11/05/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics, where we're talking about


the Europe-wide contest that really matters. No not Eurovision. The


European elections. There are local elections across England too on May


22nd. The party leaders are campaigning ahead of polling day.


The results could be a pointer to the Big One May 2015. We'll be


speaking to the man in charge of Labour's election battle plan. Has


the opposition really got its sights set on all-out victory in 2015? Or


will it just be content with squeaking home? And you can't


mention elections these days without talking about the impact of this


man, Nigel Farage. I'll be asking him if UKIP really is fit for


primetime. Coming up on Sunday Politics


Scotland: As Westminster and Holyrood do battle over Scottish


independence are Civil servants - who have long prided themselves on


their neutrality - being drawn into the fray?


guaranteed to bring a touch of Eurovision glamour to your Sunday


morning. With views more controversial than a bearded


Austrian drag act and twice the dress sense, it's Nick Watt, Helen


Lewis and Janan Ganesh. So you might have thought you've already heard


David Cameron promise an in-out referendum on EU membership in 2017


if he's still Prime Minister. Many times. Many, many times. Well he


obviously doesn't think you've been listening, because he's been saying


it again today. Here he is speaking to the BBC earlier. We will hold a


referendum by the end of 2017. It will be a referendum on an in-out


basis. Do we stay in a reformed European Union or do we leave? And


I've said very clearly that whatever the outcome of the next election,


and of course I want an overall majority and I'm hoping and


believing I can win an overall majority, that people should be in


no doubt I will not become Prime Minister unless I can guarantee that


we will hold a referendum. Here's saying there that an overall


majority there will definitely be a referendum. If these are the


minority position, he won't form a new coalition unless they agree to a


referendum, too. The Lib Dems a pulmonary agree to that. They


probably will because the Prime ministers have a strong argument


which is I gave you a referendum back in 2010 so the least I need is


theirs and the Lib Dems are the only party who have stood in recent


elections on a clear mandate to hold a referendum, so it is difficult for


them to say no, there was interesting the interview he did


earlier today. He named everything was going to ask for. The most


controversial with him, as he said in his speech last year, he wants to


take Britain out of the commitment to make the European Union and ever


closer union. That is a very big ask, but the point is, he may well


get it because the choice for the European Union now, France and


Germany, is a clear wonderful do Britain in or out? Previously, it


was can you put up with a British prime ministers being annoying? I


think you'll find the answer is they are willing to pay a price but not


any price to keep Britain in. In this scenario, Labour would have


lost the election again because we are talking the slowly happen if Mr


Cameron is the largest party or has an overall majority. Could you then


see Labour deciding we had better go along with a referendum, too? I


think that's unlikely because as I think that's unlikely because


there's a huge upside for that for I think what's interesting is the idea


he would for minority government. Would you get confidence and look at


other options that might well happen with the way the arithmetic is going


or is he going to hold out and say the only way I will be Prime


Minister is in a majority Conservative government? No, the


implication of his remarks was I wouldn't form a coalition government


unless my coalition partners would also agree to vote for a referendum.


He's basically talking about is negotiating strategy in those


coalition talks. It's a red line and a huge opportunity for the Lib Dems,


because they know David Cameron absolutely has to do, for accidental


reasons, as a person who survives as Tory leader, to ask for that


referendum, so they can ask anything they want in return and if I was


Nick Clegg, I would work out in the next year one absolute colossal


negotiating demand for those coalition talks. For a party around


10% in the polls, they will do have the Prime Minister over a barrel on


this one, assuming that coalition talks goes well. They could make


Michael Gove Tbyte meeting. OK, we need to move on. So, the politicians


are out and about on what used to be called the stump ahead of local and


European elections in less than two weeks' time. But, without wanting to


depress you on a damp Sunday morning, the party strategists are


already hard at work on their campaign plans for the General


Election next May. Yes, it's less than a year to go. They may have


taken their time, but Labour's battleplan for 2015 is starting to


take shape. As well as take promising to freeze your energy


bills, and reintroduce the 50p rate of tax, Ed Miliband now says he


wants to intervene in the housing market to keep rents down. There's


even talk that the party leadership wants to bring more railway lines


into public ownership. And Labour is gambling that its big push on the


cost of living will see it through to the general election despite


evidence that growth is firmly back. Labour's campaign chief Douglas


Alexander hopes it all adds up to victory next May. But so far, the


evidence is hitting home very thin. One survey today shows that 56% of


people don't think Mr Miliband is up to the job of Prime Minister. As we


head towards one of the least predictable general elections in 70


years, has Labour got a message to win seats up and down the country?


