13/01/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, interviews and debate in Scotland.

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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


With just over a week to go until David Cameron's big speech on


Europe, politicians and business leaders line up to warn him not to


damage our relationship with the EU. Are they right? Should he listen?


In a week when the government has been busily marking its own


homework, we ask Communities Secretary Eric Pickles whether -


when it comes to housing policy - it's a case of must try much harder.


That's the Sunday Interview. And as violent protests continue in


Belfast over the decision to cut the number of days the Union flag


flies above the City Hall, we'll debate the decision and the


significance of the riots, as two politicians at the heart of the


controversy go head to head. And on Sunday Politics Scotland:


We'll be speaking to the chairman of the Scottish Police Authority


and getting his take on the tug of war over the finances of the new


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2093 seconds


It just doesn't add up. The Anglo Irish agreement illustrates the


campaign, and now all the sudden it's all changed. But Belfast has


changed. Once the, distance, the sectarian divide mystified. Now,


the majority of the city feels the same. In the market, the trouble


doesn't have the smell test. Conversation 10 minutes from where


the protests are taking place are more likely to be about the price


of Kirsch. The vast majority of people want peace. The court


austerity and then this on top of that. It's definitely affecting


shops and businesses. Show better respect the people! For many, what


they want a black up is the big political and economic cost to


squabbling. -- to flag up. Now, we go head to head.


Now that you've seen the reaction to your decision, do you accept


that by reducing the number of days that the flag flies has been deeply


provocative and upsetting to half your city? No, I don't accept that


the threat of violence, the force of violence and intimidation should


in any way alter the democratic process. We're a very difficult and


sensitive decision to take. My colleagues took legal and a quality


advice that was given to them by the council. They looked very


carefully at what it happened in other councils, including Lisbon


City Council. Compromises like this had been proposed on designated


days. Our councillors believed this was the right thing to do in what


is a shed city with a very diverse view. It reflects that Belfast is


within the United Kingdom, it respects the black in the way that


we're encouraged to do by the College of Arms, and it also


reflects the fact that there are many people who have a stake in


this city who don't share that allegiance. What is your reaction


to that? I did vote against the flat policy and Lisbon in 2002.


Please don't interrupt me. You've got it wrong. Not just the few


thousand people out protesting there are hundreds of 1,000 people


across Northern Ireland are angry at this particular decision. The


Alliance Party need to reflect on this and to realise that going back


to majority rule doesn't work. Consensus politics is much better


than anyone. They have broken consensus politics in Northern


Ireland on this issue. Are want to show you a leaflet which is going


to put up on the screen. It's in the colours of the Alliance Party.


It shows this picture of the flag disappearing and it changes the


slogan into a shared future for whom? On the back, they published


Nia me's email and telephone numbers and encourage people to


voice their opposition. You really played a part stir this up. Aydin


and distribute any leaflets. Your party did. Certainly the leaflets


were distributed in Belfast. I think the Alliance Party had


stirred this up and whenever I travel over to England and other


parts of the UK, I see the national flag with dignity. That was the


case with Belfast City Hall. They decided to move against that and


that was the wrong decision, a bad decision and it is detrimental to


community relations. It is a setback to what we have been doing,


along with people on the other side of the committee, for many years.


Was there really that much pressure to get rid of the flag on most days


of the year? Did you really have to change things? There a couple of


things that need to be addressed. In Lisbon City Council, where he


was a member, Unionist took the flag down, they then put it up


under pressure and finally had to remit it again. He was present at a


meeting in 2006 where the decision was taken to fly the flag on


designated days in-line with the quality advice given to the council.


That is the reality of the situation and I am happy to defend


that. In terms of my colleagues, be clear - I am not a member of the


City Council. I'm not sure where been targeted in this hate-filled


campaign with his inflammatory leaflets which spoke of tearing


down the black. Rather than addressing the issue of how we


share our identity. With respect out of Blyth has flown in the rest


of the UK, many district councils across the UK use the designated


days policy. The idea that it is acting British is a nonsense. There


is of course sensitivity around this issue. Why did you target her?


