10/02/2013 Sunday Politics West


10/02/2013

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include environment secretary Owen Paterson and energy secretary Ed Davey.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 10/02/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

In the West, who gets to choose those who'll hold the safest seats

:01:21.:01:24.

in Parliament? Some say picking the lucky candidates should be done by

:01:24.:01:34.
:01:34.:01:34.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2463 seconds

:01:34.:42:37.

ordinary folk - not just the party Welcome to the programme here in

:42:37.:42:42.

the West. Coming up: The MPs with a job for life and without any

:42:42.:42:52.
:42:52.:42:58.

That's coming up, but firstly, to our political class room, where

:42:58.:43:04.

some of us struggled to get an O- level. John Glenn, and the Labour

:43:04.:43:14.

Mark Dempsey then 0 Swindon. Welcome to U-boat. -- welcome to

:43:14.:43:20.

you both. Michael Gove made a huge U-turn this week. Do you ever think,

:43:20.:43:26.

what is going on? I think Michael Gove is an extremely brilliant man

:43:26.:43:29.

and Education Secretary. I think the U-turn is the gloss the media

:43:30.:43:37.

want to put on it. He consulted on it, there been tweaks, and what

:43:37.:43:41.

he's trying to do is improve the overall reputation and integrity of

:43:41.:43:47.

the qualifications. What he did is trashed the GCSE, and now he is

:43:47.:43:53.

saying, actually, it's fine. think you're making mischief with

:43:54.:43:58.

those words. He said it wasn't fit for purpose. So there are

:43:58.:44:01.

significant reforms we will be taking. These things are difficult

:44:01.:44:05.

to get right. It is right that he consulted teachers, and there are

:44:05.:44:13.

some changes to what he proposed. The key thing is the outcome -

:44:13.:44:17.

Improved qualifications that prospective employers can rely on.

:44:17.:44:21.

So you don't think he made a mess? It would always be ideal if you

:44:21.:44:24.

could get every detail right of every policy first time, but that

:44:24.:44:31.

is not the reality. Let's bring in labour. I'm sure you won't make

:44:31.:44:37.

political capital out of this! He changed his mind, what is wrong

:44:37.:44:43.

with that? I been it was an embarrassing climbdown. He showed

:44:43.:44:51.

have listened to the teachers, the parents. One problem is he's stuck

:44:51.:44:58.

in a bit of a 1920s view of education. Actually, I think you

:44:58.:45:02.

should really be focused on building education systems for the

:45:02.:45:12.

20 twenties. -- 2020s. That is where we should be aiming our

:45:12.:45:16.

education system. Academic standards were quite high in the

:45:16.:45:24.

1920s, actually! Yes, but we need to build an economy for the future.

:45:24.:45:29.

Now, few of us feel completely safe in these days of redundancies, but

:45:29.:45:33.

for some MPs, a job for life is just round the corner. If they get

:45:33.:45:39.

elected to fight one of the West's safe seats, they are quids in. All

:45:39.:45:43.

they have to come -- all they have to do is convince a handful of

:45:43.:45:47.

activists that they are the right person for the job. But some people

:45:47.:45:52.

think that should change. This is Bristol South, one of the

:45:52.:45:58.

safest seats in the West Country. Even in Labour's bad defeat in 2010,

:45:58.:46:02.

they won it comfortably. The MP is departing at the next general

:46:02.:46:07.

election and the real contest to six-seater won't be in 2015. It

:46:07.:46:11.

will take place in the next few weeks, with the choice being made

:46:11.:46:16.

by fewer than 200 people. These are some of them. A South

:46:16.:46:20.

