29/09/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


29/09/2013

Andrew Kerr with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil interviews Foreign Secretary William Hague and Labour's Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint.


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LineFromTo

Maureen, folks. Welcome to the programme. David Cameron should out

:00:38.:00:46.

his scheme to help house-buyers. Is he merely stoking a new house price

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bubble? As the activists gather in Manchester for their party

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conference, we will have the results of an exclusive survey of Tory

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councillors. I will be speaking to William Hague. Ed Miliband has made

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headlines with his pledge to freeze energy prices for 20 months but as

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the new policy stack? Caroline Flint to intimate. -- joins me. And on

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Sunday Politics Scotland: A plum slot for the Scottish Conservative

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leader at conference - speaking before the PM. Do the Tories "get"

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Scotland ahead of the referendum? With me are a trio of top political

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commentators. All three will be With me are a trio of top political

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tweeting their thoughts, or in some cases just their thought through the

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show, using the hashtag #bbcsp. The Conservative Party conference gets

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under way in Manchester this afternoon. We have already been

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bombarded with a series of policy announcements, a tax break for

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married couples of up to £200 per year, more money on life extending

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cancer treatments and, last night, the news that the second stage of

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the Chancellor's Help To Buy scheme will start next week. That is

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brought forward from the start of next year. David Cameron says it is

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all about helping hard-working people. Right now, you can't get,

:02:19.:02:28.

it's very difficult to get, a 90% or 95% mortgage. That means a typical

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family with two people earning 20,000, 25,000, they are being

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asked, to buy an average house, they 20,000, 25,000, they are being

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are being asked to find a £40,000 deposit. They can afford the

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mortgage payment, but they can't get the mortgage. They can't buy their

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flat or house. As Prime Minister, I'm not going to stand back while

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people's aspirations to get on the housing ladder, to own their own

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flat or home, is being trashed. That is why we need to act. A predictable

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attempt by party leadership to kick-start the conference with

:02:58.:03:03.

eye-catching policies. The polls show a big bounce for Ed Miliband

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and the Labour Party, with decent numbers for UKIP. What do party

:03:07.:03:12.

activists think about David Cameron's leadership and the

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challenge posed by UKIP? Adam Fleming has been meeting Tory

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councillors as they travel to their party conference.

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For the Conservatives this weekend, all roads and trams lead to

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Manchester for their party conference, and as a scene setter we

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asked ComRes to survey councillors are Finland and Wales. Councillors

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asked ComRes to survey councillors like Tom, packing for conference at

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home in Wellingborough. Immigration is an issue for him. He thinks there

:03:45.:03:50.

are pros and cons. But we found that 54% of his colleagues feel

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immigration has had a negative impact on the UK. I think it

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reflects into this wider issue of our relationship with Europe. People

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are very concerned about the possible influx of ovarian and

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Romania emigrants. Obviously the issue of Europe is very big. --

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Ukrainian. His colleagues in Corby are worried about the rise of the UK

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Independence Party. In our survey, nearly a quarter of Conservative

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councillors thought that their party should make a pact with UKIP. The

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concern is, yes, will they take votes away from ourselves in 2015?

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If that happens, maybe we don't get back in. Maybe a partnership is the

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way to go. It depends what they want and we want. But we should be

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talking about them. A pact? Depends what they say, anything is possible.

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What would you like to see? Ideally, from my point of view, a national

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pact. David Cameron arrived in Manchester last night. Around the

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same time as these activists from London. I broke the news to them

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that in our survey just 26% of Tory councillors think that the prime

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ministers in touch with the lives of ordinary people. The same at all

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Conservatives, you don't judge people by their background. It's not

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where they come from, it is where they are going to. It is not a

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where they come from, it is where problem that he is a bit on the posh

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side? Cull you might describe him like that, I would not use those

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words. Explain your T-shirt, it is a phrase that a senior Cameron person

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is alleged to have used about you? It is a humorous way of letting the

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party now that we are here to say what we think. Members are

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important. We are not going away any time soon. A sentiment you will hear

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a lot at this conference, because just 22% of councillors in our

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survey said that David Cameron was any good at listening to the people

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that work hard for his party. That was Adam. Joining me now from the

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Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Foreign Secretary

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William Hague. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Good morning. Over one in

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five Tory councillors in our survey support a pact with UKIP at the next

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election. Why do you think that is? If it is one in five, it means a

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large majority did not want a pact with UKIP at the next election. They

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have noticed that UKIP, in local elections, has been receiving votes,

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some of which would otherwise have been for the Conservatives. I think

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we have to make sure that people understand that at a general

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election they are choosing between a Conservative and Labour Government,

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as David Cameron as Prime Minister or Ed Miliband. If people want to

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get a referendum on Europe, the only way to do that is to have David

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Cameron as Prime Minister. I think a general election is different from

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the local government perspective. It is pretty unusual, some might say

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unprecedented, for a large chunk of one of the big parties in this

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country to want to go into coalition one of the big parties in this

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with a smaller party before an election. When has that ever

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happened? Looking at your survey, three times as many didn't want to

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do that. As ever, with a survey, with statistics, you can highlight

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it whichever way around you want to. The point is, we are not having

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pacts with other parties, electoral pacts with other parties. You rule

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it out? That is not going to happen. What we do want is to have a pact

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it out? That is not going to happen. with the voters, if you like, as we

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have often done in the Conservative Party. We have won over the voters

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of other parties to support our policies and Prime Minister. That is

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important with those people that say they want to vote for UKIP. By

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default, they would produce a Labour government in the exact opposite of

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many of the things they intend, if they would otherwise vote

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Conservative and decide to vote for UKIP instead in a general election.

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That could help to produce a Labour government. The chairman of the 1922

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committee, the elected voice of Conservative backbenchers, he says

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your party should spell out what had once back from the European Union

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before next year's European actions. Do you agree? We will be spelling

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out some things in the European elections. I will be talking about

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this later on today. For instance, about the need the UK and the

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European treaties the concept of ever closer union, a concept that in

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Britain we have never really believed in. We would like that to

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be changed, with all of the consequences that would flow from

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that. We will be setting out the examples and principles of the

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changes we want to say. Certainly over the next year, not only before

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the European actions but the general election, if you are saying, let

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have the exact list of anything that we are going to be able to

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negotiate, that is difficult because there will be a negotiation of a new

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deal in Europe if David Cameron as Prime Minister after the next

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election. To some extent, that has to be negotiated. Only 11% of your

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own councillors feel that people in their area think that George Osborne

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is in touch with ordinary people. Why is he seemed to be so aloof? It

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is not for me to explain why people say what they say in surveys. The

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important thing is what we are delivering for the country. What

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George Osborne is delivering his renewed economic growth. 1.4 million

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new jobs in the private sector, help for hard-working people, by reducing

:10:02.:10:08.

the tax for 25 million of them. The Help To Buy scheme that we are

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highlighting today. That is what really matters to people, actually,

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I think you will find. Let's talk about helping ordinary people. Ed

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Miliband is guilty freeze energy prices. What are you going to do

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about energy prices, we already asked energy companies to put people

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on their lowest tariffs. This has not been amended. -- implemented.

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Why not? This is going to happen within this government. It is going

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to happen within this government when the... Why hasn't it happened

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now? People are suffering now from rising energy prices. It has not

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happened because my colleagues have been implimenting it. In the case of

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Ed Miliband's policy, if you are asking why it has not yet happened

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under this Government, it didn't even survive a few our's scrutiny in

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opposition. In a few hours he had to concede that if there was a big

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change in oil prices then the policy would not work. The trouble is, it

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would dry up some of the investment in the energy industry. I don't

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think it is a credible promise. For a party that presided over council

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tax bills doubling in the next government, -- last government, it's

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not very credible. Why is George Osborne going against the European

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Union to protect banker bonuses? Well, we don't want to see the

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European treaties used in a way that they should not be used. It's not

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necessarily over this particular issue. It is over the power that the

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European Union has over our lives and over this country. Can the

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bankers look after themselves? We should be able to decide those

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bankers look after themselves? We things in our own country. We have

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never signed up to such matters in European institutions. If you allow

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one thing that wasn't meant to be decided to be decided, you find

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one thing that wasn't meant to be there are another ten or 20 things

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that affect many other people. We are very vigilant about what we call

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competence creep, with the European Union taking more powers than it was

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meant to have. That is one of the reasons why people do want a

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referendum, do want a new deal in Europe. That is what we intend to

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give them. Let's look at in competence creep. A big city

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institution, ICAP, fined for fixing the LIBOR rates. The founder of that

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company has donated £5 million to your party. Shouldn't you give it

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back? Aren't you ashamed to accept that money? He has donated his own

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money to the Conservative Party. Which he made out of ICAP. As people

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have to other parties, people are free to do that and they should be

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free to do that. I am not aware of any plan for that to be repaid.