She is an alliance member in Belfast. She is not a member of the


City Council. Her office is the centre of activity for alliance in


Belfast. The that is not true. was the offers that people could


easily address when it came to making their protest. But let's get


away from this is the cause of the issue. The cause was the removal of


the flak. -- the flag. Stormont Parliament already has a similar


arrangement. It brings it into line with London guidelines about the


days you fly the flag. What is the problem? It doesn't bring it into


line with the rest of Northern Ireland. There are many different


cities across Northern Ireland. The status quo was working. It has been


damaged and we can see the consequences of it. Leaving aside


people who are engaging in violence, we need to reflect that there are


hundreds of thousands of people across Northern Ireland who have


been greatly offended by this particular decision. I'm afraid


we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you very much for both


to be joining us from Belfast. Now, you're watching the Sunday politics.


Good morning and welcome to the first Sunday Politics Scotland of


2013. Coming up: Two governments, two differing


futures. Will nuclear weapons stay in Scotland or will they go? And


could a decision on Trident in Scotland become a springboard for


the wider nuclear disarmament debate in the rest of the UK? Sir


Menzies Campbell and Angus Robertson join us to discuss.


The new single police force starts in April, but for that to happen, a


dispute between the Chief Constable and Police Authority Chairman needs


to be resolved. What are the chances?


And is Scotland's tourism industry missing a lucrative trick when it


comes to promoting the whisky experience? What can we learn from


international examples? There is only one place in the world that


can call itself the malt whisky valid. -- valley.


Billions of pounds and thousands of jobs. The cost of moving nuclear


submarines from the Clyde if Scotland becomes independent,


according to the UK government. The latest twist in the Trident tale


led to fierce political fighting between unionists and nationalists.


The SNP say parliament and people don't want the weapons on their


doorstep - the UK government are adamant the independent deterrent


must be maintained. The controversial Trident missile


has found a hot spot in the constitutional debate. At


Westminster this week, the government revealed their thinking


on the impact of independence on Trident. Ministers say including


its nuclear weapons after new -- after independence would cost


billions of pounds and take many years. They also say it employs


6,700 military and civilian workers, and that will rise. If those jobs


went, Unionist say the impact on Scotland would be catastrophic.


What would happen in the Clyde if the SNP got there way to get rid of


the nuclear submarines and other submarines? What would happen to


shipping in the Clyde if we walk away from the Royal Navy? Warble


the SNP do if they win? They just can't keep avoiding the truth.


These questions will stalk them right up until a referendum day.


The SNP's say they are in step with Scotland as the weapons on wanted.


I am on the same side as the unions, the voluntary sector and the


majority of public opinion who voted against Trident, saying, we


should do much better. We should have a job that working


conventional defence, we should get rid of weapons of mass destruction


and that will only happen with a yes vote in the referendum.


decision to replace trident is not due until 2016 as the coalition


partners are at loggerheads. The UK Government also claims they are not


considering what could happen to Trident in the event of


independence. No ministry worth its salt would refuse to have emergency


procedures in place, and as Defence is central to the United Kingdom's


policy-making, surely they will be looking at what happens on the


Clyde after the referendum. When it comes to post-independence, there


is criticism of the SNP. They're is inherent contradiction to their


stance towards native. NATO in the last analysis will use a nuclear


weapons, and as it isn't all for one, one for all alliance, it means


that in theory a Scottish -- an independent Scotland would have to


support the use of nuclear weapons. You Unionists also question the


SNP's plans for conventional forces after independence. But nationalist


taunt Labour and the Lib Dems for their commitment to multilateral


disarmament. There is always something to fight to the when it


comes to defence. In our Edinburgh studio is the


former Liberal Democrat Leader and foreign policy grandee Sir Menzies


Campbell. A good morning. Do you agree with the West must do


government's response that it will cost billions of pounds and


thousands of jobs in an independent Scotland to move away Trident from


its current location? Well, there will be a cost. There is a dispute


about the number of jobs and it all depends on how you define the job.


