03/11/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr are joined by Unite leader Len McCluskey, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad, and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.

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Welcome to the Sunday Politics. It began as lead gate and is now about


police. The watchdog is reopening an inquiry into three serving officers


who helped bring down a cabinet minister as their evidence is


branded a work of fiction. They tried to intimidate range modes


but in the end, it was the union that capitulated. I will ask about


Unite strong-arm tactics at Grangemouth and Falkirk. The preach


that women should be sidelined and argue that they are sexual objects


that should be covered up. Which one we will ask the Muslim Council of


Britain about the veil, attitudes towards women and what they are


doing to stop extremism in our midst. And here in Scotland:


Are the days of a reassuring figure behind the front counter at your


local police stations numbered? The pros and cons of modernising our


police service. its staff.


With me as always, the best and the brightest political panel, Helen


Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt who will be tweeting their


humiliating climb-down is what they got wrong last week in the


programme. If this can happen it to a Cabinet minister, what hope is


there for anyone else? Thus the Home Affairs Select Committee concluded


what many already thought about the treatment of Andrew Mitchell by


three self-styled PC plebs. They met him to clear the air over what did


or did not happen when he was prevented from ramming his bike


through the Downing Street gates. But the officers gave the media and


inaccurate account of that meeting. Two of them are even accused of


misleading the Commons committee. The Independent Police Complaints


Commission will now reopen there enquiry. This is not a story about


Andrew Mitchell, it is about the police. Keith Vaz is often in high


dudgeon and this is the highest dad and I have seen him in for some


time. They could be held for contempt of Parliament and


technically they could be sent to prison. It has blown up into an


enormous story. I do not know what is worse, the police trying to


stitch up a Cabinet member and try to mislead the media or the


incompetence they have done it from day one. That is quite good. I would


sleep more soundly at night if I knew the pleas were good at this. It


is the incompetence that shocks me. And this is just a sideshow. We are


still waiting on the main report as to what exactly happened outside


Downing Street gates. But that not will be good for the police either.


The file has gone from the Metropolitan police to the CPS, so


we are limited about what we can say. This is about the police


Federation. They were set up under statute in 1990 as a deal in which a


police would not go on strike. This is a political campaign to get a


Cabinet minister out and the legacy of this is the police Federation


will have to be reformed. We will keep an eye on it. They were Ed


Miliband's union backers, they swung the Labour leadership for him in


2010. Now the Unite union looks like his biggest headache. The Sunday


Times has seen extracts of the report into the alleged vote rigging


to select a Labour candidate in Falkirk. There was evidence of


coercion and Gregory as well as deliberate attempt to frustrate the


enquiry. We will be speaking to Len McCluskey, the Unite union's General


Secretary, in a moment. First out the saga began an almost ended up


with the loss of 800 jobs at a petrochemical plant in Grangemouth.


Unite were key players in the Grangemouth dispute and the union


headed by Len McCluskey has come under fire for its intimidator Tariq


tactics. In one instance demonstrators complete with an


inflatable rat picketed the home of a INEOS director. The police were


called. It was part of a strategy the union called leverage. But


turning up at people's houses seems to represent an escalation. At the


centre of the rout was Steve in deals -- Stephen Denes. INEOS


launched an investigation into him as he was suspected of using company


time to engineer the selection of labour's candidate in Falkirk. That


candidate was Karie Murphy, a friend of Len McCluskey. Stevie Deans


resigned last week and denies any wrongdoing, but it capped a dramatic


climb-down by Unite union. Len McCluskey joins me now. Thanks to


the Sunday Times we now know what is in this labour report on the Falkirk


vote rigging. Forgery, coercion, trickery, manipulation. You must be


ashamed of how Unite union behaved in Falkirk. The Sunday Times article


is lazy journalism. There is nothing new in the article. This was all


dealt with by the Labour Party in the summer. We rejected those


allegations then and we said we had done nothing wrong and both the


Labour Party and the police in Scotland indicated there had been no


wrongdoing. The report itself says you were trying to thwart the


investigation. First you tried to fix the selection of a candidate to


get your woman in and then you thwarted the investigation into the


dirty deeds. The reality is the Labour Party report was deeply


flawed. The Labour Party then instructed a solicitor, a lawyer, to


do an in-depth investigation and during that investigation they got


to the bottom of what had happened and they decided there was no


wrongdoing whatsoever. At the time I was so confident we had done


nothing, I called for an independent enquiry. They were forced to


conclude there was no wrongdoing because the people who originally


complained changed their evidence and we now know they did so because


Unite union officials helped them to rewrite their retraction and Stevie


Deans approved it. That is not true. We have had 1000 e-mails thrown into


the public arena and what is that all about? Who is leaking this? They


showed the Unite union was rewriting the retractions. This interview


would go a lot better if you are allowed me to finish the question


that you asked. These e-mails were put into the public arena by the PR


company from INEOS. Why are they doing this? The truth of the matter


is that all of the investigations that took place demonstrate there


was nothing to answer. This idea that the Unite union has rewritten


and the evidence from the families has been withdrawn, the families are


a part of Stevie deems' family. They clarified the position. Do you deny


that union officials were involved in the retractions? I deny it


completely. This is important. Independent solicitors to witness


statements from the family and they are the ones that were influencing


the Labour Party with the position is clarified and there is no case to


answer. Do you deny Stevie deems saw their retractions? It is his family.


