12/01/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


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

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of political pundits, Helen Lewis, Jan and Ganesh and Nick Watt. They


will be tweeting faster than France or long scoots through Paris. Nick


Clegg sticks to his New Year resolution to sock it to the Tories,


the is how he described Tory plans for another 12 billion of cuts on


welfare after the next election. You cannot say, as the Conservatives


are, that we are all in it together and then say that the welfare will


not make any additional contributions from their taxes if


there is a Conservative government after 2015 in the ongoing effort to


balance the books. We are not even going to ask that very wealthy


people who have retired who have benefits, paid for by the


hard-pressed taxpayers, will make a sacrifice. The Conservatives appear


to be saying only the working age pork will be asked to make


additional sacrifices to fill the remaining buckle in the public


finances. Nick Legg eating up on the Tories


a, happens almost every day. I understand it is called aggressive


differentiation. Will it work for them? It has not for the past two


years. This began around the time of the AV referendum campaign, that is


what poisoned the relations between the parties. They have been trying


to differentiation since then, they are still at barely 10% in the


polls, Nick Clegg's personal ratings are horrendous, so I doubt they will


do much before the next election. It is interesting it has been combined


with aggressive flirtation with Ed Balls and the Labour Party. There


was always going to be some sort of rapprochement between them and the


Labour Party, it is in the Labour Party's interests, and it is intent


macro's interests, not to be defined as somebody who can only do deals


with the centre-right. A colleague of yours, Helen, told me there was


more talk behind closed doors in the Labour Party high command, they have


to think about winning the election in terms of being the largest party,


but not necessarily an overall majority. There is a feeling it was


foolish before the last election not to have any thought about what a


coalition might be, but the language has changed. Ed Miliband had said, I


cannot deal with this man, but now, I have to be prismatic, it is about


principles. Even Ed Balls. Nick Clegg had specifically said that Ed


Balls was the man in politics that he hated. He said that was just a


joke. Of course, it is about principles, not people! When Ed


Balls said those nice things about Nick Clegg, he said, I understood


the need to get a credible deficit reduction programme, although he


said Nick Clegg went too far. The thing about Nick Clegg, he feels


liberated, he bears the wounds from the early days of the coalition, and


maybe those winds will haunt him all the way to the general election. But


he feels liberated, he says, we will be the restraining influence on both


the Conservatives, who cannot insure that the recovery is fair, and the


Labour Party, that do not have economic red ability. He feels


relaxed, and that is why he is attacking the Tories and appearing


pretty relaxed. He could also be falling into a trap. The Tories


think what they suggesting on welfare cuts is possible. The more


he attacks it, the more Tories will say, if you gave us an overall


majority, he is the one it. He keeps taking these ostensibly on popular


positions and it only makes sense when you talk to them behind the


scenes, they are going after a tiny slice of the electorate, 20%, who


are open to the idea of voting Lib Dem, and their views are a bit more


left liberal than the bulk of the public. There is a perverse logic in


them aggressively targeting that section of voters. In the end, ten


macro's problem, if you do not like what this coalition has been doing,


you will not vote for somebody who was part of it, you will vote for


the Labour Party. The Tories are too nasty, Labour are to spendthrift,


Lib Dem, a quarter of their vote has gone to Labour, and that is what


could hand the largest party to Labour. That small number of voters,


soft Tory voters, the problem for the Liberal Democrats is, if you


fight, as they did, three general elections to the left of the Labour


Party, and at the end of the third, you find yourself in Colour Vision


with the Conservatives, you have a problem.