Do you take account of the people who supply the base? Do you take


account of the local businesses who depend on the base for their


existence? The one thing one can agree on is that if you take away


responsibility for the four Trident submarines and the seven submarines


that are powered by nuclear energy, then inevitably there will be an


economic impact. The SNP is saying they will use it for conventional


reasons, conventional military arrangements. The point about that


is, just exactly what would those conventional arrangements amount


to? A patrol vessels? With that in any way compensate for the


inevitable cost of the removal of Trident? What are the real benefits


for Scotland for being part of the union when it comes to defence?


Your constituency has been hard hit by the loss of RAF forces. In


Scotland, there is an underspend by the MoD, so what is the benefit?


The benefits is to have the protection of the United Kingdom


defence forces. Of course, these forces have to be positioned in a


place where they are most effective. My argument with the British


government is that we have the best place to provide the air defence


for the northern part of Britain, including Scotland and the northern


part of England. But the overall benefit is reflected in the fact


that we have a very coherent and cohesive defence which adds an


secures our safety. Reading the UK Government's response to the


Scottish report, perhaps it seems contradictory in some ways that UK


government says it will cost billions of pounds and thousands of


jobs, and they are also saying we went even countenance what will


happen post independence. Your colleague wrote in a Scottish


newspaper today that he would not negotiate and after a possible Yes


vote. You agree with that, that it is fair to not negotiate until


after the referendum? And well, just imagine if they started these


negotiations now. There would be a running commentary, there would


never be any question of these negotiations been kept secret. And


the negotiations themselves are would form part of the argument


about whether the question should be answered in the affirmative or


the negative. I think it's very sensible indeed not to indulge in a


kind of negotiation that has been suggestion. Pop -- that has been


suggested. But I also think that somewhere there will be a group of


people looking at the implications of independence. I would be very


surprised if that was not the case. But it will be done in a private


way and certainly not a way where It sounds like the UK government is


lying to us. I am not saying that at all. If you want the


negotiations I believe his embrace of the whole idea of negotiating


what will happen after independence, the Scottish National Party would


say they have conceded the argument. Otherwise they would not be


discussing with this the consequences of independence. That


information and the nature of the need associations would be bound to


be part of the political discourse. The influence would be that the UK


government had given up. I don't doubt for a moment that for example


in the Royal Navy, maybe not in government, but in the Royal Navy,


consideration is given to what they would do in the event there was


independence and it was necessary to take out the Trident submarines


and the astute class. We are going to be up to seven additional


submarines on top of the Trident. Take these away and I don't think


anyone can argue that the impact upon the local economy is going to


be anything. Maybe your party wants them taken away. You're an advocate


of nuclear disarmament. Perhaps that is a good starting-point for


disarmament. That would be unilateral disarmament. It involves


a disagreement, -- it involves an agreement. You're quite right to


mention that because the American President gave its impetus in a


speech he made in Prague about two years ago. I am a member of the


group of people in the House of Commons seeking to argue that.


People in the United States, people who might ordinary be seen as all


the world watches. The fact Britain of Scotland would give up its


nuclear weapons would not persuade India or Pakistan to do so. It


would not persuade Israel to do so. If we're going to approach this on


disarmament, we have to do on a multilateral basis. Find you very


much for joining me live. -- many thanks.


