06/04/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


06/04/2014

Andrew Neil and Gary Robertson with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including a look over Maria Miller's expenses apology. With Labour's Caroline Flint.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:34.:00:38.

Pressure on Culture Secretary Maria Miller mounts as the Tory press,

:00:39.:00:41.

Tory voters and even a Tory minister turn against her. That's our top

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story. The economic outlook is getting

:00:46.:00:48.

rosier. But Ed Miliband is having none of it. The cost of living

:00:49.:00:55.

crisis is here to stay, says Labour. Shadow Minister Caroline Flint joins

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us for the Sunday Interview. And we bring you the Sunday Politics

:00:57.:01:06.

Gallery, but which former world leader is behind these paintings of

:01:07.:01:11.

world leaders? Coming up in Sunday Politics

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Scotland. Tributes continue to be paid to Margo MacDonald, the

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independent MSP, who died on Friday, at the age of 70.

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And with me as always, the best and the brightest political panel in the

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business - Janan Ganesh, Helen Lewis and Nick Watt. Their tweets will be

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as brief as a Cabinet Minister's apology.

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A frenzy of betting on the Grand National yesterday. But there was

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one book on which betting was suspended, and that was on the fate

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of Culture Secretary Maria Miller, now the 2/1 favourite to be forced

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out the Cabinet. She galloped through her apology to the Commons

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on Thursday in just 32 seconds. But speed did her no favours. There's

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been mounting pressure on her to resign ever since, especially from

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Tories. And this weekend the Chairman of the Independent

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Parliamentary Standards Authority, Ian Kennedy, said it's time MPs gave

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away the power to decide how colleagues who break the rules are

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punished. An inquiry into Maria Miller's expenses claims was launch

:02:27.:02:31.

in 2012, following allegations he claimed ?90,000 to fund a house she

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lived in part time with her parents. She had designated this her second

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home. She was referred to the Parliamentary Standards

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Commissioner, who recommended that she repay ?45,000. But this week the

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Commons Standards Committee, comprising of MPs from all parties,

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dismissed the complaint against Maria Miller and ordered her to

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repay just ?5,800 for inadvertently overclaiming her merge claimants.

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She was forced to apologise to the Commons for the legalistic way she

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dealt with the complaints against her. But Tony Gallagher told the

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Daily Politics on Friday: We got a third call from Craig Oliver who

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pointed out, she is looking at Leveson and the call is badly timed.

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I think if you are making a series of telephone calls to a newspaper

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organisation investigating the conduct of a Cabinet Minister, that

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comes close After that interview Craig Oliver

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contacted us, saying there was no threat in anyway over Leveson. I

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mead it clear at the time. Tony Gallagher is talking rubbish about

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me, and you can use that. The Daily Telegraph have released a tape of a

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phone call between Maria Miller's aid, Joanna Hindley, and a reporter

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investigating her expenses claim. Joanna Hindley said:

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Maria's obviously been having quite a lot of editor's meetings around

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Leveson at the moment. So I'm just going to kind of flag up that

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connection for you to think about. The Prime Minister is sticking by

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his Culture Secretary, but this weekend's crescendo of criticism of

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her presents him with a problem and he could be wishing Maria Miller

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would just fall on her sword. Even over 80% of Tory voters in a Mail on

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Sunday poll think she should go. On the Andrew Marr Show, the Work and

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Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, defended his colleague. I've

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known her always to be a reasonable and honest person. But is she doing

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the Government or her any good by staying in office at the moment, do

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you think? This is a matter the Prime Minister has to take

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consideration of and she herself. My view generally is I'm supportive of

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Maria, because if we are not careful we end one a witch-hunt of somebody.

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And I'm joined now by the Conservative MP, Bob Stewart, and

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the man in the white suit, former MP and anti-sleaze campaigner Martin

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Bell. Welcome to you both. Stuart Stuart sturkts let me put this to

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you, a Conservative MP told this programme, this is a quote, she has

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handled this appallingly. Downing Street has acted like judge and

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jury, for Craig Oliver to get involved is disastrous. She's been

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protected by the whips from the start. What do you say to that? It's

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not great, is it? The fact of the matter is the question one should

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ask is, did she deliberately try to make money? Did she deliberately try

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to obscure ate? The answer is she certainly didn't deliberately try to

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make money, in the system, which was the old system, and with regard to

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obscure ago, I wasn't there, but let's put it this way. She was going

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through a quasi-judicial process and might have ended up in court, so she

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has a right to defend herself. Hold on o you said she doesn't do it to

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make money, she remortgaged the house a couple of times to earn more

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interest to us, the taxpayer, and when interest rates went down she

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didn't reduce the amount she was charging in expenses. Well, the

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point is the adjudicator said there was ?45,000 she was owed. And then a

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committee, Standards Committee, said actually it should be reduced. That

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was mainly MPs but there are three lay members. Yes, but they don't

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have the vote. OK, fine, that is where it is wrong and we've got to

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get it sorted. Let me put another quote from our Conservative MP. He

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didn't want to be named. None of you do at the moment. I'm being named.

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But you are backing her. George young in cahoots. He's been leading

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on the Standards Committee to find her innocent. The Standards

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Committee is unfit for purpose. I think the Standards Committee should

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be revisited. I think the system is still evolving. And I think actually

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we ought to have totally independent judgment on MPs' pay and allowances.

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We haven't have not got there yet and that is where it is wrong.

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Martin Bell, have MPs interfered in the Maria Miller process and with

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the current Standards Commissioner in the same way that they saw off a

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previous Commissioner they thought was too independent? Andrew it is

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exactly the same. Yesterday I looked at a diary entry I made for May

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2000, I said, dreadful meeting standards and privileges, they are

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playing party politics. One of them told Elizabeth fill kin to her face

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the gossip in the tea room was she had gone crazy. Nothing's changed.

