20/10/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


20/10/2013

The latest political news, interviews and debate in Scotland.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

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Alex Salmond says a vote for Scottish independence would be an

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"act of national self-belief". His deputy Nicola Sturgeon joins us live

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from the SNP conference in Perth. Is Whitehall meddling too much in

:00:49.:00:52.

local affairs? Communities Secretary Eric Pickles joins me for the Sunday

:00:53.:00:56.

Interview. Senior coppers face their own

:00:57.:00:58.

questions in Parliament this week over the Andrew Mitchell affair. So

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has plebgate damaged trust in the police? A former detective and a

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critic of the police go head to head.

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And on Sunday Politics Scotland: We'll be at Grangemouth for the

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latest in the oil refinery dispute. And we'll be in Perth, speaking to

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the First Minister the day after his leader's speech.

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All of that to come. And the Home Office minister sacked by Nick

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Clegg, who says his party is like a wonky shopping trolley, which keeps

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veering off to the left. He will join us live at noon. With me to

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unpack all of this, Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Iain Martin. They will be

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tweeting throughout the programme, using hashtag #bbcsp. It is the last

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day of the Scottish national party conference in Perth. We have

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discovered that Alex Salmond has been on the same diet as Beyonce.

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The SNP leader compared his attempts to lose weight with the campaign for

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independence - lots achieved so far, 20 more to do. In a moment, I will

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be joined by the deputy leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon. First,

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they report on the independence campaign. September 18 2014, the

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date of destiny for Scotland, the day when these campaigners hope its

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people will decide to vote yes for independence. In a recent poll, only

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14% said they knew enough to vote either way. That is unlikely to

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change any time soon. I think the Scottish people will be going to the

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polls next year still not knowing an awful lot of stuff which is

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important, because the outcome, in terms of taxation, debt, exactly

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what will happen to the allocation of assets between the two countries,

:02:59.:03:02.

will come about as a result of negotiation between a Scottish

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government and the UK Government. That is not stuff which will be

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known year. At the moment, polls suggest Scotland will decide to

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remain within the UK. A recent survey found that 44% of those

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questioned planned to vote no, 25% yes. But interestingly, the

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undecideds were at 31%, suggesting that Alex Salmond's task might be

:03:29.:03:33.

tough but not impossible. There are a number of reasons which make a

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vanilla campaign a good idea. It does not put off cautious voters, it

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allows for people to imagine their own version of what independence

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will be like, and crucially, it allows for the yes campaign to take

:03:47.:03:50.

advantage of any mistakes by the no campaign. In other words, the yes

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campaign are not out there with big ideas, they are just waiting for the

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no campaign to trip up. What we do know is that whatever happens next

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September, Scotland will be getting more power. From 2016, a separate

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income tax regime will come into force, giving the Scottish

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Parliament control over billions of pounds of revenue. What we do not

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know yet is how the alternative would pan out. There are issues

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which would be raised by independence, issues about how the

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national debt is allocated, what the currency will look like, how an

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independent Scotland would balance the books, because it would have a

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bigger job to do, even down the Whitehall government has to do.

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Those are really big issues, which a Scottish government would have to

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face, on top of whatever negotiation it had to have with the UK

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Government. The Scottish government's White Paper on

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independence, two to be published within weeks, should fill in some of

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the banks. But how Scotland votes in September may yet be determined by

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what it feels rather than what it knows. And joining me from Perth is

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Scotland's Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Nicola Sturgeon, we

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meet again! Hello, Andrew. Former leader of the SNP Gordon Wilson

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said, if this referendum fails, it will fail on the basis that people

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put their British identity ahead of their Scottish identity, so we have

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got to attack on the British identity - what does he mean? Gordon

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Wilson is a very respected, much loved former leader of the SNP. My

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view is that I do not think the independence referendum is really

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about identity. I am secure and proud of my Scottish identity, but

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this is a decision about where power best lies. Do decision-making powers

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best lie here in Scotland, with a government which is directly

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accountable to the people of Scotland, or does it best lie in

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Westminster, with governments which, very often, people in Scotland do

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not vote for? That is the issue at the heart of the campaign. Let me

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just clarify, you do not agree with him, that you need to go on the

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attack with regard to the British identity of Scottish people? No, I

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do not think we are required to attack British identity. It is

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absolutely compatible for somebody to feel a sense of British identity

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but still support Scottish independence, because Scottish

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independence is about a transfer of power. It is about good government,

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accountable government, ensuring that decisions are taking here in

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Scotland, by people who have got the biggest stake in getting those

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decisions right. I represent a constituency in the south side of

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Glasgow, and if you speak to many people in my constituency, if you

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ask them their national identity, many of them would say Irish,

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Pakistani, Indian, Polish, and many of them will vote yes next year

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because they understand the issue at stake, which is the issue of where

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decisions are best taken. It looks like you are changing tack ex-, you

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have realised the softly softly approach, of saying that actually,

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nothing much will change, we will still have the Queen, the currency,

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and all the rest of it, is moving over towards voting for a left-wing

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future for Scotland... Well, I know that what we are doing is pointing

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out is pointing out the choice between two futures. If we vote yes,

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we take our own future into our own hands. We make sure that for ever

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after, we have governments which will be in demented policies which

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we have voted for. If we do not become independent, then we continue

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to run the risk of having governments not only that we do not

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vote for, but often, that Scotland rejects. We are seeing the

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dismantling of our system of social security. There are politicians in

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all of the UK parties who are itching to cut Scotland's share of

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spending. So Scotland faces a choice of two futures, and it is right to

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point out the positive consequences of voting yes, but also the

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consequences of voting no. But you are promising to reverse benefit

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cuts and increase the minimum wage. You would renationalise the Royal

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Mail, though how you would do that nobody knows. You are promising to

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cut energy bills. These are the kind of promises that parties make in a

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general election campaign, not in a once in 300 years extra stench or

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choice. Is the future of Scotland really going to be decided on the

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size of the minimum wage? -- existential choice. A yes vote would

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be about bringing decision-making powers home, but we are also setting

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out some of the things an SNP government would do, if elected. A

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decision on what the first government of an independent

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Scotland would be would not be taken in the referendum, that decision

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would be taken in the 2016 election. And all of the parties will put

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forward their offers to the electorate. We are setting out some

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of the things which we think it is important to be prioritised. These

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are things which have a lot of support in Scotland. We see the pain

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being felt by people because of the rising cost of energy bills, there

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is widespread opposition to some of the welfare cuts. So, we are setting

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out the options which are open to Scotland, but only open to Scotland

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if we have the powers of independence. Given that you seem to

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be promising aid permanent socialist near Varna, if Scotland is

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independent, if you are right of centre in Scotland, and I understand

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that is a minority pursuit where you are, but it would be a big mistake

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to vote for independence, in that case, wouldn't it? No, because the

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whole point of independence is that people get the country they want,

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and the government a vote for. So, right of centre people should not

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vote for independence? No, because people who are of that political

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persuasion in Scotland get the opportunity to vote for parties

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which represent that persuasion, and if they can persuade a majority to

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vote likewise, then they will get a government which reflects that. That

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is the essence of independence. Right now, we have a Westminster

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government which most people in Scotland rejected at the last

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general election. That is hardly democratic. It is right and proper

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that the SNP, as the current government, points out the

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opportunities that would be opening up. Can I just clarify one thing,

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when we spoke on The Daily Politics earlier last week, you made it clear

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to me that Alex Salmond, we know he wants to debate with David Cameron,

