03/02/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 03/02/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Welcome to The Sunday Politics. The Conservative Party is at war


this morning over gay marriage. More than half their MPs are


expected to vote against it in the Commons on Tuesday. This lunchtime,


Tory constituency chairmen will hand in a letter of protest to 10


Downing Street. The Prime Minister described Mali


as part of a "generational struggle" against extremism in


North Africa, but is it one Britain is equipped to fight? Foreign


Secretary William Hague joins us for the Sunday Interview.


Hillsborough, phone hacking, Plebgate - three reasons why the


government is right to reform the police? I will be asking the


organisation that represents rank and file officers.


And coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland... Holt, Diamante


Edinburgh today and they will be with you later today to talk about


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2037 seconds


I am joined now by Steve White, Vice Chairman of the Police


Federation, which represents police officers in England and Wales. The


police have been rocked by scandal in recent years. Only an Friday, an


officer was jailed for 15 months for trying to sell information to a


tabloid newspaper. Do you accept that this is damaging public


confidence? There is absolutely no doubt about that. But the


underlying support that the public give the police is still there.


Clearly, there had been mistakes in the past which have to be corrected.


But now there is Plebgate will, where for three officers have been


arrested. The inquiry into Plebgate is still ongoing, so I do not want


to comment too much on that. By it whatever happens, the police are


not going to come out well from this, are they? We will, we will


have to wait and see. Now, does this not mean that experts have


said there was a great need to have police reform, but you're


organisation it has suddenly come out straight against it. I have


been with the police for 25 years and seen what we have to do to


operate correctly. The job has changed between all recognition.


But police riot the Police Federation will continue to play a


part in that. He said that without the reforms, we were on the verge


of destroying the police force. lot of the reforms, when you talk


about reforms, it is not so much the change about as doing our work,


but changing the pay and conditions of a lot of officers. If you are


talking about wholesale reform to make us more responsible to our


communities, then we are quite behind that, but it is the other


aspects of this. Now, police pay has come late linked to the years


surfed and the idea is that this is not, but is more linked to their


value in the job, such as rewarding frontline officers. Why are you


against that? The starting point there was that police constable pay


got up by �4,000 a year and these are the people who are in the front


line. He has still going to get over time and one of the best


pensions going and get paid more than other emergency services. You


may not like the reforms, but they are Harley destroying the police


service. Our biggest thing is that we give the best service possible


to the public. I have to say it, that police officers contributions


go up to 30 %, we more than anyone else. We have a date public sector


pay freeze for two years. Some officers have actually taken a pay


cut. Let me take you back to Plebgate. Do you not regret that


this was used as part of your argument against reforms? The clue


of our organisation is an inane -- it is the federation. Sometimes we


have disagreements over how we do things. Do you regret police


officers wearing Plebgate T-shirts. The federation was demanding the


resignation of Andrew Mitchell. Do you not feel it is time to


apologise? I want to make it absolutely clear that the Police


Federation accepted the apology from Andrew Mitchell and wanted to


move on. But there were calls for him to resign? There were members


of the Federation who felt there were still questions to be answered


by him. One of the senior members of the federation are urged members


to fill me e-mail in a box of Andrew Mitchell scarf with demands


for him to resign. Is it not now time for the Police Federation to


apologise to Andrew Mitchell? is absolutely not the case. We are


a federation. To you condemn those who were wearing the Plebgate T-


shirts and those demanding his resignation without knowing the


full facts fils? Do you can get mmac? That is the personal choice


on their part. A I have said that we accepted the apology from Andrew


Mitchell. If you were here a few months ago, you would have been


calling for his resignation. I are Good morning and welcome to Sunday


Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme....


Tenants in housing associations properties or council houses have


just eight weeks left before their housing benefit could be cut by up


to 25%. Have you got a spare room? If the answer is yes, you are about


to be hit with a bedroom tax. And if you are feeling like a


Saturday night has lost all meaning, now that series two of Borgen has


finished, fear not. Sisse Babet Knuusen - or Statesminister


Birgiteh Newbor, as we all know her - joins us on Sunday Politics


Thank you for joining us this morning.