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What this shows is most of all, what's the committee for? If it is

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just going to rubber stamp what the party wants and its mates, I don't

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see any point. But it hasn't rubber stamped. It's changed it. Well, it

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has watered down. That's why we should make it totally independent

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and it shouldn't be involved in the House of Commons. It is plus plus ca

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change isn't it? MPs', scandal, and MPs closing ranks for one of their

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own. Has the Commons learned nothing? And this is after the

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expenses scandal, where everything was out for everybody to see, you

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would think MPs would be careful. This is before the expenses scandal.

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We are looking at an historical event, during your time, Martin, not

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We are looking at an historical mine. I'm clean on this. You

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campaigned for him as an independent. I did, he was a good

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friend of mine. And now you've joined the club. And now you are

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defending Maria Miller? I'm defending someone who hasn't been

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proved guilty of anything beyond the fact she was rather slow to come

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forward with evidence. My point on that, is I understand that. MPs are

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being lambasted the whole time these days. There were a heck of a lot of

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them, Martin, who are utterly decent. She didn't try to make

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money. We've just been through that. I don't think that's right. The jury

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is out on that. What should have happened in the Miller case, Martin

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Bell? I don't think there should be a committee on standards. I think

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the Commissioner should make a report. There has been to be justice

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for the MP complained against. Then the committee of the whole House can

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consider it. But we are, the House of Commons, then as now is incapable

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of regulating itself. That's been proving yet again. She made a

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perfunctory apology. She threatened and instructed the Standards

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Commissioner investigating her, and her special adviser linked expenses

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to Leveson, when trying to stop the Daily Telegraph from publishing. I

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mean, is that the behaviour of a Cabinet Minister? Well, it's

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probably not the behaviour of someone that's got time on their

:09:54.:09:57.

hands. She's a very busy Cabinet Minister. Well, she had enough time

:09:58.:10:02.

to write lots of letters to the Standards Commission ser. She felt

:10:03.:10:09.

under such threat. She had the time. She had to make the time. Die know

:10:10.:10:14.

the lady is not trying desperately to make money. I disagree but on

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that. The fact of the matter is, this was an old, old system, that

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we've tried to put right, or the Commons has tried to put right. I

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agree that MPs shouldn't get involved in this. Should we get rid

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of this committee? It serves no purpose except to cause trouble. The

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adjudicator has said that and it should be the end of it. It

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shouldn't come back to the Commons. Although her special adviser

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threatened them over Leveson she was and is the Minister responsible for

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trying to introduce something like Leveson and that is something a big

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chunk that the press doesn't want. She is a target. It has a good

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record on this issue. It played wit a straight bat. The facts aren't in

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dispute are they? Will she make it to the next cabinet reshuffle and

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then go? Iain Duncan Smith said it is a matter for the Prime Minister.

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In my view, as things stand, I question did she deliberately want

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to make money? I don't think she did. Should she go? No. Should she

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be reshuffled? I don't know. Goodness me, you are asking someone

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who will never be reshuffled, because he will never make it. I was

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only asking for your opinion, not your ability to do it. This is a

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problem for Cameron isn't it? It is a problem for Cameron. There is

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nothing wrong with returning to be badge benches, as you know. Hear,

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hear. To that. Stick with me. Helen, can she survive? Is I'm going out of

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the prediction game when I said Clegg is going to win the date, so I

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owe Janan a tenner on that one. Grant Shapps has supported her. She

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was ringed by Sir George young and Jeremy Hunt... This is pretty

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devastating. On past form David Cameron hates having to bounce

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people out of the cabinet. He will want to keep Maria Miller until the

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summer reshuffle. This is a question mark on whether she survive this is.

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This isn't damaging to the Conservative or the Labour Party, it

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is damaging to everyone. This is catastrophic damage to the entire

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political establishment. Every single speech that David Cameron and

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Ed Miliband have given since 2009, talking about restoring trust, they

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can wipe them from their computers, because voters are going to look

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that there and say, this lot haven't learnt anything. They are giving

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perfunctory apologies and then you have MPs sitting in judgment on MPs

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and rather than paying back ?45,000, she pays back ?5,800 after MPs have

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been into it. Damage is huge. Just getting rid of one Cabinet Minister,

:13:10.:13:13.

you will need to do more than that. You will notice that Labour haven't

:13:14.:13:17.

made huge weather of this. No, goodness me, they have their own

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skeletons. Exactly. The person who has made hay out of this is Nigel

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Farage, who has not been backwards in coming forward. He doesn't seem

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to care about skeletons. The Prime Minister has be-Gunby backing her,

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but that's not popular even with Tory voters. How does he get out of

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this? This is the problem for him. Five years ago his reaction to the

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expenses scandal was seen by many Tory backbenchers as excessive. They

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felt hung out to dry by a man who is independently wealthy. To go from

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that to making a special exemption to Maria Miller because it is

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politically suitable is more incendiary and provocative. It is

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not just upsetting the voters and the Daily Telegraph but a good

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number of people behind him. I think they will get rid of her. I think

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the Government, to paraphrase Churchill, will zoo the decent thing

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after exhausting all options, of the European elections a reshuffle. The

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culture department has gone from a baulk water in haul to one of the

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most politically sensational jobs because of its proximity to the

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Leveson issue. She has to be replaced by someone Lily skillful

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and substantial. Mr Cameron is not short of smart women? Nikki Morgan,

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the education department, these are absolutely outstanding women and the

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problem that the generation elected in 2005, Maria Miller generation,

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there are some really good people elected in 2010. You are not

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responsible for hacking into the culture Department's Twitter account

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last night? I was out at the time! They all say that! One so, Maria

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Miller is like a modern-day Robin Hood... She robs the poor to help

:15:25.:15:31.

the rich. Which one of us has not embezzled the taxpayer? I reckon it

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is the lady. You have the perfect cover. We would not know how to,

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would we? You cannot tweet from a mobile device, can you? Play it

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safe. No, do something dramatic. Have lots of pledges. Have just a

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few pledges. Ah, there must be a Labour policy review reaching its

:16:00.:16:02.

conclusion because everyone has some free advice for the party about its

:16:03.:16:06.

message and the man delivering it. Here's Adam. He is well liked by the

:16:07.:16:13.

public don't quite buy him as a leader. The papers say he is in hock

:16:14.:16:19.

to the unions and the party has a lead in the polls but it is not

:16:20.:16:24.

solid. Bartenders Neil Kinnock. That is what they said Winnie who lost

:16:25.:16:32.

the 1982 election. The whole country deserves better and we will work to

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ensure that the day will come when with the Labour government, the

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country will get better. Someone who was there can see some spooky

:16:43.:16:50.

parallels. The important lesson from 1992 is it cannot rest on your

:16:51.:16:53.

laurels and hope for the best, you cannot sit on a lead of seven points

:16:54.:16:59.

because the election narrows that and you cannot rely on the

:17:00.:17:02.

government not getting its act together because the Conservative

:17:03.:17:06.

