19/01/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


19/01/2014

Andrew Neil and Gary Robertson with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.


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Transcript


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Morning, folks! Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:35.:00:40.

Nick Clegg says Chris Rennard must apologise. What for, say his

:00:41.:00:44.

friends. We'll ask senior Lib Dem Minister Danny Alexander whose side

:00:45.:00:47.

he's on. What about the voters - what do they

:00:48.:00:51.

make of the Lib Dems? We hear the views of a Sunday Politics Focus

:00:52.:01:00.

Group. And donkey, they do other people 's

:01:01.:01:03.

work. We'll get the verdict on Portsmouth

:01:04.:01:06.

MP Penny Mordaunt's plunge from the highboard from - who else - but the

:01:07.:01:10.

Minister for Portsmouth. On Sunday Politics Scotland: Does

:01:11.:01:14.

the UK network of diplomacy really allow Scots to do more good in the

:01:15.:01:18.

world and boost its foreign trade? We'll be asking an ex-ambassador and

:01:19.:01:19.

a mEP. Johnson has pledged to recruit more

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volunteers. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh, who'll be tweeting

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throughout the programme. First this morning, Nick Clegg is

:01:47.:01:49.

considering a fresh investigation into the behaviour of the party's

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former chief executive, Lord Rennard. Last week, a lawyer

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appointed by the party decided that no action could be taken against

:02:01.:02:04.

him, but that women who had accused the Lib Dem peer of inappropriate

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behaviour "were broadly credible". More than 100 party activists are

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demanding an apology. Chris Rennard say he's nothing to apologise for

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and the party whip must be returned to him. Helen, this is not going

:02:21.:02:24.

away. It is turning into a crisis for the Lib Dems? They have only got

:02:25.:02:30.

seven female MPs. There is no female Cabinet Minister. There is a

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reasonable chance that after the next election there might in no

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female Liberal Democrat MPs at all. A scandal like this will not

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encourage women into the party. Have they made a complete mess of it? You

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feel for Nick Clegg, because he launched an utterly rigorous

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process. He called in a QC. The QC looked at it and decided that the

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evidence did not meet the burden of proof in a criminal trial. But

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clearly he felt that the evidence from these women was very credible

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and serious. He said it was broadly credible. Clearly it was serious.

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Rennard is being advised by Lord Carlisle, fellow Liberal Democrat

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peer, who is giving purely legal advice. He is saying it has not

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reached that edge-mac, so do not apologise. This is a political

:03:27.:03:34.

issue, so the agony continues. Nick Clegg was hoping to keep the party

:03:35.:03:39.

whip withdrawn. But they did not launch an enquiry, the Webster

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enquired it was not an enquiry, it was a legal opinion. You're right,

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it was an internal opinion. The Lib Dems distinguished themselves from

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the other two parties not with policy, but with ethics. They

:03:54.:03:58.

presented themselves as being cleaner, and in possession of more

:03:59.:04:01.

Robert Jay than Labour and the Conservatives. That will be harder

:04:02.:04:16.

to do now. -- more probity. There are a Lib Dem peers that are more

:04:17.:04:19.

relaxed about taking him back and letting him pick up the party whip.

:04:20.:04:24.

That is the problem. There is a generational issue. The older Lib

:04:25.:04:30.

Dems in the House of Lords, the kind of thing, he did not do anything

:04:31.:04:35.

that wrong. The younger activists and those outside the House of

:04:36.:04:40.

Lords, they think it is a pollen. Yes, there is definitely a sort of

:04:41.:04:44.

what you are complaining about sort of thing. That is symptomatic of a

:04:45.:04:49.

cultural difference. The report last year found that they tried to manage

:04:50.:04:56.

the allegations. They did not do what any company would do if there

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was an allegation of sexual harassment. If there had not in the

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by-election in Eastleigh, this story may not have got the attention it

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did. Channel four news are the one that really drove this. Without

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their reporting, this might not have come out. It is not going to go

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away, because the issue of whether he gets the party whip back will

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come week. -- will come up this week.

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So it's not been a great week for the Liberal Democrats and none of

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this will help public perceptions of a party already struggling in the

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polls. In a moment, I'll be talking to the second most senior Liberal

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Democrat in the land, Danny Alexander. First, Adam Fleming went

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to Glasgow to find out what voters there made of the party.

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Let's put the Lib Dems under the microscope in Glasgow. We have

:05:48.:05:49.

recruited some Glaswegians who have voted for them, and some who have

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not. Hello, John. Let's get started. I will be watching them through the

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one-way mirror, along with the former Liberal Democrat MP John

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Barrett. Let's get to the heart of the matter straightaway. If the Lib

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Dems were a biscuit, what would they be? Tunnock's Teacake. Hard on the

:06:04.:06:07.

outside but soft in the middle. They give in. There is no strength of

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character there. They just give in to whoever. Ouch. Rich Tea. A bit

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bland and boring. Melts and crumbles under any sort of heat and pressure.

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Morrison's own brand of biscuit, not top of the range like Marks

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Spencer or Sainsbury's or Waitrose. A custard cream, sandwiched between

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David Cameron and the Tories. I think they were concerned that they

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had one exterior, but something else was really inside. They did not find

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it too definitive, too clear, too concise, too tasty, too appealing.

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Which means? It is a worry. If that is their gut reaction, literally,

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let's find out what is behind it. The context of them being stuck

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between a rock and a hard place, for them as a party, I feel slightly

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sorry for them. I think people who voted for them will think they are

:07:16.:07:18.

victims as well, being sold down the river by going to the coalition. I

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think the ones, particularly student fees, that was an important one to a

:07:24.:07:28.

lot of people. People felt cheated. I agree. Just going back on that, so

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publicly and openly, it makes you think, well, what do they stand for?

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It is trust. Harsh. But our group is feeling quite upbeat about the state

:07:43.:07:46.

of the economy. What have the Lib Dems contributed to that? I am not

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quite sure. It is George Osborne, a Conservative, who is the Chancellor,

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so it is mostly down to him. The Liberal Democrats are mostly on

:08:00.:08:02.

their coat tails, if you know what I mean. Have the Lib Dems done

:08:03.:08:07.

anything, anyone? I think the Liberal Democrats were responsible

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for increasing the tax allowance, ?10,000 for next year. I think they

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have played a major role in that. Yes. I am glad somebody noticed

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that. We will have helped everyone who is receiving a salary, and it is

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interesting that nobody has mentioned that. Now, let's talk

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about personalities. Everyone knows him, but what about say, this guy?

:08:41.:08:44.

Alexander. Danny, they got it straightaway. I actually quite like

:08:45.:08:47.

him. I think he talks very clearly and it is easy to understand what he

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says. Fellow redhead Charles Kennedy is popular as well. He is very

:08:51.:08:58.

charismatic and it is through him that I voted Liberal the last few

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times. But who is this? I recognise him but I cannot tell you his name.

:09:05.:09:08.

That is the party's leader in Scotland, Willie Rennie, and the

:09:09.:09:11.

party's role in the upcoming referendum on independence draws a

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blank as well. It does not feel like they have featured, it is SNP and

:09:15.:09:21.

Labour and Conservative. They are last in a four horse race. We have

:09:22.:09:36.

been talking about the biggest issue in Scottish politics, independence

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and the referendum and the Lib Dems are nowhere. They are not mentioned

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and they seem to think it is all about Labour and the SNP. The Lib

:09:43.:09:46.

Dems are part of the Better Together campaign and we are being drowned

:09:47.:09:49.

out among that. Looking to the future, what messages do voters have

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for the Lib Dems? Get a backbone. Do not go back on your policies or your

:09:55.:10:00.

word. Be strong and decisive. If you will pardon the expression, man up.

