03/11/2013 Sunday Politics South West


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. It began as


Plebgate, now it is Plodgate. The evidence of three police officers to


MPs is branded a great work of fiction. They tried to intimidate


the Grangemouth bosses, but in the end it was the union that


capitulated. I will ask Len McCluskey about Unite union's strong


arm tactics at Grangemouth and Falkirk. They preach women should be


sidelined and confined to the private sphere. They argued they


should be covered up. In the South West...Doubts about


whether the government's flagship scheme to build more homes is


actually doing the job. And the councillor calling for a seagull


cull. authority is investigating --


investing thousands of pounds in a GPS tracking system to keep tabs on


its staff. With me as always, the best and the


brightest political panel, Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt


who will be tweeting their humiliating climb-down is what they


got wrong last week in the programme. If this can happen it to


a Cabinet minister, what hope is there for anyone else? Thus the Home


Affairs Select Committee concluded what many already thought about the


treatment of Andrew Mitchell by three self-styled PC plebs. They met


him to clear the air over what did or did not happen when he was


prevented from ramming his bike through the Downing Street gates.


But the officers gave the media and inaccurate account of that meeting.


Two of them are even accused of misleading the Commons committee.


The Independent Police Complaints Commission will now reopen there


enquiry. This is not a story about Andrew Mitchell, it is about the


police. Keith Vaz is often in high dudgeon and this is the highest dad


and I have seen him in for some time. They could be held for


contempt of Parliament and technically they could be sent to


prison. It has blown up into an enormous story. I do not know what


is worse, the police trying to stitch up a Cabinet member and try


to mislead the media or the incompetence they have done it from


day one. That is quite good. I would sleep more soundly at night if I


knew the pleas were good at this. It is the incompetence that shocks me.


And this is just a sideshow. We are still waiting on the main report as


to what exactly happened outside Downing Street gates. But that not


will be good for the police either. The file has gone from the


Metropolitan police to the CPS, so we are limited about what we can


say. This is about the police Federation. They were set up under


statute in 1990 as a deal in which a police would not go on strike. This


is a political campaign to get a Cabinet minister out and the legacy


of this is the police Federation will have to be reformed. We will


keep an eye on it. They were Ed Miliband's union backers, they swung


the Labour leadership for him in 2010. Now the Unite union looks like


his biggest headache. The Sunday Times has seen extracts of the


report into the alleged vote rigging to select a Labour candidate in


Falkirk. There was evidence of coercion and Gregory as well as


deliberate attempt to frustrate the enquiry. We will be speaking to Len


McCluskey, the Unite union's General Secretary, in a moment. First out


the saga began an almost ended up with the loss of 800 jobs at a


petrochemical plant in Grangemouth. Unite were key players in the


Grangemouth dispute and the union headed by Len McCluskey has come


under fire for its intimidator Tariq tactics. In one instance


demonstrators complete with an inflatable rat picketed the home of


a INEOS director. The police were called. It was part of a strategy


the union called leverage. But turning up at people's houses seems


to represent an escalation. At the centre of the rout was Steve in


deals -- Stephen Denes. INEOS launched an investigation into him


as he was suspected of using company time to engineer the selection of


labour's candidate in Falkirk. That candidate was Karie Murphy, a friend


of Len McCluskey. Stevie Deans resigned last week and denies any


wrongdoing, but it capped a dramatic climb-down by Unite union. Len


McCluskey joins me now. Thanks to the Sunday Times we now know what is


in this labour report on the Falkirk vote rigging. Forgery, coercion


trickery, manipulation. You must be ashamed of how Unite union behaved


in Falkirk. The Sunday Times article is lazy journalism. There is nothing


new in the article. This was all dealt with by the Labour Party in


the summer. We rejected those allegations then and we said we had


done nothing wrong and both the Labour Party and the police in


Scotland indicated there had been no wrongdoing. The report itself says


you were trying to thwart the investigation. First you tried to


fix the selection of a candidate to get your woman in and then you


thwarted the investigation into the dirty deeds. The reality is the


Labour Party report was deeply flawed. The Labour Party then


instructed a solicitor, a lawyer, to do an in-depth investigation and


during that investigation they got to the bottom of what had happened


and they decided there was no wrongdoing whatsoever. At the time I


was so confident we had done nothing, I called for an independent


enquiry. They were forced to conclude there was no wrongdoing


because the people who originally complained changed their evidence


and we now know they did so because Unite union officials helped them to


rewrite their retraction and Stevie Deans approved it. That is not true.


We have had 1000 e-mails thrown into the public arena and what is that


all about? Who is leaking this? They showed the Unite union was rewriting


the retractions. This interview would go a lot better if you are


allowed me to finish the question that you asked. These e-mails were


put into the public arena by the PR company from INEOS. Why are they


doing this? The truth of the matter is that all of the investigations


that took place demonstrate there was nothing to answer. This idea


that the Unite union has rewritten and the evidence from the families


has been withdrawn, the families are a part of Stevie deems' family. They


clarified the position. Do you deny that union officials were involved


in the retractions? I deny it completely. This is important.