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Because you can't afford to. Let's recap this. We have seen Tory MPs

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parrot propaganda lines from the energy companies this week. We have

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the Chancellor going to court energy companies this week. We have

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fight for unlimited banker bonuses. We have a top Tory donor the centre

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fight for unlimited banker bonuses. of yet another city scandal. Ed

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Miliband is right when he says you lot are on the side of the vested

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interests so the rich and powerful, isn't he? Well, again, look at the

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record. I just did! 1.4 million extra jobs in the private sector, 25

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million people with a tax cut, a Help To Buy scheme which is going to

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help so many people, particularly young people have the house that

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they need and deserve for the future. Council tax bills held down,

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welfare reform so that it pays to work. Actually, this is a government

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achieving things for hard-working people and that will be highlighted

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to this conference. While President Laugharne he's

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talking about peace, the Iranians are speeding up their nuclear

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weapons programme. -- is talking. It would be hard to say from week

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to week whether it is speeding up or slowing down but they are

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continuing with it. That is why we say the new message - the new words

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- from Iranian leadership are very welcome. I said that to the Foreign

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Minister in New York over the last few days but it is the actions that

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will count. At the moment, the nuclear programme continues. We

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have agreed to commence negotiations on that and that will

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be a very important test as to whether actions will match the

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words. When will we know it if we are being strung along? He has

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strung as a long in the past as a nuclear weapons negotiator. When

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will we know if he is not just doing that again? Over the next few

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weeks, it will be a very important time. He has said there should be

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more transparency over the Iranian nuclear programme. It is not

:15:30.:15:34.

transparent in many regards at the moment. The atomic agency is asking

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for information that is not being given. One test is, in the coming

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weeks, will they give more information? The information that

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the international of authority is asking for about their nuclear

:15:49.:15:53.

programme. We will be able to form a view of this in the coming weeks

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or months. It is important we test their new willingness to talk to us

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and negotiate with us. It is important to find out whether they

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are serious about it. You are asking, is the nuclear programme

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really continuing? Are they really going to be realistic about

:16:12.:16:15.

negotiations and offer something they have not offer before?

:16:15.:16:20.

Speaking of being strung along, what sanctions would President

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Assad face if, in six months - the Year, Syria still has a chemical

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weapons arsenal. In the resolution we voted through the UN Security

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Council on Friday night, is the commitment that the Security

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Council will take measures under Chapter seven of the UN Charter in

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the event of non-compliance. Does that allow full force? I did not

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catch that. Does that allow for force? It is similar to the

:16:56.:17:00.

Security Council resolution about Iraq, which most people concluded

:17:00.:17:06.

in not allow full force. It does not specify that. It talks about

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terms seven of the charter. That is a message of the whole UN Security

:17:13.:17:18.

Council that there will be measures - there will be consequences - if

:17:18.:17:24.

the Assad regime does not comply. Russia has a lot riding on this. It

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has a big commitment. I have spent a lot of time at my Russian

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counterpart over the last week. Russia has said, this is something

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you will have to do. We will work with Russia and others very closely

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to check there is compliance will this resolution. Given the progress

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that has been made, you must be very glad that the British House of

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Commons stopped your rash to force against Syria. -- rush. The reason

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Commons stopped your rash to force has happened is because there was a

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credible threat of military action. President Obama did not get it

:18:12.:18:18.

through Congress. They have not had the vote in Congress. There is no

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other explanation as to why the policy changed. It was because

:18:22.:18:27.

there was a debate about military action in the West that the policy

:18:27.:18:33.

changed on theirs. That is why it changed. We were not in a rush for

:18:33.:18:37.

military action. The boat put to the House of Commons was to have

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another Aotearoa after the inspectors reported. It was before

:18:41.:18:44.

we got to that point that the inspectors reported. It was before

:18:44.:18:50.

Russian and Syrian policy changed. We need to make sure that works in

:18:50.:19:02.

practice. Thank you. What do you make about this rushing forward

:19:02.:19:07.

with the help to buy scheme which was meant to start next year -

:19:07.:19:11.

coming forward mad to the next couple of weeks? I think it is a

:19:11.:19:20.

terrible policy. The Treasury Select Committee, Perez a

:19:20.:19:23.

fundamental problem with the Government having an interest in

:19:23.:19:28.

mortgage lending. -- there is a fundamental problem. It should have

:19:28.:19:33.

been set much lower to exclude London and the South East where

:19:33.:19:38.

houses are dramatically overvalued. Many economists think freezing

:19:39.:19:44.

energy prices is a terrible policy. These policies can be popular. If

:19:44.:19:49.

you have no chance of getting a deposit, the Government will make

:19:49.:19:53.

that possible because it will guarantee a big chunk of the

:19:53.:19:57.

deposit. Do not forget George Osborne tried every single lever.

:19:57.:20:01.

It looked like he could not do anything to get the economy moving.

:20:01.:20:07.

It is moving. They have pulled it forward and there are signs it is

:20:07.:20:13.

recovering. The reason why they are doing this is they want to show

:20:13.:20:17.

this week at the conference there are real sort of understandable

:20:17.:20:21.

issues you can explain very simply that really up going to improve

:20:21.:20:26.

people's lives. The Conservatives were slightly spooked by Ed

:20:26.:20:32.

Miliband's speech last week. The language used by David Cameron this

:20:33.:20:38.

morning was that the tax policy was nuts. Much more cautious and --

:20:38.:20:47.

language about the energy price freeze. They are nervous that Ed

:20:47.:20:52.

Miliband may be touching a nerve on that one. What we will get this

:20:52.:20:56.

week, I suggest, his Tory populism to counter Miliband populism. I

:20:56.:21:02.

week, I suggest, his Tory populism think we will see that and it will

:21:02.:21:04.

be a mistake. As long as it is think we will see that and it will

:21:05.:21:10.

about The Picture, they are on relatively strong ground. When the

:21:11.:21:18.

political conversation changes to more fiddly things, particularities

:21:18.:21:23.

of energy prices or living standards, things that are some way

:21:23.:21:26.

below that picture, I do not think they can win a bidding war with the

:21:26.:21:31.

Labour Party. It is about borrowing against a party that stands for the

:21:31.:21:36.

rectitude at a macro economic against a party that stands for the

:21:36.:21:39.

It is about getting the conversation back to where

:21:39.:21:42.

It is about getting the before the Labour conference, which

:21:42.:21:47.

is unemployment, GDP growth and the warming economic picture. That does

:21:47.:21:54.

not pay energy bills. Does not sound that the Tories have anything

:21:54.:21:58.

not pay energy bills. Does not to counter the price freeze. -- it

:21:58.:22:02.

does not sound. They have had a week to think about a great attack

:22:03.:22:07.

line and they do not add anything. They have just said, the lights

:22:08.:22:12.

will go out. Now they're saying, it will not

:22:12.:22:27.

the credibility test. Ed Miliband said, if there were a big spike in

:22:27.:22:33.

energy prices, he would not be able to keep his freeze in those

:22:33.:22:36.

circumstances. to keep his freeze in those

:22:36.:22:45.

credibility test. It to keep his freeze in those

:22:45.:22:45.

politically acute announcement but it is about credibility. Being seen

:22:45.:22:45.

as serious and grown-up is worth it is about credibility. Being seen

:22:45.:22:52.

more than any burst of popularity. My worry about the announcement is

:22:52.:22:56.

more than any burst of popularity. with the election campaign, it

:22:56.:23:01.

begins to lose credibility, begins to seem a banana republic. It looks

:23:01.:23:10.

a lot less wise than it did last week. I disagree. Every time energy

:23:10.:23:14.

bills go up and they will continue to go up, it will be a reminder of

:23:14.:23:19.

how much people are being hit in the pockets. People know by energy

:23:19.:23:24.

prices are going up. There is a structural change in the world that

:23:24.:23:28.

was not there before - China and India. These energy companies may

:23:28.:23:33.

be making huge profit but, at the end of the day, what is driving up

:23:33.:23:40.

the cost of fuel is China and India. Ed Miliband, great man that he is,

:23:40.:23:45.