So you do not deny it? It is his family. This is an ordinary, decent


family who were faced with the full weight of the pleas, a forensic


solicitor. Of course they spoke to Stevie Deans. This whole thing is a


cesspit. Does it not need an independent investigation? This is a


trap being laid by Tory Central office. They are making all the


demands. The media, the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, the Conservative


mouthpiece, they are laying tracks for Ed Miliband and Ed Miliband


should not fall into them. Since when did it become part of an


industrial dispute to send mobs to the home of company families. This


is a legitimate form of protest and it is a silent protest. We believe


if faceless directors are making decisions that cripple communities,


they cannot expect to simply drift back to their own leafy suburbia and


not be countable. This is silent protest. It is lawful. It may be


silent in Grangemouth, but it was not silent elsewhere. You went with


a giant rat, loud-hailers telling everybody the neighbour was evil.


No, we did not. You had loud-hailers, you even encouraged


passing children in Grangemouth to join in. That is nonsense. Look at


the rat. The reality is the Grangemouth community was going to


be decimated, Grangemouth was going to become a ghost town. I reject


totally this idea there were loud-hailers and children involved.


That is a lie perpetrated by the Daily Mail. But you have used these


tactics in other disputes. We have used the tactics in other disputes,


but we have not used loud-hailers at people's homes. Because the labour


laws are so restrictive we have to look at every available means that


we can protest. It is an outrage, an absolute outrage, that this is


happening to British workers in the 21st-century. It could not happen


elsewhere. Is not intimidation the wider hallmark of your union? You


were quoted as saying to do whatever it takes during your attempts to


take over the Labour Falkirk constituency. You were instructing


to dig out the nasty stuff on your opponents. That is not true. Let's


see these e-mails? This is a con trick. Nobody is looking to dig


out... This is the words of your legal services advisor. Unite has


tried to instigate a revival of trade union values within the Labour


Party. That is what Ed Miliband wanted us to do. As soon as we


started to be in any way ineffective, there were screams and


howls of derision. When the company started to investigate Stevie Deans,


your friend, your campaign manager, that he was using company time to


moonlight on the job, you called INEOS and said unless you stop the


investigation we will bring Grangemouth to a standstill. I never


said that at all. You brought it to a standstill. We never brought it to


a standstill, the company did. Who says that I said that we would bring


it to a standstill? You have read it in the newspapers. You should not


believe everything. I did not make that threat to the management. You


carried the threat out. You instigated an overtime ban and a


work to rule. And that is what Grangemouth to a standstill because


the company decided to close the petrochemical site down. Because


Stevie Deans was suspended due introduced industrial action? Our


members in Grangemouth felt he was being unfairly treated. In the end


you're grandstanding almost cost Scotland is most important


industrial facility. The day was saved by your total capitulation.


Grandstanding, capitulation and humiliation are grand phrases. There


is nothing about capitulation. Len McCluskey did not wake up one day


and decide to have a dispute with INEOS. The workers in that factory


democratically elect their shop stewards to represent them and to


express to management their concerns and their views. That is what


happened with INEOS. Jack Straw has condemned your union's handling of


Grangemouth as a catastrophe. Have you considered your position? Jack


Straw and others in the Labour Party, you have to ask them what


their agenda is. I am not interested in what he says. The truth of the


matter is we responded to the requirements and needs of our


members. At a mass meeting last Monday 100% supported their shop


stewards and their union. We will continue to stand shoulder to


shoulder with our members when they are faced with difficult situations.


You have lost all the union rights. You have had to agree to a no strike


rule, you have lost pension rights. We have not lost rights at all, we


are still working with the company to implement its survival plan. The


Prime Minister is always attacking unions and just lately he has taken


to praising the automotive industry. Jaguar Land Rover,


Foxhall, BMW at Cowley, they are all Unite union members were the shop


stewards are engaged positively to implement survival plans and to make


a success for the company. That is what we do, but by the same token we


stand shoulder to shoulder with our members who are in struggle and we


will always do that and we will not be cowed by media attacks on us. Is


your leadership not proving to be as disastrous for the members as Arthur


Scargill was for the NUM? My membership is growing. I am


accountable to my members, two are executive, and the one thing they


will know is that when they want me standing shoulder to shoulder with


them when they have a problem, I will be there, despite the


disgraceful attacks launched on us by the media.


