04/03/2012 Sunday Politics West


04/03/2012

Andrew Neil and David Garmston present the latest political news including an interview with Alex Salmond, and Quentin Wilson on his campaign for lower petrol prices.


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In the West - With a huge increase in the number of Brits being jailed

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in European prisons, we ask if it's time to reform our extradition

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1780 seconds

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Welcome to the Sunday Politics in the West. But coming up, the Brits

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or hauled off to foreign prisons under the European arrest warrant.

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Is there any justice in it? Before you get an early morning

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upon the door from the euro police, let me introduce hour two guests.

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They are two Sisters of the coalition, Charlotte Leslie, a

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Conservative bruiser who loves to box in her spare time, and Tessa

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Munt, who has also been in a few scraps in her time, and she is a

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Lib Dem MP for Wells? Are their tensions emerging between

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the two parties this last week? They have been no punch-ups in the

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Commons! Who is in charge?

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It is a coalition. There has been some compromise, as you would

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expect, but we are united in the challenge we are facing in bringing

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the country through the awful legacy left by the last government,

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and it is that common aim that is keeping us together. There are

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tough moments, but we have to stage together.

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When it last? Yes, it will. We have to make sure

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we're all doing the right thing for the country, and it is absolutely

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clear from my point of view that there are Lib Dem policies being

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brought into practice. The voters see you as the head of

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blame, and that you will get hammered at the next election. That

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is what the indications are. I do not think the polls are

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correct here. We shall see.

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First, to our story about extradition.

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The European Arrest Warrant has seen scores of Britons banged up in

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foreign jails after being handed over by our own bodies. Under the

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terms of the agreement, British citizens can be arrested on the

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order of any European state to face charges.

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Over 1000 miles from home, Michael Turner from Dorset and Jason

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McGoldrick from Devon were held in this prison after being arrested

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when their timeshare marketing company collapsed, owing �18,000.

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It was back in 2009 that they were extradited to this jail. Michael

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says he was interviewed only once by police, and kept in his cell for

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23 hours a day. The warrant was designed to catch

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murderers and terrorists, like this man, Hussain Osman. He was wanted

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over the failed London bombings in 2005, and was extradited under the

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European Arrest Warrant from Italy back to the UK.

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Graham Watson, the south-west Lib Dem MEP, was a key architect.

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It has vastly enhance the role of law on our continent.

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The European Arrest Warrant swept away at a stroke the safeguards

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against the rest established in Britain over 1000 years.

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You may shake your head. In the Commons, a grouping MPs says

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there is urgent need for reform of the system. 16,007, the nub of

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arrest warrants have dramatically increased. -- since 2007.

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We have 15 times more warrants than opponent. We have got to put in

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place some basic checks to make sure that the innocent are not

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swept along with those that we need brought to justice. -- opponent.

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These two will be back in Hungary in June to face charges of fraud,

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which they deny. Meanwhile, the Home Office are considering changes

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to the extradition agreements with Europe and the United States to

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provide greater protection for British citizens.

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You saw him in that piece, William Dartmouth, he joins me now in our

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studio. What is the problem? You asked if there is any justice,

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and the answer is no, there is not. It is being used for offences which

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are comparatively trivial. A British judge does not have the

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right to look at the primary evidence, there is absolutely no

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safeguard. Only 10 out of 210 in 2009.

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If it it has got a European label, the Lib Dems say it must be

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alright! Produce a back -- British subject are being surrendered to

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harsh legal systems, for example, the Hungarian system permits

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someone to be in remand prison, to be held in remand prison under very

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harsh conditions for up to three years before coming to trial.

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Justice is to be done, and it is a small world. It is easy to commit a

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crime anywhere in the world. It is daft to have border controls in

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place that stop criminals being apprehended.

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Police forces and governments have co-operated across boundaries since

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before the Second World War. For example, Britain has been a member

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of Interpol since 1923. We can perfectly well to operate on

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serious crime, for example, terrorism, without at the same time

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giving away our hard-won liberties. I must make a serious point, which

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is that the European Court of Human Rights has intervened to prevent

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Abu Qatada's deportation back to Jordan. So the fact of the mattress,

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the mess we have got ourselves in, spearheaded by the Liberal Democrat,

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has meant that on one level, we cannot defend our own people. We

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cannot... It was not very long ago that you

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could not touch a criminal in Spain. It was the Costa del Sol, and they

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were laughing at the British authorities. This has changed. That

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has to be a good thing. No, that was changed in 2001, when

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Jack Straw, the then Home Secretary, introduced a fast-track extradition

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treaty with Spain. So you like that?