And Labour's election co-ordinator and Shadow Foreign Secretary,


Douglas Alexander, joins me now. Welcome to Sunday Politics. A lot of


these policies announced polar pretty well. By popular with the


country. When you add them together, it's a move to the left and what


would be wrong with that? I think is your packet suggests, the contours


in the coming campaign are becoming clear. Our judgement is the defining


issue of the year in British politics will be the widening gap


between the wealth of the country and the finances of ordinary


families. We believe it will be a cost of living election and we have


been setting out our thinking in relation to energy prices and rent,


but you will hear more from Labour Party in the coming months because


we're now less than one year away from a decisive moment. If the


leftish think tank suggested any of his policies in that Tony Blair


years, you would have opposed them. Let's be clear, when not going for


an interest but seeking to secure a majority for the only way to do that


is not simply to appeal to your base, but to the centre ground. I


believe we got genuine opportunities in the next year. You have the


Conservatives in a struggle with UKIP on the right of politics. The


Lib Dems 9% of trying to find their base, and there's a genuine


opportunity in the next year for Labour to dominate the centre ground


of politics and secure the majority Labour government we are planning


for in the coming year. I notice you didn't deny you wouldn't have


opposed. You say you have got an message for aspirational voters in


the South. This is what John Denham said. He thinks you're talking too


much to your core vote. He is right to recognise we took a


terrible beating in 2010. 29%. If you look at what we've done in the


last week, for example, the signature policy on rent Ed Miliband


announced to launch the campaign, there's now more than 9 million


people in the country in the private rented sector, more than 1 million


families. Many of them are in the south-east. They are seeing


circumstances where, suddenly, landlord will increase the rent and


they put the pressure involved in schooling, health care facing the


families, so it is important both in terms of policy and in terms of


politics that we speak to the whole country, not simply to one part of


it falls up what is the average rise in event last year? I don't know.


Can you tell me? 1%. 1% not in real terms. I'm not sure what the problem


is. It will happen to wages in last year, we are facing circumstances


where people will be worse off, up to ?1600 off worse and frankly, if


our opponents want to argue that the economy has healed and they deserve


a victory lap, good luck to them because actually, what we are


hearing from the Buddhist public, not just in the north and south, is


not the cost living crisis is continuing and it affects families.


There was nothing aspirational about your party election broadcast for


the European elections. It looked like crude class war to money


people. That's a bit of it. Bedroom tax. Isn't it going to look bad that


two thirds of those affected are disabled? Who cares? They can't


fight back. Shall be lay-offs and NHS nurses? The National Health


Service? Oh yes. Mr Cameron? Who said that? Me. My gosh. The man has


shrunk. He's actually shrunk. What shall we do with him? Can we hunt


him? Nothing about Europe, Labour policy. News that the Tories would


result in negative campaigning and smear. You didn't tell you would be


just as bad. Let's start the party broadcast. The one thing guaranteed


to have most people reaching for the remote control these days are the


words, there now follows a party but the broadcast. I make no apology in


the factory to be innovative in how we presented. It's factual. It was a


policy -based critic of this government. And the Lib Dems role


within it. So you're claiming it's factual to betray the camera and


cabinet is not even knowing what the NHS is, -- the Cameron Cabinet. They


attack the disabled because they can't fight back. The Pinellas


Tanner severely Prime Minister Sun and he was treated during a short


life by the NHS. It's a fact many disabled people across the country


including in my constituency have been directly affected by the


bedroom tax. And ultimately, this Conservative led government,


including the Lib Dems, will be held accountable by the politicians. You


say that, the Prime Minister, who had a severely disabled son of. I


you not ashamed about? I shadowed Iain Duncan Smith of five months


also they don't have the excuses of seeing that saying nobody told them


the consequences of the bedroom tax. They went into this with their eyes


open. They knew about the hardship and difficulty. If they were


one-bedroom properties available across the country for people to


move into, their argument would be OK but they knew they were dealing


with the most vulnerable people. Did you sign off that part of the


broadcast? Of course I stand by the fact of it. I wish David Cameron and


Iain Duncan Smith would apologise to the disabled people of the country


and the poorest people for the effects of the bedroom tax. I hope


we get that apology between now and election. As someone who thinks


integrity is important in politics, not ashamed of this kind of thing?


It's important we scrutinise the policies of this government as well


as adding a positive agenda for change. You want that you won't


promise this is the last time we'll see such a negative press campaign?


I don't think it is negative or personal to scrutinise the


government. So we'll get more of this? I'm less interested in the


background of the cabinet than their views. You call the upper-class


twits. It's for the British public to make a judgement in terms of the


British... That's how you depicted them. We are held in accountable for


the bedroom tax, the NHS, taxation, and our record they have to defend.


