11/11/2012 Sunday Politics West


11/11/2012

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news and debate, including interviews with the defence secretary Philip Hammond and deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman.


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Transcript


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In the West, with just a few days before we elect the first Police

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and Crime Commissioners, there is a warning that many voters do not

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2142 seconds

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Thank you, Andrew. You join us live in the West on the sombre

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Remembrance Sunday. Politicians put their differences aside as the

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nation comes together to salute the fallen. But they are at elections

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around the corner. On Thursday, we have the chance to vote for Police

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and Crime Commissioners. But given that most people do not have a clue

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who the candidates are, is this really democracy?

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Joining us today are the conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg and

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Labour's Dawn Primarolo. At 11 o'clock this morning, they joined

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thousands of people right across the West who one of the two-minute

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silence to remember those in the Armed Forces who have died in the

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line of duty. Scenes like this repeated in towns, cities and

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villages across the West. As we remember those who made the

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ultimate sacrifice, fresh in our minds the three losses endured by

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the Royal Marines from 40 Commando in Somerset and their colleagues

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who have been killed in action in Afghanistan in the last few weeks.

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As people reflected day, should the forces still be in Afghanistan?

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Jacob Rees-Mogg? It is very difficult. I never thought it was a

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good idea to go there in the first place, that history teaches you

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that wards and Afghanistan take longer than expected and it is

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difficult to get out of them. But having gone in, it would be morally

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wrong to call a leaving no stable Government or ability for it to

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govern itself. So we have to stay to ensure some form of orderly

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handover. That is difficult. Don, you were in the Government that put

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us in there. Was that a mistake? -- Dawn. I do not think it was a

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mistake, but it is a huge task. On Remembrance Sunday, as well as

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remembering the two great wars, we remember others and that servicemen

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and women are still putting their own lives at risk to do what is

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best thought the country. As Jacobs said, not looking like I am

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agreeing him, I think an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan is what

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is necessary, making sure that the stability that we went in there to

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help create is actually there. by saying we must stay until 2014,

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there are people living now who will be dead as a result of that

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judgment. Soldiers are dying at the rate of one a month? When the

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British nation commits itself to an action, we have a moral duty to

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leave something in a better state. We cannot just walk out and leave

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Afghanistan to face a bitter civil war. That could happen. The truth

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is that there for British lives will be lost. It is too late to say

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we should not have gone there. The point is to achieve an orderly

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handover. I know, we are all parents, and the thought of

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children signing up and going to Afghanistan? That is the importance

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of Remembrance Sunday, not just reflecting on the huge contribution

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and sacrifice that people have made in the past, but reminds us now

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that, when the deploy Arab forces, and we all take responsibility for

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that -- deploy our forces... I would respect, as I know other

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parents do, what their sons and daughters have decided. If one of

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my sons wanted to go into the army, I would think that and noble thing

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to do. It is so moving going to have a remembrance service and you

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hear that list of names. I wasn't our region which was quite a small

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place 100 years ago and the list goes on and on. Thank you.

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They are just a few days left of campaigning before voters here in

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the West pick their new Police and Crime Commissioners. The idea is to

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make the police more accountable, but most of us have not even had a

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manifesto, so we have no idea what we are voting for. The question is

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who are these people who want to run the police?

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I have been searching the streets of Swindon to find any clues that

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there is an election campaign in full swing. I have not find a

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single poster, or court battle bus. It is difficult to know anything is

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going on. Do you know if there is election or

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when it is? Nor. Any idea of candidates? But do not think so.

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How do you find out? On the news. We should have received more

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information. Do you know anything about it? Nor, I don't. We need to

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look inside this leaflet, delivered to 21 million homes nationwide by

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the Electoral Commission. On closer inspection, there is not a single

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mention of candidates. The Home Office say delivering leaflets

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tailored to each police force area would have cost up to �30 million.

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In the current economic climate, that was said to be too much.