"A country ready to welcome your investment which values your


friendship and will never exclude anyone because of their race,


religion, colour or creed." The words of the Prime minister at the


World Islamic Economic Forum which was hosted for the first time in


London this week. The PM's warm words are sure to be welcomed by


British Muslims who have endured a spate of negative headlines. There's


been the controversy over the wearing of the veil, attitudes to


women, and the radicalisation of some young British Muslims. In a


moment I'll be talking to the Secretary General of the Muslim


Council of Britain, Farooq Murad. First - here's Giles Dilnot. The


call to Friday prayers at the east London Mosque which has strong links


with the Muslim Council of Britain, one of the more vocal groups amongst


British Muslims. Despite the fact it frequently happens, it is neither


helpful nor accurate to describe the British Muslim community. There are


so many different sects, traditions, cultures and


nationalities, it is more accurate to describe the British Muslim


communities, but there is one question being put to them - are


they doing enough internally to address some challenging issues? Are


they willing to confront radicalisation, attitudes to


non-muslins, two women, and cases of sexual exploitation in a meaningful


way? A number of them say no, not nearly enough. This former jihad de


has spent ten years telling young Muslim teenagers how they can reject


extremist radicalisation, using Outward Bound courses and community


work, but he and others doing this work thing -- think some elders are


failing the youngsters. This has been going on for decades, one


figures -- thing is said in public to please people but in private


something very different is being said and the messages are being


confused. Some of the young people, it pushes them further into a space


where they are vulnerable for radical recruiters. For many Muslim


youngsters, life is about living 1's faith within an increasingly secular


society, a struggle not helped if rigid interpretations of the Koran


are being preached, say some sectors. Some practices often don't


make sense in 21st-century Britain, and you are perhaps creating


obstacles if you stick to those and it is perhaps better to let go of


those cultural problems, especially when they need to clear injustices


like forced marriage, reticence to talk about grooming for example, or


discrimination against women. There is a long list but I am very clear


that in fact the bad Muslim is the one who sticks to unflinching,


narrow dogmatic fundamentalist perception of religion. One issue


often focused on is the wearing of minicab. Polling suggests 80% of


Britons would favour a ban in public places. -- the niqab. Many people


don't seem to recognise the legacy of the niqab. Many people preach


that women should be sidelined and that they are sexual objects that


should be covered up and the preservation of morality falls on


their shoulders. The Muslim Council of Britain recently got praise for


holding a conference on combating sexual exploitation. In the wake of


abuse cases that had involved predominantly Pakistani men. For one


man who has followed the story for some years, the Muslim Council of


Britain needs to do much more. We need to get along together and if


things like attitudes towards the normal slim girl in stark contrast


to the expression of honour and chastity of the Muslim girl, your


sister or daughter, are such that actions that would be an fought off


with a slim girl becomes permissible with a white girl, then we are all


in trouble. To some, attitudes to women are not limited to sexual


interactions at the very structures of life in Muslim communities and


indeed the Muslim Council of Britain itself. I would like to ask the


Muslim Council of Britain what they are doing about the fact that very


few mosques give voices to are doing about the fact that very


the fact that someone women are experiencing female genital


mutilation and forced marriages, what about the women who are getting


married and their marriages are not being registered and they are being


left homeless and denied maintenance rights, what about the fact there


are sharia rights that have been found to be discriminating against


women, and the fact there are men in this country who continue to hold


misogynistic views about women, what are you doing? The occasional press


release will not solve this problem of a deeply patriarchal community.


That all of these issues can be exploited to the point of Islam


phobia is not doubted, but many Muslims feel that unless the


communities do tackle this openly, a big cultural gap will exist between


the two. And the Secretary General of the


Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad, joins me now. One visible


sign that sets muslins aside is the veils that cover women's faces. Do


you think it makes them impossible to be part of mainstream society?


The niqab is not an obligatory requirement. But do you accept that


those who wear it are cutting themselves off from mainstream


society? Some people do, and whilst wearing niqab, some of them are


working in various walks of life successfully and it is seen as a


faith requirement, but it is a red herring in the sense that it applies


to such a small number of Muslim girls. For many Muslim preachers,


isn't separation precisely the point of the niqab? Certainly not, if you


look at the Muslim women in the public sphere, we have many very


successful women. But not the ones who are veiled. Not in the public


arena as such, but the veil is a practice which is practised by a


very small number. Do you favour it? I personally think it is not a


requirement. But do you think women should wear the veil? I think it is


wrong to force women to wear the veil. I asked if in your opinion


women should wear the veil? It is important not to force women to wear


the veil. Should they of their free choice where the veil? A lot of


individuals do things out of their free choice which I do not approve


of, I don't think it is conducive it helps their cause, but I do not have


the right to take their choice away from them. I am still unsure if you


think it is a good thing or a bad thing. Are not many Muslim women in


this country being forced by Muslim preachers and often their male


relations who want to keep Muslim women their place? As I said, it is


wrong for anyone to force Muslim women. But how would we ever know in


a family if a woman was being forced? Exactly, we don't know what


is going on in people 's homes and what pressure is being applied. I


want you to look at this picture, very popular on Islamic websites,


and it shows the women who is wearing the niqab having a straight


route to heaven, and the other Muslim woman dressed in western gear


condemned to hell. Do you consider that a proper message for Muslim


women? Not at all, I don't. So any Islamic websites in Britain... The


Muslim Council of Britain is an organisation of five affiliates from


across the country and this is not coming from any of them. As I said,


those minority views propagated by individuals should not be used to


represent Muslim community. So that would not have the support of the


Muslim Council of Britain? It would not have the support. What about the


Muslim free school that requires children as young as 11 to wear a


black veil outside of school? Do you agree with that? I am not sure


exactly what the policy is... I have just told you, do you agree that


girls as young as 11 should wear a black burka outside of school? I


don't think it should be imposed on anybody. But this is the desired


dress School of the Muslim females. I am asking for your view. I said it


at the beginning that I do not think it should be imposed. Would you send


your daughter to a school that would wear a black burka at the age of 11?


