09/02/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


09/02/2014

Andrew Neil and Gary Robertson with the latest political news on the floods, plus an interview with shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.


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Transcript


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Good morning and welcome to the Sunday politics. The winter storms

:00:40.:00:46.

forced the government to take control. Is it hanging the

:00:47.:00:55.

environment agency out to dry? Embarrassment as the immigration

:00:56.:01:00.

minister resigns having employed a cleaner with no right to work here.

:01:01.:01:07.

Ed Miliband promises an end to the machine politics of the Labour

:01:08.:01:11.

Party, but will his reforms really weaken the role of the unions? And

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coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland: Planned reforms to the

:01:16.:01:18.

legal system have been branded "a shambles" by opposition leaders.

:01:19.:01:22.

We'll be speaking to the man at the top, Justice Secretary Kenny

:01:23.:01:23.

MacAskill. about strife on the Underground. All

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of that and after a week of very public coalition spats can David

:01:38.:01:43.

Cameron and Nick Clegg keep the coalition show on the road? Two

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senior party figures will go head to head. And with me, Helen Lewis, Nick

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Watt and Iain Martin who would not know they Somerset Levels from their

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Norfolk Broads, but that will not stop them tweeting their thoughts.

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We start with the strange Case of the Immigration Minister, his

:02:04.:02:09.

cleaner and some lost documents. Yesterday Mark Harper tendered his

:02:10.:02:13.

resignation, telling the media he had discovered the cleaner who

:02:14.:02:16.

worked for him for seven years did not have the right to work in the

:02:17.:02:21.

UK. The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he had done the

:02:22.:02:26.

honourable thing. I was sad to see him go, he was a strong minister.

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Had he been a member of the public he would not have done anything

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wrong, but he set himself a very high standard and he felt that

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standard and honourably stood down. This would seem like a good

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resignation, maybe unlike the Baroness Scotland one years ago on a

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similar issue, but have we been told the full story? We wait to see that.

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Labour have picked up saying he is an honourable man, that the reason

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why he resigned is these very owners checks that landlords and employers

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will have to perform on employees over their documentation. The most

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interesting line is that, we do not require them to be experts or spot

:03:14.:03:17.

anything other than an obvious forgery. The suggestion that there

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is the document he was presented with originality, which he lost, was

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on home office paper and was perhaps not entirely accurate. That is the

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embarrassment. He is the minister putting through a bill that will

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demand tougher checks on people and he himself did not do enough checks

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to discover she was illegal. There is an odd bit where he involves the

:03:45.:03:48.

home office later to check her out as well. He writes a resignation

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letter and he has to hold himself to pay higher standard. He has done the

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David Laws approach to this, resign quickly and he can come back. David

:04:00.:04:04.

Cameron wants him to return swiftly to the frontbenchers. He is a state

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school educated lad. He is the kind of Tory that the Tories are in short

:04:14.:04:21.

supply of. He is a rising star. I would caution on this idea that it

:04:22.:04:25.

is customary that whenever anyone resigns, it is always thought they

:04:26.:04:31.

will come straight back into office. If only the outside world worked

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like that. It is not, in a company if the HR person resigns, he is such

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a great chap he will be back next week. There is a silver lining for

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David Cameron is he has been able to move Harriet Bond up as he moves

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everyone up. But nobody will see her in the whips office because she is

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not allowed to appear on television. And if you three want to resign? Do

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not hate you are coming back next week. But we will do it with honour.

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It has been a hellish week for residents of coastal areas with more

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storms bringing more flooding and after Prince Charles visited the

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Somerset Levels on Tuesday the Government has been keen to show it

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has got a grip on the situation at last.

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For last weekend's Sunday Politics I made the watery journey to the

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village of Muchelney, cut off for a whole month. Now everyone has been

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dropping in. First it was Prince Charles on a park bench pulled by a

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tractor. He waded into the row about how the floods have been handled.

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Next it was the chair of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith, who

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faced angry residents. Sought the river is out. That is precisely what

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we are going to do. Where he faced, a resident, he did not need that

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many. David Cameron went for a look as well and gave the region what it

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wanted, more pumps, more money and in the long-term the return of

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dredging. There are lessons to learn. The pause in bridging that

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took place from the late 1990s was wrong and we need to get dredging

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again. When the water levels come down and it is safe to dredge, we

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will dredging to make sure these rivers and stitches can carry a

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better capacity. The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has not been

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seen again because he is recovering from emergency eye surgery. In the

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meantime the floodwaters rose ever higher. Some residents were told to

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evacuate. In Devon the railway was washed away by the waves leaving a

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big gap in the network. Look at the weather this weekend. If you can

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believe it, the storms keep rolling in. What is the long-term solution

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for flood prone areas of the country? I am joined from Oxford by

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the editor of The Ecologist magazine, Oliver Tickell, and by

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local MP Tessa Munt. Tessa, let me come to you first. What do you now

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want the Government to do? I want it to make sure it does exactly as it

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promises and delivers what every farmer and landowner around here

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knows should have been done for years. First, to solve the problems

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we have right now, but to make sure there is money in the bank for us to

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carry on doing the maintenance that is necessary. Was it a mistake not

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to do the dredging? When the waters start to subside does dredging

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become a key part of this? Yes, of course. It is something the farmers

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have been asking for four years. When you wander along a footpath by

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a river and you see trees growing and there is 60% of the capacity

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only because there is silt, it needs to have a pretty dramatic action

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right now and then we need to make sure the maintenance is ongoing.

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Oliver Tickell, was it a mistake to stop the dredging? If the dredging

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had happened, the land would not be covered in water for so long?

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Clearly it is necessary to do at least some dredging on these rivers

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and in particular because these rivers are well above ground level.

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They are carrying water that comes down off the hills well above the

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level of the flood plain on the Somerset Levels. They naturally tend

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to silt up. But the key thing is that is only a small part of the

:09:17.:09:22.

overall solution. What we need is a catchment wide approach to improve

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infiltration upstream and you also need to manage the flood plain on

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the levels and upstream so as to have active flood plain that can

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store water. This idea it is just about dredging is erroneous.

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Dredging is a part of it, but it is a catchment wide solution. Dredging

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is only a small part of the solution he says. Yes, of course it is. But

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look here. With the farmer is locally, the landowners, they know

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this land will carry water for a few weeks of the year, that is not a

:10:03.:10:07.

problem. But this water has to be taken away and there is a very good

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system of drainage and it works perfectly well. In my area there are

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serious problems because the dredging has not taken place. There

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are lunatic regulations around were when they do do some of dredging,

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the Environment Agency is asked to take it away because it is

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considered toxic waste. This is barmy. We need to take the stuff out

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of the rivers and build the banks up so we create protection in the

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future. We have to make sure the dredging is done but make sure the

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drainage works well and we have pumps in places and we have

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floodgates put onto the rivers. We need to make sure repairs are done

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more quickly. All right, let me go back to Oliver Tickell. Is it not

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the case a lot of people on your side of the argument would like to

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see lands like the Somerset Levels return to natural habitat? Looe I

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would like a degree of that, but that does not mean the whole place

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needs to turn into wilderness so it will remain agricultural landscape.