Bristol pub was the venue for this Labour gathering. Any supporter

:46:20.:46:29.

could attend and vote. However, this was not to choose a candidate,

:46:29.:46:34.

it was to pick policies the party should adopt. The idea of having

:46:34.:46:38.

open primaries with all local voters able to take part has won

:46:38.:46:43.

influential backing in labour. Frank Field especially wants them

:46:43.:46:47.

in safe seats. Once the system is under way quickly, the electorate

:46:47.:46:53.

would realise they were offering a big say in the real choice, not in

:46:53.:47:00.

the circus, biting and turning up in a contest that they know before

:47:00.:47:04.

they set out from home who the winner will be. The Conservatives

:47:04.:47:09.

sometimes hold open primaries. In 2010, all voters in the safe seat

:47:10.:47:14.

of Salisbury were invited to the meeting which elected John Glenn.

:47:14.:47:21.

The party went even further in Totnes, Devon. Constituents didn't

:47:21.:47:26.

have to go to a selection meeting. There was a postal vote, and a

:47:26.:47:31.

quarter of electors took part. Political scientist Elizabeth Evans

:47:31.:47:35.

says research suggests it can be good for democracy a. Given the

:47:35.:47:39.

less than 1% of the population is a member of a political party, that

:47:39.:47:43.

is very few people involved in the future politicians who will be

:47:43.:47:50.

sitting in Westminster. So having a primary way you allowing more

:47:50.:47:55.

people to hear the candidate will be, you engage more people in that

:47:55.:47:58.

prose and only be a good thing, given people in the UK are not

:47:58.:48:03.

engaging with formal political parties in the way they used to.

:48:03.:48:06.

Backings are Bristol, the votes had been passed. Labour members will

:48:06.:48:13.

soon meet again to pick a candidate. Ordinary voters and our cameras

:48:13.:48:18.

won't be allowed in. Joining as his mate and Hartley, a Liberal

:48:19.:48:22.

Democrat councillor in Bath and deputy leader of the cancer that

:48:22.:48:32.
:48:32.:48:39.

the stop -- deputy leader of the council there. Do you share the

:48:39.:48:44.

concern that this method is unhealthy? I think the primaries

:48:44.:48:49.

other way forward. I was selected in an open primary in Salisbury.

:48:49.:48:54.

There were 400 people there, over half those people were not party

:48:54.:48:58.

members. Where seat has been in one party's hands for one time, there

:48:58.:49:01.

is less chance there will be movement at the general election,

:49:01.:49:10.

it is important there will be that selection. Do you think you would

:49:10.:49:15.

not have got selected if you did not have an open primary? That is

:49:15.:49:19.

not for me to say. But over half the people and that Rome were not

:49:19.:49:23.

party members. Of course, when you are an MP, you have to act everyone

:49:23.:49:26.

in the constituency, so it is only right that people who don't

:49:27.:49:30.

necessarily support you have a say in who the candidates is likely to

:49:30.:49:36.

be. It is also about the outcome as well as the process. We need to put

:49:36.:49:43.

the represent back into representative. People saw I was

:49:43.:49:46.

collected -- connected to the community, and I think that's what

:49:47.:49:56.
:49:57.:49:58.

they wanted. But the Conservatives back in 1950 had 3 million members.

:49:58.:50:03.

Labour had one million. Now, the Conservatives are down to 150,000,

:50:03.:50:09.

tops. There are only a few activists left in party politics,

:50:09.:50:14.

so it does mean you're not really representing anybody apart from

:50:14.:50:20.

then. I think you're right and you see people starting a career in

:50:20.:50:24.

private school, going on to university, to work at Conservatory

:50:24.:50:27.

Central Office, and then into Parliament without any real

:50:27.:50:33.

experience. That leads to MPs who are out of touch and distant from

:50:33.:50:43.

the community. The Lib Dems don't have many say seats, do they? --

:50:43.:50:50.

safe seats. I think power needs to be in their hands of as many people

:50:50.:50:58.

as possible. If there are marginal seats, people can decide to

:50:58.:51:01.

recurrent democratic process, but this issue is more about tackling

:51:01.:51:08.

it the safest seats that the two larger parties have. At least the

:51:08.:51:12.

Lib Dems and the Conservatives have embraced this idea. Labour have not.

:51:12.:51:17.