Would you? No. It seems that some muslins are determined to segregate


young Muslim girls right from the start to very early from society. It


is not their segregation as such, I would say that there are faith


schools, if you look at an Islamic girls school in Blackburn in a


traditional setting, it has come the top of the league table this year in


the secondary school league tables. But it doesn't make 11-year-olds


wear black burkas. Many of those girls go on to have a successful


career. Not wearing black burkas. I am sure there are examples of women


who do have successful careers. There is a very conservative


movement from the continent on Islam, and the issue supposedly


based on Islamic law on their website. Here is one of their recent


judgements. The female is encouraged to remain within the confines of her


home as much as possible, she should not come out of the home without


need and necessity. What do you think of that? We need to say the


whole context of that quote. They are saying they should stay at home


as much as possible, do you agree with that? I see many Muslim women


who are walking about... But this is what the mosque is recommending


women should do. The practice is quite the contrary. Let me show you


another one. Another Fatwa. Do you agree with that? These have been


picked out from material dating back to different cultural settings and


in practice they are not applied. This is advice being given as we


speak. This is not being practised. Do you agree with it? No, not at


all. These are from the DL Monday mosques, how come 72 of these


mosques are affiliated to your counsel? There may be publications


from one of their scholars, but they have been written in countries


abroad and translated. This is advice being given to young women


now. They are affiliated to the Muslim Council of Britain. Do you


ever speak to them about that? The Muslim Council is a very broad


organisation. We are working on lots of common issues to create a


community which positively integrates. Did you ever speak to


them to say this is not appropriate for British Muslims? There may be


certain ad buys and publications available, but people make their


choices. So it is OK for your organisation to issue things like


that? Many of these things will fall under scrutiny and we need to create


that. Why do only 26% of British mosques have facilities for women?


If you go back to the requirement of prayer, it was not obligatory for


women to come to the masks to prayer. When a poorer community


began putting up mosques at the very beginning in terraced houses... Did


you have a policy to encourage them? Is it on your website? It is in our


practices that 20% of the council have to be female. Coming out of


this movement there is a conscious stream of superiority between


Muslims and non-Muslims. Look at this quote. He is a well-known


picture in this country. That is what he wants to stop. I


disagree with that. We believe we live in this society and Muslims in


any society of the world, and they have historically lived as


minorities in many countries... You would this associate yourself from


that? Why do you allow people like that to be affiliated to you? The


requirement is for any organisation to be affiliated is that they are


bound by the Charity commission's rules and regulations. We only


accept those who are under the law of this country. This is a matter of


taste. Let me move on to a bigger issue.


The Muslim Council of Britain never signed it. You signed it. A member


signed it and in the mainstream media defended his position. So you


have this associated yourself? We did. What is wrong with that? I am


not sure about the Istanbul declaration because we'd


disassociated ourselves on the basis... It is associated yourself


before reading it? We did not sign it. You have no credit? Edgar Wright


I have read it but I cannot recall completely all of the aspects. -- I


have read it. At the time, in the national newspapers and media, there


was a discussion being made and the person who signed also highlighted


and said that that was not what was meant. For how long has your


organisation this associated itself from the Istanbul decoration


question from day one. It could hardly be from day one. We never


signed it. The East London Mosque which you personally and the MCB


closely associated with is also the venue for a number of extremist


speakers and speakers who is both extremist positions. This year you


had was hailed as the gritters of deeds. There was also a presentation


by somebody described as an Al-Qaeda supporter. Another had described


Christians and Jews as Bill. You have had described Christians and


Jews as Bill. You have had a supporter of the Taliban there. Why


do you do nothing to stop extremism at this Mosque with which you are


associated with? We have no trust for rhetoric which condones or


supports violence or extremism. We have issued guidelines and the


mosque itself is a registered charity which has its own rules and


regulations and procedures but it's a very large mosque and lots of


organisations and come and hold gatherings. They rent out the


facilities. The mosque have done on... You were prepared to speak


alongside a man who saluted suicide bombers and said that 9/11 was not


all summer, it was a conspiracy. I do not think I shared a artform. --


a platform. There are different organisations holding lots of


different conferences here. Why did you agree? I do not agree with that


particular. I comes with the reject. I completely reject that view. I


completely reject that view. My final question is the attitude to


women, the alliance with the most fundamentalist of Islamic mosques,


the toleration of intolerant views, a willingness for you to be counted


among them, why should anybody of goodwill, either a Muslim or a


non-Muslim, regard organisation as a force for good? It is an


organisation which represents all different organisations which are


affiliates and a cross-section of the Muslim unity. What you have done


is to give the efforts of certain individual views, not the views of


affiliates. -- Muslim community. It would be unfair to represent MCB's


you with those. The work that we do is quite clear and is there a


website. They are all associated with you but we have to leave it


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up on the


programme: Police Scotland want to modernise


the service, which means the days of the front desk are numbered. But


with recorded crime down, are they actually on the right path?


How many do you get a day? We're talking nuisance calls - and what's


being done to free up your phone lines from cold callers. I'm just


quite rude to people when they get through to me because I don't think


they should be doing that. And could trying to impose terms


slow down an independent Scotland's bid to become a member of the EU?


We'll get an inside view from the latest member state, Croatia.


When were you last at a public counter in a police station? Police


Scotland say they need to modernise the service and shutting 65 of what


they say are little-used counters will help them make efficiency


savings of more than ?4 million, a dent in the ?64 million budget


shortfall. Senior officers knew it would be a controversial move, but


as Andrew Kerr reports, there has been a real backlash against the


proposal. It is part of the folklore we


associate with the police, the jolly sergeant behind the counter. Times


have changed and it appears front desks are a thing of the past, with


few people using them. This is one place where the counter could close.


