13/04/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


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To Aternoon, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.


As MPs head off for their Easter break, campaigning for the European


elections in six weeks' time gets underway.


In a Sunday Politics special, we'll debate the issues at stake on May


22nd with senior party figures from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal


Democrats and UKIP. Glasgow 2014 has announced that it


will not demolish the Red Road flats live at the opening ceremony.


And our vote for Scotland, not the SNP. Alex Salmond's last conference


speech before the referendum. Here in the studio we have Syed


Kamall, leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, Richard


Howitt, chair of the Labour group of MEPs, Sarah Ludford, deputy leader


of the Lib Dems in Europe, and Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP's director of


communications. Welcome to you all. In a moment, all four will give us


their opening pitch for the elections. A little earlier they


drew lots to decide who'll go first. And that privilege goes to Syed.


Before that, though, here's a quick reminder of what all the fuss is


about. The vote to choose members of the


European Parliament takes place on Thursday the 22nd of May. The same


day as local elections are held in England and Northern Ireland. The UK


sends 73 England and Northern Ireland. The UK


sends NTP is to Brussels. And the vote is a form of proportional


representation. In total, there are 751 MEPs from the 28 member states.


What do they do all day? The European Parliament's power has


grown. A vet of the EU commissioners and they can amend, approve or


grown. A vet of the EU commissioners reject nearly all EU legislation and


the EU budget. Some laws MEPs have been responsible for include price


caps on mobile phone chargers, banking regulation and cover food


regulation two -- labelling. Syed Kamall, you have 30 seconds.


Europe cannot go on as it is. Europe needs to change. And our


relationship with Europe needs to change. Only the Conservatives have


a plan to deliver that change and of the British people and in-out


referendum. Labour and the Lib Dems will not and UKIP simply cannot.


Only the Conservatives will offer the three yards, with Conservative


MEPs working alongside a conservative Prime Minister. For,


really is and above all a referendum. Sarah Ludford is next.


Your choice is simple. If you think Britain is better off in Europe,


vote for the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems are the only party of Ian,


fighting to keep Britain in Europe and in work. There is nothing


patriotic about UKIP's desire to pull-out. That is playing Russian


roulette with Britain's economy and jobs. The Conservatives are flirting


with exit and Labour lacks the courage to speak up. Thought Liberal


Democrat on May the 22nd to say in Europe for jobs and security. Sarah


Ludford. Next, Richard Howitt from Labour. The European elections are


about who represents you. They are not a referendum on a referendum.


Labour MEPs believe in putting jobs and growth first. A guarantee to


help young people into work, reforming energy markets so that


bills are brought down for good. Labour believes in reform in Europe,


but within. It is David Cameron who is risking your job and Britain's


prosperity because of divisions in his own party. Labour MEPs put


British interests first. Our fourth opening statement from Patrick


O'Flynn. The EU is old hat. It is a declining regional trade bloc in an


era of global trade. It is a 20th-century political project


designed to prevent conflict in Europe that is now reawakening old


hostilities. It is an attempt to force on the European people


European this as their primary collective identity. It has hollowed


out British democracy and now we do not even control our own borders.


That is why you should vote UKIP. That is the opening statements.


Let's get on with the debate. Why should people vote in the


selections? If you vote UKIP, we can deliver an earthquake that will rock


the foundations of British politics and the European political class. We


can send a signal to Europe that Britain has had enough, that Britain


wants to retain its nation state status and regain political power


and the ability to forge trading deals across the world. Britain


leading Europe to freedom twice in the last century through bloodshed.


We feel that a UKIP win in those elections could help Britain set an


example to lead European nation states back to free assembly again.


Syed Kamall, isn't it the case that many Tory voters will vote you clip


to keep you honest, to keep your feet to the fire? Whatever you think


of the European Parliament or the EU, the fact is that the European


Parliament as equal power with the 28 governments of the EU. When David


Cameron delivered the first cut to the EU budget, the first ever cut,


he needed a strong team of Conservative MEPs working alongside


him. But many of your supporters will vote for UKIP for the reasons I


gave. Many will vote Liberal Democrat. Not very many. Many of our


supporters will vote for us because we are the only party trying to


change the EU and offer reform. We have offered renegotiation and a


referendum. And how would you vote in such a referendum? We have no


idea whether he would vote yes or no. Let him answer. I will answer


that question. If the EU continues on this road, towards a United


States of Europe, and if there was no change at the time of the


referendum, then I would probably vote to leave. You have no


confidence in David Cameron? We Javier Culson opportunity to read


negotiate our relationship with Europe and the Conservatives are at


the forefront of that agenda. David Cameron have not given a list of


demands. He said that if things do not change, he will probably vote to


leave, is that right? If at the time of the referendum, things had not


changed, I would vote to leave and we have a golden opportunity to


perform the agenda. Richard, the last time the British people had a


say on this was over 40 years ago. Under a Labour government. Which was


deeply divided on the issue. And that was a say on the common market.


