Andrew Neil and David Garmston present political news and debate, including former defence secretray Liam Fox in his first major television interview since leaving the cabinet.
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Is Labour's scaremongering on privatisation? And his first
television interview since quitting the Cabinet, a Liam Fox on why
George Osborne should depend on Tory properties - with Tory
policies. That is the Sunday interview. And our political panel
of the bright young things you to analyse British politics in the
week ahead and St -- tweeting and the programme ahead. In the West -
Swindon councillors become the first in the country to axe full
time paid union reps for staff. Will they set a precedent across
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2031 seconds
Hello. In the next 20 minutes in this week's programme, everybody
out - Swindon council votes to stop paying full-time union reps. Is at
the start of a war between the Conservatives and the unions?
The Conservatives voted through that changed faster than you can
say Arthur Scargill. We will be talking at through that with our
guests later. They are Chris Skidmore, a conservative from the
old coal-mining areas of Bristol, and Anne Snelgrove, are confident
of Gordon Brown. -- a confident of Gordon Brown. Chris, I want to talk
to you about health, first of all. You are on the health Select
Committee. These health reforms, will they go through? I think they
must. I think the key point Mike we need to start with this in the NHS,
we have an ageing population, and there is more pressure on the NHS
than ever before. The rumour is that the Prime Minister it does not
understand it, no one understands. That is not true, they are right
behind the reforms. Anne Snelgrove, do you agree?
There are rumours the Conservatives want to take Andrew Lansley out and
shoot him. The message is there is �2 billion being spent on an
unnecessary -- �2 million being spent on an unnecessary
reorganisation. I accept we need to make changes. We could achieve them
without this very wasteful and disruptive health reform. It is a
choice between management costs and putting patients first.
In our first story, union rights - the council is to stop paying full-
time union reps. It will save taxpayers money, but that is out of
a budget of almost �500 million. The Conservative authority is the
first to take the axe to paid union reps and other councils may follow.
Swindon is a council where they like to think they are ahead of the
game. With a solid Conservative majority they kept tax down and be
damned -- began cutting before the collision existed. Now their
clampdown on union representatives could set a national precedent.
On Thursday night unions mobilised, protesting as councillors assembled
to determine the fate of this man. We have people who have come all
the way from Dorset and Devon to support us and we appreciate that.
Bob Cretchley is facing the drop, as long -- along with his job share
colleague, Karla Bradford. They work solely on new matters. --
union matters. But the council reckons this arrangement is costing
too much. They are braced for a fight. If you are going to
effectively challenge the unions in any way you can usually it vet --
understand there will be a robust response.
It will not be easy, but is the principal right? Cost saving is
important. Should taxpayers be subsidising the union activity when
the union should subsidise their own activity from the subscription
they collect. Liam Fox has decided to speak it. He would like a return
to the union tackled approach of his political hero, Margaret
Thatcher. In the public sector, where money is coming from the
public purse, in this case from the Swindon council tax payers, I think
the council has a duty to ensure all the money they raise goes to
public services. In hard-pressed times, council tax payers should
not be paying the salaries of union officials. Some of his former
colleagues in Government agree. If there is a fight, unions are
already. What started this week in Swindon could go a long way.
Joanne Kaye is the regional secretary for Unison in the South
West. Is this a money-saving device, or is this about attacking the
unions? It is about attacking the unions. But it was about money, the
council could look to the �300,000 that goes to 38 councillors per
year on basic allowances, or the �20,000 that goes to the leader of
the council. �29,000 to give the people who do the work a voice is
not a huge amount. But they are having to make big cuts. Why should
the taxpayer fund union activities? It is not activities, but his
duties, legal obligations that councils have to find maternity pay.
It is a legal obligation, and most employers have centrally funded
posts which means they are not taking away from the frontline
services. It is a legal obligation, which the Conservatives introduced.