This office has been here for as long as I can remember. I am 48 and


I remember being here as a child. It is another step in the wrong


direction. I believe we have lost our local inspector as well. We are


dealt with from six miles away and it is a slippery slope. There are


concerns about the new centralised nature of Police Scotland. We are


here at the Glasgow policeman see, celebrating the city of Glasgow


police, established in 1800, the first force in Britain. -- the


Glasgow Police Museum. What about the people that work behind these


counters? There are concerns that they could be forced into voluntary


redundancy. The support staff are going to be losing their jobs


because of these proposals, that is a concern. One of the biggest


problem is that we have is that the Scottish Police Authority have


allowed the Chief Constable go out to consultation but not to


scrutinise what the outcome of that is going to be. The outcome could be


the closure of 65 public counters and reduced opening times at others.


The police review the service but the Conservative Leader said the


review was based on flawed data. Liberal share concerns. Police say


they have consulted widely. -- the Liberal Democrats share concerns.


Police urged people to keep -- a report urged people to keep well


used counters open. They say this is all part of the modernisation of the


service. We need to look at the demand, see whether public needed


access and then come up with a system that matched demand


accordingly. If you look back over the first six or seven months of


Police Scotland, the early success we have had is wonderful.


Anti-social behaviour is down. Serious violence is down. Robbery is


down. But we are not complacent. We still want to do even better. The


First Minister blame Westminster cuts and said he was putting


resources into the front line at a time when recorded crime is at a 40


year low. The Scottish police iteration take a pragmatic


approach. -- the Scottish police Federation. We have to take on some


massive challenges. If we look at the closure of counters, I would


oppose that. That is a populous thing to do but it does not help


reality. This has come at a difficult time in the short life of


Police Scotland. It has raised real concerns about local accountability


and centralisation. Joining me now in the studio,


Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson and former police


officer Graeme Pearson, and the SNP's Sandra White - who also sits


on the Justice Committee. And in our Aberdeen studio, the justice


spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in Scotland, Alison


McInnes. Good afternoon to all of you. Allison, let's start with you.


If there is a saving of ?4 million by closing these rarely used front


desks, is that not a move worth taking? We have to go back a step


and back to first base and ask yourselves what we want form our


local police service. Do we want a police service that is rooted in our


local communities? That is open and accessible and welcoming? Or are we


willing to settle for an increasingly impersonal and faceless


organisation? I know what I would want. What we have at the moment is


a local police service that values community interaction. It says the


doors are open if we need their help or if we can help them. What Police


Scotland is proposing is that we turn our backs on community and


local stars. Are the police turning their backs by taking this move was


to mark absolutely not. We have to be honest. It is a consultation. My


understanding is that it has been extended but members of the public


wanted to see police on the streets. If you have a fully station with a


counter and one person per week has come into that, without policeman


not be better out on the street preventing crime than at the


counter? -- one police station. Is part of the problem not the


admission by the First Minister this week that this was not a


comprehensive survey of all the front counters? I understand that


the booklet that was given out said it was a snapshot and some of the


areas that were not visited was because there was no turnover. I


welcome the extension. We have the might -- where people can put their


views forward. It is all by preventing crime and the public want


police on the streets. We heard from the Scottish police Federation


saying that opposition would be populist and easy. Is that the


position you find yourself in? Not at all. We were promised by the


Government that we would get local policing and that the whole point of


having one single force was to enhance and support that outcome.


What we have had since is that we have had a withdrawal of services


from local endeavours. 1200 jobs have gone behind the scenes. Now, 65


police officers and many more will have short hours of working. But you


would not keep a front desk open if Sandra White -- as Sandra White


says, there is only one person per week. These are not current


statistics. There has not been a lot of work put into it. What we did not


get from the proposal was what the alternative is. I phoned the new


nonemergency number last week because I wanted to speak to


somebody. The call centre and was put on two could not even tell we


were he worked and eventually I had to leave word so that they could


trace him and get him to comment. We have that number and I have not had


a problem and has been to phone. When you talk about communities and


what they want, in my two-minute, I have seen the representations they


have made to the observation and have read them. -- in my community.


Some are saying there is no concern, some are saying there is. The


community has been asked, certainly in my area. I do not know if Graham


or Alison have looked into what the immunity of that, I have. I have


seen it in black and white, that has been sent through. If you have that


number, people are on Twitter now, they're an e-mail and what the


public say to me is that they want to see police on the streets. I walk


along the streets of Glasgow and I see police on the street. The book


and go up and speak to them. I think that is where the police are in the


communities. -- people can go up and speak to them. With recorded crime


at a 40 year low, does that not indicate the position that it will


lead to a reduction in crime? Diners at a 40 year low not because of


Police Scotland, an organisation that has only been around for six


months. -- crime is at a 40 year low. I think it is insulting to


civilian staff and to the public to suggest that bobbies on the beat is


the answer. That is a very 1-dimensional view of policing. It


is quite complex. In which case, saying that people turning up at a


front desk could be 1-dimensional. Sandra White has pointed out that


there are a myriad of ways of communicating. It is trivial to


suggest that people who need the help of police should use the


resources of Twitter or Facebook. I think that is trivialising the


situation. Sorry, could we also just remind you that it is not about


closing all the counters. It is reducing the hours in some cases. I


would like to ask them if they had done a survey of who goes out to 30


AM to report something? There are more likely to phone. It is about


more than police presence. It is about more than being able to see


whether somebody has turned up at the desk. Civilian staff do a great


deal more than talk to the public. The important thing is that most of


these counters are utilised by support staff. It is not release


officers who are going to be released from his offices. People


who use these officers are amongst the most probable in a community.


The elderly, young people who need some support, from help, some


protection. Victims and witnesses who are looking for support. We have


places like Easterhouse, Coatbridge, Airdrie, all closing and reducing


their hours and yet we are keeping gift neck and Helensburgh open.