Today's EU is a very different animal from the common market. Why


can we not, under another Labour government, have another vote? First


of all, we want it to be more than a free trading area. We make no


apologies about that. But in the elections because this is half of


Britain's exports and investment. If you care about your job and


business, you cannot hear from the party of government that they


probably want you to leave because the CBI, the engineering employees


in Federation and the chimp of commerce, 80% of them say it is


necessary to stay in. So why not give us a vote? When David Cameron


says he wants to repatriate social powers, he means takeaway maternity


rights and holidays. If the case is so strong, why not give us an in-out


vote? David Miliband has said that there will be a referendum if there


was a proposal to change powers. Why wait? This is based on a series of


reforms. Labour has a set of reforms. David Cameron is silent


about what they would be. That is because he knows that if he put them


forward, they would either be unsatisfactory to his Eurosceptic


backbenchers and he would be out of a job, or they would be unacceptable


to European leaders. Why is your leader missing in action? Ed


Miliband is unable to say even the positive things that you are saying.


He has run away from the argument. He actually said there would not be


a referendum in his time. For a conservative to say they will


have a referendum but not give the reforms, it is a mistake. Nick Clegg


gave Nigel Farage a huge opportunity in that debate. He said that the


Eurosceptic view was to leave Britain like Billy no mates. I can


say that he is the best qualified person to say that. Sarah Ludford,


you have said that lots of people are going to vote Lib Dem but that


is not what the polls are saying. You are 7% in two polls this


morning. Eclectic's decision to champion Europe has been a disaster


for you. You face wet out. We swayed a lot of people our way with Nick


Clegg's debate. Where is the evidence? We are the only party that


is completely united, saying that we are wanting to stay in. It is


essential because formally and jobs are supported by our trade with the


EU. Linked to the EU. We are finding a lot of moderate conservative


voters are actually fed up with the Tories being split and divided all


over the place. Syed Kamall saying that we might vote in rout. -- in or


out. We are consistent. A poll in London showed that 18% would vote


for us. I am delighted about that. London is not the whole country, it


may surprise you. We need to move on to immigration, an important issue.


We are a member of the EU and the rules say that with a few caveats,


our fellow EU citizens are free to come here if they want. Why can we


not just accept that? Britain has a proud record when it comes to


immigration. We have been open to people across the world for


centuries. But we welcome people who come to our country to contribute to


pay taxes and two wards are a society positively. But there are


three real concerns that we have to address. The first one is numbers,


and secondly people who may come here not to work but for benefits,


and thirdly, getting a hang of the numbers. I think it is shameful that


only this week the office for National said that they did not


collect sufficient figures under a Labour government. 350,000 extra


people came in and they did not count the numbers. That is the size


of a city like Cardiff. That is shameful. 350,000 came from all over


the place. Do you accept the free movement of peoples within the EU? I


accept and am open to people who want to come here and contribute. In


the same way... Do you accept the free movement of peoples within the


EU? In our manifesto, we have said it is an issue for reform. We have


to make sure that people are coming here to work and contribute


positively, not simply to come here and take advantage of the system. I


will tell you what else is shameful. What is shameful is David


Cameron making a pledge to the British people on an issue that they


really care about, to bring net immigration down to the tens of


thousands a year, having no means of fulfilling that pledge. And we see


now it is back up to 212,000 a year because we have no volume control


and no quality control from immigration from our neighbours. And


that is a disgrace. How could UKIP address that issue? Because we would


leave the EU. How? Tell me how. You do not have a single member of


Parliament. He will not get a single member of Parliament. How are


you... ? TUC are hoping to get an MEP. What do you say? -- he is here


today hoping to get an MEP. All of -- almost 2 million Brits live and


work in the rest of the EU. Is that worth having? The majority are


wealthy, retired people. Why do not object to bilateral agreements with


countries with similar living standards to us. France, the


Netherlands, that works fine. But these three people want Turkey to


join the EU, 75 Na Li and people running our country, only 10% of


which... Syed Kamall is Michael year to say whether they are in favour of


free movement for work, not for benefits... That is what I'm


saying. You said you were unable to be clear. That leaves 2 million


British people absolutely unsure as to whether they would have a right


to continue to live in other countries. It is a two-way street.


You are putting those people in a state of uncertainty. EU migrants


have been good for the British economy and contribute far more than


they take out in services and benefits. One in seven businesses


were founded in -- by migrants. And they cannot just turn up and claim


benefits. The coalition government has legislated to make sure that


they cannot claim for three months. They will not be able to claim for


more than six months. Richard Howitt, Jack Straw said it was "A


spectacular mistake for Labour to allow EU migrants from Poland and


Hungary to work in the UK from 2004." Why should we trust a party


that makes spectacular mistakes and hasn't apologised for it? We accept


it is a mistake and I apologise. We make a firm commitment for new EU


states we will put down transitional controls. When I listen to the


Conservatives and UKIP trying to re-write history, saying immigration


was out of control, uncontrolled, open door, we hear it over and over


again. It is not true. Anyone who was around at the time... Come on,


Richard. Hold on, you undercounted by 350,000. You were letting 2


million in over the years, an under-counted by 350,000 people you


didn't know came in. You should have tightened the benefit rules. The


Conservative MEP today has, in four years in government in Britain, is


trying it blame the previous Labour Government over the fact they won't


count people in or people out. Yvette Cooper - it is not easy for


people to come to the country and benefits are changing, changing the


habitual residence test and we are going to say that migrants can't


come and claim child benefit if their children are outside the


country. Labour a has shown they have listened to concerns but we say


it is a stronger, better, country because it is diverse and


multicultural snoo.d this is fantasy politics from all the Peters. They


are committed to a system with no volume control and no quality


control. You talk about benefits as if it is only out of work benefits.


