22/09/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


22/09/2013

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


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Welcome to the Sunday politics. Labour are in Brighton for the party

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conference this weekend. Ed Miliband promises policies galore. But a poll

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finds that 13-mac of his councils do not bring his doing a good job. They

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are partying like it is 2006 in Westminster. Memoirs to reunite the

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Tony Blair /Gordon Brown waters. -- wars. The Conservative party

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chairman gives his response to the rampant Tory bashing at the Lib Dem

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conference. And a promise from the first minister to renationalise the

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Royal mail under independence. Would it really work?

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right? With me, the best and the brightest political panel in the

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business. Isabel Hardman, Janan Ganesh and Steve Richards. They'll

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be tweeting like demented Damians throughout the programme. First

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today, scrapping the bedroom tax. Universal childcare for primary

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school kids. More apprenticeships. Labour Conference only begins in

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earnest today, but the policy and spending commitments are coming

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thick and fast. Not before time, according to the Labour leader's

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critics. He's been out and about this morning and told Andrew Marr

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that he knew it was going to be a tough fight in the run up to 2015.

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It is about a party that lost office three years ago. We are trying to be

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It is about a party that lost office a one term opposition. That is

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tough. I believe it is a fight that we can win and I am up for that

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fight. The stakes are so high for young people who want a job, for

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people whose living standards are being squeezed. For people who think

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that this is not good enough for Britain. So what do key Labour Party

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activists - its councillors - think about the direction Mr Miliband is

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taking their party? Adam Fleming is in Brighton at the Party Conference

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with all the details of our latest exclusive Sunday Politics survey.

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Labour have unwrapped their conference set. Let us unwrap them.

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Labour have unwrapped their With the help of an opinion poll we

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surveyed 1350 Labour councillors across England and Wales. We wanted

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to find out what they think as Labour gathers for its conference.

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The Labour leader warmed up for the week by taking to his soap box in

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Brighton city centre. It is great to week by taking to his soap box in

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be here. In our survey 31% of councillors said they did not think

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Ed Miliband was doing a good job as leader. 30% said they thought the

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party would have a better chance if someone else was in charge at the

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next election. You will see more of Ed Miliband as we run-up to general

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election. He has been in the job for three years! Now it is crunch time.

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The other Ed, Ed Balls, was disliked by roughly one third of the party as

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well. Ed Balls is not a pop your man. He says things and he speaks

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his mind. -- not a popular man. Sometimes he is not the most

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diplomatic. Sadly Ed Balls did not seem to be that bothered about our

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survey. Over at a conference centre the exhibitors were starting up.

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When it comes to relations with trade unions, the majority of Labour

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councillors thought things were absolutely fine. Just 9% thought

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things with the unions were a little bit too close. Tricky because Ed

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Miliband want to loosen the link. The shadow environment secretary

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arrived in Brighton ride bicycle from London to raise money for

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charity. When we as Labour councillors what they would do if

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the next election results in a hung parliament, just over half said they

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would tell the lid Dems to get on their bikes. We would never say no

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to going into coalition. It gives us the chance to be in government and

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prepare some of the damage of the last three years. So are you going

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to start being nice about the Lib Dems? I always treat them with

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courtesy. And the parties admitted that perhaps they had opened the

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door to too many immigrants. It in our survey Labour councillors of

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warming the felt that immigration had been positive for the UK.

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We're now joined by the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rachel

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Reeves. Good morning. Let us start with Ed Miliband. Is it true that

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Reeves. Good morning. Let us start the team insisted that he be called

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the leader? I just call him Ed and I the team insisted that he be called

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think the rest of the Shadow Cabinet do. Do you welcome working for a

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leader that says he is winning back socialism? We are a democratic

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socialist party. We make no apologies for that. The most

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important thing is that we have the apologies for that. The most

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policies that will improve people 's lives and tackle the cost of living

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crisis facing so many families. Policies like expanding childcare,

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offering more apprenticeships, all policies that I think the country

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are calling out for after three years of a flat-lining economy and

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seeing prices rise faster than wages for 38 out of the 39 months but

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David Cameron has been Prime Minister. I think that is the most

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important thing. So it is OK now to risk their to the Labour Party again

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as the Socialist party? The clue is in the name, we stand up for working

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people. You are socialist party according to the leader. We have

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always been the Labour Party, that is our name and we stand up for

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working people, not the privileged few like this government with their

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working people, not the privileged tax cuts for millionaires. Those are

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policies that help just the privileged few. The Labour Party is

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about helping everyone in Britain, all families. Interesting that your

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run don't use the word socialist. In our survey one third of Labour

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councillors said Ed Miliband was not doing a good job as leader. If he

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cannot convince his own councillors, who can he convince?

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Well you could say that two thirds of councillors think that he is the

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right leader. But these are Labour councillors. The overall majority of

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Labour councillors think that he is doing a good job. What matters is

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the results on election day. Two thirds of councillors think that he

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is doing a good job. That us see what they say at the end of this

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week. Because I think the policies he is announcing will go down well

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week. Because I think the policies with Labour Party people and will

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also resonate with the British public. Policies like expanding

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apprenticeships, giving a break to hard-working families who are

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struggling. I think people will see what kind of a leader that he is.

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Well he has a mountain to climb among all voters. Let me ask the

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question. Just 12% see him as a Prime Minister in waiting, just 2%

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see him as a natural leader. Why? If Prime Minister in waiting, just 2%

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you look at the overall opinion polls, we are consistently ahead in

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those polls. It is hard being leader of the opposition, you cannot

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those polls. It is hard being leader demonstrate how you would be Prime

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Minister. By nature you are in opposition. But he has taken on

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Rupert Murdoch and the press barons. That is strong leadership, standing

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up to the vast majority. If you look at his reforms to our relationship

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with the trade unions, strengthening ties with individual members. I

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think that he is a strong leader making the right decisions. If that

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is the case, why has the Labour lead gone from 14 points one year ago to

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at most four points now. What went wrong? Well we are six or eight

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points ahead in the polls today. We are six or eight points ahead in the

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polls today. We're still consistently ahead. It looks as if

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we would get an overall majority if there was an election tomorrow. But

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we have more work to do to convince more people to vote for Labour. But

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this is a historic challenge, to be a one term Labour opposition. I

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believe that Ed Miliband will be the next Labour Prime Minister and will

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be an excellent Prime Minister. The big policy announcement today is the

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guaranteed childcare for all primary school children. How much will that

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cost? When Labour were in government, they ring fenced money

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to provide after-school -- after-school and breakfast clubs. We

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think that money should be ring fenced again. How much will it

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cost? We are saying that schools within their budgets should be able

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to provide that. At the moment they can charge for children to come to

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their first clubs. But this is a policy that does not involve

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additional money. As it was under policy that does not involve

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the last Labour government it will be about ring fencing money because

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we think that this is a priority. This is something that the schools

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should do. You cannot ring fenced money you do not have. You saying

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you could provide wraparound childcare for every family

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schoolchild from eight o'clock in the morning until six o'clock at

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night and it will not cost any more money? Well we did ring fence that

:11:41.:11:46.

money in the last Labour government. That money is gone! It has not gone.