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Everybody, all the interested parties who signed up to a document

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called vision 2034 the Somerset Levels envisages most of the area of

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the Somerset Levels being turned over to extensive grassland and that

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is what it is best suited for. Let me put that to Tessa Munt. Have you

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signed up to this where you will end up with extensive grassland? I have

:11:55.:12:02.

seen it, but grass does not grow if water is sitting on this land for

:12:03.:12:07.

weeks and weeks. What you have to remember is a lot of the levels are

:12:08.:12:13.

managed very carefully and they are conservation land and that means

:12:14.:12:15.

cattle are allowed to go out at certain times of the year and in

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certain numbers. It is well managed. Do you accept it should return to

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grassland? Grassland, fine, but you cannot call land grassland in the

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flipping water is on it so long that nothing grows. It is no good at

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doing that. You have got to make sure it is managed properly.

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Drainage has been taking place on this land for centuries. It is the

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case the system is there, but it needs to be maintained properly and

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we have to have fewer ridiculous regulations that stop action. Last

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year the flooding minister agreed dredging should take place and

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everything stopped. Now we have got the promise from the Prime Minister

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and I thank Prince Charles for that. Is it not time to let the local

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people run their land rather than being told what to do by the

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Environment Agency, central Government and the European Union?

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The internal drainage boards have considerable power in all of this.

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They wanted to dredge and they were not allowed to. The farmers want to

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dredge that is what is going to happen, but they have signed up to a

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comprehensive vision of catchment management and of environmental

:13:44.:13:46.

improvement turning the Somerset Levels into a world-class haven for

:13:47.:13:52.

wildlife. It is not much good if your house is underwater. The

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farmers themselves, the RSPB, the drainage boards, they have all

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signed up to this. The real question now is how do we implement that

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vision? You give the money to the drainage boards. At the moment they

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pay 27% of their money and have been doing so for years and years and

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this is farmers' money and it has been going to the drainage boards

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and they pay the Environment Agency who are meant to be dredging and

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that has not happened. We have to leave it there. We have run out of

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time. Last week saw the Labour Party

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adopts an historic change with its relationship with the unions.

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Changes to the rules that propelled Ed Miliband to the top. Ed Miliband

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was elected Labour leader in 2010 by the electoral college system which

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gives unions, party members and MPs one third of votes each. This would

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be changed into a simpler one member, one vote system. A union

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member would have to become an affiliated member of the party. They

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would have to opt in and pay ?3 a year. But the unions would have 50%

:15:09.:15:15.

of the vote at the conference and around one third of the seats on the

:15:16.:15:20.

National executive committee. The proposals are a financial gamble as

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well. It is estimated the party could face a drop in funding of up

:15:25.:15:29.

to ?5 million a year when the changes are fully implemented in

:15:30.:15:34.

five years. The leader of the Unite trade union has welcomed the report

:15:35.:15:39.

saying it is music to his ears. The package will be voted on at a

:15:40.:15:46.

special one of conference in March. And the Shadow Business Secretary

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Chuka Umunna joins me now for the Sunday Interview. Welcome back. In

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what way will the unions have less power and influence in the Labour

:15:59.:16:03.

Party? This is about ensuring individual trade union members have

:16:04.:16:07.

a direct relationship with the Labour Party. At the moment the

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monies that come to us are decided at a top level, the general

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secretaries determine this, whether the individual members want us to be

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in receipt of those monies or not so we are going to change that so that

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affiliation fees follow the consent of individual members. Secondly, we

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want to make sure the individual trade union members, people who

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teach our children, power via -- fantastic British businesses, we

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want them to make an active choice, and we are also recognising that in

:16:50.:16:53.

this day and age not everybody wants to become a member of a political

:16:54.:17:01.

party. We haven't got much time. The unions still have 50% of the vote at

:17:02.:17:07.

Labour conferences, there will be the single most important vote, more

:17:08.:17:23.

member -- union members will vote than nonunion members, their power

:17:24.:17:34.

has not diminished at all, has it? In relation to the other parts of

:17:35.:17:42.

the group of people who will be voting in a future leadership

:17:43.:17:45.

contest, we are seeking to move towards more of a one member, one

:17:46.:17:51.

vote process. At the moment we have the absurd situation where I, as a

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member of Parliament, my vote will count for 1000. MPs are losing...

:17:59.:18:06.

They still have a lot of power. I am a member of the GMB union and the

:18:07.:18:13.

Unite union, also a member of the Fabians as well so I get free votes

:18:14.:18:17.

on top of my vote as a member of Parliament. We are moving to a

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system where I will have one vote and that is an important part of

:18:21.:18:26.

this. You asked how many people would be casting their votes. The

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old system, up to 2.8 million ballot papers were sent out with prepaid

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envelopes for people to return their papers were sent out with prepaid

:18:38.:18:47.

turnout. The idea that you are going to see a big change... Even if

:18:48.:18:52.

your individual party members. In one vital way, your purse strings,

:18:53.:19:05.

your individual party members. In the unions will be more powerful

:19:06.:19:06.

than ever because at the moment they have to hand over 8 million to

:19:07.:19:17.

than ever because at the moment they fraction of that now. They will get

:19:18.:19:19.

to keep that money, but then come the election you go to them and give

:19:20.:19:29.

them a lot of money -- and they will have you then. They won't have us,

:19:30.:19:36.

as you put it! The idea that individual trade union members don't

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have their own view, their own voice, and just do what their

:19:41.:19:45.

general secretaries do is absurd. They will make their own decision,

:19:46.:19:49.

and we want them to make that and not have their leadership decide

:19:50.:19:55.

that for them. Let me go to the money. The Labour Party manifesto

:19:56.:20:00.

will be reflecting the interests of Britain, and the idea that somehow

:20:01.:20:07.

people can say we are not going to give you this money unless you do

:20:08.:20:11.

this or that, we will give you a policy agenda which is appropriate

:20:12.:20:15.

for the British people, regardless of what implications that may have

:20:16.:20:20.

financially. They will have more seats than anybody else in the NEC

:20:21.:20:25.

and they will hold the purse strings. They will be the

:20:26.:20:31.

determining factor. They won't be. Unite is advocating a 70% rate of

:20:32.:20:35.

income tax, there is no way we will have that in our manifesto. Unite is

:20:36.:20:44.

advocating taking back contracts and no compensation basis, we would not

:20:45.:20:57.

-- there is no way we would do that. How many chief executives of the

:20:58.:21:08.

FTSE 100 are backing Labour? We have lots of chief executives backing

:21:09.:21:16.

Labour. I don't know the exact number. Ed Miliband has just placed

:21:17.:21:19.

an important business person in the House of Lords, the former chief

:21:20.:21:31.

executive of the ITV, Bill Grimsey. How many? You can only name one?

:21:32.:21:40.