I think Labour have always been at the forefront of modernising

:51:17.:51:23.

Parliament. We're the first black MP, the first openly gay MP. 33% of

:51:23.:51:33.

our MPs are women, only 15% of the Conservatives are. I think there

:51:33.:51:39.

are a selection processes have changed, so anybody can put...

:51:39.:51:44.

do the trade unions have such a big role? They don't. They do -

:51:44.:51:48.

massively. They shouldn't have a monopoly on the selection of Labour

:51:48.:51:54.

candidates. The Lib Dems and the Conservatives in the coalition

:51:54.:51:57.

document said they would pay the 200 primaries in safe seats, and

:51:57.:52:03.

that promise has been dropped quietly. Why is that? It cost

:52:03.:52:08.

�40,000 per seat to do a postal priory, and I suspect some of the

:52:08.:52:13.

cost put pressure on that. The next best thing is to have an open

:52:13.:52:17.

primary way you are not a member of the political party, as happened in

:52:17.:52:21.

Salisbury. That has to be better than having a closed-shop

:52:21.:52:27.

arrangement they you see with Labour. We must move on. More of

:52:27.:52:30.

you contacted your MP about this issue than anything else recently -

:52:30.:52:35.

gay marriage. The vote went through and exposed deep divisions within

:52:35.:52:41.

society and the Conservative Party. But will the bill to deliver the

:52:41.:52:49.

quality it promises? And at what price for the Conservatives?

:52:49.:52:54.

What I would say from colleagues on -- to colleagues on all sides who

:52:54.:52:57.

are opposing what we're trying to achieve today it is please have

:52:57.:53:00.

some empathy for what your fellow citizens have been through.

:53:01.:53:05.

Equality is not something that can be delivered partially. It is

:53:05.:53:11.

absolute. An impassioned plea from Bristol's first openly gay MP, on

:53:11.:53:16.

the day the personal became political. But will gay marriage

:53:16.:53:21.

really be on an equal footing? Generally, I am pleased about it.

:53:21.:53:25.

At his offices in Bristol, as he is working on the next issue of Viz

:53:25.:53:30.

magazine. He is in a civil partnership, and welcomes the bill,

:53:30.:53:34.

with one cabbie at. I'm a bit concerned with the legislation as

:53:34.:53:39.

it stands. They still haven't dealt with this issue of adultery. At the

:53:39.:53:46.

moment, I still couldn't see my partner if he were to have an

:53:46.:53:53.

affair with someone else. There is not for equality in that sense.

:53:53.:53:57.

Adultery is grounds for divorce if it is committed with someone of the

:53:57.:54:04.

opposite sex. So not much use the game married couples. One MP who

:54:04.:54:14.
:54:14.:54:14.

abstained this week shed these concerns. -- not much use for gay

:54:14.:54:22.

married couples. I am bigger concerns for the way the Bill was

:54:22.:54:27.

laid out. There are issues with it, I'm not sure that it will be equal.

:54:27.:54:31.

They inevitably will be important distinctions between same-sex and

:54:31.:54:36.

opposite sex marriages. So, could some married couples be more equal

:54:36.:54:41.

than others? Some politicians want to keep things as they are to avoid

:54:41.:54:46.

confusion and changing the nature of marriage. This ludicrous

:54:46.:54:50.

situation underscores why otherwise provision of civil partnerships of

:54:50.:54:56.

nearly a decade ago was made. To ensure that same-sex couples can

:54:56.:55:02.

make an equally valid commitment in law, receiving all the legal rights

:55:02.:55:06.

and privileges conferred by marriage, but it would have to

:55:06.:55:13.

remain different in name. Equality, then - just under different labels.

:55:13.:55:17.

What went equal is the political fall-out. The Prime Minister faces

:55:17.:55:22.

dissension on his doorstep and even resignations. I don't speak but the

:55:22.:55:26.

chairman, I know many keel and very angered, as I do, about this issue.

:55:26.:55:31.