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democratic society, we want people engaged. If that is the cost of

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making an election work well, then it is very difficult to put a price

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on that and �30 million is what it costs. Many voters in the West have

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had to rely on the television or the internet to get information

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about the candidates. The 20% of homes to do not have on-line access

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can also call a dedicated Home Office helpline, but callers to us

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at the BBC, and to the Electoral Commission, have complained it is

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not being answered and they have not been sent the information

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requested. The spotlight is firmly placed on the candidates. With just

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a few days of campaigning left, some voters could still be left in

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the dark. Charlotte Callen there, somewhere.

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You can find out details about the candidates standing in your area on

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our website. And we are putting the names of the candidates on the

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screen for Unite. Dawn Primarolo, is this democracy? -- on the screen

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for you. An election in November is always difficult. When people are

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not getting the information, slightly different in Bristol

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because we have the mayoral elections, so more activity, there

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is a real question on whether people will know there is an

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election and will be clear about what is needed. To say that that

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information is not available, because it would cost money, this

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Government decided we would have Police Commissioners and that the

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election would be in November. It should be properly funded.

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election stand if it is argued people were not told who the

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candidates were? This is ridiculous, expecting the Government to do

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everything. It is up to political parties to tell people. It is our

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job to tell people who the candidates are. It is the

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Independent's job to get out and campaign and deliver leaflets. I

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was delivering leaflets yesterday to tell people who the candidate

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was. The in Avon and Somerset, has every householder been informed

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about who the Tory candidate is? The Tories have delivered tens of

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thousands of leaflets. If we have houses that have not been delivered

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to, that is our fault. It is not the fault of the Government to

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spend taxpayers' money. Jacob, I am sure you would agree that it is an

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obligation of the Government to make sure that the structure for

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conducting an election. When we have a General Election, every

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candidate as part of that is guaranteed the three post. -- free

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post. It is the guaranteed at least one leaflet, particularly for minor

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parties. We have had no reason why that should not be the case for

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Police Commissioners except it is too expensive. For local elections,

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ordinary council elections, there is no free post. Political parties

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have to deliver leaflets. The Government, the councils, would

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have sent out polling cards, so people would know there is an

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election. But what about policy? Political parties tell you that,

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not the Government. But people are complaining they have not had the

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information. That is not the Government's faults, that is the

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candidates. But the Home Office's fault? There is a helpline where

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people are not responding. There were promises certain things would

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be in place to assist people, the phone line, the booklets, both of

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which failed. Even on the meagre contribution that this Government

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promised to make, it is not clearly getting out. We have to make the

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best of it and remind people to vote. The Home Office is not there

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to tell people who the candidates are, just to tell you there is an

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election. Political parties should get their message across. It should

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have given that information, which it has not done, viewers are

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telling us. From Police Commissioners to the

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election for a mayor of Bristol. The process is all very new for us.

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But 16 other places across England already have elected mayors.

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Britain's best known mayor team campaigning in Bristol, but Boris

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Johnson is one of many. Across England, there are 16 elected

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mayors. Six are Labour, three Conservative, two Liberal-Democrat,

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one English Democrat and no less than four are independent. Voters

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show they can surprise. A recent contest in a comparable City was

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less than last year. There are many similarities between Leicester and

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Bristol and its politics have been good for Labour. But the Lib Dems

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prospered in Government. When it decided to go for an elected mayor,

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the first person to become a candour that was a notable

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independent. But on election day, Labour one. In contrast to Bristol,

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their man, Peter Salsbury, had extensive experience having been an

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MP and one the council. -- on election day, Labour were

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successful. He knows his success was not just about his party label.

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Like Bristol, in Leicester and there were many who made the choice

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on the sort of leader they wanted, not their politics. Clearly for me,

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it helps having been a former member of parliament and a former

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council leader. Among voters I meet, his name as much mention, if often

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mispronounced was that I have heard of him, yes. -- it is often

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mispronounced. I have heard of him, yes. Because

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somebody or other. I have heard of him. But better known on his

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territory and elsewhere is the monkey elected in Hartlepool. It is

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the stuff of political legend. The 2002 success or former football

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club mascot Stuart Drummond. I have to be honest, I stood as a joke and

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to get publicity for the football club. I enjoyed every minute. I did

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not expect to win at all, not even coming close. It is part of the

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journey I had to find out a lot about the issues of the day, what

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was happening and come up with ideas. That was the lead the first

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ever had in local politics. But the political novice proved a natural.

