Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.
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In the west: After the march by the far-right in Bristol this weekend,
we're looking at the state of race relations.
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1805 seconds
Are the politicians to blame for Good afternoon. We are live this
afternoon with 20 minutes of discussion and debate. Our top
story: at this weekend's march by the English Defence League in
Bristol. Despite 14 arrests it was mainly peaceful, but have
politicians added to aggravation? First, this week's guests. They are
to West Country politicians with precious little in common. They are
Jacob Rees Mogg and Anne Snelgrove. Jacob, you have voted this week
against house of Lords reform. Why have you done that? I think that
they were badly thought-through and I do not think that we should
change constitutional issues without a referendum.
Liberal Democrat wanted a bit of constitutional form --
constitutional reform and you have rebelled. We think it was appalling
that the reforms were introducing proportional representation, which
was rejected over euro. I am afraid that one of the takes his house of
Lords reform. All of the parties want House of
Lords reform, but you have put the kibosh on it by disagreeing with
the timetabling bill. We have great concerns about a timetabling of
this bill over ten days. We have reduced the hereditary Peers by 90
per cent, Brotton and elected Speaker, the people's Peers. --
brought end. They want to have some proper debate about how they can
take this forward. David Cameron has a real problem with this party
now. 91 of his Conservative MPs rebelled against this and he really
has got in trouble of -- got in trouble over this.
I peace march has been held in Bristol this afternoon. It is in
response to yesterday's march by the English Defence League, which
has brought concern to the Nuzum community. The there was a rival
demonstration which kicked off the trouble. What does it say about the
state of community and race relations? It really could not be a
more difference seen today here in Queen Square. It is very calm and
peaceful. If you look around, there is a cycling festival taking place
today, a complete contrast to the best that we witnessed yesterday. -
- to the events that we witnessed. The English Defence League were
marched in conjunction with the police down side streets. Piquet
then living and eventually brought their march into Queen Square,
where there were rallies and speeches.
When they got to the square there had been no trouble, but opponents
of EDL were determined to confront them. Organisations such as We Are
Bristol, who have a record of opposing the EDL. There were some
small groups, there were quite a number of arrests. There were 14
people in total. The day ended on a rather sour note, with the police
having to make a lot of arrests. Let us talk to a couple of people
who were involved and have strong views on this. He did not one there
to be a counter protest yesterday, didn't she? You are right. We were
strongly discouraging people to join in. Before rigor further, I
would like to take the opportunity to thank the police for doing a
marvellous and fantastic job. And to the city as a whole, who
conducted themselves very well. had held tops with EDL and the
organisers of their counter protests -- held meetings. You find
the opponents of their protests difficult to work with? There was a
lot of a motion at stake. Discussions need to happen right at
the beginning, not halfway through, are too close to this event. This
is a learning progress, we need to sit down and discuss how we can
learn how to conduct ourselves much better. You are the Labour
candidate for her the Bristol mayoral election. He pushing into
the counter protests, I you happy with what happened? My name was on
the protest, but there is another story about that. Yesterday was
actually about pride. It is a shame... Wasn't having a big
counter-demonstration close by bound to inflame things? That is
what then is on community had not wanted. People would come out in
protest anyway. The clear thing was what -- the thing to make clear was
to say, they all wanted to make a statement about Bristol. There were
whole mix of people there, a number of people who have delivered
fantastically far the city. A number of community activists who
had been working hard... But that is not the image that people come
away with from the events yesterday, is it? It depends how you reported.
If you look at the events of the gay pride march, and the events
across the city throughout the year, then you have a different image.
will also be focusing later this afternoon on a piece wok, which
will be happening today in order to show the positive side of Bristol -
- peace march. Jacob, why do you think that the
English Defence League find support? The there is a real
problem with the immigration issue, because it has been toxic for
politicians. It has been tied up with ideas of race and politicians
had been very nervous about talking about it in a rational way.
opposing the spread of Islam in this country racist or wrong?
think that that is just wrong. I do not think we should be frightened
of Islam, frightened of other -- frightened of other religions, but
it comes out of a fear of emigration. If politicians had
dealt with their idea of emigration earlier, we would see much more
tolerance in terms of religion. Would you accept that Labour lost
control and allowed immigration on a massive scale. And be left some
traditional Labour supporters, including the White working classes,
feeling threatened? I do not think we lost control. When countries
such as Paul and were -- such as Poland were allowed into the
European Union, then we had some issues. We had problems with cheap
labour coming in from Eastern Europe. We are conflating lot of
issues here. The march yesterday was anti- Islam and chosen on a day
when Bristol were celebrating the pride. There were twice as many
people at the Gay pride celebration as the EDL could muster from the
hold the country. Well done to the Gay pride march and thumbs down to
the EDL. What would you like to see with
immigration? Why has the government not got a handle on it? I am more
of a sceptic than the government has. I think we need to look at all
the immigration problem, can take - - including from the European Union.
We have simply had too many people coming in and providing a labour
force that has paid out of work the indigenous labour force. That is a
problem for our country. Do you accept that immigration drive down
wages, pates pressure on housing? think it has driven down wages,
where housing is concerned, I think that many of those immigrants
living in very bad housing situations, that is my experience
in that Swindon. I think that we need to look at the European Union
again. We would say that we have made some mistakes over emigration,
but not over wider emigration. I just say one thing? A think it is
very unfortunate that a grand mother of a family from the Indian
sub-continent find it -- find it very difficult to come here even
though her family is here. Whereas someone from the European Union can
come here. No questions asked. That is what we need to the cat. Mark
Hook has now been charged with his 112's -- with his 112 offence. He
was given a holiday to Africa and was known as Safari Boy, but does
his serial offending represent a failure of the criminal justice
system? He first made headlines almost 20
years ago after being sent to North Africa on holiday. The aim was to
break his cycle of reoffending, but just one year later, in 1994, Mark
Hook was back in court, charged with more than 30 offences.
perhaps need to invest more in nursery education, youth facilities.