Listening to that in his Moray constituency, is the SNP Leader at


Westminster and Defence and Foreign Affairs spokesman, Angus Robertson


Good morning. Listening to Sir Menzies Campbell there, he pretty


much sided with the UK government when the clear point of removing


tridents from Scotland would cost billions of pounds and thousands of


Scottish jobs. To be honest I am not surprised with that. We know


all the parties in the anti- independence side of the argument


are using any opportunity to scare the wits out of people and suggest


independence is going to cast a whole lot of jobs and investment


when that is not the case. It is the status quo that has been bad


for Defence in Scotland. We have lost more than multi-million-pound


defence contracts. I think what we need to embrace and understand is


this debate is about a real profound advantage for Scotland. We


could make better defence decisions in Scotland. On top of that list is


we can choose for skull and not to be the home of weapons of mass


destruction. -- for Scotland. We were able to stress the point and


the majority of people don't want them here. The churches are against


it, the voluntary organisations are against it. The majority of people


would wish it to be different. A Yes vote in independence, we can do


that. That is an opportunity that in the run-up to the referendum,


people will come to understand there are real benefits from the


historic and exciting vote. What are your plans? This is where your


opponent's picture upon. What are your plans for conventional forces


in Scotland. The UK government said it would take away all submarines.


How would you setter defence in an independence Olwen? -- set up in an


independence Scotland? We covered the whole range of issues last year.


How does one organise that there? It is answerable to the Scottish


Parliament. We made the decision on what we were prepared to spend on


defence. �2.5 billion for the defence budget, you were talking


about an uplifting spending than the UK government spends his talent.


In terms of the disposition, what goes where, we need to first see


the results of the UK Basing review. We were supposed to have that last


year and we will have that within weeks. It will give us the starting


point for the situation Scotland will inherit with independence.


What exactly will be where? We have got out about what is happening. We


have doubts about many things. There is something else here, I


want to pick up on something else. Another post independence plan.


Trevor Royle said it there was an inherent contradiction and your


stance on NATO. Scotland would be in exactly the same position as


countries like Norway and Denmark. The majority of countries within


NATO do not post or possess nuclear weapons. There is no contradiction


there whatsoever. What we decided was in a conference, rather than


having a partnership with our allies and friends we would work as


members within NATO, as a conventionally armed country. That


is what the Norwegians, Danes, Icelanders do. We want to work with


our neighbours and friends and want the defence in Scotland. We are


being let down by Westminster in that regard. Only in independence


can we make decisions on defence that secures jobs and communities


like this one here. London has let them down. Let's make better


decisions in Scotland. That is the sort of thing normal countries do.


When it comes to your post- independence well, it seems like


more has shot a warning shot. He said they will be no negotiations


until after a possible Yes vote in the referendum. I don't see why it


is difficult that the Scottish government and UK government can


have a series of technical discussions. That is what happened


in the run-up to the Edinburgh agreement. It is possible to come


to an agreement that has two government working together. That


seems sensible to me so I don't see why somebody can't have technical


discussions before a Yes vote in 2014. I think this is part of the


tactics. It is turning people off from the No campaign. It is can't


do this, or can't do that. Somehow we can't do progress. I think we


can but it takes good will from the anti- independence parties to do so.


I would appear far less of this amirs, less of the scare stories,


less of the can't do attitude. Let's embrace what is a really


exciting and historic opportunity for Scotland. Many thanks for


joining us. There are more than 17,000 police


officers in Scotland, a record number. To keep them all to fight


crime the government needs to cut costs and that's at the heart of


the reforms which take effect in April. Our home affairs


correspondent Reevel Alderson reports on progress so far.


With just 11 weeks until the new single forced comes into being,


there has been little concrete evidence of progress towards


amalgamation. This was a loss last week of the new trunk road policing


unit. Little evidence of progress in a bitter dispute between Chief


Constable and Stephen House and Dick Emery. Each says they should


be controlling the budget. MSP is a losing patience. On the justice


committee, they say it must be settled. We have had assurances


these matters will be resolved during December and they were not.