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He has become Britain's most successful elected mayor, winning

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three times in a row. He is adamant his success owes much to being

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independent. I've very strongly believe party politics should not

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play a part in what is happening locally, it is about local

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priorities and trying to do what people want. I guess one of the

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problems we have had an Hartlepool before the mayoral system was in

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party fighting, we have had something like eight council

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leaders in nine years. There was no stability, no real vision for the

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place, nobody actually taking up the baton. They were too busy

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arguing with each other. Two people in Bristol, that might sound

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familiar. Not long ago, the city had seven changes of leader in

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seven years. Never again, though. On election day, whoever wins,

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whether independent or party politician, will take charge until

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2016. There are 15 candidates standing in

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Bristol, the largest number of any election of its kind in the country,

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and the names of all those candidates will be appearing on

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your screen shortly Wells we discuss this. Do you think people a

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right to be disillusioned with party politics and be thinking

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about independents instead? problem is party politics underpins

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any democratic system. It is hard to think of any country in the

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world to do not have parties, so people will probably or quickly

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whether a candidate will be sympathetic to their view of the

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world. I think the issue is people have become disillusioned about how

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much power is vested in their local council and whether they are able

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to take the decisions they can, whether on housing, transport, the

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arena in Bristol as examples locally. It is not party politics

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that is the issue. I think people have really questioned whether

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there is enough power locally to take the decisions that local

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people are interested in. The mayor will be powerful in Bristol. David

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Cameron said that much -- that their son will have access to

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Downing Street. If he did not say whereabouts. -- that that person

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will have access. I am glad you added that last part. What will be

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important is exactly how much additional power the mayor will

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have, whether they can control transport in the city. Taking

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Bristol as an example. What will be the relationship between debt and

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the Police Commissioner? How will the mayor be able to influence the

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future. -- what will the relationship between the mayor and

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the Police Commissioner be like? There are so many questions to be

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answered. Do you think on reflection it is a good idea?

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Something the Prime Minister personally back. Yes, I do. I have

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some issues about been mayor for Bristol. I wanted for Bristol. --

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about the mayor for Bristol. I want it or Bristol. Because we are in

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Somerset. It has a history and independents and community separate

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from Bristol. That mayor is for Bristol, not for a Greater Bristol

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or Yvonne or any other term of that kind. The Dean passports for

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Bristol? -- so people needing passports for Bristol?

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Thank you. Paul Barltrop has been following all the twists and turns

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in the election. He is by the giant ballot box in the city centre of.

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Thank you. At this was put up to try to inspire and motivate people

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to take part in the big vote on Thursday. With me are three guests

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who have a lot to see and feel strongly. Stephen Perry, a new

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campaign fought in it. You feel this mare will have enough power? -

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- mayor. He could be an ambassador for the city and engage the ball of

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the community, not just the council. Gus Hoyt, you are from the Green

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Party, not wanting this, seeing powers taken out of the council

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chamber? Yes. All pirate sits with the Cabinet not individual

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councillors. -- all of the parlour will set. We want neighbourhood

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partnerships and spending responsibilities. Coming on to Guy

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Poultney, a member of the Lib Dem cabinet on Bristol City Council or,

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you will be very much sidelined if you are a man does not win? GUS has

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said that power should like in community councillors. This is what

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the people of Bristol decided and we shall respect their views.