If you live in social housing and have a spare room, then you could


be facing a cut in your housing benefit. Around 100,000 people in


Scotland of working age could be affected by the under-occupancy


penalty, or bedroom tax, when it comes into force in April. Homeless


charities fear it could lead to a huge rise in evictions, if those


who are not able to move to smaller homes cannot pay the rent. This


two-bedroom flat is the lifeline for Nigel Smith, who until one year


ago, was homeless. It means he can now see his three children every


other weekend, but is now worried that could change. His housing


benefit could be cut by �11 a week. I could maybe lose my house, not


being able to afford to pay the rent. If I do that, the be kicked


me out and then I do not have the chance to see my children. From


April 1st, if you live in social housing and have the spare room,


you could be affected. Children under 16 of the same sex will be


expected to share, will as well all children under 10, regardless of


gender. If you are separated, only one of the parents will get the


spare room and if you have grown-up children who have left home, you


will not be able to keep their run for them. Foster carers to taking


children will be entitled and carers who need a separate room


from their partners will lose out. Shelter's Colonsay many people in


housing are already struggling to pay the bills. They say this could


be to a rise in homelessness. At the no will see more and more


people in Scotland getting into debt, getting into rent areas and


we will see more people getting evicted. Therefore, we will see


more people get getting homeless and ending up on the streets.


are many people in private rented accommodation who do not have


housing benefit who to cannot afford extra bedrooms. We have to


get control of housing benefit. We are spending �23 billion a year on


housing benefit and we need to get the budget under control. But a a


Scottish government say this will have a knock-on effect on other


services, taking millions of pounds out of the Scottish economy.


terms of the housing benefit and what is proposed as regards the


bedroom tax, this will add additional pressures on other


services, such as health and social services. So are their homes


available for those who want to downsize? They will have to join a


queue of 90,000 people already waiting for social housing and


Scotland. This houses being built as part of North Lanarkshire


council's plan to expand their housing stock. It has three


bedrooms, like all the other houses on this estate. But what about one-


bedroom houses, which are not a priority? The authority plans to


build 1,000 new homes by 2020, but they say there will not be enough


smaller properties to go round. do you effect children? How do you


break up a family? This is what this is about. This is to


demoralise totally about the fabric of society in Scotland. He 52-year-


old Betty does not want to move from a three-bedroom home. She has


waited 20 years for her house. Now the children have little, she says


she may have believe Foreman cannot afford the cut in benefits. I do


not have the money to pay, the housing do not have the smaller


house to give me, so where do we go from here? So sure landlords have


begun to warm the hundred 1,000 or so people there who could be


affected that they have been weeks before this bedroom tax begins.


What all the short and long-term impact be?


And joining me now in the studio is the SNP's Linda Fabiani, a member


of the Scottish Parliament's Welfare Committee. Mike Dailly, the


principal solicitor at the Govan Law Centre, the leader of the


Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie and Pam Duncan from


Inclusion Scotland. Good morning to you all and welcome to the


programme. Firstly, Willie Rennie, what is sure position on the


bedroom tax? Some of your MPs rebelled against this when it was


going through? No change is not an option. We have the housing crisis,


with about 187,000 people on waiting lists and a financial


crisis. As David Cameron said, the Bill is �23 million. -- �23 billion.


We need to make sure that people do not suffer. That is the most


important thing. Does this not open up a near the ad of problems?


looked at the social housing stock, it is estimated that one in not


three of these houses are under occupied. You cannot have that at


the same time as you have 187,000 people on the waiting list. I have


got concerns. This week, I spoke to Danny Alexander about this very


subject to see if we can implement this as fairly as possible. Linda


Fabiani, what is the Scottish government doing to help in this?


How well prepared are you? One we are try to do is help people with


is immoral policy which is pit on them. We are now saying to people


in their rented sector that you do not have a home any more, you have


the House that you are allowed a shot of one of for a while. It is


absolutely awful. We are at wanted to make things easier for people --


we will put money into advice centres to give people the best


possible advice. But in Scotland, we have been building homes for


life so that when circumstances change, families can adapt. We do


not have the houses for people to move into for this new change will


stop it will plaster over the cracks. It will not really help


people. Social landlords in Scotland are not quick to evict


people from. Generally, they try and fix the situation before it


gets to that point. But at the end of the day, until we have got


control here, there is not an awful By $:/STARTFEED.


What can the Scottish Government do? We lay Rennie is wrong to say


the Scottish people will suffer. The Scottish Government can do a


lot to prevent people from being evicted. This is going to affect


100,000 households. We want the Scottish Government to change


housing lot so if you have arrears, that should be treated as a debt


and pursued in the courts as an ordinary debt, but not a like you


to be affected. Unless we do that, we will have thousands of


households in Scotland subject to eviction. I defend these cases day-


in and day-out. We find that when �80 to �100 disappears from


people's housing benefit, we will not be able to defend them. People


who work in the private sector, they struggle with payments as well.


