08/11/2015 Sunday Politics Scotland


With Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer. Guests include Heidi Alexander MP and Johnny Mercer MP. On the political panel are Janan Ganesh, Polly Toynbee and Nick Watt.

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As evidence grows that the Russian passenger jet downed over


Egypt's Sinai desert last weekend was the target of


a terrorist attack, we look at how Moscow and the West will respond.


We'll have the latest from Egypt and Russia, and ask are we now


on the brink of an even more dangerous phase of Islamist


David Cameron says he's ready to lead Britain out of the EU


if he doesn't get what he wants from renegotiation,


Will his list of demands result in a good deal or turn out to be


And on Sunday Politics Scotland, The Scotland Bill is due to finish


We'll be asking the Finance Secretary John Swinney.


Speed and as a nation embarked on a Remembrance Sunday, we look at the


support of legends receive once they leave the Armed Forces.


the most anticipated TV event since the John Lewis Christmas advert!


It's Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee and Janan Ganesh.


We're not sure if they'll make you start thinking


But they may well bring a tear to your eye.


So, this week, we'll see what many eurosceptics and europhiles have


been waiting for with all the excitement of a child thinking about


their Christmas wish list, even though it's only early November.


David Cameron will publish his letter to the President of the


European Council setting out the "broad outlines" of what he wants


to achieve from his renegotiation of Britain's EU membership.


The upfront briefing from Ten Downing Street says that


he'll challenge both the in and out campaigns to be more


But, to assuage the eurosceptic majority in his party he'll use his


strongest language yet to say that if he doesn't get what he wants,


Whether they believe him is another matter.


This is what Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has to say this


The British people will not be fobbed off with a set of cosmetic


This is about fundamental change in the direction of travel in the


European Union, to make sure that it works for Britain, and that it is


an effective organisation for all the citizens of Europe, driving our


prosperity and competitiveness in the 21st century.


If we cannot do that, then we will not be able to win a referendum.


That was the Foreign Secretary. Janan Ganesh, is anything happening?


There is a problem the David Cameron, the things he is most


likely to get from his renegotiation are not the things that will move


the average voter, so what he is likely to get our protections for


non-euro countries within the EU, and that will be very technical


institutional stuff, double majority voting and so forth. That is doable,


the Germans don't want a fragmented EU in terms of the currency. Does


your average undecided voter decide on the basis of that? I think they


are more moved by free movement and immigration, maybe even economic


regulation, so the things he is most likely to get may not help him in a


year or 18 months' time when he is campaigning to win a referendum. You


get the feeling he has delayed telling us what he is really looking


for because he is bound to disappoint. Indeed, and he has to be


very careful to ask for things he can get. Three of the main things he


can get, but I don't think he will get the four years' delay for in


work benefits, it is discriminatory and goes against the basic


principles and yet he is asking again. We can only hope he has had a


nod and a wink from 27 other countries that they will agree to


that because if he fails to get it, it will agree to that because if he


fails to get it, it'll renegotiation and it is a good package, so we will


hope it is not a cavalier piece of speaking. What is your take? Philip


Hammond did say some of the changes would be introduced through domestic


legislation would be introduced through domestic


codify some recent would be introduced through domestic


judgments that have gone in favour of the UK and not embedded in treaty


change, but the hard language about treaty change, the reason they are


standing soaked up, is George treaty change, the reason they are


he is going to get a treaty treaty change, the reason they are


outs and Britain will get an opt out from an ever closer union. George


Osborne's the is that the protection for the Euro outs is the most


important thing he can get the benefit of Britain but he knows


politically the campaign, the most important thing he has to get those


migrant benefit restrictions. We will see what he says on Tuesday,


that is when the speech is being made.