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It is about priorities and we are saying that it should be a priority

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to provide that wraparound care. So where is the money being spent now

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that you would take it from? If we look at some of the things that this

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government is doing, building free schools in areas where there are

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already enough. That is capital spending. We are ring fencing that

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many. Again, it is different priorities. We had the ring fence

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when we were in government. It would be reintroduced so that schools had

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to offer that wraparound care. Of course schools can charge a small

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to offer that wraparound care. Of fee for their breakfast clubs and

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after-school DVDs. But the important thing is that provision is there for

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parents going out to work. Ed Balls and Ed Miliband are at the heart of

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the Brown project. Damien Wright was the hit man. Is it not inconceivable

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that they did not know what he was the hit man. Is it not inconceivable

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up to. It is inconceivable that they did not -- Damian McBride. I am

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asking about Damian McBride. What I'm saying is that I was not there.

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I was not there under the last Labour government. But I do know

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that these things are not happening under the leadership of Ed Miliband.

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He has led by example. There is not that backstabbing going on. There is

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no plotting against Ed Balls going on? I do not see that. And anyone

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who briefed against colleagues should be sacked, I agree with that.

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Nick Clegg's conference speech made it clear he was repaired to work

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with Ed Miliband in the event of a hung parliament. Are you excited by

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that prospect or is it just boring? That is very generous of Nick Clegg

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to say that. With his poll ratings of 9%. I think it is up to the

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to say that. With his poll ratings general public to decide who they

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want to form a government. We are campaigning for an overall Labour

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government at the next election. Are you excited by the prospect, or is

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that just boring boring? I want to serve in a Labour government is not

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a coalition government. That is what we are campaigning for. Thank you

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for joining us. Steve Richards, what has Ed Miliband got to do this

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week? He has got to start to win the argument about the economy. I think

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they will be quite clever on that in terms of saying that the recovery

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has begun but it is not going to benefit many of the voters. Unlike

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previous economic recoveries. That is a strong line and they need to

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make that again and again. The recovery has barely started. The

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make that again and again. The interesting thing, Isabel, they want

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to make a living standards the issue now because growth has returned,

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let's return to living standards which have been squeezed. The polls

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show that twice as many people blame Labour for the living standards than

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the Conservatives. It is a great scene for them to mine, and it is

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the only one before they announce big policies, but they have not

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gained the trust of voters on the economy, so the Conservatives can

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say they are finishing the job of fixing the recovery now and then

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we'll focus on living standards, whereas Labour is trying to say, you

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cannot quite trust us with the economy but we will talk about

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living standards. Ed Miliband's main job this week is to begin

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elucidating policies and not just themes, and that makes

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elucidating policies and not just incredibly vulnerable. The only

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thing worse than not having a policy for an opposition leader is to have

:16:14.:16:22.

a policy. It gives the opposition something to attack, the media

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something to scrutinise and it makes you bold rubble and you can see that

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coming through already before the conference has started. You have

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sketchy ideas on child, -- childcare. Spigot can he provide

:16:39.:16:46.

wraparound childcare for free? -- can he provide wraparound childcare

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for free? I don't even know what it is. Opposition is emphatically an

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art form, and the art form, and the artform for them at the moment is to

:16:57.:17:00.

announce policies without spending any money and it is very difficult

:17:00.:17:07.

to do. You gave an illustration of how difficult it is. They are under

:17:07.:17:12.

huge pressure, for the last year, to announce policies and they announce

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one on childcare and you immediately say, how do you paper it? And she

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immediately says, we will not spend a penny on it, because they are

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terrified of spending anything. This is where it an artform. The tax

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suspension before and election is crazy, because they will find money

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one way or another, but in another way, they cannot say we will spend

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money on this. It is a real problem. How do you measure the state of the

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coalition after the Liberal Democrat conference? The Liberal Democrats

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were in a very strong position after their conference, Nick Clegg had

:17:50.:17:54.

faced and activists on some issues, including fracking, which they

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supported, which seem to be the most important part of the conference. In

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terms of the coalition, the Tories have had to sit and watch as Vince

:18:02.:18:06.

Cable, Nick Clegg and Coe have basically criticised them and said

:18:06.:18:07.

Cable, Nick Clegg and Coe have they are evil and only the Lib Dems

:18:07.:18:12.

can make sure the Government is fair and works properly. So in terms of

:18:12.:18:15.

how the coalition works, you can expect to see some revenge at the

:18:15.:18:20.

Tory conference. The Lib Dems, Nick Clegg's followers, they had their

:18:20.:18:31.

revenge. Mister Clegg may have convinced his own activists to stay

:18:31.:18:34.

behind him, but he has a bigger challenge, which is called

:18:34.:18:38.

convincing the British people. There is some interesting polling they

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have done privately that suggests there is a market of about 25% of

:18:41.:18:46.

the electorate which is plausibly open to them, and all they have to

:18:46.:18:50.

do is target policies remorselessly at that group, rather than the

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broader public, in order to do well enough at the next election to hold

:18:54.:18:57.

the balance of power. That is why policies that seem weird to us, like

:18:57.:19:00.

free school meals regardless of policies that seem weird to us, like

:19:00.:19:14.

income, may perversely make sense to them. Because it appeals to their

:19:14.:19:16.

demographic. It is a strange political world we are in, the

:19:16.:19:17.

Labour strategists think they can political world we are in, the

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win with 35%, the Lib Dems are going to concentrate on 25. The Tories

:19:20.:19:22.

have seized to be a national party any more. We haven't been used to it

:19:22.:19:28.

for a long time. In the 80s, one party dominated, the Tories. In the

:19:28.:19:32.

90s into the 21st century, the policy matter delayed the Labour

:19:32.:19:39.

Party dominated. -- the Labour party dominated. We are now here but we

:19:39.:19:44.

have other parties hoping that 36% will give them a small overall

:19:44.:19:48.

majority and it is the best they can get. It is a very odd situation

:19:48.:19:53.

where the main two parties feel they can lose and the Lib Dems are openly

:19:53.:20:00.

targeting only 25%. They have gotten rid of 75% already and it is a long

:20:00.:20:05.

way from the policies of last couple of decades Nick Clegg talked about

:20:05.:20:12.

all of the policies he had locked. There is a real opportunity for the

:20:12.:20:15.

Conservatives to say that he is blocking all of the things that

:20:15.:20:19.

voters outside of our bays are interested in, top immigration

:20:19.:20:23.

policy, human rights reform, that sort of thing. David Cameron can say

:20:23.:20:27.

that in Manchester next week. One thing was quite clear, it came out

:20:27.:20:42.

of this awayday, and and this is this, that when you look at Mister

:20:42.:20:48.

Miller band's polls, the Tories are going to make this a presidential

:20:48.:20:53.

election -- Ed Miliband's polls. Which is why I am curious why they

:20:53.:20:59.

are not more keen on TV debates. When the strength of your party is

:20:59.:21:03.

the visibility of your leader against his opponents, why not have

:21:03.:21:07.

him or her juxtaposed against them in 90 minutes three times a week.

:21:07.:21:13.