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Yes, but no -- but not no questions asked. The film made a connection

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between the European arrest warrant and the treaty between the US and

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the UK. Let's bring in other guests. The

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Tories have and puff about Europe a lot, but they are allowing this to

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go ahead. Justice is not being done, and if

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you look at the proportion of it, for every one person that is given

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over to us in extradition, we give nine back, so it is not working out.

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It was a knee-jerk reaction after 9/11, and the intentions were

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absolutely right. It rests on the basis that justice systems in

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European countries are the same as ours. There is a lot of talk about

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human rights, but it is clear that they are not being protected for

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our citizens. Tessa, what a day mistake by your

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colleagues to pave the way for this legislation in Europe? -- what it a

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mistake. No, I do not think it was. There

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are lots of tariffs, drug smugglers and goodness knows how many other

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people who have been moved around to be tried. It is ludicrous to

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suggest that we should not have something. What it has done is it

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has identified that there are different regimes and different

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standards across Europe. Europe has recognised this and has

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acknowledged it is not being used properly.

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But it has not done anything about it. Politicians make mistakes all

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the time in their legislation. However, what this piece of

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legislation has done and why it is particularly pension should -- a

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particularly pernicious is because it is ruining people's lives. What

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these people are accused of his four events that took place between

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2003 and a 2005. They will get a verdict in June 2012. I was that

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the first day of the hearing, and I can assure the two Ladies opposite

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that David was in Britain, what they were accused of would be taken

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place in a civil court, probably a small claims court.

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It is being used for investigation and not persecution. It needs

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cross-party agreement that this is to change, and we have that. I

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spoke in a debate that we just saw, and I was talking about a wider

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review of arrangements, as the government is looking at the report

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that is looking to change it, and there is agreement at hope that we

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can do that. It has been there for nine years.

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It is a bit late now! It was never intended to be used in

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a disproportionate weight. When you have got to be punished try to

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extradite people for stealing bikes... -- the punish.

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They commissioned a big report, and we have had had a lot of debate, a

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lot of people have spoken, and we hope it will be reformed.

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In the meantime, people's lives will continue to be rent until this

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legislation is suspended. -- continued to be run into.

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We have to stop there. Charlotte and Tessa were among 230 new

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arrivals in Parliament after the last election. As with any new job,

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it takes time to settle in. But two years on, many express frustration

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about what they consider to be the fuddy-duddy ways of Parliament.

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It was an injection of youth and enthusiasm. More than one-third of

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the MPs elected in 2010 were new. Few could have known what they were

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letting themselves in for. This is the most public face of Parliament,

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the weekly performance that is Prime Minister's Questions. But the

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chamber gives a misleading picture. The Commons sits from 2:30pm to

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10pm. On Thursday it is an hour earlier.

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Occasionally, MPs coming on Fridays. And in reality, most of the time,

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most of the seeds are empty. Westminster Hall acts as an

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overflow for smaller debate. This one, on reforming Parliament, was

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well attended. The public's suspicion about MPs'

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behaviour following the expenses scandal has not gone away. Many

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people are asking what exactly is it that MPs do?

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Notes the abundance of pens and paper rather than any form of

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computer nerds. -- computer. We should be trying iPad Fat

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Prophets in committee. -- iPads. The but many advances are resisted.

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There is a question about electronic voting. I know there

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will be a sharp intake of breath when I say that!

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Is dead, voting is done through walking through lobbies. One person

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says MPs should be freer to challenge government.

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The role of Parliament is not to run the country, it is to hold to

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account those who do. I think members of parliament should take

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much more seriously their role of holding government to account at

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being parliamentarians first and then perhaps some members of the

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government or possible members of the Government's second.

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MPs can independently bring forward it meant -- motions at Private

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Member's Bills, but these almost never made it onto the statute

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books. I'll -- I often think the Commons

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is a sophisticated open prison. We say you will sign mind if I will

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sign yours. These things do not affect the direction of government,

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all the way in which we are governed, and Private Member's

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Bills are a classic example. It is very frustrating to have one and

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five government's talking out your bill. -- government.

