14/09/2014 Sunday Politics South West


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Welcome to the Sunday Politics, coming to you live from Edinburgh.


Terrorists who use the name Islamic State have carried out


their threat to murder the British aid worker, David Haines.


They released a video late last night, showing a masked man


beheading Mr Haines, who was taken captive in Syria 18 months ago.


The jihadist group have already beheaded two American journalists.


Now it's threatening the life of a second British hostage.


David Cameron described the murder as an act of pure evil.


As we speak he's chairing a meeting of the Cabinet's COBRA


President Obama said the US stood shoulder to shoulder


Alex Salmond says Scotland "stands on the cusp of history" as


he predicts a historic and substantial victory in


As the latest polls show the two sides neck and neck,


I'll ask Yes campaigner and socialist Tommy Sheridan about his


And after last week's last-minute interventions from Gordon Brown


David Cameron, Ed Miliband and big business, I'll ask


pro-unionist George Galloway whether it's enough to win over waverers.


In the south`west, could thd Scottish referendum pave thd


step closer back to Parliament. Is it a lame-duck administration?


Late last night, as most folk were preparing for bed, news broke that


Islamic State extremists had carried out their threat to murder the


The group released a video, similar to the ones in which two American


journalists were decapitated, showing a masked man apparently


beheading Mr Haines who was taken captive in Syria last year.


The terrorist, who has a southern British accent,


also threatened the life of a second hostage from the UK


Mr Haines is the third Westerner to be killed


His family have paid tribute to his humanitarian work; they say he


David Cameron described the murder as an act of pure evil, and said


his heart went out to Mr Haines family, who had shown extraordinary


Mr Cameron went on to say, "We will do everything in our power


to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice,


Mr Haines was born in England and brought up in Scotland.


Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond condemned the killing on the Marr


Well, it's an act of unspeakable barbarism that we have seen.


Obviously our condolences go to the family members of David Haynes who


have borne this with such fortitude in recent months -- David


Alex Salmond was also asked whether he supported military action


Haines there is no reason to believe whatsoever that China or Russia or


any country will see their will to deal with this barbarism. There is a


will for effective, international, legal action but it must come in


that fashion, and I would urge that to be a consideration to develop a


collective response to what is a threat to humanity.


Our security correspondent Gordon Corera joins me now


Gordon, as we speak, the Cobra emergency meeting is meeting yet


again. It meets a lot these days. I would suggest that the options


facing this committee and Mr Cameron are pretty limited. That's right. I


think they are extremely limited. They have been all along in these


hostage situations. We know, for instance, that British government


policy is not to pay ransom is to kidnappers. Other Europeans states


are thought to have done so to get hostages released, and also not to


make substantive policy concessions to the groups, so while there might


be contact, there won't be a lot of options left. We know the US in the


past has looked at rescue missions and in July on operation to free the


hostages, landing at the oil facility in Syria but finding no one


there. If you look at the options, they are not great. That is the


difficult situation which Cobra will have been discussing the last hour.


Does this make it more likely, because it might have the direction


the government was going in any way, that we join with the Americans in


perhaps the regional allies in air strikes against Islamic State, not


just in Iraq, but also in Syria We heard from President Obama outlining


his strategy against Islamic State last week when he talked about


building a coalition, about authorising air strikes. And


training troops. We are still waiting to hear what exact role the


UK will play in that. We know it will play a role because it has been


arming the fishmonger forces but the question is, will it actually


conduct military strikes in Iraq -- arming the passion are there. We


have not got a clear answer from government and that is something


where they are ours to discuss what was around the table. It's possible


we might learn some more today as a result of the Cobra meeting, but I


think the government will be wanting to not be seen to suddenly rushed to


a completely different policy as a result of one incident, however


terrible it is. Whether it hardens their reserve -- resolved to play


more active role in the coalition, that's possible, but we have to wait


see to get the detail. -- wait and see. What the whole country would


like to see would be British and American special forces going in and


getting these guys. I think that would unite the nation. But that is


very difficult, isn't it? It is As you saw with a rescue mission a few


months ago, the problem is getting actionable intelligence on the


ground at a particular moment. The theory is that the group of


kidnappers are moving the hostages may be even every or few days, so


you need intelligence and quickly and then you need to be able to get


the team onto the ground into that time frame. That is clearly a


possibility and something they will be looking at, but it certainly


challenging, particularly when you have a group like this operating


within its own state, effectively, and knowing that other people are


looking very hard for it and doing everything they can to hide. Gordon,


thank you very much. Clegg dropped everything and headed


to Scotland when a poll last Sunday gave the YES vote its first ever


lead in this prolonged referendum If their reaction looked


like panic, that's because it was. Until last weekend,


though the polls had been narrowing, the consensus was still that NO


would carry the day. The new consensus is that


it's too close to call. If we look back at the beginning of


the year, public opinion in Scotland was fairly settled. The no campaign


had a commanding lead across the opinion polls, excluding the


undecided voters. At one point, at the end of last year, an average of


63% backed the no campaign and only 37% supported a yes vote. As we move


into 2014 and up to this week, you can see a clear trend emerging as


the lead for the no campaign gets narrower and narrower and the


average of the most recent polls has the contest hanging in the balance.


