19/05/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr are joined by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander and discuss Conservative UKIP electoral pacts with Conservative MPs.

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Sunday Politics. Downing Street is at war with Fleet Street this


morning. The co-chairman of the Tory party


denies describing activists as "mad, swivel-eyed loons" as reported by


the Times, Telegraph and Mirror. That is our top story.


A large part of the Conservative party would give the EU nil point.


But what is the Liberal Democrat's Eurovision? The Chief Secretary to


the Treasury, Danny Alexander, joins us for the Sunday interview.


Could we have joint Conservative UKIP candidates at the next


election? Downing Street has rejected the idea. Some of the


party's backbenchers favour ia deal. Two MPs with opposing views go head


to head. And coming up on Sunday Politics


Scotland: as of this man wants a cut in immigration, the Scottish


government tells us restrictive policies hold us back. The UK


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1869 seconds


and not say, if you like, UKIP, you can vote for us anyway. If you


don't have his arrangements with UKIP that you like, it late --


makes victory for your party in 2015 less likely? The lesson of the


1980s, it you split one wing of politics, the other wing wins would


be majorities. UKIP voters in opinion polls say 70% of them


otherwise would have been conservative. 70% of the UKIP


voters are identify a bleak otherwise conservative. UKIP is


reaching out to some Thatcherite Conservatives that the party has


not been able to reach recently. Are the Conservatives who want to


do a deal with UKIP, on vague the swivel-eyed, loons, Mr Cameron's


allies has supposedly been talking about? I am not abusing my


colleagues. We are colleagues and Brad Conservatives. Do you see any


swivel-eyed, loons among your party activists at times? When we fall


out, we do use personal attacks against each other, but we are all


Conservatives and we should all be out there working for Conservative


Government. Are you one of the swivel-eyed, loons? I am close to


Conservative associations. I have addressed over 50 of them and I am


often in agreement with them. The reason I am in Parliament, is


because I believe in it. I believe in Conservative principles which


the wonderful activists and members of our party do. They have stuck


with us through difficult times and deserve the greatest respect,


admiration and support. You will know from the east the by-election


and local elections, many people who had previously voted


Conservative on now voting UKIP. It you want them back, you have to do


something along the lines... Many people we want to vote Conservative


of voting UKIP. UKIP are able to take votes from other parties,


because the political debate is not about the issues regarding people


who determined elections. We need to get out there and tell people we


are dealing with immigration, we are dealing with welfare and then


people have a positive reason to vote for us. Is it not a risk that


if you go down the road that you would like to go down, you


detoxified the conservative brand? You have become a backward looking,


a right-wing party again? I always thought the idea of a toxic Tory


party was nonsense. It showed a lack of confidence in our basic


principles. What is exciting about the possibility of reuniting the


right, in local elections, on a national level, 48% would have


voted for two right wing parties. In South Shields Riggott between


two right wing parties, 35% of the vote. That is up on the levels


Margaret Thatcher was getting. Gay marriage coming up in the


Commons next week. How will you vote? I had not decided. I had


never been so conflicted about a piece of legislation. I have always


been in favour of equality. have got to make up your mind.


conflicted because I am in favour of a quality, but that bill is a


mess. How are you going to vote? am a Roman Catholic and I believe


it is the right of the Church to define marriage, not the right of


the state. I shall vote in accordance with the Roman Catholic


Whip. Are you taking your whip from the Pope? On this matter, I am


forced up isn't that treason, a reparation it has not been treason


since 1989. I did not realise that Act covered you. Thanks to both of


useful stop useful stop


useful stop You're watching the Sunday Politics.