Bill Grimsey, there is also John Mills. Anyone who is currently

:21:41.:21:46.

chairman of the chief executive? With the greatest respect, you are

:21:47.:21:50.

talking about less than half the percent of business leaders in our

:21:51.:21:55.

country, we have almost 5 million businesses, not all FTSE 100

:21:56.:22:02.

businesses, not all listed, and we are trying to get people from across

:22:03.:22:08.

the country of all different shapes and sizes. Let's widen it to the

:22:09.:22:23.

FTSE 250. That is 250 out of 5 million companies. The largest ones,

:22:24.:22:29.

they make the profits and provide the jobs. Two thirds of private

:22:30.:22:33.

sector jobs in this country come from small and medium-sized

:22:34.:22:37.

businesses, and small and medium-sized businesses are an

:22:38.:22:41.

important part of a large companies supply chains. So you cannot name a

:22:42.:22:52.

single chairman from the FTSE 250, correct? I don't know all the

:22:53.:22:59.

chairman. Are you going to fight the next election without a single boss

:23:00.:23:10.

of a FTSE 250 company? I have named some important business people, but

:23:11.:23:13.

the most important thing is that we are not coming out with a manifesto

:23:14.:23:23.

for particular interests, but for broader interest. Let me show you,

:23:24.:23:33.

Digby Jones says Labour's policy is, "if it creates wealth, let's kick

:23:34.:23:47.

it" . Another quote, that it borders on predatory taxation. They think

:23:48.:23:54.

you are anti-business. I don't agree with them. One of the interesting

:23:55.:24:00.

things about Sir Stuart's comments on the predatory taxation and I

:24:01.:24:04.

think he was referring to the 50p rate of tax is that he made some

:24:05.:24:08.

comments arguing against the reduction of the top rate of tax

:24:09.:24:14.

from 50p. He is saying something different now. Digby of course has

:24:15.:24:18.

his own opinions, he has never been a member of the Labour Party. Let me

:24:19.:24:24.

come onto this business of the top rate of tax, do you accept or don't

:24:25.:24:28.

you that there is a point when higher rates of income tax become

:24:29.:24:33.

counter-productive? Ultimately you want to have the lowest tax rates

:24:34.:24:39.

possible. Do you accept there is a certain level you actually get less

:24:40.:24:44.

money? I think ultimately there is a level beyond you could go which

:24:45.:24:50.

would be counter-productive, for example the 75% rate of tax I

:24:51.:24:55.

mentioned earlier, being advocated by Unite in France. Most French

:24:56.:25:08.

higher earners will pay less tax than under your plans. I beg your

:25:09.:25:16.

pardon, with the 50p? Under your proposals, people here will pay more

:25:17.:25:22.

tax than French higher earners. If you are asking if in terms of the

:25:23.:25:28.

level, you asked the question and I answered it, do I think if you reach

:25:29.:25:34.

a level beyond which the tax burden becomes counter-productive, can I

:25:35.:25:39.

give you a number what that would be, I cannot but let me explain -

:25:40.:25:43.

the reason we have sought to increase its two 50p is that we can

:25:44.:25:49.

get in revenue to reduce the deficit. In an ideal world you

:25:50.:25:54.

wouldn't need a 50p rate of tax which is why during our time in

:25:55.:25:57.

office we didn't have one, because we didn't have those issues. Sure,

:25:58.:26:07.

though you cannot tell me how much the 50p will raise. In the three

:26:08.:26:13.

years of operation we think it raised ?10 billion. You think. That

:26:14.:26:23.

was based on extrapolation from the British library. It is at least

:26:24.:26:27.

possible I would suggest, for the sake of argument, that when you

:26:28.:26:32.

promise to take over half people's income, which is what you will do if

:26:33.:26:39.

you get your way, the richest 1% currently account for 70 5% of all

:26:40.:26:50.

tax revenues. -- 75%. Is it not a danger that if you take more out of

:26:51.:26:57.

them, they will just go? I don't think so, we are talking about the

:26:58.:27:06.

top 1% here. If you look at the directors of sub 5 million turnover

:27:07.:27:09.

companies, the average managing director of that gets around

:27:10.:27:24.

?87,000. Let me narrow it down to something else. Let's take the 0.1%

:27:25.:27:33.

of top taxpayers, down to fewer than 30,000 people. They account for over

:27:34.:27:39.

14% of all of the income tax revenues. Only 29,000 people. If

:27:40.:27:44.

they go because you are going to take over half their income, you

:27:45.:27:51.

have lost a huge chunk of your tax base. They could easily go, at

:27:52.:27:58.

tipping point they could go. What we are advocating here is not

:27:59.:28:02.

controversial. Those with the broadest shoulders, it is not

:28:03.:28:07.

unreasonable to ask them to share the heavier burden. Can you name one

:28:08.:28:17.

other major economy that subscribes to this? Across Europe, for example

:28:18.:28:24.

in Sweden they have higher tax rates than us. Can you name one major

:28:25.:28:31.

economy? I couldn't pluck one out of the air, I can see where you are

:28:32.:28:37.

coming from, I don't agree with it. I think most people subscribe to the

:28:38.:28:42.

fact that those with wider shoulders should carry the heavy a burden. We

:28:43.:28:49.

have run out of time but thank you for being here.

:28:50.:28:53.

Over the past week it seems that Nick Clegg has activated a new Lib

:28:54.:28:58.

Dem strategy - 'Get Gove'. After a very public spat over who should

:28:59.:29:01.

head up the schools inspection service Ofsted, Lib Dem sources have

:29:02.:29:04.

continued to needle away at the Education Secretary. And other

:29:05.:29:07.

senior Lib Dems have also taken aim at their coalition partners. Here's

:29:08.:29:31.

Giles Dilnot. It's unlikely the polite welcome of these school

:29:32.:29:34.

children to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and his party colleague

:29:35.:29:36.

schools minister David Laws would be so forthcoming right now from the

:29:37.:29:39.

man in charge of schools Conservative Michael Gove. Mr Laws

:29:40.:29:42.

is said to have been furious with The Education secretary over the

:29:43.:29:45.

decision to remove Sally Morgan as chair of Ofsted. But those who know

:29:46.:29:48.

the inner working of the Lib Dems say that's just understandable. When

:29:49.:29:51.

you have the department not being consulted, it would be possible for

:29:52.:29:54.

him to not publicly comment. The remarkable thing would be if he

:29:55.:29:57.

hadn't said anything at all. We should be careful to understand this

:29:58.:30:08.

is not always part of a preplanned decision. There is a growing sense

:30:09.:30:18.

that inside Number Ten this is a concerted Lib Dem strategy, we also

:30:19.:30:22.

understand there is no love lost between Nick Clegg and Michael Gove

:30:23.:30:26.

to say the least, and a growing frustration that if the Lib Dems

:30:27.:30:32.

think such so-called yellow and blue attacks can help them with the

:30:33.:30:35.

election, they can also damage the long-term prospects of the Coalition

:30:36.:30:43.

post 2015. One spat does not a divorce make but perhaps even more

:30:44.:30:45.

significant has been Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander's

:30:46.:30:48.

recent newspaper interview firmly spiking any room for George Osborne

:30:49.:30:51.

to manoeuvre on lowering the highest income tax rate to 40p. All this

:30:52.:30:54.

builds on the inclusion in Government at the reshuffle of

:30:55.:30:57.

people like Norman Baker at the Home Office and Simon Hughes at Justice

:30:58.:31:00.

people who are happier to publically express doubt on Conservative

:31:01.:31:02.

policy, unlike say Jeremy Browne who was removed and who has made plain

:31:03.:31:15.

his views on Coalition. It is difficult for us to demonstrate that

:31:16.:31:19.

we are more socialist than an Ed Miliband Labour led party. Even if

:31:20.:31:28.

we did wish to demonstrate it, doing it in coalition with the

:31:29.:31:34.

