14/04/2013 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including the Sunday Interview with Conservative party chairman, Grant Shapps MP.

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Party are doing well in the polls and are hoping to win more votes


than ever in the local elections. What do they really stand for? We


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2191 seconds


the program that is just for us in the West. Coming up, the UK


Independence Party are hoping to well in the May local elections.


They have more candidates standing the never before, with their leader


braced for big things. Can the party whose core values are about


immigration and Europe really break into local politics? Joining us


today is the new Conservative candidate hoping to win a


constituency is David Warburton. And so Graham Watson. Welcome. Let us


talk about the overall warming story of the week, the death of Lady


Thatcher. What is her legacy, do you think? She was a giant in politics


and the legacy is pretty much threefold. Number one, she was the


person who took on the trade unions, liberalise the British economy and


made us work harder. Number two, she was the Cold War Premier in a sense


who took us to war against Argentina over the Falklands. And who stood up


to Gorbachev. Number three, she was the person who started a big change


of opinion in this country about our relationship with our European


partners. You sound like a member of the fan club. I respect the fact


that she came in as an outsider, took over a party, took over the


country and imposed her will. That is what democratic politics has to


be about. It is the capacity of an individual to achieve something. I


am not a fan in the sense that I did not agree with much of what she did.


I think, as Shakespeare says, in Julius Caesar, the harm that people


do often lives after them, even though the good is interred with


their bones. She certainly did some good but I fear, I see it in the


European Union, that she did a lot of harm as well. David, how did she


lose your politics? Enormously. I would not be here without her.


People my age, 30 years ago, 1983, I was campaigning for her. She was the


one that people talked about on the doorstep. Amazingly, they are doing


so now. Her impact was immense. she have to be so divisive? I don't


issue is necessarily divisive. It is a divisive word. She was divisive in


that she polarised opinion because people placed her... People created


a myth about her that they still believe was that people believe that


Mrs Thatcher was... She destroyed the unions, she destroyed the North


of England, she reaped havoc on our in Austria or industry. She has been


demonised because people meet a pantomime Bill. We lost our man


lecturing -- we lost our manufacturing industry. Under Tony


Blair, it went from 17 to 11%, so it is not only her cross to bear.


will talk more later in the program. The local elections are on the May


the campaign was the little following the death of Lady Thatcher


but electioneering is back in full swing with visits from the party


leaders and Cabinet ministers in key seats. Let us take a look at the


areas holding elections will stop they are Somerset, Dorset,


Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and a third of seats in Bristol. The only


parties standing candidates in all of the 273 seats are the


Conservatives and in six areas in Wiltshire, nobody is standing


against them, so they will automatically get in. Labour of


fielding candidates in 234 areas, followed by the Lib Dems with 218.


The big increases UKIP, which is standing in more places than ever


before with 183 candidates in the West. Paul Barltrop reports. The sun


is shining on UKIP at the moment. An election tour by Nigel Farage,


Somerset is an important stop. how are you? Lovely to welcome you


to Taunton. Glad to be here. Reading him, they county chairman. She has


recorded a record number of candidates. They are all worried


about what being in Europe is doing to us. We're on the verge of opening


up the door next year to 29 million people from really poor countries


like bog area and for many. -- bog area and remain here. None of this


has anything to do with local politics. Their policies there are


much less distinctive. They say that capital taxes must not rise. They


want to improve services, so do little Democrats was the UKIP and


Labour manifestoes infuse about increasing local decision-making.


All parties say they will improve road maintenance. In her taut home,


Dorothy Baker is working flat out. She accepts that her party know


little about running local government that believes it is a big


steppingstone. Doing well in the council elections is the first step


to getting into Westminster. Bear in mind, we are a young party, a small


party, although we are growing phenomenally. 20 years, this last


week, this party was formed. It took the Liberals 30 years to get their


first MP. We are going to beat that, I am certain. Party membership has


been rising. It has been a race against time to create a political


fighting machine. So you do need to know where you stand with your


boundaries. But what preoccupies supporters at this meeting is not


council boundaries as Britain's borders. He said to Enoch Powell,


how do you change these things? How can we possibly? The young well,


they always do. That is what is starting now in politics. He was


right about rivers of blood, so let's hope he was right about that


as well. Even in Taunton, the latest wave of immigration is obvious.