One reason are so fearful in this election is actually because they


know they have a poor record. Let's look at other part of the election


campaign. This poster. Particularly digitally doing the rounds. On that


shopping basket, can you tell us which items take the full 20% VAT?


It's representative of household shopping, which includes items like


cleaning products, and we know that food is not that trouble. People


don't go to the supermarket and say this is -- vatable. So you are


denying that ?450 extra is being paid? Yes, where'd you get that


figure? For an average family to pay ?450 a year extra VAT, they would


have to spend ?21,600 a year on vatable products at 20%. The average


take-home pay is only 21,009. They have got to spend on all sorts of


things which are zero VAT. So in addition to the items, has a range


of products people face in terms of VAT. How could an average family of


?21,000 a year spent 21,006 and the pound a year on 20% vatable items?


It's not an annual figure, is it? So what is it then? If it's an annual,


what is it? The increased VAT in this parliament is calculated over


the course of a Parliament. For the whole of the Parliament? And you're


illustrated this with a shopping basket which almost has no VAT on it


at all? People will be buying a weekly shop in the course of this


Parliament every week. Did you sign off on this as well? Of course. It


didn't dawn on you you're putting things on it which have no VAT? If


you want to argue some people go to the shops and say these are vatable


or not, I disagree. Even your rent or not, I disagree. Even your rent


cap announcement went wrong. You're working on the rent rises and it


turns out it wasn't. It was a post your policy. It is the exception


rather than the rule to have the your policy. It is the exception


position we have at the moment. In Northern Ireland we have seen the


continued rise in terms of the rented sector but there is a


widespread recognition that for those people in the rented sector,


change is necessary. Are you coordinating this campaign? It seems


accident prone. This is a party that has set the agenda more effectively


than a Conservative party that said when David Cameron was elected he


wasn't going to bang on about Europe. The day after the election


we expect the Conservative party to be engulfed in crisis. I'm proud of


what we talk about and I think there is a clear contrast about a party


talking about issues people care about, and a Conservative party


talking about exclusively a referendum. Are you in charge of the


campaign? I am coordinating the campaign is, yes. The expensive


election guru you have hired, has he been involved in any of this? We


have started our discussions with him. You are going to have to brief


him about British politics because he doesn't know anything about it. I


make no apology for hiring him. He has a lot of experience in winning


tight elections and that is what we are expecting. If you are expecting


us to say, they have passed and we have to hold them accountable, then


I am sorry but we have a campaign that holds the Government and the


Conservatives to account for what I think is a very hopeless record in


government. Thank you. He leads a party with zero MPs but


his media presence is huge. He's had an expenses scandal, but the public


didn't seem to mind. He's got a privileged background but he's seen


as an anti-establishment champion. Nothing seems to stick to him, not


even eggs. I speak of course of Nigel Farage. We'll talk to him in a


moment, but first Giles has been out on the campaign trail ahead of


elections that could make or break the UKIP leader.


Nigel Farage likes a stage, and at this stage of the Euro and local


election campaign he is, like his party, in buoyant mood. They feel


they are on the verge of what they see as causing an earthquake in


British politics. Today Nigel is filling thousands seat venues and


bigger. Not that there's much sign of that at this press launch. But


it's a threat with serious money behind it, that they believe the


media and the political elite just haven't realised yet, much less


learned how to counter it. Not that it's all been plain sailing.


Offensive comments from some candidates has not only seen UKIP


labelled as racist, but necessitated a rally by the party to visibly and


verbally challenge that. The offensive idiotic statements made by


this handful of people have been lifted up and presented to the great


British public as if they represent the view of this party, which they


do not. They never have and they never will. APPLAUSE


I don't care what you call us, but from this moment on, please do not


call must trust a racist party. We are not a racist party.


The need to say that is not just about the European and local


elections even at that campaign launch it's clear UKIP's leader has


set his sights firmly on the ultimate prize. I come from the


south of England and I would not want to be seen as an opportunist


heading to the north, north Norfolk or whatever it will be. I will make


my mind up and stand in the general election for somewhere in Kent, East


Sussex, Hampshire, somewhere in my home patch. Back at UKIP HQ they are


still drilling down how the last fortnight of campaigning should go.