Coming up on the programme: this man's visit to Scotland certainly


had an impact. His views on immigration have impacted on


Westminster that the Scottish government say those restrictive


policies harm our economy. Yes to independence can unleash the


potential of the tourism and creative industries, a less rosy


picture of Scotland's economy under independence is being painted by the


UK Government. Fighting the fight with all their


might - Kirk ministers gather for a crucial decision on gay clergy -


which side will be the church triumphant? Presbyterianism is prone


to people kind of leaving on points leaving on points of principle and


points of who visit and splintering. I hope we do not have that


situation. Restrictive immigration policies are


holding back Scotland's economy - the Scottish government have told


us. The comments were made by the External Affairs Minister Humza


Yousaf as he hit out at Westminster's approach. But is there


really support for more migration? Our political correspondent, Niall


O'Gallagher, has more. My government will bring forward a bill that


further reforms written's immigration system, the bill will


ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and


deters those who will not. That was the message delivered by the Queen


as the government tried to put on a brave face after gains for UKIP in


the local elections. In Glasgow this week Gordon Brown accused the


Conservatives of pandering to pressure from the right-wing. Driven


by UKIP, as you know, a party that was once pro-Europe is no


anti-Europe. Our party is now becoming power light on immigration.


A Scottish minister with responsibility for immigration IDs.


There is no doubt the restrictive policies are damaging Scotland's


economy and the message that Scotland is open to those who come


from overseas to make a skilled contribution to Scotland.


Restrictive immigration policies are one of the only policies which unite


Scottish policies, the trade unions, the universities, the cos they all


feel the impact of the restrictive policies of the UK Government.


is there support for a more liberal approach to immigration north of the


border? There is some evidence that in Scotland attitudes towards


immigration are somewhat more tolerant or welcoming. I stress


somewhat. We still find a majority of opinion favours less immigration


than current levels. We do find a difference between Scotland and the


rest of the UK. Nigel Farage came to Edinburgh on Thursday hoping to get


a heat -- the Hague -- healing for his tougher approach. We heard these


arguments in England ten or 15 years ago to help the economy. We now have


hundreds of thousands of youngsters in England unemployed, try set of


jobs, immigration can be a very good thing for the economy, but it needs


to be controlled. The UKIP message was drowned out by antiracism


testers on the Royal Mile. Arguments are Scots are more liberal with the


racism remains a problem. The various social attitude surveys have


been done with people in Scotland and indicate that Scotland have a


more liberal attitude towards immigration and foreigners, this is


praised among Scottish officials and the wider population and we should


be proud of that. However, it lies what I hear from the grassroots,


from immigrants and migrants who are here. The Scottish government says


independence is the only way to get an immigration policy suited towards


Scottish needs. Independent or not, can Scotland and England have two


different approaches well the border remains open? With me here in the


studio now is Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Green


Party and in Aberdeen, Alex Johnstone the Scottish Conservative


MSP for north-east Scotland. Good morning. Thank you for joining me.


The immigration minister could not join us for the discussion this


morning. He did tell us we were bringing immigration back under


control while introducing the means to attract the best and brightest to


our shores. With the Clandown announced in the Queen's speech, how


much is the UK Government dancing to the tune of UKIP on this policy? We


are clearly seen the UK Government do what is best for the economy of


the United Kingdom. We benefit hugely from Eastern European


immigration, we have managed to overcome the problem of labour


shortages. We have managed to avoid the problem which has been


highlighted south of the border, where there has been apparently


emigration based on the benefits system. We do not want to see that


in Scotland. There is a need to tighten up in some areas but the


government have the right attitude to immigration. UKIP are suggesting


a five-year freeze on emigration for permanent settlement until UK


Borders have been brought into control, but with UKIP in this


dynamic there is a race and the UK Government are pandering to them?