Chris Grayling is a busy man, he has had to deal with aid riot at HM


Prison Oakwood, barristers on strike and unhappy probation officers


taking industrial action. Prison works. It ensures that we are


protected from murderers, muggers and rapists. It makes many who are


tempted to commit crime think twice. Traditional Tory policy on criminal


justice and prisons has been tough talking and tough dealing. Not only


have they tended to think what they are offering is right, but have had


the feeling, you thinking what they thinking. But nearly two decades


after Michael Howard's message, his party, in Colour Vision government,


is finding prison has to work like everything else within today's


financial realities. The Justice Secretary for two years after the


election had previous in this field. Ken Clarke. Early on, he signalled a


change of direction. Just binding up more and more people for longer


without actively seeking to change them is, in my opinion, what you


would expect of Victorian England. The key to keeping people out of


prison now, it seems, is giving them in a job, on release. Ironically,


Ken Clarke was released from his job 15 months ago and replaced by Chris


Grayling. But here, within HM Prison Liverpool, Timpson has been working


since 2009 with chosen offenders to offer training and the chance of a


job. Before you ask, they do not teach them keep cutting in a


category B prison. The Academy is deliberately meant to look like a


company store, not a prison. It helps. You forget where you are at


times, it feels weird, going back to a wing at the end of the day. It is


different. A different atmosphere. That is why people like it. Timpson


have six academies in prisons, training prisoners inside, and


outside they offer jobs to ex-offenders, who make up 8% of


their staff. It has been hard work persuading some governors that such


cooperation can work. I have seen a dramatic change positively, working


with prisoners, particularly in the last five years. They understand now


what business's expectation is. Timpson do not just employ


offenders, but as one ex-prisoner released in February and now


managing his own store says, the point is many others will not employ


offenders at all. From what I have experienced, on one hand, you have


somebody with a criminal conviction, on the other, somebody who does not


have one, so it is a case of favouring those who have a clean


record. Anybody with a criminal conviction is passed to one side and


overlooked. That, amongst myriad other changes to prison and how we


deal with prisoners, is on the desk of the man at the top. Ever since


Chris Grayling became Secretary of State for Justice, he has wanted to


signal a change of direction of policy, and he is in a hurry to make


radical reforms across the board, from size and types of prisons to


probation services, reoffending rates, legal aid services, and there


has been opposition to that from groups who do not agree with him.


But what might actually shackle him is none of that. It is the fact that


he is in government with a party that does not always agree with him,


he has to abide by the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights,


and in those famous words, there is no money left. We would like to go


further and faster. I would like him too, but we are where we are. If the


Liberal Democrats want to be wiped out at the next election based on


what they believe, that is fair enough. We accept there has to be


savings, but there are areas where we feel that there is ideological


driven policy-making going on, and privatising may not save any money


at all, and so does not make any sense. The question is, we'll all of


that means some of Chris Grayling's reforms need closer inspection?


Chris Grayling joins me now. Welcome. We have a lot to cover. If


you get your way, your own personal way, will be next Tory manifesto


promise to withdraw from the European Convention of human


rights? It will contain a promise for radical changes. We have to


curtail the role of the European court here, replace our human rights


act from the late 1990s, make our Supreme Court our Supreme Court,


they can be no question of decisions over riding it elsewhere, and we


have to have a situation where our laws contain a balance of rights and


responsibilities. People talk about knowing their rights, but they do


not accept they have responsible it is. This is what you said last


September, I want to see our Supreme Court being supreme again... That is


clear, but let's be honest, the Supreme Court cannot be supreme as


long as its decisions can be referred to the European Court in


Strasbourg. There is clearly an issue, that was raised recency --


recently. We have been working on a detailed reform plan, we will


publish that in the not too distant future. What we will set out is a


direction of travel for a new Conservative government that will


mean wholesale change in this area. You already tried to reform the


European Court, who had this declaration in 2012, do you accept


that the reform is off the table? There is still a process of reform,


but it is not going fast enough and not delivering the kind of change we


need. That is why we will bring forward a package that for the


different from that and will set a different direction of travel. We


are clear across the coalition, we have a different view from our


colleagues. You cannot be half pregnant on this, either our


decisions from our Supreme Court are subject to the European Cup or not,


in which case, we are not part of the European court. I hope you will


see from our proposals we have come up with a sensible strategy that


deals with this issue once and for all. Can we be part of the


Strasbourg court and yet our Supreme Court be supreme? That is by point,


we have to curtail the role of the court in the UK. I am clear that is


what we will seek to do. It is what we will do for this country. But


how? I am not going to announce the package of policies today, but we


will go into the next election with a clear strategy that will curtail


the role of the European Court of Human Rights in the UK. The


decisions have to be taken in Parliament in this country. Are you


sure that you have got your own side on this? Look at what the Attorney


General says. I would be asking Strasberg a


different question to that. If the best in class, he is saying is


enough is enough, actually somebody in Strasberg should be asking if


this has gone the way it should have done. I would love to see wholesale


reform in the court tomorrow, I'm not sure it is going to happen which


is why we are going to the election with a clear plan for this country.


