26/01/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Gary Robertson with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including an interview with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Ed Balls has gone socialist and fiscal conservative in one speech.


He promises to balance the biggest bit of the budget. And to bring back


the 50p top tax rate. Political master-stroke? Or a return to Old


Labour? If you go to work by public


transport, chances are the price of your ticket has just gone up. Again.


We'll speak to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, he's our Sunday


interview. And it's been another wet week


across much of the UK, but what's the outlook according to Nigel


Farage? And on Sunday Politics Scotland:


How will 16 and 17-year olds vote in the referendum?


One Labour MP predicts that they'll turn away from nationalism. We'll


speak to Douglas Alexander live. And with me - as always - the


political panel so fresh-faced, entertaining and downright popular


they make Justin Bieber look like a boring old has-been just desperate


to get your attention. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh, and


they'll be tweeting quicker than a yellow Lamborghini racing down Miami


Beach. Being political nerds, they have no idea what I'm talking about.


Ed Balls sprung a surprise on us all yesterday. We kinda thought Labour


would head for the election with a return to the 50p top rate of tax.


But we didn't think he'd do it now. He did! The polls say it's popular,


Labour activists now have a spring in their step. The Tories say it's a


return to the bad old days of the '70s, and bosses now think Labour is


anti-business. Here's the Shadow Chancellor speaking earlier this


morning. I was part of a Government which did very many things to open


up markets, to make the Bank of England independent, to work closely


with business, but the reality is we are in very difficult circumstances


and because if I'm honest you, George Osborne's failure in the last


few years, those difficult circumstances will last into the


next Parliament. Business people have said to me they want to get the


deficit down, of course they do. But to cut the top rate... It is foolish


and feeds resentment I want to do the opposite and say look,


pro-business, pro investment, pro market, but pro fairness. Let's get


this deficit down in a fairway and make the reforms to make our economy


this deficit down in a fairway and work for the long term. What are the


political implications of Labour now in favour of a 50%, in practise 352%


top rate of tax? One of the political implications I don't think


exist is that they'll win new voters. I'm not sure many people out


there would think, I would love to vote for Ed Miliband but I'm not


sure if he wants to tax rich people enough. It will con Dale their


existing vote but I don't think it is the kind of, in the 1990s we


talked about triangulation, moving beyond your core vote, I don't think


it is a policy like that. If there has been a policy like that this


year, this month, it has been the Tories' move on minimum wage. I


thought Labour would come back with their own version, a centre-right


policy, and instead they have done this. I think we talk about the 35%


strategy that Labour supposed will have, I think it is a policy in that


direction rather than the thing Tony Blair or Gordon Brown would have


done. Where he was not clear is on how much it would raise. We know the


sum in the grand scheme of things isn't much, the bedroom tax was


about sending a message. What we are going to see is George Osborne and


Ed Balls lock as they try to push the other one into saying things


that are unpopular. The Tories, ?150,000 a year, that's exactly


three main parties have roughly the three main parties have roughly the


same plan, to run a current budget surplus by the end of the next


Parliament. George Osborne said ?12 billion of welfare cuts, hasn't said


how he is going to do it. Ed Balls is giving an idea that he is going


to restore this 50 persons rate. The contribution of that will be


deminimus. It is not much, but what does it say about your values.


Because it is that package, it is cleverer than people think. Where


the challenge is is the question that Peter Mandelson posed at the


last election, which is can the Labour Party win a general election


if it doesn't have business on its side? That's the big challenge and


that's the question looking difficult for them this morning.


Does it matter if Labour has business on its side. I thought the


most fascinating thing about this announcement is it came from the guy


mindful of business support, Ed Balls. When in opposition and when a


Minister and as a shadow as a result, he's been far more conscious


than Ed Miliband about the need not to alienate the CB Bill. In the


run-up of an election. This is a measure of Ed Miliband's strength in


the Labour Party, that his view of things can prevail so easily over a


guy who for the last 15 years has taken a different view. Eight out of


ten businesses according to the CBI don't want us to leave business.


Business is in a bit of a cleft stick. Ed Miliband would like to see


businesses squealing, and Ed Balls is clearly not so comfortable on


that one. There's a difference on that. Mind you, they were squealing


this morning from Davos. They probably had hangovers as well. The


other thing they would say is this is not like Ed Balls thinks that 50p


is the optimal rate forever, it what go eventually. Isn't that what


politicians said when income tax was introduced? Yeah, in '97 Labour


regarded 40 persons as the rate where it would stay.