It is trying to ease that social mobility and make homes available


to people who need it. If the welfare reform is a vicious attack


on working-class people. It is shameless. I have to say, one of


the great fallacies of the UK Government is that it thinks it


will save a billion pounds over two years. If somebody is affected and


becomes homeless, it will cost the taxpayer an average �26,000. In


Scotland, it is worse to have this policy in the first place. Willie


Rennie. It is difficult for people who are trying to get into work if


they have the burden to pay for a house they cannot afford. They will


have to earn more to make work pay. What we are trying to do here is


improved social mobility so people can get into work. This prevents


them so that is why we need to take action. How a where our people in


the community and the disabled community about this new policy


coming in on 1st April? In terms of disabled people, this is another


attack on them. The welfare Reform Act seems like an attack on her


come up -- on poor communities. With the Bedroom Tax, two-thirds of


people affected are disabled people. If you need an extra bedroom floor


equipment, that is not a spare bedroom, that is a bedroom that is


it needed an essential. He talked about employment, having a house is


a cornerstone of having a job. If you take that away from people,


people are going to be an an impossible situation. It is not


preventative, it will cost more money in the long-term. Disabled


people will be in houses that have adapted, if they have to be moved


it will cost more money to get those houses adapted. I was talking


to the housing spokesman in the Scottish Government, he said he had


concerns about individual disabled cases. Do you think something might


be done to alleviate that? That two-thirds of people affected are


disabled people. It is a maths problem that does not require


discretionary payments. It needs an overhaul. You cannot individually


treat everyone when the individual is the majority in this situation.


There is the exemption as Pam has pointed out for those who need


overnight carers. There is discretionary housing payment for


people who have adapted their home. I recognise there is an issue, but


there is support and it is considerable support and it is


available. Linda Fabiani, do you think a Scottish Government will


accept his petition that is coming forward and you will use your


powers to protect people who are in debt? I am not convinced by this


proposal. I do not think it will help the people who have the


problem, but I also think it makes it difficult for social landlords


to have to pass on that cost to the remaining tenants. Fahmy, the


answer is that there should not be happening, it is immoral. It is


awful. -- for me. People tried to take this to the Scottish


Government to make decisions on. We have a different housing situation.


Here we are getting something imposed on us because seemingly


there are problems in the South East. Man mackerel, you have


brought this edition, but that power might not be used? You think


it is OK for some day to be evicted? I think the people of


Scotland, we hear DNA and yet the need for the Scottish Government to


have more powers. -- day N day out. You need to use those powers to


protect the people in Scotland by saying we will have a safety-net in


this country so nobody in Scotland is affected by Bedroom Tax arrears.


We are already trying to bring in things to reduce that. We have been


hearing about this, a very lively debate. Do you think anything can


be changed by the UK Government? have gathered evidence myself, I


have seen people who are going to be affected by this. I have been


working with them to make sure that people are not hack. I can give a


guarantee that I will be in constant dialogue are that is what


we need to do. The you think people will be protected? I do not. With


restrictions on the amount of money the local authorities can add to


that discretionary payment, I am not convinced people will be


protected. Decisions will need to be careful, I miss suggest they are


done with disabled people and their organisations are decisions about


who needs extra money from within those payments. The we will have to


leave that there. Pam Duncan, Linda Fabiani, Mike Dailly, Willie Rennie,


thank you. Everyone loves Borgen. It seems that is the common consent


amongst the political chatterati here in Scotland. Viewers were


gripped as the second series of the Danish political drama came to a


close last night, with the much- admired Statesminister Birgiteh


Newbor facing down her critics. It seems like a perfect mix of


realistic European political stories with strong characters,


particularly female ones. Look away now if you still have to catch it


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2037 seconds


The star of the show Sisse Babet Knuusen will be taking part in a


series of Q and A sessions in Edinburgh today. I spoke to her


just before we came on-air and I began by asking her about the


importance of strong female leads in the series.


Partly it was to do with representing what was happening in


Denmark. They are all fans of the west wing and I think they wanted


to turn that around. We have a strong female representation in


Scotland in politics. Do you want to see your character as a role


model for women in politics, or women wanting to go into politics?


Your characters said in the episode last night, she didn't want to be a


role model. I don't think she feels like a role model. I didn't want to


represent her as one. It is a particular woman in politics. I


think the whole show is showing someone who is discovering how we


enter politics more than any it is particularly agenda issue. She does


face a lot of gender issues, particularly in the last couple of


episodes last night. Exactly. That is what I really like about the Big


story, it is only at the end that we are referring to it. For the


previous 18 episodes, it has been his Prime Minister trying to do her


best. Exactly. You are trying to beat the Prime Minister and gender


was not an issue in the last episode. How would you describe


your character? She is primarily an idealist. I think that aspect of


politicians have not been mentioned in these last few years. It is


interesting to show where the desire to politics comes from, and


I think she encapsulates that. still has to deal with the tough


decisions that all politicians have to take. Absolutely. Be sure has


travelled extremely well, it is a huge success here in Scotland. What


you think is the Scandinavian secret? I think we are dark horse.