Conservatives would be harder still. Nonetheless a differentiation

:31:35.:31:38.

strategy was always likely as 2015 approached, so is there evidence it

:31:39.:31:44.

works? Or of the work we publish shows the Lib Dems have a huge

:31:45.:31:48.

problem in terms of their distinctiveness, so attacking their

:31:49.:31:53.

coalition partners or the Labour Party is helpful in showing what

:31:54.:31:56.

they are against, but there are bigger problem is showing what they

:31:57.:32:02.

are for. And one Conservative MP with access to Number Ten as part of

:32:03.:32:07.

the PM's policy board says yellow on blue attacks are misplaced and

:32:08.:32:12.

irresponsible. At this stage when all the hard work is being done and

:32:13.:32:17.

the country is back on its feet, the Lib Dems are choosing the time to

:32:18.:32:25.

step away from the coalition. That is your position, but do you suspect

:32:26.:32:29.

coming up to the next election we will see more of this? I think the

:32:30.:32:35.

Lib Dems are about as hard to pin down as a weasel in Vaseline. And

:32:36.:32:41.

with the public's view of politicians right now, and wants to

:32:42.:32:45.

be seen as slicker than a well oiled weasel? And we have Lib Dem peer

:32:46.:32:52.

Matthew Oakeshott and senior Conservative backbencher Bernard

:32:53.:33:02.

Jenkin. Matthew, the Lib Dems are now picking fights with the Tories

:33:03.:33:06.

on a range of issues, some of them trivial. Is this a Pirelli used to

:33:07.:33:11.

Lib Dem withdrawal from the coalition? I do not know, I am not

:33:12.:33:19.

privy to Nick Clegg's in strategy. Some of us have been independent for

:33:20.:33:23.

some time. I resigned over treatment of the banks. That is now being

:33:24.:33:29.

sorted out. But what is significant is we have seen a string of attacks,

:33:30.:33:35.

almost an enemy within strategy. When you have Nick Clegg, David Laws

:33:36.:33:41.

and Danny Alexander, the three key people closest to the Conservatives,

:33:42.:33:48.

when you see all of them attacking, and this morning Nick Clegg has had

:33:49.:33:51.

a go at the Conservatives over drug policy. There is a string of

:33:52.:33:56.

policies where something is going on. It is difficult to do an enemy

:33:57.:34:03.

within strategy. I believe as many Lib Dems do that we should withdraw

:34:04.:34:09.

from the coalition six months to one year before the election so we can

:34:10.:34:12.

put our positive policies across rather than having this tricky

:34:13.:34:17.

strategy of trying to do it from within. Why does David Cameron need

:34:18.:34:25.

the Lib Dems? He probably does not. The country generally favoured the

:34:26.:34:30.

coalition to start with. Voters like to see politicians are working

:34:31.:34:33.

together and far more of that goes on in Westminster then we see. Most

:34:34.:34:39.

of my committee reports are unanimous reports from all parties.

:34:40.:34:47.

Why does he need them? I do not think he does. You would be happy to

:34:48.:34:55.

see the Lib Dems go? I would always be happy to see a single minority

:34:56.:34:59.

Government because it would be easier for legislation. The

:35:00.:35:04.

legislation you could not get through would not get through

:35:05.:35:08.

whether we were in coalition or not. The 40p tax rate, there

:35:09.:35:13.

probably is not a majority in the House of Commons at the moment,

:35:14.:35:17.

despite what Nick Clegg originally said. It does not make much

:35:18.:35:22.

difference. What makes a difference from the perspective of the

:35:23.:35:26.

committee I chair is historically we have had single party Government

:35:27.:35:31.

that have collective responsibility and clarity. The reason that is

:35:32.:35:35.

important is because nothing gets done if everybody is at sixes and

:35:36.:35:40.

sevens in the Government. Everything stops, there is paralysis as the row

:35:41.:35:45.

goes on. Civil servants do not know who they are working for. If it

:35:46.:35:50.

carries on getting fractures, there is a bigger argument to get out. If

:35:51.:35:57.

it continues at this level of intensity of the enemy within

:35:58.:36:02.

strategy as you have described it, can the coalition survived another

:36:03.:36:07.

16 months of this? It is also a question should they. I never

:36:08.:36:10.

thought I would say this, I agree with Bernard. Interestingly earlier

:36:11.:36:18.

Chuka Umunna missed the point talking about business support.

:36:19.:36:22.

Business is worried about this anti-European rhetoric and that is a

:36:23.:36:25.

deep split between the Liberal Democrats and the UKIP wing of the

:36:26.:36:29.

Tory party. That is really damaging and that is something we need to

:36:30.:36:35.

make our own case separately on. Do you get fed up when you hear

:36:36.:36:40.

constant Lib Dem attacks on you? What makes me fed up is my own party

:36:41.:36:44.

cannot respond in kind because we are in coalition. I would love to

:36:45.:36:50.

have this much more open debate. I would like to see my own party

:36:51.:36:58.

leader, for example as he did in the House of Commons, it was the Liberal

:36:59.:37:00.

Democrats who blocked the referendum on the house of lords and if we want

:37:01.:37:05.

to get this bill through it should be a Government bill. We know we can

:37:06.:37:07.

get it It strikes me that given that the

:37:08.:37:31.

attacks from the Liberal Democrats are now coming from the left, is

:37:32.:37:41.

this a represent -- does this represent that Nick Clegg now

:37:42.:37:43.

accepts that the only way he can save seeds is to get disillusioned

:37:44.:37:48.

left voters to come back to the fold? The fact is that we have lost

:37:49.:37:56.

over half our vote at the last election. At the moment there is no

:37:57.:38:01.

sign of it coming back. And we're getting close to the next election.

:38:02.:38:06.

I welcome it if Nick Clegg is starting to address that problem but

:38:07.:38:11.

just talking about the centre is not the answer. Most Liberal Democrat

:38:12.:38:17.

voters are actually radical, progressive people, who want to see

:38:18.:38:20.

a fair country and they'll is divided society will stop we must

:38:21.:38:29.

make sure that we maximise our vote. Final question. We know what you

:38:30.:38:33.

want. What what do you think will happen? Will this coalition survived

:38:34.:38:38.

all the way to the election or break-up beforehand? It will

:38:39.:38:44.

probably break up beforehand. The long-term economic plan is working.