There was a poll a week ago that put the Yes campaign in the lead for the


first time, 51% against 49%, but that lead was not reflected in the


other polls last week. For polls were published last night, one by


Salvation, for the macro-2 campaign -- Better Together campaign, and


there was another that gave a one percentage point different. ICM have


the yes campaign back in the lead at 54% and the no campaign at 46%, but


their sample size was 705 Scottish adults, smaller than usual. Another


suggests that the contest remains on a knife edge with 49.4% against


50.6%. When fed into the poll of polls the figures average out with


yes at 49% and polls -- no at 5 %. But some people think 18% are


undecided, and it is how they vote gets -- when they get to the polling


booths that could make all the difference.


campaigner and Respect Party MP George Galloway.


Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Big business, big oil, big banks, the


Tories, the Orange order, all against Scottish independence. You


sure you are on right side? Yes because the interests of working


people are in staying together. This is a troubled moment in a marriage,


a very long marriage, in which some good things and bad things have been


achieved together. And there is no doubt that the crockery is being


thrown around the house of the minute. But I believe that the


underlying interests of working people are on working on the


relationship rather than divorce. I have been divorced. It's a very


messy, acrimonious, bitter affair and it's particularly bad for the


children will stop that's why I am here. You talk about working people,


and particularly Scottish working people, they seem to have concluded


that the social democracy they want to create cannot now be done in a UK


context. Why should they not have a shot of going it alone? Because the


opposite will happen. Separation will cause a race to the bottom in


taxation. Alex Salmond has already announced he will cut the taxes on


companies, corporation tax, down to 3% hello whatever it is in the rest


of these islands. And business will only be attracted to come here,


country of 5 million people on if there is low regulation, low public


expenditure, low levels of taxation for them will stop you cannot have


Scandinavian social democracy on Texan levels of taxation. The


British government, as will be, the rest of the UK, they will race Alex


Salmond to the bottom. If he cuts it by three, they will cut it by four.


And so on. So whether some people cannot see it clearly yet or not,


the interests of the working people on both sides of the border would be


gravely damaged by separation. Let's take the interest of the working


people. As you know, as well as anyone, the coalition is in


fermenting both a series of cuts and reforms in welfare, and labour,


Westminster Labour, has only limited plans to reverse any of that. Surely


if you want to preserve the welfare state as it is, independence is the


way to do it. For the reasons I just explain, I don't believe that. But


Ed Miliband will be along in a minute. He will be along in May The


polls indicate... They say he is only four or 5%, that is the


average. Like the referendum, the next general election could be nip


and tuck. I don't, myself, think that the time of David Cameron as


Prime Minister is for much longer. I think there will be a Labour


government in the spring and the Labour government in London and a


stronger Scottish Parliament, super Devo Max, that is now on the table.


That is the best arrangement of people in the country. But the


people of Scotland surely cannot base a decision on independence on


your feeling that Labour might win the next general election. It is my


feeling. When the Tories were beaten on the bedroom tax last week in the


house, it was written all over the faces of the government side not


only that they were headed for defeat, but probably a massive fishy


-- Fisher. I think the race to the bottom that I have proper size will


mean that the welfare state will be a distant memory quite soon. The


cuts and the run on the Scottish economy here in Edinburgh, the


financial services industry, that will be gravely damage. The Ministry


of Defence jobs in Scotland decimated, probably ended, more or


less. It will be a time of cuts and austerity, maybe super austerity in


an independent Scotland. You mentioned defence. What about


nuclear weapons? The Tories and Labour will keep them. You are


against them. Surely the only way to be rid of them in Scotland is by


independence. But you are not rid of them by telling them down the river.


The danger would be the same -- telling them down the river. The


danger would be the same. Nuclear radiation does not respect Alex


Salmond's national boundaries. They would be committed to immediately


joining NATO, which is bristling with nuclear weapons and is what --


involved in wars across the Atlantic. So anyone looking for a


peace option will have to elect a government in Britain as a whole


that will get rid of nuclear weapons and get out of military


entanglements. We are in one again now. I have been up the whole night,


till 5am, dealing with some of the consequences and implications of the


grave international matter that you opened the show with. David Haines


and the fate of the hostage still in their hands. There are many other


hostages as well. And there are many people dying who are neither British


nor American. I have, somehow, been drawn into this matter. And it


showed me, again, that the world is interdependent. It is absolutely


riven with division and hatred, and this is the worst possible time to


be opting out of the world to set up a small mini-state on the promises


of Alex Salmond of social democracy funded by Texan taxes. Let's, for


the sake of the next question, assume that everything you have told


us is true. Why is your side squandering a 20 point lead?


I will have a great deal to say about that, whatever the result


This is very much a Scottish Labour project, is that not a condemnation


of Scottish Labour? It is potentially on its deathbed. The


country breaking up, the principal responsibility will be on them. And


the pitiful, absolutely pitiful job that has been made of defending a


300-year-old relationship in this island by the Scottish Labour


leadership is really terrible for me to behold, even though I'm no longer


one of them. I don't know how they are going to get out of this


deathbed. Do you agree that if this referendum is lost by your side it


will be because traditional working-class Labour voters,


particularly in the west of Scotland, have abundant Labour and


decided to vote for independence? Without a doubt, the number of


Labour voters intending to vote yes is disturbingly high. Even just


months ago during the European Parliament elections, swathes of


people who didn't vote SNP will be voting yes on Thursday. That is a


grave squandering of a great legacy of Scottish Labour history, which


history will decree as unforgivable. If Labour is to get


out of its deathbed in Scotland it will have to become Labour again.