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DIY, do it yourself. Do not award bankers and other people for

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failure. Stand up. Be your own person, party. If that focus group

:10:16.:10:19.

represented the whole country, what would the result for the Lib Dems be

:10:20.:10:24.

at 2015 in the election? If they get the message across between now and

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then, the result could be OK. If they do not get the message across,

:10:30.:10:33.

the result could be disaster. Maybe they would do a lot better on their

:10:34.:10:40.

own. I do not think you are seeing the true Lib Dems because they are

:10:41.:10:43.

in the coalition. They maybe deserve another chance. Crucially for the

:10:44.:10:47.

Lib Dems, that means there is some hope, but there is also plenty of

:10:48.:10:51.

anger, some disappoint, and a bit of bafflement as well.

:10:52.:11:00.

And watching that with me, senior Liberal Democrat and Chief Secretary

:11:01.:11:04.

to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Welcome to the programme. One of the

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things that comes through from the focus group is that if there is any

:11:09.:11:12.

credit around for the economic recovery, it is the Tories that are

:11:13.:11:18.

getting it, and you are not? What can you do about that? The first

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thing to say is that the economy would not be recovering if it was

:11:23.:11:26.

not for the Liberal Democrats. If it was not for our decision right

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beginning in 2010 to form a strong, stable coalition government that to

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deal with the problems, we would still be in the mess that Labour

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left us with. Why are you not getting the credit? That was one

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focus group. It was interesting to hear opinions. We have to work very

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hard to get across the message that the economy would not be recovering

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without the Liberal Democrats. People would not be seeing the

:11:57.:12:00.

largest income tax cuts for a generation without the Liberal

:12:01.:12:05.

Democrats. The ?10,000 threshold that one of the people referred to

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is coming into peoples pay packets this year. Lots of people recognise

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that. There was the one person in the focus groups. This is your

:12:16.:12:21.

measure of success, raising the people at which people pay income

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tax. But most of the voters do not even give you credit for that. The

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role that we haven't British politics as a party, is that we are

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the only party that can be trusted to deliver a fair society and a

:12:36.:12:39.

strong economy. People know they cannot trust the Labour Party. We

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saw it again from Ed Miliband this morning. You cannot trust the Labour

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Party with the nation's finances. It may well be your policy, the income

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tax threshold, but it is the Tories that are getting the credit? I do

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not think that is true. I have spent lots of time meeting photos and lots

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of people recognise that if it was not for the Liberal Democrats,

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people would not be seeing those tax cuts. We are helping disadvantaged

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children in schools. It is right that we have to work very hard

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between now and polling day to do several things, to make sure that we

:13:20.:13:24.

secure the recovery, there can be no complacency. The economic recovery

:13:25.:13:28.

is in its early stages and we need to make sure it is sustainable. We

:13:29.:13:33.

need to make sure the benefits of the recovery are shared out people

:13:34.:13:37.

who have made sacrifices, people on low pay, people who have seen their

:13:38.:13:45.

savings are eroded. The Tories have now hijacked another Lib Dem

:13:46.:13:49.

policy, another big hike in the minimum wage. You spoke about the

:13:50.:13:53.

need to make sure that people on low pay benefit from the recovery, a big

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hike in the minimum wage. Did the Chancellor consulting on this? We

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have been talking about it for some time. Vince Cable asked the low pay

:14:03.:14:09.

commission for advice on this. Why did Vince Cable not make this

:14:10.:14:12.

announcement, why was it the Chancellor? Let me say a few other

:14:13.:14:18.

things about this. If we are going to secure the recovery, this year we

:14:19.:14:22.

have to make sure that businesses start investing. We have got to get

:14:23.:14:27.

Roddick typically rising. An increase in the minimum wage is

:14:28.:14:30.

something that needs to follow that. We will not do it unless the low pay

:14:31.:14:35.

commission adviser as it is important for the economy at this

:14:36.:14:40.

stage. Did you know the Chancellor was coming out with that statement?

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I did not know he was going to say something on that particular day. We

:14:45.:14:50.

have worked together on it in the tragedy to see what the economic

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impact would be, and to emphasise that it is the commission, which has

:14:55.:14:58.

credibility with business, trade unions and government. It must not

:14:59.:15:06.

be a politically motivated increase. So you did not know, and Vince

:15:07.:15:10.

Cable, and it is properly a matter for him as the Business Secretary,

:15:11.:15:19.

he did not make the announcement? I don't think that's right. I don't

:15:20.:15:23.

clear every word I say with him, I don't expect him to do the same to

:15:24.:15:29.

me. The Lib Dems have told us before it was the Treasury that was

:15:30.:15:37.

blocking this from happening. We were going to ask the low pay

:15:38.:15:42.

commission to advise us on bringing the minimum wage back up. During the

:15:43.:15:49.

financial crisis, wages have been lower-than-expected but it's also

:15:50.:15:55.

right, we shouldn't act in a hasty way, we should listen to what the

:15:56.:16:00.

commission has to say, and if they don't recommend an increase we have

:16:01.:16:05.

to make sure economic conditions are there to get it right. Not only are

:16:06.:16:13.

the Tories getting credit for that, our Scottish voters group showed

:16:14.:16:15.

that people have still not forgiven you for ratting on tuition fees, and

:16:16.:16:20.

that was a broken promise that didn't even apply to the people in

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Scotland, where there are no tuition fees! Nick Clegg has been very clear

:16:26.:16:30.

about the issues that that brought up. If you look at our manifesto,

:16:31.:16:39.

the University of London said we delivered about 70% of our policies

:16:40.:16:44.

in the manifesto. They haven't forgiven you for the big one. The

:16:45.:16:51.

big promise we made was to cut income tax the millions of people.

:16:52.:16:59.

That is a policy which is putting money back into the pockets of

:17:00.:17:05.

working people. It is only possible because we are delivering our

:17:06.:17:09.

economic plan in government with the Conservatives. Now we have to make

:17:10.:17:15.

sure, through tax cuts, through looking at issues like the minimum

:17:16.:17:20.

wage and other groups who have made sacrifices, make sure that benefit

:17:21.:17:26.

is shared. I am not going to agree to anything which undermines the

:17:27.:17:29.

confidence of businesses to invest in this country over the next 12

:17:30.:17:35.

months. Speaking of Scotland, the Lib Dems, why do they now look

:17:36.:17:42.

largely irrelevant in the battle for the union? Not one of our focus

:17:43.:17:48.

group even knew who your Scottish leader is. I don't accept that. I

:17:49.:17:53.

have spent a lot of time with Alistair Carmichael and others, we

:17:54.:18:03.

are all making the case every day. If Scotland votes to be independent,

:18:04.:18:08.

it will be in a much worse financial position within the European Union.

:18:09.:18:14.

Scotland will be contributing to the rebate for the UK, rather than

:18:15.:18:20.

benefiting from it. It has been a disaster for your Scottish based to

:18:21.:18:23.

have joined a coalition with the Tories. It may have been the right

:18:24.:18:28.

thing to do, you say it is in the national interest, but Scottish Lib

:18:29.:18:32.

Dems did not expect to be in a coalition with the Tories. By the

:18:33.:18:37.

way I think it is also in the national interests and the interests

:18:38.:18:43.

of the people for Scotland, cutting the income tax of Scottish people,

:18:44.:18:49.

stabilising the economy. We are now seeing good growth. But you are in

:18:50.:18:55.

meltdown. I don't accept that. We will see what happens in the 2015

:18:56.:19:03.

election. I think we have a record to be proud of, we have played a

:19:04.:19:07.

very important role in clearing up the mess Labour made in the

:19:08.:19:11.

economy, of making sure the Coalition government tackles the

:19:12.:19:14.

problems in this country, but does so in a fair way. I think the

:19:15.:19:20.

biggest risks to the economic recovery over the next few years is

:19:21.:19:25.

either a majority Labour government or a majority Conservative

:19:26.:19:30.

government. Labour you cannot trust with the finances, the Tories want

:19:31.:19:34.

us to play chicken with the European Union which would truly be a

:19:35.:19:38.

disaster to investment in this country. You announced this week

:19:39.:19:43.

that if Scotland votes to leave the UK, it would be the British Treasury

:19:44.:19:47.

that would guarantee all British government debt. There wouldn't be a

:19:48.:19:53.

negotiation, but the backstop would be that even if they didn't take

:19:54.:19:57.

anything, we would still guarantee the debt. What was happening in the

:19:58.:20:01.

markets that you needed to calm them down? We were getting quite a few

:20:02.:20:06.

questions from the people we rely on to lend us money. We are still

:20:07.:20:12.

borrowing billions of pounds every month as a country. Those people

:20:13.:20:16.

were asking us to clarify this point. It was becoming a serious

:20:17.:20:30.

concern? It wasn't reflected in the guilty yields. I follow the bond

:20:31.:20:34.

market quite carefully and there was no sign this was having an impact.