They aren't taking any chances, and one imagines having offices above


those of Max Clifford is a reminder how fragile built reputations can be


of the bubble bursting. They want their reputation to be built on


votes and they know anything but significant success on May 22nd and


some seats in Westminster in 2015 isn't going to be good enough. And


after that, having sold yourselves as the honest outsiders, that stance


is harder to maintain once your people are on the inside. And subtle


changes from the past are already noticeable. The ordinary man of the


people stance is still working. Characteristically outside a pub,


Nigel Farage is glad handed by a customer. Two weeks to go, let's


cause an upset. Wouldn't that be great? The only sign that such an


interaction is different now is the ever presence of bodyguards who


shadow his every move. Over lunch ahead of Question Time, a radio


appearance, and then off to Scotland, I ask him if some of those


minded to vote UKIP who see him as a man they'd be comfortable having a


drink with are the sort of people he'd be entirely comfortable sitting


down with. Every political party attracts support from across the


spectrum and there will be some magnificent people who vote for us


and some ne'er-do-wells. The one common thing about UKIP voters is


that they are often not very political. And it's that people's


army that if UKIP can get to a polling booth might just create that


earthquake they want. Nigel Farage joins me now. When you


decided not to stand at the new work by election coming said if you lost


it that the bubble would have burst. What did you mean by that? I


was asked at seven 20p -- at 7:21pm if I would stand, I have decided by


the next morning that I would not. I didn't know he was going to resign.


You claim only a handful of UKIP candidates have ever said things


that are either stupid or offensive, I'm right on that, yes? 0.1%, I'd


rather it was non-. But why have you chosen a candidate to fight this


by-election that has said many things most people would regard as


stupid or offensive? Roger is fighting this for us, someone of 70


years of age who grew up with a strong Christian Bible background,


in an age when homosexuality was imprisonable. He had a certain set


of views which he maintained for many years which he now says he


accepts the world has moved on and he is relaxed about it. The comments


about homosexuality are not from the dark ages, they are from two or


three years ago. From when he was a Conservative, yes, so will you be


asking David Cameron that question? I have never seen a single comment


from Roger that would be deemed to be offensive. Do you regard his


comments on homosexuality as offensive? When he grew up,


homosexuality was illegal in this country. But this was in 2012 but he


said that. Most people have his age still feel uncomfortable about it --


of his age. In 2012 he said, if two men can be married, why not three,


why not a commune. Many people in this country are disconcerted by the


change in the meaning of marriage and in a tolerant society we


understand that some people have different views. But he has changed


his views now in only two years? He says he is more relaxed about it.


Was he your candidate? He is a first-class campaigner who has had


30 years in industry, he served in the European Parliament, he is a


good candidate. This morning's papers suggest you are about to


select Victoria Ayling for Grimsby, but she is on camera saying that, of


immigrants, I just want to send a lot back. This is all very


interesting, and we can talk about it, all we could talk about the fact


that in 12 days we have a European election and every voter across the


UK can vote on it and it is really interesting. Are you happy to pick a


candidate that says of immigrants, I just want to send a lot back? I have


seen the tape, it is a complete misquote and she says it in the


context of illegal immigrants. I have seen the full quote and in the


context it is not about illegal immigrants. Let's come onto the


European campaign, you have used a company that employs Eastern


European is to deliver leaflets in London and the Home Counties. Have


we? I'm told that in Croydon one branch might have done that. Have


you found some indigenous Brits to deliver leaflets in Europe? We have


thousands joining the party every month and they are not all


indigenous because what is interesting is that in today's


opinion polls, UKIP is above the Lib Dems and the Conservatives amongst


the indigenous voting. We have not agreed a manifesto for


the general election, we will do over the course of the summer. This


is in your local election. We are having local elections in some part


of the country but we are fighting a European election. It is impossible


with the British media to have an intelligent debate on the European


question. But as I say, we are also fighting the local elections too.


You have promised these tax cuts, how much will they cost? I have met


-- read the local election manifesto and it doesn't make those promises.


We do talk about local services, we do talk about the need to keep


council tax down but we don't talk about income tax. Absolutely not. In


local election campaigning you say you would restore cuts to policing,


double prison places, restore cuts to front line NHS, spend more on


roads, how much would that cost? You are obviously reading different


documents to me. We are voting for local councillors in district


councils who have got little local budgets. Every party in a manifesto


puts his aspirations in it. Have you read it? Of course I have, cover to


cover, which is why I'm saying you are misquoting it. By the way, on


the bubble bursting, you told that to Norman Smith of the BBC. 75% of


British laws are now made in the European Union. Now AstraZeneca is


potentially going to be taken over by Pfizer. The BBC is refusing to


show the public that that decision cannot be taken here but by an


elected European commissioner, and we sit and argue about what is in or


not in the local election manifesto. It is my job, but let me come on to


AstraZeneca. Is it your view that a British government should stop the


takeover of AstraZeneca? It cannot. Can we please get this clear. I sat


next to Chuka Umunna the other day at question time and he said what


could and couldn't be done. He said I am being studiously neutral, and


the reason is we don't have this power. That is what the European


elections is about. Should France have the takeover of the food


company Danan? We seem to do things to the Nth degree and nobody else


does, perhaps because we have this culture and we obey it. In your


view, you don't think Pfizer should be able to take over AstraZeneca?