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but you made it clear to me that he would debate with Alistair Darling

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as well, and Mr Carmichael... He made it clear yesterday. Well, he

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said to the BBC this morning that he would only debate with these people

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after he had had a debate with Mr Cameron, so who is right? I was

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making the point last week, and Alex Salmond was making it yesterday and

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this morning - let's have that agreement by David Cameron to come

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and debate with Alex Salmond, and then Alex Salmond, just like me,

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will debate with allcomers. So if he does not get the David Cameron

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debate, then he will not do the others, is that right? Let's focus

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on is wading David Cameron to do the right thing. So, in other words, he

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will not debate, yes or no? Members of the SNP government... We know

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that, but what about Alex Salmond? He said yesterday, we will debate

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with all sorts of people, including the people you have spoken about,

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but David Cameron should not be let off the hook just putting aside the

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independence issue, energy prices are now even playing into the SNP,

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so every political party has to do something about energy prices. Yes,

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it is clearly it is interesting is the difference between the SNP and

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the Labour approach. Ed Miliband electrified the party conference

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season when he said he would freeze energy prices for 20 months,

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seemingly having an amazing control over the energy market, where we

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know that essentially what pushes prices up the wholesale prices on

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world market. What Nicola Sturgeon is talking about is actually saying,

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this amount is added to your bills for green levies, and we are going

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to take them off your bills and they will be paid out of general taxation

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in an independent Scotland. That is a credible government, making a

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credible case, very different to what Labour is saying, although

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playing to the same agenda. So, Labour has got a populist policy,

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the SNP has also got a populist policy, the one group of people that

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do not have a decent response to this is the coalition? Exactly. What

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the SNP also have is a magic money pot, so that speech yesterday, you

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are right, it was very left wing, social democratic, but there was

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none of the icing like Labour has been talking about, with fiscal

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responsibility. I think that is the difference between the two. We know

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what the Tories would really like to do, all of these green levies which

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were put on our bills in the good times, when they were going to be

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the greenest party ever, the Tories would like to say, let's just wipe

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out some of them, put the rest on to some general government spending,

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but they have a problem, which is in the Department of Energy and Climate

:14:29.:14:34.

Change. Not only that, they really are stuck now. But there is

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something in the free schools debate this morning, the parties are now

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determined to send a message to their potential voters at the next

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election, that they are trying to fight their coalition partners. Do

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not expected any change in coalition policy or free schools policy before

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the election, but we can expect to hear the parties try to pretend that

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they are taking on their coalition partners. Mr Clegg has said, we

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would put this free schools policy into our manifesto, so is it not

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possible that the Tories will say, if you give us an overall majority,

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we will cut your electricity bill because we will get rid of these

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green levies? I think that is entirely possible. The Tories know

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that they are stuck on this, they do not have a response to Ed Miliband.

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How much should ministers in Whitehall medal in local decisions

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across England? In opposition, David Cameron said he wanted a fundamental

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shift of power from Whitehall to local people. He said, when one size

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fits all solution is... Eric Pickles described it as "an

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historic shift of power". But the Communitites and Local Government

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Secretary can't stop meddling. In the past few months Mr Pickles has

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tried to ban councils from using CCTV cameras and "spy cars" to fine

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motorists... Told councils how to act quicker to shut down illegal

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travellers' sites... Criticised councils who want to raise council

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tax... Insisted councils release land to residents hoping to build

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their own property... And stated new homes should have a special built in

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bin storage section. It seems not a week goes by without a policy

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announcement from the hyper active Mr Pickles. So is the government

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still committed to localism, or is it all about centralism now?

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And Communities Secretary Eric Pickles joins me now for the Sunday

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Interview. Welcome. Nice to be here. You said

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in July you were going to give town halls the power to wreak their local

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magic. So why issue diktats from Westminster? It is not about giving

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power to local councils, it is going beyond that to local people. If

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local councils refuse to open up their books, we have to go straight

:17:28.:17:32.

to local people. You have attacked councillors using so-called spy

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cameras to enforce parking rules. Why is that your business? Because

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there is an injustice taking place. You cannot use fines to raise money

:17:44.:17:49.

and that is plainly happening. If you get yourself a ticket from a

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CCTV, it could be days or weeks before that lands on your doorstep

:17:59.:18:02.

and you have virtually no possibility to be able to defend

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yourself. But just leave it to people to vote out the council then.

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We are trying to enforce the law and it clearly states that you cannot

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use parking fines in order to fund general rate. So why are you not

:18:19.:18:24.

taking them to court if they are breaking the law? There have been a

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number of court cases taken by local residents. I am there to stand by

:18:30.:18:38.

local residents. Your even trying to micromanage, allowing motorist 's to

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park for 15 minutes in local high street. Why is that your business?

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I'm trying to ensure that local authorities understand the

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importance of the town centre. If you look at all opinion polls, right

:18:55.:19:02.

now there is a five-minute leeway but there are many cases of people

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being jumped on by parking officials for quite trivial things. It is

:19:07.:19:13.

about saying, surely I can go and get a pint of milk. But a party that

:19:14.:19:18.

dines out on localism, that is a matter for local people, not the men

:19:19.:19:24.

in Whitehall. I have to be on the side of local people. That person

:19:25.:19:30.

who wants to go and get a pint of milk. Ultimately it is a matter for

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them. It is a matter for the council. But a little bit of

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criticism is not a bad thing. You have now declared war on the wheelie

:19:42.:19:46.

bin and suggested that new homes should have built in storage

:19:47.:19:51.

sections. You just cannot help meddling! I suppose that is

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possible. You are a meddler! I am in charge of building regulations and

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planning. So I may have some responsibility there. Another one,

:20:12.:20:18.

interfering in local planning decisions. A couple of places, you

:20:19.:20:28.

ruled in favour of developers. They want to build over 200 houses

:20:29.:20:33.

against the wishes of the parish and district councils. The local MP said

:20:34.:20:41.

the Secretary of State's decision runs roughshod over any concept of

:20:42.:20:49.

localism. Now I have to be a blushing violet because of course

:20:50.:20:52.

this is still potentially subject to judicial review. I have to act

:20:53.:21:07.

properly. And Apple went is entitled to justice. -- an applicant. A local

:21:08.:21:15.

authority has a duty to ensure that is adequate housing for people in

:21:16.:21:20.

their area. This was not a decision that I took as a personal decision,

:21:21.:21:26.

it was on the advice of an inspector. But you contradict what

:21:27.:21:33.

David Cameron himself said in 2012, he spoke about a vision where we

:21:34.:21:37.

give communities much more say and local control. People in villages

:21:38.:21:44.

fear big housing estates being plonked from above. You have just

:21:45.:21:53.

done exactly that. After a proper quasi judicial enquiry. What we have

:21:54.:22:01.

is planning framework which local people can decide where it goes. But

:22:02.:22:09.

they cannot say, nothing here. They have to have a five-year housing

:22:10.:22:14.

supply. Previous to this government decided exactly where houses would

:22:15.:22:18.

go, now local people can take the lead. Anna Silbury said because of

:22:19.:22:26.

the way your department rules, local authorities now have no alternative

:22:27.:22:31.

but to agree development on green belt land. I do not accept that. I

:22:32.:22:40.

think around Nottingham there are particular problems with regards to

:22:41.:22:48.

the green belt. The matter has been referred back.