In work benefits cost a lot of money for the British taxpayer. Big


businesses bring in minimum wage workers. It is ?5,000 per perschool


place What are you going to do? Have all the pensioners come back to


Britain? How will will you fund the health care? Do you really think


Spain and pour tu ghal their current situation, are going to turn their


backs on British property owners with wealth? -- Portugal. They might


not wanting pensioners to use their health service. Pensioners often


come back to Britain to use the health service. You have shown it


represents wealthy people's interests. A second Conservative


Party. Hang on a minute... Blue collar wages were down. They want it


character for the National Health Service, have cuts that go farther


and comprehensive education. This is a debate on the wider politics


between Conservatives and UKIP and Labour will... You can't both talk


time. UKIP - they haven't thought it through, thousand they will have


trade access in the EU, hasn't thought how they will have trade


deals that the Liberal Democrats support, like with the United


States: Would you have a cap on non-EU immigrants? We are not in


favour of a cap. No cap on either. No. Well it is a target. It is a


moving feast, as it were. Would you have a limit on non-EU limits? We


have limits on quality. We have people who are skilled migrants


coming in. Lip its? . By quality, not by quantity. -- Limits.


How do you do that? We need to move on to foreign affairs.


Should we pool more sovereignty to give the European Union more clout


in foreign and defence matters? I'm Labour's defence and foreign affairs


spokesperson. No we don't need to pull more powers into Europe. As we


undertake this live debate there are guns being fired in Ukraine as we


speak. Europe is facing, for the first time, since the end of the


Second World War, Armies crossing national borders and floatening


peace. Doesn't it -- threatening peace. Doesn't it need to come


together of the We don't need more powers. We need political will. With


Vladimir Putin, in my view, he has -- we have fallen short in the


sanctions. But it is Europe, not Britain. Remember Putin calling


Britain little England a small island with no influence. Labour


doesn't agree with that. But if that's the mindset that allows


someone like Vladimir Putin to send troops across borders threatening


peace, it is worrying. And when we have, in UKIP a party that say they


admire Putin and support his policies, that is no recipe for how


Europe should be wrong. I was waiting for that. Let me ask him. We


don't admire Putin as a leader... Oh. No we don't. What Nigel Farage


said, was he admired him as a political operator. Testifies


Franklin D Roosevelt who said a good foreign policy was speaking softly


but carrying a big stick. The EU shouts its mouthed off while


carrying a matchstick. It is fantasy that you wiebl it stand up to Putin


over the Ukraine. -- that you would be able to stand up. Do you admire


what Putin is doing in the Ukraine? No. What matters in foreign policy


is the outcould. We have a terrible outcome in the Ukraine, like Syria,


and Georgia... What would UKIP do? What u skip would do, would be to


keep our people safe -- UKIP. How? And not commit our Foreign


Office and troops Foreign wars. Patrick O'Flynn. You brought up this


issue of foreign wars. Now Nigel Farage said in previous debates that


Britain should leave the EU because, "We have had enough of endless


foreign wars." Which wars has the EU taken us into? The EU has ban very


important factor in the push towards trying to get military intervention


in Syria, for example. What wars has the etch U taken us into it -- EU.


Fortunately the EU doesn't have its own army yet. It has wanted to sign


up to an expansionist agenda. Did it want Iraq? No, that was Labour. UKIP


opposed Iraq, so did most of the mainline Europeans. Germany was


against Syria and Libya. No EU policy. We had an Anglo French deal


on Syria. A by lateral deal. A European dimension. No, buy lateral.


We have a European Union that wants to expand ever-more into other


people's spheres of influence. If we are going to stand up to what Putin


is do, which obviously Nigel Farage has no intentions of doing, you have


to get your act together on economic sanctions and diplomatic force and


in trade matters, in supporting eastern European countries. Sayeria,


who and whose army? And NATO and working transatlanticically, is


important through NATO. I will come to you in a moment. Nick Clegg said


that the idea of an EU Army was, "A dangerous fantasy that is simply not


true ""Why then, are we already working on etch U-owned and


controlled drones -- EU-owned and the President of the European


Parliament has said that the majority of MEPs want the EU to have


"deployable troops." He is not speaking for me or Liberal


Democrats. The EU does not and will not have an army. Our defence is


mainly shaped through NATO. He is President of the Parliament What we


must do is to get equipment which can operate together. We waste an


awful lot of our spending in Europe because we duplicate equipment. We


don't get the bang for our bucks that we should. It is a useful role


for the EU, to get equipment working together. That doesn't make sense.


You say military equipment, a NATO job. No, the EU, there is a kind of


dimension of the EU members of NATO, in working together on a common


quument o o so they can talk to each other -- on common equipment, so


they can talk to each other. The EU has a role but not an army. So a


European defence agency, that helps our defence industries and those


jobs are extremely important and would be threatened if the


Conservatives and UKIP took us out of Europe but it is 100 years since


the start of the fist world war. Remember that Europe was set up to


try to get a secure peace within Europe T succeeded. Now look on


Ukraine but also on the southern borders to the Arab Spring countries


in North Africa. It is more important than ever that we work to


keep keep peace and stability on our borders. Can I say to Syed and the


Conservative MEPs. You talk about the three Rs, I have a fourth,


retreat. If you take us out of the European Union, it will be the worse


retreat by Britain since Gallipoli. Let him answer If he wants answers


-- the British Parliament is the right place with a British Foreign


Secretary to decide our foreign policy. You say that, but can I


quote David Cameron, this is germain to what you are saying, David


Cameron said "There is no doubt that we are more powerful than


Washington, Beijing and Delhi, because we are a powerful player in


the European Union." Do you agree? He is saying that there are times


when it comes to international foreign affairs when you have to


cooperate with partners. Often they are EU partners but often they are


not. The problem we have... Washington have made it very clear


that it wants Britain to talk through Brussels. No, not at all.