:38:45.:38:50.

Further changes are being held back by the Liberal Democrats. When will

:38:51.:38:58.

it break-up? It has lasted longer than I thought. But when will it

:38:59.:39:05.

break-up? At least six months before the election. Do you think it will

:39:06.:39:14.

survive? It has delivered a lot that is running out of steam. It depends

:39:15.:39:21.

what happens in the May elections. There will be very strong pressure

:39:22.:39:25.

on the Liberal Democrats to avoid a wipe-out by coming out and putting

:39:26.:39:29.

our own policies forward to show that we can be encouraging with

:39:30.:39:36.

Labour next time. You both agree, television history has been made!

:39:37.:39:42.

You are watching the Sunday politics.

:39:43.:39:45.

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

:39:46.:39:48.

programme - Not creaking, but croaking. Claims that our courts are

:39:49.:39:53.

operating under pressure. It's the latest in a string of criticisms

:39:54.:39:56.

over planned changes to the justice syste. -- system. We'll put these

:39:57.:40:02.

points to the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill who joins us live.

:40:03.:40:05.

And after the intervention of BP boss Bob Dudley in the independence

:40:06.:40:09.

debate, why it's important for the campaigns to seek endorsement from

:40:10.:40:10.

business. There's growing concern that

:40:11.:40:12.

Scotland's prosecution service is under severe strain. Sources within

:40:13.:40:16.

the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have told Sunday

:40:17.:40:19.

Politics that it's a system "that's not creaking but croaking". A rising

:40:20.:40:23.

workload is causing delays in court and that's being noticed by Judges

:40:24.:40:26.

and Sheriffs. The removal of corroboration could further increase

:40:27.:40:28.

case, an issue that the Justice Secretary is under fire over again

:40:29.:40:35.

this week. -- increase cases. We'll speak to him in a moment, but first

:40:36.:40:45.

Andrew Kerr has this report. It seems that the lock to shares are --

:40:46.:40:55.

law practitioners are tackling those who make the law. Cases show that

:40:56.:41:05.

figures have risen: And staff numbers are falling: Case numbers

:41:06.:41:14.

take a long time and there are constant adjournments. The system is

:41:15.:41:20.

said to be not creaking, but croaking. A staff survey reflects

:41:21.:41:25.

that, only 16% had confidence in senior management, and we heard that

:41:26.:41:32.

sickness levels are appalling in both admin and legal. There are

:41:33.:41:37.

major issues in terms of the workload, the stress, the lack of

:41:38.:41:46.

separation time -- preparation, and there are some courts that do not

:41:47.:41:49.

take place because of a lack of resources. They are under great

:41:50.:41:57.

pressure and that is increasing. And there are concerns it could get

:41:58.:42:03.

worse if corroboration is abolished. The centuries-old requirement is

:42:04.:42:05.

being struck down in the criminal justice will. What could be the

:42:06.:42:13.

consequences? Nobody can get a handle on how many cases that will

:42:14.:42:17.

be. What the additional workload will be. But what is clear is that

:42:18.:42:23.

our members and staff in the fiscal service are already under pressure.

:42:24.:42:29.

Even a relatively small number of additional cases will create even

:42:30.:42:43.

her pressure. -- further. The CEO PFS said:

:42:44.:42:55.

they say it will help them to prepare for future impacts such as

:42:56.:43:03.

corroboration going. There will now be a enquiry into safeguards needed.

:43:04.:43:11.

Opposition leaders say that corroboration must not go before it

:43:12.:43:16.

reports back. Is it not better to work out the fix before deliberately

:43:17.:43:22.

causing the problem? This is a shoddy way to expect the parliament

:43:23.:43:30.

to act. If the review can provide safeguards which make sure there is

:43:31.:43:34.

no danger of miscarriage of justice is then surely this Parliament, at

:43:35.:43:39.

heart, can find a way and means to allow these thousand people to get

:43:40.:43:47.

access to justice. With concerns about corroboration,

:43:48.:43:54.

and a raft of other reforms, there is much for the justice secretary to

:43:55.:44:00.

deal with. And the justice secretary joins me

:44:01.:44:05.

now. Good afternoon. Starting with that quote saying that the system is

:44:06.:44:10.

not creaking but croaking. Do you recognise that description? I do,

:44:11.:44:17.

because I practised in the courts and heard the same complaints. There

:44:18.:44:23.

are challenges in the Crown office but they also put on record that

:44:24.:44:27.

there are fewer cases, and that put this in context, there is a 39 year

:44:28.:44:34.

low in recorded crime, the lowest homicide rate since records began,

:44:35.:44:38.

and a 60% reduction in knife carrying. Scotland is a safer place

:44:39.:44:43.

and the record of police and prosecutors is outstanding. Are you

:44:44.:44:50.

saying that those in the legal system are complaining for no

:44:51.:44:56.

reason? No, there are significant challenges. Organisations, public

:44:57.:45:07.

and private, face challenges. ?1 billion of cuts from Westminster

:45:08.:45:11.

cannot be dealt with easily. But the record of police and prosecutors is

:45:12.:45:17.

exemplary. Is your attempt to change the law on corroboration placing

:45:18.:45:21.

further strain on things? The dean of advocates described the plan as a

:45:22.:45:31.

beginner a poke. -- a pig. You are asking for a change in the law,

:45:32.:45:34.

which will then be reviewed, and further changes will be visited

:45:35.:45:43.

later. Who would vote for that? Politicians are often divided, but

:45:44.:45:46.

where there is unity - police, prosecutors, victims organisations,

:45:47.:45:52.

brave individuals who give up their anonymity to speak out - we have, as

:45:53.:46:01.

a retired High Court judge put it, significant sections of society,

:46:02.:46:06.

who, by the category of victims that they are, are denied access to

:46:07.:46:13.

justice. That cannot be right. The justice committee at the parliament

:46:14.:46:20.

is against it. On the scales of justice we have 170 rape victims in

:46:21.:46:25.

the last two years that the Lord Advocate said lacked access to

:46:26.:46:30.

justice because of corroboration. 3000 cases every year. It is not

:46:31.:46:35.

tens, not hundreds, thousands of able denied access to justice. --

:46:36.:46:45.

people. Surely your case would be even stronger after the review? The

:46:46.:46:51.

Case against corroboration has been made. Not just by victims

:46:52.:46:56.

organisations but why those individuals who have spoken out

:46:57.:46:59.

because they were abused as children and denied access to justice. And it

:47:00.:47:05.

is not just sexual offences. It affects children and the vulnerable,

:47:06.:47:09.

far too many big aims are denied access to justice. -- far too many

:47:10.:47:22.

victims. Let's look at the position of the Labour Party. They had a

:47:23.:47:27.

manifesto commitment to remove corroboration, and they will now

:47:28.:47:30.

vote against it. But then, that is what we accept it from the Labour

:47:31.:47:36.

