21/04/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


21/04/2013

Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn and Conservative MP Dominic Raab.


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Sunday Politics. The government is going to court to prevent a new EU

:00:44.:00:48.

tax hitting the centre of London as more pressure is piled on the Prime

:00:48.:00:53.

Minister to deliver his pledge to bring back powers from Brussels.

:00:53.:00:57.

He wants to be in the centre ground of British politics but claims the

:00:57.:01:01.

centre is moving left, so how will Ed Miliband's strategy go down in

:01:01.:01:06.

next month was, local elections? The shadow communities secretary joins

:01:06.:01:12.

us for the Sunday interview. It's claimed a estimated 70,000

:01:12.:01:17.

lives so two years into the Civil War, is it time to arm the rebels?

:01:17.:01:20.

And in Scotland, with less than a year and a half to go to the

:01:20.:01:25.

referendum, a critical conference for Labour as it chews over its

:01:25.:01:35.
:01:35.:01:35.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1702 seconds

:01:35.:29:57.

tragedy going on right now in Syria. More people have been killed

:29:57.:30:02.

in recent months than in the first year of the conflict. We want to see

:30:02.:30:07.

a managed transition in Syria, but there is no sign of that happening.

:30:07.:30:17.
:30:17.:30:22.

We have to change the terms of trade We have to change the terms of trade

:30:22.:30:25.

on the ground. It started with a peaceful demonstration in the street

:30:25.:30:34.

peaceful demonstration in the street It moved on and now we are involved

:30:34.:30:44.
:30:44.:30:51.

in more Islamists. They have given support. This creates a division.

:30:51.:30:59.

Are you worried about giving them guns? Of course, they have been

:30:59.:31:03.

planning to gain sympathy and support from the Syrian people,

:31:04.:31:10.

because they appeared a few months ago and they are giving up to al-

:31:10.:31:15.

Qaeda. You will end up giving guns to the bad guys. Not necessarily.

:31:15.:31:25.
:31:25.:31:34.

fighting on the ground, the people with more arms are the Islamists.

:31:34.:31:39.

They are going to win if we do nothing. What we need to do is to

:31:39.:31:43.

get the moderate, secular side to have forced to actually

:31:43.:31:50.

counterbalance that. You think, in sending arms to the opposition, you

:31:50.:31:53.

could actually distinguish as to who is going to get the guns?

:31:53.:32:01.

Absolutely. You cannot do that. It is not practical on the ground. You

:32:01.:32:06.

would create isolation between the rebels, because the bad guys think

:32:06.:32:10.

of themselves as the good guys, who are liberating Syria from the

:32:10.:32:16.

dictatorship. By arming the rebels in Syria, you are creating a

:32:16.:32:21.

revolution, a kind of battle between the Islamists and between the Syrian

:32:21.:32:28.

free army. We have three poll is of the conflict, and political solution

:32:28.:32:34.

is the only way to move forward. do we get that? Through pressure on

:32:34.:32:41.

Assad. Not through the pressure of Russia and Iran. Assad is not the

:32:41.:32:49.

supermassive power in Syria. cannot get Russia to do any

:32:49.:32:55.

pressuring. They are bolstering the Iranians. It will end up with

:32:55.:33:01.

terrorism in Syria. Even if Al-Qaeda has lost its war with America, it

:33:01.:33:09.

can regain in Syria. You say 70,000 people have died there, and that is

:33:09.:33:12.

probably a reasonably accurate estimate. If you give these people

:33:12.:33:21.

guns, and more than guns, a lot more will die. They've got guns already.

:33:21.:33:27.

Syria is awash with small arms already. The problem is we cannot

:33:27.:33:31.

force Assad to a political transition. Nobody wants to see a

:33:31.:33:36.

violent overthrow, but it is happening in slow motion right now,

:33:36.:33:41.

because he has enough power to hang on without being forced to the

:33:41.:33:45.

negotiation table. We have to bring the moderate and secular forces

:33:45.:33:49.

there, because that is the only guarantee you can get pressure on

:33:49.:33:54.

Russia, Iran and Hezbollah to change their mind. He says you have to do

:33:54.:33:59.

it to break the logjam on the ground. But that is not through

:34:00.:34:06.

getting more debt in Syria. Syria can use chemical weapons in order to

:34:06.:34:12.

gain power right now. It knows it will get the full power of the

:34:12.:34:22.
:34:22.:34:23.

United States if it did that. solution is to pressure Iran and

:34:23.:34:27.

Russia and Hezbollah. We need to pressure more, more pressure from

:34:27.:34:36.

the superpowers like America, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The

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situation could escalate more, to have a more regional war in Syria,

:34:41.:34:47.

where we have vulnerable borders, which can leak to Jordan, Israel and

:34:47.:34:52.

Lebanon. Then we have an international war in the region.

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Syria is a tribal mosaic. It is a hotchpotch of tribes that we

:34:58.:35:06.

understand almost none of. What has it got to do with us? Plenty --

:35:06.:35:11.

plenty. Firstly, there is a challenge to values going on. Tens

:35:11.:35:17.

of thousands of people are dying, and that speaks to our values.

:35:17.:35:24.

you are talking about hard power. Those are national security

:35:24.:35:30.

situations of a classic kind. Now we have moral interests and strategic

:35:30.:35:34.

interests too. We are seeing refugees streaming over,

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destabilising Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. It is in our interests to

:35:40.:35:45.

stop that happening. Thank you both. You are watching the Sunday

:35:45.:35:55.
:35:55.:36:03.

conference for Labour in Inverness as the party mulls over what it

:36:03.:36:07.

might offer in the event of a no vote.

:36:07.:36:09.

I'll be speaking live with Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour Party

:36:09.:36:14.

deputy leader. Parents in rural areas want to keep

:36:14.:36:18.

their local schools open, of course, but it's a difficult balance for

:36:19.:36:24.

cash-strapped councils. We'll debate the way forward. And that's the UK

:36:24.:36:26.

Treasury raises doubts about an independent Scotland keeping the

:36:26.:36:32.

pound, the SNP hip back, saying it in the best interests of Scotland to

:36:32.:36:42.
:36:42.:36:45.

stay in stolen -- sterling will stop Scottish Labour have been trying to

:36:45.:36:48.

refresh and regroup. They say they have to be honest

:36:48.:36:52.

about the hard choices. One of those hard choices is deciding what to

:36:52.:36:57.

offer in the event of a no vote in the referendum. Our political

:36:57.:36:59.

correspondent Raymond Buchanan has been taking the air in the far

:36:59.:37:05.

north. The glorious Highlands - home to

:37:05.:37:10.

some of Europe's great wilderness. A place to contemplate, to consider,

:37:10.:37:15.

to renew. An appropriate location for the modern Labour Party to

:37:15.:37:21.

choose for their conference. Swept out of office by the voters in

:37:21.:37:25.