Real Labour again. I am ready to help them with that. My goodness,


they need help with are increasingly fed up with the


Westminster system, but it is only the Scots who currently have the


chance to break free from it, so why shouldn't they? That is exactly


right. They see a parliament of expenses cheats led by Lord snooty


and the Bullingdon club elite, carrying through austerity for many


but not for themselves and they are repulsed by it. They need change,


but you can go backwards and call it change but it will be worse than the


situation you have now. A lot of Scottish people don't buy that. It


is a Scottish people don't buy that. It


getting this, they would say, what about us? It could delay the whole


procedure. It is necessary, you are right. England should have home


rule, and I screamed at Scottish Labour MPs going into the vote to


introduce tuition fees in England. I told them this was a constitutional


monstrosity, as well as a crime against young people in England It


was risking everything. We are led by idiots. Our leaders are not James


Bonds, they are Austin powers. We need to change the leadership, not


rip up a 300-year-old marriage. Thank you.


It's been one of the longest and hardest fought political campaigns


in history, with Alex Salmond firing the starting gun on the referendum


Adam's been stitching together the key moments of the campaign


It is the other thing drawing people to the Scottish parliament, the new


great tapestry of Scotland. It is the story of battles won and lost,


Scottish moments, British moments, famous Scots, and not so famous


Scots. There is even a panel dedicated to the rise of the SNP.


Alex Salmond's majority in the elections in 2011 made the


referendum inevitable. It became reality when he and David Cameron


did a deal in Edinburgh one year later. The Scottish Government set


out its plans for independence in this book, just a wish list to some,


a sacred text to others. This White Paper is the most detailed


improvements that any people have ever been offered in the world as a


basis for becoming an independent country. The no campaign, called


Better Together, united the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems under the


leadership of Alistair Darling. Then the Scottish people were bombarded


with two years of photo opportunities and a lot of


campaigning. For the no campaign, Jim Murphy went on tour but took a


break when he was egged and his events were often hijacked by yes


campaigners who were accused of being intimidating. In turn, they


accused the no campaign of using scare tactics. Things heated up when


the TV dinner -- during the TV debate. Fever pitch was reached one


week ago when one poll suggested the yes campaign was in the lead for the


first time. The three main Westminster leaders ditched PMQs to


head north. I think people can feel it is like a general election, that


you make a decision and five years later you can make another decision


if you are fed up with the Tories, give them a kick... This is totally


different. And Labour shelved not quite 100 MPs onto the train, Alex


Salmond took a helicopter instead. This is about the formation of the


NHS. A big theme of the yes campaign is that changes to the NHS in Linden


-- in England would lead to privatisation in Scotland. Alex


Salmond's plan to share the pound was trashed by big names. There were


other big question is, what would happen to military hardware like


Trident based on the Clyde? Would an independent Scotland be able to join


the EU? And how much oil was left underneath the North Sea?


This panel is about famous Scots, we have Annie Lennox, Stephen Hendry,


Sean Connery. I cannot see Gordon Brown. These are big changes we are


proposing to strengthen the Scottish parliament, but at the same time to


stay as part of the UK. A regular on the campaign, he was front and


centre when things got close, unveiling a timetable for more


devolution. People wondered whether Ed Miliband was able to reach the


parts of Scotland Labour leader should reach, and at Westminster


some Tories pondered whether David Cameron could stay as prime minister


if there was a yes vote. This tapestry is nonpartisan so it is a


good place to get away from it all but it is crystallising voters'


views. Look at what we have contributed to Great Britain, and I


am British and I hope to be staying British. This is what people from


Scotland have done, taken to the rest of the world in many cases and


I think I am going to vote yes. I am so inspired by it. It has certainly


inspired me to have a go at stitching. How long do you think it


would take to do the whole thing? I would say to put aside maybe 30


hours of stitching. Maybe by the time I am done, we will know more


about how the fabric of the nation might be changing.


And I've been joined by yes campaigner and convenor


of Scotland's Solidarity socialist party, Tommy Sheridan.


An economy dependent on oil, the Queen as head of state, membership


of the world 's premier nuclear alliance of capitalist nations is


that the socialist Scotland you are fighting for? No, that is the SNP's


prospectus and they are entitled to put forward their vision, but it is


not mine or that of the majority of Scotland. We will find out in two


years. On Thursday we are not voting for a political party, we are voting


for our freedom as a country. That is why people are going to vote yes


on Thursday. A lot of people are voting for what you call freedom


because they think it will be more Scotland. You have already got free


prescriptions, no tuition fees, free care for the elderly. You might not


in future have that if public spending is overdependent on the


price of oil, over which you have no control. We don't have to worry


about one single resource, we already have 20% of the fishing


stock in Europe. We already have 25% of the wind, wave and solar power


generation. We, as an independent country, have huge resources,


natural resources but also people resources. We have five first-class


universities, food and beverages industry which is the envy of the


world. We have the ability to produce the resources on the


revenues that won't just maintain the health service and education but


it will develop health and education. I don't want to stand


still, I want to redistribute wealth. But all of the projections


of public spending for an independent Scotland show that to


keep spending at the current level you need a strong price of oil and


you are dependent on this commodity which goes up and down and sideways.