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must ask all of you, do you believe the Government and Prime Minister

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saying extra powers may come to Bristol? I do believe it and the

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bread -- and the mayor will make it happen. I called it will and let us

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make sure the people are behind two other is elected. We have the

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traffic rumbling by here. Will we see solutions to things like

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transport? I really hope so. I want to see concrete proposals. And we

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need to power from Government. have your own candidates. Stephen

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Perry is backing George Ferguson, one example. Has it been a good

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campaign? A lot of the campaigning has been around vision and fake

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aspiration. We need concrete policies. Or the Greens? We entered

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in with a detailed manifesto. It would be good of the candidates did

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something similar. We have had hundreds of new people, many never

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having been engaged in politics, it is exciting bringing a resurgence

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of interest. And we live in the political bubble. Will the people

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of Bristol turnout and vote? think it will be higher than the

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council elections, at least 40%. certainly hope so and hope it will

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not rain. I hope about turnout, but it could be a combination of apathy.

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A lot of confusion might make people stay at home. I hope that is

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wrong. Let us see. Hopefully if it is a gorgeous day like this, we can

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see what Thursday brings. Thank you. You have a very busy

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week ahead. Time now for the round-up of this

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week's political stories in 60 seconds.

:56:46.:56:50.

The Government has given the strongest suggestion yet that NHS

:56:50.:56:53.

staff in the West could be paid different rates to those in other

:56:53.:56:57.

parts of the country. Local politicians clashed over the plans

:56:57.:57:03.

in the Commons. If you want to have a service viable for the future,

:57:03.:57:07.

where is the money coming from? constituents deserve to be paid for

:57:07.:57:11.

the work done, not according to where they are living.

:57:11.:57:15.

The skyline between Avonmouth and Bridgwater is set to change as

:57:15.:57:22.

National Grid plans to remove 95 pylons. It also plans to bury some

:57:22.:57:25.

cables under the Mendip Hills, but campaigners on the Somerset Levels

:57:25.:57:28.

are unhappy, because the company will not be burying power lines

:57:28.:57:31.

there. The National Housing Federation

:57:31.:57:35.

says thousands of people in the West could be left fighting for a

:57:35.:57:39.

home they can afford. It claims a shortage of houses here is pushing

:57:39.:57:45.

up prices and rents. More than 186,000 people in the region has

:57:45.:57:51.

been waiting for a council house. That was the week that has just

:57:51.:57:56.

gone. We can discuss what might be coming up. The newspapers full of

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stories about this organisation, the BBC, the Director General

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quitting last night because of the Newsnight fiasco. Lord Patten, the

:58:06.:58:10.

chairman of the BBC, well known in these parts, because he was the MP

:58:10.:58:15.

for Bath. Do you think he can survive? It is an extraordinary

:58:15.:58:20.

turn of events. I am not sure. Lord Patten will have to consider his

:58:20.:58:25.

position. These are serious allegations about child abuse. We

:58:25.:58:29.

have eight different inquiries. We should be concentrating on one

:58:29.:58:33.

inquiry, getting to the facts, cutting the speculation and, with

:58:33.:58:38.

respect, what might or might not happen in the BBC. Do you think the

:58:38.:58:43.

BBC is a sideshow to all this? need to concentrate on those who

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have been abused. It is incredibly serious. We need to deal with that.

:58:48.:58:53.

I am sure Lord Patten will do the right thing. I am in entire

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agreement. I will not say that very often. We must not forget that

:58:59.:59:02.

child abuse lies at the centre of this and we need the police to be

:59:02.:59:07.

arresting and charging people and prosecutions to go ahead. But if

:59:07.:59:14.

you name the wrong person, or get the wrong person... I have great

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confidence and Chris Patten. He is one of the ablest politicians of

:59:19.:59:25.

his generation to stop he negotiated a deal with the Chinese.

:59:25.:59:30.

-- of his generation. He negotiated a deal with the Chinese, by example.

:59:30.:59:35.

Maybe some people in your party will be rubbing their hands?

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BBC has people who criticise it, but all broadcasters have criticism.

:59:40.:59:45.

Sky has its critics, the BBC has. I do not think we want to get into

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that. I will have a pop at the BBC if you want me to. But we should

:59:50.:59:55.

not allow this debate, which we are in danger of doing now, making it

:59:55.:00:01.

at discussion about the BBC. The BBC can sort out its editorial and

:00:01.:00:05.

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