:20:35.:20:40.

That's why the right thing to do was to clarify this point now, rather

:20:41.:20:45.

than the concerns being reflected in what you imply, and I think it is a

:20:46.:20:51.

bad idea for Scotland to vote for separation but it would be wrong to

:20:52.:20:55.

allow for the fact that question is on the table to cost taxpayers in

:20:56.:20:59.

the UK more money and higher interest payments simply because

:21:00.:21:01.

Alex Salmond has put that question on the table. That's why I think it

:21:02.:21:07.

was the right thing to do. There were a lot of calls from the focus

:21:08.:21:11.

group that you need to be different. Nick Clegg has embarked on this

:21:12.:21:17.

aggressive differentiation. Where you can be different is the

:21:18.:21:22.

bankers' bonuses. What conceivable reason could there be for anybody at

:21:23.:21:28.

RBS getting a bonus twice in their salary? We have not been approached

:21:29.:21:35.

by RBS in terms of those votes. I would be sceptical about an approach

:21:36.:21:43.

from RBS if it can. It shows what we have presided over as a party in

:21:44.:21:51.

government, massive reductions... I'm not asking you about that, I'm

:21:52.:21:55.

asking what conceivable case there can be for a bank that has failed to

:21:56.:22:04.

sell its branches even though ordered by the Government, still has

:22:05.:22:08.

38 billion of toxic debt on its balance sheet, I ask again what

:22:09.:22:14.

possible reason should they get twice salary as a bonus? Your right

:22:15.:22:20.

to say RBS is in a very different position to other banks, it is

:22:21.:22:29.

mostly owned by the state. RBS hasn't put a case to us but they

:22:30.:22:33.

might do so I would like to look at what they would say, but I would be

:22:34.:22:37.

sceptical as to whether a case could be made given some of the things you

:22:38.:22:42.

said, but also the fact that it is a bank that has benefited from the

:22:43.:22:48.

taxpayer standing behind it. Now RBS has to focus more on domestic

:22:49.:22:53.

retail. Let me turn to Chris Rennard, ten women have accused him

:22:54.:22:59.

of sexual harassment. He denies every case. Who do you believe? We

:23:00.:23:05.

have been through a process on this as a party. A report has been issued

:23:06.:23:15.

on this. I agree with Alistair Webster on this, he has made clear

:23:16.:23:19.

that while he cannot prove what happened to a criminal standard,

:23:20.:23:23.

that there is clear there has been considerable distress and harm

:23:24.:23:28.

caused. I agree with him about that and that's why it is necessary for

:23:29.:23:34.

Chris Rennard to apologise as he has been asked to do. If he refuses to

:23:35.:23:42.

apologise, should he be denied the Lib Dem whip in the Lords? I don't

:23:43.:23:47.

think he should be readmitted to the Liberal Democrat group in the House

:23:48.:23:51.

of Lords until such time as the disciplinary process, including the

:23:52.:23:58.

apology, has been done properly. We are very democratic party, it is a

:23:59.:24:01.

matter for our group in the House of Lords in due course to make that

:24:02.:24:07.

judgement. Party HQ has had a lot of complaints from party members about

:24:08.:24:12.

the fact no apology has been made. The appropriate committee would need

:24:13.:24:15.

to look at that and decide what action needs to be taken because

:24:16.:24:20.

these are very serious matters. We as a party have learned a lot, taken

:24:21.:24:27.

a long, hard look at ourselves, to change the way we work. The apology

:24:28.:24:33.

does need to be made. We are told that Lord Newby, the Chief Whip of

:24:34.:24:38.

the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, we are told he has shaken

:24:39.:24:41.

hands with Chris Rennard and welcomed him back. That decision has

:24:42.:24:50.

not been taken yet. I think Lord Newby would share my view on this.

:24:51.:24:56.

Have you shaken his hand and welcomed him back? No, I haven't.

:24:57.:25:03.

Does Nick Clegg have the power to deny Chris Rennard as the whip? I am

:25:04.:25:10.

making it clear that a lack of apology is totally unacceptable, and

:25:11.:25:14.

therefore we have to take steps if that is not forthcoming. His view

:25:15.:25:21.

and my view is that Lord Rennard should not be readmitted to the

:25:22.:25:28.

House of Lords if that is not forthcoming. In our party, our group

:25:29.:25:33.

in the House of Lords has two in the end take a view for itself. And they

:25:34.:25:40.

can override Nick Clegg's view? I hope that when they look at this...

:25:41.:25:47.

Do they have the power to override Nick Clegg? They have the power to

:25:48.:25:58.

decide who should be the whip. The failure to follow up the simple

:25:59.:26:02.

human demand for an apology for the stress that has been caused is

:26:03.:26:09.

totally unacceptable. Your party is totally down lighted on this --

:26:10.:26:26.

divided on this. Here is what Lord Carlile had to say. A total

:26:27.:26:32.

nonsense, hyperbole. It is a ridiculous statement to make and we

:26:33.:26:37.

have seen Alistair Webster, the QC who did this investigation, comment

:26:38.:26:42.

on that himself this morning. He has followed the process the party laid

:26:43.:26:46.

down in its rules, which sets the standard for the investigation which

:26:47.:26:50.

asked him to report on the evidence he has found, but he also has a duty

:26:51.:26:54.

of confidentiality and responsibility under the data

:26:55.:27:02.

protection legislation as well. Here is what your activists have said in

:27:03.:27:14.

a letter to the Guardian. This shows there are strong opinions, but why

:27:15.:27:19.

should Chris Rennard apologise for something he denies, unproven

:27:20.:27:25.

allegations, on an unpublished report that Chris Rennard has not

:27:26.:27:30.

been allowed to read? He should apologise because he wants to

:27:31.:27:33.

continue to be a member of the Liberal Democrats and this is the

:27:34.:27:38.

recommendation that has been made by the internal disciplinary process.

:27:39.:27:44.

Webster himself said this was not an inquiry, it is an opinion. If Chris

:27:45.:27:50.

Rennard apologises on this basis, he opens himself to civil lawsuits. He

:27:51.:27:57.

says he is not going to do it. As a Liberal Democrat you join the party

:27:58.:28:01.

because you believe in its values, you abide by its rules. One of those

:28:02.:28:07.

rules is that we have a process if there are disciplinary allegations.

:28:08.:28:14.

The committee of the party supported Webster's recommendations, one of

:28:15.:28:17.

which was that an apology should be made because he clearly found

:28:18.:28:24.

distress had been caused. Will there now be a proper inquiry? I don't

:28:25.:28:28.

think any of these legalistic things, I don't think he can have it

:28:29.:28:40.

both ways. Will there be a proper inquiry? Alistair Webster did do a

:28:41.:28:46.

proper inquiry. There was a proper report into what happened at the

:28:47.:28:51.

time and we have learned a lot from this is a party, and the most

:28:52.:28:56.

important thing now is that Chris Rennard apologises. You have made

:28:57.:29:01.

that clear. What kind of biscuits are you? Are you a Tunnocks? Soft on

:29:02.:29:12.

the inside? It is good of you to be advertising a Scottish product. We

:29:13.:29:19.

just wondered if you weren't tough enough to take on Ed Balls. Thank

:29:20.:29:24.

you. More than tough enough is the answer to that.