It is, but it is a Conservative council who are attacking that
legislation from 1992. The reality is, that work will have to be done
and someone else will have to do it, so it will not save money but it
will mean two people end up out of work. Let's bring in Chris Skidmore
and our guests. Do you agree with Liam Fox that unions need their
wings clapping? I think a lot of viewers will be very angry.
Hard-working council tax payers want their money spent on frontline
services and not subsidising the unions. Unions are pretty wealthy,
they have money. Anne Snelgrove was given �12,000 by
union representatives... I do not think that is right. They did not
give me any money personally, will you apologise? I will not apologise.
A you have to get your facts right. Swindon Borough Council, when they
were talking about cuts, �29,000, on the same day this came through
my letterbox. It is the Swindin news, a glossy, full-colour, 28
page magazine and it is an election path.
Do you also think that Swindon Borough Council should have paid
400 �1,000 to our local businessman...
Were a need to make savings... The that get back to the issues. --
we need to get back to the issues. Liam Fox had to pay �20,000 on his
mortgage, he had to repay that money. I did not take any
allowances in the last year, how much did you take this year?
�400 on food, is that right? They us is the politics of the
gutter. They are union-bashing, spending thousands of taxpayers
money on things like this. A his point is that there is a
perception that Labour is in the pocket of the unions.
I don't think that is true, and you can hear that is not true from the
unions. So people need to accuse you of
double standards. You don't seem to be worried about other public
services workers, those who work in banks who have bonuses.
I think banks need to take responsibility, as well.
We have to look across the board at how we can save money and make
money. Why have you not clipped their
wings? We have begun to.
The bankers' bonus tax, but you have put young people in your
constituency into real jeopardy. You stopped the bankers' bonus tax,
which would have paid for 366 -- which would have paid to combat a
366 % increase in use on employment in your constituency in the year --
in that youth unemployment in the year up to 2012.
You are union members will still get the same service from other
representatives in the council? That will still cost the council
money, and these arrangements have been put into place not by us, but
by employers. People are interfering in the arrangement
between employers and representatives, because they have
found it works. If you have a union rep who is a frontline social
worker, and you take them away from their duties to carry out those
legal obligations, that is destructive. Local managers and
human resource people know that these arrangements work best.
I support the rights of unions. Private sector union reps are in
place. Probably not on the scale, public
sector rips are a more prominent. If it has been proportionate in the
way they are making cuts elsewhere, I think it will have been
acceptable. However, there are hundreds of people whose jobs are
being cut and it will be a false economy in sacking union reps.
There was a 40 % reduction in public sector workers...
That was 12 years ago. Joanne Kaye, we will have to say
goodbye to you and leave these two to have a fight.
More of us are turning to cosmetic surgery to keep us looking younger,
but the scandal over breast implants shows it is not something
to be undertaken lightly. Some of the implants have burst, leaving
patients with big bills to have them removed or begin the NHS to
pick up the tab. What should politicians do about this industry?
Our correspondent has been to meet two West Country Women who have had
burst implant. Tina and Steffy paid thousands of
pounds to clinics to have their breasts enlarged. Sold for �50 each,
these are the French PIP implants that were used.
This is a PIP implants. There -- they are made from
industrial grade silicone, which is now burnt -- which is now banned.
A my glands would relate Swarland. Other women were having similar
symptoms. Private clinics have refused to offer free replacement,
despite the Government saying they are morally obliged to.
It is important not to exaggerate the reasons to be worried, but if
women are worried we will support them. We expect private providers
to offer that same standard of care. To there is no private insurance
scheme for the industry, so Steffy has paid almost �6,000 to have
powers replaced. A if you bought a car, and it was
faulty, no one would question it. The number of people I know and we
are the first to complain and take things back, and to do not support
this motion that women should be fixed by the clinic...
The NHS hospital in Taunton will foot the bill to remove Tina's
implants after concerns over her general health. The private clinic
said they would not operate on her. I found lumps underneath my arms
for quite a few months. I did not alter the doctor straight away. The
doctor said, possibly you have a reaction to the silicone.