Independent solicitors to witness statements from the family and they


are the ones that were influencing the Labour Party with the position


is clarified and there is no case to answer. Do you deny Stevie deems saw


their retractions? It is his family. So you do not deny it? It is his


family. This is an ordinary, decent family who were faced with the full


weight of the pleas, a forensic solicitor. Of course they spoke to


Stevie Deans. This whole thing is a cesspit. Does it not need an


independent investigation? This is a trap being laid by Tory Central


office. They are making all the demands. The media, the Daily Mail,


the Sunday Times, the Conservative mouthpiece, they are laying tracks


for Ed Miliband and Ed Miliband should not fall into them. Since


when did it become part of an industrial dispute to send mobs to


the home of company families. This is a legitimate form of protest and


it is a silent protest. We believe if faceless directors are making


decisions that cripple communities, they cannot expect to simply drift


back to their own leafy suburbia and not be countable. This is silent


protest. It is lawful. It may be silent in Grangemouth, but it was


not silent elsewhere. You went with a giant rat, loud-hailers telling


everybody the neighbour was evil. No, we did not. You had


loud-hailers, you even encouraged passing children in Grangemouth to


join in. That is nonsense. Look at the rat. The reality is the


Grangemouth community was going to be decimated, Grangemouth was going


to become a ghost town. I reject totally this idea there were


loud-hailers and children involved. That is a lie perpetrated by the


Daily Mail. But you have used these tactics in other disputes. We have


used the tactics in other disputes, but we have not used loud-hailers at


people's homes. Because the labour laws are so restrictive we have to


look at every available means that we can protest. It is an outrage, an


absolute outrage, that this is happening to British workers in the


21st-century. It could not happen elsewhere. Is not intimidation the


wider hallmark of your union? You were quoted as saying to do whatever


it takes during your attempts to take over the Labour Falkirk


constituency. You were instructing to dig out the nasty stuff on your


opponents. That is not true. Let's see these e-mails? This is a con


trick. Nobody is looking to dig out... This is the words of your


legal services advisor. Unite has tried to instigate a revival of


trade union values within the Labour Party. That is what Ed Miliband


wanted us to do. As soon as we started to be in any way


ineffective, there were screams and howls of derision. When the company


started to investigate Stevie Deans, your friend, your campaign manager,


that he was using company time to moonlight on the job, you called


INEOS and said unless you stop the investigation we will bring


Grangemouth to a standstill. I never said that at all. You brought it to


a standstill. We never brought it to a standstill, the company did. Who


says that I said that we would bring it to a standstill? You have read it


in the newspapers. You should not believe everything. I did not make


that threat to the management. You carried the threat out. You


instigated an overtime ban and a work to rule. And that is what


Grangemouth to a standstill because the company decided to close the


petrochemical site down. Because Stevie Deans was suspended due


introduced industrial action? Our members in Grangemouth felt he was


being unfairly treated. In the end you're grandstanding almost cost


Scotland is most important industrial facility. The day was


saved by your total capitulation. Grandstanding, capitulation and


humiliation are grand phrases. There is nothing about capitulation. Len


McCluskey did not wake up one day and decide to have a dispute with


INEOS. The workers in that factory democratically elect their shop


stewards to represent them and to express to management their concerns


and their views. That is what happened with INEOS. Jack Straw has


condemned your union's handling of Grangemouth as a catastrophe. Have


you considered your position? Jack Straw and others in the Labour


Party, you have to ask them what their agenda is. I am not interested


in what he says. The truth of the matter is we responded to the


requirements and needs of our members. At a mass meeting last


Monday 100% supported their shop stewards and their union. We will


continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our members when they


are faced with difficult situations. You have lost all the union rights.


You have had to agree to a no strike rule, you have lost pension rights.


We have not lost rights at all, we are still working with the company


to implement its survival plan. The Prime Minister is always attacking


unions and just lately he has taken to praising the automotive


industry. Jaguar Land Rover, Foxhall, BMW at Cowley, they are all


Unite union members were the shop stewards are engaged positively to


implement survival plans and to make a success for the company. That is


what we do, but by the same token we stand shoulder to shoulder with our


members who are in struggle and we will always do that and we will not


be cowed by media attacks on us Is your leadership not proving to be as


disastrous for the members as Arthur Scargill was for the NUM? My


membership is growing. I am accountable to my members, two are


executive, and the one thing they will know is that when they want me


standing shoulder to shoulder with them when they have a problem, I


will be there, despite the disgraceful attacks launched on us


by the media. "A country ready to welcome your


investment which values your friendship and will never exclude


anyone because of their race, religion, colour or creed." The


words of the Prime minister at the World Islamic Economic Forum which


was hosted for the first time in London this week. The PM's warm


words are sure to be welcomed by British Muslims who have endured a


spate of negative headlines. There's been the controversy over the


wearing of the veil, attitudes to women, and the radicalisation of


some young British Muslims. In a moment I'll be talking to the


Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad.