Let's turn now to the coalition. The past week has given us inklings of

:21:13.:21:16.

how the yellow half of the Government is planning on fighting

:21:16.:21:17.

how the yellow half of the the General Election.

:21:17.:21:22.

When the Lib Dems gathered for their annual shindig in Glasgow, some

:21:22.:21:25.

ministers were non-too complimentary about their blue blood fellows. --

:21:25.:21:30.

bedfellows. Vince Cable led the way about their blue blood fellows. --

:21:30.:21:33.

in stick in the boot in, saying the Tories had reverted to type as a

:21:33.:21:38.

nasty party and describe their politics as ugly, cynical, callous

:21:38.:21:44.

and prejudice. Nick Clegg did not restrict himself to policies that

:21:44.:21:46.

and prejudice. Nick Clegg did not the Lib Dems had champion, such as

:21:46.:21:48.

and prejudice. Nick Clegg did not increasing the amount you can earn

:21:48.:21:54.

before paying tax. The Deputy Prime Minister proudly listed all of the

:21:54.:21:59.

things he had stopped the Tories from doing. Speak of scrapping

:21:59.:22:02.

housing benefit the young people, no. No to ditching the human rights

:22:03.:22:08.

act. No to weakening the protections in the equalities act. So how much

:22:09.:22:15.

of a break have the yellow brigade being on Conservative ambitions

:22:15.:22:18.

question mark in the two leaders shake hands again after the 20 15th

:22:18.:22:22.

election, what policies were David Cameron insist on. -- 2015? No

:22:22.:22:29.

matter how many times Nick Clegg says no?

:22:29.:22:29.

matter how many times Nick Clegg And Grant Shapps joins me the Sunday

:22:29.:22:32.

Interview. Grant Shapps, good morning. Nick

:22:32.:22:43.

Clegg, Doctor Know himself, self-styled. He boasted to his

:22:43.:22:48.

conference that he had stopped the Tories from going ahead with 16

:22:48.:22:52.

policies in government. Is this accurate? I don't know but what I

:22:52.:22:56.

can tell you, as your commentator Isabel said, some of the policies

:22:56.:23:02.

that we wanted them if we were a majority government sent out to be

:23:02.:23:05.

very popular things, like reforming the human rights act and some of the

:23:05.:23:10.

problems that provides when it comes to sending people who have no right

:23:10.:23:13.

to be in this country back. So there may be some things we could have

:23:13.:23:17.

made progress on. You are in government, did he stop the

:23:17.:23:21.

inheritance tax cut? I don't know the details, but I think it is

:23:21.:23:26.

absolutely true to say that coalitions are a process of

:23:26.:23:30.

negotiation and sometimes you can't get everything you want, and we had

:23:30.:23:35.

done the best, given where the electoral maths left us. That is why

:23:35.:23:38.

70 people in this country say they would rather see a single party

:23:38.:23:42.

running the country -- why so many people. I have to say I agree. They

:23:42.:23:47.

are not sure which single party. Give me a couple of major policies

:23:47.:23:52.

that you would introduce if you had had a majority in 2010 and were not

:23:52.:23:56.

held back by the Lib Dems. Speaking the one I just mentioned would be

:23:56.:24:04.

the Human Rights Act. In This Country, we have had 1,000 years of

:24:04.:24:07.

developing the law and we are more than capable of putting in place

:24:07.:24:11.

sensible laws. you would have left the European Court of human rights.

:24:11.:24:16.

We have already started the process of negotiation. There was some

:24:16.:24:20.

progress, but limited, and we would like to move further. Let me give

:24:20.:24:25.

you one other. I think this country has a great future but we can only

:24:25.:24:28.

grasp that country if we make ourselves the best place in the

:24:28.:24:30.

world to come and set up a business. ourselves the best place in the

:24:30.:24:34.

If we make ourselves the best place in Europe to develop jobs and

:24:34.:24:37.

entrepreneurship and I think there are a host of things we could do to

:24:37.:24:42.

go further on cutting back red tape. And the Lib Dems have stopped you? I

:24:42.:24:48.

think that is the case. In what ways, if any, have the Lib Dems

:24:48.:24:53.

improved the coalition process? It has been a stable government. No one

:24:53.:24:58.

talks about when the next election will come, we know it is in May 2015

:24:58.:25:04.

but that is in part being in a coalition. The Tories wouldn't have

:25:04.:25:10.

done that? It wasn't the plan of any party to go from... In the old days,

:25:10.:25:16.

there would have been speculation. You turned it into a national

:25:16.:25:19.

debate, you changed the British constitution in a fundamental way

:25:19.:25:23.

and nobody got a say. It was debated on the floor of the Has, as all

:25:23.:25:28.

constitutional changes are and there was a lot of agreement -- of the

:25:28.:25:34.

House. Nobody has ever said to me that it is a problem that we now

:25:34.:25:39.

have a fixed term parliament. Here it is, every five years. This is

:25:39.:25:46.

what it has done, it has provided stability in an incredibly uncertain

:25:46.:25:51.

economic time and that has been good for the economy. we will chalk that

:25:51.:26:01.

up to delete -- Lib Dem. What about taking people out of tax, the Lib

:26:01.:26:08.

Dems did that question mark it is a great policy. It is a conservative

:26:08.:26:15.

led government, it is a Conservative government massively Chancellor.

:26:15.:26:21.

This is a screen grab from your party's website, income tax cut to

:26:21.:26:25.

25 million people. You are taking the credit for it, it wouldn't have

:26:25.:26:29.

happened without the Lib Dems. It certainly came about because of the

:26:29.:26:33.

coalition and we put it in the coalition agreement. It could not

:26:33.:26:36.

have happened without a Conservative Chancellor making it happen. It is

:26:36.:26:41.

right, 25 million people taken out of tax. Another 17 by this April

:26:41.:26:48.

will not be paying tax at all. you didn't want to do it. Look at what

:26:48.:26:52.

David Cameron told Nick Clegg during the leaders debate in 2010.

:26:52.:27:03.

What Nick Clegg is promising is a £17 billion tax cut. We are saying,

:27:03.:27:10.

stop the waste of 6 billion to stop the national insurance rise. I would

:27:10.:27:12.

stop the waste of 6 billion to stop love to take everyone out of their

:27:12.:27:14.

first £10,000 of income tax, it is a love to take everyone out of their

:27:14.:27:17.

beautiful idea but we cannot afford it. It wasn't in your manifesto.

:27:17.:27:23.

Mister Cameron said it was unaffordable and now you are taking

:27:23.:27:28.

the credit for it. I feel like it is having a three year afterwards

:27:28.:27:32.

argument, and we got into coalition because the British people put us

:27:32.:27:35.

there and we agreed to make the best of it. And as it happens, if you

:27:35.:27:39.

want to hear a confession, I absolutely think it is the right

:27:39.:27:42.

thing to take as many people out of tax entirely as possible. Two points

:27:43.:27:47.