Party was well funded and organised, the double whammy posters, the tax

:17:07.:17:11.

bombshell, but incredibly effective and the message was unified and they

:17:12.:17:16.

beat us on the campaign. The lesson for Labour today is this lead will

:17:17.:17:21.

evaporate quite possibly over the next few months and we might go into

:17:22.:17:27.

the election behind in the polls. But Ed Miliband is getting

:17:28.:17:31.

conflicting advice about how to avoid 1992 happening. Be bold, be

:17:32.:17:37.

cautious and then, the idea that Labour can squeak into office with

:17:38.:17:41.

just 35% of the vote, which worries some people. Each month, the Labour

:17:42.:17:46.

Party meets around the country and last week, everybody spoke about the

:17:47.:17:53.

dangers of this 35% strategy. They were increasingly unhappy and it is

:17:54.:17:58.

very important that those people around the leader naturally have a

:17:59.:18:04.

duty to protect him and they make sure he gets this message that while

:18:05.:18:09.

there is total support for him, they do want this key year in the run-up

:18:10.:18:14.

to the General Election to be putting out an alternative which we

:18:15.:18:21.

can defend on the doorstep. The doorstep where Neil Kinnock made his

:18:22.:18:24.

concession speech is crammed with Spanish back hackers. The old Labour

:18:25.:18:32.

offices are no a budget hostel. Labour headquarters is down the road

:18:33.:18:36.

and they are putting the finishing touches to a speech Ed Miliband will

:18:37.:18:40.

give this week about the cost of living and I am told he will drop

:18:41.:18:43.

hints about new policies in juicy areas like housing, low pay, growth

:18:44.:18:49.

and devolving power. As for the charge that they are not radical

:18:50.:18:52.

enough, his people say they want to be bold but they have to be credible

:18:53.:18:58.

as well. They say that Labour is more united than it has ever been

:18:59.:19:02.

but there has been some grumbling that the cost of living campaign is

:19:03.:19:06.

not the same as a vision for the country. And that Ed Miliband was

:19:07.:19:11.

not statesman-like enough at Prime Minister's Questions and one figure

:19:12.:19:14.

who sat at the same table in the Neil Kinnock years summed it up like

:19:15.:19:19.

this. Things are OK but it feels like we're playing for the draw.

:19:20.:19:22.

Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint joins me now for the Sunday

:19:23.:19:37.

Interview. This 35% victory strategy, it does not sound very

:19:38.:19:43.

ambitious? I am campaigning to win this election with a majority

:19:44.:19:46.

government and everybody else around the table is also. But we want to go

:19:47.:19:53.

to every corner of the country and win votes for Labour and win seats,

:19:54.:19:57.

that is what we are working towards. To avoid last time, the coalition

:19:58.:20:05.

bartering. But that 35% is a victory strategy so are you saying there is

:20:06.:20:11.

no 35% strategy and that no one at the heart of Labour is not arguing

:20:12.:20:16.

for this? We are working to win around the country and to win all of

:20:17.:20:20.

those battle ground seats and we must have a strategy that appeals to

:20:21.:20:26.

a cross-section of the public but within that, that broad group Queen

:20:27.:20:29.

Elizabeth Olympic Park and. You could do that with 35% of the vote?

:20:30.:20:39.

There is lots of polling and everyone looks at this about what we

:20:40.:20:44.

need to do to get seats and we want to have a comprehensive majority at

:20:45.:20:48.

the next election to win to govern this country. Last week, we have

:20:49.:20:54.

been reading reports of splits in the party over policy and on

:20:55.:20:59.

tactics, even strategy. A struggle for control of the General Election

:21:00.:21:05.

manifesto, we are told. What are you arguing over? I said on the

:21:06.:21:11.

committee and just listening to the film before, it is about being

:21:12.:21:15.

radical but also credible and we are talking about evolution and that is

:21:16.:21:21.

an important subject but we are also united and to be honest, in 2010

:21:22.:21:27.

people were writing us off saying we would turn on ourselves and that has

:21:28.:21:31.

not been the case. We are not arguing about the fundamentals, we

:21:32.:21:35.

are discussing the policies that are coming up with different colleagues

:21:36.:21:40.

and talking about how we can make sure they are presented to the

:21:41.:21:43.

public and that is part of a process. That is a discussion, not

:21:44.:21:49.

disagreement. The Financial Times, which is usually pretty fair,

:21:50.:21:53.

reports a battle between Ed Miliband's radical instincts and the

:21:54.:21:59.

more business fiscal conservatism of Ed Balls. What side are you on? I am

:22:00.:22:05.

for radical change, I am for energy and I believe strongly we must be

:22:06.:22:10.

formed the market and people might portray that as anti-business but

:22:11.:22:16.

this is about more competition and transparency and others coming into

:22:17.:22:19.

this market so our policy on this is radical, not excepting the status

:22:20.:22:26.

quo. It is also for business. Opinion polls show that few people

:22:27.:22:34.

regard Ed Miliband as by Minister material -- Prime Minister material.

:22:35.:22:40.

That has been true since he became leader. And in some cases, they have

:22:41.:22:48.

been getting worse. Why is that? Opinion polls say certain things

:22:49.:22:52.

about the personalities of leaders, David Cameron is not great either.