First - here's Giles Dilnot. The call to Friday prayers at the east


London Mosque which has strong links with the Muslim Council of Britain,


one of the more vocal groups amongst British Muslims. Despite the fact it


frequently happens, it is neither helpful nor accurate to describe the


British Muslim community. There are so many different sects,


traditions, cultures and nationalities, it is more accurate


to describe the British Muslim communities, but there is one


question being put to them - are they doing enough internally to


address some challenging issues Are they willing to confront


radicalisation, attitudes to non-muslins, two women, and cases of


sexual exploitation in a meaningful way? A number of them say no, not


nearly enough. This former jihad de has spent ten years telling young


Muslim teenagers how they can reject extremist radicalisation, using


Outward Bound courses and community work, but he and others doing this


work thing -- think some elders are failing the youngsters. This has


been going on for decades, one figures -- thing is said in public


to please people but in private something very different is being


said and the messages are being confused. Some of the young people,


it pushes them further into a space where they are vulnerable for


radical recruiters. For many Muslim youngsters, life is about living 1's


faith within an increasingly secular society, a struggle not helped if


rigid interpretations of the Koran are being preached, say some


sectors. Some practices often don't make sense in 21st-century Britain,


and you are perhaps creating obstacles if you stick to those and


it is perhaps better to let go of those cultural problems, especially


when they need to clear injustices like forced marriage, reticence to


talk about grooming for example or discrimination against women. There


is a long list but I am very clear that in fact the bad Muslim is the


one who sticks to unflinching, narrow dogmatic fundamentalist


perception of religion. One issue often focused on is the wearing of


minicab. Polling suggests 80% of Britons would favour a ban in public


places. -- the niqab. Many people don't seem to recognise the legacy


of the niqab. Many people preach that women should be sidelined and


that they are sexual objects that should be covered up and the


preservation of morality falls on their shoulders. The Muslim Council


of Britain recently got praise for holding a conference on combating


sexual exploitation. In the wake of abuse cases that had involved


predominantly Pakistani men. For one man who has followed the story for


some years, the Muslim Council of Britain needs to do much more. We


need to get along together and if things like attitudes towards the


normal slim girl in stark contrast to the expression of honour and


chastity of the Muslim girl, your sister or daughter, are such that


actions that would be an fought off with a slim girl becomes permissible


with a white girl, then we are all in trouble. To some, attitudes to


women are not limited to sexual interactions at the very structures


of life in Muslim communities and indeed the Muslim Council of Britain


itself. I would like to ask the Muslim Council of Britain what they


are doing about the fact that very few mosques give voices to


are doing about the fact that very the fact that someone women are


experiencing female genital mutilation and forced marriages


what about the women who are getting married and their marriages are not


being registered and they are being left homeless and denied maintenance


rights, what about the fact there are sharia rights that have been


found to be discriminating against women, and the fact there are men in


this country who continue to hold misogynistic views about women, what


are you doing? The occasional press release will not solve this problem


of a deeply patriarchal community. That all of these issues can be


exploited to the point of Islam phobia is not doubted, but many


Muslims feel that unless the communities do tackle this openly, a


big cultural gap will exist between the two.


And the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq


Murad, joins me now. One visible sign that sets muslins aside is the


veils that cover women's faces. Do you think it makes them impossible


to be part of mainstream society? The niqab is not an obligatory


requirement. But do you accept that those who wear it are cutting


themselves off from mainstream society? Some people do, and whilst


wearing niqab, some of them are working in various walks of life


successfully and it is seen as a faith requirement, but it is a red


herring in the sense that it applies to such a small number of Muslim


girls. For many Muslim preachers, isn't separation precisely the point


of the niqab? Certainly not, if you look at the Muslim women in the


public sphere, we have many very successful women. But not the ones


who are veiled. Not in the public arena as such, but the veil is a


practice which is practised by a very small number. Do you favour


it? I personally think it is not a requirement. But do you think women


should wear the veil? I think it is wrong to force women to wear the


veil. I asked if in your opinion women should wear the veil? It is


important not to force women to wear the veil. Should they of their free


choice where the veil? A lot of individuals do things out of their


free choice which I do not approve of, I don't think it is conducive it


helps their cause, but I do not have the right to take their choice away


from them. I am still unsure if you think it is a good thing or a bad


thing. Are not many Muslim women in this country being forced by Muslim


preachers and often their male relations who want to keep Muslim


women their place? As I said, it is wrong for anyone to force Muslim


women. But how would we ever know in a family if a woman was being


forced? Exactly, we don't know what is going on in people 's homes and


what pressure is being applied. I want you to look at this picture,


very popular on Islamic websites, and it shows the women who is


wearing the niqab having a straight route to heaven, and the other


Muslim woman dressed in western gear condemned to hell. Do you consider


that a proper message for Muslim women? Not at all, I don't. So any


Islamic websites in Britain... The Muslim Council of Britain is an


organisation of five affiliates from across the country and this is not


coming from any of them. As I said, those minority views propagated by


individuals should not be used to represent Muslim community. So that


would not have the support of the Muslim Council of Britain? It would


not have the support. What about the Muslim free school that requires


children as young as 11 to wear a black veil outside of school? Do you


agree with that? I am not sure exactly what the policy is... I have


just told you, do you agree that girls as young as 11 should wear a


black burka outside of school? I don't think it should be imposed on


anybody. But this is the desired dress School of the Muslim females.