7 million people pay no tax at all because of this rise in the

:27:47.:27:54.

threshold. -- 2.7 million. I'm pleased it worked out. What are the

:27:54.:27:59.

most important thing is a majority Tory government would do after 2015,

:27:59.:28:05.

unencumbered by the Lib Dems? I think produce even more jobs when

:28:05.:28:07.

unemployment goes down, because we think produce even more jobs when

:28:07.:28:11.

are the most entrepreneurial place to set up a business. Are more

:28:11.:28:16.

free-market economy? We make our money because we are out global

:28:16.:28:23.

trading economy. That is why it is so important that we have to make

:28:23.:28:28.

sure it is easy to trade around the world. One simple example, it is

:28:28.:28:32.

crazy in my view that we have global tariffs that prevent some of the

:28:32.:28:35.

hardest other countries in the world, in developing parts of the

:28:35.:28:39.

world, from exporting to us and vice versa. I'm giving you a platform of

:28:39.:28:46.

things that I think we would be more interested in progressing in. It

:28:46.:28:50.

sounds like you are talking about even more Thatcherite, market led

:28:50.:28:57.

agendas. I think that you did a huge amount to show this country that if

:28:57.:29:01.

you want to help the least well off people in society, and the least

:29:01.:29:03.

well off people in the world, around people in society, and the least

:29:03.:29:07.

the globe, the way to do it is to trade, and I think we should have an

:29:07.:29:11.

economy which is much more open to free trade. If there is another hung

:29:11.:29:15.

parliament, and the poll suggest there might be, at the moment it is

:29:15.:29:21.

all to play for on both sides, what would your non-negotiable Red Line

:29:21.:29:26.

speak? We are still two years away from that, it is a long way away,

:29:26.:29:34.

but there is a lot we want to lay out. What we are going to be saying

:29:34.:29:38.

to this country is most people want a single party running the country,

:29:38.:29:42.

they think it is clean and clear and you don't end up with negotiation

:29:42.:29:45.

after an election. We will be setting out a very clear platform

:29:45.:29:49.

which will be for hard-working people in this country who want to

:29:49.:29:52.

work hard and get on in life. We would, I think, want to see the

:29:52.:29:57.

welfare state that we have got into, where it is no longer about helping

:29:57.:30:01.

those most in need but became a situation where you are better off

:30:01.:30:05.

not working than in worker, I think we plan to ensure that this is an

:30:05.:30:09.

incredibly fair place to go out and do a day's work and get the money at

:30:09.:30:14.

the end of the day rather than thinking there is an alternative.

:30:14.:30:17.

you have promised a referendum on UK membership of the EU in 2017, that

:30:17.:30:22.

must be your first Red Line? We are clear, we want to see a referendum,

:30:22.:30:30.

a reform European Union. So no poll... ? I should remind viewers

:30:30.:30:36.

that there is an act of Parliament, a bill going through Parliament

:30:36.:30:43.

right now, for a referendum on the EU, which comes back to the House.

:30:43.:30:48.

It is past the report stage and comes back in November and we will

:30:48.:30:53.

be discussing it. The Lib Dems, Labour, will have an opportunity to

:30:53.:30:57.

support what the British people want. Lots may have changed. But it

:30:57.:31:03.

would be a Red Line for any future coalition government question mark

:31:03.:31:06.

we are clear that it is time to have a say. You will know from our

:31:06.:31:14.

manifesto. What is wrong with yes or no? I cannot write the manifesto for

:31:14.:31:20.

2015. You are asking me to project beyond that and see in advance the

:31:20.:31:23.

election result and carry out the negotiations that are yet to come.

:31:23.:31:28.

I'm just trying to work out how much... I know you are committed but

:31:28.:31:39.

she won't tell me. Let's move on. Your party has been described as

:31:39.:31:44.

nasty and blinkered. What do you feel when he says that? We are

:31:44.:31:50.

interested in helping the most vulnerable people in society. I

:31:50.:31:57.

think we're doing all that and more. And it is a shame that that language

:31:57.:32:02.

was used because we have made so much progress together. Are you

:32:02.:32:07.

getting to the end of your tether with Mr King? I do not think it is

:32:07.:32:22.

terribly helpful for any Cabinet minister to make comments like that.

:32:22.:32:24.

What I would say is that Nick Clegg minister to make comments like that.

:32:24.:32:35.

is the leader of the Lib Dems and entitled to have a view on it

:32:35.:32:40.

himself. Look at these figures on party membership. Why has your party

:32:40.:32:47.

lost half of its members since Mr Cameron became leader? I would like

:32:47.:32:53.

it to be more. But I think the world has changed. People do not rush out

:32:53.:32:58.

and join political parties as they used to. Instead they support you in

:32:58.:33:07.

different ways. If I released the number of people who give to the

:33:07.:33:11.

party in different ways, through donations for example, through

:33:11.:33:18.

friend memberships. If you include that that figure goes back up. But

:33:18.:33:25.

your membership has fallen by 50% at a time when UKIP has doubled. I do

:33:25.:33:35.

not want to to misinterpret what I want to say. It is important to gain

:33:35.:33:44.

members. I think we will have done that by the time of the next

:33:44.:33:47.

election. But one statistic of interest, in the last election I had

:33:47.:33:54.

a 17,000 majority in my own constituency. The difference was I

:33:54.:33:59.

had 1000 people helping me to deliver leaflets and knock on the

:33:59.:34:04.

doors. The Conservative party has changed. We now have an army of

:34:04.:34:14.

people, volunteers who are not necessarily traditional members. The

:34:14.:34:20.

days when you expect people to give you £25, before you accept their

:34:20.:34:25.

support, those days have passed. You spoke about your most vulnerable

:34:25.:34:28.

marginal seats. This is a poll from spoke about your most vulnerable

:34:28.:34:38.

Michael Ashcroft. The 40 most marginal seats that you will be

:34:38.:34:45.

defending. Labour is way up, you are way down and UKIP is also up. What

:34:45.:34:54.

is happening, the Lib Dem Mo -- both are moving to Labour. And

:34:54.:34:59.

disillusioned Conservatives are moving to UKIP. If these figures

:34:59.:35:06.

came at an election he would lose 32 of these 40 seats. The point about

:35:06.:35:11.

any opinion poll is that it is perhaps accurate at the moment it is

:35:11.:35:13.

taken. We are now in The people being ask about these

:35:13.:35:34.

things will be interested in their own standard of living. The mortgage

:35:34.:35:40.

payments they are making. Why are you doing worse in marginal seats

:35:40.:35:47.

than nationally? You are the net and top with Labour nationally, you are

:35:47.:35:53.

way behind on the marginals. That is not the picture people will see in

:35:53.:35:57.

25 nine. They will see a government that stuck to its guns. -- 2015. We

:35:57.:36:03.

have a record that dam and straights that the last thing you want to do

:36:03.:36:07.

is get the car keys of the economy back to the people who crashed at

:36:07.:36:18.

the calendar first place. The chap that Vince cable calls a Rottweiler,

:36:18.:36:22.

has one message was to go all out and attack Ed Miliband. It will be a

:36:22.:36:31.

nastier lection, won't it? We will focus on the policies of Ed Miliband

:36:31.:36:37.

when he finally announces some. But it will mean more borrowing, taxing,

:36:37.:36:44.

spending. Ed Balls said that they will be absolutely ruthless with

:36:44.:36:50.

spending commitments. Just if you months later, £27.9 billion extra

:36:50.:36:58.

spending committed by Labour. Those are your figures. They are Treasury

:36:58.:37:06.

tested. You have done some jiggery-pokery. We are out of time.

