15/09/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


15/09/2013

Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr with the latest political news. With Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna and former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown.


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Transcript


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Afternoon folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Yes we're back

:00:35.:00:43.

after the summer recess and the party conference season is upon us.

:00:43.:00:51.

First up, the Liberal Democrats. And Nick Clegg has some convincing

:00:51.:00:58.

to do. According to our very own Sunday Politcs poll his troops don't

:00:59.:01:02.

like his Coalition bed mates. The country's not too keen either - the

:01:02.:01:05.

latest poll has the Lib Dems languishing behind UKIP in fourth

:01:05.:01:08.

place with only 9%. So can the Lib Dems claw their way

:01:08.:01:12.

back come the election in 2015? We'll be talking to former leader,

:01:13.:01:15.

now the party's General Election Commander in Chief, Paddy Ashdown.

:01:16.:01:22.

George Osborne's a happy bunny these days. He's got some good economic

:01:22.:01:26.

news to shout about. At last. So where does that leave Labour? We'll

:01:26.:01:29.

be talking to the Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna. ?NEWLINE

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and then Sunday Politics Scotland, who will delete womb in the

:01:39.:01:44.

referendum? Bash Apple who will debate who?

:01:44.:01:55.

signifies. And freshly showered from the Great

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North Run and looking as fresh as daisies, the best and brightest

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political panel in the business. Janan Ganesh, Helen Lewis and Iain

:02:03.:02:07.

Martin, who will be tweeting throughout the programme.

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Now, their leader is our Deputy Prime Minister. They are the junior

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partners of our coalition government. They like the colour

:02:15.:02:19.

yellow and they have not won a general election since dinosaurs

:02:19.:02:21.

walked the earth. Now they are behind UKIP in the polls, so as the

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party gathers for its annual bash this year in Glasgow, what is on

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their mind? Who are the people gathering at the Clyde this weekend?

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their mind? Who are the people Before they started drinking, we

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surveyed 580 Liberal Democrat councillors in England and Wales,

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with the help of some pollsters, comrade. The first question we asked

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was, if the next election results in a hung parliament, which team would

:02:52.:02:55.

you rather go into coalition with, the Reds or the blues? Lib Dem

:02:55.:02:57.

councillors said Labour, two to one. the Reds or the blues? Lib Dem

:02:57.:03:03.

Tories or Labour? It is not for us the Reds or the blues? Lib Dem

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to say. It is for the voters to say. We will decide depending on

:03:13.:03:21.

what the voters tell us. Your councillors favoured a coalition

:03:21.:03:22.

with Labour. Well, it depends what is on the table. Who would you

:03:22.:03:35.

rather play table football against? I would rather play against you,

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because I am winning. So in the Lib Dems shop, which policies are

:03:43.:03:46.

because I am winning. So in the Lib winning 's which ones are heading

:03:46.:03:46.

for the bargain bin? The most winning 's which ones are heading

:03:46.:03:52.

popular policy was a mansion tax on house is worth more than £2 million,

:03:52.:03:54.

popular policy was a mansion tax on which was supported by 80 -- 86% of

:03:54.:04:03.

councillors. The next most popular policy was scrapping the Trident

:04:03.:04:05.

councillors. The next most popular nuclear deterrent, supported by 72%

:04:05.:04:07.

of councillors. Then there was the nuclear deterrent, supported by 72%

:04:07.:04:13.

reinstatement of the 50p top rate of income tax. 70% of councillors like

:04:13.:04:18.

the look of that. When it came to the idea of banning the burka in

:04:18.:04:22.

public places like schools and airports, 45% of councillors were in

:04:22.:04:27.

favour. Finally, a ban on topless Page three model is won the support

:04:27.:04:34.

of 33% of councillors. Why is it so popular, the idea of a mansion tax?

:04:34.:04:42.

It is a much fairer tax. We know there are people out there with very

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expensive houses. Which of these is most important to you? Banning

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Trident. The cold war ended in 1989. Another one was the idea of

:04:53.:04:59.

banning the burka in public places. No, I feel people should wear

:04:59.:05:01.

whatever they like. If they want to No, I feel people should wear

:05:01.:05:07.

wear the birth or a kilt or if they want to be naked or not wear

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anything. We are the party of jobs. Thank you. Last night, a fully

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clothed Nick Clegg rallied his troops, but if he was not around,

:05:21.:05:24.

who would Lib Dem councillors want instead? Business Secretary Vince

:05:24.:05:30.

Cable was most popular, with a third of the votes. In second place, the

:05:30.:05:37.

party's president, Tim Farron, with 27%. 10% went to Danny Alexander,

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Chief Secretary to the Treasury, while the business minister Joe

:05:41.:05:45.

Swinson received 7%. The Energy Secretary Ed Davey scooped 6%, and

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in last place, Steve Webb, the pensions minister, who got 5%. If

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any of these councillors want to talk to me about it, I would be

:05:58.:06:02.

delighted to hear from them. Is that a bid for a leadership campaign? It

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certainly isn't. What do you think of these? That is quite a

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collection. These are the contenders. But our survey is not

:06:14.:06:18.

the only one that has got tongues wagging in Glasgow, because the Lib

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Dem leadership have commissioned their own poll which showed that 75%

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Dem leadership have commissioned of the country will never vote for

:06:25.:06:26.

Dem leadership have commissioned the party, no matter what they do.

:06:26.:06:29.

Also meeting here this weekend, this the party, no matter what they do.

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group of bikers. But Liberal Democrats like to think they have

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got just as much va-va-voom, even if a big chunk of the country doesn't.

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Add, back in his hometown. So, the Lib Dems are on 9% in the polls.

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Much of their party thinks they are Lib Dems are on 9% in the polls.

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moving in the wrong direction. Earlier, I spoke to former party

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moving in the wrong direction. leader Paddy Ashdown. He has been

:07:01.:07:02.

put in charge of heading up the 2015 leader Paddy Ashdown. He has been

:07:02.:07:07.

election campaign. I asked him if the mood in Glasgow was grim. No. In

:07:07.:07:15.

many ways, as you know, Tory old commentator that you are just as I

:07:15.:07:19.

am a hoary old member at the other end of the camera, we have been

:07:20.:07:23.

there, done that and got the T-shirt. Where you are in the

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midterm of a government, especially when you are in government and the

:07:28.:07:32.

country is going for in a deep economic crisis, has almost no

:07:32.:07:38.

relevance to where you might be when the nipple come to consider how they

:07:38.:07:43.

will vote in 600 days time -- when the people come to consider how they

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will vote. We do not dismiss polls, but they are a snapshot of what is

:07:48.:07:51.

happening now and give little indication of where we will be. My

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guess is, for what it is worth, that as we come to the election, the

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public will be in a very serious, probably frightened mood. Their main

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public will be in a very serious, thoughts will be, who maintains my

:08:04.:08:09.

job, makes sure I don't have to pay thoughts will be, who maintains my

:08:09.:08:14.

to higher mortgage? The coalition has delivered not only the required

:08:14.:08:21.

policies to make Britain's economy prosperous, but also its society

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fair. That is what people will want to see. I think coalition politics

:08:26.:08:30.

are here to stay and we have a role to play in it. But you are in a grim

:08:30.:08:35.

mood this morning. You tweeted that you were not happy with how the

:08:35.:08:38.

Observer newspaper handled your interview. What was the problem? Is

:08:39.:08:44.

there anything we can do to help? There is probably something they

:08:44.:08:47.

could do to help. I have no arguments with the interview. The

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headline they chose to put on it late last night was outrageous,

:08:54.:08:58.

misrepresentative and in one case in accurate. What was the headline?

:08:58.:09:03.