It's been a bad week for the Lib Dems. Again. Actually, it's been one


of the worst weeks yet for Nick Clegg and his party in recent


memory, as they've gone from talking confidently about their role in


Government to facing a storm of criticism over claims of


inappropriate sexual behaviour by a Lib Dem peer, Chris Rennard, and a


Lib Dem MP, Mike Hancock. Here's Giles with the story of the week. A


challenge to Nick Clegg's authority as he face as growing row over the


Liberal Democrat... I want everyone to be treated with respect by the


Liberal Democrats. We are expecting him to show moral leadership on our


behalf. A good man has been publicly destroyed by the media with the


apparent support of Nick Clegg. I would like Nick Clegg to show


leadership and say, this has got to stop. When Nick Clegg woke up on


Monday morning he knew he was in trouble, staring down the barrel of


a stand justify with Lord Rennard over allegations that the peer had


inappropriately touched a number of women. Chris Rennard thought he was


cleared. Nick Clegg wanted more. I said if he doesn't apologise, he


should withdraw from the House of Lords. If he does that today, what


do you do then? I hope he doesn't. I think no apology, no whip. 2014 was


starting badly for the Liberal Democrats. Chris Rennard refused to


apologise, saying you can't say sorry for something you haven't


done. The and he was leaning towards legal action. Butch us friends


better defending Pym and publicly. This is a good, decent man, who has


been punished by the party, with the leadership of the party that seems


to be showing scant regard for due process. But his accusers felt very


differently. It is untenable for the Lib Dems to have a credible voice on


qualities and women's issues in the future if Lord Rennard was allowed


to be back on the Lib Dem benches in the House of Lords. Therein lay the


problem that exposed the weaknesses of the Lib Dem leaders. The party's


internal structures have all the simplicity of a circuit diagram for


a supercomputer, exposing the complexity of who runs the Liberal


Democrats? The simple question that arose of that was can the leader of


the Lib Dems remove a Lib Dem peer? The simple answer is no. The Lib Dem


whips in the Lords could do it but if enough Lib Dem peers disagreed,


they could overrule it. Some long-stand ng friends of roar


Rennard think he is either the innocent victim of a media


witch-hunt or at the least due process has been ridden over rough


shot by the leadership. Nobody ever did spot Lord Rennard as he didn't


turn up to the Lords, will citing ill health. But issued a statement


that ruled out an apology. He refused to do so and refused to


comply with the outcome of that report, so there was no alternative


but for the party to suspend his membership today. On Wednesday Nick


Clegg met Lib Dem peers, not for a crunch decision, but to discuss the


extraordinary prospect of legal action against the party by the man


long credited with building its success. The situation was making


the party look like a joke. One Tory MP said to one of my colleagues this


morning, the funny thing about the Liberal Democrats, you managed to


create a whole sex scandal without any sex. And we can laugh at


ourselves but actually it is rather serious. And it got more serious,


when an MP who had resigned the Lib Dem whip last year was expanded from


the party over a report into allegations of serious and unwelcome


sexual behaviour towards a constituent. All of this leaves the


Lib Dems desperately wishing these sagas had been dealt with long ago


and would now go away. Nick Clegg ended the week still party leader.


Lord Rennard, once one of their most powerful players, ended the week,


for now, no longer even in it. Giles on the Lib Dems' disastrous


week. Now, as you doubtless already know, on Tuesday Lib Dem MPs will


vote to choose a new deputy leader. You didn't know that? You do now.


The job of Nick Clegg's number two is to speak with a genuine Lib Dem


voice, untainted by the demands of coalition Government. At this point


in the show we had expected to speak to all three candidates for the


post, held in recent years by party veterans like Vince Cable and Simon


Hughes. We thought it being quite a significant week for the party, they


might have something to say. And here they are. Well that's their


pictures. For various reasons, all three are now unavailable. Malcolm


Bruce, he's reckoned to be the outsider. His office said he had a


"family commitment". Gordon Birtwistle, the Burnley MP, was


booked to appear but then told us, "I was at an event last night with


Lorely Burt" - she's one of the candidates - "and she told me it was


off". And Lorely Burt herself, seen by many as the red hot favourite,


told us: "Because of the Rennard thing we don't want to put ourselves


in a position where we have to answer difficult questions." How


refreshingly honest. Helen, how bad politically is all this for the Lib


Dems? What I think is the tragic irony of the Lib Dems is they've


been revealed as being too democratic. In the same way that


their party conference embarrassed Nick Clegg by voting sings that he


signed up to, and now everything has to be run past various


sub-committees first. Is it democratic or chaotic? It is


Byzantine. Mike Hancock was voluntarily suspended, and this week


he was properly suspended. It was new information into the public


domain that forced that. I'm already hearing Labour and Conservative


Party musing that if it is a long Parliament, we will form a minority


Government. It is a disaster for them. Voters like parties that


reflect and are interested this their concerns. Parties that are


self obsessed turn them off. The third party, if they carry on like


this, they'll be the fifth party in the European elections, so they have


got to draw a line under this. They do that, if they do, through


mediation. As I understand it, Chris Rennard,s who has go devoted his


entire life to the Liberal Democrats, and previously the


Liberal Party, is keen to draw a line under this. He is up for


mediation but he needs to know that the women that he has clearly


invaded their personal space, that there wouldn't be a possible legal a


action from them. The it is very difficult to see how you could


resolve that. Except he is threatening through his friends,


these famous friends, to spill all the beans about all the party's sex


secrets. Isn't the danger for the Lib Dems, this haunts them through


to the European elections, where they'll get thumped in the European


elections? They'll get destroyed in the European elections, which keeps


it salient as a story over the summer. And it has implications for


Nick Clegg's leadership. He's done a good job until now, perhaps better


than David Cameron, of exercising authority over his party. He had a


good conference in September. Absolutely, and now the Lib Dems


have looked like a party without a leader or a leadership structure.