:22:53.:22:56.

And they were not great when he was in opposition. At this stage, he was

:22:57.:23:03.

getting 49% as Prime Minister real material and Ed Miliband, 19. --

:23:04.:23:13.

Prime Minister material. When you look at certain questions that the

:23:14.:23:17.

public is asked about who you think you would trust about being fair in

:23:18.:23:21.

terms of policy towards Britain, who understands the cost of living

:23:22.:23:25.

crisis, they very much identify with Ed Miliband. We are ahead in the

:23:26.:23:31.

polls. Ed Miliband has made that happen. We have one more

:23:32.:23:39.

councillors, we have been running in by-elections and we have held this

:23:40.:23:42.

government over the barrel over six months on energy prices. That is to

:23:43.:23:47.

do with his leadership. The more that voters save him, the less they

:23:48.:23:53.

seem convinced. In 2011, he had been leader for one year, and only 11%

:23:54.:24:00.

regarded him as weird, by 2014, that was 41%. Look at that! Look at that

:24:01.:24:10.

weirdness! What people need is to know where the Labour Party stands

:24:11.:24:12.

on fundamental issues. And in those areas, particularly the cost of

:24:13.:24:18.

living and fairness and people being concerned that we are entering into

:24:19.:24:22.

a period where people will be worse for the first time ever at the end

:24:23.:24:27.

of the Parliament, these things are important and Ed Miliband is part of

:24:28.:24:33.

our success. Definitely. I think this is ridiculous, to be fair, he

:24:34.:24:39.

is not a politician that says, I am dying with the Arctic monkeys, I

:24:40.:24:44.

know who is the number one. He did not play that game. -- down. He is

:24:45.:24:52.

not either there to portray himself as someone who was with the

:24:53.:24:56.

children, I know everything about popular culture. His authenticity is

:24:57.:25:02.

the most important thing. People do not think he is authentic, unless

:25:03.:25:06.

they think we were at is authentic. Is it true that his staff applaud

:25:07.:25:11.

him when he comes back after giving even a mediocre speech? I have never

:25:12.:25:20.

heard that. I have never heard about him being applauded. And I am

:25:21.:25:25.

pleased to applaud him with he makes speeches, I have given him a

:25:26.:25:30.

standing ovation. You have to do that because the cameras are

:25:31.:25:34.

rolling! No, he made a good speech. Five minutes without notes. It took

:25:35.:25:39.

a long time to memorise I don't blame him! The cost of living.

:25:40.:25:45.

Focusing on that, it has paid dividends. But inflation is falling

:25:46.:25:51.

and perhaps collapsing, unemployment is falling faster than anybody

:25:52.:25:55.

thought, as we can see. Wages are rising, soon faster than prices.

:25:56.:26:01.

Retail sales are booming, people have got money in their pockets.

:26:02.:26:06.

Isn't the cost of living crisis narrative running out of steam? I do

:26:07.:26:12.

not think so and I should say that I welcome any sign of positive changes

:26:13.:26:18.

in the economy, if anybody gets a job in Doncaster, I am pleased by

:26:19.:26:22.

the end of this Parliament families will be over ?900 worse off because

:26:23.:26:27.

of tax and benefit changes and the working person is ?1600 worse off

:26:28.:26:34.

and it is the first government since the 1870s where people will be at

:26:35.:26:39.

the end of the Parliament. We believe the government made wrong

:26:40.:26:42.

choices that lead the rich off at the expense of those on middle and

:26:43.:26:43.

lower incomes. -- But they are working part-time. We

:26:44.:27:26.

still have nearly 1 million people unemployed. People feeling that. I

:27:27.:27:35.

was at an Asda in Doncaster and a guy summed it up nicely, he said I

:27:36.:27:39.

work very hard, at the end of the week, beyond paying my bills, I have

:27:40.:27:46.

nothing else. If you take out the top 10%, the average loss comes down

:27:47.:27:55.

to around ?400 and is less than half of what you are claiming. The 974

:27:56.:28:02.

finger as a average -- figure. I don't... Look, we have set up our

:28:03.:28:08.

figures, it shows that... I am taking out the top... Whatever way

:28:09.:28:15.

you shake it, people are worse off. Working people are worse off because

:28:16.:28:21.

pay hasn't kept with prices. You have backed the competition inquiry

:28:22.:28:25.

into the big six energy companies, but you intend to go ahead with the

:28:26.:28:29.

price freeze if you win and reconfigure the energy market even

:28:30.:28:33.

before its reports. So if you win, it is a waste of time, isn't it? No,

:28:34.:28:39.

I have always felt that if it does go that way, then made -- there may

:28:40.:28:44.

be areas that we have not thought of that the inquiry will draw attention

:28:45.:28:50.

to. You are absolutely right, our basic reforms, to have a new

:28:51.:28:53.

regulator, to separate supply and have a new pool, we will pursue

:28:54.:28:58.

them. What happens if the report comes out and concludes that what

:28:59.:29:01.

you are planning to do is not the right thing? He will still go ahead.

:29:02.:29:06.

The iMac no, it is not a waste of time. If you look at the report that

:29:07.:29:12.

Ofgem produced, some of the issues the label referred to, they cover

:29:13.:29:19.

that. The Ofgem report last week is a result, I think that it is clearly

:29:20.:29:28.

accepted in the sector, look at SSE, they have said that they will

:29:29.:29:31.

separate those parts of their business. I think we are pushing at

:29:32.:29:34.

an open door and I would be surprised if they don't agree. The

:29:35.:29:41.

SSE has already frozen its prices, but it has done so at a cost. It has

:29:42.:29:45.

said there will be job losses as a result and it is pulling out of

:29:46.:29:50.

major investment into offshore wind. It has already pulled out of gas. So

:29:51.:29:55.

if you freeze energies across the market, it may be the right thing to

:29:56.:29:59.

do but there will be a cost in terms of job and investment, correct?

:30:00.:30:04.