Something about Ashdown wants a coalition with the Tories, or at

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Something about Ashdown wants a least they gave that in for us --

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inference. Let me make this point. We are coming up to the next

:09:13.:09:17.

election. I am in charge of the campaign. Any journalist who in

:09:17.:09:24.

these next two years says that any Liberal Democrat prefers anything

:09:24.:09:28.

else in terms of the outcome of a coalition but the result of the

:09:28.:09:32.

ballot box dictating that outcome, that any prefer one side to another

:09:32.:09:34.

over and they want to see a that any prefer one side to another

:09:34.:09:38.

coalition determined by the electors that any prefer one side to another

:09:38.:09:43.

in the votes, will get a bloody hard time from me, no matter who they

:09:43.:09:49.

are. We take the warning. A survey of Lib Dem councillors shows that in

:09:49.:10:09.

the event of another hung parliament, only 16% of your

:10:09.:10:10.

the event of another hung councillors want to renew the

:10:10.:10:11.

coalition with the Tories. That is a councillors want to renew the

:10:11.:10:14.

clear sign that your activists want a change of direction. I don't think

:10:14.:10:16.

it is news that as a left-wing party, we find it more congenial

:10:17.:10:19.

with those on the left wing, but that is not the issue. You saw it

:10:19.:10:22.

was not the issue at the last election. We are servants of the

:10:22.:10:25.

ballot box. We do watch the British people require us to do to provide a

:10:25.:10:27.

stable government in the interests of our country. I am sure you have

:10:27.:10:29.

got the point by now. I have fought of our country. I am sure you have

:10:29.:10:34.

the Tories all my life. But when Labour run away from

:10:34.:10:36.

the Tories all my life. But when responsibility to amend the economic

:10:36.:10:39.

crisis, was this right for the country? That is what drives me. Let

:10:39.:10:44.

me say again. The people will determine who are going to be in any

:10:44.:10:52.

coalition, should there be one, the voters and nobody else. It is not

:10:52.:10:56.

about what we like. I understand that. But your own internal polls

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show that Mr Clegg and the leadership are not taking the party

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with them on that. I don't think that is true. Nick Clegg has done

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what no other party leader has done. He took the coalition agreement to

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the party, and they voted for it. So it is not true to say that members

:11:16.:11:21.

of the party are moving in a different direction. I think we are

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extraordinarily united. I did not expect them to be so under these

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pressures, but they have surprised me and made me joyful at the same

:11:29.:11:34.

time. The party has done what it needs to do. This is what

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time. The party has done what it done in local government for a long

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time. We may have our private likes and dislikes, but the thing that

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time. We may have our private likes dictates the formation of a

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coalition is the ballot box. You have said that three times. I can

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say it again if you like. Please don't! What if your party votes to

:11:58.:12:02.

reinstate tuition fees as party policy afternoon? We will have to

:12:02.:12:07.

reinstate tuition fees as party listen to that and act accordingly.

:12:07.:12:14.

You must listen to the voice of the party and take it into account in

:12:14.:12:18.

what you do. I am always quite careful, as you know, about

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answering hypothetical questions. I don't think it is likely to happen,

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but if it did, we would have to do consider it. I thought what

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distinguished Lib Dems was that if your party conference voted for

:12:32.:12:36.

something, it was in the manifesto. The manifesto is taken in its final

:12:36.:12:42.

form before the party for decision. The party will express views at this

:12:42.:12:48.

stage in all sorts of ways. It did in my leadership, too. The manifesto

:12:48.:12:52.

is democratically agreed by the party at the time of the election,

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not before. The Tory conference will be about how they think they have

:12:57.:13:02.

been vindicated, that austerity has worked, the economy is turning a

:13:02.:13:07.

corner. But Nick Clegg's conference announcements will be about plastic

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bags. Have you got the hang of this coalition think? Andrew, you can

:13:11.:13:14.

always be guaranteed to put things coalition think? Andrew, you can

:13:14.:13:18.

in the most discreditable form! That is part of your charm. That was

:13:18.:13:26.

about to be a minor announcement in the middle of his speech. But it was

:13:26.:13:33.

discovered beforehand. It has not been very popular in terms of how it

:13:33.:13:37.

has been received, but that is not the central message. That leads me

:13:37.:13:41.

to what I think is the biggest danger you face at the next

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election. Isn't the biggest danger that the Tories, not you, if there

:13:47.:13:53.

is an economic recovery, they will get the credit for it? I don't think

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that is true. By the way, I don't think the electorate does gratitude.

:14:03.:14:06.

The only time people cast a thank you vote was probably for Mrs

:14:06.:14:10.

Thatcher over the sale of council houses. We could have a different

:14:10.:14:13.

discussion over whether that was a good idea. But what you have done is

:14:13.:14:21.

the underpinning for the promise of what you will do. In this

:14:21.:14:22.

government, we have stayed firm on a what you will do. In this

:14:22.:14:30.

very tough economic policy. But will you get the credit? What we have

:14:30.:14:38.

very tough economic policy. But will done by ourselves, which the Tories

:14:38.:14:42.

would never have done, is make sure that when the pain is felt, it is

:14:42.:14:47.

not the poor who feel it. We have seen the biggest shift of taxation,

:14:47.:14:51.

lifting the poorest in the country out of taxation, that has ever

:14:51.:14:54.

happened, including in the previous Labour government. You are presiding

:14:54.:15:01.

over the biggest squeeze on living standards in modern times. Because

:15:01.:15:06.

it is the biggest recession in modern times. When you speak to the

:15:06.:15:15.

2.5 million people who have been lifted out of taxation altogether

:15:15.:15:19.

because of the Liberal Democrats, speak to those who have had a £400

:15:19.:15:21.

tax cut. You may be able to make the speak to those who have had a £400

:15:21.:15:32.

connection, Andrew, you are a sharp observer, between a very deep

:15:32.:15:36.

economic crisis and difficulty for everybody. But it is clear that if

:15:36.:15:40.

the Tories had been by themselves, none of that would have happened. We

:15:40.:15:44.

have sought to shift the burden away from the poorest in this country. I

:15:44.:15:48.

am part of that. So when we go into the next election, the message will

:15:48.:15:50.

am part of that. So when we go into be that if you want to continue to

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have a prosperous economy and a society, only the Liberal Democrats

:15:55.:16:03.

will deliver that. Tim Farron says he likes Ed Miliband and he does not

:16:03.:16:09.

want to diss him. Can you confirm that there will be no dissing of Ed

:16:09.:16:15.

Miliband? It is not much my style. I've never much liked comments about

:16:15.:16:19.

the other leaders. I do not intend to make it so in the future. Can I'd

:16:19.:16:27.

finish up on Syria? You said after the Syria vote that Britain was a

:16:27.:16:33.

hugely diminished country. Given it was the British Parliament that said

:16:33.:16:36.

both sides on a course which could now see Syria give up chemical

:16:36.:16:39.

weapons without records to military action, would you like to withdraw

:16:39.:16:44.

these remarks and admit that you should be proud and happy with what

:16:44.:16:49.

Britain has done? No. You and I both know, because we are old observers,

:16:49.:16:57.

that that would never have happened unless there had been an

:16:57.:16:59.

underpinning of a threat to use force. The British Parliament

:16:59.:17:02.

resigned from that. We have no part to play in the fact that Assad and

:17:02.:17:06.

Putin have moved towards peace for to play in the fact that Assad and

:17:06.:17:09.

fear of military action. We decided not to be part of that. It is

:17:09.:17:12.

fear of military action. We decided exactly the opposite. Why would have

:17:12.:17:15.

liked to have seen our country join in with those who are serious about

:17:15.:17:23.

upholding an international law which has restrained even than axes and

:17:23.:17:27.

talent, but instead we resigned and left others to make sure that we

:17:27.:17:35.

moved towards peace. -- even the Maxis and Stalin. But if it had not

:17:35.:17:41.

been for the British Parliament, we would not have had the time to allow

:17:41.:17:45.

this to happen. It has avoided war. Job done, British Parliament. That

:17:45.:17:50.

would be true if it was accurate but it is not. The resolution proposed a

:17:50.:17:59.

delay, that we should wait until the inspectors came back. That time

:17:59.:18:01.

frame was absolutely nothing to do inspectors came back. That time

:18:01.:18:05.

with the parliamentary vote. The vote was going to incorporate that.

:18:05.:18:08.

I do not think you can claim what vote was going to incorporate that.