That is a gamble. I have got to laugh because I have been told the


most pessimistic is that in 40 years the oil is running out, panic


stations! If you were told by the BBC you could only guarantee


employment for the next 40 years you would be over the moon. I am talking


about in the next five. You need 50% of your revenues to come from oil to


continue spending and that is not a guarantee. Of course it is, the


minimum survival of the oil is 0 years. Please get your viewers to go


onto the Internet and look at the website called oilandgas.com. The


West Coast has 100 years of oil to be extracted. It hasn't been done


because in 1981 Michael Heseltine said we cannot extract the oil


because we have Trident going up and down there. Let's get rid of Trident


and extract the oil. You are a trot right, why have you failed to learn


his famous dictum, socialism in one country is impossible. Revolutions


and change are not just single event. What will happen here on


Thursday is a democratic revolution. The people are fed up of being


patronised and lied to by this mob in Westminster who have used and


abused us for far too long. The smaller people now have a voice


What about socialism in one country? Mr Trotsky warned you


against that. The no campaign represents the past. The yes


campaign represents the future. That is the truth of the matter. What we


are going to do in an independent Scotland is tackle inequality and a


scourge of low pay. If we vote no on Thursday, there will be more low pay


on Friday, more poverty and food banks on Friday. I'm not going to be


lectured by these big banks, you vote less -- yes and we will leave


the country! The food banks will be the ones closing. If you got your


way, for the type of Scotland you would like to see, state control of


business, nationalisation of the Manx, the roads to Carlisle will be


clogged with people Yes, hoping to come into Scotland,


because in their hearts, the Scottish people know that England


want to see the people having the bottle. The working class people in


Liverpool, Newcastle, outside of London, they are saying good on the


jocks that are taking on big business. When we are independent


and investing in social housing the people of England will say, we can


do that as well, and they will rediscover the radical tradition. In


wanting to build socialism in one country, it really means you are


fighting for the few, rather than the many. You are bailing out of the


socialist Battle for Britain. You think it will be easier to make it


work. Think globally, act locally and we will build socialism in


Scotland but I wanted across the world. I won my brothers and sisters


in England and Wales to be encouraged by what we do so they can


reject the Westminster consensus as well -- I want. We had the three


Stooges coming up to London, three millionaires united on one thing,


austerity. Doesn't matter whether Ed Miliband wins the next election he


said he would stick to the story spending cuts. Why vote for Ed


Miliband? You wouldn't trust him to run a bath, not a country. Let's see


if this is realistic, this great socialist vision. At the last


Scottish election, the Socialist party got 8000 votes. The


Conservatives got 30 times more votes. Where is the appetite in


Scotland for your Marxist ideology question we might not win it. But do


you know what, see in two years time. See when we have the Scottish


general election. You won't -- you are saying you might win and you


went to the Holyrood election and got 8000 Pope -- votes. The SNP won


a democratic election and then won the 2011 election and you know why


they won? Because they picked up the clothes that the Labour Party has


thrown away. They picked up the close of social democracy and


protecting the health service was -- service. There are people in the SNP


who believe in public ownership and people in the SNP who believe in the


NHS should be written into a constitution as never for sale


people in the the SNP that think the Royal mail should return to public


ownership. That is there in black and white. Do you agree with George


Galloway that this is potentially a crisis for Scottish Labour? Scottish


Labour is finished. They are absolutely finished. George is right


in that. Scottish Labour is finished. The irony of ironies is,


Labour in Scotland has more chance of recovery in an independent


Scotland that they have in a no vote. Labour in Scotland in an


independent country will have to rediscover the traditions of Keir


Hardie, the ideas of Jimmy Maxon, because right now, they are to the


right of the SNP as a political party. I understand the socialist


vision, but it is where the appetite is. And you look at the independence


people in Scotland. One of your colleagues, Brian Souter, a man who


fought against the appeal -- repeal of homosexual rights in Scotland.


Another of your allies would seem to be Rupert Murdoch, the man who


engineered your downfall. You say he engineered your downfall, but I m


still here and his newspaper has closed. Whether it Rupert Murdoch,


Brian Souter, or any other millionaire supporting independence,


I couldn't care less. This boat on Thursday is not about millionaires,


it is about the millions. -- this vote. We will not be abused any


young -- longer. Would you rather not have their support? I couldn't


care about the support. You know who is supporting the union. It is the


unions of the big businesses, the BNP, UKIP, they are the ones who


support it. You are giving me a stray that has wandered into the


campaign and are you seriously going to argue with me that the


establishment isn't united to try and save the union? That is what


they are trying to be. The BBC, you have been a disgrace in your


coverage of the campaign. Not you personally. You don't have editorial


control. The BBC coverage, generally, has been a disgrace and


the people. Oil and gas, go and look at that, why is that not feature.


Why is the idea of 100 years of oil not featured in the campaign.


Because the BBC does not want to see it. Are you getting in your excuses


if you lose? You better be kidding. Is this the face of somebody looking


to lose. We are going to win, 6 /40. Absolutely. There is a momentum that


you guys are not seeing on the working-class housing estates.


Working class people are fed up being taken for granted fed up with


the lives of people dragging us into tax cuts, bedroom tax for the poor.


