09/02/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


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


forced the government to take control. Is it hanging the


environment agency out to dry? Embarrassment as the immigration


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


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


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


coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland: Planned reforms to the


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


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


MacAskill. about strife on the Underground. All


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


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


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


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


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


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


cleaner and some lost documents. Yesterday Mark Harper tendered his


resignation, telling the media he had discovered the cleaner who


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


anything other than an obvious forgery. The suggestion that there


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


storms bringing more flooding and after Prince Charles visited the


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


has got a grip on the situation at last.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


better capacity. The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has not been


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


promises and delivers what every farmer and landowner around here


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


serious problems because the dredging has not taken place. There


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Somerset Levels being turned over to extensive grassland and that


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


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


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


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


managed very carefully and they are conservation land and that means


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


year the flooding minister agreed dredging should take place and


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


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


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


Environment Agency, central Government and the European Union?


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


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


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


comprehensive vision of catchment management and of environmental


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


time. Last week saw the Labour Party


adopts an historic change with its relationship with the unions.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


National executive committee. The proposals are a financial gamble as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Party? This is about ensuring individual trade union members have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


businesses, and small and medium-sized businesses are an


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


comments arguing against the reduction of the top rate of tax


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


companies, the average managing director of that gets around


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


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


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


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


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


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


controversial. Those with the broadest shoulders, it is not


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


continued to needle away at the Education Secretary. And other


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


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


children to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and his party colleague


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


man in charge of schools Conservative Michael Gove. Mr Laws


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recent newspaper interview firmly spiking any room for George Osborne


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


builds on the inclusion in Government at the reshuffle of


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


people who are happier to publically express doubt on Conservative


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


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


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


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


Conservatives would be harder still. Nonetheless a differentiation


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


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


problem in terms of their distinctiveness, so attacking their


coalition partners or the Labour Party is helpful in showing what


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Matthew Oakeshott and senior Conservative backbencher Bernard


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


put our positive policies across rather than having this tricky


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


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


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


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


of my committee reports are unanimous reports from all parties.


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


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


Government because it would be easier for legislation. The


legislation you could not get through would not get through


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


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


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


difference. What makes a difference from the perspective of the


committee I chair is historically we have had single party Government


that have collective responsibility and clarity. The reason that is


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


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


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


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


it continues at this level of intensity of the enemy within


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


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


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


Chuka Umunna missed the point talking about business support.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


get it It strikes me that given that the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


You are watching the Sunday politics.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


business. There's growing concern that


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


the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have told Sunday


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


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


and Sheriffs. The removal of corroboration could further increase


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Even a relatively small number of additional cases will create even


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


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


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


Opposition leaders say that corroboration must not go before it


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


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


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


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


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


access to justice. With concerns about corroboration,


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


deal with. And the justice secretary joins me


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


saying that those in the legal system are complaining for no


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Case against corroboration has been made. Not just by victims


organisations but why those individuals who have spoken out


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


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


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


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


manifesto commitment to remove corroboration, and they will now


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


outstanding police service, south of the border there are real


difficulties. They are losing officers because they are not


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


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


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


because police and prosecutors deal with things much better, understand


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


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


prosecutions? I cannot give any guarantee because that is ultimately


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


deal with the parents whose children have suffered and the police


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


because they are drunk and vulnerable. I sometimes actually


think the police taking alcohol consensually from those youngsters


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


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


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


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


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


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


taking them away from youngsters, they can get into difficulties


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


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


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


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


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


perfectly comfortable because they could understand that a lot of the


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


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


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


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


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


relationship and I have always been impressed, but youngsters recognise


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


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


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


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


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


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


better than a lifetime's tragedy for the family.


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


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


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


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


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


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


There is much debate about the currency. There are big


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


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


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


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


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


first Minister no name the many chief executives of oil companies


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


people in business for Scotland. Scottish business is arguing for


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


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


investment plans for BP would be continuing. With supermarket bosses


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


we may see more business people showing their political colours but


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


endorsement of business given that you are an organisation trying to


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


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


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


businesses look at the economic case and the opportunities Scotland opens


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


opportunity for business. Would you encourage more business leaders to


speak out? Edward encourage politicians to declare their hand a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have come to the conclusion that the opportunity Scotland offers


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


would look in the first year of independence based on current


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


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


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


are numbers but they are also assertions which are uncosted and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


clarity. Thank you both very much. You're


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


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


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


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


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


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


offering medical advice and re-training.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


grounds to be shown on BBC Two on Tuesday.


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


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


temperatures around seven Celsius will stop this evening and


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


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


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


come. I am joined by the former Guardian


correspondent and freelance journalist, Kirsty Scott, and the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


deliver it in London? The admirers of the Prime Minister


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


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


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


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


elsewhere in England. Interesting, from another perspective, Andrew


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


need to see something more positive from the No campaign.


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


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


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


tax-raising powers to be reined back.


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


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


place where they can say convincingly to voters, further


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


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


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


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


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


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


interesting that you have the Liberal Democrats making a concerted


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


We have been talking about the currency and possible monetary


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of peoples priorities. Maybe a lesson for politicians and the


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


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


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


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


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


time next week. Until then, goodbye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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