:18:08.:18:14.

you claim. In the Balkans, I remember that diplomacy, which was

:18:14.:18:17.

not reinforced by the threat of military action, does not work. It

:18:17.:18:22.

is when diplomacy runs with a grain of military action that it works.

:18:22.:18:26.

And if you want a fantastic illustration of that, look at what

:18:26.:18:31.

is happening over the last two weeks. By regret to say that our

:18:31.:18:35.

country, which has always been in favour of engagement and not

:18:35.:18:38.

disengagement, had no part to play in that. They give a joining us,

:18:38.:18:44.

Paddy Ashdown. Enjoy my old university city.

:18:44.:18:49.

And you we would get to the Balkans eventually, and we did. His biggest

:18:49.:18:57.

challenge is if the economy is looking reasonably good by 2015, to

:18:57.:19:01.

get some credit for the Lib Dems, when the Tories will want to halt it

:19:01.:19:07.

all. But his position is not to be the necessary axeman. That is George

:19:07.:19:11.

Osborne's role. Their role is to be the chaser party, taking the edge

:19:11.:19:15.

off. They will because of me going on about the pupil premium and

:19:15.:19:18.

racing people out of income tax. That is what you will hear from

:19:18.:19:22.

them, how they have taken the edge of the cuts. Will that work? They

:19:22.:19:27.

are in a pretty good position. Even if they have lost two thirds of the

:19:27.:19:31.

popular support, according to the polls, I do not know anyone in

:19:31.:19:36.

Westminster methinks that will be matched in their parliamentary

:19:36.:19:38.

representation. If they have 56 MPs now, they might lose a dozen but

:19:38.:19:45.

they will not be decimated. Strategically, they are in a better

:19:45.:19:49.

position than the reading of the polls would tell you. I think Nick

:19:49.:19:53.

Clegg's survival has been one of the stories of this Parliament. He is

:19:53.:19:59.

looking good at the comfort -- at the conference. When he was at his

:19:59.:20:04.

lowest after the AV referendum, people were saying he would survive

:20:04.:20:09.

and lead us into 2015 and beyond and I thought that was fanciful. Believe

:20:09.:20:13.

it or not... Paddy Ashdown was wrong, you were wrong and... I

:20:13.:20:19.

wasn't. I'm underestimated how bad his rivals are. If you are Lib Dem

:20:19.:20:25.

member, however aggrieved you are with Nick Clegg, you do not think,

:20:25.:20:28.

wouldn't it be great if Christian was in charge? Nick Clegg is the

:20:28.:20:34.

best they have. -- Chris Huhne was in charge. Of course, the people do

:20:34.:20:39.

not vote for the coalition government and it is a consequence

:20:39.:20:42.

of the way they vote, a different matter. If Janan Ganesh is right,

:20:42.:20:48.

and they lose 15 seats in the next election, they could be still

:20:48.:20:51.

pivotal in the next government. It could be. But there is a danger.

:20:51.:20:55.

Possibly the most amusing outcome would be a Labour or Tory overall

:20:55.:20:59.

majority, which would be hilarious for the look on Paddy Ashdown's

:20:59.:21:00.

face. The danger is they get trapped for the look on Paddy Ashdown's

:21:00.:21:06.

constantly in talking about the politics of coalition and of a hung

:21:06.:21:11.

parliament. And they are very puffed up and they enjoy Parliament and

:21:11.:21:17.

they will enjoy the next one, but up and they enjoy Parliament and

:21:17.:21:20.

there is a possibility they will not be. While they are talking about the

:21:20.:21:24.

Polish and themselves, they are not talking about the issues facing the

:21:24.:21:28.

country. -- talking about the coalition. It was interesting that

:21:28.:21:35.

he said that we are a left-wing party, not a centre-left party or a

:21:35.:21:39.

centre party, but a left-wing party. I'm going to put myself in the

:21:39.:21:46.

firing line and say that there is a big split between the Tim Farron

:21:46.:21:48.

firing line and say that there is a line who say they like Ed Miliband,

:21:48.:21:51.

firing line and say that there is a and another one, Jeremy Browne in

:21:51.:21:54.

the Home Office saying that Labour are intellectually lazy. The risk

:21:54.:21:58.

clearly a clique around Nick Clegg who wants to be a synthetic party,

:21:58.:22:05.

but that is not where the membership who wants to be a synthetic party,

:22:05.:22:11.

and broad base is. The real activists are clearly of the left,

:22:11.:22:16.

not just the centre-left. They are very pro-immigration and they want

:22:16.:22:20.

to get rid of Trident. Mr Clegg's strategy has to be to take the party

:22:20.:22:23.

to the centre. The something not happen at some stage? The poll

:22:23.:22:26.

to the centre. The something not suggests it is a left-wing party.

:22:26.:22:28.

to the centre. The something not Very left-wing. Other think the poll

:22:28.:22:30.

would have yielded -- would have Very left-wing. Other think the poll

:22:30.:22:37.

yielded the same results before the 2010 election. This is reflected by

:22:37.:22:42.

the arithmetic. Whichever party is biggest will most likely be the ones

:22:42.:22:48.

in coalition with the Lib Dems. Nick Clegg's on latitude to choose is

:22:48.:22:56.

exaggerated by us. The choice is no tears, it is written into

:22:56.:23:01.

parliamentary arithmetic. But if you remember the structure of the Lib

:23:01.:23:04.

Dems, they can tie themselves up in infighting. -- the choice is not

:23:04.:23:09.

ours. They are fundamentally infighting. -- the choice is not

:23:09.:23:15.

stable. And Nick Clegg has had a good conference last year, and will

:23:15.:23:16.

have another one this year. The good conference last year, and will

:23:16.:23:20.

economy is better than it was a year ago. It could still go quite well

:23:20.:23:22.

for him. Yes, it is one of the ago. It could still go quite well

:23:22.:23:27.

stories of this Parliament, his survival and the way in which he has

:23:27.:23:31.

prospered. But there are a lot of people out there, students,

:23:31.:23:35.

campaigners, labour activists who have not forgotten what he has done

:23:35.:23:38.

in government and are determined to get him. It will be a tough year and

:23:38.:23:42.

a half. Tougher than he imagined. Now, not so long ago they were

:23:43.:23:47.

writing George Osborne's political obituary. Be on the Omni shambles

:23:47.:23:54.

budget of 2012 and a lacklustre performance of the British economy

:23:54.:23:58.

meant his reputation work -- was in the dirt. -- the omnishambles. But

:23:58.:24:04.

things have changed. The Chancellor is saying he has been vindicated. If

:24:04.:24:08.

true, we're do that leave his critics? At your stuck on the

:24:08.:24:12.

runway, it looks as though the British economy has taken off,

:24:12.:24:15.

growing by 0.7% in the second British economy has taken off,

:24:15.:24:19.

quarter. Forecasts for the rest of the year have been revised up words.

:24:19.:24:23.

What's more, the office for National statistics says that the double-dip

:24:23.:24:28.

recession never actually happened. Unemployment is down in the three

:24:28.:24:32.

months to July and the number of people claiming jobseeker's

:24:32.:24:36.

months to July and the number of allowance is falling at its

:24:36.:24:37.

months to July and the number of spasticity rate since 1997. On

:24:37.:24:42.

Monday, George Osborne said his policies were bearing fruit. We held

:24:42.:24:45.

our nerve when many told us to abandon our plans. As a result,

:24:45.:24:51.

thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of the British people, Britain is

:24:51.:24:59.

turning a corner. The message for his Labour critics was clear. The

:24:59.:25:02.

Chancellor thinks he was right and they were wrong. And Chuka Umunna

:25:02.:25:07.

joins me now for the Sunday interview.

:25:07.:25:13.

Good afternoon. Good afternoon.Do you accept that the economy has

:25:13.:25:22.

turned a corner? I think it is good that a stalled recovery appears to

:25:22.:25:23.

turned a corner? I think it is good have come back to life, but let's

:25:23.:25:25.

turned a corner? I think it is good get this in perspective. We have had

:25:25.:25:29.

three wasted years. We have the worst economic recovery in history.

:25:29.:25:34.