We are now told that later this month there is going to be a


meeting of the authority and they didn't seem to be too much


information to give us comfort. With a similar reorganisation


taking place in the fire and rescue Service, agreement has been reached


between the new Chief Fire Officer and the chairman of the fire


authority of precisely the same contentious issues at the heart of


the police dispute. The failure of the police to do the same was


raised that First Minister's Questions the stuff for isn't it


true that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice has step back a letter a


beast with two heads emerge as both camps duplicate H R finance and


other functions. Alex Salmond said he remained confident an agreement


would be reached. The chair said he hopes for a formal agreement to be


reached at the next meeting on 18th January. That was said before


Christmas. The number of officers on the street depends on removing


the duplication of services. On the police authority, scrutinising the


work of the fours. Rank-and-file officers believe any agreement can


be reached. They're working in a way they can be a situation when it


can be a more amicable way of moving it forward. On April 1st we


will have a unified police service whether there will be unity between


the Chief Constable and his police authority is still to be resolved.


Here with me this morning is the Chairman of the Scottish Police


Services Authority, Vic Emery. The Chief Constable of the new


police force could not be with us but he gave that this it meant


saying any a paper published by the us P before Christmas represents


progress towards reaching a working agreement that allows us to focus


on the delivery of a new national policing service for April. Thank


you for joining me. It is not a great start. How when it did you


get to this situation and whose fault is it?-- howl and earth did


you get to this situation. A lot of work has been done to date and an


act has been put in place to change the status quo and the dynamic. I


think a considerable amount of work has been done and we are in a good


phrase. What is so wrong about the chief having his own budget? Isn't


it your job to let him have that and let him have his freedom?


People need to just bear in mind the fact that the legislation


creates two legal entities. One is the Constabulary and the police


service and the other is a body whose responsibility is to deliver


the budget savings and to deliver the budget and be responsible for


it. The Scottish Parliament will hold the Scottish Police Authority


to account for the efficient spending on a budget. Alex Salmond


described the relationship between you and achieve as creative


tensions. What is your personal relationship with Stephen House?


All these issues are being debated between the Chief Constable and his


team and the 13 members of the SPA. That has been productive, it has


been very constructive and it is moving forward. Some areas in the


media try to portray this as a sort of personal position between the


Chief Constable and myself but it couldn't be further than the --


from the truth. We get on very well. You're meeting on Friday, the


Scottish Police Authority meeting on Friday, what kind of deal are we


going to get question mac is it going to be a compromise situation?


The deal that will be struck on Friday is what the Act asks us to


do. It acts us to hold a chief constable accountable for


delivering the best police service possible to the people of Scotland


and for another entity, the SPA, to hold into account for that and to


manage the Budget. On Friday, a proposal that has been largely


discussed will be put forward which says there is a single function and


there is a single finance function across the policing of Scotland.


There will be a senior people who will be responsible for the policy


and strategy is going forward and there will be a single person in


the police service of Scotland who will report directly to the Chief


Constable to give him the day-to- day operational requirements. I


therefore have every confidence So you can confirm that there will


be no duplication? There will be no duplication. There is one hr


organisation and one financed organisation. You have to remember,


we're dealing with 25,000 people here. The S PA has a duty of care


to make sure we deliver best value. It is not in our interest to


duplicate anything that is being done. Thank you very much for


joining us. We are running out of time.


Coming up after the news: Has Scotland missed a trick when it


comes to maximising tourism revenue from the Whisky Trail? Let's cross


now for the news with Chris Rogers and Alasdair Fraser.


The First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson has said the


only way to stop the recent violence there is through political


dialogue. He was speaking after 29 police officers were injured in the


latest violence linked to a decision to restrict the flying of


the Union flag at Belfast City Hall. The debris left behind after a


dangerous night. Calm has returned to this part of Belfast, but the


violence has been a setback to people working to end the trouble.


It is now almost six weeks since the City Council voted to restrict


the flying of the Union Flag, sparking a dispute that has brought


loyalist onto the streets. The First Minister says violence will


achieve nothing. The flag is not going to go up because somebody


throws something at a policeman. The only way forward is through the


political process. We're trying to encourage people to engage with


that and to bring forward channels so that we can talk to people.


hopes those initiatives will find a way to stop this kind of trouble.