Would you want that to be a red line in any coalition agreement? My


mission is to win the next election with a majority. But you have to say


where your red lines would be. We have been very clear it is an area


where we don't agree as parties, but in my view the public in this


country are overwhelmingly behind the Conservative party. 95


Conservative MPs have written to the Prime Minister, demanding he gives


the House of Commons the authority to veto any aspect of European Union


law. Are you one of the people who wanted to sign that letter but you


couldn't because you are minister? I haven't been asked to sign the


letter. We need a red card system for European law. I'm not convinced


my colleagues... I don't think it is realistic to have a situation where


one parliament can veto laws across the European Union. I understand the


concerns of my colleagues, but when we set out to renegotiate our


membership, we have got to deliver renegotiation and deliver a system


which is viable, and I'm not convinced we can have a situation


where one Parliament can prevent laws across the whole European


Union. So you wouldn't have signed this letter? I'm not sure it is the


right approach. I support the system I just talked about. Iain Duncan


Smith has suggested EU migrants coming to work in this country


should have to wait for two years before they qualify for welfare


benefits, do you agree? Yes, I think there should be an assumption that


before you can move from one country to another, before you can start to


take back from that country's social welfare system, you should have made


a contribution to it. I spent two and a half years working in Brussels


trying to get the European Commission to accept the need for


change. There is a groundswell of opinion out there which is behind


Iain Duncan Smith in what he is saying. I think we should push for a


clear system that says people should be able to move from one country to


get a job, but to move to another country to live off the state is not


acceptable. You are planning a new 2000 capacity mega prison and other


smaller presence which will be run by private firms. After what has


happened with G4S, why would you do that? No decision has been made


about whether it will be public or private. What do you think it will


be? I'm not sure yet. There is no clear correlation over public and


private prisons and whether there are problems or otherwise. Oakwood


is in its early stages, it has had teething problems at the start, but


the rate of disturbance there is only typical for an average prison


of its category. If you take an example of Parc prison in Wales, a


big private run prison, run by G4S, when it was first launched under the


last government it had teething problems of the same kind as Oakwood


and is now regarded as one of the best performing prisons. Why would


you give it to a private company then? We have only just got planning


permission for the so we will not be thinking about this for another few


years. Some of the companies who run prisons are under investigation with


dreadful track records. In the case of G4S, what we have experienced is


acceptable and they have not been able to go ahead with a number of


contracts they might have otherwise got. They are having to prove to the


Government they are fit to win contracts from the Government again.


They are having to pay compensation to the Government and the taxpayer.


What has happened is unacceptable. So why would you give them a 2000


capacity mega prison? Or anyone like them? It cannot be said that every


private company is bad. In addition to problems at Oakwood, you are


quite unique now in your position that you have managed to get the


barristers out on strike the first time since history began. What


happens if the bar refuses to do work at your new rates of legal aid


and the courts grind to a halt? I don't believe that will happen. When


the barristers came out on strike, three quarters of Crown Courts were


operating normally, 95% of magistrates courts were operating


normally. We are having to take difficult decisions across


government, I have no desire to cut back lately but we are spending over


?2 billion on legal aid at the back lately but we are spending over


moment at a time when budgets are becoming tougher. You issued


misleading figures about criminal barristers, you said that 25% of


them earn over ?100,000 per year but that is their turnover, including


VAT. 33% of that money goes on their expenses, they have to pay for their


own pensions and insurance. People are not getting wealthy out of doing


this work. I don't publish figures, our statisticians do, with caveats


in place explaining the situation. Where you have high-cost cases,


where we have taken the most difficult decisions, we have tried


hard in taking difficult decisions to focus the impact higher up the


income scale. But do you accept their take-home pay is not 100,000?


I accept they have to take out other costs, although some things like


travelling to the court, you and I and everyone else has to pay for


travelling to work. That is net of VAT. We have had a variety of


figures published, some are and some are not. Let's be clear, the gross


figures for fees from legal payments include 20% VAT. On a week when even


a cabinet minister can be fitted up by the police, don't we all need


well-financed legal aid? There is no chance that as a result


well-financed legal aid? There is no changes people will end up in court


unable to defend themselves. We have said in exceptional circumstances,


if you haven't got any money to pay, we will support you, but there is no


question of anyone ended up in court, facing a criminal charge,


where they haven't got a lawyer to defend them. Let's look at how so


many dangerous criminals have managed to avoid jail. Here are the


figures for 2012. Half the people for sexual assault found guilty, not


jailed. I thought you were meant to be tough on crime? Those figures


predate my time, but since 2010 the number of those people going to jail


has been increasing steadily. If you put the figures for 2010 on there,


you would see a significant change. We will never be in a position where


everybody who commits violence will end up in jail. The courts will


often decided to his more appropriate to give a community


sentence, but the trend is towards longer sentences and more people


going to jail. That maybe but it is even quite hard to get sent to jail


if you do these things a lot, again and again. In 2012 one criminal


avoided being sent to jail despite having more than 300 offences to his


name. 36,000 avoided going to jail despite 15 previous offences. That


is why we are taking steps to toughen up the system. Last autumn


we scrapped repeat cautions. You could find people getting dozens. As


of last autumn, we have scrapped repeat cautions. If you commit the


same offence twice within a two-year repeat cautions. If you commit the


period you will go to court. You still might end up not going to


jail. More and more people are going to jail. I cannot just magic another


34,000 prison places. You haven't got room to put bad people in jail?