Party. Whether it is minimum pricing of alcohol, the removal of

:47:37.:47:42.

corroboration, if the SNP government say yes, they will say no. It would

:47:43.:47:49.

be shameful were not so tragic. If we look at the statistics

:47:50.:47:53.

bulletin of recorded crime in Scotland from 2009-2012, an average

:47:54.:48:00.

of 7000 sexual offences recorded, a clean-up rate of 66%. In England,

:48:01.:48:12.

same period, 54,000 sexual offences, just 30% cleared up. They do not

:48:13.:48:16.

have corroboration yet the rate seems much worse. We have an

:48:17.:48:23.

outstanding police service, south of the border there are real

:48:24.:48:27.

difficulties. They are losing officers because they are not

:48:28.:48:29.

implementing the changes we're making in terms of single service.

:48:30.:48:36.

In terms of crime rates, sexual offences is one of the few areas

:48:37.:48:41.

where the rate is increasing. It is because of public awareness and

:48:42.:48:46.

because police and prosecutors deal with things much better, understand

:48:47.:48:50.

the victims needs and the need to treat them with dignity and respect.

:48:51.:48:56.

Can you give any guarantee that if you get your way there will be more

:48:57.:49:02.

prosecutions? I cannot give any guarantee because that is ultimately

:49:03.:49:08.

for the court. This is about access to justice. It was put to me by a

:49:09.:49:12.

victim who was groomed and had to live with the long-term consequences

:49:13.:49:18.

of being abused. She said that this was about her having access to

:49:19.:49:23.

justice. She wanted to look the perpetrator in the eye and say, you

:49:24.:49:28.

did this to me. She recognises that there is the possibility a court

:49:29.:49:34.

will not believe. But we cannot enforce convictions. But what we can

:49:35.:49:40.

guarantee is access to justice. But how do you deal with the thousands

:49:41.:49:43.

of extra cases brought about when they are already under strain? It

:49:44.:49:51.

has been made quite clear that the Crown has increased legal officials

:49:52.:49:54.

since 2007 despite a degree is in cases. They recognise that it would

:49:55.:50:03.

be challenging. -- decrease. We are prepared to rise to that challenge

:50:04.:50:08.

is a government. Will you put in more cash? I am not prepared to say

:50:09.:50:15.

to a victim of rape, a child who is abused, to say, that is just tough.

:50:16.:50:21.

You are a victim of crime where there is no access to justice. We

:50:22.:50:29.

will not cash limit it. We will guarantee people have access to

:50:30.:50:34.

justice. Can I guarantee convictions? No. That is for the

:50:35.:50:38.

jury and presiding judge. But we must give the access to justice to

:50:39.:50:49.

those who are denied it. This is not the only area that is controversial

:50:50.:50:53.

with people in Scotland's former times more likely to be stopped and

:50:54.:51:00.

searched. A lot of these, they take place with youngsters with alcohol.

:51:01.:51:06.

Knives and drugs are protected by T Lott is about alcohol. I have to

:51:07.:51:10.

deal with the parents whose children have suffered and the police

:51:11.:51:15.

officers who have to take young girls into custody on a Friday night

:51:16.:51:18.

because they are drunk and vulnerable. I sometimes actually

:51:19.:51:24.

think the police taking alcohol consensually from those youngsters

:51:25.:51:32.

is a good thing, and many of these stops on youngsters relate to

:51:33.:51:39.

alcohol. In 2010, there was an average of 1888 stop and searches

:51:40.:51:46.

per day but only 20% were positive. That is one in five and I think it

:51:47.:51:55.

is positive. 70% were consensual searches. What we are seeing is that

:51:56.:52:06.

Scotland is a safer place. We have seen a reduction of 60% in knife

:52:07.:52:14.

crime since we came into office. What we are saying about alcohol,

:52:15.:52:20.

taking them away from youngsters, they can get into difficulties

:52:21.:52:23.

because young girls are vulnerable and young guys can do stupid things

:52:24.:52:26.

with alcohol. This is about prevention, not just prosecution.

:52:27.:52:32.

When you look at the statistics for children, in the same period

:52:33.:52:39.

children under 14 were searched 26,000 times. Are you comfortable

:52:40.:52:49.

with those statistics? I met with children in Scotland than they were

:52:50.:52:52.

perfectly comfortable because they could understand that a lot of the

:52:53.:52:56.

offences perpetrated by children are not against people you rage or my

:52:57.:53:05.

age but against other youngsters. In terms of older youngsters, it can be

:53:06.:53:10.

to do with drugs and weapons, and children do try to access alcohol

:53:11.:53:16.

and take it and problems come about. What sort of relationship will they

:53:17.:53:19.

have with the police when they are older? I think they have a good

:53:20.:53:23.

relationship and I have always been impressed, but youngsters recognise

:53:24.:53:32.

the good job police do. The majority of stop and searches carried out

:53:33.:53:35.

with the consent of the individual and for good reason on the basis of

:53:36.:53:42.

intelligence. The police are polite and carry it out with dignity and we

:53:43.:53:47.

know it makes Scotland a safer place. I was at an event in Fife and

:53:48.:53:52.

had to meet with the family of a young man who had been stabbed. They

:53:53.:53:58.

take the view that a slight and convenience for a young man is much

:53:59.:54:02.

better than a lifetime's tragedy for the family.

:54:03.:54:06.

A poll carried out for the BBC suggests the economy is the issue

:54:07.:54:10.

that matters most to voters taking part in the referendum. So perhaps

:54:11.:54:13.

it's no surprise to find interest in which side businesses are backing.

:54:14.:54:16.

It was a subject Johann Lamont returned to again and again at this

:54:17.:54:19.

week's First Minister's Questions, after the man at the helm of oil

:54:20.:54:23.

giant BP weighed in with his personal view on the issue.

:54:24.:54:33.

There is much debate about the currency. There are big

:54:34.:54:39.

uncertainties for us and at the moment we are continuing to invest,

:54:40.:54:52.

but the Ed Vaizey? -- but there is a question. Great Britain is great and

:54:53.:54:58.

it ought to stay together. In response, the first Minister told

:54:59.:55:05.

BBC Scotland that, and I quote, of course there are many chief

:55:06.:55:09.

executives who are firmly in favour of Scottish independence. Could be

:55:10.:55:14.

first Minister no name the many chief executives of oil companies

:55:15.:55:18.

that are in favour of Scottish independence? There are hundreds of

:55:19.:55:28.

people in business for Scotland. Scottish business is arguing for

:55:29.:55:31.

wealthier than benefit to the people of Scotland from independence, but I

:55:32.:55:39.

thought the most important thing that Bob Dudley said, was that the

:55:40.:55:44.

investment plans for BP would be continuing. With supermarket bosses

:55:45.:55:50.

weighing and is well it has become tip for tat over who has more

:55:51.:56:00.

friends in the business community. They think any party is endorsing

:56:01.:56:03.

their possession is a good thing because they think people will trust

:56:04.:56:11.

and impartial figure such as a businessman or an academic. Whether

:56:12.:56:17.

that works is obviously a moot point. It depends who's listening.