The UK Government will not take that approach. The idea of seizing


emigration would wipe out so many Scottish companies who are desperate


to find a reliable workforce. I speak to people in the north-east


everyday who have businesses based on an Eastern European workforce and


without then they would not have a company. Nigel Farage has hit a


nerve down south, hasn't he? He has tacked into something which is an


apparent issue. If we had the same levels of immigration in Scotland,


voters would be expressing the same concerns, wouldn't be? I have


canvassed in Scotland and with Mike colleagues in England as well, it is


clear to me there is a degree of hostility which exists in some parts


of England towards immigration and immigrants. This does not exist here


or not to the same degree. We can debate whether people like the


absurd Nigel Farage have whipped that up or whether newspapers have


whipped that up or whether successive UK governments have


whipped that up for political ends. But the reality is that that degree


of hostility which can find south of the border in some places does not


exist in Scotland to Civic Centre. It is really important we do not


carry on the debate that Nigel Farage would like us to have. -- to


the same extent. Is that not because we have not seen the same impact on


services here? We saw in the report that Scots are only somewhat more


tolerant. I have not seen the specific questions that that


research asked people. I think most politicians I have spoken to Wood


agreed with the judgement that there is a degree of hostility, not just


about ticking boxes but how concerned people are and how that


concern expresses itself. If we are concerned about the impact on


employment and whether people are able to get a job in Scotland, we


should be talking about issues like the living wage. When employers go


for the cheapest possible Libra, we should look at the lawyers rather


than immigration. In Scotland we appear to be more fear, that is a


point mentioned, does that mean we are better than the English, that is


what it sounds like there's Mike know, we have a clear sense of


social sussed -- social justice. That is not to say we get everything


right. We would be making a serious mistake to imagine there is room on


the political spectrum for the kind of caricature sideshow that UKIP or


first. Alex Johnstone, you are sitting in Aberdeen, as the team


booming, needing skilled workers from all over the world, you spoke


about examples bear of skilled migrant workers, do you not agree


with the point that universities and businesses really need those skilled


migrants coming in and your colleagues in the UK Government are


holding Scotland backed by restrictive policies? We have a


strange position in Scotland. We have some areas of serious welfare


dependency and we have regions like Aberdeen and the north-east where


there are two jobs for every job-seeker. The fact that one region


does not feed into the other is a serious concern. I think that


Scotland's and the rest of the British hold similar attitudes. The


only reason we see a different expression of that in Scotland is


that we have not had the experience of people coming in in large numbers


simply to take advantage of the benefits system. If we did see that


in Scotland, public opinion would change radically. That is what we


have two defend against. Tight regulation is important but we must


make sure we can bring in the people we need to satisfy business demands.


The UK Government are not proposing regulation of emigration.


proposed for landlords not to be allowed to let tenancies to people,


it is for doctors not to treat people on the NHS. Or even having a


debate in the UK Government about whether to ban the children of


immigrants to schools. That is a punitive approach for people already


here. It is not regulation of those who wish to come. A punitive


approach? That is an oversimplification of the


situation. None of these restrictions can apply to EU


citizens so EU immigrants are free from these restrictions. Anyone who


comes here legally and appropriately will be offered all the protections


that this country has. There are perhaps a handful of people out here


who may choose to enter this country illegally who may find themselves at


a disadvantage, but the bad majority of people out there support that


kind of fine tuning to the system. Patrick Harvie, you want this


different approach. In the report we picked up on Scotland having a


different approach, you advocate independence, we would probably


still had to rely on agreements with the UK Government, would we not? We


would have took what great with Ireland and the rest of the UK. We


would at least be in a position to negotiate an agreement. Even if the


Scottish and UK government were dominated by the same political


party, like Labour. Even then, when Jack McConnell as first Minister


wanted flexibility for Scotland to meet our own needs in immigration


system, he did not get it. It is unlikely to see a situation where a


Scottish Government whether it's the same party of different parties


running the show, will be able to reflect any degree of control to


meet the needs of Scottish universities, businesses and


communities. Under independence could we get that degree of


flexibility? We would not have absolute flexibility. There would


have to be some sort of accommodation between the


governments but it would be an agreement would have to sign up to


rather than as UK Government imposing it. Unfortunately, that is


not how it works in the European single market. If you sign up to


that agreement, you agree to open up your borders. In some future


independent Scotland was part of the agreement, but the rest of the


United Kingdom was not, it would be a requirement that immigration


across the Scottish and English boundary was regulated. We will have


to leave it there. Thank you both for joining me.


Now, it seems at the beginning of every week there is a flurry of


papers from both sides of the independence debate. On Tuesday, the


Scottish government will highlight how independence could unleash the


economic power of the creative industries and tourism, for example.


In a less rosier picture, the UK government's paper tomorrow will


focus on banking - and how Scottish taxpayers could be at serious risk


if banks went bust in an independent Scotland. Scotland's economic


strains and confidence will be at the heart of the Independent 's


argument, the Scottish government say. On Tuesday, the economic


strategy will focus on the possibilities of growth. In


particular, it focuses on the creative industries, food and drink


and tourism. Nicola Sturgeon said combining the powers of independence


with the resources of Scotland gives is every reason to be confident


about our ability to thrive as an independent nation. Not such


optimism from the United Kingdom Government, still trying to clean up


the mess of the banking sector. Tomorrow, the Scottish Secretary


will be in Edinburgh to present the analysis. It says: In contrast, an


independent Scotland would have: Let us debate those two issues now.