I am not sure he can take on the people Sammir on that one. How dare

:23:45.:23:52.

you! -- the People's Army. Ed Miliband came out fighting at

:23:52.:23:55.

Labour's Conference in Brighton last week. Dogged by criticism over

:23:55.:23:58.

the summer of his leadership style and lack of policies, Mr Miliband

:23:58.:24:00.

tried to demonstrate his strength of character with a series of bold

:24:00.:24:03.

announcements, and attempted to position himself on the side of

:24:03.:24:09.

ordinary Brits. The Labour leader told party members he would stand

:24:09.:24:13.

up to the strong and take on the vested interests that hold back our

:24:13.:24:16.

up to the strong and take on the economy. In a speech in which he

:24:16.:24:20.

jokingly referred to himself as an action hero, Mr Miliband promised

:24:20.:24:22.

to switch the forthcoming business action hero, Mr Miliband promised

:24:22.:24:26.

tax cut from large firms to smaller businesses. He said he would force

:24:26.:24:30.

big firms to train at an apprentice every time they bring in a worker

:24:30.:24:35.

from outside the EU. He hinted that increasing the minimum wage would

:24:35.:24:40.

be increased. He bowed to take on developers with a use it or lose it

:24:40.:24:47.

threat to landowners and pledged to build 200,000 homes each year by

:24:47.:24:50.

threat to landowners and pledged to 2020. He promised to freeze energy

:24:50.:24:56.

prices and reset the energy market. The next Labour government will

:24:56.:24:59.

freeze gas and electricity prices until the start of 2017. That

:24:59.:25:04.

freeze gas and electricity prices provoked a rash of headlines -

:25:04.:25:09.

hailing the return of red Ed macro. It has also given him a spike in

:25:09.:25:14.

the polls. And Labour's Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint

:25:14.:25:16.

joins me now for the Sunday Interview.

:25:16.:25:25.

Ed Miliband says, our energy market is broken and does not work. In

:25:25.:25:34.

what way is that market to date different from the one Labour left

:25:34.:25:40.

behind in 2010? We have six companies that dominate the energy

:25:40.:25:45.

sector. It is the same. They generate energy, and sell it on to

:25:45.:25:52.

us. What we recognise and Ed Miliband recognised when he was

:25:52.:25:55.

Secretary of State and asked for more information from the company

:25:56.:25:58.

Secretary of State and asked for is on hold serve costs and profits,

:25:58.:26:01.

all the things we have done to mitigate against that in terms of a

:26:01.:26:05.

warm front programme and everything else has not dealt with the

:26:05.:26:08.

fundamental problem that the Horsell market is too secretive and

:26:08.:26:15.

it is too much about such supply. - - the wholesale market. We have

:26:15.:26:19.

been raising with the Government in a co-operative way the argument for

:26:19.:26:25.

resetting the market. It has got worse in terms of speed at which

:26:26.:26:32.

prices have gone up. Labour put wholesale and retail together. It

:26:32.:26:37.

was the start this dates back to Margaret Thatcher and the

:26:37.:26:40.

privatisation. We took some reforms to reset the market. We have

:26:40.:26:45.

realised it was not working and it was broken and we need to reset it.

:26:45.:26:50.

Ed Miliband will be the first to say we did not do enough from 2005

:26:50.:26:55.

onwards. Let's have a look at what happened to energy prices under the

:26:55.:27:00.

Labour government. Electricity up 67%, gas up 139%. Overall prices up

:27:00.:27:08.

by 48%. The market was broken and the Government as well. From 2005,

:27:08.:27:14.

we saw prices biking as wholesale prices went up. The tick action on

:27:14.:27:21.

the one Front programme, decent homes for social housing. -- we

:27:21.:27:28.

took action on per warm front programme. Trying to do things

:27:28.:27:33.

around social obligations needs to be looked at. Gas and electricity

:27:33.:27:39.

bills are high partially as a consequence of the market you

:27:39.:27:43.

presided over but as a consequence of Labour policy. Beds have a look

:27:43.:27:49.

at the breakdown of dual fuel - gas and electricity bill. -- let's have

:27:49.:27:55.

a look. The supply costs of getting it to us and so on. The policies

:27:56.:28:02.

that were introduced by your government - Green levies - are

:28:02.:28:06.

adding almost 10% to has told energy bills. £112 on average bill

:28:06.:28:14.

of 1188. You have put the bill up. Eight -- social and green

:28:14.:28:24.

obligations amount to £112. That helps the poorest insulate homes.

:28:24.:28:29.

Overwhelmingly, looking at your graph and the figures I have,

:28:29.:28:35.

wholesale costs are worth more than half. What we have seen, based on

:28:35.:28:41.

figures we now have, in Eni macro, a wholesale costs fell by 39% and

:28:41.:28:49.

that was not reflected in our bills. Do you have plans to do anything

:28:49.:28:54.

about the £112? If you took that off, you could cut bills by 10%

:28:54.:29:00.

tomorrow. Or if you were in power. It is important that restimulate

:29:00.:29:04.

the opportunity to grow clean energy. It -- we stimulate. If we

:29:04.:29:12.

do not have clean energy, we will be beholden for ever-more to fossil

:29:12.:29:15.

do not have clean energy, we will fuels that are depleting. It will

:29:15.:29:20.

create jobs and bring in investment will start in the last few years,

:29:21.:29:25.

we have seen investment in renewable energy half. -- in

:29:25.:29:31.

investment. If I could go back to competition in the markets,

:29:31.:29:35.

whatever advance there are, looking at whether the money raised through

:29:35.:29:39.

energy companies to deliver energy efficiency, is that doing as well

:29:39.:29:44.

as it might? Could it be better delivered by another agency? They

:29:44.:29:49.

are fair questions. We need to get ahead of that and look at the

:29:49.:29:53.

market. Can we make the market will competitive make sure when there is

:29:53.:29:57.

downward pressure on wholesale prices, that is reflected on our

:29:57.:30:02.

bills? That is the bigger picture argument. Also the freeze to help

:30:02.:30:04.

people during that period. As you complain about the energy

:30:04.:30:17.

prices, it was as a result of your actions. Ed Miliband introduced the

:30:17.:30:21.

climate change act. He admitted prices would have to rise to pay for

:30:21.:30:23.

decarbonisation. He said, we are prices would have to rise to pay for

:30:23.:30:29.

going to minimise the costs as much as possible, but it is true there is

:30:29.:30:32.

not a low-cost energy future out there. It is important that we

:30:32.:30:37.

address the pressures on bills, but also recognise that if we are going

:30:37.:30:40.

to build a better future where we can have more home-grown British

:30:40.:30:42.

energy and, in the long-term, cheaper, we need to invest in

:30:42.:30:48.

renewables. Truth is it is about the market. I acknowledge I acknowledge

:30:48.:30:52.

eyes what you say about the 112. I am not going to disagree. But

:30:52.:30:59.

wholesale prices have fallen. They fell in 2009, we got a reduction in

:30:59.:31:08.

bills of 5%. Which are saying that the big companies are overcharging

:31:08.:31:13.

customers. We are seeing profits going up, but we haven't seen the

:31:13.:31:15.

amount of investment suggested by going up, but we haven't seen the

:31:15.:31:20.

those profits coming through. But that £125 is going to get worse,

:31:20.:31:24.

because your leader said in his speech in Brighton that Labour will

:31:24.:31:29.

have a world leading commitment in Government to take out all carbon

:31:29.:31:33.

from energy generation by 2030. That is not that far away. By 2030, no

:31:33.:31:37.

more coal generation, no more gas generation, only much more expensive

:31:37.:31:43.

nuclear and much more expensive renewables. It cannot be done

:31:43.:31:47.

without bills going up even further? Hang on a second. The 2030 target to

:31:47.:31:53.

remove carbon from the electricity supply, we have said we

:31:53.:32:11.

your commitment is to get rid of all carbon from power generation by

:32:11.:32:20.