They will have power on Thursday, and they will use it and vote for


freedom. Are you happy with the way the BBC has treated you today? So


far, yes. I have still not been offered a Coffey, but that might


happen. That is an obvious example of our bias. Tommy, we will speak to


you later with George Galloway. Hello, I'm Martyn Oates,


coming up on the Sunday Polhtics Whether there's a yes or


a no vote in next week's Scottish referendum, devolution will soon be


stalking the land, Could a Cornish Assembly


finally see the light of dax? And for the next 20 minutes, I'm


joined by Labour's Candy Atherton, Cornwall councillor and forler MP


for Falmouth and Camborne. And by the present Conservative MP


for Camborne and Redruth, The first time we've had a double MP


of an MP and their successor. During the summer break,


the fiercely Eurosceptic MP Douglas Carswell left


the Tories to join UKIP. No other MPs have yet followed


but many Tory backbenchers think the Prime Minister's pledge


of a referendum on our membdrship I can see nothing wrong with


renegotiation, I would say to you I want to see repatriation


of our powers, and if I cannot get what is best for my country I would


have to consider leaving. Unfortunately, as I underst`nd it,


the Prime Minister's position is that he wants to stay in Europe and


we have rather given away otr stance I know you love being reminded that


you came the opposite way from UKIP Does that eurosceptic angle give


you some sort of sympathy? I'll let you get 15 years ago and


one of the reasons was becatse it was completely counter`prodtctive.


They were saying you can only save the pound if you leave the DU and we


know that was completely wrong. The only way we can get a referdndum is


if we have a Conservative m`jority. Unless we have that, Labour will be


in power and there will be no referendum. You are no longdr for


what role? I actually think we should renegotiate. Should the Prime


Minister be threatening that? The Prime Minister gave the most


significant speech on Europd of any prime minister since the war. He is


right that we should have a new setup with some power is coling


back. Countries like Germanx say they are up for that kind of


discussion. It would be wrong to go in and say we are going to leave


because that is what people here, and the danger is that other


countries would be less recdptive to having the grown`up discusshon that


we want. It is clear that if you have a referendum and one of the


options is leaving that the UK would, but the onus is on the


government to get the fresh settlement and put it to thd people.


You are shaking your head? Ht is like ferrets in a act. We h`ve been


through the big depression `nd people anxious about housing and


here are the Conservatives completely enthralled by thd


argument about Europe. Not dven in the top ten of issues that people


raves. It is not going to do you any good and I think it will help


Labour. It is the case that we have seen it in Plymouth that UKHP are


taking working`class votes from Labour as well, you cannot be


complacent? The surveys are very clear that it is but several ways.


The Liberal Democrats are ott of the game. Michael Foster stands a really


good chance because we have is the anti`Conservative vote going to go?


Labourer. Let's not forget ht was the last Labour government that got


the economy in a mess. A sm`ll thing called the global recession. We have


growth returning. We always end up talking about the global economy!


Calls for devolved government in Cornwall have been falling on deaf


Now, though, campaigners hope the massive constitutional changes


generated by a yes or no vote in the Scottish referendum light be


With the Scottish independence Paul's neck and neck, the s`ltire


became a political tool that Downing Street and the Labour leader called


for it to be flown across the country. We want to send a clear


message to the people of Scotland, please stay with us because we


believe we are stronger togdther. The Tour of Britain whizzed through


Devon. But no sign of the s`ltire here, where it is not flags but the


impact of events which are stopping people's minds. Are you hophng this


could also be Cornwall's molent We hope it is after Scotland. But some


have been here before. Just over a decade ago campaigners for ` Cornish


assembly managed to get signatures of 10% of the population only for


Westminster to shelve the issue Nick Clegg is calling for a major


programme of devolution in Dngland. We have not seen a national party


commit to the Cornish case hn a serious way. Here in this chamber,


123 Cornwall Council as region, one culture, one history and


language and counsel. The there s absolutely no reason why grdater


powers could not be afforded to the unitary authority and that they


could act us all the time we could do many


more things, which would solve many of the problems that Cornwall faces.


I think there's a move as a result of devolution that this will happen.


Certainly from my party and others as well. Recently Ed Miliband


produced this policy talking about city regions. But on the face of it


since I Cornwall being attached to Plymouth which might be unpopular.


It is sometimes helpful to work was Plymouth. But what might thhs mean?


It is what is appropriate. Ht may be some of the inner cities of the


North want to work together as a cohesive region, but we do not need


another layer. That is the last thing people want. They want control


of what is going on in the community and not Whitehall bureaucrats making


decisions. What exactly do the Lib Dems want? We want to see a transfer


of powers to individual reghons based on what is right for the


region. Cornwall can be considered a region and it is explicitly made


clear in our manifesto that a Cornish assembly is what we want to


see. If other parts are not ready to move at the same speed, that is not


going to hold up Cornwall. Just boosting the existing unity? I want


to see a wholesale transfer of powers. We should not see Eric


Pickles dictating how often we empty the bends. `` bins. Something along


the lines of the Welsh asselbly but we do not have to see anothdr tier


of bureaucracy. You can enh`nce the council and you will only gdt that


with the Liberal Democrats. When Hilary Benn wrote to as recdntly he


was quite insistent that Cornwall to get more powers would have to


combine with Plymouth and would have to combine with other authorities


and that is not something that people in Cornwall want. I do not


hear that at all. We have otr conference next week. The shze was


the big issue? Sometimes size is an issue but it is what is


appropriate. The Labour Party has really learn the lesson that you


have to go to the appropriate level. I do think it is good somethmes to


work was Plymouth. Sometimes you have to work with your neighbours.