The courts will take the decisions, and it is for them to take the


decisions and not me, that two men in a bar fight do not merit a jail


sentence. These figures contain a huge amount of offences from the


most minor of offences to the most despicable. Something is wrong if


you can commit 300 offences and still not end up in jail. That's


right, and we are taking steps so this cannot happen any more. Nick


Clegg said this morning you are going to make 12 billion of welfare


cuts on the back of this, he is right, isn't he? People on the


lowest incomes are often not paying tax at all, the rich... But these


cuts will fall disproportionately on average earners, correct? Let's look


at the proposal to limit housing benefit for under 25s. Until today,


after people have left school or college, the live for a time with


their parents. For some, that is not possible and we will have to take


that into account, but we have said there is a strong case for saying


you will not get housing benefit until you are some years down the


road and have properly established yourselves in work. And by


definition these people are on lower than average salaries. Give me a


case in which those on the higher tax band will contribute to the


cuts. We have already put in place tax changes so that the highest tax


rate is already higher than it was in every year of the last


government. The amount of tax... There is no more expected of the


rich. We will clearly look at future policy and work out how best to


distribute the tax burden in this country and it is not for me to


second-guess George Osborne's future plans, but we need to look at for


example housing benefit for the under 25s. Is it right for those who


are not working for the state to provide accommodation for them?