Yellow like I met with SSE and talked about these very issues. The

:30:05.:30:09.

jobs changes are about looking at how they could be more efficient as

:30:10.:30:13.

a company and about offshore wind that was not ready to do with the

:30:14.:30:17.

price freeze, that was more to do with issues around confidence in

:30:18.:30:21.

that area and willingness to but money into it. But there will be...

:30:22.:30:33.

Is at a price worth paying? These companies have been overcharging

:30:34.:30:37.

customers and not investing in their organisations and making them more

:30:38.:30:39.

efficient and I do not believe that a price freeze is linked to job

:30:40.:30:44.

losses. These companies need to be more efficient. The truth is that

:30:45.:30:49.

they are realising the fantastic opportunity for more jobs and growth

:30:50.:30:52.

from energy sector that has certainty going forward and that is

:30:53.:30:58.

what Labour will deliver. Thank you. You're watching Sunday Politics. We

:30:59.:31:02.

say goodbye to viewers in Scotland to leave us.

:31:03.:31:09.

Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.

:31:10.:31:12.

Coming up on the programme: We pay tribute to Margo MacDonald, one of

:31:13.:31:15.

the country's most influential politicians, who died on Friday.

:31:16.:31:23.

People who weren't very political maybe just saw the blonde bits and

:31:24.:31:30.

thought blonde bombshell, but people who were political didn't think

:31:31.:31:31.

that. As the campaign for the European

:31:32.:31:34.

Parliament elections draws closer, we'll look at the prospects for

:31:35.:31:36.

Scotland's MEPs. And calls for the SFA to make a

:31:37.:31:40.

stand over the treatment of migrant workers at World Cup venues in

:31:41.:31:44.

Qatar. Good morning.

:31:45.:31:46.

Tributes continue to be paid to the veteran politician Margo Macdonald

:31:47.:31:49.

who died on Friday. The former deputy leader of the SNP and

:31:50.:31:52.

committed supporter of independence had suffered from Parkinson's

:31:53.:31:55.

disease for nearly 20 years. She died peacefully in Edinburgh,

:31:56.:32:01.

surrounded by her family. A memorial service is being planned for later

:32:02.:32:04.

this month. We're joined now by her fellow MSP and good friend Christine

:32:05.:32:11.

Grahame. Clearly, this is a loss that will be

:32:12.:32:16.

felt keenly by Margo MacDonald's family, but I suppose by wider

:32:17.:32:24.

Scotland she was... She was. She was a determined lady, I know that to my

:32:25.:32:28.

cost. She was very funny, she was full of mischief, she was

:32:29.:32:34.

compassionate and kind. She extended that across the entire parliament. I

:32:35.:32:39.

have seen tributes from other politicians, but the wider

:32:40.:32:42.

Parliament, the staff of the parliament, from the Chief Executive

:32:43.:32:46.

right through to the security, she was kind to them and they

:32:47.:32:50.

reciprocated, especially as she found it more difficult to fulfil

:32:51.:32:55.

her duties in Parliament. And her staff, Peter and Mary, who supported

:32:56.:33:00.

her professionally and personally over the years, so in a way it was

:33:01.:33:06.

lovely because people saw the person she was and they responded. What do

:33:07.:33:12.

you believe drove her politics? Passion, principal firstly for

:33:13.:33:19.

independence obviously. But for other people who could not speak out

:33:20.:33:23.

for themselves, who could not articulate, whether it was

:33:24.:33:27.

prostitution, torrents free zones, whether it was end of assistance,

:33:28.:33:33.

she picked up issues that were not only for minorities and people with

:33:34.:33:37.

no voice, but also on the face of it not the easiest things to campaign

:33:38.:33:40.

on. She never gave up. We'd talk about her personality, some

:33:41.:33:47.

politicians have a public and private face, but that did not seem

:33:48.:33:50.

to be the case with Margo MacDonald. Yet a mac she was very

:33:51.:33:54.

naughty and you could see that wicked twinkle in her eye. You knew

:33:55.:33:58.

she was about to lead you where you should not journey. But you went

:33:59.:34:04.

along with her and it was a laugh. How much of a role model would use a

:34:05.:34:12.

father -- she was for other politicians? Hugely, and not just

:34:13.:34:19.

fallen. I see newer generations of politicians coming in, and they tour

:34:20.:34:25.

the party line too often and sometimes suppress values that they

:34:26.:34:31.

feel should be articulated. That is across the Parliament and Margo

:34:32.:34:37.

never did that. She'll minded people what politics should be about.

:34:38.:34:44.

Sticking to your principles. There weren't that many prominent women in

:34:45.:34:48.

politics in character. weren't that many prominent women in

:34:49.:34:58.

politics in character You like she was engaging. She was very

:34:59.:34:59.

personable. She was personable in the chamber,

:35:00.:35:12.

it was hard not to like her. The illness started to take its toll

:35:13.:35:18.

later, how did she cope overall with being ill? Such courage. So many

:35:19.:35:25.

people don't realise how tough it was for her. She joked about having

:35:26.:35:30.

her body about the Parliament and reversing into walls and going too

:35:31.:35:41.

fast without her driving licence. -- buggy. She never complained. In

:35:42.:35:46.

terms of the unfinished business, as it were, she was bringing back this

:35:47.:35:51.

bill on assisted dying, Patrick Harvie says he will try and steer it

:35:52.:35:58.

through Parliament. Winners be fitting for polymers to pass that?

:35:59.:36:04.

For Margo, it was about giving people choices. Not to be compulsory

:36:05.:36:08.

that you went for end of life assistance, but a choice. That's all

:36:09.:36:13.

she wanted to do. I hope that Parliament remembers that. Or she

:36:14.:36:18.

disappointed when the parliaments did not back her call? Of course,

:36:19.:36:24.

but we kept telling her that this is an incremental move. You have to

:36:25.:36:27.

take people with you a step at a time. She wanted is to be faster,

:36:28.:36:31.

but I think she got there and I hope she gets there and I think this will

:36:32.:36:34.

be a fitting tribute to a very heroic woman.