:29:25.:29:41.

Generally governments are a bit rubbish at IT projects. They tend to

:29:42.:29:45.

run way over budget and never quite achieve what they promised. So the

:29:46.:29:48.

revelations of a former spy that the US and British security agencies

:29:49.:29:51.

were in fact astonishingly efficient at eavesdropping on the digital

:29:52.:29:53.

communications of their citizens came as a bit shock. But just how

:29:54.:29:56.

worried should we be about their clandestine activity?

:29:57.:29:58.

In his latest revelation, former US by Edward Snowden has claimed that

:29:59.:30:00.

America's National Security Agency operates a secret database called

:30:01.:30:05.

Dishfire. It collect 200 million mobile phone messages every day from

:30:06.:30:10.

around the world, accessed, he says, why British and American spies. This

:30:11.:30:16.

week, the president has outlined a series of surveillance reforms,

:30:17.:30:20.

including Ning to the storage of the phone call information of millions

:30:21.:30:27.

of Americans, and no Morse -- and no more spying on allies like Angela

:30:28.:30:37.

Merkel. Critics say that the British intelligence agencies have refused

:30:38.:30:39.

to acknowledge even the need for a debate on the issue. The Foreign

:30:40.:30:44.

Secretary William six says that we have a very strong system of checks

:30:45.:30:52.

and balances. -- William Hague. ?? new line Nick Pickles is director of

:30:53.:30:55.

the pressure group Big Brother Watch. The Labour MP Hazel Blears in

:30:56.:30:58.

on Parliament's Intelligence And Security Committee. They're here to

:30:59.:31:08.

go head to head. Welcome to both of you. Hazel

:31:09.:31:13.

Blears, let me come to you first. President Obama has made some major

:31:14.:31:16.

changes as a result of what we have learned that the NSA in America was

:31:17.:31:22.

up to. But British politicians seem to, they are not up for this kind of

:31:23.:31:26.

thing, they are hoping it will go away? It is not going away and that

:31:27.:31:31.

is why my committee, the Intelligence And Security Committee,

:31:32.:31:36.

has decided to launch an enquiry into whether the legal framework is

:31:37.:31:40.

up-to-date. We have had massive technological change. We have had a

:31:41.:31:48.

call for evidence. Some of the sessions will be open so that people

:31:49.:31:53.

can see what the evidence is. Obviously some of the information

:31:54.:31:57.

will have to be classified, but on the committee, there is a real

:31:58.:32:01.

commitment to say, there is a big debate going on, let's see if the

:32:02.:32:05.

system is as Rob asked as we can make it. The big question is

:32:06.:32:09.

oversight and the call for evidence that the committee has issued is not

:32:10.:32:14.

mention oversight. It is ten years since the Foreign Affairs Committee

:32:15.:32:17.

said that the committee should be a fully elected committee chosen by

:32:18.:32:23.

Parliament and not the Prime Minister. It has changed, actually.

:32:24.:32:31.

The Prime Minister nominates people and the house gets to him -- gets to

:32:32.:32:41.

approve. In America, they have a separation of power, the president

:32:42.:32:47.

does not nominate Kennedy. Basically, Hazel Blears, you're an

:32:48.:32:52.

establishment lackey? I do not think so. Most of the people on the

:32:53.:32:56.

committee have some experience of intelligence and these issues. In

:32:57.:33:02.

this country, we have robust scrutiny, compared to some of her

:33:03.:33:06.

European neighbours. We have Parliamentary scrutiny, the

:33:07.:33:11.

interception commissioners, and ministers have to sign the warrants.

:33:12.:33:15.

But there may be room for improvement, which is why we are

:33:16.:33:20.

having the enquiry. Do not forget, President Obama said that the agency

:33:21.:33:25.

should not have the ability to collect data, he wanted to put more

:33:26.:33:28.

safeguards in. That is essential for the work of the agencies. If you

:33:29.:33:31.

cannot see the What bothers me is it was not the

:33:32.:34:08.

intelligence committee in the states that did the work to bring that

:34:09.:34:12.

number down, it was a Judiciary Committee. The value of having two

:34:13.:34:17.

different bodies taking a lead means you do not get one organisation with

:34:18.:34:21.

one particular view. They fell down on torture, 77, weapons of mass

:34:22.:34:28.

destruction, how can people have confidence in a body washed up if

:34:29.:34:33.

you go around Europe and the world, we are an oddity in not requiring

:34:34.:34:42.

judges to sign off warrants. -- a body? I do not accept that. There

:34:43.:34:49.

were two microphone report on the attack and if you look at that,

:34:50.:34:54.

people would say widely due not know about them? -- two reports. The

:34:55.:35:00.

agencies have to have capability but that has to be subject to proper

:35:01.:35:03.

oversight and scrutiny, I entirely agree. Did you know about Dishfire?

:35:04.:35:11.

I knew about the capabilities they have. We visit on a regular basis

:35:12.:35:16.

and the director tells us about the capabilities they have got. Some of

:35:17.:35:20.

the names of these programmes we would not have known because they

:35:21.:35:25.

are American. Did you know that GCHQ had the capability to do Dishfire to

:35:26.:35:32.

get Dishfire material from the NSA? The committee knew we had the

:35:33.:35:38.

capability to collect meta data and these days, people do not write

:35:39.:35:41.

letters and use landline telephones, they use Internet, e-mail, so it is

:35:42.:35:47.

important to the agencies can keep up with that technological change

:35:48.:35:52.

within a proper legal framework. What would you like to see happen?

:35:53.:35:58.

That framework should include, if a company is cooperating, it should be

:35:59.:36:02.

illegal for GCHQ to hack into them. One of the big drivers in the US is

:36:03.:36:09.

this has put a ?35 billion hole in the US economy because people do not

:36:10.:36:13.

trust systems to be secure and we need to know where there is a front

:36:14.:36:18.

for, there is not a different drawer into the system by hacking or even

:36:19.:36:22.

foreign intelligence. We need judicial oversight with judges is

:36:23.:36:27.

not politicians signing off, and a proper accountable body to

:36:28.:36:30.

Parliament to oversee the agencies and not the Prime Minister. The ISC

:36:31.:36:37.

as a result of the changes is now accountable to Parliament and not

:36:38.:36:39.

simply the Prime Minister, pushed changes are taking place and I am up

:36:40.:36:44.

for the debate about whether we need more change. At its heart, I want

:36:45.:36:49.

our agencies, like most British people, to have the power to protect

:36:50.:36:53.

the people of this country. Thank you to both of you. You are

:36:54.:37:01.

watching Sunday politics. Good morning and welcome to Sunday

:37:02.:37:04.

Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme: William Hague claims UK

:37:05.:37:07.

diplomacy allows Scots to punch above their weight on the

:37:08.:37:09.

international stage. We are on a journey to Cowdenbeath

:37:10.:37:12.

to see how the candidates are preparing for Thursday's

:37:13.:37:14.

by-election. And the Catalonian President Artur

:37:15.:37:17.

Mas says he will press ahead with a referendum on independence this

:37:18.:37:18.

year. In the latest of a series of

:37:19.:37:27.

Scotland analysis papers presented by the Westminster government, the

:37:28.:37:29.

Foreign Secretary, William Hague, was in Glasgow on Friday to outline

:37:30.:37:33.

the case for Scotland remaining in the UK to further its foreign policy

:37:34.:37:36.

objectives. Along with re-igniting the war of words over EU membership

:37:37.:37:40.

and the terms on which an independent Scotland might expect to

:37:41.:37:43.

gain entry, Mr Hague also pointed to the diplomatic network and

:37:44.:37:45.

intelligence community which promotes and supports Scottish

:37:46.:37:48.

national interests as part of the UK. Pro-independence supporters say

:37:49.:37:52.

Scotland will play a full part in world affairs.

:37:53.:38:02.

Mr Hague said being in the UK gives Scotland international influence and

:38:03.:38:07.