Thank you for being with us. All three major parties at


Westminster agree there's an urgent need to build more homes for


Britain's growing population. But how they get built, and where, looks


set to become a major battle ground in the run-up to the next general


election. Although 16% more house-builds were


started in 2012/13 than the previous year, the number actually completed


fell by 8% - the lowest level in peacetime since 1920. The Office for


National Statistics estimates that between now and 2021 we should


expect 220,000 new households to be created every year. At his party's


conference last autumn, Ed Miliband promised a Labour government would


massively increase house-building. I will have a clear aim but by the end


of the parliament, Britain will be building 200,000 homes per year,


more than at any time for a generation. That is how we make


Britain better than this. The Labour leader also says he'd give urban


councils a "right to grow" so rural neighbours can't block expansion and


force developers with unused land to use it or lose it. The Government


has been pursuing its own ideas, including loan guarantees for


developers and a new homes bonus to boost new house-building. But David


Cameron could have trouble keeping his supporters on side - this week


the senior backbencher Nadhim Zahawi criticised planning reforms for


causing "physical harm" to the countryside. Nick Clegg meanwhile


prefers a radical solution - brand new garden cities in the south east


of England. In a speech tomorrow, Labour's shadow housing minister


Emma Reynolds will give more details of how Labour would boost


house-building, and she joins me now. It is not the politicians to


blame, it is the lack of house-builders? We want a vibrant


building industry, and at the moment that industry is dominated by big


house-builders. I want to see a more diverse and competitive industry,


where self build plays a greater role. In France over 60% of new


homes are built by self builders, but small builders build more homes


as well. 25 years ago they were building two thirds of new homes,


now they are not building even a third of new homes. That's because


land policies have been so restrictive that it is only the big


companies who can afford to buy the land, so little land is being


released for house building. I agree, there are some fundamental


structural problems with the land market and that is why we have said


there doesn't just need to be tinkering around the edges, there


needs to be real reforms to make sure that small builders and self


build and custom-built have access to land. They are saying they have


problems with access to land and finance. At the end of the day it


will not be self, small builders who reach your target, it will be big


builders. I think it is pretty shameful that in Western Europe the


new houses built in the UK are smaller than our neighbours. But


isn't not the land problem? France is 2.8 times bigger in land mass and


we are and that is not a problem for them. There is a perception we are


going to build on the countryside, but not even 10% is on the


countryside. There is enough for us to have our golf courses. There is


enough other land for us to build on that is not golf courses. The


planning minister has said he wants to build our National Parks, I am


not suggesting that. The single biggest land border is the public


sector. It is not. There are great opportunities for releasing public


land, that is why I have been asking the government, they say they are


going to release and of public land for tens of thousands of new homes


to be built, but they say they are not monitoring how many houses are


being built on the site. When your leader says to landowners, housing


development owners, either use the land or lose it, in what way will


they lose it? Will you confiscated? This is about strengthening the hand


of local authorities, and they say to us that in some cases,


house-builders are sitting on land. In those cases, we would give the


power to local authorities to escalate fees. This would be the


compulsory purchase orders, a matter of last resort, and you would hope


that by strengthening the hand of local authorities, you could get the


house-builders to start building the homes that people want. Would you


compulsory purchase it? We would compulsory purchase it? We would


give the local authority as a last resort, after escalating the fees,


the possibility and flexible it is to use the compulsory purchase


orders to sell the land on to a house builder who wants to build


orders to sell the land on to a houses that we need. Can you name


one report that has come back in recent years that shows that


hoarding of land by house-builders is a major problem? The IMF, the


Conservative mayor of London and the Local Government Association are


telling us that there is a problem with land hoarding. Therefore, we


have said, where there is land with planning permission, and if plots


are being sat on... Boris Johnson says there are 180,000 plots in


London being sat on. We need to make sure the house-builders are building


the homes that young families need. They get planning permission and


sell it on to the developer. There is a whole degree of complicity, but


there is another problem before that. That is around transparency


about land options. There is agricultural land that


house-builders have land options on, and we do not know where that is.


Where there is a need for housing, and the biggest demand is in the


south-east of England, that is where many local authorities are most


reluctant to do it, will you in central government


reluctant to do it, will you in to the London exchequer. I do not


think anybody seriously believe George Osborne would have any


intention of handing it back to Scotland to finance the childcare


programme. You will maintain free personal care and prescriptions,


increase tax credits, these are a few of the things you have


promised, the money will have to go a long way? Be ?100 million as an


estimate of the initial costs of childcare which is covered by the


other changes we make in the White Paper. You seem to suggest there is


a long delay in these matters. Changes in the female participation


in the labour market can occur quickly. Over the last year there


has been a 3.5% rise. These changes can take place very quickly but our


point is that we will only get to that level of participation in the


Labour Party, which Sweden has already achieved, if we have the


childcare policies to back it up. This transformation we talk about in


an independent Scotland would keep that environment. It is a


tremendously positive discussion to have about the economic gain of


progressive policies. It is in terms of how you reach it with finance. If


the number of women working rose by 2% we would see a rise of ?200


million in income tax receipts, what salary is that based on? That model


talks about the benefits to the economy but you will also find in


the paper published today that for an average wage then the benefit in


terms not just of income tax but the range of taxes people in employment


peak, is very substantial indeed, about ?7,000. That is income tax,


national insurance, tax macro -- VAT, all the things people who are


not work not pay. If you take into account part-time as well as


full-time working the average gross salary falls to somewhere in the


region of ?17,000. There is a shortfall question --? . Their


quality in the Scottish economy works through a 6% charge. You are


basing that on an average wage of ?26,000, many do not earn that. Let


me complete the sentence. The first figure, the ?700 million we


published that paper today so that everyone can read and understand.


The second is an illustration that people don't just pay income tax but


national insurance and the range of other things. The ?700 million come


from the equilibria model of the Scottish economy. That is what


happens. With evidence for the last year, not a crystal ball or nickel


and be a model but what has actually happened in the Scottish economy,


60,000 more women are working, the vast majority of these extra jobs


are full-time, these changes can take place in a short period of


time. As soon as people are working they start paying tax, everybody


knows that. To reach that 700 million figure 104,000 extra women


would need to join the workforce, we did these jobs? 60,000 women have


joined the workforce, are now working from the year to October


last year. Which jobs well the game? 40 start, we showed the full extent


of the childcare policies, 30,000 people, women and workers will be


required to fully extend that policy but there is also the general effect


through the economy of having that extra participation. If 60,000 more


women are working in a year, in employment, not just joining the


labour force, it is not unreasonable to suggest that over the period of


five years we will have 100,000. 60,000 in void in one single view


has already happened so 100,000 good be done in five years. The second


part of the calculation published today is equally important. It is


now beyond doubt that if Scotland has its own exchequer we get the


benefits of that economic boost. The problem now, under devilish and that


fixed Budget arrangement, you cannot finance such a policy which is why


the Labour Party ended up with such a political disaster voting against


school meals. That is the difference between independence on the one hand


and revolution on the other. We have academics in support of the union


today. The say you cannot keep charging students from elsewhere in


the UK who keep studying here in the event of independence. Do you have


legal advice on this? This was set out in page 200 of the White Paper.


Everything in that is based on the advice we receive. Universities


Scotland published last April from Anderson Strathearn how you could go


around this providing an objective justification for the policy.