:22:49.:22:59.

the green belt. The matter has been want to see development on the green

:23:00.:23:00.

belt but on Brownfield site. We want to see underused land. But you have

:23:01.:23:06.

to remember why we have the green belt. Not

:23:07.:23:13.

to remember why we have the green nice, it is their to prevent

:23:14.:23:13.

conurbations bumping into one another. Your

:23:14.:23:18.

conurbations bumping into one is vocal about the need to deal

:23:19.:23:23.

what he calls the historic under provision of housing. Shelter says

:23:24.:23:24.

we need 250,000 new homes per year. provision of housing. Shelter says

:23:25.:23:36.

Houston statistics are getting there, but nowhere near that. --

:23:37.:23:36.

housing. You cannot there, but nowhere near that. --

:23:37.:23:39.

localism agenda as well as meeting housing demand. I do not accept

:23:40.:23:49.

that. We inherited a position where the lowest level of building since

:23:50.:23:57.

the 1920s was in place. But it has steadily improved. It does take a

:23:58.:24:04.

while. You cannot have a localism agenda where people call the shots

:24:05.:24:07.

on housing as well as meeting the housing demand. People have a duty

:24:08.:24:13.

to ensure that future generations have somewhere to live. You cannot

:24:14.:24:19.

pull up the drawbridge. There is nothing incompatible between that

:24:20.:24:26.

and localism. Because someone has to be the voice of those people who are

:24:27.:24:31.

going to live there and to make sure there is the proper amount. Plans

:24:32.:24:38.

now exist for more than 150,000 homes to be built on protected land,

:24:39.:24:44.

including the green belt. That will mean riding over local concerns.

:24:45.:24:48.

Each application will be taken on its own merits. To suggest that

:24:49.:24:52.

there is an assault on the green belt is as far from the truth as you

:24:53.:24:58.

can imagine. Should Andrew Mitchell get his job back if the years

:24:59.:25:02.

exonerated? I would be honoured to sit with Andrew Mitchell in the

:25:03.:25:07.

Cabinet. I have always believed his version. But it is a matter for the

:25:08.:25:14.

Prime Minister who he has in government. He would have no problem

:25:15.:25:15.

in seeing him back in Cabinet? government. He would have no problem

:25:16.:25:23.

Absolutely not. Your mother answered Vulcan junior minister Nick balls

:25:24.:25:28.

said about the Royal Charter for the press, there's nothing we have done

:25:29.:25:34.

that troubles me as much as this. Is that your view? It is not. I accept

:25:35.:25:37.

the compromise agreement put together. If the press want to have

:25:38.:25:45.

an additional protection that the Royal Charter offers, then they can

:25:46.:25:50.

move into the system. But if they want to continue independently that

:25:51.:25:56.

is acceptable to me. But you previously echoed Thomas Jefferson,

:25:57.:26:03.

you said for a free society to operate the river of a free press

:26:04.:26:08.

has to flow without restriction. That is what I said at the time. We

:26:09.:26:16.

had to find a compromise. And that seems to me to be a better

:26:17.:26:22.

compromise. Let me just show you this little montage of pictures that

:26:23.:26:34.

we have. I could not be happier! Then you are in the Desert and there

:26:35.:26:43.

you are in San Francisco. Then you are in the casino. That is my

:26:44.:26:57.

personal favourite. These students took a cardboard cutout of you and

:26:58.:27:02.

took it round the world with them. Did you ever think you would become

:27:03.:27:09.

a student icon? I always felt secretly that that might happen one

:27:10.:27:14.

day. But it came earlier in my career than I thought! Why would

:27:15.:27:22.

they do that? I think they thought I could do with a bit of an airing! I

:27:23.:27:29.

went to Norfolk earlier, but that looks better. Thank you.

:27:30.:27:38.

On Wednesday senior police folk, including chief constables, will be

:27:39.:27:40.

questioned by MPs about what's become known as Plebgate. That's the

:27:41.:27:45.

incident in Downing Street last year which led to the resignation of the

:27:46.:27:48.

government chief whip Andrew Mitchell. Last week the Independent

:27:49.:27:50.

Police Complaints Commission questioned the "honesty and

:27:51.:27:52.

integrity" of police officers who met Mr Mitchell following the row.

:27:53.:27:57.

So do scandals like this affect public trust in the police? Here's

:27:58.:28:05.

Adam Fleming. It's a story of politics, the

:28:06.:28:10.

police, and CCTV. No, not Andrew Mitchell, but an MP's researcher

:28:11.:28:13.

called Alex Bryce and his partner Iain Feis.

:28:14.:28:20.

It started on a summer night in 2011. They'd been in Parliament.

:28:21.:28:24.

After a few words with a police officer, Ian was wrestled to the

:28:25.:28:28.

ground. Alex came to have a look and the same thing happened to him. Both

:28:29.:28:33.

were arrested and charged. These pictures emerged on day one of their

:28:34.:28:38.

trial. A trial that was halted because the police version of events

:28:39.:28:45.

just didn't match the footage. A lot of people with incidence like this

:28:46.:28:52.

which we experienced, people think there is no smoke without fire. So

:28:53.:28:56.

when we said we did nothing wrong, people would think police just would

:28:57.:29:03.

not do that. There is always that underlying view that some people

:29:04.:29:06.

have. I think that has been challenged and people who know us

:29:07.:29:12.

believe that. This year the Met apologised and paid compensation.

:29:13.:29:15.

And it's led to an unlikely sort of friendship. When the truth came out

:29:16.:29:21.

about the Andrew Mitchell story I actually sent him an e-mail to

:29:22.:29:25.

congratulate him about the truth coming out. He did send a reply

:29:26.:29:31.

acknowledging that. So where are we with THAT saga? Remember last

:29:32.:29:35.

September? Andrew Mitchell had a row with police at the gates of Downing

:29:36.:29:39.

Street about his bike. He lost his job as chief whip after accusations

:29:40.:29:42.

he called the officers plebs. That, he's always denied. This week the

:29:43.:29:48.

police watchdog the IPCC suggested that three officers may have lied

:29:49.:29:51.

about a meeting with him at the height of the scandal. Add that to

:29:52.:29:57.

the charge sheet of cases that haven't exactly flattered the

:29:58.:30:01.

police. Like the revelation of a cover up over Hillsborough. The

:30:02.:30:06.

prosecution of an officer from the Met over the death of Ian Tomlinson

:30:07.:30:11.

during protests in 2009. Along with news that undercover officers were

:30:12.:30:14.

told to smear the family of Stephen Lawrence. During Thursday's protest

:30:15.:30:20.

by teachers in Westminster the police operation was really, really

:30:21.:30:25.

relaxed. And recent scandals have done nothing to affect society's

:30:26.:30:29.

view of the boys and girls in blue - or should I say hi-vis. About 60% of

:30:30.:30:32.

the public say they trust the police. And that's not budged since

:30:33.:30:39.

pollsters started measuring it 30 years ago.

:30:40.:30:49.

Of course, in Britain, crime is down, so the perception might be

:30:50.:30:54.

that the police is doing a good job. And the rank-and-file recently

:30:55.:30:59.

seamed pretty chipper at this awards ceremony. Is it a good time to be a

:31:00.:31:04.

police officer? It is a good time. Despite all of the headlines? Still

:31:05.:31:11.

a good time. But speak to officers privately, and they say Plebgate is

:31:12.:31:15.

affecting how the public see them. Some of them also think

:31:16.:31:18.

politicians, the Tories especially, are enjoying that a little too much.

:31:19.:31:24.