Talk through the French and Italians, come on, wake up? Through


the EU collective. I'm vice chair of the EU delegation. I hear it from


the American counterparts. They want the EU to get itself together and


not least on Ukraine. Why should our sovereignty be at the behest of... ?


I want to hear from Syed calm amplgts the British Parliament is


the right place to decide our foreign poll sinchts sometimes we


work with our European partners, sometimes we work with our


non-European partners. It is our choice to pull sovereign trito work


together. G, we move on to our foirt area. We hear a lot in this country


about MPs expenses. Snted the real scan dalt MEPs gravy train. -- isn't


the real scandal, the MEPs gravy train? You all have your snouts? The


trough? I don't think so. There is transpancy. The way we use our


expenses is online and anyone can ask to examine those. We have


actually voted to reform MEPs' allowances. We regularly vote but


unfortunately the majority in Parliament don't. Have you voted to


cut them? Yes. By how much? About 5%. A 5% We hoped to have economies


I never fly except across the Atlantic. Difficult to do it any


other way. I didn't swim. But we voted for economy flutes. We


voted for European Parliament policy of transparency which other groups


haven't. UKIP don't turn up to vote. They don't earn their salaries.


Dhoent do anything. They should hand their salaries and allowances back.


You can't ause UKIP of being on the gravy train and the other that we


don't claim our attendance allowance because our MEPs are not there. Your


attendance allowance is if you are there, you are saying we don't turn


up You are in the building and claim the allowances. You are not an MEP,


UKIP are so ashamed of what their MEPs have done in Brussels, they


didn't field a sitting MEP for today's debate. I think each party


decides who it wishes to field. I have the honour of being the UKIP


representative. I would say by going in the past few weeks, xeeming to me


saying - we are sick of the others. -- people saying to me. : We are


quite excited. Can I ask Patrick O'Flynn. He says he touched a chord


and his party is strong in the polls today, between 18% and 20%. Haven't


you also struck a chord with hip crasscy. Two of your MEPs were


jailed for expenses and benefits' fraud. Two more asked to pay back


?37,000 for using European funds. Nigel Farage has boosted about


getting ?2 million in expenses and he went on to employ his wife as a


secretarial allowance after telling other members not to People who do


wrong and break the law, go to ja. I have no time. -- go to jail. People


who spend money they are not entitled to should pay it back and


that's right. But what UKIP does and the good UKIP MEPs do, is use the


allowances they are given to pursue the political agenda they put up


when elected which is to get Britain out of this superstate. Instead of


using it for parliamentary work. Very interesting. Richard Howitt. We


were the first British political party to have independent audits of


our MEPs' expenses, from 1990, way before the expenses crisis blew up.


The Maria Miller scandal has of course hit David Cameron and the


Conservative Party hard as it should do. But you are right, even in my


own region you have UKIP candidates and councillors who have been


charged with fraudulently filling out election papers and other shot


lifting. Another independent inquiry found he made racist comments. We


had a European candidate last week in Hertfordshire who got a parking


ticket from the police and called the police fascists. These people


aren't here. I'll let you have a quick reply. We


can bring up parochial cases. Let him answer. Not so long ago a


Liberal Democrat councillor was sent down for firebombing, I don't say


they are a bunch of arsonists, but now I think, Nick Clegg might have


burnt some cactuses, once. I'm glad you pronounced that word carefully.


Syed Kemal, the EU's auditors, they are strongly critical of the EU's


financials saying "Errors permist in all main spending areas", the


financials are poorly managed. It is a shambles And that's something that


all parties agree on. As we agree on expenses, the British parties are at


the forefront of transpancy. Every year when we vote for the discharge


of the budget, the Conservatives also vote for it but we don't get


enough MEPs from other countries to investigate in favour. The Liberal


Democrats have put forward to make each Finance Minister, George


Osborne and his counterpart to sign a declaration to say all EU money is


properly spent in my country. Funnily enough they don't want to do


that but I look forward to you confirming that George Osborne will


sign it. All the time we hear it is about the money we pay in, about


?150 per family per year. What about the money that comes back? ?1. 5


billion that comes to Britain's regions because of being in Europe.


I myself helped to negotiate a fund to help Britain's food banks to


ensure so. Poorest and most destitute people... Isn't it our


money that went there first. Can I tell you the Conservative-led


Government have blocked us from claiming that money. If you want to


have the clearest choice at these European elections, it is between...


Tell us why. It affects our rebate. Tony Blair gave away our rebate. He


is quite right. Lib Dems fought to make sure that we apply for money to


help with flooding. That is what the Tories were blocking. If you want


the clearest example at the European elections, the Conservative Party


and MEPs blocked the cap on bankers bonuses, and then blocked a Labour


victory to get money for free banks. We need to move on to the


future. It is important and people are watching. The EU's Justice


Minister says that we need to build a United States of Europe with the


commission as its government. Is she right? Not at all. But the future,


if we take the next ten years, thinks about climate change and the


fact that we are not going to hit of the two degrees target. Europe has


led and needs to lead towards getting a new sustainable world. It


is the political will to use these powers, so she is wrong. It is about


the threats from abroad. Labour reforms like getting a commissioner


for growth and rebalancing the budget, reforming the common


agricultural policy, all of those things will need to happen to make


Europe more democratic and open. But against the rise of Brazil and


China... We do not need more treaties and powers. We need more


action with more Labour MEPs. Sarah Ludford, you would sign up to that?