Everything in the White Paper is consistent with the advice we


received. We have advice from an independent body and it seems


strange that the better together campaign were not aware of that or


did not want to mention it. Just to be clear, the River President as


regards legal advice and the European Union, you have legal


advice on this specific issue? You do not confirm legal advice or the


existence of legal advice. Why is this issue different? Can I just


point out, you do not confirm the detail of legal advice or the


existence of legal advice but what you can say is that the White Paper


is consistent with any advice we received. That is what all


governments see. I am also pointing out it is already published from


universities Scotland advice that was published last year which sets


out resident requirement which could be done. The White Paper examines


this in page 200. That is the advantage of having published the


White Paper on independence. Very many thousands of people in Scotland


have taken the opportunity of reading it. Perhaps some of the


Better Together campaign might do that themselves. You've campaigned


for this issue but quite some time. I congratulate the Scottish


Government on what they've achieved so far. I do, and I welcome what


they've done this week will stop Alex Salmond and I have not always


seen eye to eye on this issue and I pleased that he is changed his mind.


Often, politicians get criticised when they conduct this kind of


change, but this is him making the right decision, so I want to thank


him for the extra childcare we will see. Secondly, there has been a big


focus on getting people back to work will stop the reason we want people


to do this is to give people the best start in life. Experts have


told us that if you can invest before the age of three in a child's


development, you can change their life chances for the rest of their


life. To extend this to more children as the government wants to


do, they say they need independence because they need the revenue


generated from taxation will stop a point out in this paper today that


under the act, women going into the labour market, the taxation would


not bow to them. 80% would go to Westminster. I welcome the detail of


what has been said today will stop it is a case for investing in


childcare and education. He set out the economics of spend to save and


that is something I welcome in this area. Actually, Scotland is lagging


behind England. He said it is lagging behind because he does not


have the finances to invest. Where will the money come from? It is not


about power, it is about money. That is why England is ahead with


two-year-old and three and four-year-olds. Alex Salmond has the


money, he has the investment he could make, but he has fallen


behind. So he has ?700 million that he is secreting somewhere? He is


saying the rest of the UK is travelling in a different direction


to Scotland. That is not a dividing line for the independence movement


though. We are travelling in the same direction. I actually think all


parties will be arguing for more childcare at the next action. If


that was not the case, you might have an didn't, but he doesn't. We


can all advance further. There is not a dividing line for


independence. We've actually invested more. Look at the evidence.


We don't agree with Lord Osborne 's approach -- George Osborne 's


approach. What we are are doing is the evidence so far is that, even in


top times, the Coalition Government has investigated -- has invested in


childcare. The evidence in Scotland is that it is lagging behind. We are


travelling in the same direction and that is a good ring. But in terms of


welfare reform generally, would you support more? I think Nick Clegg has


been clear on this. If you are going to more expenditure, we should start


at the top, not the bottom. We need to get the deficit under control and


we are getting big progress. So the benefit cuts have gone as far as


they should, as far you hope concerned? There will be more


changes, but you should start at the top, not the bottom. What with the


bedroom tax doing? Well, all the parties are in favour of change, but


when you do introduce reforms like this, you need to do it with actual


care and make sure you got the proper mitigation measures in place.


Thank you for joining us. The Labour MP Jim Murphy says the independence


referendum is not the antidote to what he calls the poison of


coalition policies from Westminster. In an article, he says quitting the


UK would be to abandon a safety net for Scotland. A spokesman for the


Conservatives said changes to welfare benefits are necessary.


The former Scottish Secretary's interventions stresses that the vote


should not be seen as a friend on the current UK Government or its


reform policies. He argues that at one level, the SNP's case would be


seductive if it wasn't so superficial. Their current taxi --


tactic is to add people to vote yes to say no to the bedroom tax and


David Cameron. That is not a reason to vote to leave the UK.


Jim Murphy joins me now in the studio. Your article ends with you


saying, why would we leave now when a fairer Scotland can still lie


ahead by smack is that an acceptance that errors -- that varies and


fairness in Scotland? My point is that Tory policies are a poison that


Scotland does not want to drink and does not have to drink. The antidote


to that poison isn't the referendum this year but the Labour government


in 2015. Why vote no? A Tory government can be gone within a


year. Independence is permanent, it is for ever. The MPs have tried a


discussion about economy, the currency, defence, and in most cases


they find it difficult to gain traction for their argument. So


they've retreated into, if you don't like the Tories, vote for


independence. It is ludicrous, desperate politics. Given what we've


seen in the last bit years, people seeing what they've called a


democratic deficit when there is a Tory government in Westminster, you


cannot give Arent you that that will not happen again if the current


system continues. This referendum is much more important than any general


election with ever faced. Governments come and go, this is for


ever. This is more important than the first election in January 1910,


more important than the general election post war in 1945. It is the


biggest decision ever taken in history in Scotland. To reduce it to


who hates the Tories most when they could be gone in a year is pretty


desperate and shallow. Let's say someone's objection is nuclear


weapons, for instance. How should they vote? Well, which party in 2015


has a different approach to nuclear weapons? The Labour Party would like


to see a world we of nuclear weapons. It is how you would


negotiate your way away from having nuclear weapons and towards a


nuclear free world. They would love that to happen through negotiations


with Obama and Putin. The contradiction is that ultimately,


what you are saying is you would confirm that I prefer a Conservative


Party in Westminster rather than a Labour Party running in Scotland.