:56:18.:56:26.

If another Scottish businessman was listening, they could take them more

:56:27.:56:30.

seriously than someone on the dole in a housing scheme. With each

:56:31.:56:38.

campaign listening, you can expect small companies as well as giants to

:56:39.:56:45.

take sides. I can see why when you're a large multinational and

:56:46.:56:52.

taking business decisions, you might think a particular way, but at the

:56:53.:56:55.

same time that is not how most of our members take decisions. We work

:56:56.:57:02.

on a much more pragmatic level, so I am not sure people will be making a

:57:03.:57:14.

direct comparison. In the seven months to go until the referendum,

:57:15.:57:20.

we may see more business people showing their political colours but

:57:21.:57:23.

how will that influence the result? Joining me from Newcastle is Ivan

:57:24.:57:26.

McKee who is a board member for Business for Scotland and in

:57:27.:57:29.

Edinburgh is Ian McKay, who is chair of the Institute of Directors which

:57:30.:57:33.

we should point out is nonpartisan with regard to the referendum. When

:57:34.:57:41.

someone like Bob Dudley gives us our personal view, doesn't sway voters?

:57:42.:57:48.

People getting a lot of credit to what businesses said. Most people

:57:49.:57:52.

would expect businesses to take a good look at the situation so I

:57:53.:57:58.

would understand that people would put some weight on what business is

:57:59.:58:07.

seeing. He has said that as a personal view and he does not even

:58:08.:58:10.

have a vote so does that invalidate what he said? Anyone is entitled to

:58:11.:58:16.

his view and he made it clear it was his personal view. They stated just

:58:17.:58:24.

this week they see Aberdeen as the centre of the oil operation in the

:58:25.:58:29.

UK beyond 2050. At the end of the day, the oil is in the North Sea and

:58:30.:58:34.

that is where oil companies will operate. How important is the

:58:35.:58:43.

endorsement of business given that you are an organisation trying to

:58:44.:58:48.

get business people together? It adds value and that the end of the

:58:49.:58:53.

day everybody only has one vote but in previous referendum campaigns,

:58:54.:59:00.

the business vote was largely on the normal site. -- no side. As

:59:01.:59:11.

businesses look at the economic case and the opportunities Scotland opens

:59:12.:59:16.

up, many more are coming to recognise the value of that and the

:59:17.:59:22.

opportunity for business. Would you encourage more business leaders to

:59:23.:59:27.

speak out? Edward encourage politicians to declare their hand a

:59:28.:59:33.

bit more. I am reminded of Bill Clinton's slogan in 1992 when he

:59:34.:59:36.

talked about change or more of the same. His organisation has declared

:59:37.:59:41.

that centrist and would probably agree with that slogan, but I tend

:59:42.:59:46.

to remember the other slogan which was the economy, stupid. It is not

:59:47.:59:55.

good enough for us simply to say everything will be the same and it

:59:56.:59:58.

does not really matter whether people have doubts, and that in fact

:59:59.:00:05.

Alex Salmond is right and it is the -- the investment that matters, one

:00:06.:00:11.

should begin to come concerned if those people in charge are starting

:00:12.:00:17.

to question matters like currency, increasing investment and so on.

:00:18.:00:23.

That has to be of concern. When a lot people start seeing it, the main

:00:24.:00:28.

thing we should be looking at his answers from the politicians trying

:00:29.:00:34.

to win votes. A Scottish -based company employing 3500 people around

:00:35.:00:41.

the world. He spoke about uncertainty over currency, trade and

:00:42.:00:44.

tax which could involve running the business from someone else. Do you

:00:45.:00:51.

welcome that kind of intervention? I welcome everybody taking part in the

:00:52.:00:54.

debates because the more people that are, we are the facts of the

:00:55.:00:59.

strength of the Scottish economy and the fact we generate more tax than

:01:00.:01:04.

the rest of the UK and higher GDP, the more people become aware of

:01:05.:01:08.

that, the more likely they are to support a yes vote in September.

:01:09.:01:13.

Alex Salmond has made his position clear in the past. That is his view

:01:14.:01:22.

and as I said, we have 1300 members and growing that have taken the

:01:23.:01:28.

opposite view. In terms of uncertainty, business looks at risk

:01:29.:01:32.

and uncertainty and looks at what makes more sense for it. Our members

:01:33.:01:37.

have come to the conclusion that the opportunity Scotland offers

:01:38.:01:45.

outweighs the negatives. Business leaders are asked to assess risk.

:01:46.:01:48.

Could the same be true for the points made of politicians on the

:01:49.:01:54.

Better Together said, that they need to spell out potential tax changes

:01:55.:02:04.

if there is a no vote. When you're doing this kind of analysis, you

:02:05.:02:08.

have to remember the weaknesses as well as the strengths. I personally

:02:09.:02:17.

understand his position, he has 1300 people employed in businesses who

:02:18.:02:22.

think it is best to have a yes vote, but the position of many businesses

:02:23.:02:25.

as we do not want to be leading this campaign. Are you afraid to speak

:02:26.:02:32.

out? I do not think we are afraid but we need to see the kind of

:02:33.:02:35.

questions we are asking is what would be good for business and for

:02:36.:02:39.

the Scottish economy whoever wins this referendum? Let me give you one

:02:40.:02:48.

example on the subject of mail. When you look at the White Paper, you

:02:49.:02:54.

have a position where we are told the Royal Mail will be the

:02:55.:02:58.

privatised and so on. I asked the question in the past, how do you do

:02:59.:03:04.

that? How do you the privatised company that is working on the stock

:03:05.:03:10.

exchange and how much will it cost to run a mail service in Scotland

:03:11.:03:13.

that the same level or better than it currently is getting the Scottish

:03:14.:03:24.

geography. -- given. Just tell us what it is we are voting for and

:03:25.:03:29.

what it would cost. That is a basic of any business, they want to know

:03:30.:03:32.

the numbers and how these things back up. -- stack up. If you look at

:03:33.:03:41.

the White Paper there is a section which looks at how the balance sheet

:03:42.:03:46.

would look in the first year of independence based on current

:03:47.:03:50.

numbers and projections, and that is more detail than you will get from

:03:51.:03:59.

any of the UK parties. That is the way it works and there is a cost

:04:00.:04:11.

that section in the White Paper. -- costed. That is my point. Yes, there

:04:12.:04:19.

are numbers but they are also assertions which are uncosted and

:04:20.:04:25.

could cost us a lot of money. I ask that we start to see just how much

:04:26.:04:29.

the assertions on both sides will actually cost us. That would be

:04:30.:04:36.

great but even in the UK context you do not have any information for the

:04:37.:04:42.

parties for 2015 manifestoes, and in terms of the currency it is clear to

:04:43.:04:46.

everyone in Scotland will continue to use the pound after independence,

:04:47.:04:51.

but it is down to the UK government at this time to sit down and at the

:04:52.:04:56.

end of the day it is them that have refused to negotiate to give clarity

:04:57.:05:01.

on some of these issues. They want the uncertainty in the debate but

:05:02.:05:04.

the voters of Scotland deserve better than that adds to have more

:05:05.:05:08.

clarity. Thank you both very much. You're

:05:09.:05:11.

watching Sunday Politics Scotland. Let's cross now for the news from

:05:12.:05:13.