Tina has turned to Hull local MP, Tessa Munt, for help.
It is horrifying when you find how many of these implants have
ruptured. Then I discover from people who have written to me, it
is not just Tina, but other people as well, that it has this in it, it
is a carcinogen, it has Mercouri in it, things that are known
irritants... -- it has knackery. This scandal has rocked the heart
of the billion pound cosmetic industry, and these campaigners,
Tina and Steffy, are determined to change the law to protect women
like them in the future. With us is one of the West's
leading plastic surgeons, Nigel Mercer.
How can we prevent a repeat of this?
Were have to tighten up the regulatory system for implant. --
we have to do. The problem we have is that the company that owned PIP
implants have done something criminal. You cannot legislate
against that, but you can prevent it by having mystery shopping of
implants, so that the manufacturers don't know when you well tested. We
have to beef up the testing, we need safety testing within medical
implants. Why have the professionals involved not God this
sorted out already? If you go to a cosmetic surgeon you expect to see
a professional with professional standards. We have a problem in the
UK where we have big business involved in the provision of
cosmetic surgery. The clinic's are not providing it a good service to
the patient, and the practice they have been given is really very poor.
We have good tighten up, not just doctors and the regulators, we all
need to tighten up how we provide minister and -- how we provide
medicine. In the meantime, should the NHS to
pick up the pieces? That is very difficult, if the
clinic has gone bust, yes. But actually that clinics route need
profit really should step up to the plate, as Andrew Lansley suggested.
Why is there much better regulation in this industry?
I do not think you can regulate for fraud, that is the problem. I think
what the Government could do is lean on these companies a little
bit more. They are not stepping up to the plate. It is a tragic
situation for women such as the lady we saw in the report. My heart
goes out to her and we must put more pressure on them. It is not
good enough for women who are currently waiting to find out
whether they have this silicone gel inside them.
Some clinics are stepping up to the plate.
Absolutely, there are three who are the bad guys.
Do you think there are concerns that regulation has not strong
enough? As a Conservative regulation is not really your thing.
A cross-party report has been put into what is going on. I agree with
Nigel that we should probably bring back some kind of register a bit --
register because some of the women do not even know if they have this
implied in place -- this implant in place.
There have been 300,000 extra appointments on the NHS -- in the
NHS as a result of this. That is a big burden, isn't it?
We are enormously overstretched, so if these ladies are being dealt
with by the NHS, someone else is not being treated. That is not fair
on the general patient. Andrew Lansley has said he would go after
the money to treat these patients from the clinics.
We saw that women in the report and you do not want them waiting that
amount of time, I think he need to hurry up. -- we saw that woman.
Sculls weekly round-up of West Country politics in 60 seconds.
-- time know for our weekly round- The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick
Clegg, announced -- announced details of a �1 billion business
Support Fund. He want to make it children working factories.
Wiltshire's Constable -- Chief Constable is leaving for a job in
the Border Agency. Brian Moore will leave at the end of the month.
Known for his distinctive turn of phrase, Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke for
more than an hour on parking charges. He wanted to stop the vote
by talking it out of time. Protesters in the North Somerset
failed to stop their council meeting cutbacks.
And the Cheltenham MP, Martin Horwood, was one of those who took
place in the parliamentary Pancake That Was the Week in 60 seconds.
What Pickup on one of those stories, Nick Clegg tries to make
manufacturing fund and fashionable. Chris, why did you not going to
manufacturing? I am not very good with my hands,
but I agree with what the coalition is saying about rebalancing the
economy to produce more manufacturing industries. The
Bristol-Bath Science Park has a potential 3,000 new jobs in my
constituency. Anne, this has been a problem since
I left school, that people have been encouraged to go into banking
rather than manufacturing. We need of the jobs, and banks are
not lending to small and medium- sized enterprises, which are the
engine of manufacturing in this country. It is all very well coming
to Bristol and making big announcement, but where is the
meat? I do not see much happening with these local enterprise
partnerships. No money has come into Swindon from those.