10/06/2012 Sunday Politics West


10/06/2012

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg.


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In the West: Should the police tell you if the

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man you are dating has a history of domestic violence? The scheme's

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1710 seconds

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being tried out in Wiltshire - In Sunday Politics in the West:

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Should you know the police history of the man you are thinking about

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living with? It is called Claire's law and is going to be tried out in

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Wiltshire this summer. Some charities say it is a gimmick. We

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will be discussing that shortly. Our guests are two West Country

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politicians. To keep us in order is a Conservative MP who is a

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barrister and a judge, and to keep as environmentally friendly, and

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Green councillor in Bristol. Coppola, none of the political

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arguments this Sunday will be recycled! -- hopefully. Your

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thoughts on the jubilee celebrations which were

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extraordinary. Were you surprised at the scale of the response?

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think encouraged is a better word. It was good to see the Union flag

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being used for its proper purpose, to celebrate a major national event

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and thanked the Queen for 60 years of outstanding public service. And

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to remind ourselves about how far we have come as a nation.

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Republicans in the audience - and there were not many - would be

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rather glum after this weekend. Talking of Republicans, it is not a

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great time to be on that side of the argument, is it? A we had a

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great Republican barbecue at the same time! I think it was just one

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great distraction. These are very harsh times we are facing but the

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weakest in about society are being targeted. It is not a time for

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celebration but for commiseration. I do not think we should celebrate

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where we are going as a country now. Wiltshire is to be one of the first

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places to try out a new system for warning women that their partner

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way be violent. It is named after a woman he was murdered by her ex-

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boyfriend, but there has been criticism from some campaigners who

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say the money could be better spent. Ball has been to meet one victim.

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A I was an absolute wreck, scared to death. Not speaking, couldn't

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function. I was being held down, restricted, having things thrown at

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me. Anything that was a row and you could have thrown at you or it was

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to the extremes, as well, like... Sorry. Towards the end, it was

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horrific. On the last occasion, I thought I was going to die. I

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called out for my mum and was just thinking that I was going to die.

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It is thought domestic violence leads to the death of two women

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every week. Stella looked for help. Her farmer -- former partner was

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successfully prosecuted. After the trial, she was told he had earlier

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criminal convictions. If she had known that at the start, things

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might have been different. I did not associate with any of his

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friends because they were not the type of people I would associate

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with. It was easy for him to keep everything is secret but if I knew,

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I would that have been with him. She has been getting help from a

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charity who works alongside Wiltshire police, he will soon have

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new powers to warn women who ask for information. They write down

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sides - if people have never been committed to -- convicted for

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domestic violence. One of the big issues is that people do not talk

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about it so only a small minority ends in prosecution. I think this

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could have a limited impact. Wiltshire is one of four places

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where the scheme will be trial. Officially, they ate say they are

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waiting to hear how it should be run but unofficially, there is some

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frustration but a Home Office have not given them the guidance they

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need. And in some places, it is an extra financial burden at a time

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when budgets are being cut. Some experts think that is foolish. The

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charity Refuge warned it is untried, untested and costly. The majority

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of domestic violence incidents are not reported to the police. We are

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concerned the government is spending precious resources on

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introducing new legislation when the legislative framework is

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already in place. Police already have the powers to disclose.

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when and how those powers are used varies from force to force. It is

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quite difficult ground. We do have the ability, at the moment, to tell

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people about the offending history of a partner if we think that they

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are significantly at risk. We can share that information with the

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right level of authority, in cases where we think there is a serious

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risk of violence. For Stella, the future looks better. She is

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rebuilding her life and hopes that by going to the police, other women

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may be protected. With me today is his senior law

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lecturer from the University of the West of England. Nice to see you.

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Is this practical? It as a pilot - we have to remember it as a pilot

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to start with. We will find out information from that pilot. When

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we talk about whether it is practical, we have to work out

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whether there is a cost-benefit, whether or not people are actually

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going to be helped by this. We could say that there are some

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reservations about the scheme. sort of information could the

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police actually hand out? That is yet to be decided. The coroner, in

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the case of the lady who died, talked about previous convictions

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of that type. It looked like she was talking about domestic violence

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related offences. The problem we have is that there is no actual

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offence of domestic violence, so we are talking about convictions for

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different things. For example, as salt, harassment. There is no

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actual offence. -- assault. Somebody has to make a decision

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about what it is we are going to disclose. What checks would the

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police have to make before they decided to give the person turning

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up at the station that information? The pilot will determine that. We

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don't yet know. It is quite likely that it will follow the public

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disclosure scheme for child sex offenders. There is quite a

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rigorous process there. You cannot just simply turn up at a police

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station and say, "I would like to know some information because my

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child has a relationship with an adult about which I wanted a

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information". It is a very rigorous process. Let's bring in the

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politicians. It does all sound a bit vague. It is a pilot, as Rachel

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says. It is based upon two principles - the right to know and

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the right to ask. There is a subtle difference between the two. The

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right to know would involve the police being proactive and

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releasing information with the sort of safeguards that Rachel suggested.