There is some good science within AstraZeneca which is in


A lot of it is in Sweden and I know that, but there is still a lot of


good science being done there. What did you think of the Prime Minister


saying he would not form a coalition unless he could have a European


referendum? Mr Cameron has given a cast iron guarantee that if he


becomes prime minister last year, he will have a referendum on the Lisbon


Treaty. That is what he said previously and heeded not deliver on


that. The renegotiation is worth nothing. He says he will not form a


Government unless he can go forward to a referendum. He is desperately


pretending to be Eurosceptic whilst at the same time saying that


whatever the result is he will campaign for Britain to remain in.


In a sense that is what this election is about. Three traditional


parties plus the SNP, all of whom passionately believe in the European


Union. UKIP is saying there is a bigger and better world than that.


You are travelling with four bodyguards. Has this affected you


and your family life? I can't stand it that I have always been a free


spirit that has wandered around and do my own thing. I am afraid that


the level of threat has... I am sadly... We have a couple of


organisations out there headed up by senior Labour Party figures who


purport to be against fascism and extremism, who receive funding from


the Department for the communities, who receive funding from the trade


unions, who have acted in a violent wait more than once. You are saying


that the Labour Party is against these threats? No, I am saying...


You are still keen to be an MP? Yes. But let's get this out of the


way. What UKIP will don't do is we will target for the General Election


next year... Wouldn't it be easier if you just went to the Lords? That


is where most antiestablishment candidates... That is the last thing


I want to do. I will not rest until we are freed from political union


and Government from Brussels. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who


leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland.


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


programme: As ministers at Westminster and Holyrood do battle


over Scottish independence, are civil servants being drawn into the


fray? Is their much-heralded neutrality


being tested during this campaign? And we look back on 15 years of the


Scottish Parliament. Good morning. The UK Civil Service


is facing unprecedented challenges to its impartiality as London and


Edinburgh lock horns over the independence referendum. Mandarins


in both Whitehall and St Andrew's House face accusations they're


falling under the spell of their respective ministers. But the Sir


Humphreys are clear they're duty bound to obey the codes of conduct


set out to stop them straying into party political issues. Andrew Kerr


reports. Whitehall of old. Dusty civil


servants adhering to strict Victorian codes of conduct. The


civil service wants to keep that perception. They serve whoever that


ministers are, whoever the public elects. The public are the key


people. They serve the Government. They are not totally neutral while


that Government is in office, but they are politically impartial so


they can immediately switch from one policy to possibly a diametric


opposed one, as they have done sometimes in the past. MPs and the


public administration select committee are investigating their


impartiality and the exceptional circumstances of the referendum have


given them plenty to chew over. This week, the Scottish branch was


questioned over its involvement in the White Paper. Many commentators


have raised concerns, including Professor Jim Gallagher, who is


advising Better Together. My personal view is that it went a bit


too far. It is too much of a political document. Not only does it


explain what independence might mean, it goes on to say things like


what a Scottish National party Government would do if he were


elected after the referendum and after the election, and that seems


to push it a wee bit too far. That was defended by the man who signed


it off. This was carefully discussed, and led to vary careful


caveat in within the text of the White Paper that what we were


talking about here was in fact there were two pages opposite of powers


that would be available to an independent Scotland, and how, or


the SNP to form a Government in 2016 and beyond, they would exercise


them. Others have come to his support, including a former First


Minister. Henry McLeish work with civil servants both North and South


of the border. In Scotland today there is a very fevered political


atmosphere and strange tensions and anxieties and often parties want to


look at the civil service in more detail to see whether they are


stepping over the line. As far as I'm concerned, what we have seen so


far in the independence debate does not mean that the line has been


crossed. Many believe the Sir Nicholas Furse and, permanent


Secretary to the Treasury, stepped over that line when he released a


letter strongly advising against a currency union. He was questioned by


MPs last month. I regard this as a very exceptional set of


circumstances, but it is one where the interests of the British state,


the Government, the official Treasury, the pound sterling, all


these things, the pound sterling's position in markets were all


completely aligned. This was a very serious issue and it seemed to me


the line may have been crossed because what we saw here was advice


being given, being made public. That does not normally happen. At the end


of the day, we know that after the vote, if there is a Yes vote, there


will be a completely different contraction on the question of the


sterling currency union. These are exceptional circumstances for these


officials with conventions designed for a different world, but Professor


Gallagher is broadly supportive of the boundaries being stretched in


this case. It is critically about what Nick Macpherson thought he was


doing was making very clear against the accusation from the Scottish


Government that UK ministers were playing politics with the currency,


he was saying that as the head of one of the big important


institutions that support the currency, no, this was not a


political gesture, this was an explanation of the evidence and what


the reality is well. The old certainties have changed and the


realities of this referendum have hit the ball hat brigade. The


mandarins may have turned out to very different rules depending on


what happens on the 18th of September.