No. Unless they do not think that should concentrate on institutional


matters. What we need to do is concentrate on making Europe


progrowth and competitive and create more jobs in a competitive world. We


need more trade deals to open up our exports, we need to streamline the


EU. We need More powers for Brussels or not? I


think the balance is about right. In some areas, we would like to see it


slimmed down a bit. I'm not sure whether the EU should be... I think


the EU should concentrate on their big challenges like climate change


and the economy, a pollution, catching criminals. If we fritter


away at political capital on interfering on national matters, we


do not have the support. Would you still want to join the euro? We want


the Eurozone to be... Which you want to join the euro one day? If it


suits the British economy. Now is not the time. The idea in principle


of a single currency has advantages. We are not ruling it out for ever.


What would our relationship with Europe in the future if UKIP cots is


way and we left? We would be trading partners with Europe. Would we be


Norway? We would be in a stronger position than Norway. Our biggest


exports are services and they would not have to agree to free trade in


services. They still haven't and we are inside the EU. Let me read you


something. There would be a free trade agreement in place the day


after our exit. Germany would demand not less. That was Digby Jones who


said that. He is talking about goods, not services. You have to


accept all the EU rules without having any say. Let me give you


another one. No, no. Is it not looking forward, Mission impossible


for David Cameron to get anything like the repatriations of powers


that would satisfy you? My father was a bus driver. The only reason I


am here today is because he told me you can achieve anything you want if


you work hard. He also told be not to listen to doubters. If people


tell you something cannot be done, it is a sign of their limitations,


not yours. They said that we could not veto a new EU treaty, we did it.


Overall, we are paying more into the European budget. People say we


cannot achieve reform, but we have given the examples of it. Britain


was an open country looking outward into the world. What the


Conservatives now, trapped by their backbenchers, they are looking


inwards, allowing the rise of UKIP. We are going to have to stop now.


Thank you for a spirited debate. Just gone three o'clock. You're


watching Sunday politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland to


leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland.


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


programme. In the last hour, Glasgow 2014 has cancelled plans for the


live demolition of the Red Road flats during the opening ceremony of


the Commonwealth Games. A vote for Scotland, not for the


SNP. Alex Salmond reaches out to disaffected Labour voters in his


message to the final party conference before the


a yes vote in September is not a vote for an SNP government in 2016.


It is our vote for a government in Scotland that the people in Scotland


have chosen. Good afternoon. Within the last


hour, it's been confirmed that controversial plans to demolish five


blocks of flats on Glasgow's Red Road, as part of the Commonwealth


Games opening ceremony, have been scrapped. The Chief Executive of


Glasgow 2014 said the decision had been made on the basis of concerns


about safety and security. It comes after a petition to halt the plans


collected over 17,000 signatures. Joining me now from the newsroom is


our Commonwealth Games correspondent, Chris McLaughlin.


In the past hour, we have had this news and a statement from the chief


executive of Glasgow 2014 seeing that the absolute priority was


safety and this event would only happen if it was safe to do so. He


says, it has become clear that opinions have been expressed which


have changed the safety and security context. The demolition of the Red


Road flats will not know picture as part of the opening ceremony.


Glasgow City Council see the support the organising committee's


decision, public safety is paramount. Glasgow Housing


Association has said, public safety is our priority. Demolition will be


rescheduled. Why wasn't there further consultation before this


announcement was made with the local residents, the people of Glasgow?


And why are Glasgow 2014 announcing this on the eve of a milestone to


moral of 100 days to go? News they would not have been looking to


release ahead of that milestone. This has universal support of those


behind the Commonwealth Games, including the Scottish government.


Is there any political reaction? The local Labour MSP has said that she


supports it and is glad the decision has been made. But this is just the


start of the furore surrounding this. Initially, people thought it


was strange, but possibly a stroke of genius. Others thought it was a


terrible idea. But now the question will be why was there no further


consultation before this announcement was made?


Joining me from our Dundee studio is former SSP MSP Carolyn Leckie who


began the public petition against the demoliton.


I am relieved and very pleased. I think it is great, a sensible


decision. I think everybody will be believed and this 17,000 people who


expressed their views the petition -- via the petition will be


relieved. I think because the organisers have changed their mind,


is superbly some kind of consensus has developed behind-the-scenes. --


presumably. I think it should be welcomed. It is an indication that


people powered can be effective and possibly highlights that, in


Scotland, we can look forward to a more pirates participitive


democracy. It seems as though this decision has been made on safety


grounds? I can understand that the games organisers would need to find


a reason for changing your mind without anyone being blamed. Is this


a face-saving exercise? I'm not worried about why they have changed


their mind, I am just glad they have changed their mind, they have


listened and responded. The explosion as part of the ceremony


will not go ahead. I just hope that the community of the Red Road flats,


present and past, are not forgotten about and some of the promises that


were made in the last week about regeneration, again, of an area in


Glasgow are followed through. The initial justification for this was


that the council were highlighting regeneration. They say, it remains


our intention to dedicate a part of the opening ceremony detail of the


social history of Glasgow. Is that something that you think is


important that unlike yes, I think it is. One of the issues that needs


to be discussed, full, -- though, is that regeneration can only work is


if there is regeneration of wealth in Glasgow. There have been various


attempts at regeneration of Glasgow, at that fundamental inequality has


not been addressed. Various housing projects are not going to succeed if


underlying poverty is not dealt with. The council would say that the


regeneration of the east end of Glasgow is part of Glasgow 2014, and


an important step towards that. Ultimately, these flats are going to


come down. Like previous demolitions, there will be a crowd


there to watch. What is the difference between that and


featuring as part of the opening ceremony? It was distasteful and


disrespectful to beam that is entertainment around the world.