There does not seem to be a logic behind the way this work has been


done and it is being driven by saving money, not by providing


service. Saving money is important. Of course. So how would you do it?


The Chief Constable has acknowledged in Aberdeen that he does not think


he has sufficient budget to continue to support the 1000 additional


officers. The budget for that is 35 million. In addition, local


authorities applies the board for something like 350 officers. --


apply support. There is a whole range of officers that are there for


them and they need to discuss that with communities, rather than a 30


day consultation that if you're today, gone tomorrow and then we


move on. -- that is due today. When Steve house was asked that question,


did they have enough money, they said they did. Will there have to be


some job losses? There is voluntary redundancy. That is not compulsory.


We have to remember this. 1200 people have been released by Police


Scotland. I cannot believe all of them wanted to leave. They have got


a way of saying, we let them go. Do you have concerns, the point that


was being made is, this is not closure of 65 front desks but a


reduction of hours. Do you have concerns that this will be get above


the iceberg, that has the years progress there will be more of


these? Once the doors are locked to the public, it will not be long


after that until someone says, we don't actually need these police


stationed at all. We can deploy from a regional base. We see asset


stripping of our local communities and that is dangerous, I am


suggesting that the lease Scotland call a halt at the moment and go


back to first base and quick communities about what they think.


Do you have ideas of how you would save money? Because that is


necessary. The Liberal Democrats have always said that the kind of


savings that the SNP anticipated they would make would not be


achievable without swinging cuts to what we have been used to in the


police service and I think we need to take a step back from that. You


think there will be more closures as time goes by? I don't imagine there


would be. We have got to look at crime, it is that a 40 year low.


More police on the street, that is what the public want. The public


certainly tell me that they like to see police on the street. We will


have to leave things there. And you for your time. Have you claimed back


your PPI insurance, signed up for double glazing or been in an


accident recently? Nuisance calls and spam texts have been the subject


of 240,000 complaints to the Information Commissioner's Office in


the past 18 months alone. -- thank you for your time. This week, an


all-party parliamentary group at Westminster released its report into


the issue and a Private Members' Bill was raised by Lib Dem MP Mike


Crockart. Cameron Buttle has more. Some estimates put the number of


nuisance calls into the millions. Everything from selling double


glazing, wanting to know if you have had an accident to scams and cons. I


work in a call centre. I make those phone calls. But I get them at home


a lot. So you work in a call centre and you get them at home as well?


How does that make you feel? Not good. I get angry at them, so to be


the person doing them is not good. I am quite rude to people when they


get through to me because I don't think they should be doing that. Why


not? It is a violation of my space and time. One man has been calling


me from the South African diamond exchange. I have tried to explain


that I have no money, I invested in property five years ago, and he


keeps calling me. He called me during the Manchester City game last


week. It did not go down well. That is all I can say. Of course it is


not just at home when we are subjected to the nuisance phone


calls because mobile phones are being targeted just as much, with


cold and texts. One MP behind this report claims the public is now


under siege from nuisance phone calls. He said there. Matt that if


nothing is done, the problem is going to get worse. The best figures


we can come up with is from an Ofcom study. -- he said that if nothing is


done. We have asked people to record when they get these calls. The


figures are frightening. The size of the problem could well be over 1


billion nuisance calls and text messages per year in the United


Kingdom. The report from the all-party Parliamentary group made


many recommendations. They include tightening the rules of the consent


when people agree to be contacted by marketing companies. Making


reporting easy and more effective, strategy to protect vulnerable


customers, improving international cooperation. Call to action have


been echoed by organisations like Which magazine which welcomed the


report as it says the current system is failing and called for the law to


be strengthened. The Private Members' Bill was due to be debated


on Friday, but it got talked out by the preceding debate. So does that


mean we are forever to be plagued by nuisance calls on our home phones


and mobiles? Well, joining me now is Ken Macdonald from the Information


Commissioner's Office. Good afternoon. RU disappointed that that


Private Members' Bill did not get anywhere on Friday? Very


disappointed that it was talked out and I understand there is an


opportunity it will be brought in it this month. The nuisance calls and


span text messages are a huge part of the work of the ICO. We have had


a quarter of a million complaints in the last 18 months. It is an thing


that hits every one day to day, whether they are at work or at home,


I telephone or text message. What action specifically was in that bill


that you would like to see enacted? The important thing is that they


threshold for us to take enforcement action is rather high. It is to show


absolute distress and often a text message or a phone call is it deemed


to be too low a level. What Mike Crockart was proposing was to lower


that threshold to more of the nuisance one and we support that.


One of the problems we have had recently is that we levied a fine of


over ?440,000 to a partnership which was spamming text messages.