That is ludicrous. My argument is, you cannot reduce the referendum


this year into a Punch and Judy show about the government next year. I


joined the Labour government because I hate Tory policy. This is not a


protest vote about the Tories, this is a permanent decision about the


nature and future of our country. As to your question about defeatism, as


you probably know, I'm a big football plan. Unless you are away


to Barcelona, you never plan for a draw or a defeat. David Cameron is


not lying or messy and I think we can avoid tanning for a draw or a


defeat. There is a general unfairness about the way the economy


is organised. I think Scotland wants to be rid of that type of politics.


But the answer to getting rid of Tory policies isn't to change your


passport, it is to change your government. The problem is that the


UK, it is the UK Government. If you want to get rid of the UK bedroom


tax, you don't have to get a separate army. If you want era


energy prices, you don't have to take the huge risk involved in


taking on a new policy and currency. When the SNP cannot even answer


which currency would be in your pocket, it is clearly an enormous


risk will stop should you share a platform with Conservatives to


campaign for the union? I will not be sharing a platform with David


Cameron during the referendum. Why is your party in bed with them in


the Better Together campaign? On this issue, we shouldn't pretend


that when we disagree about almost everything else we don't agree with


them on one issue. It is not a surprise that the Tories are for the


union. From different political traditions, we come to a similar


answer on how you vote in this referendum, but only on this one


issue. And if people vote no, should your party offer people more powers


for the parliament in Edinburgh as a result of that vote? I think the


Labour Party will come forward with those plans in advance of the


referendum. Gordon Brown was suggesting there should be further


demolition. Well, there will be further demolition. After that, we


have to look at further powers. This debate cannot be about which group


of politicians in which parliament in which city exercise powers. There


are people whose lives are in crisis at the moment, people are using food


banks and moneylenders. Those people who are coping will go head to the


summer and think, how can I afford a summer holiday? If this conversation


is just about which power is in parliament, it is going to be a


turgid time for many people. This is not just about power, it is about


political will. Thank you. I'm joined again by the First


Minister who's been listening to that interview. Is it the case that


you've been trying to characterise this referendum vote as a debate


between your party and the Tories at Westminster? Well, I don't know what


debate Jim Murphy has been watching, but if you see from the White


Paper, the argument underpinning the case for an independent Scotland is


the proposition that the best people to decide the future of this country


are people living and working in this country. That is the argument


that runs through the White Paper like a golden thread. Jim Murphy


seems to be unaware of that. The second idea is that Tory governments


are temporary interludes. For two thirds of my life, Scotland has been


governed by parties we did not elect at Westminster. They are not


temporary interludes, they have been the norm that two thirds of my


life. Which is why I suspect so many Labour people - Charles Gray, for


example - take the opposite view to Jim Murphy. They can see the


advantages of having a socially and economically progressive Scotland,


which is why they are voting yes. In 2010, 16% of the UK -- the Scottish


population voted conservative will stop --. Why are you writing them


off? I will repeat that the thread running through the White Paper is


the best people to decide on the fate of this country are the people


living and working in this country. I want everyone who has the right to


vote to vote for independence. I don't exclude anyone, on that


proposition. People living and working you will make the best


decisions. That is the argument for independence across the globe. Some


people in the Labour Party now extend that argument to other


countries where they think self-determination is really


important and valuable, but they don't extend it to be argument for


independence in Scotland. Like other countries, I think Scotland will be


better off running all of its own affairs. Jim Murphy got into


substantial trouble when a Labour government supported the illegal war


in Iraq will stop that is in the decision the people in Scotland will


not have supported and no Scottish government would have participated


in. Thank you for joining us. Let's now cross for the news. Good


afternoon. Pro union academics claim charging tuition fees to students


from the rest of the UK in an independent Scotland could break


European law. Current regulations prevent undergraduates from


countries outside the UK being charged fees from Scottish


universities. Independence would mean students from the south of the


border would also be eligible for free education. The first minister


said the policy was compatible with EU requirements. A man and the boy


have died after their car came off the road and plunged into the River


Clyde near Bob will bridge in Lanarkshire yesterday morning.