2013. Only electricity. So you still have gas? We will need gas for

:32:20.:32:27.

decades to come. We will still need gas the decades to come, we are only

:32:28.:32:32.

talking about electricity supply. You will be increasingly dependent

:32:32.:32:37.

on expensive nuclear, EDF are currently demanding the double of

:32:37.:32:42.

the market price, and renewables which are four times the market

:32:42.:32:46.

price, our bills are going up under your policies. And the Coalition 's

:32:46.:32:54.

policies, too. On the clear, we did take a decision that we needed to

:32:54.:32:58.

revitalise our nuclear power sector help us meet our targets in terms of

:32:58.:33:03.

clean energy and make sure it could do the heavy lifting. Totally agree.

:33:03.:33:07.

The government at the present time are engaged in discussions with EDF

:33:08.:33:12.

about what the price should be, I don't know what that's going to be.

:33:12.:33:16.

It's important that stands up to scrutiny in terms of value for

:33:16.:33:19.

money. But I go back to our market reforms. We won't just have a

:33:19.:33:25.

contract the difference for nuclear, we will have it for renewables as

:33:25.:33:30.

well. That makes it even more important that we have a transparent

:33:30.:33:34.

markets in which energy is bought and sold so we can have a riposte

:33:34.:33:38.

reference price in which those issues can be judged against. --

:33:38.:33:43.

robust. Michael Gove recognised at the other night that the market

:33:44.:33:47.

wasn't working, the Daily Telegraph use the term cosy cartel, and we

:33:47.:33:52.

have former advisers to David Cameron and former ministers saying

:33:52.:33:56.

something needs to be done and I'm surprised David Cameron doesn't

:33:56.:34:00.

acknowledge that. You are going to freeze prices for 20 months and then

:34:00.:34:04.

you will, with a new regulator. Will that regulator have the power to

:34:04.:34:12.

control gas and electricity prices? What the regulator will have existed

:34:12.:34:17.

at a rate responsibility to monitor the wholesale cost will get doesn't

:34:17.:34:23.

have. -- statutory responsibility. As result, it will have the power

:34:23.:34:27.

that if the wholesale prices fall, it can force the energy companies,

:34:28.:34:31.

if they don't pass on reductions in bills, but it will not have what we

:34:31.:34:38.

see in some parts of the EU, in 15 countries, they have a variety of

:34:38.:34:43.

price controls which at things below inflation and what have you. In

:34:43.:34:47.

France, Spain, Italy. It won't do that, because we are looking at a

:34:47.:34:52.

temporary price freeze to reflect the reduction in wholesale prices in

:34:52.:34:55.

the last few years to give the British public some respite from

:34:56.:35:00.

ever climbing bills while we get our reforms, because of the end double

:35:00.:35:07.

this, what we want is a competitive market that is more transparent. But

:35:07.:35:10.

we do believe it is right that we need a regulator that has much more

:35:10.:35:15.

of a role in making sure that market is working effectively. Are you

:35:15.:35:20.

accusing the energy companies of profiteering? I am accusing them of

:35:20.:35:27.

overcharging, yes, of overcharging, of not passing on wholesale

:35:27.:35:30.

reduction in costs to their customers. I am accusing the

:35:30.:35:37.

companies of making profits in a way which undermines the consumer.

:35:37.:35:41.

Because I do believe that the level of profits that they have passed on

:35:41.:35:47.

to their shareholders is high compared to the reductions they

:35:47.:35:51.

could have provided the consumers. Let's look at the evidence. In the

:35:51.:35:58.

last fiscal year, they made combined earnings of £4 billion.

:35:58.:36:12.

Where in these figures is the profiteering? My figures, their

:36:12.:36:21.

reporting to the regulator and to work done by other organisations,

:36:21.:36:28.

show that in Centrica 's case, they have something like an eight button

:36:28.:36:32.

to return on profit margins on the retail side, that goes up to

:36:32.:36:35.

something like 24% on their generation side. They have passed

:36:35.:36:41.

on, in terms of their profits, something like 74% through dividends

:36:41.:36:46.

to their shareholders... But they're just invested £3 billion! I am just

:36:46.:36:53.

reporting the information that has been passed on to the regulator. But

:36:53.:37:00.

they have never accused them of profiteering. I have... Can I do is

:37:00.:37:08.

finish my point. It is acknowledged that across the sector, across the

:37:08.:37:13.

big six, something like 60% of the profits have gone over to

:37:13.:37:17.

shareholders as dividends, in the guise of Centrica, it is 74%. In

:37:17.:37:23.

that example, even though they have their highest profit margins, they

:37:23.:37:26.

have invested the least. So I think it is fair to question... None of us

:37:26.:37:33.

really know what the true price of energy is and that is why our policy

:37:33.:37:41.

to reform is necessary. Finally, if they continue putting prices up,

:37:41.:37:45.

even after your price freeze, if they don't invest in the way they

:37:45.:37:49.

do, do you rule out wholesale nationalisation? Absolutely, I want

:37:49.:37:54.

a more competitive market and that is why we are resetting

:37:54.:37:55.

Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up:

:37:55.:38:10.

"Better Together" or Better Apart? We've heard from Yes Scotland, now

:38:10.:38:13.

it's the turn of the pro-union campaign as both sides tussle over

:38:13.:38:24.

who will debate with whom. I think I will keep my eyes set on the Prime

:38:24.:38:27.

Minister, on the organ grinder, in this particular campaign. You could

:38:27.:38:32.

hardly do it with somebody who has no control over these issues. Nice

:38:32.:38:38.

try, but no one is going to fall for it. We'll put that to the leader of

:38:38.:38:43.

the "Better Together" campaign, Alistair Darling. And a prime slot

:38:43.:38:46.

for the Conservative leader Ruth Davidson at the party's conference

:38:46.:38:49.

in Manchester - do the Tories now "get" Scotland? Two weeks ago we

:38:49.:39:00.

heard from the First Minister as the one year countdown started to the

:39:00.:39:03.

referendum. With 353 days to go now, we'll talk to his main opponent. But

:39:03.:39:07.

the two men won't speak to each other as the argument rages about a

:39:07.:39:10.

TV debate showdown. With that issue and more, here's Steven Godden with

:39:10.:39:13.

his "capital look" at ""Better Together"". Take a stroll through

:39:13.:39:21.

the centre of Edinburgh and almost everywhere you turn, there is an

:39:21.:39:24.

unmistakable landmark, but the political climate, what you see is

:39:24.:39:30.

great piles of and mortar, and it depends on your own perspective.

:39:30.:39:35.

Take the castle. An early stronghold of Scottish kings, today it

:39:35.:39:39.

generates millions as a tourist attraction, but the centuries it has

:39:39.:39:42.

also been home to British army soldiers, assemble, ""Better

:39:42.:39:48.

Together"" supporters say, of the protection and security offered by

:39:48.:39:55.

the union. The big banking institutions were at the centre of

:39:55.:39:59.

the recent financial collapse, but supporters of the union would argue

:39:59.:40:05.

it is -- its interconnectedness helped people whether the storm and

:40:05.:40:10.

it would do again if necessary. With the year to go milestone having

:40:10.:40:14.

passed by with much fanfare, campaigners are taking their message

:40:14.:40:17.

to the doorsteps in a bid to hammer it home. The main message we have

:40:17.:40:22.

seen from "Better Together" is it has the rest of both worlds, at the

:40:23.:40:27.

moment this is not a debate between Scotland and the rest of the UK, it

:40:27.:40:29.

moment this is not a debate between is a bait here about the best future

:40:29.:40:32.

for Scotland and from our point of view, we have the best of both

:40:32.:40:38.

worlds, we can take decisions here in Scotland but we are part of a

:40:38.:40:42.

whole, a community of nations across these islands will stop stop.

:40:42.:40:52.

Supporters of independence have a different perspective. According to

:40:52.:40:57.

them, Scotland is being led down a dark path that plays on a fear of

:40:57.:41:02.

the unknown, the accusation is that the "Better Together" campaign are

:41:02.:41:04.

attempting to scare voters by suggesting that in an independent

:41:04.:41:09.