Part of that is down to the chaotic or Byzantine organisational


structure of the party. Part of it is Nick Clegg's failure to assert


himself and impose himself over events. Is it Byzantine or


Byzantine. It is labyrinthine. You don't get these words on the Today


programme. The cost of living has been back on the agenda this week as


Labour and the Tories argue over whether the value of money in your


pocket is going up or down. Well there's one cost which has been


racing ahead of inflation and that's the amount you have to pay to travel


by train, by bus and by air. Rail commuters have been hard hit over


the last four years, with the cost of the average season ticket going


up by 18% since January 2010, while wages have gone up by just 3.6% over


the same period. It means some rail users are paying high prices with


commuters from Kent shelling out more than ?5,000 per year from the


beginning of this month just to get to work in London. It doesn't


compare well with our European counterparts. In the UK the average


rail user spends 14% of their average income on trains. It is just


1.5% in Italy. Regulated fares like season tickets went up 3.1% at the


beginning of this month, and with ministers keen to make passengers


fought more of the bills, there are more fare rises coming down the


track. And Patrick McLoughlin joins me now for the Sunday Interview.


Welcome. You claim to be in the party of hard-working people, so why


is it that since you came to power rail commuters have seen the cost of


their average season ticket going up in money terms by over 18% while


their pay has gone up in money terms by less than four? I would point out


that this is the first year in ten years that we have not had an above


inflation increase on fares. The Government accepts we have got to do


as much as we can to help the passengers. A big inflation increase


since 2010. This is the first year in ten years that it has not been


above RPI, but we are also investing huge amounts of money into the


railways, building new trains for the East Coast Main Line and the


great Western. We are spending ?500 million at Birmingham station, this


is all increasing capacity, so we are seeing investments. Over the


next five years Network Rail will invest over ?38 billion in the


network structure. We also have an expensive railway and it is ordinary


people paying for it. A season ticket from Woking in Surrey,


commuter belt land in London, let's look at the figures. This is a


distance of over 25 miles, it cost over ?3000 per year. We have picked


similar distances to international cities.


The British commuter is being ripped off. The British commuter is seeing


record levels of investment in our railways. The investment has to be


paid for. We are investing huge amounts of money and I don't know


whether the figures you have got here... I'm sure they are likewise,


as you have managed to do... White -- ten times more than the Italian


equivalent. We have seen transformational changes in our


railway services and we need to carry on investing. We were paying


these prices even before you started investing. We have always paid a lot


more to commute in this country than our European equivalents. I'm not


quite sure I want to take on Italy is a great example. You would if you


were a commuter. You is a great example. You would if you


the other rates of taxation has to be paid as well. Isn't it the case


they are making profits out of these figures and using them to subsidise


cheaper fares back in their homeland? The overall profit margin


train companies make is 3%, a reasonable amount, and we have seen


a revolution as far as the railway industry is concerned.


a revolution as far as the railway 20 years we have seen passenger


journeys going from 750 million to 1.5 billion. That is a massive


revolution in rail. Let me look 1.5 billion. That is a massive


spokesperson for the German government, the Ministry of


transport. They are charging huge fares in


Britain to take that money back to subsidise fares in Germany. What do


you say to that? We are seeing British companies winning contracts


in Germany. The National Express are winning contracts to the railways.


What about the ordinary commuter? They are paying through the nose so


German commuters can travel more cheaply. We are still subsidising


the railways in this country, but overall we want to reduce the


subsidy we are giving. We are still seeing growth in our railways and I


want to see more people using them. Why do you increase rail fares at


the higher RPI measure than the lower CPI measurement? That is what


has always been done, and we have stopped. This is the first time in


ten years that we have not raised the rail figures above RPI. You


still link fares to RPI. You use the lower CPI figure when it suits you,


to keep pension payments down for example, but the higher one when it


comes to increasing rail fares. We are still putting a huge subsidy


into the rail industry, there is still a huge amount of money going


from the taxpayer to support the rail industry. I am not asking you


about that, I am asking you why you link the figures to the higher RPI


vesture Mark if we are going to pay for the levels of investment, so all


the new trains being built at Newton Aycliffe for the East Coast Main


Line and the great Western, ?3.5 billion of investment, new rolling


stock coming online, then yes, we have to pay for it, and it is a


question of the taxpayer paying for it all the -- or the passenger.


You have capped parking fines until the next election, rail commuters we


have seen the cost of their ticket has gone up by nearly 20%, you are


the party of the drivers, not the passengers, aren't you?


We are trying to help everybody who has been struggling. I think we are


setting out long-term plans for our railways, investing heavily in them


and it is getting that balance right. But you have done more for


the driver than you have for the user of public transport. I don't


accept that. They are paying the same petrol prices as 2011. This is


the first time in ten years that there has not been an RPI plus


rise. We are investing record amounts. Bus fares are also rising,


4.2% in real terms in 2010, at a time when real take-home pay has


been falling. This hits commuters particularly workers who use buses


on low incomes, another cost of living squeeze. I was with


Stagecoach in Manchester on Friday, and I saw a bus company investing in


new buses. Last week First ordered new buses. Part of your hard-working


families you are always on about, they are the ones going to work


early in the morning, and yet you are making them pay more for their


buses in real terms than they did before. They would be happier if


they could travel more cheaply. It is about getting investment in


services, it has to be paid for. Why not run the old buses for five more


years? Because then there is more pollution in the atmosphere, modern


buses have lower emissions, and we are still giving huge support


overall to the bus industry and that is very important because I fully


accept that the number of people, yes, use the train but a lot of


people use buses as well. High-speed yes, use the train but a lot of


two, it has been delayed because 877 pages of key evidence from your


department were left on a computer memory stick, part of the submission


to environmental consultation. Your department's economic case is now


widely regarded as a joke, now you do this. Is your department fit for


purpose? Yes, and as far as what happened with the memory stick, it


is an acceptable and shouldn't have happened, and therefore we have


extended the time. There has been an extension in the time for people to


make representation, the bill for this goes through Parliament in a


different way to a normal bill. It is vital HS2 provides what we want.