:37:06.:37:11.

You are watching the Sunday politics.

:37:11.:37:19.

Welcome to Sunday politics Scotland. Coming up: The Royal Mail sale

:37:19.:37:28.

dominates the debate. A promise to renationalise after an ultimatum

:37:28.:37:36.

made on the programme last Sunday. Rather than pre-empt a decision by

:37:36.:37:40.

the Scottish people in one year's time, the pre-Minister should have a

:37:40.:37:45.

moratorium to load the Scottish people -- to allow the Scottish

:37:45.:37:49.

people to decide what to do with our share of that great national asset.

:37:49.:37:56.

Harriet Harman joins the Scottish Labour Party at the national

:37:56.:38:00.

conference. Ed Miliband hoping that the tide will turn in his favour. A

:38:00.:38:08.

new twist in the Royal Mail story was delivered by the first Minister

:38:08.:38:15.

this week. A promise to renationalise after independence,

:38:15.:38:24.

quickly seized on by opponents. It is set to be the biggest

:38:24.:38:27.

privatisation for more than 20 years. The UK government planning to

:38:27.:38:35.

sell off part of its stake in the Royal Mail. It says it is about

:38:35.:38:39.

giving the Royal Mail freedom to raise the money to invest in the

:38:39.:38:44.

future. Critics say that the government is simply selling off and

:38:44.:38:47.

asset to make money for the Treasury. The Royal Mail is now a

:38:47.:38:54.

separate organisation from the post office with a duty to provide a

:38:54.:38:58.

universal service to even the most remote corner of the country. The

:38:58.:39:05.

cost of hosting a letter -- posting has to be the same, whether it is

:39:05.:39:11.

being sent to the centre of London or an isolated island. What happens

:39:11.:39:17.

if this goes ahead then Scotland votes for independence next year?

:39:17.:39:21.

Alex Salmond made a clear declaration. An independent Scottish

:39:21.:39:30.

government that I lead, but it will be the decision of the Scottish

:39:30.:39:34.

people, with brown Royal Mail back into public ownership. -- would

:39:34.:39:40.

bring. But would really nationalising the company be

:39:40.:39:50.

feasible -- renationalising? How could it be cleanly split from the

:39:50.:39:55.

rest of the business? Some analysts are sceptical. It will be such a

:39:55.:40:03.

long and expensive process that even at we imagine from the one that it

:40:03.:40:10.

is what they wanted to do, it would take five or six years at least to

:40:10.:40:14.

do it. The complications, the procedure is, in tombs of

:40:14.:40:22.

governmental procedures, that they would have to go through to get to

:40:22.:40:27.

that stage. The valuation of assets, the negotiations. The future of a

:40:27.:40:36.

privatised Royal Mail in an independent Scotland would not be

:40:36.:40:39.

decided in negotiations between Edinburgh and London which would

:40:39.:40:43.

follow the Yes vote. Any move to renationalise it with be a political

:40:43.:40:49.

decision for an independent Scottish government, which, of course, may

:40:49.:40:59.

not be an SNP government. It is a populist policy. Political mood

:40:59.:41:09.

music. It is giving out a signal. The cost, the money, this will be

:41:09.:41:19.

popular with voters. The privatisation of utilities in the

:41:19.:41:27.

1980s were controversial at the time. Few in the mainstream and

:41:27.:41:33.

would now argue they should be brought back into the hands of the

:41:33.:41:38.

state. Well the argument over the Royal Mail go the same way?

:41:38.:41:47.

We need to discuss the issue the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and

:41:47.:41:55.

Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, and GSM the business spokesperson, Mike

:41:55.:42:08.

Weir. -- the SNP. A massive, uncosted promise. Possibly a blank

:42:08.:42:16.

cheque. Was this up and pledge on and remark? A planned. I have made

:42:16.:42:27.

no secret of the fact that I believe we should renationalise it if it is

:42:27.:42:33.

privatised. But this should not go ahead at this stage. As an

:42:33.:42:41.

independent Scotland we should be able to get our hands on our share

:42:41.:42:48.

of the Royal Mail. The government have not said they are selling the

:42:48.:42:52.

hole share of Royal Mail at the moment. They are starting the

:42:52.:43:00.

process. But it could take quite a long time. In an independent

:43:00.:43:07.

Scotland would it be fully renationalise? And how much would

:43:07.:43:15.

that cost. We have made clear that we would renationalise Royal Mail,

:43:15.:43:19.

an important economic asset of Scotland. Part of the economic

:43:19.:43:24.

infrastructure and not to be treated as just another business. We have

:43:24.:43:31.

made that clear. Until we see the structure we cannot be certain of

:43:31.:43:36.

the cost. We have made no bones about that and being open and

:43:36.:43:42.

truthful on that point. Alistair Carmichael, you must be pleased that

:43:43.:44:01.

the SNP government promised to protect the postal service of your

:44:01.:44:03.

constituents whilst you put it in jeopardy. We are doing no such

:44:03.:44:06.

thing. We have put in place protections that will guarantee a

:44:06.:44:08.

universal service across the whole of United Kingdom. You are seeing

:44:08.:44:13.

the latest example of what is, from a political league point of view --

:44:13.:44:21.

political point of view, tactically stupid from the SNP. They are seeing

:44:21.:44:26.

what they think people want to see other in order to be better disposed

:44:26.:44:34.

to independence. What makes Weir is proposing here, and this is an

:44:34.:44:38.

important point, the Royal Mail offers the opportunity to send an

:44:38.:44:41.

acre and the length of the United Kingdom. He is talking about

:44:41.:44:46.

separating the Scottish postal service. Presumably we will end up

:44:46.:44:51.

having separate stamps, different costs. At the end of the day he does

:44:51.:45:02.

not know how much it will cost. I am interested to know how big your

:45:02.:45:06.

postbag is in Lerwick about complaints about the possible

:45:06.:45:13.

privatisation. Many people contact me with perfectly legitimate

:45:13.:45:19.

concerns. I unable to tell them that when this goes through the regulator

:45:19.:45:29.

will have the power to impose a levy on private operators currently in

:45:29.:45:30.

will have the power to impose a levy competition with Royal Mail, who can

:45:30.:45:37.

cherry pick the easy bets. If they are as a threat to universal service

:45:37.:45:39.

cherry pick the easy bets. If they they can be made to hear the subsidy

:45:39.:45:42.

which will guarantee we continue in daily service to every door in the

:45:42.:45:47.

country. That is a meaningful protection. I want to go to make

:45:47.:46:01.