I am asking for your view. I said it at the beginning that I do not think


it should be imposed. Would you send your daughter to a school that would


wear a black burka at the age of 11? Would you? No. It seems that some


muslins are determined to segregate young Muslim girls right from the


start to very early from society. It is not their segregation as such, I


would say that there are faith schools, if you look at an Islamic


girls school in Blackburn in a traditional setting, it has come the


top of the league table this year in the secondary school league tables.


But it doesn't make 11-year-olds wear black burkas. Many of those


girls go on to have a successful career. Not wearing black burkas. I


am sure there are examples of women who do have successful careers.


There is a very conservative movement from the continent on


Islam, and the issue supposedly based on Islamic law on their


website. Here is one of their recent judgements. The female is encouraged


to remain within the confines of her home as much as possible, she should


not come out of the home without need and necessity. What do you


think of that? We need to say the whole context of that quote. They


are saying they should stay at home as much as possible, do you agree


with that? I see many Muslim women who are walking about... But this is


what the mosque is recommending women should do. The practice is


quite the contrary. Let me show you another one. Another Fatwa. Do you


agree with that? These have been picked out from material dating back


to different cultural settings and in practice they are not applied.


This is advice being given as we speak. This is not being practised.


Do you agree with it? No, not at all. These are from the DL Monday


mosques, how come 72 of these mosques are affiliated to your


counsel? There may be publications from one of their scholars, but they


have been written in countries abroad and translated. This is


advice being given to young women now. They are affiliated to the


Muslim Council of Britain. Do you ever speak to them about that? The


Muslim Council is a very broad organisation. We are working on lots


of common issues to create a community which positively


integrates. Did you ever speak to them to say this is not appropriate


for British Muslims? There may be certain ad buys and publications


available, but people make their choices. So it is OK for your


organisation to issue things like that? Many of these things will fall


under scrutiny and we need to create that. Why do only 26% of British


mosques have facilities for women? If you go back to the requirement of


prayer, it was not obligatory for women to come to the masks to


prayer. When a poorer community began putting up mosques at the very


beginning in terraced houses... Did you have a policy to encourage them?


Is it on your website? It is in our practices that 20% of the council


have to be female. Coming out of this movement there is a conscious


stream of superiority between Muslims and non-Muslims. Look at


this quote. He is a well-known picture in this country.


That is what he wants to stop. I disagree with that. We believe we


live in this society and Muslims in any society of the world, and they


have historically lived as minorities in many countries... You


would this associate yourself from that? Why do you allow people like


that to be affiliated to you? The requirement is for any organisation


to be affiliated is that they are bound by the Charity commission s


rules and regulations. We only accept those who are under the law


of this country. This is a matter of taste. Let me move on to a bigger


issue. In 2009 you signed the Istanbul dash-mac the Istanbul


declaration was signed. Do you still support it? No, we never signed it


or supported it. One of your leading lights signed it. In the media


mainstream he defended his position. You have this associated yourself


from it? What is wrong with that? I am not sure about the declaration


because we disassociated ourselves. Before reading it? We did not sign


it. You have not read it? I do not know all the aspects of the


declaration, but at the time in the national newspapers and media there


was a discussion and a debate and it was highlighted that that was not


what was meant by the declaration. When did you decide so is the


yourself from the declaration? From day one. We never signed it. The


East London Mosque which you are personally closely associated with


is the venue for a number of extremist speakers, who espoused


extremist positions. In 2009 the mosque posted a video and


presentation by somebody described by the UN Security Council as an


Al-Qaeda leader supporter. Another speaker described Christians and


Jews as Phil. You have had a jihad is supporter of the Taliban there.


Why do you do nothing to stop extremists like that at this mask


with which you are associated with? We do not have anything to do with


any rhetoric that condones or supported violence. We issue


guidelines and the mosque itself is a registered charity which has its


own rules and regulations, but it is a very large mosques and lots of


organisations book and come and told their gatherings. We rent out the


facilities. You were prepared to speak alongside a man who saluted


suicide bombers, and said 9/11 was a Zionist conspiracy. Why would you


share a platform like that? I did not share a platform like that.