Adam Fleming reporting there. Going head-to-head on this issue of trust

:31:25.:31:31.

in the police, a Sunday Mirror columnist and Peter Kirkham, former

:31:32.:31:37.

chief inspector. Peter Kirkham, let me come to you first. Plebgate, the

:31:38.:31:43.

cover-ups over John Charles De menace, the death of Ian Tomlinson,

:31:44.:31:49.

the industrial deception over Hillsborough, why is the culture of

:31:50.:31:54.

deceit so prevalent in the police? I do not agree there is a cultural

:31:55.:31:58.

deceit. These are all individual incidents which raise individual

:31:59.:32:03.

issues. I would suggest that your short headline summarising each of

:32:04.:32:06.

them has taken the most negative view of it. How can you be positive

:32:07.:32:15.

about the police's behaviour over Hillsborough? It remains to be seen

:32:16.:32:19.

with the inquiry but we are probably talking about a handful of senior

:32:20.:32:21.

officers, dealing with the paperwork. Well over 100 testimonies

:32:22.:32:32.

being doctored by the police. Well, those testimonies were true to start

:32:33.:32:36.

with, so the officers have told the truth, and they have been changed

:32:37.:32:41.

for some reason. By the police. By the police all lawyers we have got

:32:42.:32:46.

this thing that the police conflates everything. There are 43 forces,

:32:47.:32:52.

there is ACPO, there is the College Of Policing... People say it was a

:32:53.:33:00.

handful of police officers, it wasn't, it was six senior police

:33:01.:33:04.

officers who were alleged to have doctored 106 D4 statements. Even

:33:05.:33:08.

today we are hearing that more than 1000 officers are yet to be spoken

:33:09.:33:16.

to about Hillsborough. -- 164. Do we pretend that Hillsborough, and some

:33:17.:33:20.

of these examples, are the exception rather than the rule? What is the

:33:21.:33:27.

evidence that this is now prevalent in our police? I think there is a

:33:28.:33:32.

lot of evidence, and Plebgate is probably the thing which has

:33:33.:33:35.

clinched it. The public want to know, how deep does this girl? The

:33:36.:33:39.

audacity of a group of policemen who think they can set up a Cabinet

:33:40.:33:44.

minister. Five of those who were arrested and bailed still have not

:33:45.:33:49.

been charged. One of those officers actually wrote an e-mail pretending

:33:50.:33:52.

to be a member of the public. I do not see what the problem is in

:33:53.:33:57.

prosecuting them for that. Taking Plebgate, there are loads of

:33:58.:34:01.

different bits of that incident. There is the officers on duty in

:34:02.:34:04.

Downing Street, the issue of who leaked the story to the Sun, there

:34:05.:34:09.

are the officers who claim to have been there who would appear not to

:34:10.:34:13.

have been there, and then we have got the West Midlands meeting

:34:14.:34:16.

issue, which has sort of been resolved this week. There has been

:34:17.:34:24.

misconduct. But at a lower level. But it is the audacity of an

:34:25.:34:27.

organisation which thinks it can take on an elected minister and

:34:28.:34:33.

destroy him for their own political purposes, at a time when the

:34:34.:34:36.

Government are cutting please pay, when they are freezing their

:34:37.:34:40.

pensions and reducing their numbers. It looks very much to all of us, the

:34:41.:34:44.

public, that the police are at war with the government, and they are

:34:45.:34:47.

going to do anything they can to discredit the Government. The police

:34:48.:34:51.

would have every reason to be at war with the Government, because there

:34:52.:35:01.

if there is a crisis of trust... But it looks like they fitted up a

:35:02.:35:06.

Cabinet minister. That remains to be seen, it is being investigated. We

:35:07.:35:12.

know that those Birmingham officers, they totally misrepresented to, if

:35:13.:35:16.

not lied outright, about what was said. Again, that is a

:35:17.:35:21.

misrepresentation of what happened. If you actually go and look at what

:35:22.:35:24.

is said, it is plain from the context, they were saying, he has

:35:25.:35:31.

told us nothing new. But he had in the transcript, it said he hadn't.

:35:32.:35:37.

He would not admit he had used the word pleb. He apologised profusely,

:35:38.:35:43.

he said it would never happen again, he said many things that he had not

:35:44.:35:47.

said before. I agree, which is presumably... Thereon many police

:35:48.:35:53.

forces in this country, they have one of the toughest jobs in the

:35:54.:35:57.

land, they end up getting involved in almost anything which happens in

:35:58.:36:03.

society, and there are obviously a number of difficult examples, but

:36:04.:36:08.

what is the evidence that it is out of hand, other than just several bad

:36:09.:36:12.

apples? This bad apples argument, we people worry that if you can set up

:36:13.:36:55.

a Cabinet minister then you can set up anyone. I disagree. We are yet to

:36:56.:37:02.

year what has happened at the gates of Downing Street. What we know

:37:03.:37:09.

about the gates of Downing Street is that we were told by the police

:37:10.:37:15.

officers that passers-by had her this incredible row where

:37:16.:37:20.

Mitchell's file rant was appalling. We now know that is not true. We

:37:21.:37:26.

don't know that there was no one around. But it is clear that the

:37:27.:37:34.

Police Federation and elements within that jumped on this as a

:37:35.:37:43.

politically motivated campaign. I have always said that politics

:37:44.:37:46.

should be kept out of policing. I think this was just too overly

:37:47.:37:54.

political. Do we need a better way of monitoring the police Rune Master

:37:55.:38:07.

we need a more competent tarmac every police officer... Your Mac

:38:08.:38:20.

that is the police force your God. This It's approaching 11:40am.

:38:21.:38:28.

You're watching the Sunday Politics. Good morning and welcome to Sunday

:38:29.:38:32.

Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme: I'll be live in

:38:33.:38:34.

Grangemouth ahead of a planned demonstration - as the conflict

:38:35.:38:37.

continues between the employees and the management at the plant.

:38:38.:38:40.

Fresh from his leadership address to the SNP party conference, the First

:38:41.:38:43.

Minister Alex Salmond joins us live from Perth.

:38:44.:38:45.

And Andrew Carnegie, Robert the Bruce, Barbara Dickson and

:38:46.:38:48.

by-election upsets. That's what Dunfermline's famous for. So who

:38:49.:38:52.

will be crowned victorious on Thursday?

:38:53.:39:02.

A demonstration organised by the Unite union is due to get underway

:39:03.:39:05.

at Grangemouth this lunchtime. It's been a tit-for-tat affair this week.

:39:06.:39:09.

There had been a strike planned - it was called off. But the plant's

:39:10.:39:12.

operators Ineos said for safety reasons they had to close the

:39:13.:39:15.

operation down just in case. Talks have been held but there's no sign

:39:16.:39:19.

of a breakthrough in what has become a particularly bitter dispute. The

:39:20.:39:22.

next deadline is tomorrow night when staff are due to return letters the

:39:23.:39:26.

company has sent asking them to agree to new pay and pension

:39:27.:39:28.

conditions. The company's owners are due to discuss the outcome on

:39:29.:39:32.

Tuesday. Andrew Anderson is there for us now. Is what is the purpose

:39:33.:39:40.

of this demonstration? You described it as a bitter dispute. It is one of

:39:41.:39:44.

the biggest and most veteran disputes, I would suggest, in

:39:45.:39:49.