We have MSP Kenny Gibson from the SNP, who is convener of the Finance


Committee at Holyrood, and Ken McIntosh, Scottish Labour's finance


spokesman. Thank you both for joining me. What is the big idea


behind the economy strategy from the line being released today. It


appears to be familiar territory. are just trying to show how positive


the Scottish economy as the potential of it. Through oil and


gas, at as a income of a huge percentage of the United Kingdom


average. We have a huge amount of jobs in the financial sector and to


his. We're not just looking at the potential, but what we are achieving


at the moment and what more we could do with more power through


independence. You say you could do that in the likes of tourism, film


making, food and drink, the restaurant trade. But it sounds as


if you are an honest talking about taxbreaks, for the likes of the


restaurant trade. The restaurant chap who was quoted said he wanted


the common fisheries policy looked at again. These are difficult things


to 18? If you look at the European Union, most of the countries have


some sort of taxbreaks with relation to tourism. It is just like


passenger duty is important. We know it is costing the Scottish economy a


lot in lost revenue. But this fell sounds like tax breaks? Yes, it is,


but it would be possible because we would have control of the revenue


from the oil and gas in the North Sea. Remember, we are an unequal


society as the United Kingdom. sounds like a very positive


argument. I am not against local control. The whole point of devil


you should want to do that. There is a strong argument to seeing that


more power should be evident to the cities, like Edinburgh and Alaska.


They are very dynamic sectors of the economy. Maybe we should be giving


them more control to push the country along. But you put your


finger on what controls they are talking about. I think the Scottish


National party is talking about tax cuts. I do not shear the view as


Scotland as a tax haven. I am agitated that the likes of Amazon


yet taxbreaks to come here and put workers here out of work. That is


claim and counterclaim in this. The Scottish government talk about tax


and how much we contribute, but what it did not say was how much we get


to spend. I have heard a lot of SNP arguments about this, but they tend


to come back to oil. The tent to assume that oil wealth fund all


these extra benefits. But we have two balance the economy. I agree


about the view of the socially just Scotland, but you cannot just cut


tax cut value added tax. There needs to be a balance. This is the rosy


picture of an independent Scotland. But you have seen the United Kingdom


Government talking about banking. The passing Scotland could not


afford the banking crisis that we saw in the likes of Iceland and


Cyprus. The banking sector would simply be too big. That is complete


nonsense. It lacks total credibility. Only today in the


Sunday Times, a former managing director of direct line said that


lacks credibility and has not seriously analyse the Scottish


economy. But surely has analysed the Scottish economy? It showed how big


the banking sector was here in relation to the rest of the United


Kingdom. London is the biggest financial centre in the world, which


is why we had the likes of the banking crisis centred on here and


in the United States. But this is the same nonsense that we saw in


1970. Denis Healey in the 1970s has admitted that he lied about the


Scottish oil raver revenues so that it would have an impact on the


independence referendum. What we are seeing is the same tactic what we


want is the Treasury to engage positively with Scotland. It is not


neutral. These comments have been rubbished here by Kenny Gibson. What


is your reaction? I think it is important that everyone gets hold of


all the information so they make their own decision. This is the


future of the country. If we get it wrong, there is no going back. We


need to know the detail. We need to think about the things that will


change. The Scottish National party wants to protect this idea that come


independence, things will change, but nothing will really change. That


is not true. Things will really change. We have to look at all


aspects of the economy. Take pensions, which talk about the fact


that most pensions are paid out of current revenue and income, so


therefore if you have a bigger pool of income, you have less risk.


finance secretary said that the same banking collapse could not happen he


here now. Because of new regulations. I have heard so many


guarantees about what will not happen in the future. Nobody can


guarantee these things. And letters remember, he produced a paper for


his colleagues which was very different from that.


You are watching Sunday Politics Scotland from the BBC. We are


heading to the news now, but coming up after that, we are looking at the


ordination of gay clergy. The General Assembly of the Church


Scotland is meeting in Edinburgh just now. They will vote on the


issue tomorrow. Let us cross to London now for the latest update


from Maxine Mawhinney and Reporting was telling Parliament why he had


quit the government, because he disagreed strongly with the then


Prime Minister of Europe. Now, 23 years on, he is attacking another


prime minister from his party over their relationship with the European


Union. He said that David Cameron is negotiation has opened a Pandora's


box and that the party is now running scared from the backbenchers


of the party. If there is of the referendum was to suggest that we


were to leave the European Union it would be of grave consequence.


has been a week where the Conservatives appear to obsess over


Europe. Then, over 100 of its own members of Parliament voted against


the party. Everyone is saying it is in meltdown now. At the top, one


senior minister said they were in agreement. The policy issue is, do


we need to do something to make our relationship with Europe from?


Ansar to that is yes. David Cameron has promised to renegotiate the


terms of membership. There is pressure on him to hurry up. We want


to get on with it. We think the new relationship has to be based on


trade. It cannot be based on common government. So, the then Minister is


caught between the old guard and a new inpatient group of MPs. A former


employee of Internet giant Google is providing evidence to the tax


authorities about how the company avoided paying corporation tax in


Britain by using offices in Dublin to finalise contracts. He claims


that at that time, some deals were completed in Britain. Google said it


cannot comment on specific allegations by CV comply fully with


United Kingdom tax law. The funeral will take place today of the


colleague of Imran can do was shot dead on the eve of the rerun of the


recent election. The police are investigating whether it was


politically motivated or the result of a botched robbery. Today,


comedians and Eric Morecambe are being commemorated by a blue plaque


at the Teddington Studios. It will be unveiled shortly by the widow of


Eric Morecambe. That is all the news for now. There will be more news on


BBC One at six o'clock. Scotland's economy is being held back by


restrictive immigration policies of the UK Government, according to


Scotland's External Affairs minister, Humza Yousaf.


Economic arguments both for and against Scottish independence will


be presented this week by the Scottish and UK governments. It is


one of the only policies that unites trade unions, politicians and


universities because they are all feeling the impact of this


restriction. There is some evidence that in Scotland attitudes to


immigration are somewhat more tolerant or welcoming. I stress,


somewhat. The majority of opinion in Scotland still favours less


immigration. Economic arguments for and against independence will be put


forward by the Scottish and United Kingdom governments. A report for


the Treasury warns that the banking sector in an independent Scotland


would be vulnerable because the country would be less able to afford


bail-outs. The Scottish government will publish its own analysis,


supporting claims that it needs more power over economic decisions to


promote growth. Football now and the SPL season


draws to a close this afternoon, with Celtic travelling to Dundee


United and a Highland derby between Ross County and Inverness. Lastly,


St Johnstone host Motherwell, hoping for a win and for Caley Thistle to


drop points in the race for the final European place.


Now the weather forecast, with this afternoon. As the temperature


rises this afternoon, we will see some heavy downpours in the


north-east in particular. The best of the sunshine and north-western


Scotland, with top temperatures of 22 Celsius. 1560. 1843. Dates once


imprinted on the minds of many Scots. Great events in the life of


the kirk - the separation from Rome and the Great Disruption. Could


there be another disruption in 2013? The Church of Scotland's General


Assembly will tomorrow vote on the ordination of gay clergy. Laura


Maxwell reports on the controversial issue which threatens to split the


kirk. And so it begins, these are the men and women who will decide if


gay ministers can be ordained into the Church of Scotland. This is a


deeply personal subject, especially for Scott Rennie. His nomination in


Aberdeen four years ago brought the issue to a head. He was supported


then by his congregation and later by the General assembly. The wider


church, this is not a one-man or just one issue. The debate is about


the authority of Scripture. It underlies the scheme about the


possibility of gay and lesbian ministers, there is a battle over


the meaning of Scripture and whether it can be applied straightforwardly


to Today's problems. In 2011, the General Assembly appointed a special


commission to investigate both sides of the theological argument. It has


made no art -- recommendations, instead it offers options. One


approach is to support the ordination of those in civil


partnerships while respecting any minister or congregation's decision


not to accept gay minister. Down the centuries, often when the church has


taken a negative view of progress, it has proven to be in the wrong


side of history. With this issue, more and more of us accept and


recognise that our sexuality is something given, not a matter of


choice. Some ministers disagree so strongly they have left the church


already, including reverend Paul Gibson. The pages of Scripture have


such clarity on this issue, it is absolutely comprehensive in its


declaration that same-sex activity is something which is seen as sinful


by God. It is something he has the power to transform the person from


in belief of Jesus Christ. The General Assembly is on a tightrope.


On the one hand the church could appear more more done and relevant


and on the other it could trigger a split. This could be costly in terms


of the damage to the wider community and also in the courts. In June last


year, the minister and congregation here at St George's Tron in Glasgow


decided to split. Legal proceedings are now underway. In Aberdeen, the


congregation of this church followed suit. Speculation is rife that their


exodus will not be the last. What is new is the strength of feeling about


this. It is like Custer's last stand with the wagons circling over this


particular issue. That is what has given it the hate and possibility of


a breakaway movement. I think the two sides need to keep talking.


is no doubt the debate tomorrow is important but it might not be the


last. Even if the General Assembly vote in favour, there will still be


time for thought. Their decision gets passed back to the presbytery


till the approval and that is not automatic. Even with their blessing,


it will be at least 2015 before we see the ordination of openly gay men


and women into the Church of Scotland.


I'm now joined from Edinburgh by Professor Donald MacLeod, the


eminent Free Church theologian, Dr William Naphy from Aberdeen


University's history department - he has a specialist interest in kirk


history and the history of sexuality and with me in the studio we have


Stephen McGinty, who writes for the The Scotsman - frequently on the


subject of religion. Good afternoon. Thank you for joining me. First EU


Professor, what is your prediction for how this vote might call? How


many ministers might leave the church and go to the free Church? I


think that a few will leave. There is no real mood, in my view, as


leaving the church is a very solemn business. Although the free Church


would welcome any of these ministers, there is also a profound


anti-free Church phobia which would deterrent many of those who are


opposed to gay ordination. We also have very different theology too


many of those opposed to gay ordination. Really, a split is going


to benefit nobody. It is important to regroup after the assembly and


realign in a positive way. I do not see any significance to this


secession and don't want to encourage it. What are your


predictions as to how the vote might call? I tend to think they are


likely to Fort to allow ordination by individual churches, so they can


make up the remains. I tend to agree with your first eager that secession


is unlikely to beat large-scale. Those that we've may find it


difficult to find an old tenet of home. They're unlikely want to


set-up as entirely independent. Professor MacLeod, it might be a


difficult platform for the free Church to sheer platform with


evangelicals who might split, you might agree about gay clergy but not


on other areas like progressive forms of worship for example?


free Church is the confessional church with a comprehensive


theology. While we are sympathetic towards the anti-ordination,


nevertheless, reluctant to encourage further chaos in Scotland in


ecclesiastical a. We are prepared to support those in difficulty but I do


not expect any large ingress to the free Church. This causes a lot of


pain, for example at domestic and family level. It is highly emotive


and the distress involved in leaving our congregation is considerable.


All these things have a huge emotional cost on a personal and


domestic family level. As we are hearing, a very turbulent time for


the Church of Scotland now, but how is this used in the wider world?


think people forget the incredible changes which are taking place in


society. It is on was 25 years to the day since a group of lesbians


broke into the BBC and hand cupped themselves to Sue Lawley's cheer.


They did this because the government had introduced Section 28 which


banned the promotion of homosexuality. Now, 25 years later


we are in a situation where the church of England is having to plead


to the government to introduce government which would prevent them


from having been forced to conduct gay marriages. That is a huge


seismic change in society. Whereas society itself, 60% of Scots believe


gay marriage, which has gone up from 40% a decade ago. They believe the


church should move at the time but people forget the essence of a


church might be a conservative unit. It believes it stands separate


from society and is more cautious about accepting these things.


Interesting points there, the church was in step with state and those two


have now broken away. It is difficult for us to remember that


the Church of Scotland was very progressive, it broke away from Rome


in 1560, that was a progressive move. The issue is to remember the


Kirk presents itself as a national church and that is different from


being a confessional, independent denominations. It has a role it


understands in society, as a national organisation. It


compensates the situation because it must not just interact with the


nation but respond to it. Professor MacLeod, this is a turbulent time


for the Church of Scotland, is this the debate about how Scripture is


used? Could that have been another key issue other than homosexuality


which could have been a crunch issue? There have been other issues


over ordination which led to a similar debate in the past but not


this crisis. It is the authority that governs the church, we can move


with the times. The Bible is cleared on this issue, that is no ambiguity


at all. That is the wider ecumenical dimension as well, the church for


the last millennia have also taken the view that they cannot ordain


those living in my relationships. The church is perfectly happy to


endorse and defend those rights. We all it to the gay community to live


their own lifestyles. The church has moved with the times in the past but


it seems the Presbyterian Church is relaxed about divorce. We do not


hear much about abortion, why is homosexuality is such a difficult


point? I think largely because there are certain verses in the Scripture


which present clarity on the issue and I would argue they are not as


clear as people say they are. you are right, divorce is clearly


taught in the Bible, but people except divorce. The attitude in


Presbyterianism and Protestantism is different on contraception to


Catholicism. I think this is just that kind of an issue for our age


and because it is the litmus test of a biblical authority, it is taking


on that kind of role. If you read the arguments about divorce and


contraception, they are just as divisive and brittle. The Church of


Scotland was a beacon, it was seen as a Parliament of Scotland for a


long time, is it still regarded as that and will the decision have an


impact on wider Scotland? I think it will. Prior to the parliament, the


Church of Scotland spoke to the -- for the nation. If it voted


positively on this issue, it will be seen to be in step with civil


society and the views of the majority of Scots stop as a reformed


faith, it would send a signal as being the vanguard of social


change. It would send a positive signal. The key thing on this issue


is when will we actually CDs issues being adopt did in an orthodox


synagogue or a Catholic Church or a mosque and that is a long way ahead.


-- actually see these issues. attendance is falling in the Western


culture, in other areas in the world attendance is going up


exponentially, why is that? Date is still very important to a huge


number of people, and still within Scotland. Bar more people go to


church on Sunday or Saturday. -- far more people. People make up their


minds more and contribute to the ideas. Professor MacLeod, a couple


of interesting steps along the way before a final decision is made? The


barrier act prevents isolation on the part of the church. I think


Presbyterianism will endorse the view of the assembly. I think it


will back the ordination of gay clergy. I think it will delay the


inevitable outcome. In the meantime, they must regroup and consider where


they go from this point on words. I think they should refrain from


Priscilla to action. There has been no change in the Protestant view


about divorce and contraception for the last 500 years. We will have to


leave it there. Thank you all very much.


Now in a moment, we'll be discussing the big events coming up this week


at Holyrood, but first, let's take a look back at the Week in Sixty


seconds. The former Prime Minister Gordon Brown returned to the


frontline of Scottish politics to launch the Labour campaign for


Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom. Cardinal Keith O'Brien will


leave Scotland for several months after he admitted improper sexual


Parliament was sworn in. He took his oath in English and his native


1400 job losses, most of them in Edinburgh. Nominations have close


for the by-election in Aberdeen. The election takes place on June the


20th. That was the week that was. Let us


now take a look at the week to come. With me in the studio to chew over


the busy week that was and what is in store next week, Mike Wade, who


writes for The Times, and Lucy Adams of The Herald. Let us turn to the


two papers of the economy that are coming out. Look at this headline


from the Sunday express. This is a reference to the United Kingdom


paper coming out tomorrow. We were stealing from Kenny Gibson Elia,


what did you make of his argument about the banking intervention?


is best that people are putting something into the debate so that


people can think about it. In this instance, we are beating as to when


the Nationalists will respond to this and I expect that, quite soon.


The United Kingdom Government is suggesting that Scotland could not


survive a banking failure. Is that not the case? Until we see the paper


from tomorrow, of course, it is open to debate, but I think it is better


for the Treasury to raise these issues and the Scottish Nationalists


have to be able to respond to this. Does this touch on a near when we


talk about the banking bailouts. people get nervous about the


possibility? The arguments are very well timed, in terms of playing on


the fears of people. The banking crisis was caused by a situation


over which the Scottish cup and did not have any control. It is a


dangerous game, in terms of looking at where responsibility lay in the


first place. The idea of this paper is to be compelling cause concern in


fear for those reading it, but the reality is that we do not know what


is to happen. A lot of it is pie in the sky. A lot of it is, if this


happens then this could happen. A lot of it draws comparisons with


Iceland and Cyprus. They are saying the capital rate of what the banks


hold in being similar. If there was another banking crisis, Scotland


would be any worse position because they have a 1000% of the capita in


terms of what the ankle per person in Scotland. But that is an effort


and but scenario. That is pie in the sky. The paper is coming out


tomorrow. On Tuesday, the Cameron economic strategy will be released


by the Scottish Nationalists. It obviously paint a rosy picture.


Kenny Gibson was seeing it could unleash the potential of Scotland.


Others are suggesting it is all about tax breaks? Yes, I have tried


their luck at some aspects of it. There clearly is an incentive on tax


breaks, but we have the likes of tuners is concerned, I can


understand that. It could do with the likes of a boost. The likes of


food and drink, salmon, W. As Lucy says, that is a lot of pie in the


sky. You have to take a lot of this on trust. There has got to be a very


convincing argument, which I have not quite yet seen. There seems a


lot of assertion that are and you have to buy into that. Perhaps the


make the a bigger thing on Tuesday? Yes, I think there is a sense of


that. The first sheet that he read fairly anodyne. It is talking about


Scotland spend on public sectors. It is seeing it is 42% of GDP, as


opposed to roughly 45% in England and Wales. They are also trying to


say they are not a one trick pony, it is not just about oil in the


North Sea. They are talking about the money generated by the likes of


food and drink and the likes of restaurants and even whiskey


industry. But again, the ad again based on this idea that this could


happen if this thing happens. People may look at this and say this


research is done by the Scottish government, so how can we convinced


either way about either of these documents. If you're looking at


undecided voters, you want completely objective, which neither


of these papers are. You need someone to come able to say this is


how much we will have under independence, this is how much we


will not have. Just they tend to look at these headlines. This is


this divide in the Church of Scotland that we have just been


talking about. You were talking about this great debate which will


take place tomorrow. It will be fascinating to hear the final result


of this. I do not think the public really realise how fantastic these


debates are. They are full of passion and full of intellectual


debate. I think the government has stepped in to this argument quite


interestingly. The gay marriage proposals are different from the


subject up for debate tomorrow. But the church as Paul opposes gay


marriage. It will be interesting to see what the government intervention


in recent times while actually alter the debate. The church could argue


that if they go in favour of same-sex clergy that would be the


first step of the way and then, inevitably, we will go towards gay


marriage. There is a poignant on both sides of that argument. There


is a four and against argument. is this debate feud in the whole of


Scotland, the wider Scotland? Does the Church of Scotland still have


any impact? I think there are roughly 500,000 people in the


congregation. It is falling, by about 15,000 last year. I think the


debate itself is going to be very tense and exciting, but as to the


impact on a wider Scotland, I think it will be interesting. There is a


slightly different debate, there is this connection between the


legislation going through in Holyrood regarding same-sex


marriage. I think about be exciting but equally whatever decision they


make, it will then go out to all the presbytery's Arran Scotland. It will


not be a snap decision. The good thing is that it will be debated in


public. I think a lot of religious people are very unhappy about gay


marriage and that the date has not really had a big public forum. It is


an important debate for that reason. I often feel that the proponents for


gay marriage do not have a great deal of respect for religious


opinion. I think this debate will show, on both sides, and deeply this


issue is felt. I think that is important. On a lighter note to


finish with, no Liberal Democrats on the programme today. They are all on


the Orkney Islands celebrating the birth of Joe Grimond. It is the


100th anniversary. The Aral celebrating the birth of the


founding father. Hopefully, the Democrats on Orkney and Shetland are


proposing that they should be independent! Both of you, thank you


very much for joining me. That is all from the us this week.


Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr are joined by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander and discuss Conservative UKIP electoral pacts with Conservative MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg and Jackie Doyle-Price. As well as all of the weekend's other political news, and debate with the weekly panel of journalists.

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