Different organisations come and have conferences here. Why did you


agree? I did not agree with that. I completely reject that. When you add


all this up the attitude to women, the alliance with the most


fundamentalist Islamic mosques, the toleration of intolerant views, a


willingness for you to be counted among them, why should anybody of


goodwill, either a Muslim or a non-Muslim, regard the MCB as a good


force? It is an organisation which embraces different organisations


which are affiliated in the Muslim community. You have taken snippets


of certain individual views which are not the views of our affiliates.


It would be unfair to represent our view based on those which you have


highlighted in this programme. The work that we do is quite clear and


is on our website. They are all associated with you, but we will


have to leave it there. You are watching the Sunday Politics. Coming


up: I will be talking to joke Hello, I'm Martyn Oates, coming up


on the Sunday Politics in the South West... Seagulls. Meet the woman who


feeds them and the councillor who wants to kill them. And for the next


20 minutes, I'm joined by Ben Bradshaw, the Labour MP for Exeter


and the Conservative MEP Julie Girling. Julie's fellow


Conservative, South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray, kicked off Prime


Minister's Questions this week, suggesting Ed Miliband should


apologise for Labour's prediction that the Government's economic


policy would result in job losses. Under this government, there are 1


million new jobs. There is a quarry in South East Cornwall who are


investing and training young people. We were told that the government


programme would clearly leads to the disappearance of a million jobs. Is


it not time for the party opposite to admit that they were wrong and


apologise? Of course, he did not. This is a very self congratulate


suggestion. She has a serious point. You have predicted this doom and


gloom since 2010 and the opposite has happened. There have been fewer


job losses and workers have absorbed their stagnant wages. That has been


the trade`off. It has been a new phenomenon and is a reflection of


the flexible Labour market. It is a sensible approach and I think we


would rather see more jobs. The real story and the underlying reason why


we are putting the blame on the cost of living crisis is that people are


struggling. The cost of living is going up wages not. Are you


admitting that they were right? No, I do not think we understood how the


2008 crisis would affect our economy. It affected it in ways we


could not predict. We had fewer job losses but falling living standards.


This was formed by the global financial disaster of 2008. It is a


phenomenon that has gone across the developed world. Julie, if you were


to answer who calls this better, it it would be them and not you. No,


there is no doubt that George Osborne's extreme austerity methods


have been damaging to the economy. We had no growth for three years.


When Labour left office, the economy was growing and then it stopped


growing for three years. It has had a damaging long`term effect. Our


economy is one of only two in the world, apart from Italy, that is


still below the level in 2008. Julie, is this bad news? I do not


see it this way. It is the case that the UK economy hosts some very


difficult decisions. It was struggling in 2010, nobody is


denying that, but what we did see, and to get back to Sheryll's point,


we saw more jobs and people in work, here in our region. What we have not


seen is that dive in jobs that was predicted. It is not the same in


every developed country. I work in Europe and across Europe we see


different levels in different countries. There are different


trajectories and time frames. We are really the envy of most of Europe


with one or two notable exceptions, such as Germany. The Labour market


has held up in the recession. The New Homes Bonus is one of the


government's flagship policies to get more badly`needed houses built.


The financial incentive scheme has been running now for two years. This


week, though, the Commons Public Accounts Committee said there was no


evidence it's actually doing any good. Building new houses is an


emotive issue but with the number being built way behind what it is


said to be needed, the government is dangling a carrot for the New Homes


Bonus. Councils have been rewarded for every empty home that has been


brought back into use. Cornwall has done quite well. Questions are being


asked about the fairness of the scheme and whether it is working.


The money can be spent however councils would like and it is


difficult to measure whether it is leading to more houses being built.


A group of MPs said the government has failed to provide credible data


to prove it is working. This is a very expensive programme. 7.5 p and


pounds `` seven and a half billion pounds be spent to incentivise local


authorities to build new homes. We do not know whether it is working


and what was disturbing was that the departments responsible had not set


up a proper evaluation to make sure the programme is achieving


objectives. This is one of dozens of empty homes that will be lived in


again. The council gets cash for every home added to the tax


register, and only Birmingham has more. We were quick off the mark


when the New Homes Bonus scheme was announced. We are working to provide


lots of homes in the county, and that is why we were successful and


got more money to do the job. We have properly got more of a crisis


in Cornwall than other areas. It may be fair, it may not. It might be


seen as a success story here but how's `` house`building is below


targets. The government is planning to take some of the money away from


councillors and give it to the local enterprise partnership instead. I am


not hostile to the principle of a New Homes Bonus. However, if it is


going to be diverted off and used for economic development, that is


different to what the suggestion was in the beginning, which was an


incentive to councils as planning and housing authorities to get on


with house`building in their areas. In Cornwall, where the council


stands to lose a third of their New Homes Bonus, there are reassurances.


I am going to make a commitment that given the importance of having


somewhere to live, if the enterprise grows and we have to bring more


people in with engineering skills, they will need somewhere to live.