Scotland for the last 20 years. As you can see, workers are gathering

:39:50.:39:56.

the year for a rally due to start at 12 o'clock. As they see it, they are

:39:57.:40:02.

fighting for their livelihoods and the life of this plant. It is one of

:40:03.:40:06.

the biggest of its type in Europe and it has been in Grangemouth and

:40:07.:40:15.

grown over the past 90 years. It produces about 80% of the petrol

:40:16.:40:19.

that we buy in Scotland and about 10% of the oil that comes in from

:40:20.:40:26.

the North Sea. Management say it is losing ?10 million per month and

:40:27.:40:30.

they want workers to sign up to new pay and conditions. Those include an

:40:31.:40:35.

end to the final salary pension scheme, a freeze on conditions and

:40:36.:40:44.

shifting alliances. Unite have taken out full-page adverts in which they

:40:45.:40:48.

make a series of accusations against Ineos. They say they are holding the

:40:49.:40:54.

workers and Scotland to ransom. The stakes are very high. It is a bitter

:40:55.:41:01.

dispute and one that has political ramifications as well. It started

:41:02.:41:09.

over a dispute over a union official and now has become wider. How

:41:10.:41:13.

crucial will this week be for the plant? This is perhaps the most

:41:14.:41:19.

crucial week in the plant's 90 year history. The company had given the

:41:20.:41:26.

workers a deadline to sign up to this new pay and conditions package.

:41:27.:41:31.

They have bypassed the union and gone straight to the workforce and

:41:32.:41:36.

delivered papers to their homes at end of last week. They have been

:41:37.:41:41.

given until 6pm tomorrow to indicate whether they are willing to sign

:41:42.:41:43.

up. If they are not, he is saying that if they don't, the

:41:44.:42:20.

prospects for this plant are bleak and Ineos has already suggested it

:42:21.:42:26.

could close by 2017. If workers sign up, they are promising millions of

:42:27.:42:30.

pounds of investment to guarantee the long-term future.

:42:31.:42:38.

There was a rousing reception for Alex Salmond yesterday as he

:42:39.:42:40.

addressed the SNP faithful in Perth - their last full gathering before

:42:41.:42:43.

next year's independence referendum. The First Minister told delegates

:42:44.:42:46.

they were the independence generation and that a yes vote next

:42:47.:42:49.

year would be, for Scotland, "an act of national self-confidence and

:42:50.:42:52.

self-belief". He also confirmed we'll get the Scottish Government's

:42:53.:42:54.

prospectus for independence in their white paper on the 26th of November.

:42:55.:42:58.

Confidence is clearly high, yet polls seem to suggest that a

:42:59.:43:01.

majority of the public isn't yet caught up on that wave of

:43:02.:43:04.

enthusiasm. So what does Mr Salmond have to do to make his dreams a

:43:05.:43:08.

reality? From Perth, David Porter reports.

:43:09.:43:19.

It is a pretty apt question and one that is increasingly focusing minds.

:43:20.:43:27.

Where is the ship going to sail to? It will be more than a decade before

:43:28.:43:31.

these children can vote at next year their parents well. Alex Salmond

:43:32.:43:38.

relishes the role of captain. He likes to lead from the front. As the

:43:39.:43:44.

good ship independence sets sail, is Scotland bound for a new course or

:43:45.:43:53.

will the SNP's hopes founder. As he consults his political charts, a key

:43:54.:44:04.

theme is a major sing -- emerging. The key thing is who can be trusted

:44:05.:44:07.

to make the best decisions for Scotland? Our own Parliament or a

:44:08.:44:15.

Westminster system which barely represents the votes or values of

:44:16.:44:21.

the Scottish people? But he knows nothing in politics goes entirely to

:44:22.:44:25.

plan. The opinion polls are yet to move his way. Those close to him say

:44:26.:44:32.

he will leave nothing to chance. Here's a campaigner but a man with a

:44:33.:44:36.

clear vision of what Scotland should have. Yet to the opinion polls are

:44:37.:44:46.

still resolutely unfavourable. What the opinion polls tell you is about

:44:47.:44:51.

people whose default position is now. They just need to be persuaded.

:44:52.:44:59.

But there are a big group who wants to be persuaded. The job of the yes

:45:00.:45:05.

campaign is to persuade them over the next months. I think that is

:45:06.:45:15.

perfectly possible. He, too, will be the town that is set. Tone is very

:45:16.:45:25.

important. As we move towards the vote and the publication of the

:45:26.:45:30.

white paper, as people begin to engage in the arguments, what will

:45:31.:45:36.

independence look like? It is important for the yes campaign to

:45:37.:45:44.

focus on the positives. Be under no illusion, if we don't vote yes,

:45:45.:45:51.

Westminster will turn of the screw. Despite ramping up the rhetoric,

:45:52.:45:55.

senior figures insist they will remain positive. We are all Scots

:45:56.:46:03.

and people who live in Scotland. Everyone has a right to different

:46:04.:46:09.

views. So long as we remember that we are involved in a historic and

:46:10.:46:14.

exciting debate, I am sure we will have a yes vote and come out a bit

:46:15.:46:23.

stronger and more respectful. As a student of political history, Alex

:46:24.:46:25.

Salmond is aware of the importance of events. Developments at

:46:26.:46:31.

Grangemouth are just one example of how the agenda can change at a

:46:32.:46:39.

moment 's notice. It is a very difficult trick he has got to do. He

:46:40.:46:46.

has to persuade people of his vision but also reach people who are not

:46:47.:46:50.

associated with the yes campaign or the SNP. He must reach into the

:46:51.:46:57.

middle ground of politics and persuade people that it is a safe

:46:58.:47:00.

thing to do to go for a better future. But he must do that in a way

:47:01.:47:07.

that makes it not appear obsessed with the SNP or yes. Those on board

:47:08.:47:16.

now it won't be plain sailing. They insist the referendum can be won.

:47:17.:47:21.

Well, the First Minister Alex Salmond joins me now from the last

:47:22.:47:25.

day of the SNP conference. Good afternoon. Let's start with the

:47:26.:47:35.

situation in Grangemouth. Is Ineos holding the country to ransom?

:47:36.:47:44.

Sorry, I don't have a monitor here. On Grangemouth, I will concentrate

:47:45.:47:52.

absolutely on saying on tarmac her I believe we can get out of the

:47:53.:48:01.

impasse. This is what I think should happen. I think Unite should give a

:48:02.:48:09.

no strike without strings guarantee. Once that is done, Ineos should fire

:48:10.:48:15.

up the plant. Then consultations should take place against the

:48:16.:48:21.

background of a working plant, not a plant that is lying cold. Both union

:48:22.:48:29.

and management say they see a great future for the complex F investment

:48:30.:48:35.

comes in. If they both support that investment and build on these

:48:36.:48:41.

aspects of common ground and get the plant working again, then the other

:48:42.:48:48.

consultations can take place on a much better atmosphere than at

:48:49.:48:54.

present. Workers are told they have to make a decision by tomorrow.

:48:55.:48:59.

Would you ask the company to polls on that? This is so important. The

:49:00.:49:11.

key aspect that I can see is that if we have all of this taking place,

:49:12.:49:18.

the exchange of press releases and tweeting and arguments back and

:49:19.:49:24.

forward against an idle plant, that is the underlying difficulty for the

:49:25.:49:27.

company and for the workforce and for Scotland. Let's get the plant up

:49:28.:49:34.

and running so that everyone has a vested interest in coming to terms

:49:35.:49:38.

in a plant that is working as opposed to the present situation,

:49:39.:49:42.

which is wholly dangerous for the workforce and the Scottish economy.