:36:35.:36:42.

It could perhaps be called the forgotten election. A campaign that

:36:43.:36:45.

doesn't attract much attention and the voting in of politicians who

:36:46.:36:48.

admit that they have a low profile. Yes, it's time for 300 million

:36:49.:36:52.

citizens in Europe to elect 751 MEPs on the 22nd of May. Five years ago,

:36:53.:36:56.

fewer than a third of Scots bothered to vote for the country's six MEPs.

:36:57.:37:00.

This time round, it's an election in which two referendums dominate

:37:01.:37:03.

discussion - the Scottish one and David Cameron's proposed one to stay

:37:04.:37:06.

or leave the EU. Andrew Kerr has been looking at the runners and

:37:07.:37:14.

riders. Here are the Europhiles. There are

:37:15.:37:27.

currently six regions, to MS P, -- to SMB, to Labour, one Conservative

:37:28.:37:34.

and one Liberal Democrats. With low turnouts, the public don't engage in

:37:35.:37:38.

this vote, but commentators say that the European Parliament does not

:37:39.:37:46.

mirror the parliaments that we know. It is not a federal body, not yet,

:37:47.:37:51.

it is still an association, free association. That does not mean that

:37:52.:37:55.

voting is completely irrelevant, it does not mean that the European

:37:56.:37:59.

Parliament is does not matter, it has an important role, it develops

:38:00.:38:05.

some confidence in its ability to shape the future of Europe, because

:38:06.:38:08.

remember there are big changes happening in Europe as a result of

:38:09.:38:13.

the Eurozone crisis, we will see a more centralised Europe, we will see

:38:14.:38:17.

financial institutions erected and the European Parliament will be

:38:18.:38:22.

crucial. There are plenty of critics of the Parliament. The point was to

:38:23.:38:29.

make institutions more accountable, the giant bureaucracy of Brussels

:38:30.:38:36.

had to be answerable. Has it worked? I don't think it has, I think the

:38:37.:38:41.

bureaucracy is almost as unaccountable as it ever was and has

:38:42.:38:44.

an internal dynamic to it, to driving forces are our greater

:38:45.:38:51.

expansion, it is an empire and an economic and political one, and the

:38:52.:38:56.

other driver is ever closer union. No matter what the electors think. A

:38:57.:39:02.

driving force in the election is the independence referendum for the SNP,

:39:03.:39:05.

they want Scotland to sit around the top table. One of the rights that

:39:06.:39:12.

come with member states of the European Union a very important and

:39:13.:39:17.

I would like to see Scotland taking the opportunity that the referendum

:39:18.:39:21.

brings to normalise our status in Europe and the world and to be a

:39:22.:39:27.

normal, independent country, collecting our own Governments and

:39:28.:39:32.

having those covenants having a right to represent as

:39:33.:39:35.

internationally. The Conservatives with their own plans for a

:39:36.:39:41.

referendum are sceptical. There is give as well as take. What the red

:39:42.:39:45.

lines for the SNP? What will they give up? We don't know. You vote for

:39:46.:39:55.

us in a referendum, will you know what we do, voting for

:39:56.:39:58.

independence, who knows what will happen next question at Labour

:39:59.:40:02.

aren't too happy with the state of the European Union, offering a

:40:03.:40:06.

critique of the right. We have a union that has been dominated by

:40:07.:40:13.

fear and austerity. We have seen unemployment rise, we have seen

:40:14.:40:16.

attack on worker rights, attacks on climate change. We have had a white

:40:17.:40:26.

ring majority, were very right wing majority in the European Parliament.

:40:27.:40:33.

-- right wing. Damaged by their association with

:40:34.:40:36.

the right, they are intending to cling on. I am hopeful and I think

:40:37.:40:42.

the polls will show that we are in with a good chance of holding onto

:40:43.:40:46.

our seats. We have a strong message that I think appeals to people and

:40:47.:40:49.

we will stand on the record that I have personally and the platform of

:40:50.:40:55.

being in the UK, in Europe and is being good for work and jobs. But

:40:56.:41:00.

the Scottish Greens hope to capitalise on the Lib Dems travails.

:41:01.:41:06.

The polls suggest that they are faring badly. It suggests that the

:41:07.:41:12.

Lib Dem vote has collapsed, the question is whether we can put

:41:13.:41:18.

forward a pro-European, peaceful and pro-public services agenda that will

:41:19.:41:22.

attract enough voters? We are hopeful and confidence that we can.

:41:23.:41:28.

Hoping to beat the Greens are UKIP, buoyed by their recent success. It

:41:29.:41:34.

is the only party in Scotland which is anti-EU. It does not mean I am

:41:35.:41:41.

anti-European, but we do not want to be ruled by the European Union which

:41:42.:41:46.

I think is a very bad organisation which is a bureaucracy trying to

:41:47.:41:52.

dominate business. Scotland votes on Thursday the 22nd of May, but the

:41:53.:41:55.

full results won't be known until the following month.

:41:56.:42:02.

I'm now joined from London by Joe Twyman who's Director of Political

:42:03.:42:05.

and Social Research at YouGov. How would you sum up the state of

:42:06.:42:09.

the parties in Scotland? It is interesting. The state is broadly

:42:10.:42:17.

similar to what we saw last time, we see that the SNP and Labour are

:42:18.:42:22.

doing very well, they are way ahead at the moment with Labour just in

:42:23.:42:27.

front. Everyone else is the also rans. What is most important is the

:42:28.:42:33.

national picture. When we look at the UK, we see this famous rise in

:42:34.:42:39.

UKIP support, the UKIP surge that has been mentioned a lot down here.

:42:40.:42:42.