Weir. You do not look happy. The independent review a few years ago

:46:01.:46:04.

advocated the privatisation of the Royal Mail. Alistair is wrong. I

:46:04.:46:12.

will not take a lecture from a liberal on this. They have abandoned

:46:12.:46:21.

their pledges from before being in government. Universal service is not

:46:21.:46:26.

safe. Ofcom will decide that. Anybody paying gas and electric els

:46:26.:46:34.

will not be greatly reassured by the fact that is just a regulator. --

:46:34.:46:44.

else. -- bills. Ofcom would look at changes in the universal service,

:46:44.:46:49.

reduction, a compensation fund. That is not just the company, but the

:46:49.:46:54.

users of the service. That means higher prices. If that was not

:46:55.:47:01.

suitable they would put it out to tender. Does anybody really believe

:47:01.:47:07.

that... This is blatant scaremongering. We see this all the

:47:07.:47:15.

time. The reason you are feeling at today is because Alex Salmond has

:47:15.:47:20.

shot from the hat. He has come up with something that will destroy a

:47:20.:47:24.

universal service across the United Kingdom. That is what Scottish

:47:24.:47:30.

people want. It just shows the weakness of the case for

:47:30.:47:36.

independence. This Scottish people want the privatisation of the Royal

:47:36.:47:41.

Mail? Let me finish. The first minister pointed out that only 90

:47:42.:47:46.

plus -- 90% of Scottish MPs do not want privatisation. MSPs will bang

:47:46.:47:55.

their desks behind Alex Salmond and the chamber. That is no surprise.

:47:55.:48:01.

The people of Scotland want guarantees they can have a service,

:48:01.:48:05.

six days a week, to the door, a uniform price. One of the threats to

:48:05.:48:12.

that universal service is doing nothing. If you do nothing you leave

:48:12.:48:18.

the Royal Mail exposed to competition from Li Na private

:48:18.:48:27.

sector competitors. -- leaner. The Labour Party and now this. They

:48:27.:48:31.

tried to do it in the last parliament. Taking steps that will

:48:31.:48:34.

protect the service rather than obsessing about who owns the

:48:34.:48:41.

provider. What does this possible threat to a private company to

:48:41.:48:46.

renationalise, in a hypothetical situation, what does it mean to the

:48:46.:48:53.

business friendly SNP? Would you renationalise other companies?

:48:53.:49:00.

Alistair Carmichael has not read the legislation, or does not understand

:49:00.:49:05.

it. The threat to universal service from this privatisation will not be

:49:06.:49:12.

bound to keep this up in the long-term. As for the specific

:49:12.:49:20.

question, Royal Mail has not been privatised yet, we could still stop

:49:20.:49:29.

it. But hypothetically, if it is, it is a threat to renationalise private

:49:29.:49:35.

companies. It is a commitment to keep a company that is currently in

:49:35.:49:39.

public ownership in public ownership in an independent Scotland. The

:49:39.:49:46.

point is, it has not been privatised yet. It is unlikely to be fully

:49:46.:49:50.

privatised at the point of independence. We have a real chance

:49:50.:49:57.

of stopping it. I want to move onto another issue. These Scottish

:49:57.:50:07.

Government saying today that the Scottish pension age could be one

:50:07.:50:12.

year award. Is this another extravagant claim? More details will

:50:13.:50:18.

be available tomorrow but we have made clear that we are uncomfortable

:50:18.:50:26.

with the rush to continually raise the retirement age. What we are

:50:26.:50:31.

seeing as there should be a commission to look at this in more

:50:31.:50:36.

detail. The different demographics and Scotland and we have a different

:50:36.:50:45.

life expectancy. We need to look at this in more detail. We are not

:50:45.:50:51.

going the same way as Westminster. It is up to 66 and perhaps 67 or

:50:51.:51:04.

father. What is your reaction? It is perhaps a kind of vision people want

:51:04.:51:11.

to see the different Scotland? If you are going to have that vision,

:51:11.:51:15.

you have to tell people how much that will cost. Just as with any

:51:15.:51:25.

other number of examples, this is another populist idea with no price

:51:25.:51:29.

tag attached. It is all very well coming up with the wish list that

:51:29.:51:34.

presents an independent Scotland as Candy Mountain, but at the end of

:51:34.:51:40.

the day it will cost. They cannot tell you how much it'll cost than

:51:40.:51:45.

that tells you all you to know. Thank you very much.

:51:45.:51:50.

Last week it was the Lib Dems here in Glasgow, this week Labour have

:51:50.:51:54.

their conference turn by the seaside in Brighton. Eyes are firmly fixed

:51:54.:51:57.

on the main prize, victory at the 2015 general election, but Scottish

:51:57.:52:00.

Labour are also buoying up their troops ahead of the referendum. The

:52:00.:52:05.

whole thing kicked off with an important policy announcement.

:52:05.:52:17.

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman is swept off her feet dancing

:52:17.:52:25.

to a Scottish tune. Delegates from across the UK joined Scottish

:52:25.:52:28.

comrade in Brighton hoping for an upbeat conference designed to cement

:52:28.:52:36.

Ed Miliband's authority. Accused this week of being any policy

:52:36.:52:40.

vacuum, he has given a clear commitment to housing benefit

:52:40.:52:47.

reforms. We are abolishing an unfair tax which is hurting tens of

:52:47.:52:51.

thousands of people across Scotland and causing misery to disabled

:52:51.:52:56.

people. We will pay for it by scrapping hedge fund tax breaks for

:52:56.:53:00.

companies that George Osborne introduced. An announcement foretold

:53:00.:53:06.

by the Scottish welfare spokeswoman last week. This will help the party

:53:06.:53:14.

to steal the SNP's thunder. When it comes to the referendum, Ed Miliband

:53:14.:53:21.

backs the suggestion of Douglas Alexander about a national

:53:21.:53:24.

convention be held in the event of a no vote. F as I hope Scotland

:53:24.:53:33.

remains part of the United Kingdom, it is good if people can get

:53:33.:53:37.

together after the referendum to consider Scotland's future within

:53:37.:53:46.

the United Kingdom. I think it is right to think about that again,

:53:46.:53:51.

what future Scotland has and it is a good idea of Douglas Alexander has

:53:51.:53:56.

suggested. Ed Miliband says things have moved on since Falkirk but the

:53:56.:54:04.

issue of unions is still stormy. There has been a blast from the past

:54:04.:54:09.

with the recent Expose of Labour's internal warfare during the Blair

:54:09.:54:18.

Brown years. The party is now hoping for the revival in fortunes,

:54:18.:54:22.

starting with the wind in next year's referendum.

:54:22.:54:24.

Joining me now, live from the conference hall in Brighton - leader

:54:24.:54:27.

of the Scottish Labour party, Johann Lamont. Thank you. The bedroom tax

:54:28.:54:39.

announcement from Ed Miliband, is this a turning point? I am hoping it

:54:39.:54:46.

is a turning point for the people of this country because we now see that

:54:46.:54:51.

if we get a Labour government in 2015, they will scrap the bedroom

:54:51.:54:58.

tax and it is a cost that proposal. That is not an issue of independent

:54:58.:55:02.

spot of justice and the Scottish government could act now to mitigate

:55:02.:55:07.

the bedroom tax. They have chosen not to do so because John Swinney

:55:07.:55:12.

does not want to let Westminster off the hook. Vulnerable people in

:55:12.:55:19.