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The other would be the right of the individual to go in and, subject to

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those safeguards, obtain information. In the real world, you

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go out, you have a couple of mistakes, you get to know each

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other and then one of you pops into the police station and asks

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questions. That would kill any romance stone dead! I don't think

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you can interfere with the natural process of human relationships but

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in all the cases we have just seen, there are people out there who

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would have benefited from more information and he would have

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changed their pattern of behaviour or lifestyle if they had known

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Stirton important facts about a partner. -- certain important facts.

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Did dismiss it before the pilot comes of age would be wrong. It is

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not perfect but two women a week being killed as a result of

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domestic violence - we have got to do something. If that would tackle

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it completely, I would be behind at 100%. I think we are going in the

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wrong direction. What would happen if a woman would go in and find out

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that their partner has not committed any crime, a debt they

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are actually in danger? -- yet they are all. It will not stop the

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offences entirely. I think we should be putting our funds into

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centres that tell women who have been abused. After it has happened?

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I agree that is after it has happened to, but also to have a lot

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more councillors so that someone feels threatened, they do not go to

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the police to see whether their partner has a prior conviction, but

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to a counsellor. It is whether you feel threatened that you should act

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upon. It is never easy. We need to make sure they're all resources for

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places to women to go to. You have reservations about who should be

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told this information. What is your solution to that? Having the sort

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of safeguards in place, such as having a multi-agency assessment so

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the police, social services and other concerned agencies make a

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decision. So, someone turns up at a police station and you want a

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multi-agency risk assessment conference before they get told any

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information? You would involve social workers and police of the

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streets to sit down and have a chat about whether this person should

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know. There should be safeguards in place. A have you got the resources

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for that? It happens already, as has been described in the case of

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Sarah's law, in relation to be defiled as closure. There needs to

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be a safeguard system so that the right information is disclosed to

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the right people. I would be against a system that allows people

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to turn up to the police station and get information just like that.

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I do reassured? We have to wait and see what the terms of the pilot

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half. I am confident it will not be a system where anyone can just turn

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up and get information. It needs to be fairly simple, otherwise it is

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just going to get bogged down. have to be extremely careful about

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who we disclose information to. There has to be a risk and there

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has to be risk assessment. Why is this information secret anyway?

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the film pointed out, there is already power of common law to

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disclose the information but there is no consistent approach across

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the country, which is why the government is looking at ways of

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existing laws to improve the system. Thank you.

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The English Defence League is planning a march in Bristol in July.

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The EDL claims it is a human rights group that campaigns against

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extremist Islam. Its critics say it is a racist organisation that whips

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up the against Muslims. The march is happening on the same day as the

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Gay pride festival in Bristol, much to the distress of the organisers.

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This is one of Bristol's most colourful events, the City's Gay

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pride festival, which has been growing for the past few years. But

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a political storm is brewing ahead of this year's Festival, as the

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far-right group the EDL are planning a demonstration on the

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same day. They have held marches in other parts of the country but this

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is the first ever in the West. Avon and Somerset Police say it will

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cost �500,000 to make sure the event run smoothly. They are also

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bringing in 700 officers from other police forces to help maintain

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public safety. But a spokesperson for the group says they have a

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right to demonstrate. The union demonstrations have cost �68

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million already this year but no one talks about that. The only time

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anyone ever talks about how much it cost the taxpayers is when

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taxpayers like us are actually protesting. It is the first time

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taxpayers have protested for 20 years. Usually it is students,

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immigrants or people who do not work. There is no price you can put

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on democracy and expressing yourself. But Labour politicians

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are worried the march will put off visitors to the pride festival.

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entire EDL ethos seems to be about inciting, rather than communities

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working together. It is about trying to tear communities apart.

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This is the exact opposite of what we stand for as the City and what

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Pride stands for, as well. It is impossible to tell how many people

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will join the EDL Marg but it is thought rival groups like Unite

:43:02.:43:12.
:43:12.:43:15.

Begins Criticism -- against fascism could be organising an event.