Chiefly because, and sat in only, because of the impact its having on

:55:31.:55:41.
:55:41.:55:45.

our volunteers and members. -- and saddeningly. In the end, the in

:55:45.:55:50.

quality -- the equality enshrined in this Bill may be partial, but

:55:50.:55:54.

enough for some. And too much of others now divorced from a party

:55:54.:56:04.
:56:04.:56:07.

they helped to elect. My guests are here to discuss that. -- Nathan

:56:07.:56:15.

Hartley is still here with us. What do you think of this development?

:56:15.:56:25.
:56:25.:56:29.

was delighted. We need to it allow gay people to get married. You are

:56:29.:56:37.

a gay man? No, I am not. I am a heterosexual Christian but a strong

:56:37.:56:40.

believer in equal rights for all people, which is part of the

:56:40.:56:46.

inspiration behind setting up this group. John, would you like to

:56:46.:56:49.

explain to gay people watching this programme why they shouldn't have

:56:49.:56:53.

the same rights as you? I believe they do have the same rights, that

:56:53.:57:00.

is why Parliament brought in the civil rights partnership. There's

:57:00.:57:07.

never been a suggestion that there on UN -- that there are not equal

:57:07.:57:13.

rights under law. If there is no difference, why bother opposing it,

:57:13.:57:18.

if it is just a word? And I think it is important that this is seen

:57:18.:57:25.

as being about protecting marriage. Marriage is distinct, it involves a

:57:25.:57:32.

certain things. You will not actually have equality of treatment

:57:32.:57:37.

under this proposed legislation. Adultery will not apply in the same

:57:37.:57:42.

way. If you remove the notion of fidelity in marriage, then it

:57:42.:57:47.

undermines marriage. And you think the Western world can't find a way

:57:47.:57:52.

around that? Well, it seems Parliament has passed the

:57:52.:57:58.

legislation, and you have to accept that. But my contention is the

:57:58.:58:01.

label of marriage is diminished, because it when in the same thing

:58:01.:58:11.
:58:11.:58:12.

that it does at the moment. -- it won't mean. It's not just about

:58:12.:58:21.

love and commitment. Belgium has had equal same-sex marriage the 10

:58:21.:58:28.

years and there's been no attack on heterosexual marriages. Now this

:58:28.:58:32.

battle has been one, and it looks almost certain it will be passed,

:58:32.:58:36.

how long before you campaign for gay marriages to take place in the

:58:36.:58:41.

Church of England? Not long at all. We are frustrated the Church of

:58:41.:58:49.

England have a get-out clause that it will be illegal. I know a number

:58:49.:58:54.

of ministers who are pro gay marriage and their various

:58:54.:58:59.

frustrated -- they are very frustrated. But this was one of the

:58:59.:59:03.

concessions, that because will absolutely not be made to marry gay

:59:03.:59:13.
:59:13.:59:14.

people. -- that vicars. A lot of parishes in rural areas have a lot

:59:14.:59:19.

of control over what they do. They can set their own church policy in

:59:19.:59:23.

terms of whether they marry divorcees or not. So I think they

:59:23.:59:27.

should also be entitled to make the decision as to whether they allowed

:59:27.:59:32.

to people of the same sex to get married in their churches.

:59:32.:59:35.

Conservatives are leading social change in this country! I think

:59:35.:59:39.

they have shown they are still deeply divided. This is exactly the

:59:39.:59:45.

right thing to do. Why didn't you bring it in before 2010? Well, you

:59:45.:59:53.

bought in civil partnerships. Your party when it was last in

:59:53.:59:59.

government had section 28, which was an utterly repugnant

:59:59.:00:04.

homophobic... Don't bring up ancient history. It's not that long

:00:04.:00:14.
:00:14.:00:16.

ago! Your party is split down the scenes over this. -- seams. It is

:00:16.:00:19.

absolutely the right thing to do, everybody should be able to

:00:19.:00:24.

celebrate love. I got married last year - the best day of my life, and

:00:24.:00:27.

everybody should be able to celebrate their love through

:00:27.:00:34.

marriage. But people have a right not to approve of it without being

:00:34.:00:40.

they are marginalised and victimised as well, do you think?