Houses are just as important to us as they are to the council. The


partnership will agree how to spend the money. The government is


planning to agree on an evaluation of the scheme by next year. The


Public Accounts Committee says more urgent action is needed with so much


at stake. Everybody agrees with the need for more houses, it is very


concerning, though, if the scheme is not delivering. I have a great deal


of time for Margaret Hodge. She has lifted the bar for how the Commons


scrutinises the government. I think we are jumping the gun a little,


though. They have started a review already so to criticise them is a


little bit premature. I understand the issues they are bringing up, and


I would hope that we will see some serious analysis at Easter.


Inevitably, a scheme like this that got off the blocks in 2011, houses


are not built overnight, is good. The proof of the pudding will be


over the next year or two. We will see whether it affects real change.


I think to be fair to the government, Margaret Hodge's


criticism was not that the scheme was not working but that it has not


been evaluated yet. It has been going for three years now. My


biggest concern is going to be the impact of the government is taking


away a lot of this money and giving it to the local enterprise


partnerships. In Exeter, that will lose us ?3 million and could


jeopardise the city centre redevelopment. I think that is mad


to do when this money is supposed to be incentivising. You know all about


local government and you look at Cornwall, it has done quite well out


of this. Counties like Devon and Dorset have huge amounts of money


being taken away. They are not getting back much at the moment.


They can't because they do not authorise house`building. Indeed,


and there is a tension there between the two levels. In the decade since


I became a counsellor, most councils are virtual one level counties and


work together very closely. The enterprise is part of that


partnership and they are all working for the benefit of their community.


They should be moving in the same direction. I would think that in


most areas you will get cooperation and people will not lose out. If the


city centre project in Exeter is important to the whole community


then the enterprise partnership will be on board. I have every confidence


with enterprises across the south`west. Some are better than


others and that is the problem. You do get rioted. You might say that if


you get localism, you get local authorities. Yes. The local


enterprise in our area has not got a good reputation. They are all


opposed to this and I hope Eric pickles will think again. If you


look at a rural authority like Devon, your Conservative


colleague... Is very unhappy about a! He is very unhappy about a! He's


extremely unhappy about it! I think the point there is that it is OK and


maybe some more thinking needs to go in. As someone who works in a local


authority, I know how difficult that can be. You do have to work together


and I hope the government are listening to that, and I am sure


they are. You can see why local authorities do not like


house`building. I think house`building is integral to the


local economy. It is important because it stimulates growth and


stimulator the economy. I do not think that people should not be


concerned with housing. We cover parts of Somerset so in theory, many


that is raised in Exeter could be spent on projects in Somerset that


has nothing to do with housing. The original idea was to incense as I is


`` encourage house`building. If you cut that money in half, it will go


backwards again. We need more affordable housing. To many the cry


of the seagull and the sight of them floating on the breeze are an


evocative part of seaside life. They're much less attractive, of


course, when they're dive`bombing toddlers. This week one South West


council held a Seagull Summit to debate the problem of nuisance


gulls, and with even the RSPB reporting a huge increase in


complaints, some say we should start killing them. John Henderson


reports. For some, the beach is no longer


safe. At any moment, there could be a strike from Saint Ives to


Sidmouth. There is fear at the seaside. The predator is not from


below but attacks from above. Seagulls, for some, the mess. `` a


menace. Whether it is wrong, I do not know. She is there and I feed


her. Perhaps it says somebody's ice cream! For many, they are a pest and


ruin a day out. They spoil people's sleep with squawking. This summer,


they seem to be public enemy number one. Postman were attacked. One cafe


issued customers with water pistols to fend off hungry gulls. Back in


Sidmouth, some safe things have got so bad that it is time for real


guns. Time for a seagull cull. It is getting out of hand and they are no


longer in their natural environment, but they are adapting to our


environment too well. A cull words enable us to get back within the


right numbers. It would stop them growing as fast as they have. A cull


is necessary. Shooting gulls is illegal and police were called in


when birds were found in this area. They are wild birds and they are


protected by law. There are certain exceptions such as farmers killing


birds who damage crops, and birds whose red diseases or to caused a


danger for aircraft. Permits to kill are covered under general licences


which have strict terms. The RSPB say there are no exceptions which


allow birds to be killed for being noisy being a nuisance. The society


did not attend this week's seagull summit. We need to learn how to live


with the birds. We should not see them as a problem. Let's deal with


the big problem. The RSPB says there has been a threefold increase in


complaints about seagulls this year compared to last. Sidmouth is not


alone when it comes to struggling with gulls. Some advocate a cull and


others take a different approach, arguing that they will continue


feeding birds and there is no law to stop them. You have dealt with this


kind of thing at DEFRA. There is always a case to keep these things


under review and there is a growing problem with seagulls. I live by the


sea and there are more gulls. There are problems with VCs on the


pavement as well. If there was a cull, the population would come in


from elsewhere. I think there are better ways to deal with them. Stop


people feeding them. You should not feed these seagulls or wild birds.