Yesterday, 29 police officers were injured. Their highest casualty


figure since the dispute started. The rioting broke out when loyalist


returning from a demonstration walk past police officers. Both sides


were involved in clashes. Police were attacked with petrol-bombs.


This week, senior politicians from Belfast, London and Dublin will


hold a meeting where they discussed the trouble. Talks are going on


behind the scenes as well. People believe the situation can be


resolved, but hopes take a hit with every night of destruction.


And eight year-old British girl has been shot dead while on holiday in


Jamaica. She was in shock when a gunman opened fire. Several adults


will also injured in the attack in a small town on the north coast of


the island. A court in Egypt has ordered a


retrial after accepting an appeal against the life prison sentence of


Hosni Mubarak. He was overthrown in 2011 and imprisoned for failing to


prevent the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators during the revolt


that forced him from power. Our correspondent is in Cairo. Will


this appeal come as a surprise? Not exactly, because his lawyer's


have been pushing very hard for the appeal. But it is not just an


appeal against the light sentence that he received, but against the


entire conviction. So it will be a full retrial. All those


extraordinary scenes of Hosni Mubarak appearing in a hospital bed,


behind a cage in the Court Room, they will count for nothing now.


That has shocked the relatives of the victims, those 850 protesters


who were killed during the resolution. They felt that he


should in fact I've got a death sentence and found guilty of more


serious charges of ordering the killings. But there is a


possibility that this could backfire, because he will face all


those charges again. But there is a question of course about his health


and whether he is in a condition to a retrial because just a couple of


weeks ago he slipped in prison and he is actually not in prison any


more, he is then a minister it -- military and hospital because he


broke a rib. So there are questions about where they can face a retrial


at all. That's all for now. There will be


for round-up of the day's news here on BBC One at 6 o'clock.


Good afternoon. The famous West Highland Way and


the Great Glen Way are to benefit from a multi-million pound package


of improvements aimed at encouraging more people to enjoy


Scotland's forests. The money will be used to create new paths and


upgrade existing routes. Calls to NHS 24 should be free of


charge, according to the Scottish Conservatives. People in Scotland


pay the price of a local phone call when calling the advice service


from a landline, with calls from a mobile often costing more. The


Scottish government says it's considering adopting a new, free-


to-use number. It was a cold start to the morning,


let's see if that's going to continue - Christopher has the


This afternoon a band of rain, sleet and snow is crossing the


country. The biggest risk his eyes and it Met Office warning is in


force. On high ground there is likely to be snow, but at lower


levels, sleet. The ice risk continues across many roads. A cold


afternoon with temperatures for many just two or three degrees.


With that southerly breeze - at times, a bitterly cold field. Into


the evening, drive for a time with mist and fog before his second band


of rain comes in from the West. The ice is still in play, a cold start


to the working week. That's all for now, I'll hand you


We saw some very poor summer tourism figures emerge this week.


So, when much of the industry is closed for winter, we're taking


stock of this important sector. A senior figure in the industry has


told us there's a missed opportunity to attract high end


guests to the Scotch Whisky Trail - and to make them stay, eat and


relax nearby. Here's our business and economy editor, Douglas Fraser.


Wish You were Here, the vineyards of sup up the car or California? Or


here, the distilleries in Scotland. Scotland can't compete with the


best of destinations. The Moray of Firth was this week named one of


the top coastlines. We should not forget it is as much about myth and


kitsch that keeps people coming. I'm from Canberra in Australia and


I have come to Scotland because I've heard it's a bit full.


last summer, they weren't coming in sufficient numbers. Official


figures showed a drop of 12% in the number of overseas visitors, but


spending down 8%. UK numbers were down, but by only 3%, underspend


was up by 8%. It's not hard to get the main recent -- the main reason.