Several references to Eric Pickles. You are on the record as opposing


Cornish assembly but plenty of Tory MPs say that whatever happens they


will have to be significant constitutional changes. I h`ve


always said I am up for discussion. Cornwall Council is any special


possession but I do not think we need a new assembly paying lots of


money for another layer of politicians. It is important to


remember we have already brought in to place the growth deal. That gives


funds for infrastructure projects and part of that is looking at


whether Cornwall can take a stronger role in the number of eyes pushed


for that. `` and a number of others. We are up for discussion ovdr


whether we can do more but H do not think we need to have anothdr tier


of politicians. Some references to Eric Pickles imposing things, but


you have had this huge drivd towards localism but the reality is you have


been telling councils what to do with their revenue and council tax


and telling them how many houses to build. People like the Tory leader


of Devon county council say they have never been more constr`ined. We


have been encouraging counchls to take account that they have had


pressure on income over the last 20 years so we have helped those who


are willing to keep council tax down. We are also removing some of


the ring fencing swords is not true to say are dictating. The fhnal


point I am making is that there are certain things the public expect the


council to do, and picking tp the rubbish is one of them. There are


certain core functions wherd it is right for the government to have a


view on what they could council is doing.


This week the Liberal Democrats unveiled what they're calling


a pre`manifesto outlining the pledges they'll make


Differentiating themselves from their Conservative partners


in the coalition is a big p`rt of their pre`election push.


And, as John Danks reports, this includes rejecting polhcies


When the Lib Dems backed down on their pledge to prevent tuition


fees, many were disappointed. We have learned our lesson on tuition


fees the hard way. There will be no repeat of that mistake. The


so`called bedroom tax is other policies which has caused Lhb Dem


anxiety. Valerie Johnson can still see the larger house she left in 518


years until her benefits were reduced. I have three months to


downsize. I had to get rid of the lot of stuff that meant a lot to me


and had to dispose of a lot of memories. It was painful. Shnce


April last year, tenants in social housing with more bedrooms than they


need have lost part of their housing benefit. Making the change, the


government said it was fear and would free up bigger homes. `` fair.


Others insisted it was anything but fair. The reality is a lot of people


living in overcrowded accomlodation, the sensible thing to do wotld to


have provided a stimulus, and the fiscal penalty drove them ott of


those properties and drove those in overcrowded property into them, but


that has not happened because people cannot move out because thex are not


properties available. He has now introduced a Private Members' Bill


which would prevent people from a benefits cut if a smaller house


cannot be found. And now his Liberal Democrat colleagues are backing him


instead. Despite backing thd bill, the cries of hypocrisy that the


Liberal Democrats were now `ttacking a policy that they had voted for.


They denied the move had anxthing to do with the general election. It is


perfectly reasonable and rational to say that on the basis of thd


evidence we think that we h`ve two extend the exemptions that `re


currently available. I think that while people can of course criticise


them for political cynicism, there is a strong rational case to


actually defend the position. As the general election approaches, the


Liberal Democrats are also pledging to stop public forests being sold.


Just four years ago they were trying to sell them off in coalition with


the Tories. They are also advertising new policies like


subsidised bus travel for young people. Whether they will change


their minds and other subsidies and policies remains to be seen.


We have heard many Liberal Democrats over the last few years defdnding


the bedroom tax in principld and practice, this looks a little


opportunistic? I cannot spe`k for what they have said and havd always


opposed the practicalities of it. If people have the opportunity to


downsize the should be expected to do so but without the opportunity it


is unrealistic and harsh. I am worse than through all the way. I am very


glad that in the run`up to the election, and with all the dvidence,


there are many thousands of people who are being unfairly penalised and


we need to reform, if not do away with the bedroom tax. Is it


embarrassing that your partx as a whole are on the wrong side of this


argument? If you have coalition then each partner in that coalithon has


to give a certain amount of ground. The Conservatives are bigger and had


to give less ground, but Tory backbenchers will say that the


Liberal Democrats held up and stopped the Tories from doing many


things they wanted to do. Bx and large, the government has done the


right thing in most circumstances. They are examples like the bedroom


tax where I think it is wholly the wrong thing, but you live and learn.


It is a measure of any politician or party who can say I am wrong, I am


sorry. Let's think again and do it differently. The evidence is in


practice rather troubling. Ht is important to know that all we are


really doing is bringing thhs into line with people in the private


sector. Those in receipt of housing benefit only get benefit for the


rooms they need and not addhtional housing benefit if the propdrty is


too large, so we are only bringing it in line. What about enough


smaller properties? The important thing to be on in mind is that as an


MP I get lots of people comhng to me with families, encoded condhtions


with children shearling rools, and there is pressure on that and


politics is sometimes about tough choices. It is right to expdct


people who are over occupying a house, perhaps when children have


left home, and it is right to ask them to downsize. That is a fair


thing to do. The Liberal Delocrats raised this that the time and have


been clear this was not one of the concerns they raised. They raised


lots of things about wanting a referendum on changing the dlectoral


system. I actually think thd coalition has worked better than I


thought it would but we are nine months before the election `nd it is


understandable there will bd some tension. One thing that is close to


home for you as we touched on the issue of the Liberal Democr`ts


pledged to protect public forests. Your colleague put it this press


release as the forestry Minhster but said it was a Liberal Democrat


pledge. Was that following protocol? I do not really understand


it because the truth is thex were never going to sell the fordsts


They changed the policy and there was no danger of any party going


back to selling off Forest. The idea at the time was you could gdt


companies like English nature involved. At the time there was a


huge storm about it but that is the coalition possession. They `re all


innocent! The Liberal Democrats late to the party on this and I could not


find it in the pre`manifesto that they would abolish the bedroom tax,


and I would be delighted if that is what they would do, but I think


people will remember tuition fees and the last manifesto commhtments.


