07/07/2013 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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posterity. A portrait of Labour's Dawn Primarolo is to be hung in


Parliament - but should taxpayers money be spent on art when budgets


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2167 seconds


the part of the programme that's just for us here in the West. Coming


up today. She's made it into the House of Commons hall of fame.


Yes, Dawn Primarolo, who's our longest serving MP, is to have a


portrait of her hung in Parliament. But at a cost of �12,000, is it a


waste of taxpayers' money? Helping us answer that are two local


politicians who, if they're lucky, may themselves one day make it onto


the walls of the Houses of Commons. They are the Lib Dem Stephen


Williams and Labour's Sophy Gardner. Former Wing Commander, Sophy?


work a lot with veterans now in my current work, and I have worked


alongside reserves both deployed on operations overseas and the UK.


Government is trying to beef up the reserves but plugging holes in


full-time regulars. Yes, they are looking for 30,000 reserves, and it


appears to be to plug a gap more than anything else. I don't think


there is any problem with a large number of reserves, but it takes


awhile to get them and trained. Would Labour reverse the spending


cuts? What I would like to see is a more organised way of working with


the civilian sector. They have just decided to keep the chief of staff


for another year, so there is somebody who understands the issues


who will see that through. Stephen, you have never fancied joining up?


am sure the forces would want people to join up some sort gesture.


true that the politicians who would send our troops to war have no


military experience? Isn't it a good thing that most of our politicians


have never had to go to war themselves. I think that is a trial


within Europe that we have a generation of politicians for whom


war is not a personal experience. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust


triumph. -- triumph. We will move The Government overruled its own


experts this week and decided to outlaw this stuff - it's a herbal


stimulant called Khat. If you chew on it, it gives you a high - and


it's used widely by Somali men. Indeed, it's on sale in grocery


shops in Bristol. But while that is being banned - other drugs that


young people can buy are openly on sale. They're called "legal highs".


So why not ban them too - Here's Paul Barltrop.


Two types of shop. Two types of drug. Two types of Government


treatment. This shop in the heart of Bristol's Somali community sells


Khat - but not for long. This is the last delivery. So chew as much as


you can. It's a centuries old tradition. When


chewed, it has a mild stimulant effect. I have been cheering almost


for the last 25 years. I was self-employed, family man with six


children. -- I have been cheering. But if this is banned, it will


criminalise our lot of our people. am outraged. I'd shoo this every


day, once or twice a week. Like alcohol, it can be linked to


social problems. Some Somalis have long called for a ban. But the


government's own expert advisers investigated, and earlier this year


they came out against. We ship -- we decided Khat should become a legal


substance. But there's no doubt that harm that


can be caused by legal highs. They were linked to 40 deaths last year.


The problem is the vast range of chemicals being created - often


getting round the law by stating that they're not for human


consumption. We don't sell them, but when it leaves the shop, people are


free to do whatever they want with the product.


At last week's Glastonbury Festival, selling legal highs was prohibited.


But their use is widespread - and sometimes worrying. Mindbenders, I


will have a chilled out one. They are pills about that big. I wouldn't


recommend them. People think because they are legal they are safe. I


don't think they are. In fact, the event may help bring


more bans. The festival's temporary police station included a lab


testing drugs brought in from the site. We have identified it as a


slight chemical modification on a readily -- already illegal drug.


So, different drugs, different rules. These chemical stimulants


will stay legal unless found to be dangerous. This herbal stimulant


found not to be dangerous will soon be banned.


To tell us about her experiences of the drug Khat is Egeran Gibril who's


a Somali community worker. She's our longest serving West


Because it is very expensive, which causes family disruption. So people


think, well it is not good in both -- group -- it is not good for the


person to chew, it is not good for their health. You can tempt the


people, to use Khat, it is affecting their head. When you see a young


person using a lot of Khat, with a lot of sugar, it harms their teeth.