Scotland, a fright looks round every corner. Accused of being short on

:41:09.:41:16.

answers, yes Scotland say the upcoming paper will flesh out the

:41:16.:41:21.

campaign for independence insisting project fear, as it has been dubbed,

:41:21.:41:26.

is destined to fail. The important thing is, get the government you

:41:26.:41:29.

vote for in Scotland, we don't often get that. Set the agenda, take part

:41:29.:41:37.

in democracy, and let's make your community and your country what you

:41:37.:41:42.

want it to be. I think that's the bonus that people are tapping into.

:41:42.:41:46.

As for the debate itself, something of an awkward triangle has emerged.

:41:46.:41:52.

Alistair Darling, the leader of the better campaign in pain, wants to

:41:52.:41:55.

debate with Alex Salmond, who says he's not interested, and he says he

:41:55.:42:01.

wants to debate with the organ grinder, David Cameron. This week,

:42:01.:42:04.

David Cameron has written to Alex Salmond says he won't face him and

:42:04.:42:10.

he should face Alistair Darling instead. One of those questions that

:42:10.:42:13.

need to be answered ahead of the big Western next September.

:42:13.:42:17.

I'm now joined live from Edinburgh by the former Labour Chancellor and

:42:17.:42:20.

leader of the "Better Together" campaign, Alistair Darling. Thanks

:42:20.:42:27.

for joining us. First, let's look at this TV debate issue. The Prime

:42:27.:42:33.

Minister, reiterating that he wouldn't debate with Alex Salmond

:42:33.:42:37.

and it was up to you to debate with him. But Alex Salmond says David

:42:37.:42:41.

Cameron is in an impossible position. He is willing to step in

:42:41.:42:46.

and take part in the debate but not actually debate the issue itself. We

:42:46.:42:51.

know what Alex Salmond is up to here, he wants to make this a

:42:51.:42:53.

contest between Scotland against England. People aren't going to fall

:42:53.:42:59.

for that. This is a debate we need to have within Scotland is to the

:43:00.:43:03.

future of our country. Where do we stand, where do we go from here?

:43:03.:43:09.

When Sami people get their information from television, it

:43:09.:43:13.

would be a huge mistake not to have a debate between those of us who

:43:13.:43:20.

live in Scotland, who have about on this referendum, as to the key

:43:20.:43:23.

issues, whether it is Europe, pensions, we saw bogus claims being

:43:23.:43:30.

made this week, all in relation to the currency of the future of our

:43:30.:43:36.

country. Alex Salmond 's problem is not David Cameron, it is that he is

:43:36.:43:39.

failing to convince the people of Scotland, it is an argument he needs

:43:40.:43:45.

to have within Scotland not outside. But who do you percent apart from

:43:45.:43:49.

the voters of Edinburgh South West? I am part of a campaign seeking to

:43:49.:43:53.

persuade people that we are stronger together as part of the UK. In this

:43:53.:43:59.

campaign there will be two opposing sides, "Better Together" against the

:43:59.:44:05.

SNP side. It is up to each of us to decide who we put forward but I can

:44:06.:44:09.

see what Alex Salmond is up to, he wants to make it at contest between

:44:09.:44:14.

Scotland and England, he wants to create divisions where there

:44:14.:44:18.

shouldn't be. Rather than continuing this silly posturing, he would be

:44:18.:44:22.

better to knuckle down join with us, speak to the broadcasters and see

:44:22.:44:26.

what we can arrange. Instead of calling it posturing that you not

:44:26.:44:31.

think it is natural progression from the two men signing the Edinburgh

:44:31.:44:40.

agreement? David Cameron has made clear that he regards this as being

:44:40.:44:44.

a matter of the people living in Scotland who are going to vote in

:44:44.:44:49.

the referendum next year. He has said it is up to the people of

:44:49.:44:54.

Scotland. Alex Salmond is saying he does not want to debate with the

:44:54.:44:56.

people of Scotland, he wants to debate with someone else. David

:44:56.:45:03.

Cameron has said he's not going to debate, so why doesn't he accept

:45:03.:45:07.

that, we should start dealing with issues that matter, like pensions.

:45:07.:45:12.

When you have Nicola Sturgeon saying that somehow we can retire earlier

:45:13.:45:17.

and it was affordable, but then admitted that she had no idea what

:45:17.:45:22.

the cost was, or when we discovered that Scottish schemes would have to

:45:22.:45:25.

be fully funded, this is one issue which the Scottish people deserve to

:45:25.:45:30.

have debated so that people can actually understand the risks, they

:45:30.:45:34.

can understand what the Nationalists are offering. If the pensions is

:45:34.:45:43.

anything to go by, it will be an act of fiction. With Alex Salmond saying

:45:43.:45:49.

he wanted to debate with the organ grinder, what does that make you? Do

:45:49.:45:55.

you find that offensive? Know, if you have no Alex Salmond for long

:45:55.:45:58.

enough, these things run off your back. -- if you have known him. I am

:45:58.:46:06.

not bothered about name-calling. The people of Scotland, there is every

:46:06.:46:09.

chance that if this remains as a political spat that people will turn

:46:09.:46:15.

off. None of us can afford that. This is the biggest issue affecting

:46:15.:46:21.

people living in Scotland, within 300 years. We deserve better than

:46:21.:46:24.

political posturing. What we are entitled to is a proper debate where

:46:24.:46:29.

we can look at the facts and reach a decision in a grown-up way, that is

:46:29.:46:36.

what I will pursue. We are looking at the one-year countdown, two weeks

:46:36.:46:41.

on from that, how significant is the one-year countdown for your

:46:41.:46:46.

campaign? The campaign will gather pace between now and next September,

:46:47.:46:51.

I have already said on numerous occasions, it's a ludicrously long

:46:51.:46:55.

campaign but that was Alex Salmond 's decision. What we need to do

:46:55.:47:00.

between now and then is look at the things that will matter in deciding

:47:00.:47:03.

whether or not we want to become independent, look at things like

:47:03.:47:08.

what currency we will use. If there isn't a currency union, what does

:47:08.:47:14.

that mean for Scotland? I mentioned pensions. You can't have a debate

:47:14.:47:19.

that depends upon all these claims being made, which falls apart

:47:19.:47:24.

whenever experts look at them. In issues like Europe, defence, these

:47:24.:47:28.

are the issues people want to see discussed, they want to consider the

:47:28.:47:32.

facts before it comes to a decision. We will continue to make a positive

:47:32.:47:37.

case for being part of the UK, we will also not be put off challenging

:47:37.:47:41.

some of the lead Chris claims being made by the Nationalists which we

:47:41.:47:48.

have seen fall apart. The King at the polls, do you sometimes think it

:47:48.:47:52.

will be fine, do you think you are in danger of being complacent? --

:47:52.:47:58.

looking at the polls. The don't knows could play a big part in the

:47:58.:48:03.

campaign. I have been around long enough to know that opinion polls

:48:03.:48:09.

are all very well. There are a lot of people who have to make their

:48:10.:48:12.

minds up, people can shift either wager in the course of what is a

:48:12.:48:18.

very long campaign. This campaign won't be finished until the polls

:48:18.:48:22.

close in September next year. It is better to be ahead and behind, let's

:48:22.:48:26.

not kid ourselves, but there is an awful lot of uncertainty around and

:48:26.:48:31.

all the more reason why people in Scotland are entitled to have a

:48:31.:48:33.

grown-up debate on television and the other media so they can discuss

:48:33.:48:41.

these issues. The things that will affect their job prospects, their

:48:41.:48:44.

security in their old age and what is looking best for Scotland as a

:48:44.:48:49.

whole. A lot of that could be resolved with the publication of a

:48:49.:48:52.

white paper coming out in November. I know you are ready and waiting to

:48:52.:48:57.

pounce on currency, pensions, debt. Do you think this mega C -- negative

:48:57.:49:03.

response could backfire on "Better Together"? Every time I'd do

:49:03.:49:07.

interviews like this I make the Together"? Every time I'd do

:49:07.:49:11.

point that there is a positive case for remaining part of the UK in

:49:11.:49:14.

terms of the opportunities that come for our people, as well as the fact

:49:14.:49:19.

we can share risks. You mentioned the collapse of the banks five years

:49:19.:49:23.

ago, which I couldn't have done if I was just crying on a Scottish

:49:23.:49:25.