People have seen and they do not like. I don't know how you can set


the and defend the bedroom tax when you know what it has done to people.


We will have to leave it thdre. Now our regular round`up of the


political week in sixty seconds As gypsies camping on this Dxeter


playing field face legal action the council says its new permanent


travellers' site has only attracted They came over and asked


if we wanted it built Government funding for free school


meals has fallen short by htndreds of thousands of pounds according


to councils in Devon and Cornwall. What I hope they will listen to


is they will actually cost ht Protesters in Somerset are gearing


up to disrupt the next phasd They are responsible shooters and


if we are in the vicinity they will And the Jazz age meets the `ge


of austerity. Weymouth and


Portland Borough Council saxs it needs private sector help to pay


for its 1920s beach house. This is the pilot badger cull


continuing. Well anything else be considered before the gener`l


election? The reality is last year and lessons had to be learndd and an


independent panel recommenddd some improvements and we are makhng laws.


You are not ruling out an extension? It is unlikely to be


ruled out because you would not do new early as next year before the


late autumn anyway. This is a contentious policy part of ` broader


strategy. We believe that a badger cull has to be part of it. Xou have


lost the public on this and it will not help bovine tuberculosis. I


would urge the foreign Minister to think again both on public opinion


and for the sake of the farling community and badgers. Thank you


The last time a sewer was built in London was 150 years ago, otherwise


we would have a dirty River Thames. Andrew, back to you.


Can the No campaign still pull it off?


And even if they do is the whole of the UK now on the brink


I'm joined now by John McTernan former adviser to Gordon Brown


and Tony Blair, Alex Bell, former Head of Policy for the SNP


and Lindsay McIntosh, the Times Scottish Political Editor


And I'm delighted that Tommy and George have stayed too.


No fighting has broken out either. Where


No fighting has broken out either. have three full days to go


No fighting has broken out either. polling day. What is the state of


play? I think the poll of polls is accurate. 49 and 51%. What is vital


is to bring the undecided voters in, and they properly have about


500,000. I think there are a lot of undecided people. I think they know


which way they are leaning, but they haven't jumped. The hope of the no


campaign is that they will go for the status quo on Thursday. How do


you assess the state of the campaign now? The crucial thing is the big


swing. The swing has come towards yes, so will the momentum carry it


over the line? I will think it does, because it is an antiestablishment


swell, and its people responding to standard Western as the politicians


and saying that they want a new way -- Westminster politicians. I think


that yes will sneak it. A referendum can be more important than a general


election, and the Yes campaign have had the momentum. This was the week


the momentum stopped. We started the week looking as though yes were


going into the lead and then it stopped and most of the recent polls


show a distinct lead for the no campaign. A distinct lead? It is one


or two points. It is six in one poll, two in another, aiding


another. The poll of polls is a good way of measuring, and is it


statistically Nick -- nip and tuck? It is the week the momentum stopped.


