland has ceased

:27:05.:27:08.

Sidhu. But it has not had an effect on legislation. It has tended to

:27:08.:27:17.

put a brick court on or create controversies. -- put a brake on.

:27:17.:27:20.

In a way, you could say that it has held back developments or made them

:27:20.:27:26.

go more slowly, but that -- has it stopped or reversed things? No. It

:27:26.:27:35.

is difficult to do that in a secular context. Before we finish,

:27:35.:27:38.

human-rights, does it have the profile up those who supported

:27:38.:27:43.

might hope for? Auras are dominated by distorting headlines?

:27:43.:27:47.

It is certainly dominated by headlines which get people very

:27:47.:27:52.

cross. It might be helpful if it was matched by a day of

:27:52.:27:54.

international human responsibilities. That is what many

:27:54.:27:58.

people feel, that there are too many rights and too few

:27:58.:28:05.

responsibilities. A focus on human rights is always going to be

:28:05.:28:10.

reported a slightly skewed way. Briefly. Are you a human rights

:28:10.:28:18.

supporter? You can hardly oppose human rights. What is interesting

:28:18.:28:21.

is the degree of consent in Scotland about fairness and human

:28:21.:28:25.

rights and the willingness to look at our national obligations, which

:28:25.:28:28.

is starting to decay South of the border. It is an interesting

:28:29.:28:35.

contrast. Thank you very much. That is all from us this week. I

:28:35.:28:39.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser.


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