I'm joined by two former special advisors. In London, John McTernan,


who worked for Tony Blair in Downing Street. And in Edinburgh, Alex Bell,


who worked for the Scottish Government on the white paper. Good


afternoon to both of you. Alex Bell, has civil service neutrality been


compromised during this referendum campaign? You have to pick up the


fact that these are exceptional stuck in senses. As for the charge


against the Scottish Government, don't think so. They are doing what


they are charged to do, represent the Government of the day. The


exceptional thing, as Henry McLeish was just telling us there, was Sir


Nick Macpherson's decision to utter these words himself rather than


simply get a minister to utter them. But broadly, we are in a very


difficult situation. Cerney is the one who has thing to answer for. --


Sir Nick. But this is a detail of the referendum that leaves voters


very turned off and is not at the heart of what is the destiny of our


country. What -- What kind of terms should we consider as to whether


advice is published or not? Sir -- It is an evolving situation but Nick


MacPherson made the case very strongly and Jim McCulloch made it


in your package. This is one of the critical issues. In all the focus


groups, we know the public want to know what would the currency of an


independent Scotland Bay, and the view of the Bank of England, the


Treasury, and all of the main political parties in the UK is


Scotland would not get a currency union. But that is a political


decision, so is a civil servant being dragged into that political


decision? No, he was explaining that the Government, the Bank of England


and Nick Macpherson made the same point. There are huge risks to the


currency union. It is the same reason the SNP do not want Scotland


to join the euro. Your choices are constrained by another country's


central bank. So to think that where the politicisation has gone on is


the disgraceful publication of the White Paper which was an SNP


manifesto, and the appalling behaviour of Sir Peter Housden in


allowing that to go ahead, to keep in to the political isolation, the


political pressure of the SNP. Civil servants have compiled a White


Paper. It did contain details of what the SNP might do if it formed a


Government after independence. Is that a step too far for civil


servants? I am afraid we are seeing the default for most of this


campaign, which is if in doubt, slurred the other side. I do not


think Sir Peter Housden has done anything wrong. The elected


Government has a policy which was a referendum on independence. They had


to produce a White Paper therein. Broadly, Whitehall has to do the


same, to represent the views of the connected Government there, which is


of course the coalition. What we have here is an attempt to somehow,


if we can smear the civil servant, we can somehow smear the policy.


This point on the currency union, no doubt a currency union will bring


great controls and that is something we could discuss maybe with some


fruit, but discussing the idea that we know it to be a certainty, we


simply don't, partly because Government ministers in the UK


Government themselves have cast doubt on it. But on the White


Paper, the civil service code has an obligation not to act in a way that


is determined by party political considerations or use resources for


a party political purpose. Can it not be argued that that is what


happened with a White Paper given that it laid out what a political


party would do after the election? For the Iraq war, when the civil


servants were preparing documents to justify it, but they pursuing the


ideal of one man or a party, or the idea of a state? I am not sure. They


different philosophical point, what happened to the White Paper in the


1997 referendum of devolution? What's the civil service pursuing


the will of one party, the democratically elected Government,


or the state? When you are civil servant, you are operating in a,


let's say interesting, philosophical area. It is the whole wisdom of the


system that stops it from the ring one way or another. Paul Flynn,


Labour MP, said the Westminster committee investigating civil


service and impartiality was being abused as a platform for the English


lead opposition to Scottish independence. Our Westminster MPs


against Scottish independence able to investigate this? Paul Flynn made


a ridiculous statement. I have no idea why he thinks that the UK


Parliament, which includes Scottish MPs representing Scottish voters,


should not be looking at the politicisation of the civil service.


You can go to that White Paper, the SNP made a party political figures.


They invented a cost for Trident, which only appears in SNP documents.


If it was a proper White Paper, it would have a balanced discussion of


possibilities. It just says what will happen, not what may happen.


The White Paper is 670 pages. So far we have had 1200 pages from the UK


Government with more to come. Civil servants not being used in the same


manner at Whitehall? No, the civil service at Whitehall is doing


analyses and you can look at those and I have not seen a single fact in


any of those papers. There are things which are not true in the


White Paper, they are political, and there are things which took about


the SNP plans to have by 2030 8 million migrants in Scotland. That


is being concealed because they do not want discussion of immigration.