What I am very pleased about is when the paving bill was passed by


Parliament just a few months ago, there was overwhelming support, and


I kept reading there was going to be 70 people voting against it, in the


end 30 people voted against it and there was a good majority in the


House of Commons. So can you give a guarantee that this legislation will


get onto the statute books? I will do all I can. I cannot tell you the


exact Parliamentary time scale. The bill will have started its progress


through the House of Commons by 2015, and it may well have


concluded. The new chairman of HS2 said he can bring the cost of the


line substantially under the budget, do you agree with that? The figure


is ?42 billion with a large contingency, and David Higgins, as


chairman of HS2, is looking at the whole cast and seeing if there are


ways in which it can be built faster. At the moment across London


we are building Crossrail, ?14.5 billion investment. There was a


report last week saying what an excellent job has been done.


Crossrail started under Labour. Actually it was Cecil Parkinson in


the 1990 party conference. You may get HS2 cheaper if you didn't pay


people so much, why is the nonexecutive chairman of HS2 on


?600,000? And the new chief executive on ?750,000. These are


very big projects and we need to attract the best people become so we


are going for the best engineers in the world to engineer this project.


It is a large salary, there is no question about it, but I'm rather


pleased that engineers rather than bankers can be seen to get big


rewards for delivering what will be very important pieces of national


infrastructure. I didn't have time to ask you about your passenger duty


so perhaps another time. We are about to speak to Nigel Mills and


all of these MPs on your side who are rebelling against the


Government, how would you handle them? We have got to listen to what


our colleagues are talking about and try to respond it. Would you take


them for a long walk off a short pier? I'm sure I would have many


conversations with them. An immigration bill to tack the


immigration into the UK. When limits on migration from Bulgaria and


Romania were lifted this year there were warnings of a large influx of


migrant workerses from the two new European countries. So far it's been


more of a dribble than a flood. Who can forget Labour MP Keith Vaz


greeting a handful of arrivals at Luton Airport. But it is early days


and it is one of the reasons the Government's introduced a new


Immigration Bill. The Prime Minister is facing rebellion from


backbenchers who want tougher action on immigration from abroad. Nigel


Mills would reimpose restrictions on how many Romanians and Bulgarians


can come here. Joining me is Nigel Mills, Conservative MP behind the


amendment and Labour MP Diane Abbott. Welcome. Nigel Mills, there


hasn't been an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians. Why do you want to


restore these, kick these transitional controls way forward to


2019? I don't think any of us were expecting a rush on January 1st,


Andrew. I think we were talking about a range of 250,000 to 350,000


people over five years. That's obviously a large amount of people,


especially when you think net migration to the UK was well in


excess of the Government's target of tens of thousands last year. The


real concern is that it would be ever increasing our population,


attracting lots of low-skilled, low-wage people, which keeps our


people out of work and wages down. Did you accept that if you were to


accept this, it would be in breach of the Treaty of Rome, the founding


principle of the European Union? We were trying to keep the restrictions


that Bulgaria and Romania accepted for their first seven years of EU


membership, on the basis that when we signed the treaty we weren't


aware that we would have a huge and catastrophic recession we are still


recovering from. But you would be in breach of the law, correct? The UK


Parliament has a right to say we signed this deal before the terrible


recession, and we need a bit longer in our national interest. It is


worth noting that Bulgaria and Romania haven't met all their


accession requirements. The Bulgarian requirement passed a


law... So if they break the law it is alright for us to break the law?


Is we should be focusing on trying to get 2. 4 million of our own in


work, and 1 million people not in work... Let me bring in Diane


Abbott. Will you vote for this amendment and why? It is in breach


of the treaty. While I deplore MPs that try to cause trouble, these MPs


have been particularly mindless, because what they want to do


wouldn't be legal. However, it is a Tory internal brief, if I might say


so. Maybe you can cause trouble by voting for it. No, that would be


going too far. Underlying it is a real antagonism for David Cameron.


They have had to hold off on this bill until January. It was supposed


to be debating before Christmas. As we speak they've not cut a deal, so


it could be pretty grus om. Nigel Mills, what do you say to that I


think there is a recognition that there is a problem with the amount


of migration from EU countries that we need to tackle. We could try to


achieve an annual cap perhaps, longer limits on when countries get


free movement. I think the debate is moving in the


People are worried now about the level of immigration over the years,


they think it has got too high. That is the consensus in the country.


Someone in your constituency says that struggling to cope with numbers


of people wanting to is their services. The truth is that in the


past years, EU migrants put in more to the economy in taxation and they


take out in benefits. When it comes to free movement in the EU, that


horse has bolted. We signed a treaty. There is nothing that people


can do unless they want to rip their party apart. Will you go so far as


to your party apart? Will you take this all the way? Would you rather


see this bill go down? I think this is an important bill. There are a


lots of measures in there that we want on the statute book. The last


thing I want to see is the building down. But we do need to set out


clearly that we have concerns about EU migration and something needs to


be done. Would you rather have without your amendment on the bill


at all? I hope we can have it with the amendments. I think it will


depend on what the Labour Party decided to do. They need to talk


tough on immigration and we will see whether they will take any action.