Treasury, it wouldn't have been big enough. There is our influence on

:49:25.:49:31.

the EU and the cultural and emotional ties between the countries

:49:31.:49:37.

of the United Kingdom. But in Russian to this white paper, I am

:49:37.:49:40.

seriously concerned, as a result of what we saw, that the Scottish

:49:40.:49:46.

Government is producing statistics which are highly dubious and dodgy.

:49:46.:49:51.

Frankly, I expect better and there is a real risk that the civil

:49:51.:49:55.

service, who will serve fearlessly...

:49:55.:50:01.

We have spoken about pensions but I want you to pick up on the point

:50:01.:50:07.

about the scaremongering. I know Better Together they scaremongering

:50:07.:50:12.

Bingle but this has been a fairly negative campaign so far. Let me

:50:12.:50:18.

finish. What is the real positive case for the union? What is the

:50:18.:50:22.

positive case for remaining in the United Kingdom? I will give you two

:50:22.:50:27.

examples of what you call negativity. We asked where the legal

:50:27.:50:32.

opinion was that nothing would change as far as Europe concerned.

:50:32.:50:37.

There never was a legal opinion. You may say that is negative, I think a

:50:37.:50:41.

public service was done there in exposing that claim for what it

:50:41.:50:46.

was. Secondly, I will mention pensions again. You cannot go around

:50:46.:50:50.

saying, don't worry, we will pay you more pensions... You have mentioned

:50:50.:50:56.

pensions several times. I have. What is the positive case for Britain?

:50:56.:51:02.

Let me finish this. What I am saying is that women people make claims

:51:02.:51:07.

that don't stand up, you call it negative asking about them but I

:51:07.:51:13.

think people deserve to know. -- I am saying that when people make

:51:13.:51:19.

claims. If you look at the big economic case, for jobs and

:51:19.:51:23.

prospects, you have a market of 60 million people, not 5 million. If

:51:23.:51:30.

you take away our universities, some are world-class, they have access to

:51:30.:51:34.

UK research funds which would not have. If you look at the vast

:51:34.:51:39.

resources the images can draw on because whilst it might be

:51:39.:51:43.

administered separately it is part of one that stretches across the

:51:43.:51:47.

United Kingdom. Also, it is not just the opportunities which we depend

:51:47.:51:50.

upon to get jobs but the risk-sharing. The fact that we have

:51:50.:51:55.

an ageing population that is spread across the shoulders of 60 million,

:51:55.:51:59.

not 5 million. We have huge benefits from being able to share those risks

:51:59.:52:04.

if something goes wrong, as we have seen in the banking crisis. I have

:52:04.:52:06.

mentioned, there are very many powerful cases. We have one of the

:52:06.:52:12.

oldest economic, social and political unions and it works

:52:12.:52:15.

because there are strong ties and bonds between the two others. You

:52:15.:52:18.

asked for the positive case, there it is. I want one final point.

:52:18.:52:23.

Results this week revealed only 80% of people here think they are

:52:23.:52:29.

Scottish and British. That was quite a surprising result and perhaps bad

:52:29.:52:35.

news for your campaign. You may consider yourself to be Scottish and

:52:35.:52:39.

are now less Scottish than believing -- for believing we are better as

:52:39.:52:43.

part of the United Kingdom. This was a snapshot in 2011. You're talking

:52:43.:52:48.

about Paul's earlier, it is very interesting. I believe we can

:52:48.:52:52.

convince the majority of people that there is a strong and -- strong case

:52:52.:52:59.

for being Better Together as part of the United Kingdom. We will continue

:52:59.:53:03.

to do so and ask hard questions. Alistair Darling, thank you very

:53:03.:53:05.

much. The north-west of England is hosting

:53:05.:53:08.

this year's UK Conservative party conference. Thousands of Tories from

:53:08.:53:10.

across Britain are heading to Manchester and many from Scotland

:53:10.:53:13.

are heading south too. The party appears to be taking the referendum

:53:13.:53:16.

seriously, with Ruth Davidson being granted an absolutely plum slot this

:53:16.:53:26.

year. The PM arrived in Manchester

:53:26.:53:30.

yesterday evening. At this stage, David Cameron needs to start putting

:53:30.:53:35.

the trips an election footing for 2015. -- the troops. The Tories have

:53:35.:53:39.

a good news story to tell the economy as looks like there is

:53:39.:53:44.

turning. Labour perhaps have their own positive tale with a plan to

:53:44.:53:47.

freeze energy prices. It comes across as being on the side of the

:53:47.:53:53.

people. While the Conservatives might be regarded as a little

:53:53.:53:57.

distant. The Tories will want to ensure they side with ordinary folk.

:53:57.:54:01.

There is also a very clear message to voters in Scotland. All the facts

:54:01.:54:06.

and figures stack up for the UK but I want to say very clearly that we

:54:06.:54:13.

want you to say. We think that the United Kingdom is better off with

:54:13.:54:16.

Scotland insider, not just dropped on being better off. He was the man

:54:16.:54:22.

who enabled the referendum to happen. Although Mister Cameron

:54:22.:54:25.

doesn't want to be the Prime Minister who lets Scotland leave the

:54:25.:54:29.

UK on his watch. The Tories are hypersensitive to the needs of

:54:29.:54:34.

Scotland. The Strathclyde omission is looking at more powers for

:54:34.:54:37.

Holyrood. To be clear, the menu of what is on offer will be made after

:54:37.:54:43.

the referendum. All the party leaders, conservative, Liberal

:54:43.:54:47.

Democrat, leader, -- labour, have all said that there is an open

:54:47.:54:51.

discussion and debate about what powers can be devolved, how we get

:54:51.:54:56.

into an even better shape. Let's have that debate after discovering

:54:56.:55:01.

whether Scotland wants to stay or go. Ruth Davidson is the woman

:55:01.:55:04.

leading the party's charge in Scotland. The Tories claim they have

:55:04.:55:08.

been revitalised by the referendum campaign. A commitment to the fight

:55:08.:55:14.

ahead is evident from where they have decided to place her speech,

:55:14.:55:17.

right before the PM's Before we came on-air this morning, I caught up

:55:17.:55:20.

with the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson before she

:55:20.:55:22.

headed to conference. I began by asking her if the Tories

:55:22.:55:30.

now "got" Scotland. First of all, I don't accept the premise of your

:55:30.:55:34.

question. I am passionate about Scotland and the Conservatives that

:55:35.:55:37.

I know are passionate about Scotland and the United Kingdom. We have said

:55:37.:55:41.

that we want to take a full part in the campaign going forward. We are

:55:41.:55:45.

the most committed on the union side of any of the three men parties, as

:55:45.:55:50.

polling has shown. -- three main parties. We strongly believe that

:55:50.:55:55.

Scotland's best days are ahead of it, as part of the United Kingdom.

:55:55.:56:00.

Will then not BACs of unknown faces in the crowd? Not many Scottish

:56:00.:56:06.

Tories. On the contrary. We'll take a big contingent. If you're talking

:56:06.:56:10.

it elected Westminster MPs then we would like have more but our MSP

:56:10.:56:15.

group will be down. Over 100 councillors across Scotland, an

:56:15.:56:21.

activist based and over 1000 people have said that while they are not

:56:21.:56:24.

members of the Conservative party, they want to stand and fight with us

:56:24.:56:29.

on this issue. A big issue to Margaret Thatcher at the

:56:29.:56:33.

conference. If Scotland finally getting over her, do you think? Are

:56:33.:56:38.

you finally put in her memory to rest to help revitalise your party?

:56:38.:56:42.

If you are talking about Margaret Thatcher's popularity, good to

:56:42.:56:45.

remember that her general election in 1979 when she recorded a double

:56:45.:56:51.

the votes that Alex Salmond got in 2010 or 2011. She had a residence in

:56:52.:56:59.