Scotland have to suffer in case they cannot make the case for

:55:19.:55:23.

independence. We have to deal with the real issues and in Scotland,

:55:23.:55:31.

they are not concerned about that. Everything is concerned with the

:55:31.:55:38.

referendum. Ed Miliband took a while to come to this decision. People

:55:38.:55:44.

called it a malaise at the top of the leadership. They are hampered by

:55:44.:55:49.

who are hampered by who are poor ratings and all the Damian McBride

:55:49.:55:57.

revelations. Is he a good leader? Here's a good leader and a great

:55:57.:56:01.

asset to Scotland and the United Kingdom because he is a man who

:56:01.:56:05.

wants to talk about what has happened to families and

:56:05.:56:12.

communities. He wants to talk about what is happening to our elderly

:56:12.:56:17.

population and that is in stark contrast to an SNP Government who

:56:17.:56:23.

want to talk about separating Scotland from the United Kingdom. My

:56:23.:56:30.

policy is about addressing the real challenges families face and those

:56:30.:56:35.

are Ed Miliband's politics as well. I want to pick up on another Ed

:56:35.:56:40.

Miliband issue. He said when it comes to Falkirk, nobody can be

:56:40.:56:44.

proud of what happened. The union have been cleared but do they do

:56:44.:56:53.

something wrong or that they not? If we get the message to the people of

:56:53.:56:58.

Scotland that we presume there are support and end up having a fight,

:56:58.:57:03.

we do everyone a disservice. We have investigated Falkirk thoroughly and

:57:04.:57:09.

will move to elect a candidate who will build up support and trust. We

:57:09.:57:14.

have no place for entitlement and presumption. We have just been

:57:14.:57:23.

having a discussion on Royal Mail privatisation and a lower pension

:57:23.:57:28.

age. These are real promises that appeal to young people. A real

:57:28.:57:32.

version, some people have been saying. Alex Salmond has written to

:57:32.:57:39.

Ed Miliband asking him to match the pledge. Ed Miliband could call the

:57:39.:57:45.

whole thing off by saying he would renationalise Royal Mail will stop

:57:45.:57:55.

it is self-evident nonsense. We are appealing to Liberal Democrats to

:57:56.:58:01.

act now to stop the privatisation and campaign to make sure it does

:58:01.:58:06.

not happen. My uncle was a postman for 50 years and they know how

:58:06.:58:11.

precious the universal obligation is to rule communities. For Alex

:58:11.:58:20.

Salmond to say nobody can make the commitment on renationalisation, it

:58:20.:58:25.

is a ploy to get him through the next year. He is pretending that

:58:25.:58:34.

Lara not hard choices to be made and he does not have any credible that

:58:34.:58:45.

lack any credibility. That is not treating people in Scotland with

:58:45.:58:50.

respect but contempt. On Wednesday we are having the debate in the

:58:50.:58:55.

Scottish Parliament and he made a very passionate speech in defence of

:58:55.:58:59.

the union. Even some critics applauded you for that. What is

:58:59.:59:10.

Labour's vision for Scotland? What can Labour offered to people? We

:59:10.:59:17.

need to offer people a consideration of the real world. What I was seeing

:59:17.:59:24.

on Wednesday is that Scotland stands strong and we share more than

:59:24.:59:31.

divides. There are radical and progressive voices across the whole

:59:31.:59:33.

of the United Kingdom that want to address these issues. I am keen to

:59:33.:59:39.

strengthen devolution within the United Kingdom. The government is

:59:39.:59:45.

using the Scottish Parliament to break up United Kingdom rather than

:59:45.:59:54.

using devolution to protect people. The test that Alex Salmond applies

:59:54.:00:00.

as what do I do to get myself past September 2014 and what we are

:00:00.:00:03.

increasingly seeing is a man who will put his own obsession with

:00:03.:00:07.

independence at head of the people of Scotland. When we talk about

:00:07.:00:16.

powers it is for the purpose. You talk about these powers but as we

:00:16.:00:21.

both know, they are growing calls for those powers to be made known to

:00:21.:00:26.

the people of Scotland before the referendum. Are you clear that he

:00:26.:00:36.

will set that out? Will you set them out before the referendum? We have a

:00:36.:00:44.

prospectus for independence that cannot even tell us what currency we

:00:44.:00:49.

will have. Some rational deep bait is required. The devolution

:00:49.:00:54.

commission as an interim report and we are looking at the consequences

:00:54.:01:02.

of the proposals. We will make clear to people in Scotland ahead of the

:01:02.:01:08.

referendum what the proposals are. In implementing them, we have to

:01:08.:01:13.

talk to one another. For too long it has been about dividing Scotland

:01:13.:01:18.

from the United Kingdom. I want the organisation of powers to be about

:01:18.:01:21.

how it affects or the organisation of powers to be about how it affects

:01:21.:01:27.

ordinary families. How we make sure we have shared prosperity across the

:01:27.:01:32.

United Kingdom and that vulnerable people are not the scapegoat. My

:01:32.:01:36.

work is to bring politics and the real world together. The report

:01:36.:01:43.

today is that you expect to win the referendum. The SNP are calling this

:01:43.:01:50.

a blunder. Where does the confidence come from? From listening to people

:01:50.:01:57.

across Scotland telling me they want to stay as part of the United

:01:57.:02:03.

Kingdom. We are not complacent and we will redouble our efforts to talk

:02:03.:02:06.

to people about their concerns. The real blunder is an SNP Government

:02:06.:02:14.

who apply the brains of the civil service to an imagined world after

:02:14.:02:18.

2014 rather than addressing problems now. They are doing nothing now

:02:18.:02:28.

because they are complacent about what will happen next year. I am

:02:28.:02:33.

confident the people of Scotland will embrace United Kingdom in

:02:33.:02:37.

September 2014. Coming up after the news, we'll take

:02:37.:02:41.

a look at the Week Ahead with our three pundits. You're watching

:02:41.:02:44.

Sunday Politics Scotland from the BBC. With the time coming up to

:02:44.:02:51.

midday, let's cross to Sally McNair for Reporting Scotland.

:02:51.:02:54.

Good afternoon. The Labour leader Ed Miliband has said he believes the

:02:54.:02:58.

pro-union parties are "winning" the referendum campaign and that Alex

:02:58.:03:02.

Salmond has been "found wanting." Mr Miliband was addressing Scottish

:03:02.:03:05.

delegates on the eve of the party's UK conference in Brighton. The

:03:05.:03:11.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said she believed nationalism would

:03:11.:03:16.

be defeated over the next 12 months. A woman's died after a collision

:03:16.:03:20.

between a coach and a car towing a caravan near Inverness. The accident

:03:20.:03:23.

happened yesterday afternoon on the A82 Inverness to Fort William road,

:03:23.:03:29.

near Dunain. A 78-year-old passenger in the car died - the driver is in a

:03:29.:03:33.

stable condition in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. Police are

:03:33.:03:36.

appealing for witnesses. Independence could mean people in

:03:36.:03:38.

Scotland picking up their state pension earlier than those in the

:03:39.:03:42.

rest of the UK. A Scottish Government paper to be published in

:03:42.:03:46.

the coming week will set out that if there is a Yes vote in next year's

:03:46.:03:49.

referendum, the Scottish Parliament will determine the state pension

:03:49.:03:54.

age. Ministers say Scotland needs a distinctive system, taking account

:03:54.:03:57.

of the fact that Scottish life expectancy is lower.