Your party has been talking tough on immigration, but I would be


surprised if I'm Ed Miliband Labour Party would vote for anything in


concert of the Treaty of Rome. He is wishing for the impossible. I was a


Tory whip I would be running my hands. He has not ruled out crashing


the bill, that is incredible. Where will this end? It will end with a


vote on Thursday. There are different amendments now, I think


what we should be doing is taking some limited and proportionate


action which is what I have been proposing. I want this bill on the


statute book. We need to sort out the rights to a... I don't want to


crash the bill. There are more measures that are needed. Thank you


for that. Good morning and welcome to Sunday


Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme: Children of the digital


age. What is influencing our young voters


in the run up to the referendum? Douglas Alexander joins us live to


argue why he thinks first time voters will reject nationalism.


And we'll be speaking live to the newly-elected MSP for Cowdenbeath


and asking what are his priorities for the area?


The Labour MP and Shadow foreign secretary will make a speech to a


Better Together rally later today claiming the premise that 16 and


17-year-olds are more likely to vote Yes in the referendum is mistaken.


Douglas Alexander will tell his audience that today's generation of


young people are a "network" generation, connected to the world


through technology, and not a nationalist one. In a moment we'll


be speaking to Douglas Alexander, but first let's hear some views on


the subject, including two first-time voters.


In the beginning, the idea of allowing younger people to vote was


controversial. Some questioned whether they were responsible enough


to make decisions about Scotland's future. What are they going to do


with the power? We only have one serious attempt to get at the


preferences with respect to the referendum of those who will be 16


or 17 come September. Actually, the survey suggested that this age group


at least was something between six and ten points less likely been in


favour of independence than the adult population. Young people are


wanting to hear more about how independents will actually directly


affect them. Will it increase their job opportunities? Will it increase


their hope? There is a lot of hopelessness and alienation. They


want to see whether there will be change in Scotland to independents.


We asked to vote is to be what issues will influence their views?


Money is the big matter. Without money, we cannot fund public


services like the NHS, free tuition access for. We don't have enough


money to fund the Scottish students, they will have to pay for


their own tuition fees. For me it is about equality and I feel the only


way we can get an equal and fair Scotland is through independence. I


feel the people of Scotland should run Scotland and if that means we


are less wealthy, though I don't believe that would be the case, I


think that is a risk to take. They seem relaxed about the idea of


national identity. I don't really think that we need to define


ourselves as being members of just one country. Right now, every


country is multicultural. You can find people from all over the world


in any nation. Even if you say, I am Scottish, if you go far back and


asked, we all just migrants For me, it is about being national pride. I


understand people that say it is not all about identity any don't have to


label yourself, you can just be sure you are. In a make up a small part


of the electorate, but it will be the youngest voters who lived


longest with the results. Joining me now is the man who'll be


making that speech this afternoon - Labour MP Douglas Alexander. You are


saying that the decision to give them the vote is backfiring on the


SNP. What a basing that on? The largest and most comp rancid survey


taken under Edinburgh University, many opinion polls indicate a couple


of things. First of all, young Scots are comfortable in their Scottish


identity. They are secure and proud of our sense of Scottish list. Those


of us who grew up in the 1980s felt that our identity was under threat.


I have learned from talking to young Scots how comfortable and confident


they are in their identity. This is a generation that has -- that is


comfortable with a layered identity. Independence does not change that.


It does undermine the argument that the youngest group of voters are


uniquely and distinctively Scottish. We are all passionately and proudly


Scottish, but they like many of us are pragmatic in terms of seeing in


the modern world where we are interconnected in a way unimaginable


a generation ago, we do not have to choose between being Scottish or


Scottish and British or even European. It was clear from when


this was announced that the votes of the 16 and 17-year-olds was not


going to be decisive. I supported for the AV referendum 16-year-olds


having the vote. I think it is right that they have their say in the


referendum. Has the premise of the article being overtaken by today's


poll in Scotland On Sunday? It has the largest swing we have seen


towards yes. This poll suggests a jump of 26% from 18 to 44%. If you


read what Professor Curtis said, he said this was a very small sample of


16 to 25-year-old. I am not complacent. That suggests to me that


all of us have more work to do in the remaining days. There is no


ground for complacency. The stakes are very high. You cannot change


your mind after a few years. A decision to break up the country


will be for ever. You see in your article that young people fear an


independent Scotland would be a narrowing, not broadening


experience. We are in a distinctive position. We are part of a


multicultural multinational, multiethnic country. I am asking you


to back-up the claim that there would be a narrowing experience.


Which country has that been a for? Overwhelmingly, young people made


clear that they wanted to be part of something bigger, as well as feeling


pride of what they are part of here in Scotland. For me, there is no


choice between being comfortable in that. You can support different


football teams, that is the young generation, they feel they can have


it all. You quote a survey, that survey and others shows a desire


amongst the public for more powers if there is a no vote. Which powers


would you like to see devolved? We have a commission looking at this.