Our biggest market is the home market, Scottish and English


markets. So the English market stayed at home. There were a number


of one-off circumstances to deal with in terms of economic activity


and some businesses have been challenges with the Olympics and


people staying at home to watch it. And of course the weather, which


hopefully one of stubble not happen in 2013. Scottish tourism has a


target set in 2006. Within a decade, it was due to be 50% bigger, but


that has gone off track economically. So, how to get


tourism back on the right road? I've just been to make a film about


the whisky industry. I wasn't the only one looking. A former chairman


of visit Scotland, still chairman of Gleneagles Hotel Peter looks to


South Africa's Tourism for inspiration. All wineries work


together, they all have a great product, or happy to four


restaurants, coffee shops, hotels. They are working with the


government at all levels to markets are a fickle wind. I see a lost


opportunity here. How can we take the islands,, where the industry is


a huge player in a fragile, a rural economy and build that into not


only a visitor experience but an economy in that area so you have


somewhere like a Napa Valley? There is any one place in the world that


can call itself the malt whisky valley. This week, a new DEFRA to


address that challenge. If a you look at what is happening now in


terms of this area, there is a whisky festival that in five days


generates �1.2 million. We attract a global market there. As we speak,


the malt whisky trail is being re- energised and different leadership


and I think you will see a much higher profile. So there is at


least agreement on making better use of the whisky. And yes, I've


been working on it as well. Joining us from our Inverness


studio is Scottish Labour's Highlands & Islands MSP Rhoda Grant,


who sits on the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee. And with me in


the studio, for the SNP, the South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine.


First of all, Joan McAlpine, Peter made an interesting point there.


Are we missing the point that I have a really good malt whisky


valley with a whisky trail? I think there are opportunities as you were


saying in the film. There are opportunities that are being


improved this year. Certainly, when you look at the new markets coming


in, Scottish whisky went up 20% in terms of exports last year and a


lot of those markets in places like emergency -- emerging economies,


Brazil and China, can take more of a quality product. So I think it's


a good idea but good things are already happening. Rhoda Grant, do


you think the government should invest some money in trying to


improve the malt whisky valley and emulate what we see in the Napa


Valley? Yes, I think they have a role in this and many to take it


seriously. We have an iconic drink, we are able to say that across the


world. We need to bring people into Scotland and give them a really


good experience on the back of that. Yes, the distilleries are there and


they are marketing themselves with facilities, but we need facilities


locally that people can come and stay, with things like golf, that


come hand in hand with the whisky trail that we should also be


marketing at the same time. Frankly, we need to look at the road now


work there as well, to get people transported into the area easily.


Some of the roads are in a disgraceful state. The Scottish


government need to look at that. Joan McAlpine, in a documentary


this week we saw a professor calling for a could do -- a


production tax on whisky that could pulling it billion pounds of


revenue. Wouldn't that be a good idea to help fund Scotland's


budget? The first of all, I'd like to congratulate that film, we need


to see more of that about aspects of Scottish Life and the economy. I


think the fact he was addressing was that under the current devolved


settlement, Scott and that I Scotland doesn't actually get any


of the money that whisky makes. It made �4.2 billion last year and


that is �1 billion coming into the UK Exchequer. Rather than taxing it


twice as he suggests, which she would have to do under the present


devolved system, if we get an independent Scotland, the money


that currently goes to the UK would come to Scotland. I think that


probably a bit more sensible and realistic and taxing the product


twice. So in an independent Scotland would you tax the whisky


industry? Were well, obviously all governments tax industries. You get


the VAT tax, the money that is raced through people who work in


industry. So one interesting thing that the film highlighted is the UK


does not protect the industry in terms of headquarters being set up


in London. What about a production tax, Rhoda Grant? I would have to


say that what Joan McAlpine was saying is absolutely ridiculous. Of


course we get our share of taxes through the UK Exchequer. That


money comes to Scotland as well, so that is just a myth that the SNP


want to portray to encourage people along the road to independence,


which is absolutely untrue. According to our production tax,


frankly, the Scottish government have a social responsibility that


is already legislated for. Are they going to raise taxes... A I'm


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