:49:43.:49:49.

I grew up in Linlithgow. The fires burning in Grangemouth have been

:49:50.:49:52.

part of my life as long as I have been alive. These fires are no alt

:49:53.:50:06.

-- now out. In terms of the long-term future of the plant, when

:50:07.:50:12.

you have talked to Ineos, have you discussed nationalisation? I have

:50:13.:50:19.

discussed investment in the plant and what the Scottish Government

:50:20.:50:24.

could do to support it. There are also discussions with the government

:50:25.:50:33.

and the green investment bank. Is nationalisation and option? When I

:50:34.:50:42.

talked to Unite I asked them if they wanted the Scottish Government to be

:50:43.:50:46.

discussing it investment plan. They said yes. I am concentrating on

:50:47.:50:54.

getting the plant up and running and an investment to secure the plant's

:50:55.:51:01.

long-term future. The union and the company agree that Grangemouth has

:51:02.:51:05.

an exciting long-term future. Let's try to bring the parties together,

:51:06.:51:10.

get the plant up and running and look about that investment to secure

:51:11.:51:17.

its long-term future. You said yesterday that

:51:18.:51:22.

renationalisation of the Royal Mail is a priority for you and you have

:51:23.:51:28.

nationalised Prestwick Airport. Have you had any conversations about

:51:29.:51:30.

nationalising Grangemouth? If this was just a political interview and

:51:31.:51:38.

people's lives were at stake with one of our major industrial plants

:51:39.:51:42.

idle and cold at the moment, I would go into a whole range of politics,

:51:43.:51:46.

but I am trying to concentrate on what I believe will help, finding

:51:47.:51:53.

common ground. For example, I have seen the agreement that was almost

:51:54.:51:56.

made at ACAS in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. That

:51:57.:52:01.

agreement was within touching distance of being made. Despite

:52:02.:52:06.

everything that has been set on either side, I don't think we were

:52:07.:52:10.

very far from making an agreement last Wednesday morning, and

:52:11.:52:13.

therefore trying to get back into the situation where the plant is up

:52:14.:52:17.

and running and people can have these discussions in a more

:52:18.:52:21.

constructive and productive atmosphere seems to be a priority

:52:22.:52:26.

for the Scottish First Minister and the Scottish government at the

:52:27.:52:28.

present moment. I will not be deflected on that and I will not

:52:29.:52:32.

enter into aspects which would be controversial on either side. I am

:52:33.:52:35.

trying to build on the common ground for the sake of the plant and the

:52:36.:52:40.

workforce and for the sake of the Scottish economy. Let the Askew a

:52:41.:52:43.

bit about what you said in your speech yesterday -- let me ask you.

:52:44.:52:51.

How much detail will the White Paper gives on taxation, for instance? You

:52:52.:52:56.

support the aims of the Scottish Common Weal movement, the idea of

:52:57.:53:01.

following a Scandinavian or Nordic model on economic policies. Will we

:53:02.:53:06.

get greater levels of taxation in an independent Scotland, in the White

:53:07.:53:10.

Paper? The White Paper will lay out the basis of the independence

:53:11.:53:16.

settlement. That means what we'll take Scotland to between a yes vote

:53:17.:53:20.

in the referendum next year and the spring of 2016. This is

:53:21.:53:23.

fundamentally not about the policies of the SNP all of the Scottish First

:53:24.:53:27.

Minister, but about the democratic right of people in Scotland to

:53:28.:53:31.

choose a government of their own. The second point of the White Paper

:53:32.:53:36.

will lay out the vision of the SNP. That means, what we would do if we

:53:37.:53:40.

were chosen to be that government. As part of that, but we get taxation

:53:41.:53:46.

levels? As far as the aims of the Scottish Common Weal are concerned,

:53:47.:53:50.

it is to look and consider some of the item is being put forward as is

:53:51.:53:56.

right and proper, because they are interesting and substantial

:53:57.:53:58.

arguments. In terms of SNP policy, I don't think you have been short of

:53:59.:54:03.

SNP policies over the last few days, for example, Nicola Sturgeon's

:54:04.:54:08.

attack on food bills in Scotland, to take the necessary spending as far

:54:09.:54:15.

as energy efficiency is concerned. My clarion call yesterday to set a

:54:16.:54:22.

minimum wage at ?6 31 -- ?6.31 per hour... First minute, that is my

:54:23.:54:30.

point. You have given us a lot of spending commitments for an

:54:31.:54:35.

independent Scotland. People may well ask, how do we pay for that?

:54:36.:54:39.

Don't people deserve to know the answer to that question as part of

:54:40.:54:44.

the SNP's policies ahead of the referendum? The White Paper will not

:54:45.:54:48.

lack detail on the SNP's vision for an independent Scotland and this

:54:49.:54:52.

conference has not lacked detail on policies. The ask about

:54:53.:54:58.

affordability. May I remind you that in 2011-2012, the last year for

:54:59.:55:03.

which we have figures, there was a relatively better physical situation

:55:04.:55:11.

in Scotland comparatively to the UK -- fiscal situation. If you took it

:55:12.:55:22.

over five years, the average has been over ?2 billion better for

:55:23.:55:25.

Scotland than for the UK. Let's start from the acceptance that

:55:26.:55:29.

Scotland is in a stronger relative fiscal position than the UK as a

:55:30.:55:33.

whole, and it will be a -- a good basis from which to chart the

:55:34.:55:38.

policies for an independent Scotland. The key thing is how the

:55:39.:55:42.

policies must make the country more prosperous and just, and that is

:55:43.:55:45.

what the SNP have been outlining this week. Can I have some clarity

:55:46.:55:50.

on your earlier interview on the BBC this morning? You said that what you

:55:51.:55:54.

had disposed of the Prime Minister comedy would debate with all and

:55:55.:55:58.

sundry. Is that mean that if David Cameron continues with his position

:55:59.:56:02.

of saying no, that you are unlikely to debate with Alistair Carmichael,

:56:03.:56:06.

Darling and others? It was not meant to be a literal disposition! It was

:56:07.:56:11.

a figure of speech. I was saying that we should debate Prime Minister

:56:12.:56:15.

to First Minister first, and once we get that debate, and I think it must

:56:16.:56:18.

happen for reasons I outlined yesterday, on the basis that David

:56:19.:56:21.

Cameron is pulling the strings on this debate and therefore he has to

:56:22.:56:26.

take democratic accountability... If he continues to say no, what effect

:56:27.:56:32.

does that have? I intend, by one means or another, to tempt the Prime

:56:33.:56:37.

Minister into that television debate, because I think it is

:56:38.:56:42.

fundamental that it is Prime Minister to First Minister,

:56:43.:56:46.

different prospectors for the future of Scotland, it will then get into a

:56:47.:56:49.

debate of basically any other candidates that the no campaign care

:56:50.:56:58.

to field. But if he is tempted by your offer, will be other debates go

:56:59.:57:04.

ahead and molest? I think the task is to make sure that he cannot

:57:05.:57:08.

sustain that position. I did say there is an alternative, of course.

:57:09.:57:11.

I said he could either step up to the plate or get out of the debate.

:57:12.:57:16.