It is a very strange document. I'm prepared to come into the studio to


discuss point about the civil service and about the White Paper.


I'm not prepared to join in with them his borderline racist slur


dragging immigrants into this debate. When Ed Miliband was last in


the country the Daily Mail had a front-page splash which said if you


vote, yes, there will be a wave of new immigrants. I am deeply alarmed


that the Labour Party should be focusing on immigration is what they


think is a winning ticket, and do not think it serves either John


McTernan or his campaign well. On the issue of publishing advice, we


know the Scottish Government has commissioned Frank Mulholland, the


Lord Advocate, to give them advice and Europe. Should that be


published? Is that a wise move to inform the public? I'm of the view


that all legal advice on all things should be published, and obviously


we have some outstanding examples on that to do with the Iraq war and


other things. But the Government precedent, the habit has been not to


do that. If we want a universal agreement across the civil service,


the UK in Scotland, that all legal advice should be published, I am


afraid the civil service has allowed politicians to pick and choose and


that is why we end up in this dubious position. Thank you.


Tomorrow marks 15 years since 129 proud and freshly elected-members of


the newly reformed Scottish Parliament sat in Edinburgh for the


first time. The devolution of powers followed a referendum in 1997 after


Tony Blair's government came to power and was seen as unfinished


business of the Labour leader's predecessor, John Smith. The


anniversary coincides with this year's independence referendum which


will decide the next chapter in Scotland's story. Our political


correspondent, Tim Reid, has been looking back.


It was this act of Parliament, debated over many months at


Westminster, which initially handed powers to Edinburgh. It could not be


more definitive. There shall be a Scottish parliament. I like that!


Donald Dewar was one of the first to be elected, becoming the first first


Minister before his untimely death less than a year later. While he had


had to persuade Tony Blair about devolution, some other Labour


figures were never convinced. We will go down a motorway to a


separate state, a journey on which most of us do not want to embark.


There have been high points and low point, controversial decisions that


have provoked anger. Sometimes politicians will get it right,


sometimes they will get it wrong. That is not a reason to rip up the


political system. The current first Minister, Alex Salmond also won a


seat in those first elections but how committed where he and his party


he was asked during the campaign, to devolution. I'm standing for


election for the devolved parliament and we respected you have policies


to run that devolved government. To be clear, a vote for you is a vote


for independence? We are the Independence party. The first five


years were spent in temporary premises on loan from the Church of


Scotland. The Scottish Parliament adjourned on the 25th day of March


in the year 1707 is hereby reconvened. Despite massive backing


for devolution, public support waned when from May to July that year, MSP


's discussed nothing but procedure and their adventures. For many,


those accounts were forgotten and his -- this former presiding


officer... Perhaps in the very early days, some people felt a bit wobbly


when all of the bad publicity, particularly about the cost of the


building that was going on. We have left that well behind us. It is a


long time since anyone mentioned that, which shows that we are now


part of Scottish society. Holyrood's voting system has allowed


smaller parties in much greater say and for the first two terms gave Lib


Dems ministerial power. They had a Coalition with Labour. It was


difficult at their fences within parties as well as between parties.


We had ways of dealing with these difficulties. But while devolution


has given Parliament -- has made Parliament more available to voters,


there Russell concerns. We have not but read of the old problems, the


dominance of major parties. The disappointing performance of the


committees that were supposed to be a counterweight and the general


secrecy in government. It has certainly been a huge improvement


but much more can be done. In the 1990s, there were plans for a change


to income tax which was never imposed. If Mr Blair is being


serious when he says that the tartan tax is raised, let us be certain by


not having the referendum at all. The former Tory prime ministers,


John Major, ended up at odds with his own colleagues in Scotland.


Having a Scottish government, having a Scottish parliament has made


sense. Most of the powers of the Scottish government are similar to


the responsible days I had when I was Secretary of State for Scotland


but I had to get the consent of the rest of the UK government. The


Secretary of State for Scotland has a degree of freedom. Legally,


Scotland's devolution journey started here at West Mr. Where will


it end? There are two roads, full independence or further devolution.


You're watching Sunday Politics Scotland. Let's cross now for the


news with Andrew Kerr. Good morning. The Church of Scotland has invited


the leaders of Yes Scotland and Better Together to a special service


of reconciliation on the Sunday after the referendum. It will be


held in Edinburgh's St Giles Cathderal and led by the the Kirk's


new moderator, the Reverend John Chalmers. He hopes the service will


help heal divisions after the vote. It's the tenth anniversary of the


Stockline Plastics disaster and relatives of the nine people killed


will gather in Glasgow to remember their loved ones. The factory in the


Maryhill area was destroyed by a propane explosion. The relatives are


backing a campaign by the local MSP to allow sheriffs to order safety


improvements identified after a tragedy.