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Joining this is the organiser of the Gay pride festival. How

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concerned argued? I am not concerned about the numbers of EDL

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in Bristol. I don't think they have much support down here and if we

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look at ways in demonstrations in Brighton, we had 100 people turn up,

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whereas Pride attracts about 20,000 people. I don't think numbers are a

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problem but I am accept that they are trying to hijack the pride

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festival -- upset. They are trying to get extra support where there is

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no support for them and they are actually making 14th July, which

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should be a shining beacon of quality, a bit tarnished. One of

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the things the English Defence League claims is that it is

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fighting against, Fabia within the Muslim community. They go on to say

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that gay people have more to fear from Islam than they do from the

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EDL. I personally have not met any gay people that support be EDL or

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feel that they are concerned by Islam infringing upon them and

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causing homophobia. It is not Islamic institutions that are

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breeding homophobia, and homophobia exists across the board. We only

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have to look at our own Christian churches which have been purveyors

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of homophobia for many years, and we have had to fight against that.

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Homophobia finds Abed within religion and people used religion

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to hide behind, but the real challenge is stamping out

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homophobia across the board. have found that working with Muslim

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communities that you have been accepted as you might do? The best

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thing about Bristol is that it is communities that work together.

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Pride is about social cohesion and we go into communities and invite

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them along. The best thing about Right is that it is for everyone -

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you do not have to be gay to club. We just stand up for equality.

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don't think we should ban any march. We have worked very hard with the

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police and I think the council and the local police force need a large

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round of applause for how they have handled this. They have moved the

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EDL march, which was going to end up on College Green, where the

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pride celebration is going to be happening, to an earlier time so

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that they will not conflict now. Groups like EDL grow, don't they,

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because they perhaps address some of the issues that politicians are

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too frightened to talk about? Immigration, forced marriage and so

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on. I don't agree at all. I think all of us, whether we are in

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mainstream parties or fringe parties, have a responsibility in

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terms of the language we use and the way we portray our politics and

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should be positive, not about drawing divisions between

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communities, as one of the speakers suggested. I find the EDL's

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language and approach to be hostile and based upon divisions rather

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than watching to bring people together. If there is evidence of a

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potential breach of the piece, the Home Secretary has a power to ban

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marches and I am glad to hear that in Bristol, attempts have been

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made... Is it sensible to have it on the same day as the Gay pride

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festival? Attest needs to be applied as to whether a breach of

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the piece is present. If it can be arranged so that there is no threat

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to the public, all well and good. What is lined up for Gay pride this

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year? It is going to be a massive celebration. It is on College Green

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and it is free. We have over 40 acts, including five stages of

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performance and a massive party in the evening. Amass a family area -

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we invite everyone to come along. Thanks for coming along to tell us

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about it. Nowt it is time to take a look at

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the other political stories making the headlines this week.

:47:16.:47:20.

The family of a two-year-old savaged by a dog have called for

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laws on owning dangerous dogs to be tightened. The boys suffered facial

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injuries in the attack in a neighbour's back garden.

:47:29.:47:32.

The Bristol and tat and Labour supporter Tony Robinson was in town

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this week chairing a meeting of candidates hoping to stand for

:47:37.:47:41.

crystal meth. There are five Labour hopefuls seeking the former party

:47:41.:47:44.

nomination. They will find out next week who has won.

:47:44.:47:48.

The wheels of justice at the Crown Court in Bristol are grinding to a

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halt because there is not a bit -- enough money to pay the judges.

:47:53.:47:57.

People accused of crimes are left waiting for their day in court.

:47:57.:48:04.

Cuts in the Ministry of dentists it -- justice budget are being blamed.

:48:04.:48:06.

There are claims that some unemployed people from the West

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were hired as unemployed stewards for the Diamond Jubilee and ended

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up having to sit under London Bridge. -- unpaid stewards.

:48:21.:48:26.

That Was the Week in 60 seconds! To pick up a one of those stories,

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about the work experience people being bussed to London to act as

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stewards at the Jubilee and then ended up sleeping rough. Is that

:48:34.:48:39.

work-experience valuable? It is being called work-experience but

:48:39.:48:42.

what it really is is free employment and it is generally

:48:42.:48:46.

exploited by corporations and large festivals. They are taking paid

:48:46.:48:51.

work away from other people. The workfare system, as it is known,

:48:51.:48:57.

must end. If it helps get people into employment, is it worth it?

:48:57.:49:04.

Not a greedy, no. I think are paid internship as the best way. Robert,

:49:04.:49:10.

is their exportation going on? not think it is the way of the

:49:10.:49:13.

world but I think it is an important element in encouraging

:49:13.:49:18.

young people into work. A lot of young people themselves say to me

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that they value work experience, as long as it is properly managed. In

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this case, we saw that there were two hours where people were not

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properly managed and that should not happen. To use this as an

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excuse to slam the whole system of work experience is entirely wrong

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and misguided. We must keep it as an element of helping people into

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work. That is all we have time for today.

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Thank you to our guests. Sunday Politics continues in London but if

:49:50.:49:53.

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