Demolitions are conducted quietly because of previous safety issues.


It seems contradictory for them to then make a huge spectacle of the


demolition of the Red Road flats. Also, the issue of the families,


asylum seekers families, five flats are to be demolished, however, the


sixth block will remain standing with asylum seeker families in it.


Housing that the world has been told is unfit for human habitation. That


issue as to be addressed with a border agency.


We heard that tomorrow is a milestone, 100 days until the


opening ceremony. You think that the announcement today and the furore


over the demolition is going to overshadow what should have been an


important moment for the games organisers? I think it would have


overshadowed it if they had not changed their minds. I do not think


that anybody who signed this petition was seeing this as


something we wanted to win, just as something they wanted to stop from


happening. Hopefully, this announcement will mean that they can


do what ever publicity they want to do and it will not be overshadowed


as much as it would have been if they had not changed their minds. I


think it is a positive thing and I am really respectful of everybody


involved in the decision. Thank you for joining us.


Alex Salmond has appealed to disaffected Labour voters to support


a yes vote in September's referendum and then back what he says will be a


rejuvenated party at subsequent elections. It was part of the SNP


leader's pitch to those struggling to back his position on


independence. In his speech to the party faithful in Aberdeen, Mr


Salmond also tried to reach out to women, another group that so far


isn't wholeheartedly supporting his plans. He promoted two female


ministers into his cabinet and talked about delivering childcare


that would be the envy of the world. I'll speak to Alex Salmond shortly,


but first Glenn Campbell reports from Aberdeen.


The S is celebrating its 80th birthday. -- the SNP. And one


leading light turned 50 today. But for John Swinney, the big


celebration of his life will come in September if there is a yes vote. I


think we will win the referendum in September. Why are you so confident?


What we are seeing is a strengthening of the yes position, a


narrowing of the gap. We are still behind in the opinion polls and we


have to close that gap. This party still has much work to do to


persuade a majority of voters to go for independence. If they are to


finish over the winning line in September, the leadership knows that


it must persuade voters who do not normally back the SNP to say yes to


independence. That is what this weekend has been all about for the


SNP, trying to reach out to potential supporters in other


political tribes. For everyone out there with Labour in your heart, the


message is clear. Vote yes and reclaim the Labour Party.


The Nationalists reckon Labour supporters could be attracted to the


independence cause with the thought that it might end Conservative rule.


Those days will be gone for good. By appointing more women to Cabinet the


SNP is seeking to make independence more female friendly. The party


reckons its commitment to removing nuclear weapons from Scotland is


evil when. In less than six months' time if we bought yes we will not be


in the protest business any more. We will be in the removal business.


They aim to get rid of Trident by 2020. That timetable is not set in


stone. Everything will be discussed in the context of the negotiations


that would follow eight Yes vote. But White Paper on independence was


produced by the SNP in Government 80 years after the party was founded.


There have been many false dawns in the history of the SNP. But a


generation after Alex Salmond first to the leadership, the party is


counting down to a fault that could result in Scotland is becoming an


independent country. But what if the electorate sees no? The SNP are in a


strong position. If they get are 40% thought they have demonstrably moved


on the number of people supporting independence. There might be some


discontent around the fringes, but Alex Salmond as a unifying figure in


the party. I think he carries on. The birthday wish of the SNP this


weekend is a victory in September. Even if they do not the party is not


necessarily over for the Nationalists, however much they are


opponents may wish it so. I am now joined by the First


Minister Alex Salmond. Let me ask you about this decision


on the red Road flats. It was only a couple of weeks ago your Government


was supporting the idea. What is your reaction to the decision? It is


a sensible decision that will be widely welcomed. There are two


aspects. One is the safety aspect. Secondly there is a wider aspect.


The games are a unifying force for Glasgow and Scotland. We want all


aspects of the Commonwealth Games to bring Scotland's together. That is


in the minds of the organising committee as well. The decision is


sensible and should be supported. Carolyn Leckie told us that she


thought the issue of security was a face-saving exercise. I heard the


interview and Carolyn Leckie seemed a lot more positive than the BBC


about the decision. I thought she responded very gracefully to the


decision. The decision has been made on sensible grounds. I do not think


that the safety issue is face-saving. It is very important.


There is also the point about unifying. We are 100 days from the


Commonwealth Games. We are about to have the greatest celebration of


sport that Scotland has ever seen. All we are writing about is one


aspect of the opening ceremony. If we had been in London we would have


spent 20 times as much and had no security. This is one of the few


games in recent history that is coming in on time and on budget.


Glasgow is already blessed with some fantastic facilities. Gets behind


the Commonwealth Games like everyone else and let us enjoy the occasion.