A senior US government official is quoted today by CNN saying they are


"99.9% certain" that the 224 passengers aboard the Russian jet


which crashed into the Sinai Desert last Saturday were the victims


That's the view in London as well as Washington and now,


draws up plans to repatriate 80,000 of its holidaymakers from various


locations in Egypt, after it suspended all flights there,


following in the wake of Britain's decision to suspend flights from


The downing of the flight is a tragedy for those who lost


than al-Qaeda, as a terrorist group capable of hitting targets far from


In a moment, we will speak to Steve Rosenberg in St Petersburg. First,


we are Rosenberg in St Petersburg. First,


now? The British were the first to stop flights, the Americans followed


another flights to Egypt except to get


people out, is it beginning to trouble the Cairo Government? The


Egyptian Government seems to be in a very tight situation, from an


economic perspective. very tight situation, from an


very important to the economy, it is a lifeline to the Egyptian economy,


which is already in a bad shape and the tourism industry depends mainly


on Russia and Britain, so the fact that no more to wrists, from Russia


or Britain, will be coming to Egypt is a huge blow to tourism here and


Egypt needs foreign currency and it depends on tourist spot that mainly,


so it is a major blow to the industry and put the Government in a


tight situation. On the other hand, the way the Egyptians have handled


security in Sharm el-Sheikh airport was a matter of great concern and


criticism from different countries around the world, even the tourists


I have spoken to, they told us when they first arrived, the security


measures were a mess, so now the measures have been tightened, some


to wrists I spoke to yesterday told me it makes them feel better -- some


to tourist. If the President Sese Government is feeling beleaguered in


Cairo and will take another economic hit because of the tourism, can we


expect further crackdown on the Sinai province terrorist groups? It


is hard to tell at the moment, but the Sinai military operation has


been going on for nearly two years now and every now and then, we hear


about major attacks carried by mainly the IS affiliated group


called the Sinai province, so the fact that the group have operated in


Sinai the nearly two years, it seems the insurgency group is still


gaining momentum and if it happens to be true they managed to smuggle a


bomb on board the plane, it is a major blow to the security


operators. Sally Nabil, thank you. Let's go to St Petersburg, we are


joined by Steve Rosenberg. Is there any indication yet of how, assuming


that it is shown to be a terrorist attack, any indication of how


Vladimir Putin is going to respond? No, not yet. I think it is important


to remember that despite the growing suspicion that this was a bomb, the


official Kremlin line still is that it is keeping an open mind about


this disaster, it is treating all theories equally and the Kremlin


says the fact that it has suspended all flights to Egypt does not mean


it favours the terror theory over any other. Having said that, if it


is proven to be a bomb, then judging by the way President Putin has


responded in the past to terror attacks, I think we can expect a


forceful response from him. How is the domestic politics? I know it is


hard to tell, because the media is so controlled by the Kremlin, but is


this an opportunity for Mr Putin to further strengthen his position with


a tougher crackdown, or is there their fear in the Kremlin that


having casualties as a result of his war on terror will not make him very


popular? It is an interesting question. I remember back in 2004,


when there was a string of terror attacks on Russian soil, there were


bombs in the Moscow Metro, two planes bombed out of the sky and the


year ended with the school siege in Beslan, where 330 people were


killed. None of that seemed to dent Vladimir Putin's popularity. Quite


the opposite, he used it to strengthen the power of the Kremlin.


Now, you could argue that if this doesn't prove to have been a bomb,


that could undermine the narrative that the Kremlin has been pushing


domestically about its military operation in Syria. In other words,


Russia has been saying it has been carrying out air strikes in Syria to


boost national security in Russia, to destroy terrorists so they


couldn't come to Russia and kill people there, that narrative will be


seriously undermined. But whether Russians would connect the dots and


say, President Putin said we would be safer but we clearly are not, I


don't think that would happen, because the Kremlin control so


tightly the media here, particularly television, and television is the


key to influencing public opinion. So if the Kremlin was to change the


narrative to something more like we have been attacked, we are the


victims of terror, we need to carry on our battle against international


terrorism, I think the Russian public would support that and from


the people I have spoken to on the streets of St Petersburg this


morning, I haven't heard a word of criticism of Vladimir Putin. Most


people have said to me, I understand Russia is at threat of terror


attacks and they don't seem to connect what may have happened to


the Russian air bus with Russia's military operation in Syria. Steve


Rosenberg in St Petersburg. We're joined now by the foreign


affairs analyst Tim Marshall, Dr Domitilla Sagramoso,


an expert in Russian security And joining us from our Plymouth


studio is the He sits on the


Commons Defence Committee, and is Tim Marshall, if, as the


intelligence suggests, this attack was coordinated with Islamic State


leaders in Iraq, and its affiliates in the Sinai called soon I


province, it means Islamic State has the capability to plot mass casualty


attacks outside of Syria and Iraq -- called Sinai province. I think in


the future, they will be able to do it globally and this is the first


sign of them doing it outside of the countries they operate in. The head


of the FSB came back the lead met Putin on Friday and Putin


immediately set ground the planes, Putin on Friday and Putin


that shows us what they truly believe. Britain is third, it is


that shows us what they truly Russia and Germany and France in the


amount of tourists there. President Sisi has been to Moscow three times


since he was elected. He is trying to pull Russia back from America. So


it is difficult for the Egyptians and Russians to come back out to


openly unsaved. So to come back to your original point, I think it is


pretty clear that the Isis affiliate in Sinai swore allegiance to Isis in


Iraq. They are under a lot of pressure from the Russians, 20% of


the bombing was against Syria. They have told their affiliate in the


Sinai, you are the ones who can do it from you do the operation, they


have killed the Russians and the Russians have to respond, I agree


with what the Moscow correspondent Russians have to respond, I agree


said, Putin does not respond -- not not respond, Putin responds and


response with violence. Johnny Mercer, if


response with violence. Johnny true and it was a planned attack by


Islamic State, it takes IS into what is called full spectrum terrorist


activity and it is better financed than Al-Qaeda, it is better


resourced and organised in Syria and Iraq and Osama Bin Laden ever was


sitting in a cave in Afghanistan, this takes the global war on


terrorism to a whole new level. This threat is existential. You can


see, if this is proved to be something that has originated from


so-called Islamic State, you can see their strategic region. This is why


the Prime Minister has been going on about this for so long. We have to


the Prime Minister has been going on State because the threat will only


get closer. We see State because the threat will only


outpouring of humanity with that little boy washed up on a beach. We


outpouring of humanity with that have had 30 of our own terrorists


massacred in Tunisia. I understand. Is the British


response which the Prime Minister has not managed to get Pollard to


agree to on has not managed to get Pollard to


jets into Syria, is that really has not managed to get Pollard to


adequate given what you have called has not managed to get Pollard to


We need to do what we are question of how much manpower or


machinery we are sending but the effect we can achieve on the ground.


machinery we are sending but the We have been asked to provide those


Tornado jets because they have a specific tactical and technical


capability to the coalition are asked when it comes to dynamic


targeting within Syria. We asked when it comes to dynamic


stand up to that and do our duty, and have the stomach for the fight.