Westminster and Holyrood, they have much to ponder. Some of the

:37:25.:37:28.

questions the party has to ask itself are really quite deep. How

:37:28.:37:32.

should they deal with the deficit? What public services should Labour

:37:32.:37:37.

supporting future? What is the party's attitude to welfare reform,

:37:37.:37:43.

immigration and the Constitution? These are potentially treacherous

:37:43.:37:47.

areas to navigate but that is the task of Ed Miliband and JoAnn

:37:47.:37:53.

laminate. The UK leader arrived in the capital with an old Tory idea.

:37:53.:37:57.

He wants Labour to be the one nation movement, uniting communities from

:37:57.:38:05.

Shetland to Southampton. We have something none of the other parties

:38:05.:38:10.

have - the power of the people joining together. Let's leave the

:38:10.:38:15.

Tories to divide our society. unity can be a difficult thing to

:38:15.:38:23.

achieve if one party, let alone one nation, doesn't agree. The Scottish

:38:23.:38:25.

leadership plan to give Holyrood control of all tax hasn't been

:38:25.:38:35.

unanimously praised. On the subject of MPs, I would say to those unnamed

:38:35.:38:38.

comrade suspecting their dummies out this week, " get over it and engage

:38:38.:38:46.

in the party consultation". That's certainly not the phrasing I would

:38:46.:38:49.

use. There has been a great deal of anxiety about the way this has been

:38:49.:38:54.

handled. The first I heard was when I read it in the paper. There are

:38:54.:38:57.

three MPs on the group but they went reporting back so nobody knew what

:38:57.:39:04.

was being discussed. When Johann Lamont took to the stage, she

:39:04.:39:08.

challenged Alex Salmond to work with her to improve childcare and be more

:39:08.:39:14.

open about the economic challenges Scotland's public services face.

:39:14.:39:18.

is time politicians were honest with the public about hard choices. We

:39:18.:39:22.

can't afford a cartoon debate when older people are being tucked up in

:39:22.:39:27.

bed by 6pm because it fits in a carer's pressure to schedule because

:39:27.:39:35.

of pressure budgets. But she didn't set out what hard choices she would

:39:35.:39:39.

make. But she did set out the choices she believes faces people in

:39:39.:39:43.

this country. Alex Salmond would have you believe the enemy is our

:39:43.:39:48.

neighbours. He wants to have a debate with David Cameron but he

:39:48.:39:51.

won't debate me and that's because he wants to deceive people into

:39:51.:39:57.

thinking this is a question of Scotland versus England. It isn't.

:39:57.:40:01.

The fight is Scotland versus Alex Salmond and it is one that Scotland

:40:01.:40:11.
:40:11.:40:15.

themselves as the party of the many and the SNP as the party of the few.

:40:15.:40:22.

In the end, Scotland will decide which direction it prefers. And also

:40:22.:40:25.

how long Labour's wildernesses continue.

:40:25.:40:28.

Joining me live from the Scottish Labour conference in Inverness is

:40:28.:40:32.

the deputy leader of the party Anas Sarwar. Good afternoon and thank you

:40:32.:40:37.

for joining me. At the launch of the report on the evolution report,

:40:37.:40:42.

there was controversy. There is a recommendation to devolve income

:40:42.:40:47.

tax. Has that been thought through adequately? We are hearing those

:40:47.:40:52.

concerns from MPs. I wouldn't frame it in the way you have done. What

:40:52.:40:56.

we're doing is having a genuine discussion and debate to say that we

:40:56.:40:59.

recognise we need to get a devolution model that works best for

:40:59.:41:05.

Scotland so we can create the kind of society we want to live in are up

:41:05.:41:13.

our children. -- and bring up our children. This needs to be a wider

:41:13.:41:20.

debate right across Scotland. We will base our final conclusions on

:41:20.:41:23.

those constitution responses and make sure we act not in the Labour

:41:23.:41:27.

Party's interests but in the interests of Scotland. But raising

:41:27.:41:30.

income tax purely in Scotland - MPs are concerned that could put

:41:31.:41:39.

Scotland at risk financially. said there is a strong case around

:41:39.:41:41.

the accountability argument about having income tax Scottish

:41:41.:41:44.

parliament but there are still questions that need to be answered.

:41:44.:41:48.

One thing we are not going to do is create a system that undermined

:41:48.:41:53.

Scotland's position. We don't want to make Scotland who are. That is

:41:53.:41:55.

why we are going to test all the arguments to make sure we have a

:41:55.:41:59.

devolution model that is in the best interests of Scotland. It's an open,

:41:59.:42:04.

frank discussion and debate. It's not just inside the Labour Party but

:42:04.:42:08.

with Scotland. We could have the approach of the opposition who make

:42:08.:42:12.

up all the answers as they go along. That is not the approach the

:42:12.:42:16.

Labour Party is taking. We want to engage, have a genuine consultation

:42:16.:42:20.

and discussion with Scotland. Perhaps this discussion has been a

:42:20.:42:24.

bit too open and frank, as we saw earlier with the comrades spitting

:42:24.:42:30.

their dummies out. As Johann Lamont spent this weekend trying to exert

:42:30.:42:36.

her authority in the party? What she has spent this weekend doing is

:42:36.:42:39.

setting out a different case for Scotland, not just on the

:42:39.:42:44.

constitution but all the big issues. Just a few weeks ago, you have the

:42:44.:42:47.

first Minister come here with all the usual bluster, all the usual

:42:47.:42:52.

lines, but set out his own case for setting up his own legacy. Contrast

:42:52.:42:56.

that to what you had yesterday - a speech of humility, emotion and

:42:56.:43:02.

passion. Someone who is not in this for some kind of personal glory but

:43:02.:43:05.

to increase opportunities for everyone across the country. That is

:43:05.:43:08.

something we should be proud of and something the party got right

:43:08.:43:12.

behind. Some say the first Minister was setting out a vision for

:43:12.:43:16.

Scotland and some said that Johann Lamont's speech lacks vision. She

:43:16.:43:20.

spoke about her background and university education and said it was

:43:20.:43:24.

time politicians were honest with the public about hard choices. What

:43:24.:43:28.

is Labour's hard choice when it comes to higher education? She spoke

:43:28.:43:32.

about the college budget being mauled. Do you want to reintroduce

:43:32.:43:37.

tuition fees or a graduate endowment for higher education? That's not

:43:37.:43:42.

what she is saying. She is saying you can't measure the success of an

:43:42.:43:46.

individual area by just looking at one policy. We can't pretend we have

:43:46.:43:50.

perfect higher education system because we have free tuition. The

:43:50.:43:53.

fat that Scotland, despite not having to tuition fees, if you are

:43:53.:43:57.

kids in Scotland from a working-class background you are

:43:57.:44:04.

less likely to go to university than it did in England. Because of health

:44:04.:44:07.

care inequalities, a lot of people went live long enough to receive

:44:07.:44:11.

free personal care. How can we have people living longer, more

:44:11.:44:15.

fulfilling lives? How do we improve the education system to make sure

:44:15.:44:19.

that no matter where you live, whether affluent area or more

:44:19.:44:26.

deprived area, there will be a successful education system to go to

:44:26.:44:32.

university and go to college and be an asset to your community. That's

:44:32.:44:35.

the kind of society that Johann Lamont wants to create and that's

:44:35.:44:39.

what she was setting out. opposition said it was rather policy

:44:39.:44:44.

light. Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that reducing tuition fees was the

:44:44.:44:51.

closest she came to introducing a policy. She also had to revisit a

:44:51.:44:55.

controversial policy, the something for nothing speech. She said she was

:44:55.:44:58.

not attacking the principle of universal benefits but raising the

:44:58.:45:01.

point that there was not perhaps enough resources to pay for these

:45:02.:45:08.

universal benefits, so in essence wasn't she attacking the policy?