What he can't do is take the present position, which is that we have a

:57:17.:57:21.

fusillade of secretaries of State he wanted to take -- dictate the terms

:57:22.:57:29.

to Scotland but not subject themselves to democratic

:57:30.:57:31.

examination. It is a straight choice. Either step up to the plate

:57:32.:57:34.

as Prime Minister or agree to get out of the debate and that seems to

:57:35.:57:37.

be pretty fair. My preference, incidentally, would be to get him

:57:38.:57:42.

into a debate and let the? Prospectus for the future of this

:57:43.:57:47.

country be absolutely clear, First Minister of Scotland to Prime

:57:48.:57:50.

Minister of London. Thank you very much.

:57:51.:57:54.

The final few days of campaigning will take place in and around

:57:55.:57:57.

Dunfermline this heat ahead of Thursday's by-election. It was

:57:58.:58:01.

called after Bill Walker resigned following his conviction for

:58:02.:58:03.

domestic abuse. He was originally enacted as an SNP MSP in 2011 but

:58:04.:58:11.

latterly became an independent. Bread-and-butter issues have

:58:12.:58:14.

included schools services and hospital closures. It is a close

:58:15.:58:18.

thing between the SNP and the Labour Party as to -- as they take their

:58:19.:58:23.

campaigns to wet and windy doorsteps.

:58:24.:58:29.

The medieval central -- centre of Dunfermline, no stranger to

:58:30.:58:33.

political intrigue, once the seat of royal power. King Robert the Bruce

:58:34.:58:36.

is famous in the wider constituency. Who will emerge the

:58:37.:58:42.

glorious and he will be consigned to history? As the Lib Dems campaign in

:58:43.:58:46.

this by-election, they are encouraged by former glories. This

:58:47.:58:49.

place is known for its political upsets. Willie Rennie, the current

:58:50.:58:56.

leader, knocked at Labour in 2006. People are now coming back to was

:58:57.:58:59.

mainly because people remember the very hard-working team that they had

:59:00.:59:03.

here. Willie Rennie is a well cant face and name on the doorsteps you.

:59:04.:59:09.

People remember how hard he worked as an MSP. They want is that strong

:59:10.:59:25.

Lib Dem team back again. The Conservatives' James Beattie is a

:59:26.:59:28.

young entrepreneur with a cider making business. Pressing the

:59:29.:59:32.

economy forward as one of his aims. We want to make banks think about

:59:33.:59:41.

cheaper mortgages. That is a positive thing in an area like this

:59:42.:59:44.

where people aspire to buy their own home. We have seen an income tax for

:59:45.:59:49.

nearly 2.5 million people. David Cameron has announced a national

:59:50.:59:51.

insurance could for small businesses, which is great for group

:59:52.:59:56.

-- for Scottish businesses. And we want to cut income tax. West in

:59:57.:00:04.

Blair Hall, Labour's candidate is Kara Hilton. She has been criticised

:00:05.:00:07.

by the SNP in one of the key policy battle grounds. They claim she has

:00:08.:00:13.

distanced herself from the Labour school closure programme. That is

:00:14.:00:19.

critical -- hypocritical, she says. The reason for the by-election is

:00:20.:00:23.

also brought up. The only reason we are having this by-election in

:00:24.:00:27.

Dunfermline is because of Bill Walker and the fact that Alex

:00:28.:00:30.

Hammond and Nicola Sturgeon ignored all the warnings about this man.

:00:31.:00:35.

Dunfermline deserves better than a disgraced wife-beater as an MSP.

:00:36.:00:38.

This election gives us the opportunity to give Dunfermline and

:00:39.:00:45.

MSP to campaign on everyday issues that affect people here in our

:00:46.:00:50.

town. The SNP say they have apologised about Bill Walker and are

:00:51.:00:58.

focusing on other issues. Health is a key part of the SNP's campaign. We

:00:59.:01:03.

have put through a strong message that we are having a constructive

:01:04.:01:07.

dialogue with the chief executive. I'm pleased that I have already had

:01:08.:01:10.

a dialogue with him to work out a timetable for a diagnostic and

:01:11.:01:15.

treatment centre here at the Queen Margaret, including a midwife

:01:16.:01:22.

modernity led unit -- midwife led that -- maternity unit. Those are

:01:23.:01:28.

the challenges in this campaign and as the winner gets grim in

:01:29.:01:31.

Dunfermline, there are others hoping for a breakthrough. We are calling

:01:32.:01:35.

for there to be improved public transport serving the town on both

:01:36.:01:40.

in terms of regulation of buses and serving the Western villages as

:01:41.:01:44.

well, with people being forgotten about that. There are many people

:01:45.:01:48.

here who are open-minded and undecided and have not firmly come

:01:49.:01:52.

down on one side or the other, so they will listen and read my

:01:53.:01:56.

material. It is a hopeful sign. I will work with them to improve the

:01:57.:02:00.

state of concern them and Scotland. There should be a partnership

:02:01.:02:03.

between the government and the people. Back at the Abbey, the

:02:04.:02:07.

legend about Robert the Bruce and the spider's attempt to reach a Web

:02:08.:02:12.

is probably good advice for potential politicians. If at first

:02:13.:02:18.

you don't succeed, try again. We will have live overnight coverage

:02:19.:02:23.

of the counter this Thursday on BBC Two. I will speak to all of the

:02:24.:02:26.

candidates tomorrow night in a special Newsnight Scotland hustings

:02:27.:02:31.

programme, which starts at 10:30pm. For now, here is the Rune Master, as

:02:32.:02:35.

he was described in the Observer this morning, Professor John

:02:36.:02:38.

Curtice. What are the rooms are saying? The first thing to realise

:02:39.:02:44.

is this is a tough fight for the SNP. They only had a 2% lead over

:02:45.:02:48.

the Labour Party back in 2011 will stop in fact, even though they won

:02:49.:02:54.

the seat, this was the 13th lowest SNP share of the vote on the

:02:55.:02:58.

occasion that election. In truth, is a by-election, he constituency they

:02:59.:03:09.

won in 2011, between Labour and the Lib Dems. It is a tough fight. Is --

:03:10.:03:15.

governments usually don't do well in by-elections. The lowest swing was

:03:16.:03:30.

back in 2005 in Cathcart. Even that kind of swing, small blow out is --

:03:31.:03:37.

small though it is would be enough to unseat the SNP. Although they are

:03:38.:03:41.

still writing relatively high in the polls, they are not as high now as

:03:42.:03:47.

they were in 2011. It is difficult to see how the SNP are going to hang

:03:48.:03:51.

on, or to put it conversely, if they do manage to defend this

:03:52.:03:54.

by-election, I think they will be able to regard it as a stupendous

:03:55.:03:58.

achievement. What can a by-election which is about hospitals and schools

:03:59.:04:04.

and other issues, tell us about next year's independence referendum? In

:04:05.:04:09.

truth, not a great deal. This is a battle which primarily is being

:04:10.:04:12.

fought about local issues such as schools and hospitals and police

:04:13.:04:16.

stations in much the same way as the Aberdeen dons side by-election a

:04:17.:04:19.

couple of months ago was primarily about a particular roundabout and

:04:20.:04:24.

the state of Aberdeen's roads. There is a body of people out there who

:04:25.:04:28.

think the SNP are indeed doing a good job of running Scotland's

:04:29.:04:30.

government, he might still be willing to vote for them in a

:04:31.:04:34.

Scottish Parliament election, but may well not as yet be willing to

:04:35.:04:40.

vote yes in a referendum. Equally, people will often just use a

:04:41.:04:42.

by-election to say, hang on, not quite so happy with things and I am

:04:43.:04:48.

going to issue a word of caution to the incumbent government. Either

:04:49.:04:52.

way, these are not considerations that are relevant to the referendum.