I want to ask you about the speech you made yesterday.


You have brought more women into your cabinets. Six months from the


referendum, gnawing women are less likely to support eight Yes vote at


this stage, as this opportunistic? It is not. It is something we have


been pursuing for a large amount of time. It was indicated in the White


Paper. It is an important symbol. You have been in power for seven


years. With great respect and at its ministers in the SNP ministerial


team. The qualities belief and the pensioners believe for the first


time ever is a reserved responsibility. We are preparing for


better things. This is the right time. We are trying to set an


example. We are calling on company boards are right Scotland to have at


least 40% of women represented to shore the difference changes in


society as we mobilise the talent of women. The Government should lead by


example. Do you personally have a problem when it comes to drawing


support from one end? I do not think so. The SNP won a substantial


majority of women voters at the last election. An opinion poll last week


show the SNP were ahead amongst women voters for the Scottish


parliament. Why are so many not convinced about the idea of


independence? I was coming to that. It is not an issue about the SNP.


Some people see that women are risk averse. I do not agree with that. It


is more risk we are. People want to see substantive reasons for making


the change to independence. Therefore they guess campaign, and


the accent we are putting on childcare, will be meaningful to


families. -- therefore the Yes campaign. We have got work to do. We


are prepared to do that work. Let me ask you about childcare. You talked


about childcare being the envy of the world. But no modelling was done


to assess whether 104,000 women could be drawn into the workforce.


Where did that figure come from? The 104,000 figure is if there is a 6%


increase in participation of women in the workforce. The impact of


having a transformation in childcare is to allow far more women to come


into the workforce. But not 140,000. That is the problem. It is not a


problem at all. Female participation in Sweden is 6% higher. It is


reasonable to say that the reason for that is the extraordinary


availability of childcare in Sweden which unfortunately we do not have


in Scotland at the present moment. It is reasonable to argue that if


you can produce that childcare in Scotland woman will be able to


participate in the Scottish workforce.


But it is the figures that are Big Issue. There are only 64,000 women


in Scotland with children under the age of five who are economically


inactive. You cannot use that figure of 104,000. It is not for one year.


This is a rolling figure. When would you reach 104,000? I am trying to


explain that. This is not a figure for one year. This is a cumulative


figure. Men's participation in the workforce is 76%. Woman's


participation is 70%. We should have the same participation of women in


the workforce as we have men. Allow me to finish. That is where the


figures come from. In the last year 65,000 more women have become


employed in Scotland. If we can produce 65,001 year RUC loosely


arguing we cannot get to 100,000 over a five-year period? This


transformation in childcare is important to the future of Scotland.


But the figures seen at a cost of ?1.2 billion would be needed to put


this policy into action. You are seeing that the figures would reason


700 million. How much would the policy cost? That is the additional


cost over the five years, step-by-step. It will cost as an


additional 700 million. The figure of quarter of a billion is being put


in over the next two years. There is not a serious question about that


part of the figures. There is substantial evidence coming into the


Scottish Parliament committees. We are embarking upon improvement of


childcare. The reason it is affordable and independence and not


under devolution is that it releases all of the economic growth and


taxation games when you control your own revenues. That is what makes


childcare affordable and Sweden. That is what will make it affordable


and Scotland. We can unleash that mobilisation of woman's talent and


ability in the workforce as well as fundamentally transforming life


prospects of children. This is one of the arguments for taking control


of our revenues. You said you agree with many of the


Labour party policies. Therefore Labour supporters can support you in


the devolved elections and you can enact the policies that you see


Labour are neglecting such as three descriptions. They do not need


constitutional upheaval for that. To defend some of the social Democratic


gains many people have chosen to vote for the SNP. But there are many


other issues that require independence. To abolish nuclear


weapons. To not participate in illegal wars. To stop the assault on


the pure and disabled in Scotland. These are all things that you need


independence for. That seems to me a compelling argument. If people


thought there was going to be another Conservative Government the


surge in support for independence would be even greater.


You're watching Sunday Politics Scotland. Let's go to the news with


Andrew Kerr. Good afternoon. As you've been


hearing, the demolition of the Red Road flats as part of the Glasgow


2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony has been cancelled. The


Chief Executive David Grevemberg said safety and security concerns


had been expressed which led to a change of heart. The live demolition


had been widely criticised as crass and insensitive, with thousands


signing a petition against the plan. The pilots' Union BALPA has cold on


the Civil Aviation Authority not to back down on new safety improvements


to helicopters which fly offshore. It comes after industry body Oil and


Gas UK said the changes risk damaging safety. The new rules were


prompted by a review after four people died when a Super Puma


crashed off Shetland last year. BALPA say they don't want the


industry back-sliding. It just seems at the moment that oil and gas UK


are bringing this if the agenda forward and that will affect their


production. They are stated aim is safety. We think they should fully


support the view on this. Three men have been detained by


police in connection with the death of a man in Largs. William


McLachlan's body was discovered outside his home in Holehouse Road


yesterday morning. A 19-year-old and two 20-year-olds are now in custody.


Football and St Johnstone have booked their place in the Scottish


Cup semifinal with a 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox. The Dons had the


better of the first half but couldn't hold on, with Stevie May


scoring two goals for St Johnstone in the second half.