Scots benefit from an extensive network of diplomacy which includes

:38:08.:38:12.

267 embassies, high commissions and consorts, membership of the EU and

:38:13.:38:19.

NATO, a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, MI5 and

:38:20.:38:24.

MI6. United Kingdom will exercise its

:38:25.:38:28.

functions in the world and I am confident about that, but Scotland

:38:29.:38:32.

would be in a different situation and would be without easy access to

:38:33.:38:38.

most things. The huge consular services that look after people all

:38:39.:38:41.

over the world, support for businesses through UK trade and

:38:42.:38:45.

investment. This would have to be reinvented somehow.

:38:46.:38:50.

The Scottish of mud 's White Paper says Scotland would be a member of

:38:51.:38:53.

international organisations and would have embassies, membership of

:38:54.:39:00.

the EU, NATO and the UN, and an internal style agency and an

:39:01.:39:08.

external MI6 agency an option. The Scottish government envisions an

:39:09.:39:12.

independent nation able to make a contribution on the global stage. It

:39:13.:39:16.

is not impressed by reports the UK might be using its diplomatic

:39:17.:39:21.

network to campaign against any -- a Yes vote. There have been reports UK

:39:22.:39:25.

officials have been speaking to the Spanish, Russian government, to

:39:26.:39:31.

lobby their support. I have not heard any straight denials of that

:39:32.:39:34.

from the UK government, if it is true, I think it is deplorable

:39:35.:39:39.

activity and I would hope William Hague as Foreign Secretary would

:39:40.:39:42.

stop it. I am joined now by Sir William

:39:43.:39:45.

Patey, a former British Ambassador to Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and

:39:46.:39:48.

Afghanistan. And speaking today for the Better Together campaign, and

:39:49.:39:52.

the SNP MEP Alyn Smith. Good morning. Does Scotland benefit from

:39:53.:40:00.

the current diplomatic setup? I always make a point, I will knock on

:40:01.:40:05.

the door of the High Commissioner of the UK Ambassador. The network does

:40:06.:40:10.

what it does in representing UK interests. The UK interest is not

:40:11.:40:15.

exactly the same as the Scottish interest on all things at all times

:40:16.:40:20.

and what we are talking about is setting up a network. Scottish

:40:21.:40:26.

development International has already got Scotland house in

:40:27.:40:28.

Brussels and various things to build on. That network will be 100%

:40:29.:40:35.

focused on articulating Scottish interest, having had that interest

:40:36.:40:38.

articulated and formulated in Scotland by the people of Scotland.

:40:39.:40:44.

But it would be a quarter of the size so influence is diminished.

:40:45.:40:49.

There is an ordinary before that but that is ignoring the point that

:40:50.:40:52.

under the Lisbon Treaty, much of this stuff is done by the EU on

:40:53.:40:56.

behalf of the member states. I was up the UN in November it in New York

:40:57.:41:03.

and increasingly, the member state speaking with one voice -- New York.

:41:04.:41:09.

That is then broadcast on a wider stage. The network will be smaller

:41:10.:41:16.

which leads to cost savings, we will have a different network focused on

:41:17.:41:18.

promoting Scottish interests and our aggressive values around the world.

:41:19.:41:28.

As a diplomat, how much time did you spend promoting Scottish interests?

:41:29.:41:34.

I rot, the EU did not secure opt out from Kashmir and sorted out

:41:35.:41:40.

discrimination against the Scottish whiskey industry is that promotes

:41:41.:41:45.

Scottish firms, so it is a myth that the EU represents the interests of

:41:46.:41:51.

Scotland. Do you accept the point that sometimes the UK interest is

:41:52.:41:54.

not always the same Scottish interest? I had 37 years in the

:41:55.:42:01.

foreign service and there was never a dichotomy between the two. Would

:42:02.:42:07.

that to promote Scotland as part of the UK -- we were there to promote.

:42:08.:42:11.

Would looked at a Scottish interests and we did that, we looked after

:42:12.:42:16.

Scottish citizens in trouble and promoted Scottish firms -- we looked

:42:17.:42:21.

after. I do not understand the conflict of interest. The Better

:42:22.:42:27.

Together campaign is based on the assumption that Scottish and UK

:42:28.:42:32.

interests coincide, that is not true. Look at what we have done in

:42:33.:42:36.

terms of council tax, student tuition, prescription fees. You seem

:42:37.:42:44.

to suggest Scottish interests were not demoted? The question is, could

:42:45.:42:51.

we do better? -- promoted. With a taste of independence, we have made

:42:52.:42:56.

different decisions, Scottish solutions. Look at our

:42:57.:43:01.

representatives in Westminster, 90% of MPs opposed to the bedroom tax,

:43:02.:43:05.

the vast majority of Scottish MPs were opposed to privatisation of the

:43:06.:43:12.

Royal Mail. It is operating to a fundamentally different set of

:43:13.:43:17.

priorities that we would have chosen in Scotland. Does it matter if the

:43:18.:43:20.

country the size of Scotland does not have a seat at every top table?

:43:21.:43:27.

It means our influence is less. Scotland can clearly be independent

:43:28.:43:32.

with its own diplomatic and intelligence services but it would

:43:33.:43:37.

be a small country vying for attention in a crowded marketplace.

:43:38.:43:42.

Over 180 countries in the UN. From my own experience and talking to

:43:43.:43:45.

ambassadors from smaller countries, I know how difficult they find it to

:43:46.:43:50.

get access and influence. Scotland can leveraged the broader influence

:43:51.:43:54.

of the UK for allsorts of historical reasons, a seat on the Security

:43:55.:43:59.

Council, a seat at the G20, these are places where the global system

:44:00.:44:03.

is determined. Scotland has a much more direct influence on those and

:44:04.:44:08.

it would if it had to convert with other allies and small groups of

:44:09.:44:14.

countries. Scotland would pay more and get less. Is that a fair point?

:44:15.:44:24.

That really is quite dated. We motoring in terms of developing. The

:44:25.:44:29.

idea that Scotland will not be the UK, of course not, we will not have

:44:30.:44:35.

nuclear weapons. The idea that we have a permanent seat on the UN

:44:36.:44:39.

Security Council, we do not need or want one. We will formulate our own

:44:40.:44:44.

decisions. I do not accept the point the UK is working on our behalf as

:44:45.:44:50.

well as we could ourselves. There have been complaints and we heard

:44:51.:44:53.

from Nicola Sturgeon she feels that sometimes the diplomacy is being

:44:54.:44:56.

used to work against the issue of Scottish independence. Our colleague

:44:57.:45:02.

Andrew Marr asked Vladimir Putin if he had any advice for David Cameron

:45:03.:45:06.

on the question of Scottish independence.

:45:07.:45:10.

Here is what he had to say. It is not a matter for Russia. It is

:45:11.:45:18.

a domestic issue for the UK. People have a right to soft in a nation --

:45:19.:45:31.

to self rule. I believe one should not forget that being part of a

:45:32.:45:35.

single strong state has some advantages and one should not

:45:36.:45:39.

overlook this. But it is a choice for every pupil according to their

:45:40.:45:44.

own circumstances -- people. Perhaps the Scots could join the new

:45:45.:45:52.

customs union? -- during your new. I would not rule it out.

:45:53.:45:59.

