07/07/2013 Sunday Politics West


07/07/2013

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

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

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2167 seconds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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alongside reserves both deployed on operations overseas and the UK.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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within Europe that we have a generation of politicians for whom

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war is not a personal experience. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

:39:58.:40:08.
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triumph. -- triumph. We will move The Government overruled its own

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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substance. But there's no doubt that harm that

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

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

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

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

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free to do whatever they want with the product.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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So, different drugs, different rules. These chemical stimulants

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

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found not to be dangerous will soon be banned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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costs them great mental health problems. What about the Government

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

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

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drugs. The Government has cut compulsory education on drugs and

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

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

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talking about is criminalising people without any support, making

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people into the position when they might become criminalised or put

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

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

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

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

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

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2167 seconds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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- and fellow MPs have decided her parliamentary career should be

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recognised with a portrait in parliament.

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

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

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

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

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House of Commons has supported British portrait painters in order

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

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

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

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prestigious parliamentary career, ending up as the Deputy Speaker -

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

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started from very different roots. Campaigning for nuclear disarmament.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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someone! And these chaps - well, they're

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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and culture. Do you think 12 grand on a picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

:53:58.:54:08.
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and the arts is a good thing? if you look at it from just basic

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

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

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

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

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globalisation, then this is incredibly important. It is the

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

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On the other hand local authorities have difficult positions about care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:55:39.:55:49.
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disagree that art spending should not be done at all. I personally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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teapot that are decorated by volunteers, and they drive the

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

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

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later. Let's take a spin through this

:57:35.:57:41.

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

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

:57:44.:57:54.
:57:54.:57:57.

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

:57:57.:58:01.

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

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

:58:04.:58:06.

Creasy. Co-op have triumphed in the war of

:58:06.:58:09.

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

:58:09.:58:11.

rivals Asda from opening a store in Cinderford.

:58:11.:58:14.

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

:58:14.:58:18.

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

:58:18.:58:20.

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

:58:20.:58:30.
:58:30.:58:31.

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

:58:31.:58:33.

And the union representing firefighters in Devon and Somerset

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

:58:36.:58:40.

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

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

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

:58:51.:59:01.
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unions? I was not a union backed candidate in my cell action, which

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

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

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enjoy and am working closely with the local union representatives.

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

:59:29.:59:39.
:59:39.:59:39.

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

:59:39.:59:45.

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

:59:45.:59:55.
:59:55.:59:56.

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

:59:57.:59:58.

voted for his brother, were desperately disappointed when Ed

:59:58.:00:01.

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

:00:02.:00:03.

got Ed Miliband over the finishing line.

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

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

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

:00:13.:00:16.

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

:00:16.:00:18.

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue

:00:18.:00:22.

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