Somerset is home to 5000 Polish people. Nothing against the Polish


people, they are hard-working and industrious and I have had Polish


friends in the past who have settled in Taunton. After the war. It is the


numbers, isn't it? And the fact that as a nation we cannot control our


own borders. Voting UKIP would change that that it may appeal to


voters frustrated with the three main parties. Joining the debate is


Phil Collins, who is the former chair of UKIP in Bristol and a


candidate in the local elections. Welcome. Is there a danger that UKIP


could be seen as a party that attracts racist? Not at all. Five or


six years ago, you would have said so. The normal people of today want


to stop migration. The country cannot cope. Our services are


overrun. The three old and tired parties have all promised a vote and


then they have reneges on that promise. You are the party of


immigration, not the body that was to be out of Europe? Not out of


Europe but want to still trade with Europe. You see immigration as the


key issue? Yes, because it affects nationally and locally. Because


services have been cut, we have no money to do anything else. What if


people are thinking of voting you -- UKIP in the local elections? What do


you know that local councils? have experience, and money is not


getting through from central government to local people. We talk


being about eight aquatic country. But we do not have a vote on the


European Union. What's different is that the European Union make to a


local council here in the West quest Mark people from abroad becoming the


are using our services. Hospitals, everything. Any idea yet how many


Bulgarians and Romanians will be coming in next year when our borders


are opened to them? It will depend on the labour market in this country


and the labour market in those countries. I expect that, in the


end, very few of them would will come. Most of them will go to the


country's closest to them, Germany and Austria. So you have no idea?If


a country is a member of the European Union, its people have the


right to go and move and work and settle elsewhere. Just as millions


of Britons take the advantage of going and spending part of the year


in the south of Spain, so the Polish and the Bulgarians will go for work


elsewhere if they wish to do so. That is a benefit to this country,


because if we didn't have them, frankly, because we don't have


enough young people, we wouldn't be able to staff our care homes, etc.


Should they be entitled to a council house, if they have children?


have to be entitled to what anyone in this country would be entitled to


and what they would be entitled to in their countries. That is


something that applies to all European citizens, right across the


European Union. It has been hugely beneficial to this country because


we have a very large number of people working abroad in other


countries in the European Union, enjoying the same benefits as those


countries' people enjoy. concerned that the UKIP messages and


entirely true, that they are putting up scare stories of 29 million


people coming from Romania and Bulgaria. Something like the


combined population of Romania and Bulgaria. So the chances of both


countries emptying and finding ways here are low. You haven't come up


with an alternative figure, have you? Nobody knows.It is anybody's


guess. 29 million is a number picked out of the air. The entire


population, which is the least likely thing to happen. We need to


police our borders properly and the government over the last three years


has reduced net migration by a third. So work has been done in this


area. We are going in the right direction. I'm not sure that pulling


is out of Europe and halting the whole thing is a good thing at all.


Whatever you do, you cannot control people from other parts of Europe.


You can't reduce numbers from parts of the EE? We can't, as long as we


are part of the EU. That remains the rule within the EU. You can't


control immigration from the EU? we can't. So need to be careful


about immigration from outside the EU, because that is something we can


manage. What do you think? This is absolutely right. We now know that,


thanks to the coalition government, family people are coming into this


government, where they are coming from and how you people are leaving


the country. That is something the Labour government never did. We can


design policy to ensure that we are making the best use of the resources


we have, to make sure that our citizens are enjoying the same


benefits as in other countries. Clegg said he was wrong to promise


an amnesty to illegal in this country if they have gone under the


radar for ten years, we should make them citizens. He said. Was he


wrong? There are big difficulties with amnesty is because, if you say


you are going to give him amnesty when people are here illegally,


theoretically you attract more people to come to the country


illegally. Let us work on very successfully on closing the back


door to illegal migration into this country. Let's keep open a front


door to a certain amount. satisfied with the changes that all


of the main parties have now -- are now shaping up to on immigration?


is proven that they won't give as a referendum because they know that


British people don't want to be in it. We should be like Australia. We


should determine how he people come in. At the moment, it is an open


door. No because Australia racist when they only want people who have


certain skills. Kids that want to go off to Europe? They should be


subject to controls for other European new union countries, saying


they don't want us? If we want to go talking about Spain and Portugal.


But we don't want to be in Europe was the British people, not just


UKIP, we don't want to be in Europe. We want the board back up and what a


certain number of people in that we can provide for whilst still


providing for the British public and putting the British public first.


And you think that West Country care homes and restaurants and hotels


could cope without any immigrants? Yes, because the people that are


unemployed will then be employed. There are not enough jobs around at


the moment. I can't understand, even though David Cameron said, he would


give a referendum in 2015, if he is re-elected, which identity will, he


won't get it, because you want to let him. We have to end it there.


It is Somerset where the Fiesta 's battle is being fought. The


Conservatives have run things for the past four years but cuts to


local government funding meant they had to mix of difficult decisions


about funding. Springtime in Somerset. As the


weather warms up, so are the political activists. For the


Conservatives and the Lib Dems who are working together nationally,


this is one county they refused to share. Here, they fight it out for


every vote in key marginal wards. This was the most closely fought


battle in the last election in the entire county. Here at Castle Cary,


just six votes separated the Conservative win Andy Lib Dem loser.