He says this is not a matter for Russia but that being part of a

:46:00.:46:02.

single strong state has more advantages and nobody should

:46:03.:46:07.

overlook that, your response? Both sides of the arguments can quote

:46:08.:46:11.

lines selectively. He started with, this is not a matter for Russia. He

:46:12.:46:16.

does not have a boat in it and not many people are taking lessons and

:46:17.:46:20.

democracy from Vladimir Putin! So people should not be quoting world

:46:21.:46:25.

leaders? People are professional, they recognise a domestic debate and

:46:26.:46:30.

a domestic decision. The people best placed to make about -- to make a

:46:31.:46:36.

decision about Scotland are the people of Scotland and the rest of

:46:37.:46:40.

the world will respect that. And to the Edinburgh agreement, we have a

:46:41.:46:44.

cordial and grown-up agreement with the UK government that both sides

:46:45.:46:49.

will respect. Do you expect world leaders to become embroiled in this

:46:50.:46:55.

debate or will they stay out like? ? I do not think will get involved. --

:46:56.:47:05.

like Vladimir Putin. It is for the UK and the Scottish people to decide

:47:06.:47:09.

on this. But it is important that Scots understand the international

:47:10.:47:14.

implications and the smooth the path that is outlined by the SNP that it

:47:15.:47:23.

will all be rosy is not true. The reality is that Scottish

:47:24.:47:25.

independence will cost more and it will be a difficult road, not

:47:26.:47:29.

impossible. But Scotland will pay more for less.

:47:30.:47:35.

We will return to this! Thank you both -- thank you, both.

:47:36.:47:40.

It is the final weekend of campaigning in the Cowdenbeath

:47:41.:47:43.

by-election. It has been a quick battle, really just getting off the

:47:44.:47:46.

ground after the Christmas holidays. Called after the death of the

:47:47.:47:50.

sitting MSP Helen Eadie, it seems the SNP only have a slim chance of a

:47:51.:47:53.

win. The constituency managed to survive the nationalist avalanche of

:47:54.:47:56.

2011, while others around it fell. Andrew Kerr has been to meet the

:47:57.:48:00.

candidates. The butcher, baker, betting shop, a

:48:01.:48:04.

typical Scottish town, welcome to Cowdenbeath. It is called, it it is

:48:05.:48:11.

a by-election that has hardly set the world alight, but people are

:48:12.:48:14.

talking about the issues that matter the most. -- cold. The state of the

:48:15.:48:24.

High Street and local jobs. Small businesses are a major thing for me.

:48:25.:48:28.

When you think of the High Street here, what can be done to help it?

:48:29.:48:33.

The High Street is going to die a death, so hopefully some

:48:34.:48:36.

regeneration will be goat. Regenerate the High Street for a

:48:37.:48:42.

start. There is nothing left. It is deserted. Mainly that and the job

:48:43.:48:50.

situation. It is about Scottish independence, that is a big vote

:48:51.:48:55.

this year. That is very important and the structure but, we need more

:48:56.:49:01.

information. So the constitution is also an issue, the Labour candidate

:49:02.:49:03.

picking up on that on the doorsteps here. Labour need -- needs to set

:49:04.:49:12.

out its vision for Scotland. Alex Rowley is the council leader in

:49:13.:49:15.

Fife, Labour survived the SNP onslaught here in 2011 and it is

:49:16.:49:21.

likely the party will pull through again. There is a traditional Labour

:49:22.:49:24.

message on jobs, health and the referendum. Scotland has been put on

:49:25.:49:29.

hold for a year, we see cuts happening, we see health and social

:49:30.:49:35.

care whether a government in Edinburgh will not take

:49:36.:49:38.

responsibility for its role so we are not taking anything for granted,

:49:39.:49:42.

we will campaign for every vote. I message is loud and clear, in this

:49:43.:49:48.

constituency, if elected, I will be a strong voice representing this

:49:49.:49:50.

constituency in the Scottish Parliament.

:49:51.:49:56.

What are the main issues for you? People are saying it is the pressure

:49:57.:50:05.

on budgets. Current data is a hard nut to cross -- break for the

:50:06.:50:13.

Nationalists. But there is optimistic talk from the candidates.

:50:14.:50:21.

If we can -- speak to enough voters and give them the message that only

:50:22.:50:25.

we can protect them then we can convince them and we could win. Not

:50:26.:50:32.

so for the Lib Dems with 4% here last time. Look through the window

:50:33.:50:35.

at a Lib Dem soul at this factory and what do you find? It seems

:50:36.:50:40.

reporters are the anyone's asking about controversial welfare reforms.

:50:41.:50:46.

People are talking about it. Their worries about independence and jobs

:50:47.:50:51.

and taxes, but when it comes to these discussions, all I can say is

:50:52.:50:55.

I understand there is a need for welfare reform and it has to be done

:50:56.:51:00.

sensibly and fairly. A strong defence of UK Government policy from

:51:01.:51:06.

the Conservatives. In Aber Dower, a promise to protect green spaces and

:51:07.:51:13.

a promise to listen. I was brought up in Fife and I work with people is

:51:14.:51:18.

at -- people and ask them what they want. I don't tell the man that

:51:19.:51:24.

makes me unusual as a politician. UKIP claims they are also listening.

:51:25.:51:30.

They are campaigning on the beach here.

:51:31.:51:38.

The authorities pass the buck. If you vote for UKIP, we will make sure

:51:39.:51:43.

things get done and this beach is cleaned up. From the bay, back to

:51:44.:51:52.

the high street. After Thursday, voters will no longer be bombarded

:51:53.:51:57.

with messages as the campaign teams hit the road and the visiting

:51:58.:52:02.

politicians get back in their boxes. Here is a full list of candidates

:52:03.:52:03.

could: polling will take place on Thursday

:52:04.:52:14.

and there is more information on our website.

:52:15.:52:20.

I'm joined by Professor John Curtice from Strathclyde University --

:52:21.:52:26.

University. I think you have seen their the candidates try hard to

:52:27.:52:32.

find local issues on which to campaign. As in Dunfermline, the

:52:33.:52:37.

state of the town centre is being talked about. Equally, there are

:52:38.:52:42.

claims about whether the independence referendum is or is not

:52:43.:52:48.

an issue. Equally, there are claims and counterclaims about whether

:52:49.:52:52.

people are voting for the policies of the UK or Scottish government. A

:52:53.:52:58.

typical by-election mix here. Dunfermline, the SNP were trying to

:52:59.:53:02.

defend a marginal seat that we did not expect them to hang onto.

:53:03.:53:09.

Cowdenbeath is one of the 15 constituencies the Labour Party did

:53:10.:53:13.

manage to hang onto in 2011. What makes different then? It makes it

:53:14.:53:20.

different in the sense that it is not a by-election in which there is

:53:21.:53:27.

a great deal of interest because even by-elections in opposition

:53:28.:53:31.

seats, we find the government not doing terribly well. We usually find

:53:32.:53:36.

the opposition hang on and make some progress. We will be looking to see

:53:37.:53:41.

whether the SNP and the Labour performance is similar to or

:53:42.:53:45.

different from the performance in Aberdeen in the summer and in

:53:46.:53:50.

Dunfermline in the autumn. In truth, those are the two by-elections, they

:53:51.:53:57.

provide us with a framework. Almost undoubtedly the reason why the

:53:58.:54:01.

Labour Party hung onto the seat in 2011 is because of Helen Eadie's

:54:02.:54:10.

personal popularity. Overall, what do by-elections like this tell us?

:54:11.:54:14.

We have had tremendous upsets and sometimes they have gone to plan. Do

:54:15.:54:20.

they actually feed that much into the national picture? Occasionally

:54:21.:54:25.

changes the national mood substantially. They had a dramatic

:54:26.:54:31.

impact last year on the position in UK wide politics. You have to look

:54:32.:54:37.

at them and say, as compared with other by-elections is it exceptional

:54:38.:54:41.

and telling us something is changing? If the Labour Party ends

:54:42.:54:46.

up with around 50%, which is what you would expect given what happened

:54:47.:54:50.

in Aberdeen and Dunfermline and given what they did in this

:54:51.:54:54.

constituency in the 2012 local elections, we will say not much has

:54:55.:55:01.

changed. If the SNP end up at around 3031%, that is consistent with their

:55:02.:55:04.

performances in previous by-elections and in the 2012 local

:55:05.:55:15.

elections. 30 or 31%. I think we need to see what happened previously

:55:16.:55:21.

in local elections and by-elections and that gives us a guide as to

:55:22.:55:27.

whether this is more of the same and we shouldn't be terribly surprised

:55:28.:55:30.

or whether, in fact, something is changing. We're constantly told the

:55:31.:55:38.

electorate here is sophisticated. Will that mean we can read anything,

:55:39.:55:43.

therefore, into the forthcoming referendum as a result of this? I

:55:44.:55:52.

would be wary of that. If you look at the SNP's average vote share, it

:55:53.:55:59.

is around 40%. Average vote for independence is around 38 or 39, not

:56:00.:56:11.

that far apart. But, at the end of the day, remember that governments

:56:12.:56:16.

tend not to do terribly well, even if they are popular. It is still

:56:17.:56:20.

relatively popular as the government, albeit not as popular as

:56:21.:56:25.

three years ago. Snowdrops in by-elections will undoubtedly

:56:26.:56:29.

exaggerate the reek -- weakness of the SNP's position. The drop in this

:56:30.:56:34.

by-election will be greater than any drop for independence. Thank you for

:56:35.:56:38.

that. You're watching Sunday Politics

:56:39.:56:41.