Swans as well. It is fine having a bird table in your garden but do not


encourage these birds to come in. There are ways of deterring them. A


cull is not the answer. Feeding them does not help but I did not give my


sandwich to a seagull in Sidmouth! They are extremely bold. Yes, they


are. One of the reasons they have come into cities is because of the


availability of food. People do not deal with their rubbish properly and


there is more food being thrown around. You should remove the other


sources of food and the reasons they come into the city in the first


place. Reduce their nesting opportunities as well. They are more


practical solutions to the problem but there is no doubt that there is


a problem and I hope the RSPB are keeping an eye on this because I am


getting more letters about this. Any arguments for a cull? I hate


seagulls. They terrify me! I would like to see a lot less of them. The


idea of a cull is an appalling prospect at the seaside. I do not


think that will happen. We have got to find another way. In Gloucester,


many years ago, there was a huge problem with seagulls. This is the


problem. We have accepted them as part of the seaside. They had


problems in Birmingham. We had a programme of poisoning their eggs


and I cannot remember how it exactly works but you can stop them from


reading that way. That worked for a while and the population went down


`` breeding. The right thing to do is ask people not to feed them. Do


you think a law is needed? I think you need a bylaw. A bylaw on feeding


might be appropriate in some places. You have to deal with it on a


case`by`case basis. They have stopped people feeding the pigeons


in Trafalgar Square. That is a more sensible approach than a cull. Yes,


a cull would be difficult but something has to be done. Let's


behave more sensibly and be careful with our litter but it will not stop


them swooping down on a child and grabbing their ice cream. It


happened to me and it was distressing! Now our regular


round`up of the political week in sixty seconds.


Calls to put nurses behind the chemist's counter to relieve


accident and emergency departments. I am keen to make more use of


pharmacies without putting pressure on services. Campaigning for egg


crackdown on adult entertainment in Newquay. Some pubs and clubs in my


constituency have been exploiting the loophole in the act that you


have referred to. This puts patrons at risk. As well as performers.


Concerns that Cornwall have struggled to provide free school


meals for the under eights. The government denies plans to lower the


minimum sugar content in jam. We are not stopping anyone putting 60% in.


It is a minimum level and means producers will have greater


flexibility. As well as being a DEFRA Minister,


you are a Health Minister. Can we solve the accident and emergency


crisis by persuading people to go to the pharmacy instead? No. I am all


for supporting the use of pharmacies but you would have to have full`time


nurses in that and have enough work for them to do. Most of the problems


in hospitals are at the weekends when pharmacies are not open. It


seems a nonsense to move resources from walk`in clinics. There are


difficulties for people getting to see their GP at times as well. The


Health Secretary says accident and emergency departments have never


been stronger. Is there a problem? I think an individual's experience


varies. Is there an overload on ana? `` accident and emergency? This


issue comes up again and again. I have heard different stories across


the region. In some places, A is under pressure and in other areas it


is less so. We have two try and reduce... People do go to A with


minor issues that we have to look at how GPs operate and perhaps using


pharmacies as a way of dealing with minor injuries is a good thing, I do


not know. I have not looked into it. I think it is a good idea to


bring up and think about. That's the Sunday Politics in the South West.


Thanks to my guests Ben and Julie. We did not discuss the jam, I am


sorry. It is the British government that wants to


Thank you for coming, great to see you. Andrew, back to you. Labour 's


relationship with Unite and other issues all to be discussed in the


Week Ahead and we're joined now by the shadow business secretary Chuka


Umunna. First I would like to get your reaction to the interview I did


earlier with the General Secretary of the union Unite - Len McCluskey.


Let's look at what he said. This is a trap being laid by Tory Central


office. They are making all of the demands and the Daily Mail, the


Sunday Times, are you telling me they are not the conservative


mouthpiece in the media? They are laying traps for Ed Miliband and he


should not fall into them. Though it is all a Tory plot. Len McCluskey


denies a lot of the allegations put, but let me be clear in an industrial


dispute, the use of aggressive or intimidatory tactics by either side


is totally unacceptable. Do you think it is wrong for Unite to send


its members to the homes of managers? I don't know what happened


in that particular case, but I think you should keep people 's families


out of these things and if you are doing something that can upset


particularly children, that is a bad thing. I know he denied a number of


things you put to him. We now know some of the content of Labour 's own


report into what happened at Falkirk and they found all sorts of things -


forgery, coercion, trickery and even that their own investigation was


being thwarted by Unite. What should Labour do next? I have not read the


report. We are told that the latest allegations that have been made is


something that the police are looking into so that is not


something I think would be appropriate for me to comment on. We


learned Labour Party members in the Falkirk constituency have complained


to the leader of the Scottish party about a lack of action by the Labour


Party on what happened in Falkirk. I am not part of the Scottish party


and that is news to me. But the police have indicated they are


looking at the new information that has come to light. It is a bit like


the 1980s and there was an electrifying moment when Neil


Kinnock took on the militant tendency in Bournemouth in 1985 Ed


Miliband has sort of tried to take on the Unite union, but it has not


worked. Does then not need to be an electrifying moment for Ed Miliband?