Scotland but was very rising. Not just in Scotland but right across

:56:59.:57:03.

the UK. While there were many people that think, in fact, she has been

:57:03.:57:11.

voted Scotland's best and worst peacetime feminist by Scots. She

:57:11.:57:17.

does polarise. Not just by the contribution that she made, not just

:57:17.:57:20.

across the UK, but in terms of fighting the cold war, fighting for

:57:21.:57:24.

freedom. -- peacetime Prime Minister. It is right and proper

:57:25.:57:30.

that at the Conservative party conference, that we recognise her

:57:30.:57:35.

achievements. You are writing in one of the Sunday newspapers about the

:57:35.:57:39.

changing Conservative party. I have the toxic legacy, as many people

:57:39.:57:44.

have been putting it, is now over. -- perhaps the toxic legacy. I never

:57:44.:57:49.

called at that. Do you think you are now trying to get over that, to

:57:49.:57:54.

refresh the party? Are you trying to put that images? We are working hard

:57:54.:57:59.

in Scotland. After 1997, when we lost all of our MPs at Westminster,

:57:59.:58:03.

it was very difficult for the party, it was hard for us not to be trendy

:58:03.:58:07.

little bit and we perhaps did. We perhaps spent too long talking to

:58:07.:58:11.

ourselves and are not different people across the country. I am

:58:11.:58:14.

trying to change that. Working very hard to bring forward policies,

:58:14.:58:18.

bring forward people to generate policies that matter to them,

:58:18.:58:23.

perhaps not Conservatives. We are also changing the face of the

:58:23.:58:26.

Scottish Conservative party. We are attracting a large number of younger

:58:26.:58:31.

people, people in the 18-25 age group in our second best voting

:58:31.:58:36.

group. We are seeing a new generation of conservatives become

:58:36.:58:44.

elected. More than one third of our councillors in the 2012 election

:58:44.:58:47.

have never stood before, many in their 20s and 30s. We have a good

:58:47.:58:51.

young candidate at the more or less. You will see changes in the future.

:58:51.:58:56.

Lots of changes on the face of it but do you think it could still be

:58:56.:59:01.

regarded as the nasty party? In a new book, serialised in the Sunday

:59:01.:59:06.

Telegraph, David Cameron is quoted as talking about Same Sex Marriage

:59:06.:59:09.

Bill "if I had known what it was going to be like, I would not have

:59:09.:59:14.

done it. " Does that suggest that is the real face of the Conservative

:59:14.:59:19.

party question why absolutely not. I have had on relations with the prime

:59:19.:59:23.

ministers and he is 100% committed to Same Sex Marriage Bill stop he

:59:23.:59:26.

believes that love is love and commitment is commitment and that

:59:26.:59:30.

the time is right for people who love each other and are committed to

:59:30.:59:33.

have that recognised by the state and not have the Government tell

:59:33.:59:36.

them that their love is less valid than other people. He feels

:59:36.:59:40.

incredibly strongly about that and so dry. But Ed Miliband stole a real

:59:40.:59:45.

market on the Conservative party with his promise to freeze energy

:59:45.:59:52.

prices if he becomes PM. What can the Conservatives do? It looks like

:59:52.:59:57.

you are on the side of a vested interest and not of ordinary people.

:59:57.:00:03.

First of all, I think it was a headline grabber from Ed Miliband, I

:00:03.:00:06.

will give you that, but it started to fall apart is that as he said it.

:00:06.:00:11.

Not with ordinary people. Your own commentators have said so. If you're

:00:11.:00:16.

looking at how to be on the side of ordinary people, look at what we

:00:16.:00:21.

inherited and what a Conservative government has done. 1.4 million new

:00:21.:00:27.

private-sector jobs. 25 million people having their taxation cut.

:00:27.:00:30.

2.4 million taken out of tax altogether. That matters, not just

:00:30.:00:34.

because of the numbers but, because it is the best way to improve

:00:34.:00:39.

people's life chances, prosperity and opportunity, to make sure that

:00:39.:00:43.

they get a job and work. That those jobs are there and that they get to

:00:43.:00:48.

take, keep more of that money and run pocket. So this is the fight for

:00:48.:00:55.

more of -- for the 2015 election Mister Mark when it comes to the

:00:56.:00:59.

referendum, yours seem at the conference is why Britain is put

:00:59.:01:04.

together. Looking at the Scottish census result when most people see

:01:04.:01:07.

themselves as Scottish and not British, that is not good for the

:01:07.:01:10.

Conservatives, is it? I do not recognise how you have got from one

:01:10.:01:16.

to another because I feel Scottish, I would always say that I am

:01:16.:01:20.

Scottish first and British after. But that does not mean that I did

:01:20.:01:24.

not want to remain part of the United Kingdom. I think that is true

:01:24.:01:28.

for a number of Scots and if we are... And you are using research

:01:28.:01:33.

there, if you're looking at boat across the country, consistently, a

:01:33.:01:39.

number of Scots say they feel the same. There are 11 months to go

:01:39.:01:43.

until the referendum and we will fight for every vote. We will show

:01:43.:01:50.

why we are better off financially, have more stability, safer, but the

:01:50.:01:53.

opportunities that we have going forward are standing with our

:01:53.:01:57.

friends and neighbours in the other home countries. Let's look at what

:01:57.:02:00.

might be an offer after the referendum if there is a no sold.

:02:00.:02:06.

The Strathclyde commission will vote back. Will you give the Scottish

:02:06.:02:11.

people a real genuine offer about what might be available. -- if there

:02:11.:02:19.

is the no vote. What we have said and have been perfectly transparent

:02:19.:02:24.

from the beginning, we have asked Lord Strathclyde to go away with

:02:24.:02:26.

experts, real leaders in their field, not just in politics and how

:02:26.:02:33.

Westminster and Holyrood works, not just constitutional law, not just

:02:33.:02:36.

economics at business people and the sort of people for whom it is

:02:36.:02:40.

important that you have the constitutional right but it is what

:02:40.:02:43.

you do with it that counts. How do we make life better for ordinary

:02:43.:02:48.

Scots? How do we have devolution improve the life chances and job

:02:48.:02:52.

prospects of Scots? The only restriction is that I have given a

:02:52.:02:56.

Strathclyde commission and panel of experts is that they have to come

:02:56.:02:59.

back a good time before the referendum so that the people of

:02:59.:03:00.

Scotland can see what they come up referendum so that the people of

:03:00.:03:03.

with. I am not going to prejudge what the come back with something

:03:04.:03:07.

and I have not put any restrictions on what they look at. They can look

:03:07.:03:10.

at any of policy that they so wish that that will return back before

:03:10.:03:13.

the referendum so that people can see what is on the table.

:03:13.:03:15.

You're watching Sunday Politics Scotland from the BBC and the time

:03:15.:03:19.

is just after midday. In a moment, we'll be taking a look at the Week

:03:19.:03:23.

Ahead with our guests of the day - the blogger Kate Higgins and Richard

:03:23.:03:26.

Sullivan, Chair of the Glasgow Conservative Association. But first,

:03:26.:03:29.

let's cross to Graham Stewart for Reporting Scotland.

:03:29.:03:34.

Good afternoon. The flu vaccine is being offered for

:03:34.:03:38.

the first time to every child in Scotland, in the form of a nasal

:03:38.:03:42.

spray. It's part of the country's largest ever immunisation programme,

:03:42.:03:44.

which has been launched by First Minister Alex Salmond, who received

:03:44.:03:47.

the vaccine in a surgery in Aberdeenshire. A fifth of the

:03:47.:03:51.

Scottish population will be offered a free flu vaccine, including people

:03:51.:03:54.

aged over 65 and those with conditions that put them at greater

:03:54.:03:59.

risk. The First Minister is urging eligible Scots to get protected

:03:59.:04:03.

before the winter. A climber has died in Wester Ross.

:04:03.:04:06.

Around 1:45pm yesterday, the emergency services were called to a

:04:07.:04:10.

man who had collapsed in the Beinn Dearg hills. Attempts to revive him

:04:10.:04:17.

failed and he died. Next of kin are being informed.

:04:17.:04:28.

