06/04/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


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.


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


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


story. The economic outlook is getting


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


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


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


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


world leaders? Coming up in Sunday Politics


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


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


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


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


as brief as a Cabinet Minister's apology.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Tories. And this weekend the Chairman of the Independent


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


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


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


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


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


home. She was referred to the Parliamentary Standards


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


Commons Standards Committee, comprising of MPs from all parties,


dismissed the complaint against Maria Miller and ordered her to


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


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


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


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


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


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


organisation investigating the conduct of a Cabinet Minister, that


comes close After that interview Craig Oliver


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


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


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


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


investigating her expenses claim. Joanna Hindley said:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


handled this appallingly. Downing Street has acted like judge and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


on the Standards Committee to find her innocent. The Standards


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


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


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


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


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


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


previous Commissioner they thought was too independent? Andrew it is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


perfunctory apology. She threatened and instructed the Standards


Commissioner investigating her, and her special adviser linked expenses


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


devastating. On past form David Cameron hates having to bounce


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


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


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


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


political establishment. Every single speech that David Cameron and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


politically suitable is more incendiary and provocative. It is


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


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


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


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


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


most politically sensational jobs because of its proximity to the


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


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


the education department, these are absolutely outstanding women and the


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


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


responsible for hacking into the culture Department's Twitter account


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


because the election narrows that and you cannot rely on the


government not getting its act together because the Conservative


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


very important that those people around the leader naturally have a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint joins me now for the Sunday


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are discussing the policies that are coming up with different colleagues


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


this is about more competition and transparency and others coming into


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and perhaps collapsing, unemployment is falling faster than anybody


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


price freeze if you win and reconfigure the energy market even


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


customers and not investing in their organisations and making them more


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


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


they are realising the fantastic opportunity for more jobs and growth


from energy sector that has certainty going forward and that is


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


say goodbye to viewers in Scotland to leave us.


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.


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


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


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


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


that. As the campaign for the European


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


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


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


Qatar. Good morning.


Tributes continue to be paid to the veteran politician Margo Macdonald


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


committed supporter of independence had suffered from Parkinson's


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


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


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


Grahame. Clearly, this is a loss that will be


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


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


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


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


have seen tributes from other politicians, but the wider


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


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


reciprocated, especially as she found it more difficult to fulfil


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


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


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


you believe drove her politics? Passion, principal firstly for


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


for themselves, who could not articulate, whether it was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the party line too often and sometimes suppress values that they


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


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


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


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


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


personable. She was personable in the chamber,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


be a fitting tribute to a very heroic woman.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


riders. Here are the Europhiles. There are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


financial institutions erected and the European Parliament will be


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


make institutions more accountable, the giant bureaucracy of Brussels


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


bureaucracy is almost as unaccountable as it ever was and has


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


normal, independent country, collecting our own Governments and


having those covenants having a right to represent as


internationally. The Conservatives with their own plans for a


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


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


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


independence, who knows what will happen next question at Labour


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


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


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


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


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


-- right wing. Damaged by their association with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


themselves interest changes and certain parties do benefit from


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


out to be questioned whether there will be heightened interest in


politics because the independence referendum? It is important for


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


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


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


lot of the political machinery is concentrating almost entirely on the


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


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


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


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


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


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


important poll. Indeed, they are not going to say


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


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


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


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


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


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


Conservative and UKIP issue resonating in Scotland as it is else


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


richest countries in the world with a very controversial system which


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


take the passport, the workers cannot move around without the


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


there is better conditions elsewhere? They cannot move around


because they have taken their passport and they cannot go


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


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


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


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


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


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


improving workers rights in Qatar. The people who are building


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


considering an application for the drugs mule Melissa Reid to peak


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


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


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


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


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


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


should be something about the churches and the different faith


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


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


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


witnesses after a vintage car crashed near Aberdeen and the driver


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


freelance journalist and critic. Lots of tributes today to Margo


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


being felt across Scotland. Absolutely. She did not recognise


the kind of boundaries that more conventional politicians dead. She


had this wonderful way of talking very sharply and strongly about


political tactics one minute and then switching to something entirely


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


some marvellous and moving tributes to her which speak for themselves


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


explains this extraordinary ability she had to connect with people in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is left of your Sunday, goodbye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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