But we're not seeing that in Scotland at all. They are struggling

:42:43.:42:47.

to even make double figures in the polls. We know that any opinion poll

:42:48.:42:53.

of European elections, even this far out, has a tendency to be

:42:54.:42:57.

hypothetical, because we know as people get closer to the elections

:42:58.:43:01.

themselves interest changes and certain parties do benefit from

:43:02.:43:06.

that. But even this far out, it is interesting. How important will turn

:43:07.:43:10.

out to be questioned whether there will be heightened interest in

:43:11.:43:13.

politics because the independence referendum? It is important for

:43:14.:43:20.

heightening interest in politics generally, but don't think it will

:43:21.:43:24.

translate heavily to the European elections. I think what is actually

:43:25.:43:27.

happening is that in Scotland at least it is proving a distraction. A

:43:28.:43:32.

lot of the political machinery is concentrating almost entirely on the

:43:33.:43:35.

in or out a lot of the political machinery is concentrating almost

:43:36.:43:37.

entirely on the in all-out referendum. So for something as

:43:38.:43:42.

marginal for Europeans, it is not attracting attention. You mention

:43:43.:43:45.

this is a battle between Labour and SNP. I wonder how important this

:43:46.:43:50.

will be for the Liberal Democrats? We're being told by their leadership

:43:51.:43:55.

that they are seeing signs of progress, I presume this will be an

:43:56.:43:56.

important poll. Indeed, they are not going to say

:43:57.:44:23.

there was no point in bothering. There was a decent nick Clegg was

:44:24.:44:29.

taking on Nigel Farage. Last time round UKIP registered their first

:44:30.:44:37.

ever performance in Scotland. Yes, it is not the heartland. Scotland is

:44:38.:44:44.

the most pro-EU although not overwhelmingly. In Scotland UKIP is

:44:45.:44:53.

seen as an English thing. That is something they have to counter. It

:44:54.:44:59.

will take some time and they have not managed it yet. Is the

:45:00.:45:08.

Conservative and UKIP issue resonating in Scotland as it is else

:45:09.:45:14.

we then the UK? In Scotland it is the Scottish referendum that is the

:45:15.:45:21.

big issue. That is capturing the imagination in a way that the

:45:22.:45:27.

European elections are not. Thank you for joining us. The decision to

:45:28.:45:40.

award the 2020 World Cup to Qatar have been controversial. Jim Murphy

:45:41.:45:46.

has just returned from their where he has been looking at conditions

:45:47.:45:51.

migrant workers in the construction industry are facing. What did you

:45:52.:45:58.

see? I travelled as a guest of the international TUC and as a guest of

:45:59.:46:04.

the Sunday mail newspaper. At those building sites the men who are

:46:05.:46:11.

constructing the roads and buildings will always stick with me. Unless

:46:12.:46:19.

the fire at it well she the game we love. People are being treated like

:46:20.:46:24.

animals. They are being misled and having their passports stolen. They

:46:25.:46:29.

have no quality of life. When they are recruited from countries in

:46:30.:46:37.

Africa we are the have no hopes of earning recent money and the move

:46:38.:46:46.

year they are having their passports ripped up. What do you want the SFA

:46:47.:47:02.

to stay -- say macro? This is the world's premier sporting event. For

:47:03.:47:14.

the SFA to remain silent as tens if not hundreds of thousands of workers

:47:15.:47:18.

are abused, lose their rights as they construct for the World Cup, it

:47:19.:47:25.

is utterly unacceptable. Does it matter that Scotland have not been

:47:26.:47:29.

part of the bigger picture of the World Cup for quite some time? We

:47:30.:47:37.

cannot be pessimistic, let's hope we are 2022 with some great young

:47:38.:47:42.

players. When it was voted for the World Cup to go to the Middle East

:47:43.:47:49.

for the first time ever this was not the deal. Having passports stolen,

:47:50.:47:55.

unable to return home, living in cramped conditions, multiple men

:47:56.:47:59.

living in conditions smaller than a child's bedroom. It is one of the

:48:00.:48:06.

richest countries in the world with a very controversial system which

:48:07.:48:12.

means the company literally owned every movement of the worker. They

:48:13.:48:18.

take the passport, the workers cannot move around without the

:48:19.:48:24.

company's permission. They cannot just get another job if they feel

:48:25.:48:30.

there is better conditions elsewhere? They cannot move around

:48:31.:48:37.

because they have taken their passport and they cannot go

:48:38.:48:44.

elsewhere or even go home. The problem with the fact is that it is

:48:45.:48:48.

a discredited organisation, isn't it? I think we can sort the

:48:49.:48:54.

worker's conditions encounter quicker than we can sort that.

:48:55.:49:08.

Should they be looking at moving the cup somewhere else? If the

:49:09.:49:18.

accusations of corruption the whole vote should be rerun and we should

:49:19.:49:23.

look to have it elsewhere but in the meantime we have to look at

:49:24.:49:28.

improving workers rights in Qatar. The people who are building

:49:29.:49:33.

hospitals, construction sites, roads and railways in the country should

:49:34.:49:38.

get workers rights and they have to have their rights protected. The SFA

:49:39.:49:46.

should speak up. Is the Sunday mail not the first newspaper to expose

:49:47.:49:50.

this? When there have been previous stories the government in Qatar say

:49:51.:49:56.

they will make changes but they have not done this so far so do you think

:49:57.:50:03.

it will change? When I was their meeting with committees for the

:50:04.:50:10.

World Cup they made some promises about worker's writes and ending the

:50:11.:50:19.

current system. We have to make sure they do that. They have issued a

:50:20.:50:23.

report which has been much delayed but aren't they talking about

:50:24.:50:33.

publishing that soon? They cannot ignore what we have said about this.

:50:34.:50:39.

These proud men, who are happy to have a World Cup built on the back

:50:40.:50:43.

of their sweat, just not on the back of abuse. There has to be radical

:50:44.:50:50.

change before these stadiums take place or else we will all be utterly

:50:51.:50:56.

ashamed of the game that we Scots love. We cannot look back and say

:50:57.:51:02.

how did that happen, we did not know. After the expose the

:51:03.:51:06.

intraday's Sunday mail there is no excuse for anyone to say they did

:51:07.:51:14.

not know. It is a model. Thank you. Now let's cross over for the latest

:51:15.:51:24.

news. Good afternoon. The Scottish prison service say they are

:51:25.:51:27.

considering an application for the drugs mule Melissa Reid to peak

:51:28.:51:33.

transfer home to serve the rest of her sentence. She was arrested with

:51:34.:51:39.

her friend last year after they were caught with cocaine. It is unclear

:51:40.:51:43.

how long the process could take. Churches and faith communities have

:51:44.:51:48.

come together to call for the role of religion to be recognised in

:51:49.:51:52.