They claim that they feel happier and better themselves, but actually


it causes them aggressive depression. A lot of things are not


good for us, but we still choose to do them. Yes, but when you know the


problem that it is causing, there is a lot of research being done and you


have the choice, like cigarettes for example. We know the harm they cause


us, but the Khat, there is not the research. Actually I would like


people to see the impact that it has two them. Steven, as a liberal,


would you ban Khat? No, I think some things do need to be controlled if


they are proven to cause harm to themselves. I am in favour of having


as many restrictions as possible on smoking, because it will shorten


your life span. The medical evidence on Khat is that it does not have any


medical side effects or ill effects at all. There is a 96 page report


drawn up by the advisory Council on the misuse of drugs, the body that


advises the Home Secretary, and they say emphatically that Khat itself is


not harmful. That is not your experience, is it? No, they are not


disclosing the information that they use Khat, therefore they give them


antidepressant tablets and they take them with the Khat. The combination


costs them great mental health problems. What about the Government


banning Khat but not banning these so-called legal highs? You have not


talked at all about actually the importance of education in use of


drugs. The Government has cut compulsory education on drugs and


alcohol, you might think that would be a more important thing to do.


you wouldn't ban it? You would educate people instead? What I am


talking about is criminalising people without any support, making


people into the position when they might become criminalised or put


into prison is no... This is the difficulty. At the moment, I


understand that costs �3. If anything is criminalised, we know


with all other drugs when they are criminalised, the cost will go


through the roof. Criminals will get in on the act, lots of Somali young


men will end up in prison, and I think the repercussions will be


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2167 seconds


terrible. Yes, because people do not have any alternative to socialise,


so this will bring a huge problem to people to come together.


And now Labour's Dawn Primarolo is set to make it into the House of


Commons hall of fame. She is our longest serving West Country MP. The


Speaker's arts committee have decided to commission a portrait of


her, with a price tag thought to well over �10,000. But some believe


it's a waste of money - and that spending on the arts should be cut


back. Charlotte Callen reports. Street art in Bedminster. This area


of South Bristol is well known for it's arts scene - the creators of


Wallace and Gromit have their headquarters just down the road. And


Dawn Primarolo, who's been the local MP since 1987, is a familiar face.


That's the local MP. She's retiring at the next election


- and fellow MPs have decided her parliamentary career should be


recognised with a portrait in parliament.


With an estimated price tag of around �12,000, it has led to


criticism from some like the taxpayers Alliance, who say it is a


waste of money. On a visit to Bristol to celebrate the arts,


Labour's Deputy Leader justified the decision. Over the centuries the


House of Commons has supported British portrait painters in order


to support them, and I can tell you there are hundreds of portraits of


men, so if you have a portrait of dawn, good for her and good for us,


I think. There's no doubt she's had a


prestigious parliamentary career, ending up as the Deputy Speaker -


and the longest serving Paymaster General for 200 years. But she


started from very different roots. Campaigning for nuclear disarmament.


In her early political career, she was known as red Dawn, not just for


her love of Bristol city, but because of her left-wing views. Now,


after 26 years as an MP, she has herself become part of the


establishment. To have her hanging alongside the men in the corridors,


I think that is a good thing. disagree. It is ridiculous. I don't


think it is a great use of taxpayers money. I don't think it is a good


idea spending �12,000. In a time when they are making so many cuts, I


don't think they can justify spending �12,000 on a picture of


someone! And these chaps - well, they're


doing that on the streets of Bristol. Over the past few years,


they have cut back on funding for the arts. But you just have to have


a look at Wallace and Gromit to see how much the industry means to the


city. The calculation is that for every �1 of council investment in


the arts, it generates �4 in return. It actually creates jobs, economic


tourism, so we don't want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.