Divers located the car ran the people inside. A 38-year-old man and


a nine-year-old boy died at the scene. People are being urged to


complete bowel cancer screening tests which they will receive when


they turned 50 this year. They have to take part in screening every two


years and the plan is to improve survival rates by early detection.


Now for the early weather forecast with Judith. There is some rain in


the forecast later on but for most of us it will be dry with some


brightness this afternoon. The best sunshine reserve for Easter


Scotland. The rain will move into the West. As the rain marches in


across the country it will turn to snow, the forward edge of the rain


over the higher ground and central belt. That is all from now. Both


sides in the independence campaign have started the New Year


assertively. Now let's look at the headlines and what is coming up this


week. My guests this week are the Professor of economics at Glasgow


Caledonian University and political editor of the Scottish Daily Mail.


The front page of the Sunday Herald has Cameron's plea to put in saying


help to stop Salmond. This is a leak from the Kremlin that apparently


came out on Hogmanay suggesting a Cameron aid has warned independence


could send shock waves across the whole of Europe and enlisting the


help of land you put in, what you make of that? It is part of a


considered campaign to get other countries interested in the


referendum. David Cameron had a meeting with Spain to discuss it.


They are looking for their closest allies on this path towards the


restructure. This story has appeared because of the G8 this year. Cameron


has an interest in making the G8 countries aware of the potential


destructive nature of a yes vote. The Spanish Prime Minister has


something to say on this. Otherworldly doors do not want to


become involved and you can understand why. Listening to Jim


Murphy earlier saying it is not a protest vote, I think it is the


opportunity for a protest vote against the major economic


institutions that run our economy. Other countries are interested in


the opportunity the referendum provides us with for change. This is


bigger than just about Scotland. We will talk about another survey in


just a second but we will not expect Putin to have a grand pronouncement


in whether Scotland should or should not be independent? Now, of course


not. We will hear from more European leaders, EU leaders, in the next few


months. I know the SNP are trawling Europe for support. We will hear


more concern from other nations in the months ahead. We also have this


issue of tuition fees. That is in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper


today. An independent Scotland would not be able to charge those from


elsewhere in the UK as it currently does. The First Minister says this


is not the case and he believes he has legal advice which backs this


up, it is an interesting part of the debate? All last night I was talking


with friends over dinner about this very issue. Our education system is


inherently in equal and has been for many decades. We have widened access


but not participation, they are two very different things. I believe in


universalism and universal welfare provision but when it comes to our


higher education system it is time to revisit the introduction of fees


and means testing, I think it is fundamentally unfair. Fees for


everyone is a positive will -- possible alternative. David is a


potential for Scottish universities to lose out to the tune of ?150


million per year. This is typical of the SNP one thing to be a member of


DUP but not play with the rules. -- a member of the European Union. They


will find it offensive the fact they will let Irish, French and Spanish


students study for free but if you are English you will be charged.


There are different rules that can be brought to bear, some experts


say. Countries across Europe shared land borders, in Austria and Germany


the same debate is going on there. I do not think the SNP can get away


with this at all. There is survey in the Scotland on Sunday that says


almost half of the people elsewhere in the UK, this poll suggests that


the fear is that the rest of the UK would be weakened by Scottish


independence. This has not been touched on yet. What a yes vote


would mean for the rest of the UK in regards to the UN and other bodies.


This issue came up last night, people in the North of England are


supportive of Scottish independence because they think it revives a


radical framework for the departure of the past and past ways of


working. They would look for Scotland to provide that radical


framework and perhaps the bravery in Scotland to be more confident and do


things differently. I think we have the opportunity for a radical vision


and the childcare example is a great one. Transformational childcare is


key. What we have got at the moment is promises we are working towards


in an incremental way. Things cannot change overnight, we have issues


around capacity. The current government vision for childcare is


transformational and as an example of that radical way of thinking that


we can change things and make Scotland a better place for all of


us. Just to look at the week ahead we have the speech coming up from


the Scottish Secretary. We have had a big speech from Nicola Sturgeon in


recent days and it does feel as though things are really stepping up


a gear as regards this campaign. I think we will hear tomorrow about


more powers, that will be the theme of the unionist campaign in the


coming weeks. We heard from Gordon Brown yesterday talking about


further devolution. This is what we will hear more of in the coming


weeks. Is there a danger of people being turned off with too much


detail? Absolutely, the adverse serial nature needs to move on and


we need to talk about women in our communities, we need to talk deal.


That is all from us this week, goodbye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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