The idea we are asking people to do some mass bombing in Syria with no


strategy, some mass bombing in Syria with no


We should have got past this by now. some mass bombing in Syria with no


Mr Putin? To a certain extent, this has


Mr Putin? brought the ball back to Russia. I


would disagree with what the correspondent was saying, that the


Russians will not be particularly affected and critical of Mr Putin's


paper in the Middle East. On the one hand they understand, that is their


argument that the President Assad regime needed to be faced for stock


because it had fallen, then jihadists groups in Damascus and


western parts of the country weather and they understand that.


On the other hand, they will put brakes to any attempt to send ground


troops which I think they are not planning to do either. I imagine he


will have another response to the bombing.


He hasn't done much, Tim Marshall. He has been bombing the other groups


against President Assad. He may now extend the bombing to


Islamic State. If you look at the pattern of


bombing, 80% against the Free Syrian Army, it's changed on Thursday.


There was an increase on bombing on Isis targets and I think you'll see


more of that in coming days. There is no way the Russians will react.


The Russian public, if you look at 9/11 and the reaction of the


American public, lots of things have happened to lots of countries, the


immediate reaction in the first weeks and months is not, our foreign


policy is wrong, but revenge. The most potent of many of the human


emotions. I am certain in the short term the Russian public will support


more action. Your original point, Isis is in Libya, Syria,


Afghanistan, Iraq, India, growing very slowly in many other countries,


and it has become the poster boy for jihadists. It has replaced Al-Qaeda


and with that comes money and people prepared to kill themselves.


Johnny Mercer, the head of MI5 says the threat of terrorism to the UK is


the highest he has seen, that was before the jet went down over the


Sinai desert. We now know, we have had it independently corroborated,


that I S has been using mustard gas on civilians in Aleppo, not because


it is a very use to them, but as a sign, we have got it, a sign to the


West. Is that a response series SATs is


there a response seriously adequate to this?


Until now, we have not been militarily involved as much as we


should have. We are in a difficult place here, we are learning all


still healing from the mistakes in the last 15 years in terms of


foreign policy engagement. That can't mean we draw up the


drawbridge and think the way to keep safe at home and keep our way of


life is to have no strategic involvement overseas.


If it is proved this is done by so-called Islamic State, it


demonstrates their strategic reach and reinforces that argument that we


have to do something about this threat. It is only going to come


closer and it is not good enough for it to come closer, the something to


happen, and afterward for us to say, we should have done this and that.


We need an intelligent foreign policy such intervention strategy,


this is what the banister is trying to do and we should support him.


He referred to help Afghanistan and Iraq hang over this country's


foreign policy and military responses. Does Afghanistan, from


the Soviet era, does that hang over, is it a restraint on what the


Kremlin might do today? Totally, they are aware of the risks


that occurred when they intervened and the deaths and casualties in


Afghanistan. One of the reasons why the Civic union became so weak and


eventually led to its disintegration. There is only one


other point I would like to make which people in Russia are now


talking about, experts, is the fact that to a certain extent this attack


was also very much targeted against Egypt. I think a lot of the focus


has been on Russia. For me, it was always not very clear white Isis in


Egypt in the Sinai desert was going to attack if Russian plane, and why


not the people who were under the bombs?


It seems very much that we should not forget the dimension that to a


certain extent the Russians might The rebels will vote down so they


can't go. Because of Iraq, we are not going to go without


Parliamentary riddled. On the world spectrum, the 1 country that has


pushed harder than any other in the Western sense is the French, who are


putting the aircraft carrier back into the Gulf. It was therefore to


mums and sending it back. At the request of the Americans. This is


2007, the Americans don't have a carrier in the gold. It is not


because of the fire power. They would make a difference, it is


political to say, hand on, we as a culture, who have common things in


our belief systems, we are standing together. At the moment, they are


not. I will leave it there. At this point, we say goodbye to viewers in


Scotland to leave us. Good morning and welcome to


Sunday Politics Scotland. The Scotland Bill is poised to


finish its journey through But is the wrangling over


further powers finally over? And as the nation marks


Remembrance Sunday, we look at the support veterans


receive once they leave the forces. When you are in the forces, you are


looked after, but then it is a culture shock when you leave.


The Scotland Bill is back before MPs tomorrow - accompanied


by a shed load of amendments which are supposed to clarify,


among other things, the new welfare powers of the Scottish Parliament.


Alex Salmond has prompted a late controversy by tabling an amendment


saying Holyrood should be given the power to decide if and when there is


And, of course, there is a full scale political row going


on over how the Scottish government should use the new welfare powers.


I'm joined by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney - who's also


Cabinet Secretary for Finance, the Constitution and Economy.


I suppose we should point out you have been a senator in Glasgow,


there used to seeing you with a silly picture of Dundee. I am in


Glasgow at this point, but it silly picture of Dundee. I am in


this amendment, Alex Salmond who has come up with it. I busy in the


government would back him come up with it. I busy in the


Robinson in saying the Scottish government should have control over


when there is another independence referendum. They legislated for the


independence referendum in 2014, and I think everybody acknowledges that


legislation was well handed, it was crafted carefully, it was


legislation was well handed, it was referendum which was beyond


illustration that on this issue of significance, the Scottish


parliament should be able to determine how this issue is


handled. The counter would be to say you can't have one part of the UK


with an indefinite right, when ever it decides, to break up the UK. We


had a it decides, to break up the UK. We


the legislation that was it decides, to break up the UK. We


the Scottish parliament. To me that sets a strong president on how these


issues should sets a strong president on how these


exercised its competence with such care and effectiveness on this


question should allay any of those questions that are raised about


whether it is right for the Parliament to hold that power. What


we've seen in the course of the last 15 years has been a transfer of


additional response military is beyond the ones that were originally


conceived of in the Scottish act when the reservation on a


constructional policy was put in place. On the Scotland Bill Alec


Neill seem to be saying that you now accept that under the Scotland Bill,


you will have the powers over things like tax credits. That's right, is


it? There are two amendments which will be relevant, one from the UK


government and want on the Scottish National Party, which will give the


parliament the power to exercise responsibilities. The amendment


dolls the macro devolves the tax system, so there can be no doubt the


fact the Scottish Parliament can exercise these responsibilities, and


the UK amendment sets out responsibilities that enable new


benefits to be created in Scotland. Those are the elements in the bill


which were not in the bill when it was first put to the House of


Commons and when it was published, so the UK Parliament has the


opportunity tomorrow to strengthen those powers further. And you want


those powers so you can do what? Do you want to mitigate the effects of


tax credit cuts? We have mitigated some of the effects of welfare


reform, in relation to the bedroom tax. Do you want to do it in full?


Anyone that thinks the Scottish Parliament has the financial


capability and skills of resources to mitigate in full, in the


entirety, the welfare reform agenda... The tax credit cuts. That


is different is on the whole of the agenda, it would inconceivable... Do


you want to mitigate in full? What we have set out on tax cuts


specifically is that once we know the scale of the challenge we face,


because we don't yet know that, the UK Chancellor has been sent home to


think again after the House of Lords interventions, so we're not the end


of this month, and we'll know what changes George Osborne will make.


Once we know that, we will bring forward our proposals. They are


designed to protect the incomes of low-income families. Is that your


intention to mitigate, as Labour: four, for you to mitigate the


effects of the tax credit cuts? What we will do is look at the scale of


the challenge that faces us once we know the extent... Let's take as of


now, as the situation now, which may be mitigated by George Osborne, but


as of now, what is your estimate of how much it would cost you to


mitigate in full the effect of cuts crash mark the starting costs would


be 400 million, and it will rise to 630 million. That is the full cost


base of George Osborne put to the House of Commons. We don't know the


extent on which you will undertake changes by the time we set our


budget, which will though: Macro follow the spending review. This


minister made it clear that it is our intention to protect people in


low-income households, who will be affected by these changes and we


will see what the Chancellor says, and then design a properly costed


and worked out system that will support low income. Even the worst


case scenario as unmitigated by George Osborne, ?400 million


initially, why can't you saying now... It is your party which has


been shouting loudly. Why can't you saying now, we commit, we will work


out something which will mean no family in Scotland loses as a result


of the tax credit cuts? For the simple reason people expect the


government to bring forward properly organised and operated systems that


can address these issues, and that is what we will do. The first


minister could not have been clearer in Thursday in setting out the


commitment of the government to support low income households.


People need to look into the history of the good men to see how we have


supported people in vulnerability. We supported people affected by the


bedroom tax,... You saying you can't find the money? No, not in the


slightest. What I will say is that we will look at what the Chancellor


sets out at the end of the month. That is the responsible thing to do


so we can work out the circumstances of people who are affected, and


addressed that. We will set those details are the Chancellor has


resolved the difficulties he has about the operation... The changes


George Osborne has proposed the tax bands, which will mean you don't pay


the 40p rate until your winning ?50,000, do you agree with those


proposals? We will set out the details of our tax stands for the


years beyond 2016. Do you agree in principle by people on higher


earnings, and the point is that over the years inflation has eroded these


bands so people who are on whether to low incomes than ?42,000 are


having to pay the higher rate, what George Osborne is saying is that he


wants to raise the threshold at which you pay higher tax. Labour


said they would not do in Scotland. Whether the macro would you


implement those proposals? -- would you implement those proposals? If


you look at the changes I've have brought in, you saw me taking


decisions which the sifted the burden of taxation from low to


moderate households to higher earners. That is me turning into


practical reality the principles of this Scottish National Party... What


does that mean for tax band? I'm addressing it in principle. We


believe people on higher earnings should pay their fair share of


taxation, and I deployed that principle as part of the transaction


tax. Word comes to specific commitment around about taxation, my


duty as the finance minister is to set out to Parliament exactly what


changes we will make. These areas will come to us in due course. We


won't be able to exercise those changes in relation to tax bands in


2017 because the powers will not be with us by then. They will be with


us by 2017 because the powers will not be with us by then. They will be


with us by what Labour is saying is that they think it is not


unreasonable to ask people in Scotland to pay, and they would end


up paying more tax than they are now... We think it is reasonable for


them to do that to help people on welfare. Do you agree? I think I


have said already the point in principle, that I believe people on


higher earnings should pay their fair share of taxation. That is why


we supported the existence of the 30p tax rate when the Conservative


government was taking it away. We will set out our specific proposals


to Parliament, where I have a duty will set out our specific proposals


and obligation to do that. There is a legitimate argument which has to


and obligation to do that. There is higher earnings should pay their


and obligation to do that. There is they will receive a substantial tax


cut, there is an issue to be addressed as to whether or not that


is the right thing to do. Lots of people in this area of the country


voted for you, both in the referendum and four Yes to


independence. They voted SNP because you claimed you were the party


buffet would stick up for the brewer and with a party of


anti-austerities. What would you apply if they said, we are getting


clear answers from Labour, who say they will mitigate in full the


effects of tax cuts, they do think it is more important to do that than


to let people who are better off have tax breaks. Why is it suddenly


that the SNP can't give us clear answers? The Labour Party is not


being clear, because they are spending the money they want to


spend... They will spend the money they want to spend to deal with tax


credits twice. They won't spend it on education. The one thing I have


learned is that you can't spend money twice, you spend at the once.


Labour has been caught out spending it twice. You weren't committed to


mitigating the effect of tax credit cuts. You could... You would have to


make ?400 billion of cuts. I am not going to commit on BBC


television... I might commit to it in the Scottish parliament, where I


should set out my stance. That is what I will do. Critics will say you


are a bit like a chef who fusses in the kitchen demanding you don't have


the right ingredients, but now you have the right ingredients and you


don't want to make anything. I will set up the position when I get the


budget later on this year. We will set out clearly what the stance of


the government is. We have pressed and pressed the


United Kingdom government to improve the Scotland Bill, which did not


deliver the Smith commission and which has resulted in as exerting


significant influence to ensure we have a bill which will enable us to


take a whole range of decisions on behalf of the people of Scotland. We


will leave it there. The nation paused today to remember


those who've given their lives In 2011, the UK government


introduced Signatories are expected to


recognise and try to alleviate the particular problems faced by serving


and former military personnel. But finding a job


and a home can still be difficult. Our reporter, John McManus, has


been to a support centre in Govan Coming together to remember those


who have fought on the nation's behalf and especially to pay tribute


to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. For many former


servicepeople who have hung up their marching boots, the transition to


civilian life can be tough. This is one solution. The coming home Centre


in Govan, a place where former servicepeople can come for support


and help. 40 rolled Martin Gilbert is one of them. With tours of Iraq


and Northern Ireland under his belt, he has still found he had few


transferable skills to find a new job. So where were the politicians?


All the help that I have had since coming out the Army has been through


charities. I would like what the Government are meant to be doing?


You're meant to get priority treatment on the NHS. You have to go


to the start of the queue at the doctors. But when I am unwell,


iPhone the doctors and I can't even get past the person on the phone.


Ian Hopkins is a former Royal Marine who founded the centre. Says a wide


variety of robins are in evidence. The vast majority of people who come


through these doors tend to have a mental health issue of some kind.


And all the baggage that goes with it. Some are homeless, sofa surfing,


or sleeping under the bridges, there are financial problems.


Occasionally, problems with addiction and self-medication. Like


Martin, Ian also questions whether the Armed Forces Covenant has made


an impact. In some cases, yes, but quite often, that does not


materialise until later... We recently had to help a veteran who


lost a leg in Afghanistan. Through the NHS, he had been offered


something he did not need. Until he went along and quoted the Armed


Forces Covenant and said what he needed, they then changed their


tune. This 29-year-old aunt his liver dog left the forces in


December. He benefited from an Army resettlement plan and careers


advice. He found life outside the Army's cocoon very different. I am


not seeing you get baby-sat, but everyone looks after you. When you


do leave, it is a culture shock, really. You don't realise, you need


to go and do everything for yourself. You don't know what places


are what called or how to with things. Should veterans then be


given more help to adjust to life out of uniform? How far should they


be prioritised? For example, when searching for somewhere to live? The


approach we have taken and the veterans organisations in Scotland


have taken, is we do not want to see particular advantages. I can get a


negative reaction. Many veterans themselves do not want to be given


an advantage but they certainly do not want to have a disadvantage. If


you're in Civvy Street, you can regulate pointedly want to get


social rented housing. Many of our personnel don't realise that while


they are in the Armed Forces, they can accumulate points through that


time as well, so leave the forces, they would already have those points


to help them access a property. Back at the centre, Ian would like to see


his methods spread across the country. I would duplicate what we


do all over. Without a shadow of a doubt. Help centres, where people


can do meaningful work and help veterans to get resettled in their


communities. When it comes to organising and funding that help,


have we struck the right balance between charities and the state?


I'm joined from Edinburgh by the Scottish Veterans Commissioner,


I am curious to know, your take on this, there seemed ten to their


between what Keith Brown was saying, that veterans themselves do not want


preferential treatment and the interpretation that some of the


former servers personnel had of the Armed Forces Covenant, which is that


they should get preferential treatment. What is your


understanding? I have spoken to many veterans and people who support them


over the last year. The point that they don't want preferential


treatment is absolutely spot on. However, you have to acknowledge


that the transition process from being in the services, and I think


the gentleman in the film used the words "cocooned" to something which


is quite stark. In one day, you lose your job, your way of life and you


have to find a new way. There is definitely a struggle there. That is


where a lot of the stress comes in. We have to look at a balance of what


can be provided from the statutory services and the charities, but also


from society as a whole. Right. And what is your view about whether


we're getting that balance right? Some people in the film seemed to


feel as if they had been left on their own. Yes. There is a small


number who are seriously affected by the transition process and do need a


lot of help. The majority make the transition perfectly well. Either


through their own efforts or those of the MoD or local government, the


NHS, whatever it happens to be, they help them get through the first


hurdle. But there is definitely a group, perhaps featuring some of the


individuals in that film, who do need help. There are organisations


which provide help. We heard from Govan, but there are other


organisations relating to employment issues or mental health aspects, who


do provide help. The difficulty is often in getting the message across


that these initiatives are in place. I am still not clear on, if it is


the case, and you seem to agree with Keith Brown, that the veterans


themselves do not want preferential treatment, what difference then is


the Armed Forces Covenant supposed to make? The Armed Forces Covenant,


and various other documents as well, what they have done is highlighted


the difficulties and indeed the advantages of service men in your


community. It has brought it into the open that some of them, a small


percentage, do have issues, something to do with Chloe ability,


mental health, physical problems -- employability. It has opened peoples


eyes to the fact that you have this great asset. The vast majority of


people who leave the Armed Forces have a huge skill set. This idea of


giving service, which is instrumental in the community and


workplaces and for the economy. We heard the young man they're saying


that there is a problem that in a way, in the Armed Forces, you're


institutionalised, you don't really have to take the initiative.


Everything on the outside, you have to organise yourself when you leave.


You have to pick your life in danger in combat of course but nonetheless,


the point being made was it is difficult to come out of that and


certainly do everything for yourself in a world that you are perhaps not


as familiar with as in a world that you are perhaps not


around you. People around you know how to


around you. People around you know contact with particular advice


local hospital or whatever but you don't know any of that. No, and


there are some younger members of the Armed Forces who


in their late teens or early 20s, who may well struggle. I make the


point that the vast majority do know how to access the public services,


point that the vast majority do know the charities, if they need to. The


point I would make is that there are a lot of mechanisms in place, some


relatively new, which should be a lot of mechanisms in place, some


there to make that pathway that bit a lot of mechanisms in place, some


smoother, throwing out some of the hurdles they have had to get over in


the past. Still along way to go, in particular in areas where we have to


pass on information. It is very difficult for some of these


individuals to find out what information and support is


available. In my first year, I seemed to spend a lot of time trying


to recommend and get changes to the way information was chaired, the way


knowledge is put out, so that young servicepeople in particular though


what they can hook into, by way of local authorities and various other


bodies, to really make it clear what is out there for them. More broadly,


how do you think the whole poppy movement, Remembrance Sunday thing,


will develop over the next ten or 20 years? Sadly, many of the people,


originally the whole thing was set up to commemorate, or the living who


were helped, but survivors of the Second World War, for example, are


no longer with us. Well we still have veterans of places like Iraq


and Afghanistan, the numbers are nothing like the kind of numbers of


people coming back from conscripted armed service in the Second World


War. Do you think the whole nature of the thing will stay the same? Or


will it change over the next few years? I think it probably will stay


much as it is at the moment. Change is unlikely. The military and


commemoration process is a fairly conservative thing. I have just come


back from Saint Giles this morning, where the late wreaths and had a


two-minute silence. A lot of young people there were involved in


service. The contribution that they have made, whether it is recent wars


like Afghanistan or something in the Falklands, or in the Second World


War, I think that will endure. I am at pains to do in my role, as


Commissioner, is to make the point to anyone who will listen that we


really have a huge asset. All of these people who have served in our


Armed Forces over many years, men and women, and their spouses, really


do contribute a huge amount. You may not see them in society but they are


there. I really do think we could be making more of that. Perhaps making


more of a song and dance about it at times. But at the end of the day, I


believe do think the public in Scotland respect and want to


acknowledge the sacrifice that so many people have made over so many


years. Packs us. Thank you very much indeed.


Words we hear used all the time in public and political life.


But what do they really mean, and how do we do these things well?


Someone with plenty of views on the subject is Susan Deacon.


Her career's taken her from Government, as Scotland's first


health minister after devolution, to the private sector and academia.


And she's just become the new Chair of the Institute of Directors


in Scotland - the first woman to hold the role.


She joins us now from our Edinburgh studio.


Susan Deacon, an obvious first question, why do you want to do


this? My passion and interest over 30 years, throughout my career, has


been about how we can have effective leadership in Scotland, how we can


make our country a better place and work together to do that. The


Institute of directors in Scotland is a growing organisation that


brings together some 2000 leaders from right across businesses, big


and small, the charitable sector, the public sector, it really is a


fantastic gathering place for that leadership community to grow and


develop. I am proud to take on this role as it's Chair. Despite the


reconciliation between business and Blairism that went on after 1997, it


is not immediately obvious why a former Labour minister would want to


run an organisation which, in the past, I think it was fair to say,


was seen as somewhat to the right of the CBI? There is a diverse mix of


people in the organisation with all sorts of different political views


and number. The organisation itself is strictly nonparty political. I


have been like a cracked record for many years, to say that we have to


get better at working across boundaries. Weather across sectors


or parties, universities and business and Government... Having


organisations like the eye of the that can join some of those dots and


look at how in Scotland we can work together to bring about the change


that we all want to see. It is important. If we're going to have an


effect of transport infrastructure, the skills we need for the future,


vibrant businesses, big and small, that means we must work together. We


are small country. All too often, he pulls it and point the finger at


others. We need to be around the table, not across it, if we're make


a difference. Why do they want you? You would need to ask others why


they want me. I would like to think the pretty eclectic mix of


leadership roles I've had over the years gives me a capability to head


up the organisation as its chair, but also to build some of the


much-needed connectivity we need here in Scotland and a crass our


leadership. I'd like to be a team player and what is nice about an


organisation is that it is individuals who choose to be part of


it, who want to work with others to develop themselves, their


organisations, and in the main I think they are strongly motivated by


wanting to make Scotland a better place. The stuff that you are saying


earlier. A lot of people listen to that and think it sounds terribly


grand but vague as well. Specifically, your ideal collecting


people together and showing leadership, realistically, what


could the IOD do, or I'll organisations like the IOD, that


they're not doing? In specific terms. I have often said, including


back when I was in Parliament, that you can have all the fancy


strategies in the world, all the great plans and analysis and


statistics you like, but unless you actually have... The government you


were part of what is good at producing grand plans. I have the


agreed, and one of the lessons I learned was about the limitations of


top down government action, and I have criticised as being over relied


on that. That was very much from that experience was if you take


something like the skills gaps we have in Scotland, we have had no end


of reports, we have agencies and expert groups, the kind of skills


will need in the future, whether in our care sector or the IT sector, in


engineering, get the amount of analysis we have done is not the


portion of the two the amount of action we have had done. I accept it


is not the stuff of headlines, but we need to have employees working


hand-in-hand with colleges and universities, making sure the


courses on offer at the ones that will equip people better for the


future. Just on that. As it happens, I was speaking to people in the IOD,


and what they were saying is that there is a problem now in certain


areas that the world is changing so fast, courses are not giving up word


so the problem is not generalities about getting people into colleges,


it is that even if they are in there doing marketing, for instance, the


world is changing faster than their courses. Is that what you are


thinking that the IOD complainer rolling? Exactly. We live in a world


where the only certainty is uncertainty. The generation, the now


have to be flexible and adaptable, and those who provide education and


training to them how to make sure and those who provide education and


they fleet of foot and are moving with the times for the world around


us. As I say, you do that I having fancy policy statements, you do it


by making sure employers and education providers are working


together day to day. It is not the stuff that grabs headlines, but it


is the stuff that makes a difference. We said you were the


first woman chair of IOD Scotland. Do you... There is a problem with


women in public life in Scotland. There are many women in leading


positions in Scotland, but my sense is not as much as down south. I


don't know, is not as much as down south. I


you look at the political leadership in Scotland, women are very much in


the ascendancy. If you look at a host of businesses in Scotland you


will see a growing number of women leaders. They are at the helm, both


in executive roles and in our boardrooms as non-executives. But


there needs to be more. It should not be an exercise about numbers.


there needs to be more. It should Women, more than anyone, we want to


be sure we are doing the jobs we do on merit and recognise full is that


discussion about diversity, it is not just about numbers, it is not


making sure our boardrooms have the skills and ability to do the job. We


are making progress, but we have 2 do more work. OK, we will leave it


there now. I'm joined by Shabnum Mustapha,


who was a special adviser to the Liberal Democrats in government, and


by Paul Hutcheon, the Investigations Shabnum, let's talk rubbish tax


credits Raoul. What do you make of it? I find it bizarre that the SNP


did not know there were powers coming through that would allow them


to top it up, but they... They would say they could not know about the


amendments until they saw the amendments. Everyone else seemed to


be aware of it. The SNP were playing catch up and it was embarrassing for


Alex Neill in the middle of the six minute speech having to make a


U-turn about what they can and can't do with new powers coming forward in


the bill. At the same time this week, they seemed clear on their


demands for powers in Scotland to hold another referendum. It seems to


be that it is odd... You heard what John Swinney was saying, they will


help the low paid and worst. The issue is that they have had to be


tried into this. It is quite an usual for the SNP to be on the back


foot. They should have been there from the start saying no matter what


happens at Westminster, people in Scotland who lie on these tax


credits will be no worse off. They should have been front putting this.


Instead they are on the back foot and scrambling around. Do you agree


with that, Paul Hutcheon? I was trying to suggest that the SNP is


that they are anti-austerities, and Shabnum says they should be saying,


we should do this and that. But they are saying, I can't say until I get


the budgets. I agree the SNP have been on the back but in this issue.


There is a brutal political reality underpinning this. Labour will not


win the election, so they can afford to make adventurous and bold


spending commitment on tax credits, because they know they would be in


the position to implement it. The SNP will win the election, so what


ever they say on tax credits, they're going to have to deliver on


it. They will have to find the money. That explains their


reluctance. One criticism of labour, I presume, is that they are saying


it might appeal to people affected by the tax credit cuts, but Middle


Scotland might say, we quite like the idea of the tax changes George


Osborne is bringing in. There has been good politics from the Scottish


Labour Party and that they are showing that this dwindling thing.


But where is the money going to come from? They say they won't raise


taxes on middle income earners, it would push ahead with cuts and


fiddle with tax bands. There are questions over that. Given that


Labour would win the election, they won't be subjected to too many


detailed questions, it will all be about what the SNP will do. You can


understand the SNP wearing about these things. I bet you don't find


the Lib Dems are rushing to say they don't think people should not gain


from the changes. In government you how to make difficult decisions, but


on welfare, the Lib Dems have made it clear they won't introduce


sweeping reforms that George Osborne wanted. We block them in government.


The SNP should have been front putting this issue. What about Paul


Hutcheon's point. John Swinney says it will cost ?400 million if the


situation were as now. Where will they find the money from? You don't


have the worry of about that in opposition. As Paul offline, Labour


have made those choices as to whether money will come from. The


SNP can find the money at the will is there. So you have to question


where their political will is there in helping the brewer in Scotland.


Someone else would just come up is David Cameron getting tough on


Europe. Come on's exit warning on EU reform will stop he will tell they


might generally leave the EU if he does not get what he wants for some


credible? No, it is a blood which people will see through. It has the


makings of a quagmire for the Prime Minister. I can't see anything he


can bring back that will persuade his Eurosceptic colleagues. Even


more importantly, even if he does bring back powers, there's no


guarantee that if the referendum is successful for the Prime Minister,


that these governed will sign of two and agree to it. You might have a


change of government it one of the eastern European countries and they


won't back. You have governments that are accountable to their own


electorates, not to the UK. I think he is getting sucked into a


situation he can't control and has been left with headlines like this


which are bluffing. He might mean it. I'm not sure. One of the


proposals that he has come forward with is to ban migrants from


claiming benefits for four years. Even his own Cabinet Secretary has


told them it is illegal under EU law. He will fail at the first


hurdle on that one. You how to astral self, where is he going with


it? Will he have to campaign leaving the EU question what I did think it


is what he wants or George Osborne. They have not properly thought this


out, and it a mess. Adding to the mix that with Davidson has said


exquisitely that she wants to stay in the EU -- Ruth Davison. It is


incongruent with saying I might leave if I don't get what I want. On


face value there is difference, but everyone expects the Prime Minister


to be arguing for Britain's placed in the EU. No one expect him to beat


campaigning for an exit abode. He is trying to ramp up the rhetoric, give


the impression this is what he wants. No one expects him to be


serious. What about Syria? It is bubbling under the issue. One figure


saying you are letting down allies by not bombing Syria, but the


government saying they would intend to go back to the House of Commons


but only when the mood is right. What do you make of these


developments? The mood is not there, the mood is not the amongst all the


political parties, including the Conservative side. We saw foreign


affairs select committee report, which the majority of Conservative


MPs said the case has not been made for military intervention. The focus


should be more on coming up with a kind of regional solution, bringing


in people from across the Middle East together to try and come up


with a more peaceful solution. And also taking in refugees who are in


with a more peaceful solution. And not doing. You can see the twin fun


tree people, because it is almost part of the definition of what


Islamic State is -- you can see the argument. The argument is that, they


don't recognise these bodies, yet we are making some artificial


distinction. are making some artificial


-- has happened. You then have the are making some artificial


intervention of Russia. It is a complex situation. The political


mood is not there, so complex situation. The political


focus efforts on other complex situation. The political


military. You can't Sunday Politics is back in a


fortnight at the usual time, 11am.


Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news and debate, including developments following the Russian plane crash in Egypt and an interview with shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander.

On the political panel are Janan Ganesh of The Financial Times, and Polly Toynbee and Nick Watt of The Guardian.

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