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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