Debt is up and we have record youth unemployment. If you ask your

:25:34.:25:38.

viewers who are watching this programme if they feel better or

:25:38.:25:43.

worse off, compared to 2010, the majority will tell you they feel

:25:43.:25:48.

worse because, on average, wages are down by £1500 compared to May of

:25:48.:25:54.

2010. That is the situation. The questionnaires, what is the

:25:54.:25:58.

government going to do about it? And one of the things we have seen

:25:58.:26:02.

talked about, Vince Cable has been talking about this as well, is what

:26:02.:26:07.

is happening in the housing market. It seems that much of the solution

:26:07.:26:11.

to powering the recovery in the eyes of George Osborne lies in sorting

:26:11.:26:16.

out the housing market but the problem is, we are at risk of being

:26:16.:26:19.

out the housing market but the another housing bubble. Because of

:26:19.:26:21.

out the housing market but the research that came out this week, we

:26:21.:26:26.

know that housing in the UK is three times more expensive than in the US.

:26:26.:26:28.

know that housing in the UK is three We know that house prices are rising

:26:28.:26:32.

five times faster than wages, but we also know that the government is

:26:32.:26:35.

five times faster than wages, but we building new housing at a slower

:26:35.:26:40.

rate, the slowest rate that we have seen since the 1920s. Labour

:26:40.:26:46.

complaining about a housing bubble, isn't that like Satan complaining

:26:46.:26:52.

about seven? -- seven. We all know that we cannot go back to business

:26:52.:26:56.

as usual. We need to build a new model of growth. But the housing

:26:56.:27:01.

bubble you talk about, it is not a bubble. It might turn into one. I

:27:01.:27:07.

said the risk of a bubble. It is nothing like what happened on the

:27:07.:27:10.

labourer when the prices soared. As I said, in 2009, we had the crash

:27:10.:27:13.

labourer when the prices soared. As and we knew we needed to reconfigure

:27:13.:27:16.

the way that our economy works. Having an economy based on crisis is

:27:16.:27:22.

not a good thing. We need to rebalance the economy. We saw the

:27:22.:27:26.

unemployment statistics this week, and it is welcomed overall, that

:27:26.:27:30.

climate has come down -- unemployment has come down. At half

:27:30.:27:36.

of the UK has seen unemployment go up. And it went down in other parts.

:27:36.:27:42.

We know that we need to rebalance our economy, so that we do not just

:27:42.:27:49.

rely on consumption, but that we grow our productive sectors. And

:27:49.:27:53.

also that we grow our exports as well. We know we have a continuing

:27:53.:28:01.

deficit. We always have a trade deficit. There was never a trade

:28:01.:28:11.

surplus under Labour. Want to come onto what you have mentioned but

:28:11.:28:14.

would you scrap the help to buy scheme? We have not said that we

:28:14.:28:19.

would do that. Why not if it is causing the bubble? If you let me

:28:19.:28:24.

finish, on one hand what that scheme does at the moment, at the moment it

:28:25.:28:31.

is inhalation to a new scheme but tomorrow -- next year it will be in

:28:31.:28:35.

relation to the existing scheme. If you do not sort out the supply of

:28:35.:28:39.

housing, then that is a recipe for the problems we have seen. Our

:28:39.:28:43.

argument is build more houses. Help more people to buy them by all means

:28:43.:28:47.

but if you do not have the supply you will end up with rising prices.

:28:47.:28:53.

That is obvious. Labour said that government austerity would prevent

:28:53.:28:56.

the return of growth. Austerity is still with us but so is growth. You

:28:56.:29:00.

were wrong. We never said that growth would never return. What we

:29:00.:29:01.

said was that if you went for an growth would never return. What we

:29:02.:29:06.

overly extreme deficit reduction package, you would choke the

:29:06.:29:12.

recovery and you would choke growth. That is what we saw for three years.

:29:12.:29:17.

If you say, look at the US economy, it has grown at three times the rate

:29:17.:29:23.

of the UK economy. The German economy has grown at twice the rate.

:29:23.:29:28.

But the British economy is growing quicker than the American or German

:29:28.:29:31.

economy is now. But over time we have not seen that happen. But it is

:29:31.:29:37.

now. That may be the case. But my point is that those three years saw

:29:37.:29:42.

people undergoing huge stress and worry. It is good that we have

:29:42.:29:47.

growth back again but the question is, what kind of growth? What we

:29:47.:29:52.

have said... I'm going to come onto that but your credibility depends on

:29:52.:29:55.

your previous analysis. And there that but your credibility depends on

:29:55.:29:57.

are doubts about it. This is what you said not that long ago. In

:29:57.:30:05.

2012. Our economy has flat lined near the 0% mark...

:30:05.:30:16.

You and the Labour Party said it had choked off growth. You were wrong.

:30:17.:30:33.

We were not wrong, because we had three years where the economy was

:30:33.:30:38.

not moving. Let's remind ourselves. Claude Osborne was predicting that

:30:38.:30:42.

the economy was going to grow by 6.9% between the start of this

:30:42.:30:46.

Parliament and now. It has grown by 1.8%. We did not say we would never

:30:46.:30:55.

have a return to growth. You never said that austerity would only

:30:55.:30:59.

temporarily delay growth. We have looked through your speeches and Ed

:30:59.:31:03.

Balls'. We can't find any reference to say this is simply delaying the

:31:03.:31:09.

recovery. You said austerity would choke off growth. If that is true,

:31:09.:31:18.

why has it returned now? Did we say it would choke off growth for ever?

:31:18.:31:20.

why has it returned now? Did we say We did not. You have changed your

:31:20.:31:29.

tune. I think your package at the top of this programme, to frame this

:31:29.:31:34.

around George Osborne, this is not a Westminster soap opera, it is

:31:34.:31:38.

people's lives, and the people who deserve huge credit for the growth

:31:38.:31:44.

we are seeing are our country's businesses, who despite the tough

:31:44.:31:48.

economic times, have succeeded. They are the ones who have powered this

:31:48.:31:52.

growth. It is not for us in Westminster to take credit. But you

:31:52.:31:57.

blame the government for lack of growth. So therefore, when the

:31:57.:32:03.

growth comes, the government has to take some credit. Look at the

:32:03.:32:07.

situation Britain is in now. We know the recovery still has to reach many

:32:07.:32:13.

parts of the country, but this is the OECD annualised growth in the

:32:13.:32:21.

G-7, the world's guest economies. That is looking pretty healthy. That

:32:21.:32:25.

is a recovery. I am not denying that That is looking pretty healthy. That

:32:25.:32:31.

we are seeing a stalled recovery, That is looking pretty healthy. That

:32:31.:32:36.

but who benefits from the growth? On average, your viewers have sustained

:32:36.:32:43.

a £1500 pay cut. That is the second biggest fall in the G20 since May

:32:43.:32:52.

2010. Because we had the biggest financial services sector and took

:32:52.:32:56.

the biggest crash. Financial services are still in decline.

:32:56.:33:00.

Financial services are about 10% of the economy. They are not the only

:33:00.:33:08.

contributor to the economy. The point is, who benefits? Unemployment

:33:08.:33:15.

is falling, but we don't just want people to have any job, we want them

:33:15.:33:19.

to have decent jobs that pay a weight you can live off and

:33:19.:33:57.

Over the last 20 years people are less secure at work than ever. The

:33:57.:34:13.

other thing is the uneven spread of this across the economy. In places

:34:13.:34:21.

like the north-east, the Northwest, Yorkshire, they have seen

:34:21.:34:29.

unemployment increase. I understand there is a regional imbalance but

:34:29.:34:38.

this service sector is growing. Financial services are in decline.

:34:38.:34:44.

The reed balances happening. It is not happening to the degree that we

:34:44.:34:57.

need to transform our economy. We need to reconfigure our economy.

:34:57.:35:00.