With the proposals coming through, there will be a shift of powers to


Edinburgh. I have said for many months but I hope the commission


will come up with proposals for the Scottish Labour Party at the Perth


conference for enhanced devolution. Devo Max is more discussed than


defined by many people, we need to look at the practical changes that


will make a practical difference to people's lives. Potentially welfare,


it is only a matter of weeks until the recommendations are brought


forward. Whether it is taxation or welfare or some of the proposals


that Gordon Brown spoke about in Cowdenbeath I think all of those


should be on the table. The SNP are highlighting comments made by Jim


Gallagher, they say that he said the idea of Scotland winning some vision


of Devo Max is fantastical. His argument at the time being that


Westminster would not go for it. You can promise, Labour in Scotland can


promise what they want, but can make guaranteed that Westminster will


back it? Will be less than nine months left for this Government on


December 18 -- September 18. In terms of delivering the package, I


do believe that there are grounds for optimism in terms of what we can


see and deliver. But there are no guarantees, are there? What we're


talking about is the central paradox of Scottish politics is that


Scotland wants change. I am desperate to see change from the


conservative coalition Government. But the majority of Scots don't want


the destructive change that the Nationalists are offering. Our


responsibility is to offer the desirable change that Scottish


voters want. I believe that involves enhanced devolution and also social


and economic change. We have an obligation to set out the kind of


practical changes like Ed Miliband talked about that would make a real


difference to the lives and opportunities of Scots. But an


honest politician would also tell the public that they may not be able


to deliver this. It is up to the Scottish people to make their


decision. I hope and believe we will reject the independence. Then we


have a chance... Opinion polls have shown for more than two years that


the prospect of change at Westminster is real. The


Nationalists are trying to equate antipathy to the Conservatives as a


requirement to vote for yes in the referendum. The truth is I think the


Scottish people are wiser than that. We can differentiate between the


deep anger many others feel hold towards the conservative Government


that have less than nine months left to run and it permits tries to break


up the country. I think that is why the majority of Scots are opposing


independence, but I think they are very clear that he wants change and


that involves constitutional change and it falls to Scottish Labour to


assume that mantle of responsibility. On the change that


Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are proposing, this talk of returning to


the 50p tax rate, is that a political or economic decision? I


think it is a very sensible decision. While we are dealing with


the deficit, and it was framed in the context of dealing with the


deficit, it would be right, let me finish, it is right for those with


the broadest shoulders to bear a heavy responsibility. So it is


political? it is part of a strategy to deal with the deficit and


continued to deliver a fairer society in these tough times. The


estimates as to how much it will yield go between ?100 million and ?1


billion. But most people watching that people earning over ?50,000,


will think that is OK. Thank you for coming in to speak to us. Well,


listening to that interview was SNP MSP Marco Biagi who joins us from


our Edinburgh studio. Do you accept that with younger


voters the Yes campaign has a mountain to climb? Young people have


heard the arguments. In every case they swing strongly towards the Yes


campaign. 11,000 school pupils in Aberdeenshire, rejected your


proposition. These surveys over the last year have not shown that the


entire population has been one round. The survey this morning shows


the kind of progress that the Yes campaign has made. Young people are


no different to anybody else. Do you accept the point being made by


Douglas Alexander in terms of the sample size of this survey? It is


not a one off. It is a small sample. There has been a consistent trend in


these debates. Young people want to talk about what Scotland can


achieve. Young people see the No campaign as similar to a teacher


that tells you what you cannot do. They young person that we spoke to


who is going to vote against independence says he wants answers


in terms of the finance of independence. More flesh on the bone


is needed. Young people hear both sides. They hear the financial


argument. Scotland receives 9.3% of the spending that contributes 9.9%


of the funding. The question of identity seems to be at the


forefront of the No campaign. The only people making this an issue of


identity is the No campaign. What is the position of the SNP if there is


a No vote? Does the SNP become a campaign group for increased


devolution? You continue to believe what you believe. I will still hold


true to my principles. But you keep telling us that surveys suggest that


people want more powers for the Scottish Parliament. We are putting


independence to the people. You have rejected the Constitutional


Convention. You are saying that if there is a No vote you will not


campaign for more powers for the Scottish Parliament. The other


parties are engaged in a confidence trick. The only way we will have a


concrete proposal is if there is I guess vote for independence. -- if


there is a Yes vote for independence. Labour is talking


about 50p tax rate if they are returned to power in 2015. In an


independent Scotland should those with the broadest shoulders pay


more? The UK is the fourth most equal -- the UK is the fourth most


unequal country in the OECD. There will be an SNP Government for at


least two mackerel years until Independence Day. Do you support the


50p tax rate? That was introduced by the Labour Party more as a trap for


the Tories. It was only in effect for nine months. It came at the same


time as a VAT hike that hit ordinary working people up and down the


country. Fight you for joining us. -- thank


you for joining us. "We need more information" - that's


a familiar refrain in this referendum campaign. In Glasgow this


weekend, women from across the country searched for answers. At the


Scottish Women's Convention event, the deputy First Minister said,


under independence, she would argue for at least 40 per cent of places


on boards to be occupied by women. Labour, under the "Better Together"


banner, said staying in the UK meant more would be done to make pay


equal. Laura Maxwell has more. Hands up for the truth legend Mark


how will my country, society and family benefit? The economy, free


education, childcare. This debate is taking place away from what is


described as the usual meal power struggles. -- the usual Machell


power struggles. What we know is their respective of


whether it is I guess vote or a No vote the political landscape will be


altered for ever. With the two opposing sides present how did they


lay out their vision? Women are rightly asking hard questions.