:00:40.:00:44.

respect the views of people with fake, but they should not enable

:00:44.:00:54.
:00:54.:01:01.

discrimination. -- people with faith, but faith should not enable

:01:01.:01:09.

discrimination. Do you think you're on the wrong side of mystery? In 10

:01:09.:01:14.

years, perhaps people will look back and say, it is like you voted

:01:14.:01:22.

the slavery. That is a very unfair comparison. His time to step into

:01:22.:01:27.

the 21st century. There are lots of questions that have not been

:01:27.:01:34.

answered. Time now to take a regular look at the rest of the

:01:34.:01:43.

The commission of their Avon and Somerset Police continues her bumpy

:01:43.:01:48.

ride in office. A police and crime a panel almost derailed her plans

:01:48.:01:53.

to freeze what we pay the police from the council tax pot. The

:01:53.:01:56.

commissioner campaigned to freeze the tax, but hinted she would have

:01:56.:02:01.

to raise it in future years. Millions of pounds are on their way

:02:01.:02:06.

to improve flood defences. Hundreds of homes across the rage and were

:02:06.:02:11.

affected by torrential rain and late last year. -- across the

:02:11.:02:16.

region. Anti-war campaign is prevented from

:02:16.:02:18.

joining a campaign in Gloucestershire against the Iraq

:02:18.:02:22.

war whenever legal battle against police. They were on coaches

:02:22.:02:25.

stopped from reaching the protest in 2003.

:02:25.:02:29.

And a former guest on this show, Amanda Ramsey, who could fight

:02:29.:02:34.

Bristol South a Labour next election settled a hacking case

:02:34.:02:44.
:02:44.:02:51.

One story which wasn't there but dominated the national agenda is

:02:51.:02:55.

what went on amid Staffordshire Hospital, fortunately not a

:02:56.:02:59.

hospital in our region. But do you fear we may have a similar story

:02:59.:03:07.

somewhere here in the West Country? A I desperately hope not. It shows

:03:07.:03:12.

since tragic -- some tragic cases. Despite all the Investment we put

:03:12.:03:22.
:03:22.:03:22.

in as a Labour government, you need the management in place in order to

:03:22.:03:31.

make sure hospital functions properly. I be Labour and deserve

:03:31.:03:34.

some credit for pumping lots of money into the NHS, but money needs

:03:34.:03:40.

to be spent wisely. Be issued this week has really thrown into a

:03:40.:03:50.
:03:50.:03:58.

focused the quality of care. -- the issue this week. We need to have an

:03:58.:04:05.

inspectorate would Teague back and not look at the quality of care.

:04:05.:04:13.

And -- inspectorate with teeth. To this point, we have not had such an

:04:13.:04:16.

inspectorate, we have focused on targets, and that was manipulating

:04:16.:04:21.

the way that hospitals were run. We need to recognise that our

:04:21.:04:25.

constituents and the people that use our hospitals want high quality

:04:25.:04:31.

of care, and that is where things went wrong. Would Labour now say,

:04:31.:04:34.

no more managers, and hospitals should be managed and run by

:04:34.:04:40.

clinicians? No, I think you need managers in place. It is absolutely

:04:40.:04:43.

crucial to have managers in place to make sure these incidents don't

:04:43.:04:49.

happen. But you also need the doctors and nurses in place. I

:04:49.:04:52.

guess I am worried the big top-down reforms the Conservatives are

:04:52.:04:57.

bringing in will bring greater disruption to the NHS. I been we

:04:57.:05:00.

need stability and to make sure the care people are getting is top

:05:00.:05:05.

class. We have to leave it there. Thank you very much for coming in.

:05:05.:05:08.

They are good friends really! I'm just saying that, they're probably

:05:08.:05:17.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS