21/05/2017 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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It's Sunday Morning, and this is the Sunday Politics.


Labour attacks Conservative plans for social care and to means-test


So can Jeremy Corbyn eat into the Tory lead


Theresa May says her party's manifesto is all about fairness.


We'll be speaking to a Conservative cabinet minister about the plans.


The polls have always shown healthy leads for the Conservatives.


But, now we've seen the manifestos, is Labour narrowing the gap?


And on Sunday Politics Scotland: With two and a half weeks to go


to the general election, I'll be asking the SNP's deputy


leader Angus Robertson for an assessment of his party's


And with me - as always - the best and the brightest political


panel in the business: Sam Coates, Isabel Oakeshott


and Steve Richards - they'll be tweeting throughout


the programme, and you can get involved by using


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says pensioners will be up to ?330 a year


worse off under plans outlined in the Conservative manifesto.


The Work Pensions Secretary Damian Green has said his party will not


rethink their plans to fund social care in England. Under the plans in


the Conservative manifesto, nobody with assets of less than ?100,000,


would have to pay for care. Labour has attacked the proposal, and John


McDonnell, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, said this morning that


there needs to be more cross-party consensus.


That's why we supported Dilnot, but we also supported


Because we've got to have something sustainable over generations,


so that's why we've said to the Conservative Party,


Let's go back to that cross-party approach that actually


I just feel we've all been let down by what's come


Sam, is Labour beginning to get their argument across? What we had


last week was bluntly what felt like not very Lynton Crosby approved


Conservative manifesto. What I mean by that is that it looks like there


are things that will cause political difficulties for the party over this


campaign. I've been talking to MPs and ministers who acknowledge that


the social care plan is coming up on the doorstep. It has cut through


very quickly, and it is worrying and deterring some voters. Not just


pensioners, that people who are looking to inherit in the future.


They are all asking how much they could lose that they wouldn't have


lost before. A difficult question for the party to answer, given that


they don't want to give too much away now. Was this a mistake, or a


sign of the Conservatives' confidence? It has the hallmarks of


something that has been cobbled together in a very unnaturally short


time frame for putting a manifesto together. We have had mixed messages


from the Tory MPs who have been out on the airwaves this morning as to


whether they will consult on it whether it is just a starting point.


That said, there is still three weeks to go, and most of the Tory


party this morning feel this is a little light turbulence rather than


anything that leaves the destination of victory in doubt. It it flips the


normal politics. The Tories are going to make people who have a


reasonable amount of assets pay for their social care. What is wrong


with that? First, total credit for them for not pretending that all


this can be done by magic, which is what normally happens in an


election. The party will say, we will review this for the 95th time


in the following Parliament, so they have no mandate to do anything and


so do not do anything. It is courageous to do it. It is


electorally risky, for the reasons that you suggest, that they pass the


target their own natural supporter. And there is a sense that this is


rushed through, in the frenzy to get it done in time. I think the ending


of the pooling of risk and putting the entire burden on in inverted


commas the victim, because you cannot insure Fritz, is against the


spirit of a lot of the rest of the manifesto, and will give them huge


problems if they try to implement it in the next Parliament. Let's have a


look at the polls. Nearly five weeks ago, on Tuesday the 18th of April,


Theresa May called the election. At that point, this was the median


average of the recent polls. The Conservatives had an 18 point lead


over Labour on 25%. Ukip and the Liberal Democrats were both on 18%.


A draft of Labour's manifesto was leaked to the press. In the


intervening weeks, support for the Conservatives and Labour had


increased, that it had decreased for the Lib Dems and Ukip. Last Tuesday


came the launch of the official Labour manifesto. By that time,


Labour support had gone up by another 2%. The Lib Dems and Ukip


had slipped back slightly. Later in the week came the manifestos from


the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. This morning, for more polls. This


is how the parties currently stand on average. Labour are now on 34%,


up 4% since the launch of their manifesto. The Conservatives are


down two points since last Tuesday. Ukip and the Lib Dems are both


unchanged on 8% and 5%. You can find this poll tracker on the BBC


website, see how it was calculated, and see the results of national


polls over the last two years. So Isabel, is this the Tories' wobbly


weekend or the start of the narrowing? This is still an


extremely healthy lead for the Tories. At the start of this


campaign, most commentators expected to things to happen. First, the Lib


Dems would have a significant surge. That hasn't happened. Second, Labour


would crash and plummet. Instead they are in the health of the low


30s. I wonder if that tells you something about the tribal nature of


the Labour vote, and the continuing problems with the Tory brand. I


would say that a lot of Tory MPs wouldn't be too unhappy if Labour's


result isn't quite as bad as has been anticipated. They don't want


Corbyn to go anywhere. If the latest polls were to be the result on June


the 8th, Mr Corbyn may not be in a rush to go anywhere. I still think


it depends on the number of seats. If there is a landslide win, I


think, one way or another, he will not stay. If it is much narrower, he


has grounds for arguing he has done better than anticipated. The polls


are very interesting. People compare this with 83. In 83, the Tory lead


widened consistently throughout the campaign. There was the SDP -


Liberal Alliance doing well in the polls. Here, the Lib Dems don't seem


to be doing that. So the parallels with 83 don't really stack up. But


let's see what happens. Still early days for the a lot of people are


saying this is the result of the social care policy. We don't really


know that. How do you beat them? In the last week or so, there's been


the decision by some to hold their nose and vote Labour, who haven't


done so before. Probably the biggest thing in this election is how the


Right has reunited behind Theresa May. That figure for Ukip is


incredibly small. She has brought those Ukip voters behind her, and


that could be the decisive factor in many seats, rather than the Labour


share of the boat picking up a bit or down a bit, depending on how


turbulent the Tory manifesto makes it. Thank you for that.


We've finally got our hands on the manifestos of the two main


parties and, for once, voters can hardly complain that


So, just how big is the choice on offer to the public?


Since the Liberal Democrats and SNP have ruled out


coalitions after June 8th, Adam Fleming compares the Labour


Welcome to the BBC's election centre.


Four minutes from now, when Big Ben strikes 10.00,


we can legally reveal the contents of this, our exit poll.


18 days to go, and the BBC's election night studio


This is where David Dimbleby will sit, although there is no chair yet.


The parties' policies are now the finished product.


In Bradford, Jeremy Corbyn vowed a bigger state,


the end of austerity, no more tuition fees.


The Tory campaign, by contrast, is built on one word - fear.


Down the road in Halifax, Theresa May kept a promise to get


immigration down to the tens of thousands, and talked


of leadership and tough choices in uncertain times.


Strengthen my hand as I fight for Britain, and stand with me


And, with confidence in ourselves and a unity


of purpose in our country, let us go forward together.


Let's look at the Labour and Conservative


On tax, Labour would introduce a 50p rate for top earners.


The Conservatives ditched their triple lock, giving them


freedom to put up income tax and national insurance,


although they want to keep the overall tax burden the same.


Labour offered a major overhaul of the country's wiring,


with a pledge to renationalise infrastructure, like power,


The Conservatives said that would cost a fortune,


but provided few details for the cost of their policies.


Labour have simply become a shambles, and, as yesterday's


manifesto showed, their numbers simply do not add up.


What have they got planned for health and social care?


The Conservatives offered more cash for the NHS,


reaching an extra ?8 billion a year by the end of the parliament.


Labour promised an extra ?30 billion over the course of the same period,


plus free hospital parking and more pay for staff.


The Conservatives would increase the value of assets you could


protect from the cost of social care to ?100,000, but your home would be


added to the assessment of your wealth,


There was a focus on one group of voters in particular


Labour would keep the triple lock, which guarantees that pensions go up


The Tories would keep the increase in line


with inflation or earnings, a double lock.


The Conservatives would end of winter fuel payments


for the richest, although we don't know exactly who that would be,


This is a savage attack on vulnerable pensioners,


particularly those who are just about managing.


It is disgraceful, and we are calling upon the Conservative Party


When it comes to leaving the European Union, Labour say


they'd sweep away the government's negotiating strategy,


secure a better deal and straightaway guaranteed the rights


The Tories say a big majority would remove political uncertainty


Jeremy Vine's due here in two and a half weeks.


I'm joined now by David Gauke, who is Chief Secretary to the Treasury.


Welcome back to the programme. The Tories once promised a cap on social


care costs. Why have you abandoned that? We've looked at it, and there


are couple of proposals with the Dilnot proposal. Much of the benefit


would go to those inheriting larger estates. The second point was it was


hoped that a cap would stimulate the larger insurance products that would


fill the gap, but there is no sign that those products are emerging.


Without a cap, you will not get one. We have come forward with a new


proposal which we think is fairer, provide more money for social care,


which is very important and is one of the big issues we face as a


country. It is right that we face those big issues. Social care is


one, getting a good Brexit deal is another. This demonstrates that


Theresa May has an ambition to lead a government that addresses those


big long-term issues. Looking at social care. If you have assets,


including your home, of over ?100,000, you have to pay for all


your social care costs. Is that fair? It is right that for the


services that are provided to you, that that is paid out of your


assets, subject to two really important qualifications. First, you


shouldn't have your entire estate wiped out. At the moment, if you are


in residential care, it can be wiped out ?223,000. If you are in


domiciliary care, it can be out to ?23,000, plus you're domiciliary.


Nobody should be forced to sell their house in their lifetime if


they or their spouse needs long-term care. Again, we have protected that


in the proposals we set out. But the state will basically take a


chunk of your house when you die and they sell. In an essence it is a


stealth inheritance tax on everything above ?100,000. But we


have those two important protections. I am including that. It


is a stealth inheritance tax. We have to face up to the fact that


there are significant costs that we face as a country in terms of health


and social careful. Traditionally, politicians don't address those


issues, particularly during election campaigns. I think it is too Theresa


May's credit that we are being straightforward with the British


people and saying that we face this long-term challenge. Our manifesto


was about the big challenges that we face, one of which was


intergenerational fairness and one of which was delivering a strong


economy and making sure that we can do that. But in the end, someone is


going to have to pay for this. It is going to have to be a balance


between the general taxpayer and those receiving the services. We


think we have struck the right balance with this proposal. But it


is entirely on the individual. People watching this programme, if


they have a fair amount of assets, not massive, including the home,


they will need to pay for everything themselves until their assets are


reduced to ?100,000. It is not a balance, you're putting everything


on the original two individual. At the moment, for those in residential


care, they have to pay everything until 20 3000. -- everything on the


individual. But now they will face more. Those in individual care are


seeing their protection going up by four times as much, so that is


eliminating unfairness. Why should those in residential care be in a


worse position than those receiving domiciliary care? But as I say, that


money has to come from somewhere and we are sitting at a proper plan for


it. While also made the point that we are more likely to be able to


have a properly functioning social care market if we have a strong


economy, and to have a strong economy we need to deliver a good


deal on Brexit and I think Theresa May is capable of doing that. You


have said that before. But if you have a heart attack in old age, the


NHS will take care of you. If you have dementia, you now have to pay


for the care of yourself. Is that they are? It is already the case


that if you have long-term care costs come up as I say, if you are


in residential care you pay for all of it until the last ?23,000, but if


you are in domiciliary care, excluding your housing assets, but


all of your other assets get used up until you are down to ?23,000 a


year. And I think it is right at this point that a party that aspires


to run this country for the long-term, to address the long-term


challenges we have is a country, for us to be clear that we need to


deliver this. Because if it is not paid for it this way, if it goes and


falls on the general taxpayer, the people who feel hard pressed by the


amount of income tax and VAT they pay, frankly we have to say to them,


those taxes will go up if we do not address it. But they might go up


anyway. The average house price in your part of the country is just shy


of ?430,000, so if you told your own constituents that they might have to


spend ?300,000 of their assets on social care before the state steps


in to help...? As I said earlier, nobody will be forced to pay during


their lifetime. Nobody will be forced to sell their houses. We are


providing that protection because of the third premium. Which makes it a


kind of death tax, doesn't it? Which is what you use to rail against.


What it is people paying for the services they have paid out of their


assets. But with that very important protection that nobody is going to


be wiped out in the way that has happened up until now, down to the


last three years. But when Labour propose this, George Osborne called


it a death tax and you are now proposing a stealth death tax


inheritance tax. Labour's proposals were very different. It is the same


effect. Labour's were hitting everyone with an inheritance tax. We


are saying that there are -- that there is a state contribution but


the public receiving the services will have to pay for it out of


assets, which have grown substantially. And which they might


now lose to social care. But I would say that people in Hertfordshire pay


a lot in income tracks, national insurance and VAT, and this is my


bet is going to have to come from somewhere. Well, they are now going


to pay a lot of tax and pay for social care. Turning to immigration,


you promised to get net migration down to 100,020 ten. You failed. You


promised again in 2015 and you are feeling again. Why should voters


trust you a third time? It is very clear that only the Conservative


Party has an ambition to control immigration and to bring it down. An


ambition you have failed to deliver. There are, of course, factors that


come into play. For example a couple of years ago we were going through a


period when the UK was creating huge numbers of jobs but none of our


European neighbours were doing anything like it. Not surprisingly,


that feeds through into the immigration numbers that we see. But


it is right that we have that ambition because I do not believe it


is sustainable to have hundreds of thousands net migration, you're


after year after year, and only Theresa May of the Conservative


Party is willing to address that. It has gone from being a target to an


ambition, and I am pretty sure in a couple of years it will become an


untimed aspiration. Is net migration now higher or lower than when you


came to power in 2010? I think it is higher at the moment. Let's look at


the figures. And there they are. You are right, it is higher, so after


six years in power, promising to get it down to 100,000, it is higher. So


if that is an ambition and you have not succeeded. We have to accept


that there are a number of factors. It continues to be the case that the


UK economy is growing and creating a lot of jobs, which is undoubtedly


drawing people. But you made the promise on the basis that would not


happen? We are certainly outperforming other countries in a


way that we could not have predicted in 2010. That is one of the factors.


But if you look at a lot of the steps that we have taken over the


course of the last seven years, dealing with bogus students, for


example, tightening up a lot of the rules. You can say all that but it


has made no difference to the headline figure. Clearly it would


have gone up by much more and we not taken the steps. But as I say, we


cannot for ever, it seems to me, have net migration numbers in the


hundreds of thousands. If we get that good Brexit deal, one of the


things we can do is tighten up in terms of access here. You say that


but you have always had control of non-EU migration. You cannot blame


the EU for that. You control immigration from outside the EU.


Have you ever managed to get even that below 100,000? Well, no doubt


you will present the numbers now. You haven't. You have got down a bit


from 2010, I will give you that, but even non-EU migration is still a lot


more than 100000 and that is the thing you control. It is 164,000 on


the latest figures. There is no point in saying to the voters that


when we get control of the EU migration you will get it down when


the bit you have control over, you have failed to get that down into


the tens of thousands. The general trend has gone up. Non-EU migration


we have brought down over the last few years. Not by much, not by


anywhere near your 100,000 target. But we clearly have more tools


available to us, following Brexit. At this rate it will be around 2030


before you get non-EU migration down to 100,000. We clearly have more


tools available to us and I return to the point I made. In the last six


or seven years, particularly the last four or five, we have seen the


UK jobs market growing substantially. It is extraordinary


how many more jobs we have. So you'll only promised the migration


target because you did not think you were going to run the economy well?


That is what you are telling me. I don't think anyone expected us to


create quite a number of jobs that we have done over the last six or


seven years. At the time when other European countries have not been.


George Osborne says your target is economically illiterate. I disagree


with George on that. He is my old boss but I disagree with him on that


point. And the reason I say that is looking at the economics and the


wider social impact, I don't think it is sustainable for us to have


hundreds of thousands, year after year after year. Let me ask you one


other thing because you are the chief secretary. Your promising that


spending on health will be ?8 billion higher in five use time than


it is now. How do you pay for that? From a strong economy, two years ago


we had a similar conversation because at that point we said that


we would increase spending by ?8 billion. And we are more than on


track to deliver it, because it is a priority area for us. Where will the


money come from? It will be a priority area for us. We will find


the money. So you have not been able to show us a revenue line where this


?8 billion will come from. We have a record of making promises to spend


more on the NHS and delivering. One thing I would say is that the only


way you can spend more money on the NHS is if you have a strong economy,


and the biggest risk... But that is true of anything. I am trying to


find out where the ?8 billion come from, where will it come from? Know


you were saying that perhaps you might increase taxes, ticking off


the lock, so people are right to be suspicious. But you will not tell us


where the ?8 billion will come from. Andrew, a strong economy is key to


delivering more NHS money. That does not tell us where the money is


coming from. The biggest risk to a strong economy would be a bad


Brexit, which Jeremy Corbyn would deliver. And we have a record of


putting more money into the NHS. I think that past performance we can


take forward. Thank you for joining us.


So, the Conservatives have been taking a bit of flak


But Conservative big guns have been out and about this morning taking


Here's Boris Johnson on ITV's Peston programme earlier today:


What we're trying to do is to address what I think


everybody, all serious demographers acknowledge will be the massive


problem of the cost of social care long-term.


This is a responsible, grown-up, conservative approach,


trying to deal with a long-term problem in a way that is equitable,


allows people to pass on a very substantial sum,


still, to their kids, and takes away the fear


Joining me now from Liverpool is Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary


Petered out, welcome to the programme. Let's start with social


care. The Tories are saying that if you have ?100,000 or more in assets,


you should pay for your own social care. What is wrong with that? Well,


I think the issue at the end of the day is the question of fairness. Is


it fair? And what we're trying to do is to get to a situation where we


have, for example, the Dilnot report, which identified that you


actually have cap on your spending on social care. We are trying to get


to a position where it is a reasonable and fair approach to


expenditure. But you will know that a lot of people, particularly in the


south of country, London and the south-east, and the adjacent areas


around it, they have benefited from huge house price inflation. They


have seen their homes go up in value, if and when they sell, they


are not taxed on that increase. Why should these people not pay for


their own social care if they have the assets to do so? They will be


paying for some of their social care but you cannot take social care and


health care separately. It has to be an integrated approach. So for


example if you do have dementia, you're more likely to be in an


elderly person's home for longer and you most probably have been in care


for a longer period of time. On the other hand, you might have, if you


have had a stroke, there may be continuing care needs paid for by


the NHS. So at the end of the date it is trying to get a reasonable


balance and just to pluck a figure of ?100,000 out of thin air is not


sensible. You will have heard me say about David Gold that the house


prices in his area, about 450,000 or so, not quite that, and that people


may have to spend quite a lot of that on social care to get down to


?100,000. But in your area, the average house price is only


?149,000, so your people would not have to pay anything like as much


before they hit the ?100,000 minimum. I hesitate to say that but


is that not almost a socialist approach to social care that if you


are in the affluent Home Counties with a big asset, you pay more, and


if you are in an area that is not so affluent and your house is not worth


very much, you pay a lot less. What is wrong with that principle? I


think the problem I am trying to get to is this issue about equity across


the piece. At the end of the day, what we want is a system whereby it


is capped at a particular level, and the Dilnot report, after much


examination, said we should have a cap on care costs at ?72,000. The


Conservatives decided to ditch that and come up with another policy


which by all accounts seems to be even more Draconian. At the end of


the day it is trying to get social care and an NHS care in a much more


fluid way. We had offered the Conservatives to have a bipartisan


approach to this. David just said that this is a long term. You do not


pick a figure out of thin air and use that as a long-term strategy.


The Conservatives are now saying they will increase health spending


over the next five years in real terms. You will increase health


spending. In what way is your approach to health spending better


than the Tories' now? We are contributing an extra 7.2 billion to


the NHS and social care over the next few years. But you just don't


put money into the NHS or social care. It has to be an integrated


approach to social and health care. What we've got is just more of the


same. What we don't want to do is just say, we ring-fenced an out for


here or there. What you have to do is try to get that... Let me ask you


again. In terms of the amount of resource that is going to be devoted


in the next five years, and resource does matter for the NHS, in what way


are your plans different now from the Conservative plans? The key is


how you use that resource. By just putting money in, you've got to say,


if we are going to put that money on, how do we use it? As somebody


who has worked in social care for 40 years, you have to have a different


approach to how you use that money. The money we are putting in, 7.7,


may be similar in cash terms to what the Tories claim they are putting


in, but it's not how much you put in per se, it is how you use it. You


are going to get rid of car parking charges in hospital, and you are


going to increase pay by taking the cap on pay off. So it doesn't


necessarily follow that the money, under your way of doing it, will


follow the front line. What you need in the NHS is a system that is


capable of dealing with the patience you have. What we have now is on at


five Asian of the NHS. Staff leaving, not being paid properly. So


pay and the NHS go hand in hand. Let's move onto another area of


policy where there is some confusion. Who speaks for the Labour


Party on nuclear weapons? Is it Emily Thornbury, or Nia Griffith,


defence spokesperson? The Labour manifesto. It is clear. We are


committed to the nuclear deterrent, and that is the definitive... Is it?


Emily Thornbury said that Trident could be scrapped in the defence


review you would have immediately after taking power. On LBC on Friday


night. She didn't, actually. I listened to that. What she actually


said is, as part of a Labour government coming in, a new


government, there is always a defence review. But not the concept


of Trident in its substance. She said there would be a review in


terms of, and this is in our manifesto. When you reduce


something, you review how it is operated. The review could scrap


Trident. It won't scrap Trident. The review is in the context of how you


protect it from cyber attacks. This will issue was seized upon that she


was saying that we would have another review of Trident or Labour


would ditch it. That is nonsense. You will have seen some reports that


MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn in the early 90s because of his


links to Irish republicanism. This has caused some people, his links to


the IRA and Sinn Fein, it has caused some concern. Could you just listen


to this clip and react. Do you condemn what the IRA did? I condemn


all bombing. But do you condemn what the IRA did? I condemn what was done


with the British Army as well as both sides as well. What happened in


Derry in 1972 was pretty devastating as well. Do you distinguish between


state forces, what the British Army did and the IRA? Well, in a sense,


the treatment of IRA prisoners which made them into virtual political


prisoners suggested that the British government and the state saw some


kind of almost equivalent in it. My point is that the whole violence if


you was terrible, was appalling, and came out of a process that had been


allowed to fester in Northern Ireland for a very long time. That


was from about two years ago. Can you explain why the Leader of the


Labour Party, Her Majesty 's opposition, the man who would be our


next Prime Minister, finds it so hard to condemn IRA arming? I think


it has to be within the context that Jeremy Corbyn for many years trying


to move the peace protest... Process along. So why wouldn't you condemn


IRA bombing? Again, that was an issue, a traumatic event in Irish -


British relations that went on for 30 years. It is a complicated


matter. Bombing is not that complicated. If you are a man of


peace, surely you would condemn the bomb and the bullet? Let me say


this, I condemn the bomb and the bullet. Why can't your leader? You


would have to ask Jeremy Corbyn, but that is in the context of what he


was trying to do over a 25 year period to move the priest process


along. Thank you for joining us. It's just gone 11.35,


you're watching the Sunday Politics. Good morning and welcome


to Sunday Politics Scotland. to the growing pile of manifestos,


I'll ask the party's deputy leader, Angus Robertson, whether his party


has any fresh ideas. And whether they're really committed


to another independence referendum. And a little local difficulty


or a growing headache? We'll talk to Scottish Labour's


Deputy Leader about why all Aberdeen's Labour councillors


have been suspended from the party. Now, the SNP were the overwhelmingly


dominant party in Scotland at the last general election -


and they'll be hoping things But they are facing challenges -


over their track record in government and over


their plans to hold another Well, joining me now is the SNP's


Deputy Leader, Angus Robertson. We are tonight different positions


on an independence referendum from Nicola Sturgeon this week. In an


interview with Gary Robison, she said it was a question of if not


when. Yesterday, she'd said when not death. Are you committed to holding


a referendum on independence? Well, firstly that is a


mischaracterisation of what the First Minister said. The future of


Scotland should lie in Scotland's Hans. I think it is important we put


on record this is an issue that was already determined in the last


Scottish Parliament election. The party that went to the country with


a choice, the SNP had this in their manifesto. The opposing parties lost


the election. The public has already given a mandate to the Scottish


Government. Since then, the Scottish Parliament has endorsed that


position. It is... Of course there will be a referendum because the


people have determined we need a choice on our future. We should


never lose sight of the fact that everybody else in Europe is going to


have a say about our future. If the other 27 member states are going to


be able to determine the future of Scotland in Europe, it seems


unimaginable that we in this country cannot decide on our future. I


respect the democratic institutions of Scotland. It is a shame the


Tories do not appear to. Just to be clear, you have already asked for a


section 30 order which would allow the Scottish Parliament to organise


another referendum. But you don't just want the power to organise one


if you decide to do it, you actually want to hold one some time in late


2018 or 2019? Yes. I should apologise to the viewers as there is


a dreadful delay in the satellite link. Which is why you appear not to


be answering the questions, but... I am apologising


to the viewers for the delay on the satellite link. The good news is


from where I am standing, I don't have a delay. If the Conservatives


win this election, they have said they will not be another referendum


unless firstly there the argue Brexit talks should be finished.


They have now added another condition that there should be


popular support for it. What options do you have to do anything about it?


It is true that the Tories are ahead in England. That is a strong reason


for everyone in Scotland to ensure there is a strong voice representing


Scotland's interests and Westminster. I haven't seen a single


opinion poll that suggests Scotland will win in Scotland. If the people


in Scotland determine they want SNP representatives at Westminster, we


will all have been sent there to stand up for the rights of the


Scottish Parliament, of the Scottish Government, and the mandate the


people of Scotland gave in the last Scottish election. Or we remain a


situation where the Tories are seeing the people of Scotland will


not be able to determine their own future because of what an opinion


poll? The last time I looked, in normal democracies, if political


parties win elections and there men if fast stock has been endorsed by


the people, that is going to be respected. I think the people of


Scotland and their views on the subject and everything else should


be respected. Which is why I think it is unimaginable if there is a UK


Tory party victory over the rest of the UK but the SNP is returned in


Scotland, they can continuously turned their backs on the


democratically expressed wishes of the people of this part of the


United Kingdom. If they do do what they are saying they will do, which


is simply say no for a period which could go 145, six, seven, eight


years, you say it is unimaginable, but if that is what they do, is


there anything realistically other than complaining that you can do?


The first thing we have to make sure is that Scotland's constituencies


represented by SNP parliamentarians who will stand up for Scotland's


interests. As opposed to Scottish Tories who want. Or in the case of


this constituency, won't even turn up to important debate because they


are refereeing football matches. We might hear brazen arrogance from


Tories down south suggesting they're just going to discount the views of


people in Scotland, at some point, the penny is going to drop that it


is inconsistent to say that the union matters so much that we


respect the views of people right across the nations and regions of


these islands, but to act in the diametrically opposed away and just


ignore the democratic will of people in Scotland or anywhere else, I


think is unsustainable for Unionism. We don't want to refer to


constituencies. That is an interest of fairness. It is not fair to talk


about particular constituencies unless we have everyone standing in


that constituency. If in this election, you will be hoping you do


as well as last time, but should the SNP even lose one or two seats, your


political opponents will save you have less than 50% of the vote, that


means that over 50% of people in Scotland voted for parties which are


against having a referendum. What would you reply to that? It is a


very odd understanding of democracy. The last time I looked, the


important thing that happened in elections is who wins. At the


moment, it looks like the largest single group of voters in Scotland


won't the XMP to represent them. You're suggesting that because a


party that has almost every seat in the country loses one and it loses


legitimacy. I cannot believe in the 21st century that is a common


understanding of how democracy works. The SNP represents almost


every single one of the seats in Scotland. It has been suggested now


that if we were to lose one or two seats, somehow we have lost all


legitimacy. The mandate we have been given by the electorate of Scotland


somehow does not count. It is as a strange view of democracy and


society. Every vote counts equally. Is the largest single number of


people in Scotland vote SNP, political parties should respect


that. Either simply suggesting what your political opponents would say.


You have suggested that if you are the largest party in Scotland, you


want some sort of seat in the Brexit negotiations. What is it you want,


and what have the British government said? Viewers will remember the


Scottish Government worked very hard to try and get a compromise


agreement with the UK Government, to try to get a joint approach and work


out whether we could find a differentiate arrangement to satisfy


different parts of the UK. The majority of people in Scotland voted


to remain. We wanted to work with the UK Government to try to deliver


that. For whatever reason, Theresa May and colleagues have decided they


can ignore that. We're suggesting that if people in Scotland want


Scotland's interests to be taken seriously, it would be a good thing


for the Scottish Government to be directly represented in building the


UK's case in relation to Brexit negotiations. It is a democratic


point. If you want Scotland to have a strong voice to influence


negotiations and make sure we don't have the hard chaotic damaging


Brexit the UK Government is heading towards, one has to have as many SNP


parliamentarians as possible. Is not, were not going to see the


return of all fisheries powers, agriculture powers that of support


we require in rural communities. It is only by having a direct Scottish


Government and SNP voice. In many other European countries, they have


to take on board the views of different parts of the country. If


that is possible elsewhere, it should be possible in the UK. It


shouldn't beyond the wit of imagination to incorporate different


prowl these across the English regions and other nations. Now,


social care. Whatever you think of the details of the system, in the


Conservative manifesto, it says people can reserve ?100,000 of their


assets, even if they have to sell their homes. If you have to sell


your house in Scotland, as I understand it, you're on the


protected up to ?26,000. Will you have proposals to give equivalent


protection up to ?100,000 for people here who might be worried that


should they have dementia it will have to sell their home and to their


children who might worry that they're in inheritance will


effectively disappear, as can happen at the moment? I think it is


important to stress we are in a different situation in Scotland and


so we already have free care for the elderly and that is something that


one doesn't have in England. We have devolved powers. I can't give a


detailed preview of every aspect of the SNP manifesto which is being


launched this week. But I'm trying to make the point that we have


different policy approaches in Scotland, thank goodness, on this.


We have free personal care. In England, as part of an


intergenerational debate, the Tories seem to be wanting to pull away any


support for older people in our communities. There are elements


which will impact Scotland. For example, the triple lock on


pensions. They have confirmed they will give up on that. The SNP will


support the triple lock. All other questions, you will have to wait for


the manifesto launch. For many, who are elderly, the issue


of whether it is a double lock or of the lot is not as that important as


the issue of whether they have to sell the house. The point is you


cannot seem to guarantee what Theresa May can guarantee. I am sure


you are not want as here monger amongst older viewers. You and I


would want to stress that in Scotland we have free personal care,


that means one does not need to sell is one house to get that sort of


support. The Scottish Government is committed to it, you already get it.


Wells to retaining free personal care, and the triple lock, we are


saying the Tories represent a range of policy and oppose all switch will


it especially poorer pensioners and away that is an except the ball. The


SNP are standing up for pensioners, if you want that support, people


will have to support SNP in the election. We are running out of


time, there is a lot of controversy about the rape close. I using that


Scotland will not implement the limiting of tax credit to children


who fall under the rape close in the first place? Forgive me again and


thank you for the opportunity to preview the manifesto but I am not


in a position to go into the details of the manifesto. The SNP and my


colleagues at Westminster have work tirelessly to expose what is utterly


unacceptable way to treat people who have gone through the violation of


rape. The SNP will do everything we can to change that situation at


Westminster, because was a decision there that has brought this about.


Unfortunately Tories standing in every single constituency in


Scotland support the rape close. The SNP do not. We will have to leave it


at that. Thank you very much for joining us with a view of the


bridge. Now, in the week before the general


election, BBC Scotland will be hosting a series of 'Ask


the Leader' TV debates - a different leader each night


- chaired by Glenn Campbell If you'd like to take part,


then you can apply online by visiting our BBC News


and Reporting Scotland websites. It's been a week of frantic


manoeuvring across Scotland's councils, as political parties


try to form working administrations. After typically spending the months


before the council elections decrying the record of other


Parties, you won't be surprised to hear that many of those same


politicians have now found that they can, indeed,


work with each other. In Aberdeen though, Labour


members who got together with the Conservatives have been


left out in the cold, After this month's local elections,


the road ahead for a Scotland's councils is looking Keeler. In


Glasgow the SNP scored a significant victory. Elsewhere the scores are


confused and that could lead to political roadblocks. When that


happens, marriages of political convenience can look very


attractive. But when Labour councillors decided to just that in


Aberdeen, forming a college in with the Conservatives and independents


and excusing the SNP, they were smacked down by their party


leadership. When the council is Duggan, they were suspended from the


party. Your reaction from the suspension at the Labour Party. I am


disappointed because I have been a member of the Labour Party a long


time. We took the decision we wanted to go into a coalition because we


felt it was the right decision for the people of Aberdeen. We have


anti-austerities means within the programme that will be brought


forward. In Aberdeen show the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats


also came together. The new deputy leader says unions like this can


bear fruit for voters. Aberdeenshire is a very good counsel. It has a


very good reputation across scale wind and across Aberdeenshire it has


been a good and effective counsel. I would not say despite of coalition


but because of coalition. Because we have worked together we have enabled


to park national politics at the door and focus on what is best for


Aberdeenshire. Labour's Aberdeen trouble has provided its... When a


party goes into election, it states very clearly what we will do. The


SNP said it would not do deals with the Tories. People knew what they


were voting for. The difference in Aberdeen, they thought they were


voting for Labour and ended up getting a towering council. I do not


think that is representative of what people would have wanted full top


the Scottish Conservatives say that in trying to scupper the Aberdeen


deal, the leader has shown poor judgment. Kezia Dugdale has made it


clear that she now pretends to be a pro UK party and wants to protect


the union, she has made the wrong choice and judgment that. It is


clear she cannot be trusted with the union. Labour has forbidden in as


those in West Lothian with doing a deal with conservatives there. And


with negotiations to form coalitions elsewhere, they will continue next


week. If they want a happy ending, they will have to find a way to live


together for the sake of the voters. Well, joining me now to discuss some


of the points raised there is Scottish Labour's Deputy Leader,


Alex Rowley. Barney Crockett, who is the new


Provincetown of Aberdeen and is Labour, he said a couple of days ago


he was confident with this bat he is having with the Labour Party, would


soon be over and he would be reinstated as a full member of the


party. Will he? If the Labour councillors, former Labour


councillors and Aberdeen withdraw from the deal that did not have


agreement with the Scottish executive committee, then yes he


would be reinstated. But if they stay as part of the administration,


Norway? No. There is a process that will have to be undertaken. The rule


book states that when a council, a Labour council want to enter in a


coalition, they have to give the agreement of the Scottish is active


committee. In the case of Aberdeen, they do not have that agreement from


the proposal they put forward. If they do not withdraw from the


administration, there is no sign they will withdraw, they will be


expelled from the Labour Party's they will continue with the


suspension. Then there will be an investigation. A decision will be


taken. The argument was that they should not go into this


administration with the Conservatives because this would


implement austerity in some way. Can you tell us what specifically was


the agreed to that made the Scottish executive at the Labour Party


rejected? Each group is setting out what the proposal is. Specific areas


that the Scottish executive committee have highlighted is


firstly that Labour would make a difference. What is the difference


Labour would be making by entering into a coalition. What would they be


delivering? The policy agenda has to be first. It cannot just be about...


Secondly, each group was asked to set out very clearly how they would


oppose austerity, how the words in the local area mitigate austerity.


In the case of Aberdeen when the proposal was brought forward to the


executive, there were concerns that that was not clear how they would


deal with and fight against austerity. Secondly in Aberdeen,


there was also concerned because they were not, the group coming


together would not form a majority administration in the council. That


was a concern as well. Other groups who have brought forward proposals


didn't necessarily get them through the first time of bringing forward.


They were asked to go back and have a look at key areas that were of


concern to the Scottish executive. In Aberdeen, they decided to go


ahead anyway and therefore they are clearly in breach of the rules. In


faith, or in South Ayrshire were Labour has gone into administration


with the Scottish National Party, can you give us some examples of


things, either things that won't happen in these that areas will


happen in Aberdeen, or things that won't happen in Aberdeen that will


happen in these areas? We have 40,000 children more in poverty


today than we did have last year at this time. 260,000 children in


poverty across Scotland. Local authorities are taking the brunt of


that in terms of having to put into services, invest in services and try


about those people, as food banks in Scotland will... What has this got


to do with the differences in these areas? They will expose and attack


the parties who are behind the austerity. What will be different


and Aberdeen? What is different in Fife is that they have set out


clearly how they will oppose austerity and they have set out


clearly as I counsel how they will, that they will fight austerity,


every step of the way. They will do everything to mitigate austerity.


They will not be any cuts and five? The coalition agreement that


designed sets out very clearly how they are going to tackle the worst


impacts of austerity, how they will address poverty. Part of that is to


take the fight to the Tory government. The Tories in Scotland


are in complete denial. What you are saying is completely mysterious, the


difference in areas like Aberdeen where you have deal with the Tories


and in other areas. The Tory party in Scotland are in complete denial


about the impact of their policies. They are in denial about the impact


that their policies are having. You just don't want deals with the


Tories? We will not enter into coalition with parties who are in


complete denial about the impact... Aberdeen came forward with a


coalition agreement that set out very clearly the impact that Tory


policy was having on Aberdeen with a clear commitment to fight that. Then


people would be more comfortable. You say they act as an accelerator


for them. The SNP are failing to use the powers and the Scottish


parliament in the way that they do. Why is it OK to be in a deal with


the SNP? Any coalition agreement with the SNP, those councils will


fight for the investment, they will campaign for investment, so they


will campaign with the Scottish Government, against the Scottish


Government, to get that investment come in. We will stand up to


austerity, stand up to the poverty that is impacting on people in


Scotland. If people are watching this in Aberdeen Association or


five, I think they will be completely mystified as to


impractical terms, what will happen to Aberdeen as to what is different


happening in Fife, other than some rhetoric. Give me some practical


examples. One practical example? We are not satisfied the coalition


proposals being forward from Aberdeen set out clear enough... I


am telling you, they were not satisfied that the proposals that


were brought forward from Aberdeen set out clearly enough how they were


going to deal with austerity and how they were going to take on the party


of austerity in Scotland. This is austerity as a platonic abstract


idea. You cannot give me a single practical example. What is the


difference between Aberdeen and five? They have not set out very


clearly how they intend to challenge, fight that. This has not


happened at by accident. This has happened because of a Tory party in


denial of the human misery it is creating in Scotland. We will have


to leave it there. So, how are the political


skirmishes, the manifesto promises and the myriad photo calls playing


out as far as the voters Professor John Curtice


is as well placed as anyone He joins us now. Labour must be


quite cheered by the polls we have seen today, are are they been


misconstrued? You are certainly right that it looks as though the


Conservative leader --... When she called the election, the


Conservatives were around 16 - 17 points ahead of the Labour Party on


average. The first immediate consequence of calling the election


was a decline in Ukip support, going directly to the Conservatives, such


we were getting polls putting Conservatives 20 points ahead.


Gradually during the chorus over the last two - 2.5 weeks, the Labour


vote has been rising. Until this morning we would have said the


Labour Party has played catch up. They are only 16 or 17 points


behind. That would be enough to give Theresa May a landslide of 100 or


so. We have had for polls this morning. Two can tuck did before the


manifesto launch. To dine afterwards. They have leads ranging


between nine and 13 points. Once the lead get down to that kind of level,


then be again to ask ourselves whether or not Theresa May is


guaranteed to get the landslide she is looking for. It was only as


7-point lead that the Conservatives had last time, that only got Theresa


May a of 12. It gets to the level of 2015, yes Theresa May will still be


the favourite to be Prime Minister, but she may not get the landslide.


What do the polls tend to do in the UK? If they get it wrong, the over


estimate labour. That is something that is in the back of everyone's


made. Was that not corrected? The polls have done their best. But


whether or not they have succeeded, the truth is we will not know until


June nine. Any intelligent person will be aware that there is a


potential uncertainty. The second potential uncertainty, the polls


suggest may be going on, insofar as there is a conservative advance,


that advance may be stronger in the North of England. In Scotland and


the Midlands than it is in the south of England. If that happens, even


the Conservatives have a majority across the country of 12% points,


Theresa May might still get a lying splayed. There is plenty for Labour


to worry about but the truth is an election which in a sense looked


like it was just heading inevitably towards a Tory landslide has just


begun to get a little more interesting.


To do this. Is normally the case that if the gap in the polls narrows


during the campaign, would be normally expected to widen again as


we get nearer to polling day? Or Genaro Pfizer -- or two narrow


further? In 2015, nothing really happened in the polls throughout.


They were persistently wrong, but constantly pointing to a narrow


outcome. We have had two very substantial movements in these


polls. The first is the rise in Conservative support. Now we have


seen Labour support rise by five or six percentage points. These are by


historical standards rather remarkable movements. It suggests we


have an electorate which hasn't quite made its mind up. I don't


think you could look at a historical precedents and say you can forget


this. The rise in labour support has been evident in the polls long


before this weekend and long before the Tory manifesto launch. What were


seen at the moment is not within any margin of error? Looks like it


really is reflecting a change? Even of the polls are wrong in terms of


their levels, one thing we can rely the polls is to identify change. We


have seen the polls persistently and gradually record at least some


increase in Labour support. No guarantee it will continue. No


guarantee the Labour Party have momentum. Are there any Scottish


polls? Kilmichael was a Scottish poll came out on Friday morning to


confirm what we already knew. The SNP are running at around 42%. The


Conservatives just short of 30%. That is certainly enough to mean the


SNP will lose some seats. The Liberal Democrats might pick up a


couple of seats. Edinburgh South, we never know what will happen from any


kind of opinion poll at all. Thank you.


And time now for a look at the Week Ahead.


I'm joined by journalist Katie Grant and Scottish Political Editor


Tom, is a realistic to think this election will suddenly become close


and We would all love it to be like that. Looking at the Conservative


headline at the moment, it is still mid-40s, that is Tony Blair at his


height sort of level. Drama would be nice. I think the polls are showing


a big gap. I think the Conservatives with the


manifesto have tried to tackle some of the major issues in quite a


fundamental way which is not going to be popular, for example social


care. There will be controversy about that. The seem to be practical


solutions to major problems, whereas I think the Labour Party manifesto,


and some of the others, are more fantastic. Mobot people might like


to see. To be fair to Labour, they point out that there is a


Conservative one has a separate document was it costs everything in


it. They do, but I don't know whether voters are interested in


that. We see practical things which are the questions of what can work


and what can we afford, and the other side which says what would we


like it all to be like? I think it is that clash which will be


interesting over the election. People's whether from thinking, do


we need to just grasp these nettles and say we have to do something


about social care, even if we don't like what is proposed? Or are they


going to say, we are still going to carry on thinking perhaps we can


afford everything. The week ahead, the SNP, do the need to come out


with anything fresh and interesting and different in the manifesto? Or


given their dominance in Scotland, do they need to just say keep going?


Repetition. Vote for the SNP for a strong voice for Scotland in


Westminster. I think some of the arguments they are advancing lack


the traction of 2015 because any prospect of a hung parliament seems


to be gone. Questions on independence will still dominate.


The arithmetic doesn't really give them much purchase at Westminster.


Wiki getting ignored by the Conservatives already. I don't see


by the Conservatives would pay attention to them next time. If you


were the SNP, what would you do? They did so well last time, the risk


is he might not do as well. They could do better. Steady as she goes?


I would try and refresh the message of this fear society. We have been


in power for here -- in power here for ten years. Some of the chickens


are coming home to roost, why haven't they got much better as you


promised? If the SNP gave up this notion of Independence, which I know


they are never going to, but as he just said they were fighting for a


stronger voice for all Scots, I think they would clean up. That is


what people want. People are frightened that an SNP victory will


give them something they don't want. Write them a little memo, dear SNP,


give up independence and you will be fine. The Aberdeen councillors. You


couldn't make this up. I feel slightly sorry for Kezia Dugdale


Emma Way. And if she did Anne Panter she didn't. If Labour had sided with


the Conservatives, the SNP would say vote Labour, get Tory. It was never


going to be an elegant solution to this dilemma. What has come out has


been very ungainly situation. Why not just say, we are not having


deals with the Tories. They're assistant to each particular deal.


This has been politics at its very worst. Local politics which is seen


as came more about politics than the people it is supposed to represent.


I think it has been shameful for the Labour Party and I think the


previous interview with Mr Gordon was such a mess. Mr Rowley. Excuse


me. It must be my age. I think that has been a very bad mark for


politics in general. Thank you very much. We will have to leave it


there. I'll be back at the


same time next week. As voters prepare to go to the polls


to choose who represents them and who will run the country,


the Conservative Party leader, Theresa May, joins me


for The Andrew Neil Interviews.


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