In seas like this in Somerset, it is where the battle to control the


county will be won or lost. The council budget has been squeezed by


central dogma settlements, leaving the Conservatives little choice but


to cut budgets. They argue most frontline services have been saved


which they hope will save them big losses on May the 2nd. There will be


people who will be really concerned that the services that they really


believe in will be effective. Hobhouse knows what it is like to


lose, having just lost last time. They have to win here. It is no


surprise that the Tory cuts are top of their election campaigns. People


in this area have had their hours of care cut, they have raised the bar


on whether they can have showers or barbs. They have increased cost of


cleaners for the disabled. They have made the cuts in the wrong places.


So what of the other parties here in Somerset? Labour have just two


councillors. They hope to win a view more. The county council budget has


been slashed by the Conservatives. How do you sort out the local issues


from the national issues? Realistically, they have little


chance of making big games was up the -- UKIP and the Greens have


little chance here. They're very beautiful part of the world.


Representing is from the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are


here to slug it out. You are both all in it together. You


are in a coalition nationally, and pretending you are separate on


policy is absurd. There are clear policy differences between the two


parties. Locally, we have different priorities. For example, Liberal


Democrats do believe that we shouldn't be closing waste tips,


which is leading to a growth in fly tipping on farmers' land. Liberal


Democrats were outraged that the Conservatives spent �4 million on


new furniture and spending thousands of pounds a day on consultants from


your cutting social care. That is your list, let's come back with your


list. There is no formally and pounce on chairs. �4 million on


moving the council offices from having 35 offices, which the Lib


Dems but it ought to have, to 30 offices. A month that was some


chairs was that it is pushing the boundaries a bit to describe it as


furniture! Spending 4 million to save money. We were left with a


massive amount of debt. More than a third of �1 million in debt. So


stuff has to be done. We also lost �94 million from the government. So


savings have to be made. Comeback on the debt issue. All councils have


debt, just as the mud debt. That is the debt that Somerset County


Council has as a percentage of its budget was one of the lowest in the


country. The Tory administrator and get on and if the liberal Democrats


win again, as I hope we will, we will take on the debt that they have


had to manage and some of which they have created. The rally is there is


a clear choice between the kind of services you get from Liberal


Democrats and the Conservatives. It's a managerial issue, not


philosophical. There are philosophical differences as well.


It is a separate subject. We can be here all day. We were going to


philosophy! This is one -- there is one story that has dominated the


headlines this week. That is the death of Margaret Thatcher. Here are


some thoughts in a sickly second round up.


She was nicknamed the iron Lady and according to former Lib Dem leader


and Yeovil MP Paddy Ashdown, Margaret Thatcher really did live up


to her name. In all my life, I have never been so frightened as I was


when I had to take her on and be literally handbag once a week in


front of the microphones of the nation. One of the function she


attended was Liam Fox's birthday. She worked the room and was the


centre of attention and was hoping that she was giving good value to


everyone who was there. To some she was, and is, a figure of eight and


tensions grew in restored on the night of her death. One police


officer had to be taken to hospital and six others were injured as 200


people gathered to have a party. On Friday, the Conservative club was


attacked. The owners believe it was by anti-Thatcher writes.


The week of Lady Thatcher's death. Let us about the arrangements for


this week and the protests and so on. Have you thought of the guests?


Are people to entitled to express their views? Of course they are.


People will behave like that here and there. The less attention we pay


to it the better. I think we should move on food aid is quite shocking


if they start mashing up shops and thinks food it is bizarre. I don't


think those people are in any way representative of the entire mass of


people. We are expecting this kind of celebration for certain sections


of the community? It is not surprising. Nobody can condone


violence of that nature but it is not entirely surprising in the vast


majority of the country that they want to see an important funeral for


an important person. Mrs Thatcher is then 30 years in Parliament. Worth


�10 million of the cost? These things will always cost money for is


that it doesn't matter which prime and Mr is being buried. The costs


these days are huge because the cost of security are huge. That is it


from the West this week. Thank you to our guests. Don't go away because


the Sunday Politics continues with Andrew in London. If you want to


find out more about the candidates standing in your local area, you can


find a full list on your local council website. For example, if you


live in Gloucestershire, go to the Gloucestershire Canada Council


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including the Sunday Interview with Conservative party chairman, Grant Shapps MP. Also, former CBI boss, Lord Jones and TUC leader, Frances O'Grady go head to head on trade union reform, and former cabinet minister, John Reid, on Tony Blair's warning to Labour.

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