Unfortunately, they appealed and the tribunal held that the threshold had


not been met despite the millions of text messages being sent out. Is


there a place for this kind of marketing? Yes. We recognise that


companies need to market, it is part of the business process, but they


have to do it in an appropriate way and again, in reaction to the


problems people are having, and more awareness of these issues, we have


recently produced more guidance to companies that are involved in


direct marketing about how they should be processing that. Does it


actually work? Is anyone actually purchasing South African diamonds


when you are busy at home making your cup of tea? Tell I cannot say


whether it works or not. I hope people would understand whether


there is a scam cult. It is the absolute intrusion that is taking


place. The interruption of your normal domestic life I a call -- by


a call for PPI or something. It is intrusive and something that needs


to be stopped. The companies that are involved and it will possibly


lose more customers than they gain by the way they are doing it. You


have some responsibility, the Information Commissioner's Office,


in terms of dealing with this but Ofgem have a role too. Is that part


of the problem. If that governance and issue? I suspect there is an


element of it but we also work with Ofcom and we are working with


international partners as well because a lot of these calls are


generated from overseas. And we are involved with our European partners


and also with US and Canadian authorities looking at ways we can


do this on an international basis. The reason that you and Ofcom are


involved is because the governance and a lots are quite specific. --


the laws. That is right. We deal with electronic unification is that


specify what companies can and cannot do in relation to calls and


text messages and e-mails. You mentioned your annoyance that he


tribunal not actually following through and prosecuting a company.


How many companies are actually held to the end contempt of these laws?


Tell I cannot give you the precise numbers. We take action against the


most prolific offenders. Their is the worst case so far. We find


another company ?250,000. -- Tetris is the worst case. Another company


was fined ?90,000. We see a decrease in number of complaints made to


others after such an action, we suspect that because companies are


aware that the action we can take. To you think sometimes the public at


unwittingly giving permission or these calls and text to happen? If


you look at competitions on television, there is bald print that


says, they now in full at the end of your text to prevent this ban. --


they say no information at the end of the text to prevent this sit am.


There is confusion because some will ask you if you want to opt into


marketing. -- this spam. We are trying to raise awareness with


organisations and through the direct marketing Association, better ways


of making this clear for the customers as to what they are


signing up for. To you receive the calls? Yes. I understand the


nuisance. It is very interesting. Thank you very much for talking to


us. Croatia's ambassador to the UK has


warned that trying to impose terms could slow down an independent


Scotland's bid to become a member of the EU. Croatia became the 28th


member of the club in July. The Scottish Government says


negotiations could be concluded by spring 2016 if Scots vote for


independence next year. But the ambassador, Ivan Grdesic, said


seeking opt-outs from EU rules could prolong the process.


In July, Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union. It


took 13 years for this country of over 4 million people to emerge from


the Balkan wars to become a full member of the European club. Before


Croatia could become the European Union's latest member, they had to


negotiate with the other countries in the union. Today their ambassador


to the UK came to tell members of the Scottish Parliament and is done.


After speaking to them, the ambassador stopped in for a word


with the Sunday Politics. What is the key to being successful in those


negotiations? What advice would you offer to other countries trying to


do that? Our experience is that it is really not a negotiation process.


You are actually joining the club that already has all the rules, or


the regulations that you have to adopt. The question is how you will


adopt them and what kind of a time frame you are working too, with what


conditions and how you can sort of adopt them into your core of rules


and regulations and institutions or arrangements. The Scottish


Government said Scotland can take a fast track to EU membership. They


say negotiations on issues like currency could be completed by


spring 2016. But Croatia's man in London said securing those issues


could tie Scotland down. You want to have a balance between how much you


want to opt out or prolong and what you can take right away because if


you decide to prolong many things or ask for exceptions on many issues,


you are not ready actually. So for us it has been a balance between


these two things and I think it is important to understand this and I


remember reading a study that my Austrian colleagues told me, this is


not a negotiation, it is something else. After voting and independence,


Croatia had a separate referendum on the EU. The Scottish Government has


no plans to follow their example. Despite the recent crisis, Ivan


Grdesic says that Europe will welcome new members. -- will welcome


new members. He says getting in will only get tougher. This is a policy


that will continue. It will be a policy that is more stringent than


the one that we experienced. We had a much tougher negotiation process,


Romania, Bulgaria. The new countries will have even more. The European


Union is learning on a process of enlargement. SNP ministers insist


that Scotland is not a new country. But with no direct precedent to


guide them, those planning for Scotland to become the EU's 29th


member and listening carefully on the 28th.


Coming up after the news: More on what's making the headlines this


weekend with our guests - former Labour special adviser Jeane Freeman


and Stephen McGinty of the Scotsman. You're watching Sunday Politics


Scotland and the time is just after midday. Let's cross now for the news


from Reporting Scotland with Andrew Kerr.


Good afternoon. The Justice Secretary has announced an


investment of ?3 million in the services and facilities for women


offenders. The money will be used to establish new community justice


centres in Glasgow and Aberdeen, as well as expand services in Edinburgh


and Dundee. Seven other projects will also receive funding.


The constituency Labour Party in Falkirk will meet this afternoon for


the first time since the chairman resigned from his post at Ineos.


Steven Deans was at the centre of the Grangemouth industrial dispute


last month. He'd been suspended while Ineos investigated his


involvement in the row over the selection of a Labour candidate in


the Falkirk Westminster constituency.


An Edinburgh GP who wrote a book after spending fourteen months at a


research station in the south pole has won Scotland's largest literary


prize. Gavin Francis won the thirty-thousand pounds Scottish


Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year for "Empire Antarctica".


Let's take a look at the weather forecast.


Good afternoon. I think today we see the transition into more settled


weather. Tomorrow will be a fine day. For most it is dry and bright,


good sunshine as well. We still have some of yesterday's rain across this


piece corner. It will affect the Northern Isles. A touch of gale


force winds at times. Sunshine along the West Coast brought in by that


wind. It will feel cool in that brisk wind, everywhere, with highs


of eight or nine Celsius but make the most of the sunshine.