Your party conference is coming up next week. Why do Ed Miliband's

:35:00.:35:09.

approval ratings get worse the more people see of him? I do not accept

:35:09.:35:15.

that. I am just giving you the figure. Surveys go up and down.His

:35:15.:35:26.

approval rating is consistently down. What matters are votes. We

:35:26.:35:39.

have seen the Labour Party put on new candidates. We have been putting

:35:39.:35:58.

on votes and members as well. Your leader is no more unpopular than

:35:58.:36:01.

Gordon Brown was when he too laboured to the worst defeat in

:36:01.:36:09.

living memory. -- when he to Labour. Votes are what matter.Twice

:36:09.:36:24.

as many people think Elvis Presley lives on the moon. We are winning

:36:24.:36:40.

support in important areas. Since 2010 we have put on thousands of

:36:40.:36:45.

members. Compare and contrast that to the Conservative party, which has

:36:45.:36:49.

not won a general election since 1992. Why will you not pledge to

:36:49.:36:59.

renationalise Royal Mail? That would be like writing a blank cheque. We

:36:59.:37:03.

do not know how much the Government will receive from the sale of Royal

:37:03.:37:08.

Mail. We do not know how much it would cost to buy it back. That

:37:08.:37:13.

would not be responsible. The Government is not lead to do this

:37:13.:37:22.

right now. Sources in the city and Whitehall tell me that if Labour

:37:22.:37:27.

pledged to renationalise it it would kill off the flotation. So if you

:37:27.:37:31.

are against it why do you not do it? That would be like writing a

:37:31.:37:39.

blank cheque. But if you put it in the prospectus, people in the city

:37:40.:37:43.

who know more about these things than you or I, say it would not

:37:43.:37:48.

happen at all. Why do you not do it? That would not be responsible.

:37:48.:37:54.

It would be like writing a blank cheque. You would not have to write

:37:54.:38:02.

a check if it had not happened. I had to deal with the facts. I will

:38:02.:38:06.

not deal with what anybody might speculate about. For me to pledge to

:38:06.:38:15.

renationalise it is now would be like writing a blank cheque. We want

:38:15.:38:20.

to be fiscally responsible as a Government. You are watching the

:38:20.:38:33.

Sunday Politics. Good afternoon and welcome back to

:38:34.:38:37.

Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme - jawing at the

:38:37.:38:47.

battle lines on independence. How will the campaign be sustained? Alex

:38:47.:38:55.

Salmond should be prepared to debate with his opponents in Scotland on

:38:55.:38:59.

television. You would expect that in this day and age. I cannot

:38:59.:39:03.

understand why he is refusing to do a televised debate with anyone other

:39:03.:39:08.

than David Cameron. We will be putting that to the First Minister

:39:08.:39:12.

Alex Salmond live in Fraserburgh this afternoon.

:39:12.:39:15.

The Liberal Democrat conference is being held in Glasgow. We will hear

:39:15.:39:19.

from the Scottish leader Willie Rennie.

:39:19.:39:27.

On Wednesday campaigners will mark an important milestone in the run-up

:39:27.:39:30.

to next year's referendum on independence. After the summer

:39:30.:39:34.

cease-fire, if you can call it that, the battle for Scotland's future

:39:34.:39:39.

will be rejoined with only a year to go until the decisive vote. Here is

:39:39.:39:44.

our political correspondent. These days the battle over

:39:44.:39:48.

Scotland's future are fought with words, not swords. But the struggle

:39:48.:39:53.

now and we could be no less significant than those woven into

:39:53.:39:59.

the tapestry on display in Holyrood. In politics the word historic is

:39:59.:40:10.

vastly overused. But in one year from now one such event will take

:40:10.:40:14.

place. Scots will be asked should Scotland be an independent country.

:40:14.:40:22.

Those arguing to maintain the 300-year-old union said public

:40:22.:40:24.

opinion as on their side. They insist the referendum is not sewn up

:40:24.:40:30.

yet. Flying the flag for the UK on the streets of Scotland, they say

:40:30.:40:34.

that Alex Salmond is spinning voters and Yarm. You cannot tell us what

:40:34.:40:41.

currency we would have. He cannot tell us because he does not know. Or

:40:41.:40:45.

take what will happen with debt. He says he will default on debt. I

:40:45.:40:51.

really really going to start off by saying that Scotland is a country

:40:51.:40:57.

that will default on debt? Yes campaigners say they want the

:40:57.:41:04.

Scottish Parliament to take on more responsibilities from Westminster.

:41:04.:41:11.

It is because we have decision-making over education that

:41:11.:41:13.

young people can still go to university in Scotland. Because we

:41:13.:41:17.

have got the Scottish parliament we have got three personal care for

:41:17.:41:21.

older people. We could have been nitty in their old age. These are

:41:21.:41:30.

the kind of decisions we can take. -- they can have dignity in old age.

:41:30.:41:38.

As MSP is prepared to vote on the principles of the referendum Bill,

:41:38.:41:52.

one figure warns for temperance. The public has no great impression of

:41:52.:41:56.

politicians as it is. Another shouting match will cement that

:41:56.:42:01.

negative perception. The great tapestry of Scotland covers

:42:01.:42:05.

thousands of years of history. But there is one panel missing. Next

:42:05.:42:09.

year we will know what form it will take as Scots take the decision that

:42:09.:42:13.

will be time and the pattern of the nation future.

:42:13.:42:18.

I enjoyed now by First Minister Alex Salmond from Fraserburgh. An

:42:18.:42:24.

interesting time ahead. Just minute ago. I am interested to gauge how

:42:24.:42:33.

significant is that for you? It shows the piece is quickening. We

:42:33.:42:36.

are going to see a process over the next year where more and more Scots

:42:36.:42:43.

engage with the arguments. As people engage with these arguments more

:42:43.:42:46.

people will support an independent Scotland. You have stated

:42:46.:42:51.

emphatically this week that you would abolish the spare room subsidy

:42:51.:42:56.

or bedroom tax. What is your real big vision for Scottish

:42:56.:42:59.

independence? You spent the summer talking about maintaining the

:42:59.:43:09.

unions. We want to create a more prosperous country and a more equal

:43:09.:43:14.

society in Scotland. Constitutional change is an argument in itself.

:43:14.:43:20.

That is a noble ideal. An independent Scotland is also a means

:43:20.:43:23.

by which we can have a more prosperous country. Also,

:43:23.:43:29.

importantly, a more just society. That is an attractive vision.

:43:29.:43:32.

Compared with the dismal future if we stay and London control it is an

:43:32.:43:37.

exciting and galvanising vision. What other policy areas reduce you

:43:38.:43:45.

to change? A whole range of policy areas to make Scotland a more

:43:45.:43:48.

competitive country and therefore more prosperous economic league. A

:43:48.:43:53.

range of measures to avoid bearing down on some of the most vulnerable

:43:53.:43:57.

people in society as is being done at the present moment. Policies

:43:57.:44:02.

which keep public assets under public control like the Post Office

:44:02.:44:06.

at the present moment. Policies which mean that the great natural

:44:06.:44:10.

resources in Scotland, oil, gas, renewables, are treated as natural

:44:10.:44:16.

resources and go to the benefit of the people and the nation. These are

:44:16.:44:21.

quite different policies than the ones produced by Westminster. Add to

:44:21.:44:27.

that the fact that the Scottish Parliament has already written about

:44:27.:44:32.

the environmental challenge on greenhouse gases, shows that we can

:44:32.:44:41.

rise to the occasion. We can do that with the economy as well. You

:44:41.:44:44.

mentioned the privatisation of Royal Mail. What is the problem with that?

:44:44.:45:02.

We need the Royal Mail in public hands. We are spending hundreds of

:45:02.:45:09.

lines of pounds in terms of the spread out of five and broadband

:45:09.:45:12.

around Scotland to make sure that all the areas of Scotland have

:45:12.:45:15.

access to that wonderful new technology. We think it will do

:45:15.:45:18.

amazing things to the ability of businesses to sustain themselves in

:45:18.:45:23.

real areas. That depends on the infrastructure of Royal Mail. It

:45:23.:45:28.

depends on having a reliable and cost-effective postal delivery. Many

:45:28.:45:32.

of the great private companies who use the internet also use the Royal

:45:32.:45:36.

Mail as the best way of getting to people across the country. We should

:45:36.:45:39.

also look at it from another point of view. How to business people get

:45:39.:45:45.

their goods and services? You need that Royal Mail service. I

:45:45.:45:49.

jeopardise that? Why place it in private hands? My challenge to the

:45:49.:45:55.

Prime minister is clear. We are debating the future of Scotland over

:45:56.:46:02.

the next year. 80% or more of the Royal Mail is owned by the people of

:46:02.:46:09.

Scotland. -- 8%. What right does David Cameron have to cell of that

:46:09.:46:12.

before the people of Scotland have the opportunity to the assets like

:46:12.:46:20.

that into Scotland's hands? What do you mean by that? Are you wanting a

:46:20.:46:24.

moratorium on the Royal Mail cell of the four independence? I want a

:46:24.:46:33.

moratorium on the sale of Royal Mail to allow the people of Scotland to

:46:33.:46:37.

come to a decision whether that a national asset should stay in other

:46:37.:46:44.

cans -- stay in public hands or beehive off as the London Government

:46:45.:46:49.

intends to do. I am demanding that the Prime Minister, rather than

:46:49.:46:56.

pre-empt the decision of the people of Scotland, have a moratorium, so

:46:56.:47:01.

that we can decide what to do with our share of that national asset.

:47:01.:47:13.

This is a reserved issue. Real areas are represented by Lib Dem MPs. With

:47:13.:47:20.

all due respect to you to say that the UK Government cannot proceed

:47:20.:47:27.

with this sale? We are divided over three of the mandate lies on this.

:47:27.:47:33.

Two years ago and overwhelming majority of Scottish MPs voted

:47:33.:47:42.

against privatisation plans. But if those proposing privatisation wants

:47:42.:47:45.

to put that matter to the Scottish people after independence then that

:47:45.:47:46.

to put that matter to the Scottish is a matter for them. I think they

:47:46.:47:51.

will get short shrift. I do not think many Lib Dems will be

:47:51.:48:00.

surviving a process which combines selling off the Royal Mail and

:48:00.:48:10.

imposing the bedroom tax. This is about how we should treat the assets

:48:10.:48:13.

and resources of this country. The empowerment of the people through

:48:13.:48:17.

the referendum has to be expressed in their ability to make these

:48:17.:48:22.

decisions. That is why I am making a challenge to the Prime Minister to

:48:22.:48:25.

call a halt at this stage. The other challenge to the Prime Minister is

:48:25.:48:32.

your challenge to debate them. Alistair Darling is calling for you

:48:32.:48:38.

to debate. He says why not debate with them? Are you running scared of

:48:38.:48:45.

debating with Alistair Darling? I will keep my eyes set on the Prime

:48:45.:48:50.

Minister on this particular campaign. The Royal Mail issue is an

:48:50.:48:54.

exact example of that. I debate that should take place against the

:48:54.:48:57.

different futures that Scotland has should include issues like the

:48:57.:49:02.

bedroom tax, like the Royal Mail, whether these are right or wrong for

:49:02.:49:05.

the Scottish people and who should make these decisions. We cannot

:49:05.:49:10.

debate with somebody who has no control over these issues at the

:49:10.:49:13.

moment. The Prime Minister and myself have been given a joint award

:49:13.:49:19.

for democratic innovation in Edinburgh agreement. That agreement

:49:19.:49:26.

allowed the referendum to take place on a statutory Asus. -- statutory

:49:26.:49:38.

basis. Despite all your campaigning over the summer the opinion polls

:49:38.:49:48.

have not shifted. An American pollster said that you would need a

:49:48.:49:53.

crisis in England for the yes campaign to be successful next year.

:49:53.:50:01.

There is plenty of crisis developing and constitutional politics across

:50:01.:50:04.

the country at the present moment. The bedroom tax is a crisis but many

:50:04.:50:13.

people at the present moment. Look at the opinion polls this morning.

:50:13.:50:23.

If Scotland voted against independents Westminster was put

:50:23.:50:27.

Scotland in the dustbin file somewhere. An opinion poll in a

:50:27.:50:36.

Sunday newspaper has said that 50% of people are not sure yet. There

:50:36.:50:40.

are a lot of people like that at present. The one thing we can say

:50:40.:50:46.

about the opinion polls this morning is that it is game on. Secondly we

:50:46.:50:51.

can say that as people get more information about the different

:50:51.:50:54.

futures of this country then I think people will move towards acquiesced

:50:54.:51:07.

position for Scotland. what dated November can colours for the White

:51:07.:51:13.

Paper being released? We have all ways so that it will be in the

:51:13.:51:19.

autumn. I think the debate with the Prime Minister should be on St

:51:19.:51:25.

Andrews Day, what better day to have the finest acting against Scottish

:51:25.:51:31.

independence, me arguing in favour is to mark that would be a grand

:51:31.:51:35.

day. I think you can anticipate that the White Paper may be in the public

:51:35.:51:41.

domain by November, as Nicola Sturgeon said. Now, the tans are

:51:41.:51:46.

fading, the holiday credit card bills are dropping through the

:51:46.:51:49.

letterbox. Yes, summer is well and truly over and autumn is here.

:51:49.:51:52.

Politicos are bristling with excitement as party conference

:51:52.:51:56.

season now begins. The Liberal Democrats have taken their UK

:51:56.:51:59.

conference to Glasgow for the first time in ten years, telling voters

:51:59.:52:02.

they've got a track record now on jobs and the economy. The UK

:52:02.:52:12.

conference on the doorstep across the Clyde. The lip Dems are trying

:52:12.:52:17.

to build a bridge into the future, a fresh start looking ahead to the

:52:17.:52:23.

election after a difficult years in government. Senior figures and 5000

:52:23.:52:28.

party members have descended on Glasgow. Security is pretty tight

:52:28.:52:34.

here. Even the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has to have his pass

:52:34.:52:40.

carefully checked. These protesters gathered to complain about the spare

:52:40.:52:43.

room subsidy, which they call the bedroom tax. It is difficult for

:52:44.:52:50.

some delegates to keep calm like these people. They are angry about

:52:50.:52:56.

the bedroom tax and the U-turn on tuition fees. Do you think it was a

:52:56.:53:02.

good idea to go into coalition? No, I don't. I have lost a lot of my

:53:02.:53:08.

benefits, I have lost my home, I am struggling. When you are in

:53:08.:53:14.

coalition there always enjoy going to have to compromise on. Being in

:53:14.:53:20.

government has damaged the party 's popularity that it is because of

:53:20.:53:27.

being in government that we are working in the national interest.

:53:27.:53:34.

Nick Clegg is unapologetic. I was always very open that it would be a

:53:34.:53:39.

risk politically but the biggest duty for us was to provide jobs and

:53:39.:53:43.

a sense of economic well-being to the people of Scotland and written.

:53:43.:53:50.

Jobs and the economy, that is what he is trying to put the focus on,

:53:50.:53:55.

claiming a strong track record. That is the message they are desperately

:53:55.:54:00.

trying to get across as they try to rebuild support here in Scotland and

:54:00.:54:01.

trying to get across as they try to further afield. I spoke to the

:54:01.:54:04.

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie, a little

:54:04.:54:08.

earlier as he prepared to make his speech to conference this afternoon.

:54:08.:54:14.

I asked if it had been the right decision to go into coalition. Nick

:54:14.:54:21.

Clegg and the party made the right decision in 2010 for the whole

:54:21.:54:26.

country. We make that step in order to secure the economy and to secure

:54:26.:54:30.

fairness in the wider society as well. It was not easy. To go in with

:54:30.:54:37.

the Conservatives was a big step for the party but it was the right thing

:54:37.:54:42.

to do. In 2010 there was chaos throughout Europe. There was chaos

:54:42.:54:48.

in the economy. Now what we have got is GDP up, unemployment is going

:54:48.:54:52.

down, the prospects are far better. You also have big improvements like

:54:52.:54:57.

tax cuts for those unloading comes, tension rises, many things which if

:54:57.:55:02.

the Tories were running the country on their own would never be done.

:55:02.:55:08.

But at what cost to your party for the future gesture marked up poll in

:55:08.:55:14.

the Sunday Times suggested your ratings have gone down from 19 to

:55:14.:55:20.

7%. That would work out with you losing half of your Scottish MPs.

:55:20.:55:27.

But if you look at the elections across Scotland, in Aberdeen

:55:27.:55:29.

powerboat went up and we overtook the Tories. If Melrose, all these

:55:29.:55:36.

elections, powerboat went up significantly and the others went

:55:36.:55:43.

down. We are making progress in real votes in real elections. I am not

:55:43.:55:51.

pretending that things are smooth. But when we put the message across

:55:51.:55:54.

people understand that we are making a difference to equal slice. There

:55:54.:56:02.

was the U-turn over tuition fees, there is the bedroom tax, we have

:56:02.:56:11.

the Sarah Teather, the MP, saying she will not stand again because she

:56:11.:56:15.

is angry at the progress of the party. What kind of progress is

:56:15.:56:22.

that? We are making progress, in terms of reform, in terms of welfare

:56:22.:56:31.

reform. If we were not there, that would not happen. Is that what the

:56:31.:56:34.

protesters would like, for us not to be involved and to make that

:56:34.:56:37.

difference? We are making a difference on things like cutting

:56:37.:56:42.

tax. There are about 2 million people in Scotland who have no tax

:56:42.:56:47.

bills as a result of us. We have raised the threshold to 10,000 which

:56:47.:56:50.

has made a big difference to ordinary working people. It makes

:56:50.:56:57.

work pay. Another poll in another newspaper suggested that act of this

:56:57.:57:00.

was shifting in their attitude newspaper suggested that act of this

:57:00.:57:05.

towards a coalition with Labour or a confidence and supply agreement with

:57:05.:57:13.

Labour, away from the Conservatives. It is difficult to know what the

:57:13.:57:17.

circumstances will be in 2015. We have worked in Scotland with Labour

:57:17.:57:24.

for nine years. Across Scotland, we form administrations with the SNP in

:57:25.:57:30.

local councils. We are prepared to work with others. What would you

:57:30.:57:37.

like to see, Conservative or Labour? It depends on how may people vote

:57:37.:57:43.

Liberal Democrat in that election. The more people vote Liberal

:57:43.:57:45.

Democrat, the more site we can have. If we can persuade the others

:57:45.:57:50.

to come in form a joint programme, we are prepared to do it. You have

:57:50.:57:56.

that joint programme at the conference over the river just now.

:57:56.:58:00.

You're talking about exposing argument with the Conservatives. Is

:58:00.:58:04.

this just creating some artificial died between the two of you? People

:58:04.:58:11.

need to understand that we are fighting our corner, we are standing

:58:11.:58:15.

up for things. Making sure that things like the green investment

:58:15.:58:19.

bank, which is coming to Edinburgh, was fought for by the Liberal

:58:19.:58:25.

Democrats. There's no in hiding it. Get out there and tell people how we

:58:25.:58:30.

are making a difference. We're not there to drop the Conservatives,

:58:30.:58:34.

were there ensure the Liberal Democrats are delivering policies

:58:34.:58:35.

and we are stopping them from doing Democrats are delivering policies

:58:35.:58:40.

their worst. You're going to be addressing the delegates this

:58:40.:58:46.

afternoon, but as you fight your corn in the argument about

:58:46.:58:48.

independence, where is the argument about more powers. And? The Liberal

:58:48.:58:55.

Democrats say they want federalism, but why can't the UK Government is

:58:55.:59:00.

more powers for Scotland after the referendum? Listen to Nick Clegg

:59:00.:59:06.

this weekend and the CPI event earlier this month. He made it clear

:59:06.:59:11.

that in 2015 the Liberal Democrats will be campaigning in the manifesto

:59:12.:59:16.

for home rule in a federal UK. We think Ed Miliband and David Cameron

:59:16.:59:22.

should hold their hands up and say they will commit to more powers as

:59:22.:59:25.

well. We are leading the way on this. If you look at the polls and

:59:25.:59:28.

listen to the people on the door is this. If you look at the polls and

:59:29.:59:32.

what they say is that they want to reject independence, because they

:59:32.:59:36.

want to stay in partnership, but they want more powers over the

:59:36.:59:41.

domestic agenda. They want more financial power and more

:59:41.:59:45.

constitutional power. I think we are developed in a consensus. You look

:59:45.:59:50.

at some of the think tank, some of the academic, who are arguing this

:59:50.:59:56.

is where the common ground is. We think we can get Labour and the

:59:56.:00:00.

Conservatives to join us on it. Why can you not come to some common

:00:00.:00:05.

ground in the UK Government and make that kind of offering to the people

:00:05.:00:14.

of Scotland? You have to take a step at a time. What we are committing to

:00:15.:00:20.

is to do more after the referendum. Now does not mean no change, it

:00:20.:00:27.

means more change will stop but within the United Kingdom, because

:00:27.:00:34.

the UK is good for Scotland. As a decentralising party, we want power

:00:34.:00:45.

to be in the nations. A great concern to many people in rural

:00:45.:00:49.

communities in Scotland is the privatisation of the Royal Mail. And

:00:49.:00:54.

they are represented by Liberal Democrat MPs in many parts of

:00:54.:00:58.

Scotland. How can you MPs be agreeing to this? They will not lose

:00:58.:01:05.

out. The universal service guarantee is in law and will remain. It brings

:01:05.:01:11.

more money into the Royal Mail. For years and a Labour in decline.

:01:12.:01:15.

Thousands of job were lost, post offices closed. We have protected

:01:16.:01:21.

sub post offices and we are investing in the Roma. This will be

:01:21.:01:25.

good for Royal Mail, it will make flourish. If you just stay as you

:01:25.:01:33.

are, it will stagnate. We need to invest 81 of the best mail services

:01:33.:01:42.

in in the whole world. Let's cross now for the news, with Clive Myrie

:01:42.:01:51.

and Graham Stewart. Good afternoon. Nick Clegg says victory for either

:01:51.:01:55.

the Conservatives or Labour at the next election would put at risk the

:01:55.:01:58.

economic recovery. Speaking at the Liberal Democrat annual conference

:01:58.:02:05.

he said it would allow the government to finish the job of

:02:05.:02:10.

repairing the economy fairly. If we go back to the bad old days, not of

:02:10.:02:15.

coalition and balance politics, but of either the left or right

:02:15.:02:18.

dominating government on their own, you will get a recovery that is

:02:18.:02:24.

neither fair nor sustainable. I think Labour would wreck that

:02:25.:02:27.

recovery and under the Conservatives you get the wrong kind of recovery.

:02:27.:02:34.

219-year-old women arrested after fatal stabbing in Leicester Thursday

:02:34.:02:39.

have been released without charge. Police are trying to discover if

:02:39.:02:42.

there is a link between the killing and fired nearby. Five people in all

:02:42.:02:47.

still being questioned in with the blaze. A Syrian government minister

:02:47.:02:53.

has described the agreement drawn up by America and Russia to displace of

:02:53.:02:57.

his country chemical weapons as a victory. The minister claims that

:02:57.:03:02.

the deal helps the Syrians out of a crisis and adverts war. The US

:03:02.:03:07.

Secretary of State is in Israel to brief the Prime Minister Binyamin

:03:07.:03:18.

Netanyahu on the proposal. Britain's Mo Farah has missed out on

:03:18.:03:22.

winning his first half marathon by around one second. He was taking

:03:22.:03:27.

part in the Great North Run between Newcastle and South Shields. He was

:03:27.:03:33.

the favourite following his two gold medals at the world Championships.

:03:33.:03:41.

He lost out in a split finish. A carnival atmosphere in Newcastle for

:03:41.:03:44.

the start of the 33rd rate North run. Thousands limbered up and for

:03:44.:03:50.

some it was about the challenge, for others simply dressing up for fun. I

:03:50.:03:57.

am walking it, so I have no time in mind, I just want to get round,

:03:57.:04:01.

enjoy it, and appreciated the crowds. Both these athletes, today's

:04:01.:04:08.

race was about who would be first over the line. Despite the wind and

:04:08.:04:14.

rain, large crowds turned out for the world 's most popular half

:04:14.:04:18.

marathon, which attracts some of the finest women's runners as well.