The Olympic medallist Tom Daley will meet the Commonwealth Baton as it


arrives back in the British isles today. It's been all around the


world, including here in Uganda, but it'll touch down in Jersey this


afternoon. The baton will arrive in Scotland on June the 14th.


Let's now take a look at the forecast with Christopher.


Hello. And East-West split to the weather. The further west you are, a


correlation of bright spells and showers but in the east cloudier


with some patchy rain really through Aberdeenshire, down towards Angus


and the Lothians later. It should not feel too bad under the sunniest


guys, 14 or 15 degrees. Cooler under the cloud. Later, some heavy showers


developing, primarily in the south-west, into this evening. That


is the forecast for now. That's it. Back to Gary.


Thank you. Now it's time to have a look at the


Sunday papers and what's happening in the week ahead. And with me today


are Jeane Freeman, who's a former senior civil servant and a member of


Women For Independence, and the political editor of the Daily


Record, David Clegg. Let us start with the story on the front of the


Sunday Herald. It was advice given to James Callaghan to set up an oil


fund in Scotland, which they did not do. There are many yes supporters


who think that Westminster squandered that choice. Many believe


that Scotland's oil wealth was wasted by not setting up an oil


fund. There is a general consensus that if we had set up an oil fund in


the UK, it would have been a worthwhile endeavour. The fact is


that it didn't happen and the question is what is better to do


going forward. The money was spent on public services rather than being


put into that fund. I think it is interesting because the whole


argument around having an oil fund is really an argument about how we


as a country harness our resources and really it is a straightforward


argument that most people, if they had the resources, would say we


would use some of it now and put some of it away for the longer term


investment, weather that is to help children go through higher education


or set up their own homes or whatever. But you cannot spend it in


the meantime. You can do a bit of both. It is interesting news but I'm


not sure weather it serves us well to start implying somehow some


victim had, that they were against us. It reinforces the sound common


sense of having such a thing as an oil fund the view fortunate enough


to have that kind of resource as a country, you should use it wisely.


I'm not sure it does much more than that. On the theme of money, yes


Scotland have detailed the donations. The others on the list of


fairly prominent independent supporters. No surprises there. The


most surprising thing is how much the Weirs gave. It is interesting


when you look at the history of this how that one quirk of circumstance


very much changed how one side was able to fund itself and deliver its


message to the public. They also point out that they have had 11,000


donors giving up to seven and a half thousand pounds -- ?7,500. Nothing


on the scale of the Weirs donations but quite a lot. That is a fair


comment for them to make. Lots of small donations. They are indicators


of people engaging in the debate. Yes, it is absolutely fortunate.


David 's point is valid. It could be the tipping point in one direction


or another. The figures from December four Better Together showed


that they had more small donations will stop they have had more small


donations which is counterintuitive to how we feel the referendum has


been going, which is that yes Scotland has more of a grassroots


movement which you would expect to translate into more smaller


donations but it appears that that is not what has happened. Our people


giving their time rather than their cash? Some of the Better Together


donations could have come from the rest of the UK. Further onto the


civil service neutrality, given your civil service career. As their


neutrality been compromised? It is one of those pieces of nonsense that


anoraks get engaged in in order to support one side of the ultimate or


another. I was a senior civil servant and a senior adviser, so I'm


fortunate enough to have been on both sides of that. The rules


clearly defined? They are and the rules are clear about how far their


policy advice goes and where it does not tip over into political


decision-making. They are crystal clear about that and that is why we


have political advisers. I think the notion that the white paper is some


kind of step too far for the Scottish civil service is really a


piece of nonsense that is being put forward in order to support a


particular political viewpoint on the independence campaign and I just


don't think it is correct at all. Finally, the Church of Scotland are


going to hold a reconsideration service just after the referendum.


Is that an overreaction? I find the term reconciliation to be very


strong. There is a heated debate and feelings will be hurt and


relationships no doubt will suffer but I don't think we are quite at


the stage where the nation will be so terribly divided that they cannot


come together. Perhaps people who are very on much on the front line


are more aware of what is going on. But I do not sense that in general


we are getting into a situation that will cause any long-term problems.


We will leave things that but thank you both very much for coming in


this lunchtime. That's all from the us this week.


I'll be back at the same time next week and with a special European


elections hustings on Newsnight Scotland tomorrow at 10:30pm. Until


then, goodbye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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