Scottish society, whatever happens in the referendum. The Church of

:51:53.:51:59.

Scotland Moderator says she does not want to see history disappear. There

:52:00.:52:06.

should be something about the churches and the different faith

:52:07.:52:11.

groups in it. That is our heritage, where we have come from, our history

:52:12.:52:17.

and our background. Even if we start with the new constitution, we do not

:52:18.:52:21.

wipe out everything that has gone in the past. Police are calling for

:52:22.:52:30.

witnesses after a vintage car crashed near Aberdeen and the driver

:52:31.:52:38.

was killed. Now let's take a look at the weather. Cloudy, wet and windy

:52:39.:52:45.

across many parts of the country this afternoon. The earlier brighter

:52:46.:52:50.

spells will be replaced by wet weather as we head through the day.

:52:51.:52:55.

Behind this band of men things will improve with some sunshine later on.

:52:56.:53:02.

Feeling fairly mild. Temperatures windy up the West Coast. From late

:53:03.:53:06.

afternoon onwards the rain disappears and it will be a fine,

:53:07.:53:11.

dry evening for most of us. Dry overnight. Now let's look at some of

:53:12.:53:17.

the stories in the Sunday papers and what is coming up in the week ahead.

:53:18.:53:24.

I am joined by the political editor of the Herald and in Edinburgh by a

:53:25.:53:31.

freelance journalist and critic. Lots of tributes today to Margo

:53:32.:53:37.

MacDonald and as we heard earlier from a friend of hers, her death is

:53:38.:53:44.

being felt across Scotland. Absolutely. She did not recognise

:53:45.:53:51.

the kind of boundaries that more conventional politicians dead. She

:53:52.:53:56.

had this wonderful way of talking very sharply and strongly about

:53:57.:54:00.

political tactics one minute and then switching to something entirely

:54:01.:54:05.

personal. She is the only person who ever tried to marry me off. She

:54:06.:54:12.

asked if I was still single one day and said she had a really nice

:54:13.:54:18.

though she wanted me to meet. But I was unable to go to the dinner

:54:19.:54:25.

party. It is an example of how she was. The parliament will be all be

:54:26.:54:39.

put for the loss of her wit and intellect. It will be greatly

:54:40.:54:43.

diminished. She took very seriously hurt role as a parliamentarian in

:54:44.:54:50.

the truest sense. She did not go in for points scoring. There have been

:54:51.:54:54.

some marvellous and moving tributes to her which speak for themselves

:54:55.:55:00.

will stop she was a very human sort of person, if that makes sense. It

:55:01.:55:06.

explains this extraordinary ability she had to connect with people in

:55:07.:55:12.

politics and right across Scotland. Certainly, for the journalists who

:55:13.:55:17.

have been working at Holyrood, there was a sense of deep sadness on

:55:18.:55:22.

Friday in the media when the news came through. She will be dreadfully

:55:23.:55:29.

mist. Let's look at some of the stories in the papers. The Sunday

:55:30.:55:34.

Times has an opinion poll suggesting the unionist lead in the referendum

:55:35.:55:39.

debate has been cut from 24 points last year to just six. The

:55:40.:55:44.

Nationalists are addicting they will be in the lead by July. There does

:55:45.:55:54.

seem to be a trend developing. I am surprised by this shift towards the

:55:55.:55:59.

yes vote. It seems a bit more marked after beginning tentatively. It is

:56:00.:56:07.

down to the campaigning the yes campaign has been doing. I wonder

:56:08.:56:15.

what the gender breakdown is. Yes among men stands at 56% while women

:56:16.:56:24.

it is just 40%. Women still not being fully persuaded. I am

:56:25.:56:29.

wondering if there is beginning to be a shift among women. There is a

:56:30.:56:36.

lot of campaigning going on now by the women for independence which is

:56:37.:56:40.

addressing, in the spirit of Marco going up to women and asking what

:56:41.:56:45.

they want for their children and grandchildren. The yes campaign has

:56:46.:56:51.

strength on the ground with that face-to-face campaigning which I do

:56:52.:56:55.

not see on the no side at the moment. Many policies about

:56:56.:57:03.

childcare for example where about bringing women on side. I think this

:57:04.:57:10.

will be a big theme of the SNP conference which is coming up next

:57:11.:57:15.

weekend. The gap is getting closer and closer. The SNP tell as the

:57:16.:57:23.

lines on the graph will cross around about July if their current rate of

:57:24.:57:29.

progress is maintained. There is still this gender gap. One of the

:57:30.:57:35.

big offers in the White Paper is for greatly increased childcare. That

:57:36.:57:41.

policy appears to be in trouble. If you look at the numbers, how it will

:57:42.:57:47.

be afforded, there are reports out this last week which suggest that

:57:48.:57:52.

perhaps does not add together. It is a work in progress. And just a quick

:57:53.:58:02.

word on Tartan week, have important our events like this? I am not a

:58:03.:58:09.

huge fan of them to be honest. I do not think Scotland in the 21st

:58:10.:58:14.

century should be associated with Parton. The idea originated in the

:58:15.:58:19.

United States with a very right wing bunch. I think there should be

:58:20.:58:26.

promotion of Scotland from the point of view of trade and all the rest of

:58:27.:58:31.

it but I think they are things about the cliches around Tartan week that

:58:32.:58:38.

we could do without at this stage. That is from as this week. We are

:58:39.:58:43.

back next week at the slightly later time of half past two. Enjoyed what

:58:44.:58:49.

is left of your Sunday, goodbye.

:58:50.:58:57.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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