11/11/2012 Sunday Politics West


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


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


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


Remembrance Sunday. Politicians put their differences aside as the


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


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


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


who the candidates are, is this really democracy?


Joining us today are the conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg and


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Royal Marines from 40 Commando in Somerset and their colleagues


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


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


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


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


that wards and Afghanistan take longer than expected and it is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of Remembrance Sunday, not just reflecting on the huge contribution


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


who are these people who want to run the police?


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


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


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


going on. Do you know if there is election or


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


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


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


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


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


mention of candidates. The Home Office say delivering leaflets


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


not being answered and they have not been sent the information


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


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


the dark. Charlotte Callen there, somewhere.


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


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


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


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


not getting the information, slightly different in Bristol


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


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


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


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


Government decided we would have Police Commissioners and that the


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


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


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


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


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


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


was delivering leaflets yesterday to tell people who the candidate


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


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


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


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


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


obligation of the Government to make sure that the structure for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


people are not responding. There were promises certain things would


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


which failed. Even on the meagre contribution that this Government


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


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


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


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


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


telling us. From Police Commissioners to the


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


But 16 other places across England already have elected mayors.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the first person to become a candour that was a notable


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


mispronounced. I have heard of him, yes. Because


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


party fighting, we have had something like eight council


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


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


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


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


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


whether independent or party politician, will take charge until


2016. There are 15 candidates standing in


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


and the names of all those candidates will be appearing on


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


right to be disillusioned with party politics and be thinking


about independents instead? problem is party politics underpins


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


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


whether a candidate will be sympathetic to their view of the


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


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


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


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


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


there is enough power locally to take the decisions that local


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


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


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


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


important is exactly how much additional power the mayor will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Somerset. It has a history and independents and community separate


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


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


Bristol? -- so people needing passports for Bristol?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


partnerships and spending responsibilities. Coming on to Guy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


week's political stories in 60 seconds.


The Government has given the strongest suggestion yet that NHS


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


parts of the country. Local politicians clashed over the plans


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


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


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


The skyline between Avonmouth and Bridgwater is set to change as


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


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


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


there. The National Housing Federation


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


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


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


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


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


stories about this organisation, the BBC, the Director General


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


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


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


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


position. These are serious allegations about child abuse. We


have eight different inquiries. We should be concentrating on one


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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