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That is what happened recently to a daylight Saving Bill. Jacob Rees-

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Mogg was among a small group determined to kill it off.

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I notice that when I propose that Somerset should have his own time

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zone, which seems to me a personal -- perfectly rational thing, this

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was thought to be slightly eccentric.

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This has come back again, and this is probably less a debate about

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daylight saving and more about the debate about the internal process

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getting the way of getting something done.

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Dennis praise for the work of select committees. At hope that a

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forthcoming report on the role of MPs may bring about change.

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If you cannot take a joke you should not have joined! IUD

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disillusioned after a couple of years in Parliament?

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I am not, because for me it is fantastic. I can go and talk to

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ministers and get things changed, and achieve what I want to. I

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always said when I elected that if I could change one thing, that is

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brilliant. Have you changed one thing?

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Are probably more than that. You have turned a bid for a long

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time. Now you are there. Is it what it is cracked up to be?

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Yes, it is a fantastic job and you get -- and you can get things

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changed. But you should not look at it objected -- you should look at

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it objectively, and it is difficult, because you can get swallowed up by

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the system. There are ways of thinking that it is really

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dislocated from reality. After a few days in that place, from Monday

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to Wednesday, you have been with the same people all week, you eat

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in the same canteens, you really crave... It is really good to get

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back to the constituency and see what real life is like, and it is a

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constant quest to get back there. One of the points made was about

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your prime job. Do you see it as representing opposite was on

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holding the government to account? For I see my job in the

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constituency as taking information, soaking up information from my

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constituents about the things that go wrong for them, and then going

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to London and sorting that stuff up. That is the way I see it.

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On your way policy-maker? No, I am socially a social worker.

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No offence to any of them who are watching. It is probably very

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similar to that, because I am the one person to whom people can come

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to as what they see as the last resort. It is fantastic.

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What about the rules and regulations? We saw Jacob Rees-Mogg

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talking out that Bill. People make a distinction between

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Parliament and the constituency, but I see the constituency about --

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as reality. You get reality from real life, and politics has to get

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real. On the arcane processes, the daylight Saving Bill was

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infuriating, because unusually, there was a real cross-party

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agreement that something needed to change. Over 100 MPs, which is

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remarkable, stayed away from their constituencies to come to this

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review, which the country wanted. It was not debated, it was simply

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told that? Yes, at that should never happen. I

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would like to see private members' bills on a Wednesday evening so we

:47:48.:47:58.
:47:58.:47:58.

can all go as talk about them. -- all go and talk about them.

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The rules mean we have to push on! It is time for other sprint through

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the political week in just 60 seconds. -- our sprinter.

:48:10.:48:13.

The last of the West's big councils have been setting their budgets,

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but Bristol and well she joined our other councils in confirming they

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will not be put in a their charges. -- Wiltshire.

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Organisers of the annual St Paul's Carnival say this year's

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celebration will be smaller because they have not had enough donations.

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It is part funded by the city council and attract up to 100,000

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people. Protesters have been occupied part

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of the Hinkley Point site in Somerset have been evicted and

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never to return. The GMB union has announced a 12

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more strike days at Swindon's Great Western Hospital. Cleaners and

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domestic workers are in a dispute with their employer, Carillion.

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We have had a lot about privatisation, but this week,

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Somerset County Council say there are two Lumiere privatise some

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projects. -- they are to un- privatise. They have decided it is

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cheaper to do some things in house. That was the week that has just

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flashed past. Let's pick up that story about

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privatisation. Southwest One, this un-privitisation, if that is such a

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word. Are the days of selling off services coming to an end?

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I had a questionable palp -- punch up with the County Council over the

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last few months about this. Youth services, the young carer service,

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all the youth clubs, bus services. They're trying to divest themselves

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of any responsibility to provide a service for those who are

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vulnerable in any way, and I have to say it is good to see them, and

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I in favour of them are getting much more like this.

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I UA fan of privitisation? I am a fan of whatever the world's

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best. Sometimes, the private sector does things better. -- whatever is

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best. New Labour and the Conservatives

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have talked about privatisation, and in some cases it has been

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magnificent. But we have got to be open about it and say that they may

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be cases where it is not right. My first campaign was against

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privatisation, but there are some cases where charities and private

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organisations can run things better. Thank you. That is it from the West

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this week. The Sunday Politics continues with Andrew, who is in

:50:54.:50:58.

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