This is not a soft option I am talking about, I am talking about
the choices that society has been investing money.
Over the past two decades he has made promises to change, but this
week he was charged for his 112 offence, stealing a woman's handbag.
The question still remains, can anything be done to make sure this
really is Mark Hook's last time behind bars?
I am joined now by Juliet Lyon from the Prison Reform Trust. Does his
case not short that really we are not on top of serial criminals in
this country and that nothing appears to work?
His case hits exactly the day, or rather tomorrow, when Ken Clarke
and the Prison Reform Trust are celebrating a third drop end youth
crime and the number of children behind bars. Something has happened
that is really successful and to change that dreary cycle of people
going back into jail. You are saying that youth crime is down?
Markedly, 37 per cent. So people would say that it does not feel
like that on the street. It maybe that it is not reported correctly,
but that is actually correct. If you look at this excess of early
intervention, getting people in LA to look at -- to get children out
of trouble. That is what we did want.
People like that young man, a lifetime of crime, to a hundred and
12 offences, he says he will go straight, but no one is holding
their breath that -- 112. What he would look at with someone like
that, prolific persistent offender, he would look at integrated
prisoner management. There are some flagship work being done in that
area. Prison staff, prisoners anti- drug work -- drug workers all
working together. The combination of that and with victims saying,
this is the harm that you have caused me, can help.
A tunic prison sentences longer, they are more effective because you
have more time to work with the prisoner in jail? But you do not
want to get at that point. If someone has committed a serious and
violent offence then prison as the only option, but we should be
focused on stopping at. What would you do with people who regard crime
as a way of life and that there is a revolving door at the Crown
Court? We do have to punish those people, but it is that -- but it is
right that agencies have come together to make sure that crime is
kept down. We will never win with 100 per cent of the people, but the
chief constable said back in 1994, we need more nursery education.
There is a 37 per cent drop in crime, it works. On that particular
case, why it became famous as because he went on a safari is a
young man at the taxpayer's offence. -- expense. I was outraged at that
time, I could not afford to go abroad on holiday. I think we do
need to look at different ways of punishing people, but also helping
them back in. As a Farry is not a good idea. The need to give more
discretion to the judges. There has been a tendency to limit that
discretion, but the judge knows their individual that he is dealing
worth and that people are different. There will be some people who have
committed serious crimes, he need to be locked up for some time, and
others who are redeemable. I do believe that people should be
offered a second chance, and even a third chance, but not necessarily
112 chances. It is harder to get to jail than to
get to Oxford or Cambridge? much more expensive when you get in
than going to Eton. Let us use it for the few people that need to be
pit their. There are 100,000 core offenders
who caused a great deal of crime. What do you do about them?
Unavoidable minimum. What do we mean by that? Probably the number
that when I investigated Strangeways prison. We are
currently locking up 88,000 people. That is fast public offence -- vast
public expense, a necessary. Crime has dropped by almost a third in
the last two years. But that was after a decade of increasing crime.
Are you going to argue about crime dropping? No, but it is coming down
from a high level, that is what am saying. But it has dropped, the
trouble is that good news stories do not make news, but this is
something that all the political party should be proud of, because
everyone has contributed and everyone supports restorative
justice. We have an increase in police numbers in Somerset, that
has made a huge difference. research does show that more
policing does lead to a reduction in crime and of course, police
numbers are being cut. It is worth bearing in mind that crime has cop
-- crime has fallen very sharply now that there are higher numbers
in prison. I think you have to be careful about looking at things at
-- about how things have happened, before jumping to conclusions.
Thank you very much. If you have literally got one minute to spare,
let us catch up on some more political news for the week.
It was an uncomfortable week for the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg - not
helped by this man, Bristol Councillor John Kiely. He stuck the
boot in this week, calling for the Deputy Prime Minister to resign.
There needs to be a reality check within the party. It is facing
tough times ahead. You will always have people making comments,
sometimes disobliging comments from the sidelines, that is politics.
Wealthy people who own second homes in the Cotswolds will no longer get
a 10% discount on their council tax. Other areas, like Bath and North
East Somerset, are also considering scrapping the discount, claiming
all homeowners should pay "their fair share".
There have been more twists and turns than down a badger sett in
the fight to stop Government plans for a badger cull in
Gloucestershire and Somerset. This week, the High Court threw out an
appeal by campaigners to stop the cull. They have a week to appeal.
Council tax, the full whack on second homes. I have two. Just the
two! I think it is perfectly reasonable. It was a saying that if
you had a second home venue had fewer services. In an age of
austerity, when everyone has to pay more, it is a reasonable discount
to get rid of. I am in agreement with Jacob. I actually think that
in these times of austerity if people can afford to two homes than
they have to pay twice. I am more concerned with their elderly person
living on his or her own who still find it very difficult to find 75
per cent of the council tax. It seems that if we should cut
something, we should cut the council tax for them.
That is it for this series of the Sunday Politics. The government has
done a U-turn on the caravan tax and Jacob is off to his second home
Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.