Audiences of women are always tough audiences. I believe that if we can


persuade a majority of women that independence is the right thing for


Scotland then we will win the referendum. I am confident of doing


that. Many women across Scotland now from being in control of household


budgets how important it is to make your own decisions rather than


allowing decisions to be taken elsewhere. That is the key message.


We have got big questions to ask ourselves. We need to ask about the


protection of our pensions. Also, Labour would make strong


commitments. We need to step up the pace on low pay. We would introduce


contracts to incentivise. We would protect pregnant women at work.


In an independent Scotland we can create a new culture. We can create


a better environment. We can create somewhere that is more optimistic. I


am still undecided. Today the Yes campaign is quite strong. But there


are a lot of questions that have not been answered. I might still be


undecided until September. I believe that we are Better Together. The


four nations work very well together at the moment. The issues are not


solely for women to debate. The point of the conference was not to


change minds, just revived the space for the debate to take place.


You're watching Sunday Politics Scotland and the time is coming up


for Midday. So let's cross now for the news.


Environmental campaigners have published league tables which they


say identify Scotland's most polluted streets.


Friends of the Earth Scotland have warned their research shows air


pollution from vehicles is a major threat to health, even in some


smaller towns and villages. The Scottish Government says pollution


is falling, but the pressure group is calling for urgent action.


Missing health targets in Perth, even in small villagers in some


parts of West Lothian. It is surprising where you can find an air


pollution Rob Wharne. -- and air pollution problem.


Our republican march has taken place. -- a republican march. The


organisers had hoped to march through the West End, but the


council refused that. A rare medieval gravestone is


leaving its home in Glasgow for the first time in its 1000 year history.


The "hogback" is being moved to London to form part of an exhibition


on Vikings at the British Museum. The ornately carved half-tonne stone


is one of five, on permanent display in Govan Old Parish Church.


is one This afternoon there will be


blustery showers. There will be some sunny spells. It will feel quite


cold. Met office warnings are in force around the coast. More rain in


the North West. Wintry everywhere else.


There was no surprises at Cowdenbeath last week. The Labour


party cruised to victory and increased their majority. The win


was very much predicted, but perhaps not the extent. The SNP, after


almost seven years in Government, didn't expect much, but fought back


with a doorstep poll which showed 41 per cent support for independence.


In a moment we'll speak to the winner, but first Andrew Kerr was


there on the night. Here's his report.


I declare Alex Rowley to be elected to serve in the Cowdenbeath


constituency. All his life and labour man and now an elected party


representative. Alex Rowley knew he was bound to win, but made it clear


he did not take the people of the Cowdenbeath constituency for


granted. Unemployment, youth unemployment, the threat to jobs,


these are big concerns. Good news for the leadership. They believe


Scots are falling back in love with Labour. The turnout was very cool at


35%. Labour was heartened by the swing of 11% to them. It is


important to treat people with respect and not take them for


granted. But there is no doubt that the scale of the victory is very


significant. For the SNP it was always a difficult one. Cowdenbeath


did not fall into their hands in 2011 and it was not likely to do so


on Thursday night. They consoled themselves and tried to project a


positivity. Their own doorstep Paul suggested 41% would vote in favour


of independence at the referendum. # or their own doorstep survey


suggested. There are a lot of traditional Labour borders who have


said that they are thinking about voting yes in the referendum. Alex


Rowley might be the victor tonight, but I believe all of Scotland will


be celebrating a Yes vote in September. Are you interested in


politics? Not really. The European election in May is the next test of


opinion. It will be a worrying time for the Liberal Democrats. The


Conservatives were happy with third place. For the main man, time to


take his seat in Holyrood. His first task, he says, will be to help


people affected by the so-called bedroom tax.


Joining me now is the latest MSP Alex Rowley.


Given the turnout of less than 35% you cannot use this as an indicator


of how people are feeling towards the Labour Party. We foster positive


campaign. The response on the doorstep was positive towards


Labour. We have a long way to go, but we are making good progress.


This SNP survey suggests that many traditional Labour voters will vote


yes in September. What do you surveys tell you? We talked to


thousands of people. There were a large majority in favour of their No


vote. There were a lot of and answered questions. I do not think


we can take anything for granted. Do you accept the premise of which is


that there might be people who will vote Labour in elections, but may


well vote against the Labour Party position in September? That also


applies the other way. I came across people who told me they voted SNP


that they would not favour independence. The key thing is that


over these next couple of months we have two have a positive campaign.


People are looking for answers. We need to set out clearly what Labour


's vision is for the future of Scotland. How concerned should you


be with the survey in Scotland on Sunday newspaper which is suggesting


a swing of 5% in the last four months towards a Yes vote? Is their


complacency? We should not be complacent. That was not the message


I was picking up on the doorsteps. There are a lot of people who have


not decided. There are a lot of questions that have not been


answered. It is crucial for Labour to set out its vision. That is what


I intend to do in the coming months. Much was made of local


issues in this campaign. Realistically, as MSP, you cannot


deliver change on that front, can you? Debris is issue that front, can


you? Debris is issued else come across on the doorsteps was the


level of unemployment. Realistically, there is something


that can be done. What can you as a backbencher do? We need to look at


the youth guarantee that has been given. They need to look at a


college funding. We need to look at partnerships with employers. These


are all issues that I will be raising. The first thing I will be


doing is signing the bill in terms of the bedroom tax as I think that


is an inhumane attack. There are real things that we can do. Thank


you. Now, in a moment, we'll be


discussing the big events coming up this week, but first let's take a


look back at the Week In 60 Seconds. Intelligence whistle-blower Edward


Snowden is to stand for the post of rectal at Glasgow University.