:04:18.:04:25.

There were high hopes for Britain's double Olympic champion Mo Farah.

:04:25.:04:29.

After a long sprint finish, he was narrowly beaten by an Ethiopian

:04:29.:04:39.

runner. It was a great race, it was a great finish. When he went with a

:04:39.:04:44.

mile to go I thought the pace was ridiculous and I thought I could

:04:44.:04:48.

come back and close the gap. You cannot take away what he has, he has

:04:48.:04:54.

great read. Wheelchair athlete David Weir won his race for a fourth time.

:04:54.:04:59.

More than £200 million has been raised since the Great North Run

:04:59.:05:07.

began. That is it for now. Though be more News at 6:50pm.

:05:08.:05:16.

The first Minister Alex Salmond has called for a moratorium on the

:05:16.:05:22.

privatisation of Royal Mail until after the independence referendum.

:05:23.:05:29.

The service has undergone that people with job losses and price

:05:29.:05:34.

rises in recent years. Alex Salmond said privatisation could have a

:05:34.:05:37.

serious impact on the Scottish economy. I am demanding of the Prime

:05:38.:05:49.

Minister that he has a moratorium on the sale to allow the people of

:05:49.:05:52.

Scotland to decide what we want to do with our share of that great

:05:52.:05:55.

national asset. A young Scottish woman held in a

:05:55.:05:59.

Peruvian jail on suspicion of trying to smuggle £1.5 million worth of

:05:59.:06:03.

cocaine is reported to be preparing to plead guilty in exchange for a

:06:04.:06:09.

short sentence. Melissa Reid told a Sunday newspaper that she hopes a

:06:09.:06:13.

plea deal will allow her to return home in three years. She is also

:06:13.:06:17.

expected to apply to serve her sentence in a prison in the UK.

:06:17.:06:22.

The weather is causing disruption. Ferry passengers are being advised

:06:22.:06:26.

to check for delays and cancellations. There are also

:06:26.:06:29.

warnings of high winds on the Forth and Tay bridges. You is the full

:06:29.:06:37.

weather forecast. We are brightening up this

:06:37.:06:40.

afternoon. We have lost the persistent rain to the South East.

:06:40.:06:46.

The Met office still has a warning for deal force winds across many

:06:46.:06:52.

parts. This afternoon there will be some heavy showers. More in the way

:06:52.:07:01.

of sunshine for the East but there is still wind gusting to deal force.

:07:01.:07:08.

In the east we will see the best of the sunshine and the top

:07:08.:07:14.

temperature. This evening we keep a feed of showers coming in across

:07:14.:07:18.

western parts. Drier and clearer in the East but that will be a cold

:07:18.:07:29.

night everywhere. The Autumn term at Westminster has

:07:29.:07:36.

begun. There is a big year ahead for independence campaigners.

:07:36.:07:43.

I am now joined by Ian Blackford from the SNP and Pauline McNeill

:07:43.:07:49.

from Labour. Welcome to you both. Let us look at the headlines in the

:07:50.:08:04.

Sunday newspapers. Quite a stark page there. How

:08:04.:08:14.

important is this anniversary as it where for campaigners? This is the

:08:14.:08:23.

marathon towards the vote next September. There is a great deal of

:08:23.:08:27.

excitement about the importance of the decision we will all take next

:08:27.:08:32.

year. As part of that we should be having a debate on the kind of

:08:32.:08:35.

society we want. How do we create economic role? How do we deliver

:08:35.:08:42.

social services in Scotland? These things should be central to the

:08:42.:08:55.

debate. Talking about the people of Scotland, is this debate going

:08:55.:09:04.

beyond that? One person is quoted as saying he will wait until two weeks

:09:04.:09:08.

before the referendum to make up his mind. This is a critical stage in

:09:08.:09:13.

the run-up to the referendum. The fact that it is one year will make

:09:13.:09:17.

people sit up and realise there is a decision to be made. In the coming

:09:17.:09:21.

year people will want politicians to come out of that bubble. They will

:09:21.:09:25.

want clarity around the consequences. The publication of the

:09:25.:09:32.

White Paper is a very important point for the yes campaign. That is

:09:32.:09:37.

the time you need to set out with some clarity what it will mean going

:09:37.:09:42.

independent in relation to pensions, welfare, all of these

:09:42.:09:47.

issues. People want to trust the information on both sides. This is a

:09:47.:09:52.

Big Issue. He wants to be able to trust the issue on the no campaign.

:09:52.:10:09.

Can you give us an insight into what the campaigners are thinking? When

:10:09.:10:16.

you look at the opinion polls you can see it is all to play for. A lot

:10:16.:10:23.

of people have not decided. People want information. What are the

:10:23.:10:25.

consequences of Scotland going independent? Those of us on the yes

:10:25.:10:30.

side have got to spell out with clarity how we will deliver economic

:10:30.:10:36.

growth and social services in a fair Scotland that we believe people

:10:36.:10:41.

should aspire to. It is important that the no side also shows how they

:10:41.:10:46.

perceive Scotland within the UK. I hope we go beyond talking about

:10:46.:10:49.

process and that we have a more details debate on the kind of

:10:49.:10:53.

society that we all aspire to on both sides. We have two remain

:10:53.:10:58.

positive. We have to show that we can make a difference and that we

:10:58.:11:03.

can protect those in our society from policies such as the bedroom

:11:03.:11:10.

tax. You pay for that by making sure that you can deliver sustainable

:11:10.:11:17.

economic growth. What are the strategists on the no side saying?

:11:17.:11:24.

There is a clear lead in the opinion polls. I agree with Alistair

:11:24.:11:29.

Darling. He is taking a cautious approach to this campaign. He

:11:29.:11:36.

acknowledged that the voters are quite fluid in their approach to how

:11:36.:11:39.

they vote. That is the right approach. We cannot take the results

:11:39.:11:46.

were granted. An important opinion poll today shows that voters who are

:11:46.:11:59.

going to vote no also want change. In the coming months the Labour

:11:59.:12:08.

Commission on devolution will be important because it will fill in

:12:08.:12:13.

some of the gaps about how we would bring about change. There will be no

:12:13.:12:17.

complacency in our campaign even though we clearly have a Leeds. Let

:12:17.:12:23.

us turn our attention to the Lib Dem conference across the river. Nick

:12:23.:12:33.

Clegg said, we took a hit but we did it for Britain.

:12:33.:12:38.

The Lib Dems have been damaged by going into Coalition. When you hear

:12:38.:12:45.

some of the stories coming out today, they are having to defend the

:12:45.:12:59.

bedroom tax, they are backing the privatisation of Royal Mail, it does

:12:59.:13:05.

that the Liberal Democrats in Scotland are in big trouble. -- it

:13:05.:13:12.

does highlight that the Liberal Democrats in Scotland are in big

:13:12.:13:18.

trouble. The bedroom tax has become a political football. The starting

:13:18.:13:24.

point is that Labour and the SNP are opposed to the bedroom tax. At

:13:24.:13:30.

Labour opposed to it? I knew you were going to ask me that. It is

:13:30.:13:34.

quite clear that if there is a Scottish Labour Government it would

:13:34.:13:38.

abolish the bedroom tax. The reason the Scottish Parliament exists is

:13:38.:13:41.

that it can mitigate some of the policies of a Labour Government. It

:13:41.:13:46.

is within the needs of the SNP to completely deal with this. As far as

:13:46.:13:49.

the Labour position on this is concerned, you need to watch this

:13:49.:13:55.

space. They need to develop a policy for 2015. Labour are clearly opposed

:13:55.:14:01.

to the bedroom tax. The Liberal Democrats are clearly not. They are

:14:01.:14:05.

struggling to call themselves the party for fairness here. That is all

:14:05.:14:12.

for this week. We are back at 1130 AM next week. Goodbye.

:14:12.:14:17.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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