I think there is a lot of sympathy towards a small African country won


the World Cup. We are grateful for the whole passage that the killing


has done, the other crimes series from Denmark. That has paved the


way for us. There is the bridge as well. It is amazing how the smaller


countries have produced such huge successes. Then again, I think it


is the unexpected thing. The first people who started watching the


series, it was like finding a treasure. Everything that is not


from America is exotic, television why is. And bit his words to mouth,


the way the whole thing has started. That makes for, how do you say it,


you become very loyal to it if you think you are part of discovering


this. It was a treasure that people discovered. It was on BBC for, a


minority channel in a way. Where are you prepared for the level of


international recognition when you receive it. When we said any of us


we were going to do this, the women wanted to tell us they admired you


and the men wanted to meet you. Previous television shows have been


popular in Denmark. This was the risque show to put on, politics. N


Denmark we were... There is no money in the international


production, nobody thought it would travel as -- at all. You are


halfway through the third series. Any hints you can give us about a


third series? I am not allowed is a very much. When it ended last night,


to 0.5 years has gone by and all the main characters are in


different positions. 2.5 years. there may be a British character?


That is true. We used XT areas. -- Expedias. My office is asset.


probably the third and final serious. Absolutely. That will be


the final. It is a little sad? is sad but it is good to end it


when it is on this high. It was good. Thank you for being on our


programme. Her and you very much for having me. Sisse Babet Knuusen


speaking to me earlier. Coming up after the news: We will be speaking


to a two panellists as we look to There is a warning that the issue


could cause a serious problem for the party. How divisive as this? It


is the day he divisive issue for Conservatives. It is an issue that


the Prime Minister cares passionately about and many modern


has got it would tell the party appeal to a wider audience. But has


laid bare tensions within the party. It is a free vote on Tuesday and it


is believed that some Cabinet Ministers, junior Ministers and


party whips may actually opposed or abstain from, the issue. As you


said, there is a delegation going to Downing Street very shortly to


hand at this letter of protest. They are asking for the thought to


be delayed, saying it should be put off until after the next general


election. The say it is being pushed through in haste and many


Conservative members say they feel that is distasteful. In a woman


disfigured and an asset attack has been speaking to people. This was


my or maybe for the attack. Now, her life has been changed forever.


She suffer burns on her shoulder, face and rest when, just over one


month ago, asset was thrown at her by an unknown attacker. She has no


idea why she was targeted. She is hoping someone will contact the


police. It burnt a lot of May. I am not deaf, I am not blind, I am eat


able to eat and drink. Seoul, the person who did this field. God has


given me a life for a reason. That is what keeps me going. When she


first saw her injuries, she says she wanted to die, but now it is


staying positive. No one has yet been arrested. The leaders of


Pakistan and Afghanistan are in the United Kingdom for or two days of


talks with David Cameron. It is regarding stopping a rise in the


Taliban when the Nato forces leave the country. That is all for now.


There will be more now at 6:00pm. Good afternoon.The Scottish


government has accused Iceland of continuing to take an excessive


share of mackerel from the sea, despite the North Atlantic state


announcing a cut in quota. Iceland says it is reducing the


amount of the stock it takes by 15%, but that has being seen as a


defiant act against those who want to negotiate.


Iceland, Faroe and the EU have been in dispute over the rights to fish


mackerel for the past four years, with negotiations repeatedly


breaking down. Environmental campaigners say the


latest official figures show air pollution is continuing to threaten


the health of millions of people living in Scotland's biggest towns


and cities. The campaigners are calling on the Scottish government


and local authorities to take decisive action to ensure the


problem is reduced. The Scottish government insists it is meeting


most of its air-quality targets and is working to improve "localised


hotspots" of air pollution. It is making people ill. They are not


meeting the targets. It is not just in the big cities, but elsewhere in


the country. The figures show that there has not really been a lot of


improvement and the last couple of years.


The scientist who gave his name to the Higgs Boson particle is to have


an annual prize awarded in his honour. The Higgs Award will be


open to physics pupils and offer them the chance to win a visit to


the European Nuclear research facility at Cern in Geneva.