But will this port could be as popular? The artist has not been


commissioned. -- this portrait. Our thanks to Ian, who did this


portrait which cost is �10. Joining the debate is Chris Chalkley


from the People's Republic of Stokes Croft - a group which promotes arts


and culture. Do you think 12 grand on a picture


of Dawn Primarolo is justified? think spending on the arts is


essential to a healthy culture. And really the debate needs to be where


we spend that money. And a portrait? I am not going to fight one way or


another, there is a long history of portraiture, but what I would like


to have is a debate about how we spend our money locally on local


culture. What evidence have you got to say that spending public money


and the arts is a good thing? if you look at it from just basic


economics, many studies show that if you spend money on the arts, it will


be returned to you. What I think is absolutely essential with the arts


is that it is the last resort, it is the last area where we hold onto our


local culture, and in a world where things are increasingly dominated by


globalisation, then this is incredibly important. It is the


ideas that come from this sort of stuff that is absolutely essential.


On the other hand local authorities have difficult positions about care


for old people and housing and all the rest of it. It is not easy to


say we should spend money on arts. No, but there is also central


Government money, and as many people might know the funding that comes


from the centre, about �21 per head, goes into London, and for the South


West it is about �3 per head. When we talk about the return we get, it


is the economic return but also the community, the culture that comes


from it, just the health of society. That is an investment for the


future. So it is not spending with no return. How difficult is it to


sell to the public the idea that art spending should be protected?


disagree that art spending should not be done at all. I personally


love looking at paintings, and you can get great pleasure just by


contemplating what the artist was going to get across. Most galleries


are free, if you go to the National portrait Gallery or the Bristol city


Museum. They are paid for by the taxpayer. They are paid for


collectively by the public good. In terms of my fellow Bristol MP having


her portrait, I think that is fair enough. The Speaker has a fund where


the budget is set every year. I showed lots of schoolchildren and


pensioners, groups around Parliament every week, and they enjoy looking


at the picture gallery of historic politicians. You shall be that bit


as well. You have an arts thing going on as well. You brought us are


locally decorated teapot. I was involved in the pottery industry for


many years, which has basically collapsed over the last 30 years,


and we have the Phoenix from the ashes, so these are beautiful china


teapot that are decorated by volunteers, and they drive the


economics that allows us to paint the walls, which has caused the


revival, which means more shops open. We will have a cup of tea


later. Let's take a spin through this


week's political round-up in just 60 seconds.


Ian Liddell-Grainger was in trouble with the Speaker of the Commons this


week. I say to the Member for Bridgwater, if you cannot be quiet,


get out. The naughty boy got quite a telling off, but it turns out he was


wrongly accused of shouting during a speech by the Labour MP Stella


Creasy. Co-op have triumphed in the war of


supermarkets this week. They won a high court battle that could stop


rivals Asda from opening a store in Cinderford.


And the war to stop TB in cattle spreading has been stepped up, as


the Government announced a 25 year strategy to tackle the disease. The


West is high-risk, so there'll be extra measures to stop transmission


between cows, which farmers will have to help pay for.


And the union representing firefighters in Devon and Somerset


says it's "shocked and astonished" at the timing of an announcement of


�2.5 million of cuts in the service. Bosses insist lives won't be put at


risk. Let's pick up now on unions - and


the problems for Labour with Unite. Sophy, what are your links with


unions? I was not a union backed candidate in my cell action, which


is a couple of months ago, and I won fair and square without that


support, so it is not a stitch up, it was not in my case, I do however


enjoy and am working closely with the local union representatives.


They are representing hard-working people. The Government is making hay


out of this, isn't it? I think there is a legitimate thing for the public


to worry about, and that is how much influence Len McCluskey is buying.


Ed Miliband would not be the leader at all, Labour MPs who my friend


voted for his brother, were desperately disappointed when Ed


Miliband one, because it was not Labour MPs, it was the unions that


got Ed Miliband over the finishing line.


That's all we've got time for this week. Thank you to Stephen and to


Sophy for joining us. Next week is our final programme of the series


before Parliament breaks for the summer recess. We'll have an end of


term report for the political parties, and I'll be joined by the


Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue


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