Scotland and the time is coming up for midday. Let's cross now for the

:56:42.:56:44.

news from Reporting Scotland with Andrew Kerr.

:56:45.:56:48.

Good afternoon. Police have arrested and charged the mother of the

:56:49.:56:53.

three-year-old boy, Mikaeel Kular, in connection with his death. This

:56:54.:57:02.

report from where the boy 's body was found.

:57:03.:57:07.

The house here remained cordoned off today. The body of Michael Adebolajo

:57:08.:57:12.

was removed yesterday afternoon. To communities have been affected by

:57:13.:57:26.

the little boy 's death and hundreds turned out for a church service in

:57:27.:57:32.

the area of Edinburgh where he had lived with his family for the last

:57:33.:57:37.

18 months. His Merc -- mother has been charged in connection with his

:57:38.:57:41.

murder and she is due to appear in court tomorrow. A man has died after

:57:42.:57:52.

being pulled out of the sea at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. Two

:57:53.:57:55.

members of the public and a police officer rescued the man yesterday

:57:56.:57:58.

afternoon. He was then airlifted to hospital in Aberdeen. The

:57:59.:58:01.

43-year-old died there in the early hours of this morning.

:58:02.:58:04.

Health boards have been told to cut down on their use of the private

:58:05.:58:08.

sector. The new guidance has come from the Health Secretary, Alex

:58:09.:58:16.

Neil. The most recent figures indicate NHS spending on independent

:58:17.:58:19.

health care was less than 1% of the budget. Labour had said using the

:58:20.:58:22.

private sector was a "sticking plaster" approach to health care.

:58:23.:58:33.

Dry and brighter conditions across the south-west corner. Staying windy

:58:34.:58:40.

across the North East with lighter wind elsewhere.

:58:41.:58:43.

That's all for now. Catalonia's president has praised

:58:44.:58:55.

Britain's pragmatic approach to Scottish independence. Artur Mas

:58:56.:59:04.

told the BBC that he would press ahead with the controversial vote on

:59:05.:59:07.

independence in Catalonia in November even though the Spanish

:59:08.:59:11.

government says it is illegal and they will block it. The two

:59:12.:59:16.

campaigns for independence are similar but there are key

:59:17.:59:20.

differences. Once, the Catalan language was

:59:21.:59:26.

banned in schools here. Now, Catalan children grow up with the national

:59:27.:59:29.

identity distinct from the rest of Spain. Support for independence is

:59:30.:59:37.

growing. This demonstration in September 2012 attracted more than 1

:59:38.:59:41.

million people. Scotland has seen nothing like this. Spain says it

:59:42.:59:47.

will block Novembers referendum as illegal. I asked Catalonia's

:59:48.:59:50.

president whether it would encourage Catalans to invite -- vote for

:59:51.:59:56.

independence if Scotland voted yes first. I don't think so. I think

:59:57.:00:03.

there are some similarities between Scotland and Catalonia but there are

:00:04.:00:08.

also differences. I think that both countries have enough personality,

:00:09.:00:14.

even from a political point of view, to follow their own ways. I

:00:15.:00:21.

wouldn't say that everything is similar between the Scottish process

:00:22.:00:25.

and the Catalan process, although there are some similarities. Do you

:00:26.:00:31.

see Scotland as an ally or does it complicates things? I don't think

:00:32.:00:37.

the Scottish case complicates things in Catalunya. Let me say that we

:00:38.:00:45.

envy a bit what is happening in the United Kingdom because what we would

:00:46.:00:50.

like is an agreement with the Spanish central institutions. Our

:00:51.:00:57.

aim is to reach an agreement and organise the consultation in

:00:58.:01:02.

accordance with the opinion of the Spanish government, but the

:01:03.:01:05.

difference is that, in Spain, the central government says you don't

:01:06.:01:09.

have the right to vote. So you would rather be dealing with David

:01:10.:01:16.

Cameron? Of course. Not exactly with Mr Cameron, but with the British

:01:17.:01:22.

mentality. That is to say, if you have a nation - Scotland or

:01:23.:01:31.

Catalunya, you have a broad majority of the population asking for a

:01:32.:01:37.

referendum, asking for real democracy, what do you have to do?

:01:38.:01:44.

To sit at the table and talk about it and reach agreements and to let

:01:45.:01:48.

people vote. That is the British way. If Scotland and Catalunya were

:01:49.:01:54.

to vote yes, would they carry on as members of the EU in their own right

:01:55.:01:58.

on slightly different terms, or would they have to reapply as new

:01:59.:02:04.

members? This is what we don't know. Frankly,

:02:05.:02:10.

we don't know what will happen, but nobody knows. The Spanish government

:02:11.:02:17.

doesn't know what will happen and the European Commission doesn't

:02:18.:02:25.

know. What do you think will happen? I think common sense is the most

:02:26.:02:31.

important point. Common sense shows us that if a European country

:02:32.:02:35.

belonging to the European Union wants to stay in the European Union,

:02:36.:02:39.

the European Union has two make it easy. There is another big

:02:40.:02:45.

difference between the two. In Scotland, support for independence

:02:46.:02:51.

has been solid at around 30% arguably for decades. In Catalonia

:02:52.:02:57.

it has shot up to 50% in the last few years and many anti-independence

:02:58.:03:00.

campaigners believe it is a short-term response to a short-term

:03:01.:03:07.

economic crisis, but one which could have profound and irreversible

:03:08.:03:12.

long-term consequences. Opponents of the referendum one tough action

:03:13.:03:17.

funds gained -- Spain to rain Catalonia in. For instance, we could

:03:18.:03:27.

suspend the autonomy. We hope it will not be a scenario that will

:03:28.:03:30.

arise, but our democratic constitution gives us some tools to

:03:31.:03:44.

stop illegal misuse. But the popular mood seems unmistakable. In a

:03:45.:03:49.

country where even eight-year-old child for independence, Spain 's

:03:50.:03:53.

refusal to grant a referendum risks pushing more Catalans into the

:03:54.:03:55.

independence camp. In a moment, we will discuss the big

:03:56.:04:07.

events coming up in Holyrood. First, a week at -- a look back at the

:04:08.:04:09.

week. The Treasury pledged to honour all

:04:10.:04:18.

UK debt in the event of independence, it is hoped.

:04:19.:04:23.

Uncertainty about the sharing of debt is pushing up the cost of

:04:24.:04:27.

borrowing. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said plans to abolish

:04:28.:04:32.

corroboration would he delayed to review the impact of reform, some

:04:33.:04:37.

believe it could lead to miscarriages of justice. The

:04:38.:04:40.

Scottish government is creating a veterans commission at to champion

:04:41.:04:45.

the interests of ex-servicemen and women. Scotland's economy grew by

:04:46.:04:50.

0.7% last year, the Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed the

:04:51.:04:55.

figures. They show over the last six quarters sustained and accelerated

:04:56.:05:00.

growth in the Scottish economy and the annual growth of the Scottish

:05:01.:05:07.

economy is at 2.1%. Research by Edinburgh University found police in

:05:08.:05:11.