Your own paper has praised him for seeking to address the issues we


have in politics and the disconnection from people. In many


respects the situation in Falkirk categorises the process of further


ongoing change where we are trying to establish a better relationship


with individual trade union members. In parts of my constituency, some of


the most deprived parts, we had people queueing round the block to


vote. I do not think the issue is that people are not political, but


they have never felt so far from party politics as they do now and


that is why Ed Miliband announced this big chains about how we do


things in the Labour Party, so we change structures in the Labour


Party that were set up in the 2 th century. The reform of the way in


which we connect and our relationship with the union puts us


in a good position because we have this relationship between the 3


million working people who ensure our public services function. At


Grangemouth INEOS stood up to unite. At Grangemouth and Falkirk


Labour rolled over to the Unite union. I do not agree with that I'd


just explained the reason. I do not think it is fair to ask people to


give evidence in an enquiry on the basis of the report will be


confidential and then to publish it after. But if somebody is trying to


take over a Labour constituency to send an MP of their choice to our


Parliament, that should not be secret, that should be public. Ed


Miliband acted very decisively. That constituency party is still in


special measures as I understand it. This idea that somehow the Unite


union runs the Labour Party, they do not. The special measures mean


according to Eric Joyce, that an ally of Stevie Deans is chairing the


meeting. I am interested in the Tory suggestion that they would offer


free Tory party membership to union members. I then moving onto your


turf? We do not know exactly all the facts and the truth of the


allegations that have been made On your point I think it is healthy the


Conservatives are looking to recruit trade union members. A lot of their


rhetoric is very negative in respect of trade unions. If you look at


Unison a third of the members vote Conservative. In Unite union some of


their members vote Tory. I think trade unions have a lot to bring to


our country. It is one of the things many up and down the country will


find very frustrating, a lot of the good work that unions do if it gets


tarnished with all the negative stuff you see... Unite are working


in partnership with GM and the senior management in Ellesmere Port


and the government ensured that we kept that plant open. That gets


overlooked by all of this. Do you not think the bolshie behaviour from


unions are motivated not by strength, but by weakness. Unite


know they cannot paralyse the country in the way their forebears


used to be able to do. Their penetration rates in the private


sector is 11%. The union movement is weaker than it was before I was


born. Some of that truck killers and bad behaviour either death spasms of


their movement rather than something that is motivated by the fact they


can't paralyse the country. You have two increase the membership. But


there is an issue about the public perception of trade unions. It is


right they should be a voice of protest and anger and stand up for


their members when it is necessary. But people join unions for their


aspiration. The unions do a lot so that people can move up in their


workplace. That profile needs to come across as strongly as the


protest part. I want to move on to business. The head of the CBI has


said that Labour's pro-enterprise credentials have suffered a setback.


He said that in relation to Ed Miliband's speech. I was on the


radio earlier. If you look at the things in the speech, some of that


was going to be uncomfortable for some of the countries and they tend


to be companies represented by the CBI, like energy companies, like


land developers, a lot of the big business lose out from is not doing


the corporate tax cut. The energy freeze is going to help over 2.


million businesses that have been hit by high energy bills. The


business community has said we had to bring the public sector finances


back into balance. That is why we decided to switch the money being


used to reduce corporation tax and use that to help a much greater


variety of businesses by doing a business rate cut. It is all pro


enterprise. They also seem to be critical of your new idea of a


living wage. They are not critical. It would not be compulsory, but


there would be a tax credit if they paid it. It is good for business


because if people are earning more than they are more productive. It is


good for the employee and good for us as well because it means we are


not having to subsidise people to be paid to the extent we have with tax


credits and benefits. Everybody benefits from this. We all know


after 2009 we need to have bold change. Does Labour paid a living


wage? We have got over 20 of our councils signed up to doing so and


we have made commitments in respect to Whitehall. Does the Labour Party


pay it? I believe so. Would it not be worth checking? Do you get a


living wage? Yes, of course I do. I understand we paid a living wage.


What does it feel like for Tristram Hunt who has taken over your mantle


as Labour's next leader? Is that a relieved or are you angry? He is one


of my best friends and at the end of the day if we got obsessed with this


soap opera stuff we would never get anything done and we are working


together to make sure we have got the right skills in our workforce.


That is all for today. The daily politics is on all week. I will be


here again next weekend at 12:2 pm after the Remembrance Day service at


the Cenotaph. Remember if it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.


Planet Earth - it's unique. It has life.


To understand why, we're going to build a planet...up there.


There were the objects that were making the Earth.


We're now weightless. That's how our planet started.


Your arms are a little bit long Is that as small as they go?


This is like every shopping trip I've ever been on.


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