Now for a look at today's weather. A cracking afternoon of weather

:04:28.:04:32.

across the country, including those areas that had cloud and rain

:04:32.:04:35.

yesterday. Much better. There will be a bit of a breeze from the south

:04:35.:04:40.

east and certainly across eastern parts, more cloud. In that sunshine

:04:40.:04:46.

in the West, feeling warm. Even for the Northern Isles, after a damp,

:04:46.:04:51.

cloudy morning, improving the dry and bright conditions. Staying dry

:04:51.:04:55.

and settled into the season. That is the forecast for now.

:04:55.:05:00.

That is all for now. Thanks Graham. Now in a moment,

:05:00.:05:06.

we'll be discussing the big events coming up this week at Holyrood, but

:05:06.:05:08.

first, seven names will be in the election

:05:08.:05:24.

to replace the former MP. The Scottish and UK governments were set

:05:24.:05:32.

to agree an early decision. The two governments should strike a deal

:05:32.:05:36.

before Christmas. Supporters were clear about the consequences. MSPs

:05:36.:05:41.

at Holyrood discuss controversial plans to scrap the need for evidence

:05:41.:05:44.

to be backed up uncorroborated income rated court cases. Nearly two

:05:44.:05:52.

thirds of people in Scotland identify themselves as Scottish

:05:52.:05:55.

only, according to results from the latest census. It was the first

:05:55.:06:00.

survey to include a question on national identity. And a new shared

:06:00.:06:03.

equity scheme designed to help people get onto and up the housing

:06:03.:06:07.

ladder was unveiled by the Scottish Government. They said the scheme

:06:07.:06:12.

could be a game changing initiative for the industry. Now let's look at

:06:12.:06:19.

the big stories of the week and what's in store for the week ahead.

:06:19.:06:25.

Joining me now is the Burdz Eye View blogger Kate Higgins and Chairman of

:06:25.:06:29.

the Glasgow Conservative Association, Richard Sullivan.

:06:29.:06:39.

Thanks to joining me. First, let's look at it together. The Alistair

:06:39.:06:47.

Darling interview, this arguing going on about who will debate with

:06:47.:06:50.

whom, what do you make of what he had to say? Let's set out people 's

:06:50.:06:56.

rentals. A list that Darling is effectively a backbench opposition

:06:56.:07:01.

MP with too much time on his hand. Alex Salmond is the Democrat can the

:07:01.:07:04.

elected First Minister of Scotland. There is an issue about parity and

:07:04.:07:11.

respect. David Cameron is his equivalent in the UK in terms of

:07:11.:07:16.

being elected Prime Minister. There is no doubt that the debate should

:07:16.:07:19.

be between the two democratically elected leaders of Scotland and the

:07:19.:07:26.

UK. Why make it Scotland versus the UK, that is his point? That is what

:07:26.:07:32.

the debate could be seen as? The issue is that David Cameron is the

:07:32.:07:39.

issue of the UK -- promised of the UK and a supporter of the union.

:07:39.:07:48.

Alex Salmond is it critically elected leader -- the democratically

:07:48.:07:52.

elected leader of Scotland, that is who the debate should be between. I

:07:52.:08:01.

think the point made about McHattie parity is a good one. But I is

:08:01.:08:06.

essentially a debate between a Scot against another Scot. He is always

:08:07.:08:13.

telling the Prime Minister to keep out of Scotland 's business, so he

:08:13.:08:17.

really is just wanting to cherry pick as to when he wants to engage

:08:17.:08:20.

with the Prime Minister or not, which is wrong. Better to die --

:08:20.:08:26.

"Better Together" is led by Alistair Darling, I think he's the best

:08:26.:08:31.

person to abate against. But who does Alistair Darling represent? The

:08:31.:08:39.

same point as what was said about Alex Salmond presenting Scotland, he

:08:39.:08:42.

doesn't in terms of this debate, he represents the people who agree with

:08:42.:08:48.

him. Otherwise they would be 100 isn't agreement that Scotland should

:08:48.:08:52.

be independent. The same goes for Alistair Darling can he represent

:08:52.:08:57.

the Scots like me. But nobody elected Alistair Darling. The people

:08:57.:09:02.

elected Alex Salmond and the SNP to form the Scottish Government.

:09:02.:09:06.

Knowing full well that a referendum on independence was part of the

:09:06.:09:11.

platform. So they voted for the SNP and our First Minister to lead

:09:11.:09:14.

Scotland in that debate, nobody elected Alistair Darling into his

:09:14.:09:20.

position. What do you make about the more general debate, we have had the

:09:20.:09:24.

set piece interviews from Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, what

:09:24.:09:27.

about the debate going ahead for the year? I think it's really exciting,

:09:27.:09:33.

it is hotting up, we are off the presses and into the substance of

:09:33.:09:39.

the debate. And there are big issues to be debated, I found it helpful in

:09:39.:09:43.

terms of setting a deadline for when people need to put forward their

:09:43.:09:48.

options and their case to the people of Scotland so we all have time to

:09:48.:09:52.

do that. I have to say the Scottish Government is working to that

:09:52.:09:55.

timetable, it will publish its White Paper well before Christmas, when we

:09:55.:10:00.

get the options from the various parties, who knows, whether we get

:10:00.:10:06.

them before the referendum or not remains to be seen. A campaign that

:10:06.:10:11.

is too long, as Alistair Darling was saying? I think so, a lot of people

:10:11.:10:19.

are feeling the fatigue of this, but I think both parties have to up

:10:19.:10:22.

their game. I think there is a year to go, we are getting to the issues,

:10:22.:10:28.

I do a lot of the issues we have had so far, pensions, Europe, they need

:10:28.:10:33.

to be clearer and less duplicity between both groups. Because there

:10:33.:10:38.

is counter argument counterargument. I think it should be a more honest

:10:38.:10:45.

debate. Let's look at your party, you restore what of the Tory party.

:10:45.:10:50.

We have this interview with Ruth Davidson. The party...

:10:50.:10:59.

Do you agree? Yes, I spoke at a public meeting during the week where

:10:59.:11:07.

got a random applause for everything I set and the Labour candidate

:11:07.:11:13.

didn't, or indeed the nationalist. I do know that is my own charisma

:11:13.:11:20.

perhaps! But I have been a candidate at various elections since 2004 and

:11:20.:11:25.

the reception of the doors to buy have personally had has changed, it

:11:25.:11:31.

is warmer. What do you make of Ruth Davidson 's leadership? She able to

:11:31.:11:37.

shed the toxic brand? As it was regarded by many? I think one of the

:11:37.:11:43.

things that is positive is as Ruth says, they are bringing in younger

:11:43.:11:48.

people into politics. I might not agree with younger people supporting

:11:48.:11:51.

the Conservatives but more people in politics is a good thing. But she's

:11:51.:11:58.

up against it. She is detoxifying the brand but she has her UK

:11:58.:12:02.

counterparts coming out and taking us into legal battles to defend the

:12:02.:12:08.

bankers, you have the hated bedroom tax doing its worst in terms of

:12:08.:12:11.

hitting the most vulnerable in Scotland as well as other welfare

:12:11.:12:14.

reforms and you have also got news of the latest Tory donor to be mired

:12:14.:12:21.

in a city scandal. If that is the justification, she has her work cut

:12:21.:12:26.

out. One other story, a call for the shake-up of the Yes campaign, Blair

:12:26.:12:32.

Jenkins has been handed an almost impossible task, a quick reaction

:12:32.:12:40.

from you? It is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It is the

:12:40.:12:46.

product, not the way it is structured. Blair Jenkins, an

:12:46.:12:54.

impossible task? They say they have clearly defined goals and everything

:12:54.:12:57.

is where they want it to be. Yes Scotland has always been about a

:12:57.:13:02.

grassroots campaign, it is huge, it grows day by day. Margo should be

:13:02.:13:08.

listened to carefully, she has important things to say, what we

:13:08.:13:11.

need to do is make sure there is a role for all the fantastic people

:13:11.:13:15.

who are on the advisory board, because they are fantastic at taking

:13:15.:13:20.

the positive message of what independence could mean two Scots

:13:20.:13:24.

will stop I've heard them speaking at panels, I think there is a role

:13:24.:13:30.

for all of them to play. We will have to leave it there, thank you

:13:30.:13:34.

both very much. That's all from the us this week. I'll be back at the

:13:34.:13:38.

same time next week. Until then, goodbye.

:13:38.:13:41.

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