Reporting Scotland with Andrew Kerr. Good afternoon. A new, privately-run

:05:14.:05:34.

body to get people on long-term sick leave back to work is being set up.

:05:35.:05:38.

It will operate in Scotland, England and Wales. Up to 95,000 people in

:05:39.:05:41.

Scotland are on sick leave for longer than a month each year. The

:05:42.:05:45.

UK government hopes it will save employers ?70 million a year by

:05:46.:05:48.

offering medical advice and re-training.

:05:49.:05:50.

A rugby fan has died in hospital after falling ill during Scotland's

:05:51.:06:01.

match against England. The 60-year-old man was watching with

:06:02.:06:05.

friends when he was taken ill around 15 minutes into the RBS six Nations

:06:06.:06:08.

clash at Murrayfield. He died a short time later at Edinburgh Royal

:06:09.:06:11.

Infirmary. It's the economy that matters most to people voting in the

:06:12.:06:15.

independence referendum, a new poll by the BBC has suggested. More than

:06:16.:06:18.

1,000 people aged 16 and over were asked which issues from a list of

:06:19.:06:22.

ten mattered most to them. Pensions came second, with welfare third. The

:06:23.:06:25.

results will feature in the programme Scotland's Top Ten battle

:06:26.:06:28.

grounds to be shown on BBC Two on Tuesday.

:06:29.:06:33.

Now let's get the weather. We can see that showers are most

:06:34.:06:36.

frequent to the central belt and Southern up once. It will be breezy,

:06:37.:06:46.

temperatures around seven Celsius will stop this evening and

:06:47.:06:49.

overnight, we hold onto the wind, but it will ease a touch. Showers

:06:50.:06:53.

remain frequent. That's it. Back to Gary.

:06:54.:07:05.

Thank you very much. Let's look at what might feature in the week to

:07:06.:07:09.

come. I am joined by the former Guardian

:07:10.:07:18.

correspondent and freelance journalist, Kirsty Scott, and the

:07:19.:07:20.

Herald's political editor, Magnus Gardham. Let's start with David

:07:21.:07:28.

Cameron's speech. Alex Salmond writes in the Herald today. He calls

:07:29.:07:37.

it a big mistake. Was it? He had every right to make the

:07:38.:07:43.

speech. It was a bit much for Alex Salmond to describe it as using

:07:44.:07:47.

sport as a political tool. Remember Wimbledon? Unfurling the sole tyre.

:07:48.:07:59.

There was no way that David Cameron could have presented that that would

:08:00.:08:02.

suit Alex Salmond. But he had a right. But was it a mistake to

:08:03.:08:14.

deliver it in London? The admirers of the Prime Minister

:08:15.:08:18.

admired the speech, the problem of course is that he doesn't have many

:08:19.:08:30.

in Scotland. The idea is not a bad when from a campaign accused of

:08:31.:08:39.

being negative. But is London the best place to deliver it? Possibly

:08:40.:08:46.

not. It will be interesting to see it we hear that message from

:08:47.:08:54.

elsewhere in England. Interesting, from another perspective, Andrew

:08:55.:08:59.

Rodley says that there is not enough. He said that the Scots want

:09:00.:09:07.

to be told they are loved. Is there a realisation that things are too

:09:08.:09:13.

negative from the Unionist side? Possibly. But in terms of what is

:09:14.:09:20.

important to voters, the economy is high up, the relationship with the

:09:21.:09:25.

rest of the UK is low-down. That was quite surprisingly. I think David

:09:26.:09:29.

Cameron but have ranked and are feeling stronger about that. --

:09:30.:09:36.

would have an add-on -- would have banked on. But I think he and his

:09:37.:09:44.

advisers understand that he is on a hiding to nothing. He could have

:09:45.:09:49.

made the speech in Stornoway and would have got brickbats. But we

:09:50.:09:55.

need to see something more positive from the No campaign.

:09:56.:10:03.

A question is whether there will be more demolition for Scotland in the

:10:04.:10:08.

event of a No vote. A piece in the Scotland on Sunday asks, where now

:10:09.:10:15.

for the Labour Party? There is talk in a previous commitment for

:10:16.:10:17.

tax-raising powers to be reined back.

:10:18.:10:25.

It is a real issue for Labour. There are differences of opinion on this.

:10:26.:10:31.

It will be very difficult for them to manage this. And to get into a

:10:32.:10:36.

place where they can say convincingly to voters, further

:10:37.:10:42.

devolution will be on offer if you vote no. Is Johann Lamont the woman

:10:43.:10:51.

to bring the Labour Party together? She has to be. But to change it now

:10:52.:10:58.

would be a disaster for them. We need to see a greater sense of

:10:59.:11:01.

cohesion and purpose on the No campaign. Criticism of the Yes

:11:02.:11:07.

campaign is that they do not have clarity. But people are now saying,

:11:08.:11:13.

persuade us, what with things look like if we vote no? It is

:11:14.:11:20.

interesting that you have the Liberal Democrats making a concerted

:11:21.:11:24.

effort to get on the same page as the Liberal Democrats and

:11:25.:11:30.

conservatives. But the Labour Party are not even on their own same page.

:11:31.:11:37.

Alex Salmond will say, if you vote no, there is no change. And surveys

:11:38.:11:46.

suggest that a beefed up Holyrood with the then more popular outcome

:11:47.:11:57.

than the status quo. -- would be a. A BBC Scotland poll indicates that

:11:58.:11:59.

Scots believe the economy matters most. No great surprise. We have

:12:00.:12:06.

known for a long time people feel this way. It has been a good lesson.

:12:07.:12:16.

We have been talking about the currency and possible monetary

:12:17.:12:21.

union. The people on the street are saying, we need to know exactly what

:12:22.:12:32.

will happen. And this ?500 figure, better or worse off, that could sway

:12:33.:12:39.

undecided. I am not surprised that the economy has emerged as the key

:12:40.:12:45.

issue. But when you get into the specifics, looking at the currency,

:12:46.:12:51.

closely linked to the economy, issues like the European Union,

:12:52.:12:57.

pensions, welfare, a bit lower down. The political rows, the stories that

:12:58.:13:04.

have dominated, currency union, EU membership, they are not at the top

:13:05.:13:13.

of peoples priorities. Maybe a lesson for politicians and the

:13:14.:13:20.

media. Absolutely. This poll is helpful because we pick up on issues

:13:21.:13:25.

which we think are important. Now we can understand what people actually

:13:26.:13:32.

want to hear about. Are there difficulties on the economy for

:13:33.:13:39.

either side? It is clearly a sign that the first Mr must do more. --

:13:40.:13:46.

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

:13:47.:13:50.

time next week. Until then, goodbye.

:13:51.:13:56.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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