About a fifth of the electorate That will be a quarter of the


turnout have voted already, by postal vote, and they are running


very strongly towards no, so there is a whole bank of votes there. The


postal votes are skewed to the over 60s, and that is the demographic


that the Yes campaign have had the biggest trouble with. Absolutely,


the Yes campaign faced a challenge amongst the 16 and 18-year-olds and


always based challenge with the older voters. Trust me, I was the


decision the day the civil servants made it possible for the 16 to


18-year-olds to vote, and we said there was a victory for the no


campaign in that alone. The young tend to be conservative by nature. I


think again that to say that the momentum has stopped when you had a


20 point lead, this is a referendum whether people will speak and they


will be heard. Except for the one poll which needs a huge health


warning because of the size of the sample, the momentum is


unquestionably all the way through August is going in the direction of


yes. It hasn't quite continue to get to the 55/45 four yes that Alex


Salmond thinks will be the result. I would agree with John. This was the


momentum stalled. We saw the three leaders coming up, and that kept


Alex Salmond off the front pages on the television and we had a raft of


economic warnings which, although they were dismissed as


scaremongering, they will have had a lot of traction with voters. What


does the no campaign have to do in the final three days? It has to


focus on the undecided, relentlessly. It has to do stick to


the question of risk and keep pushing back on Alex Salmond to say


it doesn't matter if the banks leave, it will all be all right on


the night. The huge question amongst the undecided voters is about the


economy. It is about jobs and currency, about business. That risk


is what will crystallise in the ballot box on Thursday and that has


to be the focus. What does the Yes campaign have to do? It has to drive


home that the swing to the Yes campaign is motivated by people who


want a different politics. They have decided amongst themselves that they


want to change Scotland. The unfortunate thing is, even though


the no campaign has had the chance to put up after proposals, they have


failed. The Scottish people want their powers were a purpose and they


say that only the Yes campaign can deliver that. There will be two days


of relentless campaigning from today, Monday and Tuesday, then the


media, the newspapers, including your own, will come out with the


final poll, the ones that will be the closest to the day that the


Scots actually go and vote. I think we will see more polling this week,


but what is interesting is the extent to which the pollsters are


picking up what is going on in the street. We know we have a huge


number of voters who have never voted before and are not engage with


politics, so what will they do? The third candidate in the election if


I can would in this way, are the polls. They might have a lot of


questions to answer on Friday morning. We were talking earlier


with George and Tommy about the Labour Party's consequences in all


of this. Gordon Brown, of course, has had a bit of a second coming as


a result of this referendum. I just want to play a clip of Gordon Brown


during the campaign and get a reaction. And I say this to Alex


Salmond himself. Up until today I am outside front line politics. If he


continues to peddle this deception, that the Scottish Parliament under


his leadership, and he cannot do anything to improve the health


service until he has a separate state, then I will want to join Joe


Hanlon want in and securing the return of a Labour government as


quickly as possible -- Johann Lamont. That was seen by some people


as Gordon Brown implying he might stand for the Scottish Parliament.


Whether it is yes or no, is Gordon Brown the saviour of Scottish


Labour? I did a double black the other night -- double act with him


the other night, and I must say he was a big beast all over again. He


crossed the stage Meli dealt with the audience brilliantly. He has a


certain presence, Gordon Brown, but he would really have to reinvent


himself quite considerably. He is capable of doing, but the man who


was the biographer capable of doing, but the man who


been critical of the state of the Scottish Labour Party. Rather than


looking to Gordon Brown, which might be an interim solution, doesn't


Scottish Labour have to find a new generation of people to reignite it?


What George and I are agreed on and you have to remember this question


of independence see us disagreeing passionately, and in most other


things we find ourselves in agreement, one thing is clear,


Scottish Labour is finished. They have lost the heart and soul of


Scotland. The fact that we are discussing with four days to go an


independence referendum that is neck and neck, Labour have


independence referendum that is neck what they should have done since


then and in other circumstances is what they should have done since


take a real look within themselves and brought forward new talent and


policies and watch out what they stood for. They've been unable to do


that because they are locked in a constitutional row. It is the plan


of the Nationalists to fight the first Scottish general election as


an independent nation as a nationalist party with its own


programme. You don't all go your own way. Why don't you do that? You have


more on your main reason to be, so why not go, left, right and centre


question you are presuming you don't go the one-way. I do not see the


function of the SNP after the yes vote. I think it is clear that there


is an SNP under Nicola Sturgeon an SNP which attracts votes from the


left and that is the one for me Whether that is called the SNP or


something else, I don't know. I think the assumption that we are


going into a mirror of old politics in a new world is just fundamentally


flawed. That is interesting. Let's just bring in the English


dimensional. In many ways, England has not spoken in this referendum


campaign. Whether it is yes or no, it will, and to give you a flavour


of what some in England might be thinking was saying, here is a clip


from John Redwood. We are fed up with this lopsided devolution, this


unfair devolution. Scotland gets first-class Devolution, Wales gets


second-class devolution and England gets nothing. If Wales wants the


same as us, they should have it and then there would be commonality so


we could discuss and decide in our own countries, in our own assemblies


in Parliament, all those things that are devolved. George, it was clear


that if Scotland voted yes for independence it has huge


implications for England than the UK, but it's also clear particularly


after Gordon Brown's intervention, even if it is no, it has huge


applications. You are, I suggest, agreeing with John Redwood that


there should be an English boys It would be a step too far for me to


agree with him -- English voice I appreciate I might have gone out on


a limb. He is the voice of Mars the Balkan from Mars. My own


constituents in Bradford are asking, what about us? All these things


being done, all the extra mile is being travel to Scotland, what about


us? Labour would be well advised to adjust quickly on this so that the


John Redwood types do not steal the show. England has yes to use -- yet


to speak. It's interesting when you hear a Labour backbencher in


Scotland talk about a command paper. He is not in government. Gordon


Brown is going round Scotland promising things and he has


absolutely no chance of delivering them. The MPs in England will say,


hey, what are you talking about We have never been discussed with that?


We have not agreed with that. The only way people in Scotland will get


the powers they deserve is by voting yes. Crystal ball time, Tommy, you


think it is 60/40. I will stick with it, because we have an unprecedented


election. 97% of Scotland is registered to vote. The working


class will vote in numbers never voted before. George? 55/45 for our


side. And if there is a rogue poll, the tek Levesley polled --


technically flawed poll, which should not be published because it


is so flawed, then we would be stretching towards what I am


predicting already. I think in the last few days we will reach that.


Come on. If the no campaign can get the silent majority out, they will


edge it. You think they will win, but how much? They cannot give up in


a second, a moment or a mile. It is that close. It will be won by the


passionate view. I will go for a narrow yes victory. I'm the George,


53 or 54% in favour of Joe -- no. -- I am with George. I will leave you


to argue about that later. Thank you for being with us on the special


Sunday politics from Edinburgh. That's all from us today


in Scotland. Don't forget the Daily Politics will


have continuing coverage of the referendum campaign all this


week on BBC2 at midday. On Thursday night Huw Edwards will


be in Glasgow and I will be in London to bring you live coverage


of the results on BBC1 from 10. 0 pm on a historic night for Scotland


and the rest of the United Kingdom. And I'll be back next Sunday


when we're live from the Labour Unless, of course, the referendum


result is so tumultuous even the Remember if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics.


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