Scotland carry out four times more stop and searches than in England

:05:12.:05:15.

and Wales. Well, that was the Week in Sixty

:05:16.:05:19.

Seconds. Let's have a look at the headlines and what is coming up this

:05:20.:05:21.

week. And joining me to have a look at

:05:22.:05:29.

what the next few days hold is Times political correspondent Lindsay

:05:30.:05:32.

McIntosh, and the political editor from the Sunday Herald, Tom Gordon.

:05:33.:05:39.

Good afternoon. Let's start with the story on the front pages of most of

:05:40.:05:42.

the papers, the death of the-year-old Mikaeel Kular

:05:43.:05:46.

dominating the papers. This seems to have touched the whole country. It

:05:47.:05:53.

is hot waking, instant identification for parents like

:05:54.:05:58.

myself, a child goes missing with tragic consequences --

:05:59.:06:02.

heartbreaking. No surprise it is dominating the front pages, a

:06:03.:06:06.

terrible story. Police have been praising the efforts of people in

:06:07.:06:11.

Edinburgh. It is easy to be cynical and think people are on caring, but

:06:12.:06:16.

that is not the case. Their striking images of hundreds of members of the

:06:17.:06:21.

local community coming forward -- there are striking. Conducting

:06:22.:06:26.

searches with the police. Mothers came out and said, if this had been

:06:27.:06:29.

my child missing, I would hope everybody would come and help. And

:06:30.:06:38.

it has had this heartbreaking end. More on this story in the coming

:06:39.:06:43.

days. Let's talk about diplomacy. You have got a story in the Sunday

:06:44.:06:50.

Herald about how the SNP sees foreign policy developing. This is

:06:51.:06:56.

intriguing, it could be a great idea or a hostage to fortune. They want

:06:57.:07:01.

the policy of, do no harm, is strong ethical dimensional to it. It would

:07:02.:07:08.

mean stopping exporting arms to reprehensible regimes. So please

:07:09.:07:13.

stop with the best of intentions, these things -- so these things

:07:14.:07:18.

start with the best of intentions but it will be interesting to see if

:07:19.:07:23.

they carry it off. We have heard about ethical policies before, Robin

:07:24.:07:28.

Cook 's idea before Labour came to power and it did not last long. It

:07:29.:07:34.

is a nice phrase and it is in the White Paper. It is not something

:07:35.:07:40.

everybody will oppose but how do you see that question --? Also

:07:41.:07:53.

recognition that Scotland's role in the world will be different to the

:07:54.:07:57.

role the UK has played when it comes to intervention. Very much, we have

:07:58.:08:04.

had from Angus Robertson a lot of discussion about Scotland becoming a

:08:05.:08:07.

centre for peace and reconciliation and if you can that with the UK

:08:08.:08:11.

government, we have had illegal wars in Iraq. I want a different

:08:12.:08:16.

direction, much more peaceful and co-operative. I want to break away

:08:17.:08:24.

from being the in the pocket of the US. There will be talk about Scots

:08:25.:08:31.

having a different attitude to immigration. Is the SNP likely to

:08:32.:08:39.

say that? This is not quite a myth but I do not think the facts pan out

:08:40.:08:46.

as the SNP presents them. If you look at opinion polls in this area,

:08:47.:08:50.

Scottish attitudes to immigration and the EU are pretty similar to the

:08:51.:08:57.

rest of the UK. To an extent, it is an exaggeration from the SNP that we

:08:58.:09:02.

are somehow there are different to the rest of the UK. When it comes to

:09:03.:09:11.

anti-EU sentiment, that seems to be encapsulated by UKIP, not the same

:09:12.:09:15.

North of the border? UKIP are a shambles North of the border and the

:09:16.:09:18.

leadership structure has virtually collapsed. They have yet to achieve

:09:19.:09:24.

by percent of the vote in a by-election. -- 5%. Could change

:09:25.:09:31.

with the European elections in May, but no sense of that. How helpful to

:09:32.:09:37.

the Better Together campaign into Jack is like the one on Friday from

:09:38.:09:42.

William Hague? Do those campaigning against a Yes vote CDs Westminster

:09:43.:09:49.

figures as being helpful? -- CBEs. William Hague and Danny Alexander

:09:50.:09:58.

did very well on Friday. Where the interventions have been unhelpful is

:09:59.:10:04.

where we have had unnamed Tories from down South passing comment on

:10:05.:10:08.

the Better Together campaign from a distance. We had remarks that I was

:10:09.:10:13.

to dialling is comatose to and that is not helpful -- Alistair Darling.

:10:14.:10:23.

But William Hague produced a helpful contribution. And Danny Alexander.

:10:24.:10:27.

There had been interventions from George Osborne is and some feel that

:10:28.:10:32.

helps their campaign. -- George Osborne. That always the Bay are a

:10:33.:10:40.

recruiting Sergeant for the Yes campaign if they come North -- they

:10:41.:10:47.

always say that they are. It annoys them because the message can

:10:48.:10:50.

resonate with some Scottish voters and they would like them to stay out

:10:51.:10:58.

completely. We have got the publication of the latest instalment

:10:59.:11:00.

of the Scottish attitudes survey and this will look at independence. Is

:11:01.:11:06.

either side changing minds in this debate? I think it is fractional at

:11:07.:11:14.

the moment. There is possibly a sense that the Yes vote is getting a

:11:15.:11:18.

bit of traction in the sense that the polls will narrow, but I do not

:11:19.:11:25.

think we will see a huge swing. Since the White Paper has come out,

:11:26.:11:30.

the book are starting to weigh the argument is a lot of than they have

:11:31.:11:38.

in the past -- people. I cannot see social attitude surveys showing

:11:39.:11:41.

anything significant we -- significantly different. Do you feel

:11:42.:11:48.

the public are engaged? But as much as they will be. Even if the

:11:49.:11:56.

campaign went on longer, five years, people would only switch on in the

:11:57.:12:02.

last couple of months. They will only get engaged in the closing

:12:03.:12:09.

period. What will be interesting is if there is any kind of difference.

:12:10.:12:13.

We are seeing increasingly undecided voters and perhaps people moving

:12:14.:12:19.

into the may be camp, but it is quite slow. I do not think they will

:12:20.:12:27.

poll of enough momentum. -- pick up enough momentum. We just hear

:12:28.:12:32.

arguments reiterated and we cannot look for anything new from either

:12:33.:12:39.

campaign pushed up -- campaign? We have got another four or five

:12:40.:12:45.

campaigners system of the arguments they made initially will be brought

:12:46.:12:49.

out in finer detail. From the other side, they will have to put flesh on

:12:50.:12:55.

the bones of a lot of the propositions they make in the White

:12:56.:12:57.

Paper, which is supposed to be their manifesto. I do not think we will

:12:58.:13:04.

see anything left field. But a long eight months to go! It has been a

:13:05.:13:10.

long year and a half! One of the big political stories will be the

:13:11.:13:15.

Cowdenbeath by-election, it does not set the world on fire! Maybe it is

:13:16.:13:20.

the time of year the weather, I cannot see it it upset. The SNP

:13:21.:13:27.

rolling their eyes as a safe -- and seeing it as a safety seat. These

:13:28.:13:32.

things can cost up to ?100,000 a time and this is the third in quick

:13:33.:13:36.

succession and I think they would rather save their energy for the big

:13:37.:13:41.

one. So pity the poor people in Cowdenbeath! Indeed, it is not going

:13:42.:13:46.

to be the most engaging by-election. We heard from John

:13:47.:13:53.

Curtis earlier, it looks like it will be Labour. The feeling in

:13:54.:13:59.

Holyrood is, let's get this over and move on. We get the result and

:14:00.:14:04.

Friday morning. Thank you for coming here. -- on Friday morning.

:14:05.:14:09.

That is all from the us this week. I will be back at the same time next

:14:10.:14:12.

week. Until then, goodbye.

:14:13.:14:17.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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