And here is the weather now, with Good morning. Thicker cloud in the


West already pushing its way in. You can see this particularly in


the north and it will become more persistent as it tries to push East.


As far as temperatures cool, nine degrees Celsius the best in the


West. That is all for now, Now back to


Andrew. Now, in a moment, we will be discussing the big events coming


up this week at Holyrood, but first, let us take a look back at the Week


in 60 Seconds. The Scottish government accepted the Electoral


Commission's revised question for the referendum. The Deputy First


Minister called for talks to start now it on how defence and security


would operate as Scotland was to We are very excited by the work


that Trident could be decommission within the space of two years. I do


not think there is any problem with us now having the discussions about


Alex Salmond discussed independence. It Haft and rip-off, but it did not


bring the House down. And now it is that time of the week


again where we take a look forward to the next seven days. This week I


am joined in the studio by journalists Anna Burnside and


Kirsty Scott. Firstly, we had a lively discussion at on the bedroom


tax a few moments ago. Do you think people in the community are aware


of this coming and in April? think there has been a big surge of


interest in this and I think the likes of social media have helped


in that way. The issue lends itself to the quirky, a picture caption


nature of social media, that it has spread between beyond the housing


and disabled communities. All this it, people in that position have


known it was coming and have lined it up. There have shown the likes


of Buckingham Palace with the huge mansion and the people and


Dunfermline who cannot pick the person in its own room because of


the tax. It needed that sort of juxtaposition. Just then the last


few weeks, there has been great concern special-interest groups and


charities knew this was coming up but do not have the public


attention. There has been an outcry and a lot of very good articles


about that. All this the, the crowds at the housing benefit is


�23 billion a year and there needed to be changes. But when you hear


some of the stories about the divorced dads who may not now be


able to have his children round, there are just so many stories like


that. What a good the impact of this be? They are has been talk of


this been a new poll tax and this could be the blue touch paper.


There has been talk that this will get us all out in the streets. I am


not convinced that will happen. I do think that a lot of people are


really lost, as to why anyone would think this was the good idea. If


you look at it groups of people who will be affected, it is a list of


people lot that you do not want to upset - divorced fathers wanting to


keep in touch with their children, families with disabled children,


foster carers, for heaven's sake. These people do not need to get


kicked when they are down. Good there be a groundswell of opinion?


Come April, I think we will see what is happening. You featured the


women who had a three-bedroom house, but her grown-up children had moved


out. But she cannot do anything because they council did not have a


smaller house for her. It is going to highlight inherent differences.


Now, the question of the Electoral Commission wanting any change in


the question for the referendum. But there is still a question of


any clarification of the issues? was hoping that once we had the


wording sorted out, we could leave the procedures behind. However, it


seems not. It seems that will now dry gone. I cannot say, from my


point of view, this is not really an issue what I want to be facing


first thing in the morning. To be it looking forward to more


substantial arguments and the future? So I think it was the fact


that the commission said that people want to know what all happen


But people want to know what things will look like in the weeks and


months after it. Now, the National as a wanted to push to find out


something which is more real, because that is what has been


missing from their campaign. I am worried that this will not happen.


I think this will become more stories about who is going to what


meeting when and what is on the agenda. I think it will stay in


procedure rather than moving to more interesting matters. Bathing


things have been a bit esoteric and I think it would be helpful for


people to have some ground in an concrete ideas and what they can


base their decision on. By now, we had the start of Borgen speaking to


as earlier. I know you were impressed by seen the start of the


short, Sisse Babet Knuusen. Yes, it was fantastic. The reason that


Borgen is so successful is that ensures that politicians have a


life and have to juggle things. I think we should have the week in a


life of Nicola Sturgeon. It is all very well saying we stand up and


deal with the same issues, but when you seek people like that dealing


with issues, it is a good thing, particularly when it is women.


that said, there is voter apathy out there? Yes, that is the strange


thing. Borgen is set in a political drama, but it could be set in the


world of anything else. The fact it is set in politics at an extra


level to it. It could easily be set in the NHS. But I think the reason


we love Borgen is that it is a small nation played a major part in


the world stage. T think that is where his popularity lies? Will,


the fact that they are a nation of the similar-sized to as. But


Birgiteh Newbor is a fabulous character and it is interesting


that Nicola Sturgeon is a partly introducing her at the question and


answer session in Edinburgh tonight. Maybe we should short a little bit


more of ourselves, as politicians. I do not think it is surprising


that Nicola Sturgeon is a huge fan. She apparently treated and told


everybody to leave her alone while Borgen was on. Body, thank you very


Download Subtitles