:45:08.:45:11.

think what the Cabinet Secretary for infrastructure should do is not just

:45:11.:45:15.

bend all their time building a case up for independence in the

:45:15.:45:18.

referendum next year but spent time building infrastructure, roads,

:45:18.:45:25.

schools, hospitals to help tackle the inequalities I set out. Johann

:45:25.:45:27.

Lamont is saying there are real challenges right here in Scotland

:45:27.:45:30.

and what we can't have over the next 18 months is constant conversations

:45:30.:45:34.

purely about the constitution and funding models and devolution or

:45:34.:45:38.

about independence. There are real challenges that people are facing

:45:38.:45:43.

right now. What people don't need is politicians sitting in parliament,

:45:43.:45:47.

council chambers or Right now in TV studios talking about things like

:45:47.:45:52.

the monetary policy committee and other issues - all very important

:45:52.:45:57.

but not ones that affect people's daily lives. People are worried

:45:57.:46:01.

about how they get food on their table, whether their child will get

:46:01.:46:05.

access to a college place, will get a job, how their loved one will be

:46:05.:46:09.

treated by the NHS. They are the real conversations taking place up

:46:09.:46:12.

and down this country and that's the conversation we want to have and

:46:12.:46:17.

find the right solutions. important policy is childcare which

:46:17.:46:21.

Johann Lamont mentioned but there was a scant lack of detail. She

:46:21.:46:25.

challenged Alex Salmond to return next week. She said she had worked

:46:25.:46:32.

out proposals for childcare - what are the proposals? I'm sorry,

:46:32.:46:36.

Andrew, that is the wrong reflection of what she said. What she said was

:46:36.:46:41.

that the first Minister made a promise on childcare not to actually

:46:41.:46:45.

change women's lives but to get votes for the referendum. He has the

:46:45.:46:48.

powers in the Scottish parliament right now to introduce the policy

:46:48.:46:51.

proposals that he wants and what Johann Lamont quite rightly said is

:46:51.:46:55.

that we will work with the SNP. People don't care about party

:46:55.:47:00.

politics when it comes to changing their lives so we will work with the

:47:00.:47:03.

SNP in the budget and come up with a proposal that works and we will

:47:03.:47:06.

support it and make the policy happen now. Are they big enough to

:47:06.:47:12.

take that on? Let's make sure we deliver for Scotland bow. Why wait

:47:12.:47:17.

until after the referendum? Alex Salmond has the power to do it now

:47:17.:47:21.

but he is not taking the opportunity. It's a very expensive

:47:21.:47:25.

policy, which is the point the first Minister made and it needs time to

:47:25.:47:29.

be worked out. Are you just trying to smoke out the first Minister and

:47:29.:47:33.

make him commit to a very expensive policy which would require a cut in

:47:33.:47:37.

another area of the budget? Which every would you like to see cut to

:47:37.:47:43.

pay for it? Andrew, I'm sorry. He has the power, he says it's a

:47:44.:47:46.

priority if Scotland wants an independent country. Let's not make

:47:46.:47:52.

it up as we go along. He can't promise tax systems like Ireland and

:47:52.:47:56.

public services like Scandinavia. You can't make it up as you go

:47:56.:48:01.

along, which is what the first minute and the SNP are doing. If he

:48:01.:48:04.

genuinely believes that it's in the best interests of Scotland to have a

:48:04.:48:09.

childcare system that works to help women back into work, we will help

:48:09.:48:13.

them to deliver that policy in this Parliament. Will he take that

:48:13.:48:21.

challenge? Will he join us in that? If not it proves that it's a policy

:48:21.:48:28.

to gain votes. Less than 18 months until the referendum, there is

:48:28.:48:33.

difficulty getting this policy of further devolution for Scotland -

:48:33.:48:37.

that has been mired over the course of the weekend. Johann Lamont had to

:48:37.:48:40.

explain once again the something for nothing speech. Where labour

:48:40.:48:45.

standing at the moment? I don't accept that reflection that you

:48:45.:48:49.

have. You should perhaps listen less to the SNP press machine and listen

:48:49.:48:53.

to what actually happened here at conference. I would welcome you to

:48:53.:48:57.

come to our conference next year, rather than in the studio, is what

:48:57.:49:01.

we had was a fantastic speech from Johann Lamont. We also set out what

:49:01.:49:06.

we would do if we were in charge of the NHS, setting out a 12 point plan

:49:06.:49:12.

on social justice. We had a discussion about the centralisation

:49:12.:49:21.

of Holyrood. All positive things happening right here at conference

:49:21.:49:25.

because we are on the side of Scotland and putting Scotland first.

:49:25.:49:29.

We have to leave it there. Thanks for joining us.

:49:29.:49:34.

Now to an emotive subject - ruble school closures. For two years

:49:34.:49:37.

there's been a moratorium on closing village schools while a commission

:49:37.:49:40.

investigated the future of ruble education. It is now reported but

:49:40.:49:44.

would it be enough to satisfy the concerns of campaigners or might it

:49:44.:49:49.

actually make ruble school closures easier? Here's Jamie McIvor.

:49:49.:49:54.

Any proposal to close a school can be emotive but integral areas, the

:49:54.:50:02.

passion can be even more intense. -- in rural areas. Quite apart from how

:50:02.:50:05.

proposals might affect a child's education, the school could be an

:50:05.:50:10.

important part of the team unity. Two years ago, villagers here bought

:50:10.:50:15.

a powerful campaign when their village school was facing closure.

:50:15.:50:18.

The kids keep everybody going and that brings parents here, who look

:50:18.:50:23.

after the elderly people, who work in the shops to keep the village

:50:23.:50:27.

open to the tourists that come here. Without the school we will struggle

:50:27.:50:32.

to keep and attract families to this area. The local primary was one of

:50:32.:50:39.

many local schools put under threat. At one point, around 25 were facing

:50:39.:50:43.

the axe. In the end they were saved following a move by the Scottish

:50:43.:50:48.

government. There was some concern over how the process en route will

:50:48.:50:53.

school closures was working. The government called for a moratorium

:50:53.:50:56.

on closures across Scotland while a commission on the future of roll

:50:56.:51:02.

education carried out a full investigation. It has now reported.

:51:02.:51:08.

It is a detailed report which makes several recommendations. Key amongst

:51:08.:51:18.
:51:18.:51:25.

them... I hope that it will ensure that the education which is provided

:51:25.:51:31.

for our children in rural Scotland is of a standard which we can be

:51:32.:51:41.
:51:42.:51:42.

proud of. But one point in the report is proving controversial. It

:51:42.:51:49.

proposes... Instead it would be simply about making sure it would

:51:49.:51:59.

not be harmed. Some fear at good make closures easier.

:51:59.:52:03.

educational statement not now having priority over everything else, it

:52:03.:52:07.

gives councils they license to make this all about numbers and there

:52:07.:52:12.

will be more regard given to the quality of education that will be

:52:12.:52:16.

lost. Others will suggest that this change will make the debate more on

:52:16.:52:23.

-- more honest, arguments are sometimes considered later than by

:52:23.:52:29.

the need to save money anyway. In his Dumbarton sure there is an

:52:29.:52:34.

intense debate about possible school closures. One rural school as at

:52:34.:52:42.

risk. I think there should be consultation and that has been

:52:42.:52:47.

brought up in this sheriff's report, we need financial transparency in

:52:47.:52:53.

the dealings that the council is having. There is no option here for

:52:53.:52:59.

us apart from closure. The council could not make a formal moves until

:52:59.:53:02.

after the commission 's report. The question here will be, what happens

:53:02.:53:08.

now? Nationally a full response from the Scottish Government is expected

:53:08.:53:12.

in the next few weeks. So what changes might happen and what will

:53:12.:53:20.

be the measure of their success? Well, with me in the studio now is

:53:20.:53:22.

COSLA spokesperson for Education, Children and Young People, the SNP

:53:22.:53:25.

Councillor Douglas Chapman, and from our Dundee studio, the Scottish

:53:25.:53:34.

Conservative's Murdo Fraser. Good afternoon. First the euro, Douglas.

:53:34.:53:44.

A full report. Let's pick up on that. It is that a semantic or

:53:44.:53:51.

significant point as raised in the report? The report covers a lot of

:53:51.:53:55.

ground and there are 30 different recommendations. We hope that we can

:53:55.:54:00.

support all or most of the recommendations. From a council 's

:54:00.:54:06.

point of view, we would always want to move ahead and ensure that

:54:06.:54:09.

children's education is protected whatever the situation, a rural or

:54:09.:54:14.

urban environment. This point for me is about, if a council decides to

:54:14.:54:20.

close a school, it has got to prove the case that it is in the child's

:54:20.:54:26.

best interest to do so. I think the point that has been made in the

:54:26.:54:30.

report is about not having to go as far as saying it has to be a

:54:30.:54:36.

benefit. As long as that position is neutral and there is no detriment to

:54:36.:54:40.

a child's education, then that is something that we can support and I

:54:40.:54:44.

think that is a good thing. Scottish Conservatives say that that

:54:44.:54:49.

could make the closing of rural skills easily, is that true? We need

:54:49.:54:55.

to go back to basics on this. There are things in there that benefit

:54:55.:54:59.

payments in terms of information that is provided and more clarity

:55:00.:55:05.

and transparency around information. I think some of the recommendations

:55:05.:55:11.

are how you look at a community in the hall. -- in the hall. Not just

:55:11.:55:16.

look at a school on its own. I think these are positive steps for how to

:55:16.:55:24.

take things forward. Are you reassured by Mr Chapmans words?

:55:24.:55:29.

There is a lot I would agree with and there is a lot that is positive

:55:29.:55:37.

in the report. I think having to provide a stronger financial case is

:55:37.:55:42.

very reasonable. We know that in the past of a very unsound financial

:55:42.:55:47.

case is put forward. But there is a fundamental problem with this that I

:55:47.:55:52.

think Douglas Chapman has skirted around. That is the shift from

:55:52.:55:57.

having to prove it is in the educational benefit of the pupils to

:55:57.:56:01.

close. In effect, lauding that far to say that all the council has to

:56:01.:56:06.

do is to sure that there would be no disadvantage. That is a fundamental

:56:06.:56:13.

shift in both the goalposts from where we are. I think we saw in the

:56:13.:56:19.

film, patents from rural skills to see that as a concern. If that was

:56:19.:56:22.

to become a change in legislation, are changing guidance, that is

:56:22.:56:27.

something that would be very vigorously posed, not just by the

:56:27.:56:33.

Scottish Conservatives but many rural schools campaigners. It does

:56:33.:56:37.

not sound like you have reassured him. I think we can work on days

:56:37.:56:41.

bets over the coming months but the important point is, you have a

:56:41.:56:49.

commission, it is reported on the recommendations that we spoke of,

:56:49.:56:53.

and the whole issue means that we need to get behind each of these

:56:53.:57:01.

recommendations and make sure there implemented. I think the discussion

:57:01.:57:11.
:57:11.:57:14.

with the Scottish Government needs to start now. The main point, 15

:57:14.:57:17.

people sitting on the commission and they have all come to the conclusion

:57:17.:57:25.

that the standard of where the bar is set is the right one to set.

:57:25.:57:29.

Based on all the evidence, that is the view they have taken so I think

:57:29.:57:34.

we should move forward with that. very thorough report, of course, and

:57:35.:57:39.

it is a difficult balance to strike. Cash-strapped councils need to make

:57:39.:57:47.

difficult decisions. I think that is exactly the problem. Pencils do have

:57:47.:57:51.

financial issues, that is why the prospect of closing small rural

:57:51.:57:58.

schools seems so attractive. In the past we have seen a very dubious

:57:58.:58:02.

cases put forward where councils have not factored in the cost of the

:58:02.:58:07.

alternative, such as batting pupils to another centre nearby. Anything

:58:07.:58:14.

that makes it easier for councils to close rural schools is something

:58:14.:58:18.

that setting councils will seize on. That is why this is so worrying in

:58:18.:58:23.

the current financial climate and why so many parents will be worried

:58:23.:58:26.

about it. If we can agree that we will not change that particular

:58:26.:58:31.

piece of Baden's and embrace the report, I think Douglas and I can

:58:31.:58:37.

both go home happy. Thank you for joining me.

:58:37.:58:41.

Coming up after the news. As the UK Treasury prepare to launch a paper

:58:41.:58:44.

on the economics of independence, there's a warning to the SNP about

:58:44.:58:46.

keeping the pound. Ministers accuse the party of tying themselves in

:58:46.:58:50.

knots and bringing powers home with one hand, while giving them away

:58:50.:58:56.

with another. Alex Salmond has hit out at the downgrade Chancellor.

:58:56.:58:59.

We'll debate with the SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie and Sir

:58:59.:59:04.

Malcolm Bruce of the Liberal Democrats. You're watching Sunday

:59:04.:59:09.

Politics Scotland and the time is coming up for 3pm. So let's cross

:59:09.:59:19.
:59:19.:59:21.

now for the news with Chris Eakin and Sally McNair. Thousands lined

:59:21.:59:31.
:59:31.:59:35.

the route in response to the Boston attack. Many wore black ribbons and

:59:35.:59:44.

was tighter security. Before the start, 35,000 fell silent. Despite

:59:45.:59:48.

the weeks events, the crows immersed in their hundreds of thousands to

:59:48.:59:58.
:59:58.:59:59.

cheer on the runners. The spirit of the day was summed up by America's

:59:59.:00:07.

winner of the wheelchair event, she won the event in Boston just hours

:00:07.:00:13.

before the bombing. She dedicated her when did people of Boston.

:00:13.:00:16.

definitely dedicate this one to Boston and I am just remembering

:00:16.:00:23.

those affected by it. Britain's David Weir only finished fifth while

:00:23.:00:31.

victories in the elite races went to Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes.

:00:31.:00:39.

Thoughts were with those across the Atlantic. The great thing about the

:00:39.:00:44.

marathon is that, no matter what colour, religion or nationality you

:00:45.:00:49.

are, everyone comes together. everyone who crosses the finish line

:00:49.:00:57.

here, the ordinator is -- the organiser is donating �2 to the

:00:57.:01:01.

Boston fund. Many runners are still out on the course but for all, it

:01:01.:01:08.

has been a day of high emotion. Police in Boston are still waiting

:01:09.:01:12.

to question the teenager who is expected -- who is suspected of

:01:12.:01:16.

carrying out the bombing. The FBI has released new energies taken with

:01:16.:01:23.

a thermal imaging camera. They show the suspect shortly before the

:01:23.:01:27.

exchange of gunfire and he remains under armed guard in hospital.

:01:27.:01:31.

More than 200 people are now known to be dead reported missing after

:01:31.:01:36.

yesterday's earthquake in China. More than 11,000 people have been

:01:36.:01:40.

injured, according to authorities. Rescue workers have been searching

:01:40.:01:45.

remote mountain villages for survivors.

:01:45.:01:51.

Celtic have been crowned Scottish Premier League champions after

:01:51.:01:57.

beating Inverness at Celtic Park. Celtic only needed a point but they

:01:57.:02:05.

ran out comfortable 4-1 winners. It is the club's 44th success. There

:02:05.:02:13.

will be more news on BBC One just after 6:30pm.

:02:13.:02:23.
:02:23.:02:23.

Good Afternoon. Experts at Edinburgh Zoo have performed artificial

:02:23.:02:30.

insemination on the female giant panda Tian Tian. There have been

:02:30.:02:36.

positive signs. The male panda has been eating bamboo to build himself

:02:36.:02:42.

up and sniffing around the female enclosure. He has also been

:02:42.:02:48.

vocalising. Despite this, experts decided against an attempt at

:02:48.:02:51.

natural meeting and the artificial procedure was carried out. Both

:02:51.:02:57.

pandas are now slipping after what has been described as an intensive

:02:57.:03:00.

week. It will be several weeks before it is now an effort was

:03:00.:03:07.

successful but pandas will be back on display in a couple of days.

:03:07.:03:10.

Scottish Labour's Deputy Leader, Anas Sarwar, has ended his party's

:03:10.:03:13.

spring conference in Inverness by telling delegates they have a fight

:03:13.:03:15.

on their hands ahead of next year's Independence referendum. Mr Sarwar

:03:15.:03:19.

accused the SNP of making up policy as they go along in a bid to secure

:03:19.:03:24.

a yes vote in the September 2014 poll ballot. It is now very clear

:03:24.:03:29.

that they will say what you want to hear, Ron is you that independence

:03:29.:03:37.

will be at whatever you wanted to be to get a yes vote. Not for them a

:03:37.:03:43.

debate gritted in reality, but a debate based on what you want to

:03:43.:03:46.

hear to get your vote. Celebrations are continuing at Celtic Park in

:03:46.:03:49.

Glasgow after Celtic beat Inverness Caley Thistle to seal the SPL title

:03:49.:03:59.
:03:59.:04:15.

with four matches of the season remaining.

:04:15.:04:20.

Second World War hero has been honoured at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

:04:20.:04:24.

Thomas Peck Hunter was posthumous he awarded the Victoria Cross for

:04:24.:04:28.

action in Italy in the final days of the war. He was killed by German

:04:28.:04:32.

gunfire while he tried to protect men under his command by lying in

:04:32.:04:36.

full view of the enemy until his colleagues reached safety. The

:04:36.:04:39.

service was attended by members of his family, including his nephew,

:04:40.:04:49.
:04:50.:04:53.

Now the forecast for Scotland. This morning's reign has passed

:04:53.:04:55.

through and this afternoon it should be brightening up for most of us.

:04:55.:05:00.

There will be a number of showers around, especially across the West

:05:00.:05:06.

fairly fairly heavy. Temperatures between

:05:06.:05:12.

ten and 12 Celsius. Into the evening and overnight, showers tend to fade

:05:12.:05:16.

away and it will be dry for a time but during the overnight period, and

:05:16.:05:26.
:05:26.:05:27.

other weather front starts to work at 6:50pm. Now back to the Sunday

:05:28.:05:32.

Politics Scotland. This week the UK government will

:05:32.:05:35.

publish its latest paper on independence. This time it's from

:05:35.:05:40.

the Treasury. The Chancellor is claiming the SNP are tying

:05:40.:05:43.

themselves in knots with plans to keep the pound if there is a yes

:05:43.:05:48.

vote. The SNP say the policy would benefit the whole UK sterling zone.

:05:48.:05:51.

If Scotland votes yes next year, the Scottish government wants to retain

:05:51.:05:55.

the pound is part of what it calls a sterling zone with the rest of the

:05:55.:06:00.

UK. But in a joint UK government article, the chancellor George

:06:00.:06:04.

Osborne and his Treasury chief secretary say the SNP are tying

:06:04.:06:14.
:06:14.:06:32.

Friday, the leader of the Better Together campaign said it would

:06:32.:06:35.

affect the ability to spend. currency union would mean another

:06:35.:06:39.

country, which would be a foreign country, would have to approve our

:06:39.:06:44.

budget, tax, spending and borrowing. That is not freedom. If

:06:44.:06:48.

you are voted for independence, you are voting yourself into a

:06:48.:06:51.

straitjacket from which you can never escape and the consequence of

:06:51.:06:55.

that would be very bad for Scotland. But the Scottish government believes

:06:55.:06:59.

a currency union would help boost the rest of the UK's Alencon

:06:59.:07:05.

payments, thanks to its assets including oil and gas. The Deputy

:07:05.:07:07.

first Minister Nicola Sturgeon insists its the common-sense

:07:07.:07:17.
:07:17.:07:27.

position supported by the facts. She experts on the fiscal commission

:07:27.:07:35.

working group set up by the first Minister Alex Salmond. The UK

:07:35.:07:40.

Treasury process analysis of what it would mean on Friday.

:07:40.:07:46.

I'm joined by the SNP's Treasury spokesman, Stewart Hosie, and from

:07:46.:07:49.

Aberdeen we have the Liberal Democrat MP Sir Malcolm Bruce. Good

:07:49.:07:54.

afternoon to both of you. First of all to you, Stewart Hosie, the

:07:54.:07:59.

Treasury in that article is saying you are tying yourselves in knots

:07:59.:08:02.

with this policy. They are threatening that Scots could risk

:08:02.:08:07.

losing the pound under independence. You must rue the day when the euro

:08:07.:08:12.

crisis began because this rather convoluted policy which, of course,

:08:12.:08:17.

the Treasury say doesn't really make sense. I look forward to the

:08:17.:08:20.

document being published because if it's as thin as the spun comments

:08:20.:08:24.

today, it's not going to amount to much more than a repetition of the

:08:24.:08:30.

usual scare stories that we have to join the euro, which we won't. This

:08:30.:08:34.

is dreadfully complicated, which it isn't. They say it means a foreign

:08:34.:08:37.

country will be a controlling our economy, which is completely and

:08:37.:08:42.

utterly false. I'm happy to expand on any of those. We'll put some of

:08:42.:08:47.

those points to Sir Malcolm Bruce. What is wrong with a currency zone

:08:47.:08:53.

because the SNP make it quite clear that the balance of payments would

:08:53.:08:59.

make it a benefit to the rest of the UK? They say it's just as much

:08:59.:09:04.

Scotland's pound as England's. is the point - if you want a

:09:04.:09:08.

currency union, we've got one, it's called the UK. If that's the

:09:08.:09:13.

argument, we should stay in it. What the SNP doing is creating confusion

:09:13.:09:18.

and uncertainty and begging a lot of questions because if the Bank of

:09:18.:09:22.

England is effectively underwriting the Scottish economy, there will be

:09:22.:09:26.

conditions and, indeed, other parts of the UK, the North of England,

:09:26.:09:31.

Wales and Northern Ireland, will have use. The SNP seem to think they

:09:31.:09:35.

can run a completely free budget, underwritten by a foreign bank -

:09:35.:09:39.

which it will be - and they'll be no conditions attached. When you look

:09:39.:09:42.

at what's happening in the eurozone, it's fanciful to believe

:09:42.:09:45.

such an agreement could be achieved, even if it was in

:09:45.:09:50.

anybody's interests. Stewart Hosie, we have this monetary, fiscal and

:09:50.:09:54.

political union as things stand - you want to take the political bit

:09:54.:09:59.

out of it. Does this policy really make sense? As Sir Malcolm points

:09:59.:10:02.

out, we will have to have these constraints if there is

:10:02.:10:06.

independence. You would have to reach an agreement with the Bank of

:10:06.:10:10.

England when it comes to fiscal policy. This all makes perfect

:10:10.:10:15.

sense. The Bank of England is independent. That's a good thing.

:10:15.:10:21.

Both Scotland and the rest of the UK will be subject to... Just let him

:10:21.:10:25.

finish that point. Scotland and the rest of the UK would be subject to

:10:25.:10:30.

military discipline with independent decisions made. But both Scotland

:10:30.:10:35.

and the rest of the UK would have full control of their fiscal policy.

:10:35.:10:38.

At the moment, George Osborne has control of the fiscal policy but

:10:38.:10:41.

there is very little of that in Scotland. We would have it all and I

:10:41.:10:46.

think that is a profoundly good thing. What that means in terms of a

:10:46.:10:49.

stability pact, it makes perfect sense for countries to try to make

:10:49.:10:55.

sure their deficit is reasonable and their debt begins to shrink. Those

:10:55.:11:00.

aren't constraints which any country would not want to have. Those are

:11:00.:11:03.

proper and sensible targets to be worked to buy any government and

:11:03.:11:09.

that makes sense both for Scotland and the rest of the UK. But how

:11:09.:11:11.

independent is the Bank of England when the Chancellor in the budget

:11:11.:11:16.

decided to change its remit to try to boost growth and, of course,

:11:16.:11:21.

ministers under the bank of England that of 1998 have the power to

:11:21.:11:30.

override the MPs in the military policy committee. In relation to the

:11:30.:11:34.

change from a fixed inflation target to flexible inflation targeting, I

:11:34.:11:37.

think that's extremely sensible indeed because it lays out the

:11:37.:11:40.

direction of travel for interest rates over the medium-term and

:11:40.:11:48.

provide more certainty to borrowers, banks and members of the public, to

:11:48.:11:52.

the decisions the MPC is likely to take. It's a sensible decision and

:11:52.:11:56.

I'm sure the MPC will use it properly. I think it's a good thing

:11:56.:12:00.

in terms of monetary stability and boosting growth in the long run.

:12:00.:12:05.

Stewart Hosie was speaking about the stability pact and the chair of the

:12:05.:12:09.

Scottish government's fiscal commission was writing this week

:12:09.:12:12.

saying that a mutual agreement on borrowing and debt levels would

:12:13.:12:17.

underpin a currency union and would actually be good for both economies.

:12:17.:12:20.

Yes but with the emphasis on the word mutual. It requires the whole

:12:20.:12:25.

of the UK to agree it. The way the SNP project it is that it will be

:12:25.:12:29.

the way the SNP wants it and the rest of the UK will somehow accept.

:12:29.:12:33.

That's not the real world. The Bank of England is owned by the UK

:12:33.:12:35.

government and operates under legislation passed by the UK

:12:35.:12:39.

Parliament. If Scotland was an independent country, it would have

:12:39.:12:43.

no mistake Bank of England in terms of appointment or any changes in its

:12:43.:12:48.

mandate or legal basis. It would simply have to deal with it as a

:12:48.:12:53.

foreign bank and negotiate what it could. It's fine to say we should

:12:53.:12:57.

have such a pact but both sides will have to agree and the SNP cannot

:12:57.:13:01.

tell the people of Scotland what the outcome of that agreement will be

:13:01.:13:03.

because we will not know until Scotland, if it votes for

:13:04.:13:09.

independence, negotiated. That's the real problem - we have a perfectly

:13:09.:13:13.

good currency union right now, it's called the United Kingdom and the

:13:13.:13:17.

best way to keep that is to stay in the UK. Hard for you to make your

:13:17.:13:20.

imprint on the Bank of England and, as Danny Alexander and Alistair

:13:20.:13:25.

Darling have been warning this weekend, when it comes to the bigger

:13:25.:13:31.

partner, these currency unions - look at Germany and Greece in, that

:13:31.:13:36.

bigger partner tends to have the biggest say. The German and great

:13:36.:13:40.

example is a particularly bad one. The reason for the great

:13:40.:13:45.

difficulties is not that there wasn't a political union or a tax

:13:45.:13:48.

harmonisation with Germany, it's because the productivity was so

:13:48.:13:52.

miserable. The difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK is

:13:52.:13:56.

that productivity is near identical, which means we're in an

:13:56.:14:01.

optimum currency area and that's the key point. We hear the scare stories

:14:01.:14:05.

about why the rest of the UK might say no but I look forward to

:14:05.:14:07.

Unionist politicians explain to the good people of England, Wales and

:14:07.:14:12.

Northern Ireland why they would want to damage sterling in a balance of

:14:12.:14:16.

trade terms by saying that the �40 million contribution which Scottish

:14:16.:14:20.

oil and gas brings would no longer be available at the sterling table.

:14:20.:14:23.

There are lots of scare stories and I understand why are parents want to

:14:23.:14:28.

use them but they make no sense, even for the rest of the UK. When we

:14:28.:14:32.

get to the negotiations, and of course there will be negotiations,

:14:32.:14:37.

common sense will prevail. A currency union but fiscal freedom is

:14:37.:14:40.

the ideal position for Scotland to be in and that's why independence

:14:40.:14:43.

makes so much sense. You were shaking your head about the balance

:14:43.:14:48.

of trade terms. If there's so much agreement, I can't see the need for

:14:48.:14:52.

us to break up an existing agreement. But I was shaking my head

:14:52.:14:56.

in relation to things like the oil revenues. They come and go and the

:14:56.:15:03.

fluctuation of one or 2% in terms of UK GDP is absorbable. For the

:15:03.:15:09.

Scottish economy, that could be 5% or 10% in any one given year. That

:15:09.:15:12.

could put pressure on Scotland that does not currently exist. What the

:15:12.:15:17.

SNP are proposing is to impose more uncertainty into what is a difficult

:15:17.:15:20.

and uncertain situation at a time when what we actually need is to get

:15:20.:15:24.

over our problems together, not argue about who should take the

:15:24.:15:27.

lion's share of the burden. The SNP try to attend that they are somehow

:15:27.:15:31.

fundamentally different but Stewart Hosie is saying today it won't make

:15:31.:15:37.

much difference. If it weren't, what's the point? What are the

:15:37.:15:40.

reasons for independence apart from the currency union? Crawford

:15:40.:15:43.

Beveridge writing in the Scotsman on Friday said the right way forward

:15:43.:15:48.

would be for both parties to engage in technical discussions but, of

:15:48.:15:51.

course, the UK government don't want to engage in that just now, do

:15:51.:15:56.

they? Know, and why should we? You can't debate a situation which is

:15:56.:16:00.

hypothetical. The people of Scotland have not voted and right now it

:16:00.:16:04.

looks as if they are unlikely to vote for the separation of Scotland

:16:04.:16:08.

and it's quite reasonable and proper to say that the mood, the

:16:08.:16:11.

environment, the circumstances for any kind of negotiation to

:16:11.:16:15.

hypothetical prior to a decision being made. Only when the decision

:16:15.:16:18.

has been made and is for real can you properly engage and most people

:16:18.:16:22.

are beginning to realise that that is a very unpredictable and volatile

:16:23.:16:27.

situation which we do not have to go into. Why should the UK government

:16:28.:16:32.

engage and, perhaps, why embark on this policy when the Economist Jim

:16:32.:16:36.

Cuthbert, sometimes quoted by the SNP, said that your strategy should

:16:36.:16:41.

be rethought because it could expose Scotland to a catastrophic rises?

:16:41.:16:44.

a great deal of respect for the work of Jim Cuthbert over many years and

:16:44.:16:51.

I would criticise but I think on this he is wrong. In terms of

:16:51.:16:53.

instability, the very fact that the fiscal commission suggested, very

:16:53.:16:58.

sensibly, that we have a stability fund based on the oil revenues so

:16:58.:17:02.

that we can park cash in the good times and use it in the good times

:17:02.:17:04.

is the technical answer to the scaremongering Malcolm Bruce had

:17:04.:17:10.

earlier. In terms of instability, he suggested the UK economy can absorb

:17:10.:17:14.

certain losses. The UK economy debt is about to rise to over 100% of

:17:14.:17:20.

GDP. It is in excess of �1 trillion at the moment there is no certainty

:17:20.:17:27.

in terms of UK's future. If we sort this currency thing, fiscal

:17:27.:17:33.

decisions so that we could grow the Scottish economy, will be taken in

:17:33.:17:36.

Scotland according to Scottish needs and circumstances and not in terms

:17:36.:17:41.

of the disastrous it annoyed losses of George Osborne. The future of the

:17:41.:17:46.

UK possibly at stake as well in the hands of, as the SNP budget, the

:17:46.:17:50.

downgrade Chancellor. The point we have to accept is we have a

:17:50.:17:53.

difficult few years ahead of us and this is a distraction the people of

:17:53.:17:58.

the UK, Scotland and elsewhere could do without. It would put pressure on

:17:58.:18:01.

Scotland. Never mind the oil revenues, there could be other

:18:01.:18:05.

sectors which are vulnerable which a small economy like Scotland would

:18:05.:18:10.

have difficulty absorbing. It's right to say the UK has difficulty

:18:10.:18:15.

but together, we have a better chance of overcoming our problems

:18:16.:18:20.

when we unite as one to deal with it. When the SNP at knowledge we

:18:20.:18:24.

have more in common than divides us, to tear that up right now is not the

:18:24.:18:27.

interests of Scotland or the rest of the UK. We have to leave it there.

:18:27.:18:32.

Thank you both very much. In a moment, we'll be discussing the

:18:32.:18:36.

coming week at Holyrood but let's take a look back at the week in 60

:18:36.:18:44.

seconds. Thousands of people lined the

:18:44.:18:50.

streets of London for the funeral of Baroness Thatcher will stop in the

:18:50.:18:53.

former -- in a former pit village in Midlothian, well it is laid a

:18:53.:18:56.

wreath. The Scottish government published

:18:56.:19:04.

legislation to increase preschool childcare. It will entitle three and

:19:04.:19:07.

four-year-old s two hours of free care.

:19:07.:19:09.

The six time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoyer announced he is

:19:09.:19:15.

retiring from cycling. I didn't want to turn up just a way to the crowd

:19:15.:19:18.

and get a tracksuit. I wanted to be there to win a medal for Scotland

:19:18.:19:22.

and because I don't feel I can do that, I've got to step aside and let

:19:22.:19:26.

someone else take my place. Almost 600 workers have been made redundant

:19:26.:19:31.

following the collapse of Scottish Coal. Directors of the biggest

:19:31.:19:34.

coal-mining company put it into Administration on Friday.

:19:34.:19:38.

And we were on Panda watch all week. The question now is, will the

:19:38.:19:47.

artificial insemination work? Stay tuned. That's the week that's just

:19:47.:19:51.

gone by. Now let's turn our attention to the big stories in

:19:51.:19:59.

politics and look at what's coming up in the week ahead.

:19:59.:20:02.

I'm joined in the studio now by two keen political bloggers, Kate

:20:02.:20:05.

Higgins who writes as Burdz Eye View, and Ian Smart who posts on his

:20:05.:20:10.

own site and contributes to Labour Hame. Good afternoon to you both.

:20:10.:20:18.

Let's start with a lighter subject, the pandas. First some news. I think

:20:18.:20:25.

we would -- we should just leave them alone. It is a reason why

:20:25.:20:34.

pandas are endangered. Animals should be treated with committee.

:20:34.:20:39.

am struggling to say anything respectful about this before the

:20:39.:20:45.

watershed. Let's turn our attention to what we were discussing at the

:20:45.:20:53.

top of the programme, we were interviewing Anas Sarwar. In the

:20:53.:21:01.

newspapers today we have headlines like... This was Johann Lamont 's

:21:01.:21:09.

conference speech. What did you make of it. It's hard to try and be

:21:09.:21:13.

positive when there is so little positivity coming from Labour. The

:21:13.:21:20.

first thing I would say, Labour has two stop orbiting around the SNP

:21:20.:21:25.

sun. It needs to define a political message and an offering for the

:21:25.:21:28.

Scottish people based on its values and what it has to say for himself.

:21:28.:21:37.

And linked into the interim report on devolution commission, that was

:21:37.:21:40.

basically an exercise on writing off all the things we can't do for

:21:40.:21:46.

reasons that are really about trying to win the UK election and also

:21:46.:21:51.

keeping their hands on for this Scottish elections, rather than

:21:51.:21:56.

actually thinking about what needs to be said and done as part of this

:21:57.:22:02.

independence referendum. It needs to sort is strategy and stop trying to

:22:02.:22:06.

make its proposals meet too many purposes. Let's take Kate's

:22:06.:22:11.

critique. A lot of people were saying there is a lack of vision in

:22:11.:22:21.
:22:21.:22:21.

Laming's speech. -- Johann Lamont's speech. If I can deal with the

:22:21.:22:27.

demolition -- demolition commission first. Clearly, the Labour Party

:22:27.:22:32.

would admit that it was wrong. That would really cast a cloud as the

:22:32.:22:37.

conference met. As someone who was there, I thought the tone was too

:22:37.:22:41.

negative and up to a certain point, we knew what we were against but we

:22:42.:22:45.

didn't know what we are actually for. But I thought her speech that

:22:45.:22:50.

have a lot of substance. She said these were the things that need a

:22:50.:22:56.

priority, Scottish Parliament to bring in three childcare. But it

:22:56.:23:00.

involves making choices and the difficulty at the moment as that the

:23:00.:23:03.

current Scottish Government is not making these choices, it is just

:23:03.:23:10.

saying that everything should stay the same until September 2014. That

:23:10.:23:14.

is a long time away for there to be effectively no government in

:23:14.:23:22.

Scotland. Just in the point of the demolition -- did demolition

:23:22.:23:28.

commission, people would say what I Labour doing. When they are arguing

:23:28.:23:33.

amongst themselves. I don't know if they are all arguing among

:23:33.:23:38.

themselves but the same issues remain, if there is a vacant degree

:23:38.:23:42.

of financial autonomy for the Scottish Parliament, should we still

:23:42.:23:48.

have the same numbers of members at Westminster? The second thing is, as

:23:48.:23:52.

they are a proper parliament if it does not have accountability? The

:23:52.:24:01.

Americans had a revolution on no taxation without representation. In

:24:01.:24:07.

Scotland it is bizarre that we will have that. The interim report on the

:24:07.:24:12.

demolition commission, it is not the final one. Surely it is fear to have

:24:12.:24:19.

this open debate. I think that is something of a fudge. How long does

:24:19.:24:23.

it take for a commission to come up with a report? They have been at

:24:23.:24:31.

this for a year. To come back to the point is that Ian raises, I think

:24:31.:24:35.

they are fair ones. They are ones that Scottish Labour should be

:24:35.:24:42.

considering. This report does neither. 2014 truths team, who ever

:24:42.:24:46.

came up with that should be sacked or at least have a copy of 1984

:24:46.:24:54.

confiscated. The problem with setting yourself up as a witch

:24:54.:24:59.

finder general is that you will be found out. For jailed gear, you need

:24:59.:25:04.

that are currently reserved at Westminster. You need them in order

:25:04.:25:09.

to fashion a proper childcare policy that fits in a proper economic

:25:09.:25:13.

strategy, that is an argument for independence. I will let you come

:25:13.:25:19.

back on that. I take your point on employment law which is not

:25:19.:25:28.

devolved. I don't agree with the point about tax credits, I think

:25:28.:25:32.

there is a lot that can be done using the existing powers of the

:25:32.:25:41.

Scottish Parliament. Let's move it on to the current debate. From the

:25:41.:25:51.
:25:51.:25:52.

male, we had... Not good reading for the SNP, is it? No, but I am sure

:25:52.:25:56.

that the Daily Mail does not count as one of his greatest cheerleaders.

:25:56.:26:03.

It is not partial or -- it is not impartial or I'm biased. Everything

:26:04.:26:07.

has got -- everyone has that something different to say on this.

:26:07.:26:10.

The one certainty we can offer is that the day after a yes vote we

:26:10.:26:15.

will still have sterling and we will still have pound, we will still be

:26:15.:26:19.

using the same currency as the rest of the UK. Thereafter, there is an

:26:20.:26:26.

honest on everybody in Scotland to fashion and work out what is in

:26:26.:26:29.

Scotland's long-term interests. It may be a separate currency because

:26:29.:26:35.

other countries manage just fine and all the scaremongering that Malcolm

:26:35.:26:40.

Bruce was putting up in the programme, and is contained in the

:26:40.:26:44.

newspapers, is nonsense. Other small countries manage their finances

:26:44.:26:47.

perfectly well without all the problems that seem to be foreseen by

:26:47.:26:57.

Scotland. In Scotland on Sunday, the headline is... Kate says she

:26:57.:27:01.

believes that after day one post independence, sterling will still be

:27:01.:27:09.

there. I think what it was saying that day one after the referendum is

:27:09.:27:14.

that sterling will still be there. The problem SNP has is that the

:27:15.:27:17.

minute anyone in the SNP started suggesting they would be a separate

:27:17.:27:26.

company, finds largely owned by English people in Scotland would get

:27:26.:27:30.

out of Scotland otherwise the business would collapse. That is one

:27:30.:27:33.

of the central contradictions, we have this integrated financial

:27:33.:27:38.

services market disproportionately located in Scotland at the moment

:27:38.:27:41.

and it would have to relocate for reasons of business necessity. It

:27:41.:27:45.

would have to relocate to England and Scotland and England have

:27:45.:27:50.

separate currencies. The point Malcolm Bruce was saying that why

:27:50.:27:54.

have independence if you want to keep this rest Mark there is a

:27:54.:28:00.

circle that the SNP are trying to square and not very well. Because

:28:00.:28:04.

exactly the point is that Ian is trying to make, not scaling horses

:28:04.:28:10.

before we get to the referendum. But there are ways around keeping a

:28:11.:28:13.

strong financial sector in Scotland after independence if that is what

:28:13.:28:20.

we want to do. You can use tax breaks, tax allowances in order to

:28:20.:28:27.

get over a separate currency or indeed, Malcolm Bruce's position and

:28:27.:28:33.

also the no campaign, is predicated on the fact that it would not be in

:28:33.:28:36.

the rest of the UK's centres to keep Scotland any currency union. I don't

:28:36.:28:40.

think that is the case, I think they would want to keep Scotland and all

:28:40.:28:49.

her assets as much as we would want that to happen. Just be free, that

:28:49.:28:52.

Treasury report coming out on Tuesday. Do these have a big impact

:28:52.:28:59.

on the debate? I have to say, I don't think anything has is big

:28:59.:29:09.
:29:09.:29:10.

impact. In various blogs, there is a lot of debate but I would guarantee

:29:10.:29:16.

that nobody is a vote had been swept -- swayed by this. Bluntly, I don't

:29:16.:29:21.

see any body having the breakthrough and we may be in the same position

:29:22.:29:30.

for the next 18 months. We will have to leave it there, I'm afraid. Thank

:29:30.:29:36.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.