:04:53.:04:56.

I don't think, unless we see something remarkably spectacular

:04:57.:05:06.

decline in the SNP vote, I think, in truth, we will probably say this is

:05:07.:05:11.

too much what you would expect for a government in mid-term and the

:05:12.:05:13.

political caravan will move on. Thank you very much.

:05:14.:05:17.

You are watching Sunday Politics Scotland from the BBC. Still to

:05:18.:05:22.

come, a look at the week ahead with the Guardian's Scotland

:05:23.:05:26.

correspondent Severin Carrell, and former SNP MSP and historian

:05:27.:05:29.

Christopher Harvie. First, the latest news from Reporting Scotland.

:05:30.:05:37.

Good afternoon. The First Minister has called for both sides in the

:05:38.:05:40.

Grangemouth dispute to meet on common ground so the plant can be

:05:41.:05:46.

"fired up again". This is the scene at the plant as a

:05:47.:05:50.

workers' rally gets underway. Ineos management has asked the Unite union

:05:51.:05:53.

not to call further industrial action this year. Unite said it

:05:54.:05:57.

would agree, but only if there were no cuts. Speaking on the programme,

:05:58.:06:00.

Mr Salmond said it was critical for Scotland that Grangemouth goes back

:06:01.:06:07.

on-line. This is what I think should happen. I think Unite should give a

:06:08.:06:16.

no strings, no strike guarantee. Then, Ineos should fire up the plant

:06:17.:06:22.

will stop and then consultations on terms and conditions should take

:06:23.:06:26.

place against the background of a working plant.

:06:27.:06:30.

The SNP conference in Perth will end this afternoon with a rally for

:06:31.:06:33.

independence. Our political editor Brian Taylor is at the city's

:06:34.:06:36.

Conference Hall. The conference will close this

:06:37.:06:39.

afternoon with a rally for independence. Although the entire

:06:40.:06:45.

event has been just that. There has been substance. The Justice

:06:46.:06:50.

Secretary stressed his determination to press ahead with reforms and

:06:51.:06:56.

mandatory demand for corroboration in the Scottish courts system. He

:06:57.:07:00.

says one in ten domestic abuse cases. The prosecuted because of it.

:07:01.:07:07.

Extra money was announced for college bursaries and student

:07:08.:07:11.

loans. An eight-year-old girl is being

:07:12.:07:13.

treated for serious facial injuries after being mauled by two American

:07:14.:07:16.

bulldogs in Glasgow. The incident happened in the Garthamlock area of

:07:17.:07:20.

the city on Friday evening. Police say the dogs have been seized and a

:07:21.:07:24.

man and a woman in their 30s have been charged under the Dangerous

:07:25.:07:25.

Dogs Act. Now, the weather. More sunshine today than recently.

:07:26.:07:40.

We still have persistent rain and strong winds overshadowed. -- over

:07:41.:07:52.

Shetland. There will be rain and possibly some hail.

:07:53.:08:00.

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

:08:01.:08:06.

this week, but first let's take a look back at the week in 60 seconds.

:08:07.:08:14.

A company pled guilty to health and safety failures after a double sank

:08:15.:08:27.

on the Clyde. Scottish gas customers face bigger bills than the rest of

:08:28.:08:30.

the UK after a decision by the owners to increase prices. Shares in

:08:31.:08:37.

Royal Mail went up in price on the company's first day of full

:08:38.:08:44.

trading. The government claims they are under price. Andy Murray

:08:45.:08:48.

received his OBE from Buckingham Palace. He said he was almost late

:08:49.:08:56.

due to a random drug test. I was just getting ready and they turned

:08:57.:09:00.

up. I was worried I would be late but to the taxi driver did a good

:09:01.:09:07.

job. Edinburgh zoo have confirmed they are no longer expecting a hand

:09:08.:09:19.

at birth. -- Panda. Now, the week ahead.

:09:20.:09:27.

And I'm joined this week by the historian, author and former SNP MSP

:09:28.:09:30.

Christopher Harvie. And from Perth - where he's been at the SNP

:09:31.:09:34.

conference for the last few days - the Scotland correspondent for the

:09:35.:09:37.

Guardian Severin Carrell. Let's start with the situation at

:09:38.:09:50.

Grangemouth. The headline is 24 hours to save Grangemouth. I think

:09:51.:09:58.

it is important and the policies we bring to their net are ones we have

:09:59.:10:06.

to think of very carefully. It may not be just a case of

:10:07.:10:10.

nationalisation. The Scottish Government should be prepared to go

:10:11.:10:24.

to accompany like Statoil. Rather than activities in the early 2000s

:10:25.:10:32.

which of land that is -- landed us with these companies. Alex Salmond

:10:33.:10:42.

is urging both sides to get back around the table. People are

:10:43.:10:49.

worried. It is a high-stakes game. The problem for the Scottish

:10:50.:10:56.

Government is that they are dealing with a company which behaves in a

:10:57.:11:01.

very, without being pejorative, aggressive way. It is very tough to

:11:02.:11:07.

deal with and it is certain about its capacity to pull the plug.

:11:08.:11:12.

Normally, the First Minister is in a position to help reconciliation.

:11:13.:11:18.

This time, he is dealing with one immovable object and a trade union

:11:19.:11:26.

fighting for its life. We had coverage of Alex Salmond's speech at

:11:27.:11:30.

the SNP conference. How do you rate what he said and how he has tried to

:11:31.:11:39.

galvanise support? I thought it was a very safe and solid speech. His

:11:40.:11:45.

colleagues are delighted and think it is one of the best he has given.

:11:46.:11:50.

I am not certain it will resonate much outside of the conference hall.

:11:51.:11:54.

It is not a speech which will win the referendum. The Sunday Times had

:11:55.:12:02.

no mention of the speech. There was a splash about Ineos and the speech

:12:03.:12:09.

got mentioned on page two. I think he is saving his energy and

:12:10.:12:13.

ammunition until the White Paper comes out. I think there is an

:12:14.:12:20.

element of holding out and looking for a more comprehensive approach. I

:12:21.:12:32.

think there should be a much stronger industrial policy,

:12:33.:12:36.

particularly about the North Sea and renewable energy. It is something

:12:37.:12:42.

not catered for by the government in the South. Do you think that level

:12:43.:12:46.

of detail will be an the White Paper? I think so, yes. He knows

:12:47.:12:56.

about those links to Europe and we have to realise that with a degree

:12:57.:13:06.

of Confed will power, sovereign power but with an agreement of

:13:07.:13:12.

elements we have in common with the South, that's give of sovereignty

:13:13.:13:17.

which allows us to make cooperative choices with European allies is

:13:18.:13:22.

something that much be -- must be pushed. Do you think that is what

:13:23.:13:32.

the White Paper will be about? The question of energy cooperation is

:13:33.:13:34.

essential to Alex Salmond's strategy. Some of the other elements

:13:35.:13:48.

were allowed to -- all you did to. There is a harmony in that way of

:13:49.:13:52.

approaching things. He does want to be able to see Scotland as a player

:13:53.:13:58.

on a much larger stage than just simply within the UK. Does that

:13:59.:14:05.

resonate with the public? I think so. Alistair Darling slams the HS2

:14:06.:14:14.

scheme. In other words, better together but further apart.

:14:15.:14:20.

That's all from the us this week. I'll be back at the same time next

:14:21.:14:23.

week. Until then, goodbye.

:14:24.:14:26.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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