:03:57.:04:01.

Now let's get the forecast with Judith.

:04:01.:04:08.

The weather is actually looking very summary considering we are reaching

:04:08.:04:16.

the end of September. Good spells of sunshine affecting eastern Scotland

:04:16.:04:21.

and that will spread westwards through the course of the day.

:04:21.:04:25.

Holding onto thick cloud in the North West and the rain clearing

:04:25.:04:34.

from Orkney. Temperature is widely reaching 20 Celsius, possibly 23

:04:34.:04:37.

across eastern Scotland. That's all for now, I'll be back with this

:04:37.:04:39.

evening's bulletin. Thanks, Sally. Now in a moment, we'll be discussing

:04:39.:04:46.

the big events coming up this week at Holyrood, but first, let's take a

:04:46.:04:50.

look back at the Week in 60 seconds.Now

:04:50.:05:00.

Billy Connelly is being treated for prostate cancer and symptoms of

:05:00.:05:05.

Parkinson's. He says he will keep on working. One

:05:05.:05:12.

year ahead of the referendum, MSPs debate the Scottish future holiday

:05:12.:05:17.

route. The people of Scotland will claim that opportunity. Bill Walker

:05:17.:05:23.

has been sentenced to one year in jail for domestic abuse.

:05:23.:05:33.

What a racist comment! UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom has had the party whip

:05:33.:05:44.

removed. Yes campaigners headed to

:05:44.:05:51.

Edinburgh. Supporters marched through the city. The capital

:05:51.:05:55.

city's kazoo is celebrating the birth of a baby koala.

:05:55.:06:06.

Turning attention to the week ahead now. I am with the historian Michael

:06:06.:06:20.

Fry, broadcaster, Katie Grant, and from the Labour conference, David

:06:20.:06:29.

Torrance. Katie, the Royal Mail story. A lively discussion from our

:06:29.:06:40.

guests this morning. Most people are just interested in how the mail will

:06:40.:06:48.

be deliberate. -- delivered. We just want it to work. How it best works

:06:48.:06:59.

as a bit of a mystery. What does this mean for business and an

:06:59.:07:06.

independent Scotland? Businesses are more and more use private means of

:07:06.:07:17.

conveying mail. Commercial junk and bills from various branches of

:07:18.:07:21.

government, I am not very anxious for the Royal Mail to survive. I

:07:21.:07:32.

much preferred my local supermarket delivering things to my door. The

:07:32.:07:39.

Royal Mail has rather slipped out of my life and I would regret it if it

:07:39.:07:46.

goes. For young people it sounds like something out of history. They

:07:46.:07:54.

do not rely on it at all. Outdated? Off-the-cuff of preplanned? It is

:07:54.:08:04.

certainly off-the-cuff. You could see that from the responses he did

:08:04.:08:11.

to questions. But this could be a hostage to fortune. It is a very

:08:11.:08:15.

different creature in Scotland than the rest of the UK. Predominantly

:08:15.:08:21.

rural in terms of geography. The cost of delivering is much more

:08:21.:08:27.

expensive. I would be interesting to see if the Scottish but is

:08:27.:08:34.

profitable. Retire early with independence. That is on the front

:08:34.:08:39.

page of the Scotland on Sunday. An interesting pledge. What is

:08:39.:08:46.

interesting is that the SNP has resorted to bribes. This is a silly

:08:46.:08:55.

bribe. We know that people are living longer and will have to work

:08:55.:09:01.

longer. We cannot afford to keep the pensions age exactly where it is. I

:09:02.:09:07.

do not see the point. This is unrealistic. An own goal. We have

:09:07.:09:14.

talked about division on the programme today. Is this not what

:09:14.:09:18.

people are looking for in a different type of Scotland? If the

:09:18.:09:26.

SNP offers rights to the electorate, that makes it unique amongst

:09:26.:09:29.

political parties in the world! Unheard-of! But it might just work

:09:29.:09:38.

and help them win an election. What is the point that it cannot be

:09:38.:09:44.

sustained? It was not a pledge. Just a review. At independence rests on

:09:44.:09:56.

practical bribes it will not work. A different story from what we usually

:09:56.:10:03.

your own pensions. -- what we usually see your. It is clear from

:10:03.:10:13.

opinion polls and surveys that Scots as much as those in the list of the

:10:13.:10:16.

UK are acutely aware that the economy is in difficulty. The

:10:16.:10:21.

demographic picture on pensions, wealthier, so on, it will get worse,

:10:21.:10:30.

not better. It is an attempt at a fightback by the SNP. They had a

:10:30.:10:37.

rough ride over the last few months. They hope to regain some lost

:10:37.:10:44.

ground. Talking about that, Labour trying to turn things around for Ed

:10:44.:10:51.

Miliband. But surrounded by the Damian McBride revelations. He has

:10:51.:10:58.

had a far more difficult ride than any other British politician over

:10:58.:11:03.

the summer. We were talking once about labour being ahead and David

:11:03.:11:09.

Cameron facing a severe problem. It has turned out exactly the opposite.

:11:09.:11:16.

This week as a chance for Ed Miliband to seize the initiative

:11:16.:11:19.

back again. It may determine his future. If he takes it back we can

:11:19.:11:26.

look forward to a closely fought general election. If not, I think he

:11:26.:11:36.

is finished. Make or break for him? I don't like that idea. It never is

:11:36.:11:43.

make or break. But he just does not look like a credible leader. The

:11:43.:11:54.

McBride stuff, it makes the party look like squabbles, it just does

:11:54.:11:59.

not look good. And he is not a big enough personality to rise above

:11:59.:12:04.

it. Also, the vision, we'll is he going? I can never understand what

:12:04.:12:13.

he is for. What do people make the revelations. Do they believe Ed

:12:13.:12:22.

Miliband get past them? It is the usual new Labour tittle tattle. Very

:12:22.:12:29.

entertaining. But no killer blow. Nothing with a direct link to Ed

:12:29.:12:32.

Miliband that could pose him real problems. People see it as an

:12:32.:12:38.

irritation and distraction but nothing debilitating. Yesterday he

:12:38.:12:45.

made a range of pledges in relation to the minimum wage, bedroom tax,

:12:45.:12:50.

and so on. They thanked this week will go well. And it has to. He made

:12:50.:12:56.

a good speech in Manchester last year introducing the one nation

:12:56.:13:01.

theme, but no follow-through. No great plan of action. He needs that

:13:01.:13:06.

this time of the next election is certainly lost. Can Johann Lamont

:13:06.:13:14.

keep Labour in connection with the Scottish people? They have fallen

:13:14.:13:20.

out of love with them at Holyrood. I struggle to see what Scottish Labour

:13:20.:13:25.

are about. Other than negativity. We don't know what they will offer if

:13:25.:13:30.

there is a note in the referendum. Just that they will offer something.

:13:30.:13:41.

-- No. Can they reconnect? I think the party has completely lost its

:13:41.:13:47.

way. It does not offer much. She's not charismatic enough to carry

:13:47.:13:53.

things along without a real message. That is all from us this week. I

:13:53.:13:57.

will return next week, until then, good afternoon.

:13:57.:13:59.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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