Elections for the position will take place next month.


Public Health Minister Michael Matheson launched a new campaign to


encourage more pubs to sell wine in smaller measures. Many people go in


for a glass of wine and are only offered a medium or large glass, by


introducing this smaller size, it allows people to make an informed


choice. The Scottish Green Party called for football fans to be given


the first right to buy their clubs during consultation on the land will


reform. An environmental report recommended


new proposals for dealing with contamination on a beach. Gordon


Brown is calling for a clean-up to be financed by the Ministry of


defence. Police Scotland announced the intent


to close six control rooms as part of efforts to save up to ?73 million


by 2026. And coming up this week on BBC Two


Scotland is the first in a series of documentaries on the independence


referendum. Events that helped shape our nation.


There was a sense that we were opening up and are looking out at


the world. In the first of a series, we ask how the events led us


to one of the most important votes in Scottish history? Britain now has


oil. People started to be more confident about their pride in


Scotland. Scotland's Smoking Gun. Let's look at the weekend.


I'm joined by our guests, columnist and former newspaper editor, Magnus


Linklater, and Burdz Eye View blogger, Kate Higgins.


Let's talk about that programme. The premise being that events over the


last 30 years have led us to this independence referendum, is that the


premise you agree with? Up to a point. There was one unexpected


event which to place in 2011 which is the SNP winning an overall


majority. I don't think anybody expected that. Up until then, there


was a steady progress for the -- a steady progress. As a long-time


supporter and independent supporter, were you surprised by this? I think


everyone was surprised by the overall majority. While there had


been a convergence of different factors, we should not underestimate


the importance of the cultural flourishing. It was the same in the


1980s that gave rise to Scotland United and gave Alf -- and helped


galvanise. You have a huge flourishing of support for


independence and I think the mood music from cultural aspects is very


important to the direction of travel. They'll be more discussion


when it airs. Let's talk about events this week


and Mark Carney the governor of the Bank of England meeting Alex


Salmond. Alex Salmond wants a currency union with the pound. There


are reports that the governor named the cool on the idea, comparing it


to the euro, which has had problems due to fiscal issues in member


states. I presume Mark Carney will be wary of expressing to build an


opinion. Yes, but he seems to be hardening his line. He is now


suggesting that there would be significant obstacles to Scotland


joining a currency union and I think what he is hinting there is not that


Scotland would not be able to join a monetary union, but that it would be


a very hard negotiation before it gets in and that the conditions


imposed by the bank of England would perhaps be far tougher than Alex


Salmond has indicated. I think that is the problem. It is a political


problem. Is it the best solution? I think it is the only solution. I


cannot see a Scottish pound being able to survive initially. Joining


the Euro, I don't think any Scots would want that. I think it has to


be the pound, but I think it will be tough. People like Jim Sellers: For


a Scottish pound. Is this a solution that nationalists would want to? The


short term solution of joining the starlings and is absolutely the


right thing to do. Just on Mark Carney's intervention, let us make


this clear, he is not a foreign dignitary, we help pay his wages, he


has a duty to represent the whole of the argument to the whole of the UK.


And that is also to represent Scotland's interests. Indeed. He is


an independent voice though. Alex Salmon keeps making the argument


that if he disagrees as an independent voice, he should be


saying so. And as an independent voice, he has a duty to present all


of the arguments and not just one camp's. Let's look at this opinion


poll. It is a poll for Scotland on Sunday. It suggests a large swing


towards yes. I presume you and others will be ecstatic. Absolutely.


It has come a bit later in the day then perhaps we would have liked to


have seen. But they have always talked about momentum, not about


game changes or a Eureka moment. These small-scale conversations and


not fighting a air war, fighting a grand battle to engage with people


and communities. It seems to be bearing fruit. We are only shifting


voters from no into undecided, but when you take what they would prefer


to happen were they to choose now, clearly people are leaning towards


independence and there are eight months to go. Those figures strip


out the do not knows. Clearly, they are the battle ground. There are two


caveats at about this poll, it is a small sample and the big swing is


amongst younger voters. That is always the most volatile part of any


poll. That can change either way. It is under 44s. Yes. Interestingly, a


little swing by women voters who appear to be unhappy about the no


campaign. I think this is interesting. I think there is a sort


of worry, there are definite nerves in the no campaign about their


arguments. It was quite well put by Jim Murphy over the weekend when he


said that it is quite difficult to mount a yes campaign for a vote for


no. I think that is the problem for the no campaign, they really have


too find a positive argument. There is a big push towards women voters.


We saw the conference yesterday. Nicola Sturgeon talking about an


independent Scotland, a requirement of companies having 42 cents


representation of women on boards. Is that workable? Absolutely. In


Norway, they moved to 40% and it changed the culture. These are the


kind of measures we want to see. Women have a right to an equal place


in our society and that means pay and representation. These arguments


will start winning over women's votes. Just a brief word. Naked


political opportunism. They know that they have to win more women


voters. Thank you for joining us. That is it from us. I will be back


at the same time next week. You enjoyed what is left Sunday. For


now. -- I do hope you enjoyed.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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