That is all for the moment. Thanks, Andrew. Now in a moment,


we'll be discussing what's making the news at Holyrood and beyond, but


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


Scotland is habits of Internet exchange point, a giant Google will


be located in Edinburgh, spindles and London, and then Manchester.


The left Karen Hilton was sworn in at Holyrood. She won at the


Dunfermline 31 week ago. -- new MSP Karen Hilton.


Universities were disrupted by a 24-hour strike. Support the strike!


Nicolas and support staff took the action over pay.


It may be years before taxpayers can recover their multi-billion pound


stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland. Toxic assets but they were incensed.


Referendum in we'll contact the following powers has been proposed


by the British Government. The Welsh minister says it cannot happen


before the Barnett formula is on. -- is the following.


From the week gone by to the week ahead, and our take on the stories


that might make political ripples over the next seven days.


Join me in the studio is Stephen McGinty from the Scotsman and public


relations consultant. Good afternoon. Let's talk a little bit


about policing, the issue that the talking about at the beginning of


the programme. This is art. In 65 -- front desk or two close in 65


officers. Is the finishing with the public? Is not think so. Luckily the


third but crime and people in the law and figures for them. What has


moved ahead is the perception of the body on the beat of the uniformed


officer behind the counter. -- Bea Barclay on the beat. Number of


people using these facilities has brought down. With technologies,


Internet, e-mail, phone calls, Twitter, all of us are discovering


that you can sometimes get a swifter response than from driving in your


car, tracking down one of these stations and making the appointment.


I think that everyone's nature to automatically put any form of cuts


but if they have to be made, it would seem that this is one area


that there is some give. I wonder if you would agree with that? I do. I


think it is about the police catching up with the most people in


Scotland are. Of course, if you are in an emergency situation, you phone


naming them. Nobody is taking that away. -- before the emergency


services. Also you can phone the nonemergency number. The thing that


people forget is that people now do what they call the codes. If I not


without an emergency but about a bit of a concern about children in my


area or anti-social behaviour, and I wanted to speak to the police about


that now working, they will make an appointment to come and see me in


five developed. House calls. --, and see me in my home. They do". The


idea that this is something away from local policing could not be


further from the truth. There are all sorts of ways that they lead a


life that the police to come up with -- catch up with. Let's talk about


Grangemouth at Falkirk. This is the rumbling on. The Sunday Herald have


what they say is an exclusive party members telling Johann Lamont to


break her silence. There is to be as meeting today. They called for her


to climb out of that meeting. We spoke to her and she is not growing.


-- because of how to turn up at that meeting. We think she has been


silent? I do. I know that she has given an exclusive interview to


another paper. The problem is that people like us, they pay a lot of


attention to some of the detail about this and the vast majority of


the public have got better things to do with their time than that. It is


all part of a general mood music which is a problem for Labour, I


think, which is the important things that happen in Scotland, like


Grangemouth, where we had a weekend of thinking that we were about to


lose even the important facility, that Labour was silent and all that.


-- lose a very important facility. It is hard for Labour to clean the


stand up for Scotland when they are not visible. They let whoever it is


from London to take what is going on and people from Scotland are not


like that. It is from London to take what is going on and people from


Scotland are not like that. It looks as if there is more of this story to


come because we have Len McCluskey earlier with Andrew Neil saying that


some new revelations in the Sunday Times are to, this is part of an old


story. There are still questions remaining four Johann Lamont and


live in London. It would seem that people are wanting to know what has


gone on. Did you ever get to the bottom of it and then decide they


did not want to win a further? Unite involved? Strong-arming people not


to come forward? -- did not want it to go any further. The irony is that


it has been such a disaster for all parties concerned that makes sense


to try and get out exactly what happened. It is not going away. It


is unfortunate for Scottish Labour because it is viewed as a reserved


matter where they are on the sidelines waiting to see what London


is going to do. That does not look good for anybody. Undoubtedly, the


story is going to ramble on for another few days. More in that on


the week to come. Also, the First Minister is off to China for a trade


with that. It is one of several trade visits from not just him but


other Scottish ministers. This week, Willie Rennie talked about the issue


of human rights. It is always a difficult balancing act with China


with trade and human rights. That is true. I think you need to


understand, we need to understand a little but about how the Chinese


cultural works. The importance they have want be losing face, as they


might discredit. -- they have a losing. It would not work for us as


the country to make statements about human rights when we are looking at


a potential trading partner. That does not mean that you are seeing


things behind the scenes, as has been the case with British diplomacy


for years and years. In Scotland, I think the point is that we need a


senior politicians, First Minister and others, to constantly making


those visits and efforts, building up those relationships to become


trusted, not only from the purpose of trade and our future prospects


but also for we can have those discussions about what a civilised


society looks like from the sea. Google 's discussions change


anything? I think the evidence is clearly not. -- to those


discussions. The Scottish Government wants to go over there and not its


prime concern is not about raising the issue of Tibet or the Dalai


Lama, it wants to increase exports, which have already doubled in the


last five years to almost 500 million. That is the prime concern.


Is that the right concern, ultimately? Some people think that


actually what happens in China is maybe none of my business. We live


in an interconnected society and I think that it's crucial that it is


raised in some elements but there is that dilemma but can politicians be


honest and say this is not the time and place for us to bring this up.


Although the budget by saying they will have conversations in private?


How expensive they are, we did not know. But I thank you all for coming


in today. That's all from us this week. We'll be back a little later


than usual next week, at 12:15pm, due to Remembrance Sunday. Until


then, goodbye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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