That's it. Back to Gary. A unifying feature of the SNP


conference has been the determination of the party to get


rid of nuclear weapons on the Clyde. John Swinney, Nicola Sturgeon and


Alex Salmond in turn reiterated that there would be no deal with


Westminster which allowed Trident to remain in Scotland in return for a


currency Union. Future defence arrangements is the subject of the


second in our series of referendum animations.


Right, gather round and pay attention. Today, we are going to


talk about tactics. That is some assault course. The question is what


kind of defence policy would Scotland have? All of Britain's


nuclear missiles are based on the River Clyde. We are not trying to


attack, they want to know what kind of military force Scotland would


want, and be entitled to. It says in this document, we would get rid of


nuclear reference. The idea is that they are unpopular and use --


unusable. There is nowhere to base them if they are not on the Clyde,


so the top brass in London will be determined to keep them here. The


next thing in the plan of attack would be, what would Scotland be


left with? Not much to protect the oil fields. Here is the SNP. Do they


plan to share something, plan and build something? What if they don't


want to share? And what will happen to the infantry? The idea seems to


be that you can choose if you want to be in the British forces or the


Scottish forces. So I can choose who I fight for? Something like that.


Can I fight for Brazil? We have a lot of coastline to defend, is this


wise? It says here we could join NATO. It has a defence pact, like if


one are attacked, all are attacked. I don't see it happening. What about


all the other jobs in defence, like in ship loading? We sell to the


Westminster governments now, so why not in the future. But why would


they want to buy from a foreign country? Does anyone know what


happens if Scotland votes now. It is as you were. Iraq, Afghanistan and


nuclear weapons, stuff we did not want in the first place. One of the


proudest and most respected fighting forces in the world. And we would


need our own intelligence forces. It's time to have a look at what's


been happening this week and at what's coming up in the week ahead.


I'm joined in the studio now by Murray Ritchie, former political


editor at the Herald, and Lindsay McIntosh, political correspondent


for the Times. Let's talk about the breaking news


about the Red Road flats, their demolition will not feature in the


opening ceremony, was this inevitable? Perhaps not inevitable,


but a sense of relief that this embarrassing row is out of the way.


I can remember in bed last Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh,


they ran out of money. I'm glad this has been resolved. It is a feather


in the cap of Carolyn Leckie. A lot of political reaction coming in.


Politicians saying it is a great thing, but a few weeks ago, they


were agreeing with the decision. There has been a lot of misjudgement


on how this would have gone down with the people of Glasgow. When


that reared up as it has done, politicians went OK and rolled back


from that position. Everyone is saying about health and safety now.


I think the organisers have been guided this week. The council and


the rest of them have lost their bottle, so a big row coming and


backed off. I was in favour of it at first. But somebody said, what would


people in Mumbai or Nairobi make of this? Nairobi has the biggest shanty


towers and Africa. People without homes. They bring out the best


athletes in the world. What would we make of Glasgow blowing up buildings


for fun? I began to think about these things and the more I thought


about it, the more I read of the idea.


Let's talk about the SNP conference. What did you make of the pitch from


Alex Salmond during his speech to Labour voters and women voters?


Fairly naked attempts to get both groups on site. The women issue


first, there are real problems with the childcare policy. I'm not


convinced that the wiki answered them in terms of the amount of women


who can actually get into employment even if they wanted to take that


step, and also in terms of the funding. I'm not sure how will that


will play with women. Secondly, the quarter policy has put in place, in


the Cabinet, the idea is that will be an aspirational policy for


private companies also, I don't know how well that will play with women.


Obviously gender equality in the workforce can only be a positive


thing, but is that the baby want to do it? If women are slow to be


convinced of the idea of independence, it is partly economic


concerns rather than the issues we have been talking about. The economy


is the most contentious issue in the campaign. He is right to try and get


women's votes, nothing wrong with that. But if you look back in the


campaign, the big issues, Europe and the economy, I think the SNP are


ahead on both of these. The economic argument fell apart when we found


that there would be a unified currency. This idea that one or two,


or three or four individuals can decide our currency, or decide not


to have a currency is nonsense. That is not a question for our


government, it is a question for Parliament. I think people have


recognised the yes campaign were right to challenge this refusal and


the whole thing has backfired on Westminster. What about their appeal


to disaffected Labour voters, we know that there are a lot because


many of them voted SNP at the last election? Blair Jenkins from the yes


campaign suggests that polls are seeing an independent Scotland would


be fairer than the position at the moment, but is that enough? It has


to be. The cause these 800,000 or so traditional Labour voters are vital


to both sides of the campaign. It is now down to Labour, really. If they


were watching Alex Salmond at the weekend making this overt appeal


directly to Labour voters, I think the party has to look at that and


think, what do we do now? What they need to do, as the Lib Dems have


cold for them to do, is get the big beasts out. What is your sense of


whether or not this notion of a rejuvenated Labour Party in an


independent Scotland might appeal to Labour voters? I think it is a good


idea. The Labour Party in Scotland never took to Tony Blair, they were


reluctant to embrace new Labour. I think Labour have got a problem in


Scotland. The yes campaign is really bouncing just now. All over the


country, there are meetings in pubs, clubs, town halls, villages, people


discussing the referendum and independence and it is all coming


from the yes campaign. I think I have that one leaflet through my


door from the no camp. The SNP... Before we go down that road, either


have to stop you. Thank you both for joining us.


That is all from us this week. We are off for the next two weeks for


the Easter break. Join us on Sunday the 4th of May at the usual time of


11am. Goodbye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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